Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time- Season 3: Episodes 13-16

“No, YOU die first!”

I am very late to the Babylon 5 party. As it came out, I was a bit young for the show and the few times we tried to watch as a family, it was clear we had no idea what was going on. After several people bugged me, telling me it was the show I needed to watch, I grabbed the whole series around Christmas last year on a great sale. I’ve been watching it since, sneaking it in between the many things going on in my life. It quickly became apparent that I’d want to discuss the episodes with others, so I began this series of posts. Please don’t spoil anything from later seasons or episodes for me! 

Season 3: Episodes 13-16

13: A Late Delivery from Avalon

Some guy shows up on Babylon 5 claiming to be King Arthur. Yes, the King Arthur. Of course he’s not… though at one point in the episode I genuinely expected him to be the guy. It wouldn’t be totally out of line for the show to have done that. Anyway, basically he has some depression/etc. that seems to have caused him to go into this illusion, paralleling his own actions which set off the Earth-Minbari war with King Arthur’s own tragic story. Ultimately, Delenn comes along to save him after he’s confronted with his real history, and in his nightmare she becomes the Lady of the Lake, to whom he gives Excalibur, thus making some kind of forgiveness/amends for the war. 

There’s also this side story with Girabaldi and the post office. It appears to be the humorous thread, which often happens in the show during particularly serious episodes. Accompanying the strange main story, though, Girabaldi’s frustration with trying to get out of paying too much (in his opinion) for his package just seems to increase the oddness. Also, can we please, PLEASE keep the post office around so that hundreds of years in the future we’re still able to send packages anywhere on Earth without having to pay exorbitant fees? Fund the post office! 

I am sitting here writing about this episode and trying to figure it out. I’ve already seen how important some of these strange episodes or seeming side stories are in the series, but I can’t figure out how a guy who thinks he’s King Arthur can play into it, especially with how it’s all tied up. Maybe this was a one off. I guess I’ll find out.

14: Ship of Tears

First of all, the news channel being taken over by the awful leaders of earth was totally predictable, and having them become a propaganda machine also seemed like something I expected. That didn’t make it uninteresting to see, however. Wait–BESTER is here!? 

Yes, Bester has arrived at Babylon 5 and he’s apparently going to help them. I didn’t believe it for a second, and none of the characters did either. I loved how he shows up and Sheridan is basically like “I’m going to stay out of sight and also be ready to blow you up at all times with my space-fighter.” Anyway, can we talk about how often senior staff are flying around in dinky fighters? Is this the Babylon 5 equivalent of the captain going on an away mission? I think so. 

Normals are obsolete… the future belongs to the telepaths. Well–at least you know where you stand with Bester, right?

The scene where Delenn et al. finally tell G’Kar about essentially sacrificing his people for the sake of all so that the Shadows might be defeated is fantastic. G’Kar is acted brilliantly, and his reactions are utterly believable as he cycles through various stages. “Some must be sacrificed if all are to be saved.” “That one sentence is the greatest burden I have ever known.” G’Kar is a damned philosopher, and one with much more wisdom than many. 

Anyway, Bester basically tricks the B5 crew into helping him rescue a telepath and then the telepath goes nuts and melds with the space station to become a final boss in a video game. (Okay, this last part is a joke, but that’s definitely what she looked like.) Anyway, the crew manages to stop her, and Bester reveals he will help Babylon 5 at any cost if they save her because she’s the only woman he’s ever loved. Seems kind of like a big deal, but as I write this having watched episode 15/16 I realize nothing has come of it yet? I can’t wait to see what happens. Also, Bester is an awesome villain. I am excited that I managed to track down the books that are about the Psi Corps. Can’t wait to read those once I finish watching the series.

Girabaldi manages to break his character enough to figure out that the Shadows are scared of telepaths, which I’m sure won’t be important at all in the future. Yes, that’s sarcasm. Apparently the Shadows killed all the Narn telepaths to try to protect themselves. I wonder if G’Kar will be able to scrounge up some telepaths somewhere in the future.

