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Ruling from the Tomb
Maintained by David Boyd
Last Update on July 21 '99
Title: Ruling from the Tomb
Episode Order Number: 106
Production Number: 111
Writer: Peter David    Director: John Copeland
First US Air Date: Wednesday 14th July 1999
Episode Message Board: Talk about the Episode here
Contents: [Review 2]
Review:

[Review 1] - [Review 2]

By Brandon "Darksabre" McKown

Review 2: Episode 6 - "Ruling from the Tomb"

Lochley: "You know what you are?"
Gideon: "Ruggedly handsome?"
Lochley: "No! A control freak!"
Gideon: "Can't I be both?"

The Excalibur and crew take a short pit stop at Mars, going out of their way of desperately searching for a cure to the Drakh plague in order to have their doctor, Dr. Sarah Chambers, give a keynote speech on the status and details of the plague.

Meanwhile, overseeing the security and safety of the diplomats and key figures attending the conference is Captain Elizabeth Lochley of Babylon 5, coordinating with Captain Matthew Gideon. Immediately the two are at odds with each other, and as murders begin appearing within Marsdome and evidence of a doomsday cult surfaces, the two are forced to work with each other.

Also, Eilerson, Dureena and Trace have an interesting time spent in one of the seedier bars of Marsdome, as more and more of Trace's past is revealed.

This episode is probably the weakest one I have seen so far, but even for being weak it was still good in some parts. The plot itself was weak (why was the conference on Mars?) and the schizophrenic-murdering-evangelist-scientist cult leader didn't exactly prove exciting either. Gideon and Lochley (in her first appearance on the series) moved into a sort of pre-relationship grudgingly and realistically, so it didn't seemed forced.

Meanwhile, Dureena, Eilerson and especially Trace get more screen time. They had a pretty interesting chemistry, even if they were serving as a second plot line within the episode. Hopefully we will get to see a Starfury fighter launch off the Excalibur in an upcoming battle scene, with Trace in one of the fighters (is he part of EarthForce?).

Early within the season arc, we can already see hints of a main enemy-- the countless doomsday cults that have popped up since Earth's infection. Besides the Drakh, the Excalibur may face them from time to time, if JMS can take it where Peter David left off. David is an excellent writer who isn't afraid to screw the universe up and put it back together again perfectly in the end.

Evan Chen, as always, provides a rich variety of tones for us. The opening of the prologue scene over Mars is pure genius, and hopefully we will get to hear a suite of this episode in one of his collection albums. I have read that fans should expect two Chen CDs, "B5: A Call to Arms" and "Crusade" to be hitting the music stores' shelves soon.

In the end, for its beating bad points, I can only give this episode...

Rating: 6/10

- Brandon McKown (darksabre@usa.net)

 
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