Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stuffed!

"Thanksgiving was terrific Jim. I'm stuffed!" "I couldn't agree more Bones. Time to get back to work."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Turkey To Another: Happy Thanksgiving

It's a busy week and pretty special time for many folks. Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm with Kirk. I love the dark meat. Kirk [or maybe Spock-that is his shirt] and Bones look as though they've done a bit of feasting along the way. What's up with the stains on their shirts? These are some old dolls, um, I mean action figures.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

B5 S4 Ep11: Lines Of Communication

I really appreciate this shot of Lennier. He is livid with Forell and would happily kick his ass for his complete idiocy. Billy Mumy can play geek and warrior on a dime. He is so religious and warrior caste all rolled up into one. Doesn't he look like he'd take his ass out with one shot to the bonehead? WHAMMO! Delenn is totally concurring.

J. Michael Straczynski has certainly been generous in resolving plot points and threads while unafraid to create new ones. Things have been running a little flat for me of late personally with the exception of The Keeper storyline. Until now.

Sheridan continues to be a glutton for punishment as Ivanova points out. He continues to sadistically watch those truly awful propaganda updates via ISN News that continue to degrade his reputation and character. ISN continues to demonize Babylon 5 as a whole in the process. Sheridan is very protective of the "old girl" and is none too crazy about her treatement. He insists he is gathering “intelligence.” I'm sure he'll be sticking it up their rears the first chance he gets.

Franklin reports into Babylon 5 via code to update Sheridan that all is going according to plan. “Lost lamb to big bad wolf. Do not respond.” What's up with the lamb and wolf analogies? That's funny.

Marcus reports an explosion has occurred at the Red Planet Hotel. It is reported as a terrorist attack by the Mars resistance.


Delenn’s Minbari brethren inform her of attacks on transport ships by an unidentified alien fleet. All of this and more make for a fairly exciting installment. Onward march with Babylon 5, Season Four, Episode 11, Lines Of Communication [formerly A New Pain In The Drakh]. On the station Sheridan worries for Delenn’s safety as she intends to get to the bottom of these unprovoked attacks occurring in the shipping lanes of space.

Back on Mars it turns out resistance fighter Phillipe set the bomb off at the hotel. He is the former lover of the extremely hot El Numero Uno [more commonly referred to as Number One]. She is indeed deserving of the title. The two get in a heated argument regarding their lack of communication. She is red hot over the decision to set off the explosion. There were ten civilian casualties as part of the collateral damage. They are indeed hurting their cause and their perception back home. I thought it was interesting how Straczynski plays with perceptions of 'terrorism' and 'freedom fighters'. Which one is it?

ISN continues to slander Sheridan back on Earth. He catches the broadcast. I love the “up yours.” I love seeing him talk back to the TV. I talk back to the TV all the time. Whether I’m watching sports or science fiction I get hot and start blasting my TV. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? HOW COULD YOU DROP THAT!?" I even talk back to my car radio sometimes when I’m driving. I get so ticked off at some of the crap I hear on radio I’ll just start talking back. Sometimes you just get caught in the moment. I'm far more vocal at home and a little more subtle int he car. I do yell at other drivers when they go through yield signs and such. That's something my grandmother taught me. I’m sure you have those moments.

video

I love those reaction shots. The facial expressions are so loaded with emotion. It speaks volumes about the man and how his gears are always turning to come up with solutions.

Sheridan rushes to see Ivanova eager to share his ideas with her. He has a plan. This exchange between Ivanova and Sheridan was pretty cute and very natural. She is definitely his closest confidant. She looks pretty damn sexy to boot.

video

*
The director should have panned that camera down a bit. Come on indulge me. Let’s face it, if you’re a guy that would have been nice. Claudia Christian is a voluptuous and sexy woman deserving of an occasional body shot in the nighty. I know. I’m a dog. Hey, I’m a red-blooded male and she looks about as fine here as I’ve seen her in this series. She is totally adorable here.

Sheridan has a plan to inject Ivanova into a new role as a kind of communications director via a refurbished War Room. She will be “the voice of the resistance.” The face of the resistance won’t be too shabby either. Where are these resistance fighters on TV? All I see is grizzled beards and big guns.

