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Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

tastychicken posted:

The Centauri arch in S5 is drat good though. Don't stop watching.

Don’t go to the Centauri Arch. The spoo is terrible. Way too fresh.

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Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009



Unless we’re talking about like a Venture Bros crossover

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Sanguinia posted:

I've been marathoning through this show for the first time in almost 20 years since I saw it airing on TV as a wee lad. Even though I didn't fully get it, this show was one of the most formative pieces of fiction for me growing up. Boy does it hold up despite some obvious flaws... until Season 5.

I went into Season 5 looking to give it all the benefit of the doubt, thinking it couldn't possibly be as bad as everyone claimed, but man oh man... And it's not even all the Telepath storyline. That's bad, don't get me wrong. The creepy telepath supremacism Byron keeps spouting, about how his followers need to be Better Than Mundanes by escewing violence, and then when they act like normal people he gets all sad and weepy about how they don't understanding his dream, that's bad. Lita letting herself get caught up in his cult, that's bad. The idiot ball Sheridan gets handed in various dealings with them, that's bad. Byron's continual lack of self-awareness in his refusal to take any real responsibility for his actions or those of his followers while doing everything in his power to shield them from consequences, that's bad.

But man is the thing that REALLY gets under my skin of Lochley. She's so god drat self-righteous about having collaborated with a murderous fascist regime that tried to literally holocaust the entire planet, and when she gives her big loving speech to Garibaldi about HONOR AND DUTY and he just loving swallows it WHILE THE CREW APPLAUD, I was almost sick to my stomach. I almost couldn't believe the same showrunner who gave us the Clark presidency wrote that garbage. The best part is that we get to see exactly what kind of person she is when Bester shows up. The fact that she can look Sheridan in the eye and talk about Bester's "side of the story," about what he did to Garibaldi, and how right she was for treating him to loving tea and banter while throwing his victim in the brig... She never puts one toe out of line with Bester that entire episode. She folds to everything she's ordered to do, won't bend a single rule despite claiming to hate him and the Psi Corps and what they represent ('yes Mr. President, I grant that they are fascists, buuuuut...'). He marches in Jack Boots a-polished, and she rolls over for him right up until the very last second, when she gets bailed out by a technicality without having to stick her neck out even the smallest bit. And then she has the unmitigated gall to LECTURE BYRON about how much she's risking. gently caress OOOOOOFFFFF.

Unless there's some BIIIIIG reveals coming up to make her less of a monstrous quisling, I don't know how much of her I'm going to be able to stomach, especially because all of the characters around her who actually have principles and courage keep bowing to her bullshit arguments.

I'm going to take a moment here and be a little contrarian. B5 isn't generally about bludgeoning the viewer with black and white - the Shadows are given their say, the Vorlons prove to be not much better, and all of the individual characters have flaws and virtues - even Bester has moments of genuine humanity. Lochley's devotion to military discipline and the chain of command is both a strength and a weakness. You've covered the weakness part, but it's her loyalty and rock-solid commitment to duty that gets her the job, and the fact she chose the wrong side doesn't make those qualities any less admirable.

I don't think you're supposed to take her, or any other character in isolation, as unequivocally "good." There's a continuum and she's not really at one end or another, she's just as human as the rest of us. She's more there to make the viewer uncomfortable as she comes in and skewers the new status quo, and gives a voice to those on the wrong side, to humanize them as well.

Narsham
Jun 5, 2008


Sanguinia posted:

I've been marathoning through this show for the first time in almost 20 years since I saw it airing on TV as a wee lad. Even though I didn't fully get it, this show was one of the most formative pieces of fiction for me growing up. Boy does it hold up despite some obvious flaws... until Season 5.

I went into Season 5 looking to give it all the benefit of the doubt, thinking it couldn't possibly be as bad as everyone claimed, but man oh man... And it's not even all the Telepath storyline. That's bad, don't get me wrong. The creepy telepath supremacism Byron keeps spouting, about how his followers need to be Better Than Mundanes by escewing violence, and then when they act like normal people he gets all sad and weepy about how they don't understanding his dream, that's bad. Lita letting herself get caught up in his cult, that's bad. The idiot ball Sheridan gets handed in various dealings with them, that's bad. Byron's continual lack of self-awareness in his refusal to take any real responsibility for his actions or those of his followers while doing everything in his power to shield them from consequences, that's bad.

But man is the thing that REALLY gets under my skin of Lochley. She's so god drat self-righteous about having collaborated with a murderous fascist regime that tried to literally holocaust the entire planet, and when she gives her big loving speech to Garibaldi about HONOR AND DUTY and he just loving swallows it WHILE THE CREW APPLAUD, I was almost sick to my stomach. I almost couldn't believe the same showrunner who gave us the Clark presidency wrote that garbage. The best part is that we get to see exactly what kind of person she is when Bester shows up. The fact that she can look Sheridan in the eye and talk about Bester's "side of the story," about what he did to Garibaldi, and how right she was for treating him to loving tea and banter while throwing his victim in the brig... She never puts one toe out of line with Bester that entire episode. She folds to everything she's ordered to do, won't bend a single rule despite claiming to hate him and the Psi Corps and what they represent ('yes Mr. President, I grant that they are fascists, buuuuut...'). He marches in Jack Boots a-polished, and she rolls over for him right up until the very last second, when she gets bailed out by a technicality without having to stick her neck out even the smallest bit. And then she has the unmitigated gall to LECTURE BYRON about how much she's risking. gently caress OOOOOOFFFFF.

Unless there's some BIIIIIG reveals coming up to make her less of a monstrous quisling, I don't know how much of her I'm going to be able to stomach, especially because all of the characters around her who actually have principles and courage keep bowing to her bullshit arguments.

Nightwatch got applause. Morden was just trying to make people happy. Londo's guilty of far, far worse than Lochley is. And people who make bad decisions are often self-righteous about it.

