Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “Chrysalis”

Your co-host Chip here with a confession: I have no memory of what it was like to watch this episode without knowing what was coming. So I really envy those of you who have never seen Babylon 5 before and are coming into “Chrysalis” cold, and would love to know what you thought of it. Ditto our veterans: what did you think of “Chrysalis” on its own merits, without any spoilers for future episodes? (I’m being a little over the top on spoiler-copping this one, because, yeah, there are some big things coming that spin off of this episode that people are blissfully unaware of!)

8 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “Chrysalis””

  1. A fine episode, I remember when I first saw it I was in desperate need of Season 2 to begin and start to answer all the questions left hanging.

  2. 5 wonderful but non-spoilery things about Chrysalis, pretty much off the top of my head:

    1) The elegance with which it ends the season on a sequel to Midnight on the Firing Line in not one, but two, of its main plots – and it’s a better episode than MotFL, itself one of the best episodes of the season.

    2) That, finally, I really can believe in the Sinclair-Sakai relationship. It’s because everyone around them does. Also, the writing cleverly puts the proposal near the beginning of the episode, up-ending the standard expectation that the season should build up to that at the very end.

    3) Peter Jurasik and Ed Wasser. “But you killed 10,000 Narns.” “10, 000, 100,000 – what’s the difference? They’re *Narns*, ambassador, your sworn enemy.” One of the really great exchanges in the whole show, as acted and as written.

    4) The obvious one. It doesn’t end on a triumph for our heroes, and it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger in which the viewer is prompted to ask how out heroes can possibly succeed in the opener to the next season. It ends with our heroes having *failed*, and the question is: so what happens after that?

    5) “Nothing’s the same any more.” There’s a lot to criticize about Michael O’Hare’s performances over the course of the first season. But in the most important line that he has to deliver, he’s perfect.

    1. Absolutely agreed on every point. One (of the many) thing B5 did really well was Season Finales. Absolutely always kept me coming back for the next season without having to resort to cliffhangers. Or at least cliffhangers in the traditional sense.

  3. Quick follow-up on the Sinclair-Sakai relationship – also, for all the clunky writing and weak performances in The Parliament of Dreams, I really do like the fact that overall, from The Gathering on, Sinclair is depicted as a mature adult in his romantic relationships.

    It’s only when one thinks about how standard the “love interest of the week” is for the lead in television shows that one appreciates just how wonderfully *normal* Sinclair is.

  4. First impression…wow! I’ve seen the whole show, but I’m pretty sure this was one of the MANY season 1 episodes I missed. (I started in on season 2 and only caught a handful of earlier episodes in rerun). There’s so much going on and so many hints of what’s to come.
    On a humorous note, I thought Sinclair was building up to a pretty sweet proposal in the beginning and then it just falls flat. It’s believable, but I would’ve been a little irritated if I was Catherine 😉

  5. Does anyone else think Catherine’s request that Susan be her maid of honor is more than a little backhanded? “I don’t know anyone else here” with an unspoken, “So I guess you’ll do.” Sheesh. And, what, no one from Earth, or wherever Catherine might know someone, could travel to B5?

    Eh. Minor quibble for an otherwise really strong episode, especially, as noted above, in the Londo-Morden department.

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