Londo introduces Vir to a surprising new acquaintance. A heavy influx of
Narns to the station raises suspicions.
Carmen Thomas as Lyndisty.
P5 Rating: 7.53
Production number: 313
Original air week: April 15, 1996
DVD release date: August 12, 2003
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Jesus Trevino
- Ivanova has been in the military for 13 years.
- The Centauri are attempting to pacify the Narn homeworld's population.
Among other techniques, they send troops to Narn villages to root out
aggressive citizens and "put them to sleep." Sometimes entire villages
are found to be aggressive and are burned to the ground.
- Vir, using his power as head of the diplomatic office on Minbar, has
been running a Schindleresque underground railroad for Narns. He
created a fake persona in the Centauri government, "Abrahamo Linconi,"
and faked death certificates for over two thousand Narn after "Linconi"
ordered them transferred to work camps on Centauri Prime.
- The Centauri consider marriage for the sake of love rather than politics
a radical act.
- Vir's uncle doesn't think highly of him, claiming that Vir is capable
of "a well-deserved humility."
- Vir has an interest in human history.
- How was Ivanova able to flesh out Vir's fake official, whose records
were presumably in the Centauri Republic's private databases?
- What did Vir and Lyndisty do with the bound Narn? Obviously Vir didn't
kill him, but what did he tell Lyndisty?
- Will Lyndisty's family cancel the
arrangements now that Vir has been demoted?
- Does G'Kar know of Vir's efforts? Will he be able to forgive Vir
in spite of himself
("Comes the Inquisitor?")
- If Ivanova and Allen could follow the paper trail to discover that
Vir apparently sent thousands of Narn to their deaths, others might
be able to as well. Vir may find himself a target if any
Narn who aren't in on his secret manage to access the records in
question. Certainly Lyndisty is still in danger; lots of other Narn
would undoubtedly like to get their hands on someone with her history.
- Vir can still help the Narn if he chooses, though it'll be riskier.
He presumably has retained his post as Londo's attache, which should
have some authority in itself. And by tempering Londo, however
slightly, he may do more good than he did on Minbar.
- Vir isn't alone in wanting to help the Narn; he referred to others
working with him. Will those others be able to continue, especially
with Ivanova's assistance? The presence of other Centauri might
explain how she was able to access the Centauri government's files.
- Given Londo's feelings about bugs, what will his reaction be when he
sees an arachnoid Shadow warship for the first time? Perhaps his
fear of insects (and spiders) stems in part from his dream
("Matters of Honor.")
- There may also be a parallel between Londo's insect hunt and the
typical Centauri attitude toward the Narn, who they regard as little
more than bugs on two feet. If that parallel is intentional, Londo's
line about the insects "evolving before my eyes" might have some
relation to the Narns' changing position in the universe -- with
G'Kar's help (and some prodding from Kosh) they're becoming something
quite different than they were mere months earlier.
- Evidence of the pressures of independence are starting to appear:
B5's officers now drink an unidentified liquid instead of morning
coffee and the ambassador of a major race -- albeit an ally of the
government the station opposes -- can't get a maintenance crew to
his quarters. The loss of Earth funding and support is likely to
grow worse over time.
- Vir's smuggled Narn are considered dead by the Centauri -- perhaps
making one of them the subject of Lady Morella's prophecy to Londo,
that he "must not kill the one who is already dead"
("Point of No Return.")
- The title is something of a pun; it's Latin for "thus passes the man"
(roughly speaking.) It's probably a reference to the saying "sic
transit gloria mundi" ("thus passes the glory of the world.")
- Why are the command crew still wearing their old
uniforms in the opening credits?
Because changing one picture, or a credit caption, is a *heck*
of a lot simpler than changing 4 pictures and redoing the whole thing.
- Why were this episode and
"A Late Delivery From Avalon"
We flipped them around because after "Ceremonies" we NEED something
lighter, and because York's episode in the new slot now coincides with
the first week of sweeps. They were written to play in either order.
- Can you tell us more about Vir's family?
I can, but I'd rather show it; you'll find out a lot more about Vir and
family relations in "Sic Transit Vir" in mid-april.
- About the title
thus passes Vir (it's a signal of transition)
- Re: "...a Vir intensive script."
Just finished one. Script for episode #13, "Sic Transit Vir." I
think it's gonna be a hoot.
- Yes, it's sort of a double pun in that respect...thus passes
the man, which can have many meanings, also entering manhood, or dying,
or going away, or the more Vir transitioning, or going...lots of
- It's accurate as far as it goes, and a pun on another
- Just an advisory...I finally saw the trailer for "Sic Transit Vir," and
I'd suggest anyone who wants to enjoy the show *not* watch the trailer,
as it gives away stuff that shouldn't be given away.
[Spoiler for "The Maltese Falcon"]
I.e., if the trailer for The Maltese Falcon said, "...and see the
surprise when the black bird is discovered to be an imitation."