15: Interludes and Examinations

I liked the opening of this one as Ivanova’s voice over is contrasted with the events happening on screen that seem to contradict her and show that there are far more dangers on the station than even she realizes. Sheridan realizes as he talks with Delenn and tries to enlist other non-aligned people to join the fight against the Shadows that they need a signature victory to point to in order to convince others that they have a change of defeating the Shadows. To do that, Sheridan confronts Kosh and goads him into revealing that he’s not all that unemotional after all. Kosh then convinces the Vorlon to attack the Shadows and they get their signature victory. But, we saw earlier that Morden, the weird human who is with the Shadows, snuck on board with some mini-Shadows. They kill Kosh, but not before Kosh contacts Sheridan in a dream and shares some vital information with him. 

Meanwhile, a side plot that seems almost a main plot features Girabaldi confronting Doctor Franklin about his increasing drug problem, which ultimately leads to Franklin stepping down to get himself into shape.

Another side plot has Londo awaiting Adira, his love from season 1, in great anticipation. But she arrives dead, because she was poisoned. Londo thinks it’s one of his Centauri rivals and agrees to enlist Morden for more aid in fighting his own, now private, battle. But it’s clear that Morden is the one who did it.

Kosh is dead! Londo’s love is dead! Londo is convinced to rejoin with the Shadows to fight! Everything is terrible! 

This episode has so many hugely important things happen in it–to the point where it’s hard to know where to even begin. I do wonder now about the huge popularity I’ve seen in fan circles of Kosh. I’m not naysaying that–people like who they like, and that’s fine. I’m just trying to understand why he’s so popular. Sure, he was useful and all, but he largely just seems enigmatic and then dies before he can really become anything more than a strange character you don’t know much about. Maybe he isn’t actually dead? I don’t know, but I imagine this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the Vorlon. 

16: War Without End Part 1

The Minbari planet is gorgeous. That’s my takeaway from this episode.

Anyway, Sinclair shows up again, which is pretty exciting to me, because I quite enjoyed him as a character in the first season. He’s been assembling the Rangers and helping to run them. He gets a package from 900 years ago addressed to him, which is alarming, to say the least. Turns out there’s time travel in Babylon 5!? What? 

The rest of the episode is a series of discussions revealing many major plot points, like how Babylon 4 was sent into the past and instrumental in defeating the Shadows, and how Zathras, whom we’ve met before and I dismissed as a weird one off character, is apparently much more important than I thought. And Delenn has some cryptic talk about how they need to be the grey between the star and people or something. I didn’t get it, but it felt important. Maybe something to do with the Grey Council? I don’t know. So anyway, it turns out our main characters need to go through a time paradox so they can do something that’s already happened in order to allow the present to not be destroyed by the Shadows, which seems an important enough task that they risk everything. But oh wait, we lost Sinclair in time somewhere, which wasn’t supposed to happen according to Delenn. Delenn seems to be the one to trust here, except that she messed up big time, so I’m not even sure what to think any more.

We do finally get to have Marcus talking a little bit again. Please have every episode be about Marcus from now on. Oh, and Emperor Londo in some parallel universe manages to get a hold of Sheridan unstuck in time. That seems bad. 

Also time travel? Is this a constant thing in Babylon 5 now? Don’t tell me.


Babylon 5 Hub– Find all my Babylon 5-related posts and content here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!


My Read-Through of the Hugos: 1969

I’m a huge science fiction fan, and, having read a list of what are alleged to be the top 200 science fiction novels, I decided to next tackle a read-through of all the Hugo Award winners and nominees for best novel. Let me know your thoughts and favorites. Here are the nominees and the winner of the 1969 Hugo Awards. I’ve marked the winner as well as my own choice for which novel would win, had I the choice among the nominees. I’ve also dropped a short reflection on the year’s Hugo list at the beginning.

