Sunday, December 14, 2008

B5 S4 Ep14: Moments Of Transition

This is one of the eeriest pictures of the Minbari warrior caste ever. The lighting in this scene is terrific and the camera snapped at the creepiest of moments. They look like Hellraiser rejects.

I have been a bit slow of late on these entries thanks to life's funny way of throwing everything at me. Work, home and everything in between is leaving me very little time to keep up. Still, on the Babylon 5 entries in particular I'm attempting to keep the quality up, at least that's what I'm trying to do. Quality over quantity right?
Sheridan is doing his darndest to reach Delenn on Minbar. Little does he know civil war is raging on her planet and the whole place is in danger of going up in flames. The warrior caste has surrounded the city threatening its complete destruction.
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Garibaldi receives a message from William Edgars. His orders are to get a package through Babylon 5 safely. I have to admit this season has been a bit of a struggle for me as far as appreciating Doyle’s character. It is in true Straczynski fashion to shake up expectations and break us from our comfort zone. I was comfortable with Garibaldi. He was someone steady I could rely upon and whom I enjoyed immensely. Things are entirely different this season and what a pleasure it must have been for Doyle to take on this new facet to his character. I really would like the man back the way I knew and loved him, but time will tell. As much as it must be a ball for Doyle to play the part, I fear for the future of my boy Michael. I have been squirming watching the character play out.

Speaking of changes it’s appropriate we tackle the latest of those developments in Babylon 5, Season Four, Episode 14, Moments Of Transition.

On the station Lyta is doing her own Sunday best to find work and pay the bills. We get a little more regarding her history. She was a field assistant for Psi Corps for one year. It turns out the interviewer wants to background her with Psi Corps, but she insists that cannot happen. Her potential employer expects their employees to be certified with Psi Corps if they are to obtain a position. The company woman walks based upon Lyta's rejection of that stipulation.
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I love this hulking shot of the Minbari War Cruiser.
On the Minbari vessel Neroon reports to Shakiri, the leader of his caste. Neroon is worried about the destruction foisted upon Minbar as a result of the warrior caste’s actions. “The cities can be rebuilt,” insists Shakiri.

Is it wrong to value life?” inquires Neroon. Shakiri commands, “We fight because it is our nature. It is the calling of our heart.” It is the antithesis to the peace and love of Delenn’s calling. The same could easily be said of human nature and the many cultural belief systems on this great blue planet. The questioning does give us pause.

Bester arrives aboard Babylon 5 and insists he won’t be disturbing the command staff, but has arrived for personnel matters. Okay, whatever that means ya weasel.

Zack confronts Garibaldi about a package and we get a great pan of the station through the Zocalo. There’s some nice scenery and detail to the sequence thanks to the set department. The Bester exchange is also amusing as always.

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Garibaldi’s point is an interesting and valid one to say the least. It’s all relative and perception on a given issue is all in where you stand. There is no doubt Sheridan is acting as a result of Earth’s new dictatorial government. Garibaldi just gives us the opposing view.

On Minbar, Delenn is certain she will be surrendering and informs Lennier. He is less than pleased.

Bester pays Lyta a visit on the station. He knows she’s looking for employment and the rejections keep on coming. Her rogue telepath status is killing her. Bester fucks with her mind the old fashioned way as he manipulates and plays games with her. “Being a freedom fighter… it’s a wonderful thing… but the pay sucks!” Bester attempts to make her an offer she can’t refuse. He will remove her from the rogue telepath list if she wears the Psi Corps symbol, the uniform, the gloves in exchange for her body.

Bester: “I want your body.”

Lyta: “Are you out of your mind!?”

Bester: “That’s a very funny question to ask a telepath.”

Bester wishes to reclaim her physical body should she die from natural causes only. Foul play cannot enter the equation. I’d love to see how that works on paper. It’s the freakin’ Psi Corps. DO NOT TRUST PSI CORPS! Lyta simply needs to sign a power of attorney document. Bester is fascinated by Lyta’s innate power as modified by The Vorlons. She mulls it over and gives her answer. “I’d sooner put a bullet in my brain.” Somehow I would imagine that could be arranged by Bester. A few feet away Garibaldi is watching as Lyta storms off. Now at first glance I didn’t think much of it. I thought perhaps he just happened to be there. After a second thought I wondered what Garibaldi was up to. Could he be spying on Lester? Could he be working for someone other than Lester? This does have a complex feel to it. If he's been messed with he may not know who he's working for.

Neroon discusses surrender of the religious caste at one of Minbar’s famous temples. It was originally where disputes were settled between castes years ago before Valen and the Grey Council. It is a signal by the warrior caste of a return to Minbari traditions of old. Neroon asks Shakiri what will be done with Delenn upon surrender. I think deep down Neroon certainly respects Delenn and does show concern for her. He is informed she will be killed enroot back to Babylon 5 as a result of, say, unfortunate circumstances.

