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So. Many. Feels. Take two.

So many.  And they're only just getting started.  All comments taken from The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5.  Sound bytes are from the Down Below Sound Archive.

Divided Loyalties:

"Re: things you don't expect to happen...that's kind of one aspect I was after here. By way of comparison....

There's one great thing about The Shining, despite some other flaws in the film: they set up Scatman Cruthers (sp?) as the one guy who understands what's going on...he gets the Shining, he's a potentially heroic character, and when all hell breaks loose, he's the one to get into the snow plow, cross terrible weather, we're all sure he's going to get there and fight the menace... he overcomes weather and nonsense to get there... he blows through the front door, ready for action... and gets an axe in the middle of his chest and dies.

I *loved* that, and always kinda wanted to something of that nature, where you set someone up to be that kind of character, the future, whatever, then you yank it back and let the audience say, Oh, hell, NOW what?"

You know, considering I've done just that, I really can't complain, now can I?  Though I'd have gone with a Psycho reference myself, since no one expected the main heroine to be killed half way through.  Then again, by now everyone knows Psycho's plot twists.  Except for me, and I still figured it out by the end of the movie.  My Music in Film prof was very disappointed that I had figured it out, lol. 

"RE: Talia...look, you've kinda got to look at this the way I do. Stuff happens. Yes, Talia was hoped for to be a key to the solution of the problem. (Not the key, but a key.) But if you do that, every single time, you become predictable. It means you, the audience, can relax. "Well, we know now that Talia will always get through this because she's the one they're hoping for." Suspense: gone. Story: suddenly predictable. There's no rule that every person who is hoped to help solve the problem in real life is gonna make it to the end or BE that solution. So if you delete that person, now it's "Oh, hell, NOW what're they gonna do?" which is more intrinsically interesting to me than the other option.

Generally speaking, about once a year, toward the end of the year, I kinda look around at the characters with a loaded gun in my hand, and say, "Hmmm...if I take out *that* person, what happens? Is there anyone here I can afford to lose? Would it be more dramatically interesting to have this person alive, or dead? What is the absolute bare minimum of characters I need to get to the end of the story and achieve what I have to achieve?"

It helps to really remember that this is a *novel*, and uses the structure of a novel. That means you have to have some real suprises as you go. Anyone is fair game. To the question "Why did you get rid of Sinclair? Why'd you get rid of [spoiler removed]? Why'd you get rid of Talia? Why'd you get rid of....oh, er, that hasn't happened yet...." there is only one answer: 'cause I felt like it, and 'cause I thought it'd make the story a lot more interesting.

The stories I like best are the ones that ratchet up the tension and the uncertainty inch by inch until you're screaming. This could apply to any of Stephen King's novels (and recall that a lot of my background is in horror writing). Mother Abigail in THE STAND was supposed to be their hope for the future. So in short order she's vulture-food, JUST when she's most needed. *Because that's interesting*. It makes you say, "Oh, hell, NOW what?" (Stephen actually does that a lot in his books, and it's a technique I've learned as well.) Boromir in LoTR was a capable, skilled fighter, deemed absolutely essential to the Company of the Ring...oops, there he is by the tree, full of Orc arrows.

Stuff happens.

Same here."

Yeeeeeeeeah, still no room to talk.  Oh, Boromir.  The human pincushion.  But yeah, the "'cause I felt like it, and 'cause I thought I'd make the story a lot more interesting" is essentially the reason I killed Ixkyr, so there's that. 

"One other thought on Talia...one of the motifes we've played with from the start was always showing Talia in mirrors...in Race, in Z'ha'dum and others...always showing the reflection, her opposite, just to set stuff up on an emotional/symbological level."

Sneaky bastard.

"In the B5 universe, as a general rule of thumb, people don't just come back after something like this. "Talia" has been destroyed permanently; that's what it said in the episode, and that's the way it'll stay."

A good rule of thumb to have, if just because of the whole comic book issue.  If you bring people back too often, we stop believing it and it stops being effective. 

"Up until the coup, was the EA government pretty good?
The EA was fairly easy going, but remember that people are used to a heavy governmental hand during the Earth/Minbari War. It's in a way similar to the situation we had post WW2; the only way we could make it past that war and survive was through strict discipline, following orders, going along with rationing, conserving, everything. And it was that positive attitude that those who came later would exploit in the McCarthy/Red Scare 1950s, and hit us sideways in the 60s."

Does anyone else find it inexplicably sexy when he starts talking history?  I do.

"Does Psi Corps have Talia's gift now? Isn't that a problem?
Logically, yes, that would eventually pose a problem."

Because where's the fun in it not being a problem?  XD

"Talia v 1.0 would not have violated Ivanova's privacy during any kind of intimacy, as that would violate her profoundly; you can hold back, and Talia would have, and Ivanova would've sensed if she had tried it. The theory on telepaths making love is that they both willingly drop the blocks they normally keep in place."

Well.  I suppose that answers that question.  :o

"The real Talia was becoming more and more disenchanted with PC, and this was in time going to pull her into resistance activities, which Talia v2.0 would only be *thrilled* about. The self-protection mechanism only kicks in when the personality's existence is threatened."

I love how he's referring to them as 1.0 and 2.0.  And damn, is that sneaky.  >.>

"Did Lyta sense Ivanova's talent?
A non-telepath can learn certain tricks to make it harder to break through, albeit briefly, so the reaction was sufficiently ambiguous and the event sufficiently brief that it wouldn't raise too many concerns. Which is why Sheridan dived in when he did; if she'd continue to block much longer, just instinctively, it would've revealed her latent potential. It was his distracting Ivanova that in a sense helped Lyta break through."

