Sunday, July 12, 2009

B5 S5 Ep 12: The Ragged Edge

Bald and Naked is Beautiful! Daffy Duck thinks so too.

Sheridan arrives at the League meeting and no one is there. A boycott is in full effect as the races are displeased that Babylon 5 and the alliance are unable to protect their respective ships in the shipping lanes from attack.

Tensions rise as we enter Babylon 5, Season Five, Episode 12, The Ragged Edge.

G'Kar and Londo have returned to Babylon 5 after a one month absence to Centuari Prime. G'Kar is greeted with overwhelming support. Londo makes good fun of his popularity too. His razor sharp dialogue is worth a look here. I hate when some of the best scenes occur during the credit roll, but what can you do.

Garibaldi awakens to a Bab Com message from Zack. He had a fairly difficult night's sleep. That happens when you dance at length with the old demon bottle. Garibaldi is clearly off the wagon as some old friends are creeping back into his life. A meeting is held between the key players on the station. It is determined a human survived one of the attacks escaping via a lifepod in the shipping lanes. It is believed he made it to the Drazi homeworld. The group needs the human survivor to testify regarding what he saw. Garibaldi has contacts there and agrees to go to the Drazi homeworld to find this man. Sheridan wants Franklin to assist. Garibaldi insists it's a solo mission. His guy will not meet with him if he learns Franklin is along for the ride. Franklin is annoyed a touch. Nevertheless, Sheridan complies agreeing with Garibaldi concerning his take on the situation.
Marshall Teague returns as Ta'Lon. G'Kar learns his Book of G'Kar has been "liberated" by Ta'Lon and his people and brought back to Narn for safekeeping should anything happen to him. He discovers there may be as many as 600,000 copies in print on homeworld and that it may outsell the Book of G'Quan [this of course is one of G'Kar's personal favorites and the source for much of his own wisdom and inspiration]. G'Kar is now officially a religious icon. It is amusing to see the growth of G'Kar's character from ambassador, to rebel gun runner, to citizen and now to religious figure and cult hero. At first, G'Kar was displeased by the violation of his writing privacy. He is definitely overwhelmed by the news, but quietly honored by the move. It turns out the book has been a red, hot seller and speaks to the reason for G'Kar's sudden rise in popularity on the station.

Franklin confronts Garibaldi regarding why he wouldn't want him along on his mission. Now, I really didn't find it all that suspicious that Garibaldi didn't want Franklin along for the trip. Apparently Franklin was picking up on Garibaldi's personal drinking habit and avoidance of him. Garibaldi plays it so straight I just couldn't see how Franklin could see through his charade. Honestly. Franklin tells him he is always around to talk if there is a problem hinting to Franklin's superhuman ability to read between even the smallest of lines. He's a near telepath!

Classic line: G'Kar suggests checking out his book, the Book of G'Kar. Londo replies, "Well as Mr. Garibaldi says, I think I'll wait for the movie." Londo and G'Kar's antagonistic friendship is a trip and one of the highlights of Season Five.

We are about to learn more about the Drazi than we have to date within this entry as Garibaldi arrives in space dock. I've always found it a bit surprising we have heard very little about this race which has played a significant peripheral role within the series. Garibaldi meets up with his old friend in his temporary quarters. They are old friends going back to Europa.

The Drazi have narrow streets to prevent invaders or armies from getting down their roads. The race was originally an outdoor race. They used to have servants/ slaves which might explain their sometimes elitist, entitled attitude. I always find geographical history fascinating and how that plays into the psychology of a people. It's quite interesting.

Garibaldi's friend makes arrangements to coordinate with the surviving pilot. The old friends essentially get blitzed together and Garibaldi is out cold. As his friend exits Garibaldi's room he is shot and killed by a blue PPG blast. When he snaps out of it a precision signal light appears on Garibaldi's shirt emitted from the park below. As Garibaldi enters he encounters a Drazi over his friend's body and a fight ensues. Garibaldi uses the oldest trick in the book with a shoulder flip of the Drazi straight over the side of the balcony. See ya! Unfortunately as it turns out, that Drazi is very much alive. Later, Garibaldi carelessly makes a run at the cloaked men/aliens guarding the prisoner and is quickly dispatched by too many fists of fury to overcome. What the hell kind of attack plan was that? It certainly was less than wise. When Garibaldi gets to his feet he finds the surviving human pilot is dead. Garibaldi is on the run and contacts Delenn for a White Star pick up. He needs help. Delenn requests White Star 26.

