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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post

    No Privacy? Is future ''Babylon 5'' Earth some type of fascist society with no privacy? Everyone checks poor security officer Benson's bank account, payments and credit history in seconds. Or do you sign over your rights to privacy when you join Earthforce or Security?
    The requirements for Babylon 5 Security are probably pretty strict - much stricter than in most other places in EarthForce.

    The ambassadors don't appear to have their own guard contigents, and whenever we see something endangering the ambassadors it's human security guards that respond.

    That means that someone in Security is expected to:

    1)Act as police for a city's worth of people.

    2) Act as a military Marine contigent stationed to defend the station against attacks.

    3) Act as security bodyguards for the diplomatic VIPs of several dozen different races.

    These aren't your regular beat cops here. It doesn't surprise me at all that one of the requirements for the job is agreeing to have full transparency into your personal life while you're on the job.

    Heck, if it were up to me I'd be tempted to have required telepathic scans periodically. From what we've seen, one bad Security guard could lead to interstellar war.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Deathwalker, Believers, Survivors

    This week, we'll be discussing:
    • Deathwalker
    • Believers
    • Survivors


    Due to a complete lack of objection from anyone over several weeks of me asking, there are now new spoiler guidelines: feel free to discuss anything from the Babylon 5 series without using spoiler tags if you so choose. Please continue to use spoiler tags for things unrelated to Babylon 5 as you would in any other media thread.

    My thoughts: These three are all episodes that I liked back in the 90s, because they did a good job of not being ST:TNG and getting some different kinds of stories on television than I was used to. I'm not sure I'd be nearly as impressed with them on a cold viewing now that other shows have a wider variety of plots and genre expectations have changed so much.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Deathwalker, Believers, Survivors

    Quote Originally Posted by Algeh View Post
    This week, we'll be discussing:
    • Deathwalker
    • Believers
    • Survivors


    Due to a complete lack of objection from anyone over several weeks of me asking, there are now new spoiler guidelines: feel free to discuss anything from the Babylon 5 series without using spoiler tags if you so choose. Please continue to use spoiler tags for things unrelated to Babylon 5 as you would in any other media thread.

    My thoughts: These three are all episodes that I liked back in the 90s, because they did a good job of not being ST:TNG and getting some different kinds of stories on television than I was used to. I'm not sure I'd be nearly as impressed with them on a cold viewing now that other shows have a wider variety of plots and genre expectations have changed so much.
    I felt like both Deathwalker and Believers were both complete cop-outs because the writers were too afraid to actually resolve it.

    Deathwalker in particular. OK, so the reveal that you could only make the drug by harvesting living beings brings up a potentially very interesting argument (notwithstanding the simple question of why it can't be manufactured from complex but non-sentient lifeforms like monkeys and such), and it raises significant moral questions about whether it would be right to do something like harvest terminally ill people and whatnot to allow brilliant scientists and whatnot to live longer.

    But no. Rather than actually examine the implications LOL VORLONS BLEW THEM UP. No resolution or any real examination of the moral issue of harvesting people to prolong life, just a giant Deus Ex Machina Vorlon hammer and a big FU to the audience.

    Believers, again, tries to examine a moral issue and falls flat on its face because it ham-handedly leaves several very large holes that simply aren't examined. Namely, we're not talking about humans here. The Doctor flat out admits he hasn't actually performed on this particular species - and not once even attempts to address whether their concerns have merit FOR THEIR SPECIES (namely whether cutting into their core legitimately has potentially serious adverse affects that the parents don't have the knowledge to really understand, but know that its bad). Instead both medical personnel just arrogantly assume they're stupid hicks that don't have real concerns and that the operation will automatically work, even though they haven't actually performed in on anybody of their species before.

    Then instead of seeking guidance from somebody on Earth that may have actually operated on this species before, contacting anybody on their home world to find out if there is a medical reason for their adamant refusal of surgery and perhaps enlist the aid of one of somebody official in their religion to calm their concerns, or anything of the kind, the Doctor simply arrogantly goes ahead and does an operation he's never performed against the express wishes of both the parents AND the patient without even attempting to find another solution. It's ludicrous and quite frankly the aliens come off a heck of a lot better than the Doctor.

    Survivors was a pretty good episode, if a little bit contrived in how Garibaldi was put on the run, but we got some good characterization of Garibaldi and it was a decent one overall.
    Last edited by Olinser; 2017-05-07 at 12:41 AM.

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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Though sure we..um..had the World Wide Web...back in the 90's lol. Remember when you'd plug your computer into your land line phone and call the 'net on dial up.
    In 1994, we only *barely* had the World Wide Web--it was only invented in 1991, and until the Mosaic web browser was released in 1993 really only existed inside academia. Heck, when I first signed up for Internet access in 1996 I went with Compuserve because that actually still made sense back then--wasn't for 2 or 3 years after then that the rapid expansion of the Web rendered proprietary services like that irrelevant.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Believers remains the only episode of B5 that I refuse to re-watch, even to try and catch foreshadowing or B-plot related stuff. I've only ever seen it the one time on my initial watch and was so irked that I can't bring myself to view it again.

    Olinser's summary is pretty much spot on as to why. Religiously offensive, medically offensive, morally offensive (operating on someone's child without their consent), and above all the entire plot just being stupid, stupid, stupid.

