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-   -   EpDis: Grail (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=7237)

vacantlook January 3rd 05 20:35

EpDis: Grail
 
Time for another'n.

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

vacantlook January 3rd 05 20:45

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
There are two things about "Grail" that keep it from being an average episode for me, one is the na'ka'leen feeder, the other is the potrayal of Jinxo.

The voice of the feeder is not to my taste. I'm not sure the thing should have even had a voice, to be honest. That wimpy voice it had made it seem much less threatening to me and broke the suspense of it. Some of the CGI for the feeder was pretty nice, especially for its time. For me, the best part about the whole feeder in this episode is the reactions of Londo and Vir; those are some quite funny scenes. :lol: Poor Vir getting locked out into the hallway! :(

As for Jinxo, I like the character in concept, but not in execution. There's something that's just not quite there in the performance of the character that, with the character being such a major guest character this episode, deflates the episode for me. Again, in concept I like him: the fear of being cursed and staying on the station to try and prevent that curse from destroying it, but then having Aldous reveal another perspective on it that Jinxo was lucky in having escaped all the previous stations' destruction. And I like Jinxo's taking up Aldous's quest after Aldous's death. But again, there's just something in the performance that doesn't live up to the character in concept for me.

The whole bit of Sinclair's looking for a reason is brought back into the episode, which is a definite boon for the story. (Random thought of the moment: it's kinda fun to note the similar character element in David Martel, who says at the Naming Of Names ceremony that he's searching for something.)

GKarsEye January 4th 05 10:15

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I think this ep sucks donkey ass- it's definitely bottom of the barrel for me, along with TKO. I'm actually glad they're right next to each other in running order, so I can get them "out of the way" (or skip them altogether) when going through the series.

No, I don't respect the concept of a due flying around looking for a mythical object as being some kind of "true seeker." This always comes up and the episode treats it as if it's some kind of clever concept, but it's not, it's a lot of philosophical bullshit and the only sane character in this whole ordeal is Garibaldi who rightly views him as a wack-job.

Cern January 4th 05 10:35

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
i like this episode. i always thought that after the Drahk Plague hit, that Jinnxo (Thomas?) might be a valuable resource of information, seeing as how his Order has travelled the galaxy and might have found some interesting things.

plus, the part at the beginning with the Vree being sued still has me rofl

Ninja_Squirrel January 4th 05 10:51

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I kind of view this episode as the slower, dimmer little brother to A Late Delivery From Avalon.

The strengths of the episode are the concept of a true seeker, the concept behind Jinxo's alleged curse, and another great performance by David Warner (even though the material he's working with could be better). Also, wasn't this the episode where we get to see a Vree?

The weaknesses of the episode are the Nakaleen Feeder and the lack of believability that just anyone can obtain or replicate a Vorlon encounter suit. While the idea of a "true seeker" is intriguing and reassuring, looking for the grail on a space station robs the concept of a little credibility.

The sporadic thing in the episode is the performance of the actor plaing Jinxo. When he's quiet and sincere, he's likable, but when he's scared or excited, the bad acting is apparent.

Overall, I give the episode a C+.

KoshFan January 4th 05 10:57

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
This episode doesn't really stand up to close scrutiny, but I like a few parts of it.

-- The opening bit with the Vree lawsuit. Classic.

-- Delenn telling Sinclair he's looking for something (he is).

-- Aldous telling the feeder to emerge from the suit. Although it's cheesy, it's clear he still has some kind of power.

-- Sinclair telling Kosh about the use of the fake Vorlon encounter suit.

"Well, it makes people nervous."
[Kosh] "Good." [/Kosh]

RMcD January 5th 05 13:26

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:


-- Sinclair telling Kosh about the use of the fake Vorlon encounter suit.

"Well, it makes people nervous."
[Kosh] "Good." [/Kosh]

Look as though they saved money there by reusing the scene from the War Prayer, but with a different dialogue track (the CGI viewer is gone, but its frame is still floating between Sinclair and Kosh..)

I don't dislike this episode as much as Legacies or War Prayer, chiefly because of David Warner.

