7 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars” Spoiler Space”

  1. Apparently this episode did not put Steven off B5 entirely.
    I wonder if Season 5 will succeed in that regard where this episode failed.

    1. In the prior segment, holo-Garibaldi warned the non-fascist factions of the Earth Alliance that the fascist faction was planning to kill them all in a surprise attack. Earth was devastated in the subsequent World (and space) War IV. The older monk is a Ranger, sent undercover to Earth as part of this religious order (which may have originated on Earth, or may have been a Ranger front from the beginning) which is dedicated to rediscovering and restoring history and technology from before the war (which they call the Great Burn).

      Secret-Ranger is about to record his regular report when Younger Monk bursts in having his freakout. The Ranger’s office is wired with hidden cameras (each Roman numeral corresponds to a different camera, and just before the Younger Monk comes in, the Ranger asks the computer to “auto-track,” so the recording is editing itself based on how they move through the room).

      The Younger Monk is concerned about the truthfulness of the history they’ve uncovered regarding Babylon 5 and the founding of the alliance (apparently, the mainline religious authorities think JMS’s use of mythic conventions and tropes shows that it’s a thinly-veiled retelling of the Grand Historical Epic, and is thus implausible as real history). The Ranger tells him that he’s just going to have to decide if he thinks it’s possible that it could be true, and if so, if he’s willing to live in the hope that it is, in fact, so that there were these wonderful people, who had this great adventure, and created a community of the stars that is waiting to welcome back their wayward family on Earth.

      After their discussion, the Ranger does record his report, asks for some necessary materials to be dropped by (disguised to look like artifacts from before the war, and not contemporary objects that are hundreds of years beyond where Earth was when it was devastated), and doesn’t edit out the interruption by the Younger Monk because he thinks he’s a likely recruit and wants his superiors to get a sense for him.

  2. It’s just one of those episodes. Had everything gone as JMS planned this episode wouldn’t have ever happened. Even though I’m still a little bitter that the pacing for seasons four and five got severely messed up at least I can be happy about this episode. Yes, it’s a weird one, but in the end it has become one of my favourites. Not *the* favourite, but at least in top three, if not top two.

    In the beginning I always wonder why I liked it, but once it gets going I remember. I absolutely love the monk segment, and plus one million years is one of my favourite scenes of the entire series. The message is positive: even after devastating conflict there’s still hope for humanity.

    The ends of season four and five have quite a different tone. Season four has more of a happy ending, but after season five there’s a big mess. I can see how some people might prefer watching Sleeping in Light after Rising Star. It leaves many main characters in a much better place.

  3. I think I have a soft spot for this since TNT got moved into my cable package right around this time. I knew how close I came to not seeing season 5 for years and years since there is no way I could have afforded what a season’s recording cost in those days. Knowing that JMS went to significant effort to make sure the show didn’t end on a cliffhanger for any fan gives me warm fuzzy feelings.

  4. The bit where you talked about the structural technique of “here’s our hero in dire straits, now see how they got there” put me immediately in mind of John Wick. It’s one of the better uses of that technique I’ve seen recently, anyway.

    I was following along while B5 aired, as mentioned before. This episode has always felt like the best we were going to get given the circumstances. As you noted, there wasn’t a way to lay groundwork for an actual standalone story within the timeline proper. So what else could JMS have really done except some kind of meta-commentary? I found this one hit-or-miss and generally forgettable, minus the delightful (if wholly ridiculous) Garibaldi’s Ghost In The Machine riff. Jerry Doyle had the most fun of anybody in front of the camera on this ep.

    Tracy Scoggins: Cat Grant in the old Lois & Clark show, and a brief stint as one of the parade of possible spin-off characters when Highlander was showing its age and the producers wanted a new way forward. (They wisely chose not to try to center a new show on the character of Cassandra. Whether trying to center a show on the character of Amanda was wise is… a discussion for another time & venue. Sigh.) So those parts are what I knew her from going into B5S5 & Crusade, and I think she did great in the B5 universe. So there.

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