    The one good thing out of the episode is the spotlight it throws on Dr Franklin's tendency to blind himself to the possible consequences of his actions if there's even the slightest chance that he might save a life in the process. A bit of foreshadowing about how that character trait almost destroys him later on.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    I liked all of those episodes.

    Deathwalker's somewhat Deus Ex Machina was a good foreshadowing/hint of the Vorlons' attitude toward young races. In fact, the entire episode of Deathwalker is about Kosh and the Vorlons one way or another.

    I came up with the theory yesterday evening that Kosh made a "copy" of Talia Winters because he wanted to study Ironheart's change that wete done to her.

    Deathwalker herself was a.meh character, except when she taunted Sinclair. Her delivery was perfect, and it was hilarious to see.

    Believers is, as someone else said, all about foreshadowing Franklin's attitude and arrogance in his self-righteousness. Its also the series first example of the Strazynski Rule: every cute children must die.

    I will just put this so i clarify something right away: I dont buy in the least the "Franklin should have done more research about this specie". This isnt how the problem is established in the episode. If the solution was going to come from a scientific Deus Ex Machina that completely and lazily discards the episode's dilemma, we would be watching Star Trek Voyager.

    My favourite bit of the episode is the parents going to see each ambassadors. There is so much wisdom on display by each ambassadors, but i believe Kosh's somewhat makes a case regarding why the episode is a true Bona Fide tragedy:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kosh
    The avalanche has already started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote
    Kosh can see that things were already in motion in a way that couldnt be altered.

    - Franklin WAS going to operate on the kid, whether or not Sinclair have him the authority. There was no changing that.
    - the parents WERE going to kill their child as a consequence of their belief. There was no changing that.

    If you accept that the child's fate was sealed no matter what, then the episode becomes a tale of duelling morality, and how good people with opposing morality views can be pushed toward what others would consider abhorrent, because they were left with no other choices.

    Both Franklin and the Parents stood for what they believed was right, despite everyone telling them they were in the wrong. Which is why i always hated Captain's America:

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America
    Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world "No, you move."
    Doing what you feel is right despite everyone telling you is wrong is.. arrogant. Its not necessarily wrong, but in a world where the writers dont conveniently make certain that you have the moral upper hand, whats the difference between Captain America and Franklin? Or Captain America and the Childkilling Parents? Or Captain America and The Inquisitor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Comes the Inquisitor
    Inquisitor: "Why are you here, now, in this place, in this life?"
    Delenn: "I was meant to be here."
    I: "Meant?"
    D: "Yes."
    I: "By whom?"
    D: "I do not know."
    I: "Then how can you be sure?"
    D: "I don't know."
    I: "No, you don't?"
    D: "Does it matter?
    I: "What do you mean?"
    D: "If I believe I'm here now for a reason--"
    I: "And if the world says otherwise?"
    D: "Then the world is wrong!"
    I: "And Delenn is right? Perhaps the world is right and Delenn is wrong? Have you ever considered that? Have you?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Comes the Inquisitor
    Inquisitor: "The city was drowning in decay, .. chaos, immorality. A message needed to be sent, etched in blood, for all the world to see: a warning. In the pursuit of my .. holy cause, I .. did things, terrible things, unspeakable things. The world condemned me, but it didn't matter, because I believed I was right and the world was wrong. I believed I was the divine messenger. I believed I was--"
    Sheridan: "Chosen?"
    I: ".. I was .. found by the Vorlons. They showed me the terrible depth of my mistake, .. my crimes, my .. presumption. I have done 400 years of penance in their service. A job, for which they said I was ideally suited. Now, perhaps, they will finally let me die."
    S: "I think that might be wise."
    I: "Good luck to you in your holy cause, Captain Sheridan. May your choices have better results than mine. Remembered, not as a messenger, remembered not as a reformer, not as a prophet, not as a hero, not even as Sebastian. Remembered only .. as Jack."
    I seem to obsess on this, but the reason is that "doing whats right despite everyone telling you it is wrong" is probably one of the central theme of the entire series.

    - this is why the Elder Races were such *******s
    - this is why the Clark government is so evil
    - this is why the Psi Corp is fundamentally flawed
    - This is what drove Londo's tragic storyline
    - this is what blinded GKar and the Narns to their own brutality in season 1

    Now, taken from the outside of all these peole/faction, we can see that their way of seeing the world and others were flawed from the get go.

    But not Captain America. No siree, that guy is right because the Writers told us he is right no matter what. He had an automatic morality license. You know the old adage "if the King does it, its legal?" Well now we have "If Captain does it, its Moral"

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Deathwalker

    A horrible war criminal arrives at the station with an immortality drug. This episode is awash in politics and moral gray areas, which is well-done and compelling. The Vorlons' intervention in events is really the cherry on top of the episode. It gives the viewer the distinct impression that the other species are just kids at play, and when that play goes to far, the Vorlons step in to apply a little discipline. This is the first and most obvious example of the Vorlons' attitude toward the younger races. Of course, one could ask (and the characters will ask), what gives the Vorlons the right to make those decisions? For now, they have power that no one can stop, so they can do what they want.



    Wind Swords So they are well known militant Minbari and the assassin from ''The Gathering'' was one of them. They hid Deathwalker for years in return for...things. Wonder if one of the things they got was immortality?

    Kosh's Claw-does not Kosh have the cutest little R2-D2 like claw....