Aw, that's why Sheridan is awesome.  That, and how good he looks in a white shirt.  Damn, did he look good in that shirt.  But more on that in a later episode. 

"Could Ivanova sense when someone else was being scanned?
No, that she wouldn't really be capable of doing at her present level."

*raises eyebrow*  At present level?  I'm starting to see where this might have gone in season five if things had gone slightly more according to plan.  Though I always assumed after the last episode that she learned to refine her abilities more, because of spoiler-ish things.

"Susan and Talia had been dancing around one another for months; that night, though, would've been the first time they got physically intimate."

That definitely answers that question.

"See, here's where I start to have a problem. For starters, I don't do any thing to be politically correct, or politically incorrect, I do what I do in any story because that's what the story points me toward. Anybody who says "It's not necessary" isn't entitled to that judgement, frankly; you don't know what's necessary to the story. And by framing it in the "is this NECESSARY?" way is designed to make you defend your position when such defense isn't the point; is it NECESSARY to have humor? to have a romance? to have correct science? No, *nothing* is NECESSARY. It's what the writer feels is right for that scene, that story, that character.

"Oh, well, I saw it, but was all that violence NECESSARY?" This is, frankly, a BS observation usually offered by someone with an agenda, who wishes to invalidate the notion of an artistic view and impose some kind of quota, or objective criterion to what is and isn't necessary for a movie or film. As far as I'm concerned, the first person to throw this into a discussion has, frankly, just lost the argument.

Point the second: one of the most consistent comments I get, in email and regular mail, is the spirituality conveyed in the show, that we have shown, and will continue to show, tolerance toward religion, even created sympathetic religious characters. "Thank you for your tolerance," they say...until we show somebody or some action THEY don't like...and at that point suddenly it's a lot of tsk-tsking and chest thumping and disapproval; so okay, how about I just stop all positive religious aspects of the show?

It seems to me, that if I do *all that* with religion, and with thje (the) simple act of showing maybe ONE PERSON in all the long history of TV science fiction across 40 years has a different view of life, that the show is somehow degraded, or downgraded, or dropped in opinion...this simply reinforces the notion, held by many, that a lot of folks in the religious right wish to make sure no other perspective or lifestyle is ever shown on television, at any time, unless in a negative fashion.

The thing of it is, while on the one hand I'm getting praise from religious folks for addressing spirituality in my series (speaking here as an atheist), I've gotten flack from others who think it has no place in a SCIENCE fiction series, and why the hell am I putting something in that goes right against my own beliefs? "Because," I tell them, "this show is not about reflecting my beliefs, or yours, or somebody else's, it's about telling this story, about these people, with as much honesty and integrity as I can summon up. That means conceding the fact that religious people are going to be around 260 years from now." Well, fact is, all kinds of people are going to be around 260 years from now. And what did the anti-religion folks say specifically about including spirituality in my series? "It's not *necessary*," they said.

Translation: they didn't like it. Well, tough. It was right for this story, and this show. And it seems to me rather hypocritical for some folks, who applaud the show for tolerance, for my standing up to those who want to exclude religion from TV, to then turn around and say the show is diminished because it showed that same tolerance...to another group or perspective. I guess tolerance is only okay as long as it's pointed one way.

You say that as a christian, you think any sex except that between a husband and a wife to be wrong. Well, as I recall, the bible also speaks against murder. We've depicted deaths by the hundreds of thousands. (And we're talking here about the *depicting* of the act, simply showing it, not the value judgements made after the fact.) Why does the one (which is so barely hinted at as to be almost invisible) cause the show to be diminished where the other does not?

My job is not to reinforce your personal political, social or religious beliefs. My job is not to reinforce MY personal political, social or religious beliefs. Then it isn't art or storytelling anymore, it's simply propaganda. My job is to tell this story, about these people, AS people, as mixed and varied as they are today. And there is no outside objective criteria as to what is, or isn't *necessary* in a story; that is the sole province of the author. You may or may not like it. You may or may not choose to watch it. Just as people who don't like to see religion and god discussed on TV may dislike it or choose not to watch it.

But you'll excuse me if I see complaints about this one little thing from the religious side, after all I've done to present religious characters and the religious life in a positive fashion, to be hypocritical and frankly somewhat ungrateful. It's as though all this means nothing because of one thing, one outside-imposed litmus test that disregards anything and everything else that has been done.

So straight up...if I should stop tolerating or showing viewpoints that are not my own (spoken as someone who is absolutely straight), then should I now stop showing religion as well? Because that's what this comes down to. Is that what you want? Because religion is included at my discretion as well as anything else on this show. You want me to be less tolerant? Just say the word."

Long rant is long.  And of course, my first response to that was "Hey, not all us religious types are like that!"  And then I remembered where I live.  >.>  And yeah, lots of them are.  Sigh.  Still, this religious type had no problems with the femslash and she definitely appreciates all the tolerance for different viewpoints. 

"Ken: yes, showing does not mean endorsing, showing just means saying "this is here," not to make an issue of it. If I'm going to start endorsing ANYbody's POV around here, it's going to be mine, and I think we all know how dreadful THAT would be.

