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Old July 5th 17, 06:45   #5
vacantlook's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 11,925
Re: Rewatching Babylon 5.

Soul Hunter

I have never liked this episode, no matter how much I try. One of the complaints I often see in discussions about the ep is the idea that it makes a statement that souls are real, which I donít get from the show at all. While it cannot be denied that the Soul Hunter does create something with the orbs, it could easily be a technologically produced imprint of a personís mind. In a world with telepaths, a sufficiently advanced bit of technology could do that. (We even later see something similar having been done by humans of the future in ďThe Deconstruction of Falling StarsĒ at the end of season 4.)

I like the appearance aesthetic of the Soul Hunters, but the behavior is too silly for my personal taste. I think that might have a good bit to do with my dislike of the episode. It certainly isnít that W. Morgan Sheppard is a bad actor. I love seeing him as GíKarís uncle later in the show.

We get our first look at the new doctor. Steven Franklin is a big personality. Definitely different than Kyle, and that we can experience such easily recognizable differentiation after only such brief experience with each of them takes some creative writing and production skill.

Once again, we get to see actual space behavior with the Starfury going out to grab hold of the Soul Hunterís ship. I do love that. I can imagine some people would watch it and feel like itís not exciting because itís a more technical form of flying a craft, but that is what makes it feel more real to me.

Delennís agitation makes sense given what Soul Hunters have done to the Minbari in the past, but the performance of her freaking out is a bit too heavy handed for me. I think maybe a lot of what makes it not work for me is that Delenn/the Minbari problem with the Soul Hunter has too much expository telling instead of showing. The portion of the conflict that is shown Ė him capturing her Ė feels generic to me for some reason. Itís a very personal story, but Iím not sure we know Delenn well enough at this point for it to have as strong enough of an impact as it would if we had had enough time to fall in love with her character. Compare how the threat to her feels so much weaker here than in ďComes The Inquisitor.Ē We do get the fact dropped that Delenn isnít just a simple ambassador, so that the Minbari have some unrevealed invested interest in this station and in Sinclair in particular are points that are emphasized.

The short scene of Ivanvoa and Franklin giving the memorial for the Lurker who died is strong and emotional. Itís a great moment.

This is definitely not a worthless episode; there are some good parts to it, but just not enough to excite me.
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