6 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “The Face of the Enemy” Spoiler Space”

  1. Have they ever said where season 4 would have ended if they had been guaranteed a 5th season? I’ve always thought this would have been a good season finale if they hadn’t had to squish season 4.

    1. JMS has said that Intersections in Real Time was the originally intended season finale. For once PTEN’s weird policy of postponing last few episodes of the season worked, because there was a long break after Intersections, unlike after actual season finales.

      1. Quite a cliffhanger that was. This also shows that there were 4 episodes worth of shows that would have spread out season 4 a little more.

  2. One thing from the podcast – the Crusade ep “The Path of Sorrows” featured Matheson remembering a telepath who sacrificed herself to blow up a PsiCops base on Mars. But it wasn’t Lyta. I think it was going to be but she wasn’t available?

    1. I believe The Path of Sorrows was supposed to have Lyta instead of some random telepath, but scheduling conflict happened. This earlier draft supposedly also had the quick Lennier shoutout, so it was probably going to be the incident that killed both Lyta and Lennier. Unfortunately JMS still hasn’t gotten around finishing Crusade script books, so we haven’t heard his version of the story, there were going to be four volumes of What The Hell Happened but only one has ever appeared.

      Another thing that could have been mentioned when the Garibaldi/Bester feud was discussed is that Garibaldi’s story continues in one of the short stories, The Nautilus Coil, which is a great companion to the Psi Corps trilogy by the same writer, and in my opinion the most interesting one of the short stories. In it Garibaldi helps Lyta to travel to Vorlon space, and in return Lyta finally removes the Asimov block that Bester left. Later Garibaldi and Bester finish their feud in the last book of the Psi Corps trilogy, which makes Bester seem almost humane.

  3. Having listened to the podcast:-

    I was interested by our hosts’ discussion of who comes out (morally) worse from this, Edgars or Bester. One thing about this is that, arguably, what matters is that Edgars and Bester basically agree. They both think that peaceful coexistence and co-operation between telepaths and normals is impossible, and that one of the two has to dominate the other as a ruling class.

    This puts them on the other side from Sheridan and co., thematically, because the defining achievement of our heroes is the building of the Interstellar Alliance.

    And on the same side as Clark, thematically: human fear, suspicion, and hatred of aliens tends to fade as a theme after S1 (although well-represented in this season in The Illusion of Truth). But Clark still makes him the Edgars/Bester of that version of the same basic ideological conflict.

    Except that it’s left carefully ambiguous whether Clark really hates aliens, or if it’s just a pose adopted to secure power and dispose of the one person whom we actually know he hates, Santiago. His willingness to co-operate with the Shadows suggests that he may be insincere, but JMS makes sure that we never get decisive information one way or the other. While B&E definitely are sincerely committed to their sides, and, if you were to accept their horrific premise, would actually be heroic figures.

    Which is why it matters that their premise is shown not to be correct. There is going to be a Telepath War, but it’s *not* the Telepath War that Bester and Edgars assume. It’s a war within the telepath community, between Psi Corps and the telepath resistance, and it’s followed by a new settlement and co-operation between normals and telepaths, not the “inevitable” future of one side dominating the other.

    And in all this, Babylon 5 is having its dialogue with Star Trek. Star Trek presents a harmonious future of co-operation between different groups – but doesn’t actually have that much interest in how that was achieved.* In fact, Star Trek often doesn’t suggest that it had to be *achieved* at all, but rather was a “natural” product of humanity having “evolved” (with evolution apparently being conceived as a teleological process). Babylon 5 is equally committed to the same ideal, but critiques Star Trek as making it seem, on the one hand, too easy, and, on the other hand, something that can only be achieved by the perfect evolved humans of the future, not imperfect humans of today like we have the bad luck to be.

    God knows that I can be very critical of how JMS tries to square this belief in the value of co-operation with his other impulses towards how he wants to depict politics and his Great Man hero. But, for me, his heart is at least close to the right place in what he thinks makes his Great Man so Great.

    *Before someone points it out, obviously Star Trek doesn’t always make it that simple. There’s a lot of Star Trek! And, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a colossal DS9 fan, in some ways more of a DS9 fan than I am a B5 fan.

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