Earhart’s: “Learning Curve” Spoiler Space

A second crime boss has been thwarted by security. Will there be a third down the road?

We get a closer look at how Ranger training works and the personalities involved. Will we see more of them once Sheridan and Delenn move the ISA headquarters to Minbar?

Lochley has been overruled a second time on station matters by an ISA leader. Will there be a third and is she going to start fighting this?

Here you can talk about this episode and everything that happens after it.

5 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “Learning Curve” Spoiler Space”

  1. The formative, ritualized experience Tannier had in this episode is kind of counterpointed by the fact that he went from being a lovable, good-hearted goof to being kind of a prick in “Legends of the Rangers” (to the point where every time I watch this one, I have to double-check if the one who appeared in LotR is the Religious or Warrior trainee). One wonders if an emphasis on “terror as a form of communication” doesn’t do the Minbari worldview any favors.

  2. I have not rewatched this episode yet, though my thanks to our podcasters for the ear-sounds, including the words, ‘curvily’ and ‘straight outta Hogwarts’. It seems like there may be more #MinbariWatch in the comments. Someone (sorry, I forget who), posited the notion of setting this on Minbar, which is a great vision, moving the B5 ‘essence’ of multi-species and customs there. Previous visits with our ‘lead species’ left a lot to explore.

    I was no fan of Scoggins’ Lochley in part due to her looks. (Hear me out!) Well, she has that Californian cosmetic thing going on, paired with serving under Clark creates the look of someone pampered, or as our hosts enlighten, someone sheltered. Lochley is interesting, but insufficiently interesting, until we get to Garibaldi and Zoe. (Yes, I do delight in her difficulties because I’m a writer!)

    I’ll also be looking out for our ex-Sheriff, new-head spook, Mike Garibaldi. Comparitively in rank, he’s Babylon 5’s Bester now!!

    Speaking of, we don’t know the full extent of what Bester did, and those missing puzzle pieces make for a delightful ambiguity. Is he questioning Lochley based on the paranoia necessarry for the job, the telepathically heightened paranoia, or the paranoia of all the paranoias? JMS and his team did some wonderful set up of head two-n cannon.

  3. I love these kinds of episodes, whether you want to call them “bottle” episodes or “day in the life” episodes or whatever. One of the things that I think is a downside to the current emphasis on arc-heavy TV shows is that we end up so focused on the arc that we wear narrative blinders blocking out anything that isn’t directly connected to the arc. With 22-episode seasons, we can take the time to look at the larger world and flesh out side characters. I like that we take the time to see what life in the B5-verse is like for a couple of maintenance workers, Mars resistance fighters, Ranger trainees, ground pounders, corporate suits, etc. Coming up, we get “The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father” and see a slice of Psi Corps life.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the positives in the current style of fewer episodes and tighter arcs. But episodes like today’s gives us peeks into corners of the universe that we wouldn’t otherwise get to see.

    This episode’s “hey its that guy” moment: I recognized the actor who played Trace immediately, since I’ve seen the first Mortal Kombat movie many many many times. Trace is played by Trevor Goddard, who three years earlier had played another bullying crime boss, Kano. Here’s his big fight scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RUUETWIlfY Kano’s knife was designed by Gil Hibben, who has been given the title of “Official Klingon Armorer” for the many weapons he designed for Star Trek (Shinzon’s knife in Star Trek: Nemesis is also a Gil Hibben, and that same knife makes an appearance in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show). Hibben is also responsible for the two-blade knife (the “double shadow”) that we see in a couple of B5 and Crusade episodes.

    1. One thing I can’t remember is where we were at the time with the trickle of announcements about what became Crusade. (For a while, everyone thought it was going to be called Crusaders.) But I do remember that when JMS first floated the idea as a vague possibility, he described it as a spin-off that would have focused on the Rangers.

      I.e., something that sounded more like this episode than what Crusade actually turned out to be. I wonder if that shaped my/other people’s response to Learning Curve at the time? (I have no memory of what I thought when I saw this one during the original broadcast of S5.)

      1. Short answer, Voord, I’m not sure. Do these help?

        February 18, 1998 – Learning Curve Original air date
        April 3 – JMS announces series was a go.
        April 7 – TNT confirms it.
        April 12 – Season 5 UK air date
        May 10 – Learning Curve UK air date
        August 3 – Crusade begins shooting
        August 17 – NASA press release on Crusade consultancy (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/98/crusade2.html)
        September 8 – Ain’t It Cool News gets a memo from TNT to JMS of reqested changes. (http://www.aintitcool.com/node/2060)
        Sept 22- Oct 19, 1998 Brief hiatus for new sets, uniforms and TNT’s more traditional concept for pilot
        October 19, 1998 Crusade filming resumes.
        January 3, 1999 – Babylon 5: A Call to Arms originally aired
        January 30, 1999 – Rumors TNT has pulled the plug on Crusade. JMS doesn’t confirm it, but remarks heavily imply it.
        June 9 – September 1, 1999: Crusade original air dates
        July, 1999 – Actors contracts expire.

        (Sources: B5wiki, Wikipedia, Midwinter, Zocalo.Nidram, Aint It Cool, NASA!)

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