Thursday, February 5, 2009

B5 S4 Ep21: Rising Star

What becomes of the broken-hearted? Is this the saddest sad luck girl ya ever did see? She just breaks your heart all over again and she's alive no less. This show is killing us!

It's a testament to this amazing series that I have received very little of my G'Kar and Londo fix over the last several episodes and yet the episodes themselves rank as some of my favorites in the entire series. I wouldn't trade some of the wonderful entries that have focused on G'Kar and Londo for anything, but these last few have been simply amazing despite their lack of involvement and input.
NOT Casper The Friendly Ghost! Rather Clark The Corpse.
How quickly the tide has turned. ISN reports conspirators involved in Clark's "reign of terror" will be brought to justice. Graphic images of Clark with a sheet over his body and a sign indicating "Traitor to Earth!" is posted around his neck. That's tasteful. I mean, you'd think the Justice Department who is in his office dusting the joint might have removed the sign before the media got in there. WTF? I mean, that's a bit strange. Granted, if it was placed there by an angry mob and it's part of the crime scene perhaps not. But then again, what the heck are the media doing in there trampling all over the crime scene?
Susan is just a mess. It's a very real scene with Dr. Franklin and could be on of her finest acting moments on the series to date.
Franklin races across space to stop Marcus from paying the ultimate price to bring back Ivanova. Don't tell Ivanova that one. Here we are back at Babylon 5 station with Season Four, Episode 21, Rising Star [formerly titled Marcus Gone, Ivanova Lost & Earth Is Saved From Going Straight To Hell]. By God, Ivanova is alive and well and extremely upset, curled up in a near fetal ball and in tears over what Marcus has done for her paying the ultimate price for her to live. Oddly enough, it's good to see her up and about and sort of unnerving at the same time. Boy, she's a mess the poor thing. Ivanova tells Franklin how she's always had trouble with relationships always ending in disappointment. Marcus just had a tough time keeping the other half of his relationships alive. He does it here though. Here's a really solid performance by a sobbing Ivanova.

That is yet another moving moment among many moving moments along the way. I couldn't help but think of all of Marcus' kind gestures to Ivanova along the way, especially those red roses. What a tragedy to have to lose one of Babylon 5's finest to keep the other breathing. There is certainly great sadness in my heart for Ivanova.
Ah, speaking of my two boys, G'Kar and Londo together again here. It was interesting to hear Londo and G'Kar both chastise Vir for being tardy in unison. "You're late." Hearing them say it in sync was symbolic of just how far they had come and how they were both very much on the same page for the first time. Londo tells Vir he is developing a "strange relationship" with G'Kar and he is rather enjoying it. Yeah, it's called a civil relationship with a little humor. It's actually normal Londo, but it's been awhile for you so we'll cut you some slack. Vir informs Londo that the Centauri Royal Court has chosen Londo as the next emperor. Londo is less than excited or pleased at the news. Just look at that expression. He has indeed changed for the better. He is no longer driven by that insatiable thirst for power and conquest, but rather enlightened by a spirit of cooperation. Londo is right, that is strange.

Sheridan is on Earth and meets with Bester privately. Sheridan calls Bester on his manipulation of Garibaldi. Bester doesn't take ownership. He also indicates to prove it in an Earth court Garibaldi would need a Psi Corps-certified telepath, which automatically eliminates Lyta from being an "ace in the hole" for Garibaldi since she is not a certified Psi Corps telepath. Sheridan totally has his number as you'll see and he is one of Bester's biggest threats and his greatest nemesis. Sheridan asks where the virus viles are that were taken from Edgars' facility. He also asks for Lise's whereabouts. Bester turns the tables and gets real serious asking if his "lover" was one of the telepaths used against the Earth warships. If she was, Bester insists, Sheridan will not leave the room alive.

Garibaldi is back in business taking names, numbers and crackin' heads. Good to have him back!
Such great stuff! There are so many references to the past in this episode. I like when Sheridan refers indirectly to losing his wife Anna Sheridan twice. Speaking of Garibaldi he is back on Mars looking for Lise. He interrogates one man and asks, "now do you wanna die fast or do you wanna spend the rest of your life eating all your meals through a straw." Garibaldi gets the best lines.

Londo and G'Kar meet with Delenn. She asks for their support and Londo laughs. A meeting of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds has been called. Londo amusingly tells them, "I hope you have brought a change of underwear. You'll need it after you read this." He holds the paper in question. Okay, Londo gets some great material too.
Back on Earth, Sheridan meets with acting President Susanna Luchenko. She is Russian and played not-so-convincingly by Beata Pozniak. She's too young for the part in my opinion. Earth Force is fairly split on their support of Sheridan. Some feel he should be given a medal while others feel he should be shot. He is given an ultimatum. He must resign and his entire crew will be given amnesty for their actions however justifed they may have been. Consequences must be applied she informs him. It's a "bitch" she says and she might know.
A couple of geniuses.
On Mars, Garibaldi rescues Lise from a bunch of crumbbums holding her hostage for a price. I loved the little exploding box with the Porky Pig voice "ebity ebity, that's all folks." BA-BOOM!

