Earhart’s: “Walkabout” Spoiler Space

Stephen Franklin begins his “Walkabout” in this episode. Where is it going? How is New Kosh like New Coke (an ancient B5 joke that Chip is even embarrassed to bring up)? Any hints to Lyta’s future in this episode? Spoil away here.

12 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “Walkabout” Spoiler Space”

  1. OK, for me, Walkabout is the worst episode of S3. (There are people who think that’s Gray 17 is Missing. I feel sad for them.)

    I find the Franklin-and-the-singer plot to be a hodgpodge of schmaltz and boring predictability. It needed a very strong performance in the actor playing Cailyn to have a chance of working for me, and I’m afraid that she gives (for me) one of the weakest performances in the whole show. As for the other main plot, there’s nothing wrong with it, but nothing fabulous about it either.

    But even the not terribly good episodes of Babylon 5 aren’t that bad. (At the time, this contrasted with Deep Space Nine, which in some ways I liked and like more than B5 – the “highs” of DS9 could be a bit higher for me than B5’s highs, but a bad DS9 episode reached depths that even the worst B5 episode didn’t approach.)

    So, an attempt to be moderately positive about Walkabout:

    I’m not sure that it is a good idea to check in with Franklin so soon after he left – there is an argument here for the airing order as against the Lurker’s Guide order. Give us time to feel his absence.

    But checking in with him at some point is important, and – OK, this is pretty weak tea – this episode does establish that Franklin is still the sort of person who will feel compelled to try to help someone. That will get him stabbed in Shadow Dancing, and give us the single best Franklin scene in the entire series.

    Also, the A-plot may be nothing spectacular but (and this is a virtue of the Lurker’s Guide order) it does show that now that Sheridan and Co, have a “weapon” against the Shadows, they’re behaving sensibly and realistically, and testing their new “weapon” instead of sitting around waiting until it becomes vital to the plot.

    It’s nice to see Lyta moving more into the foreground. This is about where she starts becoming a main character, I think. It says something for the strength of Patricia Tallman’s performance that she seems like she becomes a significant part of the show much earlier than this.

    Finally, there are some good individual moments, especially Londo and Garibaldi’s exchange early on.

    1. Not sure why I called the telepathy-and-Shadows plot the A-plot. It’s pretty clearly not. Probably trying to repress the memory of just how much there is of the Franklin plot in the episode 🙂

  2. I agree w/ Voord99 this wasn’t a very good episode of Babylon 5, in season 3 that IMHO was the best season this will rank as bad along w/Gray 17.
    I hated the franklin scenes I get what JMS was trying to do but the scenes were boring I had to FF the scenes and I don’t do that while watching B5.

    The main plot yeas it was the main plot lol was not bad, we are at a point the story is moving from one moment to the other, we don’t have the self contained episodes so we can’t really say we didn’t need this story.
    and so it begins, we needed to see the new Kosh, WE ARE ALL KOSH we need to see what will be w/the telepath and I loved seeing lyta back, I wasn’t comfortable w/Sheridan pushing her to her limits and we know he will do it again see the telepaths as tools and not as humans.

    My fave part was the J’akar and Garibaldi exchange where Garibaldi put J’akar and the ungratefulness narn captain in their place way to go Garibaldi!!

  3. Never really thought about it too much until now but I like how the cold open is Lyta looking for someone who had contact with Kosh before he died (very Sarek in Star Trek III) and then newKosh’s ship recognizes Sheridan’s passenger and stops to say hello. I’ve always liked the shot with Sheridan looking at the ship but it just clicked with me that it wasn’t interested in Sheridan as much as Kosh.

  4. Now that I listened to the podcast, I want to add few thoughts. Sheridan you also noticed what I saw the glimpse of what will be in season 4 him becoming rotheless and “hardass” , him seeing the telepaths as weapons as tools and not as humans he did show concern for Lyta but he was hard on her in the battle scenes. Poor lyta .
    I laughed at the Sheridan hair check its true tho his hair got longer and longer till he came back from the dead , I thought Bruce looked good w/the long hair, I hated that they had him color his hair in season 5 and that beard YUCK!

    Something else I only thought of when I saw someone posting it here, there is resembles here between Kosh inside Sheridan and Spock inside McCoy, not the same thing, in Star Trek Spock was inside McCoy but nobody really noticed that and here Kosh was talking to Sheridan and talked from Sheridan body and then fought the evil Kosh but still some parts are very similar.

    1. I think of Spock and McCoy here too.

      Whenever I think of this ep, Walkabout, I think about the *end* with Franklin shouting at himself – which is great. I forget about the full length song…. zzzz.

