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Old 04-29-2017, 08:57 PM
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Marcus Cole

Okay so I searched and I didn't find a thread for this specific character so I am starting one. Feel free to say whatever you want about him, just like I am about to do.

I freely admit that Marcus has never been one of my favorite characters. I have always found him to be too all over the place. One minute he is this kind of virgin warrior priest ninja and the next he is a singing and dancing clown. Well thanks to Shan'waia I had a bit of a Marcus epiphany.

So I discovered that I may have been looking at Marcus in a flawed light. I think my impression of The Rangers has been skewed by the Minbari perspective. I think the show has presented The Rangers as this covert organization of stereotypical Spiritual Ninjas when it comes to the training and how the Minbari see them. With this structure in mind it always made Marcus seem all over the place to me. I was putting him in the wrong category. Sure he had that training, but all the spiritual warrior stuff was just a part of the training. The reality was he was more of an infiltrator and chameleon. Now that I started looking at Marcus as someone who is an expert at blending in and dealing with situations on the fly I see more merit in the character and justification for him bouncing from one end of the character spectrum to the other. I know I have tried to think about him in this chameleon way in the past, but then I watch him versus some of the Minbari and it falls apart. Somehow talking about the fact that not all Ranger uniforms are the same with Shan'waia triggered this justification in my head for him not being the same as some of your hardcore Anla'Shok. And the more I think about it the angrier I get. But seriously, thinking in these terms makes me want to have seen more of his story.

Okay so I know many of you are probably saying, "Duh Looney", but you can't hurt my feelings. lol That is what I love about Babylon 5. I can always find new things. Now I need to work more on loving Byron.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:13 AM
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Nah, I totally get where you are coming from. Marcus was never a fav of mine either, but the character is quite fun. A lot of it is probably where JMS' and my sense of humour don't quite connect. Same with Ivanova's 'funny' lines, they make me cringe most of the time! Heh.

However, I like this perspective. All is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:34 AM
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Same with Ivanova's 'funny' lines, they make me cringe most of the time! Heh.
Okay, but the line in my signature, "I'll be in the car.", is probably one of the, if not the, funniest in the series. Tell me you laughed. I was rolling on the floor.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:57 AM
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Okay, but the line in my signature, "I'll be in the car.", is probably one of the, if not the, funniest in the series. Tell me you laughed. I was rolling on the floor.
I really really didn't get that. Sorry. Much Ivanova humor left me cold, though I could sort of appreciate the 'sex scene'.

As for Marcus, I liked him a lot. Sure, he was a martyrdom waiting to happen but he did a nice job of portraying somebody with the determination to always fulfill his mission with an outlook to enjoy life while he could and still look at the world kind of sideways.

I'm not sure how good of an infiltrator/chameleon Marcus would have been, though I can see how others of the Rangers might have been. Marcus' personality was pretty large to blend in quietly.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:28 AM
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I really really didn't get that. Sorry. Much Ivanova humor left me cold, though I could sort of appreciate the 'sex scene'.
The line is just so perfectly real. Delenn has just finished explaining this VERY serious situation and Ivanova throws out this completely sarcastic tension breaker. It is also telling for her character because it is her throwing out a defense mechanism against what she has just heard. She is struggling get past her disbelief and this great line pops out of her mouth.

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I'm not sure how good of an infiltrator/chameleon Marcus would have been, though I can see how others of the Rangers might have been. Marcus' personality was pretty large to blend in quietly.
I didn't say he always needed to "blend in quietly." I guess the phrase "blend in" might give the wrong impression. Adapting might be a better word. He needed to get information. He didn't always need to go unnoticed. Quite the contrary, many of his situations called for him to be noticed. He needed people to talk to him and give him information. That doesn't always happen when you blend in. I guess what I meant to say is that he needed to be able to adapt to situations in order to get people to give him information he could assess and pass on. I think my problem with him before was that the way The Rangers are presented is in a manner that seems to suggest we are supposed to think they are meant to blend in quietly. Well that is not Marcus and I guess the reality is that wouldn't always be the best way for him to get his job done. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he can blend in and sneak around with the best of them, but that would not always be the way he could get the information he needed. And I think that overall stereotype I put on them kind of doesn't entirely fit the Ranger way. They have to get things done and being Spiritual Ninja Lords of Stealth isn't always the way to get the job done. I am thinking of Brother Alwyn Macomber (Roy Brocksmith) in Deconstruction of Falling Stars, 4.22. His whole Ranger life was undercover intelligence gathering. Yes he had to blend in and be secretive, but he also had to put out a persona that got people to talk to him and bring him information.