Piloting the White Star, Delenn seeks to find the face of this new enemy. Minbar is facing its own troubles as castes continue to squabble unable to find consensus without the guidance of the now defunct Grey Council. The council was a balanced, equal voice of reason for all. Rumors are abound the warrior caste has been pushing the religious caste to the fringe parts of Minbar in forced exile.


Disneyworld has made it to Mars.
On Mars, Franklin and Marcus meet with the resistance. Franklin informs them of a coalition taking shape to strike against Clark. Are you with us? He assures them Sheridan supports their independence from Earth if the resistance joins their cause. They are dubious. That happens when you’re living in tunnels and working underground.
*
I couldn't help but imagine Delenn thinking here: 'Are you out of your fucking mind?'
Delenn arrives with her fleet of White Stars in the sector under question. She makes contact with the enemy vessels. This episode will certainly go down as the first appearance of the dreaded Drakh. I’ve heard of this group and they will become the alien, enemy focus of Crusade if I’m not mistaken. They sound pretty nasty. As it turns out one of Delenn’s own, Forell, has established contact with this new enemy [do these numb skulls ever learn?]. He holds her at laser point and demands she hears what the dreaded Drakh have to offer. How about pain, suffering and certain death for starters. What do you think? Forell is indeed in the running for one of Babylon 5's supreme bonehead awards. He's definitely right up there.

On Mars, Franklin is exemplifying real leadership and genuine fight. You’ll never have to worry about this character saying “Damn it John, I’m a station doctor not a freedom fighter!” He has been impressive here. Number One requests Franklin join her for a little dinner and maybe a little bit more. Sweet Jesus! Marcus gets guard duty while Franklin gets a little lovin’ Mars-style. Nothing like making the very best of your journey to Mars as business slash pleasure. Franklin gets it done. Marcus says it best. “Touch passion when it comes your way Steven…it’s rare enough as it is. Don’t walk away when it calls you by name.” Beautifully put as always by the eloquent romantic that is Marcus. Put more succinctly and to the point, "hot dog, jumpin' frog, get it on brother!"

On the White Star Delenn asks a simple question, who the hell are the Drakh? Forell calls them “friends.” Uh-yeah. I don’t think so. Come on. Friends who like to bomb and kill whenever they please. Hmm…nice friends. It sounds awfully familiar.

The Drakh emissary was extremely cool. The latex rubber suit was disguised cleverly by the fact the creature kind of vibrates its ass through the White Star. The vibrating effect was a nice touch. It was definitely original. I can’t recall the last time we were introduced to a villain with quite this kind of bounce and originality. Two thumbs up! So it turns out Forell has taken actions into his own hands in Delenn’s absence. He is concerned the warrior caste is getting too big for its own britches and the Drakh can help keep that group in check. Yeah, that’ll work like a hole in the head. So, the Drakh will help the religious caste. Uh-huh. They’re kind of like alien bodyguards. Huh!? Are you a fucking idiot? Does that emissary creature with its scary skull like face look like a face you can trust? Why in the name of the galaxy and all that’s holy [you are the religious caste] would you possibly turn to these creeps? They don't look like the religious type apart from the cloaks, but then that lends a kind of grim reaper vibe. Yeah, like I said, you're crazy!

Forell insists, “We must have allies even if we do not use them.” Ahem! That sounds awfully familiar folks. Can you say Londo and Morden with The Shadows? The whole thing just stinks and Delenn knows it’s rotten to the core. She's thinking, ‘You are a freakin’ retard!’ Forell continues, “They’ve offered us protection in exchange for allowing them to move into several deserted worlds along our borders.” I've heard that before. Man, who says history doesn’t repeat? This is not going well. Lennier and Delenn are seething with rational, level [bone]-headed disgust. It is strikingly familiar to the events Babylon 5 just finished cleaning up. It is clear the Minbari are about to have their hands full. Oh boy.

Forell: “The Drakh want peaceful relations. They want only a place to have for their own…” [If you believe that eskimo I've got a refrigerator to sell you.]

Lennier: “…because they have just lost their home.” [You see this is why he's Lennier and we like him.]

