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Old April 5th 08, 03:43   #23
Cell
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Posts: 525
Re: EpDis: Learning Curve

I'm in the process of watching through all of B5/Crusade/LOTR yet again, and I just came upon this episode. Man oh man, I had forgotten just how bad this episode makes the Rangers, the IA and maybe even JMS out to be. This whole idea of circumventing the local authorities, the law, and justice for the idea of revenge through terror is quite sad indeed.

The Rangers are supposed to be a peace keeping force, the guardians of the light in the galaxy that is the IA. But in this episode they go above the law to inflict revenge and terror upon a man, and they crack jokes as if their actions are quite cavalier while partaking in their atrocious actions. Now, sure, the man was not a good man and he had beaten the Ranger nearly to death. However what should separate the Rangers from your common thug or fascist zealot is their ability to enforce the peace through the law and the true tenets of justice. Instead they do the exact opposite and take on the persona of Nazi Germany's SS in the process. This episode doesn't make the Rangers honorable or endearing in any way, instead it paints them as terror mongers, willing to exact their own idea of revenge upon the populace in whatever manner they see fit. Fairness doesn't matter, the law doesn't matter, justice doesn't matter, due process doesn't matter, and in the end because they are willing to do this the Rangers lose a lot in my eyes.

This takes us to Delenn, who not only goes along with the Mora'Dum, but pulls rank to make sure it is enforced. Are we really supposed to believe that a character that has spent the better part of the last 10 years doing everything in her power to show people the mistake of enacting revenge would now do the same? This is the same character that shouted for revenge upon the death of Dukhat and then realized the error of her ways and cried out that the needless death and seeking of revenge stop. Despite building that very important facet into her character here we have her going against all of that and seeking for revenge right away and hiding behind laws and tradition to make sure that revenge is meted out.

JMS on the other hand tries to hide behind the message he has put forth with the clumsy Garibaldi scene in the station house with Zack at the end of the show. His whole "The Minbari do this and then this and then this" is a very vein attempt at somehow justifying their actions throughout the episode. I fully believe in the SS comparison that I put forth earlier, and one must wonder if this is how JMS views the ultimate police force as actually working? Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge JMS fan, but I can't help but balk at his apparent idea of how the Rangers should work, and honor and justice. If it had been one or two Rangers that think this way then that I could buy, beings will be beings after all, but to have it built in as a group standard and to have it presented as good thing is not something I can get behind. All this episode did was paint the Rangers, Delenn, and the IA in a bad light and it's quite shocking in how bad of a light it put them in.
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