Hobsonphile (hobsonphile) wrote,

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Teasing newbies and Episode #8, ENV

Our hot water heater is broken, which means no shower tonight. Ew.

I have been in regular correspondence with a fellow Londo, G'Kar and Vir fan who is watching Babylon 5 on tape for the first time, and let me tell you, it has been a blast reading her reactions over email and teasing her with vague comments about where the storyline might be going. Yesterday, she finally saw the episodes leading up to and including "The Fall of Centauri Prime," and her email to me last night was awed and distraught. I don't fault her reaction- I've freely admitted here that I bawled over these episodes. In fact, reading her email, I could feel myself getting a little misty.

But there will be plenty of time to dwell over Londo's tragedy when we get to it. First, we have quiz results and another B5 tragedy that I felt far less keenly.

What Type of Villain are You?


Muahahaha. That must be why, in today's episode...

"Phoenix Rising"

Grade: B

... the scene I most enjoyed was Bester's confrontation with Garibaldi. "On a scale of one to ten, how stupid do you think I am?" I must admit a grudging admiration for men like Bester who can put together a master plan that covers all contingencies. (Hell, one of my favorite episodes to this day is "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place" simply because of the sheer brilliance of Londo's scheme to dispatch Refa.)

And with this scene, you begin to see with even greater clarity how much Garibaldi and Londo share in common and why they were friends at the start. In addition to troubled pasts and cynical, distrustful natures, Garibaldi and Londo are also given to being consumed by the desire for veangance, so much that it threatens their personal destruction. "All I want now is revenge," Londo says in the breath-taking tag to "Interludes and Examinations," his quiet rage radiating from the screen in waves. "They took from me the only thing that I ever truly loved. And you will help me to strike them down. Give me this, and the safety of my people, and let the rest of the galaxy burn. I don't care anymore." And, in "Into the Fire," Londo's rage is refocused on Morden and mixed with roaring, sobbing despair- he lops off Morden's head, presents it to Vir, and thus seals his world's fate. Today, Garibaldi discovers that veangance cannot be accomplished by his hand and he seeks solace in drink, a choice that will lead to devastating results.

The other scene I really liked was in the episode tag. As they clean up the results of Byron's fireball, Bester is asked if he is satisfied. Bester says no, and the hell of it is, I think he's sincere. Bester's disregard for the lives of mundanes is morally shocking, but he does truly believe himself to be a guardian for his fellow telepaths. That's why he's a great character rather than a merely good one.
Tags: babylon 5

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