As for "including controversy rather than skirting it," this is more or less the point. The goal here is to not have our characters or our show make *value judgments* about what our characters do, because then you're hitting the audience over the head with the MESSAGE. "Believers" is a good example of that; some came away using parts of that to argue pro and anti interference in medical situations; ditto for "Confessions" which hit squarely on BOTH sides of the issue (no, you can't blame morality for disease...but then, we had our characters openly requiring blood testing, which annoys many on the other side of the issue)....my sense is that our audience is smart enough to take the elements we present them with, and discuss them, and come to their own conclusions and draw their own meanings from them. It's the part of objecting to even *presenting* the situation that seems to me a marginal position at best."

It's a bit repetitive, but I mostly posted that comment because of the second sentence.  How dreadful would it be, exactly?  XD

"They weren't shown in separate beds. We saw Talia reaching over to the empty space in the bed where Ivanova had been, and finding her gone."

Sooooooooo, that question?  Yeah, it was answered definitively.  It makes me wish they had a bit more of it, though at the same time you can see why it had to be cut so soon.  If Ivanova was getting sexy times, Talia would start to get info that she couldn't afford to get.  Sadness.

"As for Ivanova...remember that the core of good drama is conflict. So here we have a situation where a possible romantic involvement is shaping up for her in year three. It shouldn't be made too easy. So you create a situation that really hurts her deeply; she made a difficult step, got over her distance, opened herself up, became vulnerable...and got hurt very badly as a result. The same thing that happened in first season, when her old flame was discovered to be a big guy with Home Guard.

You now have someone who's freshly hurt, who is going to be unwilling or slow to open up again, who's now experienced every kind of relationship and NONE of them have worked...in short, she's one exposed nerve ending, perfect for someone now to come in who may be right, but for whom she has little time, and is disposed not to get involved.

Sounds a lot like my own dating history...keep them razor blades and salt sprays a'comin....."

Oh, you bastard.  And again, I can see how that would have fit in season five.  Do you enjoy giving Ivanova the worst love life possible?  Then again, I have no room to talk on enjoying the suffering of favorite characters...

"Mike: your assessment is pretty much correct. Laurel was to be the traitor initially; as I noted long, long time ago, and you quoted, she was not, in fact, acting entirely under her own volition. There would indeed have been an implanted personality there, acting without even her knowing about it. And it would've been this implanted personality that would've shot Garibaldi.

When I took Laurel off the board, elements of this were transferred to other characters. This is the kind of thing I mean when I say that even with changes here and there, the story continues to go where I want it to go. We don't necessarily remember *which* general put the briefcase with a bomb next to Hitler's chair in the bunker, only that it got done. Some chairs are moveable, some are not, as anyone who's ever written a novel from an outline can tell you...you start moving the chairs around, but you always keep going where you're going."

I so would want that awesome AU, if not for the fact we wouldn't have Ivanova.  T_T  But it would have been interesting!  And a hell of a plot twist, considering Takashima seemed like a pretty awesome character with a bit more screen time than Talia.  Still, you can't complain with Ivanova.

"If Laurel *had* stayed with the show, by the middle of year two the fact that she was Control would've been revealed via the password incident. At that point, one particular possibility was that her second in command under her -- a rather dour Russian lieutenant named Ivanova -- would've been promoted to take her place, while Laurel was moved off the chessboard. (This was planned because we knew going in that Tamlyn Tomita had a growing film career, and we probably could've only kept her for a couple of years in the best of circumstances. So why not turn that to your advantage?)

The position now being occupied by Corwin, Ivanova's second, is the position that Ivanova would've held (though more prominently) if Laurel had stayed on. (And no, Corwin doesn't now have that arc lurking in the background.)

See, it's easy to stick to an outline and never diverge if you're writing characters in a novel; in a TV show, with live actors, you have to be flexible, plan ahead, come up with contingency plans, and have threads that weave and interlock in ways to leave you maximum flexibility while still proceeding toward your destination."

I TAKE THAT BACK.  Awesome AU must happen now.  Ivanova still had a part.  That makes the AU fantastic.  I'd miss Corwin, because Corwin is fun, but hell if it wouldn't have been a good ride.

"Takashima would have been the one to be Control. A Psi Corps plant. (Her background on Mars would've been the perfect time for it to have happened.) When Laurel went away, I took that one thread and passed it along to Talia, setting it up as early as the very first episode, when Talia and Ivanova first meet, and later reluctantly have a drink.

At one point, Ivanova says to Talia, referencing Ivanova's mother, "You're as much of a victim as she was." To which Talia replies, "I don't feel like a victim." And, of course, that's exactly what she was, though she didn't know it yet. Ivanova's analysis was 100% correct."

Sneaky bastard.  Poor Talia.  She really was a victim.  And Ivanova needs so many snuggles.

Over all, a very strong episode.  With lots of snuggles needed.  Lots of snuggles.  Though there is this absolutely adorable conversation, so all is not so dark.

The Long, Twilight Struggle:

Before I get started with JMS's comments, here's something from the Lurker's guide's notes:

"The episode's initial airing, in the UK, was 50 years, almost to the day, after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. Considering the obvious parallels between the Centauri use of mass drivers and the American use of the atomic bomb, that's a serindipitous, if unintentional, bit of timing."

Also, this one has a spoiler warning on the guide, so keep that in mind.

"I don't want to say anything about "The Long Twilight Struggle" at this time, to avoid hyping people. Suffice to say it's a very strong episode."

