Sunday, September 14, 2008

B5 S3 Ep22: Z'Ha'Dum

Sheridan is put through the ringer against The Shadows. Where the hell is a good old-fashioned can of RAID to whoop some BUG ass when you need it? Oh and Sheridan is taken a liking back to season-ending sky jumping again [without a parachute as usual].

No, I'm not sleeping through this one I swear. And now, the BIG ONE! Z DAY! The BIG Z! Not for ZZZZZZZzzzz as in snooze time, but rather Babylon 5, Season Three, Episode 22, Season finale, Z'Ha'Dum. It's fitting the planet for which our season finale is named begins with the last letter of the alphabet. I mean this is one hell of an ending. Can you imagine if the series stopped right here? There would have been much discussion and speculation for years to come concerning the outcome for our heroes. So, how will it stack up against the rest of Season Three and against the previous two season finales? Let's read, watch, and find out.

Black and white images are presented to remind us of past events and the buildup that has finally brought us to Sheridan's fateful moment. It was really interesting to discover the episode was directed by none other than Adam Nimoy, son of Leonard [a.k.a. Spock] Nimoy. After all, I’m a huge fan of Nimoy as you know based upon my recent review of the entertaining book I Am Spock. It must have been a significant moment for Adam in his own career. Speaking of the Nimoys, Adam has written his own revealingly titled autobiography called My Incredibly Wonderful Miserable Life. I will have to read that some time and get back to you. By the way, it's worth noting, because I missed it the first time around, Adam Nimoy directed two of the very best on Babylon 5 in Z'Ha'Dum and fan favorite Season Three, Episode 4, Passing Through Gethsemane. That episode remains one of the best.

Onto the episode at hand. Enter the lovely auburn haired Anna Sheridan. As I mentioned, I’m a huge Melissa Gilbert fan based solely on her role as Laura Ingalls in Little House On The Prairie. She was a cutie. Her character and that show definitely captured all that was good and simple at a particular point growing up insulated within that single show. Here are some great shots of her from way back in the day.

Is she not one of the cutest kids ya ever did see?

I thought you were dead,” a shocked and reeling John Sheridan gasps. “You mean she didn’t tell you,” inquires Anna, suggesting Delenn knew more than she let on. It always seems Delenn is a kind of gatekeeper to information and releases it when she deems it important to do so or safe to do so. She navigates the prophecy with spiritual strength while often walking on delicate ground even leaving her supporters curious about her intent.

Sheridan really recoils not knowing if it’s really Anna. So she wants to go to the dreaded homeworld of The Shadows, Z’Ha’Dum. She clearly has much she wants to share with him. She would very much like to enlighten him to the truth of the current intergalactic climate. Now right away you know things aren't well in Anna land. Any normal person separated from their lover for that length of time might have a more amorous reaction upon their first greeting and Sheridan can feel something just ain't write upstairs.

So John is skeptical about his long lost wife. Of course she is still his wife despite the fact he’s sleeping around on her. Joking. Sheridan asks Delenn, “is it her?” and she’s like ‘I don’t know.’ I love when she gets that confused-I-can’t-look-at-you look. It's a kind of I-can't-look-at-you-because-I'm-ashamed-and-may-not-tell-you-the-complete-truth kind of reaction. Delenn certainly confirms she would have been killed if she did not serve those Shadows, but cannot understand how it has come to this. “Anna would never work for those things,” Sheridan confidently asserts. But is she? Well, something really isn’t right in Anna's wiring. Further, Delenn continues to make a case for her furtive style when Sheridan asks, “had you known would you have told me?” Delenn is uncertain and indicates it would have depended on what she had become. “It would depend on what she had become. Z’Ha’Dum is the homeworld of The Shadows. No one leaves there the same as they arrived.” Sheridan feels, to put it mildly, betrayed. He is definitely shaken by the arrival of Anna, but who wouldn’t be? Delenn gets a pass often. She generally knows a lot of information, more than she lets on at times [this speaks to the point we had been writing about regarding Delenn's manipulations in commentary for the last episode's blog entry]. She likes to keep things ‘close to the vest’ as the saying goes.

