23 August 2012

B5 Review: Points of Departure & Revelations

Following the events of the previous episode and season finale Chrysalis, we rejoin the crew of Babylon 5 in the year 2259 for the show's second season entitled The Coming of Shadows.

Points of Departure
EAS AgamemnonBabylon 5 has been struggling following the death of Earth President Santiago, the attack on the Narn Outpost in Quadrant 37, the strange goings on with Delenn and the recall of Cmdr Sinclair to Earth.
Relief appears to be on the way when Captain John Sheridan arrives to take command of the station, following word that Sinclair had been permanently reassigned as Earth Ambassador to Minbar.

Meanwhile, a rogue Minbari warship has been spotted close to Babylon 5 with Sheridan's orders to alert the Minbari government should it appear.

Change is afoot with this episode, a new commanding officer, a new opening theme (something I liked about the series) and still a lot of questions unanswered. But this episode is quite significant in revealing a bit more about the truth behind the reason for the Minbari surrender at the Battle of the Line - ending the Earth-Minbari War.

For the ship geeks we get to see Sheridan's ship, the Agamemnon and a couple of Minbari War Cruisers. We are introduced to John Sheridan and Warren Keffer, a StarFury pilot in Zeta Squadron while Garibaldi remains in a coma and Delenn in a cocoon.

The only criticism came from when Kalain arrives at the station and asks a computer interface to show him a map, the first thing the computer informs him is where Green Sector is and that it's off-limits to unauthorised personnel!

A decent pilot episode for the new season. Good information, a bit of action but not too heavy - 6.5/10.

Narn Cruiser at Z'Ha'DumG'Kar barely makes it back to Babylon 5 following an expedition to the Rim, Garibaldi is brought out of his coma and his shooter identified and Delenn emerges from her Chrysalis.

This is probably the episode fans would have expected to open the second season. Regardless of it being the second episode it definitely delivers and felt like it had a longer run time than most other episodes just to fit everything in.

G'Kar warns the council of an ancient race, gathering its forces on the Rim and mentions a planet named Z'Ha'Dum. The Narn government dispatch a ship to investigate briefly but it is destroyed - unknown to the others, via Londo alerting Morden of the fact.

Garibaldi regains consciousness after Franklin and Sheridan work to revive him using the alien healing device (confiscated in The Quality of Mercy). With Talia's help, Garibaldi is able to recall who shot him - what happens to the gunman though reveals that a lot more is wrong in the universe and back on Earth than we would like to believe.

Finally, the mystery about what's happening to Delenn is revealed when she returns to the council. The reasons for her 'change' to be revealed as the series progresses - I'm trying really hard to remain spoiler-free!

With all of that happening, we meet John Sheridan's sister, Lizzy who, through their interactions provides us some back story about John's past, his wife who has passed away on an exploration mission a few years prior and how John hasn't come to terms with it yet - burying himself in his job.

For all this episode has to give and all that it sets up for arcs to come, 7.5/10!

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