Nitpicking: Babylon 5

Where we take the beloved sci-fi series, look at it with jaded eyes, and then tell you everything that's wrong with it.

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Season One

EPISODE ONE: Midnight on the Firing Line
[June 2, 2019]
Our inaugural episode opens with conflicts between the Narn Regime and the Centauri Republic and between Lieutenant Commander Ivanova and PsiCorps telepath Talia Winters.

EXTRASODE 7: The Gathering (PREVIEW) [June 2, 2017]
In the first of our Patreon-only extrasodes, we tackle the Babylon 5 pilot which introduces names and place we'll see again and some plot development we thankfully won't.

EPISODE TWO: Soul Hunter
[June 9, 2019]
The injection of the supernatural into a series of meaningless, boring events does nothing to save the three important lines that are all you really need to hear.

EPISODE THREE: Born to the Purple
[June 16, 2019]
This eminently forgettable episode is one about which we were both wrong. Unfortunately, we were both right about its mediocrity.

EPISODE FOUR: Infection
[June 23, 2019]
A meeting of Babylon 5 and Star Trek: The Next Generation, with a Lord-of-the-Rings feel, that no one wanted to see.

EPISODE FIVE: The Parliment of Dreams
[June 30, 2019]
This bundle of disconnected events is noteworthy only for introducing G'Kar's attache, Na'toth.

EPISODE SIX: Mind War
[July 7, 2019]
An inelegant but necessary dance ensues when the Psi Corp comes to Babylon Five looking for a rogue telepath.

EPISODE SEVEN: The War Prayer
[July 14, 2019]
The rule of C-Plots is borne out when a good idea for a story turns out to be too much for the slender reed that is Sinclair to carry.

EPISODE EIGHT: And the Sky Full of Stars
[July 21, 2019]
The tiny nugget of real information contained in this episode turns out to be not worth the great ball of stupid that it's wrapped in.

EPISODE NINE: Deathwalker
[July 28, 2019]
We are blessed with a good episode that, while a one-shot, realistically reflects events that have happened in real life.

EPISODE TEN: Believers
[August 4, 2019]
We learn entirely the wrong lesson when this Star Trek-y episode resolves in an entirely non-Star Trek way.

EPISODE ELEVEN: Survivors
[August 11, 2019]
Dumb noir ensues when Garibaldi is framed FOR A CRIME HE DIDN'T COMMIT. Save us.

EPISODE TWELVE: By Any Means Necessary
[August 18, 2019]
This one's a good'un after a run of not-so-good-un's, filled with texture, continuity and completely unlike anything you'd see on Star Trek. The episode that sold the series to Neil.

EPISODE THIRTEEN: Signs and Portents
[August 25, 2019]
Babylon 5's real story begins as Londo attempts to find an important artifact while the station is visited by a very strange, and very important, side character.

EPISODE FOURTEEN: TKO
[September 1, 2019]
An awful, utterly-forgettable A-plot involving martial-arts aliens is almost, but not quite, redeemed by the resolution of Ivanova's legacy.

EPISODE FIFTEEN: Grail
[September 8, 2019]
TKO without the entertaining B-plot. Save us, Susan Ivanova.

EPISODE SIXTEEN: Eyes
[September 15, 2019]
Continuity reigns as several birds come home to roost. Susan Season continues.

EPISODE SEVENTEEN: Legacies
[September 22, 2019]
The final run of Season One's real meat begins as a young woman's experience with her burgeoning telepathic powers intersects the Minbari warrior caste making a to-do of a vanished war hero's body.

EPISODE EIGHTEEN: A Voice in the Wilderness, Part I
[September 29, 2019]
With civil unrest on Mars as the backdrop, the Babylon 5 crew must explore the mysterious planet beneath them. Unfortunately, since this is a two-parter, nothing really happens.

EPISODE NINETEEN A Voice in the Wilderness, Part II
[Octover 6, 2019]
We learn that, much as on TNG, two-parters are usually unnecesary and often ultimately disappointing when the constant build-up finally fizzles out into a literal deus ex machina.

EPISODE TWENTY: Babylon Squared
[Octover 13, 2019]
A truly unique take on time travel ensues as Babylon 4 suddenly reappears while Delenn is faced with the possibility of taking over the Gray Council.

EPISODE TWENTY-ONE: The Quality of Mercy
[Octover 20, 2019]
In a sort of "Lost in Space" reunion, a doctor's strange healing device intersects a convicted murderer's death of personality, while Londo and Lennier hit the town.

