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The end is nigh.

Let's see if I can knock these out before I go to China.  All comments taken from The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5.  Sound bytes are from the Down Below Sound Archive.



The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father:

"About TNT's decision to postpone the episodes the ones following this one until the fall of 1998
Re: the schedule...it was brought to our attention that the NBA coverage would lead to episodes being shunted around and pre-empted for a number of weeks. Obviously this concerned us, and would concern viewers, so we discussed it with TNT, and they came back to us with the notion that we would continue new episodes until hitting #100, break for the NBA games, then come back (starting with another possible half-hour special) afterward at the same time to finish the season.

It was either this, or get shuffled around the schedule due to the NBA, and the former is infinitely preferable."

This feels like a good time to bring out a Judy Garland quote.  "I don't hate you, John.  I just hate basketball!"  *runs off in tears*  But in all seriousness, I suppose that makes sense.  Even if it did make us have a break in the episodes...  T_T

"Bester is NOT a nice guy...but not everyone sees him in that light, which is why I did one episode from inside the Psi Corps this season, to show how others in the PC see him....

Even Hitler painted roses."

I want a picture of either Bester painting roses or Bester surrounded by roses now.  CRACK SAYS IT MUST BE SO.  Still, Psicorps episode is pretty awesome.  XD

"Shouldn't the other Psi Cops have been afraid of Bester?
I don't consider it a mistake at all...you never heard much of other Psi Cops talking about Bester, and they would have more knowledge of him than anyone else. As with Dirty Harry, some of the other officers above and below him liked him...and he scared the crap out of others. Same here."

Besides, Bester was all likeable in the Corps.  He's their darling.  Only the smart, non-brainwashed telepaths or someone who's plotting against him would be scared of him.

"What is a Pak'ma'ra's hump?
I was thinking that the hump is where their mates are...they're symbiotically bonded, and the female is much smaller than the male, reflecting similar disparities in the insect kingdom."

That... was far more information than I wanted.  Though, granted, still not as bad as the Drazi armpits.

"About the oddly-dated document
One of his personalities was a Time Lord."

AHAHAHAHA.  PROOF THAT JMS NEEDS TO WRITE FOR WHO.  I think that's the first reference I've seen JMS make to DW.  Either way, this should totally happen now.  Even if it's just an episode, JMS should write DW.  MUST HAPPEN NAO.

"And let us also remember, about this guy getting the date wrong on what he was writing....

HE WAS A NUT.

thankyew"

No, no, no.  Your first explanation was better. 

As Nar mentioned, JMS is very good about getting alternative perspectives out there.  This is one such episode.  And it's awesome.  Even if Bester is an utter bastard. 





Meditations on the Abyss:

Um... There actually are no JMS comments on this episode.  Sadness.  It's a fun episode though.  Vir attacks a food vendor.  Londo is proud.  The Lennier bits are always good too, even though it's all foreshadowing up to the big Betrayal that Morden was talking about.  And, of course, more crying over Garibaldi.  Garibaldi... T_T




Darkness Ascending:

""OK, so is anyone going to try to pass *this* one off as non-arc 'filler'?"

Exactly. See, that's where I get nuts about some of the other comments. A number of folks said last week's was just filler...but last week we saw the process by which Lennier was sent to White Star 27, what he was looking for, and why...we were introduced to the captain, the mission...and now this week it pays off. It seems like the *result* is considered arc, and the set-up is considered "filler."

Similarly, Lyta's actions in this episode (and those that are going to follow) are a direct result of the whole Byron thread, which is going to spiral further in some interesting directions. Some said the Byron stuff was just filler...but it was there to move Lyta into a whole new direction that will have a substantial effect on the show and her character (and at least one other).

It seems to me that repeatedly, people dismiss something new in the mix as filler or non-arc...when in fact it's ABSOLUTE arc stuff once you've seen the whole thing. (Except for those who only seem to feel that results are arc, not setups, which is as nutty a view as I've ever heard.)"

Wait, what's this about non-arc episodes?  How are you guys seeing these as non-arc?  I mean, seriously.  Not everything is resolution.  It baffles me that he's had to deal with this.  I'm pretty sure it baffles the commenter too.

"Was Lyta flirting with G'Kar?
I wouldn't say she has any sexual interest in G'Kar...she had her pleasure threshold expanded with Byron just recently, and as for her parting comment, I think it came more under the category of "you ain't getting it, but since you were still wondering..." A friendly plink."

