4 thoughts on “Earhart’s: “And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder” Spoiler Space”

  1. It’s a good episode, but I always had a big problem suspending disbelief about one aspect. It’s not just this episode, but something that’s present throughout the season – namely that the entire Interstellar Alliance intelligence service consists of Michael Garibaldi. You’d have thought they’d have a budget for a few extra people (I’m not talking the Rangers, just some extra desk people to help process the information coming in).

    I realise it’s done because it’s a story about the main characters, and for story reasons it all makes sense, but every time I watch it I can’t help wondering why the White Star didn’t CC a few other people on his urgent message.

    Even if he wasn’t blind drunk at the time, one person can’t provide 24/7 cover for something like this.

    1. Me too! Yes, it seems contrived specifically so Garibaldi can mess it up.

      Head canon: Sheridan doesn’t really expect Garibaldi to be the only person monitoring reports. He’s told Garibaldi what he wants but not how to do it, he trusts Garibaldi to make shift arrangements or whatever is necessary for 24/7. Maybe Garibaldi has arranged for someone to relieve him after 8 hours – but then he gets drunk anyway.

      (Moderators, perhaps this discussion is safe for non-spoiler space? What did new viewers (eg the control group) think?)

      1. I think the other aspect of this problem is that, if Garibaldi has subordinates, that’s another direction in which his alcoholism might have revealed itself by this point. There’s an entire story there about the people below him, what they notice, and their debates and dilemmas about whether or not to raise their concerns, that JMS doesn’t really have time for at this point (and might be hard to fit into the show in its last season in general without it seeming awkward). So I think this is one of those points where JMS simply tells the story as if stuff like that isn’t there.

        Actually, this is true in general – this is just a case where the plot is made to turn on it, so it’s more overt than usual. We’re not shown the staff that Sheridan (one would imagine) has as President. And all the way back in S1, the ambassadors were functioning with exactly one aide each.

        This is related to the whole “politics of elites” thing that I argue for all the time — Babylon 5 is a story about how the decisions of people at or towards the top of hierarchies matter, and it’s comfortable simply assuming that the people below them don’t exist for the purposes of the story. It’s not total (Zack’s Nightwatch story, for instance), but it’s noticeable.

        This has its problems, but it’s not as if “realism” is the sole or most important way in which a story can be good. It allows

        This has made me curious about the one area where we do see significant numbers of named characters in low ranks, security in S1-S3, esp. S2-S3. Babylon 5 is a city with c.250,000 people. In the US, it would apparently be typical for a city of that size to have a little over 450 police officers. The US is admittedly overpoliced, but still: the security personnel on Babylon 5 seem to number in the several tens at the most (basically in the Nightwatch storyline) and at times seem to consist of the chief of security and a handful of other people. This explains why Downbelow is a no go area that might as well be Bartertown.

        1. I left out part of that. The second-to-last paragraph was meant to end “It allows the show to avoid a problem like that of TNG: what exactly do enlisted personnel on the Enterprise *do*, with the exception of Chief O’Brien?”

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