Zack pays Lyta another visit sans pizza. She is informed she must relocate to smaller quarters. With no income and no Vorlon backing Lyta is running into tough times. Apart from giving her the bad news he still asks Lyta for a favor. He wants her to scan Garibaldi. I think Lyta’s performance is outstanding here. It’s very natural. Patricia Tallman does some fine work on the series.

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Later Lyta attempts to gain employment through Garibaldi for a job or is she there for Zack anyway? “If I hire you I annoy Bester. I like the thought of that,” contemplates Garibaldi. Bester comes along to interrupt. “I heard you’d retired, but I didn’t believe it,” Bester butts in. Garibaldi responds, “Not retired… why? You lookin’ to hire somebody find out what happened to your personality?” Bester may have his own agenda with Garibaldi. This is a dynamic that is difficult to figure. Lyta tells Garibaldi he’s been scanned. Yeah, I wonder if she scanned him as well. She does kind of have a developing thing with Zack. So the question is did she fulfill his request to scan? Garibaldi flies at Bester assaulting him but is quickly arrested. This has to be red herring to throw us off the scent of a Bester/ Garibaldi connection. Then again, I'm not sure.

Delenn leads her caste to the temple for surrender. She instructs Lennier on what to do and informs Shakiri of their surrender. Fortunately, as rules dictate by the ancients, caste leaders must step into the starfire wheel whereby fire will consume them. Those unworthy will escape the fire. Those believers who speak the truth will burn and perish. I think I have that right as crazy as that may sound, though I do understand its significance to the Minbari. The nobler caste shall rule. So you want tradition Shakiri you got it. Delenn recites the past’s influence, “Valen said, will you follow me to fire?” Lennier pleads with her not to sacrifice her life, but heeds her will.

Somewhat surprisingly, Neroon calls out the cowardly Shakiri to demonstrate his courage or lack thereof. He reminds him that earlier he indicated he did not fear death as a warrior calling that bluff on the carpet. Neroon requires that he put his money where his mouth is. Neroon, while hardened, is a patriot by all accounts. So Shakiri is shamed into the Wheel of Fire. “Come on baby wheel of fire.” Sing it! I can hear The Doors to this one. Shakiri jumps from inside the light beam and is smoldering hot. He is a big smoldering heap of evil. That sounds good. Delenn continues her path to unwanted martyrdom as she is a believer. Neroon witnesses the truth and leaps into save Delenn taking her place to die unifying the castes. Delenn is red-faced, not from embarrassment, but from the skin scalding heat burn from the wheel of fire. “Come on baby wheel of fire, try to set the night on fire.” You know it. You can sing it. Come on now.

Back at the station Edgars calls Garibaldi and orders that he fire Lyta, “the telepath” as he refers to her. He does not trust them. Hmmm…. Bester appears to have had something to do with the Edgars connection or how else would Edgars have known. Lyta is desperate and signs off on the power of attorney form. I'm not sure that was a great idea Lyta. Bester the molester [defined as: to annoy/ disturb] wins again by driving people to drink and drink heavily.

Delenn informs the Minbari she is re-forming the balance needed in their society via the rebirth of the Grey Council. The worker caste always gets the shaft. We certainly know the least about the worker caste. Still, much faith and trust has been placed in their support as they are given five [of nine] spots on the Grey Council. They’re like the middle class. They are the backbone to Minbar and Minbari life. “Religion and war must act in the service of the people not the other way around,” purports Delenn. The center is reserved for The One who is to come and in memory of Neroon until that day arrives. Could The One be Lennier? I mean Valen was The One and Jeffrey Sinclair was The One, but is this a new One? Ugh. I really think I'm beginning to lose it or my brain is just Babylon 5 fried.

Back on Babylon 5, Ivanova informs Sheridan that Clark is wiping out civilians with a sweeping hand. Sheridan is livid. That’s it. He’s done. They’re done! It’s war. Gloves are off! “God help anybody who gets in our way!"
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Whew! Look out! The Scarecrow is pissed [again].
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Moments Of Transition: B-

5 comments:

bytehead said...

Obviously you're forgetting your Season 3.

The One that was is Sinclair/Valen. The One that is Sheridan. The One that will be is Delenn.

And their bodies will never be found after their death.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thanks Bytehead....now you're making me go back to read my own entry to figure out what I forgot. I'm not surprised. I'm beginning to lose my mind.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Righto! Okay, I certainly recall those facts concerning the triad of The One. I guess I was getting ahead of myself and thinking it was something more. You're keeping me in check.

Havremunken said...

The final scene here where Ivanova comes to show Sheridan what Clark has done is essentially the start of the last part of S4. The blood boils just thinking about it... gotta put the fiancé to bed so I can go watch.. ;)

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

haha....eventually your fiance will tell you to go away....then you can watch all the B5 you want. ha cheers.