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-   -   EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=9543)

vacantlook December 23rd 06 21:22

EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Refresher Links:
Lurker's Guide Main Page for The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
Lurker's Guide Extended Synopsis for The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father

Shaal Mayan December 23rd 06 21:56

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
I liked this one showing more about the Psi Corps than in the past, and giving glimpses of Bester's dare I say human side .

RW7427 December 24th 06 14:03

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
It's kinda boring, and those young people with Bester bug me. ;)

MMarin December 24th 06 21:30

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
There is a nice idea behind this episode, but it just doesn't work for me. The telepath community seems way too mundane for my taste.

KoshN December 25th 06 00:55

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Shaal Mayan (Post 281243)
I liked this one showing more about the Psi Corps than in the past, and giving glimpses of Bester's dare I say human side .

Only when relating to teeps. Look at how Bester and the girl treated the spacing of the mundane. Talk about cold!

KoshFan December 25th 06 04:16

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Best line of the episode: "Despite what they may believe, not everything happens on Babylon 5."

hypatia December 25th 06 14:28

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 281390)
Only when relating to teeps. Look at how Bester and the girl treated the spacing of the mundane. Talk about cold!

But that's what is so important and powerful about that scene. She's a young psi-cop in training, right? But even Bester is willing to do that bit of dirty work to spare her any kind of pain she might feel.

She was just glowing with eagerness to help out.

And the frightening part about seeing a compassionate side to Bester and the rest is to see how that same compassion as been completely eliminated from them, when it comes to normals.

It would be so much easier to just say "psi-cops like Bester simply HAVE no compassion".

KoshN December 25th 06 18:28

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 281438)
But that's what is so important and powerful about that scene. She's a young psi-cop in training, right? But even Bester is willing to do that bit of dirty work to spare her any kind of pain she might feel.

She was just glowing with eagerness to help out.

That was probably a test, to see if she'd freely do it. If she took Bester up on it, and let him space the mundane, she'd have failed that test. To both the young girl psi-cop in training and Bester, normal humans (mundanes) are, at most, objects to be used or obstacles to be eliminated. The spacing appears to have been some sort of standard procedure, and she passed the test.


Quote:

And the frightening part about seeing a compassionate side to Bester and the rest is to see how that same compassion as been completely eliminated from them, when it comes to normals.
But we've seen that from Bester all along. We saw that from Kelsey in "Mind War" in Season 1. That's nothing new. What we got to see in this episode is that it's also in the young girl psi-cop in training. When it comes to compassion toward mundanes, she has all the warmth of Talia's alternate personality, i.e. none.


Quote:

It would be so much easier to just say "psi-cops like Bester simply HAVE no compassion".
That would be true if the writer is going for nothing more than the simplistic, but JMS is trying to show us something more (Psi Corps. upbringing is elaborated upon in the Psi Corps. trilogy.). In reality, it's ingrained in them by Psi Corps, by their upbringing. It seems that those P-12s who can fully eliminate their compassion toward mundanes (unlike Byron) are good Psi Cop candidates.

KoshFan December 26th 06 15:45

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Yeah, KoshN's got it right. Remember that Bester has lived in the Corps all his life, constantly bombared by messages of obedience and superiority. It's like a cult. The only way he kept any individuality at all was through his ambition...

hypatia December 26th 06 16:31

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Actually, about all I was saying is how I admired the episode. "It would have been easier to..." I assumed would be followd by an understood "but thank goodness JMS is such a good writer he didn't take the easy out".

There is just something about posting comments here that is interesting. It's interesting to see how people interpret what you write.

BAck to the episode:

It is interesting to see the B5 folk greet Bester-and-company. From their perspective, everything he's said about B5 certainly seems true: they were rude and angry at him/them the entire time. Considering it from what they see and hear, and not knowing the background between Bester and B5, it's even rather understandable.

And I disagree with the idea that if the female teep trainee hadn't spaced the mundane she'd somehow have ended her career. Aren't P10's rather rare? One mistake on one "test" and you are out seems a rather careless attitude to take with sucha precious commodity.

