Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time- “A Call to Arms”

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. Now I’ve finished the series, but am working my way through the movies, related works, comics, and books. Please don’t spoil anything from other works here! 

A Call to Arms

The story of this movie is fairly straightforward: Sheridan is sent to stop a threat from the Drakh against Earth, even while he and others experience baffling visions to do so. Ultimately, they manage to stop the Drakh planet-killer only to have some Drakh escape and release a plague on Earth.

I think this is the most off-feeling of any of the major Babylon 5 things I’ve experienced so far. The movie just doesn’t feel like Babylon 5 as much as many of the others do. But even that might be a testament to good writing. As viewers, we are almost forced to question the narrative of the movie as we experience insights through what seem to be compromised narrative perspectives. do we trust Sheridan’s visions or are they misleading? What of the other characters who show up with similar visions? Are the Drakh really the primary threat, or is something bigger happening?

Ultimately, these questions are answered, but only after quite a bit of second-guessing on the part of the viewer. The conclusion of the movie also leaves the story very open-ended, leaving me to wonder what happens next. I think what I struggled with most, though, was the kind of off-feeling I had the whole time, as described above. It was hard to get fully invested in the film when I wasn’t entirely sure I trusted it.

Throughout this whole movie, the music is overwhelming. The music is full of major drum beats, repetitions, and a volume that sometimes threatens to drown out the dialogue. It was the first time in watching anything from Babylon 5 that I thought the music was too much. It’s not bad–though it verges on silly at times–it’s just a combination of factors that starts to make it a distraction from the on-screen action.

The end is clearly a setup for the follow-up series, “Crusade.” As a whole, the movie is worth watching for more Babylon 5 but has an open-ended feel I wasn’t expecting. It does at least provide a direction for an answer to what happens with the Drakh, the infamous allies of the Shadows. I’m curious to dive into Crusade, now, and see what happens next.

(All Links to Amazon are Affiliates Links.)

Links

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!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time- “The River of Souls”

Anyone else get major Star Trek: Insurrection vibes from this poster?

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. Now I’ve finished the series, but am working my way through the movies, related works, comics, and books. Please don’t spoil anything from other works here! 

The River of Souls

The Soul Hunters are back! I briefly mentioned them in my Season 1 overview and I always hoped they’d show up again in the series. Now we basically get a whole movie dedicated to learning more about the work they do and, more importantly, what mistakes they might make.

The movie has so much going for it that I love. We’ve got sci-fi archaeology. Archaeology is cool enough as it is, but somehow it’s even cooler when we’re in the future, digging up ancient things. And, of course, there’s a kind of cursed object storyline going on, but then it gets tied into the Soul Hunters, one of the more mysterious groups we’ve run into on the whole series. Compound that with some serious twists–a billion angry aliens, for example–and some humor based around a plot regarding a holographic brothel, and this is a recipe for success.

The revelation of the Soul Hunters making a mistake is probably the most important in the whole movie. It’s a major point and theme of the movie, so far as I can tell. At one point, the Martin Sheen Soul Hunter tells Lochley that “We do not make mistakes…” but Captain Lochley was just told that the people of the planet were not dying, “We were evolving!” This is a hugely subversive look at all the plot of the movie that had come before, and it’s a twist that, frankly, is amazing. It’s a horrifying revelation that also penetrates the mystique of the Soul Hunters to the point where they become more believable as a group.

The tension continues to ratchet up, and the holo-brothel somehow looms large in the main part of the plot instead of staying as a kind of comedy generator. After many Soul Hunters show up and demand B5 returns the stolen orb (which is not even in their possession), the aliens get serious about taking revenge upon those who unwittingly imprisoned them for thousands of years. The Martin Sheen Soul Hunter offers himself as a way to prove to the other Soul Hunters–and the aliens–that it was a genuine mistake and that they need to work together to undo it. The move seems to be a success, though we’re left knowing the solution is being worked on rather than being completed. Honestly, this is a good move, because it means the resolution isn’t cheaply gotten.

The River of Souls” is a great Babylon 5 movie. It has the look and feel of the show, with extensions that make sense. Though it doesn’t answer any of my major looming questions from the end of the series, I didn’t mind so much because the plot was so good. It has humor, intensity, the cast nails their roles, and it brings a wonderful conclusion to tie it all together while not putting too neat a bow on it. I loved this movie.

(All Links to Amazon are Affiliates Links.)

Links

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!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time- “Thirdspace”

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. Now I’ve finished the series, but am working my way through the movies, related works, comics, and books. Please don’t spoil anything from other works here! 

Thirdspace

Here we go! Time to delve the first Babylon 5 movie that takes place after the series! Wait… no it doesn’t. I was all excited to finally get to a movie that might answer some of my unanswered questions, but was somewhat disappointed to find that Thirdspace, instead, took place during the series. I am starting to wonder if any of the movies might answer my post-series questions or if I’ll have to just wait for some of the novels to do that.

Anyway, because of my initial disappointment with the timeline of the movie, I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I probably should have. The movie does answer some questions about the Vorlons, which makes it worth watching. The Vorlons made a gate to try to “contact the gods” in a way, getting to Thirdspace. But it turns out that those aliens in Thirdspace are not, shall we say, benevolent.

It turns out the Thirdspace aliens have come before and the Vorlon had to desperately fight them or risk the destruction of all life in the known universe or something. The Thirdspace aliens use telepathy to take control of a bunch of people and aliens and start a massive battle before Sheridan blows them back to where they came from with a nuke.