Elsewhere, over a cocktail [of course], Londo informs Vir he has been promoted to a position within the Royal Court on Centauri Prime as an advisor to the Emperor on matters of planetary security. He is displeased to say the least because he is more than aware that it is merely a “leash” ato control his actions. The Centauri fear his power and association with Morden. It is merely intended to be a diversion or distraction or as we like to call it here on Earth, ‘busy work.’ A messenger tells Londo to get the hell off the station if he values his life. Londo doesn’t like the sound of that one bit. Gee, ya think? Vir's probably thinking, 'where are your bags? Let's start packing.' Kidding, not this Vir.

Sheridan is awaiting confirmation from Franklin [who is clearly doing "it again" and once again stable following his walk-a-thon] on whether or not Anna is the REAL thing or even better than the real thing or none of the above.
Sheridan just can’t understand how she’s been on Z’Ha’Dum all these years. “It’s my home now,” she tells him. Sheridan asks about the Icarus and the rest of her crew. He wants answers. Pieces of the puzzle begin to unravel as she explains how the Shadows' vessel was uncovered on Mars [remember Season Three, Episode 8, Messages From Earth] and how the Earth government planted a homing device on the craft for tracking purposes. I imagine someone may have died having to plant that thing on the skin of the craft or on board. The signal began projecting from Z’Ha’Dum. It was then that the scientific expedition dispatched to their destination via The Icarus. Anna says there was an accident and the aliens were awakened from hiding. They apparently asked [though I somehow doubt that] for silence in exchange for studying Shadows technology and advancements. Being the science geeks they no doubt happily obliged voluntarily. Wouldn't you if you saw a giant spidery critter? Of course.

Meanwhile Franklin is looking at a variety of brain scans and it is notable there is an incision at the base of her head and top of her neck. Franklin is also comparing the Anna Sheridan scan to that of Carolyn Sanderson, Bester’s girl, whom we met in Season Three, Episode 14, Ship Of Tears, as one of the many telepathic guinea pigs implemented via program by Psi Corps. Anna’s work seems less invasive, but apparently she too has been experimented upon and implanted. Sheridan is given word of the information and his behavior is all the more notable for it as he is far more resolute and decisive in his planning from this point forward.

Prior to leaving Sheridan records a time-delayed message for Delenn. It will play over his personal sacrifice at the end of the finale. He tells her he’s thought hard about this and he has designs on changing the future by heading to Z’Ha’Dum. I suspect this is going to significantly impact the prophecy. It must. Of course the prophecy could be that he was warned time and again and still ventured to his awaiting fate despite all the warnings. Argh! Anyway, just as Delenn expressed her love to Sheridan earlier, “John, I do love you,” he in turn tells Delenn in his transmission “I love you Delenn, goodbye.” That’s pretty much a lump in your throat moment especially when she touches the video screen wishing she could reach him. So do they still share a child? Perhaps it’s all changed now.

Sheridan starts organizing and packing heat, actually two heaters to be exact. While prepping before a mirror we are visited by our old cryptic friend Kosh [and not that nasty NEW Kosh fellow]. This is the real deal. The vision once again warns him if he goes to Z’Ha’Dum he is certain to die. So with that kind of confidence at his back Sheridan heads to Z’Ha’Dum anyway with Anna via the White Star. This moment really feels genuine as if Sheridan and Garibaldi are saying farewell and may never see each other again.

It was definitely interesting how Anna sort of recoiled at her surroundings on the White Star. The ship is steeped in Vorlon technology and with her long-term exposure to The Shadows she is clearly sensitive to it. She tells John The Shadows fear Vorlon technology and it affects her now too. It could kill them. Anna isn’t right or isn’t with the right side to be sure or as Franklin puts it to Ivanova, “there’s a problem with Anna.”

