Contents: Overview - Backplot - Questions - Analysis - Notes - JMS
G'Kar brings news of a terrible new enemy. The arrival of Sheridan's sister opens up old wounds for the new commander. Dr. Franklin employs an unorthodox procedure to try to bring Garibaldi out of his coma. Delenn's mysterious change is completed. Beverly Leech as Elizabeth Sheridan. Macaulay Bruton as Garibaldi's aide.
Sub-genre: Drama P5 Rating: 8.40 Production number: 202 Original air date: November 9, 1994 DVD release date: April 29, 2003 Written by J. Michael Straczynski Directed by Jim Johnston
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of "Spiritus Mundi"
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indigant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
(And I note that my own spousal overunit kept her own name. But then, who in her right mind WOULD take Straczynski...?)
One thing I noted here some time ago, as a large part of the reason I dropped "to be continued" from "Chrysalis" is that this is more of a three-parter than a two, and some threads pulled in "Chrysalis" won't be fully resolved in some ways until the third and fourth episodes. There is a LOT going on, and if we try to cram it all into one episode (as I at first tried with "Chrysalis, Part Two") you don't give ANY of them the proper time to have any impact.
Finally, we're getting new people sampling the first episode of the season, as is true of most shows. Thus, you have to put into dialogue a fair amount of stuff that otherwise you could just imply or rely on past experience/prior knowledge. So you kind of introduce the newbies to the situation, and that requires a fair amount of exposition. This is pretty much localized to "Points," however; with the next episode, we're up to full speed. Episode 2 deals with as many issues/plotlines as "Chrysalis," with the main difference being that here, they're *resolved* rather than left hanging.
So what's needed now is a conveniently placed cobra....
So to repeat: we'd had to replace Mary Woronov with virtually no notice after we found that she really had a hard time with the narn prosthetics (wouldn't wear the contacts, and other stuff). In a panic, our casting director called in a favor from Caitlin Brown, who is mainly a leading-lady type actor. She came in and, in fact, for the first episode (shooting almost immediately afterward) wore a variation of the Ko'Dath makeup, because there wasn't time to make one specific to her.
She came in without being under the 5-year option that generally exists in these situations. Did one year, about 9 episodes, as Na'Toth. And had to turn down a couple of leading-female parts. During the hiatus, she did a romantic lead character in a film with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. And had to ask the hard question: do I continue to grow as a romantic lead actor in feature films, or play Na'Toth? She is a VERY gorgeous woman, and felt awkward hiding behind the mask and cutting herself out of leading female parts in feature films to do it.
We went 'round and 'round about this for some time, it was a very difficult decision for her because she likes the show and everyone here, but finally opted out. On one level it's a pain in the butt, but we respect her decision. And it *is* her call, not ours.
(Quick aside...pfffttthhpplttt to those who, in their theory that Sinclair/O'Hare quit, said that I'd naturally say it was mutual because I could never say it was the actors choice because somehow I'd get in trouble. No, I *would* say it if O'Hare had opted out on his own. And in this case, that's exactly what happened.)
We didn't recast Sinclair because that character is going somewhere from whence he may (and will) return, and because that serves the story; in this case, we are recasting Na'Toth. By the end of season one, Na'Toth knows stuff that I need that character, G'Kar's aide, to know. (Though I was briefly tempted to do the Murphy Brown Secretary line, with G'Kar getting a new aide every so often due to terrible airlock accidents...but I went to lay down for a while and the notion passed.)
So no, it's not a rumor, it's quite true. In fact, we just finished up a casting session and found someone who's very right for the part; and though we weren't confined to this, is actually about the same height, same build, same attitude as Caitlin, and whose voice is very similar. I don't think much difference will be noted in the long run, really.
The Minbari know the shape of what's coming, but they know full well that if they go to us with this, we won't believe them; there's still enough residual dislike over the war that they feel we have to find this out for ourselves (and we will).
So you get them to rely on their conditioning, then you begin to move the chairs around, so suddenly what you THOUGHT was the good guy is maybe something else; and what you THOUGHT was the comic relief is a tragic and dark figure; and what you THOUGHT was the bad guy is maybe one of the real heroes of the story. And you try and make the path that results in those changes as interesting, moving, or scary as possible.
Here is the key to characterization: who is your character, what does he want, how far will he go to get it, and what is he prepared to lose in that process?
Morden dat I can't say.
Also, the intent is that G'Kar looked at both Sheridan and Londo, not sure which of them may have leaked the info, though I think the editing may have focused too much on Londo in that shot.
If Lyta had stayed on B5, her arc would be pretty close to that of Talia, except that she would have begun to form a strong link to Kosh, first in the form of dreams, then something with implications that could be read as menacing or benign.
If Dr. Kyle would have stayed around, he would have moved more into the position of advisor/paternal figure for Sinclair. He also would have continued to be more scientist than doctor.
Takashima would have been revealed as having been in on the Vorlon assassination attempt by season's end, and would have betrayed Garibaldi in the events in "Chrysalis," either giving him over to those involved with the coup, or pulling the trigger herself. While we would know this, our characters would not, for as much as another full season.
Carolyn Sykes would've gotten into major trouble with one of the major EarthCorps.
Finally, if Sinclair had stayed with B5 at this juncture, the events in "Points" (the reveal of the Minbari surrender) would've taken place in episode 3 instead of 1. Episode 1 would've consisted mainly of the events in "Revelations," which was mainly as a bystander to the events around him, since the sister aspect specific to Sheridan obviously wouldn't be there. Basically, with all the events surrounding Delenn, Londo, G'Kar and others, he didn't have one whole hell of a lot to *DO* in the first six to eight episodes, since that segment was set aside primarily to introduce the Shadowman war and get that cranking, and Sinclair had no real direct connection to that.