The legendary Neil Gaiman made his American television debut writing the only episode of B5 not authored by Joe Straczynski since late Season 2. Was this mystical character piece too much of a departure from the “house style”? What the heck was Morden doing in Lennier’s quarters? We bring back the Space Mob’s biggest fan, first-time B5 watcher Steven Schapansky, for a fresh look at a story by a pre-American Gods and Coraline storyteller.
This episode has epic ’90s computer matte compositing of a balcony, set to a particularly stirring Christopher Franke score!
Oh, and Garibaldi does the secret agent thing, hamstrung by his return to the bottle; G’Kar becomes the Narn Pope; Franklin gets a job offer (name-checking a character not mentioned in 99 episodes), and Londo inadvertently fingers his own government. Just another ordinary day in the life of Babylon 5–in our 100th episode!
It’s the end of the Byron arc, in dramatically tragic fashion–which means it is of course time for our own harbinger of doom, Jason Snell, to return to delight in misfortune.
The two threads–the telepath colony crisis and the secret Centauri attacks on ISA ships–get pulled tighter together, with an unexpected rescue of Na’Toth (the real one!) and an entirely expected return of Bester. We’d call it the calm before the storm, but it’s not very calm….
No more pastels for the Regent, no.
Damian London portrays a very different Regent from the sweet old man we used to know as Londo begins to suspect very dark things are afoot in his supposedly liberated world. It’s an episode full of delightful double acts (Londo/G’Kar), palace intrigue, clumsy politics (hello, Byron) and dark omens. But is there a STORY here? And if not, is that all right?
As Steven discovers a long-buried secret about an Alliance race, Byron discovers an even more deeply buried secret about telepaths in EVERY race–just as life is getting even rougher for his followers in Down Below. How is the telepath story arc faring, now that we’re looking at it 20 years later? And what the heck IS a BCFMO, anyway?
We all come together in a better place to find a roomful of singing telepaths, an irritated Bester, an irritated Lochley, an irritated Garibaldi, and (thank heavens) a gleefully mischievious Delenn and G’Kar. How’s that master plan of Sheridan’s working out now, eh?
We use the word “spackle” a few times in this podcast. We like that word. Rolls off the tongue. MEANWHILE, for the second episode in a row the stars of the show aren’t our regulars. What’s up with that? Is it worth it to get the delightful Turhan Bey back? It’s a deep dive into Rangers and Minbari, and an exploration of the ever more fraught partnership between Garibaldi and Lochley in this episode of B5AG!
DEPLOY THE GREEK CHORUS! Two never-before-seen minor characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern their way through the space station and their cast. In Spoiler Space for the previous episode, our intrepid podcasters expressed their dread of “A View from the Gallery.” Was it misplaced? Did the memory cheat? Are we on Team Mack and Bo now?
Telepath politics. Gunboat diplomacy. Newlywed apartment living. Doesn’t sound like much. SPOILER ALERT: We absofragginlutely loved this episode.