View Single Post
Old July 2nd 08, 00:49   #55
Cell's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Posts: 525
Re: EpDis: Deathwalker

Originally Posted by Jan View Post
What exactly is your rationale for concluding that all of the scenes staged with Talia in mirrors was a set-up for her eventually leaving the Corps? Mirrors and reflections don't generally symbolize changes in people's lives but they're a nice symbol for something identical but opposite and for symbolizing something going on internally, in someone's mind. It's a symbol JMS has used repeatedly, such as when Bester used the mirror to try to get into Harris's mind in "The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father" and when Garibaldi drew the face in the mirror "Epiphanies"

Exactly what *purpose* would be served by JMS lying about something like that? None. Your conclusion might make some sense if he were trying to convince people that he'd intended for "Divided Loyalties" to happen exactly when and how it actually did, but that's not the case, is it? He's never made any secret of the fact that real life sometimes intruded on the story so why do you insist that he's lying now? There would have to be some benefit he'd gain in order to do so and there's none.

Let me tell you what my basis is for trusting what JMS says. Over the years he'd often mention things that he'd write into the scripts, mostly nothing important, mostly just fun things. One could easily have forgiven him if he'd just added those little fillips for the sake of being entertaining, couldn't one? Then, several years down the line (long before the script books project) I actually got the scripts and found those little things that he'd mentioned. That and the fact that I read his posts for quite a number of years and never once caught him changing a story lead me to conclude that he's not given to lying.

So what is your basis for assuming JMS is lying besides the fact that you've concluded that creators lie? What's your basis for the conclusion that creators lie? I'm sure that some have in the past but you're painting with an awfully broad brush there. You seem to like others thinking critically so let's see your critical thinking that brought you to that conclusion.

Follow the story, that's all one need do to see that JMS retconned the entire ulterior personality. First, mirrors do represent internal change, like Talia struggling with her identity as loyal Corps member and wanting to leave the Corps as she becomes more and more enmeshed in their abhorrent, to her, ways. That was the purpose of the entire Ivanova relationship, the run-in with the runaways Teeps, Ironheart, etc.. All of that was designed to move Talia towards the path of independence, or at the very least to the Vorlons. There was never any hint of a secondary personality, not until after Divided Loyalties and until JMS started trying to explain away all of Talia on the show as having something to do with her secondary personality.

I''m simply saying that JMS' trying to say that he intended all along for Talia to have a secondary personality or that it was always there as a failsafe is a crock. Him saying otherwise is very transparent and it serves a perfect purpose for a writer. It gives him a get out free clause, although in this case it backfires. It says, "Oh, that Talia thing wasn't abrupt, I had it planned all along just in case, so see, it works." Despite that attempt, it doesn't work, it's still abrupt and forced. It works out in the end, but that is only because of the following Lyta storyline where she takes over what was originally Talia's story.

Therein lies the biggest reason why it's an obvious retcon, from the start JMS painted the story of Talia leaving the Corps, of the internal struggle within. Then Thompson decides to leave the show and her story changes. If JMS would have stuck with the fact that she simply left the show and they had to change things on the fly that would be fine. But instead he employed the classic writer retcon of going back and trying to explain away instances that had nothing at all to do with a secondary personality. What JMS did is the classic example of a retcon, it's no different than all the retconning that George Lucas has done over the years, or that Marvel did a few years ago with the Skrulls. To make his new story fit he changed the way he wanted us to perceive the original story. He thought that would help the new story, but in fact it wasn't needed at all. Talia's story ends up being a weak one either way because of her departure and it would have been better had JMS just left well enough alone and not tried to go back and rework everything to fit the secondary personality arch.
"When you have reached the end of the road then you can decide whether to go to the left or the right, to fire or to water. If you make those decisions before you have even set foot upon the road it will take you nowhere." - Galen

Last edited by Cell; July 2nd 08 at 00:51.
Cell is offline   Reply With Quote