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-   -   EpDis: By Any Means Necessary (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=7102)

vacantlook December 10th 04 10:49

EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Time for another; this time By Any Means Necessary. In light of the potentiality of some people being out of touch with B5 fans as being discussed in other threads here, it feels fitting as this episode deals with an Earth government out of touch with working class Earth citizens.

Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for By Any Means Necessary
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for By Any Means Necessary

vacantlook December 10th 04 10:57

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
I personally really love "By Any Means Necessary." I like that it deals with a story that's not galactic in nature, but one of society. It helps to make Babylon 5 feel realistic.

I liked Ms Connally as a guest character and how much she stood up for the workers. How the Senate tried to pass the buck on to Sinclair over the funding and operating issues was angering, so it was great in the end when Sinclair found a means to both give the workers what they needed and to say bite me to EarthGov.

We also get some of Narn religious observances in this episode, which is something that was missing from the demonstration of religions in "The Parliament Of Dreams."

So yeah, I like this episode. :)

GKarsEye December 10th 04 10:57

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
I like it a lot. It makes the station feel "real." There are people that actually make the station run, doing all the mundane things that actually make things happen. I also appreciate that the Docker's Guild is mentioned throughout the series.

The only "problem" I had with it is that the dock workers were actually too accepting. They really did put up with a lot of shit, especially the big guy who's brother died. I can't imagine still workign in a place like that.

RMcD December 10th 04 13:51

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
It's a very good episode.. as everyone is saying, it does make the B5 universe seem very real, very down to earth. Budgets, oversight committees, unions etc. don't sound gripping, but somehow it works. I love the little details in this episode - such as the fact that B5 has its own financial channel. Also, don't forget the sub-plot in which G'Kar and Londo steal each other's icons. Another early glimpse of G'kar's spiritual side (and Sinclair's, for that matter)..

GreenMonkey December 10th 04 16:05

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
The story is fine, it does help make B5 seem more real, etc. But I don't see any real character development, nor any subplot that helps a larger story arc - the reasons why I like B5 so much. I gave it a C. At least it didn't suck like "Grey 17 is missing" or "Infection".

GKarsEye December 10th 04 16:14

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

nor any subplot that helps a larger story arc

As has been mentioned earlier in the thread, Sinclair's solution to the problem made many political enemies on Earth. It's one of the key reasons for the investigation in Eyes. It's also possibly part of the reason he was sent to Minbar and they replaced him with someone they thought would be more willing to play along.

RW7427 December 10th 04 19:00

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
I voted C because it's not really one of my favs.

Shaal Mayan December 10th 04 19:33

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
I voted B this is a good ep and shows a side not scene to often the less glamerous side to station workers the everyday man or woman .

hypatia December 10th 04 19:36

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
An episode about an uncaring and cruel 'administration' which is outwitted by our show's hero?

I thought it was great, of course. :)

I do adore the "before you give a guy a gun, make sure you know where he'll aim it" theme.

KoshFan December 11th 04 07:53

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
I gave it a C, but now I'm regretting that. I do enjoy it, mostly for the reasons already given... just not as much as some others.

The thing I remember most about this episode, though, is that it's right before Signs and Portents.

GreenMonkey December 15th 04 21:17

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Quote:

nor any subplot that helps a larger story arc

As has been mentioned earlier in the thread, Sinclair's solution to the problem made many political enemies on Earth. It's one of the key reasons for the investigation in Eyes. It's also possibly part of the reason he was sent to Minbar and they replaced him with someone they thought would be more willing to play along.


*eh* That's not much in my book. If you go over each ep with a fine tooth comb you can generally find *something*. Not enough for me.

Cell August 3rd 08 15:15

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Enjoy, rip it apart, it's all cool!

http://worldsoforos.com/secondviews/...-112/#more-702

maneth August 4th 08 15:07

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
I like this episode. Sinclair's solution indeed made him a lot of enemies back on Earth, and it made B5 seem more like a real place. It's fun to see some of the logistics behind what makes the station work.

Estelyn May 18th 10 16:55

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
This episode is a real contrast to the preceding "Survivors"! I really like the down-to-earth (down-to-station?!) story that focuses on the people who keep the place running on a practical level. I'm not so optimistic as to think that humans will have overcome all their self-created problems in 200 years.

I also like the young woman in this episode (Neeoma) much better than Lianna. She comes across as a tough cookie and seems much more real than the Major. That could be a matter of better casting for the role; I'm pretty sure her voice makes a difference as well - it's very energetic. She also has a sense of humour, something lacking in the previous female character.

