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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Man, I feel ripped off. It took you nearly a month to watch that episode?!

  2. - Top - End - #392
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    The only thing I clearly remember about this episode is that it has the fairly well regarded British actor Tony Steedman playing the doctor, and his comment that Kosh's ship sang to him while he was inside it. So, it was fairly forgettable if nothing else.

  3. - Top - End - #393
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Fully agree with that. It's a relative small role and he plays it as a rather meek and unassuming character. But he does it really well. At the end of the episode, I've been thinking I would have loved to see a lot more of him, even though the character serves little purpose in the overall story of the series.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  4. - Top - End - #394
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E12: Acts of Sacrifice

    ...

    --

    At times, this episode does come close to actually being good. It still doesn't manage though. Both Londo's and G'Kar's stuff are pretty decent material that advances the plot and their character arcs.

    But the Ivanova B-plot is abominable. It's not just bad, it's also complete filler and it won't change a single thing if it were cut out completely.
    I watched all seven seasons of Deep Space Nine last year, and I've come to the conclusion that the 90s format of A-plot/B-plot is terrible. The B-plots are almost never good and rarely relevant, making them a complete waste of time. And not just in the sense that they are pointless, but that they are actucally wasting valuable time and resources that could have gone into expanding on the main story of the episode. I guess the intention might have been to have most of the cast appear in every single episode, so that it doesn't feel like multiple disconected shows, but in practice it still doesn't make for good episodes.
    Honestly, the B-plot is another "Are we sure this isn't Star Trek" episode. Entire civilizations built around one very simple concept (the Klingon's are obsessed with channeling their inner Zuko a narrow definition of honor, Ferengi are greedy, the J'naii are genderless, etc.) is so very Star Trek (note, I haven't seen Enterprise or Discovery or whatever, so I don't know how much they've improved on this since the 90's). This new civilization seems cast in that same mould. They have exactly one thing, tailor-made to the point the episode wants to make, and nothing further.

    Honestly, I would not be surprised to learn that someone had the idea for the "sex" scene and was essentially writing backwards from that to try to justify it. Yes, it's a dumb joke, but I did find it funny in its sheer absurdity the first time, and it still can bring out a smile in me, if only because Claudia Christian just commits to the bit so damn well. So, despite the corny "we were rooting through the dumpster behind the TNG/DS9 writers' offices and found this" plot, I give it a pass. (I've always liked Paul Williams's performance here, so that helps too.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E13: Hunter, Prey

    ... store brand Steven Segall ...
    I lol'd.

    --

    I had to think a while about how I want to rate this. This is not a fantastic episode and you could afford skipping it without too much trouble, but I think this one does rise above being merely decent. It just barely makes it there, but I think this one deserves to be rated as good. At the very least in regard to the rest of this season.

    I think Kosh is talking more in this episode than he did in the whole one and a half seasons before. There's an actual conversation with Sherridan and there's some really useful things in it.

    Spoiler: What Kosh is refering to
    Show
    He does become slightly agitated when Sherridan asks "What do you want?", but having just watched all the episodes that came before it, I don't think this would ring any bells with first time viewers at this point.
    He also mentions that the Vorlon's hide their true form from the other species beause "They are not ready. They would not understand." Great implications, but I feel this might also slip under the radar.
    Because the big thing is that Kosh wants to teach Sherridan to fight the war that he knows is coming.


    What I found weird about the episode is the surface of Kosh's ship. Having seen many video games having loading problems on slow computers, I think they are using the same digital model with the same surface textures for the close ups in the docking bay that is intended for distant shots in space. It looks very blurry, but not like something you would make if it were intentional blurry. It looks like a highly downscaled version of a texture that then got blurred so you don't notice the downscaling from a distance. Close up it just looks wrong.
    To me, it always read as deliberate. Or at the very least a "leave it in" kinda thing. I think they were specifically trying to make it seem like it's hard to get your eyes to focus on specific details of the ship's hull or something. Basically, it's not a bug, it's a feature.

