Two out of three podcasters surveyed loved “(The) Exercise of Vital Powers.” Worldbuilding! One out of three didn’t. Lots of talking! Find out who’s on which side, and where we all stand on the issue of Sudden Telepathy as a Plotline Resurgence.
Well, Sheridan promised us last episode that things would get super serious. JMS wastes no time; there’s a reason all of Season 4 shares a title with this episode. Too much, too quickly, too soon? And how did you feel when G’Kar refused Londo’s drink?
Stuffed to the gills with plot, “Moments of Transition” puts a pin in the Minbari Civil War, puts the screws to Lyta Alexander’s career, puts Michael Garibaldi at odds with both his new employer and his (former?) friends, and puts one Alfred Bester in the catbird seat.
Speaking of Bester, that character’s appearance brings independent Mac and iPhone developer James Thomson to the show as our fourth chair, ’cause he really likes Bester. We’re not sure what that says about him and will eye him with suspicion henceforth.
John “Machiavelli” Sheridan manipulates the alien governments into a fiendish conspiracy against Earth! (Or that’s how ISN might broadcast it these days.) Meanwhile, the Religious Caste is not too thrilled with Delenn making overtures toward Neroon, and bless poor Londo’s heart but now he has to lie about what a good Centauri he’s trying to be. Come join us as B5AG tallies the rumo(u)rs, bargains and lies (oh, my)!
On this episode of Garibaldi, P.I., Michael does NOT don a Hawaiian shirt nor acquire a Ferrari. Instead he picks up a new job opportunity that takes him up against his former security forces. Meanwhile, Ivanova’s new job duties lead to comic relief, or is that “comic” relief, with the character sensation of the 1990s. Or at least his brother.
We are sorry to report that our Control Group, one Steven Schapansky (not appearing in this episode) had a conniption fit over the lack of descriptiveness in this episode’s title. Wait until he gets a load of next week’s.
Meanwhile, meet the Drakh! Watch Delenn take charge! See Susan roll her eyes at her next assignment! Let your breath catch in your throat as Babylon 5’s power couple prepare to go their separate ways! All this, and some pretty Star Trek-ish chair acting on the White Star bridge, too.
Somehow we made it through the whole episode without a John Barrowman reference. Chip considers this a personal failing. But, hey, let’s advance the Earth plot line a bit, spend significant time on another planet, and continue the buddy-movie adventures of Marcus and Steven. Plus, the Sheribaldi shippers take another gut punch…
(Is “Sheribaldi” a thing? Some of us are curious, and some of us are afraid.)
OK, did this episode have the best guest casting find ever in B5 history, with Reiner Schone, or did it have the best guest casting find ever? Yeah, the three of us are big fans of Dukhat. Plus, this episode was directed by Wally Cleaver! And Lennier was such a nice guy in this one! All this, and revelations about Delenn on screen and Valen in spoiler space…
It’s the B5 directorial debut of one Vir Cotto (not appearing on your screen this time) and the flip side to Season 2’s “And Now for a Word.” Call them Alternative Facts, call it Fake News, call it what you like: Sheridan and Delenn discover the limits of truth-telling before Interstellar Network News in a 1997 episode that feels really darn uncomfortable 20 years later.
It feels like the first time, only different! Londo’s happily haggling on the Zocalo. Sheridan’s matching wits with Bester. But Garibaldi’s quit his job, and the certainty of the Shadow War’s endgame has vanished. Welcome to Babylon 5 as it was earlier in the series: unpredictable.