Jade Jaguar December 26th 06 16:59

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 281540)
And I disagree with the idea that if the female teep trainee hadn't spaced the mundane she'd somehow have ended her career. Aren't P10's rather rate? One mistake on one "test" and you are out seems a rather careless attitude to take with sucha precious commodity.

If Bester's offer to space the mundane was sincere compassion for the girl, and I believe it was, it would hardly have been compassionate if accepting his offer would end her career. And, your point about P10's being rare is also pertinent. If she had declined to space the mundane, I think Bester would have counciled her, to try and toughen her up. If that had failed, she would have been given duties that didn't demand such a lack of compassion for mundanes. Possibly she would have had duties trying to rehabilitate teeps who messed up, where her compassion would be an asset.

hypatia December 26th 06 17:08

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
That's how I figure it, too, though it may or may not have been Bester doing the "toughening". I got the impression he didn't serve regularly with any trainee.

And oops, I typed "rate" instead of "rare". LOL

Thank you for addressing the comment of my post, instead of nitpicking my horrible laptop typing. :D

Another creepy aspect of that: the guy definitely moves after he's spaced. So however long he lived, you know he felt it. Somehow, that's even creepier than just shooting him in the head, to me.

Galahad December 26th 06 17:25

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
I suspect the Psi Cop progression works in a similar way to how certain... "institutions" rumoured to be connected to the police force (and another example from B5, the night watch) operate.

If you are naturally talented you can get a high rank job, but you don't move up into the higher echelons until you fulfill certain criteria.

It's pretty clear there are at least a few "good" high rankers in the Corps. Harriman Gray seems like a decent egg and he works in military investigations - presumably requiring more rank and P rating than a commercial.

KoshN December 26th 06 17:45

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 281540)
And I disagree with the idea that if the female teep trainee hadn't spaced the mundane she'd somehow have ended her career. Aren't P10's rather rare? One mistake on one "test" and you are out seems a rather careless attitude to take with sucha precious commodity.

As you say, "It's interesting to see how people interpret what you write"

I didn't say that it would end her career. If that was a test, and if she hadn't willingly spaced that mundane, it probably would have kept her out of being a Psi Cop. There are other things a P12 could do (e.g. Instructor), and she was a P12, not a P10. IIRC, instructors are at least P10s.

KoshN December 26th 06 17:55

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Galahad (Post 281544)
It's pretty clear there are at least a few "good" high rankers in the Corps. Harriman Gray seems like a decent egg and he works in military investigations - presumably requiring more rank and P rating than a commercial.

Harriman Gray was a P10.

vacantlook December 26th 06 18:22

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Speaking of Harriman Gray, I would love to see his character again.

KoshN December 26th 06 18:42

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vacantlook (Post 281554)
Speaking of Harriman Gray, I would love to see his character again.

Heh, heh. Who wouldn't? :)

vacantlook December 26th 06 19:17

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 281557)
Heh, heh. Who wouldn't? :)

Seriously. There were a lot of one-shot guest characters, even ones performed by good actors, that I never really liked. Herriman Gray was a one-shot that I really really liked. If we ever get the Telepath War told, I would enjoy seeing him involved.

Joseph DeMartino December 26th 06 23:07

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

and she was a P12, not a P10. IIRC,
If she was a candidate to become a Psi Cop she would have had to be a P12. And while P10s aren't common, they're not as rare as P12s. The distribution of teep abilities is probably described by a bell curve like most such things, with the very weak and the very stong being rare at either end and the vast majority in the middle. Psi Cops have support staff made up of lesser rankings, but actual Psi Cops themselves must be P12s - and also be tough enough to do "what is necessary" in Bester's eyes. Don't forget, he's planning a Teep War of his own for the future, in which "his" Teeps will take on, defeat and enslave (or exterminate) the mundanes. His elite forces will be drawn from the ranks of the Psi Cops, and he's molding them into his own little SS, the supermen who rule the other supermen. (I wouldn't want to be a P3 or a P5 under Bester's regime. I doubt his 12s would treat them much better than mundanes.) Lyta's revolt of the rogue Teeps against the Corps is probably the only thing that keeps the Teep vs. Mundane war that William Edgars and others foresaw, and which Bester was plotting, from coming to pass.

So yeah, I think that young lady would have been shunted into a training slot somewhere if she hadn't been up to Bester's challenge. Depending on how concerned Bester was about keeping his illegal activities to herself, I wouldn't be surprised if he were willing to kill her, too. Some have to be sacrificed for the greater good. Look at what he did to his own Black Omega Squadron when he felt it was in the long range interest of "his" Teeps.

Regards,

Joe

Jan December 27th 06 01:43

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
I agree with Joe. It's much clearer if you read the Psi Corps trilogy but it's plenty clear in the show, too, that Bester cares for the Corps entire, NOT for individual teeps. He deep scanned one of his 'family' in "A Race Through Dark Places" and didn't care that it killed the prisoner teep. He sacrificed his Black Omega Squadron, he didn't seem to care if Jason Ironheart lived or not and on and on. As far as he's concerned, the end justifies the means as long as the end is for telepaths to run things.

Jan

vacantlook December 27th 06 01:49

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan
...As far as he's concerned, the end justifies the means as long as the end is for telepaths to run things.

I (still) haven't read the telepath trilogy, so I don't know if this is there addressed, but... I wonder if Bester would think the end justified the means if the means were his own death.

Joseph DeMartino December 27th 06 02:30

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

As far as he's concerned, the end justifies the means as long as the end is for telepaths to run things.
And as long as Bester and those he approves of are running the telepaths. ;)

Regards,

Joe

KoshFan December 27th 06 15:41

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino (Post 281572)
The distribution of teep abilities is probably described by a bell curve like most such things, with the very weak and the very stong being rare at either end and the vast majority in the middle.

I don't quite buy this, Joe. Surely there were plenty of P1s and P0s (to coin a ranking for the likes of Ivanova) running around. Yeah, they weren't really involved in the Corps -- just monitored, maybe given the sleepers -- but they would still count as Teeps, and I'd think that there would be lots of them, with the genes only just barely expressing.

A_M_Swallow December 27th 06 19:42

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Lyta's mother was a P2, as a child she was kicked out of the Psi Corps to be brought up by mundane members of the Alexander family.

[SPOILER]

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Bester did kill the girl Psi Cop. In the third telepath book she make the mistake of helping Bester create a new identity.[/SPOILER]

PillowRock December 27th 06 19:57

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino (Post 281572)
The distribution of teep abilities is probably described by a bell curve like most such things, with the very weak and the very stong being rare at either end and the vast majority in the middle.

Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshFan (Post 281617)
I don't quite buy this, Joe. Surely there were plenty of P1s and P0s (to coin a ranking for the likes of Ivanova) running around.

I'm more inclined to agree with KF on this one. (Although I would probably call full mundanes P 0's and give Ivanova a P 1/2, or something similar. It just seems to me that a rank of 0 ought to really mean Zero.)

My guess for most likely distribution would be more like the right half of a bell curve.

crazyhorse December 28th 06 04:44

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
I can't open the vspoiler box.Why not?

Joseph DeMartino December 28th 06 13:50

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Surely there were plenty of P1s and P0s (to coin a ranking for the likes of Ivanova) running around.
1. Don't call me "Shirley"

2. I'm not sure what you're basing the "surely" on. :) Nearly all other characteristics in the human population that are either determined or heavily influenced by genes show the distribution I'm suggesting. Geniuses are rare and so are simpletons. The vast majority of the population falls in between the two extremes. Even other selected or self-selected non-genetic groups the same pattern is visible. The number players in the NBA who are great and the number of players who just barely play well enough to keep their jobs are both very small. The number of good but unspectacular players is much smaller.

3. I agree, Ivanova would be a P 0.5 or something. P0 would be a mundane - and yes, mundanes vastly outnumber all teeps, but they aren't part of the teep bell curve.

Regards,

Joe

Joseph DeMartino December 28th 06 13:55

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by crazyhorse (Post 281705)
I can't open the vspoiler box.Why not?