You can not like whatever you want. But B5 never endorses Lochley any more than it does any other character. (Yes, Delenn and Sheridan can be idealized sometimes.) Part of the point of S5 is to take big-drat-hero Sheridan, who is an inspirational warleader, and show that as an interstellar administrator, he's only so-so and he makes lots of mistakes.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

One of my favorite bits about Lochley is that Tracy Scoggins is a huge SciFi fan, was a regular Babylon 5 watcher, and of course Ivanova was her favorite character. Season Five starts, and she watches the first few episodes, and has the same gut reaction everyone does, with a twist:

"Who's this new bitch? Oh wait. That's me. ... I have to like her."


(I think my actual favorite Lochley scenes are her cameos in Crusade.)

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000



future scoopin'...


turn left hillary!! noo posted:

I'm going to take a moment here and be a little contrarian. B5 isn't generally about bludgeoning the viewer with black and white - the Shadows are given their say, the Vorlons prove to be not much better, and all of the individual characters have flaws and virtues - even Bester has moments of genuine humanity. Lochley's devotion to military discipline and the chain of command is both a strength and a weakness. You've covered the weakness part, but it's her loyalty and rock-solid commitment to duty that gets her the job, and the fact she chose the wrong side doesn't make those qualities any less admirable.

I don't think you're supposed to take her, or any other character in isolation, as unequivocally "good." There's a continuum and she's not really at one end or another, she's just as human as the rest of us. She's more there to make the viewer uncomfortable as she comes in and skewers the new status quo, and gives a voice to those on the wrong side, to humanize them as well.

Narsham posted:

Nightwatch got applause. Morden was just trying to make people happy. Londo's guilty of far, far worse than Lochley is. And people who make bad decisions are often self-righteous about it.

You can not like whatever you want. But B5 never endorses Lochley any more than it does any other character. (Yes, Delenn and Sheridan can be idealized sometimes.) Part of the point of S5 is to take big-drat-hero Sheridan, who is an inspirational warleader, and show that as an interstellar administrator, he's only so-so and he makes lots of mistakes.


My issue isn't so much the idea of asking the question 'Who Mourns For The Concentration Camp Guard?' Duet is one of the best hours of television to ever come out of Star Trek. My issue is that so far nobody has taken Lochley to task for her absolute shirking of her own culpability. You say that the show never endorses Lochley just because some background extras clap for her speech because Night Watch got the same treatment and the Shadows had their chance to explain their point of view, but the people she shovels her rationalizations on the most are GARIBALDI AND SHERIDAN. These two were victimized by Clark and the Psi Corps so brutally and so personally that it can't be taken as anything but a "by jove, she's right!" when they let themselves get browbeaten by her perspective on why she Did Nothing Wrong.

You're right that one of B5's greatest strengths is not beating you over the head with black and white morality, but that doesn't mean the show doesn't have a moral compass at it's heart. Londo is guilty of horrific atrocities, far worse than Lochley's mere collaboration, but he is absolutely haunted by them to the point where it drastically changes his character direction, and the show frames what he's done as wrong over and over. gently caress, VIR doesn't even get away without the show telling us that he shares at least some moral culpability for the crimes of his government against the Narn. "Dead. Dead. DEAD. DEAD. How do you apologize to them?"

She makes a big point in her speech of saying that when a soldier is given an bad order, they have to make a choice and live with the consequences. Garibaldi asks her what choice SHE faced. He's all but daring her to have the guts to tell everyone there what War Crime she was ordered to carry out and then did under the justification that she was Just Following Orders (an argument that Ivanova eviscerates in the episode where she fights the Shadow Destroyers by the way). You can practically see Bester's reflection in his eyes when he asks her. And she 'answers,' by wrapping herself in the flag and dodging the question. Garibaldi deflates, defeated by this tactic. If that doesn't read as an endorsement of her point of view, I don't know what would.

Granted, she's a new character so she's got to start somewhere, and maybe something will come of this. Granted, her purpose is to shake up the Status Quo (which she does very well). Granted, she's stuck drowning in this really weird and awkward Telepath Crisis storyline, and maybe that's getting in the way of an effective exploration of her character. Granted, a big part of Season 5 is to show that After The War things only get harder, and our heroes might not be up to this task just because they were up to the last one, and Lochley being a necessary evil to move forward could be taken as a reflection of that. I can concede all those points.

But drat does it not sit right with me to see a guy who was mentally violated in one of the most horrific ways imaginable and a guy who was tortured nearly to death by the state tuck tail instead of taking her to task on her 'arguments.'

Hexyflexy
Sep 2, 2011

asymptotically approaching one


Sanguinia posted:

But drat does it not sit right with me to see a guy who was mentally violated in one of the most horrific ways imaginable and a guy who was tortured nearly to death by the state tuck tail instead of taking her to task on her 'arguments.'

This happens all the time in our lives, that's the point. The individuals in B5 don't really matter, they live, get poo poo on, and die. The universe plods along anyway - you can't even gently caress that process up with super-weapons.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


Vavrek posted:

(I think my actual favorite Lochley scenes are her cameos in Crusade.)

I think maybe the reason why I've always liked the character so much is that I saw her scenes in Crusade before I ever saw her scenes in the main show. She's pretty cool tbh.

tastychicken posted:

The Centauri arch in S5 is drat good though.

Londo's hair is truly magnificent.

Hexyflexy
Sep 2, 2011

asymptotically approaching one


Open Source Idiom posted:

Londo's hair is truly magnificent.

You'd be suprised how well an afro can be turned into that with enough product.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000



future scoopin'...


Hexyflexy posted:

This happens all the time in our lives, that's the point. The individuals in B5 don't really matter, they live, get poo poo on, and die. The universe plods along anyway - you can't even gently caress that process up with super-weapons.

