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View Poll Results: No Surrender, No Retreat
A -- Excellent 13 61.90%
B -- Good 6 28.57%
C -- Average 2 9.52%
D -- Poor 0 0%
F -- Failure 0 0%
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Old March 8th 15, 11:56   #11
Mororless
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

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Ivanova's crying breakdown scene with Franklin on the floor of the medlab is one of the greatest dramatic moments of the show, in my opinion.
Indeed. And the episode gives a wonderful sense of closure... completely justified and well executed considering the uncertainty of season 5 at the time.

Who knew CC could act so well. Too bad we don't get to see it until practically her last appearance.

A.
To be fair theres more to acting that just showing strong emotion and in this case I think the scene works so well exactly because its such a big shift from an otherwise quite emotionally detached and cynical character.

This scene/story always reminded me rather of Kirk in Wrath of Khan following Spocks sacrifice. As with many elements of the story I think JMS does a good job deconstructing architypes. Its not like we haven't seen a lot of characters similar to Ivanova down the years in TV and film, emotionally detached cocksure cynics who'se world view never really gets questioned that much.

I think it makes the plot pack more of a punch in that we've seen the kind of relationship she has with Marcus exist as playful banter without much consequence so many times elsewhere, the same way we don't really question Kirk's gung ho heroism. To then find that yes there is consequence to such a characters world view/actions catches us unawares just as it catches them.

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Old March 8th 15, 18:19   #12
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

That's an excellent analysis of the Ivanova character. I had never really thought of it, but now that you mention it, yes I can see a parallel with the Spock death scene.

It is definitely true that after I watched this episode, the re-watching of any previous episodes with Ivanova and Marcus felt rather different to me.

I also probably never considered how big a shift that scene was from anything we saw her do before. She definitely looks hurt when "evil" Talia comes out and sort of taunts her, but that's about all we get. When her old boyfriend turns out to be homeguard she mostly just looks disgusted. She did cry at her father's service, but that took some effort

I would have loved to have seen how the character evolved after this traumatic event ... Don't we all? Alas.
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Old March 9th 15, 08:44   #13
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

I mention Trek but actually I think the way JMS calls moral failings to account is actually much closer to Tolkien. Indeed you get the most obvious setup for Ivanova here from a character with the most obvious links to him in Lorien, firstly his "its easy to find something worth dying for, have you got anything worth living for?" message to Sheridan and then his talk directly with her about mortality from Into the Fire.

Talia is definitely a setup for this, that's I would say a situation rather like G'kar in Coming of Shadows where a character has a shot at redemption taken away by outside events. I think she reaction to Sheridan's "death" at the start of the 4th season is also telling in its detachment or at least attempted detachment.

To me the message would be that having a death wish for the "good cause" is not really the ultimate moral answer and not an excuse for a lack of compassion elsewhere. Perhaps as well I would suggest that although Ivanova was fighting the good fight people in this kind of situation generally often don't.

I must admit I do tend to agree with CC that viewed with Sleeping In Light the character if not "complete" had run its course. I think its notable that Ivanova is narrating the ending of Sleeping in Light as she's the character who "carrys on the story" still searching for redemption. Ironically of course if you were to try and carry on the story at the moment it was actually be easiest with her since CC is about the same age today as she's ment to be by the finale.

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Old March 10th 15, 00:49   #14
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

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To me the message would be that having a death wish for the "good cause" is not really the ultimate moral answer and not an excuse for a lack of compassion elsewhere.
Do you mean Ivanova's or Marcus'? I never really picked up on Ivanova having as much of a "death wish" as Marcus, or Sinclair. I'm also not sure that she lacks compassion. But, I could easily be missing something. It's been known to happen

As for Marcus' sacrifice, I'd agree that it isn't presented as a "good thing", which is sort of interesting since self-sacrifice appears to be one of the main themes of the show. Perhaps together with "cooperation", or "community". Although I suppose they could be considered different parts of the same whole. Marcus, of course, didn't sacrifice himself for "the cause", he sacrificed himself to save the person he loved. It could be argued that he considered her more useful to the cause than himself, but that's a stretch. It isn't said anywhere that a sacrifice for the cause is more "moral" than a sacrifice for love. Sebastian in Comes the Inquisitor: "No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his brother". Not that the Vorlons are supposed to be the ultimate authority on morality Draal in A Voice in the Wilderness I: "The third principle of sentient life is the capacity for self-sacrifice: the conscious ability to override evolution and self-preservation for a cause, a friend, a loved one". I don't know if self-sacrifice is ever presented as a pure "good thing", but it does seem to be presented as the necessary thing. This episode is a little different in that respect. Ivanova gets to live, but she'll have to live with this guilt, even if she obviously had no say in the matter, and she will have to live with the loss.


