22 October 2012

B5 Review: Knives & Confessions and Lamentations

On the heels of In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum, season two, The Coming of Shadows is about to come to a thrilling run of episodes. But first, a slight break with Knives...

Knives
Urza Jaddo An old friend of Londo's, Urza Jaddo comes to Babylon 5 to ask for help. Sheridan on the other hand starts seeing strange visions after coming into contact with a dead Markab in an area of Grey Sector known as 'The Triangle'.

Urza and Londo's family names are among the most noble in the Centauri Republic. But now, Urza's family is in danger as he has been declared a traitor to the Republic. Urza informs Londo of the happenings back on Centauri Prime involving the murder of Prime Minister Malachi following Emperor Turhan's death (in The Coming of Shadows) in order to install Emperor Cartagia to the throne. Londo offers to assist Urza, as his old friend but when Urza learns that Londo is in league with Lord Refa, things drastically change and a duel between the two is called.

In the meantime, Sheridan must make sense of his visions or is it merely stress as Dr Franklin suggests? Or perhaps the answer lies in Sector 14 (from Babylon Squared), a prohibited sector of space the dead Markab happened to travel through on his way to Babylon 5.

Not the most important episode we have come across but some interesting bits of information come out of it. It would seem Londo has an opportunity to make some good from his recent decisions, things are not well back on Centauri Prime and you can play baseball on Babylon 5 and what was going on in Sector 14?

Rating: 6/10

Confessions and Lamentations
Sheridan and DelennA deadly plague has devastating effects on the Markab community while the other races take to violence against them.

This is one of those emotionally powerful episodes, much like Believers from the first season. We have known the Markab since the beginning, even if we hadn't realised it or noted their significance in the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. The situation they face is a plague that is 100% contagious and has a 100% mortality rate. Once symptoms are detected, death occurs within 24 hours. 

Dr Franklin works with Markab Dr Lazarenn to find some sort of cure or way to combat the plague. But the Markab have locked themselves into an isolated area of the station to remain contained from the other communities. Delenn and Lennier visit to offer them some hope.

This episode is mostly focussed on the Markab situation with some reactions from the station staff about whether the plague will affect other species. We also witness a Minbari meal 'ceremony' which Delenn shares with Sheridan in return for him sharing an Earth meal with her earlier in the year. We also learn that Lt Keffer has been using his StarFury in his free time to search for the strange ship he witnessed in A Distant Star. Sheridan has Ivanova order him to stop, possibly due to what he has learned from Delenn and Kosh in In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum. Finally, are we seeing the beginning of something possibly between Delenn and Sheridan? He does ask her to call him 'John' the next time they meet after she informs him she will be visiting the Markab in isolation...

Christopher Franke provides a beautiful theme to accompany this deeply sad episode. 

Rating: 7/10

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