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Old January 15th 06, 15:05   #41
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

Ah, thanks Jan. So yea, that does make it pretty clear it is a device, not a telpath, doing the actual death of personality.

And I certainly can see a person like brother Edward fearing he might turn back into the person he was before, once his old memories began to return.

I know this is a love-or-hate episode. And it certainly raises some interesting questions for those who believe in spiritual salvation of the Christian kind:

How do you repent for crimes you don't even remember? I thought that comprehending what was wrong in what you did was a necessary step towards true absolution, but I might be mistaken in that.

If you do "kill" one personality, and "create" another, where does the soul fit in all of this? Does the soul die when the personailty does? Is a new one created?

And again, that ending that I love so much: as much as we admire forgiveness, when it gets personal, can we find it within ourselves to be forgiving?
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Old January 15th 06, 17:26   #42
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

Thanks, Jan. I couldn't remember how it was done, but the idea of it being an entirely Psi Corps thing was entirely too disturbing.

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Old January 15th 06, 18:25   #43
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

Happy to help, Hypatia and Jacqui. I think were it got confusing was because the Centauri telepath was able to break the wipe and restimulate the old memories. Plus, we know that the Minbari telepaths can meddle with memories, as we saw happen to Sinclair. A complete mindwipe, though, I think would be way beyond the capabilities of a 'regular' telepath like Talia.

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Old January 15th 06, 23:12   #44
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

If you do "kill" one personality, and "create" another, where does the soul fit in all of this? Does the soul die when the personailty does? Is a new one created?
Which is, of course, Brother Edward's question. His answer is that the soul remains the same - it must if it is possible, under any circumstances, for the original memories to return.

As for Brother Edward's "suicide" - I don't think that's what happened here, anymore that Christ "committed suicide". Either would have accepted it if their killers had changed their minds, if what they understood as God's plan could have been accomplished in some other way. (Jesus explicitly asks God to spare him the ordeal if that is possible. I rather doubt that Brother Edward would have cried, "No, you have to kill me!" if the mob had suddenly seen the light and decided against murdering him.)

Nor is it necessarily (or even probably) the case that Brother Edward considered what he did in his prior life to be "unforgiveable" in the theological sense. God's forgiveness requires only a real acceptance of responsibilty for sin and a genuinely contrite heart. The Black Rose Killer, had he simply been executed, would never have been able to provide either. Because he has been reborn as Brother Edward, he has that chance to save his immortal soul. I think Brother Edward saw his non-resistance to the mob, his leaving himself open to whatever that confontation might bring, leaving that in the hands of God, as a necessary act of atonement and apology - a perfect act of contrition as it were. But he didn't know for sure what would happen when they found him. He had to leave open the possiblity of a change of heart open for them, too. I think th whole event is far more nuanced than some people give it credit for. (Just as "Believers" has more colors than those whose own beliefs tell them the parents are simply wrong allow for.) But in the end it comes down to a commonplace that all professing Christians say almost every day, many of them without reflecting on the words, "Thy will be done."


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Old January 16th 06, 02:09   #45
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

I called his death an effective suicide, because I do note that it isn't excactly what we call suicide. But, I don't doubt for a minute that Brother Edwards expected to be killed, if he stayed, and didn't seek protection. He probably did hope it wouldn't happen, and did see facing death this way as an act of contrition. But still, he chose to remain in a situation he believed was near-certain death, when he could have most likely avoided it, and lived. So, I still think there is an element of suicide about it, but as I pointed out in my first post, I think there is a strong element of self sacrifice, to prevent himself from possibly harming others in the future. It IS a very nuanced, complex and subtle situation. A fine ep, which raises many questions!

Addendum: I find some, very slight, resembelance of this situation to what is called "suicide by cop," only in the sense that both share knowingly acting in a way that will bring about one's death at the hands of others. But, some "sbc" people may also feel they need to sacrifice themselves for others... Of course, we know something of Brother Edwards character, and motives, but nothing certain in the "sbc" cases we see in the media.
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Old September 9th 07, 23:10   #46
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

As someone not very big on forgiveness, I just didn't get into this one.

The best part was Theo lecturing Sheridan about forgiveness at the end... but it's hard for me to get emotionally involved with a character that has just been introduced this very episode.
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Old September 10th 07, 17:09   #47
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

I don't agree with the argument that his former personality was coming back, just because his memories had returned.

Edward's killers wanted him to remember so he would know why they were killing him... in many ways that made it easier for them to do the job with what they would falsely call "a clean conscience".

I like to think that Edward was holding out against his former personality.

Aside from my thoughts, why would the killers risk reintegrating Edwards former personality - a psychotic killer? It would potentially make the desired outcome harder to achieve... possibly even backfire... resluting in harm coming to themselves.

The question is not just a matter of spirituality. It carries legal ramifications as well.

Do we consider the punishment or rehabilitation of criminals as paramount. If we say the latter, than can we truly say a person has been rehabilitated if they remain unaware of their actions.

If the problem that led to the criminal behaviour is a deeply psychologiucal one... surely it is better to repair the psychological flaws... without damaging the memory. Of course this then raises a harsh question for the criminal post treatment... how do you live with what you have done, once you are able to rationalise how terrible it truly was?

Again as Edward said.... how can there be forgiveness if there is no repentance?
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Old September 11th 07, 06:01   #48
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

I like to think that Edward was holding out against his former personality.
I do too. He seemed appalled about what his former personality had done, like it was abhorrant (don't know if I spelled that word right ) and like he couldn't believe or accept that he had done it.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
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Old September 12th 07, 18:26   #49
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

Pretty late to the discussion but this is one of my favorite episodes as well. Everything said above about the nature of repentance and forgiveness, as well as Dourif's performance, reflects my love for the episode. The story itself was one of JMS' best and everyone involved seemed to raise their own personal bar a notch. I'll have to watch it again tonight.
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Old September 13th 07, 12:45   #50
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Re: EpDis: Passing Through Gethsemane

I don't buy the whole Christian dogma bit at all, so the episode was, to me, rather pointless. I consider any suffering out of religious conviction to be well-deserved and completely self-inflicted, unless it's a case of brainwashed kids who haven't been exposed to the world and its variety early enough.

All that said, however, I thought Dourif's performance was utterly brilliant and the subtleties of the story some of the most wonderful writing in all of B5.
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