Really?  Never would have guessed.  >.>

"Re: your note about 500 Narns for every 1 Centauri...you may want to check our own history. During the occupation of some parts of Europe during WW II, similar tactics were used. In some cases the threat rose as high as 100-200 Jews or Russians executed for every Nazi killed; much the same has been done in earlier history. Five hundred to one is a figure relatively consistent with what humans have done from time to time when we wish to instill terror. So I find this a curious quibble."

Keep talking history to me, sexy.  XD

"An actor's job is to physicalize the script. Can you give an example?
Yes, I think that's accurate. The most obvious place where it worked was where Londo looks through the window to Narn being bombed below. There's no dialogue, and he has to convey a range of emotions just through his face....which is a terribly difficult thing to do, and he did a superb job of it."

And oh, that scene does break my heart every time.  Definitely a superb job.  It's between that and that scene with Londo in the fifth season that are the single most heartbreaking.

"Candles are, I think, wonderfully emblematic of life, and of being a single ray of light, or hope, in a dark place. The Grey Council stands between the candle and the star; watch G'Kar's action re: a candle in his quarters...and in that scene (for those who've seen TLTS) note how many candles are in the room in the beginning, and at the end.

We are the candle that burns brightly, stubbornly, effectively...but briefly.

So many G'kar snuggles needed.  I do love the symbolism though.  Attention to detail is just why we love this show.

He actually says a lot more than that, but most of it's over nitpicky stuff.  To make up for the short nature of this section, have G'kar's speech.  And Delenn cussing.

Comes the Inquistor:

""CtI is the only episode in the last four that we know nothing about."

And if I figure out how I happened to achieve that (short of just keeping my big yap shut), I'll do it some more. There should be some surprises, yes?

And it's an arc story, yes, but in a very odd way."

For an episode to know nothing about, that's probably a good one.  XD

"The Inquisitor was a great episode to write, and Wayne did a killer job with it (so to speak). That one episode has received more mail than most others, particularly from those in the religious community, as well as at universities, crisis centers, you name it. Something there seemed to strike a chord.

It's easy in an SF show to cut to the EFX and let it rock; to me, the challenge is what's shown in those scenes: two people, locked in a room, no (or few) EFX, no car chases, not even much of a set...with explosions of dialogue and character. Ah loves it."

Oh, the puns.  And it was an awesome episode.  Sebastian is definitely on the creepy side. 

"Sebastian was played by Wayne Alexander, a British actor of great skill who hasn't been seen much on TV before this, but should now, with this performance as a calling card. It was a stunning performance."

Yeah, he definitely played the part well.  And that was a pretty hard part to play.  Oh, chills.

""It doesn't fit in with the way the Vorlons have been portrayed. It bothered me."

Good. That was the intended result.

Part of the reason for the story was to grey up the Vorlons a little; one shouldn't fall too easily for what other people *say* they are.

(One might also say much the same of the old testament god who would have Job so severely tested, btw.)

One should always be cautious of taking *anyone* at face value on B5.

"...you could consider them a force for good."

Ah, but what *is* good? And whose *version* of good are we discussing?"

You sly, sly person you.  We can see where the Vorlons get their trolling nature from.

"Was Sebastian based on Star Trek's "Q"?
No, had nothing to do with Q, it's deciding what kind of person our Mr. Sebastian might've been, and working from there. When you have a character with as vivid and powerful as his, you don't need to look to ST for any ideas on character. And unlike Q, Sebastian has no powers of his own, just the force of his personality."

Okay, strange person.  Where the hell are you getting Sebastian to be like Q?  That feels like the oddest matchup.  Besides which, I'm quite sure everyone has heard JMS's thoughts on Star Trek by now, so one should just assume he's not basing anything off that series.

"Also, check Sebastian's reaction when he asks Delenn what if she's wrong, "have you ever considered that? HAVE YOU?"

She responds, softly, "....yes."

Look at his face when she says this. It rattles him. It's not the answer he expected, but more important, it's not the answer he wanted, needed to hear.

He needed to hear her say that she had never had the slightest *scintilla* of doubt, that as he had been, she was a True Believer, a fanatic, incapable of doubt of mistake...and thus doomed to failure. He can't even meet her gaze; he turns, looks away, and suggests an "intermission" that is more for his benefit than hers.

There's an awful lot going on in this show, a great deal of it sub rosa, under the surface, implied in gestures or hesitations or looks, some implied, some stated outright. He *hates* the memory of Jack; it's not his name, the one thing that is his...remember, he is caught up with "who ARE you?" and his answer to that is lost in the persona created by history...his true name, is what's totally forgotten to history."

And I loved that scene.  It's a fantastic scene for both characters, and the actor who played Sebastian was fantastic with it, no doubt on that.  It's also part of the reason B5 is one of those series that you want for a second time or more.  Because you always find new things and new ways to view it.  Hell, I've seen the series multiple times already, and there's a lot in the Lurker's guide that surprises me.  XD

"Of course, bear in mind that there *is* no correct answer to Sebastian's question...because no matter what answer you give, the question will be repeated. It's a process, not a goal, designed to tear down the artifices we construct around ourselves until we're left facing ourselves, not our roles. At some point the "answer," such as it is, must transcend language.

Since the episode aired, I've received many notes from philosophy teachers and religious instructors and those who ran the Synanon game noting that they've used that technique as well, or intend to do so from now on."

You bastard.  You are not helping students live easier.  Then again, I'm on the other side now, so why not!  I'm all for making the student's lives hell since that's all they give us.  <3

"The key to the questions is that you generally have to first be able to answer "who are you?" before you can intelligently determine "what do you want?" To deal right with "what do you want" before you know who you are is destructive in almost any situation."

