A Few Good Men indeed.
It’s full steam ahead with Babylon 5 Season 2: The Coming Of Shadows Episodes 5-8.
My immediate reaction thus far is that Bruce Boxleitner was a fine choice to be sure. The man has quickly usurped any feelings I may have had in feeling bad that O’Hare got the boot. Boxleitner is simply terrific and a joy to watch. I have fallen in love with the man!
Season 2 has been a more enjoyable experience thus far.
The Long Dark continues to plunge us headlong toward the unknown forces that are the Shadows. The influence of that arc seemingly permeates each episode in some small way. Stories and plots unfold that not only stand alone but also impact and play into the relevance of the overarching Shadows thread. Each entry weaves beautifully into that longer arc whether it is through affected characters or deep space sightings.
In fact, The Long Dark played like a tip of the cap to the mood of Alien and its vessel the Nostromo [in this case the Copernicus]. The creature is now aboard B5 and on the loose. There is some terrific tension here, but the final battle with the “soldier of darkness” is anti-climatic and the weak effects portraying the creature don’t help. Again, while it plays as an exciting entry, this so-called "soldier" is also believed to be one of the forces making an effort to gather on the Rim at the Shadows' calling.
Interesting factoid: Jumpgate technology was a result of trade with the Centauri.
Spider In The Web continues to delve into the series' brilliant conspiracy politics. The ambiguity of the Earth agenda and the ongoing questions surrounding Psi Corps are influencing and affecting B5 neutrality. The political struggles within the show add yet another complexity to a maturing show. In fact, for me, the most intriguing and seemingly duplicitous moment comes by way of Talia Winters. An engaging backstory on her leads to the uncovering of a covert operation involving Psi Corps during a mind scan. When asked who she saw inside the scan she purposefully denies the truth to Commander Sheridan. Why? Loyalty to Psi Corps? Something else? What is Ms. Winters' subtext?
Sheridan adds additional questions to B5's growing mythology by confiding in Garibaldi information pertaining to a rogue agency dubbed Bureau 13. Tasty stuff!
The irony of Soul Mates is that past and present lovers rearrive that aren't exactly desired or wanted. The focus is on both Londo and Talia Winters. Londo’s three wives arrive on B5, while Winters’ former Psi Corps lover, Matthew Stoner, also looks for a re-entry of sorts in the hopes of retrieving her. Winters, of course, had a previous dalliance with former lover Jason Ironheart in Season 1 Mind War where he graced her with enhanced or heightened telepathic powers. About the only one not getting any action so far would be Delenn. Anyway, Londo's third arrival is an utter hottie, albeit an utter bald hottie [all Centauri women are bald]. I’m okay with that. The trio is informed that two will receive divorces and one will remain. You’ll need to guess which one Londo prefers stoke his fire.
Minor footnote: At least two of Londo's wives are not the same as those pictured and referenced lovingly as "Pestilence," "Famine" and "Death" way back in Season 1's The War Prayer. This installment is in full Love Boat affect? Where's Gopher or Doc when you need 'em.
Meanwhile, Winters is coaxed into believing she can escape the grip of Psi Corps and that Stoner can help her suppress or completely rid herself of that all-consuming telepathic albatross. Garibaldi does everything in his power to protect her. He has more than a passing interest in B5’s curvy blonde bombshell. In fact, as I've come to find out, Jeffrey Doyle married Andrea Thompson in real life.
The final entry, A Race Through Dark Places, sees economic pressures applied to Sheridan and Ivanova from Earth concerning their accomodations. The orders are either relocate to smaller quarters or pay more rent. WTF! The guy is the Captain of a major space station. Wow, loyal service isn’t what it used to be. No respect at all. Despite the ultimatum Sheridan is a bit of a master at allocating expenses as we come to find out. Bester of Psi Corps returns as Winters shines away her newfound powers. Meanwhile, Mira Furlan radiates pure sophistication and European beauty attending dinner with Sheridan [she still ain't gettin' any].
The Long Dark: B- [Dwight Schultz of The A-Team guests with a pretty fine performance]
Spider In The Web: C+ [Adrienne Barbeau of The Fog and Escape From New York guests; Jeff “Grease is the word” Conaway unfortunately makes his first appearance]
Soul Mates: C
A Race Through Dark Places: C
Classic quote from The Long Dark
Garibaldi: “Lousy way to die huh?” Sheridan: “Last I checked there weren’t too many good ways.”
Classic quote from Spider In The Web
Ivanova: “You got a plan?”
Sheridan: “Let’s try not to get killed.”
Sheridan to Garibaldi: “There is a spider in the web Mr. Garibaldi and I intend to find it and kill it.”
Classic quote from Soul Mates
Timov, wife of Londo, to Londo and his other two wives: “ Do you seriously expect me to become involved in your sexual Olympics?”
Portentous Quote by unknown alien: “When the darkness was defeated long ago they scattered, hid themselves away in secret places and waited. Now the dark hand is reaching out and recalling them from their sleep.” Deliciously creepy stuff.
You just gotta love Garibaldi. They just don't cook food thoroughly anymore.