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Old August 4th 15, 22:40   #59
Lennier's Tears
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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!

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

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

Some random stuff that stood out to me during this particular viewing:
  • The monitors in C&C and medlab are particularly ancient-looking here
  • 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.
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