10 June 2013

B5 Review: War Without End, Part Two & Walkabout

With the crew attempting to take Babylon 4 through time and Sheridan seemingly lost to them, we continue the third season as Dr Franklin also appears to have gone missing...

War Without End, Part Two
SinclairSinclair and crew continue to work on bringing Babylon 4 through time while Zathras attempts to bring Sheridan back from being 'unstuck'. Sheridan finds himself a prisoner in the Centauri Royal Palace at the hands of Londo, 17 years in the future. He sees Delenn and learns they have a son, who is safe.

The events of Babylon Squared begin to play out when Babylon 4 accidentally jumps through time to 2258. Sinclair begins aging rapidly due to his exposure to his prior exposure to the time rift. The crew press on, but while looking for components to fix Sheridan's time stabiliser, Zathras is captured by station staff - meeting Commander Sinclair from 2258.

In 2277, Sheridan and Delenn are brought before Londo who has had quite a bit to drink and reveals his 'keeper', a dark servant left behind when the Shadows were defeated. Londo asks the two of them to save his people by allowing them to escape. As Sheridan begins to be pulled through time again, Delenn tells him 'Do not go to Z'ha'dum!'.

Babylon 4's staff are evacuated and Sinclair attempts to contact Garibaldi but is unsuccessful. Sheridan returns to their time period and Zathras reveals his knowledge of 'The One' to Sinclair, The One who was, Delenn, The One who is and Sheridan, The One who will be. Sinclair takes Babylon 4 back a thousand years and activates the chrysalis to transform himself into Valen - one of Minbar's most revered figures. He delivers the station with the help of the Vorlon's.

Sheridan and the rest of the crew return to 2260 with the time rift closed by Draal and the timeline restored.

A great episode for how it connects and answers the other side of the story that began in Babylon Squared. We also have the 'first' kiss between Sheridan and Delenn and see that Londo's dream of being killed at the hands of G'Kar is very much on track. There are still many questions that remain that will no doubt be answered in the fullness of time. 8/10.

Sheridan and Ivanova meet new KoshThe replacement Vorlon ambassador arrives at the station and Sheridan decides to test their telepath vs Shadow theory in the Whitestar. Meanwhile, Stephen's 'walkabout' brings him in to contact with a talented singer.

Lyta Alexander also returns to the station in the wake of Kosh's death and we get the impression that 'new Kosh' is a bit darker - from the colour of his/its suit to the way it interacts with the rest of the crew and Lyta.

Narn cruiser G'Tok returns to Babylon 5 after we last saw it in The Fall of Night for replenishment and for her captain to meet with G'Kar. When learning of Sheridan's mission to confront the Shadows head on, the captain declines from assisting as do the League worlds, leaving the Whitestar and a lone Minbari cruiser on their own.

Franklin meets Cailyn, a singer in a Downbelow bar. The two hook up but the doctor can't help but interfere when he notices she has a drinking habit and needs Metazine to help her sleep. He later finds she's suffering a terminal disease and the Metazine helps with the pain.

Garibaldi confronts G'Kar about the Narn cruiser sitting outside the station after the Whitestar has left and convinces G'Kar that he has the power to change the minds of those who would rather sit back and let someone else take the risks.

Sheridan, Lyta and a small Whitestar crew engage a Shadow vessel and manage to take it out after power is used up from the jump engines and Lyta's own abilities. They are successful but are soon in the sights of several Shadows ships not wanting to let them escape with what they know. The Minbari cruiser renders assistance before the G'Tok arrives and helps take out another Shadow ship. Sheridan thanks G'Kar for his help, who then reveals he is not aboard the Narn ship, but in a Narn fighter as part of a fleet of combined ships from the League. The remaining Shadow ships retreat.

Amongst the action, Lyta has been looking for something, a remnant of Kosh after his death and it appears she may have found it within Sheridan by the end of the episode.

Definitely a good one to watch with some development to Franklin's arc and a vital bit of information in the war against the Shadows. 7/10.