Garibaldi fucks over 1984 Super Nazis like 500 years after his death. One of the fundamental thematic underpinnings of Bablyon 5 is putting paid to the notion that individuals are irrelevant in the grand scheme of history. There are literally two university professors who sit there saying that in that same episode and Delenn comes all the way from Minbar just to tell them to gently caress off.

This isn't to say that B5 is ascribing to Great Man History Theory, but it does ascribe to the notion that history is made up of a collection of moments and decisions as much as it is grand natural and social forces, and therefore the individuals are enormously important. The Right People, In The Right Place, For The Right Reasons.

I mean, poo poo, the climax of the whole series is telling The Gods to get on their bike after a repeated cycle of violence that lasted unknowable millennia, all because the first two people ever got the chance to say it to their faces.

Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

I wasn't supposed to
Discover data I could use
Where did it come from
A simple look, a tender touch


Sanguinia posted:

My issue isn't so much the idea of asking the question 'Who Mourns For The Concentration Camp Guard?' Duet is one of the best hours of television to ever come out of Star Trek. My issue is that so far nobody has taken Lochley to task for her absolute shirking of her own culpability. You say that the show never endorses Lochley just because some background extras clap for her speech because Night Watch got the same treatment and the Shadows had their chance to explain their point of view, but the people she shovels her rationalizations on the most are GARIBALDI AND SHERIDAN. These two were victimized by Clark and the Psi Corps so brutally and so personally that it can't be taken as anything but a "by jove, she's right!" when they let themselves get browbeaten by her perspective on why she Did Nothing Wrong.

You're right that one of B5's greatest strengths is not beating you over the head with black and white morality, but that doesn't mean the show doesn't have a moral compass at it's heart. Londo is guilty of horrific atrocities, far worse than Lochley's mere collaboration, but he is absolutely haunted by them to the point where it drastically changes his character direction, and the show frames what he's done as wrong over and over. gently caress, VIR doesn't even get away without the show telling us that he shares at least some moral culpability for the crimes of his government against the Narn. "Dead. Dead. DEAD. DEAD. How do you apologize to them?"

She makes a big point in her speech of saying that when a soldier is given an bad order, they have to make a choice and live with the consequences. Garibaldi asks her what choice SHE faced. He's all but daring her to have the guts to tell everyone there what War Crime she was ordered to carry out and then did under the justification that she was Just Following Orders (an argument that Ivanova eviscerates in the episode where she fights the Shadow Destroyers by the way). You can practically see Bester's reflection in his eyes when he asks her. And she 'answers,' by wrapping herself in the flag and dodging the question. Garibaldi deflates, defeated by this tactic. If that doesn't read as an endorsement of her point of view, I don't know what would.

Granted, she's a new character so she's got to start somewhere, and maybe something will come of this. Granted, her purpose is to shake up the Status Quo (which she does very well). Granted, she's stuck drowning in this really weird and awkward Telepath Crisis storyline, and maybe that's getting in the way of an effective exploration of her character. Granted, a big part of Season 5 is to show that After The War things only get harder, and our heroes might not be up to this task just because they were up to the last one, and Lochley being a necessary evil to move forward could be taken as a reflection of that. I can concede all those points.

But drat does it not sit right with me to see a guy who was mentally violated in one of the most horrific ways imaginable and a guy who was tortured nearly to death by the state tuck tail instead of taking her to task on her 'arguments.'

You're making an awful lot of assumptions here (and in your previous post). For example, assuming that Lochley committed a war crime. For all we know, she was just a loyal soldier who held to her post as the rest of the EA fell into civil war. Sheridan picked her as his successor to command Babylon 5 based on the strength of her character -- do you think he would've picked a war criminal? I personally don't think Lochley is a very good character but that's more because she barely features in Season 5 and she just feels squandered, unable to fit anywhere.

While Sheridan did the morally correct thing in taking up arms against his government, he -- as President Luchenko points out at the end of Season 4 -- still led an armed insurrection against his government, backed by foreign political powers and fleets. Sheridan just happened to have a morally defensible position but, ultimately, it comes down to Sheridan getting an order he disagreed with and deciding to disobey it and then overthrow the President. Sheridan's just very lucky that Clark was some kind of Mega-Hitler whose dying act was to try and burn down the whole planet. There are many Earthforce officers we see and hear of throughout Season 4 who don't oppose Clark but don't follow the orders he assigns them. Take Proxima 3 for example, where there's a bunch of destroyers enforcing the blockade but only two of them fire on civilian ships -- Sheridan only says that the ones in the latter group should stand trial for war crimes.

You mentioned Bester earlier and how bad it is that Lochley entertains him. Remember that Bester still wields a lot of power back on Earth and that he is, all in all, a charming and reasonable fellow -- there's a reason the audience adores him. The central cast of Babylon 5 had the luxury of dealing with Bester when they had no reason to entertain him and no legal structure compelling them to assist him. Lochley, as the commanding officer of an Earthforce installation, can't tell Bester to get hosed, and it's probably in her best interest to treat him cordially (something she even tells Sheridan, which he admits the logic of). Garibaldi, despite his antipathy towards Bester, is a private citizen and it'd be unwise of him to assault a Psi Cop or an Earthforce officer for the crime of talking to each other. Because that's basically what happens: Garibaldi finds out Bester is onboard and rushes to Lochley's office to attack him.

How well do you think that would've gone for Garibaldi? He can't touch Bester -- legally or physically. The moment he did that, Bester would ruin him and take great delight in doing it.

Similarly, Garibaldi's account of 'Bester got into my mind and made me do it' is anecdotal evidence, and B5 states many times that telepathic evidence isn't admissible in any court. So, all Garibaldi has is a story which is backed up by other people saying it has to be true but remember even the Mars resistance and Franklin and Lyta are quite skeptical about Garibaldi's tale.