GKarsEye January 5th 05 14:00

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I know this is looking at things the wrong way, but I can't help it: after the intensity, depth and edge-of-my-seat greatness of having just re-watched season 4, episodes like Grail and TKO and the like are comically inferior to me right now.

Sindatur January 5th 05 14:08

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Well, yea, after feasting on Filet Mignon for so long, a New York steak is simply tough meat. ;) But it still blows doors off a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

GKarsEye January 5th 05 14:26

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Oh yeah, Mr Analogy? Well, a bacon egg and cheese sandwhich is like three jelly beans and a Scooter Pie times a Narn.

Yeah.

fisheggs January 5th 05 19:30

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Oh yeah, Mr Analogy? Well, a bacon egg and cheese sandwhich is like three jelly beans and a Scooter Pie times a Narn.

Yeah.

How do Narns taste?

Jan January 5th 05 20:57

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

How do Narns taste?

Like chicken? :lol:

Jan

vacantlook January 5th 05 21:44

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Good answer! Good answer! [applauds]

B5obsessive January 7th 05 14:43

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

I know this is looking at things the wrong way, but I can't help it: after the intensity, depth and edge-of-my-seat greatness of having just re-watched season 4, episodes like Grail and TKO and the like are comically inferior to me right now.

I can see GKar'sEye's point but we must remember that at this point our beloved series had not long been born, and was only a baby finding its feet. Compared to the series the pilot is quite frankly embarrasing :o but Babylon 5 was fated to rise above ST's episodic format and tell an emotive, galaxy-spanning saga. And as for Grail, we are all forgetting something.......BOOM!

IVANOVA FOREVER!!!!

grumbler January 7th 05 17:14

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Not a stellar episode, but some of the better comic acting in the series. I didn't really see many of the classic B5 themes here other than "faith manages." Still, there were no obvious clunkers (other than our expecting to take "Jinxo" seriously at the end after working against that idea for the whole ep). Probably a good reason why we don't see anything again by Christy Marx other than fan club stuff.

vacantlook January 7th 05 18:43

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

And as for Grail, we are all forgetting something.......BOOM!
.
IVANOVA FOREVER!!!!

Yeah, I had forgotten that wonderful Ivanova line until I rewatched Grail this morning. I remember back when I was on AOL and we had the delightful full-time Babylon 5 chat room there, we could play sound wavs in the chat, and the "No boom today; boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow. What? Look, somebody's gotta have some damn perspective around here. Sooner or later: boom. Boom!" clip got quite a lot of play. It was just hillarious to hear it come out of nowhere in the middle of chatting. :lol:

Shaal Mayan February 2nd 05 17:19

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Average for me although I did like the Nakleen feeder.

Chilli June 24th 05 00:04

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I LOVED the Vree lawsuit (ironacially, the one scene JMS wrote in the script due to the episode not being long enough) .. the rest of the episode was most .. skippable. Like others, the morals and the philosophy just passed over me.

hypatia June 24th 05 22:18

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Hmm. I quite enjoyed the guest star, the imagery, and G'kars rockin' fun. :D

I'd call it a B episode, but I also love "View From the Gallery" and I seem to be in the minority in that. :)

KoshN June 25th 05 02:57

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I love the Jinxo thread, Londo's and Vir's reactions to the Feeder news, and the Vree lawsuit (with John Flinn :D ). David Warner's terrific. For me, this episode is between an A- and a B+.

RW7427 June 25th 05 04:28

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Londo's and Vir's reactions to the Feeder news

Yeah, that's great, especially when Londo locks Vir out in the hallway. :lol:

vacantlook June 25th 05 05:34

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Yeah, Londo's and Vir's reactions to the Feeder are funny. But I've never been keen on the casting choice and resultant acting of Jinxo. Nor have I been quite pleased with the tentacle used for the Na'Ka'Leen feeder: it's just the same tentacle used for one of Londo's genitalia: and it's much funnier as one of those than a Na'Ka'Leen mouth.