    Anachronism-Abbut is a Vicker, a ''VCR''. LOL. Even in 2017, talk about outdated technology. You really think anyone in 2258 would know what a VCR was?

    Things That Don't Make Sense

    Kosh's Business So, this B plot does not make any sense, but then we don't know what Kosh is up to, as normal. Maybe he just want to test Talia...or something?

    Abbut is a human (?) or humanoid robot/cyborg (but nothing like Data, wink wink) that seems to be very friendly with Kosh and know him well. Kosh freinds with someone? Talk about something that makes no sense. Unless of course Kosh hired Abbut and told him to act that way to get paid.....

    Clueless Doctors-Er, so why does Dr. Franklin not recognize a Dilgar? The war was only 30 Earth years ago. Did he never take a history class? Even more so as an expert on aliens, you'd think he'd know about Dilgar and have seen pictures and videos. It's even funnier a second later when Sinclar calls up a ton of Dilgar information on the computer. Even if all the doctors were dumber then dumb, why could they just not look trough the pictures of all aliens?

    Expert Garibaldi glances...glances at the ''drugs'' in the little case and says with absolute fact ''this does not look like any drug I have every seen''. Lol. And it just ''looks'' like a colored liquid.

    Legal Weirdness-So the League of Non-Aligned Worlds wants Deathwalker tried on Babylon 5? Like under Interspace Law or something? Who would be judge and jury is such a trial? Is there even enough objective evidence to prove her guilty?

    No Peace-The League of Non-Aligned Worlds sure goes from lets talk, have peace and a trial to War! in like seconds....

    Extradition?-So each of the alien races, now suddenly, wants to put Deathwalker on trial (or just kill her?) under their own laws? And once every other alien race sends a ship to demand the same thing, do they think ''oh well the Earth people will give her to us and no one will object''...though they would object if someone else was picked? Really it was close to a no win ''war'' situation...

    Death Drug?-So the immortality drug needs ''something'' from living beings to work (er, a soul?). That is very unscientific and much more just for the drama.

    The First Shot-So at the very end of the episode a Vorlon ship comes out of the gate and destroys Deathwalkers ship.....taking two shots to do so. Two shots to hit a slow moving target like 100 feet away from your ship? Something here does not add up. Why does the first shot miss? Or did it miss? Well, maybe:

    1.The Vorlon's, playing their long, long, long game of keeping everyone confused missed on purpose. Maybe to show, um, they are not as advanced as everyone thinks? Maybe to show they have poor ''lock on'' computer targeting systems?

    2.Maybe Deathwalkers Minbari flyer had that ''stealth tech'' that makes it hard or impossible to lock on to? And it even fooled the Vorlons...for a second.

    3.Maybe Vorlon gunner Bosh is only like 880, and has never, ever, ever fired the main gun before. so it is understandable that he misses on this first time every shooting the weapon...

    Or maybe...

    4.Was there a cloaked Shadow vessel (or maybe Drac?) traveling along with Deathwalker that the Vorlon's chased away? Was the whole immortality drug a Shadow plot to ''kill the weak and make the strong stronger?'' Maybe the Shadows (or another shadow servant race) helped influence the Dilgar to ''attack and kill them all''? Maybe the drug is Shadow tech(or ''First Ones tech)?


    Final Thoughts-A, this is a great political drama...in space and everything Babylon 5 was promised to be.

    I think that Deathwalker was right: even in the best case that all the governments agreed to ban the production of the serum on ethical grounds, once the knowledge exists, it will be used. One can imagine a black market where rich people would pay someone to kill beings to make them the serum. Heck, I could even imagine scenarios where a desperate parent might sell himself in return for a big payoff to take care of his kids. And would that be wrong? Does a person have a right to sell his life like that?
    And what if some governments didn't ban the serum? What if some species decided they were worthy to be immortal and started a campaign to conquer their neighbors in order to harvest the "secret ingredient"? The existence of an immortality serum that must be produced in such a way is simply a recipe for galactic disaster. And it's a recipe for a fascinating episode.
    Last edited by Darth Ultron; 2017-05-07 at 10:36 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Or, the translation says "77 hours" because "27.3 greedleflops" would mean precisely nothing to the viewer.
    Heh, that starts to touch on the discussion of what exactly is meant by "a thousand years ago". Since it's usually a Minbari character talking, do they mean 1,000 Earth years (ie 1259 BCE) or 1,000 Minbari years (which I seem to remember somebody somewhere figuring out to be a few hundred Earth years earlier).

    (For what little it's worth, I always assumed the former, since it makes for a nice translation convention and causes a few things in some of the novels and the like to line up neatly.)

    And yes, like any good mass-market sci-fi work, we're just going to blatantly ignore the weirdness that happens with time-as-we-know-it when faster-than-light travel and galactic-scale distances are involved.
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2017-05-07 at 12:15 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Babylon 5 Group Re-Watch!

    Believers always struck me as especially stupid because it seemed to me that there was a very obvious way to both save the child's life and satisfy the parents' religious beliefs. The problem is described as a blockage in an air passage. An air passage would almost have to connect to the outside in order to get any air. So what's stopping them from putting an endoscope down that passage and removing the blockage with that? And if that would still require surgical cutting, simply restrict the cutting to the blockage itself which, by the parents' own beliefs as I recall them, must not be part of the body because it's harming the body and the body would never harm itself. Voila, surgery achieved with no cuts to the body as the parents' beliefs require, life saved and everyone's happy.

