I am somewhere similar on this one; I really admire the ambition but am not entirely sur the execution lives up to it.
Of the several places B5 could have ended, this plus the last couple of episodes of S4 is by far my favourite at an arc level. The more times I watch the climax of the Shadow War the more it seems not just inconsistent but silly that the First Ones are so easily driven off - perhaps because G'Kar's "we are as ants to them" introduction of them in Mind War is still so effective and I just can't make myself believe humans would move out of somewhere because of being impressed with one ant dying for another. This one's got it all, though; triumph tempered with enough loss and moral complexity for the heroism to shine all the more brightly.
I really liked, both at the time andon subsequent watchings, how well balanced that sequence was in having Marcus riff on the thought that he might be married to Franklin, in ways that make it clear the specific pairing is amusing to him, while so totally avoiding anything negative about same-sex marriage as a general thing.
The strongest impression I have from seeing this when it first came out is being mildly annoyed that the artifacts of entities so godlike in capacity that even the Vorlons are scared witless of them are still depicted as vulnerable to such relatively primitive tech as a nuclear warhead; it felt to me like the classic frustration of playing in a Civ-type game when some guy with a bronze spear takes down your Stealth bomber or trashes your tanks.
I've never been entirely convinced the episode needs Justin, for what that is worth; it does not seem to me it would have lost any significant impact if Morden had been the one to make those arguments.
Such a wonderful development in Londo and G'kar's relationship, though.
Yeah, that one is next to unbearable to rewatch now, knowing about this.
I really admire O'Hare being clear on wanting the story told eventually.
Like many others here, Sinclair turning out to be Valen absolutely blew me away.
I do wonder whether JMS was deliberately in previous episodes doing things with what we heard of Valen to implicitly direct attention away from a possibility like this. The first time "Minbari not born of Minbari" came up, for example, I thought it was hinting at incarnation of a messianic figure being another thing like angelic appearance the Vorlons used to steer younger races, and that we might have been heading for a revelation about Christianity in the B5 universe.
He lets them go saying they are his last chance for redemption. But are they? Didn't Lady Morella give him one other option? To surrender to his greatest fear, knowing it will destroy him.
I always took that as referring to choosing to die at G'Kar's hands.
This two-parter is probably my personal high point of the entire show, and it is so satisfying that we have finally reached it.