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Paradoxish
Dec 19, 2003

Will you stop going crazy in there?

Data Graham posted:

In episode 12, "By Any Means Necessary", holy poo poo has the writing come on by leaps and bounds since the first episode. Remember how I was grousing about clumsy partial/interrupted lines? This time that whole scene between the union boss lady and Sinclair/Garibaldi is just full of lines where they talk over each other and yell to cut each other off while the one who was interrupted keeps on going for a good five or six words that sputter out like a dying dirtbike. It's way more engrossing.

Of course I don't for a minute buy that any strikebreaking in history has actually gone down remotely the way it does in this play-acted googly-eyed rendition, but it was plenty entertaining anyway. And the B story of G'Kar and Londo fighting over a flower was dreadfully fun; they've both just disappeared into their roles.

Last time I watched B5, it occurred to me that this episode is really the first point where it's obvious that something isn't quite right with Earth. Earth Alliance is basically set up like some kind of future, global Spacemerica, but "By Any Means Necessary" just casually drops the idea that EarthGov is willing to run around breaking labor disputes with the military. It's a nice bit of world building and foreshadowing.

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Milky Moor
Aug 27, 2006

"YOU CAN'T MAKE ME HAVE FUN!"


Paradoxish posted:

Last time I watched B5, it occurred to me that this episode is really the first point where it's obvious that something isn't quite right with Earth. Earth Alliance is basically set up like some kind of future, global Spacemerica, but "By Any Means Necessary" just casually drops the idea that EarthGov is willing to run around breaking labor disputes with the military. It's a nice bit of world building and foreshadowing.

Yeah. It's kind of a shame how little EarthGov is really talked about. They're kind of sinister in some ways. If you get into the Psi Corps Trilogy novels, one of which sort of covers the rise of the Earth Alliance alongside the Psi Corps, it's basically stated that they flat out invaded and annexed certain nations who weren't willing to join the Alliance.

evobatman
Jul 30, 2006

it means nothing, but says everything!

ConfusedUs posted:

Who cares about fashion. Let's talk about that Daffy Duck poster.

It's his second favorite thing.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013


Milky Moor posted:

Yeah. It's kind of a shame how little EarthGov is really talked about. They're kind of sinister in some ways. If you get into the Psi Corps Trilogy novels, one of which sort of covers the rise of the Earth Alliance alongside the Psi Corps, it's basically stated that they flat out invaded and annexed certain nations who weren't willing to join the Alliance.

I've always found it a bit odd that on one hand there's this running theme that Humans are Special because We Build Communities unlike the other species, but on the other hand, Earth itself isn't ever portrayed as particularly tolerant or open-minded. I mean, granted, I guess 'semi-authoritarian democracy' still looks good compared to 'caste-based theocracy' or 'imperialists with some genocide', but even at its best, the Earth Alliance is never really the Federation...

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


ConfusedUs posted:

Who cares about fashion. Let's talk about that Daffy Duck poster.
"He's like a human god of anger"

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



I mean I feel like that's the whole point. B5 wears its "We Are Not Star Trek" badge on its sleeve more openly than, like, BSG or just about anything else I can think of. This ain't no "wagon train to the stars"; right down to the title sequence monologue it's painting a diametrically opposite worldview, where Space ain't no Final Frontier, humans have no Manifest Destiny, no White Man's Burden to civilize the universe, we're just another struggling race trying to make it in a violent neighborhood. Not only is there money, there's not much of it—there are crippling budget shortfalls. Medicine isn't advanced to the point of waving magic wands around; doctors still have to do invasive surgery. Humans speak different languages. You can't beam yourself places, you have to ride on cramped shuttles. Elbow room is at a premium. No holodecks. No replicators. Basically it's saying "Hey, there's nothing wrong with making your sci-fi future relatable to the audience's lovely lives; hell, it makes storytelling more interesting. And so what if it means none of that wide-eyed utopian hope? This is the 90s, we all know that's bullshit, and we'll all be long dead anyway by the time any of this happens"

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Hahaha holy poo poo are you kidding me



Now that's grounding it in reality

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

Data Graham posted:

Hahaha holy poo poo are you kidding me



Now that's grounding it in reality

Zima being the only product to survive into the 2200s is my favorite joke of the entire show.

Iron Crowned
May 6, 2003

Even in death I still post


Yams Fan

Grand Fromage posted:

Zima being the only product to survive into the 2200s is my favorite joke of the entire show.

The fact is, that's exactly what it is, that sign was put in the Zocalo because JMS thought it would he hilarious if Zima made it that far.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



I mean that whole sequence is basically a gag anyway. The music practically breaks into a Sports Training Montage when Garibaldi turns to him all "You're the best I've ever seen "

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



Parts Kit posted:

"He's like a human god of anger"

Egyptian god of frustration

e X
Feb 23, 2013

cool but crude


I always really liked that Babylon 5's Earth didn't just miraculously became another unified planet, but that the government is clearly only a more obliging version of the UN, with the individual nations still pursuing their own interests.

shadow puppet of a
Jan 10, 2007

NO TENGO SCORPIO



Grand Fromage posted:

Zima being the only product to survive into the 2200s is my favorite joke of the entire show.