See Londo for a perfect example of this.

"The pain is necessary because it's easy to consider laying down one's life intellectually; when the pain and the agony bring it home, it's no longer as easy.

And there *is* no correct answer to "Who are you?" The only real answer is no answer, because as soon as you apply someone's term for it, you have limited yourself, defined yourself in someone else's terms.

Doing things in a refined, gentle, intellectual manner is the sort of thing Delenn's used to, she can handle that easily...the goal of Sebastian was to try and *break* her. That's not intended to be done gently. You don't break someone over a cup of tea discussing philosophical concepts and the nature of personal identity. It's also not terribly dramatic to watch.

Because of her position, rank and authority, she expected to be treated a certain way...which was why it was important to treat her just the opposite. It's easy to put oneself into a grand prophecy, to assume one has a destiny...to pay the price for that is something else again. Anyone can do the former; very few can ever do the latter."

Yeah, definitely less dramatic.  Tea would be nice though.  I mean, if you're going to torture someone, the least you can do is have tea on hand.  It's what civilized races do.  XD

""Jack" was the media appellation; whether Sebastian is a first or last name is left open.

I looked at who this historical figure could be, but no one else fit into the area I wanted. It was a decision born of necessity, not whim. I needed someone far enough removed not to have any current victims' families still alive; someone known to a worldwide population (anonymous wouldn't have worked because why would Sheridan have known about him, why should we care, why should it resonate, and we'd spend time explaining what he did that would have meant cutting out other material in the episode); the other serial killers tend to have clear fates, whereas Jack vanished and is thus "available" to us; visually that period makes for a striking contrast to 2259.

And, again, you have to look at who he *was*...a fanatic, trying to clean up Spittlefields (good cause) by hatred (wrong reason) and murder (wrong means), the EXACT thing Delenn warns against at the very start of the show. (Did you know there's a letter in the London Times for that period that tries to explain the Ripper's motives as a cry ofr (for) understanding about conditions in that part of London?) He felt he was a divine messenger, learned he was not, and in bitterness has become the single best inquisitor you could've had in that job.

Every single thing about Jack made him *perfect* for that role, as mirror, menace and warning sign. So I used him. And I'd do it again. You have to find what works best for the story, and do it."

You won't hear me complain.  Though you'll apparently hear other people complain.  Besides, clichés work for a reason.  Often times it's what you do with the cliché rather than the fact that you're using one. 

"I guess also that the key to avoid something becoming cliche is to turn it on its head. Which was the case with Sebastian. One thing I neglected to mention was the need to have an absolute mirror-counterpoint to Morden. Here you've got the smiling, pleasant, utterly charming and good looking fellow who is our "mirror" if you will in which we see the Shadows reflected. So now you need something dark and ominous and terrible as the mirror through which we briefly glimpse the Vorlons, which has to be done all in one episode, you can't develop it gradually as with Morden. So everything about Sebastian was the opposite of Morden...and each is the opposite of what they represent. As it appears to us now, anyway."

See?  My point exactly.  Because we all need to be asked "Who are you?" and "What do you want?" at some time or other, so it might as well be by creepy guys who obviously want a piece of you, right?  XD

"Jack's murders took place in the East End of London, not the West End

What happened is...basically...Joe is a moron.

I did my research. I called up the info on the encyclopedia, got all the dates right, and my eyes saw East End and for whatever stupid, idiotic reason, my fingers typed West instead of East, and nobody, NObody, caught it until now. I'd loop it, but alas the line is on his face, and it'd look real stupid, and the delivery is *so* perfect as it is; if we looped it, we'd destroy it.

So I content myself with the notion that it's west...of B5.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go shoot myself."

Aw.  That almost needs snuggles.  I hate getting those kinds of details wrong.  Though I guess that means I need to pay more attention to those Jack the Ripper shows my mother watches, because I didn't catch it. 

"Maybe the West End fell into the ocean and the East End is now West.

No, no, it's hopeless...I'll have to turn in my writer's card."


"Thanks. Though I knew about the gaff a LONG time before it was to air here in the US, I let the east/west thing go through as shot for the very first broadcast because I was afraid that the loop might hurt the scene, and it was *so* perfectly done. That over, I decided it was worth taking a shot at it. If your friend didn't notice, then we did it right. So now those who taped the first broadcast have something that'll never be seen again (if I have anything to say about it)."

Okay, now I don't feel so bad for never catching that. 

"Actually, yes, I do have a pet theory about who the Ripper was, but I'm so embarrassed over the west end/east end typo in one of our episodes that I don't know if I'll ever have enough courage to broach it to anyone."

This should not be as adorable as it is.

"Can G'Kar grow to forgive? I don't think so...and yet in a way he must come to something more than rage, and other than forgiveness. There is an important step in his development yet to come. And he will have to go there by a very hard road."

We shall see.  XD

Sooooooooo, this episode once again proves that Babylon 5 is good at creepers!  I find it interesting that the scene where G'kar cuts his hand was edited out of the U.K. version though.  Well, not the scene, but the fact that he cut his hand.  I find it just as oddly bizarre as JMS did.  And, have I mentioned Sheridan looks good in that white shirt?  Cause he really, really does...