1969- Ever see your own opinion on books and think you were wrong? I suspect if I re-read some books I’d have an entirely different opinion on them. One thing I wanted to talk about from the 1969 Hugos is the winner of best novella, “Nightwings” by Robert Silverberg. It’s pretty fantastic, and a superb example of New Wave science fiction. In a far future Earth the main character is assigned to watch for alien invasions while accompanied by a Changeling and a fairy-like woman. Silverberg wrote two sequel novellas, which he humorously points out Frederik Pohl, the editor of the magazine to which he submitted them, did not like. But I loved them as much or more than “Nightwings.” Together, they make a novel-length book which wouldn’t unseat Past Master as my favorite this year (see my gushing below), but would give it a run. The Goblin Reservation was a somewhat disappointing Simak book to me. But even if he’s not at his best, I enjoy Simak. Stand on Zanzibar was clearly worthy of a classic, though parts of it are nearly unreadable, and it is so heavy. Rite of Passage was forgettable. Past Master–well, you’ll see what I think below and in my extended review, but I adored it.

Past Master by R.A. Lafferty (My Winner)- Grade: A+
I’ve never read a work by Lafferty before this one, and I have to say I was absolutely blown away. He’d been recommended by a number of different people to me, and with this Hugo read-through I finally picked up Past Master to check him out. I wish I’d done so earlier. This novel is dense. Though it’s short, I could hardly believe it only weighed in around 190 pages when I looked it up online. The book took me as long to read as most 400+ page novels do, largely because I found myself so drawn into the premise, prose, and symbolism found throughout. There’s no question here that Lafferty has steeped this book in layers upon layers of meaning, to the point that unpacking it all would take quite a bit of study. Whether it’s the play upon “Evita” (Lilith? Eve? Someone else?), the way Lafferty interconnects discussions of Utopia with questions about the soul, or any number of other major themes in the book, it’s a fascinating, fantastic ride. Longer review/overview that I wrote here.

The Goblin Reservation by Clifford Simak- Grade: C-
A strange, mashup book of time travel, goblins, ghosts, dimensions, dragons, and more (robots, of course!) while still maintaining a Simak-esque pastoral plot. Something about this one didn’t click for me. It was almost like a travelogue with all the strangeness of the different creatures/species being lost in the mire of normalcy that permeates even Simak’s strangest writing. It didn’t all work together as some of his other works have. The setting just never made sense in a way that was cohesive. Having these different mythical creatures all jumbled together can work, and sometimes does so beautifully. But here, Simak just seemed to be piling on the creatures for no clear reason. There wasn’t much direction to what was happening, either. It’s an okay read, but not a very good one.

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner (Winner)- Grade: B+
A phenomenally difficult and dense read. The style is particularly interesting, though I read that it was largely modeled after a work Brunner admired. Basically, some chapters are kind of info-dumps giving background on the setting, other chapters are more extensive background information, and still others follow a narrative. It makes the whole thing a bit of a chore to read through, and I can’t help but think that it seems a bit forced. However, the central narrative and the background context are each intriguing, and the dystopic future it envisions are, in some ways, chillingly accurate (though in others laughably quaint). In the time of COVID and other things happening, it seems increasingly, eerily prophetic. But I’m not convinced that’s the point of the story. It seems more a warning than a prophecy, and perhaps we should be concerned that the warning seems to be turning into reality. Also, I tried to re-read this book as an audiobook, and it was awful. The reader was fine–good, even–but this book is not meant to be listened to. It’s impossible to follow.

Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin- Grade: C
Panshin’s book is one of those that left me with an intense feeling of “oh well.” Nothing was terribly wrong with this coming-of-age story set aboard a ship, but nothing is terribly striking about it either. It just feels like a milquetoast read. There’s nothing striking about it any more, which is probably based upon reading it more than 50 years after it was written. Based on looking at its reception overall, it was apparently striking for having such a personal perspective, particularly for featuring a young girl in that role. But looking back on it, the claims that it portrays so well what “being a girl” is like seems absurd, and the plot is, frankly, boring. It’s somewhat lazy to say of a book that it shows its age, but I have to use that phrase here. This book shows its age. It may have been innovative and thought-provoking at the time it was written, but it is a chore to read today.

Nova by Samuel R. Delany- Grade: C-
It wasn’t the disaster that was Dhalgren, but it still wasn’t great. I think this book is an example of an idea that was so fresh and exciting at the time that it stuck with people, but it seems overdone and rather dry in hindsight. Well done on Delany for tackling this hard sci-fi topic ahead of most (or any) other authors. But I just didn’t think it was as engaging as I’d hoped it would be. None of the characters grabbed my interest. The center of the plot was basically just a set up for talking about science in the mouths of the characters. It wasn’t awful, but it also doesn’t stand up well with time.


Science Fiction Hub– I have scores of reviews of Hugo nominees, Vintage Sci-Fi, modern sci-fi, TV series, and more! Check out my science fiction related writings here.

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Presidential Biographies: William McKinley #25

My quest to read (at least) one biography per President continues with William McKinley, the twenty-fifth President of the United States. The biography I chose with my selection process (reading reviews online and utilizing and this website- My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies) is President McKinley: Architect of the American Century by Robert W. Merry.

Here, I’ll offer my thoughts on that biography, and proceed to present my official ranking for the DEFINITIVE RANKING OF PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES!!!!!! The full list of the rankings with all the Presidents as well as comments on their careers, updated as I read through this list, may be found here.

President McKinley: Architect of the American Century by Robert W. Merry

McKinley is often seen as the first truly modern President, taking full advantage of the powers of the Presidency and also taking advantage of opportunities to expand that power and use the office as a way to move a political ideal forward. Robert W. Merry’s biography certainly affirms that assessment, as throughout the biography Merry seeks to show that McKinley was a deeply influential President on our nation’s history.

McKinley began his life in Ohio, and in his school years he developed a sharp intellect a demeanor that sought to understood opponents’ reasoning, even while not taking offense at having strong disagreements. His family were strong abolitionists, and McKinley held his own strong views, even debating the topic with Democrats who worked at the tannery. Before the Civil War, he already expressed the opinion that Jefferson Davis and others were going towards treason with their secessionist words. He and his cousin enlisted after careful consideration and opted to weigh national interest over their own. He was a competent soldier, though he didn’t rocket through the ranks as some other Presidents had. He remained idealistic about the reasons for the war, and afterwards he became a successful lawyer. From there, he became ever more actively involved in politics. Personal tragedy struck with the death of his daughters, from which his wife’s health never fully recovered. He was a deeply loving husband who ever had time for Ida, his wife, even to the point of sometimes giving offense with his dedication to her.

Following the political advice he received from Rutherford B. Hayes who counseled him to focus on a specific issue rather than diving in to every controversy of the day (70), McKinley became focused on the question of tariffs and protectionism, heavily favoring both policies as ways to defend domestic industries and the economy. He would carry these torches throughout his political career. His policies of protectionism and favoring of the gold standard during his Presidency would lead to economic prosperity, even while he expanded trade ties with other countries in order to open markets more than they had been. Indeed, Merry makes a case that McKinley, despite being so well known for protectionist tariffs and policies, also helped spur ideals of free trade that would later lead to a more global economy.

