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londovir- by iamsab

Teasing newbies and Episode #8, ENV

Our hot water heater is broken, which means no shower tonight. Ew.

I have been in regular correspondence with a fellow Londo, G'Kar and Vir fan who is watching Babylon 5 on tape for the first time, and let me tell you, it has been a blast reading her reactions over email and teasing her with vague comments about where the storyline might be going. Yesterday, she finally saw the episodes leading up to and including "The Fall of Centauri Prime," and her email to me last night was awed and distraught. I don't fault her reaction- I've freely admitted here that I bawled over these episodes. In fact, reading her email, I could feel myself getting a little misty.

But there will be plenty of time to dwell over Londo's tragedy when we get to it. First, we have quiz results and another B5 tragedy that I felt far less keenly.








What Type of Villain are You?

mutedfaith.com.


Muahahaha. That must be why, in today's episode...

"Phoenix Rising"

Grade: B

... the scene I most enjoyed was Bester's confrontation with Garibaldi. "On a scale of one to ten, how stupid do you think I am?" I must admit a grudging admiration for men like Bester who can put together a master plan that covers all contingencies. (Hell, one of my favorite episodes to this day is "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place" simply because of the sheer brilliance of Londo's scheme to dispatch Refa.)

And with this scene, you begin to see with even greater clarity how much Garibaldi and Londo share in common and why they were friends at the start. In addition to troubled pasts and cynical, distrustful natures, Garibaldi and Londo are also given to being consumed by the desire for veangance, so much that it threatens their personal destruction. "All I want now is revenge," Londo says in the breath-taking tag to "Interludes and Examinations," his quiet rage radiating from the screen in waves. "They took from me the only thing that I ever truly loved. And you will help me to strike them down. Give me this, and the safety of my people, and let the rest of the galaxy burn. I don't care anymore." And, in "Into the Fire," Londo's rage is refocused on Morden and mixed with roaring, sobbing despair- he lops off Morden's head, presents it to Vir, and thus seals his world's fate. Today, Garibaldi discovers that veangance cannot be accomplished by his hand and he seeks solace in drink, a choice that will lead to devastating results.

The other scene I really liked was in the episode tag. As they clean up the results of Byron's fireball, Bester is asked if he is satisfied. Bester says no, and the hell of it is, I think he's sincere. Bester's disregard for the lives of mundanes is morally shocking, but he does truly believe himself to be a guardian for his fellow telepaths. That's why he's a great character rather than a merely good one.
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No apologies for Bester admiration necessary.*g*

And that scene with Garibaldi was terrific. I'll let my prejudice carry me and say that all of Bester's scenes were.
Sheridan: And if Garibaldi dies?
Bester: Zack gets his room?
On a more serious note, Bester pulling of his glove to make contact with Byron. You get the impression this isn't just about making things easier for himself etc., he really believes the "The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father" doctrine and wants Byron to return to the fold, and he's making himself vulnerable here to achieve this.


Bester's disregard for the lives of mundanes is morally shocking, but he does truly believe himself to be a guardian for his fellow telepaths. That's why he's a great character rather than a merely good one.

Exactly. And you have another Londo parallel here, btw. Of course, the fact that they believe they act only in the best interests of the telepaths/the Centauri is not much comfort to those mundanes and Narns in their way respectively, but it adds to their complexity.

I'm very much looking forward to your review of The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father (directed by Stephen Furst!), and will go into more detail about Bester then.

Londo parallels

Exactly. And you have another Londo parallel here, btw. Of course, the fact that they believe they act only in the best interests of the telepaths/the Centauri is not much comfort to those mundanes and Narns in their way respectively, but it adds to their complexity.

Indeed. Although the interesting thing about Londo at this point is that while he's still given to saying politically incorrect things about the Narn (or other races for that matter- making fun of the Drazi's "beady little eyes," for example), he's managed to transcend the racial hatred in at least one important relationship- his relationship with G'Kar. (It's open to discussion whether this generalizes in any way. I think maybe it did, a little, by the end.)

I think Londo, being a natural extrovert, is one of those Centauri who has absorbed the official line and believes a lot of it, yet tends to forget it when people work their way into his inner circle. Friends are friends, and Londo especially enjoys the challenging ones. And what could be more challenging than your former enemy, hmm?

I don't know how this compares to Bester, though, since I have yet to read the Psi Corps trilogy.

Re: Londo parallels

I think Londo, being a natural extrovert, is one of those Centauri who has absorbed the official line and believes a lot of it, yet tends to forget it when people work their way into his inner circle. Friends are friends, and Londo especially enjoys the challenging ones. And what could be more challenging than your former enemy, hmm?

Oh, absolutely. And I think he would have helped Na'toth even if G'kar had not been there - but he might not have liberated her immediately but would have waited until after his coronation, in the meantime only providing better food and accomodations etc.

I don't know how this compares to Bester, though, since I have yet to read the Psi Corps trilogy.
Taking both the Psi Corps trilogy and the information on the actual show into account, you have again parallels and differences. One of the ironies of Bester's life is that while he believes wholeheartedly in the Corps, the people he forms close emotional ties with are:
1) A Psi Cop somewhat doubting the Corps (who was his mentor and father figure for a time; he committs suicide, which leaves a deep impact on the young Al)
2) A fellow student who actually tries to leave the Corps (first love; doesn't end well)
3) Carolyn who never joined the Corps to begin with but became a Blip, trying to escape, and who was in a reeducation camp when he met her (that was the one from the episode Ship of Tears for whom he made his alliance with Sheridan.
4) A none-telepath called Louise (last person he ever gets attached to before his death).
Notice a certain pattern here? (We even can include Byron in a way.) Not to mention the other central irony of his life, the truth about his biological parents which he refuses to accept for the longest time. (That is the reason why he can't move one of his hands - it's psychosomatic in nature.)

However, Bester, as opposed to Londo, is not a natural extrovert, and started out as an outsider as a child; the passionate need to believe in the Corps-as-family and the ruthless sophistication of the adult Bester both hail from there.

Re: Londo parallels

... And yet. Under that extroverted exterior Londo seems a great deal more introspective than your average Centauri - and sees a great deal more clearly, too.

(And in an interesting example of Londo not indulging in racial stereotypes, what about that interesting little story Vir related in SiL, about Londo and the oh-so-despised Pa'k'ma'ra?)

Re: Londo parallels

... And yet. Under that extroverted exterior Londo seems a great deal more introspective than your average Centauri - and sees a great deal more clearly, too.

That's right, especially in the later years. That's one thing that I find very disarming about Londo- he has the capability to reflect and change.

(And in an interesting example of Londo not indulging in racial stereotypes, what about that interesting little story Vir related in SiL, about Londo and the oh-so-despised Pa'k'ma'ra?)

That story makes me cry- it really captures the deep well of sadness within Londo.

I think his curiosity regarding and admiration for the Humans should be mentioned here as well.