Back on the station, Franklin receives an urgent incoming message from Earthdome. The Narn are holding vigil outside of G'Kar's quarters. A NEW cult is forming apparently. God please, no more cults!!! G'Kar tells Ta'Lon he has no interest in leading. Ta'Lon believes these are new days and new ways of leading are needed. "It is about unlearning hatred and unlearning fear," declares Ta'Lon. Ta'Lon is a warrior and knows the spiritual hand of G'Kar is needed. Please, no fawning or pawing please. Ta'Lon feels they both have their own unique "burdens to bear." Amen, don't we all.

Garibaldi is rescued. Sheridan doesn't understand why Garibaldi didn't hear the scuffle back on the Drazi homeworld. It seems a bit out of character for a gumshoe who doesn't miss much. Garibaldi's lies begin. First it was a cold, now it's he was tired and konked out. He refuses to acknowledge his booze problem. A cocktail of trouble is brewing for our dear man Garibaldi all over.

Londo enters the meeting and asks Garibaldi, in his battered state, what happened to him. Garibaldi serves up one of his classic retorts, whatever you do "don't ask for a raise." Londo sees Garibaldi spinning something in his hand. Garibaldi is unfamiliar with the piece he picked up on the Draz homeworld. Londo tells him it is a button to a Centauri palace guard. Londo inquires where he got it. He replies [somehow I should think untruthfully] he picked it up in the Zocalo. Garibaldi is protecting what he knows I suspect. It is unclear why at this point.

A follow-up meeting indicates Garibaldi did pick it up on the Drazi homeworld and that the Centauri are somehow involved potentially. Delenn suggests Londo cannot be trusted, but does not believe he is involved. G'Kar tells the group, "tell him nothing." G'Kar's take is out of protection for his new friend. G'Kar shares his story regarding their visit to Centauri Prime and the forces at work there. G'Kar is definitely looking out for Londo's best interest. Londo is scheduled to return to Centauri in approximately 4-6 weeks. This explains Garibaldi's caution with Londo.

Franklin records in his journal. He is dealing with tough decisions and it appears he is planning on departing the station.

G'Kar begins his Book of G'Kar teachings to his brethren. He emphasizes embracing diversity. The Narn questions G'Kar's teachings in the beginning of his book regarding his belief that the Centauri cannot be trusted. He is exasperated as he tries to explain these teachings are dynamic and constantly changing. His followers believe the book is holy and every word must be true. G'Kar tells one of his Narn brothers to place his face in the book. And for their first lesson the book is shut- right on the Narn's face! WOW! That's a harsh lesson.

Franklin approaches Sheridan with his news. He will be leaving the station to work for Earthdome. Sheridan is dismayed. Sheridan doesn't mix words. He is not at all pleased with his decision to take up the head of Xenobiology for Earthdome. Sheridan tells him how much he values his friendship, but relents out of respect on his choice to leave. The final shot is of Garibaldi sleeping off yet another alcohol-induced sleep, while Franklin attempts to reach him with his news. His affection for the Looney Tunes knows no bounds. "ehhh, What's up doc?" Garibaldi apparently won't be finding out just yet.

Overall, there are some plot points that move Straczynski's story along, but on the whole the entry was fairly snooze-worthy. Ebbity, ebbity, ebbity, that's all folks!

The Ragged Edge: C-


Havremunken said...

Hey man! Long time no comment, but I have been reading along. :)

As almost always, jms feels we need a breather after a dramatic episode. Your feelings about the Byron story aside, his demise is absolutely a big part of history to come. I'll avoid any spoilers here, but anyway, his death was a sorta' dramatic thing, then we need to stretch our legs a little while setting up the next story arc.

Babylon 5 is as much the story of G'Kar and Londo as anyone else, and it's good that you enjoy their relationship. It is a lot of fun and also amazing to think how far they've come since we realized they would cause each other's death. Context is everything.

And of course, seeing Garibaldi on his slippery slope is painful. It's not easy dealing with the mindf*ck by Bester and he's really having a hard time.

Oh well, better pretend to be working. Keep up the good work, just a few more episodes to go..

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Cheers brother! Good to see you are alive and well and fairly rested hopefully.

Thanks as always for having my back.

There are indeed signs of good things happening. I sincerely love the G'Kar/ Londo story.

Yes, I'm afraid I'm not a huge Byron fan and that arc has me less than excited.

I do like the evolution of the G'Kar and Londo thread. Look forward to what lies ahead. Cheers