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Alex W.

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S03E20 - 'And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place'

Cool, I didn't know The Rock was in this show!

Only joking, it's a line from a gospel song, and it's powerfully juxtaposed against the death scene of 

Spoiler

Refa.

 

I did expect some sort of twist, but I actually thought it would be Vir who

Spoiler

warns G'Kar of the attack, not that the attack itself was a ruse to trap Refa. Because Londo and G'Kar coordinating on something like this seemed slightly implausible, but then they both benefited from the end result.

 

Meanwhile, the war effort picks up,

Spoiler

somebody has found the Copy/Paste function on the Amiga and created hundreds of White Star copies, and Sheridan and Delenn share their first kiss, which is sort of not their first kiss (because timey-wimey) but whatever.

 

The Reverend's words to Sheridan about shared burdens were nicely written. The writing is generally good in this one.

 

Finally, the episode is bookended with a countdown to "Z-minus" X days, which is presumably something coinciding with the season finalé.

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S03E21 - 'Shadow Dancing'

Predicting a large scale assault, a preemptive strike is launched against the Shadows. Meanwhile, Franklin finally 'finds himself' when he gets injured on his walkabout.

It was an odd choice to keep cutting back to Franklin while a pretty impressive large scale space battle was happening elsewhere. To be honest, his journey of self discovery is not very interesting and I'm glad it's finally wrapped up, but jeez that knife attack was brutal! (Apparently it was heavily edited in the UK broadcast.)

 

So, yeah, impressive space action, and although the alliance suffered losses, the Shadows are at least damaged. Sheridan's dream starts to make sense, and Delenn's premonition of dropping the snow globe comes true as

Spoiler

Sheridan's wife

enters the room. Didn't expect that (despite her appearance in the post-title credits!), but I'm looking forward to seeing what this means for the season finalé.

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S03E22 - 'Z'ha'dum'

While the previous episode used up the season's 'big epic space battles' quota, the actual season finalé takes a different approach. And, do you know what? It's better. Not a battle of firepower but a battle of wits and words, as Sheridan learns what happened to his wife, what the Reap-... uh, I mean what the Shadows are trying to do with the galaxy, and orchestrates a plan to stop them by himself.

 

As is often the case, understanding an alien antagonist goes some way to 'de-mystifying' them. They're no longer a force of nature beyond our comprehension; they have goals. And those goals, while grotesque, do at least make a sort of sense - even if we are only hearing them through their human intermediaries.

 

The best thing about this episode is how it's structured. The non-linear revelations, like learning Sheridan's plan from his pre-recorded message once it's already happening, or the way the flashbacks are integrated, show some very clever writing that's much more interesting than a simple straightforward narrative.

Spoiler

The actual end scene with the White Star crashing into the Shadow base (and Sherdian once again falling from a great height!) is big and bold and leaves me guessing (and excited) for what's to come next.

Yeah, this was damned fine piece of television. 8-)

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1 minute ago, Sprite Machine said:

S03E22 - 'Z'ha'dum'

While the previous episode used up the season's 'big epic space battles' quota, the actual season finalé takes a different approach. And, do you know what? It's better. Not a battle of firepower but a battle of wits and words, as Sheridan learns what happened to his wife, what the Reap-... uh, I mean what the Shadows are trying to do with the galaxy, and orchestrates a plan to stop them by himself.

 

As is often the case, understanding an alien antagonist goes some way to 'de-mystifying' them. They're no longer a force of nature beyond our comprehension; they have goals. And those goals, while grotesque, do at least make a sort of sense - even if we are only hearing them through their human intermediaries.

 

The best thing about this episode is how it's structured. The non-linear revelations, like learning Sheridan's plan from his pre-recorded message once it's already happening, or the way the flashbacks are integrated, show some very clever writing that's much more interesting than a simple straightforward narrative.

  Reveal hidden contents

The actual end scene with the White Star crashing into the Shadow base (and Sherdian once again falling from a great height!) is big and bold and leaves me guessing (and excited) for what's to come next.

