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Infection - spoiler edition

‘Infection’ or ‘It’s (almost) All Uphill From Here’

Before I get too into my thoughts I want to make an observation about clockwork_sky’s thoughts. Sometimes she doesn’t have the reactions I expect her to; for example she thought this episode was sort of charmingly silly when I was antsy about watching this one on its own instead of going right on to the next one because I expected this one would not go over well. But upon further consideration her expectations of the show are not as high as mine are, I *know* how much better it gets, she doesn’t yet.

So yeah, this one gets a 1 on my ranking scale; but the highest I’ve gone so far is a possibly generous 5, so it probably doesn’t seem as bad when you haven’t seen anything better than that. Also, as an episode that JMS himself has said he’s not pleased with I don’t feel too bad making this the bottom rung of the scale

That said there are a couple of good moments, before I talk about the bad or weird bits. When Dr. what’s-his-name (I’ve already forgotten) talks about the wonders to be seen out in exploring new worlds it’s quite evocative. Sinclair’s speech at the end isn’t great but the point is nice to hear. And of course the Sinclair/Garibaldi scene is nice, and probably the best part of the episode. Oh, and a bit of the story of how Michael and Jeff met, it’s a lot more interesting than we hear here though. Really Michael is probably my favorite thing in the episode.

Okay weird thing 1: I’m not sure off the top of my head but I expect this is the only ep of the show where none of the regular alien characters appear. In fact I don’t think any of the alien characters that did appear actually had lines unless you count the Icaran, but that’s really a possessed human so I’m not sure I do.

Weird thing 2: I’m working on a new headcanon where a few surviving Icarans left their world and have devolved into Zargs. I’m not *sure* it works but I like it for now.

Weird thing 3 (which is less a weird thing about the episode and kind of mark on the series as whole): B5 had a quarter of a million people living there, that’s at least twice as many people as live in my town; Steven has a *lot* of responsibility apparently given that size. He runs the Medlab facilities, has to sign off on mysterious deaths, does his own research on the side and later adds running a free clinic and participating in a conspiracy and war council. No wonder the guy starts using stims.

One of the main weaknesses of the episode is how straightforward and generic it is. It feels like it could take place on any show, in fact my esteemed partner compared it to a few Stargate episodes and that’s really what it’s closer to than B5. While I like Stargate, the shows don’t have the same style storytelling and this is closer to that than what B5 usually does.

And the less something had to do with the plot of the episode the more it felt like a B5 ep. Franklin talking about growing Earth First sentiment, the Michael bits I mentioned, a few small bits of station keeping; those have more to do with this show rather than the generic sci-fi plot #85 that’s going on.

In any case while there are still a couple eps this season I’m not very fond of, I’m looking forward to the next few, so I should be more positive next time.



Babylon 5 Rewatch

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