If it ended with that scene followed by a perfunctory capture of the villain, “Convictions” would be a strong case-of-the-week episode of Babylon 5. But only one of the ambitious capstones actually works. The scene where Sheridan confronts the bomber is as frustrating as the scene with Londo and G’Kar in the elevator is great. Patrick Kilpatrick plays the bomber with all the spittle-flying, scenery-chewing a good Babylon 5 guest star should have, but he doesn’t actually have anything worth overacting for. He’s not quite deranged enough to make for a tragic story of mental illness, and he’s not quite coherent enough for his philosophy of chaotic times to reveal anything interesting about the show’s settings or themes. He’s merely a bad guy who must inevitably be defeated by the heroes—and an annoying one at that.


One of the odd things about how Babylon 5 is that its transitions between seasons were totally different from the normal way TV is viewed and understood. For whatever reason, PTN, the company that sold the rights to the show in America, regularly decided to air the final episodes of the prior season in the fall, immediately before the next season started. The last four episodes of season two were separated from the rest of the season by four months, then followed immediately by the first installments of season three. Production-wise, there were huge differences: changes in sets, characters, the intro, and so on. It also corresponds to changes in quality: TV shows as a general rule tend to be much weaker at the start of their seasons, as their cast and crew reacquaint themselves with how things are done. But for viewers of Babylon 5 then—and now with DVDs or streaming or download, where access to the next episode is just about as easy as it was with the last—it caused a jarring drop in quality. Fortunately, it’s an understandable drop with the expectation that it’ll get better soon. And even more fortunately, just as in the doldrums of the first season, Londo Mollari is around to keep things entertaining even if nothing else happens to work. There’s always that.

Grade: B-

Stray observations: