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Patterns of the Soul
Maintained by David Boyd
Last Update on June 15 '99
Title: Patterns of the Soul
Episode Order Number: 105
Production Number: 110
Writer: Fiona Avery    Director: Tony Dow
First US Air Date: Wednesday 07th July 1999
Episode Message Board: Talk about the Episode here
Contents: [Plot] - [Regular Cast] - [Guest Stars] - [Review]
Plot:

    Sent to evacuate a colony of people who left Earth in the midst of the Drakh battle - who are therefore possibly contaminated, the crew of the Excalibur find instead a sinister hidden secret, as well as a bittersweet new hope for one of the crew.

Regular Cast: Gary Cole, Daniel Dae Kim, David Allen Brooks, Marjean Holden, Carrie Dobro
Guest Stars: Brian Thompson, Peter DeAnda, Sharrise Baker, Eric Ware
Review:

By Lars Joreteg

Review: Crusade episode 5 - "Patterns of the Soul"

"I don't trust your generals any more than you do" - Dureena

The fifth episode of Crusade is yet another solid episode. While "Patterns of the Soul" has several weaknesses, it gives us insights into more of the characters, while providing interesting plot lines to be resolved in the future.

The Excalibur is redirected to the small world of Theta 9, where some human colonists have fled. These colonists left Earth during the Drakh attack and may have been infected with the deadly plague, and Gideon is under order to bring them back to Earth. But the colonists may not be exactly who they seem, and there are other surprises on the planet...

While the core plot of "Patterns of the Soul" is nothing revolutionary, it serves its purpose adequately. We find out that the major changes in the last few years have done little to change the core of the Earth Alliance, there are still many secret projects and corrupt leaders in high positions. It also seems like the general didn't buy Gideon's final explanation completely, but backed off due to fear when the food connection was revealed. Gideon isn't very forthcoming to his superiors (for good reasons), but one wonders when that kind of attitude will com back and bite him... His solution to the colonist problem made sense, though, and by destroying their ship the plague has been contained. It is also revealed that long forgotten tribe of Dureena's race (stranded there since the last shadow war) have been contaminated by the plague, and are dying much faster than the humans are. It will be interesting to see the how this mini-arc develops - can a cure be found in time? Will the fact that the plague adapts to that species faster make it easier to find a cure them? If Crusade is renewed, we will know...

This episode gives us our first real view of Dr. Chambers (Marjean Holden), aside from her cameo appearance in "War Zone". She seems likeable enough, but the character is given a lot of heavy exposition that doesn't work well (one example: her career choice monologue). The performance is good, but she is hampered by uninspired dialogue. Nonetheless I look forward to seeing more of her.

Max Eilerson (David Allen Brooks) is also given more exposure in this episode, and he is his typical self, while also revealing that profits aren't the only thing that matter to him. He also has a great scene with Gideon regarding "Canterbury Tales". He is still my favorite character. :-)

Gary Cole plays Captain Gideon very well as usual, and Carrie Dobro (Dureena Nafeel) is also good. Their discussion in the shuttle while returning to Excalibur was very nicely done.

Brian Thompson is the main guest star, playing the lead colonist, and he gives the best performance that I have ever seen him give. Commonly typecast as a bad guy (most commonly seen as the alien assassin in "X-Files"), he shows here that he also is a very competent actor. Hopefully we'll see more of him in the future, if Crusade is renewed.

The other guest stars were quite forgettable, one in particular (the actors name escapes me, he played the 2nd colonist) who had a very particular speech pattern. I don't know if that was supposed be a side effect of cybernetic brain implants (in which case it should have been hinted at), or if it was a spontaneous acting decision, but it was annoying.

The effects in this episode were outstanding, certainly the best so far. The colonist ship take-off sequence was a particular highlight, but everything else was also executed very nicely. The set building department also did a fine job on the Theta 9 surface, which they managed to make very realistic looking, even though everything was filmed inside a soundstage, avoiding the common sci-fi TV pitfall of too many "plastic-looking cave" planets. With a small budget, they have really been successful in making Crusade look much more expensive than Babylon 5 (which it really isn't).

Overall I was thoroughly entertained by this episode, despite some flaws. Several nice character moments and interesting loose ends make this episode very enjoyable.

Rating: 8/10

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

 
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