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Old September 13 2008, 07:46 PM   #31
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

Don't misconstrue me as a blindly faithful B5 apologist. Yet as Lindley puts it, the clues are there. The setup is there. It simply isn't displayed as vividly as audiences - myself included - have come to expect. Perhaps it does require a certain amount of rewatching, and that could be a flaw in some folks' eyes. OTOH, I rather apprecaite the chance taken on a different path.
No, it wasn't perfect, but it was certainly good enough, and even then, better than most.
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Old September 13 2008, 09:05 PM   #32
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

I've explained my disatisfaction with Into The Fire in the past. I'll try not to go into great detail again. To be brief:

(1) The fact that a couple of ships with people we've never seen on them sacrifice themselves for Sheridan doesn't seem like a show-stopping moment to me. I certainly don't believe that the Shadows (or the Vorlons) that we've seen thus far would blink at this. They'd certainly have mowed down a great number more ships before even blinking.

(2) Sheridan doesn't have a lot of moral authority, IMO. Every time I see the beginning of season four, I find myself agreeing with Garibaldi. Who the f*ck is this Lorien guy supposed to be? Sheridan doesn't stop for a second to explain himself to anyone. He certainly owes this to his command staff. It's a good thing they back him up regardless.

(3) There's the inevitable anti-climax of the only way where the human (and aliens) are able to defeat the Shadows and the Vorlons is to get a few other First Ones.

(4) Add to that the lack of complexity in characterization for the Shadows and the Vorlons in the final scene (Sheridan's paternalistic "now get the hell out of our galaxy" is the obvious, and embarrassing, example that continues to be glaring).

I love the idea that this is an ideological conflict that cannot be ended with weapons. But I absolutely loathe the execution. Others, of course, will disagree. But there it is.
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Old September 13 2008, 09:33 PM   #33
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
(1) The fact that a couple of ships with people we've never seen on them sacrifice themselves for Sheridan doesn't seem like a show-stopping moment to me. I certainly don't believe that the Shadows (or the Vorlons) that we've seen thus far would blink at this. They'd certainly have mowed down a great number more ships before even blinking.
That was a short amount of time to convey a rather complex ideal, but again ... given the point at which it was discovered that there would be no fifth season, how could what you wish be accomplished?

(2) Sheridan doesn't have a lot of moral authority, IMO. Every time I see the beginning of season four, I find myself agreeing with Garibaldi. Who the f*ck is this Lorien guy supposed to be? Sheridan doesn't stop for a second to explain himself to anyone. He certainly owes this to his command staff. It's a good thing they back him up regardless.
Don't forget that while Garibaldi is suspicious by nature, he was still "adjusted" by Bester. Moreover, don't forget that Garibaldi before said adjustment went to G'Kar and let him have it for not sending a Narn cruiser out in "Walkabout", that the "captain has the moral authority to say you may not come back" (sic). This is doubtless the stance that the rest of the command staff took, even if we didn't see it on-screen. Telling the command staff would be helpful from one perspective, that's true... yet there is still the problem of Ulkesh at this point. Sheridan has to take a hard-nosed approach, a willingness to make those tough choices.

(3) There's the inevitable anti-climax of the only way where the human (and aliens) are able to defeat the Shadows and the Vorlons is to get a few other First Ones.
That is one thing I was disappointed in, that the other "First Ones" seemed to be little more than window dressing. They didn't seem to have much in the way of things to do. Even with Lorien's explanation.

(4) Add to that the lack of complexity in characterization for the Shadows and the Vorlons in the final scene (Sheridan's paternalistic "now get the hell out of our galaxy" is the obvious, and embarrassing, example that continues to be glaring).
Then we will have to agree to disagree. To me it is NOT so "obvious" or "glaring", because i understand the set-up to this point, as well as the constraints placed upon the show creators due to the loss of S5. That doesn't help the newcomer to the show, I agree. But I just don't feel that line is such a glaring problem. It's simply a succinct, if a bit overwrought, summary of the plotline's resolution in a timeline forced upon the show creators.

