View Single Post
Old January 16th 06, 06:54   #47
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 64
Re: EpDis: Comes The Inquisitor

I found the review that I had mentioned earlier

Review by John Paul Green

Always one to steer clear of controversy, I feel I may be sticking my head firmly on the block with this little review. Putting it mildly, Comes The Inquisitor is the best B5 episode, if not of the entire series, then certainly up to the end of season 2.

"Justify yourself!" I hear you cry. Very well. Three names: G'kar, Vir and Sebastian. No coincidence.

"Who are you?"

Owing much to The Prisoner, the story is a simple one (as is often the case with great stories), yet it is also one of the most intense pieces of television to come out of the US. Delenn is summoned to meet the Inquisitor, in order for her to qualify to lead the great war that is coming. What could have been so easily a rather dull, padded out story, is nothing of the sort. Quite the reverse, in fact. The main reason for this is the Inquisitor himself - Sebastian. Played with relish by Wayne Alexander, he is evil incarnate. However, it is a fine line between good and evil, and Sebastian is certainly not your usual one dimensional villainous cipher. My God, this man even knows how to make a good entrance into Grey 19! As for The Prisoner references, how does this grab you:

"Have you nothing of your own? Nothing that is provided, defined, delineated, stamped, sanctioned, numbered and approved by others?"

"My life is my own..." anyone? Well, if you're going to paraphrase, better do it from the best. If only the room had been in Grey 6! It is interesting to note that Sebastian isn';t so far removed from another character played by Alexander. Isn't Sheridan asked similar questions to the ones leveled at Delenn in another time, another place?

The tap, tap-tapping of his cane is a wonderful moment of suspense and summons up images of Poe's The Raven. Like Marnau's Nosferatu, Sebastian steps out of the shadows all too easily, as the camera slowly pulls up to reveal the man. With cadaverous face and stern expression, you just know that this guy is going to get results - one way or another. Later we will also see signs of Poe's The Tell Tale Heart, during a literally heart-rending scene. One of the episode's charms (if you can call it that) is it's homage to classic, gothic literature, and the feelings it creates.

The inquisition itself is a tour de force that will leave you, as well as Delenn, begging to be left alone. Showing little mercy, Sebastian is intent on getting what he came for, whatever the cost or pain. Sound and vision are used to optimum effect throughout the interrogation, as Sebastian doles out pain with every stamp of his cane. This is wonderful stuff. Isn't it about time also, that we began to question the "goodness" of the Vorlons? Given the information we will later find out about Sebastian and all he stands for, can the Vorlons be that far removed from the Shadows? Discuss...

"Can you apologise to them?"

The only way a second story strand could compete with the intensity of the Inquisitor, and match Wayne Alexander's powerhouse performance, could be through a character as strong as G'kar. Andreas Katsulas, in arguably his finest hour, exudes pain and anger in equal measures. I speak, of course, of the elevator scene, where Vir's sincere apology for his peoples'; actions is met with calm fury. Has there ever been such a powerful and moving scene than G'kar cutting open his palm and bleeding for the fallen Narn? I think not.

Throughout the episode we see G'kar fighting to retain his right to lead, his dignity and his destiny. Stephen Furst must also take a bow for his perfectly timed and understated performance, first during G'kar's speech to his people, and then in the elevator.

It is to the credit of JMS' writing that we are presented with two stories tackling destiny from both sides. G'Kar must prove himself to his people, while Delenn must prove to the Vorlons and herself that she is certain of the path she has decided to take. Take a line from the script every minute and chances are you will have pulled a classic piece of dialogue, from "The Vorlons are!" to " You are a piece of the machine who thinks it is the whole of the machine" each sentence is crisp and so very relevant.

The quality doesn't stop at the script or performances, however, as we are treated to some of the best lighting and sound the programme has so far offered us. The interrogation room is suitably sinister and lit with the unease of the greatest expressionistic movies in mind - a most fitting sanctum for Sebastian and all he represents.

Given the amount of praise this episode has squeezed from me, it is only fair to point out that Sheridan really is pretty useless, and he does say "Hell" far too much to be taken seriously. It also left an uneasy feeling when the Inquisitor is finally finished with Delenn. The idea that love can conquer all seemed to drown the true message that it is to die for the one... you know the rest. These are but minor quibbles, however, and shouldn';t detract from the quality on offer.

In Sebastian, Babylon 5 has a real, three-dimensional character, one you want to see again. He is everything Star Trek's Q should have been, but sadly isn't. In fact, it's like comparing a lettuce to a diamond. G'kar is given some splendid scenes and Andreas Katsulas performs so well in them.

Yep, I liked this one. I liked it a lot.
Stanley is offline   Reply With Quote