Comedy Review #418

Here's com.rev.7 (as mentioned in SFX) (and long waited for).

Thanks to 'dave' (who wishes to remain anonymous), who sent me the episode, without which this review would not have been possible. Cheers, dave!

B5 Com Rev.7: Interruptions in Meal Time...

Opening sequence:

Man lying on floor
Lots of people talking

Yer basic recap:

Sheridan is in the capable hands of Earth Force, who seem to have a thing about wheeling trolleys around in a great hurry, even though there's no great hurry.

Today, he has the unusual, frightening displeasure of being interrogated by Kevin Spacey. Normally, this wouldn't be so bad, but Kevin gets more lines than Sheridan in this episode!

Kevin limps across the room and smiles wanly.
"Sheridan, resistance is useless."

To him, Sheridan is just another Joe off the assembly line, a name and a file. A person he has to 'work' on. Damn bureaucrats.

Sheridan is offered a chance to escape when flimsy-looking CGI hand (and leg) cuffs are applied. All he has to do is delete some files out of C://CGI/CUFFS and he's outta there.

"Ve haf ways uv mekkkin yu ttok..." sez Kevin, like that Minbari bloke a few episodes earlier.

After the credits, Spacey asks Sherry the time.
"I appear to have lost my watch. OH DEAR. I'm so forgetful. What time is it?"

Sheridan coughs.
"I don't know. Morning perhaps? I saw daylight through the door."

Kevin chuckles manically.
"Ne-hahaha. You FOOL. Oh, goodness me. What makes you think we're not 500 kilometres under the surface of Saturn? Why wouldn't we be? Pah!!"

Kevin is glad Sheridan is cracking under the stress. So glad, he takes out an old corned beef sandwich from his briefcase and runs it under his nose, inhaling the scent.

"This is a most fine sandwich. I forgot to eat it several weeks ago. Ah, that reminds me."

He hits a button and a party streamer springs out and hits Sheridan in the neck, squeaking frantically. Sheridan is baffled.

"What you do that for?"

Kevin chuckles.
"Oh, you don't know, do you? You'll find out. Anyway, that sandwich.
Mmmm... 2057 vintage. My fave. Like some?"

Sheridan spits on the floor.
"I hate corned beef. It tastes like gravel. Especially with lettuce."

Spacey whirls on Sheridan.
"No... you WILL eat it, whether you like it or not..."

He approaches the Captain and sticks a mini-carjack in his jaw to keep it open, pushing the sandwich slowly forward, and cooing:

"Come on, let the choo-choo train in... choo-choo train must reach its destination..."

Sheridan's screams are cut off by the advert break.

"Now, Mr.Sherry-oh-hoh-dan, I believe you have an interest in politics?"

"Jesus..." says the Captain, "Do you READ the papers? 'Course I friggin' do."

"Have you been influenced by any outsiders in your time on Babylon 5?"

"No." lies Sheridan. Total fabrication, coming from a guy who was brought back to life by an immortal alien with a stringy beard.

Kevin sneers.
"Sheridan. Cooperation's what you need - if ya wanna be a record breaker."

All this aside, why don't they just use a truth drug and get on with it?
Er, I suppose 'cos they want to brainwash him and don't want to learn anything... okay then.

Sherry's father says hello. To Sherry's torturer. Allegedly. But would you believe a Kevin Spacey character for even a sec?

"Blah whine... Mister Sheridan, why would I torture you? It's not like I stand to gain anything. Whine blah..."

According to Kevin, Sherry won't confess until he escapes. Sounds good.

Cue the appearance of so-called 'drazi bloke' - clad in irons and reciting his life story to bore everyone. Kevin shuts him up with a well-placed party streamer.

"Confess, drazi, confess," chants Kevin in his best panto voice.

"Say no Drazi," retorts Sheridan, "Don't confess - don't give them what they want. He's *BEHIND* this, not me. He's *BEHIND* this..."

"No I'm not." says Kevin.

"Yes he is." shouts Sheridan.

"No I'm not." taunts Kevin.

"Boo!! Hiss!" says the Drazi. As usual.

"Okay, get the knives." laughs Kevin. Some blokes from E.R. come dashing in with a hospital bed, wobbly camera and all. But no sign of George Clooney - thank god.

"Let him go - He's done nothing to you," cliche's Sheridan, forgetting that he's in a pretty ruthless torture chamber, not a school playground.

The Drazi is wheeled off.

Kevin does what Bester should have done these last few episodes. He just puts a pre-recorded tape through a dictaphone and leaves it playing while he pops home to his family to tell them how he can't tell them anything about his job.

That tape must have been real bad. Now Sherry's looking like a 50-year-old David Bowie - he must have really cracked to have a haircut like that.

"In years to come, they'll come in the night - it'll be very quick."
burbles Kevin, munching
on a corny-beef sandwich, "Yes, you leave a tooth under the pillow, and next morning it's gone, and there's 20 cents there. The genius of those little tooth fairies. Ah, now where's that mustard seed? You see, there's this great method of torture involving the underneath of your fingernails and some Baby Bio plant nutrient..."

Delenn appears out of thin air - She must be using that astral projection thingy, you know, the one on Episodelon 3. She stares at Sheridan as if to say "ello, wot's dis?"

"Will you sign the contract for a fifth season?" asks Kevin, placing a long and demanding document on the desk.

Sheridan frowns.
"No! Yea-ha, you bet!!"

Let's face it - Sheridan can take anything!!

But now Mr Kevin Nutter's playing the tough guy.

"Bah!! Pah!! Bah!! Okay, E.R. blokes, wheel him out of here."

They stumble through the door to do as he asks, taking Sherry to Room 17 - that's where the Drazi went toasty toast and the light bulbs flickered.

He's bunged in Room 17 and - horrors of horror - it's the Gimp from Pulp Fiction.
"Aagahagah get me out of here..." screams Sheridan, shaking his head from side-to-side like in some 50s B-movie.

Kevin's replacement, some TV movie actor (John DeLancey), pops in and sits down.
"Ah, Mon Capiton. Blah blah do you like corned beef... blah blah... what do you remember of
your childhood... blah..."

The Gimp takes its hood off, and it's Mr.Drazi, who bows politely. Sheridan shakes his head in despair.

"Ah, so you don't like corned beef sandwiches?" says Kevin's stand-in, taking the gesture as denial. "I don't like de nile. Never been there myself. Frei, mon capitan."

He slams a switch.

Zap!! Spark!! And on it goes...

Fundamental questions:

  1. Sheridan died once to save the Galaxy. Why won't he die again to save his own planet? The thing is, if they let him go free, he won't be free anyway.
    He'll be brainwashed, a different person, and will do damage to the movement. Therefore, he must be an egomaniac after all. Let 'im burn!!
  2. Why corned beef sandwiches? I know they're nutritious, especially to a starving captive, but with lettuce? I'd rather die...
  3. I get the feeling there's going to be no 'last-minute' escape for Sheridan. He's had it.

Well, if you thought this corn. beef was up to, or far below, my usual 'standard', please comment. Then I can guage response, and work out what needs to be improved. Thing is, you see, there wasn't much actually going on in this episode, so there was less to find amusing.

It's a good excuse.

1997 Jeremy Smith.