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Old 07-02-2018, 05:54 AM
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Watching B5 with C&T - S4

I previously posted on this forum B5 first watch threads documenting the reactions of non-science fiction fans "C" and "T" to Season 1 (condensed), Season 2 and Season 3.

In this thread I'll be sharing observations as we watch Season 4.

"The Hour of the Wolf"

I gave no real introduction to this one, and that turned out to be fine as this episode opens with a recap of "Z'ha'dum".

I simply said, "New season, new year (2261), new title sequence." T's reaction to the new opening credits was that Sheridan must still be alive since he's in the credits.

At the beginning, when Delenn said "He did not come again, I told them she was referring to the new Vorlon ambassador.

T got a laugh from Garibaldi's "household god" Daffy Duck.

After the emperor's declaration that he was going to be elevated to godhood I told them, "He's quite mad, you know." And C said "Caligula" in response. I said, "Yes, that's why he was named 'Cartagia'." Later when Londo told Vir that they must kill Cartagia C said, "That's what they did to Caligula."

Speaking of Vir, when he arrived on Centauri Prime, T asked if it was the same actor. I said at first, "I think his hair different" but soon added, "He might have lost some weight too." When they went in for a close-up of Vir's face, C said, "He did lose weight."

When the Minister told Londo that Cartagia talks to the severed heads of his detractors, C asked rhetorically if they talked back.

When White Star arrived at Z'ha'dum, C commented about Lyta's eyes turning black. I said that sometimes happens when she's doing her telepath stuff.

As we neared the end T said he had expected to find out what had happened to Sheridan by now. But he ended up having to wait another five minutes or so to get his answer.


"Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?"

As we were waiting for C to join us, T asked me when tonight's episode originally aired. I looked up the answer in the DVD booklet and told him 11/11/1996, or twenty-two years ago.

I began by recapping the plot points of the previous episode: 1.) Sheridan was seen apparently alive at Z'had'um, 2.) G'Kar has gone off searching for Mr. Garibaldi, and 3.) Cartagia is mad and Londo wants to kill him.

When Lorien was telling Sheridan, "Words have meaning and names have power", C quipped, "So I have power when I call Trump 'a jackass'?" I responded, "Only if he tweets you back." http://instantrimshot.com/

When Lorien told Sheridan he was dead, C asked, "Is that true?" I replied, "Kosh told him that if he went to Z'ha'dum he would die."

T got a good laugh when G'Kar accidentally extended Marcus' Minbari fighting pike.

When Londo was describing G'Kar's future death by vivisection, C said "That's terrible!" I then said Londo was going to give G'Kar an alternative.

C did not like the scene where Lorien and Sheridan were arguing about "surrendering to Tock", calling it "stupid".

At the end T said, "We still don't know what's going on with Sheridan, or with Garibaldi for that matter."

After the episode, C asked me to confirm that Cartagia was based on Caligula, which I did. T then remarked that Caligula was "a nasty guy". I said, "You'll see that Cartagia is a nasty guy too." C then told us stories about Caligula, how he had poisoned his grandmother and how he made his horse a priest. The final story was how in "I, Claudius", Caligula impregnated his sister and then killed her and their child to keep the child from becoming a greater god then he. I said the only part of all that which was relevant to the B5 story was Cartagia's desire to be a god.

In addition, T was flipping through the newspaper which had an article about Harlan Ellison. I mentioned that Harlan was a creative consultant on "Babylon 5", and has a cameo appearance later this season. T said to should point him out when we get there, and I said I would.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:23 AM
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After the episode, C asked me to confirm that Cartagia was based on Caligula, which I did. T then remarked that Caligula was "a nasty guy". I said, "You'll see that Cartagia is a nasty guy too." C then told us stories about Caligula, how he had poisoned his grandmother and how he made his horse a priest. The final story was how in "I, Claudius", Caligula impregnated his sister and then killed her and their child to keep the child from becoming a greater god then he. I said the only part of all that which was relevant to the B5 story was Cartagia's desire to be a god.
Thanks for this update. A tad off topic, but the BBC's 'I, Claudius' is awesome, well worth a watch if you haven't seen it. More like watching a theatre production committed to film than a modern TV show, but it's utterly superb. You can tack it onto the two seasons of HBOs Rome and it makes for a nice bookend.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:55 PM
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In this thread I'll be sharing observations as we watch Season 4.

