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londovir- by iamsab

From fannish5:

Name the five scenes that make you melt in True Fannish Love. Every. Single. Time.

Five? Five?! I can't do that!

Look, I can break it down into two current fandoms, but even then, I don't think I can keep it to five. Let's see:

Farscape

I. The scene that pimped me into Farscape was in DNA Mad Scientist when theycutoffhisARMOMG! I remain uncertain as to what this says about me, but I have always had a fondness for shows that allow their purported heroes to do Very Bad Things (See also: DS9). In a similar vein, I've decided that I like that Aeryn and John were forced by their desperate circumstance to rape Stark, even though the scene in question makes me sparkle with a distinct moral indignation. Oh, and the fact that John gradually becomes a murderer is a point in the show's favor as well.

And argh! See, I've already mentioned TWO. And I'm not nearly finished yet!

II. The scene between Aeryn and Pilot in Family Ties, wherein they discuss naming Moya's child, is a definite gooey moment for me, as was the scene in the same episode wherein John, floating about in his space suit, convinces Moya to preserve her own life first before going after her kidnapped child. (Two more!) I can't quite put my finger on why I love these moments so much. There was just so much... regard for Moya's feelings that I truly felt her- and Pilot too, as her liason- as a living, sympathetic being. That honestly doesn't happen in an ordinary show.

III. In the next case, a picture is worth a thousand words:



IV. Farscape's character deaths are by far the most moving. Stark's reaction to Zhaan's death is so visceral, so biological and so utterly wrenching that I can't help but be affected by it every time. Talyn John's death, ditto. And Chiana's reaction to D'Argo's death? Ditto times two. And that's really three scenes, but I'm past the point of redemption already.

V. Humor! Specifically, Aeryn and John's under-fire wedding/childbirth, but honestly, so many other scenes come very close. The class warfare between Stark and Rygel in Green Eyed Monster leaps immediately to mind.

On a slightly related note, you might be interested to learn that I recently won a bet with my little brother soulonds9, the terms of which involved me forcing him to watch an episode of Farscape. (He did watch the mini with me, but I still don't have him completely sold on the series itself.) My time being limited to one hour, I couldn't show any of the wonderful multi-parters. I had to select a relative stand-alone that I felt was a solid reflection of what I like about Farscape. The episode I selected? ...Different Destinations (though I also entertained the idea of showing him Green Eyed Monster). FS was compared to jazz at Burbank, and DD is a good example- it took a popular sci-fi plot (time travel) and abandoned the usual conventions. It didn't fall for the usual conceit of one little change affecting The Whole Galaxy. And in the end, the damage could not be fixed- not completely. Plus, DD showed us a quieter, deeper, more subtle Stark. And it introduced us to the concept that the Peacekeepers came from an initially honored history, which opens the door for the revelations in the mini. The result? He seemed to like it. The mission to Scape my brother continues.

Babylon 5

aka The Londo, G'Kar and Vir Show

In rough chronological order, with rampant cheating:



I. Born to the Purple, which could've easily been titled "Londo in Love." "You make me alive, you fountain of passion!" Only Londo can say this and make me believe him. *g* I love this entire episode for its adorableness and its sadness and for everything it sets up for later. "We Centauri live our lives for appearances. But when I look beneath the mask I am forced to wear, I see only emptiness. Then I look at you and I say: To hell with appearances." *melt*

II. The garden scene with Vir in The War Prayer, which again features Londo's signature wistfulness: "It was something my father said. He was... old... very old at the time. I went into his room, and he was sitting alone, in the dark, crying. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, 'My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.' My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance." This scene also has the added bonus of foreshadowing what will become Vir's singular relationship with Londo.

III. "Mr. Garibaldi- whatever it is, it can't be that bad." "Try to kiss me, and I'll break your arm." Oh, Londo was so kind and so funny and so affectionate here, it makes me all wobbly now.

IV. "When I was a young and foolish Centauri, I swore that I would die on my feet doing something noble and brave and futile. Perhaps that was not so wild a dream as I thought. Or as foolish." *sobs* Stop making me love you! *pulls out hair*

V. The Coming of Shadows. The drink. OMGthedrink! And Vir! And G'Kar's breakdown! And Londo's dream! And... *incoherent muttering and whimpering* Hands down my favorite of the Hugo Award winners.

