Revisiting Babylon 5 – 1×02 Soul Hunter

Thoughts on the episode

This episode is relatively self-contained, but there are some things that relate to the bigger story arc.

The Soul Hunters are introduced in this episode, though it is also the only episode they make an appearance in (except for the television movie “The River of Souls”). They are mainly used to create the conflict in the episode and for characters to convey information.

This episode we find out a few things about the Minbari and their past:

  • They believe that the souls of the dead Minbari rejoin the other souls and are reborn in the next generation
  • During the Earth-Minbari War, one of their leaders – Dukhat – died (Delenn was present at the event)
  • Minbari seem to have a strong constitution (can survive a lot of blood loss)
  • Delenn seems to be part of the Grey Council, yet she is on Babylon 5 as an ambassador

During a fight between Sinclair and the Soul Hunter, Sinclair is told that Delenn is “Satai”, which at the end of the episode he finds out (through a computer search) is the title of someone on the Minbari ruling council. This makes him wonder about her being on Babylon 5.

In terms of technology, we see that the small fighters on B5 use grappling claws and nothing fancy like a tractor beam (the episode marks the second time that Sinclair takes the active role instead of only commanding the crew, this time grappling the damaged craft that is on collision course with Babylon 5). There’s also a glimpse of the defence grid built into B5, but it is not actually used (only activated as a precaution at the beginning of the episode).

Doctor Franklin arrives on Babylon 5 in this episode, he certainly is going to have some relevance in the larger story arc.

What could have been

Theory: Had there not been the rewrite caused by Sinclairs’ actor leaving, the scene with Delenn claiming “I knew you’d come” could be interpreted as an intended foreshadowing of their relationship.

Next up: 1×03 Born to the Purple

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