That's a neat way to look at it. Never thought of it that way before.
I am interested to see how you react to some of the episodes ahead. Two in particular (one of which being the finale)
I really liked the exploration of the Brakiri in this one--more of that empire building JMS talked about for season 5. They've been talked about since 2260 and it was good to finally see them spotlighted. I was less interested in Penn & Teller than in the unusual phenomenon going on. I'd honestly say that Morden's comment about one part of the station being 200 million LY away from the other is just exaggeration on his part to throw Lennier off balance. I'm more inclined to believe that the people in the Brakiri side of the anomaly were somehow transported to the Brakiri Homeworld. The whole thing was likely due to an odd space-time anomaly on Brakir but who knows what the real cause was.
What I really liked were the interactions with the dead, especially Morden. True to form, he gave Lennier what he wanted, which was wisdom. If the Shadows were to approach any Minbari, including Delenn, with that question, wisdom would likely be the answer. Wisdom of course is only useful is you do something with it.
Morden's comments were completely truthful. In fact, I'd say that all of the dead that appeared on B5 said things that were absolutely true.
I liked the backstory with Lochley and Zoe. You're going to find that this backstory will tie into another character in a very unusual way. 'twas a very pleasant character development though.
Dodger was a hoot. I especially liked her quoting all of the Emily Dickinson poetry as well as that crazy stuff with "The Yellow Rose of Texas."
If Byron and his people had any illusions of getting their own homeworld, they pretty much ruined it by blackmailing virtually the entire Alliance ambassadorship. I'll comment more on this with Phoenix Rising.
I did like the closure we finally got with her character. That's really the tone of season 5 though, closure (or non-closure as the case may be ).
To say that Bester is a slime ball is an understatement. But the unfortunate situation with the telepaths really couldn't end any other way. *shrug* As long as you have an organization--Psi Corps--that's been legitimized by EarthGov to rule over telepaths, there's absolutely no way for telepaths to truly have their freedom.
I personally didn't like Byron very much to be honest. I don't think it was the acting as Robin Atkin-Downes I think did a pretty good job with the material he was handed. I just don't think he was a sympathetic enough character. I would've been far more inclined to like the character if the rogue telepaths didn't resort to blackmailing the Alliance ambassadors. I really do sympathize with the telepaths entirely, FTW. I just wish their story had been written differently. I think though that any stories about the Telepath War are going to paint the rogues as angry dissidents. They've spent over a century being oppressed by the Psi Corps and as G'Kar said, you can't hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever.
Ah, another of my favorite episodes in season 5. We get more empire building, especially with the Drazi Homeworld and their culture. That in itself made the episode worth it for me.5x12 - The Ragged Edge
G'Kar starts coming back into the spotlight with this episode. Though he's not featured in the next episode, starting with Meditations on the Abyss, he'll get more prominence. In fact, he'll get more prominence than he ever wanted.
There's an interesting situation with dramatic irony going on in the show at this stage. The audience already knows that the Centauri are definitely involved with attacks on the Alliance shipping lines and that the Drakh have a hand in that agenda. Dramatic irony transforms into tragic irony because we know the truth about the entire situation but the characters don't--and how the situation is handled (or not handled) by certain characters amplifies this storyline to the height of Greek tragedy. You'll see what I mean very, very soon as Londo's fate and that of his people is about to be decided.
I also liked the fact that split personalities with telepaths can have different psi ratings. I definitely didn't see that coming.
I honestly wish that Babylon 5 went farther along than it did but JMS did originally conceive it as a 5-year arc. The arc works beautifully and, to me, remains one of the best stories in sci-fi today.
5x14 - Meditations on the Abyss
Interesting stuff happens here, especially with regard to Lennier and his story. It was a nice to see an episode focus on him for a change, as so few have done so thus far. Probably what stands out the most is the conversation he has with the other Minbari for joining the Rangers for the wrong reasons. It is ironic isn't it, since Lennier himself seems to be joining so he can impress Delenn. Adding on to that Morden's prediction of his betrayal kind of foreshadows that he will eventually have to make a choice between Delenn or the Anla'shok. By this point it has almost certainly been revealed which one he will pick.