    The President storyline is still treading water and we're not really any further than we were at the start of the season. But here we have stuff actually happening with people trying to smuggle important information through the station and the crew being involved. That's a big step up from previously, where we always only had character saying that something is happening somewhere else.
    Spoiler: Stuff up to Season 3, Episode 10... ish. Probably not actually spoilers, but better safe than sorry I guess.
    Show
    I kinda like the overall slow burn of the (direct) threat the new administration poses. It does sort of make it feel like B5 is just not a priority to the Clark administration so they're able to get away with a lot just because they keep getting put on the back burner in favor of stuff happening on Earth itself and Mars and whatnot.


    I have reviews for 10 more episodes already written out and will upload them one per day to talk about the episodes. They might not contain mention of things that we'll be talking about in the meantime. After that it will be back to the regular program.
    Man, the floors on this shiny new server are going to get all scuffed in no time!
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2020-02-22 at 09:59 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #395
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    I think I missed something? The Episode 12 recap mentions a terrible B-plot, but there's no mention of what that plot was other than bad. So bad it didn't even deserve description?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  6. - Top - End - #396
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    So bad it didn't even deserve description?
    I assumed that was what Yora was going for, yes.

    Basically, in another "Ivanova learns to do diplomacy" plot (because the thing with the Drazi went so well), an ambassador and his aide from a civilization that Earth Alliance only recently had first contact with arrives. They're interested in evaluating the EA for an alliance.

    They're pretty insufferable. They have a darwinist outlook on interstellar politics, believing that aiding a species that is significantly "inferior" to one's own is just prolonging their inevitable demise. The ambassador himself refuses to so much as speak, as speaking to an inferior race would be a loss of face for him personally, and they don't know if humans are inferior or not yet. (How his aide knows what to say on his behalf is never explained, but I guess you could just mumble something about telepathy.)

    Basically, they're Racism, the Species.

    Anyway, Ivanova is taking them on a tour of the station and they seem unimpressed. Things like the Zocalo and MedLab in particular are clearly not doing EA any favors. (Trading with other races seems sketchy to the aliens. Offering medical care is downright idiotic to their view.) They eventually ask Ivanova to go see a place of their choosing, so they can see what humans are all about, warts and all. They choose Brown Sector (essentially the slums). Ivanova is nervous about showing them this, but for the first time, they're actually impressed. Apparently, it never occurred to them to apply their own arbitrary superiority/inferiority shtick to themselves, and are eager to do so.

    The ambassador finally speaks for himself, having decided that humans are worth talking to after all. Unfortunately, their culture's method of sealing an agreement is for each side's representative to have sex. Ivanova (understandably) panics, claims she doesn't have time right now due to other duties, and excuses herself.

    Inspired by an offhand remark of Dr. Franklin's, she invites the ambassador to her quarters to do the deed. She baits him into agreeing to have sex "human style" (it involves heavily implying that he wouldn't be capable of it, so he naturally has to prove he is). What follows is... surreal to say the least. Ivanova proceeds to do a literal song and dance that just so happens to culminate in a handshake (ie, the human style of sealing an agreement). Though the agreement to enter proper negotiations is now legally binding, the ambassador is still confused and disturbed by the whole thing and promptly leaves the station.

    The End.
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2020-02-23 at 11:07 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #397
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Too much cringe, I couldn't watch.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  8. - Top - End - #398
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I assumed that was what Yora was going for, yes.

    Basically, in another "Ivanova learns to do diplomacy" plot (because the thing with the Drazi went so well), an ambassador and his aide from a civilization that Earth Alliance only recently had first contact with arrives. They're interested in evaluating the EA for an alliance.

    They're pretty insufferable. They have a darwinist outlook on interstellar politics, believing that aiding a species that is significantly "inferior" to one's own is just prolonging their inevitable demise. The ambassador himself refuses to so much as speak, as speaking to an inferior race would be a loss of face for him personally, and they don't know if humans are inferior or not yet. (How his aide knows what to say on his behalf is never explained, but I guess you could just mumble something about telepathy.)

    Basically, they're Racism, the Species.

    Anyway, Ivanova is taking them on a tour of the station and they seem unimpressed. Things like the Zocalo and MedLab in particular are clearly not doing EA any favors. (Trading with other races seems sketchy to the aliens. Offering medical care is downright idiotic to their view.) They eventually ask Ivanova to go see a place of their choosing, so they can see what humans are all about, warts and all. They choose Brown Sector (essentially the slums). Ivanova is nervous about showing them this, but for the first time, they're actually impressed. Apparently, it never occurred to them to apply their own arbitrary superiority/inferiority shtick to themselves, and are eager to do so.