Yeah, this was damned fine piece of television. 8-)

At least you don’t have to wait for season 4!  Are you going to do the tv movies and Crusade?

 

Oh and remember Marcus asking Stephen who Morgana La Fey was back in A Late Delivery From Avalon? Now you know!

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Although I really liked season 3, I did miss the title music from the earlier seasons, so I'm glad it's been brought back in some fashion for season 4. A punchy new intro, to be sure, and multiple narrators, reflecting the broader range of stories?

 

S04E01 & S04E02 - 'The Hour of the Wolf' & 'Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?'


Season 4 is taking even more of a long-form serialised approach. Two episodes in and I don't know where they're going with it yet.

Spoiler

After the disappearance of Sheridan and Garibaldi (and presumed death of the former), the Shadows retreating to other worlds, and the alliance breaking apart, things are pretty gloomy, with Ivanova and Delenn taking it the hardest.

 

A quick trip to Z'ha'dum on one of the new White Stars reveals no sign of the captain, but a mysterious 'eye' in orbit (that Ivanova previously saw from the Great Machine) raises some big questions about the Shadows' capabilities, presuming it's something of theirs. Bigger questions still surround Sheridan's fate and the identity of the alien creature he has encountered in between moments, in between life and death, seemingly locked in time.

While previous mysteries have revolved around specific facts and motivations, the mysteries of this season seem to be grander in scope, philosophical in nature, and broader in their implications. I'm here for it!

 

Nice continuity problem solving when Londo changes his jacket before looking up at the Shadow ships in the Centauri sky. :)

 

Observation: The actor playing Vir seems to have lost weight, or age has caught up to him. He looks a little strained.

 

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2 hours ago, Sprite Machine said:

Observation: The actor playing Vir seems to have lost weight, or age has caught up to him. He looks a little strained.

 

Yeah, he looks so trim in S4 compared to before!

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Quote

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Always running out of time. Yours is almost used up. You're between seconds, lost in the infinite possibilities between tick and tock. Tick, you're alive. Tock.. Well, it was a good life, but a short one. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick--

 Just love the ethereal feel that Lorien’s words have in that episode.

 

Season 4 is a real belter, although slightly rushed having to fit in what JMS had originally planned for one and a half seasons, due to not knowing if it would be renewed for a fifth.

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1 hour ago, Eighthours said:

 

Yeah, he looks so trim in S4 compared to before!

 

Stephen Furst was struggling with diabetes. The weight less was an effort to get ahead of that when he hit 40. He made it to 61. 

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S04E03 - 'The Summoning'

And the award for 'Most Dramatic Entrance' goes to....

*drum roll*...

Captain Sheridan! :D

 

Spoiler

Kosh told Sheridan that, if he went to Z'ha'dum, he would die. It's a bit of a cop-out if he's claiming to have died and come back to life, isn't it? I don't really understand what happened to him down in that hole, if it was a real place, how he and Lorien got out again (was that Lorien's ship?) and I hope that I'm not left with just wishy-washy answers, because that's not in keeping with the style of the show to this point.

 

Londo and G'Kar's relationship has taken a surprising turn these last couple of episodes. I still don't think Londo can be redeemed, given everything he's done, but he needs to make this right - and that new emperor needs royally sorting out, as even Vir is forced to concede.

 

There's been some brutal violence (or implied violence) these past few episodes. The stabbing attack on Franklin, the severed heads in the emperor's office, and now G'Kar being whipped within an inch of his life.

 

Spoiler

The turn of the Vorlons is also tremendously frightening, because we've been able to somewhat accept them as a force for good (albeit enigmatic) these past three seasons. Seeing their gigantic fleet in hyperspace, hearing that they're literally obliterating planets, is a very troubling development! "Old ones" playing games, treating younger races as playthings or pawns... perhaps Lorien will have to come and knock their heads together.

 

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S04E04 - 'Falling Toward Apotheosis'

Okay, the little bit of explanation of Sheridan's miraculous return is welcome. And the

Spoiler

marriage proposal was sweet but awkward - like, did he even ask the question? :lol:

I suppose you don't need to when you've already seen the future!

