Contents: Overview - Backplot - Questions - Analysis - Notes - JMS
An old friend of Garibaldi's arrives and tries to take part in a dangerous alien combat sport. A rabbi helps Ivanova come to terms with her father's death. Theodore Bikel as Rabbi Koslov. Greg McKinney as Walker Smith. Soon-Tek Oh as The Muta-Do. Don Stroud as Caliban.
Sub-genre: Drama P5 rating: 6.41 Production number: 119 Original air date: May 25, 1994 Written by Larry DiTillio Directed by John Flynn
Ivanova is jewish. Ivanova is russian. Of the two, she tends to see herself as a russian first. There's no value statement there, that's just the way she is. Her parents were both russian, going back many generations on both sides. Some in her family tree were jewish, and some were not; there was some intermarrying. That may be part of why she sees herself as more russian than jewish, but it may be just a quirk.
(And to the protest of, "Well, you created her," yes, I did. But there comes a time, if you've done your job right as a writer, when the character more or less takes over, and starts telling YOU who and what he or she is. There are times I mentally turn to Ivanova and say, "Okay, what do *you* think?" And she talks to me in my head, as do all of my characters. It's part of making your characters real.)
When she went off to boarding school overseas -- part of an ongoing international system put into place by EarthGov to help its various member nations get along with one another -- she identified most strongly with that russian aspect in relation to those around her. She learned to speak English without a perceptible accent.
The samovar is a valued and valuable part of russian life. It is the family hearth, on one level, a possession passed on from generation to generation. Knowing that Ivanova was not terribly religious herself, he would generally not leave her any of his personal religious artifacts, but would dnate them to the local synagogue, while some, like a menorah, might go to other relatives. People who could appreciate them and use them. The samovar is a very personal object; to the correspondent with a fiance who is russian...*I* am byeloruss, white-russian, one-and-a-half generation American born. And I can tell you that the biggest fights I've ever seen over bequeaths were over a) money, and b) the samovar.
The problem with this discussion is that it has very little to do with who Susan Ivanova *is*, and more to do with the politics of what a russian or a jew or a russian jew *should be*. She is what she is, like it or not.
. . . the comment is essentially correct; ain't nobody can pout like a 13 year old.
Ivanova does not have an accent because she was educated overseas, her father wanting her to have certain advantages the rest of her family did not.
Nowhere did we say that Andrei or the rest of the Ivanov family ever emigrated. They didn't. They live in Russia. Or lived, in any event. Not everyone migrates to the US or to Israel, and not everyone wants to.
On the treel/kosher discussion...I can only shrug. Nobody's ever shown that jews go forward into the future, placed them at the heart of a science fiction show as a regular character, nobody's shown shiva before in (and possibly out of) an SF series...and some folks are complaining that not every aspect of a treel's kosher-ness was discussed at dinnertime.
Some days, you just can't win....
There's a corker in "TKO," but at the moment, it's absolutely invisible. It's not a clue, it's not necessary for the story, it's just one of those things that, after you've seen all the rest of this season's episodes, you will go "Ouch," when you see it next.
She's had her heart stomped on a lot. And she's been holding it in. Even with her father's death, she sucked in the pain, fought back the tears. There is one episode, which will be right at the end of the year, where she finds she can't run from her pain anymore...can't run from the tears...and deals with them in a scene that's very moving and absolutely brings tears to the eyes.