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Old October 13th 15, 01:14   #50
Dorvo
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Re: EpDis: Signs And Portents

One of the moments of Maximum Coolness in the entire series. It builds a wonderful sense of foreboding and menace, from start to finish. I also think that one of the really powerful features of season 1 is the "slow start"--how a gem like this is largely unhinted at for the first half of the season, dropped in, enjoyed, and then not recalled until the very end of the season. And then of course, the pace just gets faster and faster as the seasons advance, until finally the Shadow War and its aftermath pretty much takes over the series entirely. What's more, I don't think you can appreciate an episode like this properly without watching the previous, largely unrelated episodes--they build up backstory, foreshadowing, character development, all of which flower at a moment like this (example: the clear friendship between Garibaldi and Sinclair which has its "payoff" here--without earlier episodes, that wouldn't make sense). All stories with really powerful "payoff" moments seem to do this--Frodo unexpectedly destroying the Ring with Gollum's unintended help, Odysseus finally unmasking himself to the suitors, Hector's death at Achilles' hands. Without the hundreds of pages of prior buildup, the payoff loses its effect.

And it introduces Morden, one of the very best villains in all of sci fi. Never has evil been smoother or more charismatic.
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