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Rules of the Game [Crusade]

Since I only got Sky Digital a few days ago (there I go again, mentioning it whenever I can) I've had to get a friend to tape all the episodes of Crusade that have been on here in the UK. As he's forgotten to give me the video on at least half a dozen separate occasions, I've only actually seen War Zone, even though I know he's taped the rest.

In comparison with War Zone, Rules of the Game is an excellent episode. I like this episode a lot - it would rank with my favourite B5 eps, in fact.

Why? There was nothing in particular, it's just that everything seemed to fit. The music was much improved, and the characterisation was wonderful. I'm sorry, but Max Eilerson is simply the coolest guy that has been seen in the B5 universe for quite a long time. OK, when he pseudo-threatened the guy who was stalking his ex-wife, I knew he had something up his sleeve. We were meant to know he had something in his mind, and that strange relic he had shed a little light onto it. But the utterly dry attitude he took throughout the whole episode knocked me down. Crusade needs people like Max.

I heard a comment about Rules of the Game. Someone asked (flippantly) whether this was a Babylon 5 episode, or a Crusade episode. To be honest, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a simple B5 episode. Lochley featured largely, along with Gideon, and their relationship seems to be coming along nicely. The action scenes were average, but when the Lorkans are preaching their holiness to the two, well, JMS hasn't been much funnier for a while.

By the way, did you notice the scene straight after the one where Gideon and Lochley disappear into the shower, where a… suggestively shaped spacecraft enters the docking port on Babylon 5? To answer your questions, yes, they did that on purpose. As JMS says:

"As for the image of the ship docking at that particular moment...yeah, that was most definitely deliberate. When I, er, inserted it during editing, the editor just *looked* at me and said "you are just sick and wrong."

Typical JMS.

Arc Rating: 4

Not exactly essential watching, since there isn't that much important stuff going on. You do learn a little about Max's history, and the ongoing Gideon/Lochley relationship.

Episode Rating: 8

Crusade has finally found its feet, and everything just slots into place with this episode (pun semi-intended). A good episode to show newcomers.