Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “Wheel of Fire”

We’re so close to the end. Fortunately, Garibaldi seems to have gotten some help just before the finale. Unfortunately, G’Kar seems to have gotten a few followers too many, and Lyta’s Had Enough. What did you think of this one?

5 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “Wheel of Fire””

  1. 1. The G’Kar/Lochley open didn’t land its comedy with me; it landed a bit cruel? It’s interesting that we have the writer-as-mobbed superstar today: Gaiman, Harmon, Rowling are fair contemporary parallels but it wasn’t something I was aware of in the 90s, outside of ‘cons. Writers were too boring to stalk! Only the musician-as-writer got that sort of treatment. Writing is such a solitary action, essentially, so of course its an affront to G’Kar to find Beatlemania camped on his door. Lochley’s kind gesture is totally Britta’d but it does bait-and-switch for her compassionate handling of Garibaldi later.

    2. The Lyta Showdown: Chip, I’ve had that same mis-memory. I think this is because the scene hints at repeating the same steps as 4×04, where Garibaldi and Sheridan tried to kick out Kosh II. We know Lyta can mop the floor with Zack, that Lochley needs that ace (and surely knows this from the outset). There’s enough familial factors common to both scenes to provide the conditions for expecting more/different here, which is annoying because this scene is pretty great.

    3. #SheridanWatch: Prez has overlooked serious issues with Lyta, Garibaldi, and others beside. The conflict between work and personal is a good discussion topic. We’ve seen it before. Focusing on the Alliance led to problems right away with Lochley.

    4. Lochley, yes! Scoggins on B5 has always been most interesting playing opposite Doyle and evoking the Zoe-lie, the edgy low class figure that subverts her prom queen looks Laura Palmer type, and those two notes combine brilliantly this episode. Lochley is the only person who will stand up to Garibaldi. They’re equally pigheaded and meddling, and their scenes are rewarding lessons.

    5. Garibaldi: In retrospect, he’s a lot of character story arc here and from some angles, it’s much too much. I would caution a writer against such cramming. In the episode, it feels perfect. JMS, Doyle and Scoggins come up with the goods.

  2. My Babylon 5 DVDs date back to a time when Warner, for some reason, shipped almost everything in Australia (PAL) with English and French soundtracks. Which for someone now learning French is very useful, I’m watching the English and then again in French.

    Sadly, though, sometimes the translators completely miss what’s going on. In this episode there’s the build up with Sheridan saying that if someone else starts acting weird, he’ll shoot himself. Followed by Delenn striding in, shouting “Bastards!”

    Which the French translator replaced with (translated back to English) “How dare they!”

    Overall, though, I’ve been impressed with the French translation. Much better than that for Buffy, probably due to the lack of made up teenage slang.

    Has anyone been watching B5 in other languages?

  3. Rewatching this episode, it’s a busy one for Captain Lochley: she’s involved in the G’Kar, Garibaldi, and Lyta plots. (Although, as Andy points out, she’s being a bit mean to G’Kar. Still, there wasn’t anything dangerous about the crowd, and it would have looked worse if B5 security had tried to disperse them.)

    Which leads me to offer a head canon explanation for why Captain Lochley doesn’t get much screen time this season:

    Because she is awesome at her job.

    Alien fleet attacks B5? Colony of outlaw telepaths? Mystical apparitions? Garibaldi having personal problems? Lochley has handled them all competently, rarely making any bad calls and, in contrast to previous captains, being willing to delegate critical tasks when it makes sense for someone else to do them.

    And that’s why season 5 can focus so much on the Interstellar Alliance, the Earth telepath crisis, and now the Centauri. The station is still overrun with weird aliens and gangsters and strikes and espionage and diplomatic double crossing … but Lochley, Zack, Corwin, Dr Hobbs have every thing under control.

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