 

The Centauri emperor is absolutely batshit insane and I'm enjoying seeing Londo try to trick him without giving himself away. As for G'Kar...

Spoiler

given Londo has seen his missing eye in the future, would it have been so hard for him to have said "stick a bag over his head, your majesty", rather than allowing him to pluck it out?

Eurgh *shudder*

 

Loved the assault on

Spoiler

NotKosh, TruKosh coming out of retirement to help finish him off, and perhaps finally seeing the Vorlons' true form.

Very exciting and satisfying when you build up to these sorts of encounters over a long period.

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23 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

Eurgh *shudder*

 

That was one of Londo's prophesised chances for redemption gone!

 

Spoiler

'Save the eye that cannot see', or whatever the line was.

 

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S04E05 - 'The Long Night'

 

Emperor: "I've strengthened G'Kar's chains."

G'Kar: *breaks them anyway*

 

That was cool.

 

Very nice character moments in this one.

Spoiler

Vir has crossed a line he never wanted to cross, but as Londo tells him, he still has his heart - if he didn't, it wouldn't hurt to do what's necessary. Along a similar line, Sheridan has to order a ship and crew to their death for the greater good. War isn't fun.

 

Oh hey, a young Bryan Cranston guest stars as a ranger. (Walter White Star? :P )

 

Spoiler

The planet killer weapons, of both the Vorlons and the Shadows, have pushed forward the need for retaliation and the biggest fleet mobilisation in living memory.

It's building up to something big, I hope they pull it off.

 

That said, I sometimes miss the quieter, sillier episodes. This season has been a non-stop rollercoaster so far.

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On 21/03/2023 at 22:53, Sprite Machine said:

S03E22 - 'Z'ha'dum'

While the previous episode used up the season's 'big epic space battles' quota, the actual season finalé takes a different approach. And, do you know what? It's better. Not a battle of firepower but a battle of wits and words, as Sheridan learns what happened to his wife, what the Reap-... uh, I mean what the Shadows are trying to do with the galaxy, and orchestrates a plan to stop them by himself.

 

As is often the case, understanding an alien antagonist goes some way to 'de-mystifying' them. They're no longer a force of nature beyond our comprehension; they have goals. And those goals, while grotesque, do at least make a sort of sense - even if we are only hearing them through their human intermediaries.

 

The best thing about this episode is how it's structured. The non-linear revelations, like learning Sheridan's plan from his pre-recorded message once it's already happening, or the way the flashbacks are integrated, show some very clever writing that's much more interesting than a simple straightforward narrative.

  Hide contents

The actual end scene with the White Star crashing into the Shadow base (and Sherdian once again falling from a great height!) is big and bold and leaves me guessing (and excited) for what's to come next.

Yeah, this was damned fine piece of television. 8-)

I remember @Alex W.telling me to get my damn ass out of the bath before I missed the end of that episode and having to wait months for the continuation. Endless, endless months.

 

Loving the write ups, keep it up.

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S04E06 - 'Into The Fire'

And so

Spoiler

the war comes to an end, six episodes into season 4 (of 5)!

And I'm left thinking... "so now what?" :blink2:

 

That was pretty epic, though. I was struggling to follow the action at certain points, with so many ships from different races all on screen at once.

Spoiler

I could generally make out the White Star fleet and some of the alien designs were distinctive, like those flying saucer ships that fly sideways and shoot from their bottoms. But I occasionally got confused with the various Vorlon ships and who was shooting who. I think ending things with a sort of face-to-face conversation was the right way to go.

 

I also liked how the ships of the Old Ones were all just these bizarre shapes that fired energy from various holes. That said, they didn't play that big a role given how hyped up they were, and we never really saw them in person either. And now they're all gone.

 

Lorien's scene with Ivanova had some good dialogue, I can't remember the exact lines, about the illusion of eternity within briefness of life being our greatest gift. (I understand this was a holdover scene from an earlier episode, explaining why they were back on B5, but I can see why they wanted to include it.)

 

Noteworthy mention: two unrelated scenes of a person causing explosions by pressing a button on small handheld device.

