Londo uses G'Kar and Vir to gain power in the
Centauri Royal Court. Sheridan is consumed by his analysis of the Shadows'
Louis Turenne as Brother Theo.
William Forward as Lord Refa.
P5 Rating: 8.71
Production number: 320
Original air week: September 8, 1996 (UK)
October 14, 1996 (US)
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by David Eagle
- The Minbari have been constructing a fleet of warships based on the
White Star design. They are manned by Rangers.
- Sheridan has stayed away from Delenn up until now because "she has
enough problems of her own."
- There is a thriving underground on Earth opposing President Clark.
- Na'Toth is believed to have been on Narn at the time of the Centauri
("The Long, Twilight Struggle.")
- What does the countdown to Z refer to?
- Why didn't Delenn inform Sheridan of the fleet of White Star-class
ships before now?
- How long have the Minbari been building the ships?
- How big is the White Star fleet?
- What will Sheridan use the data crystal given to him by the Reverend
- Will Virini use the data crystal that Londo gave him? Will it result
in Refa's family being discredited?
- Will G'Kar respect Londo more now that he has freed the Narns,
or does he see Londo's ploy as purely self-serving?
- How did Londo get G'Kar to listen to him long enough to
describe the plot, and how did he convince G'Kar it wasn't a trick?
- Virini mentions that Londo's house is gathering a lot
of funds. Where is Londo getting the money?
- Did Refa's telepath find out about any of the activities
Vir has been involved in, such as his work to help the Narn?
- What is the real reason for the Shadows' attack pattern?
- Is Na'Toth in fact still alive?
- It seems likely that the "Z Minus..." times refer to Z'ha'dum,
but they might also refer to a more specific "Zero Hour." The
question remains, what happens at Z? A Shadow offensive?
An offensive against Z'ha'dum? Someone's arrival on or from
- G'Kar, in cooperating with Londo and
killing Refa, has become an unwitting help to Londo in serving the
Shadows. His desire for revenge against Refa and his need to save a
small number of his people seems to have served the Shadows' greater
purposes, at least to the extent that Londo's good fortune is part
of their plans.
- G'Kar may have been in on Londo's plan even before he
left Babylon 5, possibly even before Vir spoke to him. The story about
was solely intended to lure Refa to Narn; there was no need for Londo
to deceive G'Kar about his intentions, since G'Kar would almost
certainly have been willing to risk a trip to Narn for the sake of
two thousand prisoners.
- If the already-poisoned Refa could be considered "one who is
already dead," Londo may have just passed by one of his prophesized
chances for redemption.
- Neroon's statement in "Grey 17 is Missing" that non-Warrior
Minbari had constructed ships may have been foreshadowing of
the fleet revelation.
- Why did Delenn find Sheridan's attempt to think like
the Shadows so abhorrent? Are there things about them she knows
but hasn't revealed yet that would cause that reaction?
- Delenn said that the first wave of White Star-class ships
was now ready. How many waves are planned?
- Now that Londo thinks he has avenged Adira's death
("Interludes and Examinations")
will he be less eager to continue dealing with the Shadows? And will
he ever discover that it was Morden, not Refa, who arranged to have
- A few readers have commented that since a replica of the
Centauri throne room is being built on Narn, perhaps that's where
("War Without End, Part Two")
takes place. That's unlikely, though, since Londo forces Sheridan
to look out the window and see the devastated landscape of Centauri
from which the title is derived, "No Hiding Place," refers to the
Book of Revelation, in which man attempts to hide from the wrath
of God in mountains and rocks.
- During Refa's death scene,
as the vocalist sings, there's a closeup of G'Kar just as she
sings the name "Jesus." G'Kar-as-Jesus allusions are found elsewhere
in the series as well, but this may be the most direct one.
- The mass driver attack affected the climate of Narn much as
it's theorized a nuclear winter or asteroid/comet strike would
affect Earth: the particles thrown up by the asteroids used in the
bombardment have created a layer in Narn's atmosphere blocking out
the sunlight and altering the heating of the atmosphere,
which has disrupted the wind patterns on the planet.
- Refa's death scene may be a homage to "Cabaret," one of
JMS' favorite films. See
- Where does the title come from?
It's from an old gospel song/spiritual.
- Did Harlan Ellison suggest it?
No, as a rule, Harlan doesn't suggest titles; "Rock" came from the
quote from the Bible, which was later made into a gospel song, used in
the show. So it's a real song, though I did write 2 for "Walkabout."
- Why's it called that? Because it's quite appropos.
How do we fit it? Not a big deal. Longest title up to now was one I did
for MURDER, SHE WROTE, a quote from Moby Dick, "To The Last Shall I
Grapple With Thee."