I have to say, I didn’t particularly enjoy the attempts at horror-like elements in the movie. It’s hard to take seriously a threat that could destroy all life in the universe when we basically know it’s not actually a threat, given the series continued. That makes this story not work as well as it should, and the sense of impending doom that was attempted didn’t have the right feel to it. Maybe if I watched it all as it came out, I would have felt differently.

“Thirdspace” is a fine movie, and I enjoyed getting more background on the Vorlon, especially. It was worth the watch, but still doesn’t quite do enough to satiate my appetite for more Babylon 5.

Links

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!

SDG.

Reading the Babylon 5 Novels: “Voices” by John Vornholt

Having finally watched Babylon 5 for the first time (check out my posts for that series at my Babylon 5 Hub), I decided to dive into the novels. I’ll be reading them largely in publication order and reviewing them individually as we go along. Please do not spoil later books for me. There will be SPOILERS for the book reviewed going forward.

Voices by John Vornholt

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure initially if I would be buying all the Babylon 5 novels or if I’d just try to read the ones that are officially considered “canon.” I figured I may as well get them all, because I loved the series so much. Voices is part of the first batch of Babylon 5 novels that was released, and only a few of these first 9 novels are considered “canon.” Voices is not one of those novels. I’m not one who gets all tied up in insisting upon only canon matters (I enjoyed the hell out of a lot of the now-“Legends” Star Wars novels and reviewed… a lot of them). But I want the in-universe books to make sense and be fun.

Voices did each of those… at times. The core of the plot is that some bomb goes off as Alfred Bester, the awful telepath we know and love to hate from the series, is planning a convention on Mars. Instead, because of this bombing, the convention of telepaths gets moved at the last second to Babylon 5, much to the chagrin of Girabaldi and Ivanova in particular. This is set in the time when Talia Winters was still on station, so she gets caught up in the mess, especially when another bomb goes off–this time on B5.

The first half of the novel is honestly great. It reads just like another episode of Babylon 5 set within that time period. You can truly see the characters on screen doing everything described, and it makes sense. I especially loved Girabaldi being flustered at having the whole Psi Corps convention dumped into his lap for security. It was spot-on for the handling of him as a character.

The second half of the novel is, however, not great. Suddenly, characters go off in ways that are totally different from what you’d expect from their established personas. Talia Winters, in particular, loses much of her mystique and calm characterization. Girabaldi becomes much more whiney and less decisive than it seems he should be. Even the Psi Corps people seem to lose their way, acting strangely complacent towards station security at times, and going absolutely wild at other points. The plot goes a bit off the rails as well, as we get several larger threats introduced and dismissed seemingly with ease.

What I was left with, then, was a feeling of disappointment. The promising beginning of the book didn’t get the expected payoff. I did enjoy spending more time with the characters I’d come to know and love, but then they started to act in unbelievable ways. There’s also a few gaffes, such as saying the surface of Mars is 200-300 degrees when the temperature on Mars rarely even approaches 0 from below. It’s not a huge deal–Babylon 5 is space opera and not hard science fiction–but it was enough of a blip that it distracted me. Thanks to The Babylon File (volume 1), I read that Vornholt said that the novel “could have benefited from a few more days of research” (383). It probably could have also benefited from a bit more editing to jettison several unnecessary threats and focus on the main plot.

Voices is an okay work of tie-in fiction, but it violates one of the cardinal rulse of such fiction: it loses the feel of the on-screen characters readers have come to love. I’d be curious to know what other Babylon 5 fans thought of the book.

(All Links to Amazon are Affiliates.)

Links

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!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 For the First Time: “In the Beginning” – the TV movie

Hello Darkness, my old friend.

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. Now I’ve finished the series, but am working my way through the movies, related works, comics, and books. Please don’t spoil anything from other works here! 

In the Beginning

The first scene opens, and we see an older Mollari! This instantly makes me hopeful that this movie may answer some of my left over questions from the series. In particular, I want to know about the Shadow ally and whether Mollari ever escapes it. And he tells a story to two young Centauri children, which of course features a younger… Mollari! Time to sit back and enjoy this ride! 

What a ride it is! We get an enormous amount of backstory for the whole series. I was thrilled to see that we might be getting insight into the Earth-Minbari War. We see Mollari chastising the humans for their audacity to confront the Minbari. We witness Delenn’s discussion with the Gray Council. The outbreak of the Earth-Minbari War is a major part of the movie. And it gives us a lot of background into what our favorite characters were doing way back when. Including Ivanova! And G’Kar! Seeing G’Kar as an arms dealer is excellent. He’s doing it to help his people, of course, as it seems he’s done everything. And Dr. Franklin, already an expert on alien biology, apparently, gets arrested for refusing to use his knowledge to help kill Minbari. 

One of the best scenes is when Mollari is voicing over the near-end of the war: “In the end, they didn’t run out of courage–they ran out of time.” The scenes going past during this voice over are well-done and beautiful at times. Most of the rest of the scenes are things we already know with a bit of expansion. 

Mollari intersperses comments throughout. At one point,  we witness his condemnation of the arrogance of humans, then we see him blaming himself for the war. But the format made me worry that I wouldn’t be getting any answers to my most pressing question after all: what happens to Mollari after the series!?

The end gives us a quick peek at an earlier point in the series, in which we saw old Mollari confronting our heroes–Delenn and Sheridan. Mollari toasts them as he apparently gets into a drunken stupor to placate the Shadow Keeper. And that’s the end! we don’t find out more here! But it’s a tantalizing look. I wonder if I’ll have to wait to go through the books before I find the main answer I’m looking for. 

Links

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!

SDG.

Babylon 5 Retrospective After Finishing the Series- I have questions

I already miss this crew.

