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-   -   EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=8291)

Lousy_Dodgers August 17th 06 22:52

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z\'ha\'dum
 
I still disagree but I cannot ague against what people enjoy. From my point of view, I just thought Sheridan was being a bit too slow to understand since Kosh was standing right there in the room. At least part of Sheridan's mind must have wondered why Kosh came along with Delenn; Kosh had to have some reason to involve himself since Vorlons do not exactly just tag along for the heck of it.

As I said though, it is a minor quibble. I just wanted to throw it out there to see if I was all alone in the night in my interpretation of the scene.

vacantlook August 18th 06 01:30

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z\'ha\'dum
 
Quote:

Kosh had to have some reason to involve himself since Vorlons do not exactly just tag along for the heck of it.

Kosh has had other moments, particularly Council meetings, where he's been known to just stand around like a large kitchen appliance. ;)

I'm not annoyed the idea of Sheridan not picking up on it being that the Vorlons were the other First Ones Delenn was talking about, I just think the specific scripting of the scene doesn't pull off that particular element of the scene all that well. It kind of comes off to me, as a couple of other things do ("What'd she say: All that remains is honor and death." in "Points of Departure" for example) that sounds scripted, or at least performed, to give way too much lingering of time for the viewer to figure it out.

Estelyn August 24th 10 21:47

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
This episode is chockfull of good stuff! I watched it both as is and with JMS' commentary. There's a strongly mythical feeling to it, intentionally, as JMS says. The name of the spaceship, Icarus, says a lot about its destiny. That part of the story has a very strong Middle-earth feeling to it - Tolkien's dwarves also delved too deeply in Khazad-Dm ( the linguistic similarity to Z'ha'dum is quite certainly a nod to Moria!), waking the Balrog.

There is also Sheridan's answer to Kosh's prophecy that he will die if he goes to Z'ha'dum: "Then I die." That's very much like Faramir's "Then it [his life] is forfeit" in The Lord of the Rings.

The other connection that comes through strongly is that to World War II - Night Watch, with its armbands and the mission to watch and report others, reminds of Nazi tactics. (There is also an Orwell connection included, and I find it chilling to hear how seemingly innocuously the mission of the "Ministry of Peace" is described - and how people like Zack fall for it.) On the other hand is Sheridan's comparison of his situation to that of England in WWII, concerning Enigma and the destruction of Coventry.

Some of the deeper issues that are addressed here are sacrificing personal feelings and wishes for the greater good, and the questions asked by the doctor about God, religion and death.

Like many others, I was delighted to see Vir growing in confidence and character, standing up to Morden - and making a prophecy that is fulfilled later!

Alioth May 24th 12 04:40

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
Sheridan's face, darkened by shadow in the interrogation room as he tells Morden he'll keep him there as long as it takes ("days, weeks, months, years") to get answers. One of the most intense scenes in the series.

Talia's pointed slap to Sheridan's face after he manipulated her into reading Morden (and the horrors she'd feel from that) against her express will. Franklin: "hope it was worth it!"

Lennier's Tears February 1st 15 07:01

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
I watched this episode today. It's a great arc episode, with some excellent tension building, and an exciting reveal (or two).

I'm glad that Sheridan is the not-entirely-perfect hero, and we get to see that in this episode. He's way out of line, but at the same time, his reaction is sort of understandable. His actions in this episode do way more to show just how affected he was by his wife's death than all the scenes with his sister in Revelations. I sympathize with him, yet I am uncomfortable every time I watch him go against all the rules and everyone else's advice.

I think it's interesting this episode is either right before or right after Knives (depending on your "viewing order" decisions :p). In that episode we see Sheridan firing his PPG inside his quarters when he thinks he sees a grylor. It all becomes clear that there are good reasons for his odd behavior in that episode, but would everyone know that? If you were a random security officer on Babylon 5 and you had to go check out the shooting incident, and then guard a prisoner who shouldn't be there, you'd probably assume that your captain was a "loose cannon" or maybe that he'd gone "space happy".

Morden is always great, and the little Shadow sounds are appropriately creepy.

Vir is really great. I've always been fond of all the aides/attaches. I've mostly been a fan of Lennier, but I think Vir is the true hero of the lot. It just doesn't seem to take as much for Lennier to be principled/ethical. It mostly just requires obedience (OK, that isn't ENTIRELY true, he also sticks with Delenn when she goes up against the Grey Council and that sort of thing. But still. He is a product of his environment). For Vir to be principled/ethical, it's a much greater effort, and it's really a subversive act. He stands up to his superiors, his upbringing, his entire culture (well, presumably there are SOME ethical Centauri, but we don't get to see much of that sort of thing). Seeing him stand up to Morden is a wonderful thing. Especially knowing what is to come later :)

Introduction of the Night Watch is nice. It doesn't come out of nowhere, there's been all this building up about "things are changing back home" and it fits here nicely. It seems immediately suspicious but not overly threatening just yet.

It's great overall. There's only two things I'm not buying in this episode. I'm being overly nitpicky, but that's what discussion boards are for, yes? :p

1. "We don't get death certificates for everyone". That just doesn't make ANY sense. We see Babylon 5 security checking Identity Cards in just about every episode. It would appear all humans carry one of those. I would image there is some central database, and I would imagine that if someone dies, that person's information would be updated in the central database. Presumably, their ID would stop working immediately. You wouldn't want to have still functional ID cards lying around the universe, if you were at all concerned about fraudulent use of dead people's IDs.

