Episode 068 – Passing Through Gethsemane

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Lyta returns to the station and a monk starts experiencing some repressed memories. Derek joins us to remember episode 3×04 – “Passing Through Gethsemane”.

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3 Responses to “Episode 068 – Passing Through Gethsemane”

  1. Voord 99 Says:

    [Spoilers for Voices of Authority]

    Voices of Authority has a couple of scenes that illustrate what is, for me at least, one of the flaws in JMS’s writing. He’s drawn to political stories, and he’s very good on the big stuff that brings with it: focus on the overarching themes, communicating the overall sweep of history, investing key moments with a sense of significance, and – of course – moving speeches.

    But the little things? Not always so good. JMS is prone to produce very simplistic resolutions of what should be complex political situations. A lot of the time they seem to be trying to shorthand more complicated and lengthy developments. Two examples from VoA:

    Example one: The bedroom farce bit with Musante trying to seduce Sheridan. To be fair, it is bedroom farce, and so a lack of subtlety is OK from a genre perspective. (Whether or not JMS should have decided that that particular genre was what B5 needed at this point is a different question…) And I can see a defense of it based on the idea that it reduces the overall process into its crudest form for dramatic purposes. But the moment one approaches it as an ostensibly realistic way to achieve Musante’s ostensible goals, one realizes that this is a pretty dumb and unreliable way to go about achieving them.

    At the end of the day, if Sheridan does sleep with her, how does that guarantee anything from her perspective? He’s single, so she can’t blackmail him. He’s not likely to fall in love with her overnight. It’s just a bribe, and the thing about bribes is, you have to have good reason to believe that the person will stay bought. None of this suggests that she’s bothered to study Sheridan’s file before coming to the station.

    It’s not good if the sinister evil forces of darkness seem dumb. A shame after the excellent dinner scene, in which Musante comes across as intelligent, trying to seduce Sheridan with calculated displays of honesty.

    B) Example two is a lot worse to my mind: Ivanova using the magic power of childishness to provoke the First Ones to change their minds about a decision of cosmic significance, just because she said that the Vorlons said something mean about them. I don’t mind the show showing us that the all-powerful elder beings have feet of clay. I do mind the show trivializing big diplomatic developments that we’re supposed to take seriously.

    The rest of Voices of Authority is pretty good, though.

  2. Voord 99 Says:

    Just to clarify: I mean that example two is worse from the perspective of oversimplifying. Example one has other problems to do with the depiction of women that make it more problematic in other respects.

  3. Searching at the Speed of Plot – ‘Google’ and B5 « Cosmic Ducttape Says:

    […] thing that struck me were a few discussions (around Passing Through Gethsemane among other episodes) about the speed (or lack of speed) of computer information searches; […]

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