The Ninjabot

Retro Review: Babylon 5, “Revelations”

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 7:38 pm by Will Wells

Babylon 5

And we’re back with Babylon 5.  “Revelations” occurs immediately after “Points of Departure,” so it continues some of the plot threads introduced there.

We begin with the Council – with Londo Mollari (who I didn’t much get to talk about last time) complaining that they can’t get anything done because two important members are missing – Delienn is in a Cocoon and G’kar is off investigating events from the previous season.  We cut from this to G’kar fleeing from some strange ships – ships that look like some horrific midpoint between spiders and amoebas.  G’kar escapes and we cut to the opening credits.

Shadow Fighter

Once we’re back, we find Sheridan about to meet up with his sister, who’s on B5 for a visit.  We pause with the Doctor long enough to learn that Garibaldi is getting worse (not sure how – how do you get more comatose?).  Doc Franklin has only one option left – an alien device from the previous season that can transfer life energy from one person to another.  This rather amazing piece of technology will have to wait – Sheridan has to welcome his sister.

During dinner, we learn a very important fact – Sheridan’s wife died two years ago.  Later in the episode, we learn that she died on a deep space exploration mission on a ship called the Icaras.  Well, if you’re going to name your space ship after a mythological figure that flew too close to the sun and then fell to his death, you can’t be surprised when it explodes for no reason.  At this point, her death seems to be just another detail in Sheridan’s character, but over the next two seasons, her death will play an important role in the story.

From here, things move quickly.  G’kar gets back from his mission, Delenn hatches from her Cocoon, and Sheridan decides to plug himself into the Alien Machine to transfer some of his life to Garibaldi.  The next morning, Garibaldi is awake – however, he doesn’t remember who shot him.

Delenn is all crusty and looks kind of like a brittle Drazi.  Her scales keep falling off, so Lennier calls in Doc Franklin to look her over.

Meanwhile, G’kar has gone to the council to tell them about the creepy spider-amoeba aliens.  When Sheridan and Londo are doubtful about an “ancient evil” near the galactic rim, he says that he will have proof soon – he’s sent a Narn ship to Z’ha’dum.  This turns out to be a mistake, as Londo calls up his buddy Mister Morden.  Londo tells Mr. Morden about the Narn mission to Z’ha’dum.

Garibaldi and Talia

Meanwhile, again, Garibaldi has called up resident telepath Talia Winters to scan him for memories about the day he was shot.  She helps out and learns about the security second being the shooter.  Sheridan and several security officers arrest him.  Garibaldi questions him, but his second is vague.  Not long thereafter, the President (former vice President) calls up and orders the prisoner transferred to Earth will all evidence.

At Z’ha’dum, the Narn ship jumps out of hyperspace – and is instantly cut in half by a giant shimmering spider ship – a Shadow Vessel.  This scene ends up in the opening credits for the next three seasons, and there’s a reason why: it encapsulates the power and terror of the Shadow Vessels.

Narn ship explodes

Each alien race has their own ship style.  Minbari ships look a little like fish, Shadow Vessels look like spiders, Narn ships look like trilobites.  Earth ships look clunky and have rotating sections – Centauri ships look similar to Earth ships, but sleeker and without rotating parts.  I’ve always thought that Centauri ships look like what Earth ships might look like in another hundred years.  It makes sense since the Centauri provided Earth with much of their space technology, and also since Centauri aesthetics often seem very similar to human aesthetics.

Back in “Revelations”, G’kar is upset about the destruction of the ship.  His government is calling it an accident, but he believes it was an attack – a surprise attack.  And the only people who knew were the humans and the Centauri.  G’kar has to suspect them both – he will not trust either group again soon.

Delenn has cleaned off her scales and now reveals herself to all – she has hair.

Delenn's Mugshot

It turns out that her cocoon was to make herself half-human.  She is a self-proclaimed bridge between the Minbari and the Humans.  Sheridan’s jaw about hits the floor – unlike all the other characters, he’s never seen her in her other form (aside from in pictures).  Again, this is set up for future episodes.

Garibaldi spins some theories about the assassin and suggests that the Psicorp might have been behind the former President’s assassination.  This is backed up when the prisoner goes missing en-route to Earth (and all the evidence with him).

Garibaldi's Aide

Garibaldi’s aide who shot him in the back.

“Revelations” neatly ties up the dangling plot threads from the season opener, and a few more from the previous season’s closing.  With this episode, we have reached a new status quo for the season.  This is B5, so no status stays quo for long, but we’ve met the new captain, everyone is out of cocoons or comas, and events are moving forward.

Rating: B

Breakdown:

As good as “Revelations” is – and it is very good – it seems a bit rushed and schizophrenic at times.  The Narn plotline particularly seems like it had some time cut from it.  If Delenn had stayed in the cocoon another episode, it would give given “Revelations” some much needed breathing room.

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