JMS on CompuServe (Feb 18, 1997) *POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

bbarrett at bbarrett at
Tue Feb 18 22:36:08 EST 1997

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 [ Summary of subjects in this section: ]
    Sb: #649293-#>>IofT great/frightening
    Sb: #649282-#<Epiph & prior eps>
    Sb: #649358-<Rage'sThots:Epiphanies>
    Sb: #649373-John Schuck-Draal
    Sb: #649377-Blacklist
    Sb: #649378-#What hpned to L Welch?

 [ Summary: Asks if the names given in the "confession" in "The Illusion
   of Truth" were names of real people. ]

 #: 649319 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    18-Feb-97  01:07:06
Sb: #649293-#>>IofT great/frightening

      Yes, they're based on the real names of writers who were blacklisted,
Dalton Trumbo and Paul Jarrico.


 #: 649282 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    17-Feb-97  20:40:03
Sb: #<Epiph & prior eps>

        Just wanted to give you my compliments on the past several episodes.

        You know, I can't think of an episode in which I've been glad when you
offed a character.  There's always been some little twist at the end which
makes me feel sorry for them somehow.  Morden was no exception.  I wouldn't
have thought it possible, but the break in his voice as he screamed "No!", that
incredibly lost look on his face as he clutched his crystal while the guards
all but held him upright....  Well, I guess I'm an easy touch, but I was very
moved.  And while I've read several people wishing that we got to see Morden
suffer before the pike scene, the look on Londo's face when he said he 'hadn't
even started yet' left me in no doubt that Londo had the 'pain technicians'
working overtime before the beheading.
        What can be said about Londo and G'Kar?  Their relationship is so
complex--someday I'd like to be able to watch all of their shared scenes, in
order, without interruption.  I think my head might explode, but it would
probably be worth it.

        I thought Pat was wonderful in "Epiphanies."  While I hesitate to call
anyone a bad actor, there have been episodes where I thought Lyta was...almost
an Achilles heel to the drama.  Maybe it was a combination of factors (I mean,
"You didn't have to pull out of me so fast" is a difficult line for _any_ actor
to sell, right?  Probably even harder when you've got a couple of crew-men
operating your gills and making the Budweiser Frog noises<g>), or maybe it's
just a misperception on my part.  But it seemed as if this episode really
played into her strengths as an actress, interacting with other actors instead
of blue-screens.  Pat seemed like a very sweet person when I saw her at
RebelCon, so I was glad to see her getting such a significant portion of the

        Last week I would have told you how much I enjoyed seeing that
"Minister" again.  His reaction when Londo accidentally sat upon the throne was
priceless.  This week I don't know what to say except--What did that poor
Regent ever do to you!!?  That was so mean!  The image of his eyes so wide with
terror is one that I don't think I'll ever forget.


 #: 649320 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    18-Feb-97  01:07:07
Sb: #649282-#<Epiph & prior eps>

      Thanks.  RE: the regent...well, if you want to do something really nasty,
you want to do it to somebody everybody kinda likes, so you feel for the

      Ah likes doing that sorta thing...dropping anvils on characters to see
what pattern splat they make....


 #: 649358 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    18-Feb-97  07:06:59
Sb: #<Rage'sThots:Epiphanies>

Hidey-ho, all... It's time again for Rage's Thots, an exploratory of ideas
engendered by this week's episode of BABYLON 5.  [Episode: Epiphanies]   As
usual, this  CompuServe post is forwarded to my partner-in-crime Tate for
argument, annotations, and adaptation.

Furthermore, Gentle Reader, if you're web-capable you can read these
commentaries with the nicer formatting made possible by HTML.  Tate's collected
the entire known opus of Tate & Rage together as an archive on his web site.
The URL to the commentaries is

So, without further ado, let's go!


* I think it's about time our Minister / Regent got a name, don't you?

* Garibaldi.  More questions raised by Mr. Garibaldi's "programming."  He seems
to have become a bit of a coward, in some ways...  Thankfully, the Command
Staff is leery, and not just ignoring this development.
        Personally, I don't think the security codes he gave to Zack were
necessarily either A) Secure, or B) the only copy.  Which reminds me... After
the Great Bab5 Computer Reboot (starring Sparky the Wonder Computer), was the
SPIDER IN THE WEB Control erased from Bab5's files?
        Lastly, in his conversation with Zack, Mr. G says something along the
lines of "everybody's entitled to one massive screwup.  Maybe this is mine."
<Bzzt!> Thanks for playing.  Garibaldi's had his already. One we know of: The
alcoholism that led to the events in SURVIVORS. That episode itself.  And who
can forget: Trusting Jack & getting shot in the back.

* DisneyPlanet.  I knew it would happen.  It does raise the question of how
many privately or corporately-owned planets there are.  Wasn't / Isn't Mars
owned by a company, kinda?

* Zack.  He's hot for Lyta, it seems. It must be all the leather.  Or maybe
he's just being friendly.  I am wondering what he screwed up, and why Garibaldi
helped him.