    The ambassador finally speaks for himself, having decided that humans are worth talking to after all. Unfortunately, their culture's method of sealing an agreement is for each side's representative to have sex. Ivanova (understandably) panics, claims she doesn't have time right now due to other duties, and excuses herself.

    Inspired by an offhand remark of Dr. Franklin's, she invites the ambassador to her quarters to do the deed. She baits him into agreeing to have sex "human style" (it involves heavily implying that he wouldn't be capable of it, so he naturally has to prove he is). What follows is... surreal to say the least. Ivanova proceeds to do a literal song and dance that just so happens to culminate in a handshake (ie, the human style of sealing an agreement). Though the agreement to enter proper negotiations is now legally binding, the ambassador is still confused and disturbed by the whole thing and promptly leaves the station.

    The End.
    Honestly Ivanova's song and dance was probably the funniest thing I've seen on the show so far. Yes it was super awkward, but when it's intended to be awkward, I'm okay with that. And the alien sending her a note at the end that said "Next time we do it my way" was just the right level of skeezy to cap off the plot.


    Also, as much as missing the forums for this long sucked... I had been keeping up with the thread by watching Babylon 5 on Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime promptly cut off access to Babylon 5 with no notice (I saw a warning that it would be gone about 30 minutes before it actually went), and I just managed to grab the DVD set off a friend yesterday... so I guess the timing worked out. Though I think I'm currently 3-4 episodes ahead again.
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  9. - Top - End - #399
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    Though the agreement to enter proper negotiations is now legally binding, the ambassador is still confused and disturbed by the whole thing and promptly leaves the station.
    There is one good part, which is the ambassador's parting comment--which goes something like "Next time, we do it our way!". It's like the whole rest of it was a set-up for that joke, though.

  10. - Top - End - #400
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    S2E14: There all the Honor lies

    Sherridan gets his comm stolen by a pickpocket and when he runs after him gets ambushed by a Minbari soldier. He gets thrown to the ground and finds a human gun lying next to him. He tells the soldier to back off but he keeps coming and reaches for a weapon, so Sherridan shots him. Another Minbari stands nearby and runs away.

    Strangely, Delenn is furious about a Minbari of highly respected reputation being killed without reason. Garibaldi says he's investigating what was going on, but Delenn tells him she will go search for the truth herself. Sherridan tells Garibaldi about the other Minbari and he agrees to go looking for him. "Any description?"

    Vir gets a call for Londo, who isn't there, and so the caller give the message to him. Later he runs into Talia, obviously drunk and muttering confused things.

    The other Minbari is found but refuses to speak with Garibaldi or Delenn. Lennier talks with him and is told that Sherridan attacked the soldier and murdered him without provocation. Sherridan insists that he is wrong, and Delenn reminds him that accusing a Minbari is a challenge for a duel to the death.

    Thinking some more about the whole situation, Delenn now starts to think that it all makes no sense and tells Lennier Sherridan wouldn't just murder a random Minbari all of a sudden.

    Earth had send a lawyer but Sherridan does not think he needs one. He then gets a surprise visit from Kosh who wants to show him something. Sherridan says he's really busy and this is a very bad time, but Kosh tells him that this is precisely the right time. Kosh takes him to Brown Sector and to the hideout of a group of ascetic monks to listen to their chants, which he finds pretty amazing.

    Londo finds Vir sitting at a bar and gets him to tell that he is going to be replaced. Since Londo is now no longer a looser on an insignificant post, he can't have another looser as an assistant anymore.

    Delenn gets the death certificate of the dead soldier and shows it to Lennier because it's very important. Lennier follows the Minbari wittness and knocks out the security officer spying on him. He tells the Minbari that he knows he's in Brown Sector to meet the pickpocket that lured Sherridan into the ambush and that he almost let himself be seen by security doing it. Because they are of the same clan, Lennier is willing to give him a chance to redeem himself and avoid exposing the dishonor he brought to their clan. Instead of fighting Lennier, the Minbari runs away.

