6 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?” Spoiler Space”

  1. Last episode introduced my favorite new S4 character, Cartagia. This episode introduces my least favorite: Lorien, The Deus Ex Machina That Walks Like A Smug, Insufferable Spouter Of Pseudo-Profound Garbage. The big upside of Into the Fire being so rushed is that it gets this character off the screen all the more quickly.

    But there’s some stuff in this episode that’s really effective, at least for me. I take Cassandra’s point about Delenn, but, leaving that aside, this is a really moving portrayal (as written, but even more as acted by Furlan) of a person broken by bereavement and blaming herself. I’d hate to have lost this, although it might have been better if Delenn had come out it with the dial turned several more notches away from “adoring girlfriend” and towards “fiery leader.”

    And the recording of Sheridan is one of Boxleitner’s best performances, utterly convincing as a person in early middle-age who thought he was too old to feel like a teenager about another person. I wish we’d heard more on the show about his feelings about Minbari as a result of the war – it’s one of the aspects of the show that the replacement of Sinclair by Sheridan most damages.

    But the best thing about the episode for me is that *other* scene of Katsulas and Jurasik acting the hell out of a conversation in a confined space. One can spend ages unpacking what’s going on in the exchange in which G’Kar asks Londo if the prospect of his torture pleases Londo, and Londo replies that it doesn’t.

    Note that, for the first time since The Coming of Shadows, the moral balance is in favor of Londo: Katsulas plays the question as angry and resentful, not a real question so much as a gesture of defiance. As before, G’Kar’s moral progress is carefully calibrated: he hasn’t given up his hatred and doesn’t conceive that Londo can be anything other than the monster that he is in G’Kar’s mind.

    Meanwhile, Jurasik plays the answer as coming as much as a surprise to Londo as it does to G’Kar. This is the best Londo – the Londo that could have been, but which he has twice disastrously suppressed – the one that instinctively reacted with horror at the deaths of his Narn enemies in Chrysalis and The Long, Twilight Struggle. Now, finally, he doesn’t suppress that moral impulse when confronted with the suffering of a single Narn who (important not to forget this) has made it absolutely clear that he would love to kill Londo. It only works, I think, because Londo himself is as surprised as anyone that this other Londo is still in there.

    This, even though G’Kar is at his most heroic overall in this scene, saving his entire people. There’s something important buried in this about the problems with the zero-sum vision of Narn and Centauri locked in endless conflict in which any gain for one must be at the expense of the other. The tragedy will be, of course, that G’Kar will be unable to persuade his people to follow him in rejecting that vision.

  2. Lorien did act as a smug Deus Ex Machina for 4.5 episodes: he brought Sheridan back, and he was instrumental in Into the Fire. He also got under Garibaldi’s skin though and that can’t be all bad. Of course Garibaldi was already Bester’s tool but at that point even if he didn’t know it.

    Delenn does get her fiery leader persona back in parts during this season (just look at Acts of Sacrifice) but she has just lost (or thought she lost) the love of her life so I think we can cut her some slack at this stage.

    I’ll agree, Londo does partially redeem himself here, and as ar the future of the Centauri and Narn, I am not entirely sure. I seem to recall that neither of these races ever achieve a status akin to First Ones, but the Narn do start to revere G’Kar (or rather his book) in season 5 and I wonder how much insight they actually take from that in the end.

  3. Good point in the episode about the condensed storytelling. There is quite a lot about this season that could have been much better if there had been time to let it develop at a slower pace. The relationship (if we can even call it that, there is so little of it) between G’Kar and Marcus is a perfect example. I’m thinking about the “Marcus & Franklin Road to Mars Buddy Show” next season as a contrast. Multiple episodes were dedicated to the two characters traveling together, letting the friendship build. In this episode, though, Marcus just shows up and then just leaves, and that’s… about it. A possible “Marcus & G’Kar And The Search For Mr Garibaldi” arc could have been fun. Oh well. It is what it is. When the suits are bringing the hammer down on the show, whattayagonnado?

  4. The avalanche/ pebbles thing is probably a bad example of Vorlon elusiveness. If you don’t get it, the crap hit’s the fan and it’s too late for powerless little things who didn’t do anything about it to do anything about it. Say this for Vorlons: they’re concise, though whether they’d do well on Twitter is another thing. I was won over by what was said about Lorien’s poetic qualities. I do like the character though it’s hard with the pretentious poncing. A Marcus/Lorien buddy scene might have been a guilty pleasure.

Leave a Reply to Charles Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *