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londovir- by iamsab

Sic Transit Vir isn't just a comedy, damn it.

Season three of B5 finally came in the mail last night and the first thing I did was sit down and watch Sic Transit Vir with HobsonphileBro. Odd choice, I know. But I was in the mood for it. *g*

STV is billed as a comedy, but there's a lot more going on:



One thing that bothers Bro and I in particular on multiple viewings is the manner in which Vir's underground was ultimately revealed. Why did Ivanova and Sheridan storm into Londo's quarters without discussing the matter with Vir first?

There's an implication here that is interesting- that Ivanova, Sheridan, et. al. may like Vir well enough at this point (there's a distinct note of fondness in Sheridan's voice when he recounts the fight with the Narn to Ivanova), but they don't really trust him. That perhaps, on a subconscious level, they believe Vir is more lackey than independent mind- that he is incapable of standing up to his superior.

Bro also suggested that their might be slight racism involved- "The Centauri are untrustworthy." That is an opinion based on fact, but it's relatively easy to overgeneralize without true malicious intent.

(Though the non-Human or Minbari members of the future ISA, if Legions of Fire is any indication, do slide into overt racism in several instances- objecting to Vir's presence at Sheridan's tour of Downbelow in the first book is a particularly blatant example that jumps to mind as I write this. Poor Vir- I felt so bad for him when I read that.)

Of course, all of the above is understandable when you consider that the characters in question haven't really interacted with Vir on more than a professional level. We in the audience have a privileged perspective that is opened for the first time for Sheridan and Ivanova in this episode (G'Kar gets a glance as well in Comes the Inquisitor, but he wasn't particularly inclined to listen for obvious and justifiable reasons). The lack of an acknowledgement of this fact, I believe, is the key flaw in this episode. What's needed here is an additional scene in which Sheridan and Ivanova flagellate themselves a bit for jumping to conclusions and perhaps apologize to Vir for blowing his cover so recklessly.
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There's an implication here that is interesting- that Ivanova, Sheridan, et. al. may like Vir well enough at this point (there's a distinct note of fondness in Sheridan's voice when he recounts the fight with the Narn to Ivanova), but they don't really trust him. That perhaps, on a subconscious level, they believe Vir is more lackey than independent mind- that he is incapable of standing up to his superior.

Oh, I agree, that is probably how they see him. Note also that they both believe that Londo is behind everything, with Vir probably just carrying out instructions. The assumption is that a) Londo is capable of everything, and b) Vir is incapable of standing to Londo, though he's otherwise a nice kid. (And I do think both Sheridan and Ivanova tend to see Vir as childlike.)

Of course, all of the above is understandable when you consider that the characters in question haven't really interacted with Vir on more than a professional level. We in the audience have a privileged perspective that is opened for the first time for Sheridan and Ivanova in this episode

Which is also true. We've seen Vir in private trying to talk Londo out of his dark path, and arguing with him; they only saw Vir defer to Londo in public. (As is proper for an attaché.) Look at the events of In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum. We the audience saw Vir refusing to be intimidated or bribed by Morden, and we know how much he loathes Morden and everything Morden stands for; Sheridan only saw Vir demanding that Morden be released, quite insistently.

The lack of an acknowledgement of this fact, I believe, is the key flaw in this episode. What's needed here is an additional scene in which Sheridan and Ivanova flagellate themselves a bit for jumping to conclusions and perhaps apologize to Vir for blowing his cover so recklessly.

That would be nice, but to me the key flaw in this episode is something else - Vir's "what relationship doesn't have its ups and downs" comment after having said farewell to Lyndisti. Which coming after the revelation of Lyndisti's activities and Vir's (and the audience's) horror is inappropriate comedy relief.





That would be nice, but to me the key flaw in this episode is something else - Vir's "what relationship doesn't have its ups and downs" comment after having said farewell to Lyndisti. Which coming after the revelation of Lyndisti's activities and Vir's (and the audience's) horror is inappropriate comedy relief.

Ah, true, that bothers me as well. JMS succumbed to the Vir-comedy-prejudice that I hate, hate, hate.

Speaking of which, does it bother you as much as it bothers me that the cast commentaries, though very complimentary where Stephen Furst is concerned, never seem to quit with the Animal House references? Yeesh. It's been twenty-five years already- give it a rest. I dare say Stephen has outgrown that role by now.

you know...

...I never watched Animal House. So I did not know what they were referring to exactly but gathered it was an earlier role of Stephen Furst's .

Though yes, it's slightly irritating. This being said, Sean Connery did so much more than James Bond but I've yet to see another actor referring to him in an interview and not bringing up 007. Apparently the curse of the memorable role. Now if I were to see Stephen Furst in something else, I'd presumably first think "Vir!" but am sure that with his skills, he could make me accept him as a different character quite soon.