Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Classics: B5 5:5 - Learning Curve

Overall: 7.5

No Byron Fail and no annoying meta? This one's actually pretty good!

Plot Synopsis:

The Lurker's Guide has a summary here.

The Skinny:

Ah, the Minbari. They are a complex people -- kind of like the Vulcans in a way. An outsider - like Vir, for example - might perceive them as remarkably advanced in their moral and cultural development. In reality, however, the Minbari are just like everyone else. They too must contend with their darker impulses -- and so they've ritualized violence in an attempt to manage it. Ignore Delenn's denials here; the Mora'Dum probably does have its origins in the wronged individual's natural desire for revenge. The Minbari have simply put a lid on that particular impulse by formalizing it and surrounding it with codes and ceremonies.

I can't say I disagree with the implicit message here, though. JMS seems to be embracing the John Wayne approach to conflict: "Don't start fights. But if someone starts a fight with you, then by God, you should finish it." 'Tis a principle that has many real-world applications. As Bill Whittle once noted in a video he produced on game theory, the best way to deal with misbehavior or aggression (particularly in the international community) is to punish the culprit swiftly and decisively -- and then follow that up with friendship and forgiveness. In other words, you should kick the crap out of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan until they beg for mercy, then pour money into their economies to make them your allies.

Writing: 7.5

This script is filler, but it's not bad filler. Although -- I'm not sure giving Sheridan and Lochley a "history" is really necessary. Isn't it enough that Lochley is a competent commander and a woman of principles? Why does she have to be Sheridan's ex in order to be tapped for the position on B5?

Acting: 7.0

The acting is pretty average overall.

Message: 8.0

I'm not sure I'm down with the relativistic undertones of "we make our own meaning," but as I noted above, I agree that bullies should be quickly dispatched before they start thinking they can get away with blue murder.

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