Still readily available in Japan. The only nation committed to generating artificial meteor showers and robotic eldercare. I think it just might make it.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



"Eyes": lol I had that exact same motorcycle

Shbobdb
Dec 16, 2010

by FactsAreUseless


Angry Salami posted:

I've always found it a bit odd that on one hand there's this running theme that Humans are Special because We Build Communities unlike the other species, but on the other hand, Earth itself isn't ever portrayed as particularly tolerant or open-minded. I mean, granted, I guess 'semi-authoritarian democracy' still looks good compared to 'caste-based theocracy' or 'imperialists with some genocide', but even at its best, the Earth Alliance is never really the Federation...

It's heavily implied (and in some cases out right stated) that widescale genocide and imperialism is what made the other races more monolithic. The Centauri unified in their genocidal war against the Xorn. The Narns (while more heterogeneous than other races) unified first when the Shadows knocked over their sand castle and then again after Centauri colonization. The Minbari had some nasty wars in their past and were united through Vorlon Imperialism. The non-aligned worlds became a cohesive political block because of the Dilgar.

Humans started to go down that more unifying path after the Minbari War, which is why the new Earthgov is so super hosed up.

But it had also clearly been broken for a while. The Rush Act used to break the strikers was named after Buddy Rush Limbaugh. So clearly humanity has been in an uncomfortable crypto-fascist state for a long, long time.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002



Data Graham posted:

"Believers": drat, someone's reeeeeally got a mad-on for Christian Scientists

We just made it to Believers tonight. It's an uncomfortable episode because to us the parents are obviously superstitious and wrong, but dig a little deeper and it's not that simple. Is there no principle you would rather die than violate? If the mere continuation of your own life is not your highest value (and it shouldn't be), then what is, and where do you draw the line? In that way you can sympathize with the kid and his parents and it becomes a lot more troubling than it already is, because it's easy to see the unexamined dogma in others, but not ourselves.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Btw Bill Mumy being a weeb was pretty funny

R-Type
Oct 10, 2005


Data Graham posted:

"Eyes": lol I had that exact same motorcycle

Yep. I had ZX-11, ZX-12, ZRX-1200 and ZX-14. 11's the original gangster

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Something that occurred to me while watching Delenn's monologue about humans in "Babylon Squared": god, can you imagine how that scene would have sounded if we weren't the race being talked about? If it were a council of humans talking about some other alien race, talking about how their uniqueness is that they "do not surrender" and "hurt them, and they only come back stronger", and that "their only weakness is that they do not recognize their own greatness". They wouldn't be delivering those lines in reverent tones, more like "holy gently caress these guys are bad news and must be stopped at any cost". I mean, do some role-reversal thought experiments with those lines; it sounds really weirdly fascistic and self-denigrating, like "Nazi Supermen Are Our Superiors"

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002



While on the one hand, abstractly, I understand that, on the other hand, viscerally, I'm a sucker for "Humans: gently caress yeah!"

And on the gripping hand, without going into details, what she's saying isn't actually as weird as it sounds to you at first, but you'll have to wait a while for me to explain that.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



"The Quality of Mercy": daaamn, nice set of double-twists in this one. I was about 2/3 of the way through and thinking "Wow, it seems like the doctor lady and Franklin have come to a nice pat agreement; seems this one's wrapped up early". But then the murderer story tied back into it all of a sudden, and then just as I was kicking myself for not seeing that coming, there's another when she suddenly goes all badass. That's quite a piece of writing.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Boomerang Arrow. It comes back to you in the end. Boomerang respect it.


Data Graham posted:

"The Quality of Mercy": daaamn, nice set of double-twists in this one. I was about 2/3 of the way through and thinking "Wow, it seems like the doctor lady and Franklin have come to a nice pat agreement; seems this one's wrapped up early". But then the murderer story tied back into it all of a sudden, and then just as I was kicking myself for not seeing that coming, there's another when she suddenly goes all badass. That's quite a piece of writing.

Also an episode that you think is a one and done, but is important in the future.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



First season's done. Nice!

Morden's a nice creepy introduction to DARK MYSTERIOUS THINGS TO COME. I wonder though—having just come through a Wheel of Time spiteread, was there some disease in the 90s that gripped everyone with the need to name mysterious and foreboding but handsome and oddly compelling but clearly evil and offering faustian bargains characters some variation on "Morden"?

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Jesus, Bruce Boxleitner is going to be the first one they tap to do the biopic of Bill Clinton, huh?

Baka-nin
Jan 25, 2015



Data Graham posted:

First season's done. Nice!

Morden's a nice creepy introduction to DARK MYSTERIOUS THINGS TO COME. I wonder though—having just come through a Wheel of Time spiteread, was there some disease in the 90s that gripped everyone with the need to name mysterious and foreboding but handsome and oddly compelling but clearly evil and offering faustian bargains characters some variation on "Morden"?