The secondary story is quite a contrast and feels more humorous; as I felt the subtext coming across from Londo's words, I can't help but think that the flower was an aphrodisiac. It is nice to learn something about Narn religion as a postscript to "Parliament of Dreams" - and good to know that not all Narn adhere to the same beliefs. I thought that G'Kar's singing sounded very like Jewish chants in its melodic progression.

What comes through very strongly once again is Sinclair's wisdom and cleverness in making decisions. He is a veritable Solomon! I greatly admire those traits and miss them in Sheridan later on. My favourite part is the fact that he uses the laws passed by Earthdome against them! I love it when someone goes by the book and still gets his own will.

One quote strikes me as being very Tolkienesque: "There's no happily ever after, just new battles." Tolkien spoke of "the long defeat", meaning that evil is not vanquished once and for all. We cannot fight the battles for future generations, but only leave them with "clean earth to till".

Sinclair is warned by the Senator that he has made enemies by embarrassing Zento. Is the latter ever mentioned again, or is that just a general foreshadowing of the attitude Earth offcials take toward him?

JoeD80 May 18th 10 17:18

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Estelyn (Post 361588)
Sinclair is warned by the Senator that he has made enemies by embarrassing Zento. Is the latter ever mentioned again, or is that just a general foreshadowing of the attitude Earth offcials take toward him?

This incident is brought up in "Eyes."

Alioth May 21st 12 12:24

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenMonkey (Post 177748)
The story is fine, it does help make B5 seem more real, etc. But I don't see any real character development, nor any subplot that helps a larger story arc - the reasons why I like B5 so much. I gave it a C. At least it didn't suck like "Grey 17 is missing" or "Infection".

If "Grey 17" was called "Denn'Shar" ("to the death", which was Marcus' challenge to Neroon in defense of Delenn--to me the real A-story), I think it would be remembered more as an arc episode.

While there's nothing too direct relating to the arc, we do get a good sense of the "flavor" of political trends on Earth with this one: that labor is being particularly devalued (this seems to increase or decrease in historical cycles), government is becoming more inflexible and less receptive to moral appeals (again relatively speaking), anyone without (percieved) power to exert is getting stepped on more, Zento reflects some glaring arrogance of the powers-that-be (no real attempt to negotiate whatsoever), etc.

I like the reference to the Matewan Massacre of the 1920s (although it's pronounced MATE-wan, not MAH-teh-wan as in the ep)--the movie Matewan about this pivotal labor-struggle event is one of my favorites.

I think Zento's acting was a little overdone, and while he is supposed to come off as very arrogant, I think the flunkie EarthGov would send in that situation would be more of a slick smoke-blowing bullshitter type (well he did try to do a little BSing, but he clearly wasn't very good at it) than an unsubtle heavy-handed ass--but maybe that really does reflect their real level of arrogance.

Bab5nutz May 22nd 12 20:00

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GKarsEye (Post 177750)
Quote:

nor any subplot that helps a larger story arc

As has been mentioned earlier in the thread, Sinclair's solution to the problem made many political enemies on Earth. It's one of the key reasons for the investigation in Eyes. It's also possibly part of the reason he was sent to Minbar and they replaced him with someone they thought would be more willing to play along.

Man, did EarthGov screw up with the replacment!

Lennier's Tears September 20th 15 19:56

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
I find myself in agreement with several people here, specifically Vacantlook at the very start of the thread and Alioth's more recent post quoted below.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alioth (Post 397378)
Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenMonkey (Post 177748)
The story is fine, it does help make B5 seem more real, etc. But I don't see any real character development, nor any subplot that helps a larger story arc - the reasons why I like B5 so much. I gave it a C. At least it didn't suck like "Grey 17 is missing" or "Infection".

If "Grey 17" was called "Denn'Shar" ("to the death", which was Marcus' challenge to Neroon in defense of Delenn--to me the real A-story), I think it would be remembered more as an arc episode.

While there's nothing too direct relating to the arc, we do get a good sense of the "flavor" of political trends on Earth with this one: that labor is being particularly devalued (this seems to increase or decrease in historical cycles), government is becoming more inflexible and less receptive to moral appeals (again relatively speaking), anyone without (percieved) power to exert is getting stepped on more, Zento reflects some glaring arrogance of the powers-that-be (no real attempt to negotiate whatsoever), etc.

I like the reference to the Matewan Massacre of the 1920s (although it's pronounced MATE-wan, not MAH-teh-wan as in the ep)--the movie Matewan about this pivotal labor-struggle event is one of my favorites.

I think Zento's acting was a little overdone, and while he is supposed to come off as very arrogant, I think the flunkie EarthGov would send in that situation would be more of a slick smoke-blowing bullshitter type (well he did try to do a little BSing, but he clearly wasn't very good at it) than an unsubtle heavy-handed ass--but maybe that really does reflect their real level of arrogance.

