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-   -   EpDis: Soul Hunter (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=6687)

Truth_Seeker May 20th 08 16:18

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
"Soul Hunter" is an episode about Minbari religion and that's why I like it.I think that JMS didn't mean brain patterns or recorded personalities but real souls.We can see them coming out of the spheres at the end of the episode when Delenn set them free.I think that it's not the Christian concept of the soul that JMS is talking about.It's closer to the concepts of the Eastern religions where the souls are reborn into the next generation over and over again.

The episode is showing us that even if souls are a joke to humans they are very important to the Minbari.Important enough to stop a war because of them and to let a human be the head of a Minbari organization like the Rangers.

And I have a theory of mine about the connection between souls and evolution.The souls are reborn thousands or millions of times into the next generation of Minbari, Humans or other species and this brings them closer and closer to perfection.At some point the souls are so perfect that they evolve into something like energy beings like the Vorlons for example.I think that for JMS souls are the key to becoming more like the First Ones.That's just a theory.

Galahad May 20th 08 17:36

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
But it's worth remembering that with Soul Hunter, JMS was exploring the concept of the Grim Reaper being a real being/beings rather than just a representation of death.

So it is relevant to humanity as well.

Jade Jaguar May 21st 08 00:41

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Not a top favorite of mine, but I did like Soul Hunter. My biggest complaint would be that it was clearly inspired by Jim Starlin's Adam Warlock comic. But, that's also why I liked it... :D

hypatia May 21st 08 01:41

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quick comment about the title: those who called the race "Soul Hunters" believed for the most part in the existence of the soul. That's not a measure of rightness, but of opinion. Like calling some group an "army of light". For all we know, the other side could be calling themselves the exact same thing.

What escaped could have been the medium the whatevers were stored in. No "proof" there these are real souls.

Why didn't they try to get Sheridan? One interesting possibility: maybe their race had died out or been destroyed by then. :)

GKarsEye May 21st 08 16:20

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

My biggest complaint about the episode (all my personal opinion, of course) is how much the actors chew the scenery in most scenes (the exception being the lurker funerary scene between Ivanova and Franklin, which for me is the biggest reason I'll rewatch the episode).
Ma-cho-RIH-cho...

That dude rules.

And it has my favorite... N'Grath! I want to make a spin-off series with that fella.

Quote:

Why didn't they try to get Sheridan?
Would you try messing w/ Lorien?

Galahad May 21st 08 20:40

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Although... in the UK, the Minbari language name of the Soul Hunter does sound a bit dodgy...

Galahad October 19th 08 13:53

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Just been re-watching and I have a hypothetical question.

Do you think that Delenn released the Soul Hunter from his orb?

My gut instinct/opinion says that she probably did... but he was the last to go.

Opinions?

Urban Roy April 2nd 09 13:01

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Hello all, I've been working my way through the first half of series one so I thought that I would wander over and share some of my thoughts so far. I have to say that this was the first episode that I, pretty much, unambiguously enjoyed. Interesting to see that actually this is one of the episodes that a lot of you are not fans of. I wonder if I will feel the differently once I have got to the end of the series.

Certainly agree that it was over acted in parts but it was forgivable, there certainly wasn't any acting that made me want to switch off.

Most importantly for me the plot was coherent. The Soul Hunter appeared in his broken ship because he was being chased down by another Soul Hunter which is why the crew found out what was going on and could try to stop him. The Soul Hunter had become warped because he had been thwarted by the Minbari, which then also explained why he wanted Delenn.

I'm also enjoying Delenn's propensity to try to solve things with random acts of violence, which, for a Minbari ruler seems rather an unfortunate personality trait.

vacantlook April 3rd 09 00:38

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urban Roy (Post 339443)
I'm also enjoying Delenn's propensity to try to solve things with random acts of violence....

That's an interesting observation; I've never really thought of Delenn in that way before.

Sindatur April 3rd 09 03:32

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vacantlook (Post 339512)
That's an interesting observation; I've never really thought of Delenn in that way before.

1 Gravity, 2 Gravity, 3 Gravity...

vacantlook April 3rd 09 05:35

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sindatur (Post 339521)
1 Gravity, 2 Gravity, 3 Gravity...

Yeah, of course I remember that, but I tend to disregard that since the rings are discarded. I was more thinking of some particular revelation that comes down the line that Urban Roy hasn't seen yet and won't see for some time. ;)

Of course, I have to ask what exactly is "a force of [2/3/4/etc] gravities"? G'Kar could barely move at like 5 gravities, but people who ride roller coasters can easily experience that number of G-forces, and that's much lower than what an astronaut experiences, and none of them are at the edge of being killed due to lung explosion or whatever Delenn describes the results of the next stage as producing. It makes me glad the rings were discarded.

Sindatur April 3rd 09 15:03

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vacantlook (Post 339525)
Yeah, of course I remember that, but I tend to disregard that since the rings are discarded. I was more thinking of some particular revelation that comes down the line that Urban Roy hasn't seen yet and won't see for some time. ;)

Of course, I have to ask what exactly is "a force of [2/3/4/etc] gravities"? G'Kar could barely move at like 5 gravities, but people who ride roller coasters can easily experience that number of G-forces, and that's much lower than what an astronaut experiences, and none of them are at the edge of being killed due to lung explosion or whatever Delenn describes the results of the next stage as producing. It makes me glad the rings were discarded.

I only used that one, because it would be the one most present in his mind at this point, but, there are a number of other cases coming, despite many cases of the opposite also coming.

I too always wondered about the G-Forces, I wonder if the idea behind is that it was like an invisible beam, that went directly to the innards, rather than simply a case of g-forces hitting from the outside. Or perhaps, there already is heavy gravity on the station, so each G-force increase is a greater overall weight than one would imagine. And a 3rd option might be, that Minabri gravity is heavier than ours (or perhaps Narn gravity is lighter)

A_M_Swallow April 4th 09 04:18

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
In 5 gravities a 10 stone man weights 50 stone.
Civilian aircraft are designed to take 3 gravities, so 5 gravities is a lot.
Roller coasters only have high G-forces for a few seconds, so people can actually keep their breath.

GKarsEye April 4th 09 14:03

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
I am currently re-watching the series so I clicked on over to this forum and it's a funny coincidence to see these season 1 threads revived at the same time I'm watching these eps again.

One of the reasons I'm re-watching is because I'm in a frame of mind where almost all the things that annoyed me before I now find amusing. This show is now so familiar and comforting to me that I enjoy its quirks, weaknesses and little valiant failures. The soul hunter's chanting and labored speech is a perfect example. Upon first viewing, it was irritating. Upon 2nd viewing, I appreciated what they were trying to do. Now, I love it. In the same way that if you're a hardcore fan of a band, you'll enjoy the "filler" tracks of their albums in way that casual fans cannot.

This sentiment will be tested as I embark on the next DVD, which contains TKO and Grail, but I expect to enjoy them also in a way I have not previously. In fact, all of season 1 is like that- the last time I watched the series I was anxious to fly through season 1 to get to the good stuff. I was watching it w/ someone else so I was just hoping she'd be patient enough to deal with the prelude to the primo material. But now I'm loving all the little stand-alone stuff, for better or worse.

G'Kar as a scheming political son of a bitch and Londo as a washed up loser swimming in vice are more entertaining than all the heavy shit they bring later. Ivanova's classic Ivanovisms never got better than then the original ones. "You're too young to experience that kind of pain" "I do hope you resist" "I'm in the middle of 15 things, all of them annoying" etc. Garibaldi still had hair but Delenn didn't! Good stuff.

Estelyn May 14th 10 18:51

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
This is not one of my favourite episodes, though I can't quite define my reasons. It does raise the important question of Delenn's true nature and what purpose she has on B5, but I find her behaviour rather erratic and inconsistent. At the beginning she panics and gets violent, wanting to have the Soul Hunter killed, in between she's his helpless victim, and at the end she plays with the soul containers like a child. None of that gives the impression of the mature, quietly strong female that she later personifies.

JoeD80 May 14th 10 19:00

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Estelyn (Post 361371)
and at the end she plays with the soul containers like a child.

She's not playing with them; she's breaking them to free the souls so they can go back into the Minbari whole. There's supposed to be a sound effect of breaking glass there that didn't quite come out.

Estelyn May 14th 10 20:48

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
I know that's what it's supposed to be, but it looks like playing - the scene has a very childlike feeling to it..

fisheggs May 18th 10 09:45

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
IMHO, that's because she's overjoyed at the oportunity to free her people's souls. Ecstatic actually.;)

Lennier's Tears August 4th 15 21:40

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
I like Soul Hunter alright .. It's not the very best episode ever, but I also don't think it's terrible. I don't think it would have been a great loss if we had seen a Babylon 5 universe without Soul Hunters in it, but on the other hand, there could be all kinds of really exciting back story there that we just never learned. In this episode the presence of the Soul Hunter just sort of gives us clues to the main story, and it plays a bit with the "which sincerely-held belief is more right" theme that will be explored more fully later.