Well, Morden is a German word that means to kill with premeditation, but in English is just a meaningless and unassuming name. So yeah I can see a bunch of authors who like hidden meanings and the "you get more than you bargain for" theme using it for that type of character.

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

"You can't do that, Space."

"I can do anything I want! I AM THE MASTER OF TIME!!!"

Data Graham posted:

Jesus, Bruce Boxleitner is going to be the first one they tap to do the biopic of Bill Clinton, huh?



I always felt like Boxleitner with a beard would have been perfect to play Ulysses S. Grant

Sad King Billy
Jan 27, 2006

Thats three of ours innit...to one of yours. You know mate I really think we ought to even up the average!

Baka-nin posted:

Well, Morden is a German word that means to kill with premeditation, but in English is just a meaningless and unassuming name. So yeah I can see a bunch of authors who like hidden meanings and the "you get more than you bargain for" theme using it for that type of character.

Morden is also a tube station on the London underground, end of line in fact.

jfood
Jan 21, 2015


Many levels, Zathras sees. Doesn't really understand without reading thread, but Zathras sees.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Boomerang Arrow. It comes back to you in the end. Boomerang respect it.


Farmer Crack-rear end posted:

I always felt like Boxleitner with a beard would have been perfect to play Ulysses S. Grant



He did play Longstreet in the horrible Gods and Generals.

DrBouvenstein
Feb 28, 2007

I think I'm a doctor, but that doesn't make me a doctor. This fancy avatar does.


Data Graham posted:

"The Quality of Mercy": daaamn, nice set of double-twists in this one. I was about 2/3 of the way through and thinking "Wow, it seems like the doctor lady and Franklin have come to a nice pat agreement; seems this one's wrapped up early". But then the murderer story tied back into it all of a sudden, and then just as I was kicking myself for not seeing that coming, there's another when she suddenly goes all badass. That's quite a piece of writing.

Quality of Mercy is probably my favorite Season 1 episode just because of that last scene.


bobkatt013 posted:

Also an episode that you think is a one and done, but is important in the future.

Indeed.

In addition to the alien healing device used to save Garibaldi and Ivanova's lives, it introduces the concept of "Death of Personality" used quite well in "Passing Through Gethsemane."

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



S2 seems way geekier than S1.

"There's an old saying: never try the patience of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger"

"Just my luck, I get stuck with a race that speaks only in macros."

And the "holovirus" or whatever it was that was eating Londo's computer, pfffhaha. It's like suddenly everyone on staff got an AOL account.

Eyud
Aug 5, 2006



I was just watching the different season intros on YouTube and after the last one, the last five minutes of Sleeping in Light came up and fuuuuuuuuuuuuuckkkkkk.

B5 is so loving good.

Payndz
Sep 22, 2006

Your friend and protege,
Tom Copperfield.


I'm currently ripping my B5 DVDs to take travelling. Other than the final episode, is any of S5 essential? (It takes my computer over half a day to rip a season, and I don't have a huge amount of time left.) All I can remember of it is that it felt like JMS had shot his bolt by cramming the Shadow and Earth storylines into S4, the episode with the two grease monkeys hero-worshipping the main cast, and that I absolutely loving hated Byron.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


Payndz posted:

I'm currently ripping my B5 DVDs to take travelling. Other than the final episode, is any of S5 essential? (It takes my computer over half a day to rip a season, and I don't have a huge amount of time left.) All I can remember of it is that it felt like JMS had shot his bolt by cramming the Shadow and Earth storylines into S4, the episode with the two grease monkeys hero-worshipping the main cast, and that I absolutely loving hated Byron.

Byron and the telepath stuff is pretty well confined to the first half of the season. The second half is heavily Centuri-focused and is really good.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



The first half isn't actually so bad if you can get over Byron being too good at being the annoying cult leader

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


MrL_JaKiri posted:

The first half isn't actually so bad if you can get over Byron being too good at being the annoying cult leader

There was this one weird-looking, bug-eyed, kinda toothy little guy who I always thought would have been better at being the cult leader than Byron. It was hard buying Byron's persecution conflict when the guy looked like loving Fabio.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



12 then 15-22 I suppose if you're restricted for time

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

I'm a bloomin' mathematical genius!
BOOM BOOM!



ConfusedUs posted:

There was this one weird-looking, bug-eyed, kinda toothy little guy who I always thought would have been better at being the cult leader than Byron. It was hard buying Byron's persecution conflict when the guy looked like loving Fabio.

The underground leader from A Race Through Dark Places?

Byron works well as a cult leader because he looks and acts like a cult leader.

Angry Lobster
May 16, 2011

Served with honor
and some clarified butter.


Honestly, the only thing I remember about the first half of season 5 is Tracy Scoggins and how hot she was before abusing botox.

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bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Boomerang Arrow. It comes back to you in the end. Boomerang respect it.


ConfusedUs posted:

There was this one weird-looking, bug-eyed, kinda toothy little guy who I always thought would have been better at being the cult leader than Byron. It was hard buying Byron's persecution conflict when the guy looked like loving Fabio.

Should have brought back Jeffrey Comb.

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