    Sherridan has a conversation with Londo about a stupid silly C-plot and mentions that Minbari don't lie, which Londo just finds amusing. He knows that Minbari will absolutely lie to hide the dishonor of others (S1E21 The Quality of Mercy). The question is, who is being protected in this case. The station also gets a call from the Minbari that the witness is to be send to Minbar immedately, which means there won't be a trial and it will never be proven that Sherridan did not just murder a random Minbari. He confronts Delenn about this and she eventually tells him to follow her.

    Lennier tells the witness that once he has left on his ship, he will go to Sherridan and take the blame for the death of the soldier. While he will get disgraced for it, he knows that making the false confession to save Sherridan and cover for the other Minbari will be honorable. However, it will also disgrace their clan. The wittness explains that this whole thing was ordered by their clan leaders and that the dead soldier was one of them as well. They wanted Sherridan dead, not because he destroyed a Minbari ship, but because he did it with a dirty trick, and that demands revenge.

    Sherridan offers Delenn a deal. The Wittness will simply say what he actually saw during the fight. That will be enough to get Sherridan cleared and nobody needs to know anything about the whole thing being a setup.

    Londo tells Vir that he called their bosses and told them that he will only continue with his work on the station with him as his assistant. If they insist on giving him a new assistant, he will quit his job.

    --

    This one is ...good? Somehow it is quite entertaining and I don't really know why. The story isn't great, Delenn is acting against character, Vir's B-Plot is very small and Ivanova's tiny tiny C-Plot is dumb. The setup for Sherridan is also very unconvincing, which makes the threat of consequences not feel real.
    But still, this is pretty good to watch. We also get another small Kosh scene in it.

    We also get some more characterization of the Minbari, which I think here more than ever get exposed as complete hippocrites. It's good that we get an explanation that they consider the destruction of their ship by Sherridan to be murder and not a proper battle. But the very same conversation is about them staging a fake incident and planning to lie in court. Not to protect the honor of other Minbari, which is socially acceptable, but just to get revenge. They are doing just the same things they are wanting revenge for.
    We also learn that Lennier is skilled in dishonor-judo and knows how to threaten others with shame while keeping his own hands clean.

    As in season 1, Talia has only seven episodes in season 2. The two words she said to Vir and had nothing to do with her count as one of these appearances. Such a waste.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  11. - Top - End - #401
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E13: Hunter, Prey

    ....A man is strolling around the shops and talks to one of the merchants who he heard can do special orders. He needs an ID card and is willing to pay anything, at which point the merchant tells him to leave because this clearly is hotter than anything he wants to get involved with. He is noticed by store brand Steven Segall who follows him.


    The doctor gets caught by budget Steven Segall who noticed that he's obviously on the run and must have something very valuable or might be worth a bounty. They search his stuff and find a data crystal and something that ties him to the office of the president.
    "Budget Steven Segall" is actually Richard Moll (Bull from Night Court).

    I always enjoyed this episode because it emphasizes that Babylon 5 really is a city in space, including slums and areas of high crime. Down Below is an area where you are either hunter or prey (thus the name of the episode).


    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Also, as much as missing the forums for this long sucked... I had been keeping up with the thread by watching Babylon 5 on Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime promptly cut off access to Babylon 5 with no notice (I saw a warning that it would be gone about 30 minutes before it actually went), and I just managed to grab the DVD set off a friend yesterday... so I guess the timing worked out. Though I think I'm currently 3-4 episodes ahead again.
    If you use Vudu, keep an eye out for their series sales. I got all of B5 (other than the movies) on sale there for $49 a few years agi.
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  12. - Top - End - #402
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    I'm now right at the start of season 3. I put up one review every day until then, and then probably 3 to 4 episodes per week again.

    But congratulations, I think you made it through the biggest dry spell on the show. Late season 2 really picks up again and season 3 and 4 are were most of the real gold lies.

    I found that ratingraph also has stats for all Babylon 5 episodes. Each episode has 400-500 viewer ratings (season 5 more like 300), which isn't huge, but I think easily large enough to be a pretty representative sample. I'm particularly surprised how massively season 5 improves after its weak start. Maybe I'll be covering some of it after season 4 is wrapped up, but no promises yet.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E14: There all the Honor lies

    ...