I love the idea that this is an ideological conflict that cannot be ended with weapons. But I absolutely loathe the execution. Others, of course, will disagree. But there it is.
Loath seems to be too strong a reaction. I'm disappointed because I would have liked to have seen more detail and more involvement in this and other stories (the Minbari civil war for one). But "loathing"? I think if that's your reaction then maybe - but only maybe because you did one helluva job in research - your expectations are a bit unrealistic given the constraints.
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Old September 13 2008, 09:46 PM   #34
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

The only issue I have with the end of the Shadow War is that the end seemed kind of abrupt.

But, as Neroon has pointed out, this was forced on the showrunners. So considering how good everything else was, I can let that go.
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Old September 13 2008, 09:53 PM   #35
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

Neroon wrote: View Post
That was a short amount of time to convey a rather complex ideal, but again ... given the point at which it was discovered that there would be no fifth season, how could what you wish be accomplished?
Who knows. It would take a lot of thinking to come up with an answer to that. I'm just pointing out the parameters of the story and how the logic doesn't quite work out in the end.

Don't forget that while Garibaldi is suspicious by nature, he was still "adjusted" by Bester. Moreover, don't forget that Garibaldi before said adjustment went to G'Kar and let him have it for not sending a Narn cruiser out in "Walkabout", that the "captain has the moral authority to say you may not come back" (sic). This is doubtless the stance that the rest of the command staff took, even if we didn't see it on-screen. Telling the command staff would be helpful from one perspective, that's true... yet there is still the problem of Ulkesh at this point. Sheridan has to take a hard-nosed approach, a willingness to make those tough choices.
I understand that Garibaldi was adjusted. That's not the point. The point is, he's supposed to be acting suspiciously, but in the end, I mostly agree with him! I don't know why the rest of the command staff is so willing to go along with Sheridan. He disappears at Z'ha'dum, is presumed dead, and suddenly returns to the station behaving very differently than before, and with Lorien, a figure who is brought on board without explanation.

Although I wasn't entirely happy with the way it was portrayed on Battlestar Galactica, either, I found that way the characters treated Kara Thrace after her "death" much more believable.

That is one thing I was disappointed in, that the other "First Ones" seemed to be little more than window dressing. They didn't seem to have much in the way of things to do. Even with Lorien's explanation.
Agreed. They make for more of a visual presence than just Lorien, but they don't contribute much to the narrative. In fact, Lorien going around to find all the First Ones actually slows down the narrative more than I would like.

It's simply a succinct, if a bit overwrought, summary of the plotline's resolution in a timeline forced upon the show creators.
I'd agree, except JMS has been pretty explicit, both on the internet and in the script books that the "full" version wouldn't have run much longer, and he seems to like it cut down the way it is just as much as any longer version.

Loath seems to be too strong a reaction. I'm disappointed because I would have liked to have seen more detail and more involvement in this and other stories (the Minbari civil war for one). But "loathing"? I think if that's your reaction then maybe - but only maybe because you did one helluva job in research - your expectations are a bit unrealistic given the constraints.
I would definitely have liked to see the Minbari civil war expanded. As it stands its like a foot note version of the story as I imagine it. One episode the war begins, the next, it's over. That might be a slight exaggeration, but not much of one.

Perhaps loathe is a strong word. I don't know. I graded the episode a C+ upon second viewing. I think that grade sums up my feelings more so than one word does.

As for having high expectations...it's part of who I am as a critic. My fundamental parameters for criticism is that anything flawed (in whatever way) is explainable, but nothing is excusable. Good television can be explained, if not excused. Great television requires neither explanation nor excuse. But great television is very, very, very few and far between in my eyes.

...

...Remember when I said I would "be brief?"
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Old September 13 2008, 10:21 PM   #36
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

Neroon wrote: View Post
Don't forget that while Garibaldi is suspicious by nature, he was still "adjusted" by Bester.
Huh? Is this something I'm not supposed to know yet or have forgotten from a previous episode?
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Old September 13 2008, 10:25 PM   #37
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

People normally want a ending that invovles the good guys winniing in a huge battle but that was not an option due to the tech difference so I loved that B5 did something different and I think they pulled it off well.