There's really very little I could add to that. I agree on all counts (including the Grey 17 comment) except perhaps on Zento. I do see what you mean, but I kinda like him like that.

By Any Means Necessary is a fantastic episode. It is a non-arc episode, except in that it builds on Sinclair's political position and the antagonistic relationship between Londo and G'kar and things like that ... but you'll find some of that in all non-arc episodes ... at least up until season 5. The main storyline of the episode certainly is non-arc, but everything we learn about Earth and its government is so relevant to the main arc. This isn't our first hint that there's something rotten in the state of ... EarthGov (see for example Soul Hunter, Infection, Mind War, And the Sky Full of Stars), but this episode gives us a really good look at the political situation. [VAGUE SPOILERS for later seasons' storylines, skip to next paragraph to avoid]. A Santiago presidency clearly is not a Clark presidency but everything is in place here for a Clark to come into power. A government so willing to invoke the Rush Act isn't that far from a government that establishes a Ministry of Peace and a Night Watch.

Neeoma Connally is a great character and I love that her position exists in the universe of Babylon 5. Taking contemporary issues and putting them in a fictional future is a staple of SF and obviously not something Babylon 5 invented, but it's one of the areas where the show truly shines. The idea of a 23rd century where people still have to fight for a living wage, and where sub-standard parts get installed because shady contractors with the lowest bid is pretty depressing to contemplate, but it makes for a great episode, and the B5 universe in general is both interesting and believable.

Random stuff and things from this viewing:
  • Again with the hats. I commented on this in the "Survivors" thread, too. Lots of people wearing hats. Not fashion hats, but cold weather hats. Is it cold in the docking bays?
  • Loving Londo's pajamas/robe combo. Fancy.
  • Londo calls the Narns "pagans". That's interesting. Is there a hierarchy of religions in the Babylon 5 universe, and if so, what determines which religion is to be taken seriously, and how exactly is "pagan" defined in all this?
  • Sinclair gets angry at all the unauthorized people present in C&C, and wants them gone. How do they get there in the first place? Is there no security?
  • The G'Quan Eth is a controlled substance, only to be possessed for valid medical or religious reasons. Interesting. I wonder what kind of drug laws there are in the 23rd century Babylon 5 universe.
  • Zento wears a square pin on his lapel (see below). Is that just decorative or does it mean something?

http://www.lotje.be/fanstuff/bamn1.jpg

Dorvo October 13th 15 00:37

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Rewatched it again just now, and like everyone else here, I enjoy it. The idea that the future isn't free of real world problems--unethical, lowballing contractors, labor exploitation and unrest--is one of the things the show usually did very well, and that sets it apart from the vast majority of the other big franchise, Star Trek. And the interaction between Londo and G'kar is simply superb, as it always was; it's a pleasure to watch the two play off of each other. I also liked the way it was another step in the fleshing out of G'kar, which ultimately ends in his revelation and salvation: we get to see him as a deeply spiritual person. One of the most powerful features of the B5 story arc is the way that G'kar and Londo more or less switch places as the series goes on--Londo into the darkness and G'kar into the light. Very nice stuff.

The one drawback for me is Zento, not the character but the actor. He was waaay too over the top, a real cardboard villain. At the very end, when he sees how Sinclair has tricked him, I half expected him to snarl "curses! Foiled again!" and try to twirl his nonexistent mustache. If he's Earth's best labor negotiator, they are seriously screwed. Of course, that might have been the point, and the episode hints at it--if there are darker, authoritarian forces at work back on earth, they might engineer sending in the impossible to deal with asshole, since it's guaranteed to provoke exactly the kind of reaction you're hoping for.

Lennier's Tears October 13th 15 02:26

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dorvo (Post 452030)

The one drawback for me is Zento, not the character but the actor. He was waaay too over the top, a real cardboard villain. At the very end, when he sees how Sinclair has tricked him, I half expected him to snarl "curses! Foiled again!" and try to twirl his nonexistent mustache. If he's Earth's best labor negotiator, they are seriously screwed. Of course, that might have been the point, and the episode hints at it--if there are darker, authoritarian forces at work back on earth, they might engineer sending in the impossible to deal with asshole, since it's guaranteed to provoke exactly the kind of reaction you're hoping for.

It's interesting, I've seen several threads recently where people commented on how they thought a certain character was over the top (Orin Zento here, Ari Ben Zayn in "Eyes", Captain Pierce in "A Voice in the Wilderness"). I liked all of them exactly as they were. Apparently I have a thing for "over the top" characters :p

Dorvo October 13th 15 19:37

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Well, if it's a complaint, it's a very minor one. I'll gladly take an over the top B5 acting job over a perfectly nuanced performance in just about any other series, no problem.

