Fall Of Night
Reviewed by Kathryn A (with spoilers)
Again, some people were blown away by this episode, but I wasn't, though it was terribly interesting. I think a number of the surprises didn't astonish me because of various things people had said before I saw it. * I wasn't surprised that we saw Kosh, since I knew we would see him/her/it before the end of the season, and since we hadn't seen it yet, logically, we would see it this episode. * The whole thing with everyone seeing someone different was also not astonishing, since that had already been hinted at on the nets. * We'd already guessed that Kosh was an angel or angel-like being ages ago.
So it was not astonishing.
Another thing that didn't really surprise me was the treaty - though I had fun muttering, as the characters expressed their optimism, "Boy are you in for a big surprise." It wasn't even the mutterings about peace by the grey-haired guy that tipped me off - it was simply the fact that the officials were from the Ministry of Peace rather than somewhere like the Department of Defence, who would be more likely to have the authority and agenda to agree to military action. (Okay, so it might have been the correct department, but the whole government policy so far though the series has been to stay out of war. They weren't going to suddenly change their minds, were they?) All the rest simply confirmed my suspicions.
Of course the parallels with WWII were evocative. Ivanova's narration at the end is spot-on: sometimes peace is the same as surrender. Garibaldi's comment was very pertinent too: Londo is terrifiedly hanging tightly onto a wild horse.
Now for comments on the Kosh incident.
People seem to have overlooked what forced the issue in the first place: the bomb in the transport. I suspected that that Centauri was up to something because of the way the camera kept on focusing on him. But I thought he'd just beat up or stab Sheridan, not blow up the transport. And we don't know why he did it - was it political, military, personal, or something else?
Apart from the obvious, I noticed a few interesting things. I'll have to double-check, but Sheridan didn't see an angelic human - he saw someone bald with Delenn's face. Does that mean that one sees someone you love and/or worship?
Londo saw nothing. Does that mean that Centauri in general would see nothing, or is that an effect on Londo only? If Londo only, is that because he is touched by darkness? Would Morden see nothing? If all Centauri would see nothing, what does that mean? Have the Vorlons not visited their world in the past, is that why they would see nothing? Would this tie in with the apparent lack of Centauri legends about Shadows? The Minbari have legends, the Narn have legends. The humans don't have any obvious legends, but is that because Earth was not a part of such conflicts, or because our legends have been garbled beyond recognition?
Have the the Vorlons manipulated other races to have an instinctive reverence for Vorlons and an instinctive revulsion for Shadows? Does that make the Vorlons wicked, pragmatic, or the victims of a natural tendency to deify that which is not understood? Even if the Vorlons aren't 100% good, I'd much rather chuck my lot in with them than with the Shadows. Wiping out all those Narns could never be justified. Give you what you want? Maybe, but they don't care if it destroys you in the process.