Also, both Cy and I were wondering if Nar would get who Sebastian was before the big reveal, given that she was convinced there would be a Jack the Ripper episode.  She did not.  It probably won't be the last time we cackle maniacally behind her back, and it's certainly not the first, but hey.  This is what friends do while waiting for the big reveals.  <3

The Fall of Night:

Again, this episode has a spoiler warning on it, which makes sense as it is the final episode of the season.  Just keep that in mind if you haven't seen it yet.

"How does the finale compare? Hmmm...depends on what you're looking for. "Inquisitor" is primarily a character piece, virtually no EFX, but very intense. The story is kind of straightforward, with a few kickers along the way. "Twilight" is a heavy story episode, that zips all over the B5 landscape, between the Narns, the Centauri, and elsewhere (he said vaguely). The finale, "The Fall of Night," is actually kind of deceptive; it starts out fairly calmly and tightens fairly fast. The story is not as back-and-forth or layered as Twilight or Coming, it's really about one thing. Visually, it's the most ambitious thing we've done to date, and probably the most ambitious EFX stuff done for a TV series *ever*. I don't think you'll feel left wanting after the episode is done."

Hm, I think that does sum it up rather well.  I don't think it was a particularly good choice for a season ender, but still a good episode.  You can see why it needed to be last for the narrative, but Twilight Struggle would have been a stronger episode over all.

"Since "The Fall of Night" has now aired in the UK, and word is getting out, herewith a post I left on GEnie about Kosh's now-revealed identity. I thought it came out fairly well, so I'm repeating it here.


Okay. Here it is. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna reveal Kosh.

I'm not kidding. Bail now if you're looking in and don't want to know.

No backsies.

I mean it.

Last chance.

Okay, this is it.

"If he leaves his encounter suit, he will be recognized."
"By who?"

"The First Ones taught the younger races, explored beyond the rim, built civilizations...."

Kosh is what you're pointing at when you say "That's Kosh."

"Yes, the Vorlons have been to Earth, the Vorlons have been everywhere. The Vorlons *are*."

They *are*.

"For centuries, the Vorlons have helped the younger races, guiding us, and --" "And manipulating us?" "It is, as you say, a matter... of perspective."

They *are*...a matter of perspective.

Each race who sees them, sees something out of their own past, their own legends, religions, faiths. A being of light, if you will, but a Drazi sees the Drazi version of that, Droshalla; the Minbari see the Minbari version of that, Valeria; humans see a human version of that.

It is the mirror in which we see our beliefs reflected, but is it the progenitor of those beliefs...or an implanted image that overlays that vision on top of the true form of the Vorlon? Is it revelation, or is it manipulation?

The Vorlons are a cypher. The Vorlons are a matter of perspective. The Vorlons are guides...or users, emissaries or puppeteers, who wish to be seen a certain way, so that we will react properly.

Is this good, or is this bad?

And the truth is, even though you have seen a Vorlon, have you seen THE Vorlon, the one behind the image that dances somewhere between your optic nerve and your brain?

Or to quote a message I left long ago, paraphrased from memory, "The hand Sinclair sees is not the hand Sinclair sees, and the hand Sinclair sees is not the same hand someone else in the room sees, and is not even the hand that that person sees."

The Vorlons Are."

Well, there you have it, folks.  Vorlons Are.  And JMS is sneaky.  Are we really that surprised?  XD

"Kosh is weak. He allowed himself to be poisoned by a Minbari and attacked by Morden. He needed a Vicar to probe Talia and needed Sebastian to test Delenn. He rarely does anything directly, preferring to use others. I find Kosh slightly righteous.
Thanks. And finding Kosh slightly righteous is pretty much the desired intent. So you're clicking on all the right cylinders."

Aka, he just doesn't like doing his own dirty work.  Makes sense.  If I were an all powerful first one, I'd probably not do my own dirty work either.  I'd have people for that shit.  XD

"Would a Hindu, or a Buddhist, see Kosh differently?
Yes, there would be some amount of variation among humans, though not in terms of beliefs that may have come along post-Vorlon influence. This sort of thing has been implanted almost at a genetic level, and they do have a hand, or a mind, in activating it when seen. The more people who see them in different ways, the longer they must maintain that, the greater the strain on them."

Huh.  I wonder what Ivanova saw then.  :o

"The Vorlons aren't yet ready; they can't take on the shadows by themselves, and must bring together other forces.

And in each case, re: Kosh, what they saw was not the *head* of their belief, but in essence a supporting being of light; it wasn't G'Quon, but G'Lan that G'Kar saw, which was a being that story tells us served G'Quon. So you wouldn't see the head of the religion, since there can only be one of those, and lots of Vorlons, but each tends to have a supporting cast, for lack of a better term. Those are what we perceive the vorlons to be.

And remember, we didn't see any other human's POV of Kosh but Sheridan's."

Again, Mem really wants to know Ivanova's POV.  And possibly Garibaldi's.  Just because.

"Yes, those are pretty much the two interpretations... that the Vorlons *created* the myth of angels, or that they came in and *exploited* it for their own purposes. In my view, the latter seems more logical in some ways."

Which means the question is... how much do we trust the Vorlons?  XD

"I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks the use of an angelic (or seemingly angelic character), whose likes have been written about for, oh, about 4,000 years, is ripping off Star Trek, has his head so thoroughly up his ass as to have blipped into an entirely new intestinally-based reality and desperately needs to get a wider frame of reference."