On a White Star, Delenn and Lennier head to Earth. She indicates all have voted on their proposal. Now it wasn't until this point I was certain whether Marcus was alive or dead. I thought it was left fairly ambiguous at the beginning when we first see Ivanova with Franklin. I thought perhaps he was in ICU and somehow they were attempting to save him. Of course, that was was simply wishful thinking on my part. So, I suspect it was not to be and that Marcus is indeed gone forever. Gosh, I really grew to like him. The impact of his loss does not hit me here in the same way it did to lose Ivanova initially. Then again, it has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions up til' now and perhaps I'm a touch desensitized to the depressing proceedings. It was interesting to see Delenn reference Marcus' past which is covered extensively in the book To Dream In The City Of Sorrows. Now, what I did not see coming was Lennier informing Delenn of Ivanova's words.

So Lennier has loved Delenn from afar for some time. Wow. I didn't see that moment coming. It was really good though. He really chokes back the emotions here. Honestly he puts on a super brave face. Delenn really is oblivious to many specific things. She is so smart and yet so naive to certain emotional currents around her. It's kind of funny. Still, Lennier has always been her protector and as much as he cared for her I hadn't realized he felt more for her in this way. That was quite touching and I suspect his love will remain, but that he will suppress it accordingly.
Later, on Earth, President Luchenko stands before the ISN cameras and begins repairing the wounds and bringing together the two sides of the Battle for Earth. Sheridan addresses the people and his love for Earth and being apart of something bigger than himself. He announces his resignation from Earth Force in the hopes of bringing people together. G'Kar, Londo and Delenn are in attendance and request an audience to announce what we don't, as of yet, know. G'Kar announces the dissolution of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. I knew this might come. He indicates a new alliance. Delenn continues that a group of Minbari and humans, as The Rangers, shall protect and oversee. "Their goal is to create the peace not enforce the peace." They will be the eyes and ears and work equally with all races. The invitation for Earth is open.

Later, the President meets privately with Delenn, Londo and G'Kar and informs them of the skeptics that surround her in Earth Force. Delenn tells the President how the worlds can share technology. Delenn, Londo and G'Kar make up the advisory board. They shall report to an elected intergalactic President. That President will be President John Sheridan. Well, there you go, some doors close and other doors open as they say. "I guess the war finally taught them that we are better together than apart." Sheridan is quite self-satisified with the end result.

I absolutely loved when Sheridan stepped into the halls to find his father there waiting for him. That was a total choke up moment. Always good to see Rance Howard as David Sheridan. He also welcomes his new daughter-in-law to be, Delenn, to the family.

Garibaldi is back in business again in more ways than one.
ISN reports Earth has joined forces with the new Interstellar Alliance. Mars will become a free and independent world. Meanwhile Garibaldi and Lise finally get back together and share an intimate moment in the hay. Things worked out quite well as Garbaldi keeping up the alliance end. ;)

On Babylon 5, Ivanova is back at the helm and has been appointed to full Captain. Ivanova plans to leave the station. I knew she'd be going. I thought perhaps she might be going out horizontally, but it would appear to be vertically. Still, where is she going? I will miss that voluptuous wonder babe! Delenn and Sheridan marry on a White Star. G'Kar and Londo share a drink. This is quite a sentimental moment. It's really good to see them as friends who take joy in the humor of each other's differences and poking fun rather than hating one another for those differences. It's a real lesson to learn and remember for all of us.

I can't believe he did that with his eye. What a peeping G'Kar. Ha! The final moments we see Delenn and Sheridan in bed together. Everybody is boffing in this episode or wishing they had "boffed" in Ivanova's case. Delenn's narration hints of the fact that the creators may not have known whether or not Babylon 5 was moving forward with a Season Five at this point. I'm sure there is a great deal out on the web about this factor and why Claudia Christian was leaving the show. Feel free to share your thoughts. Certainly if it all ended here it would be a fitting end to a terrific story. She mentions several factors over the next twenty years occurring including a Telepath War, a wavering Interstellar Alliance which would indeed hold and a dreaded Drakh War. "What is built endures. What is loved endures. And Babylon 5... Babylon 5 endures." Lovely.
Rising Star: B+ [there were some exceptional moments]


Havremunken said...

So the real world (inside the B5 universe) catches up to our heroes.. A lot of good stuff here, but I get that horrible feeling in my stomach just looking at the weeping Ivanova. That whole scene is simply devastating, both because of the great acting and the horrible situation.

It has been said that Ivanova couldn't even say Marcus' name out loud for decades after this happened. This definately affected her deeply for the rest of her life.

Yes, it does indeed suck to lose them both. And there was a LOT of stuff going on during this time in the production - you can read up on it on the web and in the script books eventually. Wait if you want to be spoiler free. And you'll probably have a question or two about the future after watching the season finale. :)

But yeah, another great entry, even if the sappy moments (Ivanova, Sheridan-dad) almost overshadow the other importartant events here.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Right on the money as always H.