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Watching B5 with C&T - S3

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  • #16
    Quick note while I have minute. I know one HUGE reason you should not have skipped Exogenesis - it is a Marcus centered episode.
    Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Looney View Post
      Quick note while I have minute. I know one HUGE reason you should not have skipped Exogenesis - it is a Marcus centered episode.
      Yes, but Marcus also has a big part in "Messages from Earth", and that was:
      1. An Earth/Human-centric episode
      2. An important arc episode
      3. A more highly rated episode (P5 Rating of 9.06 vs. 7.34 for "Exogenesis")


      Even JMS himself calls "Exogenesis" a "non-arc episode" and "the weakest of this season's 22."

      When you're dealing with someone who gave an Earth-heavy episode like "Voices of Authority" the raspberry "for all the freaks", a story about parasitic centipedes is likely too alien for even Marcus' charm to overcome.

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      • #18
        "Point of No Return"

        I had explained as far back as Season 1 that each year of B5 has a title, and that one episode has the same title as its year, to emphasize its significance. I reiterated that fact, and told them this was that episode for Season 3. I then reminded them that at the end of "Messages from Earth", President Clark had declared martial law. I said that "Point of No Return" picks up right where "Messages from Earth" left off.

        At the beginning C found parallels to Trump in both Londo's and President Clark's actions.

        When the blonde haired Nightwatch guy asked the chief, "Are you with us or against us?" and Garibaldi responded by knocking a bunch of something (Nightwatch pamphlets?) off a table, T said, "I guess that answers that question."

        After Sheridan told Ivanova, "I wish Delenn" were here, C asked "Where is Delenn?" I said, "I don't know, Minbar maybe."

        T got a laugh from the contrast of the riot going on in the Zocalo at the same time Sheridan was announcing B5 was under martial law (I keep wanting to type Marshall Law).

        When Lady Morella briefly touched Londo's hand and saw an image of an aged Londo on the throne, T asked if that was a vision of her late husband. I said "No, it's a vision of Londo's future."

        At the end T commented on "all this turmoil" and I said that it really hit the fan in the next episode. "Even more?" T asked. "Even more!" I replied.


        "Severed Dreams"

        I began by reminding them that the previous episode had ended with Sheridan and Ivanova musing that Earth would coming be after them next. I added, "If you thought there was a lot of turmoil last week, you ain't seen nothing yet!"

        Not a lot of commentary from C & T, as they both seemed pretty caught up in the events of the episode. Interestingly, there were two instances where they gave the same comment in unison. They both said "Oh no" when ISN was knocked offline, and both said "Wow!" when Babylon 5 declared its independence from the Earth Alliance. When Sheridan said that President Clark was in violation of the Earth Alliance constitution, T noted, "You could substitute 'Trump' for 'Clark'."

        After it was over, T called "Severed Dreams" a "rousing episode". He also praised the special effects, saying they were top-notch for the show's era, and held up well today.

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        • #19
          Thanks for the updates! I really enjoy reading these. It's cool to see C & T clearly more engaged now the show is shifting into high gear. Interesting that B5 continues to hold its own for new viewers. It's also nice that they can see the VFX in context and praise the work instead of seeing it as old hat. The ship design are still lovely and the world (cardboard sets and all ) holds up very well.
          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

          Kosh: Good!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Ubik View Post
            Thanks for the updates! I really enjoy reading these.
            Thank you for reading and posting!

            Originally posted by Ubik View Post
            It's also nice that they can see the VFX in context and praise the work instead of seeing it as old hat. The ship design are still lovely and the world (cardboard sets and all ) holds up very well.
            After T's comments on the VFX, I told him this story:
            When producer George Johnson saw the script for #10, "Severed Dreams," he laughed, walked over to me and said, "Boy, this is the best episode we're never gonna deliver. ARE YOU NUTS?!"

            http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/054.html#JS
            T replied that he could tell this episode had many more special effects than usual.

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            • #21
              Ahhh man, I freaking love Lurker's Guide. Such a great site. I fully intend to do a re-watch one time where I read Lurker's Guide AND the script books before each ep. Who know when though? Retirement maybe?!
              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

              Kosh: Good!

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              • #22
                If they are not fully engaged after these two episodes you may as well give up on the project.


                Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                "Point of No Return"


                After Sheridan told Ivanova, "I wish Delenn" were here, C asked "Where is Delenn?" I said, "I don't know, Minbar maybe."
                This something I think B5 did pretty well. There are episodes where cast members disappear for a time, but they sometimes established that they were dealing with other business and I think that is great. It meant the viewers could see an episode where Delenn was absent and know that she was dealing with something else that might not be important to the over all arc, but kept it established that she had a position of importance. There is depth in the Babylon 5 Universe. Not that other shows don't establish this as well just that they did a great job covering character absence in B5.

                Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                "Severed Dreams"

                After it was over, T called "Severed Dreams" a "rousing episode". He also praised the special effects, saying they were top-notch for the show's era, and held up well today.
                So glad to hear they continue to stick with it. I could have told them that all they needed to do was give the show a chance.
                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Looney View Post
                  So glad to hear they continue to stick with it. I could have told them that all they needed to do was give the show a chance.
                  I think it's perhaps telling that, for almost the entire series, T and I have waited for C to join us in the living room prior to each episode. But for "Severed Dreams", she actually sat down before T did.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    "Ceremonies of Light and Dark"

                    At the beginning of this one, I said that Garibaldi's parting words in "Severed Dreams" foreshadowed the events of this episode. Specifically the part about sending home members of Nightwatch - "the ones we know about." C suggested that Zack might be able to help with that, given his former Nightwatch affiliation.

                    C asked why Sheridan had such a problem wearing his uniform when Garibaldi and Ivanova did not, and I didn't have an answer for her.

                    When the sniper had Sheridan in his sights, T said, "Uh oh." And C remarked that it looked like he was about to get shot.

                    Early on, C repeated an observation she had made all the way back in Season 1 about the computer graphics being inferior to those of today. However, T was quick to defend the show, saying the graphics were remarkable for the time they were made.

                    During the opening credits, C also repeated that Marcus wasn't being used enough and thankfully I was able to tell her that he has a big part in this episode.

                    As usual T appreciated the humor, chuckling when Londo poisoned Refa, and getting a good laugh from Sparky the computer.

                    When Boggs' psycho war buddy was describing what he did to Minbari prisoners of war C said, "I hope they don't show us that."

                    When Boggs told Sheridan his demands to get rid of the alien warships and put the station back under Earth control, T quipped, "Make Babylon great again."

                    At the end T correctly guessed that Delenn's gifts would be new uniforms.


                    "Sic Transit Vir"

                    I introduced this one by translating the title: "Thus Passes Vir". I told them this would be a Vir-centric episode.

                    At the beginning, T asked if Ivanova was naked and I said, "Kind of." When she bolted awake, T said, "Ah, a nightmare."

                    In the scene in the Centauri throne room, C tried to guess the punch line as "An unlocked room." T enjoyed the introductory joke. In fact, he enjoyed all the humorous bits in this episode, e.g., Londo's fight with the bug and "Abrahamo Lincolni".

                    When Vir entered the room full of Narns, C asked how they got there and I said, "You'll find out before this episode is over."

                    Otherwise, not a lot of commentary from them, but they both stayed engaged throughout the episode.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                      "Ceremonies of Light and Dark"


                      C asked why Sheridan had such a problem wearing his uniform when Garibaldi and Ivanova did not, and I didn't have an answer for her.
                      I think the answer would be that everyone process differently. It is just another layer to Babylon 5's characters. Sheridan feels hypocritical. Garibaldi and Ivanova feel differently, but by the end they come to Sheridan's point of view and accept that the new uniforms are ... fitting.



                      Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                      When Boggs told Sheridan his demands to get rid of the alien warships and put the station back under Earth control, T quipped, "Make Babylon great again."
                      Another example of how Babylon 5 is still relevant.


                      Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                      "Sic Transit Vir"

                      Otherwise, not a lot of commentary from them, but they both stayed engaged throughout the episode.
                      I love that episode. I think it is probably a good thing they didn't have a lot of comments and were just able to sit back and enjoy it.
                      Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Looney View Post
                        but by the end they come to Sheridan's point of view and accept that the new uniforms are ... fitting.
                        http://instantrimshot.com/

                        Originally posted by Looney View Post
                        I love ("Sic Transit Vir"). I think it is probably a good thing they didn't have a lot of comments and were just able to sit back and enjoy it.
                        I think the relative lack of commentary was due to it being a quieter episode. Even Sheridan remarks, "This is the first time in months that it's been this quiet."

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                        • #27
                          "A Late Delivery from Avalon"

                          At the start of this, I merely said Michael York guest starred.

                          Not a lot of commentary from C & T.

                          T enjoyed the humor as usual. He laughed at Garibaldi's fight with the post office and when Arthur said to G'Kar, "My knights were men such as you, well not exactly such as you."