Okay, I'm starting to see why he would get annoyed with Star Trek fans.  Why are they still hounding him on this?  I'd have lost my temper somewhere through the first season.  >.>

"What, I should begin catering to prurient interests? Broadcasting picture postcards (likely French) of Vorlons in provocative poses, in lingerie? A terrible thing, that a nice young man such as yourself should be asking about. Does your mother know you're out here doing this? Good heavens.

And who said they reproduce anymore?"

O_O  I'm not sure I want to see Vorlons in provocative poses, thanks.  Especially not in lingerie.  Though, I'm half tempted to find someone to photoshop a bikini on the encounter suit.  XD

"They [Centauri] believe in a variety of afterlives; the god you worship, of the centauri pantheon, holds dominion over a given "heaven" or afterworld. If you appease the god sufficiently during life, it will accept you into that afterworld, in preparation for the day when all heavens are united; if not, you will have to be reborn and choose another until one accepts you."

That actually sounds like an awesome religion.  Even if you piss one God off, you can always go for another one.  You can pick and choose your afterlife.  I want the one with plenty of chocolate, so does that mean I have to appease the chocolate Goddess?  XD

"About Zack trusting the Nightwatch
And bear in mind that it's never just a common sense "oh, these guys are lying to me from Nightwatch, they're the bad guys." It's always couched in such a way that it sounds like it *might* be a real concern. That was how McCarthy and others terrorized this country during the 1950s. There were plenty of people who really *believed* that the Reds had infiltrated every aspect of society, as well as those who might've had doubts, but figured that maybe where there's smoke there IS fire."

That's right.  Keep talking history to me.  You know how I like it.  <3

"There's also a certain amount of McCarthyism inherent in the Nightwatch, the emphasis on revealing spies in our midst, enemies of the people.

The problem with pointing to the Nazis or the Gestapo exclusively is that it allows us the safety of saying, "Well, it happened just there, and only once, *we* could never fall for that."


Oh, McCarthysim.  You are legit terrifying, you really are. 

"After the Centauri tried to kill him, the need for an apology was somewhat obviated. Had he still been forced to do so, the one he rehearsed was the one he intended to give."

And that's why we like Sheridan.  He may have to put up with that shit, but he's gonna do it his way. 

"The "peace in our time" reference
Yes, it was a definite nod to Chamberlain, and a bit of foreshadowing for ominous things to come."

You sneaky, sneaky history talker you.  You already know how much I adore you.

"Symbolism in Ivanova's candle-lighting
Moshe: an excellent analysis of the theme behind that scene, which as you state ties directly into the theme of the whole episode, and moreover, somewhat sets up the theme for the coming season...who will determine your identity, the rules you follow, who will lead you, and who you are...the question of, as you say, those who wish to accommodate and give in to pressures from within and from without.

Didn't want to be heavy-handed about it, so I figured those who got it, got it; those who didn't, would see a nice candle scene which sets the mood, even if they don't get the full thematic/symbolic aspects that others would get.

(not a Talmudic scholar, but I play one on TeeVee....)"

That's what I love about this show.  Not only do we get religious imagery, but we get non-Christian religious imagery too.  It's nice to cater to other people occasionally.

"The narrative [at the end] was a tonal setup for next season."

Never would have guessed. >.>

"Imagery in Season Two episode titles?
Yes; work it out as you have, but take it further...we start with a point of departure...then after some revelations, examine the geometry of shadows, then begin to more forward, a race through dark places. We come toward the long dark, our past a distant star. We carry the motif of a world getting dark. The coming of shadows that darkens into the long twilight struggle, the last period between day and night...and we end the season on...the fall of night."

Sneaky bastard.  I wish I could name things like that.  I am, sadly, not that awesome with names.

"Is Keffer dead?
He is an Ex-Keffer.

Does that mean he's dead?
Dead as the proverbial doorknob."


So there you are.  The end of season two.  It was a good season, but the next one is amazing and will blow your mind.  XD  In the mean time, have this conversation

btw, the song in my music of choice?  It will change your life.  Go look it up on youtube.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
Okay, this is a lot off-topic, but I'm listening to this while I'm reading this. It just makes me smile. I BELIEVE!!! <3

Also, THIS because it is sheer awesome.

Why are you and Garibaldi listless? :(

But if you do that, every single time, you become predictable. It means you, the audience, can relax.

He definitely has a good point on that. You can't let the audience/reader relax. Not completely. Even humorous scenes have to have some unresolved thing to them to keep the story going. THIS CAR DOES NOT PULL OVER FOR ANYTHING, KIDS. WE HAVE TO GO ALL THE WAY TO CALIFORNIA. NO STOPPING.

recall that a lot of my background is in horror writing


Oh, Boromir.

One does not simply WALK into Mordor. couldn't resist

If you bring people back too often, we stop believing it and it stops being effective.

**nods solemnly**

Does anyone else find it inexplicably sexy when he starts talking history?

Not especially on my part, but whatever floats your boat. XD (I tend to go all starry-eyed when people talk science or math, rather than humanities. Ooo, science, so mysterious and exotic.)

"Susan and Talia had been dancing around one another for months; that night, though, would've been the first time they got physically intimate."
That definitely answers that question.

*raises eyebrow* It certainly does.


Okay, strange person. Where the hell are you getting Sebastian to be like Q? That feels like the oddest matchup.

Yeah, I kinda raised my eyebrow at that, too. Very strange, if you think of playful-trickster-type Q with scary-ass Inquisitor. Although I guess if they were comparing it to the Q from his very first appearance (where he was all..."I'm going to judge ALL OF HUMANITY through you and destroy your entire race if you fail to prove yourself a worthwhile species from my vague and mysterious standards of what is 'good'" and being pretty legit frightening in a cold sort of way, then I might see the comparison).

