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SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I think I've heard that a whole lot about Londo was just Peter Jurasik's decisions. Like how apparently the original plan was that he'd have a much smaller crest.

VideoGames posted:

1-12 By Any Means Necessary

Holy moly did this episode feel perfect for these troubled times.


That's just how unionbusters are. They don't care about what's reasonable, they don't care that they can easily improve working conditions, they just know that they pushed the HR costs as far down as they could, and they're definitely not going to raise their costs if they can help it. And the cops don't care about the plight of the working class, they get paid to knock around unfortunate schlubs with no better options all day. It's great that Sinclair told the rear end in a top hat to gently caress off.

I guess that's less of a spoiler for a show than it is a spoiler for the real world. If you haven't reached the 2010s yet don't read this:
In lieu of innovation, a lot of newer businesses prefer to just figure out elaborate ways around labor laws. Recent attempts at strikes against hazardous work conditions met with reprisals against the organizers.

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SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



He just straight-up says, "Mr. Molden", and I don't think there are many real human accents that turn a vowel R into a consonant L.

Delenn's exotic accent comes from the more traditional place of having moved to America just a year earlier and still having some trouble with the language.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



The_Doctor posted:

S2ep08 - A Race Through Dark Places

I feel like the show is inconsistent on lot of the logistical issues about the station, although it's still some fun detail whenever they come up.

I feel like a situation like psychics where it's demonstrably provable that there's real measurable advantages to certain genetic combinations over others, that's the only basis on which eugenics really begins to make sense. Like most human phenotypes you could use for trying to breed a new, different kind of human are totally pointless to breed for in the grand scheme of things, but if you could breed people to have laser eyes with eugenics or something like that, THEN it becomes something worth thinking about. And even then, highly questionable.

And if you watched the pilot movie that came out before the rest of the show, this isn't even the first time this subject has been brought up. G'Kar had his own interests in borrowing some human genome.

Also, APCAB.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



From the look of IMDB, they've both been in plenty, for some typical TV actor careers, although reality spoilers: Katsulas died in 2006, so that's a reason why he hasn't been in that much after B5. An uncomfortable amount of the cast of Babylon 5 is dead, especially compared to an older show like Star Trek Next Generation, so back in the TVIV thread, there's talk of a B5 curse.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



TheAardvark posted:

S2E12:

I think I said it before but yeah it is somehow the hardest suspension of disbelief in the series for me that there is an underbelly on Babylon 5 that they let drifters and poor people sink down to. Not because the society we've seen is above that - with Psicorps in charge it's not a surprise at all. Just that the extreme expense of getting someone out to Babylon 5 seems like it would totally preclude that kind of society from ever forming.

There's a real-world comparison there: Hawaii has one of the highest homeless rates in the country. It's expensive to get there, but that also means that if you do manage to get there, or if you're just hit by bad luck and can't afford a home any more, you're stuck there because you can't afford to leave for opportunity elsewhere, and you're isolated from family or friends that could help you.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



TheAardvark posted:

Exactly. I'm aware of the in-universe explanations we've been given, it's just they've given us enough information about everything else that the in-universe explanation seems like nonsense. This is the hub of trade for all of these races, the brown section would be completely booked out by traders from every race years before the station opened. I'm not complaining, I realize the need for it and I don't let it bother me while I'm watching the show, but it is still ridiculous on face value.

You try getting people to reserve rooms on the Titanic V with the tagline "We're pretty sure that this one won't mysteriously vanish without a trace like the last one did, or explode like the 3 before that".

I think the main idea is that Down Below wasn't intended for habitation, but just wound up being the place where the overflow went after they started to build up. People weren't meant to be living around the waste reclamation facilities. Much of it was also unfinished, so it's basically people setting up shop in an empty crawlspace. Clearing them out would be expensive, and B5's always having budget trouble.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



TheAardvark posted:

S2E18 - Confessions and Lamentations

I feel like this episode hits so much harder on the points that Believers was trying to make, while also showing the positive side of religion, Delenn's willingness to risk herself to help others. The ending had much more of a punch to it as well, with all the visuals leading into it.

I'd even say that while the episode feels extremely relevant because of being literally about a plague, it can also be taken figuratively to be about any other kind of problem that people just train themselves to ignore with social norms. The income gap often gets ignored by people believing that the wealthy deserve their wealth and the poor deserve their lack of wealth. Obesity, mental health, addiction, and STDs often get treated as personal failings rather than health issues. I think that's also a large part of the Me Too movement, having to overpower the old social norms of "boys will be boys" or "if she's dressed slutty she's basically asking for sexual harrassment", and there's still a lot of work being done against the old norms and trying to figure out how to put new norms in place.

And of course, the end where if you only can start to respond to the problem at the very last moment, then, well...that could be relevant for other reasons.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Something that I really, really like about Babylon 5 that's really been on display in the last few episodes is that they're so willing to do big group scenes that I just don't feel like Star Trek ever does. They're willing to have just a whole bunch of extras milling about in the background or if the crowd itself and what they're doing is the focus of the scene. Not just random extras either, there's always plenty of alien species around unless there's a specific reason why they can't be there. It's a real gallimaufry look.

And in service of that, so many of the sets are these big rooms with plenty of depth and room for people to do their thing. And the general look applies to the space scenes too, because while the dated look is a little rough, there are constantly way more ships and objects onscreen than you could afford on a TV budget if they were real miniatures.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I don't remember if you watched the pilot movie, The Gathering, but it may be relevant to your speculation.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



TheAardvark posted:

S2E21
I saw The Gathering and in Lyta's mind Kosh had a human hand when he got poisoned. However I have never put much faith in anything from that - the entire thing could be bologna fed to Lyta and the doctor from the pilot. hell the entire plot of the pilot could have been another one of Kosh's little tests.

actually the more I think about it the more I like the idea of the The_Doctor's Childhood's End theory because that would be cool if it turned out all the races also had history of devil types that looked exactly the same as earth ones


E: about to watch the S2 finale

I didn't even remember that bit.

What I do remember is that the original doctor seemed pretty amazed at the whole experience of seeing Kosh inside his suit, and maybe it was part of the justification for shipping him back to earth when the actor didn't sign up for the TV show.

Which honestly could mean anything.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



One of the easier aliens to do was basically just a gas mask.



There was one alien who was just a puppet. But if you're watching season 2, you probably noticed that he stopped showing up because the showrunners weren't satisfied with the effect. Which I feel is a shame.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



One of the fundamentals of the technological future that B5 presents is that nobody ever figured out an alternative to CRTs, so screens never became easily portable.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Personally, I thought the barfight was the most impressive visual of the episode. Even if the bombing of Narn with that zoom in on Londo in the ship is probably more technically challenging.

It probably costs a fair amount to get all those people fighting onscreen, and it really displays how so many of Babylon 5's sets have a lot of depth to them, even though they don't often get a chance to play with that depth.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Personally I feel like the purest experience is catching a few episodes in bits and pieces and hearing friends make comments on parts of the show that you haven't seen before finally knuckling down to watch the whole show and find out that most of the connective tissue that you imagined was in the gaps that you missed wasn't what you expected it was.

But this isn't the place for my grand theory of messy viewing, because this is a little environment specially carved out for no spoiling, which is fine. There's a different place to go to talk freely.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



The_Doctor posted:


Christ, this Night Watch woman works for the trump administration. Its so weird that she’s a 1995 caricature of right wing thinking, but it’s all so eerily present day. “Pointing out our flaws is unpatriotic” is such a current day fascist way of thinking, it’s honestly scary. She absolutely looks like one of the many terrifying Fox News blondes too.


I feel like that reminds me more of the post 9/11 2000s. I don't think I hear people talk about "patriotism" anymore, they're past that excuse. It's still fairly prescient, although it may be that we're seeing that the seeds of what modern politics would become were blatantly planted all the way back then. I don't know much about what politics were like in the early 90s.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I don't think she's particularly observant either. She doesn't go to regular service or seek out religious guidance, she just goes for special occasions. Which isn't really an uncommon way of maintaining a religious identity at all.

I do feel like the acting/directing doesn't really put much effort into fleshing out her national identity, which is a bit of a shame because she's the only explicitly non-american member of the human main cast. The show still manages to create a feeling of internationalism with the aliens seeming genuinely foreign to Earthforce's America, but it is a bit of a shame that Earthforce doesn't really seem that uniting of Earth's general population. Maybe if they kept the Gambian doctor from the Gathering it would've worked better. I guess it does give B5 a more unique feeling from Star Trek, but it's just a shame that it doesn't come off like what they wrote the setting to be like.