Up until I read this thread and the linked Lurker's Guide pages I thought that Soul Hunters were supposed to be seen as some actual "magical" element in the Babylon 5 universe. It actually bothered me a little because I like my sci-fi non-magical. That's just a personal preference. But then I found out that the whole soul thing is purposefully ambiguous and we're supposed to interpret it any way we like, which is just fine by me! :p

It's not actually the "soul" aspect of the story that I have the biggest problem with. That part of it I can explain easily enough with a Franklin-esque "It's just some type of personality recording, not a SOUL soul" ... although there does appear to be something at least somewhat physical there that escapes when Delenn breaks the orbs, instead of just ceasing to exist. No, it's the "predicting death" aspect of the story that I find harder to explain away in a way that doesn't involve any supernatural elements. I CAN come up with an explanation, but it's more convoluted than a simple "soul hunters can see the future due to their magic abilities". How would they be able to do this? Well. I think for one they are all strong telepaths. They can probably pick up on fear and murderous intent, and they must be exceptionally good at judging which situations are going to result in attempted murder, and which injuries can't be patched up. I seem to remember that in Atonement, we see the Soul Hunters show up before the Minbari and Human ships have made contact, which makes my theory a bit harder to defend ... Maybe they are time travelers :p

I don't at all have a problem with the Soul Hunter's acting or voice or anything. I quite like to imitate his chant. People tend to find that annoying, though :p

Some random stuff that stood out to me during this particular viewing:
  • The monitors in C&C and medlab are particularly ancient-looking here :o
  • I'm having a hard time accepting Delenn's violent outburst as in-character. I get that it's meant to show us just how much Minbari dislike soul hunters, if the seeminlgy mild-mannered Delenn would react in such a way, but ... yea ...
  • This is where we find out Delenn is Grey Council, although we don't really know what that means, yet.
  • First time we N'grath! I like how he is truly alien-looking and yet performs a function you'd expect someone to fulfill in any human society
  • There's some Delenn/Sinclair stuff in here that makes me think maybe the story was still going to include the two of them ending up together? Maybe I'm just seeing things but they seem to look at each other just a tad too long, sort of thing.
  • Like Vacantlook above, I also really like the funeral scene. I especially like how Franklin is just going about his business, attending to some administrative stuff, but then he quickly adopts a more respectful funeral stance when Ivanova says funeral words.

Wulf August 10th 15 15:00

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
>Delenn's violent outburst
Agreed, not in-character. I'm glad the "random character grabs a gun when angry" meme didn't stick. In the first two episodes, it's got a 100% appearance rate.

>magical death-sense
I agree with you that there's no non-magical explanation presented, but this is the entire fate thing on a smaller scale. For better or worse, things in the B5 universe are pre-destined. The amount of free will allowed is up for debate. Does (Later season Spoiler Guy) really have a choice when he makes the choice that dooms him, or was his defiance fated to be? *shrug*

It would imply that fate can be thwarted when they save Delenn in this episode as the Soul Hunter sensed a death that did not happen, but how much are we really supposed to understand about fate, as dictated by JMS?

I liked the Soul Hunter actor as well, even if I don't really like the soul hunter concept.

>Delenn/Sinclair
You just 'think' they were going to end up together? I thought that was a given. They get married (sortamaybe) in a few episodes, as I recall.

>Funeral
The concept was neat, but funerals would get expensive if they're ejecting metal coffins into the sun for every random hobo death.

>Delenn - Grey Council / Setai
Nepotism at its finest, I tell you. She's far too out of control to have come by the position legitimately. I guess that explains the war though.

And why does an Earth database have the secret word Setai in it? In tG (See? The Gathering, I'm so in touch with the scene!) she almost kills G'Kar for mentioning it. I don't think Earth would know much about it.


Other thoughts.

Sinclair grappling the Soul Hunter ship was needlessly dramatic. Having a pincer on a fixed arm is so useless you wonder why they'd make it standard issue on every fighter. Harpoon gun on a chain, sure, maybe. Articulating arm? A case could be made. But a claw that extends two feet and grips? You're not getting the teddy bear out of the machine with that thing, never mind grabbing a ship while attempting a 20 foot diameter orbit around it.