I finished watching the main Babylon 5 series, and reviewed the whole series along the way. I adored it. It has grown into my favorite TV show of all time. But, having finished the finale, I have some questions to ask before diving into the offshoots, movies, comics, and novels. There will be SPOILERS for the whole main series in this post, but please don’t spoil ANY offshoot series, movies, comics, or novels here.

Vorlon are Angels? Wha-?

Remember that episode where we found out the Vorlon are literally angels? Remember how basically nothing happened with that after we saw the angelic Vorlon save Sheridan’s life? I’d love to know more about the Vorlon. So many fans seem to love them, but to me, they are opportunists who manipulated the history of other species for hundreds or thousands of years just for their own ends. What makes them such fan favorites? Is it the enigmatic nature of them? Is it just that we don’t know about them, and that makes them fascinating? 

Mollari- What the hell?

Okay, I honestly have to say this is the one that upsets me the most about the whole series. What the heck happens to Mollari and the Centauri between the second to last episode and the finale (and beyond)? We see Mollari sneak a Keeper into Sheridan and Delenn’s possession, and then we just lose that plot thread? Please tell me it gets resolved somewhere! I do recall that in one of the episodes Mollari seems to be drinking to drive off some inner demons–perhaps that’s to stop the Keeper from intervening at a certain point? I don’t know.

G’Kar?

Speaking of future Mollari–wasn’t G’Kar with him in that time traveling scene? And if so, what does that mean for where G’Kar ends up? Where does he go with Lyta? What do they discover, and how does that inform his life going forward? Does he continue to be a religious icon for his people? 

Girabaldi and Lyta- what next?

Will there be war against the Psi Corps? And if so, how will that play out? If anyone can do it, I would think Lyta and Girabaldi would be the ones able to do so. Remember–Lyta was apparently turned into a kind of nuclear telepath option by the Vorlon, which makes her extremely powerful and dangerous to any of her enemies. Her experience with Byron changed her, as well, but she’s clearly not following his pacifistic path. At a guess, I would say the Psi Corps trilogy of books that I got will probably deal with this. 

Resolving the Questions

The good news is that I still have several movies to watch, as well as the single season of the offshoot show “Crusade” to help ansqer these questions. I’ll also be reading the books, several of which were written after the series concluded. Presumably, some of these will answer the questions that remain. I certainly hope they will, anyway, because some of these questions are burning to get answered. If not, I honestly think I’ll probably go looking for some fanfic somewhere to help wrap up some of the plots in my head. I’ve not read a lot of fanfiction, but I did read some to help wrap up the Star Wars expanded universe, for example. 

Anyway, I look forward to exploring these questions with you going forward!

Links

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!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time, Season 5: Episodes 21-22 (SERIES FINALE)

Surely, just a harmless gift from a friend right? Oh gosh… oh no! Oh my!

We made it! I never thought when I started watching Babylon 5 that it would turn from a show I had mild curiosity about into my favorite show of all time. Right around season 2, I already thought it might become my all-time favorite show. By the end of season 3, I knew it would have to be hugely messed up to not become my favorite show, and I started buying all the novels, comics, and random memorabilia I could find and afford. I started writing posts after season 1, and discussed the whole season in my first-ever post about the series. After splitting season 2 into two posts, I realized how much fun it was to analyze and discuss each episode, and started doing deeper reviews. I’m so glad to have had you all along the ride. Be aware: after I finish this first watch-through, the plan is to watch all the movies, the offshoots, read the books and comics, read books about the show, and re-watch the whole series, leaving reviews on here for each one as I go. There is so much more discussion coming, so keep checking in on the Babylon 5 Hub, and let me know what you think as we continue! Here, I’ll say, please DON’T SPOIL any books, movies, etc. for me or anyone else on this or previous posts in the series! 

Here we go, the discussion ending my first-ever watch of the entire series of Babylon 5! Once again, thanks for coming along on this journey with me, and I can’t wait to keep talking about the show, books, movies, and more with you.

21: Objects at Rest

This place “kind of grows on you.” – Summary of my thoughts about this whole series. My heart is full as I get towards the end. It’s perfection.

G’Kar leaves a message for Ta’Lon encouraging him to take up leadership of the Narn, as he also offers a number of beautiful pieces of advice. Dr. Franklin does something similar for his successor, noting that one has to be a generalist to be on Babylon 5. Lennier comes to speak with Delenn, and whistfully looks on at the photograph of Sheridan and Delenn together. Holloran briefs Sheridan on a number of problems and intelligence pieces. But Holloran will be staying behind on Babylon 5 to use it as a “hotbed of information,” as it is. Girabaldi offers the “troublemakers” at Edgars Industries a salary increase as well as numerous new aspects of their job, and Dr. Franklin departs in a solitary looking flyer to go take on his position. 

Sheridan and Delenn’s “secret” departure is broken on ISN, and they are forced into speaking. Sheridan defers to Delenn, which is somewhat hilarious. “Our souls are a part of this place… and we will pass this way again.” Yes! We love you, Babylon 5. I’m tearing up watching this part. The crowd parts to let them through, as they watch the statespeople of Babylon 5 leave. Zack says good bye in perfect fashion for him. Sheridan turns the ship around to finally look back at Babylon 5, his home for so many events and years. Lchochley salutes as Sheridan returns it, and they depart for the Minbari homeworld. 

Sheridan goes for a walk around the ship but gets caught up in a coolant leak. Lennier sees him, but doesn’t open the door, leaving Sheridan, apparently, to die! This is the betrayal! He goes back to help after his conscience catches up to him, but only after Sheridan has already saved himself and the Ranger or Minbari who was alongside. Sheridan glares at Lennier, who flees when Delenn asks what happened. 