Didn't JMS rush the ending as at the time he was told season 4 would be the last so he needed to the rest of S4 to focus on Earth.
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Old September 13 2008, 10:36 PM   #38
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

Starfleet Engineer wrote: View Post
Neroon wrote: View Post
Don't forget that while Garibaldi is suspicious by nature, he was still "adjusted" by Bester.
Huh? Is this something I'm not supposed to know yet or have forgotten from a previous episode?
You find out later in season 4.
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Old September 13 2008, 11:01 PM   #39
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

If it makes you feel better, Hirogen Alpha, I agreed with Garibaldi, too. Before and after finding out that he was conditioned. Sheridan comes back from the dead and he doesn't think his closest friends who have gone to hell and back for him don't deserve an explanation? Garibaldi is right: Sheridan became very high and mighty after he returned from Sheridan and it was at this point I really began to dislike him.
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Old September 13 2008, 11:07 PM   #40
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

NX_01 Mark wrote: View Post
People normally want a ending that invovles the good guys winniing in a huge battle but that was not an option due to the tech difference so I loved that B5 did something different and I think they pulled it off well.

Didn't JMS rush the ending as at the time he was told season 4 would be the last so he needed to the rest of S4 to focus on Earth.
He cut about four eps. from the Shadow War storyline but I don't think it hurt it any, the job of a writer is tell a story with the least amount of words and I thought season four turned out great.
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Old September 13 2008, 11:34 PM   #41
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

Let's watch the spoilers. Easy to forget, I know.
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Old September 14 2008, 01:41 AM   #42
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countr...de/072.html#JS

Two ancient adversaries gave up just because Delenn and Sheridan told them to?
I think that, for me, what mitigates against that is that a) it wasn't just Delenn and Sheridan, it was with virtually every other major civilization around backing their play, and adding their support, their voice, even being willing to die for the sake of this confrontation. If it were just the two of them...they'd be scragged. The two forces needed to be shown that the others had turned against them, and that their true faces had been exposed.
b) The other key for me is that neither the Vorlons nor the Shadows saw themselves as conquerers or adversaries...both believed they were doing what was right for us. And like any possessive parent, they'll keep on believing that until the kid is strong enough to stand up and say, "No, this is what *I* want." Most wars tend to end with one singular event...sometimes it's a big bomb, or a series of big bombs...and sometimes it comes with a negotiation. The two sides meet in a room, sometimes with representatives of other nations, and together they hammer out a truce, or a peace. There's the Nagasaki solution on the one hand, and the "let's meet in a room and talk about this" of Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat and Minister Begin.
Both work.

I think it's too easy to see the Shadow war being some kind of good VS evil conflict but it was never meant to be that way. Of course it's hard to any possible way the Shadows wree in any way "good" but I guess that depends on your point of view.
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Old September 14 2008, 02:12 AM   #43
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

The Vorlons weren't exactly good guys either. The first Kosh killed DeathWalker, terrorized Talia Winters and brutalized Sheridan when he dared to stand up to him; the second mistreated and assaulted Lyta. They stood around looking cryptic while they manipulated the other races to fight and die for them. Nope, not good guys at all.

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Old September 14 2008, 06:49 AM   #44
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

True, but the second Kosh (or Ulkesh) had nothing but bad intentions from my viewing.

The first Kosh, on the other hand, killed Deathwalker because of the negative effects her technology were about to cause. He messed with Lyta, but that probably had something to do with her Psi Corp reconditioning (we'll never know, since Andrea Thompson left the show). And he had a fight with Sheridan that Sheridan won. Hardly the stuff of a villain.
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Old September 14 2008, 06:52 AM   #45
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Re: End of Shadow War = Lame

I think it should be remembered that Kosh admitted he was wrong and was willing to sacrifice himself to correct that error. Not something I can ever see Ulkesh doing.

http://www.jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-1325
And yes, Kosh and Ulkesh were contemporaries, though Ulkesh was
the more military of the two, very isolationist, while Kosh was the
curious one, interested in the younger races, and more willing to
extend himself (with sometimes unfortunate results). Kosh always
worried what Ulkesh would do without his moderating presence...and
ultimately had to be the one to take him down to allow the younger
races to step forward.

jms
I think what some people miss in "Into The Fire" and quite understandably by the way it was presented is that Loiren let the whole fleet saw the Vorlons and Shadows "private" discussion with Sheridan and Delenn. Any doubts about their moral authority disappeared when the whole fleet crowed around Whitestar 2, willingly sacrificing themselves. If they'd have had the budget for it, it might have helped to have been able to see the other races on their ships...or not, as it would have split the focus of the argument.
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