11 June 2016

Crusade Review: Each Night I Dream of Home & The Path of Sorrows

Gideon and crew continue their mission to find a cure to the Drakh plague on Earth, which brings them back home and facing their pasts in these two episodes...

Each Night I Dream of Home
After a secret rendezvous and pickup, the Excalibur returns to Earth on a priority mission.

With a Senator and civilian in tow, Gideon and crew pick up a stranded and damaged Starfury carrying Captain Lochley. The Excalibur then arrives at Earth to pick up a life pod and place the occupant in a quarantined area of Medlab. The pod contains Dr Stephen Franklin, who's there to conduct an experiment on the civilian, David Williams who wishes to be infected with the Drakh plague so he can marry his fiancé on Earth.

Lochley recovers from her injuries aboard the Excalibur while Dr's Chambers and Franklin work with David and analysing the plague as he's infected. A surprise attack by the Drakh turns things dangerous as David's life is put in greater danger when a system malfunctions in Medlab.

With Lochley's help taking command of the Starfury squadrons, Gideon is able to eliminate the Drakh threat. Following which, Lochley is returned to Babylon 5, unaware that Dr Franklin was ever on board.

I always liked this episode, mainly for the opening scene which involved a closer, but extremely brief look at an Earthforce Warlock destroyer. It was also the series finale when watching the series in the broadcast order. It's a good chance to see some crossover between Crusade and the Babylon 5 series with two main characters from B5 appearing here, though never crossing paths due to their circumstances.

It would seem this episode was written and produced with 'Racing the Night' as the intended series pilot as Gideon mentions, following the Drakh battle that Sarah missed out on all the fun in their first firefight with the Drakh - however, we know the Excalibur and crew engaged Drakh ships in 'War Zone', and Sarah was definitely aware of that!

We also find out a bit more about the plague and that it is in fact intelligent in some manner - in that it specifies which organs it attacks, unlike a normal virus. No doubt this would add to the information collected about it as the search for a cure continues.

Rating: 7/10

The Path of Sorrows
At a planet known as a place of healing, the crew discover a giant orb with a mysterious alien inside. Gideon orders it brought aboard for more study.

Gideon comes to see the alien in Medlab and is shown flashbacks from when Matthew served as a Lieutenant on an Earthforce destroyer, the Cerberus. While he is examining damage to the outer hull, the ship powers up to jump in retreat of a strange alien ship attacking it. Gideon can only watch as the Cerberus is destroyed, and he is left helpless floating in space. Just before he runs out of oxygen, Galen and the Technomages pass his position, Galen rescuing him.

The debrief from Earthforce and how Matthew comes in to possession of the Apocalypse Box are also shown, with the alien offering forgiveness.

Matheson also comes to visit the alien and is shown his own flashbacks during the last days of the Psi-Corps. We learn of Matheson's role after he meets with a Resistance leader they have captured, we also see that he has always wanted to be in Earthforce, but regulations don't allow for it. His vision ends when the Resistance make their move on the Psi-Corps facility and it explodes, Matheson and a few other members fleeing in a shuttle.

Galen confronts the alien with contempt, and in his own flashback we see him and his lover, Isabelle just as she passes away. We don't know enough about how or why she dies, only that Galen mentions they were betrayed by other technomages. Following Isabelle's death, Galen found it very hard to let go and to believe in a higher purpose as it would imply that someone decided her death was deserved. The alien suggests that Galen needs to forgive.

This is a great episode purely for all the back story and apparently there was more to be shown but the episode would have run over time. In typical JMS style, there are more questions raised than answered, but we do know why Gideon never leaves anyone behind, we learn of Matheson's past during the Psi-Corps days and just a little bit more about Galen. What was that ship that attacked Gideon's ship 10 years ago? What's an Apocalypse Box (we've already seen Gideon consult it in the chronological episode order) and who betrayed Galen and Isabelle on that planet?

I just wish the series could have gone a little longer to answer or begin answering a few of these.

Rating: 7.5/10.

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