The one thing that continued to irk me: what is happening with Mollari? Is he just going to be left to his isolationism and helping the Shadow-ally people for the rest of his life?

And… there he is! He says he was playing to the audience when it came to his cold attitude towards Delenn and Sheridan last time–a way to fire his people up for rebuilding. But as he sits at dinner with them, the Shadow creature seems to take over, in part, and Delenn possibly senses it. She leaves the dinner, though, to take a message from Lennier, who explains that he is hoping no longer to earn her love, but her forgiveness. As Sheridan and Delenn depart, Mollari assures them that they will always be his friends no matter what. He can’t–physically cannot–seem to share the pain and tribulation that he’s going through. We see him looking on as the ship departs, being praised by the Keeper and Shadow ally. The Keeper says “We await the passage of years… we are very patient.” Oh! And the gift that Mollari gave to Delenn and Sheridan has its own Keeper! I should have known! I did know! And I missed it. Somehow I wasn’t hugely suspcious. I’m so hoping they manage to stop it right now, turn around, and save Mollari! Come on! We can’t have the series end without this being tied up! 

Sheridan delivers a lengthy monologue to his future child while we see the people of Babylon 5 dispersed across space. It’s a lovely moment, but I can’t help but keep wondering: what about Centauri? What about the Keeper thing right in that urn! It’s right there! Will I have to wait for the books to wrap it up? I hope we get closure on this last major thread before the very end.

I thought I had time to dive into the last episode right away after this one, but I didn’t! So, I endured a somewhat agonizing wait for the last episode.

Rude.

22: Sleeping in Light

This is it! The Finale! 

We see all the series regulars hanging out in various places–I especially love the Dr. Franklin/Garibaldi friendship as a major thing 20 years later–and getting a certain type of envelope delivered by a Ranger. This, after Sheridan tells Delenn he is dying, because he was only granted a certain number of years on his resurrection-ish. Throughout, we get tantalizing hints of how the universe has developed in 20 years, with Vir as Emperor, and Londo a no-show, apparently? Ivanova is a general, off doing Earthforce things. 

Much of the episode is spent between Sheridan and Delenn, as one might expect, given that they’re essentially saying goodbye forever. They return to Babylon 5, and Sheridan is told that the station has “become sort of redundant.” He takes it in stride–the station and Sheridan are tied together, he assumes. And interspersed with this we see Lorien’s words: “one day, he will simply… stop.” 

Sheridan flies to Coriana 6, where he meets again with Lorien, and a bright light shines as he closes his eyes. Ivanova’s voice over tells us that they found his ship but his body was never seen again. Some Minbari apparently believe he’ll return one day, but she never saw him again. The assembled crew disperse from Babylon 5 as the crew shuts it down, and they fly away together as Babylon 5 is demolished. We hear Ivanova again. This time, she tells us Babylon 5 was the last of the stations, and that there was never another. The station changed the future by showing all the Alliance peoples that they have to care for each other, and that true strength comes from unlikely places. (I’m paraphrasing her here.) “Mostly though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings, even for people like us” she says. Delenn always watched the sun come up until the day she died, and apparently she’d occasionally see Sheridan sitting next to her. And that, after some flyovers showing the cast and crew quickly, is that. And I’m crying again.

The Finale was good, but really it felt like the last 3 episodes added up to a finale. Together, they make up a wonderful goodbye to the characters I’ve grown to love over 5 seasons.  I can’t say how much I loved this experience.

I will miss you, Babylon 5, but the good news is I can always come back. And, it’s clear that some of the canon novels will be covering the few threads left standing–and beyond. And I still have the movies. In particular, I want to find out about the following: Garibaldi vs. Psi Corps (possibly the premise for the Psi Corps trilogy?); What the hell happens with Mollari and the Keeper/Shadow things (possibly one of the movies or the Centauri trilogy of books?); where does G’Kar go with Lyta, and what happens? These are huge questions, but even if the main series were all we had, I’d be satisfied. It’s a beautiful, incredible experience. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best series that has ever been made. I’m a massive sicence fiction fan, and I’ve watched a lot of sci-fi, but this outstrips them all. My heart is full, and I love this series. The characters are amazing, and the story is amazing, and everything is amazing.

Thank you for coming along on this amazing journey. And it’s not over! Next, I’ll be watching the movies, Crusade, and reading the books and comics. Several of the books are considered “canon,” and I’m sure we’ll see a few of the questions I have left getting answered. I also plan to read and review several related works and rewatch the series with some insights from having seen it once before (and some read-along books, too!). Again, thank you! Let’s continue, together, talking even more about Babylon 5!

Links

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!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time, Season 5: Episodes 17-20

Vir getting ready to save the day.

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 episodes for me! 

This one is a bit long. A lot to discuss as the series starts to wrap up!

17: Movements of Fire and Shadow

That escalated quickly. The Drazi and Centauri are blasting each other to pieces in space, apparently. Also, anyone else spot those Firefly-esque ships? On station, Lochley notes that she’s increased security, but Sheridan’s message about the war’s escalation means that Babylon 5 will almost certainly not be neutral any longer. 

Vir works to find out more about the conflict, and back on Centaur, Mollari is taken by some nefarious looking aliens. He’s subjected to some invasive-looking procedure and then awakens in confusion before another alien speaks and says “He will be sufficient.” He then awakens in his cell, apparently from a nightmare? I am confused. Later, G’Kar makes some horrific smell that gets Mollari out of the cell. Mollari meets with the Regent, who seems just about as out of it as usual. And I suddenly remember we had that random scene with him getting an eye or something on his shoulder? What the heck happened to that? Will we find out?