McKinley rode his knowledge and endorsement of protectionism to being the Governor of Ohio and then to the Presidency. As President, McKinley took an interest in international relations that perhaps no previous President had done. In doing so, he essentially created an imperialist America. He helped annex Hawaii after various political machinations, ousting the rightful rulers in favor of white American interests. Part of this was due to his belief in manifest destiny. After war with Spain, he acquired Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the latter seemed largely against the wishes of the populace. In China, McKinley pushed an open trade policy whilst arguing imperial powers ought not to try to take territory from China. Ultimately, this led to him using U.S. troops in China when the Boxer Rebellion occurred in order to try to protect American interests. This use of soldiers opened the door for future Presidents to use troops without Senate approval, something that the Senate at the time opposed but ultimately did little to forestall. For foreign policy, McKinley’s policies followed what he thought was best for the United States. He was extremely active in promoting the interests of the U.S. while also expanding its influence through an imperial expansion across the globe.

McKinley was, as said before, a strong abolitionist, but when it came to Civil Rights, his record is uneven. He tended to favor attempts to reduce sectionalism instead of promoting defense of all citizens’ rights. His beliefs reflected prejudices of his time, and he failed to have the backbone that others, like Ulysses S. Grant, had for fighting for Civil Rights.

McKinley won a second term, but was assassinated soon after. When he died, he was beloved, though his reputation has somewhat tarnished in hindsight. There’s little question that he brought increased prosperity for the United States, but he did so at the cost of giving up the fight for Civil Rights and an increasingly imperialistic policy. There is no question McKinley changed the role of President, expanding the power and prestige of the office, ignoring Senate’s protests about overstepping the bounds of the Executive Branch, and getting deeply involved in foreign affairs. His legacy is mixed, though it would be impossible to ignore it in the history of the United States. McKinley is a complex figure with a complex legacy that could be debated at length.

William McKinley’s Original Ranking in THE DEFINITIVE RANKING OF PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES (Full and Updated List Here)

William McKinley (25th President – Original Ranking #10)- William McKinley used the powers of the President in ways that few before him had imagined. Deeply involved in foreign policy, he wrestled the Caribbean from Spain, took over the Philippines, added Hawaii as a state, forced access to China open, increased ties with Britain, and developed concepts of international trade in ways that hadn’t been done before. Of course, almost all of these were a kind of Imperialist America that did, oftentimes, as much or more harm as good. Domestically, he solidified the gold standard. He failed to be a strong advocate for civil rights, working to thwart sectionalism more than working to guarantee the rights and protections all people deserve. His enduring legacy was cut short by assassination, but he helped usher in an era of economic prosperity and international influence for the United States from which many continue to benefit to this day.


J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!


Reading the Horus Heresy, Book 9: “Mechanicum”

I know I’m late to the party, but I finally decided to start reading the “Horus Heresy,” a huge series of novels set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000 (though it is set much earlier than the year 40,000). I thought it would be awesome to blog the series as I go. With more than 50 novels and many, many short stories, there will be a lot of posts in this series (I doubt I’ll get to all the short stories). I’m reading the series in publication order unless otherwise noted. There will be SPOILERS from the books discussed as well as previous books in the series. Please DO NOT SPOIL later books in the series.

Mechanicum by Graham McNeill

Mechanicum is the novel of the Horus Heresy I was perhaps most looking forward to, because I love the Mechanicum. Many books related to the Mechanicum rank among my favorites in the whole Black Library. I also greatly enjoyed “The Kaban Project” (my review in link) as an earlier work in the series, so I expected to love this one. Overall, though, I thought it was okay.

The biggest problem with Mechanicum is, like most of the books in the series so far, it seems like the plot would have been better suited as a short story than as a several hundred page novel. The core of the novel is just a coup attempt on Mars that splits the Mechanicum. That’s a great seed for a story, and certainly a novel or even several, but to support that many pages, there need to be compelling characters. In this book, there are either too many or too few characters, I can’t really pin it down. None of the characters stuck with me in any way.

The worst part was the “normal” folk, an aspect that has shown up several times in the series at this point. The thing about having “normals” in the Warhammer universe is that you have to make them really compelling, because otherwise it just feels like “Why am I reading about this guy who’s working at his shop instead of the CULT PRIEST DRIVING A TITAN!?” I mean, that is why we read Warhammer books, right? As someone I know well would say, “It needs more dakka.” And yes, this book needs more dakka. Mountains of Dakka. SO MUCH more Dakka. Because there’s not enough, and there’s far too much of us learning from the people low on the totem pole and not really knowing or caring what’s happening.