Z’Ha’Dum! WOW! The Drakh were [at least] one of the "dark servants" leaving Z’Ha’Dum airspace just before the planet exploded. Son of a gun! That’s pretty scary. They are a distinctly eerie bunch of beings. Delenn tells the Drakh emissary she will make her decision in 7 days. Yeah, you better come packin’ a lot of nuclear heat and fleet firepower if you plan on tackling these bad boys. Delenn knows she needs to nips these bastards in the bud. She’s not really considering the emissary’s offer. She’s placating the situation to get his ass off the White Star. The Drakh’s hideous sounding voice was hard to make out but I think it said, “don’t say no” or “you will say no.” I’m uncertain. I couldn’t make out his parting word[s]. I hit rewind like 10 times and I think it said “Delenn” indicating it knew who she was. Bueller? Anyone? Nevertheless, that Drakh was creepy cool.

video

Delenn is frightened but courageous. She has to act fast thanks to her moronic brother Forell. I don’t think I’ve seen a character act with such poor judgment in quite some time. So the Drakh are ready to supplant The Shadows. Obviously, it doesn’t take long for any of these entities to attempt filling a power vacuum.

video

Lennier cracks you up with his one-liners. He knows a little something about warrior caste flight training videos, because HE WAS ONE once! He is immensely protective and loyal to Delenn. I like how he stood his ground almost in front of Delenn to protect her from that Drakh emissary earlier. His little folded hand and bow salute is way too cute and funny to boot.

What follows this exchange is a death-defying escape that is one of the most exciting and thrilling of the series. I really liked the strategy of the sequence too. The characters really have to use their smarts. I’m reminded of the instances when Sheridan and company had to escape the Shadows’ vessels in the past. My heart was pounding and I was on the edge of my seat yelling at the screen, “Go, go, go!” I told you I yell at my TV. The thrill ride causes the White Star to take some damage. Of the White Star’s seven vessel fleet one is destroyed. They pull off some rather extraordinary maneuvers to reach peak acceleration to escape. I’ll say this, those Drakh ships are pretty fast. They’re like little horseflies. I hate when horseflies divebomb your head when you’re outside on a hot summer's day. They suck too!

So Farwell Forell is killed by falling debris when Delenn’s White Star takes a hit. So sad to see you go. He pleads ignorant with his final dying words. “I did not know.” Dumb. Sorry, but ‘I didn’t know’ is not a good defense for anything. You will lose. I’m glad to see he won’t be impacting any further missions. It appears he won't be getting the bonehead award either. I’m sorry to sound so heartless, but I am so tired of stupid people standing behind the moron defense. If you are going to impact your planet, your country, your people, you should know what the hell you’re doing! If you’re going to step on your dick with that kind of carelessness you deserve to be under falling debris. Okay I feel better now.

What I didn’t expect or see coming was Delenn’s reaction to the attack. With her ship damaged and loss of life incurred Delenn takes a page out of Sheridan's book and fastens and zips!

video


She totally rocks! She kicks big time ass in this entry. I don’t think I've liked her character as much as I liked her character in this episode. Lennier is like, ‘let’s take her back to Babylon 5’ and she’s like, ‘no friggin’ way, not a chance in hell. We’re going back in!’ Hell no. We won't go. She's got some Drakh scum to wipe out. Pure determination!

Delenn comes back through those wormholes and catches the Drakh off guard big time. The element of surprise is key everytime. I loved it. Delenn and friends open up a major can of whoop ass on the Drakh fighters. The mothership attempts to escape. This is one of those classic in-the-heat-of-battle-comedic exchanges.

Lennier: “The Drakh mothership is heading for the jumpgate.”

Delenn: “How fast?"


Lennier: “Fast.”

Delenn: “Be faster!”

She has got some seriously steely resolve. She is tough as nails and being a Minbari she must have really tough, bony hard nails! Earlier in the episode she tells Sheridan, “Never forget who I was, what I am, and what I can do.” And how! Amen to that. She bears those words out.
*
It was really hard to get this shot but doesn't this scene in the episode just kick it!
Before the mothership can depart, Delenn’s White Star positions itself between the Drakh and the jumpgate with a full flip. Delenn does everything but spit chewing tobacco into a spittoon to show she's tough. “End this.” What a phrase! With those words the White Star unleashes firepower hell on the Drakh mama ship and blows it to smithereens destroying their new enemy. Fantastic stuff. Following the battle Lennier points out the fact they have a new problem at home.