2. The Icarus. That ship and its history are introduced in a different episode, and someone mentioned it upthread already, but it bears repeating. Icarus is a terrible name for a spaceship! One of the worst possible names you could think of, really. I know it works with the story and all, but realistically, I can't imagine anyone naming a ship Icarus.

Springer February 1st 15 15:49

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lennier's Tears (Post 450989)

2. The Icarus. That ship and its history are introduced in a different episode, and someone mentioned it upthread already, but it bears repeating. Icarus is a terrible name for a spaceship! One of the worst possible names you could think of, really. I know it works with the story and all, but realistically, I can't imagine anyone naming a ship Icarus.

Actually, there is a project to design a starship called Icarus: http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/

Its the next generation version of the Daedalus Project that British Interplanetary Society members designed in the 1970s.

But yes, I really like this episode. I'm not sure I personally see Sheridan as being out of line here. Yes, according to the rules he is, but he knows there is something fishy about Morden from the beginning. And we all know he was right.

Lennier's Tears February 1st 15 18:50

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
Haha :D Shows you what I know! But, I stand by my opinion that that is a terrible, terrible name.

I think I see Sheridan out of line here not because he breaks rules, but more because he's doing these things based on very little evidence. He fairly regularly breaks the rules, and it usually seems like the reasonable thing to do. Not so much here. I mean, obviously we all know that there is something very fishy going on, but what if there wasn't? What if he had imprisoned an innocent person for no reason? I'd be a bit worried if I worked for him.

Looney August 6th 18 13:49

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
Okay so IN THE SHADOW OF Z'HA'DUM, 2.16

Vir is outstanding in this episode. The best part of his initial encounter with Morden is that it comes without hesitation. Vir has no bumbling or stumbling, he just has hatred for Morden that he expresses openly. This is also true when he goes to Sheridan about Morden being released. He has zero awkwardness about getting his business done. So much of the show to this point has been about Vir being awkward in situations, but this episode blows that out of the water. It is wonderful. It makes you look back at the previous episodes and examine why he was awkward in those other situations and why he is able to be so effective in this episode.
Morden is great.
Zack is great, "How many lives is a secret worth?"
Talia is great. I love how she explains why she can't give in to his request.

I LOVE the intro of The Nightwatch by Pierce Macabee (Alex Hyde-White). This is actually a guest star I am glad did not return. He was great at introducing The Nightwatch and selling it, but I didn't really get a sinister vibe from him. If there were fan fiction about him it might be that he eventually turned on The Ministry of Peace when he learned what they were really up to.

Is this the first look at Delenn's best look? I was trying to remember without going back through every Season Two episode. I believe this is the first time we see her with her hair just down.

Is this the first and only time Kosh says Sheridan's name? It sure seems like it, other than when he calls him John later on while in the form of Sheridan's father.

And of course the pivotal, "If you go to Z'Ha'Dum you will die."

If I have one complaint about this episode it would be the timing of Garibaldi's reaction. I feel like Garbaldi wouldn't be sweating Morden being locked up for ten hours, especially not enough to tender his resignation. Maybe after twenty four hours he might start to feel uncomfortable keeping Morden locked up, but not ten. A very minor quibble that has no really effect on my opinion of the episode.

You know that I basically give every episode a sliding scale of A. This episode falls into the A++ range. I wouldn't rank it among my favorites, but it is still really good and delivers so much. As many have mentioned, it is brilliant to see Sheridan unhinged in this manner. It really gives the character depth. It is also well done that Delenn and Kosh, mostly Delenn I feel, are able to pull him back from the brink while also delivering such a huge arc reveal. Top to bottom there are many great things about this episode.

Karajorma August 7th 18 07:32

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
It's a very good episode. Personally I don't think Garibaldi over-reacted. He's in charge of security, what Sheridan is doing is illegal and could result in criminal charges being brought against Garibaldi. I suspect Garibaldi also did it expecting that Sheridan would relent and give in. When Sheridan didn't, he basically had no choice but to follow through on his threat.

Looney August 7th 18 12:52

Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Karajorma (Post 461085)
It's a very good episode. Personally I don't think Garibaldi over-reacted. He's in charge of security, what Sheridan is doing is illegal and could result in criminal charges being brought against Garibaldi. I suspect Garibaldi also did it expecting that Sheridan would relent and give in. When Sheridan didn't, he basically had no choice but to follow through on his threat.

I agree. I don't think Garibaldi over-reacted. I think it seems like he over-reacted because it was written into the script that it had only been ten hours. Garibaldi knows how long he can hold someone and there was no one breathing down his neck to get Morden released until Vir came around later. Garibaldi has always had a "Let-Them-Sweat-It-Out" attitude, so it should have been written into the script that more time had past so it actually seemed like a critical point where Garibaldi had to make a move. Actually all they really needed to do was reverse the scene order and have Vir come asking for Morden's release before Garibaldi is forced into action. Instead it is the very next scene. If someone was actually putting pressure on them over Morden being held for ten hours then Garibaldi's actions wouldn't seem to come too soon for me. So my issue is all about timing, not reaction. It would just seem more normal if a greater length of time had passed or if in fact the scene where Vir asks for Morden's release came just before Garibaldi is forced to react instead of just after Garibaldi reacts. ;)


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