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Patrick

Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph
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    says:

    I see a familiar wisage on this post.Report

  2. Avatar James K
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    says:

    Talia’s attitude toward the Corps has significant whiplash, relative to last week’s. I think they needed to lay out these episodes differently.Report

  3. Avatar KatherineMW
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    says:

    It’s pretty clear that the show-writers were trying to set up an arc for Talia re: her opinion of the Corps over the last three episodes, but they didn’t do the smoothest job of it. In general there’s a progression from trust to mistrust, but it’s too fast (either she should have been shown having doubts about the Corps earlier, or the answer to Sheridan’s Episode 6 question about her loyalties shouldn’t have been “she’s very loyal to the Corps”, or this episode and the previous one’s subplot should have been moved to later in the season, with at least one short scene in another episode illustrating Talia’s having doubts).

    But as an episode in itself, I like how this one is done, especially the illusion fake-out – it’s a smart resolution. And running an underground railroad for telepaths is something that’s very in line with Franklin’s character (kudos the the episode for, IIRC, not once referencing Franklin is black in connection with the use of the term “underground railroad”. In the 2300s, it wouldn’t be something people other than specialist historians thought about much any more).

    And we also get the start of apparent romance between Sheridan and Delenn, which I am not so much a fan of. It seems unprofessional; something that would compromise his neutrality. There’s not a precise real-world metaphor, but think of the Secretary-General of the UN having a relationships with some country’s ambassador to the UN. Not. Appropriate.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to KatherineMW
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      says:

      @katherinemw

      I didn’t even know the historical significance of the term “underground railroad” until years after I first saw this episode. I remember thinking it was an odd name for the operation.Report

    • Avatar daveNYC in reply to KatherineMW
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      says:

      B5 was kind of clumsy with some of the character arcs it tried to do. Something like GoT, where you can hop around to four or five different characters per episode and do gradual updates is nice. Pretty sure that makes for tougher writing and probably impossible to do with 45 minutes of actual show time and trying to sell yourself in sindication.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        Part of it is that this was 1994 and this kind of long character arc was still very unusual. Game of Thrones has had 20 years of learning to build on since then.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        DaveNYC,
        Four lines all waiting is not nice.
        James,
        Four lines all waiting is a very, very old trope.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        They didn’t have character arcs back in 1994?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        @tod-kelly – at that time and prior, the TV model was much more “hit the reset button to restore status quo”, particularly for anything non-straight-drama with a whiff of “genre” about it, like SF. The idea being that all-standalone eps, in which the characters act pretty much the same no matter where they are in the show’s run, play better out of order in syndication, and to viewers who dip in and out unpredictably.

        X-Files only started in 1993 (and took a couple years to become cultural phenomenon), and was unusual at the time for its incorporation of an overarching story, in which Scully and Mulder could act differently because the show “remembered” what they’d been through.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        @tod-kelly @glyph

        It’s remarkable how much TV has matured in two decades.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        @james-k – and the ‘disreputable’ genre shows kinda led the way. B5 is seen as groundbreaking for this, and X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer preceded the prestigious Sopranos by a long shot.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        Japanese television including anime have been treating TV shows as serials for much longer than American television. A lot of it still tends towards the episodic but even in that there times to be some idea of continuity.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to daveNYC
        Ignored
        says:

        Lee,
        I somehow think most folks around here haven’t seen soap operas.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Life_to_Live
        Granted, that is 44 years, which is a long time to have a static show…
        (but, for the most part, Sesame Street has managed to be mostly static).

        Isn’t it just amazing how “girls tv” gets left off of all discussions as if it isn’t there?Report

      • Avatar daveNYC in reply to daveNYC
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        says:

        The thing with B5 wasn’t just that it had long term changes in characters, it was that the whole show actually had a (kinda sorta planned out) multi-season story to tell. That’s why IMO, it’s a better series than (new) BSG/Lost/Heroes even though it tends to come off weaker at the individual episode level.

        That reset button trope had its claws deep into TV writing. Something like ST: Voyager, a show whose very basis was how alone and unsupported the ship was hit that reset button so hard each week that even if the ship had been blown half to hell in the previous episode, it still managed to have a new coat of paint for this weeks adventure. And this was a post-B5 and DS9 series.Report

  4. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    Yep, there are more references to Earth history later as well, not just the “underground railroad” and some Bible ones too. 🙂

    I’ve always liked Walter Koening as Bester. He’s nicely evil.Report

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