31 December 2014

B5 Review: The Wheel of Fire, Objects in Motion & Objects at Rest

Season Five and 2262 wrap up with this trio of episodes that see many of the original crew move on to their new assignments or adventures...

The Wheel of Fire
Lyta is becoming a nuisance for Earthgov who ask Lochley to turn her in so she can face charges of terrorism against the Psi-Corps. G'kar is forced by his followers to make a choice and Michael's problem becomes known to the command staff.

Since the death of Byron, Lyta appears to have taken over as leader of the rogue telepaths and now that she's also exploring her powers, she is becoming more of a hindrance to the station and everyone around her. Only Sheridan is able to stop her in a standoff against Lochley and station security. 

G'kar on the other hand is forced to either be recognised as a religious figure by his followers or return to Narn to lead his people. He desires neither and decides he must leave, offering Lyta the chance to come with him.

Lochley takes it upon herself to assist Michael with his drinking problem, and Michael comes to Lyta for help in removing Bester's neural block - who offers a counter proposal.

Under a load of pressure, Delenn collapses in front of Sheridan and Franklin. Back in Medlab, Stephen discovers she is actually pregnant.

This is the title episode if the fifth season of the show but it appears to be of less importance to the overall season arc than those that have come before. It acts as the beginning of the end of the series as a few of our characters look to move on...

Rating: 6.5/10

Objects in Motion
Michael and Lise are threatened with a message indicating they will be targeted in an assassination attempt while the station throws a going away party for G'kar.

G'kar comes face-to-face with the creator of his statue figurines that other Narn have been worshipping. He tells G'kar he has an obligation to his followers and that without them, he is nothing.

The going away party is designed to assist security in finding the would-be assassin and while he is discovered and stopped, the figurine maker encountered earlier draws his own weapon at G'kar, but instead injures Lise.

Garibaldi finds the board of Lise's own company, Edgar's Industries was behind the assassination attempt and confronts them shortly after Lise and he are married.

Sheridan appoints a new Head of Covert Intelligence for the Alliance and bids farewell to his friends G'kar and Garibaldi.

The farewells continue for our characters and we get closer to the end of the season. There are some nice moments between Sheridan and G'kar, and at the end saying goodbye to Michael before going for a walk along the length of the station at Delenn's encouragement.

Rating: 7/10

Objects at Rest
Sheridan, Delenn and Franklin leave Babylon 5, completing the changing of the guard. The new Alliance headquarters are complete and ready, but the trip to Minbar is tarnished.

Franklin has selected Dr. Hobbs to replace him on the station due to her experience and personality. G'kar has selected Ta'lon to replace him. Tessa, the new head of intelligence will remain on Babylon 5 with the new crew.

Lennier comes to the station in order to return to Minbar with Delenn (and Sheridan). During their trip, through inaction, Lennier leaves Sheridan to die while he was tending to a crisis. This fulfills the prophecy Morden's ghost foretold in Day of the Dead. Delenn tries to convince Lennier to return, but he feels he must leave and redeem himself - however long that will take.

Londo pays a visit to Minbar and has dinner with Sheridan and Delenn, with a conversation that appears to be mostly under his control - particularly with references to them always being his friends. He does however leave an urn as a gift for their unborn child. The urn contains a Keeper, a sign that the Drakh are very patient in their plans...

This is the 'final' episode of the fifth season - or more accurately, 2262. While there are the touching moments of the crew departing Babylon 5 for their new jobs and assignments, and even Londo's visit, the incident that put Sheridan in harms way felt like it was included simply to tie up one loose end. Sure, it works, but it never sat that well with me.

In any case, it is a nice end to the series, particularly with Sheridan's recording to their unborn child. The real tearjerker awaits with Sleeping in Light - but, having chosen to watch through the series chronologically, that review will have to wait a little longer...

Rating: 6.5/10

01 December 2014

B5 Review: Movements of Fire and Shadow & The Fall of Centauri Prime

Season Five reaches its climax as some races of the Interstellar Alliance take matters in to their own hands with the Centauri problem.

Movements of Fire and Shadow

Fighting between the Alliance and the Centauri escalates with the Centauri attacking the jump gate network. At Vir's request, Lyta and Stephen head to the Drazi homeworld to investigate what has happened to Centauri casualties in the conflict and Londo realises a horrible truth when he finally gets to meet with the Regent.

The Drazi haven't been returning the bodies of those recovered or captured in battle with the Centauri. This has Vir concerned enough to ask Lyta and Stephen for help. On Drazi they are attacked but soon find that the Centauri ships are being controlled by leftover Shadow technology which can run a ship without requiring a crew.

Sheridan asks Delenn to deliver a message personally to the Grey Council about a technological alliance in developing a destroyer class ship, larger and more powerful than a Whitestar. During her journey, her ship is attacked and herself and Lennier are among the few survivors but helplessly adrift in hyperspace.

Following a narrowly escaped attack on the Babylon 5 jump gate, the Narn and Drazi fleet commanders agree to strike Centauri Prime against Sheridan's wishes.

Londo has a disturbing dream (or was it?) while in his cell with G'Kar. He gets out to discuss with the other ministers about challenging the Regent but finds no support. Finally meeting with the Regent, Londo realises that there definitely is another force at work on Centauri Prime, but too late as it is revealed that all the ships protecting the planet have been sent away and the defence grid has been turned off - just as the Narn/Drazi fleet jumps out from hyperspace and attacks...

This is definitely the climax of the fifth season. All the recent build up in the conflict has lead to this point and a bit of a hopeless situation for many of our characters. 

What will become of Centauri Prime? What repercussions await the Narn and Drazi? Did Sheridan get to Centauri Prime in time? And has Michael suddenly overcome his drinking problem? It didn't seem to be an issue in this episode.

Rating: 8/10

The Fall of Centauri Prime
The Interstellar Alliance attack on Centauri Prime leaves the planet battered as Londo uncovers the truth behind the attacks and his destiny to become Emperor is fulfilled. 

The Drakh have come to Centauri Prime to take revenge on Londo for his part at the end of the Shadow War and to have a place to call home - among a beaten Centauri people, they believe they can mould them into a race to serve their needs for the future.

The Regent passes on and Londo becomes Emperor, enabling him to recall Centauri forces and retrieve Delenn's ship in hyperspace. Londo walks his path alone, unable to tell or warn the others of his situation and appoints Vir as the official ambassador to Babylon 5.

It's an emotional episode as Londo's arc comes to its end. His line in the episode sums it up best:

"Isn't it strange, G'Kar? When we first met, I had no power and all the choices I could wish to make. Now I have all the power I could ever want, and no choices at all. No choices at all."

Rating: 8/10