Now, what does Lochley say about Bester? Well, in the past, he saved two of her crew from a rogue telepath. And this:

quote:

Now, I don't actually like him, and I sure as hell don't trust him but so far, he has not done anything unpleasant to me. I'm sure he will because this place seems to bring that out in everyone. But until then, I have an obligation to be courteous.

Like, you claim that Lochley folds to Bester the whole episode -- but she doesn't fold, Bester has direct orders from her superiors. More importantly, I'm pretty sure at the end of the episode she figures out a loophole that gets Bester out of the station for sixty days.

I understand that there's a need for all media in TYOOL 2018 to only show the Unambiguously Correct side of things, but B5 acknowledges that realpolitik exerts a pull on people.

Milkfred E. Moore fucked around with this message at Sep 19, 2018 around 03:39

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Sanguinia posted:

But drat does it not sit right with me to see a guy who was mentally violated in one of the most horrific ways imaginable and a guy who was tortured nearly to death by the state tuck tail instead of taking her to task on her 'arguments.'

I'm guessing you haven't seen yet why Sheridan trusts her despite all that. I don't want to spoil anything so I can't really reply in full, but I do want to add as an aside that this is why I always encourage people to watch everything and form their own opinions. You've made me think and I don't know if I've ever seen your point made in quite this way before, and for that I thank you.

Edit: I don't want to make a big deal out of why Sheridan trusts her, to you it may not change your opinion of her one bit and you'll be like, that's it? It's not a huge character-changing moment but it is relevant.

turn left hillary!! noo fucked around with this message at Sep 19, 2018 around 03:55

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000



future scoopin'...


Milkfred E. Moore posted:

You're making an awful lot of assumptions here (and in your previous post). For example, assuming that Lochley committed a war crime. For all we know, she was just a loyal soldier who held to her post as the rest of the EA fell into civil war. Sheridan picked her as his successor to command Babylon 5 based on the strength of her character -- do you think he would've picked a war criminal? I personally don't think Lochley is a very good character but that's more because she barely features in Season 5 and she just feels squandered, unable to fit anywhere.

While Sheridan did the morally correct thing in taking up arms against his government, he -- as President Luchenko points out at the end of Season 4 -- still led an armed insurrection against his government, backed by foreign political powers and fleets. Sheridan just happened to have a morally defensible position but, ultimately, it comes down to Sheridan getting an order he disagreed with and deciding to disobey it and then overthrow the President. Sheridan's just very lucky that Clark was some kind of Mega-Hitler whose dying act was to try and burn down the whole planet. There are many Earthforce officers we see and hear of throughout Season 4 who don't oppose Clark but don't follow the orders he assigns them. Take Proxima 3 for example, where there's a bunch of destroyers enforcing the blockade but only two of them fire on civilian ships -- Sheridan only says that the ones in the latter group should stand trial for war crimes.

Part of the problem is Lochley is that we don't know. The big reveal about why Sheridan trusts her is because they were married. But the story absolutely frames "she fought on the wrong side," as a big deal, and given that and his own personal history it's absolutely right that Garibaldi assumes the worst about her in the absence of any other information. So naturally he presses her on the issue, and her response is to dodge the question and have the story reward her for it with a tacit endorsement. I peaked at her wikipedia and there was nothing saying what her part in the war was. Leaving that an open question when we see intimately just how awful Clark's regime is is not a recipe to make me assume the best. It's easy to make the inference that she must have clean hands because Sheridan trusts her, but the script treats the question as one that's unworthy of an answer, and in the context of the larger show that is hosed. Again, Vir, a guy who literally Oscar Schindler's thousands of Narns out of nothing but pure morality, is not treated as having clean hands in what his people have done. Lochley doesn't seem to have to play by the same rules as everyone else, and that is frustrating.

Yes, the show makes it very clear that people just going along with Evil are not automatically moral cowards or enablers, and their motives for doing so can be pure, as we saw at Proxima. But those people at Proxima at least got called out for what they HAD done, even if it was just sitting back and watching Bob Kelso slaughter civvies instead of doing it themselves. Our heroes confronted them with what they were responsible for, and they had to look in the mirror. Every time so far someone has tried to hold that mirror up to Lochley, she smashes it and gets approving nods for doing so, and that seems very counter to Bablyon 5's general ethos.

quote:

You mentioned Bester earlier and how bad it is that Lochley entertains him. Remember that Bester still wields a lot of power back on Earth and that he is, all in all, a charming and reasonable fellow -- there's a reason the audience adores him. The central cast of Babylon 5 had the luxury of dealing with Bester when they had no reason to entertain him and no legal structure compelling them to assist him. Lochley, as the commanding officer of an Earthforce installation, can't tell Bester to get hosed, and it's probably in her best interest to treat him cordially (something she even tells Sheridan, which he admits the logic of). Garibaldi, despite his antipathy towards Bester, is a private citizen and it'd be unwise of him to assault a Psi Cop or an Earthforce officer for the crime of talking to each other. Because that's basically what happens: Garibaldi finds out Bester is onboard and rushes to Lochley's office to attack him.

How well do you think that would've gone for Garibaldi? He can't touch Bester -- legally or physically. The moment he did that, Bester would ruin him and take great delight in doing it.

Similarly, Garibaldi's account of 'Bester got into my mind and made me do it' is anecdotal evidence, and B5 states many times that telepathic evidence isn't admissible in any court. So, all Garibaldi has is a story which is backed up by other people saying it has to be true but remember even the Mars resistance and Franklin and Lyta are quite skeptical about Garibaldi's tale.

Now, what does Lochley say about Bester? Well, in the past, he saved two of her crew from a rogue telepath. And this:

Like, you claim that Lochley folds to Bester the whole episode -- but she doesn't fold, Bester has direct orders from her superiors. More importantly, I'm pretty sure at the end of the episode she figures out a loophole that gets Bester out of the station for sixty days.