Of course she was flirting.  She was flirting in order to let G'kar know what he ain't getting.  XD

"How would a human and Narn mate, anyway?
Well, as G'Kar said in the pilot, there would have to be rather substantial genetic manipulation and adjustment to allow for the different DNA structures to mix.

After that, it would require the usual: dinner, flowers, and being willing to sit through a chick-flick...."

Which makes one wonder just how G'kar has gotten on with his human conquests.  Cause he's had them.  And possibly a few Centauri women too.  G'kar may be priestly, but I think we can rule out celibacy with his new religion. 

"Delenn didn't take any guff from Sheridan.
That's one of my favorite scenes from that episode...she basically yanks his pants up over his head and ties them in a knot. Someone trained in the religious caste can argue her way around just about anything and anyone.

Minbari religious caste make Jesuits look like intellectual softies by comparison."

Sorry, Sheridan.  You cannot bet angry with your wife.  It's impossible.  She will diffuse you every time and do it while winning.  Don't even try.  She's that awesome.

"But she made a big assumption about why he didn't want to send Lennier.
She's right because she's married to the guy and knows him inside and out, including how he thinks and why he does things.

When you live with somebody like that, you can go out and buy a pair of shoes, and in the morning, complain that they're too tight...and never mention it again for the rest of the day...then in the evening you sigh, as you're taking them off, and he or she says, "Don't worry, we can always have them stretched.""

Aw, that's rather sweet.  I don't think Delenn would have been very far off the mark on that one though.  She does know how he thinks, considering she worked with him on the Shadow War. 

THE DELENN AND LONDO HUG.  This episode gives you feels.  So many feels.  Londo.  T_T  And Garibaldi.  T_T  And hello, Lyta power trip. 





And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder:

""I have to say this was one of the best episodes of the entire series. If this is any indication of what the rest of the season is like.......watch out."

Well, the next episode is even more so...and the one after that, more so still. You get a slight breather for an episode or so -- still very strongly arc, though, just not as in-your-face hardhitting -- and then the last are whammers.

"I suspect a stream of apologies to you are about to begin."

Yeah, right, and pandas will fly out of my butt."

Londo.  T_T  These episodes were very good though, even if JMS breaks my heart.  The pandas flying out of his butt was a rather interesting mental image though.

"How much of the tension in the opening scene was thanks to the director?
It's shot for shot what was in the script, but at the same time, a director must take that shot and make it live. Goran did that admirably. He kept the camera moving, framed his shots very nicely, got into the emotion of the scene, and worked very well with the editor; we only did a light dusting in the editing room.

Since a number of folks have asked, here is the opening scene as written. (I only have the first draft in my home computer, modifications were done in the office, which involved trimming some of this for time.)

****************

FADE IN:

EXT. BABYLON 5: A new shot, closer, emphasizing the darkness of the station in
eclipse.

INT. DELENN'S QUARTERS - BEDROOM

Sheridan is in bed, alone as we will discover in a moment. He rolls over,
stirring, and we SHOOT PAST HIM to the doors, where we SEE a single flickering
light through the translucent glass. He sits up.

INT. DELENN'S QUARTERS - FRONT ROOM

REVERSING past Delenn to the bedroom doors. She is seated on the floor, a
single candle burning before her, the flame halfway down it, praying or
meditating as the doors open and Sheridan stands in the opening. His voice is
quiet.

SHERIDAN
Delenn...? Are you all right?

She nods, distantly, not taking her eyes off the candle.

SHERIDAN
You should sleep. It'll be morning
soon. You'll need all your strength
for what's ahead.

She nods again, but doesn't move. He gives it a BEAT, knowing
she is in a place where he can never reach her, then goes back
into the bedroom, leaving the door open. We PUSH IN SLOWLY on Delenn's face

TIME-CUT - HER QUARTERS - LATER - ON THE CANDLE

The fragile, guttering flame has now burned three-fourths of
the way down. As we slowly PAN UP to Delenn's face, not having moved in all
this time, we become aware of the SOUND of the shower running. She doesn't
note it, until it stops. Then there's a BEAT and she looks up toward

ANGLE - THE BEDROOM

Still mainly dark, suggesting pre-dawn, mainly just the light
spilling from the bathroom entrance as Sheridan comes out in a
robe, toweling his hair. His manner here is sober, almost
somber. He's trying to keep this normal, but knows that this
is going to be a difficult and momentous day. The more we can
set that tone here, the better.