Side Note: I knew Roy Brocksmith passed away some time ago, 2001. What I did not know was that he was born in Quincy, Illinois, a little more than fifty miles away from where I am sitting while I type this.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:04 AM
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I love Marcus very, very much. His sense of humour is basically exactly the same as mine.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:31 AM
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I always got the impression that Marcus was different from many other rangers for a couple of reasons. One a plus and one a minus. I feel as though Marcus studied closely with Sinclair, and so, perhaps, had a broader view of the ranger's role. It wasn't just the infiltration and intelligence. Neither was it just the fight and die, hold the bridge, die for the one approach. It was more rounded. It was a way of life and service. You'll recall Delenn speaking of humor as something the Minbari studied. I think Marcus took all that more to heart. On the downside, I think Marcus became a ranger for the wrong reasons, and in that vein he was flawed. He took it up from a sense of guilt over his brother and the mining colony, and with a wish for revenge. I see both of those factors in Marcus' character, making him very complex and sometimes inconsistent.

There were some moments I thought he was a bit over the top, by I really liked the character a lot.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:00 PM
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I always got the impression that Marcus was different from many other rangers for a couple of reasons. One a plus and one a minus. I feel as though Marcus studied closely with Sinclair, and so, perhaps, had a broader view of the ranger's role. It wasn't just the infiltration and intelligence. Neither was it just the fight and die, hold the bridge, die for the one approach. It was more rounded. It was a way of life and service. You'll recall Delenn speaking of humor as something the Minbari studied. I think Marcus took all that more to heart. On the downside, I think Marcus became a ranger for the wrong reasons, and in that vein he was flawed. He took it up from a sense of guilt over his brother and the mining colony, and with a wish for revenge. I see both of those factors in Marcus' character, making him very complex and sometimes inconsistent.

There were some moments I thought he was a bit over the top, by I really liked the character a lot.
See reading this reminded me why I wanted to see more of Legend of The Rangers. I feel like we were really going to get some interesting debate as to what the Rangers really were versus this zealot mythology they had built around them and into their basic principles.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:19 PM
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I'm honored I gave you an epiphany. lol Though I'm probably about to disappoint you and for that I profoundly apologize.

My love for Marcus' character was hardly, at least back when I started watching the show 12 years ago, based on his depth or backstory. He struck a chord with me because he reminded me of someone who had a major impact on my life, a goofy badass who also died way too young. A major character in my own books is cut from the same cloth, and as I was writing those books and created the character just before I started watching the show, I was primed to favor him hands down.

Over time, as I've "matured" as a storyteller (suuuure I have) and gotten super into character development and plot arcs, I've rewatched the show numerous times and found I tend to favor a different character each time for their story (G'Kar being one, Garibaldi being another--as I've gotten older I really come to value just how REAL he was).

That doesn't mean I love Marcus any less. In fact I love him more now than even then. But I wish we'd been able to see his story developed a little more because he really is very hard to explain to people, and I won't deny if I hadn't had an outside connection to him I may not have appreciated him the way I do.

There was so much only vaguely referred to in his past, and as noble as his sacrifice for Ivanova was, it seemed like a waste. Partially because she left after that, and partially because even as a naive 16 year old I never truly shipped them (rather I kind of wanted them to get together, rub off on each other, but ultimately part as friends. I don't think they were compatible in the long run.). I could have done with a lot more digging into his character to see why he was, as you say, all over the place.

And that's probably another reason I like him--I'm also all over the place. And you have to admit even when he's obnoxious (always) he brings a charming and much needed levity to many, MANY scenes. I won't lie, when I realize someone's not listening to my I go into this:

"There's always the threat of an attack by, say, a giant space dragon, the kind that eats the sun once a month. It's a nuisance, but what can you expect from reptiles? Did I mention my nose is on fire, and that I have 15 wild badgers living in my trousers?"

So far, no one has caught me...