      When I was listening to the podcast, I was initially shocked you were so revealing about ‘evil kosh2!’. While the signposts are loud – some could also put it down to being upset about Kosh1 – and we’ve seen Kosh being a right prick before too (Sebastian etc). Then again its probably what we discussed the first time around – just weren’t aware exactly HOW this would be further demonstrated later.

  5. Having listened to the podcast:-

    I don’t think you need to worry about having said too much about Ulkesh. I think it’s made very obvious from the moment he appears that he is One Of The Bad Guys. Too obvious, if anything. His costume even has devil horns(!) and obeys the classic superhero comics rule of “Purple for villains.”

  6. I think a fourth reason the episodes work better in this order is Franklin’s withdrawals. He will be having withdrawal symptoms the next time we see him and he makes notes about how stims stay in your blood for a couple weeks. So having those two scenes separated by the two parter makes the dialog in the future episode make much more sense.

  7. The podcast wondered about Lyta becoming a bit too subservient to the Vorlons.

    IIRC, in the first of the three Babylon 5 novels about Bester and the Psi Corp it is revealed that the Vorlons not only modify humanity to create telepaths, but specifically choose Lyta’s maternal line as their chosen weapons. She may not have had any choice at all.

    Would it have been better to show not only that the Shadows are are afraid of telepaths, but that the Vorlons specifically created telepaths for that reason?

  8. Some people seem to hate this episode, and I don’t get it. Sure, it’s a dip in quality in late season 3 along with Grey 17, but the common thing seems to be that people usually think about the titular plot, which is definitely the weak one, but both episodes also have a lot of good stuff in them. I’m quite fond of Lyta in this one and Neroon in Grey 17.

    Fragmented Franklin as seen through glass was definitely in the script, in both appearances. I don’t remember if it was in Season by Season guides or somewhere else, but they had to go through quite a few different glasses to find one that did the trick the script required.

    Ulkesh is never named on screen. JMS confirmed online that he is the same Ulkesh Naranek that appears in To Dream in the City of Sorrows, which made things easier when everyone started calling him Ulkesh instead of Kosh 2, Evil Kosh or Darth Kosh.

    1. Re: some people hating this episode.

      Although I wouldn’t say that I hate this episode (I don’t care for it very much, but it’s not A View from the Gallery), I think your comment gets at about half of why I am among the (apparently few) people who prefer Gray 17 is Missing.

      Both episodes have a weak plot and a stronger one. The thing is, I find the Neroon plot in G17iM to be much stronger than its equivalent here. In fact, I remember really liking it when I first watched it, because Neroon immediately grabbed my attention as a character. I hadn’t seen S1, and while I can’t remember if I had seen Neroon’s brief appearance in S2, I do know that if I had, it hadn’t registered with me. While the “advancing the Shadow War” stuff in Walkabout is perfectly fine, perfectly fine is (for me) all it is – it doesn’t have anything in it that stands out.

      Why I say that you’ve gotten at half of why I prefer G17iM is that for me, G17iM is also stronger on the other side.

      While I think there’s definitely room for disagreement about whether or not it does what it’s trying to do effectively, and I think that there’s definitely room for tastes to differ about whether what it’s trying to do is something that you even want in B5 at all, I don’t think that it’s easy to argue that G17iM’s Zarg plot is not meant to be bizarre, surreal, – and comic. That’s surely the point of the scene at the end where Garibaldi tries to summarize the insane sequence of events and says “Am I going to fast for you?”

      Which is to say, for me G17iM is trying something weird, and deserves credit even if it fails, and, even if I liked Erica Gimple’s performance (and I’m fascinated by how utterly different my reaction is to our hosts’ – I genuinely don’t see this effervescent charisma that they do), at the end of the day, I’d still have to say that I’ve seen the terminally ill female love interest before, and this doesn’t seem to me to come up with much that’s new to say about it.

  9. From the holly trilogy Babylon 5 went to be a real soap opera in space, we don’t have standalone episodes, each episode is moving the plot forward. We compare “gray 17 is missing ” to this episode bc they are very much the same, Two plots one is strong moment in the story the other is weak, the main plot here isn’t bad it’s strong move and has hints about the future of the story, the vorlons look different, telepath as weapon and we have glimpse of what Sheridan will be in season 4 rotheless.
    But I find the Franklin and the singer story boring, I love the fact we get this Story, a story based on character turmoil, that we see that the big events has effect on our characters. in this case Franklin loosing himself and wants to find himself but I just wasn’t interested in the singer. The same thing I said about the Gray17 story and Giraboldi that was bad and boring.

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