EPISODE TWENTY-TWO: Chrysalis
[Octover 27, 2019]
A bookend to the season which is almost too much of a good thing.

EPISODE TWENTY-THREE: Bonus Season 1 Wrapup
[Octover 27, 2019]
We take a look back at Babylon Five's first season by picking a top and bottom three, making lists of necessary and recommended episodes, then discussing our favorite character so far.

Season Two

EPISODE TWENTY-FOUR: Points of Departure
[November 3, 2019]
Some departures, some arrivals and a lot of preparation for the coming of shadows.

EPISODE TWENTY-FIVE: Revelations
[November 10, 2019]
This episode's disappointingly generic title hides the beginning of Babylon Five's real plot as several missing characters reappear.

EPISODE TWENTY-SIX: The Geometry of Shadows
[November 17, 2019]
A middling episode with technomages, Garibaldi's job crisis, and yet no geometry and no shadows. There is, however, green. And purple.

EPISODE TWENTY-SEVEN: A Distant Star
[November 24, 2019]
This collection of odds and ends accomplishes little except to set Warren Keffer on his very short arc.

EPISODE TWENTY-EIGHT: The Long Dark
[December 1, 2019]
A bad copy of a bad Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, specifically Acquiel, seemingly written by someone who's never actually watched Babylon Five.

EPISODE TWENTY-NINE: Spider in the Web
[December 8, 2019]
Trying their hand at X-Files-style conspiracy, the Babylon-5 crew meander to stop an assassin before it's too late. Or something.

EPISODE THIRTY: Soul Mates
[December 15, 2019]
Londo Mollari is given an opportunity for a divorce and we learn that, like guest commentator Jill Neff, Tahlia Winters has a "type."

EPISODE THIRTY-ONE: A Race Through Dark Places
[December 22, 2019]
Psi Corps' arc is set in motion, linking to continuity both backwards and forwards, as Bester returns to Babylon Five to end Franklin's involvement in The Telepath Underground Railroad.

EPISODE THIRTY-TWO: The Coming of Shadows
[December 29, 2019]
Everything changes when the Centauri emperor decides to visit Babylon 5 and Londo makes a decision that sets him on an irrevocable path.

EPISODE THIRTY-THREE: Gropos
[January 5, 2020]
An episode in which wonderful actors are wasted on a by-the-numbers plot when the station gets crowded with the addition of 25,000 soldiers plus a host of Franklin's daddy issues.

EPISODE THIRTY-FOUR: All Alone in the Night
[January 12, 2020]
Some interesting plot advancement involving Earth and the consequences of Delenn's decisions is, unfortunately, buried in a pile of trashbag aliens.

EPISODE THIRTY-FIVE: Acts of Sacrifice
[January 19, 2020]
A necessary and interesting examination of G'Kar's sacrifices on behalf of the Narn is diluted by an unfortunate joke at Ivanova's expense.

EPISODE THIRTY-SIX: Hunter, Prey
[January 26, 2020]
A lot of sound and fury signifying (barely) something as the president's personal physician flees his own government and Kosh acts enigmatically.

EPISODE THIRTY-SEVEN: There All Honor Lies
[February 2, 2020]
A better written and acted version of The War Prayer plays out while Lennier and Vir show off their acting chops.

EPISODE THIRTY-EIGHT: And Now For a Word
[February 9, 2020]
An ISN special report results in a non-essential but highly-recommended episode that encapsulates what Babylon 5 is all about...both the good, and the bad.

EPISODE THIRTY-NINE: In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum
[February 16, 2020]
A revelation about Mr. Morden leads to Sheridan causing an incident that risks the entire station. Possibly Neil's favorite episode of the entire series, even though it does wear its influences on its sleeve.

EPISODE FORTY: Knives
[February 23, 2020]
The episode we thought was "Born to the Purple", paired with an utterly forgettable (we hope!) energy-being plot worthy of Star Trek.

EPISODE FORTY-ONE: Confessions and Lamentations
[March 1, 2020]
This non-required episode about the fall of the Markab takes us on quite an emotional ride.

EPISODE FORTY-TWO: Divided Loyalties
[March 8, 2020]
Lyta Alexander returns to the station, bringing news of a Psi-Corps conspiracy involving a sleeper agent. Includes guest commentator Cynthia Taylor, who's here for the lesbians.

EPISODE FORTY-THREE: The Long, Twilight Struggle
[March 15, 2020]
The tale of the horrific end to the Narn-Centauri war is marred by an unevenly executed subplot involving the return of the Great Machine's keeper.