???? I'm not even seeing a spoiler box. I just see the tags, some line breaks and Andrew's text. I've added old fashioned "count down" numbers so those who see what I do can avoid the spoiler. I'm not sure why that isn't working or isn't working properly. I'll need to check with Antony.


Regards,

Joe

PillowRock December 28th 06 15:24

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino (Post 281743)
The number players in the NBA who are great and the number of players who just barely play well enough to keep their jobs are both very small.

However, on the "barely play well enough to keep their jobs" end, a *key* part of that is "in the NBA".

There are lots more players that are very similar, but were the last cuts, or are playing overseas, or are still playing in college, or decided that they were better off starting their coaching careers than being the last guy on the bench, or whatever. When somebody gets injured the teams can always come up with 13th and 14th players that are not a significant drop off from the 12th (although there may be a significant drop in the overall team when the one who got hurt was one of the top couple of players).


That's a case where the distribution in the overall population really is much closer to being the right half of a bell curve than to a complete bell curve. Remember that what you're claiming to be left side tail of this bell curve would have been the same guys who were in the fatter part of the curve in college. Where did the rest of that population disappear to when the turned 22? They're still out there; they just didn't get an NBA job. (And going back further, the same guys that you're claiming are the left tail of the distribution were out in the *right* tail in high school.)

Now, in the case of B5 universe telepaths:
The direction that human evolution appears to be going, I would expect that eventually the distribution of telepathic power in the population would end up being a bell curve. I just don't see the time period that we have been watching as being nearly enough generations removed from active teeps being initially discovered to be there. There's still way too much mixing of mundane and teep genetics, as evidenced by the widespread advertising to the mundane population to bring children in for testing. The peak of the curve may well be a little above the minimum (ignoring the spike at 0 / mundane), but I can't see it being anything close to evenly balanced on both sides ...... yet (come back in one or two hundred thousand years).

KoshFan December 28th 06 15:33

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino (Post 281743)
1. Don't call me "Shirley"

Yes, sir.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino (Post 281743)
2. I'm not sure what you're basing the "surely" on. :) Nearly all other characteristics in the human population that are either determined or heavily influenced by genes show the distribution I'm suggesting. Geniuses are rare and so are simpletons. The vast majority of the population falls in between the two extremes.

I think I see our differences here. You are examining telepaths as their own population, whereas I am examining them as a small part of the larger human population. So the way I've been looking at it, there's really only half of a bell curve, with the immense bulge being located at P0 or human-normal, then tapering down to the few hundred P12s (and Lyta as an outlier).

Your way of looking at it makes sense too -- from a different set of premises. I think we need more data before we figure out who's correct.

Joseph DeMartino December 28th 06 16:06

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Since I was originally responding to hyp's point about P10s being rare (which obviously meant "rare within Psi Corps") I naturally meant my bell curve comment to apply to the subset of the population that consists of teeps, not the entire population of Humans. If you're talking about the distribution of different levels of telepathic ability it seemed obvious to me that you would exclude people who, by definition, don't have any telepathic ability. That's precisely why I used the example of NBA player in my later post Granted I also mentioned intelligence in an example using the entire human population, but notice the difference: Intelligence is a defining Human trait. All Humans posses it to one degree or another, so it makes sense to include all Humans in examining the distribution of degrees of intelligence. All Humans in the B5 universe do not have telepathic abilities, so it makes no sense to include the non-teeps in an examination of the distribution of telepathic ability. You'll distort the results badly, in fact. Similarly it would make no sense to include every Human being alive or every Human being who has ever played basketball in examining the distribution of talent within the NBA.

But it is clear now that this was all much more obvious inside my own head than it was in my posts. :) Sorry.

