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The Path of Sorrows
Maintained by David Boyd
Last Update on July 07 '99
Title: The Path of Sorrows
Episode Order Number: 104
Production Number: 109
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski    Director: Mike Vejar
First US Air Date: Wednesday 30th June 1999
Episode Message Board: Talk about the Episode here
Contents: [Plot] - [Regular Cast] - [Guest Stars] - [Review]
Plot:

    A planet that has a reputation as a 'place of healing' attracts the attention of the Excalibur crew, but all they find there is a mysterious alien in a bubble. As individual members of the crew interact with the alien, questions arise as to what exactly this alien wants of them.

Regular Cast: Gary Cole, Daniel Dae Kim, David Allen Brooks, Carrie Dobro, Peter Woodward
Guest Stars: Mark Blankfield, Gary Graham, Dawn Stern, Sophie Ward
Review:

By Lars Joreteg

Review: Crusade episode 4 - "The Path of Sorrows"

"I forgive you" - unknown

"The Path of Sorrows" is another great episode of Crusade. Through interesting flashbacks this episode provides a lot of background information about our characters, as well as some intriguing revelations.

The Excalibur has found a temple on a distant world, which is said to bring healing to those who enter. Inside they find a sphere containing a strange alien life form. But what kind of healing could this creature possibly provide? And does Galen know something about this creature that he isn't telling the others?

The main part of the plot is the flashbacks to crucial moments in the pasts of Gideon, Matheson, and Galen that are revealed due to contact with the telepathic alien. While all the flashbacks provide interesting back-story, some of them work better than other ones. I find Gideon's story most intriguing, and I particularly enjoyed the card game sequence. His past also poses several questions - Was there a cover-up of the "Cerberus" incident by the Clarke administration? What exactly is the "Apocalypse Box"? How has it affected Gideon these last years? (It clearly had a profound effect on the previous owner) To what lengths will Gideon go to try to free himself of the box? Does he even want to free himself of it? Galen's flashback is also interesting, an emotional farewell to his love. Matheson's flashback, however, is the least satisfying. It does contain a lot of back-story, our first real insight into the telepath war that took place between the Babylon 5 story and Crusade. But while the was a lot of interesting material, it would have been come across much better given more airtime. Matheson's change of loyalties would have been much more convincing if it had been slower, with the true nature of the Psi-Corps being slowly revealed to him. Nonetheless it was interesting to see it unfold.

Peter Woodward is excellent as Galen, as usual. He has a dark side, which is clearly illuminated in this episode, a deep anger at the universe. He is a man who cannot accept that the universe has a purpose or structure - even when he is given apparent proof. His last scene with the message is very effective.

Not much new is learned about Gideon (Gary Cole), but he is solid as always. One wonders exactly how much this box affects his behavior.

We don't learn much more about Matheson's (Daniel Dae Kim) personality either, although his "good guy" status is pretty confirmed by now. I liked his conversation with Galen in the bullet car, Matheson is likeable as always.

Max Eilerson (David Allen Brooks) and Dureena (Carrie Dobro) aren't given much to do in this episode, but they are very effective in their scenes. I particularly enjoyed the Max and Galen confrontation in the beginning. Max is still my favorite character with his sarcastic attitude.

Still no sign of Capt. Lochley or Dr. Chambers... :-)

The standout guest star, in my opinion, was Mark Blankfield as the card player. He didn't have much airtime, but he was very effective. Sophie Ward also did quite well as Isabelle. Another minor guest star was Gary Graham, of "Alien Nation" fame.

There weren't many effects in this episode, and nothing spectacular, but they were enough to get the job done. They did a great job on the main alien makeup though, The music was not as good as in "The Well of Forever", but it worked quite well in the Galen/Isabelle scene. Mike Vejar's direction was very good, however. One scene I particularly enjoyed was the Gideon/Matheson conversation at the sphere near the end, as the camera slowly pulled in. It very effectively conveyed the peacefulness of the characters.

Overall I think this episode is the best Crusade episode so far, with interesting drama, great performances, and many unanswered questions for the future (just the way I like it) :-) I only hope Crusade will survive, so we can get some answers to these questions.

Rating: 9/10

- Lars Joreteg (lars.joreteg@usa.net)

 
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