There, you see? I'm at five, and we're not even done with the second season yet!

VI. Vir's scene in There All the Honor Lies- the most underrated scene in the series. You really get a sense of Vir's strain here, not to mention a revealing glimpse at his family life.

VII. The Long, Twilight Struggle- the window. The destruction of Narn and Londo's nonverbal reaction. JMS kept using that shot for a reason.

VIII. The scene on the transport tube between Vir and G'Kar in Comes the Inquisitor. I remember reading an interview once in which Stephen Furst admitted the scene made him cry, it was so intense.

IX. Two enemies, stuck in an elevator, about to die. JMS checks off another box on his Slash Cliche Clipboard, and we get treated to some wicked dark humor, not to mention an insight into how far G'Kar is willing to go at this point to accomplish his vengeance.

X. The rape of Londo and G'Kar's epiphany- the heart and soul of Dust to Dust. We must never forget that G'Kar literally had to climb over Londo's broken body to find enlightenment. I love that. I love that more than words can express.

XI. Sic Transit Vir. What more can I say that I haven't said already, repeatedly? *g*

XII. If someone put a gun to my head and demanded that I pick Peter Jurasik's very best performance, I think it would be his performance in Interludes in Examinations as we watch Londo's emotional arc from breathless anticipation of his lover's arrival to broken despair upon the discovery of her death. And that final scene with Morden? Oh! I hear the lines in my head right now, and I can still feel the rage: "All I want now is revenge. They took from me the one thing that I have ever truly loved. And you will help me, Mr. Morden, 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."

XIII. Londo and G'Kar's death in War Without End. "Are you there, my old friend?" *wibble!* What was that Valen thing again? Old!Londo makes me cry just by breathing. His scenes in In the Beginning have a similar effect.

XIV. And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place is so wonderfully, so cleverly written and so rich in Centauri intrigue and angst that I can't resist it. The angst, of course, comes in because we the viewers see the plan play out from Vir's perspective as he is used for Londo's ends. Vir is the sympathetic focal point, the true victim, in all of this, and by the end, it's evident that he and Londo have reached a point of no return in their relationship.

XV. I suppose here I should just say "the Centauri arc in the first six episodes of fourth season." Because a novel can be written on these episodes alone. Every scene between Londo and G'Kar crackled with quiet intensity. We discover the extent of G'Kar's strength and bravery. We discover that Londo's capacity for compassion and his honor have not been lost. We see moments shared between Londo and Vir that are truly poignant, truly moving all on their own. And we see the lengths Londo will go to save his world.

XVI. The long scene between Londo and G'Kar in No Surrender, No Retreat- one of those scenes in which the score and the content all come together to create something truly wonderful. I cried, mysteriously, the first time I saw this scene. I am still awed by it now. "Because while I do not know who the enemy is any longer, I do know who my friends are, and that I have not done as well by them as I should. I hope to change that. I hope to do better. Before war broke out between our governments, you bought me a drink. I wish to return the favor. For the first time in a hundred years, we have something in common beyond hatred. I find that most extraordinary. And so, a drink to the humans. And to the bridge they created between us- in the hope for a better future for both our worlds."

XVII. The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari. For G'Kar, obviously. But also for Vir- for the way he presses his hand up against the window and pleads with Londo not to die. And for this: "You must let go of this, or you will die here, alone, now." "Perhaps that is for the best then." "No. Not for the best." "Why not?" "Because... I will miss you." "And, I suppose, that I would miss you." Vir is Londo's reason to be better.

XVIII. And last, but certainly not least, the Best. Scene. Ever. Londo and G'Kar in The Fall of Centauri Prime. JMS says Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas were genuinely moved while filming the scene- that all of the emotion you see is real. It's really not hard to see why. This is the reason why there needed to be a fifth season. Though Londo and G'Kar's arc chronologically ends with their fated deaths, it emotionally ends here in a moment of love and forgiveness.

