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-   -   EpDis: Z'ha'dum (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=8846)

vacantlook February 28th 06 14:17

EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum
Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for Z'ha'dum
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for Z'ha'dum

RW7427 February 28th 06 14:29

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum
I voted A. One of the heavy hitters of B5. Awesome stuff indeed!

KoshN February 28th 06 15:41

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum
No doubt about it, A+. Poignant, just the way I like 'em.

GKarsEye February 28th 06 15:51

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum
Although it's obviously and A ep, my one complaint is how rushed Sheridan's encounter with the human leaders of the Shadow side feels. Finally we meet the "man in the middle" and he up and gets all blowed up like 4 minutes later. I also have to seriously suspend disbelief that Sheridan somehow fought his way past freakin' Shadows, the baddest muthas in the galaxy, to get to that cliff.

KoshN February 28th 06 16:17

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum

I also have to seriously suspend disbelief that Sheridan somehow fought his way past freakin' Shadows, the baddest muthas in the galaxy, to get to that cliff.

Well, we've never seen the Shadows move very fast, and it's not like they really have to chase him. After all, where do they think he's going to go? He's not going to escape off the planet. They probably expect The Eye to have the Whitestar destroyed (kind of like Anna/Battlecrab destroyed Kell's ship.). Also, it's just a balcony at the end of the hallway where he jumps. They probably didn't expect that.

I suspect that The Shadows don't value their individual members as much as the Vorlons do. I think the Shadows value the group much more than the individual. So, if John kills one of them in the meeting room, I don't expect they'd go into full "Kill John Sheridan!!!" mode.

The only time we've seen Shadows directly kill someone, it was Kosh, and he just stood toe-to-toe with them and fought it out, three against one.

Not much suspension of disbelief for me.

BTW, the Vorlons are the baddest muthas in the galaxy. :D It took three of the Shadows to take down Kosh, and it took B5 power grid, the B5 security force with PPG rifles, Sheridan, the last of Kosh and a bit of Lorien to take down Ulkesh.

vacantlook February 28th 06 16:22

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum

Finally we meet the "man in the middle"

I just can't resist posting what jms said about the "man in the middle" in his commentary in the volume 3 scriptbook under "All Alone In The Night"....

"Garibaldi stating "The man in-between is looking for you": The meaning of this line resulted in heated debates among the Babylon 5 fan community, arguments that continue to this day. So part of me is tempted to let it go unexplained. But the larger part of me wants to annoy the hell out of the deconstructionists who say that authors never know what the heck it is they're really writing, so here goes.

"Some have speculated that this refers to Justin, who meets Sheridan in "Z'ha'dum" and refers to himself as "a middle man." And I've since noted that in one sense, yes, the description fits. That was one of the things I considered when writing this scene, but not the only thing. Images and dreams have more than one meaning. Other fans have decided that the main in-between is Sinclair, or Kosh, or Morden, and those interpretations are as valid as anything else in terms of what each viewer takes away from the scene. Art, I think, is what happens in the distance between the observer and that which is observed. Interpretation is half the job. So if any of those options are what people wish to interpret, then for them that interpretation is valid.

"But in terms of the author's original intent... what I meant and what I was thinking about when I wrote it... while there was the Justin aspect, which is the easiest to explain in a quick internet note or on a convention platform... the truth is that, knowing what was coming up in the story years down the road, for me the man in-between... is Sheridan himself.

"Again... look at the scene. He's looking up at himself, both here and in "Sleeping in Light." Consider the following exchange between Lorien and Sheridan in "Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?" (Emphasis mine.)

If you did not hit bottom, then you are still falling, and all this is a dream.
Unless... you're in-between.

Between what?

Between moments. When we are born, we are allocated a finite number of seconds. Each tick of the clock slices off a piece of us. Tick, a possibility for joy is gone; tock, a careless word ends one path, opens another. Tick, tock, tick, tock, always running out of time. Yours is almost used up. You're between seconds, lost in the infinite possiblities between tick and tock; tick, you're alive, tock... well, it was a good life, but a short one.

"And then, from later in the same episode:

The others need me --

They need what you can be when you are no longer afraid. When you are no longer looking for reasons to live, but can simply <u>be</u>.

I can't.

Then I cannot help you, and you will be caught forever in-between. You must let go. Surrender yourself to death. The death of flesh, the death of fear. Step into the abyss and <u>let go</u>.

"At the risk of being trite... the Sheridan that he is one day going to become is looking for him, waiting for him on the other side of his decisions.

"Quantum physics tells us that time is primarily a matter of perception, that we actually exist simultaneously in the past, present and future. To someone who can step outside of human perception, such as Lorien, or Kosh, who transmits this dream to Sheridan just as he does to G'Kar later in "Dust to Dust," all those Sheridans are equally real at the same time. (Hence Kosh's comment, "You have always been here," and Lorien saying that Sheridan is "caught between seconds," caught in the subjective perception of time.) So what we have here is Sheridan looking at himself on the bridge, from his return from death in "The Summoning," looking at himself looking at himself in "Sleeping in Light."

"We all look to the future, trying to see the person we will one day become.

"We all look to the past, to the person who was and the decisions made that brought us to where we are today.

"For Sheridan, those moments... are this moment, brought together.

""The past tempts us, the present confuses us, the future frightens us... and our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast terrible in-between."" (pages 52-54)


I also have to seriously suspend disbelief that Sheridan somehow fought his way past freakin' Shadows, the baddest muthas in the galaxy, to get to that cliff.

I don't think disbelief has to be suspended too much if one views it as if the Shadows decided themselves to back off and use Anna once again, whom they send to Sheridan on the balcony. They very much would prefer to turn Sheridan than force him or kill him. Perhaps at that moment that Sheridan begins to fire on the Shadows and their agents, the Shadows consider what's happening and think that they'll definitely lose Sheridan to the chance to convert him if they themselves continue to attack. Try Anna, just one more time. And that gives Sheridan a moment to get away to the balcony.

KoshFan February 28th 06 17:08

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum
Okay, JMS's explanation there makes more sense than anything else I've ever read.

This was long my favorite ep ever, and still remains in the top five.

Springer March 1st 06 17:11

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum
The last ten minutes is some of the best TV ever.

GKarsEye March 1st 06 17:18

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum

The last ten minutes is some of the best TV ever.


Back when I got my sound system, one of the first thiings I did was watch this ep with the volume (and bass) cranked and when the Whitestar crashed into and blew up Z'ha Dum, it was so freakin' awesome I sported a half a pack of Rolaids.

Then I realised I needed to meet women or something.

That scene also my major Babylon 5 thesis: Sheridan kicks some serious ass! Hmm, let's see, I think I'll plummet to my own demise and then make a space ship loaded with nukes follow me into the heart of my enemies. He's like Chuck Norris without the lame infomercials.

Alluveal March 1st 06 19:58

Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum

Some Trekkie was trying to tell me that Picard ruled everything. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE Trek, but it's no B5. And I'm sorry, but John "Get the hell out of our galaxy" Sheridan would totally own any Trek character... cept for Worf maybe.

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