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Watching B5 with C&T - S5 (condensed)

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  • Watching B5 with C&T - S5 (condensed)

    I previously posted on this forum B5 first watch threads documenting the reactions of non-science fiction fans "C" and "T" to Season 1 (condensed), Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4.

    In this thread I'll be sharing observations as we watch Season 5 (condensed).

    "No Compromises"

    C was pretty chatty during this episode, while T mostly had short comments, e.g., "Uh oh."

    When the EA Destroyer Acheron arrived at the station, C asked if these special effects were considered state of the art back in 1998. I said yes, and reiterated that the original CGI was cropped and blown up for the DVDs, making it look more pixelated than it did when it was broadcast.

    Since we had taken a holiday break between Seasons 4 and 5, C couldn't remember what happened to Ivanova. I reminded her that the character was still alive and had taken command of a starship. I also mentioned, with careful specificity, that Claudia Christian does not appear in any episodes shot during the Season 5 production run.

    At some point C asked me if Sheridan and Delenn had a son. "Not yet", I replied, "But they will." C followed up with, "Does he have a headbone?" I told her, since it's not much of a spoiler, that we never actually see him in the series, so we never find out what he looks like.

    C's first impression of Bryon caused me to laugh out loud. "Is that a man?" she asked. She then said, "You see why I asked?" I replied with, "Yes, that's why I laughed."

    C started referring to the Gaim ambassador as a "heffalump". When the assassin murdered the Gaim ambassador, C asked "Why did he kill the heffalump?" I explained the killer "wanted to conceal himself in the heffalump costume."

    I explained that the vision of Sheridan's death was Simon reading the killer's intentions. When Simon was shot at, C asked me if he got hit, and I said, "Yes, that was his blood running down the wall."

    When the killer launched himself in a Starfury they both said, "He's getting away." But then C wondered, "Is he going to attack again?"

    T as usual enjoyed the humor, especially G'Kar's "Fine. Done. Let's eat."


    "In the Kingdom of the Blind"

    We skipped the next seven episodes for reasons I already explained. I would like to add that, IMO, this really does make Season 5 flow so much better. And when taken in small doses, Bryon actually comes across as a sympathetic character. The first time I watched Season 5, in its entirety, I was convinced that Bryon was an arrogant snooty bastard.

    I explained to C & T that JMS was prepared to end the series after four seasons, and this meant several episodes, intended to open Season 5, were shifted to the end of Season 4. I then said this left a narrative hole at the beginning of Season 5, which they plugged with a bunch of filler episodes - and that we were skipping over those filler episodes. I then brought them up to date by explaining two plot points:
    1.) Lyta and Bryon had become romantically involved.
    2.) Through Lyta, Bryon and his people had discovered what we in the audience already knew - that the telepaths were created by the Vorlons to be used as weapons in their war against the Shadows.

    During the briefing at the beginning of the episode, C noted that Garibaldi was out of uniform and asked what he was doing. I reminded her that, at the very end of "No Compromises", Garibaldi was appointed head of covert intelligence for the Interstellar Alliance, and I likened his position to being the head of the CIA.

    When Lord Jano was telling Londo about the strange behavior of the Regent, I reminded them that the Regent had a keeper on him. "A keeper?" C asked. "A shoulder monster" I replied, and then she understood.

    When Jano was thrown against the wall, C asked what happened. I explained that there was someone else in the room. C was also confused by the literal turn of events where Vole threw a knife at Londo and ended up killing himself. When the Drakh in the shadows was shown, I explained that, "He did that."

    After the conclusion of the episode, T reacted to the developments on Centauri Prime by saying, "There were a lot of mysterious goings-on."
    Last edited by alpha128; 01-07-2019, 04:56 AM.