Lyta and Dr. Franklin go to the Drazi homeworld to investigate a lead, paid by Vir. They discover that the Centauri ships had no people on board, and that they had left over Shadow technology on board. These revelations show Sheridan the Alliance was manipulated into war. 

The Regent has apparently sent away all the defensive ships from Centauri, and brought all the enemies of Centauri to the homeworld, ordered by “them.” A huge amount of ships shows up and opens fire on the homeworld at the end of the episode. Things are moving very quickly, and it seems the Shadows–or some other unknown ancient figures–may have been manipulating things all along.

18: The Fall of Centauri Prime

The weird third party that has been intervening on Centauri is somehow linked to the Shadows. They might just be the Shadows? We also get to replay one of the most epic moments Mollari has had on the show as he blew up the island to destroy the Shadows. But these allies of the Shadows have come and taken over the Regency, essentially. They have manipulated the Centauri into war, and they demand a new home. 

The Regent shows his eye, finally, and it is a Keeper–something the Shadow allies put on him to force him into actions they wanted. He says Mollari will become the Emperor, but will still be run by the Shadow-allies. The Keeper extracts itself from the Regent, and he dies. Meanwhile, the Centauri ships are coming back to the planet, ready to fight for revenge. Mollari rouses himself after this and speaks with G’Kar, who notes that he can never forgive the Centauri for what the ydid to his people, “But I can forgive you.” Mollari grips arms with his old rival, in yet another amazing scene between these two, and he walks to face his doom.

The Shadow-ally thing breaks part of itself off to become the Keeper on Mollari–and I’m honestly a bit confused as to why Mollari would accep that in any way. Does he just think he has no option? I don’t get it. Moreover, he seems to almost immediately have no control over the fate of the Centauri, and I am even more confused as to why he’d agree to this action. As he meets with Sheridan, this becomes even more clear. Moments after pleading for Delenn’s life from the Shadow-ally thing, he lies to Sheridan’s face about what he knows. But this is clearly what the Shadow thing was making him do. And again, I find myself asking–why did he choose to accept the “keeper” thing? 

We see Delenn and Lennier alone on their ship, about to be destroyed, when Lennier tells Delenn he loves hear and Delenn says “I know.” But right as they are about to be destroyed, the ships use tractor beams instead of destructive fire. Back on Centauri, Vir finds Mollari to check on him, but is utterly confused by Mollari’s reaction. Mollari then gives a speech that is inflammatory against the Alliance, stating that he will walk alone, and be pushing a new isolationist agenda. He gives this speech as the Shadow-ally looks on in approval. He then dispatches vir to Babylon 5 as ambassador–possibly a ploy to get him out of contact with any Shadow allies? We’ll see how this plays out. 

I have to say I’m saddened to see Mollari under control of these Shadow people. We’ve seen him manipulated, cast aside, imprisoned, and more. But to have him under a kind of mind control is beyond any of these–he’s unable to fight back, and this is perhaps the greatest aspect of Mollari’s personality: his independence. The bell tolls as we see a brief montage of Mollari’s past, and wonder about his future. I hate it and love it all at once. The final scene is Mollari sitting in his throne room, looking disturbed. We’ve seen this before through time travel (not this exact scene, but a similar one), and it’s heart rending to see how it came about. It’s not, as I thought back then, either an invented, non-inevitable scenario that would be avoided or a result of his own machinations. No, it’s due to events entirely outside his control. And that’s… pretty brutal. Mollari! 

Lyta does not have time for your nonsense any more.

19: The Wheel of Fire

G’Kar is back on Babylon 5? Why isn’t he with Mollari!? And Lochley comes to meet him, which surprises him. There’s also a massive crowd of Narn chanting his name, with statues of him to lift above their heads. Lochley only came along to enjoy G’Kar’s bafflement! Yes! And as he starts talking, “I–” they all kneel and become instantly silent! I laughed out loud at that, for real! 

Garibaldi is caught flat-footed and drunk at a meeting by Sheridan, Delenn, and more. It’s such an utterly human moment, and it’s heart-rending. Sheridan pulls Garibaldi aside for a one-on-one and both notes his own complicity in ignoring some of the warning signs while acknowledging the strain on Garibaldi. But then, he says he’s not angry with Garibaldi–he’s “very disappointed.” The quintessential, awful statement that basically anyone wants to avoid. “I didn’t say I was disappointed in you because of your failure” Sheridan says. He notes that he’s disappointed that Garibaldi didn’t come to him straightaway and ask for help, or reach out to others for help. He suspends Garibaldi immediately until whenever it takes. Briefly, I thought about how that might impact his ability to pay rent–something we saw Lyta struggle with for a bit. But of course there’s a lot more going on than that for Garibaldi, and such problems don’t usually get raised on shows like this. It would be pretty awesome if we lived in a world in which losing your job didn’t automatically mean losing your ability to live in your home. I digress, though, because this scene was one of the more emotionally impactful scenes on a show full of them. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking.

Dr. Franklin goes to meet with G’Kar, getting handed a figurine of the Narn along the way, and he talks to G’Kar about the latter’s greater popularity, as well as questions of God. Then, Lochley goes to talk to Garibaldi about his alcoholism. It doesn’t really go well at first, but then she reveals that she also struggles with alcoholism. She tells him that he’s not alone, and what he does with that from there is up to him. It’s a tough love moment, but one that offers some hope. Lochley goes to arrest Lyta on some charges, but Lyta does “not choose to be arrested,” and shows an impressive amount of telepathic powers. Her Vorlon enhancements make her seem invincible, but Sheridan shows up. “You’re not the only one touched by Vorlons,” he says, and helps get her arrested. 

Lochley, meanwhile, sent a message to Lise with Garibaldi’s name, saying “I need you,” which brought her running. It’s a touching moment, if a bit manipulative. Lise offers Garibaldi a chance to help run one of the biggest corporations on Mars with her, which sets him off after… something? Meanwhile, Delenn is pregnant. Yep! Sprung that one on us quickly! I guess I should have been expecting it at some point, given what we saw earlier in the series, and the way this series seems to play with time travel, prophecy, and the like. 

Garibaldi offers Lyta a trade–use the corporation Lise controls to help drop charges against Lyta in exchange for her removing the mental block on him, which he thinks is at least partially responsible for his own problems. But Lyta changes the deal, and we see G’Kar overhearing Garibaldi cutting a deal with Lochley. This is getting to be a highly complex deal. But G’Kar steps in and offers to go “out there” with Lyta and explore with her. Later, we see Lyta’s actual deal with Garibaldi–they make a secret account to use against the Psi Corps while leaving the neural block in so that it can motivate him. But she says she’ll come back in 2 years and fight Bester with him. Garibaldi says the deal has to include her telling him what the Vorlons did to her, and she finally reveals that she’s essentially one of the “big weapons” type telepaths the Vorlons made. She’s the “telepathic equivalent of a doomsday weapon.”  

20: Objects in Motion

Number One shows up on station, and she has a name! Tessa Hollorand. Dr. Franklin meets her as she comes on board, and she immediately goes to warn Garibaldi (who’s going through a detox from the alcohol) and Lise that someone’s going to try to kill them. Meanwhile, G’Kar meets with Lyta and discusses his proposal to travel the stars with G’Kar. “We are all the sum of our tears,” he says, in another beautiful line. Later, he’s confronted by one of his legions of followers, who demands that G’Kar teach him instead of leaving. During the confrontation, G’Kar tells him to go home, snaps the statue of himself in half, and walks away as the acolyte calls after him. At a guess, in the moment, I figured this student might go violent and try to kill G’Kar for shattering his dreams. Meanwhile, Zack and Sheridan propose using G’Kar’s sending ceremony as a cover for getting Garibaldi’s would-be killer to show him- or herself. And, there it is! At the ceremony, they capture Garibaldi’s would-be assassin, but G’Kar’s angry would-be acolyte tries to kill him, and in the process of saving G’Kar, the bullet is redirected and hits Lise. 

This does not, shall we say, ingratiate the would-be killer to Garibaldi. Garibaldi takes the assassin (not the acolyte, about whom he cares little) to Lyta and leverages their partnership to get the telepath to extract the one who sent him. It was the Edgars Industries board of directors, which was something of a surprise–tension on Mars is not going away. Back in the sickbay, Lise finally awakens. Garibaldi has a minister ready to get them married “before the universe throws anything else at us.” And then, he confronts the Board, dropping a surprising amount of blackmail-able information on them, while introducing Hollorand as the new chief of intelligence for the Alliance. 

Garibaldi shares an extremely heartfelt goodbye with Delenn and Sheridan as he leaves for Mars. My heart! It aches. 

Links

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!

SDG.

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

This is… ominous.

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! 

13: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father

I do not like the look of that title. 

This episode is a unique one in the overall series. For one, gives us a glimpse of the Psi Corps’s headquarters. It initially seems to be a day in the life of Bester. Of course, it doesn’t stay that mundane (sorry, I had to use the word!), if one could call any day in Bester’s lifeby that word. A murder investigation quickly takes Bester’s time and takes him to Babylon 5.

The murderer, apparently a Jonathan Harris, is a telepath who can apparently shatter minds if he manages to get to someone without defenses up. He flees to Babylon 5, and after a confrontation over gambling, we see that Harris’s mind is apparently itself possibly split into different personalities. But the plot thickens even more, as we see someone else is following Harris–an unknown quantity who even kills one of Bester’s colleagues. There’s a lot of detective work going on this episode, and several murders. Chen, one of the two other telepaths traveling with Bester, ends up dead as well. 

Eventually, Bester’s deductions and station security manage to combine to find and capture Harris. On the way home, Lauren Ashley, the other telepath with Bester, asks to deal with the “mundane.” Bester agrees, and we see the mundane floating through space, having been shoved out of an airlock. It’s a chilling moment, especially when we get back to Bester and Ashley and see Bester’s approval alongside her hero worship. 

14: Meditations on the Abyss

Delenn sneaks out of her quarters and gets in a… bar fight? She meets with Lennier after he intervenes in the fight. It turns out that she thinks there is more to the attacks happening on the border than she’s even revealed to others. She wants Lennier to investigate and is hiding it from Sheridan because she thinks he won’t send Lennier even if he’s the best one for the job. Lennier reveals that his own Day of the Dead vision told him that he would betray the Rangers, something that is clearly bothering him. Delenn doubts it, but there’s an interesting thread hanging out there.

Meanwhile, Vir! I thought this scene was hilarious as Mollari discovers a bug and then makes a number of colorful comments about the Drazi. But the Drazi seem to be in up to their elbows in everything nefarious. Mollari tells Vir that Vir will be the ambassador once Mollari departs. Mollari’s later stomping on the Drazi ambassador in public is a delight as well. But then Vir confronts the Drazi retailer who bugged the merchandise and, when pressed, comes back with a sword and destroys the guy’s stand. It was an intense moment that certainly shows a change in Vir I didn’t anticipate. But, as has been the case in pretty much every instance of change in a character, I don’t think it’s horribly out of character. This is a real change to a character, not just a convenient plot point that goes against Vir as an established personality.