I had a newfound respect for Delenn after this installment. I’m not sure why. It’s not like she was tougher than she has been already. She’s certainly been strong before. I think it was in the way she carried herself. She was more assured and confident than ever. She carried herself like a genuine leader. Her performance somehow resonated with me. She didn’t play it conservative at all. She never retreated and she never gave up. She did everything [as she has in the past coming to Babylon 5's aid] but wear a cowboy hat and a six shooter. This woman can command a ship! What is up with that!?

Delenn returns to Babylon 5 and the loving arms of Sheridan and informs him she’ll be leaving to deal with her Minbari caste problem back home. Caste warfare could result in a civil war. Apparently the Minbari have seen this type of thing between castes before. Her character was just really attractive to me in this one. Of course she's all soft and girlie with Sheridan here sans her chewing tobacco.

video

Meanwhile on Mars, Dr. Franklin has his hands full with heaping gobs of Number One or as once touted in the film Weird Science [I believe], “mouthwatering scoops of flesh.” Lucky fellow. Meanwhile Marcus is left playing with his own stick so to speak.
*
Lines Of Communication: B+

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jar Jar Binks: Still Alive, Still Lucky, Still Dumb As An Endor Tree Stump

Dumb and Dumber. Actually, C-3PO isn't dumb, annoying maybe, but not dumb. Jar Jar he's dumb, but damn is he lucky.

I shouldn't have to apologize. Really. There are some things in this life we will never understand. One of those things is why on Earth did George Lucas create Jar Jar Binks for Star Wars? He's useless, worthless, annoying and a complete and utter liability to everyone around him. Alright he's not worthless, because he's one of the luckiest aliens to ever live. He somehow saves the day when everyone should be piled high upon a bloody heap of bodies. I was watching The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network, more or less in passing, while the boy wonder was engrossed.

Jar Jar Binks was in the spotlight for the entry. Didn't George Lucas get the message that nobody with a brain ever wanted to see that character ever again? Sure, I know he was relegated to a brief cameo for Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones after everyone complained about him in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Further, Lucas quickly chalked it up to the simple fact that he was simply not planned as part of the next level to his prequel trilogy. He was written out as planned not with no mind to fan pressure. Perhaps.

Jar Jar Binks nearly single-handedly destroyed the first Star Wars prequel film. It was awful in large part because of that character. I know this is well covered territory, but my inner rage for the character's existence was reawakened this night when he graced my television screen here at home.
*
UGH! Jar Jar is back like fingers on a chalk board. Misa this! Misa that! Or is it Meesa? Whatever. It's the stupidest creation to ever enter the science fiction pantheon and in some ways it was the beginning of the end for Star Wars. I still love the franchise despite Jar Jar and other missteps [nobody's perfect], but what the heck was Lucas thinking? I mean, wasn't C-3PO enough?
*
Alright, I think I'm through venting.
Wait. I'm not. Okay so clearly Jar Jar should have been killed long ago [in a galaxy far far away], but he wasn't. Clearly someone had further designs in store for the Gungan. Apparently the creators of The Clone Wars thought dusting him off for the kiddies at home would be a good idea. Why? Why do they continue to poison the Star Wars legacy with this kind of ridiculous character? Some of those kiddies watching at home are big kiddies and we can't stand Jar Jar. Okay so I'm not the target audience, but the young boy next to me wasn't loving him. He thought he was okay. He was being kind. I quelled my disdain for Jar Jar. I didn't want to jade his innocent love for the series so I didn't make a single comment. Quietly though I cursed that vile creature's existence.
*
Notice to the creators of The Clone Wars, please stick to the clones and jedi for action. R2 D2 and his sidekick for comedy relief are just fine. The battle droids with their incessant "roger, roger"s are pretty funny at times too, but meesa just can't stand Jar Jar. Bring on Commander Fox, Rex and Grievous even, but please be sure to send Jar Jar off on an ambassadorial mission deep in the heart of nowhere.
*
How far can this franchise fall? I don't know. The whole thing is certainly debatable. Part of me enjoys seeing the series for what it is and how it ties the generations together with a common joy even if it is watered down Star Wars-lite. Star Wars bonds us. It's like comfort food. I just don't find comfort in Jar Jar Binks.
*
The Clone Wars: B
[This Episode of Clone Wars with Jar Jar "Do you feel lucky punk?" Binks: D]
*
Damn, did I just spend thirty minutes of my life writing about Jar Jar? God help me!