Last edited by Shan'waia; 05-03-2017 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:05 PM
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Though I'm probably about to disappoint you and for that I profoundly apologize.
I have no idea why you think I would be disappointed? I said things along the same lines you did, like I REALLY now want to know more of his story. I also kind of agree with you on the whole relationship angle with Ivanova. I know JMS could have written them into a relationship and I would have totally bought it, but up to the point where he sacrifices himself I really wasn't feeling they had this awesome future romance. I think that is an angle that makes his sacrifice very interesting. I mean he knew what he was doing and I think he genuinely believed in it. I think it was exactly how he wanted to go. He put her on a pedestal and was completely fine with giving his life for hers. Just another complexity to his character.

Question for everyone: Does Marcus think he and Ivanova have a future together right before he finds out he has to sacrifice himself? (Should this question be a thread.) lol
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:55 AM
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Question for everyone: Does Marcus think he and Ivanova have a future together right before he finds out he has to sacrifice himself? (Should this question be a thread.) lol
I don't think there's an easy answer to that. I would say he hopes they have a future together, but he has experienced much loss in his life, so he can easily imagine that there isn't a future.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:21 AM
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I don't think there's an easy answer to that. I would say he hopes they have a future together, but he has experienced much loss in his life, so he can easily imagine that there isn't a future.
That also goes for Ivanova.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:01 AM
Shan'waia Shan'waia is offline
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I have no idea why you think I would be disappointed?
Because I made you think there was a deep meaning behind my liking of Marcus so much and in the end it was nothing to do with his story or character development and everything to do with "he reminds me of a lost loved one."

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Question for everyone: Does Marcus think he and Ivanova have a future together right before he finds out he has to sacrifice himself? (Should this question be a thread.) lol
I don't think there's an easy answer to that. I would say he hopes they have a future together, but he has experienced much loss in his life, so he can easily imagine that there isn't a future.
That also goes for Ivanova.
I'm gonna get pretty verbose here so bear with me...

In my experience people, especially guys, hold onto hope for absolute ever when they fall in love, and when there finally is no hope, they have to walk away completely at least for a while. Sometimes a mutual respect and even a friendship endures, and you can be close platonically later. Sometimes you can't and while it's sad, the permanent separation is the only way for both parties to get on with life.

So on one level I do think Marcus was hopeful all along. But I also think, given how much loss they both experienced and how radically different their personalities were, he was realistic that being nice and helpful might never be enough to develop a relationship with Ivanova. And I think in his case if push came to shove and they weren't going to be together, they'd be able to be friends in the long run, whether he had to take space or not.

I do think he was considerably more hopeful after she softened up to him right before the end, when she told him she knew what he really said when he spoke Minbari to her. I think after that, and once the wars were over, had he still been alive, he'd have pursued her more openly. She MAY have been ok with getting into a relationship because I think by that point she was gaining interest, but I also don't think she really realized she cared for him until after he died. Not because she's an idiot or anything, but because, like I said, they were fighting a freaking war. She had so much to deal with and focus on that she probably just shoved her feelings down deep and then it was too late.

Rotten shame...

The best/worst part is I imagine Marcus, even if he had no hope, would still have died for her. Please excuse me while I go find out who's chopping onions.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:37 PM
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The verbosity of that post has had me reeling for days!!!!!

How do you know I hold on to hope "for absolutely forever" when I fall in love Shan'waia?!?!?!?! My goodness it sounds like you have broken many hearts to have such insight. Well I see no hope for our future now. Sorry I shouldn't make light of it, but I had to throw up some defense mechanism to fend off that verbose assault on my psyche.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:36 PM
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The verbosity of that post has had me reeling for days!!!!!

How do you know I hold on to hope "for absolutely forever" when I fall in love Shan'waia?!?!?!?! My goodness it sounds like you have broken many hearts to have such insight. Well I see no hope for our future now. Sorry I shouldn't make light of it, but I had to throw up some defense mechanism to fend off that verbose assault on my psyche.
I was wondering why no one replied for so long.

Hahaha! I'm secretly a telepath sent back in time from the 2270's...No you're right I've had experience, and also received very good advice from my dad and a professional relationship specialist who visited my college and did a seminar.

To my credit I've never sought to break hearts, and mine has been broken too. It's part of life. ^.^;
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