Captain Enrique Montoya–the cadance and the way he says it echoes “I am Inigo Montoya…” from “The Princess Bride.” I don’t know if this is an intentional reference or not. He’s pretty fricking hardcore, too. He puts Lennier and a Ranger companion through a test without their knowledge as they start to run low on air. He lectures Lennier’s companion on the importance of various virtues for the Rangers. But later, we see Lennier get his what for as well in a turnabout test. Ranger training would be something I would wash out of very quickly. 

Dr. Franklin replaces G’Kar’s eye with one that matches, and also tells him he’s been reading his holy book. Franklin asks to come to one of G’Kar’s talks, and looks, well, at least amused by the insights of G’Kar. The episode ends with a great summary dinner among some of the senior staff… and then a scene showing Garibaldi in a drunken stupor. 

15: Darkness Ascending

Garibaldi dreams and then welcomes Lise into his cabin; Lyta works to sell the rogue telepaths’ services in order to try to find a new homeworld; Lennier and Delenn continue investigating while Sheridan starts to get suspicious; everyone’s cancelling appointments with the Centauri, which flags Mollari’s radar for strange diplomatic behavior. Just another day on Babylon 5. 

Lise is… unimpressed when she finds a half empty bottle of liquor in Garibaldi’s apartment. After a fight, she urges him to prove that he’s in charge of himself regarding alcohol, and he dumps the liquor down the sink. I’m hoping this will lead to a permanent fix. Meanwhile, Lennier has already (!?) rebelled against the Rangers because he wants to continue investigating the attacks. Oh, and Lyta goes to G’Kar to offer her genetic material of as many telepaths as she has access to as a trade for money, starships, and secrecy. Numerous double entendres ensue on the latter one, by the way. Just another day on Babylon 5, right?

…And on Garibaldi’s date with Lise, he spikes his coffee with liquor. Lennier records an attack (this makes me wonder if this counts as his rebellion or not). G’Kar agrees to Lyta’s terms, so the Narn and rogue telepaths will be working together to an extent.

The episode ends with Garibaldi urging Lise to leave because he believes the Alliance will be at war with the Centauri. The recording from Lennier shows Centauri ships attacking the innocent trade vessels. But, as was pointed out earlier, the Narn have access to some Centauri vessels. There’s got to be more going on here.

16: And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder

The Alliance meets sans the Centauri, over Mollari’s protest. Delenn and Sheridan say they have proof the Centauri Republic specifically carried out the attacks. But I wonder how they came to that conclusion simply from seeing Centauri ships. Of course, they then present a bunch of evidence to that effect. We see the evidence being handed to Vir and Mollari as the individuals testify to the gathered Alliance personnel. It’s pretty conclusive, and Mollari and Vir start to doubt the alleged disinformation campaign the homeworld is pushing as the real culprits behind the campaign. But this doesn’t stop Mollari from doubling down when he goes before the Counsel and delivers to them a categorical denial and ultimatum. 

This results in the Counsel telling Mollari that as he leaves the station to go back to Centauri and try to sort things out, he will not be allowed back. The Counsel is “satisfied” with the evidence that the Centauri committed the great crimes against the Alliance peoples. Surprisingly, G’Kar insists on going back to the Centauri homeworld with Mollari, but decides to do so without Mollari’s immediate knowledge. Meanwhile, Zack Allan discovers Garibaldi is an alcoholic as well, and after a stern talking to, helps him get presentable to go talk to Sheridan. 

Later, however, Garibaldi sleeps through a transmission from a White Star with extremely important information regarding the attacks on the freighters. This happens right as the first major conflict between an Alliance member–the Drazi–and the Centauri comes to a head with shots fired. The situation escalates quickly on station, as people of the various Alliance worlds. Then, Sheridan absolutely loses his crap on the gathered delegates and screams at them about how they wanted a war and have now gotten one. 

On Centauri, Mollari and G’Kar get locked in prison as Mollari protests the Regent’s actions. As an aside, Sheridan’s outfit in the scene where he sees Delenn praying is quite… something. I think it’s just a night robe but wow, somebody got carried away with their pattern! 

Anyway, things seem pretty grim right now. I want to pause and just make a few predictions, because it’s fun. 

  1. I think Mollari and G’Kar are going to bust out of prison.
  2. I think Lennier’s “rebellion” hasn’t actually happened yet, and may involve finding out something regarding the Centauri/Alliance war buildup.
  3. Lochley will, at some point, have a hugely necessary piece in the action. She’s barely even shown up in the last several episodes, so I think she’ll have a big part sometime.

Anyway, only 8 episodes left to find out!

Links

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!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time, Season 5: Episodes 9-12

The best relationship on the show… maybe.

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! 

9: In the Kingdom of the Blind

The opening reveals that there are apparently some highly trained attacks being perpetuated against the allied worlds. Then, we get to travel with Mollari and G’Kar back to the Centauri homeworld as G’Kar checks on the situation back home. It’s clear there’s a huge amount of political intrigue coming here, as we witness the murder of an advisor of Mollari fairly early in the episode. Meanwhile, the sanity of the regent is in question. Later, an assassination attempt on Mollari is foiled by both G’Kar’s work as a bodyguard and a mysterious bug-like alien. 

Back on station, Byron continues to press his case for a homeworld for telepaths. I’m honestly surprised by how vehemently Sheridan opposes the idea. But Byron plays the trump card: the telepaths have essentially gathered all the secrets from all the major players on station and plan to reveal them if their demands are not acceded to. But the situation quickly escalates as some violence erupts against the telepaths, and some telepaths fight back. Byron continues to preach non-violent resistance and meets even more opposition.

