The Cynics Corner

Babylon 5

"Movements of Fire and Shadow"

by David E. Sluss

18 June 1998

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Another strong episode, despite some contrivances. And no new eps till October? Grrrrrr. PTEN is pulling the strings from Beyond the Grave, apparently.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 8.3 (B)

RECYCLED IMAGE OF THE WEEK: It is my opinion that every episode of Babylon 5 should feature a shot of Londo looking into the skies of Centauri Prime and seeing a fleet of ships; Centauri ships, Shadow ships, Narn ships, garbage scows, it doesn't matter. That image is Very Important, and needs to be shown as often as possible.

PLOT CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: I can't think of a single good reason why Dr. Franklin would go to the Drazi homeworld on behalf of Vir, other than the fact that Vir is a Good Guy. That seems to me to be an inadequate reason considering that 1) There is a war on, and space travel without cause is probably not a good idea, 2) The Centauri, whose ambassador to B5 made the request, are, for all Franklin knows, the aggressors in said war, and 3) B5's medical staff is, according to the teaser, incredibly busy mopping Centauri citizens up off the floors of the station and probably can't spare him. As such, the trip to the Drazi homeworld seems contrived, as merely a way to get Sheridan to find out that the Centauri War is Not What It Seems, and doesn't "follow organically" (to paraphrase another poster in another discussion) from what preceded it.

SEX OBJECT OF THE WEEK: Is it Lyta, with her "Cannonball Run" schtick of producing her business card from her cleavage? No, it's ... well, yeah, actually it is.

KNUCKLE-DRAGGER OF THE WEEK: For, what, the fifth week in a row it seems, it has to be the insensitive oaf John "Numb-nuts" Sheridan. What, exactly, did he want Delenn to wear? On second thought, I don't want to know. And he couldn't free up an escort vessel or two for Delenn's dangerous mission? ("But John, you got to sit on your ass and send a courier to Earth with details of your plan; why can't I do that?")

STAR TREK RIPOFF OF THE WEEK: With all the discussion we see in these parts about Star Trek ripping off B5, it's only fair to point out when the reverse happens. And in this case, the fact that Delenn's Whitestar's entire bridge crew, with the exception of those fortunate enough to be in the opening credits, were killed in the Centauri attack is a clear steal from the "Star Trek Standard Plot Devices" book (page 566).

DRUNK OF THE WEEK: There isn't one, because Garibaldi seems to have recovered completely from his "character arc." I guess we'll have to wait a few months to find out if his reset switch was hit.

DRAKH OF THE WEEK: And I do mean "of the week" since the Drakh seem to look completely different each time they're shown. I mean the "Wayne Alexander" Drakh (a.k.a. "Jem'Hadar Reject") doesn't look much like the Drakh who saved Londo from the dagger earlier this season, and he, in turn, didn't look like the "out of phase" Drakh we saw last year in .... "Lines of Communication," I think. So are all these folks, including the "Shadow Surgeons" and the Keepers, Drakhs, or are some of them Drakhs and some of them lackeys (lackeys of lackeys, as it were)?

BLESSING IN DISGUISE OF THE WEEK: Well, it's frustrating to have to wait four months for the next episode, but, as an unbridled optimist, I like to look at the bright side, which in this case was not having to see an awful trailer with a ridiculous voiceover for the next episode.

   

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This review is copyright 1998 David E. Sluss
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