RW7427 June 25th 05 13:15

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Maybe there's really a Centauri inside that encounter suit. :lol:

Galahad June 27th 05 09:19

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Maybe there's really a Centauri inside that encounter suit. :lol:

Or maybe they've had a few "incidents" caused by the similarity in appendages :eek:

I think it was quite interesting that the one alien who might know where the grail would be, was the one who they had to stop short of asking.

RW7427 June 27th 05 18:27

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Or maybe they've had a few "incidents" caused by the similarity in appendages

I wouldn't know. I haven't made a habit of studying alien appendages. :eek:

Jade Jaguar June 28th 05 00:00

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:


I wouldn't know. I haven't made a habit of studying alien appendages. :eek:

I've never really had the opportunity. ;) :D

KoshN June 28th 05 00:35

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Wouldn't mind checking out Dureena's flotation devices, though. :devil:

Cell August 27th 08 15:24

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
http://worldsoforos.com/secondviews/...babylon-5-115/

Alexa April 25th 09 00:19

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I really liked this ep. I tend to like spiritual plot lines, which is curious, because i`m agnostic. That is not the main reason I liked it though. I love the humor between Vir and Londo. It never fails to crack me up, no matter how many times I view it. I agree with vacant look, the voice of the feeder was just sad, and took away the creepyness of the creature.

One curious thing. In the scene with DeLenn, Lenier, and the seeker, Lenier (sp?) says "there are two Minbari castes, the Warrior caste,and the Religious caste". What happened to the Worker caste...was this a mistake, or did JMS add the Worker caste later in the series?

Jan April 25th 09 01:13

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alexa (Post 341177)
What happened to the Worker caste...was this a mistake, or did JMS add the Worker caste later in the series?

JMS joked that Lennier was being snobbish and just forgot about the worker caste but it could be either a mistake since JMS didn't write that episode or he could have decided on three castes later. He's never said.

Jan

Alexa April 25th 09 03:11

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Thanks Jan!

Estelyn May 19th 10 21:12

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
This is one of the very few episodes in which the basic plotline doesn't convince me. I'm sorry, but the Holy Grail has been done so much that I really can't take searching for it in space seriously. (The last truly original treatment of the Grail was by Monty Python...)

Still, there are some good moments in this average (for B5) show. The idea of faking Kosh to hide the feeder is not bad - that encounter suit is an excellent hiding place for someone/thing that doesn't want to be seen. Jinxo brings a bit of interesting past to the foreground with his work on all Babylon stations. And Deuce as crime boss is the kind of character that you could expect in Down Below - again, not something you'd see in Star Trek!

My favourite bits are the two closing lines - Jinxo, firmly yet gently telling Garibaldi "My name is Thomas." is one. What's in a name? In this case, the nickname reflected the negative superstition, and by leaving it behind, he began a new life.

The other is of course Ivanova's wonderful "Boom!" line at the very end - classic Ivanovism! I love it.

Lennier's Tears September 26th 15 03:12

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I like "Grail" alright. It's not the most stellar B5 episode there ever was, but it does have that charming B5 feel to it. At least, I thought so.

I do agree with others who said that something is a little off about the performance of actor who plays Jinxo. I don't really like to say stuff like that in a public forum because we're discussing real people, but .. it IS true. I don't think he's a horrible actor or anything. Just .. a little off. Especially the part where Gajic suggests to him that he should consider himself lucky. The reaction doesn't feel all that believable to me. But then, you have some very recognizable actors in this as well, and they're great.

The one thing where I disagree with apparently everyone here is that I didn't think the "Londo and Vir are scared of the Feeder" scenes were all that funny. I thought it was a bit silly, especially the bit where Garibaldi scares them with false information at the end. Ehh.

Re: the "two castes of Minbari" thing. I think I joined in this discussion on a different thread but I can't quite remember now ... In either case, this very episode has at least two scenes that have what appears to be a Worker Caste Minbari in the background (see below). I know there are other instances of Worker Caste Minbari appearing on screen before we learn that the Minbari actually have three castes. Definitely interesting.

