The 3rd disc of the second season has 4 more episodes. JMS is ramping up the impact of the story arc, more and more dangerous things are happening. We've got a good variety of stories on this disc and all but one are written by JMS. Pretty soon it will be just him writing everything. He used to post on the internet about writing the episodes and answer questions people had about the series. I read some of the posts after 2000 had past. I don't know if they are still up in that format but some of the material got transfered to The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. Each of the 110 episodes gets a whole web page and parts of Joe's posts are copied there.
The Coming Of Shadows 2/1/95
Written by J Michael Straczynski and directed by Janet Greek
The Centauri Emperor comes to Babylon 5. He's old, tired, sick and played by Turhan Bey. G'Kar plans to kill him but the Emperor collapses just after he arrives at the station. Kosh visits the Emperor in Medbay. When the Emperor ask Kosh how it will end the Vorlon tells him "in fire." The Emperor dies shortly after and that sends Lord Refa and his home world pals on a murder spree so they can put their guy in the Emperor's spot. Londo has Mr Mordon kill off a Narn colony. G'Kar nearly kills Londo but Sheridan stops him. This is another of my favorite episodes. I really like seeing Turhan Bey as the Emperor. I'd enjoyed him in 2 or 3 movies from the 1940's. His Hollywood career ended in 1953 when he returned to Vienna. He returned to Los Angeles to recieve an award and woundup appearing in several tv shows. He will return as a Minbari in a future season.
Written by Lawrence G Ditillio and directed by Jom Johnston
A transport of Earth Allienace Marines, or ground pounders, comes to stay at the station forcing the Earth Force crew to host some of them in their quarters. We get to know a bunch of the gropos before they push off to their secret mission. We know they are going to a hell hole because the General is at B5 to see Sheridan. The General turns out to be Doctor Franklin's father and they don't get along too well. It's not one of my favorite episodes and I find myself fast forwarding through the sad parts. At the end all the gropos we've met are dead. I find that all sad.
All Alone In The Night 2/15/95
Written by JMS and directed by Mario DiLeo
Captain Sheridan is out space in a Star Fury. He's with a fighter group checking up on a ship being attacked by an unknown alien. His ship gets blasted by the aliens and he's brought aboard their ship. They torture him and make him fight other aliens with a control implant. He helps a Narn named Ta'Lon get uncontrolled and they escape in a life pod. Delenn gets kicked off the Grey Council and finds out they replaced her with Naroon. He's Warrior Caste and that gives them 4 members on the council. Valen set up the council as 3 each from the three castes. This imbalance will cause some issues for the Minbari in the future. Delenn is left as Ambassador and heads back to Babylon 5. She finds out that Sheridan has been captured and recognizes the ships as the Stribs. They know where they live and head there. Yay, the Captain is rescued.
Acts Of Sacrifice 2/22/95
Written by JMS and Mario LiLeo
G'Kar is seeking help from Earth in the Narn-Centauri war. Sheridan is told he can't get involved. Sheridan asks Delenn to help but now that she's not part of the Grey Council she's not got as many resources as she used to ahve. They offer what they can to G'Kar. He's really sad and kind of hopeless. It's the turning point for G'Kar. He'll manage to come out of this as a much better person but it will be a trail. Ivanova gets the task of getting the Lumati to sign an alliance with the Earth. Part of the Lumati tradition is to have sex to seal the deal. Poor Ivanova has to get out of that somehow. It's a nice balance with Ivanova's comedy and G'Kar's tragedy. JMS has talked about his sense of humor and how he likes to use it to blunt the tragedy. Tavelling with the Lumati is a second alien, played by Paul Williams, who acts as the voice of the person he's with. The Lumati don't like to talk to inferior races. The seem like dicks to me.
All in all another fine batch of episodes, I like them all, even Gropos, because they share a common trait. They're all well written. There's nearly no waste, every scene and bit of dialog is setting up the situation, pushing you along quickly, and filling out the characters. I liked the gropos that we meet and I feel really sad when they don't come home. I find the sad scene with Mr Garibaldi and Dodger so real I don't want to see much. I like Mr Garibaldi, his pain is real to me. He's still the kind of guy I'd want on my side. Jerry Doyle does a great job bringing that guy to life.