19 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “Confessions and Lamentations” Spoiler Space”

  1. There’s a theory (a fan one I presume, I’m not sure it ever appears on B5 or Crusade) that the Markabs were wiped out by a customised variant of the Drakh Plague. I don’t know if that is likely (after all, I’m not sure we ever saw the symptoms of the Plague) but I guess it could be that the isolated Markabs on Sin Island were a test group and once tests were over the disease was mothballed, and now rolled out to see if it retained its 100% fatality rate. Thoughts?

    1. Well, that really sounds reasonable. I mean, we talk about an disease, that happened 1000 years ago (in the time of the Shadow-Minbari-war) and then never came back. It’s a disease targeted at a specific racial difference to most of the other aliens (but if you’re lucky, you kill the pak’ma’rah too) and that is 100% fatal. If it would been a natural disease, it would have occured not only 1000 years ago and in the last 10-15 years, when the shadows have awoken again, but if would have killed the population already, because it’s airborne = also the scientists, who would look after Sin Island would have gotten it and it would have been able to jump from one island to another.

      And there is even a good reason, if done so, why the shadows killed the Markab in this way and not with their ships: because of the Markabs believe, what a body is sacred and it’s a deadly sin to thread illness (the stupiest believe I ever heard from an alien species going to the stars, btw), they would have never discovered, what’s the reason for the illness it, because they themselves don’t even know anything about their body. They didn’t know, that the virus infected the neuro transmitters, perhabs they even didn’t know, what that is. Yes, they have doctors, but they only thread the symptoms of a disease, not the cause. All the other races would have researched for the cause of the illness after the first people have died and when even we in the stupid 21th century are able to invent a vaccine for Ebola in month (and even for AIDS they are testing vaccines), when enough effort is put into, it would have been easy for the Drazi, Human oder Minbari to figure out, what causes the illness and how to kill it.

      1. I’ve heard this theory before too. It’s not without some merit, particularly since the Markab (I believe) were the only other race on B5 at the start of S2 who listened to G’Kar and seemed to know or suspect something about the Shadows and, like the Narn, the Shadows had to find a way to silence them. However, unfortunately, as far as what was presented on screen or from other sources, it’s not made entirely clear if the Shadows were involved or if it was just that Drafa managed to reappear after all these years. Seems sort of highly coincidental that Drafa somehow re-emerges after all of these years, right when the Shadows are re-appearing. Also, Drafa obviously didn’t wipe out all the Markabs before, so why now?

    2. There was discussion of whether it was related to the Drakh Plague in rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated in “Drakh Plague in S2 episode?” thread and others. I don’t think JMS wrote in on the subject.

  2. This is another one where I think that there might be some virtues to the broadcast order as against the Lurker’s Guide order.

    CaL is an absolutely critical episode for the Sheridan-Delenn relationship, and to have Knives between this and In the Shadow of Z’Ha”Dum gives a little emotional breathing space between this episode and the revelation scene in ItSoZ.

  3. This episode.

    In the quarantine zone where Delen and the Markab child. When the child runs back to Mama and then stumbles.

    the Dolly Zoom on Delen’s face and I chokep and cry. Every. Time.
    20 years ago, I remember this scene, and now (having kids) it is even WORSE!

    Excellent story telling. Rewarding the audience for paying attention, but stabbing you at the same time.

  4. Just a thought about Lennier here. Was his unhappiness with Sheridan at the dinner the seed that grew into his future attempt to kill him?

    Also, in the scene at the end, Sheridan says they “dodged the bullet this time” – what about the dead Markab race? They didn’t dodge anything.

    1. Lenniers turning, I think, was supposed to be born not out of any one moment, an anomaly. It’s over-simple and contrived enough we could take any of the animosity…wait, wait, I’m taking this much too seriously. That was a funny scene and one of Mumy’s classic comic moments.

      The extinction of the Markabs seemed tacked on. As a shock tactic. I think it gives the weight its after but were we to take it away it certainly wouldn’t disempower the story. Maybe this would work better saved for a well made scene in season 3.

  5. In this one, the B5ers touch on the theme that faith manages, but also destroys. It looks at what taboos cost us. By extension, the individual drive to manage public perception is at odds with the ability to perform positive action. (Drafa family #1)
    We get Garibaldi’s claim quarantine procedure will infringe on civil liberties and so a look at a closed borders type state from a practical conservative p.o.v. The Ambassador gives us the other side of it…’disgracing good and decent people’…’ poked prodded accused’ tho the Ambassador is a massive knob. The episode examines effectively moral panic, hysteria, how we are defined through compassion. When the door opens in denouement, CoL suggests, for survival, people have to be collaborative partners or lead responsible individuals in finding their/our own cures.

    I expect this will come up in the podcast but some of those medical extras are clearly the dockers guild in scrubs. This would explain why Stephen destroyed his own lab.

    1. That’s a good point about this episode offering a negative take on faith (a point also raised by our hosts on the podcast).

      It’s the first of at least three such negative comments about religion that cluster at the end of S2 – there’s this, Sebastian the murderous religious fanatic in Comes the Inquisitor, and the false “true” form of the Vorlons in The Fall of Night.

      1. I rather agree with our hosts that the handling of religion is complex, rather than simply negative, in this episode. As they rightly point out, it is no coincidence that the two who risked their own lives to minister to the sick and dying were Religious Caste. For all the talk about compassion, it is the two most overtly religious characters who had the courage to “put their money where their mouth is.” I am reminded of the way that the Christians of the 3rd Century reacted to the Cyprian Plague. When others ran for the hills, Christians placed themselves in harm’s way to care for the sick and dying, Christian and pagan, Roman and foreign, motivated by Jesus’ teachings about love for one’s neighbor. If I had written the episode, I would have liked to see Delenn and Lenier joined by examples of the faithful from other species (had this been a later season, I’m confident that Brother Theo would have been in there as well), to show that this is not just a Minbari thing. Although, now that I think about it, that would have diluted the character moment for Delenn and the development of the Delenn-Sheridan relationship. So it’s probably good that I didn’t write the episode.

        1. Oh, I don’t disagree with our hosts (or with our friend from Belfast) that the episode combines both positive and negative takes on religion. I was just drawing out that the negative ones complement other negative ones at this end of S2.

  6. On the “Neon Light!” aspect of how this less than subtly hammers it in that Sheridan and Delenn are headed for a Relationship…

    I think that’s necessary, because the viewer has to believe in it only three episodes later in Comes the Inquisitor. It’s something that’s arguably a result of inserting Sheridan into Sinclair’s role: the relationship with Delenn has to be a little accelerated.

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