I understand that there's a need for all media in TYOOL 2018 to only show the Unambiguously Correct side of things, but B5 acknowledges that realpolitik exerts a pull on people.

I love Bester too. He's a fantastic antagonist and those surprising moments of humanity buried in his evil and his likability and charisma is what makes him special. But first off, being the commanding officer of an Earthforce installation absolutely never stopped Sinclair or Sheridan from telling Bester to get hosed. They were finding ways to screw him and undermine him LONG before they left the Alliance, because he's a backstabbing villain who endangers the station every time he shows up and everyone knows it. Granted to all your points, things would have gone very badly for Garibaldi if he's gotten to execute his well-justified revenge, and Lochley basically saves him from himself by locking him up. Hell, she even says that as long as she and nobody else sees him do it, he can put Bester's face through a grate anytime he gets the chance.

But unless Lochley completely disbelieves Garibaldi's story, which she shouldn't because even if it's not admissible in court Lyta's scan is still proof that he is 100% guilty of kidnapping, torture, and violation of every Earth law governing Telepaths, then how she handles Bester strikes me as damning. You say that her following Bester's orders from her superiors isn't folding, but those orders never stopped anyone on the staff before her from putting right and wrong first and skirting those orders as much as possible so Bester would be foiled. You say that she lays out her logic to Sinclair in playing Bester's game and handling him with kid gloves, and he approves of her thinking... but that's part of the problem. He shouldn't agree with her thinking BECAUSE HE NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE IT THAT WAY. He should agree to abide by her approach because in the end she's the commander and it's her call, fine, but give it his blessing as "making too much sense?" Come on. Yes, in the end she's the one that finds the loophole that screws him over, but as I said before once she's done that she starts up a big lecture about how much she's stuck her neck out (she hasn't) and how she's not going to do anything to avert that Sword of Damocles that she's hung over all their heads.

Every step of how she deals with Bester in that episode frames her collaboration with Clark's regime in the worst possible light. Have actual knowledge of the horrors right in front of you, ignore them and put on a mask. Get orders to do something morally bankrupt, don't put one toe out of line to do the right thing (which every other protagonist in the story has always done), just let it happen, and then feel superior about yourself for doing so. It's just... frustrating as hell.

I dunno, maybe you're right, maybe I'm making leaps and assumptions here, and I'm definitely letting the current state of the world bleed into my reading. But I didn't have this kind of frustration about any other part of the show, just this first part of season 5. I really am trying to judge her by the same standard the narrative has taught me to judge every protagonist by, I'm not trying to argue in bad faith here. It just feels like her character and how it's treated is such a giant crossed wire compared to everyone else.

EDITL

turn left hillary!! noo posted:

I'm guessing you haven't seen yet why Sheridan trusts her despite all that. I don't want to spoil anything so I can't really reply in full, but I do want to add as an aside that this is why I always encourage people to watch everything and form their own opinions. You've made me think and I don't know if I've ever seen your point made in quite this way before, and for that I thank you.

Edit: I don't want to make a big deal out of why Sheridan trusts her, to you it may not change your opinion of her one bit and you'll be like, that's it? It's not a huge character-changing moment but it is relevant.

Thanks! The tone of my posts probably come off as having an axe to grind or even grognardy, but I really did come in wanting to share my earnest feelings about the text, and I'm glad you found them interesting.

Sanguinia fucked around with this message at Sep 19, 2018 around 04:39

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

"i'm dying," said rich. "dying because Angry Salami was a trump lover for too long." he coughs, an ugly, hacking rasp that goes on for too long.

I have to say, I don't think cooperating with Bester's that big a crime, even if she is familiar with Garibaldi's experience. I personally think that, given what Edgars was planning, Bester's actions were somewhat justifiable - certainly, using Garibaldi like that strikes me as less morally dubious than how Sheridan used the cryo-frozen telepaths in the civil war.

The rest of it, I agree with you - even if Lochley personally had clean hands, she stood by and did nothing to stop those that didn't, and never really has to step up and acknowledge that.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I don't think the show ever went into detail on any big programs to remove Clark's influence, cronies, and the remnants of Nightwatch from Earth's governmental institutions. It seems like maybe they're just rushing the re-integration of the elements of Earth's government after the civil war like how America did with its civil war.

In a couple decades people will be erecting statues of Clark to do anti-alien rallies around.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007

Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952

SlothfulCobra posted:

In a couple decades people will be erecting statues of Clark to do anti-alien rallies around.

Then some space-rednecks need to be made to send their kids to John Brown Middle School.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000



future scoopin'...


SlothfulCobra posted:

I don't think the show ever went into detail on any big programs to remove Clark's influence, cronies, and the remnants of Nightwatch from Earth's governmental institutions. It seems like maybe they're just rushing the re-integration of the elements of Earth's government after the civil war like how America did with its civil war.

In a couple decades people will be erecting statues of Clark to do anti-alien rallies around.

Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

I wasn't supposed to
Discover data I could use
Where did it come from
A simple look, a tender touch


Sanguinia posted:

Part of the problem is Lochley is that we don't know. The big reveal about why Sheridan trusts her is because they were married. But the story absolutely frames "she fought on the wrong side," as a big deal, and given that and his own personal history it's absolutely right that Garibaldi assumes the worst about her in the absence of any other information. So naturally he presses her on the issue, and her response is to dodge the question and have the story reward her for it with a tacit endorsement. I peaked at her wikipedia and there was nothing saying what her part in the war was. Leaving that an open question when we see intimately just how awful Clark's regime is is not a recipe to make me assume the best. It's easy to make the inference that she must have clean hands because Sheridan trusts her, but the script treats the question as one that's unworthy of an answer, and in the context of the larger show that is hosed. Again, Vir, a guy who literally Oscar Schindler's thousands of Narns out of nothing but pure morality, is not treated as having clean hands in what his people have done. Lochley doesn't seem to have to play by the same rules as everyone else, and that is frustrating.

