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Old 07-16-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
gchance
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Babylon 5, "The Quality of Mercy", S01E21, OAD 8/17/94 *spoilers*

Guide page: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countr...guide/021.html

This is yet another one of "those" episodes. It's not the strongest episode, but certainly not the worst. It also establishes something that will be important later on. It's also one of those where really BOTH stories are B-plot material. Honestly, I don't know what the A-plot is. The serial killer? Probably.

I don't really know what to make of the serial killer thing. I suppose it gives us background on Talia, and she gets to make her "scared" face a lot. She said in a different episode that she had been in the mind of a murderer in the past, so this can't be pleasant for her.

It's also too bad (as mentioned on the Lurker's Guide as well) that June Lockhart & Bill Mumy didn't have scenes together. However, it's also telling about JMS and his attitude towards the show. Yes, he could have done it, but it'd stick out like a sore thumb, so he didn't.

I didn't rewatch this one yet. I had planned on watching it last night whilst on the stairclimber but a 6-year-old needed my attention. Oh well.

Greg
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:56 PM   #2
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Eleventy-fifth. I'm not sure what that's supposed to tell us. Lennier can't speak English well? Minbari use numbers that don't have English equivalents?

I couldn't help but assume that the alien device would pop up again sometime. It seems like way too useful a device to just drop it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:57 PM   #3
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As you said it isn't one of the greatest episodes. JMS even states he doesn't remember writing it since he was sick with the flu.

On the other hand, it is nice to have a moment to catch your breath after the previous 3 episodes. A lot has happened and will happen.

The death of personality is a very different approach. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with it, then I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the way we handle serious crimes now. Locking up forever? Death? How do you fairly decide which? -- not commenting pro/con on any of them (i.e. no political rant here). Death of personality feels different though. The body lives but the mind is gone. Is that better? Worse?


- Dan

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Old 07-16-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mars Rocket View Post
Eleventy-fifth. I'm not sure what that's supposed to tell us. Lennier can't speak English well? Minbari use numbers that don't have English equivalents?
JMS claims the Minbari use base eleven. I think he just wanted someone to say Eleventy.

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I couldn't help but assume that the alien device would pop up again sometime. It seems like way too useful a device to just drop it.
True. So true.

- Dan
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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OK overall, but definitely not at the level of the past few episodes. Nevertheless I enjoyed it and was glad to see that they brought back the alien corporal punishment device. It's a nice way of showing that everything may make another appearance later in the arc.
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:27 PM   #6
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Nevertheless I enjoyed it and was glad to see that they brought back the alien corporal punishment device. It's a nice way of showing that everything may make another appearance later in the arc.
Brought back? This is its first appearance.

Greg
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:56 PM   #7
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Brought back? This is its first appearance.

Greg
Spoiler:

So it is. Sorry

I am a bit ahead and have lost track of the episodes.


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Old 07-17-2008, 12:37 AM   #8
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I missed this episode as well when it was originally run.
(I was moving at the time)

It's not a bad episode but the A Story works basically because of June Lockhart and Kate O'Neil.
(I wish JMS would have slipped in a scene with Laura Rosen and Lennier passing each other in the hall.)

I liked the B story with Londo and Lennier better although I think it would have worked better if it had taken place before Signs and Portents.
(But then we might have had Garabaldi's incredulous outburst )
But I guess it wasn't long until Earth figured out we weren't related to the Centauri.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:08 AM   #9
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I couldn't help but assume that the alien device would pop up again sometime. It seems like way too useful a device to just drop it.
And yet, on most scifi shows before this time, they would indeed never mention it again.

Can't really say which is the A and which the B plot because in the end, they turned out to be one plot.

This is not the strongest episode, but heck, I wish I could write that well while delerious with the flu.

Death of personality's an important thing to note, not just in case it comes up again later, but for the moral and philosophic implications.

We do get another reinforcement of the whole "Talia is a whiny coward" thing, which is nice. And a glimpse into the impact that telepathy would have on a society.

Did you ever notice how doctors seem to have this thing for stimulants? I mean, you've seen it on other shows too. It's kind of a side effect of the way we teach doctors, and then what we expect of them. Seems that even two centuries later, that's still happening.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:55 AM   #10
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Well, let's see.
We know that Laura Rosen was hooked on stims and Dr. Kyle took them himself as well.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:02 PM   #11
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Well, let's see.
We know that Laura Rosen was hooked on stims and Dr. Kyle took them himself as well.
Interesting. I wonder if that means anything.....
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Well, let's see.
We know that Laura Rosen was hooked on stims and Dr. Kyle took them himself as well.
I swear every time I see someone type Laura Rosen my brain translates it to Laura Roslin and I think, "This isn't BSG."

Greg
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:06 PM   #13
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Due to vacations I've fallen behind on B5, so I just watched this last night. It was a bit of a let down, as I was hoping for all of these season ending episodes to be good ones, and I felt this was just okay. Pretty good character building for the doctor, who I often cheese out on, but he's growing on me a little. The humor in the Londo-Lennier story kept it enjoyable.

I didn't even remember June Lockheart was from Lost in Space. I was thinking Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver or something.
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