I think this episode is an excellent episode. We get major events like the death of the Centauri Emperor, the assassination of the Prime Minister, Londo and Refa plotting to get closer to controlling the throne, Londo calling on Morden to attack the Narn, Londo's dream in which he sees his death being shown in full, the Narn declaring war against the Centauri in response to the attack, the introduction of the Rangers, and the declaration from Kosh that it will all end in fire.
I love when Kosh comes to visit Turhan. He didn't have to do that; it begins to show Kosh's compassionate side. I also love Londo's dream, and his conversation with G'Kar. "I never thought I would be saying this, but: to the health of your emperor!"
But I have to say Turhan's beautiful speech in the observation dome is the one scene of Babylon 5 that I have seen the most. Sometimes when I'm feeling really depressed I fire the DVD player just to watch it. "The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us...."
Yeah, the Vorlons always made it known that they didn't concern themselves with the affairs of younger races. (Unless of course it suits them to do so, like manipulating them and geneticaly altering them. ) Kosh's involvement with the Centauri emperor, G'Kar in his Dust to Dust dream, and of course Sheridan, shows that he's not like the rest of the Vorlons.
The strange thing is .. I didn't much care for this episode the first time I saw it. I also was WAY too young appreciate Babylon 5 properly at the time, so that probably is something that speaks for the episode's "adult" greatness, not against it, if the 12 year olds like my former self don't really get it that much. I completely adored it on rewatching.
But also, I only saw the crummy dubbed German version initially. Havin english *really* helped .. and the emperor having a Viennese accent rocked too.
One of the best episodes ever. What wonderful tragedy. JMS builds up hope and sets the pieces up to build towards healing and a better universe for all, and it all crumbles horribly. Londo had to be thinking about suicide after that. You gotta love it.
This is the first "Wow!" episode, so it is the first A I have given (although I may have given an A for Chrysalis). There is aa lot going on in this ep and it really sets the scene for the rest of the story. If new viewers are not hooked at this point, they will be after watching this
Wow. This is amazing. Considering how many posts there have been about differing opinions on various episodes, especially the minorities of people who like the predominately less-favored episodes, it's amazing how consistent the opinions are on this one.
Granted, it's unlikely that anyone would find this episode mediocre and virtually unthinkable that anyone would hate it. But, no one is even giving it a 'B'. With 30 votes in at the time I'm writing this, it's unanimous that the episode is grade 'A'.
Don't get me wrong; I agree. I gave it an 'A' too. I guess I'm just surprised that at least one person didn't give it anything less. And since no one did...
This is definitely a prime example of great television.
It's just brilliant! From the emperor's speech to Sheridan, to G'kar's conversation with Franklin, to Londo's talk with Vir ("By this time tomorrow, we will be at war with the Narns. May th Great Maker forgive me!"), to his dream , his toast with G'Kar, everything about the episode is just perfect. Undoubtedly the best Season 2 episode.