So everything about Sebastian was the opposite of Morden...and each is the opposite of what they represent.

Didn't I comment on something like that when we were watching the episode? How the Inquisitor was like the Vorlon's Morden?

Also, both Cy and I were wondering if Nar would get who Sebastian was before the big reveal, given that she was convinced there would be a Jack the Ripper episode. She did not. It probably won't be the last time we cackle maniacally behind her back, and it's certainly not the first, but hey.


It is the mirror in which we see our beliefs reflected, but is it the progenitor of those beliefs...or an implanted image that overlays that vision on top of the true form of the Vorlon? Is it revelation, or is it manipulation?

You and your freaking mirrors, JMS.

And I think the answer to his questions is that a "True Self" is not something that can be recognized by the five senses, which can be easily tricked or deceived. The true form is formless; identity is not a thing that can be substantiated. Hence, TRUST NOTHING. ESPECIALLY JMS.

Also I think he's trying to pull a Plato's Cave situation on us in those answers. It wouldn't surprise me.

Also would just like to mention how much I loved/was terrified of Comes the Inquisitor. I was having Waiting for the Barbarians torture scene flashbacks during it.
Aug. 16th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Oh, my. Those are definitely interesting videos.

I... actually don't remember why I was at the time? I posted this a while ago, lol. I could tell you why Garibaldi is, but that's a spoiler. XD

One should never let the reader/watcher get too comfortable. Then you get the Tomb Raider movie where Stacy and I gave up on predicting the plot to predict the lines, it was that bad. And we were right 90% of the time too. But yeah, especially since tropes are so prevalent nowadays, you have to shake things up a little.

*points to super heroes on the whole bringing people back thing* That makes the point better than anyone could.

He's got a different focus than I do as far as history knowledge goes, which I enjoy. And he uses it so well. Especially when I was watching the second season of Sherlock the other day and was all like... Hey, I know what's going on before they reveal it because of B5 history lessons! Though I was mostly unimpressed with that episode over all...

He has to torture Ivanova. He follows my rules in that you have to torment your favorite character the most. And he's directly stated she's his favorite, which is why she gets all the good lines. XD

You did comment about the whole Sebastian/Morden thing. XD And you know you still love us, even when we plot behind your back. Someday, you will watch B5 with a newbie and you can have your revenge then. <3

Especially not JMS. Never trust JMS. XD

I always liked the Inquisitor episode too. It's very dark. <3

Aug. 16th, 2012 01:51 am (UTC)
He's got a different focus than I do as far as history knowledge goes, which I enjoy.

Could you explain what you mean by that? I'm curious.

Especially when I was watching the second season of Sherlock the other day and was all like... Hey, I know what's going on before they reveal it because of B5 history lessons! Though I was mostly unimpressed with that episode over all...

I have no idea which episode you're talking about...? Maybe I'd understand better once you explain what you mean by the methodology of history knowledge focusing...thing.
Aug. 16th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Well, as far as history goes, I've got a focus on the 17th Century and the Classical era. I've dabbled a bit elsewhere, but those are my two areas that I could actually teach and so forth. JMS on the other hand, knows a lot about the 20th Century along with other general knowledge.

In A Scandal in Belgravia, which was the first episode of season 2, Sherlock references the Coventry blitz, which Sheridan also mentions. I don't remember which episode it was, but I remember you commenting that you hadn't heard of it before then. XD

Edit: sorry for the edits. My spelling has not made sense.

Edited at 2012-08-16 02:41 am (UTC)
Aug. 16th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
Oohhh, you meant like he had a different concentration from you. See, I somehow took "focus" to mean he was looking at history differently somehow, like, interpreting it from a different camera angle or something. Like...somebody who interprets history holistically vs. someone who interprets it minisculely or something. Not sure why I thought that.

the Coventry blitz

I...still don't know what that is? Or when Sherlock mentions it in that episode?

I remember you commenting that you hadn't heard of it before then. XD

....When did that conversation happen? It's not ringing any bells for me. :S

Edit: sorry for the edits. My spelling has not made sense.

lol, I was wondering. It's all good.
Aug. 16th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
lol. Though that's possible too, for someone to interpret things differently. That's getting more into anthropology though, I think.

Coventry was a city that was destroyed during WWII. The myth is that Churchill's spies had cracked the German code and knew that it was going to be destroyed, but didn't say anything to keep the Germans in the dark about knowing the code. Sheridan mentions it as an example of some secrets having too high a cost. Sherlock mentions it as he realizes what Mycroft is doing, and he gets taken to the plane to see all the already dead people that would be 'killed' when it was supposed to be bombed.

And the conversation happened during the watchalong, just after Sheridan talked about it. <3 Sheesh, am I the only one with a memory around here?
Aug. 16th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
Ohhhhhh that Coventry.

Sheesh, am I the only one with a memory around here?


Nope, that wasn't a good pun. Try again next time.

Also, have this: http://youtu.be/oyjw0ZLyzpE

Just because I imagine it happening to the Master at some point. :P
Aug. 16th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)

It's not so much as a pun as a general statement, but it's kind of a hard one not to make. I didn't capitalize Memory, which a friend of mine has done before on accident. XD

That was an awesome video. And it definitely happened to the Master. I could see the Monk or Warchief tormenting him like that when he was little. <3
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )