Thursday, June 18, 2009

B5 S5 Ep9: In The Kingdom Of The Blind

G'Kar is a bigger Narn than most considering his latest role for Londo might be perceived by most as a form of enslavement. Given the Narn-Centauri history most would not go so willingly under the guise of 'bodyguard.'

Okay, so Babylon 5 appeared a little out of order according to one directory I enjoy perusing organized by SciFi Stream. Day Of The Dead was tagged as Episode 11, whilst the DVD box set for Season 5 clearly has it pegged and hard-coded as Episode 8. I'm sure there is some logical explanation out there in the dark, great, vastness of cyberspace.

The latest entry sees Sheridan, Garibaldi & Delenn discussing hit and run attacks on the shipping lanes. Sheridan always suspects the Raiders, but this time they are not so sure. The attacks are too precise and almost military-like in style. The Rangers are deployed to the shipping lanes for the latest installment, Babylon 5, Season Five, Episode 9, In The Kingdom Of The Blind.

A Centauri warship arrives on Centauri Prime carrying Londo and G'Kar to the homeworld. The first notable exchange makes it clear their is certainly racism very much in play toward the Narn by the Centauri. I suspect the same would hold true for the Narn toward the Centauri. These things don't go away easily and in some cases never will. Can you say the Middle East? G'Kar rubs his presence in amidst the Centauri. Londo informs the Centauri that G'Kar is his bodyguard. G'Kar asks what time is dinner because he's starved. HA! G'Kar is a good-natured soul and one of the rare exceptions who channels forgiveness and has a faith most simply do not possess. How far we've come.

Back on Babylon 5 Byron is doing his damndest to stir up his teeps. Byron serves a narrative purpose by recapping how the telepaths came to be via the Vorlons. He also reminds us how the telepeeps are very much the legacy of that war and one of its many casualties/consequences/results.

On Centauri Prime, G'Kar is frisking all visitors to Londo's quarters. Londo inquires about the Regent [brilliantly played again by Damian London], but is informed of his unstable nature at the moment. He has been mostly in seclusion. The Regent is apparently drinking heavily and Londo is very surprised to hear that news. Of course it is no doubt to control the Keeper that is tied to his neck. Londo notes things are certainly quieter since Cartagia's departure. Still, things are also stranger. Many venues of Centauri life are being classified as top secret and no one knows why. All suspect the Regent will no doubt see Prime Minister Londo Mollari.

I have to admit, this season has been fairly uneven for me. I haven't loved it to be sure. In fact, and I'm a little stunned at myself for what I'm about to profess as it is early yet, but I prefer Season One over this one thus far. It has been unbalanced on some level for me. The actors are doing their best with some of the weakest material to date, but that comes across as well. I know the telepath thread has been a big part of it. That thread hasn't been of great interest to me or captured my imagination. I know it's early.

Following his meeting with Londo Lord Jano returns to his room and finds the Regent is sitting in his quarters in his constant state of inebriation [no doubt]. "I think we're well beyond pastels now" he tells the Lord. Things have definitely become dark for the Regent. This is not a happy time or place for him. Drunk, he tells the Lord he would never harm him if it was his decision, but it is not and the Lord is tossed across the room by a large shadow. You'll recall the keeper on his neck first referenced in Season Four, Episode 7, Epiphanies. The Regent is doing his best to maintain sanity, but things are clearly out of his control.

On the station Byron tells his lady love Lyta something is brewing. She asks him if he's ever afraid and Byron tells her "constantly."

On the homeworld, Londo demands to see the Regent. He is informed he may not. This scene is good, but for some reason not as good as these kinds of scenes often are on Babylon 5. I like when G'Kar blows a kiss to the Centauri babe. They must have loved him for that move. At least he enjoys pouring salt in the wound in his current role. He unabashedly lets it all hang out. There is nothing submissive or sheepish about this Narn.