Also, past season one, the less american-seeming president Santiago isn't around anymore, and there does seem to be very clear aesthetic reason why president Clark is very American. The Japanese senator also goes away in the political shift, and circumstances seemed to conspire against the three attempts at adding an asian person to the cast.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



The_Doctor posted:


Vir’s back again! I honestly thought he’d been put on a bus and we’d not see him again for some time, but hey, still in the titles and semi-regular. Anyway, Lwaxana’s here with secrets! Yes, Londo will be emperor, but so will Vir?! I don’t know why Londo is so afraid at the end, she clearly says they’ll both be emperor, one after the other dies. It’s better for them to both keep the other safe, honestly. That said, I’m eagerly looking forward to Emperor Cotto’s reign. :allears:


You never seen Macbeth? Hella awkward.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



The_Doctor posted:

S2ep10 - Severed Dreams

Gotcher numberin' wrong there.

I feel like there's a lot of naivety in the way they handle the civil war, but it's also thoroughly enviable to imagine being in a world where you haven't seen massive splits in society growing and growing to show you about where the divide would be and how many people would be willing to just go along with attacks on civilians. Clark seems like he went into things a whole lot more intentionally than our current bumbling fascist overlords, but without as much of an ideological backing.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Mr. Mordin is the subject of the sentence. And what the predicate says, he does.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I feel like it can be sort of hard to judge how cheap Babylon 5 for its time, because so much of it is purposefully trying to do something totally different from its contemporary big sci-fi show, Star Trek. They make their backgrounds detailed and cluttered as opposed to empty and elegant. The CGI has aged badly (and honestly might've been cheap for its time), but it was still a big new technology at the time, so contemporary audiences might not have seen it as clumsy, especially since it was showing objects with no real-world equivalent. The alien races use contemporary makeup techniques while most of Deep Space Nine still uses the designs that were made in the 80s.

But I think the thing that shows the most is that somehow Babylon 5 can just shove a bunch of extras in the background, which Star Trek just doesn't for whatever reason.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



The key difference between videogames and TV CGI is that videogames had to render in real time, while TV can at least do pre-rendered stuff, but that introduces an element of gambling that the animators did everything right, because all the time it takes to render, you may not be able to go back and edit.

Powered Descent posted:

s01e10 - Believers

Honestly, I didn't even notice there being a B plot. The power of the A plot overcame it all. It was also a rare opportunity to really compare and contrast all the major races at once over the same issue, just to really see all their diplomatic styles.


But I think the biggest saving grace of the whole episode that allows it to work in a way many shows would be hamhanded with a similar theme is the show really respects religion. Not just how in this episode, everyone is respectful of the religion in this one episode, but the show's earlier episodes established much more respect for religion than sci-fi usually has. There was a whole episode earlier about showing all these races having religion, and humanity not being above the rest of them, but just still having its assortment of religions. There was an episode about soul hunters that sorta implies that there's some kind of real mysticism out there without really confirming or denying anything.

So many other works of sci-fi would just turn this into a diatribe against religion as a whole, or worse, imply that the alien religions are uniquely ignorant.


Not like it's the best episode, but it's better than it could've been.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



The Gathering is listed as a bonus episode in season one on Amazon prime, and from the look of it, it's even listed as free.

If you're watching on DVD (which can be cheaper than streaming on Amazon, it's about $100 for a box set) then The Gathering is separate from the rest and usually grouped with the rest of the TV movies. Just don't confuse it with In The Beginning, which is the first of a number of TV movies that were put out in season 5.

Vavrek posted:

s01e10 - Believers
I really like Londo's response. "Oh, yes, I quite understand and sympathize. What can you give me? You're from a nonaligned race, so you're not already a Centauri client. If I intercede here, that uses up some of my time and political capital, which are both limited, so ... what can you give me?" He seems to agree with them, or is at least quite polite in hearing their request, but his job as Centauri Ambassador isn't helping people he agrees with. It's furthering the interests of the Centauri.

The way I remember it, G'kar was the one really asking for them to prove some kind of strategic relevance for his nation, Londo just wanted a bribe.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



discoukulele posted:

Do any space opera series get into detail about how they handle mixing new species together without massive outbreaks of new diseases?

There's been a few touching on it, but nothing really in-depth. That time that Corran Horn hosed an otter, they both had severe full-body allergic reactions the morning after because it turned out they were both allergic to eachother. There was also a whole thing in Mass Effect where different species can have different chirality of amino acids so they can't process eachothers' foods, and one overheard conversation even features a Turian really creeping on a Quarian because he thinks their shared amino acids makes them more compatible. Quarians were originally playing off of the idea of a species having their immune systems atrophy from being in sterile environments, but that got rewritten. And nothing about the Asari makes any sense.