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Damn It Jim, I'm A Doctor, Not A Sex Slave!"

"Back in the Summer Of '69'' -Bryan Adams-

I'm frequently greeted by two of my old Star Trek friends Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Captain James T. Kirk. The two Star Trek companions are often in a plethora of obscene positions. They often await my arrival by the DVD player when I sit to watch my latest science fiction excursion [thanks to The One To Be Pitied I usually spit up coffee in laughter upon noticing at the wrong moment]. Please let me explain. I know you're thinking, 'why the heck do you have dolls and why do you play with them?' Truth of the matter is [believe it or not] I don't really play with Bones or Kirk [actually they play with each other]. They just sit there propped up on my mantle to kind of set the tone. I don't actually get to decorate a room so the two action dolls are my small way of injecting my love for sci-fi into it. That and actually getting time to fill the room with my favorite series on the screen.

You see, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my brother and I often played with our Star Trek action dolls and placed them in a number of death-defying adventure positions [nothing quite like this horror show]. They often scaled tall oaks, leaped into die-cast metal dump trucks or escaped drowning by pool. In fact, it's the one reality where Star Trek often battled or made peace with the characters from Planet Of The Apes. Can you imagine beaming our boys down to meet with Cornelius and the like from Planet Of The Apes? Well, once upon a time it happened. I stumbled upon the two dolls one day when visiting my brother. They were in his garage on the floor. A smile came to my face and the lightbulb went click. I picked them up and brought them home with me and a plan. He probably doesn't even know they're missing.

These fellas give new meaning to Guys And Dolls.
Anyway, those were the days and these are the two dolls remaining. I prop them up next to my TV for a laugh. They're a good conversation piece. Granted, most normal people who visit don't say anything about them. I think they're concerned more than anything, especially when I forget to take the dolls out of these kinds of crazy arrangements. Now I'm greeted by the sexploits of Kirk and Bones in a number of bizarre scenarios. Honestly, that was never in the contract when they came home with me. They're probably craving the garage floor again. It's completely juvenile but it cracks me up from time to time. In fact, I'm just realizing now that Kirk is clearly missing his gold captain's shirt. Somehow, Spock must have grabbed that up in a three way and off he went. I'm not sure where Spock is, but he's out there somewhere with Kirk's shirt. Hmmm, maybe Scotty is involved somehow. Maybe they are at my brother's house.
*
I saw the trailer for the new Star Trek film and it looks mighty impressive. I don't think we'll see Kirk and Bones strike up any of these poses though, but it's sure to be a refreshing new angle on one of the greatest sci-fi concepts to ever launch.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

B5 S4 Ep10: Racing Mars

The resistance is blonde, beautiful and never looked this damn good.

The Earth embargo is beginning to have an impact and take its toll on our Babylon 5 compatriots. Reserves are beginning to deplete. Ivanova relieves Sheridan and insists he needs a rest from duty. Marcus and Franklin are on edge and on each other’s nerves after two weeks of traveling in close quarters together through deep space. Marcus finds himself a Brit sniffing around and thinks he may be a spy as we soar headlong into red planet territory via Babylon 5, Season Four, Episode 10, Racing Mars [formerly Martians To The Left Of Me, Martians To The Right, Here I Am Stuck In The Middle With You].

Aboard their transient vessel it turns out Marcus’ spy is an Englishman named Captain Jack. A humorous discussion ensues over meal bars versus pipin’ hot instant dinner meal bags [beef and potatoes].

On Babylon 5, ISN continues its ‘in the tank’ assault on Babylon 5 generating an irresponsible and inaccurate interpretation of the station’s mission. Sheridan, too, continues to get dragged through the mud. Director Jesus Trevino, one of my favorites throughout the series, returns. We haven’t seen his creative hand behind the camera in some time. This would be his only appearance in Season Four. This is the kind of sequence I enjoy. Trevino brings his steady hand into the pure emotion of character drama. Sheridan doesn’t have to say a word and with the camera on his face we are mesmerized.

video


Whew! Pure performance art. You’ll note the camera allude to a handful of cronies over Garibaldi’s shoulder at the end of the segment.