The end of this episode is full of unresolved threads, which makes me want to jump into the next episode immediately! The telepaths’ nonresistance is met with threats of violent force. The regent gets attacked by an unknown force. Freighters continue to get destroyed. 

10: A Tragedy of Telepaths

The title of this alone has me going in pretty worried about how the rest of this showdown with the telepaths is going to play out. The ominous voice over from Lochley didn’t exactly assuage my fears, either. This is especially true when she calls Bester. 

G’Kar and Mollari discover that at least some Narn have remained imprisoned. G’Kar’s reaction is so in character. He demands the release of the Narn, and threatens Mollari if he doesn’t do something. Mollari’s protests that he can’t because he’s not emperor yet may hold water for the Centauri, but G’Kar was having none of it and I wouldn’t have either. However, Mollari comes up with a plan and sneaks the Narn off of Centauri. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the rogue telepaths and Byron’s demands. When Lochley comes and speaks with Byron, he notes that the telepaths were created to combat the Shadows and now that the war is over, they deserve compensation. It makes me think about reparations, a hot button topic if ever there was one. But to me, it doesn’t seem like the telepaths are entirely or obviously wrong here. If it’s true that they were created in order to fight the Shadows, the fact that they essentially helped win the war through (in some sense) forced circumstances suggest that there is a debt that should be paid to them. And if that reasoning follows, then it seems like real-world applications of that same reasoning could apply. 

Anyway, Bester continues to only care about telepaths, and he brings his own people on board Babylon 5 to try to settle the standoff, and it’s all kinds of ominous. 

11: Phoenix Rising

We finally get more of the backstory between Byron and Bester! And it’s a riveting, if somewhat predictable plotline. Byron committed an atrocity at Bester’s orders. Then, he left. He dedicated himself to pacifism from then on. Bester and Garibaldi also have a showdown, but it just leads to Garibaldi discovering that he has a mental block–cleverly named an “Asimov” after Asimov’s rules of robotics–against harming Bester. But just as Garibaldi seeks Dr. Franklin’s aid on the psychic block, the splinter group of telepaths takes over the sick bay, capturing Franklin, Garibaldi, and others. This splinter group of rogue telepaths threatens to execute hostages–very much against Byron’s wishes.

The situation prompts Byron to action, and he intervenes just in time to save Garibaldi’s life. But he does so only by killing one of the rogue telepaths. He then contacts Lochley with a way to end the standoff. However, when it comes to the transfer of those who caused violence, Bester jumps in and tries to take all the telepaths for himself. Byron refuses to go, leading to another shootout, and Byron decides he is done. He urges Lyta to leave, and then immolates himself and other other rogue telepaths in a chemical spill and flame. 

I honestly found myself thinking like Bester here! “I don’t understand at all” (or something to that effect). Why did Byron decide that it was better to kill himself than to continue a standoff or try to let the B5 personnel and Bester fight over jurisdiction longer? I don’t understand. 

Byron apparently telepathically sent Lyta numerous contacts, safe houses, etc. before he died. So it’s not a totally hopeless end. The episode ends with Garibaldi staring into a drink. I wonder what will happen to him next. And that’s worth considering–because Garibaldi, the man in consummate control of his life–has been in a spiral of having things happen to him rather than because of him. It’s certainly a fertile place for more plot, and I hope we get some closure between him and Bester, or at least for him. 

12: The Ragged Edge

“I have always said this about you [G’Kar]: Nothing improves your company like the lack of it.” – Mollari 

These two are one of the best dynamic duos in television. I don’t care about your wrong opinions; this is a fact. Whether it’s their early rivalry which causes hilarity, the later, deep emotional catastrophe of their relationship, or their period now as they work together, it’s all excellent. Now, G’Kar finds that the book he’s been writing for the whole series (and presumably before) has been disseminated into the general population of the Narn, and they have essentially turned it into a new holy text, with him as a new saint. Honestly, not a surprising direction. He initialyl resists, until a warrior friend of him convinces him to be the leader he doesn’t want to be. 

Garibaldi, meanwhile, goes on a secret mission to the Drazi world to investigate the attacks on freighters. He runs into an old friend, Tafiq, whom I liked almost immediately. But… it was nice knowing Tafiq for about two seconds. I hope he shows up in the novels at some point! I honestly have to laugh a little because I thought Tafiq was truly awesome and then he just gets blown away. Garibaldi gets caught flat-footed multiple times in this episode, too, which is unusual. Back on Babylon 5, Garibaldi is convinced that the attacks on the freighters go well beyond the Drazi and others. Then we have Mollari pop in on the briefing and reveal that these others were apparently some kind of Centauri, but Sheridan et al. hide this information from Mollari. 

G’Kar is almost immediately embroiled in a controversy of interpreting his words. He notes that his words about distrusting Centauri were written when he was at a different stage, but his followers insist that because the book was inspired by “the universe,” it must be holy and therefore without error. G’Kar then humorously corrects the student. Yet it is important to note that he doesn’t dispute it being inspired. Here I want to point out a tangent again which is that though J. Michael Straczynski, the writer of Babylon 5, is an atheist, he has remarkable depth when it comes to discussing religion. I’m certain that the care with which this scene was conveyed was on purpose. Straczynski deftly notes the difficulty with divergent interpretations and even apparent contradictions in a supposed holy book, but he doesn’t insist that there can be no resolution of these difficulties. 

The episode ends with Dr. Franklin telling Sheridan that he’s leaving the station due to a major promotion, and Garibaldi apparently drinking himself into a stupor. The clear intent seems to be that Garibaldi may be relapsing into alcoholism, and it’s a tough scene as he sleeps through Franklin calling him to tell him about his decision to leave. 

Links

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!

SDG.