not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake

Now I Watch All Babylon 5: "Survivors"

Season 1, Episode 11: Survivors

Plot: B5 station security chief Garibaldi is framed for the bombing of a Star Fury bay just before Earth Alliance President Santiago visits the station. The head of the President's advance security, Lianna Kemmer, knows Garibaldi and blames him for her father's death, so is quick to accept the frame-up as she takes over security of the station.

Garibaldi becomes a fugitive seeking to prove his innocence, but soon falls back on his prior alcoholism instead. Eventually Ivanova and then Garibaldi work out who the culprits are (the man killed by the first bomb, and one of Kemmer's underlings) in time to stop another bomb in the Star Fury bay, one which might have taken out half the station and the President.

The title means: Garibaldi and Kemmer have emotional problems stemming from surviving the death of her father?

Foreshadowing quote: "Make sure nothing happens to [President Santiago]. We need all the friends we can get." - Garibaldi

Weird moment: Garibaldi pauses awkwardly on his way out of crime lord / black marketeer N'Grath, staring at him for a long second, then says in a rushed voice "I guess I'll be leaving now, huh?" The N'Grath puppet is stilted, and Garibaldi has a mask over his face, so the long pause communicates nothing.

Comments: We finally get some explanation of what Garibaldi's horrible backstory that makes him unemployable is (he turned alcoholic after Kemmer's father was killed by bad guys out to stop Garibaldi). The manipulation of the episode in guiding our opinion of the character is obvious: in the backstory he was a good guy who got screwed, and in the current story he's a good guy getting screwed, and we know he stays off the booze normally so we can forgive him his lapse here. So it's not particularly grey, but it's better than nothing (e.g. Sinclair).

Jerry Doyle's acting as Garibaldi has left a bit to be desired so far this season (although he's by no means worst). Most episodes he'll have a few lines where his line readings just don't sound right at all. There's still some of that this episode, but I think he's getting better, because despite him being front and center it didn't bug me too often.

Lianna Kemmer, on the other hand, comes across as too stiff and single-minded in her pursuit of Garibaldi (it's the President, you'd think she'd cover all bases). Most of this is in the writing--she comes across as hard-ass all along, rather than just to Garibaldi, but I'm not sure if the actress played it right either. She's better at the end, though.

I like the moment when Garibaldi borrows money from Londo. It's a nice reversal of their normal relationship and suggests again how the ambassadors' characters are not so one-note as they seemed at first (much like G'Kar helping out in Mind War). Plus since we know that he was framed with Centauri ducats--but Garibaldi doesn't--we get to anticipate how this will only hurt him in the future. (Why was he framed with Centauri ducats? Sadly, no particular reason except to set this up bit, probably.)

Sinclair gets involved in fisticuffs again, and again I don't buy it. It just seems out of place for the character (or maybe the actor).

The Homeguard (mentioned once or twice already this season) is mentioned as possibly being behind the effort to bomb Babylon 5, although it's unclear whether this supposition has any basis. This is especially interesting given that the second bomb might have taken out the President. More on this to come.

There is no B plot.
Tags: now i watch all babylon 5
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