Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2004-12-31 Entry: "Reflection, Surprise, Terror... For The Future"

Season 1, disk 3, starts with "Deathwalker," and Kosh continues the hints at Talia's future telepathic abilities... but just when is the hour of scampering? Meanwhile, Na'Toth attacks a newcomer to the station, who she recognises as Deathwalker, the Dilgar scientist who performed evil experiments on Na'Toth's family. However, Deathwalker should be an old woman by now, so why hasn't she aged?

And we get some backstory about the Dilgar war, how the Earth Alliance helped the League of Non-Aligned Worlds defeat them, and a little of the legal structure of the Babylon 5 council.

"Believers," and more ethical dilemmas that don't really advance the story anywhere. In this case, between religion and medical science. What can be done, and what should be done. Of course, it has relevance in this day and age when morons on school boards try to portray Creationism as a valid alternative to Evolution. We should probably also abolish teachings of gravity, as the Earth is clearly at the center of the universe, and hey, gravity is only a theory after all...

"Survivors" sees the daughter of one of Garibaldi's old friends turn up to investigate a bombing on the station. Unfortunately, she seems to be gunning for Garibaldi's head.

What do PPGs fire? They're running through the alien sector, with methane gas billowing everywhere, firing at Garibaldi. Now, any sort of spark would ignite the methane and you'd have a pretty big explosion, so what's going on?

"By Any Means Necessary" sees G'Kar needing to get a G'Quan Eth for a religious ceremony, after his expected shipment is lost in a dockside accident. Due to the accident, the dock workers go on strike for better pay and conditions, and Orin Zento is sent in to resolve the labour dispute. This episode doesn't move the story on in any way shape or form (fortunately, it's the last on the disk and things pick up on the next disk), but I do like the resolution of the strike that Sinclair comes up with.

On to disk 4, with "Signs And Portents" which probably counts as the next "arc" episode. And we start with yet more raiders on shipping lanes. You know, shipping in the 23rd century doesn't seem to be all that safe!

Yay, and Mr Morden makes his first appearance. Sinclair lets Garibaldi in on his Battle Of The Line investigation. Londo obtains The Eye... some bit of Centauri jewelry that was missing for hundreds of years. And Morden starts his mysterious questioning...

"What Do You Want?" - G'Kar wants justice, to destroy the Centauri; Delenn never answers the question, but she does realise the Shadows have come; Londo wants the Centauri returned to greatness, to be what they used to be, to have it all back the way that it was.

Oh, and the seeress, Ladira, comes to B5. She starts by declaring B5 will be destroyed. She seems to be living the Shadow attack on B5 that would occur if B4 hadn't disappeared. She's also predicted Lord Kiro would be killed by Shadows. Which, obviously, gives us our first view of a Shadow ship. And her prediction for the station - a ship leaving and the whole station going up in flames - we'll see at least once more...

In "TKO" we get religious moments with Ivanova's rabbi, and we get a fair bit of brutality as Walker Smith comes on board to compete in the Mutai - some alien no-holds-barred combat event.

"Grail" sees David Warner come to the station to search for the Holy Grail. He recruits a man that thinks he's jinxed, and if he leaves the station it will explode or disappear like the previous four have. Meanwhile, a Nakaleen Feeder is loose on the station, a mind-leeching creature from Centauri space, that a criminal is using to eliminate anyone planning to testify against him.

And finally, "Eyes" sees Garibaldi building a motorcycle, which Lennier gets involved in, and an Earthforce colonel and his pet telepath (played by Jeffrey Coombs, so if I accidentally refer to him as Weyoun, don't panic!) come to test the command staffs' loyalty.

Garibaldi gets suitably suspicious about all the questions Mr Franks is asking, and discovers that they're some military investigation branch, and new regulations insist that all staff must submit to telepathic scan. But Ivanova won't accept that... and Weyoun looks suitably unhappy with his role.