                          "Ship of Tears"

                          I introduced this one by saying that while the last episode didn't advance the overall plot, this one does. And although there wasn't a lot of commentary, both C & T were clearly more engaged by this one than "Avalon".

                          When Bester was being evasive with Sheridan at the beginning of the episode, C once again channeled her inner Ackbar and declared, "It's a trap!" Meanwhile T said, "It looks suspicious."

                          When the cargo hold of the Shadow transport was shown, C channeled Detective Thorn and said, "It's people!" Later, C almost jumped out of her seat when Carolyn suddenly started screaming and banging on the window of her cryotube.

                          When Garibaldi was translating the Book of G'Quan with a handheld device, T asked, "Is that a dictionary?" I replied, "Yes, that's the 23rd century version of Google Translate." T found it amusing that the Book of G'Quan looked like it was in poor shape, and got a kick out of Garibaldi thumping the book while repeating, "I've got it!"

                          At the end, T echoed Ivanova's final comment about the Shadows, "Uh oh, they're on the move." He then said, "That was an intense episode." I replied that with a couple of exceptions, the episodes would be getter more intense as we neared the end of the season.


                          "Interludes and Examinations"

                          I described this as a major episode with serious consequences for several characters. And since we skipped "Born to the Purple" back in Season 1, I gave them a brief overview of that episode.

                          Not a lot of commentary from C & T. When Ivanova completed her opening narration, "So far, we've got everything more or less under control, as long as nothing else goes wrong", and then the Shadows appeared at Morden's side, T remarked "Something's going wrong."

                          At the relevant points of the episode I paused the playback and made sure they understood what was going on. For example, I made sure they understood that Kosh had been killed in retaliation by the Shadows. I also made sure that they understood that Morden was the one to kill Adira, and that he had framed Lord Refa for the crime. T had missed the latter point. So I was glad I stopped to explain things, because at the end T said, "That was complicated episode, with a lot going on."

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                            "A Late Delivery from Avalon"

                            At the start of this, I merely said Michael York guest starred.

                            Not a lot of commentary from C & T.

                            T enjoyed the humor as usual. He laughed at Garibaldi's fight with the post office and when Arthur said to G'Kar, "My knights were men such as you, well not exactly such as you."
                            It is great how the David McIntyre character is established in one episode mid-series and yet his character's actions have already had so much of an effect on the entire series. Plus I think this is a good episode because it ties back to similar struggles that Dwight Schultz's character was dealing with in 2.5 The Long Dark.

                            Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                            "Ship of Tears"

                            I introduced this one by saying that while the last episode didn't advance the overall plot, this one does. And although there wasn't a lot of commentary, both C & T were clearly more engaged by this one than "Avalon".

                            When Bester was being evasive with Sheridan at the beginning of the episode, C once again channeled her inner Ackbar and declared, "It's a trap!" Meanwhile T said, "It looks suspicious."

                            When the cargo hold of the Shadow transport was shown, C channeled Detective Thorn and said, "It's people!" Later, C almost jumped out of her seat when Carolyn suddenly started screaming and banging on the window of her cryotube.

                            When Garibaldi was translating the Book of G'Quan with a handheld device, T asked, "Is that a dictionary?" I replied, "Yes, that's the 23rd century version of Google Translate." T found it amusing that the Book of G'Quan looked like it was in poor shape, and got a kick out of Garibaldi thumping the book while repeating, "I've got it!"

                            At the end, T echoed Ivanova's final comment about the Shadows, "Uh oh, they're on the move." He then said, "That was an intense episode." I replied that with a couple of exceptions, the episodes would be getter more intense as we neared the end of the season.
                            So any comments about how it seems Bester is now a team player?


                            Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                            "Interludes and Examinations"

                            I described this as a major episode with serious consequences for several characters. And since we skipped "Born to the Purple" back in Season 1, I gave them a brief overview of that episode.

                            Not a lot of commentary from C & T. When Ivanova completed her opening narration, "So far, we've got everything more or less under control, as long as nothing else goes wrong", and then the Shadows appeared at Morden's side, T remarked "Something's going wrong."

                            At the relevant points of the episode I paused the playback and made sure they understood what was going on. For example, I made sure they understood that Kosh had been killed in retaliation by the Shadows. I also made sure that they understood that Morden was the one to kill Adira, and that he had framed Lord Refa for the crime. T had missed the latter point. So I was glad I stopped to explain things, because at the end T said, "That was complicated episode, with a lot going on."
                            WOW! So after the episode did they immediately want to start the next episode? I mean they are engaged in how things are heating up, but is it to the point where they want to binge watch the rest of the series yet?

