Thread: EpDis: Z'ha'dum
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Old September 17th 08, 20:35   #45
themaninbetween
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Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum

Quote:
Originally Posted by vacantlook View Post
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.)

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

"SHERIDAN
Between what?

"LORIEN
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:

"SHERIDAN
The others need me --

"LORIEN
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>.

"SHERIDAN
I can't.

"LORIEN
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 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.
Odd, JMS emphasized in the DVD commentary when Justin was introduced - "a middle man - the man in the middle" - not the man in between literally, but why else bring this up?
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