Back with The 4400, and "Becoming" sees a serial killer, now one of the 4400, picking up his killing spree from where he left off. Meanwhile, Jordan Collier outs himself on television as one of the abductees.

Unfortunately, the serial killer has an airtight alibi, and the guy who apparently committed the latest murder hangs himself after taking credit for all 9 murders. The serial killer (Knox) picks out his latest victim, and then somehow controls another guy to kill her.

Jordan Collier meanwhile hosts a get together for the 4400, and he moves to hire Richard for a security job for his foundation.

Someone leaks the names and addresses of all the abductees to the press, and Shawn wakes Kyle up.

In "Trial By Fire" the hate crimes start - bombings perpetrated to kill the 4400. Kyle is awake, but doesn't really remember anything (presumably caused by his attempted abduction and Shawn's taking his place).

Collier opens his housing estate for the 4400. And a witch hunt starts to get rid of the head of the local Homeland Security division. Oh, and Kyle apparently isn't Kyle!

And finally, the episode I didn't see when the series aired, "White Light" - Kyle continues his search for something, and Maya wishes she were normal. Meanwhile, the witch hunter general, Agent Warren Lightel, takes Kyle into custody, just as Kyle works out where he's supposed to be. And what is Jordan Collier's interest in Lily and Richard's baby? More to the point, is it Richard's baby?

Well, the baby seemed to attack Jordan when Lily and Richard make their escape, Shawn nearly kills his brother over their mutual girlfriend, Kyle insists on going back to the beach where he was nearly abducted, Shawn decides to move in to Jordan's estate, and Kyle finds the light on the beach.

And then, he and Tom are zapped, and we finally get some answers. They were apparently altered by humans from the future to save the human race, and Tom has to help them. Of course, he would have got more answers if Lightel hadn't decided to shoot Kyle at that point...

And then six months pass, and Lily has her baby...

So where on earth are they going in the next series? Presumably Lightel has been thrown out on his ear for being a moron, and we'll get to see exactly what Jordan Collier's plans are, and there's liable to be a whole bunch more of the 4400 shown causing consequences and ripple effects that change the future to save the human race...

But, based on the theme tune, it's likely to die a rapid death sometime during season 2...

To break things up even more, I then descended into modern sci-fi cinematic rubbish, with Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Now, I've never played the video games, I've no idea what the backstory is beyond what was covered in the first film, and then what they show here, but this film still plays out like a first-person-shooter video game. The missions are set up, the introduction to what the next target is, and then we watch lots of people die horribly.

To be fair, I think I'd had just about the right amount of alcohol for this film (2 3rds of a bottle of wine) and it was fairly entertaining - a bit short, and clearly leaving things open for a sequel that may not get made (I can't remember what the box office figures were for the second film, but I don't recall them being all that great). Matt (from the first film) clearly doesn't come off very well here, but the female replacement for Michelle Rodriguez is a vast improvement!

So on the whole, a film to be seen with a few beers, don't take too seriously, and don't expect any mental exercise.

Sticking with films, I then watched Top Gun... it's been ages since I saw this last... I'd even forgotten that it was a Bruckheimer film. It wasn't quite as thrilling as I remember, but still just about managed to hold my attention. Tim Robbins' appearance was a surprise though.

And, working on this being the longest entry in a while, and it still being pre-midnight, and not feeling like getting in to the next B5 disk, I decided to risk Only Fools And Horses (series 1), so here we are with "Big Brother" where Del buys 25 leather briefcases, that subsequently turn out to be both stolen, and defective. Combination locks, but the combination is on a piece of paper inside the briefcase...

In "Go West Young Man" Del has the bright idea that second-hand cars are where the future is. So he buys a slightly dodgy car from Boycie, and then tries to sell it for a decent profit. Rodney persuades Del to go clubbing, and they take Boycie's E-Type Jag which they're looking after for him. Unfortunately, Rodney manages to pick a gay bar...

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