02 June 2013

B5 Review: Interludes and Examinations & War Without End

Sheridan and Delenn look at pulling the races together to fight the Shadows, but it's difficult when half of them don't like the other half and some mysteries of the past are explained with the return of an old friend as Season Three continues...

Interludes and Examinations
Kosh appears to Sheridan in a dream The Shadows have begun attacking in the open. The first attacks are hitting the Brakiri the hardest but other races aren't willing to assist. The Gaim ambassador states that if they stay quiet, they may not be noticed - unless Sheridan can prove that their side has equal power to the enemy. Sheridan must find a way to bring the races together, but it is something that's never been done before. Meanwhile, Morden confronts Londo about pulling the Centauri out of recent engagements with other worlds and Dr Franklin faces a hard truth.

Interludes... is a story with a lot happening. While Sheridan attempts to bring the younger worlds together to fight the Shadows, Londo is preparing for the arrival of Adira, who we saw early in the first season - but Morden has other ideas for Londo. Franklin and his 'problem' with Stims comes to a head, endangering the life of a patient in Medlab and Garibaldi tries to offer help only to be pushed away.

After discussing the problem of the younger races with Delenn, Sheridan goes to Kosh to bring the Vorlons into the fighting. Kosh refuses as Sheridan confronts him and after what would seem to be an angry outburst by the Vorlon, Kosh agrees to assist, but letting Sheridan know that he won't be there when he goes to Z'ha'dum - reinforcing the fact that Sheridan will die if he goes there... now.

With the younger race ambassadors convened in the war room during a Shadow Attack, they are witness to a Vorlon fleet engaging them and forcing the Shadows to retreat. This gets the younger races to sign on with Babylon 5.

Morden and his associates receive word of what has happened and go to pay Kosh a visit in his quarters. In his final moments, Kosh reaches out to John, appearing as his father in a dream. Apologising for being scared and letting him know that he was right.

As Kosh's belongings are placed aboard his transport and it leaves the station for its own burial, Dr Franklin decides to step down as Chief of Staff until he can sort things out.

Londo awaits Adira's ship but she does not show. He comes across the Medlab staff bringing out a female Centauri on a stretcher and he weeps. Finally, a conversation with Morden, Londo is manipulated into thinking that Lord Refa was behind her death - poisoned, as Londo did to him. Londo arranges a new deal with Morden, setting him down a new darkened path...

An excellent episode with so much going on and so many emotions running around for so many of our characters. I think it deserves an 8.5/10.

War Without End, Part One
Ambassador Sinclair Ambassador Sinclair returns to Babylon 5 to pull Babylon 4 through time to fight in the previous Shadow War.

This is quite the episode of important events. Remember in Season One when Babylon 4 mysteriously appeared and all that stuff that was going on that we couldn't really make much sense of? Well, those questions appear to be on the verge of being answered. Here we learn that Sheridan, Sinclair and Delenn are involved (at least, in some part) in the disappearance of the largest of the Babylon Stations and if they fail, Babylon 5 will be destroyed in a Shadow attack.

Draal has concentrated all his energy in the Great Machine to the time rift in Sector 14 to allow the Whitestar to travel back, defeat a Shadow attempt to destroy B4 and then take the station through time, back to the previous Shadow War where it would help the Army of Light to victory. Draal sends Zathras to assist the crew with time travel but Sheridan becomes 'unstuck' when his stabiliser is broken. Sheridan timeshifts to the future where he is met by an older Emperor Mollari on Centauri Prime, preparing Sheridan (and Delenn) to be executed for their crimes in ruining Londo's world as a side effect of winning the war against the Shadows.

This story is so big that it needs two parts and doesn't even have a 'B story' to run alongside. It's only fitting that Sinclair should return for a two-parter in any case!

An excellent episode that leaves us wanting more - particularly to see how events from Babylon Squared will finally be explained... Rating: 7/10.