SHERIDAN
It's...all yours.

She nods, distantly. WIDEN as he goes to the bed and sits. He
pulls on one slipper, puts his foot down, and picks up the other
slipper...and just sort of stops. He doesn't want to put it on.
He doesn't want this day to come. He doesn't want to do what he
knows he's going to have to do. The slipper just dangles from
his fingers, the strings cut. Delenn gets up, approaches and sits next to him,
both with that faraway, haunted look. She touches his back, and leans against
his shoulder for a moment, both taking comfort and strength in the momentary
contact. Then she gets up and moves into the bathroom, the robe sliding off
her shoulders as she steps OS.

A BEAT, and Sheridan finds the wherewithal to put on the other
slipper...and sits there momentarily as we HEAR the VO SOUND of a GAVEL
POUNDING, and the VO SOUND of the council, along with:

SHERIDAN (VO)
There comes a moment, in all of our
lives, when we have to do something
we'd rather not do. When we know
something we'd rather not know. This
is one such moment.

He stands and moves OS."

Oh, script bits. You have to love script bits. And how you just want to hug both of them.

"Was the part about Sheridan dropping the slipper added in a later draft?
Yeah, that was a visual pun written into the script, the other shoe dropping...but also reflecting that kind of low energy thing in the morning, when you put one slipper on, and you just *don't* want to leave...and you just let the energy drain away, and the slipper falls from your hand...which also overlaps the gavel dropping, as scripted.

I took a great deal of care in blocking out every shot in that one, as opposed to some other cases, as with Mike Vejar, where I wrote, in "The Face of the Enemy," "They pull down Sheridan like a pack of wolves bringing down a lion" knowing that he would then take that and turn it into art. And he did.
"

Oh, JMS and your puns.  And poor Sheridan.  I don't think a pack of wolves would be very pleasant.

LONDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  T_T  All my Londo feels.  Have some angst.  And more angst.  Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeels.




Movements of Fire and Shadow:

"How many other shoes have you got to drop on us?
A couple more shoes.

And a boot or two."

Thanks for the warning.  T_T

""Actually, it's possible that this is all just a coincidence of timing. After all, JMS didn't write these episodes knowing when the breaks in the season would take place. On the other hand, I hate coincidence and this is one hell of a big one..."

Funny thing about that. When I wrote this, this was the first part of a very tight two parter (well, actually, it's part 4 of a five parter; if you watch them straight through, one dovetails right smack into the next, it's one really huge episode). Anyway, for the fifth one, the next one to air, I decided to do a recap in the teaser, a "Previously on Babylon 5..." compilation. Hadn't done it with the others, but just decided to do it with this one, since it picks up seconds after the other.

Later, after putting it together, in a phone call with TNT, they told me about the decision to put in a break after this episode. "So you may want to consider putting a recap into the teaser, since this is a two-parter and it's been a long time and that's something you didnt' anticipate."

"Well, actually...I already did that."

A long pause. "How did you know?"

"I didn't."

Scared 'em real good with that one."

Coincidence!  I think not.  Or rather, I think so.  XD  JMS is occasionally psychic. 

""and i guess we now know why the attacking centauri vessels wouldn't have noticed lennier exchanging a little breathing--since they weren't really using it thmselves."

Ding!"

So much for drone ships.  Though I should really stop there, before I start laxing Trieze Khushrenada on them.  At least I know Rhodey would agree with me. 

"If the Shadows have devices for piloting combat ships, why did they need bodies for their own ships?
The control pods mainly work via remote control, their functionality (as Lyta noted) is limited. For the shadow vessels, you need a fast reaction, independent-thinking cpu of a higher order...also because a shadow vessel is a hell of a lot more advanced and complex than a Centauri cruiser."

Makes sense. Sounds plausible to me.

"Is this attack what caused the damage in "War Without End?"
Of course, everyone's assuming here that the awful state we find Centauri Prime in, in WWE, is caused entirely by war...."