I liked the rest of the episode as well, especially the speech given by G'kar with the light on the wall. I really like his character and was happy to read ColdFuzz write that he will become more prominent.
I'm not quite sure how the Drazi found out that the Centauri are the ones attacking Alliance ships. But either way, it seems like things are falling in to place for what we know is inevitable.
4x15 - Darkness Ascending
This episode felt kind of like the calm before the storm, even though it wasn't really that calm
I wonder how long until the others find out about Garibaldi. It is obvious that the problem continues to magnify the more he denies it. Lise might speak up or choose to take Garibaldi's advice to leave the station. I guess we will find out in the next episode. I can see this turning bad for Garibaldi as the drinking will undoubtedly result in a big mistake on his part with events turning dire at this point.
This episode really leaves the story on the cusp, leaving us wondering what's next. We know for sure Londo doesn't know what's going on, yet the other characters are not 100%. How will the conversation go? Will Londo listen to what his government suggested? Judging by how his character has developed at this point he should know better, but then again we know what ultimately happens so it would seem the wrong choice is made.
What kind of gets lost in all this is the G'kar and Lyta conversation. I had totally forgotten about that proposal oh so long ago. I like that Lyta is continuing to do what Byron started but in a more efficient way.
Next episode should be great
Last edited by Raw_Deal; March 1st, 2013 at 08:06 AM.
Suffer the dream of a world gone mad, I like it like that and I know it.
lol. I'm doing the same at the Lurkers Guide. I have very distant memories of the latter half of season five, but I do remember that it is on a par with earlier seasons. Maybe not quite when B5 was at its peak during four and five. But hey, less than awesome is still more awesome than most shows.
"It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past."
It's not just the tech material with the Minbari though. We get more insight into how various Minbari now view the Rangers. Before the Shadow War, the Rangers were considered an embarrassment, especially to the Warrior Caste. But now, after the war and the acclaim they've won for themselves in the conflicts afterwards, the Rangers are arguably the best fighting force in the Alliance. I'm glad to see that the Rangers, with the Minbari in particular, are portrayed with their flaws intact.
This episode really marks the beginning of the best material in season 5. That scene with Lyta testing her Vorlon-enhanced telepathic powers was chilling. As cruel as this may sound, Byron's death and the emotional transformation that resulted from it unlocked her parts of her that would've stayed hidden otherwise. I think that she really did have to be pushed to the limit of what she could take emotionally to access those parts herself.5x15 - Darkness Ascending
I'm not going to comment on Garibaldi and the lingering situation with the Centauri as anything I'd say would spoil the fun. However, I did want to comment on G'Kar's conversation with Lyta. This conversation, in my opinion, is one of the single best scenes in Babylon 5. Why? She harkens back to their conversation back in 2257 when Kosh was about to come onboard the station. SO MUCH has happened between 2257 and 2262, it's mind boggling when you think about it in an in-universe context. The changes to the galaxy at large and all of the characters have been monumental. Seeing G'Kar and Lyta come full circle--going back to the same conversation they had five years previously--was wonderful. Same conversation for both of them, but they are both in completely different places and they are both completely different people. The symmetry really is wonderful.
5x16 - And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
I see the ride begins to take off in this episode, it was great!
The council room debates were awesome to watch. Londo came in so confident that he was in the right, and then he was totally floored by the video evidence from Lennier. It was obvious from that point that he knew his government was behind it even though he didn't want to believe it.
Sheridan's outburst during the final meeting of the episode was epic. He was right in what he proclaimed regarding the council - it was setup for peace but clearly they were all out for war at this point. Kind of points out the great challenges facing the council and that is how to manage so many different races when dangerous events take place. Is this an indication that every time something like this happens, the only result is full out war? Kind of defeats the whole purpose of the council then doesn't it.
I'm interested to see Londo and G'kar on Centauri Prime and how they unravel the mystery behind all this. Of course by that point it will all be too late. Kind of tragic when you think about it. Much like a Shakespearean play where we all know what is going on but the characters don't.
As predicted, Garibaldi's drinking caused a major problem. I saw it coming a mile away but it was still sad to watch. When the rest of the group finds out it will be interesting to watch.
5x17 - Movements of Fire and Shadow
Another great episode to add to the list for this season. Quite a lot happens here so I will try to focus on the main points.
Out of all that takes place though, I have to say what stood out for me was the scene with Vir, Lyta and Franklin. The change in Lyta is obvious and it was great to watch. You want to use my skills for something? I'm asking for something in return this time. When she spoke up and demanded her terms I definitely felt like cheering for her and saying way to go.
The big mystery uncovered by Franklin and Lyta on the Drazi homeworld was interesting. It does explain a lot of things though, especially the Centauri tactics up to this point.
I liked that there was a bit of humor here with G'kar's plan to get Londo out of the jail cell. Those two together are awesome and they were a pleasure to watch.
I watched this and the next episode together as a 2-parter so a lot more thoughts in the next one.
5x18 - The Fall of Centauri Prime
This episode was one of the best I've seen on the show. The title itself explains what happens in this episode, but the way it went down was great.
When the revelation finally happens and Londo finds out the truth it is really sad to watch. Almost as sad as him having to basically turn on all his friends and allies from Babylon 5. It really is emotional and intense when he is giving his speech to his people at the end and you know he doesn't want to say it but he has no choice.
One thing I am kind of skeptical about is the ability of the remote controlled Centauri ships to cause so much damage without arousing suspicion with anyone on Centauri prime other than Londo. I know they explained earlier that orders get carried out explicitly for the regent or emperor, but I still find it hard to believe that every single person in a position of power would be in the dark about the true nature of the attacks.
The final scene between G'kar and Londo really highlights the journey both have taken to get to this point. G'kar saying he forgives Londo really was a touching moment.
This episode really was about Londo and he nailed every bit of it. We knew this was coming for a while now but the way it happened and the impact it had was great. He reached the end of his journey, and unfortunately it was not what he expected. It was best summed up with his quote to G'kar about having all the power in the world but no choices to make. That is one of my favourite quotes in the show thus far.
I'm down to the last few episodes of the show and I will definitely miss it!
5x20 - The Wheel of Fire
I just realized the title of this episode is also the title of the final 5th season, once again aptly named from a line in a Shakespeare play (see King Lear). Producers really seem to like Shakespeare, I've only caught a few references but there's probably a lot more that I've missed along the way.
A lot happens here so I will try to cover it all. But first off I just want to say I loved Lyta's badass attitude in this one. She seems to be changing with each passing episode. We find out that she's been transformed by the Vorlons into basically a doomsday weapon, which sounds pretty cool I must say. I'm liking what they've done with the character.
Now since Sheridan was immune to Lyta's power, is he also immune to all telepathic scans? This isn't clearly explained, though it might tie in with why Clark's people didn't use a telepath on him when he was in their custody. I'm assuming Sheridan's ability comes from Lorien which would make sense since Lorien himself is older than the Vorlons and would be immune to such things.
I really liked Lochley in this episode. Her conversation with Garibaldi was very nicely written. I think hints of her past were given in Day of the Dead but it was nice to see it all come from her. You could see Garibaldi's shell breaking down as she spoke to him. Really great to watch.
I feel like the agreement between Lyta and Garibaldi could result in sparking the telepath war. They are treading on dangerous ground. It does not seem that Garibaldi will be getting his revenge on Bester then, unless one of the remaining episodes is set in the future. That is too bad, I would really want to see Bester receive what's long overdue to him.
Overall, another great episode with strong writing.
I also liked Lyta's role in this episode as she was much more assertive. I loved her interplay with Franklin as they waded their way through the crowded Drazi streets. The crazy Drazi map was hilarious. But my favorite part of that scene was Franklin's refusal to ask for directions and Lyta's retort: "What is it with men?" Lyta offing the Drazi assassin by having him commit suicide was chilling and shows how powerful she really is as a telepath.