Yes, the show makes it very clear that people just going along with Evil are not automatically moral cowards or enablers, and their motives for doing so can be pure, as we saw at Proxima. But those people at Proxima at least got called out for what they HAD done, even if it was just sitting back and watching Bob Kelso slaughter civvies instead of doing it themselves. Our heroes confronted them with what they were responsible for, and they had to look in the mirror. Every time so far someone has tried to hold that mirror up to Lochley, she smashes it and gets approving nods for doing so, and that seems very counter to Bablyon 5's general ethos.

This is all true. I think Lochley suffers from both operating as Season 5 Ivanova and as this new character who has her ties to the 'other side'. She's in, I think, not even half the episodes of Season 5. I do think that no one really knew what to do with her, beyond some absurd things like her being Sheridan's first wife. At the same time, however, you could argue that Garibaldi has no right to know which side she was on given he's not in her chain of command.

quote:

I love Bester too. He's a fantastic antagonist and those surprising moments of humanity buried in his evil and his likability and charisma is what makes him special. But first off, being the commanding officer of an Earthforce installation absolutely never stopped Sinclair or Sheridan from telling Bester to get hosed. They were finding ways to screw him and undermine him LONG before they left the Alliance, because he's a backstabbing villain who endangers the station every time he shows up and everyone knows it. Granted to all your points, things would have gone very badly for Garibaldi if he's gotten to execute his well-justified revenge, and Lochley basically saves him from himself by locking him up. Hell, she even says that as long as she and nobody else sees him do it, he can put Bester's face through a grate anytime he gets the chance.

My memory of the first two seasons is much hazier than Season 3, but even though Sheridan and Sinclair try to screw him and make it quite clear that they don't think he's welcome, Bester always tends to get what he wants. There could be an argument made that the previous two COs, having specific backing for being CO of B5 (The Minbari requested Sinclair, Sheridan was Clark's personal choice) that they could get away with it. Lochley not so much. The other thing is that Bester is just so arrogant and sure of himself that he treats their antagonism like a game.

I think in the first season, Mind War, Sinclair manages to stalemate Bester by catching a lie, and the fact that Bester's attitude got a subordinate killed and the station endangered. In Season 2, when Bester comes looking for the underground railroad, I think it's Garibaldi who points out that they have a duty to assist him, and he would've probably dismantled the railroad had Talia not been able to fool him. In Season 3, Sheridan and co. get away with putting Bester on sleepers and such because, luckily, Bester's whole reason for being there is Psi Corps coverup and he probably has no wish to have the whole Dust thing get out into the open (I think Ironheart was also a Psi Corps experiment). So, a lot of the time Bester is there, he's not acting on Earth business as much as he is private Psi Corps business.

Whereas, Lochley faces him where he's an agent of Earth law enforcement. IMO, the fact that she basically tells Garibaldi to kill him and just don't do it where she has to find out, is telling in how she's treating Bester as she is just because he does have legal authority.

quote:

But unless Lochley completely disbelieves Garibaldi's story, which she shouldn't because even if it's not admissible in court Lyta's scan is still proof that he is 100% guilty of kidnapping, torture, and violation of every Earth law governing Telepaths, then how she handles Bester strikes me as damning. You say that her following Bester's orders from her superiors isn't folding, but those orders never stopped anyone on the staff before her from putting right and wrong first and skirting those orders as much as possible so Bester would be foiled. You say that she lays out her logic to Sinclair in playing Bester's game and handling him with kid gloves, and he approves of her thinking... but that's part of the problem. He shouldn't agree with her thinking BECAUSE HE NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE IT THAT WAY. He should agree to abide by her approach because in the end she's the commander and it's her call, fine, but give it his blessing as "making too much sense?" Come on. Yes, in the end she's the one that finds the loophole that screws him over, but as I said before once she's done that she starts up a big lecture about how much she's stuck her neck out (she hasn't) and how she's not going to do anything to avert that Sword of Damocles that she's hung over all their heads.

Every step of how she deals with Bester in that episode frames her collaboration with Clark's regime in the worst possible light. Have actual knowledge of the horrors right in front of you, ignore them and put on a mask. Get orders to do something morally bankrupt, don't put one toe out of line to do the right thing (which every other protagonist in the story has always done), just let it happen, and then feel superior about yourself for doing so. It's just... frustrating as hell.

I dunno, maybe you're right, maybe I'm making leaps and assumptions here, and I'm definitely letting the current state of the world bleed into my reading. But I didn't have this kind of frustration about any other part of the show, just this first part of season 5. I really am trying to judge her by the same standard the narrative has taught me to judge every protagonist by, I'm not trying to argue in bad faith here. It just feels like her character and how it's treated is such a giant crossed wire compared to everyone else.

Why would Lyta's scan prove anything? For all Lochley knows, Lyta didn't see proof in Garibaldi's mind -- she just has an axe to grind against Bester, too, so she backs up Garibaldi's story because of it. Could Lyta jam Garibaldi's memories into Lochley's brain? Sure, but that's not Lyta's character. The aspect of telepathic evidence being inadmissible in court is a big part of the reason why Bester can just sort of dance through life. Sure, he has done all those things, but assuming he didn't leave a paper trail, it comes down to Garibaldi's word against his.

As far as orders go, Sinclair and Sheridan are more willing to bend the letters of the law to their own benefit -- for Sheridan, especially, I'd say this comes up countless times a season. But Lochley is much more a letter of the law character. Sheridan would never have done it that way (maybe -- honestly, I think it'd go very similarly, just with more venom and less tea) but Sheridan's not the CO now.