"The Hour of the Wolf"

I gave no real introduction to this one, and that turned out to be fine as this episode opens with a recap of "Z'ha'dum".

I simply said, "New season, new year (2261), new title sequence." T's reaction to the new opening credits was that Sheridan must still be alive since he's in the credits.
Yeah I really don't like it when opening credit sequences give spoilers.

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Originally Posted by alpha128 View Post
After the emperor's declaration that he was going to be elevated to godhood I told them, "He's quite mad, you know." And C said "Caligula" in response. I said, "Yes, that's why he was named 'Cartagia'." Later when Londo told Vir that they must kill Cartagia C said, "That's what they did to Caligula."
Yes I hope they enjoy having a proper villain like Cartagia. lol Say what you will about the other villains, they all have motivations that seem less frightening than Cartagia's motives, cruelty and insanity. I don't think any of the other villains really touch that unless you want to talk about some of the single episode one-off villains like Karl Mueller in The Quality of Mercy, 1.21.

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Speaking of Vir, when he arrived on Centauri Prime, T asked if it was the same actor. I said at first, "I think his hair different" but soon added, "He might have lost some weight too." When they went in for a close-up of Vir's face, C said, "He did lose weight."
I think one thing that really works for Vir's weight loss is that he has been under so much stress. I know it had more to do with Stephen's health choices, but it still works with the plot even though they don't directly bring it up.

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When White Star arrived at Z'ha'dum, C commented about Lyta's eyes turning black. I said that sometimes happens when she's doing her telepath stuff.
The best thing about Lyta's eyes is that it pretty much screams she is not really in the same league with other Telepaths anymore. I hope C & T picked up on that aspect of it.

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As we neared the end T said he had expected to find out what had happened to Sheridan by now. But he ended up having to wait another five minutes or so to get his answer.
I wish they could have let the Sheridan mystery go for awhile before revealing the end of the cliffhanger. I completely understand it though. There is sooo much to squeeze into Season 4 they couldn't really stall for the sake of mystery and drama.

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"Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?"

When Lorien was telling Sheridan, "Words have meaning and names have power", C quipped, "So I have power when I call Trump 'a jackass'?" I responded, "Only if he tweets you back."
Yeah when I just yell stuff like that to myself it doesn't even do me any good.

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T got a good laugh when G'Kar accidentally extended Marcus' Minbari fighting pike.
Yes I often wonder how many times Marcus knocked himself unconscious while he was trying to learn how to put it away in his cloak.

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C did not like the scene where Lorien and Sheridan were arguing about "surrendering to Tock", calling it "stupid".
Tell C.

Tick - Just learn to love it.
Tock - Or Lorien won't share any life-force with you when the time comes.
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:25 PM
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The best thing about Lyta's eyes is that it pretty much screams she is not really in the same league with other Telepaths anymore. I hope C & T picked up on that aspect of it.
I don't think they did.

However, I seem to recall JMS once said about foreshadowing, "If everybody gets it I've failed. If nobody gets it I've failed. If some people get it, then I've succeeded."

Does anybody else remember a JMS quote like that?
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:57 AM
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I don't think they did.

However, I seem to recall JMS once said about foreshadowing, "If everybody gets it I've failed. If nobody gets it I've failed. If some people get it, then I've succeeded."

Does anybody else remember a JMS quote like that?
That sounds right, I seem to recall something like that from JMS.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:40 AM
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Yeah I really don't like it when opening credit sequences give spoilers.

Yes I hope they enjoy having a proper villain like Cartagia. lol Say what you will about the other villains, they all have motivations that seem less frightening than Cartagia's motives, cruelty and insanity. I don't think any of the other villains really touch that unless you want to talk about some of the single episode one-off villains like Karl Mueller in The Quality of Mercy, 1.21.

I think one thing that really works for Vir's weight loss is that he has been under so much stress. I know it had more to do with Stephen's health choices, but it still works with the plot even though they don't directly bring it up.

The best thing about Lyta's eyes is that it pretty much screams she is not really in the same league with other Telepaths anymore. I hope C & T picked up on that aspect of it.

I wish they could have let the Sheridan mystery go for awhile before revealing the end of the cliffhanger. I completely understand it though. There is sooo much to squeeze into Season 4 they couldn't really stall for the sake of mystery and drama.

Yeah when I just yell stuff like that to myself it doesn't even do me any good.

Yes I often wonder how many times Marcus knocked himself unconscious while he was trying to learn how to put it away in his cloak.