The divisions within the Alliance military were interesting to see. Yes, they may be united under one Alliance but they've got a lot of work to do when it comes to respecting each other and being willing to follow instructions from each other. If I were Sheridan or Delenn, I would've appointed a good Minbari Warrior Caste Shai Alyt to take command of the bulk of the Alliance forces to make it as fair as possible and reduce infighting. Why Warrior Caste and not a Ranger? The Rangers were supposed to be a separate authority. A Warrior Caste leader would've made far more sense. But... that didn't happen. *shrug*
Garibaldi... oy vey. *shakes head*
This is an excellent episode but my goodness it's painful to watch. Londo was someone we wanted to sympathize with early in season one. Then he became something he just couldn't stand. Then we see him go through a genuine transformation to being a much better person, someone who was even likable. He comes full circle and in other circumstances, he would've achieved redemption. But ALL of that is stolen away from him and his people by the Drakh. Absolutely devastating to watch.5x18 - The Fall of Centauri Prime
The remote control of the Centauri ships was achieved because of three things: The control pods, effective compartmentalization of the Centauri hierarchy, and the Drakh themselves.
The control pods were the alibi. The way the Centauri hierarchy was setup enabled someone like the Regent to wage an offensive war without anyone in the government knowing about it. And if someone did find out, the Regent would order them to remain silent. If they didn't, the Drakh would kill them outright or place a Keeper on them. The Drakh covered every angle. They learned from the Shadows too well.
The alcoholism conversation was very powerful, especially when Lochley alluded to Zoe. I'm glad that the two of them finally settled their differences.
Lyta being a telepathic superweapon and Sheridan being immune to her because he was touched by the Vorlons... absolutely fantastic.
As for getting back at Bester... *sigh* It's played out in the B5 books... damn it.
I still have a few issues with the whole Drakh situation. The way they were able to completely control such a large empire is still a bit unbelievable. I understand that a lot of things made it easier for them to do so but still. If I remember correctly the population is a few billion Centauri. The fact that no one in a position of power would have found out about this is a bit hard to believe. Even if they were to start killing them off, having people in position suddenly dying would raise alarm bells. And did they really place those bombs around the planet without anyone noticing anything? I find the magnitude of the Drakh plan to be enormous and for it to have gone on without a hitch is a bit implausible to me.The control pods were the alibi. The way the Centauri hierarchy was setup enabled someone like the Regent to wage an offensive war without anyone in the government knowing about it. And if someone did find out, the Regent would order them to remain silent. If they didn't, the Drakh would kill them outright or place a Keeper on them. The Drakh covered every angle. They learned from the Shadows too well.
5x20 - Objects in Motion
It looks like they are starting to wrap things up with this episode. Once again G'kar and Lyta have some great moments together. I think what G'kar says to her about both of them leaving together, even though it might be for completely opposite reasons, is what they both need right now. I must say the idea of just flying off and exploring the galaxy sounds like a plan I would definitely want to be a part of, especially with those two
It is also sad how Lyta first reacts to G'kar's proposal, as she thinks it is once again because he needs something from her, not because he truly just wants her as a traveling companion. Kind of shows the effect all her experiences have had on her, and her way of thinking.
Garibaldi was great in this episode too. I like how he handles the Edgars Board of Directors, that scene was just plain awesome Garibaldi Good to see that he did find happiness with Lise and the character does have a happy ending to his journey after a turbulent couple of years.
Garibaldi's replacement I think is an excellent choice. I always liked the Number One character, who's real name we actually find out to be Tessa(?). This was a smart move by Sheridan.
5x21 - Objects at Rest
I know there is one more episode left but this episode felt like a great way to wrap up the season and the series. I think one of my new favourite scenes is the one where Sheridan turns the Whitestar ship to view Babylon 5 one last time and the screen zooms in to show us the new main crew of the station. Absolutely terrific scene.
It was nice to see how each person chose a replacement either for themselves or for another position. They were all characters we've at least seen once before. Though in the doctor's case I can't quite remember what episode we first saw her in. G'kar's speech to Ta'lon was great; G'kar really knows how to speak so eloquently but also so simply when he tells him he's probably as ready as he (G'kar) was when he first started on Babylon 5.
Out of the new B5 crew, Vir is the only original main character that's still on the station. I think Zack was around as well but I think he was a minor character when the series started.
Now as for Lennier, I found that scene with Sheridan a bit contrived to be honest. I know they needed to put something in there to fulfill what Morden said would happen, but it felt forced to me. It is too bad we don't find out what happens to him. It is also a really sad end for the character, as he was always so righteous, caring and helpful and to end it off like this is really heartbreaking.