* Londo.  He seemed like he was trying too hard to be the "old" Londo of first
season-- with Zack and in the Zocalo-- and some of the performance put me on
edge, as if he were scraping fingers on a chalkboard or breaking glass or
something.  Kudos Peter for that edginess.  Also,  he seemed sad when G'kar
confronted him in the Zocalo...  Maybe he had tasted what the two of them could
do when they worked together instead of at each other's throat?

* G'kar.  He seemed relatively okay with all that happened to him; in his
conversations with Franklin & Garibaldi, he seemed "delirious with joy" at the
results of working with Londo.  But none of that carried over to Londo.  True,
they've been enemies for years...  But maybe, given what G'kar heard from that
young Narn at the end of TLN, he feels it would be better to sever all contact
with the Centauri, to try and keep the chances for conflict down.  His line to
Garibaldi about "confronting the universe" was just wonderful.

* Bester.  Boy, he got shut down hard a couple few times by Lyta, didn't he?
There he is, setting up his own people, allied with "traitors," leaking
information... all for love.  Bester's heroic, albeit in a sick, twisted way.
I like it.
        I assume Bester's ace in the hole is probably Garibaldi, but I wouldn't
put it past the little freak to have a whole deck up his sleeve.
        His little speech to Carolyn in her cryo-unit was a bit disturbing to
me...  A taste of Martyrdom?

* Lyta. I wonder what hold Bester has over her.  Maybe her and Alfie, y'know,
"wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more"?  Maybe Bester helped debrief her after
the events in the Gathering... Seems logical.  Probably something else.
        And it's very true: Lyta is a tool.  She's not being made to feel one
of the gang.  Kudos to Zack for being friendly. (Neg vibes for being on the
        Lyta definitely did NOT seem hot for Zack, as he seemed for her.  I
seemingly recall a mention somewhere by Pat Tallman that Lyta was a lesbian, or
bisexual?  Is that canon, or just something Pat said at a convention?  She also
"loved Kosh Classic" if I recall correctly.  Maybe once you go Vorlon, you
never come back, Zack.
        And ObObviousQuestion:  How *much* has she been modified?

* President Clarke.  Scared of the Fleet that "defeated" the Vorlons & Shadows
combined.  But it wasn't force of arms that sent the First Ones packing.  Does
Clarke know that particular bit of info, I wonder...

* Shadow Wetware.  A telepath would be real handy for removing that stuff,
don'tcha think?  Unfortunately, the only teep on hand seems to be Lyta, and God
only knows what the Vorlonic influence would do.  Oh well.

* Johnny's got real gumption.  (That's a nice way of saying "gamete-producing
organs of steel.") Stands up to Lyta, Bester, Kosh, Shadows...  Sheesh.  How
immortal (for 20 yrs) is he?  More importantly, how immortal does he feel?

* From the editing of the last scenes, I'm assuming our Shadow Allies have left
a Change of Address Form at the Galactic Post Office that reads "Forward to
Centauri Prime."  But that's just me.

* Webs of intrigue, lines of possible blackmail/collusion. Let us list them:

        Bester-Garibaldi = Programming
        Garibaldi-G'kar = Guilt/Friendship
        Garibaldi-Zack = Secrets/Favors Owed
        Bester-Lyta = Secrets
        Lyta-Zack = Disinterest/Hormonal Hijinks
        Keeper-Regent = Thought/Action Control

Yummy.  And good for ya, too.

* I had this thought while watching the episode.  Babylon 5 could also be known
as "Joe's International House of Messiahs."  We've got Johnny, Delenn, G'kar
(saved Narn), Londo (Saved Centauri Prime), and Bester's a comer (Psis).  Try
our Rooty Tooty Fresh and Spooey breakfast in the Fresh Air Cafe!

Next Week:  Stephen Furst directs THE ILLUSION OF TRUTH.  Be there or be a

Ranger of Washingdome
"I assume my usual quarters in the brig are available?  I've grown quite
attached to them." -- Bester

 #: 649430 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    18-Feb-97  12:42:02
Sb: #649358-<Rage'sThots:Epiphanies>

       The only thing I'd quibble with there is calling Garibaldi's trust of
Jack in season 1 a massive screwup...he had no way of knowing what was going
on, nobody did, viewers included, until it happened.


 #: 649373 S5/Babylon 5: General
    18-Feb-97  07:45:36
Sb: #John Schuck-Draal

Saw on Turning Point last Sunday that John Schuck is going to be playing Daddy
Warbucks in Annie on Broadway.  How will this effect his part as Draal and B5's
shooting schedule?

Catherine Becic

 #: 649431 S5/Babylon 5: General
    18-Feb-97  12:42:03
Sb: #649373-John Schuck-Draal

       It's been an ongoing series of complications relative to Draal's
character and John's schedule.


 [ Summary: The son of someone involved on the receiving end of the 
   blacklists thanks JMS for not forgetting. ]

 #: 649432 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
    18-Feb-97  12:42:04
Sb: #649377-Blacklist
Fm: J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI's a period too few people really know much about, and it
never hurts to point to the past in order to warn about the future.


 [ Summary: Asks what happened to the character of Lou Welch. ]

 #: 649433 S5/Babylon 5: General
    18-Feb-97  12:42:05
Sb: #649378-#What hpned to L Welch?

       The actor wanted to do other things.


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