January 24, 2004, will mark the 10th anniversary of the premiere of Babylon 5. leyenn and I are conspiring to celebrate the date with wine, women, song and especially fic (I'll let her elaborate further on the anniversary fic challenge that is brewing on the Jumpy forum). But I think we should expand the celebration through the entire month of January- the Centauri in me, afterall, appreciates a long, festive holiday. *g* Just as the current month is International DS9 Month, I believe January, 2004, should be officially declared International B5 Month.
So what does everyone think? Do you suppose it will catch on? *g*
In any event, on to the post itself...
soulonds9 and I got to discussing Sleeping in Light and Vir's role in the episode in particular a little while ago for some reason I can't quite fathom. It was in the midst of a conversation that also included, among other things, Centauri spirituality and my opinions on what Vir might think and feel regarding the metaphysical, what Londo's childhood was like, and what Vir might be like as a father. You can blame the evil plot bunnies I mentioned a few posts ago for the generation of these wide-ranging topics. *g*
On the matter of Sleeping in Light...
... doesn't Vir seem like the odd man out at dinner? Sheridan, Delenn, Franklin, Ivanova, and Garibaldi, despite whatever troubles may have transpired between them (as in the case of Sheridan and Garibaldi), are all very good friends. They've fought together, struggled together and laughed together... and they know each other very well. I don't think "in-group" is the best phrase to apply to them, because that has a few negative connotations, but it is the only thing that comes to mind. Everyone who is present at Sheridan's farewell dinner, save Vir, is part of B5's in-group.
Now, I can certainly see a quite reasonable explanation for why Sheridan and Delenn invited Vir, given that it was Vir's people who helped arrange for David's rescue from the Drakh. It is very much in both characters to extend their hands in appreciation. But beyond that (admittedly significant) event, their connection to Vir is rather limited.
They like Vir. Oh, yes. Who doesn't like Vir? He is a profoundly decent man and a pleasure to be around. But they don't really know Vir that well. Through the years, Vir lived on an entirely different plane of existence. Spiritually and intellectually, if not in fact, he is of the Army of Light... but he is still Centauri and still feels both an obligation to his own world in general and a very strong, very emotional, very loving connection to Londo. ("After everything we'd been through... all he did... I miss him.") Because of who he was, who he loved, and where he came from, Vir faced his own struggles afraid and largely alone. (The loneliness is a blinking neon sign in the Legions of Fire series especially and it is a big reason I feel for Vir so deeply.) Sheridan, Delenn, et. al., though all decent people, don't know this about Vir. Not really.
So, I watch Sleeping in Light and I see a group of old friends... and Vir, who represents the lonely tragic under-current in the saga and seems... out of place amongst them.
Of course, YMMV.
Edited to add: ...that the above discussion also led me to conclude that I need to write a Londo and Garibaldi story and a Vir and G'Kar story.