21 February 2014

B5 Review: Epiphanies, The Illusion of Truth & Atonement

In the aftermath of the Shadow War, our crew try to get back to their lives with much work left ahead for them. Bester returns, troubles on Earth resurface for the crew and Delenn has to face some more skeletons from her past...

Epiphanies 
Garibaldi resignsIn celebration of the end of the Shadow War, the Babylon 5 crew are reminded of the troubles awaiting them back home when Bester arrives telling of a plan to further discredit B5 by President Clark. Bester also wants to go to Z'ha'dum.

Clark has installed a blockade at the jumpgate leading to Babylon 5 and plans to launch a sneak attack using Psi-Corps' Black Omega to discredit the station back home. Bester leaks this information in exchange for passage to Z'ha'dum to capture any leftover technology.

Garibaldi surprisingly resigns from his post as Security Chief and the Whitestar arrives at Z'ha'dum just in time to witness its evacuation and destruction. We later find out that Lyta's telepathic abilities are the likely culprit.

As the episode that directly follows the Shadow War, JMS is able to begin to show us just what goes on in such an aftermath and that there is likely much still to come from this war in the future regarding the Shadows allies and what has appeared on the Regent on Centauri Prime. Bester also leaks a bit of information regarding an 'ace in the hole'.

This episode does a good job of setting up what's to come, I rate it a 6.5/10.

The Illusion of Truth 
Garibaldi talks to ISN reporter Dan RandallA news team from ISN arrives to do a story about Babylon 5 to bring back to Earth. Begrudgingly, Sheridan goes along with it.

I have to admit that I really don't like this episode. In my reviews of each episode of B5, I have made sure to read their entries (where they exist) on the Babylon 5 Wiki and on the Lurkers Guide, to make sure I'm not missing the point. It is interesting that this episode is so well received on the latter site and I can see their point - but it doesn't mean I have to like it, and maybe in that case, JMS still has got his message across effectively.

The blatant propaganda displayed in this episode really hits hard against our beloved main characters, especially Sheridan and Delenn and it's only blatant to an informed audience. Would a report like the one finally portrayed really have an effect on Earth under martial law?

As JMS states, it's an episode that will be discussed a lot, but not re-watched often. For that, and because I simply don't like it, it gets my lowest rating of any B5 episode so far of 5/10.

Atonement
Delenn and DukhatDelenn must face her past on Minbar when her clan challenges her relationship with Sheridan. Meanwhile, Marcus and Stephen are about to embark on a long journey to make contact with their allies on Mars.

We learn much more about Delenn's past through the 'Dreaming' she experiences with Lennier. Most importantly, her life as an acolyte by Dukhat's side, to becoming a member of the Grey Council and the beginning of the Earth-Minbari War.

As a result of what Delenn saw in the 'Dreaming', we find that Human DNA has been in Minbari society since Valen's arrival during the last Shadow War (and his children entered Minbari society).

Meanwhile, President Clark's propaganda against Babylon 5 is working against them forcing Sheridan to move quicker than he'd like, sending Marcus and Stephen on a mission to contact the Mars Resistance.

For the truth revealed about Delenn's role in the Earth-Minbari War and that the wheels are in motion for a possible conflict against Clark again, I rate this episode a 7.5/10.

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