I loved the parts of the book that dealt with the machine cult, and it was interesting seeing how different ideas about the same might expand into a broader conflict like the Horus Heresy. Look, there are Titans in this book, but it never felt like I felt the scale of them as I did in Titanicus, one of my favorite WH40K novels. Maybe it was just me, but the whole time I read the novel, I felt there was something just slightly off.

Mechanicum is a decent novel, but not one that I’d rank among my favorites in the Black Library. It fits well with the Horus Heresy and shows the range of the conflict, but it doesn’t feel like it ever really breaks out from its shell.


Horus Heresy and Warhammer/40K Hub– All my posts on the Horus Heresy, as well as books throughout the Warhammer and 40K universe can be found here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!


Watching Babylon 5 for the first time- Season 3: Episodes 9-12

I am very late to the Babylon 5 party. As it came out, I was a bit young for the show and the few times we tried to watch as a family, it was clear we had no idea what was going on. After several people bugged me, telling me it was the show I needed to watch, I grabbed the whole series around Christmas last year on a great sale. I’ve been watching it since, sneaking it in between the many things going on in my life. It quickly became apparent that I’d want to discuss the episodes with others, so I began this series of posts. Please don’t spoil anything from later seasons or episodes for me! 

Season 3: Episodes 9-12

9: Point of No Return
A huge amount of plot happens in this episode. Reflecting on it after the fact, I am honestly surprised this much fit into approximately 42-44 minutes. Yet, as has happened consistently so far, at no point did the plot feel horribly rushed or bloated. It worked extremely well. Anyway, to the episode. First, we have Mollari editing what Vir is saying about his visit to the Minbari. I loved this little portrait scene, because it shows the contrast in their characters quite well. Then, we get the Night Watch is being authorized to take over Babylon 5. I know that “this is like the Nazis” gets thrown around a lot, but this is actually extremely similar to how the Nazis took over Germany, utilizing tragedies and misinformation to continue to seize more and more power. I’m sure this is intentional, as well. I read quite a bit of history of WW2 due to a deep interest in the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was executed at Hitler’s specific orders. I couldn’t help but see many parallels here, and the closeness of the ties suggests at least some research went in to paralleling some aspects of the rise of the Nazis. It’s a fascinating, sci-fi portrayal of how power can go wrong so quickly.

Can we pause for a moment and think about the number of people from Star Trek on this show? We’ve got Bester, played by Walter Koenig. It was a bit jarring to be like: “Hey, is that Chekov?” when he first showed up, but he nails his role here so far. Now, we have Lady Morella, some kind of Centauri Prophet, who is Lwaxana Troi–Majel Barrett. Side note: as a kid, I could not stand Lwaxana Troi, but when I re-watched TNG/DS9 in order as an adult she grew on me. Majel Barrett had more dimension acting than I picked up as a kid, and she shows it here. Side note 2, I love that Bester is Afred Bester and is clearly named after the science fiction author of the same name and spelling. I haven’t read a ton of Bester (I think The Demolished Man might be the only book I’ve read of his, but I want to read more now.

Anyway, I adored the part of this episode where Girabaldi absolutely lost it on the Night Watch, literally flipping tables and getting arrested. It’s a great scene that’s absolutely on point for his character, and the actor they chose has grown on me with scenes like this. G’Kar’s realization that working with the humans seemed like a major point, but we already get the payoff in this episode as the Narn are brought in to combat the Night Watch. Zack Allan hits a turning point in this episode, and I loved that he went with the good guys. I also liked how much ambiguity there was until we finally saw which side he picked. I hope he continues to get developed. I’m not a huge fan of him, but I think there’s room for dynamic growth. 