I guess technically, since most of the worst epidemics come from diseases that were comparatively minor in livestock making the jump to humans with long-term contact, a bunch of different sentient species intermingling would be likely to lead to something, but that's a principle not many people know about, and if you're writing a story about alien species becoming friends, that's the sort of barrier you don't want to deal with.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I think Knives may be my favorite Londo episode.

Vavrek posted:

Did that get rewritten?

Sort of. They added in a bit where Quarian immune systems were always weird from having some kind of symbiosis with their planet. I think they wanted to double down on reasons for the Quarians to all be suited in ME2, since designing an unsuited Quarian would be a lot of work, and they had already given them the extravagance of two genders with separate body types.

On the bright side...

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



discoukulele posted:

s03e13 - A Late Delivery from Avalon
  • and Michael York is King Arthur


Compare and contrast with David Warner, who was seeking the holy grail.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Powered Descent posted:

I have only one question that's specific enough to spoiler-tag, and I admit it's nitpicky as hell: How exactly did that nicotine patch get the poison to Kosh's body? Isn't his suit a full environmental isolation thing, basically a spacesuit?

They do sort of explain indirectly. I guess the relevant data is in season 2.

The vorlons have organic living technology, which you can kind of see just from their aesthetic.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Honestly, despite how I think by volume there's more Human stories, the very first episode (after the pilot, at least) was a Londo and G'kar story, and that did a whole lot for setting out what kind of show B5 would be and their continuing stories that constantly affect eachother may be the coolest part of the show.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Powered Descent posted:

s01e21 - Babylon Squared
  • Speaking of Delenn, I don't have much of a reaction to her B-plot where she turns down leadership of the gray council. Might have landed better for me if we had more of an idea yet just what this council actually, you know, is. Is it the legitimate Minbari government? An Illuminati-style secret society? A Star Trek fan club?


I'm not sure how spelled out it is, but all throughout the season there were hints dropped that Delenn was some bigshot in Minbari society, way above the level of the other ambassadors within their governments. Most prominently in episode 17 when she resolves the tension of some warrior caste bigshot causing trouble by just dragging him into a room and using her authority to just order him to stop and apologize.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I think Babylon 5 does earnestly try to examine mysticism in a way that a lot of sci-fi refuses to, and sometimes it's really neat, and sometimes it's really dumb.

I can imagine Delenn getting taken in by some ridiculous human scams.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Powered Descent posted:

s02e05 - The Long Dark
This one's going to be heavy on the Star Trek comparisons. My apologies.

I agree that it's super gross for Franklin to try to get in a relationship with his recently widowed patient. I guess the only way I'd excuse it is that it's a very soap opera kind of take on Doctor/Patient relationships, and actually Franklin's actor, Richard Biggs, did play a soap opera doctor on Days of Our Lives.

I guess I didn't think about how she's affording to leave, but I assume either she has some kind of assets somewhere that probably accrued interest, or Earthgov still owes her for the colonist job. Maybe they get paid in government bonds.

I didn't actually pay enough attention to the logistics to the episode to work out the logistics of the thing, but it sure is one heck of an episode. Franklin's side of the plot is super creepy, but Amos gives one hell of a performance that I loved, and you even get a rare moment of sympathy and humanity from Garibaldi, where he really cares about one of the lurkers.

I do feel like I remember Bashir being way hornier than Franklin gets, across multiple episodes trying to gently caress people (and constantly coming onto Jadzia, another main cast member). Franklin I think I remember going on a date with that daughter of the lady with the alien device.

I guess it's kind of a weird episode because it's really just about the one thing without separate b or c plots like the show normally does.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Powered Descent posted:

s02e11 - Sheridan Gets an Anal Probe All Alone in the Night
  • The bit at the end, where our four EA-uniformed main characters form a patriotic conspiracy to save Earth from its government, hits a little differently now, after the whole January 6 thing last year. I'm sure the maga chuds conspiring to storm the capitol thought they were being all patriotic and saving America from itself too, and had conversations exactly like this. I suppose any conspiracy of this type that believes it's on the side of right is going to sound exactly like this, but recent history has me skittish of it even though we're clearly meant to be on their side.


I guess it's worth remembering that this is a conspiracy against a president who wasn't exactly popularly elected (only took office after the previous president died in what sure seemed like an assassination), and the real-world event you're talking about was in support of a similarly unpopularly-elected (and lame duck) president. We also had a bit of a situation of military officers doing a little ad-hoc thing making sure he wouldn't do any military orders on the way out of power out of spite, and if he refused to leave office, well then he'd be dragged out by force.