    From a writing perspective this could easily be fixed by changing the problem to be something obviously not accessible by endoscope, at least not through any naturally available passage. A blockage of an artery rather than an air passage, for example. As is, however, it just has me shaking my head at the seeming stupidity of supposedly highly intelligent and skilled doctors.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    Believers always struck me as especially stupid because it seemed to me that there was a very obvious way to both save the child's life and satisfy the parents' religious beliefs. The problem is described as a blockage in an air passage. An air passage would almost have to connect to the outside in order to get any air. So what's stopping them from putting an endoscope down that passage and removing the blockage with that? And if that would still require surgical cutting, simply restrict the cutting to the blockage itself which, by the parents' own beliefs as I recall them, must not be part of the body because it's harming the body and the body would never harm itself. Voila, surgery achieved with no cuts to the body as the parents' beliefs require, life saved and everyone's happy.

    From a writing perspective this could easily be fixed by changing the problem to be something obviously not accessible by endoscope, at least not through any naturally available passage. A blockage of an artery rather than an air passage, for example. As is, however, it just has me shaking my head at the seeming stupidity of supposedly highly intelligent and skilled doctors.
    You are focusing too much on the technobabble's details and not on the story the episode is trying to tell.

    The only way to heal the problem was with surgery. Period. Seeking ways around that undermine the point of the episode.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    You are focusing too much on the technobabble's details and not on the story the episode is trying to tell.

    The only way to heal the problem was with surgery. Period. Seeking ways around that undermine the point of the episode.
    Maybe, but is it really too much to ask that the technobabble's basis in reality be chosen to properly match the situation it is intended to convey? If I am able to find ways around the problem, and justify them within the framework the technobabble is designed in, then that undermines the episode's story.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    Maybe, but is it really too much to ask that the technobabble's basis in reality be chosen to properly match the situation it is intended to convey? If I am able to find ways around the problem, and justify them within the framework the technobabble is designed in, then that undermines the episode's story.
    Ah! So you have access to data regarding alien physiology? And why doing a non-surgical intervention is possible?

    Face it. We aint talking about an operation on a human. We are talking about an ailment suffered by an alien child whose entire society reject the notion of surgical-based medical intervention. If there was a way to heal the kid without surgery, the kid's own society would have known it by now. Their medical science is probably the most cutting edge when it comes to non-surgical ways of healing.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Of course I don't have access to data on alien physiology, but I do have access to the idea that an air passage needs to connect to a source of air. And Franklin explicitly notes that the problem is a common one for many different species of aliens, which rather strongly suggests that the arrangement of relevant body parts is the obvious and simple one - that the air passage has one end on the body exterior connecting to the air in the environment, most likely the visible mouth or nose holes.

    And yes, we are talking about a society that rejects the very notion of surgical-based medical intervention. It thus makes rather a lot of sense that they wouldn't have put much thought into finding alternative ways to do surgery. And I'm talking about, not a non-surgical technique, but a different way to do surgery - but it's still surgery. It just happens to be a kind of surgery that their explicitly stated reasons for rejecting surgery do not apply to.
    Last edited by Douglas; 2017-05-07 at 03:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    Of course I don't have access to data on alien physiology, but I do have access to the idea that an air passage needs to connect to a source of air. And Franklin explicitly notes that the problem is a common one for many different species of aliens, which rather strongly suggests that the arrangement of relevant body parts is the obvious and simple one - that the air passage has one end on the body exterior connecting to the air in the environment, most likely the visible mouth or nose holes.

    And yes, we are talking about a society that rejects the very notion of surgical-based medical intervention. It thus makes rather a lot of sense that they wouldn't have put much thought into finding alternative ways to do surgery. And I'm talking about, not a non-surgical technique, but a different way to do surgery - but it's still surgery. It just happens to be a kind of surgery that their explicitly stated reasons for rejecting surgery do not apply to.
    But thats the thing. You have the resident xenobiology expert who say actual surgery is the only way. You think Franklin wouldn't have jumped on an alternative treatment if he found it?

    Again. Its beside the point of he epidode. This isnt Duelling Technobabble. Its a tale of hard choices, beliefs and morality. Believers refers to both the parents AND Franklin.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    But thats the thing. You have the resident xenobiology expert who say actual surgery is the only way. You think Franklin wouldn't have jumped on an alternative treatment if he found it?

    Again. Its beside the point of he epidode. This isnt Duelling Technobabble. Its a tale of hard choices, beliefs and morality. Believers refers to both the parents AND Franklin.
    Yes, I know. My point is that the statement "invasive surgery is the only way" does not mesh well with the other details of the scenario. I'm criticizing the writing, not the characters. The fact that I can construct this argument at all makes it harder to accept the premise, which weakens the story.
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    Yes, I know. My point is that the statement "invasive surgery is the only way" does not mesh well with the other details of the scenario. I'm criticizing the writing, not the characters. The fact that I can construct this argument at all makes it harder to accept the premise, which weakens the story.
    That is in the eye of the beholder. I personally think that avoiding Star Trek's "Mass locked in his Glezorban Gland which prevents the Numiratxo from regularise his Tootsiflu properly" hack writing style was better.

    It kept the events grounded.