Sheridan confronts Garibaldi shortly thereafter and attempts to isolate what exactly is wrong with hsi old friend. He wants to know what the hell is going on and so do we? Garibaldi is getting insane in the membrane!

*
Mr. Pissed Off.











*
*
*
Mr. Equally Pissed Off.
Meanwhile, back on the vessel headed to Mars, Captain Jack turns out to be the contact Franklin and Marcus have been waiting to meet. He alerts them to his significance via a clever little poetic ditty he drummed up as code:

Lyta had a little Vorlon
Her skin was pale as snow
And everywhere that Lyta went
Her Vorlon was sure to go

*
Mr. Even More Pissed Off!
That’s rich. The Brit insists he didn’t want to give himself away right off. He needed to check out Marcus and Franklin first. The boys receive their aliases. Apparently, for their entry to Mars, Marcus and Franklin will be newlyweds. That's right. They will be a gay couple on holiday. Marcus hams it up as only Marcus can. “Well, shall we go darling?”

Four strangers on Babylon 5 confront Garibaldi. They press him to turn on Sheridan. Despite his dislike of Sheridan of late [and it is palpable] he will not hurt the man. Well that’s good. Garibaldi walks away but the men have planted their seeds of evil intent within him.

Marcus and Franklin are on some kind of monorail system and heading into Disney's space mountain. Actually they are uncertain of their destination, but they do discover the folks on Mars were so isolated they didn’t really understand the magnitude of the Shadows War. They normally only hear about the “real end of the world sort of stuff.” Yeah, that really didn’t qualify Jack. Here's an idea. Get your head out of your resistance-tight asses and wake-the-fuck-up! This merely confirmed what I had mentioned earlier on. I had suspected Babylon 5 was essentially working within a vacuum essentially the only human contingent engaged in the war and going it alone. The small, heroic band of fighters was all that stood between the end of the human race and freedom in fighting The Shadows and Vorlons. Clearly, no one else had a freaking clue [except for maybe Earth gov]. That sounds about right. I look at the people around me today and half of them don’t have a clue. They'd rather stick their head in the sand, watch American Idol and discard the details of world politics. I suppose they are happier for it.

On Babylon 5, Ivanova meets with goods and weapons runners as she attempts to establish delivery lines for goods and services outside of the Earth embargo via the black market. She is dealing with some fairly questionable clientele. Even these dirt bags are nervous they’ll be caught breaking the blockades and thrown in the brig by the long arm of the law that is Earth gov. Given the desperation of the situation, Ivanova does some significant strongarming to get the folks to comply with her needs.

Meanwhile, Captain Jack takes Marcus and Franklin into the mining tunnels to meet with members of the resistance.

Back on the station, Delenn and Sheridan have a heart to heart in the garden about Garibaldi. She also proposes another ritual. Sheridan delivers a classic line taking the words right out of my mouth, “Not another ritual-I’m just about ritual-ed out.” Bloody hell! That makes two of us John. She tells him there are like 50 rituals. Cripes. You've gotta be kidding. No joking! Move on brother. You need to find another lover. You need Delenn like you need a hole in the head. We’ve got a saying; “there are other fish in the sea.” I’m kidding, but man she has a lot of rituals to hem and haw over. I’m a fan of the porcelain throne ritual, but you just do your thing already and move on. I loved when Sheridan asked if anyone on her planet eloped. Apparently they do from time to time. I imagine they are from the worker castes. Delenn speaks of the Third Movement of Preparation and Mutual Understanding. It sounds like a cult group. This has something to do with discovering one another’s centers of pleasure intimately, without contact, but rather through prayer. Now that’s foreplay torture! On Earth that’s called blue balls. Sheridan is certainly intrigued, but it looks as though he’s thinking, ‘yes, prayer and respect are fine, but can I touch you and make that baby of ours?’

