Some essential episodes for a beginner:
When you examine B7 you notice that many themes recur often enough to categorize them as the essential ingrediants. Two main plot types feature as well: The `Servalan/Travis/Fed officer episode', either a plan to capture the crew or to capture something else (Orac, Helotrix, feldon crystals); and the `neutrals/aliens episode' in which the former do not usually figure directly, although the Federation's presence usually casts its shadow. If I were introducing someone to B7, I would probably use the following episodes, because they illustrate these main themes so well, besides being very well written.
Treating `Deliverance' and `Orac' as a two-parter, I think it makes and excellent example of the `Servalan/Travis plot type episode', whereas `Shadow' reveals criminal underbelly of the Fed, and has an alien to boot. Admittedly, you begin `Deliverance' with a bang, and if you don't know who the regular cast are you may wonder what's going on, but not for long and you might be encouraged to go back to the beginning and find out.
Primary analysis suggests the design is eccentric and may be
decorative rather than functional.