- The song in "Rock" is an old gospel song. I've always
had a soft spot
for old gospel songs and spirituals because of their wonderful use of
language and imagery, and you can dance to 'em. Not that I dance, but
the theory is there, at least.
- My own take on "And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place,"
which airs tomorrow in the UK...I like it. The Brother Theo stuff is a
tad stilted in a couple of places, but it's only a couple of minutes,
and the rest works real well. It's a very subversive episode in its
way, and a part of it still creeps me out.
- I like symmetry...both as a word, and as a concept.
It plays into the show a lot, showing the balance that the universe
tends to impose whether we like it or not. What goes around, comes
- Some of the Narn buildings looked like Hiroshima after
the atomic bomb. Intentional?
Yes, there was some element of that. It's not a moral judgment thing,
but a referential point. As for Narn architecture overall, I told them
I wanted sort of an alien culture as the Soviet Union might've designed
it.... everything tending toward the blocky, the functional, less
aesthetic than you would find on Minbar. This is a culture that has
crawled up from war, and functionality is more important.
- Was there a Narn standing in the queue of
Not in the queue, but providing security within the station... remember,
many of the Narns have joined B5 security.
- We're generally very careful about what aliens show up
in what scenes.
- Was the fact that the countdown started at
14 days an intentional reference to the season finale being two
Somewhat intentional; in the long run, the show will end up either
aired daily, or stripped weekly, so either way the 14 days until climax
works well, as it does now for the UK.
- The countdown aspect does add a lot to this, gives it a
forward momentum and a kind of subliminal ominousness. And as for the
Refa situation presented in counterpoint...I love how that came out.
It's almost subversive in a way...just gives me the quiet chills.
- Re: the rabbi singing the gospel song...a couple of
points. First, if you're visiting someone's church, it's only
considered polite behavior to go along with what's there. I have a
number of Catholic friends who would sometimes go to temple with Jewish
friends...and when it came time to sing, would do so. Why should it
not work the other way around?
Second, as I seem to recall, the line about "no hiding place" is taken
from the Old Testament, which forms a substantial portion of Judaic
teachings (but not the whole of it, a mistake many make). Yes, there's
some later stuff worked in, but the heart of it is from a common ground.
- Waitaminnit...I retract part two of my reply...I think I
just stooged the origins of that song.
(whaddyawant from me, I just spent 12 hours putting my hard drive back
- About the juxtaposition of Refa's fate with the song
It's comical...and it ain't comical...it's designed to elicit
conflicting emotions, between what you *are* feeling, what you *should*
be feeling, and so on. I like uneasy laughter....
- That was one of those scenes which, when you do it,
you know it's gonna stay around for a while....
- When I thought of that one, I just sat there and
grinned. It's so perverse, but yet so appropriate, all at the same
time. Just to further add a bit of creepiness to it, in the sound mix I
had the editors verb up the music toward the fade out, so it had a
slightly distorted edge to it. The details are everything in a scene
- Vir has to be *very* careful...he's on the razor's edge
these days. The higher up you go, the more you know, the higher the
stakes and the greater the risk of choosing badly.
Re: "funny yet chilling," those are the scenes I love most...the
ones where you're utterly conflicted, it's grotesque or frightening on
the one hand, and comic or absurd on the other. It leaves you
uncertain which way to jump emotionally, and I love that
feeling...caught betwixt and between.
- Originally in response to
"Cabaret" is one of JMS' favorite movies.
In a sense, it's going from one emotion or thematic
element to a very different, but equally strong one, either as bookends
or through intercutting. Going from the high of the victory, to the
sudden shot of the dead troops, is thematic counterpoint.
Here's another...in "Cabaret" you've got a scene where the
performers in the Cabaret are doing the sort of German dance where you
slap your knees and thighs and chest...and they take it a bit further,
slapping one another, it's all for comic effect...but during this,
you're intercutting the owner of the cabaret being beaten to within an
inch of his life by some Brownshirts outside. You go from comic to
brutal and back, with the result that the happy little dance suddenly
takes on ugly characteristics, and the beating takes on the sense that
the participants are having a sick kind of fun, that it's all just
another kind of dance, a ritual.
That's what you have to look at as a writer...how this scene
works, and how it interacts with the scenes in front, behind and
"beside" it (for things happening simultaneously). Sometimes, with the
proper counterpoint, you can add whole new levels of meaning to a
scene, or make the scene much stronger than it would've been on its
- That was an elaborate scheme if the goal was simply
to have Refa killed.
Londo points out that he could easily
have killed Refa elsewhere...as he says, the point was to do it on Narn
so that he could dishonor his house back home.
- Was William Forward the one who said, "Why me?" as
mentioned in one of your Usenet messages?
