Crusade episode 7 - "The Rules of the Game"
word is 'prodigy' - seven letters, three syllables -
I could see why it might give you problems" - Max Eilerson
Rules of the game" is an episode with many flaws, but
still manages to entertain thanks to Max and some great
Excalibur pays a visit to Babylon 5 in an attempt to
negotiate landing rights on Lorka 7, an alien world
where the original population all died out thousands
of years ago. It is hoped that their disappearance may
be linked to the Drakh plague, and thus may provide
valuable information about it. But the current inhabitants
of Lorka 7 prove to difficult to deal with. Max also
has some personal business to attend to on Babylon 5...
main plot of "The Rules of the Game", dealing with the
Lorkans, is rather poor. To start with, centering a
whole episode on just negotiations about landing rights
is not very compelling in itself. After hearing so much
about Lorka 7, I would have liked to see some of it
too. In addition, a big "no-no" of drama is committed
- the antagonist (enemy) is made incompetent. Now that's
a sure way of killing dramatic tension, for me at least.
Throughout the entire down-below chase, I didn't even
believe for a second that Gideon or Lochley could get
hurt. The Lorkans also manage to come across as vary
annoying, mostly due to their strange speech pattern.
Why couldn't the Lorkans have been fascinating and cunning
instead of annoying and incompetent? Oh well, at least
the rest of the episode is good stuff. I enjoyed the
Lochley/Gideon scenes much more than in "Ruling from
the Tomb", their scenes here were written better, and
the characters really seemed at ease with each other.
I didn't like the "shower" scene though - some things
are better left to the imagination... The "silhouette"
shot was just silly. The ship docking metaphor was amusing,
though. :-) Finally, the Max subplot was well done,
with an interesting solution.
Gideon (Gary Cole) is a bit uneven in this episode.
The Lochley interaction is great, but the negotiation
scenes seem awkward. But I'll blame that more on the
writing than Cole's acting.
Tracy Scoggins (as Captain Lochley) gives on of her
best performances out of her Babylon 5 and Crusade episodes
here, in my opinion. She comes across as very natural
real winner of this episode (if there is such a thing),
is Max Eilerson (David Allen Brooks), however. He is
very fascinating, growing more complex in every episode,
and still my favorite character. :-)
Chambers (Marjean Holden) is the only other regular
character in this episode, she is less than stellar,
but probably mostly due to her having very little to
do. Hopefully we'll see more of her character doing
important things in the future.
guest stars were of varying quality, from adequate (the
thug and Max's ex-wife) to annoying (the Lorkans). By
the way, one of the Lorkans was played by Tim Choate,
who guest-starred as "Zathras" in a few Babylon 5 episodes.
technical aspects of this episode weren't too impressive,
but it was nice in a nostalgic sense to visit Babylon
5 again, the place still looks the same. The music was
also pretty decent. There were some technical errors
in the effects, however, as the Excalibur was scaled
WAY too small next to Babylon 5. Not a major thing,
I suppose, but it is annoying to see such a simple thing
messed up. (If anyone from Babylonian Productions is
reading this, I am offering my services as a visual
effects continuity consultant) :-)
this episode is lacking quite a bit, but it is saved
from the depths of mediocrity by many nice character
moments and a good B-plot. Hopefully it is uphill from
- Lars Joreteg (firstname.lastname@example.org)