Babylon 5: Born to the Purple
January 7, 2018 5:02 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

[mostly crisis-of-the-week] Londo falls in love with Adira, a Centauri dancer... but she is a (literal) slave to someone who wants Londo's priceless Purple Files (aka Centauri Blackmail Material). Meanwhile, someone is using the ultra-privileged Gold Channel for surreptitious communications. "What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?"

-Gold channel subplot via Cluedo: I accuse Ivanova, (inexplicably) in the very busy C&C (?!), with the dying father. Garibaldi lets it go.
-First mention that Ivanova's brother was killed in the Earth-Minbari war.
-G'Kar and Londo are both ladies' men. Londo also has a strong romantic streak to him, given how he behaves at the end of the episode.
-G'Kar hired Trakis, the slaver-blackmailer at the heart of the plot.
-Londo's compromise isn't too terribly selfish - that's a lot of blackmail material to allow non-Centauris to get ahold of it.
posted by flibbertigibbet (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh yes, and
-Centauri can legally own slaves!
-The Centauri Republic operates via blackmail among high-ranking individuals!
-Both G'kar and Vir like video games! At least, to kill time.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:34 PM on January 7, 2018


Meanwhile, someone is using the ultra-privileged Gold Channel for surreptitious communications.

In terms of world-establishment, this was a nicely subtle way to establish how people on the station are connected to, and yet separate from, people on Earth and elsewhere. Yes, you can technically call home, but at a cost that not everyone can afford, and with an infrastructure that not everyone has constant access to.
posted by cjelli at 9:00 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Londo is as always my “thank God they didn’t just hire pretty people” - such good acting even in plots that would be tough for another actor to carry. I also flag here his absolute faith in other Centauri, which seems..idealistic as hell given the amount of backstabbing.
posted by corb at 4:23 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


Just started my rewatch tonight, in memory of Mira Furlan (and the sadly large number of other late cast members). This episode is the one that draws me in.

OK, the Ivanova B-plot is a little clunky and exposition-y, but we're gradually rounding out her character, and Claudia Christian is growing into the Ivanova we all know and love.

And at the third episode, we already know the main players in the A-plot-- Londo, G'Kar, Sinclair, Vir and Talia-- well enough to appreciate their various collisions and collaborations. And it's character that is this show's strength. Clunky as the writing can often get, the characters are clear and lively, and the show is damn near perfectly cast.

Peter Jurasik, of course, really shines in this episode; but while I was watching the part where Londo and Sinclair go undercover looking for Adira, I thought "damn... I'd forgotten how good Michael O'Hare was."

Anyway, I'm fully into this rewatch now. Roll on the weekend!
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:41 PM on January 29


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