Yes, it was with the actor who plays Refa that I had that conversation.
He was initially bummed out, figured I was doing what I was doing in
"Rock" because I wasn't happy with his performance or something. So I
pulled him aside and explained the situation, and indicated that we'd
likely use him again as an alien character, under prosthetics. If he
hadn't done such a good job, this wouldn't have happened, because no one
would've cared about the character.
- You said a major character would die in season 3.
Refa wasn't major.
Well, given that Refa has been around for two years, and Keffer was
only in a few in one season, I'd hardly put them in the same league.
Part of all this is how you define "major." Usually, I've refrained
from using that term...I would say someone you've seen since the first
year, for instance, or an important character.
Certainly I was primarily referring to Kosh in my original note about
all this...but a lot of folks took that and extended it past that point,
which I just let go rather than correct, because the show should do any
- I think the message of mine you're referring to are the
ones I wrote with Kosh in mind, not Refa. But since I obviously
couldn't say that at the time, some of it sloshed over into how folks
viewed later episodes.
- Will 500 Narns die in retaliation?
Except, of course, that going on at length about the death of Refa
would require revealing what he was doing there...and I doubt very much
that the Royal Court would like even the suspicion that one of its own
was making deals with the Narns to become public knowledge...so it's
extremely unlikely that there would be any retribution. This is one the
Centauri would prefer to sweep under the rug, I think.
- Why didn't Refa's allies help him?
Bear in mind that all of Refa's people were *back on Centauri
Prime*. He didn't bring them with him; to send word to Centauri Prime
to bring them all the way out here, then on to Narn, would double the
time required to get there, and by then the "rescue" would've been
over. That was part of Londo's scheme...he wouldn't have much time, he
had to get in and get out. Refa only brought a few with him, and they
were needed to watch Londo and guard Vir.
As for the Centauri back home...you proceed from the assumption
that all Centauri act as one. I'm basing this somewhat on the early
Roman civilization and government, where one side would sell out the
other, arrange for deaths and murders, turn people over to their hated
enemies as long as it advanced their position, or if they were allied
with persons of power on a particular side. Why did the Roman guards
escorting Tiberius (a much less worthy emperor) kill the heir to the
throne in "I, Claudius" (a much better leader, and well liked among the
military)? Because they were told to do so.
SF in TV has the tendency to portray aliens as monolithic...they
put the good of their species as a whole above everything else. Some
do that; some do not. Just as with humans.
- Refa had a flashlight, not a gun.
- Refa was his last name/family name.
- Minister Virini looked disappointed by the
Not sure it was so much a look of disappointment as..."Okay, I know
something here isn't on the level...but he's got it very well
surrounded...and is it worth sticking out my neck to get into this?"
- Why wasn't Na'Toth replaced?
I briefly considered giving G'Kar a second, after the revolving door
Na'Toths, but as I looked at it...as you say, the others all DO have one
like that, and I figured it might be good to have someone *without*
that...especially after the fall of Narn, when the staff would be
canceled. And there's something I like about G'Kar being alone in all
this. Anyway, it varies the mix a bit.
- Why did G'Kar help Londo?
Well, you combine the release of 2,000 prisoners, many of whom were
likely resistance fighters, and the payback to one who orchestrated the
bombing of Narn, and that adds up to a pretty good incentive to get Refa
even WITHOUT Londo's presence in the deal.
- I wouldn't say they hate one another any less now than
before; and yes, he would've sent word to G'Kar and arranged a private
meeting, just the two of them.
- These two characters, Londo and G'Kar, are linked at
the hips. That is their beauty and their tragedy. And you will see
some new colors to this in the first part of season 4. This story is
as much about them as anyone else.
- I think that if Londo sent word via the Babcom unit
that he wanted a one-to-one with G'Kar, and that thousands of Narn lives
were on the line, he would come. G'Kar has nothing to fear from Londo
as long as he's on B5...and if anything, I think he'd be amused if Londo
did try anything.
- Wayne Alexander was listed as playing G'Dan. Which
one was he?
He was the Narn who first met G'Kar on their homeworld; the only one
with any lines.
Wayne has a considerably larger role in year 4 as an alien named
- Why doesn't Vir leave Londo now?
I don't know if Vir really has anywhere else to go....
- John and Delenn kissing in front of a big group of
warships seemed a little odd.
I guess it's really a matter of perspective. It depends on what the
fleet is *there* for, as well.
- Why didn't Delenn mention the fleet before?
Well, as she indicates, she didn't *have* them before.
- I don't think she was so much withholding the
information, as they just weren't ready yet, and the need for them
wasn't there yet.
Originally compiled by Jason Snell.