Babylon 5: Infection
January 7, 2018 6:42 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

[standalone episode] Franklin's terrible doctor friends brings terrible space artifacts and terribly experiments on them with no protection, which turns someone on board into a terrible superpowered space-Nazi. "The one trick Earth hasn't been able to crack. The ability to create living ships that thrive in the vacuum of space..."

-Pro-Earth groups are beginning to show up.
-Some Earthers are obsessed with organic technology.
-Garibaldi keeps on getting fired from jobs. But he's such a charmer!
-The original Ikarran disaster happened about a millennium before this episode. That is an important number.
-There is nothing necessary in this episode.
posted by flibbertigibbet (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
From now on, I'll be giving Arc Episodes space in the posting schedule, but shoving a run of first season standalones together.... because the standalones are often terrible. Like this one!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:44 PM on January 7


I wouldn't say there is nothing necessary, organic technology is...let's just say relevant worldbuilding and leave it at that. But yeah not a highlight episode.
posted by stevis23 at 7:20 PM on January 7


I do mostly remember this one being dreadful, although I did enjoy Sinclair talking the monster to death in true Kirk style.

... also, maaan, even reading about this godawful episode makes me want to go digging through my closet for tapes.
posted by mordax at 7:24 PM on January 7


That poor customs guard. He was so clearly asking for a bribe, and got murdered anyways...
posted by Banknote of the year at 10:37 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't say there is nothing necessary, organic technology is...let's just say relevant worldbuilding and leave it at that.

I'm watching s2 for the first time, and there's an s2 episode that is (a) better and (b) gets to this point more efficiently (c) is an arc episode. So I feel pretty safe in saying this one isn't necessary.

Also, for fun, I made a Babylon 5 "McDonalds McDonalds McDonalds chart" image. Warning: It's spoilery for one character's arc in season 2.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:54 AM on January 8


I know shows sometimes need a bit of time to find their stride, but this one is ... not yet finding its stride.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:47 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Beyond the organic technology, there’s some philosophical stuff in this episode that is also important going forward.

But it is a terrible episode.
posted by nubs at 9:30 AM on January 8


There's another, arguably more arc-y episode coming soon that has even lower lows (I'll save those thoughts 'til we get there), but yes, much cringe here! The plotting was entirely predictable, and the bit at the end where the Monster of the Week Monster Suicides, and then the possessed human being totally OK to get arrested? Ugh. I'm glad there're some solid episodes surrounding this one, because if this is what B5 was, I would not fondly look back on it.
posted by Alterscape at 9:22 PM on January 8


I know shows sometimes need a bit of time to find their stride, but this one is ... not yet finding its stride.

This was the first episode produced, actually, despite being the fourth episode aired. Which was a good move, because they apparently needed a few episodes to really get into the swing of things: this is an unequivocally terrible episode, even for a Monster of the Week episode.

There's a surprising amount here that actually ends up tying forward into future narratives one way or another, but at the same time: that's surprising because you could skip this episode without diminishing your enjoyment of those narratives (as already noted). They introduce a bunch of stuff, and then, later...introduce it again? For the best, really, since that makes this rather skippable on re-watches.
posted by cjelli at 9:09 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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