Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “Moments of Transition”

An awful lot of territory was covered in this episode: the end of the Minbari Civil War, the escalation of the conflict with Earth, and Bester’s machinations with Lyta and (apparently) Michael. Too much? Or was this a rollercoaster ride that wasted no time? Pleasedon’tspoilthanks.

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

  1. Before getting into the episode, I’ll just mention the Bruce Boxleitner panel at the Regina Expo last weekend. I was fortunate (and early) enough to get a front row seat, and tucked my autographed WolfCop 2 poster safely under my chair (My fellow canucks, support Saskatchewan cinema! Watch “Another WolfCop” coming to Cineplex theatres Christmas 2017! The crew was clearly having way too much fun making this film).

    Bruce’s general attitude was reminiscent of his Season Two character. Apparently, “smiley golden retriever” is his default personality. He alternated between self-deprecatory humour, respect for the blessings that he has experiences in his career, and grumpy old man complaining about kids these days (his explanation for why so roles in American productions are going to British and Australian actors is that too few Americans take the time to get properly trained before trying to launch their careers). He spent most of the time fielding questions from the audience, many of which involved his time on B5. I restrained myself. One person asked Bruce what his favourite B5 line of dialogue was, and I really wanted to shout out “Zooty! Zoot zoot!” But I didn’t. I was good. Bruce said his favourite line was “Get the hell out of our galaxy!” and talked about how much he respected JMS’s decision to resolve the Shadow War with a conflict of ideas rather than a massive shoot-em-up.

  2. Okay, now that I’ve listened to the episode about (Lyta) Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Day:

    The tripartite division of Minbari society may look simplistic, but it has historical precedent. Medieval Christendom was also divided between the three estates: the “Oratores” (those who pray), the “Bellatores” (those who fight), and the “Laboratores” (those who work). This was an arrangement that worked for centuries, and encompassed plenty of diversity.

    If there had been room, I would have liked to see a bit of exploration of the downsides to Delenn’s worker-dominated Gray Council. Having political decisions made on the basis of economic advantage can cause just as many problems as politics dominated by ideology or military supremacy. Personally I prefer the earlier emphasis on balance.

    Re Scott Adams: Oh boo hoo, a cartoonist doesn’t agree with your politics. How do you cope with watching Garibaldi scenes, knowing that Jerry Doyle went on to be a right/libertarian talk show host and Republican congressional candidate?

    1. Thanks for the report on Boxleitner’s appearance, Prof. And tracing the castes back to Medievalist Christian, which I imagine may be the prime spot where JMS borrowed them from?

      On Scott Adams / Jerry Doyle: I wouldn’t have said it myself but that’s entirely fair. I can’t help but be suspicious when MRA folk are mass accused of misogyny. I grew up to associate misogyny with physical violence rather than opinion on internet. His remarks don’t seem well thought out. A fool/loon symptom of men on masculinity in a time of Western psuedo-feminism, not humanitarianism. For the record, Dilbert wasn’t particularly funny anyway. It mined capitalism’s most doldrum excesses and exploited them for content-less cash.

      1. If I remember correctly, JMS has said that he thought up the tripartite Minbari society on his own, and was gobsmacked when a fan informed him that he had totally copied the three estates.

  3. This episode confirms that Babylon is not about Great Man history, it’s about Great Women 🙂 Delenn has been the most important person in the galaxy for well over a decade.

    Delenn started the Earth Minbari war ten years before the show began. OK, maybe not her best decision.

    Delenn was one of the Grey Council members when Sinclair was brought aboard their ship at the Battle of the Line, so she must have been one of the three who persuaded the Minbari to surrender, stopping the destruction of Earth.

    In season 1 Delenn became Ambassador to B5 and underwent the chrysalis transformation to fullfill “prophecy”.

    In season 2 Delenn, with Kosh, decides to withhold knowledge that the Shadows have returned, even though this means the conquest of the Narn by the Centauri.

    In season 3 Delenn broke the Grey Council, upsetting a thousand years of stable government for an entire species.

    Then Delenn saved the newly independent B5 from conquest by Earth.

    So far in season 4 she and Sheridan persuaded the Shadows and Vorlons to leave the galaxy.

    Then Delenn, alone, made what Star Trek would call “first contact” with the Drakh. She decided that they should be destroyed rather than, say, welcomed into the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. (Other members of the League have fought each other.)

    And now we’ve seen Delenn rebuild the Grey Council, although with a new balance of representation.

    And yet I still occasionally hear or read comments that B5 is all about what Sinclair and now Sheridan do…

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