Upon arrival on Z’Ha’Dum we discover their civilization is completely underground for security reasons. She must take Sheridan’s weapon [the one maintained in plain sight]. I can imagine Sheridan thinking to himself, 'Don’t worry sister I have another heater because I wasn’t bloody born yesterday'. They enter a room. They are greeted by the slimy Morden and a kindly, grandfatherly-looking fellow named Justin. It’s like walking into a den of thieves or spider's web. Justin, played with a benign face of excellence by Jeff Corey, is pure delicious evil. Footnote: Corey appeared in Season Three of Star Trek: The Original Series, Episode 21, The Cloud Miners. I knew he looked familiar. He was also blacklisted int he 1950s by the House Committee On UnAmerican Activities and sadly has since passed in 2002. His performance here is solid and quirky. Moving on, he explains to Sheridan how the galaxy is a kind of intergalactic family tree. Yeah, I’m sure the Shadows never played with this guy’s head. Nothing wrong with him. Let's see, they blame the Vorlons for messing with humans at a genetic level while The Shadows play all innocent that they would never manipulate humans for their own ends. This is a nice reminder of his fine turn in the episode.

Justin explains how the Vorlons are like parents or “Lords Of Order” as he puts it. The Shadows believe in conflict to grow stronger and weed out the weak. He tells Sheridan that the Vorlons want you “to play nice.” Funny thing for a guy in favor of conflict, he sure represents a group that desires rule with an iron fist and order dictated from the top down. The Shadows have a dream of course that is specifically beneficial to, ummm well, The Shadows. Justin really lays out the players here and paints a hierarchical picture starting with The Vorlons and The Shadows as the shepherds of the universe. From these two tribes there are races below them, some will be taught, some destroyed. It’s like evolution theory in motion and the application of Natural Selection as theorized and published by Charles Darwin in On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection [1859] implemented Babylon 5 style with The Shadows and The Vorlons being the final arbiters.

Elsewhere, The Shadows’ vessels have surrounded Babylon 5, awaiting word from their Z'Ha'Dum homeworld, on when to destroy it based upon the outcome of the meeting with Sheridan. Ivanova maneuvers into evasive action launching all Starfuries while attempting to contact Draal and Epsilon 3, but with little success.

Z’Ha’Dum is an enlightening, information-packed episode to be sure filled with truth, half-truth and even lies, but no matter how you slice it, it is fascinating science fiction. We learn the Vorlons created telepaths. The Shadows intervened to stop the Vorlons by creating Psi Corps through the Earth government to work on their behalf [this informs back to Season Three opener, Matters Of Honor, and Morden’s meeting with the Earth government and Psi Corps regarding the “project”]. With the Vorlons creating telepaths and altering people at a “genetic level,” as Morden puts it, not to mention tasking Jack The Ripper with a new assignment as Sebastian in Season Two, Episode 21, Comes The Inquisitor [a test of our heroes’ worthiness], or whether it's using Lyta Alexander as a Vorlon charger, do you get the feeling humans are nothing more than pawns in this game? Between the Vorlons, the Shadows and the Minbari, it’s like a giant chess match in manipulation. Still, I know who the good guys are. I'm pretty sure. I think.

Anna urges John to join them. Conflict promotes growth and evolution and apparently he is all that is standing in their way. It is such a classic, but original take on darkness versus light. They invite Sheridan to stop interfering with attempts to organize the races. It’s futile they say. But then Sheridan drops his own Anna bombshell on the group inciting, “she would never go along with this.” They have changed her. Anna has an implant in her brain stem just like those telepaths on the captured vessel from Ship Of Tears. Justin implores that while this may be true The Shadows made every effort to save Anna as soon as they discovered who she was. Obviously status counts here. She would have been dogmeat if it weren't for the fact she was Anna Sheridan. She's useful to The Shadows therefore she was damaged but salvaged. Needless to say, it’s clear Anna didn’t go along with the program. She was placed in a Shadows vessel. Unfortunately, Justin announces unfortunately you’re never quite the same once you’ve been inside of them.

It’s clear they do not want to create a martyr by killing Sheridan, which is why an invitation has been extended for him to join the dark side. Enter: The Shadows. One of the creatures enters the room and Sheridan engages it in a shootout. It was interesting how battered and bloodied he was after escaping following the engagement. It must have been a nasty little struggle in that room.

Very early on G’Kar informs Ivanova that nuclear devices have arrived on Babylon 5. That's kind of scary. I hope they're secured. Eventually, some of those same devices go missing and have been loaded onto the White Star. Who could possibly have access? How about security. How about Garibaldi. Sheridan requests his help and its handled. Sheridan plans to autopilot the White Star straight into the heart of Z’Ha’Dum where he is located and blow the place to smithereens. Well, he’s been told it’s a suicide mission and damn it he is going to take the whole place down with him. The Shadows homeworld capital will go nuclear moments after summoning his craft. It’s a tense, rousing dramatic sequence and one that sees the White Star plummet toward the planet like the fiery GodPhoenix out of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman [a.k.a. USA version Battle Of The Planets]. Sheridan turns to see Anna reaching out to him. He hears the voice of Kosh urging him to jump into the void below. “Jump, jump now.” He figures 'what the hell else do have to lose?' It’s so Luke Skywalker in that moment, but it’s really, really dark and powerful and more disturbing. What a cliffhanger as he jumps to meet his fate and his wife Anna screams at the site of the incoming whitehot White Star. The scream indicates she exhibits signs of humanity despite her cool change, but it's hasta la vista baby anyway. How about Kosh’s intervention? All along he’s warned Sheridan he would die and that he would not be there, yet he has “always been here,” as he frequently likes to fall back on. Yes, Kosh is a puzzle indeed. Also it's interesting that Sheridan just loves to jump from very high elevations without any kind of safety net. He's quite mad. What a hero! He ended the second season finale, The Fall Of Night, jumping from that tram car when Kosh was there to rescue him. This time Kosh wants him to jump and of course he does [because he's a bit of a jumper], only this time we don't know if he makes it. Could it be Kosh saves him again?
Ivanova, like Princess Leia who sensed Luke Skywalker's troubles in Star Wars, senses Sheridan is gone. There’s even tears. She looks quite alone. Corwin reports the White Star is gone. To make matters worse we have not only one person unaccounted for going into Season Four with Sheridan M.I.A., we also have one Starfury unaccounted for piloted by none other than Michael Garibaldi. One of the final shots highlights a Starfury buried deep within one of the Shadows vessels. Was it by choice? Was it Garibaldi’s decision? Will he be changed forever after entering the vessel? Will his Starfury protect him? We know Garibaldi is an unfailingly loyal man and soldier and my guess is he’s on a mission to find Sheridan. I'll tell you, there isn't a damn bit of comfort anywhere to be found in this episode. It is troubling from start to finish. This is one dark entry and nothing is ever quite as it seems. We are constantly kept on edge. I just don’t know and that is the beauty of J. Michael Straczynski’s work.

The final moments of this outstanding episode serves up a poetic, powerful narration by G’Kar that takes us gently into the dark night of Season Four. I initially was going to write the words down, but I think I will do both. His voice offers us a fine example of what note perfect narration can be.

WOW! This was a humdinger to be sure. There have been episodes in both Season Two and Season Three that have really ranked high in my opinion and this is one of them indeed. I loved it. To quote pop group Erasure, "just one psychological drama after another."
Delenn gets the bad news from Sheridan. That's right! That bastard went to Z'Ha'Dum!
I must admit it was a little sad that Sheridan didn’t think there was any other way to save himself or Anna. He just didn’t even look as though he had hope he might save her at any point. Clearly judging by the pre-recorded message he left Delenn he was resigned to the fact Anna was a lost cause or too far damaged. It just seemed a little premature for someone who supposedly still loved her. I know she changed but damn it try for the love of God or at least for the love of Anna. Would she not be worth salvaging? I know he had committed himself to a much greater cause beyond any selfish desires, but I would have thought Anna still meant something deeper.

I have so many questions despite all of the information Straczynski continues to provide.

Does Sheridan now alter the future for Londo & G’Kar based upon his refusal to heed those fateful words concerning his imminent demise if he journeyed to Z’Ha’Dum? Does he alter the future for Babylon 5 and the existence of The Shadows? Or does Londo still need to make one of those decisions Lady Morella prophesied to alter his own future?

