6 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “Epiphanies””

  1. Clark’s sanctions look lighter and later than ever in the shadow of Trumpocalypse.

    I love the direction after Bester has made his pitch, his view is so much closer to everyone, eyes outside their heads, we’ve seen this before but it seemed so much more real and raw this time.

  2. The three “kings” were a visual pun but it wasn’t the second coming. The arrival of the three kings is known as Epiphany. The pun was the title of the episode.

      1. Theology fail. The three kings does not refer to the Trinity.

        In some versions of the cycle of the church calendar, we are actually in the season of Epiphany right now. Part of the confusion that our hosts displayed about the title stems from our popular use of the word “epiphany” to mean an internally-generated realization. The word literally means “revealing” or “appearing,” and it refers to moments when the Lord pulls back the corner of the curtain and gives us a glimpse of the bigger reality behind it. Preachers who follow the church calendar will commonly give lessons on moments when Jesus’ divinity is revealed, including the visit of the Magi (the Three Kings), Jesus’ baptism (the Spirit descends and a voice from heaven announces that Jesus is the Son of God), and Jesus’ early miracles (e.g., the marriage at Cana). An epiphany is given by God, not attained by human cognition.

        So go back through the events of the episode, and instead of internally-generated realizations, think about how many times JMS gives us a peak that there is a bunch of important stuff going on behind the curtain (Garibaldi, Psi Corps, Lyta, the Shadow’s allies, etc). There are epiphanies all over the place.

  3. Skip’s brief history of PTEN (and yes, the “P-10” psi rating was an in-joke) baaarely scratches the surface of the problematic history of that wanna-be-network. There was a lot of foreign money pumped into all of the shows by broadcasters outside the U.S. who wanted to lock in the rights to B5, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Time Trax (which was actually produced outside the U.S.), etc., each of them winding up with a chunk of the rights… and that (compounded by the hi-def ceiling that every show has slammed into because their entire post-production process was limited to standard-def video resolution) is a big part of why we’ve seldom heard of any of them since their original broadcast runs: you can’t reprint the DVDs, re-syndicate them, or do anything with them without all of the parties invested OK’ing it. This is why we’ll never see B5 upgraded to HD a la Star Trek and ST:TNG.

    Just Stateside, setting all the foreign rightsholders aside, PTEN was a joint venture between Warners and Chris-Craft Television, which used to be a major station group in the U.S., but Chris-Craft was honked off by Warners’ merger talks with AOL, and tried very hard to torpedo the deal, and then exercise their contractual options to pull out of PTEN, which was really where the network collapsed. The shows weren’t actually failing: it was purely a business deal. Chris-Craft then got in bed with Paramount/Viacom and become a full partner in a little thing called UPN. So you have Chris-Craft to thank for both the good (they went into production and got made) and the bad (collapsing PTEN and compressing B5’s arc, delivering endless and mostly useless “notes” on UPN fare) on both Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Voyager.

    (I worked at a station that aired both UPN *and* PTEN, from the beginning of both; also a ton of the Chris-Craft info is covered in depth in the book “Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of The WB and UPN” by Cynthia Littleton and Susanne Daniels. Chris-Craft’s TV arm is no more, BTW.)

  4. I’ve always had one disappointment when it comes to Bester. The last time we saw him, he declared that “your war is now my war.” That was a big deal, and we never got to see him again until the entire war was over!

    I’ve wondered if JMS planned to have Bester more involved for part of the Shadow War, and that didn’t happen because of either story compression or the vagaries of actor availability… or if it was always planned this way. Because the “your war is my war” statement led nowhere.

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