Monday, December 29, 2014

Sci-Fi Experience, B5 episodes 9-12

I do love Babylon 5. I am going to enjoy rewatching it for the 42 challenge and Carl's Sci-Fi Experience.

 The third disc has four episodes:
  • Deathwalker
  • Believers
  • Survivors
  • By Any Means Necessary
One way to better appreciate the episodes on this particular disc is to use G'Kar's words as a frame of reference. In Mind War, he says:
Let me pass on to you the one thing I've learned about this place. No one here is exactly what he appears. Not Mollari, not Delenn, not Sinclair, and not me.
Each episode tends to focus on a different character. "Deathwalker" might be the exception. The 'moral' of it--if moral is the right word--seems to be that all races have a dark side. I tend to think that even "Deathwalker" focuses in on one character. And. It's a character that up until this point hasn't really gotten much attention. Kosh. "Believers" focuses on Dr. Franklin. And to a lesser degree on Commander Sinclair. "Survivors" focuses on Michael Garibaldi. Now that I think of it, "By Any Means Necessary" is another exception. A handful of characters are put into stressful, intense situations. We learn more about G'Kar and Sinclair. What viewers get in these episodes is a chance to see some layers revealed in all the characters.

Premise/Plot: First story: Kosh hires Talia (the telepath) for his 'business' deal. It's a puzzling story, not only to viewers but to Talia herself. The man Kosh is doing business with is a "walking VCR." Second story: Jha'dur--a Dilgar war criminal--stops over at Babylon 5. Everyone reacts. Some want to kill Some want to put her on trial and then kill her. Some want the trial to be on Babylon 5. Some want the trial to take place on their own planet. Some want to make a deal with her, and, are willing to "overlook" the past because they are greedy and power-hungry and too curious for their own good. So many people have an idea of what to do--what's right to do, what justice looks like--how will Sinclair please everyone?!
Pay attention to: Kosh...and also Lennier
Kosh: Ahh. You seek meaning.
Talia: Yes.
Kosh: Then listen to the music, not the song.
Susan Ivanova: Well, I've managed to get the ship captains engaged in a debate over who has the best claim to Jha'dur. The winner will be the first to attack.
Jeffrey Sinclair: Creative.
Jha'dur: You and the rest of your kind take blind comfort in the belief that we are monsters, that you could never do what we did. The key ingredient in the anti-agapic cannot be synthesized. It must be taken from living beings. For one to live forever, another one must die. You will fall upon one another like wolves. It will make what we did pale by comparison. The billions who live forever will be a testimony to my work. And the billions who are murdered to buy that immortality will be the continuance of my work. Not like us? You will become us.
Premise/Plot: Perhaps with the exception of Infection, Believers is one of the episodes I like least. I'll keep to the facts. A couple brings their young son to Dr. Franklin. They're wanting him to live, of course, but are adamant that surgery is not an option. Even if surgery is the only thing in the world that will save their son. No surgery. End of story. But it isn't the end of the story, for, Dr. Franklin--for better or worse--won't let it be the end of the matter. He relentlessly works to save a life. And the boys' parents end up pleading with all the show regulars to explain their side of the story and why they need help and representation. Poor Sinclair is put in the middle of it. This is a heavy episode no doubt about it.
Pay attention to: Sinclair and Dr. Franklin
Jeffrey Sinclair: Who asked you to play God?
Franklin: Every damn patient who comes through that door, that's who. People come to doctors because they want us to be gods. They want us to make it better…or make it not so. They want to be healed and they come to me when their prayers aren't enough. Well, if I have to take the responsibility, then I claim the authority too. I did good. And we both know it. And no one is going to take that away.
Sinclair: Sometimes doing the right thing doesn't change anything.
Premise/Plot: Homeguard again. Garibaldi is framed for a crime. Someone from his past has it in for him. Viewers really get a chance to know more about Garibaldi and his past. No matter how many times I watch the show, no matter how many times I rewatch season one, SEEING Garibaldi contemplating drinking the drink in front of him. I never actually remember that he does it, that he loses control.
Pay attention to: Sinclair and Garibaldi
G'Kar: The Universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest.
Sinclair to Garibaldi: You're more trouble than a toilet full of snakes, but I couldn't run this station without you.
 By Any Means Necessary
Premise/Plot: First story: Laborers on strike. A guild refuses to work until negotiations go their way. Sinclair is sympathetic but powerless. Until someone invokes "the Rush Act." The powers that be think they've got it, that they've done it. But. Sinclair finds a loophole and a way to end things peacefully giving them exactly what they want and need. Second story: G'Kar has plenty of fits in this episode. He stays flustered! G'Kar desperately needs a G'Quan Eth plant for a religious ceremony. The one he'd ordered imported blew up in an accident in the docking bay. Londo, he learns, is the only person on the station who has that plant. And G'Kar is forced to beg and plead with an all-too-smug and oh-so-arrogant Londo. G'Kar does get a little tricksy in this one. But so does Sinclair. Sinclair is not particularly happy to have to be the go-between in this situation. But Sinclair proves himself yet again.
Pay attention to: Sinclair and G'Kar
Jeffrey Sinclair: You should never hand someone a gun unless you're sure where they'll point it.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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