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Old February 1st 15, 08:01   #25
Lennier's Tears
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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 ). 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?

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.
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