Warning!!! Here there be spoilers aplenty! Do not read any of these unless you've seen the entire series!

Kay Shapero Babylonathon Notes

A compilation of notes made whilst watching each episode after I've already seen the whole Babylon 5 series - stuff that I didn't notice before, or that takes on a whole new meaning when you know the rest of the story. There are also a few things I had noticed before but feel like commenting on anyway. These are not reviews, and since any part of the series may be mentioned in a single episode's comments, reading of these by anybody who hasn't already seen the whole story is strongly contraindicated.

This IS the final season, thus no really long range foreshadowing, but it's still pretty interconnected.

Index 1 2 3 4 5

Wheel of Fire

(Season Five)

No Compromises

Poor Corwin, still nervous as ever.

"On B5 trouble comes looking for us…"

No kidding.

The whole first four seasons… and a bit of this one all packed into the introduction.

Sheridan meets Lochley, with strong indications they know each other. Which, given that we're eventually going to find out they were briefly married in the past is true enough. :)

Enter Byron, loitering in the hall.

"My people are coming." Actually this one already had significance at the time, but it's still amusing.

Indications of other Narn philosophers/holy men/whatever than G'Quan. Fitting enough given that G'Kar is now writing the book by which he will be remembered.

The Declaration of Principles - memorable far beyond the ending of the show itself.

We meet the telepaths; "Sarah, bright and beautiful" (reminiscent both of "all things bright and beautiful" and "Sarah, Plain and Tall"). Simon, the projective telepath - flowers.

He talks a good game - it's a pity Byron didn't listen to himself or he might have avoided the fatal error he commits later, in defining himself and the others as both vulnerable and dangerous.

Simon in the ceiling - reminscent of Garibaldi dragging himself to the elevator in the first season. Meanwhile, Garibaldi tracks down the name of the assassin. Simon has better luck than Garibaldi in arriving in time, but worse in dying thereafter. Given what we know of him, one suspects he'd prefer it to the reverse.

And it's Garibaldi to the rescue! This time, he IS in time.

Exit with Garibaldi as director of covert operations. Still with the "Columbo"esque "Just one thing", still radiating the private detective style.

The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari

Now it's Londo lying in Medlab; bringing back memories of when Lennier was there, and Londo was keeping him company. Delenn wishes him luck - at this point what IS good luck for Londo? He'll have to decide that for himself.

Once again, Lennier and Vir at the bar.

Echoes of Sheridan and Lorien's conversation, as Sheridan cycles through the stages of his life. Finishing with his vanishment in a bright light.. as he'll do in Sleeping in Light.

Londo apologizes to G'Kar, and G'Kar smiles. Such a great change symbolized by such a small interaction.

And we end with Lennier off on his own quest which will fail at first, but who knows; perhaps eventually he too succeeds.

The Paragon of Animals

Garibaldi and the telepaths… not a good fit. Though after that speech, Byron's decision to use telepathy to try and extort a new world out of the Alliance makes even less sense. I suppose there's no reason telepaths would be any more immune to fuzzy thinking than anybody else.

Why Lyta doesn't tell them all to go pound salt and light out for the other end of the galaxy about halfway through this episode I shall never understand...

Byron has a lot in common with Bester when you think about it, though his personality and tactics are quite different. Of course they do know each other, as we'll find out later. He's made the same mistake the "mundanes" have made in not recognizing that both groups are of the same kind. This is going to cost plenty.

Of course that's the whole point of the episode; achieve unity or all Hell breaks loose.

Finally, Sheridan comes this close to catching on to what he's overlooking, only to be interrupted by G'Kar.

A View From the Gallery

This one is mostly about stuff the fans were wondering about over the years.

Just as the rest of us are wondering what the "futuristic floor mop" does… so do Mack and Bo, the folks using it. :)

Whatever spoo tastes like, it sure LOOKS like tofu.

The third actual insect I can recall seeing in this show - first the ant, then Londo's bug, then the one on the bridge.

"Why Susan Ivanova left the station" a counterpart to all the "why Claudia Christian left the show" rumors that floated around on the net.

Again with arguments on the elevator (remember the start of season 2 and Ivanova and the arguing ambassadors. :) )

Various answers to "why don't they" questions. Wonder how many of these are things JMS was actually asked at one time or another…

"I always thought they [White Stars] looked like plucked chickens." Snicker. I'll admit to calling the original one "the Ruptured Duck" on occasion, myself.

