Second episode in and I am probably watching the wrong one. JMS picked The Long Road to follow the exposition heavy War Zone because it was a good character piece. Me on the other hand, I jumped to this because it was supposed to be the first episode and I can see how that would have worked. It doesn’t use the standard, first meetings of all the characters that is typically done in stories, but instead drops us right into the action with a team that has already been working for a while. This lets the main characters naturally show us some of their main characteristics, starting with the opening with Gideon’s recklessness, gambling nature, then runs through all the other key characters and the tendemcy of everyone to withhold information. I also like the B5 callback. Babylon5 was the last best hope for peace. Gideon is our last best hope for Earth (they are doomed).
In my opinion the bike chase is silly and extraneous. All it shows is that Gideon has either a death wish or is going through a mid-life crisis. He isn’t the only one though. The CGI Galan is showing its age a bit. Poor homunculus. I am sure that 10 years ago you didn’t look quite as bad as you do today. Technology has not been kind to you.
Racing the Night is a solid starter episode. It introduces the characters while still having space for a decent story and action. There are plot threads sprinkled liberally to be picked up by later episodes and it raises the moral thought provoking questions that were common in B5.
Gideon appears to be a little too morallising in this. He has moments with his crew when he shows he isn’t sure about to what lengths he might go, but with the aliens he was very quick to condemn. Eilerson fells a bit too much of a capitalist strawman for my liking, but he is still quite fun. Galen however gets all the best lines. It is important to be a friendly guy with no surviving enemies. I’m not sure about the Apocalypse Box. In this episode it feels a little tacked on. It is as though we’ve just got our feet under the table and comfortable with what to expect when suddenly everything gets knocked sideways. Its presence is a huge question without even the smallest clue about what it is.