[Episode Written By: JMS] (7/07/99)
The crew discovers an alien trapped inside an
artifact. The alien probes the crews thoughts, making them deal with
past situations which they have yet to resolve. Gideon is abandoned
by his former crew and rescued by Galen. Matheson escapes from a
In the best episode yet (and a must see I might add) of the first four, JMS gives us a detailed look at some of the main characters pasts. An interesting episode that can not be missed, if you like to follow the story line. For the first time we deal with a very large issue, God, and it would seem Galen has a lot of issues that need to be resolved in that direction. The Gideon and Galen flashbacks were extremely well written, but I must say the luck of Matheson's escape was a bit of a stretch to take.
Look for a new shadow ship (at least I assume it is a shadow ship) with two horns and a double deck of finger fins. Look for a friendly face from the science fiction show Alien Nation.
On a side note, the Lockley addition in the opening credits is now officially
laughable. I couldn't imagine her melding into this cast at this
point, and certainly not into the evolving story line. The Excalibur
will be going further and further away from Babylon-5 as the series progresses,
leaving her and her command far behind. She must have been added
either (1) to make some of the older TNT fans join the new series, or (2)
because it was part of her contract for season 5 of B5.
MUSIC: (4 STARS)
When you write a story like this the talents of this composure show themselves. It was a dark, mysterious episode and the music does well here. Unfortunately, not all the episodes are like this. A highlight is the melody played whenever the alien is shown...perfectly shy and yet all powerful...
ACTING / CHARACTERS: (4 STARS)
This was not an easy episode for Woodward (Galen) to pull off but he did it. More and more he demonstrates his range. This guy truly does not miss a step. The character is apparently unhinged and no one (not even JMS I think) knows what he is going to do next. The first time I heard a technomage was a main character I was not sure how the concept would go in the long term, but this is no ordinary technomage. He is as angry as Garibaldi and as powerful as a Vorlon, what could be better?
Matheson is a little too quiet for my liking right now. Seems almost too nice at this point. No one's that nice, especially when they are a first officer.
PLOT: (4 STARS)
I have never been disappointed by a JMS flashback or flash forward episode. This one was no exception. Character development is key to this series and we see the start of it here. The question is, can he keep the questions coming. I sure hope so.
CGI: (4 STARS)
A superb job was done in the Gideon flashback scene. Its amazing to see how far they have come with the EVA scenes. It used to look truly horrible but they have refined it to an artform. The Cerberus was also very well done and the engines firing was a great effect. I could actually feel them firing. We also saw much more detail in the technomage ships than we have ever seen before.