 

Spoiler

Seeing the usually smug Morden scared and losing his cool for the first time was satisfying. Although seeing his head on a spike (even from behind) was a little more gruesome than I expected from this show and makes me wonder if any broadcasters cut that bit out?

 

Londo's 'rage' scene in his office, in one take, was excellent. Terrific acting.

 

Bring on whatever comes next, I guess!

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11 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

S04E06 - 'Into The Fire'

And so

  Reveal hidden contents

the war comes to an end, six episodes into season 4 (of 5)!

And I'm left thinking... "so now what?" :blink2:

 

That was pretty epic, though. I was struggling to follow the action at certain points, with so many ships from different races all on screen at once.

  Reveal hidden contents

I could generally make out the White Star fleet and some of the alien designs were distinctive, like those flying saucer ships that fly sideways and shoot from their bottoms. But I occasionally got confused with the various Vorlon ships and who was shooting who. I think ending things with a sort of face-to-face conversation was the right way to go.

 

I also liked how the ships of the Old Ones were all just these bizarre shapes that fired energy from various holes. That said, they didn't play that big a role given how hyped up they were, and we never really saw them in person either. And now they're all gone.

 

Lorien's scene with Ivanova had some good dialogue, I can't remember the exact lines, about the illusion of eternity within briefness of life being our greatest gift. (I understand this was a holdover scene from an earlier episode, explaining why they were back on B5, but I can see why they wanted to include it.)

 

Noteworthy mention: two unrelated scenes of a person causing explosions by pressing a button on small handheld device.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Seeing the usually smug Morden scared and losing his cool for the first time was satisfying. Although seeing his head on a spike (even from behind) was a little more gruesome than I expected from this show and makes me wonder if any broadcasters cut that bit out?

 

Londo's 'rage' scene in his office, in one take, was excellent. Terrific acting.

 

Bring on whatever comes next, I guess!

 

I bloody loved what happened to Mr Morden. 

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I think the conclusion to this plotline so early in the season was entirely down to the show's "cancellation", requiring JMS to cram two seasons worth of plot into one. Then it got uncancelled anyway. <_<

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Yeah this is one of my overriding memories of B5, how the big old Shadow/Old Ones stuff got rushed to its conclusion when it was supposed to be an entire season, then the actual last season felt like a last-minute bolt-on. Which I think it was. I don't remember much about the final season tbh.

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S04E07 - 'Epiphanies'

Yeah, so as expected, things have quietened down, but we're still dealing with the aftermath. Bester is back, yay! Earth's attempt to discredit Babylon 5 falls at the first hurdle, but there's still so much to resolve there.

What happened to Garibaldi? Is Lyta more than she appears? Who were the Shadow allies who fled the planet? Are they related to the weird neck thing on the Centauri Regent?

It's not an episode that anyone would be rushing back to see again, but a necessary chapter in the ongoing story.

 

Special mention to the Elvis impersonators randomly turning up at the gate (a joke on 'three kings', I think). That little bit of lightheartedness I've been missing for a while. :)

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40 minutes ago, Pob said:

Yeah this is one of my overriding memories of B5, how the big old Shadow/Old Ones stuff got rushed to its conclusion when it was supposed to be an entire season, then the actual last season felt like a last-minute bolt-on. Which I think it was. I don't remember much about the final season tbh.

 

The original idea would have been to end the season on Intersections in Real Time, so that's a 4-5 episode stretch from what we got?

 

Season 5 ends up feeling even more like The Scouring of the Shire, it terms of it being a wind down from epic stuff, that would have done if they'd not rushed to the conclusion of the S4 stuff.  Assuming they'd retained the same budget as well.  They went from 7 days per episode to 6.  It's all felt a bit cheaper to me or at least like the cheaper episodes of prior seasons.

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S04E08 - 'The Illusion of Truth'

 

The propaganda war continues with ISN doing an exclusive story from within Babylon 5. Despite assurances that they only want to show their side of the story, the resulting broadcast is so much worse than anyone would have thought. Except me, I saw it coming a mile off.