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    Ah, but negating my argument would not require anything even approaching that level of made up nonsense. As I noted in my first post here, just changing it from a blockage in an air passage to a blockage in an artery would have done the job nicely.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Honestly, what's always stuck out as weird in that episode to me is the other doctor: she's initially openly contemptuous of the family choosing their faith over their son's health and safety, but as soon as Franklin decides the time for coddling said faith is past, she's completely 180'd and is now all about respecting them. Yes, this also describes Franklin's arc, but at least with him we get to see a gradual wearing away of his patience until he practically says to Sinclair's face "I have a god complex." With her she literally exists to be a foil to Franklin, to the point of knee-jerk contrarianism and I feel that, in some alternate universe, there's a version of that scene where she fills this narrative role without being quite so blatant about it.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Believers

    Dr. Franklin struggles to save the life of a young boy, despite the religious beliefs of the boy's parents.
    It's not a very exciting episode, but it gives poor Dr. Franklin something to do.

    Medical Technobable-Remember that just about all writers are not Doctors, so they don't know all the medical knowledge. And most writers have not watched every episode of ER, Gray's Anatomy, House, Scrubs and Star Trek even enough to know enough ''fictional medicine''. They just write down the boy has a ''thing'', and ignore it and want to get to the story. But like most oversights it could have been fixed by one alert person in the shows production who could have added a single line of like five seconds to say ''the boy is allergic to endoscopes'' or something like that...

    Spoiler: The Machine
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    So...if Dr. Franklin had the ''machine'' from a couple of episodes from now that transfers life force would he have used it? It would have worked great, right? No cutting or surgery at all. So would the machine still be ''too dangerous to ever use''(except to save a mian character, wink, wink) or would he have plugged to boy right in?


    Things that Don't Make Sense

    Why? Why do the parents even bring the boy to Dr. Franklin? Don't they know ''human doctors cut everyone up like animals''?

    Why Two ? So why don't the parents just say ''no'' and take their boy and go home? You know way before Franklin goes all Jerk Monster God. They could have just said ''we will go try the healers at the mountain of Jop'', and ended the whole plot.

    Asking Kosh-The boys parents ask Kosh...Kosh! for help? And he agrees to see them? Or do they just ambush him in the hallway?

    A precedent?-The precedent of personal survival being paramount seems to be a bit on shaky legal ground to say the least....

    Alpha Wing- Ivanova takes out Alpha Wing to go after the stranded Asimov, but ''Alpha Wing'' is just her and one other pilot?

    Fighting the Raiders?So, what was Ivanova's plan if they encountered more then one raider? Did she think two starfuries can take on anything?

    And the Raiders?-Um, what happens to this B plot anyway? Ivanova gets shocked when her ''wing of two starfuries'' encounters like a dozen raiders....and the show cuts away. Then later Ivanova and the Asimov are at Bablyon 5 like nothing happen? So...um...what did happen? Did the dozen or so raiders attack, see the two starfuries and retreat saying ''Great Maker! They have us out-numbered six to one!''

    All Knowing God Franklin-So the Doc decides he will ''play god'' and just do whatever he wants and ignores everything else like his orders, the rule of law, the parents wishes and everything else. But...what did he think would happen afterwards? Did he have some deluded human-centrist notion that the alien parents would just be like ''You saved our boy! Everything is Sunshine and Rainbows! Thank you doctor, you were right and we were wrong!"

    As a side note...if a patient of Dr. Franklin had a DNR (Do Not Restate) or a No Extraordinary Measures order in their file...would he ignore that too and get up on his high horse again and save them? If a patient had on their idenitcard ''not an organ donator' , would he ignore that and cut them up too?

    TV Logic-Of course this happens in just about all TV shows. A character does something wrong...very, very, very wrong. Like you'd loose your job, medical license, and go to jail forever (or be mind wiped to be a circus clown or something). But, of course, at the end of the episode everything is great and nothing happens...

    The White Robe of Doom-So Dr. Franklin does not recognize the Robe of Doom? It's common enough even with Earth cultures to put on the white robe to prepare to die... I'm no alien expert, but even I knew what was happening years ago when I first watched this episode.

    Did not do the Research-So, er, at the end of the episode Dr. Franklin is reading the Alien Wikipedia for the first time ever? And sees everything the aliens mentioned, including the Robe of Death. Wonder why he did not read that all sooner?


    *Final Score-D This is another typical Star Trek plot, re-imaged for Babylon 5. Though at least it is a deconstruction of the more typical ''Star Trek touchy feely'' saves the day. Still, it's not a very good episode. I'm not really a fan of the ''ripped from the headlines'' type show and really not a big fan of Franklin's actions.

    Side note: The writer of this episode, David Gerrold is a Star Trek fan and wrote "The Trouble With Tribbles".....

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    One thing that bugged me about Survivors is how Garibaldi doesn't realize who framed him right until the end of the episode. A quick look at the facts immediately brings an obvious suspect:

    A) The ducats are hidden in Garibaldi's quarters, whom only a few people have access to (Sinclair and maybe Ivanova). Garibaldi trusts them so they're out. The only other option is that someone hacked the electronic lock.

    B) When the ducats are found, only two people are in there - Lou Welch (trusted associate) and a guy Garibaldi has never met before.

    -----

    The obvious suspect is new dude, especially since "finding" contraband is a long tradition of the corrupt cop. Garibaldi doesn't investigate him.