I really was quite bummed to find Anna was a very brief player on the Babylon 5 stage. Like I said, I love Melissa Gilbert and definitely wanted to see more of her. I initially thought she might have been a clone, but as the episode progressed it was clearly something quite different. I like how they handled that angle of the story. I like that she had changed and been altered by her entry into the Shadows’ vessel and by the involuntary nature of the implant. It must have been disturbing and painful for Sheridan, but he definitely maintained an emotional distance while handling the events that surrounded him.
So long Melissa, we hardly knew ya. She may not have been herself, but judging from the bloodcurdling scream she still understood fear!
I felt as though Sheridan’s amazing self-sacrifice plunging the White Star into the heart of Z’Ha’Dum dealt a major strategic blow to the Shadows’ resurgence. If it wasn’t a critical blow, it had to be at least a significant symbolic hit to that race, especially given how quickly the Shadows vessels that surrounded Babylon 5 immediately removed their presence to reconvene at the now devastated Z’Ha’Dum homeworld. The question remains, what kind of an impact did Sheridan’s decision have? Will the Shadows simply scatter? Do they have strongholds elsewhere that minimize this strike’s effect? The Shadows do seem a bit like a hydra and I suspect it's merely a bump in the road.

I absolutely loved the exchange between Sheridan, Justin, Anna and Morden. It was like a conversation in philosophy between advocates for order and justice versus those agents who support chaos theory. It was a positively brilliant part of the episode.

I know I’m droning on and on about this episode but it has got me thinking. There is smoke billowing from my ears. So if Psi Corps was indeed a Shadows creation setup inside Earth’s government to combat their Vorlon counterpart [the race who apparently created telepaths], does this mean Bester is truly a defector of the Psi Corps/ Shadows project? He obviously seemed quite troubled in Ship Of Tears especially at the sight of Carolyn. Still, he was seeking a telepath of "acceptable strength" if I recall? Does he plan on fighting the Shadows himself as part of a deeper inner circle within Psi Corps? How much does he actually know about the Shadows? There are many questions still to be answered concerning this layer of the series, but these questions were stirred by the events of this episode for me. If telepathy was such a revelation as a weapon against the Shadows why didn’t Kosh save Sheridan all the effort and inform him of that potential in his fight against the Shadows. I mean Jesus, but based upon Season Three, Episode 15, Interludes And Examinations, one could conclude The Vorlons enjoy neutrality or merely playing gods. Which is it or is it both? And was the late Kosh an exception to the rule of sorts? Let’s face it Sheridan truly forced his hand in the aforementioned episode to get involved, but Kosh was clearly walking a fine line despite his desire to help. I believe Kosh did his best to bend rules without angering his superiors perhaps. Obviously he paid the ultimate price. Further, when G’Kar speaks of the Narn telepaths being wiped out by the Shadows was it because they didn’t understand how to harness their powers for their own use? They clearly didn’t know or they feared them and worked to exterminate their future involvement. Was it only later they realized they could be of use to The Shadows’ gameplan? Could G’Kar be the latent telepath of ‘acceptable strength’ referred to by Bester? or is it Ivanova? Hey folks I'm out of aspirin.
Classic lines:
Anna [referring to The Shadows]: “They were quite approachable.”
Sheridan [referring to the Icarus]: “Tell that to the rest of the crew.”

Z’Ha’Dum: A [for Awesome] This is easily one of the best in the series to date.
Hang in there Garibaldi, we're coming for ya brother! Oh happy days are here again.


Unknown said...

As usual, a great and engaging review that makes me want to skip work (I want to anyway, it's Monday morning here after all, but still..) and go home and watch the episode again. At this point in the series, "Z'ha'dum" was my favourite along with "Severed Dreams" and "Interludes and Examinations", with a large group of others following closely behind. I think the music, the mood, the acting, everything is amazing when you realize through his message to Delenn that this sacrifice (perhaps based on Kosh's message that he would die if he went) was planned ahead and he is just doing his worst to give his friends an advantage in the war.