Oh, Londo.  Because the series didn't break my heart enough, they had to go and add the Centauri trilogy books.  T_T  Still, Vir playing with baby Tenchomages was fun.  And the whole Garibaldi bit, which was both the best and worst pun ever (thanks for that, Peter David).  Best because it was totally in character for Garibaldi and had to be done.  Worst because oh, good God, have you seen that pun

"Why wasn't the beginning of the season more like this?
Well, it's kinda what I've been saying all along...the bigger the planned wham, the longer the quiet ramp-up. And, again, the arc was there when it didn't seem to be: this whole thing started when the raids started to take place, which goes back quite a ways. And Lyta would not be in this position, not this assertive with her abilities, had she not gone through the fire (literally and figuratively) with Byron, whose fate more or less kicked her out of her shell. The old Lyta would never have just up and gone to the Drazi homeworld on her own; but the money, needed to follow her and Byron's dream, propelled her.

It was ALL there, more or less in plain view.

And without it, without all that careful and deliberate setup, this episode (and especially those that follow) would never have played as well, if at all."

Again, makes sense.  You can't have an explosion without the C4 (or whatever you're using to blow stuff up with), and you can't have the C4 without the chemistry behind it.  I mean, nitro-9 doesn't blow itself up.  Usually it requires Ace.  Actually, I think this metaphor has gotten away with me.  I'll just stop here.

""I agree the coldness was disturbing, but I feel this reveals the deep emotion she feels at Byron's death and her consequent ruthless determination to achieve his goals."

This was the point I was going for with people who were saying that the Byron thing was totally extraneous. To get Lyta to this point as a character -- remembering her "I'll sue" tirade as the last time she even sorta kinda got mad -- she would *have* to go through the fire, and lose something that meant enough to push her to this point. So you had to let the relationship with Byron go full term, follow it over time, and see what it meant to her to justify and motivate what happens to and with her in the last part of the season."

I never thought he was extraneous.  Just that he was annoying and I'd rather him not.  But that's just me.

Have some of the last G'kar and Londo snark.  Also, Delenn.  Do we even want to know?  :o 





The Fall of Centauri Prime:

"This is a devastating episode, by the way...so much happens in this that it's kinda staggering, actually.

Of the final 5, this one, and the last two, are my favorites. And I like 'em all."

T_T

"Yes, the capital was getting beat up, but there's a difference between thousands of dead and billions dead...Londo sacrified himself to save the lives of billions."

T_T T_T

Londo.  T_T  Oh, Londo.  G'KAR FORGIVES YOU.  That doesn't mean we forgive JMS for breaking our hearts like that, but still.  *sniffles*  Londoooooooooooooooooo.  T_T 





The Wheel of Fire:

"The wheel of fire visually has spokes proceeding out from a central flame; the center burns outward. And several of the fires smoldering lately have done that; with Byron it was a literal flame that has now gone out along the spokes and had substantial repercussions, with more to come years down the road.

It's also a Shakespeare quote, "I am bound upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears do scald like molten lead." Which tends to describe Londo's situation as well. (King Lear)"

Londo.  T_T

"Doesn't Sheridan remember what he saw and heard during his flashforward in "War Without End?"
Y'know, this discussion kinda baffles me to some extent.

For starters, Sheridan was only in the future briefly; he was being beaten and was confused and not sure how much of it was real; he doesn't know if his going to Z'ha'dum *changed* any of that future...the events he did see were 20 years down the road, and there's no way for him to know (as we know, the audience) what connects to what...he sees only destruction, and that could have happened two weeks before (there's no rule that says a capital city can be bombed only once)...no way to know if the keeper may have been implanted days or months before. To try and impose a quick understanding of events 20 years down the road on things happening right now, without knowing the context, would be madness...you don't need a keeper to start a war, or half our own leaders here would have had keepers on them.

As for Delenn...yes, he heard her talk about their son, but at the same time, again, that's 20 years down the road. Their son could be any age, so the news that she's pregnant will still be a shock whenever it comes; you may know that you're planning to have kids, that the doctor says its possible, but when you actually hear the news, it's a stunner every time.

His question is a natural one...he doesn't know if the kid in the future had to be taken out of utero to be sustained until it came full term, doesn't know if extreme measures had to be taken...his question is a sensible and justifiable one.

People are assuming that what *they* know as the audience, Sheridan knows, which he does not...and assuming that he knows everything that is to come, or what it means, or how it happens, or in what context, which he does not.

His memory is not faulty.
"

He had to have this conversation a lot.  I feel a bit bad for him.

Londooooooooooooooooooo.  T_T  And no, that really doesn't end...  At least Garibaldi is back on track and has stopped making us cry. 





Well, there you have it.  I think I'll call it a night there, and try to get the last three done tomorrow.  In between packing, since hey, I really should be doing that.  I'm only leaving on Friday, after all...