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View Poll Results: Mind War
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Old November 18th 04, 00:05   #1
vacantlook
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EpDis: Deathwalker

Moving on to Deathwalker.

Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for Deathwalker
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for Deathwalker
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Old November 18th 04, 00:35   #2
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

I personally love "Deathwalker;" it's one of my favorite season one episodes.

It's great to see what a Dilgar looks like, and this is the only time we ever do. And Jha'dur definitely portrays the horrors that the Dilgar are associated with. Knowing this lends greatly to the "history" of the Earth-Dilgar War, which helps one to understand somewhat the hubris of many in EarthForce when it came to Earth's wanting to investigate or whatever the Minbari prior to the start of the Earth-Minbari War.

First, we get Jha'dur saying that since she's created an immortality serum that it'll be great for her in that though the Dilgar are currently viewed by pretty much everyone as horrible people, but that everyone will turn to praising them for her discovery. That's bad enough, full of arrogance and vengefullness. But then we get a second hit and see first-hand how horrible Jha'dur really is in the massive pleasure she derrives from the thought that since the serum requires the death of a living person in order to create it for use by someone, people will fall to preying upon one another for it.

Of course the possibly biggest fun for me in the entire episode is the quick sudden twist at the end when a Vorlon ship suddenly pops through the jumpgate as Jha'dur is on a shuttle bound for Earth and blows the shuttle, Jha'dur, and the serum to smitherines. Kosh's statement, "You're not ready for immortality," is a great moment for his character early on. It keeps him mysterious, of course, but also hints at how advanced the Vorlons are. The ambassadors of the League of NonAligned Worlds are pleased that the horrorible Deathwalker is now dead, and there's little beyond filing a note of complaint that Earth could do in response to the Vorlon's actions because of how powerful the Vorlons are. Very nice.

I like that we get to see Ambassador Kalika again. I said it when they first popped up in "The War Prayer" and I'll say it again here, I like the look of the Abbai and wish they had been in the show more.

We also get to see three League ships in this episode: the Drazi, the Vree, and the Ipsha. I'm glad that the Drazi ships were eventually redesigned making them a bit more normal than the one in this episode. The Vree ships too were redesigned, but I kinda wish we'd see the old designs too and have had the Vree add both types of ships to the fleet Sheridan assembled. As for the Ipsha, I wish we'd actually seen what an Ipsha itself looked like and not just the ship (I'm unaware of any background aliens in the show being the Ipsha, if anyone else is, please point them out for me). I really like the design of the Ipsha ship, but it honestly looks like it should be a really advanced alien species's ship and not just a member of the League. I'd almost go so far as to say the Ipsha ship would have looked really cool if it had been the ship of one of the races of First Ones with that floating, glowing globe in the center.

Na'Toth had some great moments in this episode, it was a treat as always when the lovely Ms Brown brought Na'Toth to the screen. I liked how when G'Kar comes to pick Na'Toth up from Sinclair, though she's in trouble and upset at Sinclair for not allowing her to fullfill her shon'kar, Na'Toth stops on her way out and salutes/bows/whatever to Sinclair. It was almost as if she was saying "up yours" under the guise of being respectful.

And then we have the B-plot of Kosh hiring Abbut to record pieces of Talia's psyche "for the future." It definitely keeps Kosh's weird factor high and shows us yet another weird character in Abbut.

"Crab Nebula!"

It would kinda be nice to have a novel or something to endingly tie together Talia's character and that crystal beyond the tiny bit by Garibaldi saying that it might be useful with the Control personality overtaking Talia in "Divided Loyalties."

"Deathwalker" is definitely an episode I enjoy a lot from season one.
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Old November 18th 04, 04:04   #3
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

I also enjoy this episode. I think it's about the first that I can ever remember watching the very first time it aired, long before I was a fan of the show, so my perceptions of it are perhaps a little rose-tinted. It's a really solid episode, very close to the heart of what B5 is actually all about (at least in season 1). It delves into Earth's good relationship with the league which is often hinted at - I wonder if this might help to explain why Earth is one of the major powers despite being so backward technologically (they beat the Dilgar, and technically they also beat the Minbari - not a bad record).

The moral dilemma is really interesting, and its also interesting to watch how Sinclair, as a deeply moral character, struggles to deal with it. The Vorlon ship appearing at the end is maybe a little deus ex machina, but it works fine in the context of the series and the character of the Vorlons.
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Old November 18th 04, 08:02   #4
Shaal Mayan
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

I gave it a B rating Overall well done and nice story of the dilgar and a little of the war .
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Old November 18th 04, 08:32   #5
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

One favorite bit of mine is Jha'dur saying, "Not like us? You will become us."

But the Vorlon playing deus ex machina was great. And if you look closely at this episode, you'll realize that Kosh is pretty darn telepathic, considering that Abbut's not the one sending the images to Talia's mind.

Besides, this episode contains two of my favorite Kosh lines ever:

"We shall meet at the hour of scampering."
"Ah. You seek meaning."
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Old November 18th 04, 09:45   #6
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

Yep, an excellent ep, and IMO, the 3rd great ep in the series where I can't remember anything I didn't like in it (Midnight and Parliament were the first two).

Textbook B5 in that it's mostly "stand-alone" but we get so much that gives us a deeper look into the world of this story.

I'm a sucker for weirdness, and the VCR guy thing was great.
"You seek meaning"
"yes"
"Then listen to the music, not the song"

J'Hadur is a wonderfully nasty piece of work. She has a bit of a Hannibal Lector thing going on, because she's evil and killed so many but is still around and catered to by legitimate forces of power because she has something they want.

We also learn that not all the Minbari are as unified and enlightened as Delenn makes them out to be.
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Old November 18th 04, 22:54   #7
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

Gave this one a B, simply because it's very, very good, but not as great as some later ones.

I love how the League flexed their muscles in this episode and showed they will not let the 'Big 5' push them around.

The subplot with Kosh and Talia was okay, but in retrospect was a waste of time since all it showed was that Kosh was doing some scheming behind the scenes and the main story showed that when he blew Deathwalker to atoms.
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Old November 18th 04, 23:07   #8
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

I'd say that's more a sign of JMS's amazing flexibility.

He had a major idea/theme/concept and he also had the amazing ability to keep that idea/theme/concept flowing no matter what/who changed the dynamics.

For a guy who had a pretty detailed outline of his whole story arc, he was pretty amazing. This episode? As others have pointed out, it does forshadow a lot. And I loved the acting of the lead guest star.

She just exuded self satisfaction, didn't she?

Nice to have a villian you can really hate.
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Old November 18th 04, 23:25   #9
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

Even better than a villian you can hate is a villian that has a personaility and doesn't see themselves as evil. Of course acting that can be difficult.
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Old November 18th 04, 23:33   #10
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Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

I give this ep an A. Thumbs up all the way!
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