Tell C.

Tick - Just learn to love it.
Tock - Or Lorien won't share any life-force with you when the time comes.
Tell C I was never too keen on the Lorien thing either! Unsure why, it just never quite worked for me.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:51 AM
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I don't think they did.

However, I seem to recall JMS once said about foreshadowing, "If everybody gets it I've failed. If nobody gets it I've failed. If some people get it, then I've succeeded."

Does anybody else remember a JMS quote like that?
There's this which is similar:

Quote:
No, the whole point of a mystery done *right* is that some folks won't ever
figure it out, a majority of them will have some vague ideas, and some *will*
figure it out. That's the only outcome -- a bell-shaped curve -- if you're
playing fair with the audience. The clues have to be out there, and if they
are, some will notice. If nobody gets it, you didn't play fair. This was
one of the lessons I learned working on MURDER, SHE WROTE.

jms
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:36 AM
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There's this which is similar:
Yeah, that could be it. Thanks, Jan.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:54 AM
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I am glad he put it that way. I watch a lot of mysteries and I am always talking about the ones that "play fair" and "don't play fair"

Agatha Christie's Poirot usually played fair, but I can think of at least one episode where they absolutely CHEATED!
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:10 AM
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Found it!!

http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-14205

Quote:
There seems to be this notion that nobody should be able to
jump ahead, or else something's wrong or bad about the episode.
Absolutely not true. If you're going to play fair with the audience,
whether it's B5 or M,SW, you've got to put enough bits of information
out on the table so that the person who's really following it can
figure it out...so that at the end, those who *didn't* figure it out
can back up the tape, watch for the clues or leads, and see where it
all came from. That's playing fair.

If NObody gets it, you haven't done your job right.

If EVERYbody gets it, you haven't done your job right.

The best case scenario is a bell-shaped curve. Some don't have
a clue what's coming, some manage to figure it out, and the majority
have a kind of vague sense where it's going, but there are still
surprises along the way. If the bell-curve shifts one direction or the
other, then you're in trouble.
My work here is done!
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:20 PM
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Found it!!

http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-14205

My work here is done!
As Ruk the android said in Star Trek: TOS, "THAT was the equation!"

Thanks, Jan!!!
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:54 AM
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"The Summoning"

I began by recapping the plot points from the previous episode:
1.) Lorien told Sheridan that he couldn't create life, but could breathe on the remaining embers
2.) Garibaldi had been captured, interrogated, and gassed
3.) G'Kar had been captured by the Centauri. Londo agreed to free Narn in exchange for G'Kar's help in removing Cartagia from the throne.

T chuckled when Delenn told Marcus, regarding Ivanova's bad Minbari, "Anyone who laughs will answer to me personally."

Soon after, when G'Kar had his legs kicked out from under him, C said, "That's terrible. I don't like cruelty." As you can imagine, she later said, "I don't like this", during the electro-whip scene.

When the White Star discovered the pocket in hyperspace, I explained to C & T that they were looking at a Vorlon fleet.

When the huge birdlike ship exited the jump gate and initiated docking procedures C said, "It'll be Sheridan". Later when Sheridan stepped into full view on the catwalk, C said, "I was right."

At the end, when it was revealed that our heroes will now have to take on the Vorlons, as well as the Shadows, C said, "How about that?" T echoed her, "How about that?"


"Falling Toward Apotheosis"

I began by explaining that "apotheosis" meant elevation to godhood, and that this was a reference to the mad Centauri Emperor. I reminded them that the Vorlons had begun attacking any world that had been touched by the Shadows, and that there were a large number of Shadow vessels stationed on Centauri Prime.

C asked about the Vorlons, how the ostensible "good guys" could be doing this. I explained that although Kosh cared about the younger races, he was not representative of the other Vorlons in this regard. C asked, "So the Vorlons are just as bad as the Shadows?" and I said, "Yes."

C got confused by the woman who got knocked down in the docking bay and was then helped up by Sheridan. C wondered if this was Anna, and I said, "No, Anna's dead."

When Morden appeared in the garden, T quipped, "He's got one hell of a skin condition". I reminded T that Morden had been present on Z'ha'dum when the bombs exploded.

When Garibaldi and his team retreated from the alien sector, C asked why they were bathed in green light. I explained this was an indicator that the atmosphere in the airlock was now breathable, and it was safe to take off their oxygen masks. C also asked about the Gaim the Security team had passed in the hall. C thought the Gaim had entered Kosh's quarters, but I explained that he walked past them.