    --

    This one is ...good? Somehow it is quite entertaining and I don't really know why. The story isn't great, Delenn is acting against character, Vir's B-Plot is very small and Ivanova's tiny tiny C-Plot is dumb. The setup for Sherridan is also very unconvincing, which makes the threat of consequences not feel real.
    But still, this is pretty good to watch. We also get another small Kosh scene in it.

    We also get some more characterization of the Minbari, which I think here more than ever get exposed as complete hippocrites. It's good that we get an explanation that they consider the destruction of their ship by Sherridan to be murder and not a proper battle. But the very same conversation is about them staging a fake incident and planning to lie in court. Not to protect the honor of other Minbari, which is socially acceptable, but just to get revenge. They are doing just the same things they are wanting revenge for.
    We also learn that Lennier is skilled in dishonor-judo and knows how to threaten others with shame while keeping his own hands clean.

    As in season 1, Talia has only seven episodes in season 2. The two words she said to Vir and had nothing to do with her count as one of these appearances. Such a waste.
    I feel like part of the point with Delenn here is the she's struggling to reconcile her duties as ambassador (to be the advocate for Minbari) and her personal inclination (to believe Sheridan). It might have been better if that were a touch more explicit. It does end up feeling like Delenn's characterization has a bit of a rubber band in it: she's overall empathetic and seeks reconciliation over conflict, but then the writers worry that this makes her appear weak, so they give her an episode where she comes out swinging. Still, real people aren't perfectly consistent, and it's never so glaring as to break suspension of disbelief for me, so it's always struck me as an acceptable variation from the norm.

    The internal logic of the Minbari's rationale always felt a bit... off to me. Like there's a missing piece or something. Like, I get it, but I always have to step back and think about it for a second before it starts to make sense again. Maybe that's part of the point alongside the hypocrisy you mention. I dunno.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    I think the main problem I have with this episode is that we already had an episode where the point about the Minbari considering Sheridan's destruction of the Black Star to be "dishonourable" was belaboured to death, I don't think we needed another one. You're entirely right about them being total hypocrites about this thing, though--if you watch "In the Beginning":

    Spoiler
    Show

    It makes it quite clear that the Black Star destroyed the fleet Sheridan's ship was part of by opening a jump point right on top of them, and that the ship only got destroyed because it came back to finish the job after Sheridan sent out a distress call. So, they're quite happy with using their superior tech to wipe the floor with the opposition, and furthermore to kill people who as far as they're aware can't fight back, but if the prey turns in the trap and bites them that's somehow dishonourable? Minbari honour can die in a fire if that's what it consists of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Spoiler
    Show

    It makes it quite clear that the Black Star destroyed the fleet Sheridan's ship was part of by opening a jump point right on top of them, and that the ship only got destroyed because it came back to finish the job after Sheridan sent out a distress call. So, they're quite happy with using their superior tech to wipe the floor with the opposition, and furthermore to kill people who as far as they're aware can't fight back, but if the prey turns in the trap and bites them that's somehow dishonourable? Minbari honour can die in a fire if that's what it consists of.
    That's because Minbari Warriors are a culture of bullies, who spent their entire last X hundred years doing nothing else but bully less advanced races in leaving them alone.

    And taking any interloping very, very badly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    That's because Minbari Warriors are a culture of bullies, who spent their entire last X hundred years doing nothing else but bully less advanced races in leaving them alone.

    And taking any interloping very, very badly
    They even sat out the Dilgar War which gives you some sense of their priorities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    They even sat out the Dilgar War which gives you some sense of their priorities.
    When the Centauri conquered the galaxy, they sat out.

    For me, the Minbari are the closest thing to Stellaris's Fallen Empires. They are an actual Empire that still live off but hasn't actually done **** in living memory.

    Vorlons /Shadow are closer to end game events.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    When the Centauri conquered the galaxy, they sat out.

    For me, the Minbari are the closest thing to Stellaris's Fallen Empires. They are an actual Empire that still live off but hasn't actually done **** in living memory.