 

4e2325e0-9966-42a4-8555-fcc061889407_tex

 

It's basically this.

 

Differently formatted in a 'half and half' structure and a powerfully silent ending, although not as well done as the earlier format break 'documentary' episode.

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S04E09 - 'Atonement'

Ah, a Minbari-centric episode, delving into Delenn's past and we learn that she is

Spoiler

a descendant of Valen (Sinclair), which puts an interesting spin on their relationship. And we learn that she was in no small part responsible for starting the Earth-Minbari war, which has led to a decade of guilt.

Based on everything I've seen and read, I can easily believe all of this was cleverly planned out in advance, so it's cool to see the details filled in years later.

 

A few fun side plots are developing. I'm looking forward to G'Kar using his new remote bionic eye for sneaky purposes; and Marcus and Stephen going on a space road trip to Mars should be fun. Oh hey, so Mass Effect copied the 'character sings Gilbert and Sullivan' thing too!

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1 hour ago, Sprite Machine said:

S04E09 - 'Atonement'

Ah, a Minbari-centric episode, delving into Delenn's past and we learn that she is

  Hide contents

a descendant of Valen (Sinclair), which puts an interesting spin on their relationship. And we learn that she was in no small part responsible for starting the Earth-Minbari war, which has led to a decade of guilt.

Based on everything I've seen and read, I can easily believe all of this was cleverly planned out in advance, so it's cool to see the details filled in years later.

 

A few fun side plots are developing. I'm looking forward to G'Kar using his new remote bionic eye for sneaky purposes; and Marcus and Stephen going on a space road trip to Mars should be fun. Oh hey, so Mass Effect copied the 'character sings Gilbert and Sullivan' thing too!

 

Once you've finished this season, I strongly recommend you watch the "In the Beginning" TV movie before moving onto Season 5. It fleshes out certain things relevant to this episode, and is up there with the better Babylon 5 episodes in terms of quality, only at a feature length.

 

It also came out after this season but before Season 5, so contextually it's best to watch after this season as it also acts as an excellent bookend to the events before moving onto the last season.

 

That one is the only one of the TV movies I would say is essential watching and is definitely best viewed after Season 4.

 

The other TV movies are only really worth it if you're desperate for more after Season 5... And then there's some other spin offs but we don't talk about those...

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I will watch 'In The Beginning' after S4, yup.

 

S04E10 - 'Racing Mars'

Marcus and Stephen's side quest road trip was as fun as expected, they're a good pairing.

Spoiler

The appearance of the mind-controlling neck aliens on Mars is an interesting development, as indeed is the revelation that few people in Earth space knew anything about the Shadow war!

(Those neck aliens are still around, controlling Londo some 17 years later, they aren't just an alien of the week.)

 

Some fun awkwardness as Delenn and Sheridan 'advance' their relationship according to Minbari traditions. Though "woohoo" was a bit cringe.

 

I have to remind myself that this was a show made in the 90s. And on that note, I bet a lot of 'conservative christian' types lost their shit at the casual acceptance of gay marriage and a female Pope in the fictional future. (Assuming conservative christian types would have been watching Babylon 5 anyway!)

 

Spoiler

Meanwhile, Garibaldi turning on Sheridan is really weird and something is definitely up with him. Something about the situation seems really forced.

 

It's hard to judge episodes when the stories are spread across longer arcs but I'm enjoying the change of pace and the intriguing new developments so far.

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Yeah one of the things you have to remember about it coming out in the 90s also, before anything and everything was all over Twitter, is that the only people probably watching the nerdy sci-fi show, were other Godless nerds. So the outrage merchants wouldn't have even been aware of its existence. Deep Space 9 probably got into more shit for some things because more people actually cared about Star Trek even if they didn't watch it.

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1 hour ago, Sprite Machine said:

Some fun awkwardness as Delenn and Sheridan 'advance' their relationship according to Minbari traditions. Though "woohoo" was a bit cringe.

 

I have to remind myself that this was a show made in the 90s.

 

Bits like that were still cringy back in the '90s!

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