C asked what Kosh 2 (Ulkesh) had stepped into, and I explained it was an electrical trap. When the high voltage was deployed, and the security guards starting firing, C noted that it didn't seem to be hurting him. When an energy field seemed to envelop the station, C asked what that was, and I explained it was the two Vorlons fighting.

When Londo convinced Cartagia to conduct G'Kar's trial and execution on Narn, I explained this was all a ruse to get Cartagia away to a place where he would be less protected.

T got a laugh from Ivanova saying, "God, I thought I was depressing" in response to Garibaldi.

When Cartagia ordered the guard to "Pluck out his eye!", C groaned and said, "I don't want to watch this." I assured her that, "They don't show it."
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by alpha128 View Post
"The Summoning"

I began by recapping the plot points from the previous episode:
1.) Lorien told Sheridan that he couldn't create life, but could breathe on the remaining embers
2.) Garibaldi had been captured, interrogated, and gassed
3.) G'Kar had been captured by the Centauri. Londo agreed to free Narn in exchange for G'Kar's help in removing Cartagia from the throne.

T chuckled when Delenn told Marcus, regarding Ivanova's bad Minbari, "Anyone who laughs will answer to me personally."

Soon after, when G'Kar had his legs kicked out from under him, C said, "That's terrible. I don't like cruelty." As you can imagine, she later said, "I don't like this", during the electro-whip scene.

When the White Star discovered the pocket in hyperspace, I explained to C & T that they were looking at a Vorlon fleet.

When the huge birdlike ship exited the jump gate and initiated docking procedures C said, "It'll be Sheridan". Later when Sheridan stepped into full view on the catwalk, C said, "I was right."

At the end, when it was revealed that our heroes will now have to take on the Vorlons, as well as the Shadows, C said, "How about that?" T echoed her, "How about that?"
HA! Great reactions. If there is one thing viewers likely have no idea is coming it is that soon into the season they'll see G'Kar being tortured. SOOO INTENSE!!!!! And then the topper of the Vorlon surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha128 View Post
"Falling Toward Apotheosis"

I began by explaining that "apotheosis" meant elevation to godhood, and that this was a reference to the mad Centauri Emperor. I reminded them that the Vorlons had begun attacking any world that had been touched by the Shadows, and that there were a large number of Shadow vessels stationed on Centauri Prime.

C asked about the Vorlons, how the ostensible "good guys" could be doing this. I explained that although Kosh cared about the younger races, he was not representative of the other Vorlons in this regard. C asked, "So the Vorlons are just as bad as the Shadows?" and I said, "Yes."

C got confused by the woman who got knocked down in the docking bay and was then helped up by Sheridan. C wondered if this was Anna, and I said, "No, Anna's dead."

When Morden appeared in the garden, T quipped, "He's got one hell of a skin condition". I reminded T that Morden had been present on Z'ha'dum when the bombs exploded.

When Garibaldi and his team retreated from the alien sector, C asked why they were bathed in green light. I explained this was an indicator that the atmosphere in the airlock was now breathable, and it was safe to take off their oxygen masks. C also asked about the Gaim the Security team had passed in the hall. C thought the Gaim had entered Kosh's quarters, but I explained that he walked past them.

C asked what Kosh 2 (Ulkesh) had stepped into, and I explained it was an electrical trap. When the high voltage was deployed, and the security guards starting firing, C noted that it didn't seem to be hurting him. When an energy field seemed to envelop the station, C asked what that was, and I explained it was the two Vorlons fighting.

When Londo convinced Cartagia to conduct G'Kar's trial and execution on Narn, I explained this was all a ruse to get Cartagia away to a place where he would be less protected.

T got a laugh from Ivanova saying, "God, I thought I was depressing" in response to Garibaldi.

When Cartagia ordered the guard to "Pluck out his eye!", C groaned and said, "I don't want to watch this." I assured her that, "They don't show it."
WOW! This might be the most we've ever heard out of C. So glad C is finally emotionally engaged and has forgotten things like G'Kar is not human.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:10 PM
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So glad C is finally emotionally engaged and has forgotten things like G'Kar is not human.
Yes, I noticed the same. She's come a long way from the days when she joked that G'Kar was "part giraffe".
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:14 PM
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Yes that is what engaging writing does. You eventually identify with the characters and stop seeing their physical differences.
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