    Vorlons /Shadow are closer to end game events.
    It's funny because the Centauri were actually one of the main inspiration for Fallen Empires in Stellaris. There's actually quite a few Babylon 5 references in the game.

    As Londo realized, the Centauri are an Empire that is collapsing not because they were beaten, ran out of resources, or were being faced with an alliance of enemies, but because they simply lacked the WILL to win anymore.

    When they regained the will, they were effectively unstoppable. If I recall correctly the creators said explicitly that if the Centauri were to commit their Empire to a full war none of the younger races could stand against them, not even the Minbari.

    Spoiler: Future Spoilers
    Show
    Over the entire course of the Narn/Centauri conflict, the Shadows only actually fought 3 battles. One was against a militarily unimportant location, one against a fairly minor Narn force, and one impactful battle where they destroyed the remainder of the Narn fleet. But in all the engagements we saw, they destroyed less than 10 Narn cruisers.

    The impact of the Shadows was that they gave the Centauri the realization that they could not only win, but win easily. And win they did.

    ALL HAIL THE GREAT RAK!!

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    I really dislike this episode because the setup IS so unconvincing. It relies on Sheridan realizing his comm badge has been pickpocketed, on catching the thief at a certain location, and then being thrown down the stairs to a very specific spot where a blaster is on the floor. Apparently nobody else in that area saw the blaster and picked it up, and the Minbari and friends knew exactly when Sheridan would be walking down that corridor. Oh, and it relies on a linguistic quirk where "Death First" in English sounds exactly like "I surrender" in Minbari.

    Add on to that Delenn acting out of character (and stupid) and....yeah. I consider this one of the worst epsiodes of season 2. It's contrived plot to drive home something we know already.

    Like most Babylon episodes, there is good stuff in the B and C plots. The stuff with Londo, Vir, and Kosh is all good. Shame about the A plot.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post

    When they regained the will, they were effectively unstoppable. If I recall correctly the creators said explicitly that if the Centauri were to commit their Empire to a full war none of the younger races could stand against them, not even the Minbari.
    I don't recall ever having heard that quote before. The Mimbari were always treated as being the more powerful - even Londo admits as much. in In the Beginning he says that the Centauri, at their height of their power, didn't dare tangle with the Minbari.

    The Minbari were also a much older and more advanced race as well - they were fighting in the previous Shadow War at about the same time the Centauri were just leaving their homeworld and venturing into space for the first time. Plus, while the Earth Alliance couldn't target Minbari ships, B5 had no problems in locking on to the Centauri Primus and helping to blow it apart.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    When they regained the will, they were effectively unstoppable. If I recall correctly the creators said explicitly that if the Centauri were to commit their Empire to a full war none of the younger races could stand against them, not even the Minbari.
    That goes against another scene in "In The Beginning", though:

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    When Londo is advising Earthforce *not* to go into Minbari space, he explicitly says that the Centauri never messed with them, not even when they were at the height of their power.


    So I'd say either you're misremembering or JMS changed his mind at some point.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    It's funny because the Centauri were actually one of the main inspiration for Fallen Empires in Stellaris. There's actually quite a few Babylon 5 references in the game.
    But the Centauri still actively engage with younger, less powerful races. They trade with Earth a lot. They don't overly retaliate against acts of aggression committed by the Narns.

    The behavior of the Fallen Empires is closer to the one of the Minbari. Isolationists, Closed Diplomacy and putting fear of God into anyone who dares cross them.


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    When they regained the will, they were effectively unstoppable. If I recall correctly the creators said explicitly that if the Centauri were to commit their Empire to a full war none of the younger races could stand against them, not even the Minbari.
    That is not 100% true. JMS has stated that the one thing that gave the Minbari their edge was their stealth tech. With it, they could beat the Centauri.

    However, without it, the Centauri would steamroll them. And even Earth Alliance would beat the Minbari.

    In a "conventional" battle, the Centauri will beat anyone, anytime, 10 times out of 10.

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    Even Shadowtech boosted Earth Alliance

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    I've only watched the TV episodes, but I've never come across anything that indicates that the Centauri are particularly strong. I would assume that in a one on one direct war, they would win against the humans, but given how the Minbari just steamrolled the humans only a few years prior, I doubt they could beat the Minbari. Maybe hold them off in a stalemate, but given how much trouble they had with the Narn, I don't see them winning.