Now you'll have to excuse me- I have to go cry now. *sob*

Comments

I think you're misreading my argument - I'm not saying he thought he was gonna fix all Stark's problems and went about plotting how to do so. He was just stupidly oblivious to the situation - he wasn't paying any attention to Stark in front of him, just to his preconceptions about Stark. He wasn't paying any attention, he just wasn't listening. And that's not taking Stark's grief seriously, whatever the expressions of sympathy. It's not an uncommon reaction in people, and it's not really an uncommon reaction in John - good-hearted, means well, is genuinely sympathetic, but can also be sort of oblivious when it's not about him.
And we go right back to that not-having-a-window-into-Stark's-head thing. I think he was paying attention and was listening, but just didn't know how to interpret Stark's signals. Stark is not the clearest of beings afterall, you've got to admit.

I think you can take something seriously and still do the wrong thing if you just don't have all the information.
John has a really bad habit of taking things on assumption and acting before thinking, and, in a way, this whole ep was about that. It's what he did in the end when he left the nurses in that spot and assumed it'd all work out, and it's what he did to get them into the whole story, by blithely plunging in and assuming it'd all work out. The point of the story was that he learned that he can't; that making those assumptions and relying on having good intentions to make it work out has consequences. He sure didn't have all the information, and some of it he didnt have because he didn't bother to have it, he assumed good intentions would see him through.
I think that's true, but I don't think that in any way makes him non-serious. It does make him innocent.

And personally, when the episode is put into these terms, I think it further emphasizes that the storyline was worthwhile from a character development perspective.
I don't think it does necessarily make him innocent. In some cases it does. In some cases it makes him naive. In some, it makes him a product of privilege. I don't think it made him innocent in this episode - in one case, he was gambling with people's deaths, and crossed his fingers to hope for the best, and in another, he was crossing his fingers and hoping for the best with a friend's emotions. Even if you can argue that he hadn't learned enough about death to know better about the former, to be so casual over something as everyday as grief, which he did know about, shows a self-centered attitude, the guy who can't step outside himself long enough to empathize, even if he can sympathize. It's not uncommon. I don't think it makes John a bad person, or even unusual. But it's failing to take Stark seriously, where he could reasonably be expected to, based on an average human upbringing.

It's a character development for John. You were arguing it's a good Stark ep, and John making a discovery about life doesn't make it a good Stark ep. I would argue that this is also a lesson for John that he's learned already, and this ep seemed like a step backwards in his development. This is S3, John's already learned that the universe screws the powerless, he's already learned that the innocent get hurt and die, he's already learned that sometimes you can't save people. And in this ep, he acts surprised by those things. This is an S1 ep sitting in S3.
Actually, in the very beginning, I argued that this was a good episode for a number of reasons beyond Stark.

Again, we're going to have to agree to disagree. I just don't understand how you can say that what John was trying to do was "not uncommon," that many people react the same self-centered way, and then turn around and expect him to act differently from other ordinary people and, when he doesn't, criticize him for it and call him "non-serious." I think that is fundamentally unreasonable
Now you are misreading me. When have I said that John's actions were "pure and deep" or that he wasn't misunderstanding the situation? What I've said was that John was making an honest effort to do the right thing, that the effort was constrained by his own personal limitations, but that this in no way made his actions any less "serious." What I've said is that it is unreasonable to assume you only have to be right to be serious.
(Argh, did I post from the wrong account? Hang on, let me change that.)
I don't expect him to act differently. You said that he was taking Stark seriously; I said he wasn't. I don't expect him to do either, I was just observing what he did. It's not a criticism, it's characterization. John's an average human Everyman character lost in space and forced to change, he has average human flaws, and one of those is being a bit self-centered and blithely thinking everything will turn out all right if he means well. To say that because John and Stark are friends and he's doing the best that can be expected, his actions must be pure and deep is what I find unreasonable - just because you're doing the best that can be reasonably expected, or even the best you can in a situation, doesn't mean you're doing the right thing or the best thing, and it doesn't mean you can't grow as a person and learn to do better. That's the whole literary point of putting an Everyman character into trying circumstances, it forces him to grow in ways his ordinary, average Everyman existence wouldn't ask him to.