EPISODE FORTY-FOUR: Comes the Inquisitor
[March 22, 2020]
Delenn is put to the question by an inquisitor, and we're put to the question by this episode.

EPISODE FORTY-FIVE: The Fall of Night
[March 29, 2020]
This episode demonstrates that it's always darkest before the dawn -- and this ain't the dawn. Just ask Warren Keffer.

EPISODE FORTY-SIX: Bonus Season 2 Wrapup
[March 29, 2020]
We look over the last season, discussing departures and arrivals, our favorite characters and storylines, required and skippable episodes and our top and bottom three!

EPISODE FORTY-SEVEN: Matters of Honor
[April 5, 2020]
The last best hope for peace becomes the last best hope for victory, heralded by the arrival of the Defiant ... oh, wait ... sorry, the White Star.

EPISODE FORTY-EIGHT: Convictions
[April 12, 2020]
A story about a random bomber already qualifies as one of the worst of the season, with one interesting scene and 40 minutes of wasted potential via Falling Down.

EPISODE FORTY-NINE: A Day in the Strife
[April 19, 2020]
Two plots: one stupid; one not. While G'Kar is asked to return to the Homeworld to face judgement, the rest of the crew half-asses an encounter with an exploding probe straight out of Star Trek. Oh, and the title is dumb.

EPISODE FIFTY: Passing Through Gethsemane
[April 26, 2020]
In an example of what a filler episode SHOULD be, a member of Brother's Theo's order is gaslighted into remembering a past best forgotten. Includes the re-introduction of one of our favorite psychics, Lyta Alexander.

EPISODE FIFTY-ONE: Voices of Authority
[May 3, 2020]
This required episode is the story of two women: one telepathic, the other, stereotyped.

EPISODE FIFTY-TWO: Dust to Dust
[May 10, 2020]
This episode sees the reintroduction of Alfred Bester, who proves he can be just as annoying WITHOUT his telepathic ability.

EPISODE FIFTY-THREE: Exogenesis
[May 17, 2020]
An utterly forgettable, completely skippable episode involving parasitic bug people and Ivanova trying to expand the conspiracy.

EPISODE FIFTY-FOUR: Messages from Earth
[May 25, 2020]
Sheridan and company deal with a crazed Shadow ship while the shadow of Night Watch lengthens.

EPISODE FIFTY-FIVE: Point of No Return
[May 31, 2020]
The title track of Season Three and the moment when everything goes to hell.

EPISODE FIFTY-SIX: Severed Dreams
[June 7, 2020]
Point of No Return, Part II: If there is shit that could hit a fan, it hits it.

EPISODE FIFTY-SEVEN: Ceremonies of Light and Dark
[June 15, 2020]
An episode containing good continuity and some of our favorite moments, but the A-plot about a hostage situation...sucks.

EXTRASODE 9: In the Beginning (PREVIEW) [June 20, 2020]
A must-see prequel to Babylon 5 that really shouldn't be viewed until you've at least finished Season 3. We witness the Earth-Minbari Warfrom the perspective of those that were there, and can re-evaluate what we knew -- or thought we knew.

EPISODE FIFTY-EIGHT: Sic Transit Vir
[June 21, 2020]
The "Up the Long Ladder" of Babylon 5, in which horrific things happen, played for laughs. Includes guest commentator Cynthia Taylor.

EPISODE FIFTY-NINE: A Late Delivery from Avalon
[June 28, 2020]
King Arthur? What the hell? Includes guest commentator Jill Neff.

EPISODE SIXTY: Ship of Tears
[July 5, 2020]
This episode's got continuity, strange bedfellows, and it ain't Gray 17 is Missing.

EPISODE SIXTY-ONE: Interludes and Examinations
[July 12, 2020]
Three characters once again going through a period of transition results in an important episode that doesn't hit as hard as it should.

EPISODE SIXTY-TWO: War Without End, Part I
[July 19, 2020]
One of the only two-part episodes in the run of the series sees the return of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair.

EPISODE SIXTY-THREE: War Without End, Part II
[July 26, 2020]
A solid part two in which the seams are still a little visible, including some unforseeable incongruities.

EPISODE SIXTY-FOUR: Walkabout
[August 2, 2020]
An interesting plot in which Lyta Alexander returns and is tested against the Shadows is unfortunately paired with a terrible Franklin storyline.

EPISODE SIXTY-FIVE: Grey 17 is Missing
[August 9, 2020]
A decent b-plot utilizing a b-list character is completely overshadowed by bizarre happenings involving Michael Garibaldi's exploration of the titular level. Includes guest commentator Dan Kostelec.

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