Is it really morally bankrupt to hand the rogues to Psi Corps? Sure, don't get me wrong, Psi Corps is hardly a good body... but the law is the law. The crisis she faces is unlike anything Sinclair or Sheridan faced whenever Bester came aboard.

TBQH, this thing reminds me a lot of what I feel about the Earth Alliance in general about Babylon 5, this idea that we never get a good sense of it, and that what we do get implies that it's not a nice place at all. Lochley, as a happy cog in the machine, suffers because we don't really know enough about her or the mechanism she occupies. It's my assumption that not going along with Bester would have harsh consequences for her, but we don't really know that at all.

SlothfulCobra posted:

I don't think the show ever went into detail on any big programs to remove Clark's influence, cronies, and the remnants of Nightwatch from Earth's governmental institutions. It seems like maybe they're just rushing the re-integration of the elements of Earth's government after the civil war like how America did with its civil war.

In a couple decades people will be erecting statues of Clark to do anti-alien rallies around.

I think one of the books points out that nothing really changed at all. Psi Corps got rebranded as the Metasensory Authority and some rules were relaxed and the worst of the worst (like Bester) were hunted down, but the general idea seems to be that nothing really changed and the post-Clark world just wanted to pretend it wasn't as horrible as it was. I think even Season 1 B5 points out that there's strong anti-alien sentiment on Earth. Clark didn't create it, he just happened to be, as Sanguina pointed out, the right person in the right place for the right reasons.

This is one of the things I think the show forgets. It's like the Santiago-era EA is portrayed as this bright, shining thing that Clarke perverted, but I don't think that's the case at all.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Proudly supporting Lowtax's medical care 2018


Milkfred E. Moore posted:

Is it really morally bankrupt to hand the rogues to Psi Corps? Sure, don't get me wrong, Psi Corps is hardly a good body... but the law is the law. The crisis she faces is unlike anything Sinclair or Sheridan faced whenever Bester came aboard.

Was it really morally bankrupt to turn Jews over to the Nazis? Sure, the Nazis were hardly a good body, but it was the law.

That's a slight exaggeration, but only because the Psi Corps considers rogue telepaths to be its own. I have no idea how you can watch the episode where Talia hears the stories of the rogues in the Underground and ask if turning them over would be morally bankrupt.

As for Bester, he gets easier to understand once you realise he's literally Magneto.

Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

I wasn't supposed to
Discover data I could use
Where did it come from
A simple look, a tender touch


Jedit posted:

Was it really morally bankrupt to turn Jews over to the Nazis? Sure, the Nazis were hardly a good body, but it was the law.

That's a slight exaggeration, but only because the Psi Corps considers rogue telepaths to be its own. I have no idea how you can watch the episode where Talia hears the stories of the rogues in the Underground and ask if turning them over would be morally bankrupt.

As for Bester, he gets easier to understand once you realise he's literally Magneto.

Ugh, yeah, good point. I mixed up morals and laws.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

Jedit posted:

As for Bester,

Complete tangent off of those words, but: Has anybody read any of Alfred Bester's work? I first heard of him because of Babylon 5; I'm a fan of that era of SciFi writing and have been meaning to read The Demolished Man since I learned of it.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014
Proudly supporting Lowtax's medical care 2018


Vavrek posted:

Complete tangent off of those words, but: Has anybody read any of Alfred Bester's work? I first heard of him because of Babylon 5; I'm a fan of that era of SciFi writing and have been meaning to read The Demolished Man since I learned of it.

I have attempted to read it and failed.

Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

I wasn't supposed to
Discover data I could use
Where did it come from
A simple look, a tender touch


Vavrek posted:

Complete tangent off of those words, but: Has anybody read any of Alfred Bester's work? I first heard of him because of Babylon 5; I'm a fan of that era of SciFi writing and have been meaning to read The Demolished Man since I learned of it.

Yeah. It's okay, but fairly dated in the time it was written. It wasn't horrible but wasn't exactly anything I'd recommend unless you were curious about his stuff in particular. Reading TDM can be interesting just to see how much it influenced the Psi Corps and such.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Vavrek posted:

Complete tangent off of those words, but: Has anybody read any of Alfred Bester's work? I first heard of him because of Babylon 5; I'm a fan of that era of SciFi writing and have been meaning to read The Demolished Man since I learned of it.

it's dated but good, in the sense that its approach got widely copied so what was new and amazing about it probably won't register. It's innovative pulp, basically.

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

Vavrek posted:

Complete tangent off of those words, but: Has anybody read any of Alfred Bester's work? I first heard of him because of Babylon 5; I'm a fan of that era of SciFi writing and have been meaning to read The Demolished Man since I learned of it.

Depends on your tolerance of fairly dated sci-fi. Since you like B5 I assume it's a high tolerance.

But seriously, start with some of his short stories. That will get you a feel for his style. You need to keep in mind that at the time his work was published, this was radical, ground breaking stuff. But in it, if you get past the style of the times, there are a lot of revolutionary ideas in which you can see the genesis of cyberpunk, and modern anti-heroes. It's really fascinating from a literary deconstructionist point of view. I haven't read the Demolished Man, but I would recommend The Stars My Destination.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


Tiger, Tiger and The Demolished Man are both great; they manage to elevate themselves above the pulpy style a lot more than, say, Asimov's Foundation trilogy. They both have extremely recognisable backgrounds, though, so if you don't like The Count of Monte Cristo or detective fiction respectively they probably won't be for you so much. (If you like TT/TSMD, read TCOMC for sure)

One thing I really like about TDM is that the twist is there right at the start if you bother to look for it.

NB: don't read Bester's later works. They're pretty bad.

[edit] Tiger Tiger is aka The Stars My Destination

MrL_JaKiri fucked around with this message at Sep 19, 2018 around 13:25

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

Thank you all for the comments, I'll keep them in mind when I next pick what book to read.