On Mars, Cpt. Jack shares a picture of his daughter with Franklin. The Mars resistance returns with Marcus and Franklin’s identicards indicating they didn’t match against their DNA. That's right and they aren't gay either. Things are coming together. Cpt. Jack is getting fidgety and a shootout ensues. Cpt. Jack is hit by laser fire and an odd, spidery-like creature quickly leaps from his neck and scurries away ducking behind some equipment. Finally things are heating up for me. Now, previous to the melee, Franklin looked to Marcus and says, “Marcus?” Marcus replies, “I see it” and somehow fires a shot hitting the lifeform and forcing it to jump from Jack’s shoulder. A keeper? I think so. Although, it wasn’t definitively indicated if it was the same thing we’ve seen on other shoulders. Nevertheless, I suspect so.

This reminded me of those slimy pods in Alien. Creepy.
Cut to Franklin who is analyzing the dead alien critter. It is indeed a symbiotic/ parasitic creature. Jack was certainly manipulated by it, just like the one that manipulated Londo in Season Three, Episode 17, War Without End Part Two. We also discover the creature’s control over its keepee is increased exponentially as it grows. The beautiful blonde bombshell, Number One, who leads the Mars resistance tries to contact Jack who is on the run and now aboard the Mars tunnel tram. He feeds more information to Franklin and company indicating the creature can be removed from the host, but never completely killed. It grows back. Yikes. It returns. It takes control again and before you can blink an eye we see the spider-like leg of the creature reach back over Jack’s shoulder. That is some crazy ass shit. Jack, holding a thermal grenade, ends it before he loses control of his free will to do the unthinkable act. There was some crazy talk out of Jack. “They knew who I was. They found me in the middle of the night and they put that thing on me- in me. I wanted to warn you but I couldn’t say anything. It wouldn’t let me.” Weird, spine-chilling stuff. So who are they? The creatures on the shoulders seem almost like living devices or entities for a more advanced group of aliens. I’m not sure, but hopefully there is more to come on this fascinating new thread. These things are definitely keepers. With the ability to regenerate these things are nasty little suckers. The entry was a bit of a yawn for me up until the end. Damn! It closed strong.

Back on Babylon 5, Sheridan attempts to reconcile with Garibaldi. The two come to blows [again!].

video

Garibaldi is just not right. He is royally screwed up. At first I thought he had a legitimate beef and he might have felt slighted by Sheridan upon his return especially since he risked everything putting his ass on the line to go out there and find him at the end of Season Three, Episode 22, Z'Ha'Dum. At this point I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t something more significant wrong with his wiring. What the hell is wrong with him? His temper and inflexibility seems off. It just doesn’t feel right and I’m assuming it has everything to do with Psi Corps. I mean, I know he's different based upon his period in detention, but what did they do to him? I'm anxious on this point.

*
Listen, the buck stops here. I'm putting my foot down. I vote no to your posse watching us.
Sheridan heads back to Delenn after taking a major left hook. Ouch! It looked like it hurt. The man needs some bloody TLC [tender, love and care] not a freakin’ ritual. Nevermind, Delenn’s ritual is right there waiting for him along with her Lennier-fronted posse of religious freaks. They are there to watch the ritual. WHOA! Is nothing sacred here? WTF? I would have to excuse myself or throw her horde of Minbari out on their bony asses. Praying and meditating is fine, but watching? Sorry, I think I've said 'ass' alot this entry. Please excuse my French. I'm not sure why the French get blamed when we swear, but they should get blamed for something.
*
'John, speaking of boners...'
Sheridan discovers exactly why he wasn’t too fond of the posse-caste viewing idea to begin with while sharing an elevator with Lennier. Uncomfortable, Lennier turns to Sheridan and looks at him commenting on the “woo hoo” he heard while in their private quarters. Sheridan looks back in violation. It’s pretty damn funny. Clearly nothing is private with this ritual-happy bunch.

*
The epilogue sees Garibaldi turn to the strangers. The men that propositioned him earlier look to Garibaldi for joining their cause. They are loyalists to Earth gov and Garibaldi agrees to work with them. He betrays the station. He betrays Sheridan. He betrays himself. This is NOT Garibaldi. Damn it! He would never do that without being held under some kind of influence. “Are you with us?” “I’m with you,” utters Garibaldi with reluctance. He may not want to hurt Sheridan, but he is hurting everything he stands for and against. This is simply not the same man, perhaps physically, but definitely not mentally. He's throwing it all away. Will there be any good will left?
*
Racing Mars: [C+/B] B-