Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “The Hour of the Wolf”

Does this feel like a departure from or continuation of Season 3? Is this a deceptively calm episode or a relentless acceleration of the plot? (Podcast spoiler: We’ll take on these burning questions on the next episode!) Oh, and don’t spoil future episodes in this thread or we’ll sic the Egyptian God of Frustration on you.

7 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “The Hour of the Wolf””

  1. One thing I noticed during this rewatch which I hadn’t caught before was Delenn’s delivery of her lines as the League of Non-aligned Worlds left the meeting. She spoke in a raised voice as if to try to shame them, but by the time she did this almost everyone was already gone and it really seemed weird.

    1. I’m fairly sure that was a deliberate choice, to make Delenn seem powerless. Quite a lot of the station-related stuff on The Hour of the Wolf is about setting that tone.

      1. Perhaps. But even when Delenn gets flustered and upset, she typically is able to muster at least modicum of grace and restraint. This feels somehow different.

  2. And this episode introduces the new viewers to one of my favorite characters, Cartagia.

    OK, he *is* a cartoon. No doubt about it. But he’s played by Wortham Krimmer with such an amazing gusto and contempt for the very notion of “restraint” that he breaks through to the other side and becomes something that one find utterly hilarious and take seriously at the same time. That Jurasik does such an excellent job of communicating that Londo takes him seriously is also critical to Cartagia working as well as the character does.

    And it shouldn’t be something that needs to be pointed out, that non-ceremonial monarchy is a bad thing. But there is a particular poisonous history of romanticizing monarchy in space opera as a genre, so I think within the frame of the genre it’s not so cheap a shot as it would seem outside that.

  3. Do you think that Mr. Morden’s mispronunciation of Emperor Cartagia’s name was on purpose or just the way the actor said it. He pronounced it Car-tay-gia instead of Car-tah-gia like the Centauri say it. Some people mispronounce the names of others to show disdain for them.

  4. HotW was my first episode-to-serial proper: Sheridan hadn’t left much of an impression on me, I knew who Garibaldi was, but not his name, so I think what impressed me was (as reinforced by the opening credits), the sense of complexity of the show: a smorgasboard of storylines! I’m not sure if I’d’ve described this in terms of bullet train Vs subdued episode, but the central theme of grieving and the heightened emotions going with that do intensify experience. It’s very much a hindsight vs foresight debate.

    So, I was buying up VHS copies and choosily selective about Lane’s guide, I’d not realised this was the first appearance of Emperor Psycho. He comes in like an assault of blistering spices, reminiscent of a cross between Madame Guillotine and Middle Eastern hijackers. Vir barely made an impression on me on first viewing, little more than ‘one of the gang’. I think, Chip, you might have been looking for the words ‘servitude’ or ‘acquiescence’ to describe his relationship with Londo? Well yes, it’s his chief failing with Londo but further, it’s his every-failing. Some of that can be ascribed actually to common-sense cautioun. When Vir shines he shines bright but when he doesn’t he spends his time worrying against a brick wall, or diving into bland administrative work, and puppy impressions. Lest you think I’m being too harsh, I love Vir and dogs.

    One of the women mentioned, “the infancy of serialised television.” Of course that’s off-the-cuff. Yes, this IS a new age. Soap opera is a veteran anthology of serials by the 90s, and then we have Twin Peaks, re-positioning the soap as the infancy of artistic serialised television. THere were a few attempts before and alongside, but I think B5 was the first to realise Lynch and Frost’s vision, even in ways they wouldn’t. It might have been matchsticks to bricks in terms of budget. We later get The Wire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad and more beholden to Lynch and establishing the foot-hold. It can’t be a truism yet it seems Babylon 5 kicked in the gates Twin Peaks weakened. They were the first to…put a man on the moon, if you’ll pardon the metaphor. Nah, don’t. How very sci-fi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *