Social Justice Worrier
Well, I don't have much doubt about the memory wipe part.Talia might not have been touched by a Vorlon, but she was "gifted" by the transcendant black dude, remember. That's how, IMO, JMS would have explained her 'nuclear power. (Then again, who knows, maybe she was touched by a Vorlon in her youth and had her memory wiped. But I doubt it....)
The show has definitely got its hooks in us. We went on to watch the first two episodes of season 1.
Episode 1.1, "Midnight on the Firing Line"
*** out of ****
I had pretty negative memories of this episode, but watching it again, I couldn't remember what about it I didn't like. This episode is almost like a second pilot; it spends a lot of time laying out the setting and the characters, just like "The Gathering" did, but a couple of the characters have changed. Talia replaces Lyta, and Ivanova replaces Takeshima. Talia isn't quite as interesting or as likeable as Lyta, but Ivanova is a huge improvement over the really wooden and boring Takeshima. She's prickly and funny from pretty much her first minute on the show.
The episode itself replaces the murder mystery approach of "The Gathering" with a mix of politics (and the Earth election going on in the background) and space action. The space battle is pretty good, and the episode establishes the dynamic that will carry through a lot of the first season, as Sinclair struggles to keep things running while dealing with constant interference from home. The show is pretty cynical about the politics of the Earth Alliance, but in this episode it's just ordinary, even sensible, reluctance on the part of the EarthGov to get dragged into the conflict between the Narn and the Centauri. I think this was the first SF show to really pay attention to the nature of the civilian politics behind the scenes.
There was obly one scene that really didn't work for me, and maybe the issue was that the one scene was pretty pivotal--it was the confrontation between Londo and G'kar immediately after Londo figures out that the Narns were behind the attack on Rhagesh III. The dialog is kind of lousy, and Andreas Katsulas and Peter Jurasik just don't really carry it very well. It's weird, because the characters and the actors are IMO the high point of the series, and Londo is fantastic in the rest of his scenes. In both of these episodes, though, G'kar is just played like too much of a villain to really work right. He starts getting more complex characterization soon, but he isn't there yet.
They also have all the lights on, which is an arguable improvement over the pilot. On the one hand, I'm no longer wondering why everyone is standing around in the dark. On the other hand, I'm wondering why everything looks so damned cheap.