Different communicators for the maintenance staff, likely with different uses as well as communication.

Bo's comment about clawing his way out of Hell etc. to see that smile again - which, of course, is pretty much what Sheridan did.

And this time we get to see them cleaning up the mess.

Learning Curve

Enter Trace, a new crime boss. What a fool he turns out to be. Sets out to murder the head of Security, and antagonize the Rangers all in one go. (The crime boss who ignored suit operation instructions and never made it from the ship to the airlock in Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" comes to mind.)

Garibaldi seems to be making a career of being rude to Captains of Babylon 5, doesn't he? I'd say Lochley won that round and good for her.

What to do with Pak'ma'ra rangers, more on Lennier.

Turval's talk to Rastenn in some ways reminiscent of Delenn's explanation of "her cause" to Sebastian, way back in "Comes the Inquisitor" in season 2. Scale is not all that important.

Poor Sheridan finally tells Delenn about his previous marriage to Lockley - of course WE don't find out what that was about until the next episode. :)

Strange Relations

One interesting thing about listening to the opening credits for season 5 on my computer (where I'm watching it, to make taking notes easier) is that with the multiple speaker sound system I get to listen to the various lines coming from different directions. Nice effect.

Bester actually finds a welcome from the person in charge of Babylon 5, for a change. Well, sorta anyway.

Lochley in action; not intimidated by much of anything, and also quick witted.

Y'know, Bester's right about what he says to Lyta - Byron's telepaths are dangerous, and they are on their own side and nobody else's. But in the end the only ones this will harm will be themselves.

Lockley's interesting choice of words; Yeah, Garibaldi would know about someone you trusted stabbing you in the back.

Given his earlier activites for the telepath underground, how appropriate that it's Franklin who gives Lochley the idea that saves them for now.

Interesting thought; does upsetting the entire alliance by actions you'd think even non-telepaths would consider ill thought out count as "turning" on their hosts? Or just a sample of how things do blow up on you sometimes?

Zack is right about Byron, too..

Secrets of the Soul

Ironic that both Lyta and Zack are right in their argument. Byron IS trouble, for his followers as well as himself, all the more because he does not realize it himself; Lyta WAS treated shabbily.

The High Voltage sign in the background of Byron's room is an interesting touch. Metaphorically, the whole situation is heading inexorably towards the third rail.

Whew... when this group wishes you would burn in Hell, you feel the flames...

Lyta, dressed in solid black, no psi corps pin, indicative of having joined the group.

Like a lot of people, I suspect things would have been better if there'd been more episodes to string out the telepath subplot, as it's pretty heavy handed; very little subtlety. Though when you think about it, maybe subtlety is a bit less likely in a community who always know what each other is thinking. So maybe Byron later simply fails to recall that this is not the same for non-telepaths.

Day of the Dead

Lennier returns, apparently happy as a Ranger. Or rather doing his best to convince himself this is the case.

Londo gets Adira back for awhile, and a reminder of the innocence he left behind years ago. At least for awhile he can be happy again.

I didn't see much point in this episode first time around, but it is nice after all to watch various people finally come to terms with the past. And it will be Lennier's tragedy that he cannot. Morden, alas, is right. Lennier is not over Delenn, and he will indeed betray the Anla Shok.

Garibaldi gets to do his favorite thing - hacking the interstellar com system, and hang out with an old friend being silly. He's happy.. and after all he's gone through it's nice to see.

Kosh's message to Sheridan "When the long night comes, return to the end of the beginning." Very Kosh… and sure enough, Sheridan will return to Babylon 5 on his last day.

And a happy Londo finally "gets" Rebo and Zooty. The night has done him good.

In The Kingdom of the Blind

The regent getting drunk and telling the guard to kill him… Londo will find getting drunk useful too in dealing with a Keeper.

"As if a darkness had fallen over the palace."

Way to go, Byron - make yourself look simultaneously vulnerable and a threat. It's a good question what method would work, but this certainly isn't it.

Londo meets something even worse than the foe it saved him from... and from the look on his face he probably knows it this time.

At least there is the regent to pity Londo for his coming emperorship. With good reason.

And lo and behold, it's the Drakh using Centauri ships to destroy shipping. Not that that's exactly a big surprise to us, and probably to Londo.

To be continued

Index 1 2 3 4 5