Contents: Overview - Backplot - Questions - Analysis - Notes - JMS
Sheridan discovers a connection between Morden and the death of his wife. The station is inundated by Narn refugees. A new Earth Alliance agency tries to recruit station personnel. Ed Wasser as Morden.
Sub-genre: Drama P5 Rating: 9.30 Production number: 217 Original air date: May 10, 1995 Written by J. Michael Straczynski Directed by David EagleNote: this episode is more momentous than most. Think twice before proceeding to the spoilers; it's worth seeing unawares.
"The rumours that you have heard are true: he has indeed arisen again and left his hold in Mirkwood and returned to his ancient fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor. That name even you hobbits have heard of, like a shadow on the borders of old stories. Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again."
Also, Morden was already working for them.
So yes, on the one hand, you've got races that are millions of years older than humans, who were prowling around while we were still furred, fanged, and slamming bones together. But they're not as old as the universe, because they can't be.
There is, for instance, the "good" that says, "We know what's best for you, we'll protect you, nurture you, but you'll do it our way, and we'll keep you away from ideas and beliefs you shouldn't be exposed to." Okay, maybe that fits one definition of good...but is it?
On the flip side, for instance, there's the "bad" that says "There must be conflict and death, because it's only through conflict and death that we grow stronger, that we can eventually create an ordered universe. The gene pool must be kept strong. To do that, there must be war and strife and death." Okay, maybe that fits the definition of evil, but is it?
The key, again and always, is that nothing is what it seems on Babylon 5. And even if it looks like it IS what it is, you have to look at WHY it is what it is...and maybe at that point it isn't.
One of the things about this show is that you see as much as you're willing to see. You can gloss over it, say, "Okay, these are the good guys, these are the bad guys." But the closer you look, the more you see the shades. I imagine when the Shadowmen are more fully revealed, some folks'll think we're going for a basic good/evil conflict...but believe me, there's a hell of a lot more involved in it than that.
I've just sat here for five minutes trying to decide how to phrase this and not give something vital away...and it's damn near impossible.
(another five minutes passes)
Okay, look...do this. Get a piece of paper. Write down the following: "Sinclair sees the hand, but Sinclair does not see the hand. And five other people standing in the room would not see the hand that Sinclair sees, or see the hand that they see."
I know it looks like gibberish. But trust me on this. Put the piece of paper in your wallet (next to the condom) and hold onto it for about two years. Assuming we're still around that long, at some point that message will make absolute and perfect sense.
These are not contradictory statements.
And this is about the straightest answer I've given yet on the subject, believe it or not.
You frame the shot so the head is draped...in shadows.
If I were to be planning such a thing, of course....