  • #2
    Sigh...have I mentioned recently how much I despise the term 'filler episodes'? A term that never existed until arc shows were made popular, of course. Why would you skip "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari"? It was key to the fulfillment of the Londo/G'Kar arc.
    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jan View Post
      Sigh...have I mentioned recently how much I despise the term 'filler episodes'? A term that never existed until arc shows were made popular, of course. Why would you skip "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari"? It was key to the fulfillment of the Londo/G'Kar arc.
      We actually discussed this topic way back in the C & T Season 1 thread:

      Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
      As for "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari", I didn't find Londo's apology nearly as moving as G'Kar's forgiveness to Londo in "The Fall of Centauri Prime". And neither Geek.com nor Jason Shankel put "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" on their respective lists of essential Season Five episodes.

      I already test viewed my Season 5 condensed list, and I think it flows quite well. In "Rising Star" they mention that the regent is ill and will die early in the coming year. So I find it more effective to see the regent in the second episode, rather than wait until episode nine.
      And no, you haven't mentioned recently how much you despise the term "filler episodes". ;-)
      Last edited by alpha128; 01-07-2019, 05:18 AM.

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      • #4
        As always, these threads are enjoyable to read. I've always wondered at simply showing SIL in place of 'Deconstruction' at the end of S4 and calling it a day at that. Then again, you'd be missing out on the resolution of Londo's arc. But, I still wonder at how that might feel, ending like that.

        Can you post a list of what you are watching for S5. Curious what got the chop. Some of the non-arc episodes are cool, main one being 'Corps is mother, Corps is father'. But I do definitely understand the desire to condense S5. There's a reason fans joke about S5. "What Season 5?" (tbh, it's not half as bad as we all make out sometimes!)
        Last edited by Ubik; 01-08-2019, 02:02 PM.
        Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

        Kosh: Good!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ubik View Post
          As always, these threads are enjoyable to read. I've always wondered at simply showing SIL in place of 'Deconstruction' at the end of S4 and calling it a day at that. Then again, you'd be missing out on the resolution of Londo's arc. But, I still wonder at how that might feel, ending like that.
          I thought about doing that earlier, before C became fully engaged. But now she's asking questions like, "Does David have a headbone?" so that's no longer a concern.

          In addition, C has asked me more than once if Londo has his keeper yet. So I didn't want to deprive her of seeing how that happened. And as IGN notes in their review of Season 5, "the majority of the non-Teep War episodes are worth watching."

          Originally posted by Ubik View Post
          Can you post a list of what you are watching for S5. Curious what got the chop. Some of the non-arc episodes are cool, main one being 'Corps is mother, Corps is father'. But I do definitely understand the desire to condense S5. There's a reason fans joke about S5. "What Season 5?"
          Here's the list of what we're watching. This was first posted way back in the C&T Season 1 thread.
          Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
          There will be no more significant episode skipping until we get to Season 5. And then I plan to so them this condensed list:

          1 No Compromises
          9 The Kingdom of the Blind
          10 A Tragedy of Telepaths
          11 Phoenix Rising
          12 The Ragged Edge
          13 The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father
          14 Meditations on the Abyss
          15 Darkness Ascending
          16 All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
          17 Movements of Fire and Shadow
          18 The Fall of Centauri Prime
          19 Wheel of Fire
          20 Objects in Motion
          21 Objects at Rest
          22 Sleeping In Light

          "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" through "Day of the Dead" are very padded; those seven episodes can be summarized into about four important plot points. I'm just going to tell them the four plot points and skip as much Bryon as possible.
          I've already told them two of the four important plot points as noted above. I'll give them the other two, which involve Lennier, prior to watching "Meditations on the Abyss".

          In conclusion, thanks for reading and posting!

          Comment


          • #6
            I have to agree with Jan on Very Long Night. One of the best of season five and lots of good Londo G'Kar stuff in there. Also skipping the Declaration of Principles in Paragon of Animals is crazy too. Such good stuff in season five and it drives me crazy that people get locked up on Byron and forget about all the rest.

