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Gathering thoughts

My thoughts as I rewatched The Gathering:

I sometimes wonder, does anyone still have the original edition of The Gathering? I own I think three different copies of the reedited one, and while I’m sure there’s a reason for it, I’m kind of curious exactly what’s changed.

Oh Londo’s opening narration, so many classic bits in there. Although watching I did have to laugh at little at the lighting scheme, I’m so very glad they got rid of the chaser lights in C&C.

The rules set here seem a little squirrelly, the commander checking out a “tourist problem” and having to give clearance for Lyta to come aboard. I know they needed some quick establishment of characters, but still.

We don’t often see identicard readouts, so it should be noted that we do here. Also right from the start I’m thinking about how different Lyta is here from when we see her later.

Establishing Dust here gives me an opportunity to talk about basically my favorite element of the B5 universe, it just exists. We don’t find out what Dust is until season 3, but here it’s just referred to as a known drug and the audience is supposed to catch on. It’s not always so seamless like establishing the rules for telepaths, but it often works.

The PPGs look different and wristcomns instead of the back of the hand links we’ll get used to. Granted wristcomns are probably more logical.

And thus begins Sinclair’s tendency to throw himself in front of danger. We won’t get until ‘Infection’ that this is anything but you’re usual action hero cliché, but I thought I’d point it out, not that there won’t be more chances to this episode.

The Alien Sector techno-background is an example of not so good exposition. Of course the backstory of the Babylon Stations is even worse, because I have a hard time thinking Lyta would not know this.

The Zen Garden scene really doesn’t work well with the ‘Minbari do not lie’ idea. For one, I’m pretty positive that what’s on that disk is not everything Delenn knows about the Vorlons, and she’ll have to fake astonishment over the security breach. On the other hand I do really like Delenn’s analysis of the Garden and relating it back to her and Sinclair’s conversation, so that’s a plus side.

Eeek, it’s Not!Morden.

Being shocked at the Vorlons playing mysterious strikes me as funny. I mean clearly they *always* play mysterious; but also, you have no idea.

Sinclair’s baseball painting has always struck me as funny and I can’t say way.

Aww, the Garibaldi and Londo friendship, I always like them. And while you might think this is semi clunky Centauri background, Londo character establishment is happening right under your nose. Hi fun loving, gambling self and his pride in the old days of the Republic all so clearly visible from the very beginning. And he calls Garibaldi “bad luck,” you’ve got figure Michael’s heard that from a lot of people in his life.

You know, even though casting difficulties threw wrenches into it, I’m really glad right from the start the intent was for Sinclair to be in a relationship, rather than leaving him as the typical rouge hero commander.

I want to know what happened to Delenn’s gravity rings. I mean sure from a story point of view you don’t want to give a character that much power literally in her hands, but still it’s another thing to point out, although it can be pointed to as the earliest evidence of Mindari ability to create artificial gravity.

Londo’s sharks and remoras speech is sad in and of itself, but knowing what it means to the future of the story the character and the galaxy is even sadder.

We don’t know how Susan got in the know on the coffee plans, but we know she’s glad she did. The B5 universe, where doctors are all the brink of stim addiction and XOs love their coffee.

I don’t think JMS had quite worked out the Psi Corps stuff here yet you think? Given the Corps as we come to know it, I don’t see them throwing people out (except I guess that then translates to throwing them in jail); and the rest of the time it seems Psi ratings are largely genetic based, not trained to a P5 level, trained to use it yes, and if that many burn out I think the Corps could have a problem.

I remember the first time I finally saw this movie being totally shocked by the Entil’zah Valen part, and I still really am. I mean, I know this story was planned out, but proof of that to this extent can still cause shock. Granted Delenn doesn’t make any “In Valen’s name” comments this episode, but we’ll get to that soon enough.

Also, it’s never entirely clear how the skin tab came into contact with Kosh through his encounter suit. I seriously doubt he’d come out of it to greet “Sinclair” because the attacker probably would have been pretty stunned by that, and being inside he doesn’t exactly have hands.

Also, also, what was the exact reason for needing to appear as Sinclair? Were they just covering every contingency? On the off chance a telepath did scan Kosh it would appear as Sinclair?

Sending Sinclair to the Vorlon Homeworld has always seemed like a weird concept to me. The Vorlons don’t want any one else around them so why want to bring Sinclair in? There’s also a hell of a lot more talking with the Vorlon government in this episode than we ever get throughout the series. Also, I’m surprised the council allows votes to be cast by proxy like this, doesn’t seem sound.

I’m not a huge fan of Caroline, but I do think there are some points we missed out on without her character. Because there is something curious about her relationship with Delenn.

And with Londo and G’Kar’s actions we establish that, sure this series is political, but politics can be deadly and history has consequences for a long time.

The big guns seem very sill looking here, just so you know.

Blah blah blah, Sinclair explains the plot, the end of the scene is good but the mystery resolution is a little tedious.

So G’Kar is set up as the series villain, and the cat and mouse game between him and Sinclair too. Yeah, things change (Beep beep).

I’m not sure whether I believe even JMS knew what he’d make the history between Kosh and Delenn, but you can sure convince me he knew from there little nod at the end.

So, a couple concluding thoughts. I’d say here my favorite characters were Garibaldi and Londo, this fluctuates a lot during the series since I like so many of them, but here they’re my favorites. Not!Morden is still amusing to me. There’s a lot of things set up here that aren’t immediately obvious, I’ve never had the benefit of watching this without knowing what’s to come, so I wonder how much of that is me and how much anyone would notice. Some definite continuity issues with later episodes/seasons but not much too awful.

So that’s my thinking here.


Babylon 5 Rewatch

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