    The other way is if someone hacked the lock. Garibaldi doesn't investigate this either.

    Instead, he goes chasing after the Centauri ducats, trying to find out who had access to that form of currency. This makes no sense. Garibaldi lives on an international space station. There are direct flights from Centauri Prime. There are probably dozens of Centauri tourists arriving each day with a pocketful of the things. There would be moneychangers in the Zocolo that exchange ducats for Earth credits or any other currency you might want.

    It's such a random thing to latch onto when there are more obvious lines of inquiry.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    One thing that bugged me about Survivors is how Garibaldi doesn't realize who framed him right until the end of the episode. A quick look at the facts immediately brings an obvious suspect:

    A) The ducats are hidden in Garibaldi's quarters, whom only a few people have access to (Sinclair and maybe Ivanova). Garibaldi trusts them so they're out. The only other option is that someone hacked the electronic lock.

    B) When the ducats are found, only two people are in there - Lou Welch (trusted associate) and a guy Garibaldi has never met before.

    -----

    The obvious suspect is new dude, especially since "finding" contraband is a long tradition of the corrupt cop. Garibaldi doesn't investigate him.

    The other way is if someone hacked the lock. Garibaldi doesn't investigate this either.

    Instead, he goes chasing after the Centauri ducats, trying to find out who had access to that form of currency. This makes no sense. Garibaldi lives on an international space station. There are direct flights from Centauri Prime. There are probably dozens of Centauri tourists arriving each day with a pocketful of the things. There would be moneychangers in the Zocolo that exchange ducats for Earth credits or any other currency you might want.

    It's such a random thing to latch onto when there are more obvious lines of inquiry.
    The fact that they were in there without Garibaldi shows how many OTHER people could override the locks on quarters. Any security personnel with a code could have gotten into his room (as they were in there searching it already), or anybody could have stolen/bribed the code from a lower ranked person. We were already shown in one episode that there are less than exemplary security personnel.

    Sure he probably should have investigated the guy, but he had no proof and even at the end it was purely circumstantial, it was only proven by the guy pulling a gun out.

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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Also, i doubt Big G. was thinking clearly

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    In reading your reports, I am struck by how often you talk about things that don't make sense while ignoring the explanations given in the actual episode ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Things that Don't Make Sense

    Why? Why do the parents even bring the boy to Dr. Franklin? Don't they know ''human doctors cut everyone up like animals''?

    Why Two ? So why don't the parents just say ''no'' and take their boy and go home? You know way before Franklin goes all Jerk Monster God. They could have just said ''we will go try the healers at the mountain of Jop'', and ended the whole plot.
    They tried all the other options they could think of. By the time Franklin suggests the ointments and the like and they all fail, Franklin is explicit that the child will not survive transit to anywhere else.

    Asking Kosh-The boys parents ask Kosh...Kosh! for help? And he agrees to see them? Or do they just ambush him in the hallway?
    Both are reasonable. The parents, at that point, were desperate to find someone with the influence to overturn Sinclair's decision, which they believed would support Franklin's. Kosh absolutely has the power to do so. Kosh, as one of the more sympathetic Vorlons, might well have at least wanted to give them some comfort and so agreed to talk to them and hear them out. But they also would have been willing to ambush him in the hallway.

    A precedent?-The precedent of personal survival being paramount seems to be a bit on shaky legal ground to say the least....
    The precedent was Kosh. If Sinclair doesn't allow the intervention in this case, he can be accused of doing so only when it personally benefits him.

    And the Raiders?-Um, what happens to this B plot anyway? Ivanova gets shocked when her ''wing of two starfuries'' encounters like a dozen raiders....and the show cuts away. Then later Ivanova and the Asimov are at Bablyon 5 like nothing happen? So...um...what did happen? Did the dozen or so raiders attack, see the two starfuries and retreat saying ''Great Maker! They have us out-numbered six to one!''
    This was intentional. We are indeed supposed to wonder how Ivanova got away from the raiders, as it allows for an underlying idea that she's in some way connected to them.

    All Knowing God Franklin-So the Doc decides he will ''play god'' and just do whatever he wants and ignores everything else like his orders, the rule of law, the parents wishes and everything else. But...what did he think would happen afterwards? Did he have some deluded human-centrist notion that the alien parents would just be like ''You saved our boy! Everything is Sunshine and Rainbows! Thank you doctor, you were right and we were wrong!"
    Yes, he did. He states that a number of times. He expected that when they saw the child healthy and acting just as normal that they'd give up this idea of the soul being lost and accept reality. It's a key character flaw for him.

    As a side note...if a patient of Dr. Franklin had a DNR (Do Not Restate) or a No Extraordinary Measures order in their file...would he ignore that too and get up on his high horse again and save them? If a patient had on their idenitcard ''not an organ donator' , would he ignore that and cut them up too?
    Only if he disagreed, strongly, with their stance. Those are ones that he tends to agree with. Again, this is a key character point for him.

    TV Logic-Of course this happens in just about all TV shows. A character does something wrong...very, very, very wrong. Like you'd loose your job, medical license, and go to jail forever (or be mind wiped to be a circus clown or something). But, of course, at the end of the episode everything is great and nothing happens...
    Sinclair, angry though he is, can sympathize. I'm pretty sure he makes that clear in his rant at the end, that he can sympathize, but that Franklin had damn well better never do anything like that again. There is, again, also the matter of Sinclair ordering that sort of thing on Kosh to essentially save his own neck. Franklin's motives were at least more altruistic, in some sense, and so Sinclair again to avoid hypocrisy is going to be willing to let it go.

    The White Robe of Doom-So Dr. Franklin does not recognize the Robe of Doom? It's common enough even with Earth cultures to put on the white robe to prepare to die... I'm no alien expert, but even I knew what was happening years ago when I first watched this episode.
    Catholic altar servers wear white robes, even for masses that are not funerals. A white robe tends to have religious significance, and Franklin DID get that. It's not obvious that it would mean that they were going to kill the child.

    Did not do the Research-So, er, at the end of the episode Dr. Franklin is reading the Alien Wikipedia for the first time ever? And sees everything the aliens mentioned, including the Robe of Death. Wonder why he did not read that all sooner?
    He likely did skim at least some of the information beforehand, but he would have been looking for medical information and perhaps some cultural and religious ins that he could use to get them to agree to the surgery. He's not likely to remember that specific ceremony until he was reminded of it at that point.
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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Thank you. I felt​ the same as you did, but​ i thought i already raised sufficient dust in the thread; i elected to just shut up ;-)

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    They tried all the other options they could think of. By the time Franklin suggests the ointments and the like and they all fail, Franklin is explicit that the child will not survive transit to anywhere else.
    Right, so I'm talking way, way, way before that. Like they know ''humans cut up people like animals'', did they learn that like a minute before the episode? And sure, um ''hyperspace'' might kill the kid...but, well he is dying anyway, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Both are reasonable. The parents, at that point, were desperate to find someone with the influence to overturn Sinclair's decision, which they believed would support Franklin's. Kosh absolutely has the power to do so. Kosh, as one of the more sympathetic Vorlons, might well have at least wanted to give them some comfort and so agreed to talk to them and hear them out. But they also would have been willing to ambush him in the hallway.
    So Kosh how has not cared much about like 75% of anything that has happened in the universe so far...cares ''so much'' about this little kid that he agrees to an audience? How does this ''new race'' know Kosh is ''so sympatric''? And how do two crazy parents get in to the restricted ambassadorial sector...or was Kosh talking one of his long walks around the station that he never has been shown to do ever?


    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    The precedent was Kosh. If Sinclair doesn't allow the intervention in this case, he can be accused of doing so only when it personally benefits him.
    Right...that is shaky legal ground. Just as we did this one thing one time in that one very, very extreme and unusual circumstance...that means we can do it every day. See, that only sounds good if you agree with it and is a ton of legal problems.


    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    This was intentional. We are indeed supposed to wonder how Ivanova got away from the raiders, as it allows for an underlying idea that she's in some way connected to them.
    Sort of true....after all ''according to rumor'' this bit was written for long gone Takihemia as part of her being an ''evil, sleeper agent'' arc. But even if that was true, why not ''fix'' it during the shows production?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Yes, he did. He states that a number of times. He expected that when they saw the child healthy and acting just as normal that they'd give up this idea of the soul being lost and accept reality. It's a key character flaw for him.
    I agree it's a character flaw....one an anti alien Earth doc might make....but Dr. Franklin is an alien expert and has ''lived with aliens'' for years....but maybe he is just close minded?





    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post

    Sinclair, angry though he is, can sympathize. I'm pretty sure he makes that clear in his rant at the end, that he can sympathize, but that Franklin had damn well better never do anything like that again. There is, again, also the matter of Sinclair ordering that sort of thing on Kosh to essentially save his own neck. Franklin's motives were at least more altruistic, in some sense, and so Sinclair again to avoid hypocrisy is going to be willing to let it go.
    Except it was not just ''two good friends having a agreement in the back yard and sharing a beer'. Dr Franklin made and Official Request and Sinclar Gave an Offical Ruling and Order. And then Dr. Franklin broke the law and disobeyed orders...all very officially. Now sure Sinclar can ''sympathize'' but that does not change the law/orders. If you break the law and disobey orders, you get in trouble...you don't get a free pass.


    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Catholic altar servers wear white robes, even for masses that are not funerals. A white robe tends to have religious significance, and Franklin DID get that. It's not obvious that it would mean that they were going to kill the child.
    Not obvious to him..... I sure caught all the ''if you cut open our son like an animal he won't be a pure being anymore'' hints.....


    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    He likely did skim at least some of the information beforehand, but he would have been looking for medical information and perhaps some cultural and religious ins that he could use to get them to agree to the surgery. He's not likely to remember that specific ceremony until he was reminded of it at that point.
    I'd think the White Robe of Death would stand out a bit more.....

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Right, so I'm talking way, way, way before that. Like they know ''humans cut up people like animals'', did they learn that like a minute before the episode? And sure, um ''hyperspace'' might kill the kid...but, well he is dying anyway, right?
    Maybe they hoped Babylon 5 had some technological gizmo that their people hadnt discovered that allowed to cure the ailment?

    This is a universe of disparate technologies.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Right, so I'm talking way, way, way before that. Like they know ''humans cut up people like animals'', did they learn that like a minute before the episode? And sure, um ''hyperspace'' might kill the kid...but, well he is dying anyway, right?
    They DID try all sorts of other options before that. It's explicitly mentioned in the episode. This was one of if not their last resorts. And they had to hold out hope that maybe the non-surgical methods suggested might work, because finding another doctor would mean that the child would certainly die. By the time it's clear that the only choice is the surgery, it's FAR too late to try anything else, as the child will die before they even GET to another doctor, let alone get the child treated by one.


