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vacantlook November 1st 04 10:35

EpDis: Mind War
Moving on to Mind War.

Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for Mind War
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for Mind War

vacantlook November 1st 04 10:50

Re: EpDis: Mind War
"Mind War" was one of the early episodes of B5 that really stuck in my mind when I saw it.

It was really fun seeing Walter Koenig make an appearance on the show; little did I know that his character would become such a powerful reoccurring character on the show! Bester is such a completely different character than Chekov was on Star Trek. He's such a great villain and he leaves such a massive impression!

We got to get more about the horrors of the PsiCorps in this episode. We got a small touch of it in "Midnight On The Firing Line" with Ivanova telling Talia about what the PsiCorps rules did to her mother. Here we get Talia being hit again by something bad the PsiCorps did to someone, this time her lover Jason Ironheart. I know Jason was created to jumpstart Talia's powers similarly to how Lyta's touching Kosh's mind were her jumping off point for becoming more than the plain little commercial teep that they were. I liked Jason's character for the most part. The grabbing of the temples of his head when his powers cracked up was a bit melodramatic and cliche, but I liked how he portrayed a bit of calmness in knowing what he could do with his powers. I liked how all he wanted was to get away to keep the PsiCorps from getting to know which combination of chemicals and other techniques that were used on him to unlock his powers.

I loved the scene where Bester and that other PsiCop scanned Talia and how after it happened, Ivanova felt so much concern for Talia. When Ivanova's pouring that glass of water for Talia, the look on Ivanova's face speaks volumes without any words spoken by her whatsoever. Definite good acting on the part of Claudia Christian!

And we even got the beginnings of the Garibaldi-Bester antagonsitic relationship in this episode with Bester picking up on Garibaldi's "anatomically impossible" thought. What does everyone think the actual thought was? I figure it was shoving Bester's head up his ass or something similar.

And then there's the final scene of Talia alone in her quarters learning she now had a bit of telekinetic ability: a very haunting scene.

I really like this episode!

GKarsEye November 1st 04 11:01

Re: EpDis: Mind War
The bad:

This episode is slightly tarnished for me because I can't help but think of it as a stop-gap way of dealing with the fact that the "wrong" telepath is on the show. Had Lyta stayed, this whole thing would have been unecessary.

Ironheart himself was kind of annoying. The over-announciating and the melodrama is one of the classic instances of B5 corniness, something that plagues the show throughout, especially the first season.

The good:

Though this ep is an "accident," the Bester character would probably not have come to fruition, so in that respect it's a "happy accident." And it's a decent intro to Psi-Corp, one of my favorite things in the series.

Favorite moment: Talia talking about telepaths making love while traveling through a tunnel.

KoshFan November 1st 04 12:49

Re: EpDis: Mind War
Oddly enough I never saw this episode until I got the DVDs. I knew roughly what happened, but not the specifics....

Probably my favorite bit of this episode is the G'kar/Catherine interaction. At first G'kar's up to his old tricks, blustering and intimidating -- and then he sends a "heavily armed" fighter to the same place, and everyone who doesn't yet know how these shows work is thinking, "Crap, he's going to kill her!" But no, it's the introduction of the First Ones and the Narns are there to rescue her. But the best is yet to come, as G'kar explains his motivations, and then gives that brief and yet profoundly eloquent speech about "those who walk near Sigma 957..."

It's really the first time we see any real compassion or depth of character to G'kar, and also the first time we really encounter his spectacular gift with words. We see, in this episode, the building blocks of the Narn we've all come to know and love from the later seasons.

And yes, the phenomenally evil Mr. Bester makes his appearance. The only thing I didn't like was that the telepathic communcation idea got dropped after this, but I admit it would be nigh on impossible to film.

RMcD November 1st 04 12:50

Re: EpDis: Mind War
This is another solid episode. It's unusual in that both the A-plot (which introduces the psi-cops) and the B-plot (which introduces Sigma 957 and the First Ones) both turn out to have huge ramificaitions down the road.

G'Kar 'appears' to be way out of character in this episode - I like the way that what seems like inconsistency is actually hinting at how his character will evolve. It's by far my favourite 'Talia' episode, although that really isn't saying much because usually I can't stand her, and any epsiode that develops her character is pointless in the long run. I remember that the long effects sequence in the rail car blew my mind in '94, just for its length and complexity, though of course times have changed.

Finally, I kinda like Christopher Franke's theme - okay, it's simple and repetitive, but it sticks in my head somehow.

KoshFan November 1st 04 13:03

Re: EpDis: Mind War
Which theme? Because the main title music was one of the things that really caught me.

Shaal Mayan November 1st 04 14:04

Re: EpDis: Mind War
This one is good a really different character for Walter as Bester than when he portrayed Chekov and a good intro into the Psi Corps .The ironheart line is an early indication that the Corps has other agendas.

vacantlook November 1st 04 14:13

Re: EpDis: Mind War
OMG, I can't believe I completely forgot about the Walkers of Sigma 957 when I wrote my post above. I totally love that plot. I loved Sakai's mocking G'Kar when she was alone in her ship. :lol:

And indeed G'Kar's statements to Sakai after it all was over gave tremendous depth to G'Kar's character. For that moment, he was no longer nothing but the angry militant. He became complex suddenly, and it serves as an alert that indeed as G'Kar says in the episode, there is more to him than what he appears.

KoshFan November 1st 04 20:35

Re: EpDis: Mind War
Oh, right, that line about nothing being as it appears... that's a classic!

vacantlook November 1st 04 20:48

Re: EpDis: Mind War
Yeah, KoshFan, it's even kind of a theme that runs throughout all of the Babylon 5 stories. And I love me some themes. :D

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