And why is B5 directly in the path of the jump gate, anyway? Surely this can't be the first time something has come through out of control. Put the station off to the side a smidge. And blowing it up seems silly. I mean, yes, you'd have less severe damage in one location but you're still being impacted by all the debris. Invest in a net or something.

"Sinclair, you've just killed the bad guy and saved Delenn, what are you going to do now?"
"Well, I think I'm going to leave her ankle in the machine that is sucking the blood directly from her artery while I gaze reassuringly at her."

Dear bad guy, grow a tougher skin. If you're going to stop what you're doing everytime some balls are bouncing in your face, you're not going to make it very far in life. Oh, I guess you didn't make it very far in life. Proceed.

Lennier's Tears August 11th 15 17:49

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wulf (Post 451817)
>Delenn's violent outburst
A
>Delenn/Sinclair
You just 'think' they were going to end up together? I thought that was a given. They get married (sortamaybe) in a few episodes, as I recall.

They do get maybe possibly married in "The Parliament of Dreams", I don't know about any other maybe possibly marriages :p
I know that them ending up together was the original plan, but I don't know how much of that is left in episodes, or the exact order in which the episodes were recorded. Thus, I don't know if the stuff I saw in this episode was meant to be hinting at that relationship, or if I'm just seeing things because I know the story was once meant to go in that direction.

Quote:

>Funeral
The concept was neat, but funerals would get expensive if they're ejecting metal coffins into the sun for every random hobo death.
I dunno ... maybe they manufacture them locally from recycled ship parts or something :p

Quote:

>Delenn - Grey Council / Setai
Nepotism at its finest, I tell you. She's far too out of control to have come by the position legitimately. I guess that explains the war though.
You think? Don't all the Grey Council members get nominated by someone on the council or something along those lines? I never felt like Delenn getting that position didn't make sense.

Quote:

And why does an Earth database have the secret word Setai in it? In tG (See? The Gathering, I'm so in touch with the scene!) she almost kills G'Kar for mentioning it. I don't think Earth would know much about it.
I thought she was angry because he seemed to know that she was on the Grey Council, and threatening to spread that information, not because he knew the council existed. I can't actually remember the details of that scene, even though I just recently watched it :p

Wulf August 11th 15 18:02

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
>GC membership
Didn't Delenn become a member when her mentor was killed and she just took his place? Her very first act was screaming to kill the humans, as I recall. From that point on, it's just been one emotional outburst after another. She does not have the poise required to make her a supreme co-leader.

>G'kar - Grey Council
Hmm, that scene might be worth a rewatch. I thought the entire existence of the council was a secret.

Lennier's Tears August 11th 15 18:34

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Some season 4 spoilers below.

You're correct about her first vote being the deciding one on whether or not to go to war with the Humans. As far as we can see, anyway. There might have been a more mundane vote that happened off-screen. But Delenn was definitely already on the council when Dukhat was killed.

In "Atonement" we can see flashback scenes to Delenn taking her place on the council. The trilumaniry glows when she holds up her hand and everyone is sort of surprised about this, except Dukhat. She's asking him about this after the ceremony. He's just about to tell her some important stuff when an alarm summons them to the Council chamber because unknown ships have been spotted. Dhukat's killed a little later. The way the scenes are cut makes it seem like it happened JUST after she joined the council, but still definitely after.

Wulf August 11th 15 18:55

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
That rings a bell now. Apparently it's been long enough that I'm forgetting these things.

hypatia August 16th 15 03:08

Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lennier's Tears (Post 451777)
I CAN come up with an explanation, but it's more convoluted than a simple "soul hunters can see the future due to their magic abilities". How would they be able to do this? Well. I think for one they are all strong telepaths. They can probably pick up on fear and murderous intent, and they must be exceptionally good at judging which situations are going to result in attempted murder, and which injuries can't be patched up. I seem to remember that in Atonement, we see the Soul Hunters show up before the Minbari and Human ships have made contact, which makes my theory a bit harder to defend ... Maybe they are time travelers :p

The way the first Soul Hunter acted, it could seem plausible that they have a sense of time that is kind of dispersed. They aren't as much "in the moment" in this reality as they are spread out over a sequence of moments, able to see somewhat into the future, but kind of losing a sense of attachment to the present as a cost.

I suspect JMS intended something more on the lines of telepathic ability, as you say. It's always interesting to speculate. :cool:

The other Soul Hunters we eventually meet seem more grounded than our first, rather intense, one. And I loved the chant, too. :) Actually, his voice was very interesting.


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