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Old October 1st 04, 21:16   #4
vacantlook's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 11,910
Re: EpDis: Midnight On The Firing Line

Priorities first, Happy B-Day VL.
Thank you. It's not technically for a couple hours yet (October 2 is the big day), but I guess the board's timing system is set up a bit differently than my personal time and that's why it already lists me thusly.

Moving on to thoughts on MOTFL, I gave it a C. I didn't think it sucked by any means, but I didn't bounce endlessly with a happy from it. It felt a lot like a first episode, and I think that detracted from it somewhat, in my personal opinion.

I loved the set up of several different plots in one episode. We got:
<ul type="square">[*]Narns attack Ragesh 3[*]Raiders attack a transport[*]Ivanova and Talia clash[*]Earth Alliance election day[/list]And while having several different running plots was great, that they often connected and overlapped, but still kept their own identity was amazing. It takes some tight ass writing to get a story done that well!

I thought it gave some considerable revelation and foundation for the Narn-Centauri conflict right there in the first episode, so with that being an issue that gets further developed like crazy as the show progresses, I think it's great that there's such a strong foundation established here right off the bat in the first episode. The Narn-Centauri conflict was more alluded to in "The Gathering," but here it's full-on brought to the surface.

The raiders attacking the transport, a problem that pops up every once in a while throughout the show, wasn't really all that, but being that it wasn't there to serve as a main plot but instead to just give us a display of what the starfuries are and to connect to the A-plot, it was decent. The starfuries remain, and most likely will always remain, one of my absolutely favorite space ships in any show or movie. Being as young as I was back then, I hadn't really conceptualized that ships in space would be so capable of making use of all three dimensions despite the occational exposure to it happening in other shows and movies. It wasn't until I saw the starfuries that that concept really clicked for me.

And while we had the big, more galactic plot going on regarding Ragesh 3 and the raiders, we got what is probably my favorite thing about the episode: the personal conflict between Ivanova and Talia. That scene near the end when Talia sits down at the bar and talks with Ivanova still gets to me. I think Claudia did a tremendous job with that scene. I truly feel expression of pain of having lost a loved one and anger at the outside forces that spurred that loss. And Talia's responses are great too: there is a bit of conflict within herself as she listens in that she believes in the Corps but wishes there was something she could say that would help Ivanova but knowing ultimately there isn't anything that would make it better.

And then that tiny little bit about the presidential election seems so insignificant, like it's just background coloring, but it's setting up major plot development to come. It is this sort of layering that is available to a story that has its major elements written long before any scripts are written that I really love about Babylon 5.
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