Quote:

I wonder if Bester would think the end justified the means if the means were his own death.
I'm sure he would. There's nothing in Bester's nature that suggests he's a coward. He's even honorable, by his own slightly twisted lights. I'm sure Bester would willingly, even happily lay down his life for "his" teeps if that was absolutely necessary. (If the only way of stopping Edgar's teep virus involved Bester strapping a nuke to his back and landing on Edgar's roof, I don't doubt that he'd do it.) The problem is that Bester places such a high value on his own talents and abilities that to his way of thinking there aren't a lot of things that could happen to Teeps that would be worse than the loss of Bester himself. :) Thus he's willing to sacrifice others to not because he's afraid of death, but because he's afraid of what will happen to "his" teeps when he's gone. He sees the period he lives in as one critical to "homo superior" and himself as a key historical figure who will help usher in the Age of the Telepath.

Regards,

Joe

KoshFan December 28th 06 23:00

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
So here's the next question: how are we classifying those people with the telepathic gene but no actual telepathic abilities? We know from G'Kar that the Narns still have the genes kicking around, just not strong enough to express as actual telepaths (and, totally off-topic: do the Narns ever get their telepaths back?). Presumably the humans have a similar situation going.

Elipsis April 25th 08 04:35

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
It's always interesting to see what threads go on and on... you people continue to surprise me.

I actually wasn't particularly impressed with this episode. I thought it was actually going to be an entire episode centering around Bester (and was hoping for this), but once we get to B5 its the same old same old, and did this episode even have a B plot? We've already seen that sometimes Bester is right, so there was no need to demonstrate that, and this episode didn't do anything new or interesting for me. (Other than the logo.)

hypatia April 25th 08 17:09

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
You didn't find it interesting to see a Bester trip from the other point of view? From the intern's perspective, Bester was really treated like crap. And the "mundanes" did act pretty mundane. And you get to see Bester acting kindly, something we don't really see at any other time in the series.

It also showed Bester receiving some teen adoration, which probably no one would have guessed. And it showed a lovely young woman, sweet and charming, casually (even eagerly) toss a man out into hyperspace. Under that sweet, innocent exterior, the corps had already done its job well (dehumanizing the mundane population).

For me it was the interaction between the girl and Bester that made the episode. But, as always, different folks like/dislike different episodes of the show.

Elipsis April 25th 08 17:18

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
The interaction between Bester and that girl really reminded me of the relationship between Vir and his wife.

"Hey sweety, I really want to impress you. Let me do this murder."

hypatia April 25th 08 20:10

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
But Vir's wife was controlling and manipulative. Bester's female intern was simply in complete adoration of him. Also the intern's actions could be explained/understood as a young woman's typical behavior (apart from the extent to which she'd already been conditioned to think of mundanes as inhuman). Vir's potential wife was far too old to be going through that phase in life.

Both had been completely conditioned to see this one type of "person" as being no more than an annoying pest to be eliminated. And both did anticipate the approval of the one they were out to impress. But as character types, I admit I don't see them as being the same at all. One of the frightening and disturbing things about the girl was how young she was to be already so callous about life. Vir's wife had had decades to become that way.

But good observation. Both certainly felt that killing would be an excellent way to "prove themselves" to the one they adored.

Galahad April 25th 08 20:26

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Decades???

I don't think Lyndisty was as old as that implies. I'd have pegged her as late 20's early thirties (earth equivalent).

KoshFan April 25th 08 20:32

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Yeah, Lyndisty struck me as being about 19.

hypatia April 26th 08 00:25

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
O.K. Two decades then, give or take. She'd certainly been raised since birth to think that way.

What's the average age a psychic is identified? I remember the one episode where the girl seemed only a bit younger than Vir's potential wife when she was discovered. I forget if any are discovered at birth. One commercial seemed to indicate maybe 12 or so was a likely age to see an emergence, right?

A lot less "programming" time. But obviously their programming is quite effective.

A_M_Swallow April 26th 08 02:12

Re: EpDis: The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hypatia (Post 319000)
What's the average age a psychic is identified? I remember the one episode where the girl seemed only a bit younger than Vir's potential wife when she was discovered. I forget if any are discovered at birth. One commercial seemed to indicate maybe 12 or so was a likely age to see an emergence, right?

The young girl who becomes a telepath is Alisa Beldon in "Legacies". I suspect the character was 12 but the actress was older.


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