Production 7
Direction 8
Characterisation 8
Storyline 8
Acting 7
Fun/Sexy/Cool 8

The Excalibur is ordered to rendezvous with an Earth Force destroyer in the middle of nowhere. At which point they will take on two passengers and then proceed with new orders

Summary 7.7 great
Production 0
Direction 0
Characterisation 0
Storyline 0
Acting 0
Fun/Sexy/Cool 0
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Summary 0.0 terrible

Crusade: S01E07: Each Night I Dream of Home

To those who watched Crusade when it first aired on TNT, this episode marks the end of Crusade. For others like myself who discovered the series after it has been nixed, we remember it as the episode with Dr. Franklin.  The Excalibur is ordered to rendezvous with an Earth Force destroyer in the middle of nowhere. At which point they will take on two passengers and then proceed with new orders. As usual Gideon isn’t very pleased that he has been diverted away from his prime mission to run some petty errand for Earth Force, but he plays along anyway. The two passengers are Senator Ridley and some nobody named David Williams. Ridley was one of the few Earth politicians to be off world during the attack, so his safety is paramount at least in the government’s eyes. He tells Gideon that his new orders are to proceed back to Earth and not to stop for any reason.

The overall mission is not explained, nor will it be for some time. Gideon decides to exactly as he’s told. Exactly. Knowing the system all too well, he knows that he’s bulletproof so long as he follows orders, even if those orders contradict the spirit of the mission. While en route in hyperspace to Earth, the Excalibur gets a distress signal from a lone stranded starfury (piloted by Captain Lockley). Gideon who was once stranded himself decides to rescue the pilot. Senator Ridley tells him not too, but Gideon reminds him that he doesn’t have to take his orders, all he has to do is go directly to Earth without stopping. And he intends to follow orders alright.

The Excalibur drops out of hyperspace then scoops up the starfury while still in flight, then re-enters hyperspace. Normally this would’ve caused a collision, but the Excalibur is equipped with gravitational damenpers in the landing bay, so these allowed the starfury to come to a safe and complete stop in the hanger bay. Really this is just some contrivance to get Lockley in the episode somehow. She doesn’t play a key role in the episode, but it does add some raunchy character growth for her and Gideon. A little time later they arrive at Earth on schedule. A shuttle is launched from the planet and summarily destroyed by the planetary defense system to preserve the quarantine. But shortly before its destruction, a rescue pod is launched from the ship. Ridley orders that the pod be brought aboard the ship, something which Gideon will not allow. But apparently there’s something special in that pod and that Earth Dome has seen to it that all necessary precautions have been taken for the Excalibur’s safety.

The pod is brought aboard and after it is further decontaminated, Chambers orders it opened. It opens revealing Dr. Franklin from the parent series Babylon 5. This has some interesting implications for the series. Based on the B5 episode Sleeping in Light, we can now confidently say that a cure was found for the plague in time. Since Franklin appeared alive and well in that episode (set 14 years from this ep). We still don’t know who discovered the cure and when, nor what it is, but only that a cure is found. Franklin reveals the overall mission for this week. He is to purposefully infect David Williams, and observe how the plague infects a new host. It’s hard to believe that Franklin a saving-lives freak would purposefully infect a patient. I wonder why… It’s not too long before we find out why. Williams is due to get married to his fiancé in a few weeks.

He was off world during the attack, but he still desperately wants to marry his lover. So he volunteered for this assignment, just so he could see and marry is fiancé. He makes an illegal phone call to her while the Excalibur is flying away from Earth, to tell her the good news. But the Drahk were listening into his conversation, I guess they were hoping to listen in on their phone sex?, and gain the exact position of the Excalibur. D’oh! I’m just going to skip over all the boring medical and ethical conversations and go straight to the good parts. Chambers and Franklin start their tests on Williams. and discover that the virus doesn’t reproduce in the body so much as it decompresses like a zip file. It targets only the essential organs in the body, leaving the useless parts of the body alone.

It’s almost as if it knows where to attact. Meanwhile the Drakh fleet is ambushing the Excalibur. It’s a pretty good battle scene too. There’s lots of explosions, almost entirely on the Drakh side. The Excalibur is outgunned so they have to find a strategy to split the fleet in smaller bite size chunks. Gideon orders the ship to ram the main carrier. This causes the carrier to jump to hyperspace and safety, just as Gideon predicted it would. The Excalibur and starfuries follow the carrier into hyperspace where the Excalibur fires its main guns blasting the carrier to bits, and later run for safety. The battle caused some small problems for the medical staff. They did manage to get all the data they needed. But almost infected the ship in the process. Franklin had to do some last second heroics to save his patient from the heat blast that would have prevented the rest of the ship from being contaminated. For those who saw this episode during its first run, they would have been a little disappointed with the ending.

The prognosis for finding a cure is bad. The virus is one nasty sonofabitch. It’s got a hive mind, and one that likes to test its host as much as the doctors like to test it. The Excalibur and the med teams at home have a lot of work ahead of them. So that’s how it ends. It’s really a dark episode. But it had a great battle scene and lots of plague tidbits and teasers for the sadgeezers who are trying to figure the virus. But on the bright side we can infer from this episode that a cure is eventually found, so it did have that little ray of hope hidden nicely in there.

{I’ll post screen shots when I get some}

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This Crusade review is © 2004 Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

The BABYLON 5 names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of J. Michael Straczynski, TNT and Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.