Little things:
  • Jackets! It's like the woolly hats all over again. Is it cold in Down Below? Is it cold in all common areas? I am suddenly very curious about temperatures in various areas of Babylon 5. Jinxo's ill-fitting jacket is rather unflattering, but I suppose that fits the character. Deuce and his cronies on the other hand have cool leather jackets! We see all characters here wearing jackets or robes inside as well.
  • The justice system is super fast. I like that that's consistently true throughout the series.
  • I kinda feel like the main characters abandon their meals rather frequently, certainly for people who have to pay for stuff.
  • I was going to comment on the "300 cycles" thing but I read the Lurker's Guide page for this episode in preparation for this post and I see it was explained as "something we were going to try but then abandoned". Well, that explains that, then.

Worker Caste Minbari in background:
http://www.lotje.be/fanstuff/grail1.jpg

http://www.lotje.be/fanstuff/grail2.jpg

Mororless September 26th 15 04:24

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
No mention of William Sanderson playing Deuce so far, I thought he was by some distance the best gangster B5 ever had and wish he'd been used again.

Lennier's Tears September 26th 15 05:12

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mororless (Post 451977)
No mention of William Sanderson playing Deuce so far, I thought he was by some distance the best gangster B5 ever had and wish he'd been used again.

Heh. I was including him in "very recognizable actors" :p I agree on him being the best gangster, but then I guess he didn't have much competition :p

Springer September 26th 15 09:54

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lennier's Tears (Post 451976)
I do agree with others who said that something is a little off about the performance of actor who plays Jinxo. I don't really like to say stuff like that in a public forum because we're discussing real people, but .. it IS true. I don't think he's a horrible actor or anything. Just .. a little off. Especially the part where Gajic suggests to him that he should consider himself lucky. The reaction doesn't feel all that believable to me. But then, you have some very recognizable actors in this as well, and they're great.

According to Christy Marx, it was the actor's first ever TV role, so considering that I don't think he did all that badly he brought a kind of frantic earnestness to the character. Apparently David Warner coached him a lot on set as Richard Compton was in too much of a huff after being fired from the series to be bothered directing the actors. All things considered, I think the episode turned out fairly well, if a little lightweight.

Springer September 26th 15 09:58

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mororless (Post 451977)
No mention of William Sanderson playing Deuce so far, I thought he was by some distance the best gangster B5 ever had and wish he'd been used again.

He was used again though, in Thirdspace! :-) Although it was kind of by accident he was cast in Thirdspace.

And agree he was excellent - though he normally is excellent in whatever he appears in.

Mororless September 26th 15 18:04

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lennier's Tears (Post 451978)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mororless (Post 451977)
No mention of William Sanderson playing Deuce so far, I thought he was by some distance the best gangster B5 ever had and wish he'd been used again.

Heh. I was including him in "very recognizable actors" :p I agree on him being the best gangster, but then I guess he didn't have much competition :p

To be fair I think Richard Moll as Max in Hunter, Prey did a pretty good job bringing some amusing character to the role but Sanderson was the only gangster who really had much threat and gravity to his performance.

Was there ever any plan to have gangsters play a significant role in B5?

Jan September 27th 15 18:15

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mororless (Post 451981)
Was there ever any plan to have gangsters play a significant role in B5?

Not gangsters, per se, but n'grath (proper spelling-with no caps, per JMS) was supposed to be a kind of Boss downbelow. After he wasn't in charge any longer nobody ever truly took his place I don't think.

Dorvo November 4th 15 01:06

Re: EpDis: Grail
 
I like this episode, not least because David Warner could read the phone book and I'd stand there with my mouth open, amazed. Such is the power of good acting (especially good English acting, and there's arguably none better in the English speaking world). I have to admit too that I'm a sucker for King Arthur references: I teach the stories all the time, from Malory to T.H. White, and one inimitable aspect they have is the power to morph and shift to remain relevant to very varied historical periods and cultures. It's a reason why "Late Delivery from Avalon" is also one of my favorites. And it does fit well with the B5 story line. The idea of the "true seeker"--the lonely individual who pursues his own agenda, regardless of party line, and ends up triumphing as a result--is so important not just to B5 but to JMS's general, romantic, and very out of fashion idea of the importance of the individual to history, that I can't resist it. Figures. I'm a sucker for Churchill for very much the same reasons, and JMS refers to him later in the series, too.


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