    So Kosh how has not cared much about like 75% of anything that has happened in the universe so far...cares ''so much'' about this little kid that he agrees to an audience? How does this ''new race'' know Kosh is ''so sympatric''? And how do two crazy parents get in to the restricted ambassadorial sector...or was Kosh talking one of his long walks around the station that he never has been shown to do ever?
    Kosh maintains neutrality on almost all political issues, for very good reasons. But in general he is shown -- mostly later, I'd admit -- to actually care for the younger races, both in general and as individuals. It's not that unreasonable that he might take some time to hear these out with a specific grievance. As for them knowing whether or not he was sympathetic ... they didn't. They didn't care. They needed an ambassador powerful enough to be able to challenge the Earth Commander of the station. The Vorlons absolutely had that power, like the Centauri, the Minbari and the Narn. If either of those intervened, Sinclair would be under enormous pressure to reverse his decision. So it would be ridiculous of them to NOT try to get Kosh on their side.

    Right...that is shaky legal ground. Just as we did this one thing one time in that one very, very extreme and unusual circumstance...that means we can do it every day. See, that only sounds good if you agree with it and is a ton of legal problems.
    The problem is, as I pointed out, that Sinclair allowed it arguably in a case where it benefited him specifically and Earth. Sure, there were potentially bigger issues at stake then, but at a shallow level if he ignored that precedent then he'd be vulnerable to charges that he acts in the interests of Earth ... which would be devastating since as Commander of the station he's SUPPOSED to act, in general, neutrally, and only represent Earth specifically on the Council. Thus, the dilemma: if he doesn't follow precedent, he looks biased, but if he does then he opens the door wide open to all sorts of similar cases, and there'd be no way to get that door closed.

    At the end of the day, you will recall, he decides to ignore the precedent, likely to avoid the entanglements that you suggest.

    Sort of true....after all ''according to rumor'' this bit was written for long gone Takihemia as part of her being an ''evil, sleeper agent'' arc. But even if that was true, why not ''fix'' it during the shows production?
    Because I think the idea was to continue with that arc and simply put Ivanova in that role, which got moved to Talia when Andrea Thompson wanted to leave the show. And even if that wasn't the plan, it left a hint that JMS could pick up on later if he needed it, and JMS, in B5, LOVES that sort of thing.

    I agree it's a character flaw....one an anti alien Earth doc might make....but Dr. Franklin is an alien expert and has ''lived with aliens'' for years....but maybe he is just close minded?
    It's not anti-alien, it's in fact anti-religious/anti-spiritual, and is also a reflection of his strong and personal sense of morality, where he will do what he thinks is right and to heck with the consequences. This plays out throughout the entire series.

    Except it was not just ''two good friends having a agreement in the back yard and sharing a beer'. Dr Franklin made and Official Request and Sinclar Gave an Offical Ruling and Order. And then Dr. Franklin broke the law and disobeyed orders...all very officially. Now sure Sinclar can ''sympathize'' but that does not change the law/orders. If you break the law and disobey orders, you get in trouble...you don't get a free pass.
    The person who needed to decide the consequences here was Sinclair, as both Franklin's CO and the military governor of Babylon 5. It is stated in the final act that Franklin offers to resign, and Sinclair declines to accept it, this time. Again, Sinclair knew that Franklin did it out of good and not selfish motives, there's an issue with when Sinclair was involved, and the consequences were devastating enough that Franklin didn't really need more punishment. Sinclair's reprimand/dressing him down when he found out what he had done was something that he could justify as being sufficient for that case.

    Not obvious to him..... I sure caught all the ''if you cut open our son like an animal he won't be a pure being anymore'' hints.....
    Yes, but the thought there was that they would at worst abandon the child, like they did at first. He didn't think -- and we, the audience, aren't supposed to think -- that they would actually kill the child once they seem to accept it.

    I'd think the White Robe of Death would stand out a bit more.....
    It would be listed under funerary rites ... which Franklin would have completely skipped since he, well, wasn't planning on the child DYING.
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  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Maybe they hoped Babylon 5 had some technological gizmo that their people hadnt discovered that allowed to cure the ailment?

    This is a universe of disparate technologies.
    Well Earth never gets the good, cool tech.....well at least not the good guys aka stars of the show....lol.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Well Earth never gets the good, cool tech.....well at least not the good guys aka stars of the show....lol.
    Actually, i think its been said in the show somewhere that the Earth Alliance has relatively advanced tech base compared to the interstellar average. Nothing compared to the Minbari or the Centauri, but still darn impressive.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Actually, i think its been said in the show somewhere that the Earth Alliance has relatively advanced tech base compared to the interstellar average. Nothing compared to the Minbari or the Centauri, but still darn impressive.
    As noted in "Deathwalker", where Earth's intervention against the Dilgar turned the tide of that war, which the League appreciates. Militarily and even economically, they are above the League members and could likely take on any one of them on their own without any trouble. It'd be a good fight between them and either the Narn or the Centauri, and as we saw the Minbari would destroy them.
    Last edited by Daimbert; 2017-05-08 at 01:22 PM.
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