    That the Centauri could beat everyone in the galaxy if their leadership wasn't as meek and decadent would totally be what the conservative hawks in the Centauri nobility would tell themselves, though. The worldbuilding in the show is greatly informed by 20th century history, and the Londo-Refa-Gang absolutely strikes me as bitter German nobles in the 1920s. They would absolutely believe in the superiority of their species and their culture and their right to rule over others, and that the only possible explanation for their loss of power has to be traitors from inside their own ranks. The thought that they aren't inherently superior over everyone else is insulting to them.
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I've only watched the TV episodes, but I've never come across anything that indicates that the Centauri are particularly strong. I would assume that in a one on one direct war, they would win against the humans, but given how the Minbari just steamrolled the humans only a few years prior, I doubt they could beat the Minbari. Maybe hold them off in a stalemate, but given how much trouble they had with the Narn, I don't see them winning.

    That the Centauri could beat everyone in the galaxy if their leadership wasn't as meek and decadent would totally be what the conservative hawks in the Centauri nobility would tell themselves, though. The worldbuilding in the show is greatly informed by 20th century history, and the Londo-Refa-Gang absolutely strikes me as bitter German nobles in the 1920s. They would absolutely believe in the superiority of their species and their culture and their right to rule over others, and that the only possible explanation for their loss of power has to be traitors from inside their own ranks. The thought that they aren't inherently superior over everyone else is insulting to them.
    I don't think the *real* story here is that the Centauri are merely meek and without will power.

    I think they are alike the Galactic Empire in Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Empire. The political realities of the Republic means the threat of a palace or military coup against the Emperor is too great and substantial to empower any warmaster with any form of substantial military power.

    It's similar to the 2nd Century Rome, where its just too easy for military leaders to upstage the Emperor, so the Emperor makes damn sure no military leader gets the chance.

    It is a decadent society because the Centauri are self absorbed political animals who focus more to be the ones on top while barbarian Narns conquer outposts after outposts.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    It's funny because the Centauri were actually one of the main inspiration for Fallen Empires in Stellaris. There's actually quite a few Babylon 5 references in the game.
    [Citation needed]
    Given the War in Heaven and pretty much everything else about the Fallen Empires, it seems much more likely to me that any and all Babylon 5 inspiration for them came from the Vorlons and the Shadows.
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I've only watched the TV episodes, but I've never come across anything that indicates that the Centauri are particularly strong. I would assume that in a one on one direct war, they would win against the humans, but given how the Minbari just steamrolled the humans only a few years prior, I doubt they could beat the Minbari. Maybe hold them off in a stalemate, but given how much trouble they had with the Narn, I don't see them winning.
    I think that's maybe going a bit far the other way. The Centauri certainly weren't stronger than the Minbari, but they were the strongest among the other younger races. What the Shadows did was to give the Centauri an impetus to fight that had been driven out of them over the years, and any direct help they gave didn't really change the overall outcome, it just made Centauri victory come faster.

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    mad Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    S2E15: And now for a word

    Oh dear, here we go...

    This episode is Space-Fox News special about Babylon 5 with a reporter asking leading questions to make everyone lok bad. It's pure cringe.

    There's a background plot about a Narn ship destroying a Centauri transport claiming it was a weapons transport. This gradually devolves into Narn and Centauri sending more escort ships that start fighting each other just outside the station. Sherridan orders the ships to cease firing and then tells his fighters to destroy anyone who keeps fighting to restore order.

    The Centauri send a cruiser to the station to force the release of transports that are held in customs to be searched for weapons. Until they comply, they will disable or destroy any ships trying to reach or leave the station.
    Sherridan sends an automated transport towards the jump gate to see what happens and the Centauri let it pass and call the station to negotiate. But right after that a Narn cruiser jumps in and starts firing at the Centauri. After the Centauri ship is destroyed, the Narn ship tries to jump out but is destroyed by it's damaged jump drive.

    --

    Blah, this was a terrible idea. Hate it.