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            • #7
              Huh, that perhaps looks a tad lopsided to me. You're definitely not going to get that slow build to the telepath meltdown. Joe and Jan are right that S5 has some really good moments too. I think the Byron experience is kinda part and parcel of the whole. I mean, you need to understand the jokes about hair products in down below to be a real B5 fan. Hahahaaha.
              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

              Kosh: Good!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                I have to agree with Jan on Very Long Night. One of the best of season five and lots of good Londo G'Kar stuff in there. Also skipping the Declaration of Principles in Paragon of Animals is crazy too. Such good stuff in season five and it drives me crazy that people get locked up on Byron and forget about all the rest.
                One man's good stuff is another man's filler. And IMO, the less Bryon the better. When I first saw Season 5, my reaction when Bryon blew himself up was, "Yes! That arrogant snooty bastard is off the show!!!" Probably not the reaction JMS intended.


                Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                I think the Byron experience is kinda part and parcel of the whole. I mean, you need to understand the jokes about hair products in down below to be a real B5 fan. Hahahaaha.
                I think three telepath episodes is plenty. As the AV Club points out, the full Season 5 experience means, "Byron's appeared in eight episodes out of the first 10 or 11. I think that's more than Lochley, and more than Vir and Lennier combined."

                As for not understanding the jokes about hair products in Downbelow, don't forget that when C first saw Bryon from afar she asked, "Is that a man?"
                Last edited by alpha128; 01-08-2019, 07:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                  I have to agree with Jan on Very Long Night. One of the best of season five and lots of good Londo G'Kar stuff in there. Also skipping the Declaration of Principles in Paragon of Animals is crazy too. Such good stuff in season five and it drives me crazy that people get locked up on Byron and forget about all the rest.
                  Yeah. IMO it's essential to these characters and the show.
                  It's also VERY good.
                  My UHD, Blu-Ray and DVD Collection

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lope de Aguirre View Post
                    Yeah. IMO it's essential to these characters and the show.
                    It's also VERY good.
                    To be clear, it's not that I think "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" is a bad episode. I just don't think it's essential.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd be really curious to know if C & T decide they want to see the episodes that were omitted after finishing the series. I am very aware that much of my love of B5 lies in nostalgia, (as well as it being a very fine series) and it made a big impression on me in my early teens, especially when compared to Trek which was my first love. It was revolutionary, exciting and had this epic story arc, so I was absolutely prepared to overlook any rough edges at that age.

                      I suspect, that if I came to the show now, as an adult without ever having seen it, whilst I'm sure I'd enjoy it, I probably wouldn't have quite the same fervent enthusiasm I have now, having seen and loved it in my youth. I'm pretty harsh on TV and film these days and expect a lot from my entertainment if I'm going to invest time.
                      Last edited by Ubik; 01-10-2019, 01:09 AM.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                        I'd be really curious to know if C & T decide they want to see the episodes that were omitted after finishing the series. I am very aware that much of my love of B5 lies in nostalgia, (as well as it being a very fine series)... It was revolutionary, exciting and had this epic story arc, so I was absolutely prepared to overlook any rough edges at that age.

                        I suspect, that if I came to the show now, as an adult without ever having seen it, whilst I'm sure I'd enjoy it, I probably wouldn't have quite the same fervent enthusiasm I have now, having seen and loved it in my youth. I'm pretty harsh on TV and film these days and expect a lot from my entertainment if I'm going to invest time.
                        When I explained that uncertainty about a Season 5 renewal created a narrative hole plugged with filler episodes, T seemed concerned. He asked me if the episode I had cued up was one of those filler episodes. When I said no, we were skipping over the filler episodes, he seemed relieved.

                        So I doubt they will ask to see what they missed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                          As for not understanding the jokes about hair products in Downbelow, don't forget that when C first saw Bryon from afar she asked, "Is that a man?"
                          Yeah...how old is C anyway? What an odd question to ask.

                          "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jan View Post
                            Yeah...how old is C anyway? What an odd question to ask.
                            Old enough to recognize the copious use of hair product when she see it!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alpha128 View Post

                              Old enough to recognize the copious use of hair product when she see it!
                              Yeah...Good grooming is SO bougie, right?
                              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

                              Comment

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