I think I was as subtle as a kick to the neck in the commentary to the last episode, but yeah, Sheridan is definately not happy with the way Delenn has been keeping stuff from him. Still, that's not a deal-breaker for him as his message proves; If he had survived, he would have stayed with Delenn, but perhaps they would have some work to do on some truth issues. :)

You hit the nail on the head with the Darwin reference. The Shadows are kind of "forced darwinists", enforcing the survival of the fittest, kind of like the nazis (except they of course chose who were to be considered the fittest) - while the Vorlons want the orderly, peaceful kumbayah kind of intergalactic happy family thing. There is definately some sort of agreement going on here - the Vorlons and Shadows have avoided direct contact, and we saw the price for breaking this deal when Kosh was ripped into Vorlon stew. So yeah, something is up, and it all seems to be at a philosophical level. Consider the questions these races pose to the "younger" races. :)

As for Delenn's final message to Sheridan in the future - "Do not go to Z'ha'dum!" - it would be hard to speculate. This is one of those classic time paradox things - will me attempting to change the future actually just be what is needed to ensure it will happen exactly the way I don't want it to? You can pretty much deduce a lot from the fear in her eyes; No matter what, even winning the war is not enough to pay the "terrible price" that going to Z'ha'dum will cost them. I guess we'll find out. :)

Oh, and yeah, the goodbye between John and Michael was a good one; Both of them felt like they would never see each other again, and couldn't really say it; Not the same as - but not unlike - the scene in Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan and Anakin say goodbye, except they don't know that the next time they meet they will be hacking at each other with light sabres; In the B5 case, Sheridan rode the nuclear explosion down the giant whole, while Garibaldi was eaten by the shadow vessel, so it's hard to say what is going on.

Oh, and btw, I don't think the Shadows actually *created* the Psi Corps. I think they just ensured that the teeps came in on their side in this particular conflict. :)

That's it for now. Too much to keep in the brain at once. As noted before, Monday morning. :)

Anonymous said...

Though it's difficult, I'm holding my tongue on the Shadows vs Vorlons issue :)

I'll never get over the camomile tea. This must be the first hero's visit in the lion's (or spider's) den in the history of literature that has him being offered camomile tea.

And no, Shadows definitely didn't create the Psi Corps. Psi Corps was founded in 2150 or something, and they were in hibernation at that time. You can read up on the origin of Psi Corps in the first volume of Gregory Keyes' Psi Corps trilogy. Speaking of canon tie-in books, there's a lot of information on Anna, Morden, and the Shadows in Jeanne Cavelos' "The Shadow Within" (up to the expedition of the Icarus) and her technomage trilogy (from the beginning of the B5 series up to Z'ha'dum, and a bit of an excursus on events afterwards). Most interesting stuff.


Anonymous said...

M. wrote:
Though it's difficult, I'm holding my tongue on the Shadows vs Vorlons issue :)
Me too! :o)

The Vorlons triggered a lot of problems by creating telepaths and the Shadows do all they can to destroy (Narn) or control (Earth) them.
Yes, it seems we are just pawns on a giant chessboard...
But when was anything ever as it seemed in Babylon 5? ;o)


SFF said...

Thanks Havremunken for the kind words. I thought it might have been a tad long but I thought what the heck, it's the season finale and I had alot on my mind.

OH and I wanted to tell you all, I went back and checked out In The Shadow Of Z'Ha'Dum and being the thickhead that I am I didn't pick up on the subtleties you mentioned Havremunken. Having said that, I did re-check the scene you mentioned in Interludes [one of my very favorites as well] and I did see what you mean. I thought Delenn's face spoke volumes about how much she knows and what she's holding back as far as information. It was very interesting to check that out.

Also, I want to say, I know I don't ever mention it, but y'all are great about not giving anything away that I haven't seen yet. You are very respectful about not spoiling anything. Thanks.

So Yes, I agree, Z'Ha'Dum, Interludes, In The Shadow, all amazing. We will all have to contribute our Top 10 favorite episodes later this year when I'm done checking these last two seasons out.

So regarding some of your great thoughts. YEah, exactly, looking back at Kosh ripped to shreds. There is a kind of peaceful co-existence by the two BAD BOYS of races and now things are coming to a head again. Vorlons and Shadows are like master manipulators, puppeteers if you will. Should continue to be interesting.

