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Old July 8th 17, 05:27   #21
vacantlook's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 11,925
Re: Rewatching Babylon 5.

The War Prayer

So, the big surprising revelation about this episode is the conflicting information we get: in this episode Delenn knows what a poem is, but in some other (I forget which) she has to be told by Sinclair?Sheridan? what a poem is. What??

Though that discrepancy exists, of course it’s not important.

Humans are prejudiced against non-humans. Surprise. Of course it is so very realistic. You know we’d totally be this way. Unjustly blaming the Other for systemic problems is so much easier that changing the system. Assigning responsibility for problems to some “they.” They’re taking our jobs. They’re buying up all the land on Earth. They’re the reason we’re not super mega awesome. If only they’d get out of the way and stop taking what’s ours. And that “they” is only ever defined broadly. It’s not, let me list these specific people by name or by specific organization. So here, it’s non-humans. It must be the fault of Delenn’s poet friend, she’s not human after all. It must be the fault of these two Centauri teenagers wondering how much sex they can have in public without being caught, they’re not human after all.

So, once again, we have a story of an ex coming to the station. This time, Ivanova’s. He isn’t really all that interesting of a character. He has no redeeming qualities to make him a complex portrayal, and he isn’t acted well enough to make him feel like an irredeemable asshole sort of a person. I do believe there are some people that are just too toxic that they’re not worth you trying to get through to them. But he’s not such a person. He seems far more like he’d be the kind of guy to agree with the militant bigots that would act against non-humans than to be leading such a group. The acting/writing of his character just doesn’t fully fit the intensity of someone who would be in that situation to act so directly.

Centauri have arranged marriages. Londo’s got three wives. Worthy enough world building for the Centauri culture. The teenagers oh so in love are bland. I wish I bought that they were actually in love, but I don’t. I also don’t buy that Ivanova and Malcolm once had a thing, so at least they’re not alone.

Oh, and it seems Ivanova has taken over Takashima’s regulation violating coffee plants. I wonder if she just found them one day, or if Laurel told her where to find them.

We get to see a bit more of Kosh. “We take no interest in the affairs of others.” Yeah, sure.

I think the only things I really like about this episode are a few lines/jokes by Londo. “Love! What does love have to do with marriage!!” and saying that his wives are the only thing that keeps him so far away from Centauri Prime. Londo: “And she will learn to live without [love].” And the poet responds, “As you did.” Those two lines are probably the most poignant part of this episode. I think that little moment is more emotional than the more labored tight shoes scene later.

This episode introduces the Abbai. Their visual design is nice; I wish they had been used more than they were. It would have been really cool though if they hadn’t been the same reddish-tan color a lot of background aliens on this show are (much the same color as the Brakiri, the Hyach). They’re fishy sort of aliens, so make them more colorful. Blues and greens that really pop.
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