Doctor Zero posted:

Depends on your tolerance of fairly dated sci-fi. Since you like B5 I assume it's a high tolerance.
I'm unsure if there's a Robert Heinlein story I haven't read. My tolerance for dated sci-fi is extremely high.

edit: VVV I've heard good things about her!

Vavrek fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2018 around 01:47

Pick
Jul 19, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Always read James Tiptree Jr.

Kurr de la Cruz
May 21, 2007

I gave more and I'll buy an avatar if I ever get around to picking one. I miss my old one

Hair Elf

Wait.. so Holo-Giribaldi kicked off World War IV or whatever??? Fuckin lollll

Narsham
Jun 5, 2008


Sanguinia posted:

But drat does it not sit right with me to see a guy who was mentally violated in one of the most horrific ways imaginable and a guy who was tortured nearly to death by the state tuck tail instead of taking her to task on her 'arguments.'

Lochley certainly suffers from lack of development. But you're taking a rather black & white position here. Best to avoid modern political examples, but take the American Civil War (or heck, the English Civil War) as an example, and you'll see that afterward, a whole bunch of people who were almost certainly war criminals and traitors of various stripe were granted amnesty in the interests of moving things back to normal instead of having mass executions over a period of years.

Garibaldi was indeed violated, yet he tries to recruit telepaths to act as spies for the Interstellar Alliance. Sheridan was tortured, but he also deliberately sacrificed the lives of some Shadow-tech telepaths in order to save lives. More to the point, Garabaldi called Lochley out in public, without knowing what she did during the civil war (if he knew he wouldn't have asked). That was out of line in several ways. Our heroes have grown accustomed to handling things their own way, to making their own decisions, but that's not always right or called for, and it's dangerous when exhibited by the first leaders of this new political organization which could quite easily die on the vine. (What due process does Delenn give to the Drahk on that mothership? How many civilians does she kill? Isn't she a war criminal?)

Worth providing this JMS material from the script books, I think:

quote:

We, as viewers, believe that our characters were right... Lochley took a different position. The key is to present that point of view not as a straw man to be easily knocked down by our favorite characters, but rather as something to which should would have given considerable thought. It can't be arbitrary. If you're going to present that side of the discussion, then to play fair with the characters and the story and the audience there has to be sufficient logic to the position to say, Y'know, she's got a point. I don't agree with her, but I can see how she'd feel that way. So when I had her sit down with Garibaldi, it was essential to present her perspective fairly, and in the long run I think that worked well to define the character in a positive way even though given what we've seen over the past four years she was absolutely on the wrong side.

Listening to someone and thinking about what they say isn't the same as agreeing with them. Garibaldi shoots from the hip a lot; he also gives screw-ups second chances, and he respects someone who won't back down when he comes at them hard. And frankly, he and she are fairly similar. All that doubt that Bester kicked up in his head that led him to abandon B5 and betray Sheridan wasn't just a constructed personality or mind-control: those were all decisions he could reasonably have made after seeing someone he used to know "come back from the dead" with a creepy alien whose presence can't be questioned giving him marching orders.

Garibaldi's position right before S3 ends is that "you do what you're told because your CO has the moral authority that says 'You may not come back, but the cause is just, and fair, and necessary.'" But what's necessary to make that judgment? And how do you do that when none of the information at your disposal seems trustworthy, or, worse, if you trust information that's pure propaganda?

As for G'Kar's "dead, dead, dead" moment: he himself will find a way to forgive by the end of the series, at least in part. Because part of what the show is about is understanding each other, and how imperfect we are, and how repeatedly surprising it is that we get second chances.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Nicely put.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005




Kurr de la Cruz posted:

Wait.. so Holo-Giribaldi kicked off World War IV or whatever??? Fuckin lollll

Yeah it's pretty great. He gets just a little too much processing power or whatever from the simulation, becomes self-aware and hacks the Big Brother commeinazis so their enemies know what's going on and the space nukes fly.

Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

I wasn't supposed to
Discover data I could use
Where did it come from
A simple look, a tender touch


Narsham posted:

Listening to someone and thinking about what they say isn't the same as agreeing with them. Garibaldi shoots from the hip a lot; he also gives screw-ups second chances, and he respects someone who won't back down when he comes at them hard. And frankly, he and she are fairly similar. All that doubt that Bester kicked up in his head that led him to abandon B5 and betray Sheridan wasn't just a constructed personality or mind-control: those were all decisions he could reasonably have made after seeing someone he used to know "come back from the dead" with a creepy alien whose presence can't be questioned giving him marching orders.

I think Bester even says that while he just ramped Garibaldi's natural paranoia up ever so slightly, Garibaldi went above and beyond anything he expected he'd do (I think he names resigning and handing over Sheridan as being two things in particular).

Marmaduke!
May 19, 2009

Why would it do that!?

McSpanky posted:

Yeah it's pretty great. He gets just a little too much processing power or whatever from the simulation, becomes self-aware and hacks the Big Brother commeinazis so their enemies know what's going on and the space nukes fly.

I've seen this plotline in Star Trek and Doctor Who as well, oh and Black Mirror too... when will fictional programmers stop giving holograms/AIs in their simulations access to the network?!

Iymarra
Oct 4, 2010




Survived AGDQ 2018 Awful Games block!

Grimey Drawer

McSpanky posted:

Yeah it's pretty great. He gets just a little too much processing power or whatever from the simulation, becomes self-aware and hacks the Big Brother commeinazis so their enemies know what's going on and the space nukes fly.

Yeah. His holo/AI representation is designed just as Garibaldi is, so of course he goes digging into their computer systems and welp wouldn'tcha know it..

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tastychicken
Jul 17, 2007
Title text goes here

I feel this sums up Garibaldi....

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