6 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-Free Discussion of “Endgame””

  1. My suggestion for Clark trying to destroy Earth and killing himself is that by this time he’s under the control of a Shadow Keeper.

    Both Shadows and now the Drakh are the kind of people who destroy as much as possible when they lose. (Scout ship in Shadow Dancing, Drakh leaving Za’Ha’Dum.) I can imagine a Keeper being programmed to do as much damage as possible if Clark looks like losing.

    This would explain that weird note Clark left. Shades of grey again, this is Clark trying to warn others what he’s been forced to do. It’s the same kind of indirect messaging that Captain Jack tried to warn Franklin and Marcus with.

    1. While that idea is certainly plausible, I think it undercuts the entire message of the Earth Civil War arc, which is idealistic democracy versus authoritarianism. More importantly, the authoritarian side is supported by people who are very much like “us”, but who either believe in a different interpretation of the same principles or are committed to that side out of necessity or circumstance. Only a very few people can be considered outright “evil”, and those are basically the most authoritarian of all.

      Clark gained his office because he sought power and wanted to enforce his authoritarian principles. He recruited like-minded people, slowly, and that was how he managed to take control of EarthGov.

      If all of that was being controlled by a Keeper, then it makes the entire principle of the conflict pointless. Counterintuitively, it’s because it weakens the Clark faction’s motivations and principles. Many of those people were fighting for what they believed in (the office of the president, rule of law, or whatever), and if it suddenly turns out that they were being manipulated by aliens, then it’s no longer a fight about principles. It’s not even really a civil war.

      There are plenty of historical and literary examples of leaders committing suicide when confronted with the loss of everything they fought for. I don’t think Clark’s suicide indicated madness, exactly. It indicated such a binary mode of thinking that if he lost, he couldn’t let the other side gain anything from it. The closest well-known example I can think of (that doesn’t have obvious historical baggage) is Jean Valjean.

      It would be interesting to delve into the psychology of Clark, to figure out what drove him to seek power and to drum up so much hatred (was it out of actual hatred of aliens, or was it just a convenient tool). But that’s effectively impossible given what B5 has shown us, since JMS consciously kept Clark off camera as much as possible, focusing on his impact on the people around him.

      Because that’s what the civil war story was about: the people fighting the conflict, and their beliefs.

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