There's a bit of a weird set of historical inspirations in the show, but either way I think it works fine.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



alexandriao posted:

S02E03: Londo feels like more of an rear end this season all of a sudden. I think it's the power getting to his head a bit, but even so. He felt more grounded at the end of season 1, and now he seems very suddenly to be extremely self important and more... brusque? Not sure how to put it.

Londo in season 1 was a loser, an old, powerless man in a worthless post at the end of his career. He was going nowhere, so he could afford to goof off all day, blowing his money on gambling, drinking, and strippers, or even blow everything on some grand final gesture. Now, between recovering the Eye and somehow handling a Narn border skirmish, Londo is in ascension, with prospects, and he has to work to get his ducks in order for the sake of his career. He's under pressure now that he has control of his destiny, and his ambition is blooming again.

I feel like Londo is one of the most complex and dynamic characters in the series.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Garibaldi and Talia have weird chemistry that I'm not sure how much is planned as part of the show (since she is the representative on the station of Psycorp, a very shady organization that Garibaldi expects trouble out of), and how much is the fact that the actors were going through a very weird relationship during the course of the show where they got married and divorced during the show's run.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Exogenesis is easy to forget about since it doesn't really hook into the "main" plot, but it is such an A+ sci-fi story (and subversion of expectations).

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Powered Descent posted:

s03e09 - Point of No Return
  • Zack's a terrible liar. Didn't believe for a second that he'd turned against our protagonists.
  • I liked it back in Season 1 when Sinclair used regulation hair-splitting to resolve the conflict. But I just don't buy that Sheridan's attempt to do the same thing would work here. No matter where the order originally came from, it was relayed to him by a superior officer.



I think Zack was believable as the sort of dispossessed loser in a fairly high up position but would likely never get any further that fascism attracts, but he really never even tried putting on the appearance of the racism/xenophobia/slavish loyalty Earth-first thing that the rest of the Night Watch was all about. Not even a little. I get there's not very far you can go along that path and still come back, but it was still a bit of a weak performance of someone teetering on the brink and having already gone a little over.

And it may seem a bit of a cheap trick, but in the military, there's a lot of importance on chain of command and regulations. If officers were already planning a coup but not ready to pull the trigger at that moment, doing a bit of bureaucratic stalling seems like a good trick to pull. It's also important to note that while fascists can fester and develop within a system, they always need to break the rules at some point to actually assert dictatorial authority.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



alexandriao posted:

S04 in general (im watching episode 16):

- I really really don't like Garabaldi's arc. I don't like the fact that Bester hosed with his head and it was just ignored, and I don't like the fact that his personality has changed a lot as a result of either Aliens or Psy-Corp or that rich guy, and that is being ignored. It just really really messes with me. Guhhh.

I think the implication is that it only took a little tweaking to make Garibaldi change paths. All the way back in season 2, I think Garibaldi was distrustful of Sheridan, and he and Ivanova basically swapped their attitudes towards their CO after Sinclair left. It's still sad to see him just slash and burn everything he built up for the rest of the series though. Knowing what I do about Garibaldi's actor, I guess I'm more willing to believe that a lot of the resentment that powers Garibaldi was simmering just underneath the surface, and his other attitude was just waiting to slip out.

JMS did have ideas for one of the command staff turning traitor ever since the pilot movie where Takeshima was the one planned to turn eventually. JMS was pretty groundbreaking in how much story there was planned in advance, but it's also remarkable how flexible he was on top of those plans.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



It's a very dense season.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Hey thread, I watched the series before, but the point I've gotten to in the rewatch with my mom, we got to the end of season 4, and I figured, might as well check out some of the movies that I never watched the first time around.

In the Beginning
  • Kinda neat. Londo's a great guy to frame the story, but I think this might be possibly-alternate-timeline Londo?
  • You'd think somebody on Earth would've done the math on this guy who isn't good at first contact being triggerhappy
  • The line about how the warrior caste loves winning more than they love fighting really characterizes them strongly. They'll talk such a big game, but if there's any chance of a fair fight, they'll be all shy and bashful.
  • Eat poo poo Black☆Star
  • I'm a bit confused at the Rangers existing as an organization beforehand, since when they were first introduced, it was as this new organization created to represent a new relationship between humans and minbarri where they're supposed to be equals
  • Although since the guy has to do a mission all on his own, I guess maybe there isn't an accompanying group of spec-ops folk?
  • A bit contrived for Franklin to be put on the same mission as Sheridan, but much more contrived for Londo to accidentally sabotage the peace talks
  • I don't think I like the addition of the Vorlons specifically telling Dukhat that humans will be important for the war against the shadows. Kinda robs him of some agency and makes Delenn changing her mind for peace less about empathy and more about prophecy
  • The way the war was so dire is pretty neat. I think one of the shots of a soldier getting ready to fight is that Down Below lurker that the weird Shadow parasite had been noshing on.