    There was a funny moment when Lieutenant Corvin is interviewed in the command center about the working condition and saying all the coworkers are nice and there's never anyone yelling at people, while Ivanova is standing behind him in the background.

    This episode has really weird image cropping. In previous episodes there have been shots that have a much worse image quality than the rest of the scene, but here it becomes really notable that they have been messing around with cropping the image and increasing the image size to fill out the screen. In simple shot-reverse shot interview scenes, you have the same character's top of the head cropped off in some shots and then be visible in other shots.
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    When viewed purely as a stand-alone episode, "And Now for a Word" is a bit of an oddball, true. However, I think it mainly serves to act as a counterpoint to the fourth season episode "The Illusion of Truth", and seen in that context it's considerably more interesting.

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    In "The Illusion of Truth" we have largely the same situation, with ISN reporters coming to the station to report on the crew and what they're up to, but in that episode ISN has become a Clark mouthpiece and so it deliberately shows everything aboard the station in the worst light possible, up to and including having a talking head psychiatrist on saying that Sheridan has gone mad and wants to become a Minbari. Without the more positive portrayal of news gathering seen here, I don't think that episode would have had as much of an impact.

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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    When viewed purely as a stand-alone episode, "And Now for a Word" is a bit of an oddball, true. However, I think it mainly serves to act as a counterpoint to the fourth season episode "The Illusion of Truth", and seen in that context it's considerably more interesting.

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    In "The Illusion of Truth" we have largely the same situation, with ISN reporters coming to the station to report on the crew and what they're up to, but in that episode ISN has become a Clark mouthpiece and so it deliberately shows everything aboard the station in the worst light possible, up to and including having a talking head psychiatrist on saying that Sheridan has gone mad and wants to become a Minbari. Without the more positive portrayal of news gathering seen here, I don't think that episode would have had as much of an impact.
    Oh, right, this is that one.

    I liked this episode. It's a clever way to tell the story differently and give different perspectives, which makes what would be a standard episode that we'd need to push the Narn-Centauri conflict forward a more interesting one because we can look at the gimmick. "The Illusion of Truth" is actually less interesting to me because it isn't as well-crafted and is kinda predictable as well. And the interesting thing is that the reporter is much more of a standard reporter than someone trying to make everyone look bad, which is what we get in the other episode.
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    Default Re: Yora reviews Babylon 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    S2E15: And now for a word

    Oh dear, here we go...

    This episode is Space-Fox News special about Babylon 5 with a reporter asking leading questions to make everyone lok bad. It's pure cringe.

    There's a background plot about a Narn ship destroying a Centauri transport claiming it was a weapons transport. This gradually devolves into Narn and Centauri sending more escort ships that start fighting each other just outside the station. Sherridan orders the ships to cease firing and then tells his fighters to destroy anyone who keeps fighting to restore order.

    The Centauri send a cruiser to the station to force the release of transports that are held in customs to be searched for weapons. Until they comply, they will disable or destroy any ships trying to reach or leave the station.
    Sherridan sends an automated transport towards the jump gate to see what happens and the Centauri let it pass and call the station to negotiate. But right after that a Narn cruiser jumps in and starts firing at the Centauri. After the Centauri ship is destroyed, the Narn ship tries to jump out but is destroyed by it's damaged jump drive.

    --

    Blah, this was a terrible idea. Hate it.

    There was a funny moment when Lieutenant Corvin is interviewed in the command center about the working condition and saying all the coworkers are nice and there's never anyone yelling at people, while Ivanova is standing behind him in the background.

    This episode has really weird image cropping. In previous episodes there have been shots that have a much worse image quality than the rest of the scene, but here it becomes really notable that they have been messing around with cropping the image and increasing the image size to fill out the screen. In simple shot-reverse shot interview scenes, you have the same character's top of the head cropped off in some shots and then be visible in other shots.
    Uh huh, except Fox News literally didn't even exist when this episode was written. /eyeroll

    Everything about the news on this show was was written with CNN in mind. They even call it the ISN (they were going to call it INN but apparently the lawyers said they could get sued over it).

    As far as the conflict goes, this was actually a fantastic episode that served as an allegory for the entire future conflict.

    The Narn and the Centauri are going to war, and they don't care who gets caught in the crossfire when they fight.

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