Londo is taken to Lord Jano's quarters where he is found hanging. This is not a result of one of those strange auto-erotic sex acts. It's not suicide either. This is of course murder.
Yikes! Angry Drazi!
On the station Byron asks Garibaldi for help. He asks to see the alliance council. Garibaldi needs to know why, but Byron says he needs to keep it to himself. I love that. I need you to do this, but I can't tell you why. I mean, Garibaldi doesn't even get a "trust me." Byron goes into Garibaldi's head and extracts info from him regarding the shipping lane attacks. Byron gets his wish. Byron goes into hi sob story again. Wah, wah about how they are a nationless people and they have been abandoned. Oh for cryin' out loud get over yourself. He submits his agenda regarding his desire to have a telepath homeworld. Sheridan tells him he is "out of order." Byron is such an annoying hippie dude. Give me ,give me, give me. Here's an idea, buy a nice Earth home and assimilate into life with other people and stop being a super hippie dick. Super dick, super dick, you're super dickie. Yow! The One To Be Pitied is signing Men Without Hats' Safety Dance because Byron is reminding her of the Canadian lead singer Ivan from way back in the day. Well, it turns out Byron has had his telepaths tailing the various races for a few days. They have been gathering all of their secrets. Prickaroonies! Oh and if they do not comply they will be the victims of telepathic black mail. Excuse me, what a pretty, Fabio-looking scumbag. This is your standard we don't like how we're treated, but we will use every maneuver at our disposal to get what we want. I believe this possibly leads to terrorism.
Later, Delenn plays into the telepathic demands attack and admits "perhaps we do have an obligation to them." Garibaldi: "Fine, I'll set 'em up a trust fund." Delenn, come on with the bleeding heart. What next telepathic reparations? Sheridan, ever the realist, talks about the idealism of the situation. Folks! They are forcing your hand. Don't cave to black mail. Sheridan points out there is no violence... yet, as Garibaldi adds. Get your testicles together before these pretty boys rip them off.

I like this pumpkinhead-like costume head. It's kinda cool.
Londo's request for the floor by the Regent is granted. Things look particularly bleak when you see black-robed Centauri running around with swords down dark corridors. G'Kar takes on the assassins and is blocked by a falling door. G'Kar is immensely courageous. All is not well on Centauri Prime. This is a plot line I have missed. Suddenly, Londo is confronted by a Lord who wants Londo dead to pave the way for his own political ambitions. The Centauri are a truly nasty race of political assassins. They will do anything for power. They are like the Romans. A knife is thrown, always the weapon of choice, at Londo but freezes in mid-air and is thrust back upon the Lord himself who is killed instead. A being with glowing eyes stands in the room. Could it be the Drakh? Londo is alive and reunites with G'Kar who has made short work of the three buffoons.

Byron impresses upon his group there is safety in numbers and that they must stick together and sing Coke commercials. Just kidding. Some of the telepaths have been separated and are being utilized as punching bags across the station. Byron's people ignore his orders and go out to help the others assaulted by the various alien races. Violence and bloodshed are the orders of the day. Byron is so moved by the violence he is caressed and consoled by Lyta's loving touch. He is a truly pathetic, girly man.
Zack goes to Sheridan under orders from Lochley to determine what to do with the telepeeps. Sheridan considers caving into the terrorist, er telepath demands, but needs to put them in custody first.

Byron is delusional. He reckons other worlds will soften to their plight. Seriously dude, these aliens eat each other for breakfast. They ain't gonna give two good fish sticks about you there Goldilocks. Byron is living in a dream world. Other telepaths would prefer to fight back and kill if necessary. Byron is disgusted by such actions. So nearly half the telepeeps leave, while the rest fall in and enclose Byron with their protective, cult-like, love-fawning. They preen over him and do their weird group pawing adoring their Fabio master. Just ridiculous.

This creepy fellow is very cool, but also different in appearance from the glowing-eyed fellow. What is their connection? I can see why the Techno-Mages got out of dodge long ago.
Londo and G'Kar are looking for the Regent, but are getting no help until they witness a hand summoning them forth into the emperor's room. The Regent is clearly controlled by an invading force as we return to some of the storyline that once caught my interest in Season Four. Apparently these things LIKE Londo. They have much in common. The Regent tells Londo to leave while he can still enjoy his life before he becomes emperor. Londo is disturbed by what he sees in the Regent. Following his departure a creature lurks in the shadows constricting the Regent's breathing with the tentacle of one of those keeper creatures complete with cool eyeball.

While in his quarters Londo indicates he is frightened for the first time to G'Kar. G'Kar is stunned to hear Londo is scared and decides he, too, will not sleep.

Zack utilizes the intercom to flush out the teeps. A battle aboard the station is brewing indeed. Byron asks Lyta to promise she will follow his directions. She promises with her warm body and sultry lips. I might play the wounded cult leader too.

This episode started to go somewhere for me in the end particularly with the Centauri thread, but it is still lacking in the standard Babylon 5 magic I had come to expect.

In The Kingdom Of The Blind: B-

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