18 May 2014

B5 Review: No Surrender, No Retreat & The Exercise of Vital Powers

"Enough is enough."
- John Sheridan

No Surrender, No Retreat
Following reports of atrocities committed against civilian targets at Proxima III, Sheridan gathers the Whitestar fleet to free the colony from Clark's blockade.

Sheridan leads preparations for a surprise attack to liberate Proxima III, gathering intel via Marcus and informing the League World ambassadors of his intention to remove the Whitestar fleet from patrolling their borders and being used for this offensive. Meanwhile, Londo attempts to convince G'Kar to sign a joint-statement supporting Sheridan's campaign.

Once at Proxima III, things go bad when the lead ship Heracles opens fire on Sheridan's forces. Some Earthforce ships hold back or withdraw with one destroyed and eventually the others surrendering and returning the planet to their rightful government. Sheridan offers the Captain's to return home, defend Proxima or join his offensive and the liberation of Earth begins.

Meanwhile, after finding out that Sheridan has gone ahead with his offensive, Garibaldi leaves Babylon 5 with no intention of returning.

This is one of those turning point episodes and brings up a lot of moral issues, particularly with what Sheridan has to go through and the reality of his actions in the aftermath of the battle. It also brings up the question of soldiers at war, considering the orders they've been issued rather than blindly carrying them out.

There is also that nice moment where Londo reaches out to G'Kar, and feels like he almost has him convinced, only to have that door (temporarily) closed on him. It's good to see Londo's storyline heading back in a positive direction.

My rating: 7/10

The Exercise of Vital Powers
While Sheridan's fleet continues to liberate Earth colonies, Garibaldi arrives on Mars to meet William Edgars, his employer and owner of one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies. Once there, Michael insists on finding out what Edgars is really up to that had him smuggling items past security on Babylon 5.

Of course, Michael meets up with Lise once again at the Edgars' residence and learns more about President Clark's rise to power as told by Edgars. To learn more, Garibaldi has to deliver Sheridan in order to stop the offensive that has Clark up tight and on guard. They believe that with his guard down and more 'relaxed' again, the mega corporations can make the necessary moves to remove Clark another way.

It is interesting that Edgars has Garibaldi interviewed in the presence of a telepath, only to have the telepath 'removed' later on - and then there's those three subjects that Edgars is overseeing - shedding perhaps a little more light on what he's up to - for the viewers.

Meanwhile, Lyta finds that she has some control over the frozen telepaths which sees a breakthrough finally occur for Stephen in Medlab. When Sheridan calls for an update, Franklin insists he knows why he needs to mobilise the telepaths - the realisation seems to shock the Doctor but he gathers what he needs and Lyta in tow, headed back to Mars.

This episode revealed more than I remember in the past. It is a bit slower than the previous two but it certainly remains important and a way for viewers to catch their breath. In the few shots of Sheridan's fleet that are shown, there is no action taken - but we do learn that they have continued to succeed in liberating colonies and turning Earthforce ships to their cause.

My rating: 7/10

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