Morella reveals some kind of prophecy that Mollari will be Emperor, but that Vir will also be Emperor once Mollari dies. I’m not sure how to take this because so far prophetic type things have been basic certainties on the show. But Vir? Really? We’ll see. 

Anyway, ultimately the good guys take the station back after some early morning antics trapping the Night Watch, but this will surely have broader implications for Earth-B5 relations. This episode has way more in it, but I think I hit the major points I wanted to discuss. I loved this one. Heck, I love them all, but this one was particularly great.

10: Severed Dreams
The opener for this one has Mollari complaining loudly about the Narn as security and then having to wait hours because of a “technical difficulty” due to the “inefficient” Narn. I loved it. Good humor, and continues to show Mollari as a jerk. I truly hope he gets a redemptive arc of some sort, because I adored him in season 1. Some Minbari person brings a bunch more info about how the Shadows are making war happen far away. I’m sure that will become important probably but for now it seemed  a sidenote because EARTH FORCE IS BOMBING MARS! Yeah, so I guess I did not anticipate at all the huge amount of political intrigue this show would have. Early on in the show when Earth was mentioned I kind of just wrote it off as background noise, but now we see how important that was. It’s great to see the development here, and the rumblings we’ve seen made it so it wasn’t totally suspension of disbelief-defying. Also, the interrupted news broadcast was a great way to do this as a reveal. Time and again the right choices were made by whoever was running the show to make it dramatic and impactful.

Okay, so now we already have Earth Force showing up to challenge Babylon 5 with some rebellious ships assisting B5, and this battle scene was totally awesome. There’s a huge contrast in special effects with similar shows at the time, with the obvious comparison being Star Trek Deep Space Nine (which I love). These haven’t dated super great, but the excitement is all still there, and this was a fantastic, dramatic, huge epic space battle, which we almost never get to see in cinema or TV. Huge kudos for this great scene. 

Oh yeah, and the Minbari show up to save the day. No biggy. I’m sure that won’t be important (he says sarcastically). Loved it.

11: Ceremonies of Light and Dark
Deporting Night Watch! *Metal music plays in background because this scene is totally awesome.*

We have some assassination attempts, some kidnapping, and some intrigue for the main plot as Delenn gets captured. Lennier and Delenn have an interesting conversation about prophecy given my thoughts on prophecy with Vir above. We’ll see how this all plays out. Mollari has a good line in this episode too, as he plays with Centauri politics: “Why should I listen to you?” asks Refa. “Because I have poisoned your drink!” says Mollari. Loved this moment. I want to see Mollari develop more, and this may be the start of something for him. 

Night Watch people who stayed behind have kidnapped Delenn and it is time to UNLEASH MARCUS, possibly my new favorite character. I basically love everything about him, especially his accent. No, but seriously, he delivers one of the best one-liners in the show so far: “They [the Minbari who trained Marcus] said I was carrying around a lot of repressed anger.”
“And?” asks Lennier.
Raising hands to scene of violence, Marcus says, “I’m not repressed any more.”
It’s a laugh out loud moment for me, but it shows some possibility for more background on Marcus as well. I hope he stays around the rest of the series, because he’s awesome in every way. Anyway, they rescue Delenn. New uniforms for the crew. Marcus/10. 

12: Sic Transit Vir
In which we discover Vir is a great human being… well, a great person, anyway. So in his travels, he’s been apparently diverting Narn who were going to be killed through forced labor in order to save them by hiding them as “dead.” This was revealed as Mollari was in the process of praising him for mass murder. Is Mollari truly this despicable, or is he playing a long game? Time will tell! Mollari also set up an arranged marriage for Vir to Drusella, who is… something else. She fights a Narn and ties him up for Vir to kill at one point. I wonder how her character is going to shape Vir. Overall, this episode seemed like a drawn out way to give Vir a plot arc. It was okay, but it dragged at points. 


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