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londovir- by iamsab

Episode #9, ENV: The dead return...

You know, I don't think I've ever seen my father outright excited about anything before today. I've started reading A Canticle for Leibowitz, something I've been meaning to do for awhile now, and I think if it were possible for him to stand over my shoulder until I finish it, he would do so. Dad's an old, old school science fiction/fantasy fan and was a Catholic pre-Vatican II. He doesn't practice now, so it took me by surprise when he admitted that he liked Canticle so much because it brought back good memories. I tried to get him to talk further about the issue (being an intellectually curious post-Vatican II Catholic), but he remained frustratingly vague about his feelings. I think I'm going to have to keep working on him.

But anyway...

"The Day of the Dead"

Grade: B+



Watching these episodes again, I'm starting to like Lochley more than I did the first time around. As a character, she still doesn't approach the greats, but I think the writers did a respectable job making her a character in her own right rather than a simple replacement for Ivanova. Her by-the-book approach is a good counter-point to Sheridan (as I noted several episodes ago), she generates conflict with Garibaldi, and in DotD, she is given a unique backstory. Her visitation worked very well.

Of course, the darkest and best visitation was Lennier's, a visitation I saw in a brand new light this morning thanks to the work of deborah_judge, who explains the depth of Lennier's desire much better than I.

Londo's encounter was too brief, but it managed to get under my skin anyway. Peter Jurasik played Londo's almost tearful reaction to seeing Adira again flawlessly, as usual. And I loved Londo tipping back the brivari and chatting with an old portrait sitting on his sofa. He was so very matter-of-fact about that.

Garibaldi and Dodger didn't really do much for me.

The weakest scenes of the episode were the scenes outside of the four visitations. I must admit, my opinion of "Rebo and Zooty" is more like Lochley's- I just don't think they're very funny.

I do remain mystified by G'Kar's reaction. After everything's he's been through (Or maybe because of everything he's been through?), why would he be afraid of a Brakiri religious festival? Perhaps one of you out there has some insights. It would also be interesting to speculate on who would've visited G'Kar had he remained in his quarters. Since the visitations all seemed to give the visited something they required, who would've fulfilled that purpose for G'Kar? Perhaps G'Quan would've returned and given G'Kar some advice on how to deal with his followers. ;)
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Ohhhh, Day of the Dead!

Neil Gaiman! In the foreword to the published screenplay, JMS explains that he had been after N.G. for years and years in order to get a B5 episode from him (the only other author he really wooed). And I think Gaiman is the only writer who could have pulled off that premise. The scenes with Lochley and her friend Zoe, and their relationship, always remind me of the women in his work, like Wanda and Barbie in A Game of You, or Rose Walker in A Doll's House. Complex, everyday, and dealing with the supernatural very matter of factly. I loved this episode. All the visitations. Dodger and Adira were actually fulfilling parallel functions for Garibaldi and Londo - their respective lives would go to hell pretty soon, and that was their night of joy and companionship before this happened.

Reebo and Zooty: You weren't meant to find them funny, actually. It was a reflection of (British) Neil Gaiman's experience of first coming to the US and finding everyone repeating punchlines from Steve Martin's comedy routines. He just didn't get it and wanted the audience to empathize with Lochley who didn't, either. (Londo is lying at the end about finding them funny now, btw, he just does it for PR purposes.)

G'kar: that was the irony. G'kar might have matured much, but he wasn't perfect. So because he wanted to make A Statement, he missed out on this great opportunity. He wasn't afraid, he was just in pontificating mode. Being a religious icon does that sometimes to one's character. You could argue that G'kar needs Londo as much as Londo needs him for the balance...

Forgive me if I sound dense, but...

G'kar: that was the irony. G'kar might have matured much, but he wasn't perfect. So because he wanted to make A Statement, he missed out on this great opportunity.

... what Statement was G'Kar attempting to make?

You could argue that G'kar needs Londo as much as Londo needs him for the balance...

Yes, that I definitely agree with. Londo takes G'Kar down to a more human level and brings out the old mischieviousness. Without that, G'Kar would be completely insufferable. ;)

G'kar's statement

Actually, I was quoting Gaiman here, from his footnotes to the screenplay (which are quite funny).

My interpretation regarding the statement in question: I'm the spiritual authority here, and you better listen to me. But maybe I'm wrong.*g*

In any case, on a more serious note and regarding your original question, I think that since G'kar already had one epiphany after being confronted by his late father/G'Quan/Kosh I, another one would have been dramatically repetitive. We also already saw him with Na'toth who would have made sense (if she were dead).
Yeah, you know how I feel about DotD because I can't stop writing about it. For me there was no more painful moment in the series than when Morden manages to convince Lennier that every good thing he's ever thought about himself is wrong, and there's nothing he can do about it. Ouch. Ouch Ouch. I feel that late-fifth-season trauma approaching again.

The Lochley scene was amazing, and made me wish we could see more of her character.

I think Selena's exactly on about G'kar and his motivations.

And yeah, the Garibaldi scene didn't do much for me either.

And Londo...yeah. It's like, Londo gets what he truly wants for only one night, to conmensate for what the rest of his life will be. I find it fascinating that even right up until the last minute he can't admit what he wants - he says he wants to see the first Centauri emperor. But then finally he tells Adira, 'you were all I ever wanted.' And that's exactly correct. Londo gets himself in so much trouble because it takes him so long to know what he wants.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. DotD was one of my favorite episodes - I would've given it an A+. But it's really, really painful.

I only wish there were more. I would have loved for Delenn to see Dukhat, or for Sheridan to see Anna.

Hail, fellow DotD lover!

I don't think this episode often ends up on fans favourites list, but it sure does on mine.

Sheridan and Anna would have been truly fascinating (and would have justified his season 5 existence*g*). Though how about Delenn and Anna? I don't think the two ever spoke. And there would have been things to say.

On that note, I finally came up with someone interesting for G'kar who wouldn't have been a repeat performance: Lord Refa. Who could have asked how G'kar justifies to himself befriending Londo (and it would have been great to see how G'kar would have answered to the challenge that he is Londo's friend now, and that the bodyguard thing wasn't just because Delenn suggested it) when there's just as much blood on Londo's hands as there was on Refa's...

Ooh! Lord Refa!

That is a totally awsome idea. Someone should write that up as an AU. I would've loved to have seen G'Kar's answer to that question.

Re: Ooh! Lord Refa!

You know, I might do this one day, but I'll have to rewatch Refa's death episode first, which right now is not in my possession. Meanwhile, feel free to speculate what G'kar could say...

BTW...

I neglected to mention in the previous that I've also thought about who would've visited Vir if he was there. Cartagia, I think, would be the best choice. Imagine that encounter.

Re: BTW...

An encounter between Cartagia and Vir would rock. And wouldn't even have to be an AU, since we don't know whether Vir was on the station or not. Can't you imagine Cartagia, with a smirk, announcing that since Vir has been prophecied to become Emperor, he (C) decided to drop by for some advice...?

Re: BTW...

That would be *so* cool!