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I must admit I do tend to agree with CC that viewed with Sleeping In Light the character if not "complete" had run its course. .
I'm not sure I'd agree with that ... I mean, I don't think it applies to that character any more than any other character. It certainly would have been interesting to see her in the telepath storyline.
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Old March 10th 15, 04:56   #15
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

I was talking more about her than him and I think you can see especially in the conflict against the advanced destroyers that she's very much of the view that they all must be destroyed no matter the costs(which you can see Marcus is worried about). She's quite prone to taking extreme risks elsewhere in the show as well just as Sheridan was.

Its interesting that you mention that comment by Sebastian, I'd not considered before that it perhaps reflects on the Vorlons rather narrow view of morality relative to Lorien although I would say that Sheridan and Delenn sacrifce is one based on compassion. The view of the show as a whole I would say isn't that dieing for a good cause is wrong but that it isn't the be all and end all of morality and especially that compassion for others rather than hate should be at the heart of it. For Ivanova I think you could make the case that she fears death much less than emotional pain.

Watching Sleeping in Light you do get the idea that she hasn't found an emotional resolution in the years since and that becoming the leader of the rangers is perhaps her chance to do so. To me that did seem to fit into JMS's idea that the story never really end, interesting as well that despite seeming to makeup any ill feeling with CC he's never looked to carry on this story so perhaps he does value that kind of ending?

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Old March 10th 15, 09:39   #16
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

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To me that did seem to fit into JMS's idea that the story never really end, interesting as well that despite seeming to makeup any ill feeling with CC he's never looked to carry on this story so perhaps he does value that kind of ending?
He hasn't written *any* B5 at all since the thaw in relations with CC. That's only a few years ago.

But he's written two short stories featuring Ivanova since the end of B5- "Hidden Agendas" where she's in command of the Warlock destroyer and "Space, Time and the Incurable Romantic", a rather controversial story about Ivanova and Marcus.

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Old March 10th 15, 11:36   #17
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

Good to know there's someone else here besides us to resurrecting decade old threads.

I must confess I'v never read either of those stories but I remember someone posting the cliff nots of the second and really its much more about Marcus than it is Ivanova.

Anything that comes before Sleeping In Light though does clearly seem like it would be beholden to her position at that point which still to be clearly seems emotionally unresolved. I can definitely see how the character could have been used effectively in the 5th season but taken more in isolation I do find what we got very satisfactory and think it would have been hard to beat given that again you can't really offer an emotional resolution and have Sleeping in Light work.
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Old March 10th 15, 15:54   #18
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

Ivanova was never a particular favorite of mine (I really liked Lochley much better right off the bat) but I would have *loved* to have seen her in Season 5. If it had been Ivanova who'd had to call Bester in to deal with the rogue telepaths, that would have been some major drama. Not to mention having her allow herself to become involved with Byron only to find that it was a mistake. There could have been some really good acting opportunities for CC if she'd stayed.

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Old March 11th 15, 02:26   #19
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

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If it had been Ivanova who'd had to call Bester in to deal with the rogue telepaths, that would have been some major drama. Not to mention having her allow herself to become involved with Byron only to find that it was a mistake.
I would also have loved to have seen this.


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that compassion for others rather than hate should be at the heart of it
Yes, I think that's exactly right. I should have added something like that when I was listing major themes. It is definitely there.

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She's quite prone to taking extreme risks elsewhere in the show as well just as Sheridan was.
This is true, but in her (and Sheridan, for that matter), I see it more as duty and her accepting possible death as a consequence of doing what is right than what we see in Sinclair and Marcus who both suffer from survivor's guilt and are pretty much looking for an opportunity to die for something.

Interestingly, you could say that both Ivanova and Marcus came to be in the "Army of Light" because of a loss they suffered. Both of them lost a brother, too. It becomes clear in In The Beginning (and possibly elsewhere, I'm not sure) that Ivanova had decided to sign up with Earth Force before her brother's death, but I still get the impression that his death made her more determined. The situations were different, obviously, and I don't sense in her any guilt. Just loss. Everyone she's ever loved is dead. Yea, pairing her with Byron would be almost cruel, but it would have made sense.
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Old March 11th 15, 06:19   #20
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Re: EpDis: Rising Star

Sinclair to me though dispite carrying survivors guilt does seem to be emotionally more rounded. Both Ivanova and Marcus seem to display more of a "Samurai" world view, maybe not totally unquestioning in their loyalty but defined by that loyalty to Sheridan and Delenn respectively and the cause they lead.

The difference I think you could argue between them is that they seem to go in opposite directions. Marcus seems most extreme in that mindset when we meet him and is ready to let Neroon kill him for it. As time progresses though he seems more defined by the friendships he develops with the B5 crew and feelings for Ivanova to the extent its actually the latter than he does effective die for.

With Ivanova she moves from still considering opening up to others earlier in the show to really being defined by loyality to Sheridan and the cause as things progress. You can see the effect on her is more extreme than anyone else bar Delenn when Sheridan goes missing presumed dead at the start of season 4 and its her pushing for the most extreme self sacfical tactics when he;s captured at the end of the season.
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