Earhart’s: “Acts of Sacrifice” Spoiler Space

Your humble podcast hosts decided as they recorded the episode that this wasn’t so much a setup episode as a payoff episode, so not a lot of spoilery stuff this time around. Were we right? Talk about “Acts of Sacrifice” in the context of future episodes here!

3 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “Acts of Sacrifice” Spoiler Space”

  1. A couple of points on the G’Kar-Londo thread. This touches on a sensitive political issue, but I’m going to try to consider it strictly as a historical question of how it might have come across at the original time of broadcast.

    The issue of Centauri responsibility for the civilian casualties with which the episode opens, and especially Londo’s claim that the Narns had been using civilians to shield military assets was fairly topical at the time, as questions surrounding “human shields” had been a major point of controversy during the Gulf War.

    One might note that JMS has chosen to cast the Centauri in the role of the US and its allies. This is the second time that B5 has done this: the scene with Londo’s nephew in Midnight on the Firing Line recalls (although this may be more a matter of direction) the appearances of the captured American pilots on television.

    Part of the point of this may be to allow for the original (American) audience to be unsure as to whether Londo’s claim that the Narns were human shields is mere propaganda or not, since it is a claim which a significant number (to leave it vague) of viewers might feel inclined to take seriously.

    One interesting thing about the podcast (of many) is that even in the non-spoiler section, the discussion can be (or appear to be, at least) informed by what happens later at the same time as it avoids strictly factual spoilers. (This is Not a Criticism.)

    I think that your comments on Londo and G’Kar in this episode were maybe a case in point: I think that Londo’s not quite as liable to lack the sympathy of the viewer, and (to a lesser extent) G’Kar is not as clearly a changed person – if one confines oneself to what the viewer knows as of Acts of Sacrifice. Right now, we don’t know that the Centauri are going to win the war and occupy Narn, and the ending of AoS significantly raises the idea that Londo can be generous and merciful in victory. (This is all so that such hopes can be utterly dashed in The Long Twilight Struggle, of course, but right now, they’re a real possibility for how the story might develop.)

    Delenn makes an important point in her conversation with G’Kar: he and the Narns have their own history of relevant words and actions – he himself has always aimed at the extermination of the Centauri.

    It’s a fair point to which G’Kar has no answer: his offer to beg is on the one hand moving, and on the other hand, beside the point. It’s not about humiliation: it’s about responsibility, and we haven’t seen G’Kar take responsibility for his and the Narns’ share of culpability in the war.

    1. I too had the thought listening to this episode (and one or two previous ones).. that the topic of discussion in and of itself was hinting of what was to come. I would be interested in Steven’s point of view here – maybe put it to him generically? “Have you sensed any line of questioning we’ve been asking in spoiler-free space are ‘leading questions’?” or something 🙂

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