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Old July 13th 16, 00:28   #27
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 418
Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

Originally Posted by JoeD80 View Post
I don't think a character needs to acknowledge his own flaw for it to exist. A lot of people never notice what they do wrong. This gets played out in more subtle ways with the way Lyta feels she is being treated; there is a scene later in the season with Franklin that exemplifies this. If Sheridan had taken a different approach from the beginning Lyta wouldn't have been as willing to accept Byron's message in the first place and the telepath situation wouldn't go the way it does.
Even if the character doesn't acknowledge their flaws (and I maintain these particular flaws are out of character for the way those characters behaved in earlier seasons) the *story* must acknowledge them. Let the viewers decide if they are right or wrong, fine, but at least present it as a dilemma. Decisions like using telepaths to spy on people aren't even presented as ethical dilemmas - Sheridan's just like, go for it. Even pious Byron doesn't seem to have a problem with it. That's where my problem lies – the show in season 5 is presenting these things as though there is no ethical debate to be had and we should just accept them.

Originally Posted by JoeD80 View Post
For Garibaldi I don't see him as a character that would have a problem with using somebody if it gets him what he wants.
See, Garibaldi was never like that. He was the everyman, the regular joe, the guy who just wanted to try and do the best he could for the people around him. The Garibaldi in seasons 1 to 3 was never selfish, would never use people to do something dishonest and had a clear view of what was right or wrong according to the law. Season 4 Garibaldi, of course, was different. I'm ok with saying that experience changed him if it were acknowledged on the show, but it isn't. The show makes it clear that the consequence of what Garibaldi went through is his descent back into alcoholism, but it doesn't attribute a change in his ethics or morals to Bester screwing with his mind.

Anyway, onto the next episode.

Secrets of the Soul

I quite enjoyed this episode, it's possibly the best of the season so far. Amazingly, only three of the regular cast are featured – Franklin, Zack and Lyta. Is this the first episode that Sheridan has not been in since he arrived on the show? I think it is. Yet the limited cast manage to pull off a fairly engaging episode.

For the first time, the telepath storyline has become interesting. Yes, Bryon still has some awful dialogue, but I feel now we're getting to the meat of his storyline. The scene where he allows himself to be attacked clearly shows he's a martyr in waiting. Zack has realised this, he tries to protect Lyta but it's a shame he's not able to articulate himself fully to warn her.

We also see the vicious side to these apparently harmless rogue teeps. It's interesting that we find that Byron really has no control over them; he's set himself up as their saviour, the leader of their cult, but he's deceiving himself. The ending plays out a bit like the ending to All Alone in the Night, where we get a twist revelation that changes the game. I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember if it was acknowledged earlier in the series that the Vorlons created telepaths? Either way it's news to Byron and it pushes him over the deep end and he plans to lash out at the Alliance. It does feel like he's forgotten that the other races have their own telepaths - it wasn't human telepaths used exclusively in the war, mostly Minbar I think – but also it was Earth' telepaths that were in cahoot with the Shadows. So maybe he needs to get his own house in order before blaming mundanes. Plus, he talks like it was "their" war, but had the Vorlons come for Earth, they wouldn't have spared the telepaths. It was everyone's war.

The Franklin story is nice if inconsequential, but any excuse to learn more about the non-aligned aliens. We get quite a lot of them this season – Pak'Mara, the Hyach, as well as the Brakiri and the Drazi in upcoming episodes. The myriad alien races are one of B5's strongest points so it is nice to see them being fully utilised. Ironically, what the Hyach did to the Hyach-doh! (I'm sure that's not how its spelt, but I can not think their name without Homer Simpson's voice in my mind) is what the Centauri did to the Xon, the difference being the Centauri brag about it to this day and continue to commit atrocities just as bad.

So yeah, this episode gets a thumbs up from me.
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