Thirdspace
  • Not very good. I think the weakest part about it is that there are just no subplots going. While normally on the show, everybody has their own thing going on, in this movie there's nothing happening on the station today except for the one thing. Not having the full cast doesn't help either.
  • Okay, there was a thing that was happening before the one thing started, and I kinda liked that. The first season of the show made a whole thing out of the issue of space pirates, but they just vanished after they were no longer relevant to the overarching plot. Although also they had a fairly plausible reason to be gone, since when the galaxy was at war, they were small fish that couldn't afford to deal with proper armies. Plausibly I guess Clarke's Earth might sponsor some people to make trouble out in alien space?
  • I get that people aren't supposed to be aware that they're in a sci-fi show, but the fact that nobody expects or even considers that there may be a dangerous sci-fi thing going on with the artifact () is exacerbated by the fact that they're not busy with anything else that would distract them. Nothing's happening!
  • I'm sure somebody thought Zack being too wrapped up in the anxiety of asking Lita out was a funny joke, but I couldn't stand it
  • Nothing happens for a long while until FINALLY Lita dumps some info. Not a very good warning system there bud.
  • This is kinda interesting although it doesn't jive with the rest of the show's cosmology. Did the Vorlons do this before the First Ones left? As a side job during their long detente with the Shadows? Was the stuff that lady said about Thirdspace supposed to be true and these are all beings on a higher plane? Or is this just an alternate universe?
  • The movie also suffers from the fact that it doesn't even really have the established characters to work with, because so many of them are just being hijacked by the alien force.
  • The space stuff looks pretty neat.
  • And that's it. Not really satisfying for it to just amount to some monsters that they blow up.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



Powered Descent posted:

s05e06 - Strange Relations
  • Rules-lawyering (like Lochley is doing to buy the telepaths 60 days' reprieve from Bester) is always an iffy way to end a story. It's not terrible, but it tends to not satisfy very well since it usually comes out of nowhere.


It's not a great moment. Sheridan and Sinclair pulled their own loopholes, but this weird "kicking the can down the road" loophole doesn't seem like it'd play out well.

It's also...redundant? Bester and Sheridan had an understanding, and I don't see why Sheridan can't pull out the fact that B5 is sheltering his comatose girlfriend to get him to back off. I feel like the whole point of this episode is because the show is kinda just touching on everything they've done in the past to work up some momentum after season 4 was so conclusive.


Powered Descent posted:

s05e07 - Secrets of the Soul
  • notacult.txt
  • The messaging in the Hyach storyline (the extermination, centuries ago, of the Hyach-do) is a little questionable. Franklin is straight-up blaming people for the crimes committed by their remote ancestors. Sure, deliberately hiding that shameful history is not the greatest, ethically speaking, but it's not nearly as bad as doing the genocide in the first place, and the people who did that have all been dead for centuries.


I can't really track down the specifics, but JMS may have some weird sympathy for cults from his time being in one. He's led a weird life.

I think Franklin is right to criticize them for lying about their history, because unless they properly reckon with what they did, they can't really even begin to properly feel that they've made amends. Covering things up is like doubling down on what they've done. But he's not like condemned them for it. He straight-up told them that he probably didn't have the resources to fix it himself, and they'd have to go broader to other league worlds for help, and that's probably an honest assessment. I feel like his subplot in this episode reminds me of the Drafa plague (where an entire species went extinct, and couldn't get help for it in time because they kept it secret), and in that case, Franklin didn't manage to find a cure even after working as hard as he could. Earth doesn't know anything about genetic engineering, the psi corps are still doing manual breeding programs to maintain their numbers.

SlothfulCobra fucked around with this message at 01:46 on May 4, 2022

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SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I feel like with a lot of shows you might be better off skipping episodes here and there, especially if you're not all the way into the show, it cuts down on getting tired of the show, especially with the rougher, earlier bits.

The problem with doing that for Babylon 5 though is that there's an overarching narrative that builds throughout the show, and it's hard to even sort out which episodes don't have much of that because there's a lot of little crumbs that it's easy to forget about, so even tips from people who know the show are unreliable. If you want the whole thing, you gotta deal with its bizarre flaws.

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