4 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father” Spoiler Space”

  1. One of my favorite episodes, not just in S5, but in the whole series. Here JMS does what he *didn’t* do in A View from the Gallery: he really does recenter the story.

    Of course, Bester is a major established character, and in that sense it’s an easier thing for JMS to do. But to make Bester the center of his own story in his very last appearance in B5, and to hold back from the viewer any satisfying comeuppance for Bester, leaving it merely something implied by Garibaldi’s happy situation in Sleeping in Light — that’s a genuinely surprising move on JMS’s part.

    Plus, it is, at least for me, a really effective manipulation of standard structures. It’s set up to give the viewer the happy, upbeat moment at exactly the point and in exactly the form where one expects it — the naive recruit takes her first step towards becoming a competent, mature professional as a result of her experiences, and Bester’s wise mentorship, throughout the episode.

    Except that this particular story’s version of that is that she murders someone. It’s one of the best episode conclusions in all of Babylon 5.

  2. Having listened to the podcast:-

    I don’t think that this is meant to set up for anything in Crusade in the manner that our hosts felt it was. For one thing, there’s not that much new concrete information about the Psi Corps that this gives us. (As distinct from showing us things that we already know from the Psi Corps point of view, which TCIMTCIF does in spades).

    Instead, I think those features are actually doing the thing that Sami-Pekka Haavisto notes in the non-spoiler thread. JMS really commits to writing this as if it’s an episode of Bester’s own show. Obviously, if it really were, it would be a rather bland procedural, which is to say not a very good show. But since it’s not actually its own show, it’s a wonderful exercise in irony from start to finish.

  3. Mention of the Keys Psi Corps trilogy reminds me that there is a big time gap between books 2 and 3. Now after the podcast I wonder if JMS told Keyes not to write that bit, because he wanted to make another show out of it? Or maybe a telemovie? Are there any hints in the various JMS scripts and notes that have appeared over the years?

  4. I still remember the shock of when they spaced the ‘mundane’. It was almost an initiation rite. Her’first’! As in ‘it’s the norm’? Says everything about the faction Bester is leaving.

    Interesting that Bester isn’t leading Psi Corps. He’s middle management. High enough to have clout. Low enough to keep a low profile and organise his own faction waiting for the day he can take over the world. A mundane free world. They really are the SS

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