1] - [Review
1: Crusade episode 6 - "Ruling from the Tomb"
do you want me to do - wear sack cloth and ashes?" -
from the Tomb" is a solid character piece that, while
lacking in originality, is yet another very enjoyable
medical conference about the Drakh plague is held on
Mars, and the Excalibur crew has grudgingly suspended
their quest for a cure to attend this event. But this
gathering of important scientists is a tempting target
for some doomsday cultists...
David wrote this episode, and like all the Babylon 5
episodes he wrote, this one contains a healthy dose
of humor. The plot of "Ruling from the Tomb" follows
two lines that only intersect near the end of the episode.
First we have the religious zealots/terrorists plot
line. While not exactly original in any way, it is adequate.
The main problem is that it seems pretty contrived,
as if it exists just as a way of getting Lochley and
Gideon to get to know each other. Their dialogue also
starts out uninspiring and forced, especially in their
first two confrontations. Once both of them got up to
the Excalibur, however, things improved drastically.
The dinner scene was very well done, with some great
humor. Gideon's speech wasn't exactly the best one I've
heard, but I guess its pretty good considering he improvised.
:-) But what really saves this episode from mediocrity
is the "shore leave" B-plot featuring the Max-Dureena-Trace
triangle. There is a lot of funny stuff going on there,
but we also find out some interesting things about the
pasts of our characters. I was fairly certain that Trace
would succumb to the "red-shirt" mortality syndrome,
but was pleasantly surprised that he lived.
episode is the first appearance of Captain Lochley (Tracy
Scoggins) in Crusade, but unfortunately her entrance
is less than stellar. That seems to be more a fault
of the poor dialogue than the acting in the beginning,
though, since she is a lot better later in the episode.
But I hope that they will find less contrived ways of
including her character in future episodes.
it comes to Gideon (Gary Cole), this is unfortunately
a sub-par episode. His performance seems rather uninspired
compared to his usually wonderful work so far. He does
have some nice moments though.
Eilerson (David Allen Brooks) is great in this episode,
perfectly displaying his arrogant nature in very amusing
ways. You've got to love his explanation of what a yo-yo
(Carrie Dobro) lets loose a bit in this episode too,
and she is quite good here. Dr. Chambers (Marjean Holden)
and Lt. Matheson (Daniel Dae Kim) only have relatively
small parts, but they both perform adequately.
main guest star is Alex Mendoza, who reprises his role
as pilot Trace, and he is MUCH better here than he was
in "WarZone". His acting is good, and he manages to
give his character much more depth. Hopefully we'll
see much more of him in the future.
other guest stars weren't that great, although John
Novak did a decent job as the main terrorist.
Chen's music continues to improve, and he displays a
wide range of styles in this episode. From the religious
prayer theme to the dance music to the rest - it is
all good. Bring on that soundtrack! I certainly regret
the statement I made in my "A Call to Arms" review,
that a new composer was needed, I'm now convinced that
JMS made the right choice. The effects in this episode
weren't that plentiful, but the Mars shots looked better
than the ones from Babylon 5 did. (well, one establishing
dome shot was actually recycled from Babylon 5 season
4) I have one technical beef with this episode though
- the sound editing was terrible. During several conversations
the dialogue was so faint compared to the background
noise that it was really hard to hear what was being
said without cranking up the volume quite a bit. During
one of the prayer scenes, the Joan of Arc dialogue was
so faint it was barely audible, even thought there was
no background noise in that scene. Did a microphone
malfunction and they didn't notice until final sound
mixing perhaps? Anyway, as annoying as those technical
flaws were they didn't detract from the episode.
I think this episode could have been executed better,
but it was still very enjoyable due to the humor and
great character interaction.
- Lars Joreteg (firstname.lastname@example.org)