Yes, the time paradox thing is always a bit of a headscratcher. Sure makes for thoughtprovoking observation concerning cause and affect or if there isn't any at all and the future simply cannot be changed.

Yah, loads to consider, it was definitely a challenging season and perhaps all the tie-ins and layering are impacting the length of my entries but it's such damn good fun.

Speaking of ROTS, I loved when Obi-Wan and Anakin were battling it out and Obi-Wan was crushed by the disappointment of Anakin's betrayal. When he says [paraphrasing] "I loved you like a brother." I was crushed for Obi!

Be sure to play hooky at least once some time! We all deserve it once in a while.

SFF said...

You were killing me with the tea bit. That is so funbny. What a great point. Here he is in the den of killers. Knives are sharp and ready to go and, "may I get you a spot of tea?" hahahahaha!

Thanks for biting your tongue M [and Ly] but not too hard now.

I did get those books you mentioned and I have them on standby for when I finish the series. I don't dare read them yet, but hopefully we'll all have a chance to comment on them later. I do look forward to them.

Ly, I had been thinking about the whole chess game thing and there is no question about the pawn/ puppeteer analogy. We are definitely caught in the middle and I had been writing some of those thoughts down, so if you see me mention it in an entry it's very much because I was thinking right alongside you on those very points.

Check mates.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be funny if it was green tee, or Darjeeling (glad it wasn't Early Grey, though - I wouldn't put it past JMS). But camomile is usually used only by old or ill people. I wouldn't drink it voluntarily.

Now that you've finished both War Without End and Z'ha'dum, can we go back to Avalon and ask who is Merlin, and who is Morgana Le Fay? :)


Anonymous said...

As for the books, the Cavelos books are really hard to put down. I've no idea what problem some people seem to have with her allegedly "scientific writing style". And Peter Woodwards Galen is an absolutely great character (the technomage trilogy are basically his story, up to Crusade, but you also meet his teacher Elric, Anna Sheridan and Morden, Londo and Vir, and our dear Kosh - and there's lots about the Shadows).

It's spoiler-safe for you now to read "To Dream in the City of Sorrows" by Kathryn Drennan, "The Shadow Within" by Jeanne Cavelos, and the first two books ("Casting Shadows" and "Summoning Light") of her technomage trilogy. I believe it's also safe to read the first Psi Corps trilogy novel by Gregory Keyes.


SFF said...

I see now I have to go back to Late Deliver From Avalon....why do you do this to me? This is torture.

You are killing me with your tea analysis! So funny. I kind of like Earl Grey.

Thanks for all the book tips M. I will refer back here when I finish the book I'm currently reading. I definitely want a spoil-free book. There is way too much science-fiction and far too little time my friends.

Anonymous said...

Sci-Fi Fanatic wrote:
I kind of like Earl Grey.

Yeah, so does Captain Picard ;)

You needn't actually go back to Avalon; it's just Marcus' question who with respect to Sheridan's new Round Table is Merlin, and who is Morgana Le Fay.


SFF said...

Ah yes, see I had no idea we had that in common and I see the humor in your comment on that now.

Anonymous said...

Wait to go back to "Avalon" until you saw another episode.
We will tell you... we sure will :o)


Anonymous said...

SciFi-Fanatic said:
The scream indicates she exhibits signs of humanity despite her cool change,
I almost forgot to mention this...
The scream, to me, was not an expression of her remaining humanity. It sounded like the scream the shadow vessels made, when we heard them.
To me it sounded like the shadow-part in her screamed in pain because of the closeness of the vorlon part of the ship.

In fact, the scream showed me, how much shadow she had become...


SFF said...

Okay, interesting take....I hadn't thought of it that way. I'll have to analyze again some time.

***Dave said...

@Havremunken: The Vorlons want the orderly, peaceful kumbayah kind of intergalactic happy family thing.

More the orderly, peaceful, baa-ing sheep within carefully and cooly constructed pens thing.

The Vorlons (save, perhaps, Kosh, contaminated by his contact with them) could never imagine a day when the Younger Races would not need the Vorlons to direct them. For their own good / alignment with the proper morality imperative, of course.