AB Review #115

Episode: 1/15 - Grail
Production #: 120
Director: Richard Compton
Writer: Christy Marx
Cast: David Warner (Aldous Gajic)
Tom Booker (Jinxo)
William Sanderson (Deuce)

A series of unusual killings may be linked to Ambassador Kosh while a Grail-seeker comes to Babylon 5 to continue his search.

Wow, in the two minutes of screentime she had, Christian gave a good performance! Back to the plots. Both were good but the Ambassador Kosh one was a little obvious in my opinion. Once you get around half-way through, to the second killing, you realise that it CAN'T be Kosh. However there is still tension there.

The seeker was portrayed well and there is a wonderful scene at the begining where Garibaldi is eating "like a pig" which I really enjoyed. However the best actors in this show were Furst, Jurasik, and Booker. All three had wonderful lines and portrayed their characters brilliantly so I have no reason to complain.

Garibaldi has a few great lines too! Re-watch (if you can) that WONDERFUL section at the end where Garibaldi is speaking to both Vir Cotto and Londo - that's possibly one of the best humourous speeches which DOESN'T spoil the mood of an episode!

The villain of the piece was frankly boring and a question arises of why didn't his henchmen SHOOT with the pistols they were carrying during the fight?

A few plotholes are there but get past that and you'll have an enjoyable episode. The music is fine but is nothing special and thus don't expect any rowsing melodies

Rating: 8/10 - One of the better ones this season. Highly enjoyable.

Cult TV'S Rating: *** out of *****
A man obsessed with finding the holy grail comes to the station.
Widely lamented, but fondly regarded by this particular critic.

Andy's Star Trek comparison
The Sword Of Kahless (DS9) for plot but it was taken in a completely different direction! Also the macrovirus episode (which cunningly featured IDENTICAL aliens...)
I can't think off-hand which episode resembles it.
It had quite a bit of humour in it (see the aforementioned Vir\Londo\Garibaldi exchange). I can't personally remember an episode with this sort of humour in off-hand.
Fairly tense in the first half. Consider it to be a slightly less-tense version of The Best Of Both Worlds
I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed Our Man Bashir

Points for Discussion (no spoilers for future episodes):
1. Why DIDN'T they shoot the grail-seeker when they had weapons in their hands?
2. Are these "brain-suckers" the most deadly species around?
3. Delenn considers Sinclair a true seeker. What is he seeking?
4. Why didn't the feeder want Gajic?
5. What happened to Babylon 4?
6. What happens to Jinxo?

We Learn Here:
Babylon and Babylon 2 were sabotaged. Babylon 3 blew up before it was finished. Babylon 4 vanished without a trace in front of witnesses. (If you didn't see the pilot which explained it)
The Minbari Religious Caste value people who spend their lives searching for something highly and will help them!. Delenn seems to believe that's true of Sinclair!

Facts About The Show:
The transport Marie Celeste, which Thomas boarded at the end of the episode, is a reference to a sailing ship found adrift on the sea in 1872 by the crew of the ship Dei Gratia. The Celeste's crew was missing, as was her single lifeboat, but there were half-eaten meals in the mess hall and other evidence the crew had left suddenly.
Investigators found that Captain Morehouse of the Dei Gratia had dined with Captain Briggs of the Celeste the night before departure, and Morehouse and his crew were tried for murder. There was no hard evidence, and they were acquitted. The missing crewmen were never found. (I had to take this from a lurkers guide entry)
We see a CGI-alien for the first time (also used on Voyager)
We see a Vree for the first time.
Aldus was named after Furlan's husband.

Andy's theories:
JMS says that he likes the Vree so expect them to be back soon, possibly in a larger role.
We find out that the Centauri beaurocrats are short on cash - how will they get it back?
Finally we find something that Londo is TRULY afraid of - is this the only thing? I doubt it. I expect a few more Vir\Garibaldi\Londo interplays in the near future.

Character Ratings (out of *****):
Sinclair - ****
Ivanova - ***** (for the 2 minutes she was on screen for)
Dr Franklin - Not featured
Garibaldi - *****
G'Kar - Not Featured
Londo - *****
Delenn - ****
Kosh - *** (No great Koshisms though, I'm gonna sulk over here in this corner!)
Vir - *****
Lennier - Can't remember what his performance was like.

Andrew Brack 1998