- [Spoiler for "Citizen Kane"]
I wasn't happy with that aspect of the promo either
(which was the national spot, not cut by the stations). It's kinda
like doing a promo for Citizen Kane, "...it all began with a child's
sled named Rosebud...."
- About Vir
He's a much stronger character than anyone
might think. He's sort of the "God's Fool" character, to get literary
for a second, who somehow manages to make it through it all.
- At this point, with the rethinking going on back home, he's
bethrothed and promised, the marriage arranged, but not yet fully,
*formally* married. There's still ritual to go through. The other
family could still choose to withdraw the arrangement.
- Even the babble is pretty tightly scripted. The hesitations and
occasional stumble-restatements are the actor's delivery. There's
occasionally a very tiny bit of improv in that kind of scene, but very
- Londo is a very sharp, cunning character. He does what he
does for sheer patriotism, to serve his people. *Whatever* that may
entail. And Vir gets whipsawed a lot...he's a great character, with a
wide range of characteristics I can play with, from comic to tragic.
- When Londo goes to Delenn earlier this season to ask about having Vir
appointed to the Centauri diplomatic mission, he mentions then that the
mission has been closed for some time, "some trouble I believe with our
previous liaison." This just paid that off; those Minbari are just a
darned bad influence, I guess.
- What happened to the previous liaison?
Went native. Bought into the whole Minbari theological system, dropped
his Centauri citizenship, was last heard of in a distant retreat trying
to grow a bone.
- What happened to the Narn? And what were the Narns doing in Vir's
I could've *sworn* there was a line there about the Narn
recovering; I'm going to have to check this. I hope I didn't
accidentally cut it for time while doing something else. (It was a
LONG editing session.)
I figured the Narns were there to discuss the fates of their
families back home, but yeah, to a certain degree it was there as a
great end for the teaser.
- Was the door to Vir's room computer-generated?
The door was quite real.
- Who said the line that was cut?
It was in the observation dome scene with Ivanova; I realized
that we'd cut a small piece for time that was expendable, but in the
back and forth went one line too far without realizing it. Sigh....
- What was the line?
The only line was that "the Narn is recovering in Medlab,"
something to that effect. Sigh....
- Basically, after seeing what he's done for the Narns, and
knowing who Vir is all this time, and seeing his reaction of horror to
what Lyndisty was suggesting, anybody who thinks he offed the Narn
isn't paying attention.
- Did the Centauri politician know Vir's secret?
No, he didn't know, and would've been horrified if he had.
- About different Centauri speaking with different
We've just always assumed that not everyone on any given
planet is going to speak with the same accent as everybody else from
that planet. Seems more realistic.
Certainly, among Centauri, a certain accent is more associated
with the "old school" of court nobility and the like.
- "Did Sheridan and Ivanova really think that Vir was
killing off thousands of Narn while he was on Minbar. Hey, this
is Vir, not Josef Mengele we are talking about. Did they really
think it was necessary to drag this all out in front of Londo
instead of privately."
No, they didn't think he was doing it personally, only that he
was expediting the transfer of Narns offworld for this
purpose. You think someone like Vir could not do this. But
most of the Nazis who send Jews to die weren't Josef Mengele,
carving into bodies...they processed numbers from behind
wire-framed glasses, and were quiet, sometimes even cheerful
individuals with wonderful wives and children. The greatest
evil can often wear a benign, smiling, affable face. And
remember, people can change on this show. You look at Londo in
season one, is this someone you could buy taking part in the
bombing of the Narn homeworld and the death of millions of
Narns? Yet that's what happened. And their belief was that it
was probably Londo who was behind it all...it's Londo to whom
Ivanova expressed her outrage, not Vir, who she figured was
probably being pushed into it at his behest, so logically she
*would* take this right to Londo. She figured, as you did,
that Vir certainly wouldn't think of this on his own, but Londo
could (and says so in the episode).
- "Londo is a hell of a leader."
Perfect fodder for an Emperor, no...?
- I love the Ivanova/Vir scenes; I fall down laughing every
"the wife is always right." Hmm...I must convey this to Ivanova
for her reaction the next time she pops out of my subconscious.
- What was the saucer-shaped ship outside the station?
It's a Vree ship, which we've seen before.
- About the patches on the sleeves of the new uniforms
One of the patches is a Ranger patch; the other is the new B5
sword and shield logo.
- It's been established that Minbari can and do lie when it's done to save
the honor of another. Here, Delenn saved face for Sheridan at dinner.
- When will Delenn and Sheridan kiss?
Me? A tease? Moi? I just report the news, I don't make it.
The kiss is coming. But I wanted to do it in such a way that it
somewhat unexpected, in a way that would have even more weight than
under any other possible conditions. How do you turn a kiss into a
wham? (Aside from kissing the right person, natch.) Stay tuned....
- Londo and the bugs had nothing to do with any notions about the Shadows.
Sheridan is a war historian, with his main interests in the civil war,
where one of his ancestors fought. He's very big on Lincoln.