                            And oh how the wheel turns. If you had shown them Born To Purple then they would have gotten to react to this story catching up with one they would have watched oh so long ago. Sorry there are things I love about Born To Purple, but that can be said about every episode.
                            Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Looney View Post
                              So any comments about how it seems Bester is now a team player?
                              None that I can recall.

                              Originally posted by Looney View Post
                              WOW! So after the episode did they immediately want to start the next episode? I mean they are engaged in how things are heating up, but is it to the point where they want to binge watch the rest of the series yet?
                              They don't seem ready yet to start watching multiple episodes in one sitting. But you never know, the next ones are "War Without End, Parts One and Two".

                              Originally posted by Looney View Post
                              And oh how the wheel turns. If you had shown them Born To Purple then they would have gotten to react to this story catching up with one they would have watched oh so long ago.
                              Yes, but when we started this experiment there was no guarantee we would get this far. Too many lesser Season 1 episodes could have caused them to lose interest before we got to the good stuff.

                              But I agree with your point. That's why for my introduction to "War Without End, Part One", I plan to show them the final DVD chapter of "Signs and Portents" again:

                              "The future is always changing. We create the future, with our words, with our deeds, and with our beliefs. This is a possible future, Commander. And it is my hope that you may yet avoid it."
                              And then tell them that possible future is (DUN DUN DUUUUN!!!) eight days away.
                              Last edited by alpha128; 05-15-2018, 04:02 PM.

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                              • #30
                                "War Without End", Part One

                                I did as I said I was going to do and had them rewatch "A Possible Future", the final DVD chapter of "Signs and Portents", as an introduction. Apparently they had forgotten this, because T said, "My goodness!" when the station blew up.

                                I then told them that possible future was eight days away. C, however, was unimpressed. She knew that we were in the third season of a five season series, and therefore the odds of the station actually being destroyed were basically nil. But I told her, "These episodes can still surprise you."

                                When Minbar was shown at the beginning, I told them this was Delenn's home planet, and the first time it was seen in the series. T said, "It's weird place, but with nice waterfalls".

                                After Delenn's information dump aboard the White Star, I paused the playback and asked, "You got that?" They said that they did.

                                When Zathras was telling both Sinclair and Sheridan that he was honored to meet them, T quipped, "Zathras could use some dental work."

                                T, as usual, enjoyed multiple instances of the humor. For example, T laughed when Marcus said standing on your head while looking in a mirror worked. T also enjoyed Looney's signature and Zathras' soliloquy about his sad, but symmetrical, life and death.

                                I got a "Wow" from C at the end.


                                "War Without End", Part Two

                                Because Part Two opens with an excellent recap of Part One, I took no steps to remind C & T of the events of the previous episode. Instead I reminded them of even earlier events. First, I read to them the following recap from The Lurker's Guide synopsis for "Point of No Return":

                                Lady Morella gives Londo his reading, but as prophecy tends to be, it is obscure and not what he wants to hear. She tells him he will have three opportunities to sidestep the fiery future awaiting him at the end of his journey, and has already missed two others. He must save the eye that cannot see. He must not kill the one who is already dead. And if all else fails, he must surrender himself to his greatest fear, knowing that it will destroy him. In addition she tells him that he will be emperor someday. As an aside she informs Vir that he will be emperor also, which amuses him enormously-until he realizes that she isn't joking. "One of you will become emperor after the other is dead."
                                I also showed them the scene from "Midnight on the Firing Line" where Londo tells Sinclair about his death dream, so they could understand how much was foreshadowed in advance.

                                I think they appreciated the recaps because when G'Kar and Londo strangled each other T said, "Just as was foretold". To which I added, "And Vir becomes emperor, just as foretold". But just before that, C had a hard time spotting Londo's keeper, so I stood up and pointed it out.

                                Not a lot of commentary from C & T overall. I think they were both too busy trying to keep up with the plot to comment. C did remark near the end that the plot was "convoluted". And at times she seemed to have difficulty distinguishing the Babylon 4 vs. Babylon 5 stations and their respective crew members.

                                Later, C wondered aloud if David had a Minbari headbone. I said that was a good question, but we never see him in the series, so we never find out.

                                As usual T appreciated the humor, such as Marcus saying "I don't believe in luck" right before knocking a panel open, or Zathras saying, "You are finite, I am finite, this is wrong tool." But overall, I think this time traveling story may have been too hard for them to follow.

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