What interested me a lot was Delenn's reaction at dinner to Londo's Keeper. It is like she sensed something of a Shadow presence but still couldn't see it. Or could she? What will come of this and how come she didn't mention anything to Sheridan? Unfortunately I feel like these will remain unanswered questions, so I'm not quite sure what the point of introducing them right near the end of the series was.
The final speech by Sheridan about Delenn involved both sadness and happiness. He spoke from the heart and the truth, as everything he said about her was spot on.
One thing I would have loved to see is an episode with the new Babylon 5 crew in action and all the new characters in their respective positions.
So you're right, 5.21 really feels like an ending. And it makes sense IMO, since it was probably the last episode that was written and filmed. The band's last show, so to speak.
The Drakh know that if they move openly, they're no match for the Alliance. But using the Centauri as pawns is much more their style, the way it was with the Shadows. The Shadows didn't need to put a Keeper on Londo to manipulate him, which shows that they're more adept at manipulation than the Drakh are.
Just to clarify, Dr. Hobbs was in Interludes and Examinations as well Walkabout. I believe she was also mentioned in Shadow Dancing and Racing Mars before Franklin and Marcus went off on their fact-finding mission.
Lennier's end was heartbreaking. I knew something like it was coming but it was still awful to watch. The entire situation hearkens back to something Lennier himself said in Comes the Inquisitor: If you do the right thing for the wrong reason, the work becomes corrupted and ultimately self-destructive. Joining the Rangers is normally a good thing but he did it for the completely wrong reasons. With Marcus, he ended up doing something good (saving Susan) even though he also joined for the wrong reasons. For Lennier though, he just couldn't be honest with his own feelings. For a Minbari, not being able to be honest with yourself can be devastating. It was a crisis of the heart and, as part of the Religious Caste, he could've dealt with this in a more healthy way. Blocking out his emotions or being something that he's not to impress someone else was one big mistake. I can unfortunately speak from experience on this topic. Ironically, Morden was telling him the truth. Unfortunately, the truth came from the one person Lennier would never have believed.
The ending monologue was incredibly well-written and the montage that accompanied it was equally moving. It is indeed the beginning of a new age. The old crew has scattered and everyone is moving on to the next chapter of their lives.
I don't know if you're planning on watching Crusade or any of the Babylon 5 movies. If you are, I suggest holding off on watching Sleeping in Light until you watch everything including the Lost Tales. It'll give the maximum effect when you finally see it in that manner. I found that by tacking on Crusade, the B5 movies, and the Lost Tales, it bridges the gap to Sleeping in Light a little more smoothly.
If Objects at Rest is emotionally stirring, Sleeping in Light is even more so.
4x22 - Sleeping in the Light
Although this final episode is great in that it offers closure, it is still incredibly sad to watch. The fact that Sheridan is dying is not really it, since you know it is coming, but the way it shows the effect this has on others, especially Delenn is what makes it heartbreaking.
The fact that this one was filmed before season 5 played in its favour because we got to see Susan one last time. Also, we know what Londo's fate is, but what about G'kar? Are we to assume that G'kar died together with Londo during that final fight? And we don't receive any information on Lennier and what happened to him.
I assume I will need to watch some of the other movies or read the novels to fill in some gaps here. Garibaldi obviously survives the Telepath War since he is around 20 yrs later, which surpasses the 2 yr agreement he made with Lyta. So was he able to have the neural block removed? What happened with Bester, did he get his revenge?
The decommissioning of Babylon 5 was tough to watch but it was really well done. In fact I will say that this series finale really felt like exactly that. Often times there are lots of things missing, but this one flowed extremely well. I think what made this possible is that this entire season, and more specifically the last few episodes have been leading up to this. A lot of shows will leave it to the last 1 or 2 eps, but B5 really took its time in winding the series down. As a result, the final episode was well executed.
It is rare to see a series that ties together so well from start to finish. There are unanswered questions here and there, but the whole thing flows so well. It really was a pleasure to watch the entire saga unfold over the course of 5 seasons.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the thread, really helped add to the experience!