Ben Zayn didn't bother me as much for some reason. Just goes to show, a lot of this is purely individual impression.

Wulf October 19th 15 13:50

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Apparently I have a thing for "over the top" characters
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...Overthetop.jpg

Lennier's Tears October 19th 15 17:15

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wulf (Post 452053)
Quote:

Apparently I have a thing for "over the top" characters
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...Overthetop.jpg

Heh. Somehow I think that might be a bit TOO over the top, even for me :p

hypatia October 22nd 15 03:25

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Londo Molari's entire first season was pretty over-the-top, wasn't it?

I, too, have a fondness for a bit over-the-top. :bolian:

B5 in Oz October 30th 15 01:13

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Londo may have seemed over the top but I think it set the tone of the character and the demise of the Centauri as a master race?

Springer October 30th 15 10:33

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by B5 in Oz (Post 452094)
Londo may have seemed over the top but I think it set the tone of the character and the demise of the Centauri as a master race?

That's a good point, from the beginning Londo was always a little over the top, larger than life, not just in his character but his clothing and his hair-do - that was part of the charm, and of course as the series progressed we got to know him more and were able to put his over-the-topness into context. So we accept it unconditionally as that's who Londo was, but I wonder how many people first watched The Gathering and Season 1 and thought that the guy with the hair really had to tone it down? (Not me, I hasten to add - I love over the top characters chewing scenery, it's entertaining)

B5 in Oz October 30th 15 19:42

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Do you think that the character accent of Londo was deliberately leaning towards German? as the Centauri were depicted as a kind off master race?

Lennier's Tears October 30th 15 22:04

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Hmm, I never thought he sounded German.

I always got a Roman vibe off the Centauri. Obviously there are many influences there and they look a lot like any Empire. The Roman thing is just my personal bias (and the polytheism :P ). There's definitely a lot of 19th century European empire there, too. The clothes definitely have a bit of a 19th century Europe military feel to them.

Springer October 31st 15 08:11

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
If anything Londo's accent was a pastiche of eastern-European, but not every Centauri spoke with that accent, that was Londo's 'regional' accent. I also wouldn't say the Centauri saw themselves as a master race as such – they wanted to eradicate the Narn but had no such wish to do the same to the humans, Minbari, Drazi etc.

hypatia November 2nd 15 01:15

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Their first instinct, upon meeting Humans, was to lie about how big, powerful, and important they were in the Galaxy. Perhaps they didn't see themselves that way, but the sure did want us to see them that way.

I think you have it correct with the Romans. Personally, I always saw the Centauri as being a lot like us in the USA. But the dress and hair do kind of suggest Roman, don't they? :)

Jan November 2nd 15 11:39

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by B5 in Oz (Post 452103)
Do you think that the character accent of Londo was deliberately leaning towards German? as the Centauri were depicted as a kind off master race?

No it wasn't. Peter Jurasik's often said that he invented the accent on his own with no suggestions from production.

Jan

Wulf November 2nd 15 13:53

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
It never occurred to me that the Centauri could be anything but Roman, with Cartagia being a variation on Caligula.

B5 in Oz November 2nd 15 20:08

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Good points guys,

Dorvo November 4th 15 01:45

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
For his accent, I'd lean towards generalized Euro trash. If I had to pin it down, it's vaguely Romanian, Count Dracula sounding to me, with a little Russian thrown in for seasoning.

B5 in Oz November 5th 15 00:57

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 452116)
Quote:

Originally Posted by B5 in Oz (Post 452103)
Do you think that the character accent of Londo was deliberately leaning towards German? as the Centauri were depicted as a kind off master race?

No it wasn't. Peter Jurasik's often said that he invented the accent on his own with no suggestions from production.

Jan

Thats interesting Jan, I wonder if anyone asked Peter what the accent was meant to be if anything?

Jan November 5th 15 01:19

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
it's been a long time and I don't think I'd be able to find the source as it was in an interview but if I recall correctly, he had recently been turned down for a part requiring an accent because whatever it was didn't sound right. So he devised the Londo accent from a number of elements on the theory that nobody could tell him that his accent didn't sound Centauri.
:lol:

Jan

B5 in Oz November 5th 15 02:59

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
:guffaw:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 452138)
it's been a long time and I don't think I'd be able to find the source as it was in an interview but if I recall correctly, he had recently been turned down for a part requiring an accent because whatever it was didn't sound right. So he devised the Londo accent from a number of elements on the theory that nobody could tell him that his accent didn't sound Centauri.
:lol:

Jan


Ubik November 8th 15 16:13

Re: EpDis: By Any Means Necessary
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wulf (Post 452117)
It never occurred to me that the Centauri could be anything but Roman, with Cartagia being a variation on Caligula.

I always thought there was some Prussian influence too.


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