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Old November 24th 07, 22:14   #41
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

Merely playing devil's advocate. Sheridan would have jumped anyway... his recording from his personal logs which Franklin gave to Delenn indicate this:

Sheridan: "If you are falling off a cliff, you may as well try to fly. You've got nothing to lose."
We live for The One, we die for The One

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Old November 25th 07, 08:27   #42
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

Good point. I'd never noticed that before.
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Old November 26th 07, 00:42   #43
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

I'd forgotten that. So, had he thought of it on his own, he may well have done it without Kosh's urgings.
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Old December 10th 07, 16:30   #44
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

I watched Z'ha'dum last night, and even after seeing it more times than I can count, I still got goosebumps.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
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Old September 17th 08, 19:35   #45
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Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum

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.)

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

Between what?

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:

The others need me --

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>.

I can't.

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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Old February 5th 09, 23:29   #46
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

My favorite season finale and one of my favorite episodes of the entire series, Z'ha'dum really gripped me the first time I watched it and every time after. A great addition for its development of the characters and background as well as one of the great cliffhangers of the series.

There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams.
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Old February 6th 09, 12:52   #47
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

Oh yeah, phenomenal. As someone mentioned above, it's another chill-inducing episode - when Sheridan steps out onto the parapet. Isn't it amazing that so many people can feel the same effect from that scene? The episode ends with Garibaldi missing, the Whitestar destroyed, and Sheridan presumed dead. Finish it off with G'Kar's final narrative over visions of Shadow ships hovering over a giant crater. What made this especially worrisome was jms's past history of killing or removing characters. Would he do it again? Who knew? The guy was a manac! On top of that, we didn't know if we just had to wait out the summer to see what happens or if the show would be cancelled and we would never know at all.

My first thought after it ended was, "Holy crap!............................................. ...... They better not cancel this."
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Old October 7th 10, 13:02   #48
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

This episode is the pay-off for previous hints, glimpses and foreshadowings, and it manages to wrap up so many elements and still leave so much dangling. What a cliff-hanger! A large part of the suspense is the conflict Sheridan faces when confronted with his (dead) wife, and I think Boxleitner plays that inner conflict very well. The doubts about her, the loss of trust in Delenn, and yet seeing that love overcomes the latter - but not to triumph, but to suffer a hopeless end - all those make for powerful, moving drama.

As JMS says in his commentary, it's what is *not* said that makes for much of the emotional impact. The look on Garibaldi's face when he takes his orders - and the fact that he obeys without speaking out against them - and the farewell in between the lines of a weather forecast are heartwrenching. Ivanova's telepathic "knowledge" that something has happened and the bleak expression on her face adds to the impression of deep tragedy. And Delenn's reaction to both the situation of John's wife entering the scene and then of his leaving with the almost certain knowledge that it was a trap was heartbreaking.

It's hard to say what was more important in this episode, the excellent writing or the wonderful acting: both contributed to the high quality. And as cliffhangers go, jumping into an abyss (instead of "just" hanging from a cliff) takes the cake! Sheridan jumped once before to escape a bomb, but compared to this situation, that seems almost tame. Yet once again, Kosh is there, though he had said he could not help Sheridan on Z'ha'dum.

As one who had repeatedly read The Lord of the Rings before seeing this show, I was forcibly reminded of Gandalf's bettle with the Balrog in Moria (aided by the similarity of the planet's name to Khazad-Dm!) and his fall into the abyss. Back then, I was horrified and shocked by the wizard's death, and only much later do the readers learn that he came back to life. In this case, we viewers are also uncertain - JMS has killed off or moved major characters before. Would he do that to us?

Love G'Kar's reflective voice-over at the end...

As to the prophetic vision about the man in the middle, JMS gives more than one explanation: in the DVD commentary, he does say that it's Justin. However, somewhere else he mentions that it is Sheridan himself. I suppose this is the way prophecy often is: it is fulfilled on several levels. That is a very Biblical idea; interesting that it's also used by JMS.

PS: Did anyone else think it's ironic that Boxleitner's real life wife was cast to play the role of the wife who was no longer the woman Sheridan married?! And they even used their RL wedding pictures...
'The road goes ever on and on...' (JRRT)

Last edited by Estelyn; October 7th 10 at 13:23.
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Old February 28th 12, 06:58   #49
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Re: EpDis: Z'ha'dum

I've been re-watching B5 from the start recently on DVD and just got up to Z'ha'dum. This is the first time I've really watched the DVD sets even though I've had them since they were first released.

I had probably watched my old TV recorded VHS copy of Z'ha'dum maybe 20-30 times back in the 90s, so I was following the episode along, remembering it word for word but then the DVD deviated sharply from my memory.

At the end of Sheridan and Justin's meeting, on the DVD, Justin says "You do what you're told. And so will you.". But I'm sure on my old broadcast version he said "BUT you do what you're told. And so will you." On the DVD he doesn't say the word "But".

Am I remembering it wrong? I threw away my old broadcast copy so I can't check it out myself. I found a Youtube video of the scene here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnJcm4yccvM
The line is at the 10 min mark. It seems to be from the DVD because it's in widescreen. The subtitles for the line has the word "But" but he doesn't say "But" in the audio.

Does anyone with an old VHS copy of Z'ha'dum want to check it out and confirm my memory is right or confirm I'm going crazy?
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Old February 29th 12, 11:32   #50
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Re: EpDis: Z\'ha\'dum

funny - always wondered if the man in between was sheridan himself. Then again it screams at you doesnt it?

For me it was a kinda meh episode (too much gabbing) bar for the last 10 minutes which would raise it to good imo.
I Used to be Circular Reason on JMS News in another life. Time flys eh?
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