Recap: Babylon Five S 02 E 03 The Geometry Of Shadows
The Geometry of Shadows
- Londo: Vir, do you believe in fate?Vir: Well, actually, I believe there are currents in the Universe. Eddies and tides that pull us one way or the other. Some we have to fight, some we have to embrace. Unfortunately, the currents that we have to fight look exactly like the currents we have to embrace. The currents that we think are the one that's gonna make us stronger, they are the ones that are going to destroy us. And the ones that we think are going to destroy us, they are the ones that are going to make us stronger. Now, the other current...Londo: Vir! Yes or no?Vir: Yes! You know, somewhat, why?
Franklin is examining Garibaldi, despite his tendency to not admit he's still feeling pain. While there, the doctor asks when he's going to take his position back, but Garibaldi isn't sure he should, if he couldn't tell his own second was a traitor.Londo is receiving a visitor, Lord Refa, who is very interested in finding out how Londo managed to solve the Quadrant 37 situation, but Londo's not talking. Refa drops the issue and turns to other matters. The Emperor's son died recently, leaving the line of succession open. He is planning on making a grab for it, and he wants Londo's help. With some persuasion, Londo agrees.Later, after seeing Refa off, Londo notices an oddly-dressed trio of humans coming through security. He calls them Technomages, people who use technology to create the appearance of magic. They aren't usually seen and are considered by some to be an omen.Meanwhile, Sheridan and a newly-promoted Commander Ivanova are watching as a fight between groups of Drazi wearing two different colored scarves is broken up. He tells her that he wants her to deal with the minor diplomatic situations as part of her new responsibilities, starting with the Drazi. She looks at the riotous Drazi on the screen and sighs.Vir finds Londo in a bar, deep in thought. He recounts how the first emperor of the Republic received the blessing of three Technomages, and he has the idea to get an image of himself with one of them, something that would hold a lot of sway back home. He tells Vir to arrange a meeting, then leaves. Vir, not looking forward to meeting them, drinks the rest of Londo's drink, and falls right over.Garibaldi is in his quarters playing with a gun, when Sheridan comes in. The two talk and the captain urges him to come retake his position, saying he knows the station better than anyone else, but says ultimately it's his decision.Ivanova has gathered the Drazi in chambers to begin working out their problems, but first she just has to find out just what the problem is, which the Drazi don't make easy.
- Purple Leader: Green!Green Leader: Purple!
- Elric: We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things. Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever, seven words to make them go without pain, how to say goodbye to a friend who is dying, how to be poor, how to be rich, how to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you. That is why we are going away, to preserve that knowledge.
- Elric: As I look at you, Ambassador Mollari, I see a great hand reaching out of the stars. The hand is your hand. And I hear sounds, the sounds of billions of people calling your name.Londo: My followers?Elric: Your victims.
This episode contains examples of:
- Aggressive Negotiations: With the Drazi, what else could they be?
- Clarke's Third Law: Deliberately invoked by the Technomages.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Ivanova breaking her leg when the brawling Drazi pile on top of her, despite the fact that she's sympathetic and therefore doesn't qualify for the usual reasons. Perhaps it's her cynical outlook on life that makes it funny? In fact, the whole episode plays around with Comedic Sociopathy, really. Drazi die, but its overshadowed by the sheer humour of the conflict.
- Continuity Nod: Mention is made of a Changeling Net.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Elric's punishment of Londo for attempting to exploit him for personal gain is quite creative. Making the power to his quarters fluctuate, blaring Narn opera through his speakers, and using equation spells to invest Londo's assets in useless companies.
- Driven to Suicide: It's heavily implied that Garibaldi's near this point; when Sheridan visits him, he's popping the energy cap in and out of his PPG. When Garibaldi mentions that maybe it'd be easier if he didn't come back, Sheridan replies that life doesn't give points for taking the easy road.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The voiceover for this season is spoken by Bruce Boxleitner in-character as John Sheridan. However, when it was originally recorded, Boxleitner had nothing but the text to work from. When the footage was put together for the opening credits, Boxleitner asked to re-record the speech to better match the action on the screen, and to do it with more feeling. The improvement between the two takes in incredible.
- Fantastic Racism: Played for Laughs, if you can believe that. Only it's not really racism, but something even more ridiculous. The source of conflict between the two Drazi sides isn't heritage, social class, caste, or anything like that - it's not even skin colour. It's between "green" and "purple", as decided by which color scarf a given Drazi pulls out of a barrel. Ivanova eventually has to dye one side's scarves the other color to keep them from fighting. If they're all purple, there's no feud.
- Foreshadowing: Sheridan's line, "If you took this station back in time a thousand years..."
- For that matter, not only will we see Technomages again, but the next person to talk to one (that we see, at least) will be Sheridan.
- Elric's prophecy gives a fairly accurate prediction of the cost of Londo's ambition, and the fact that the cost will not be shouldered by him alone.
- Lord Refa mentions that the emperor is sick. We find out just how sick in "The Coming of Shadows".
- Hypocritical Humor: After Elric plays a recording of Vir delivering Londo's request for an audience with the Technomages, Londo indignantly complains, "Recording a conversation — a very low thing to do"... as the camera cuts to a view of Londo's own recording device.
- Incredibly Obvious Bug: Londo subtly places one in Sheridan's office moments before greeting Elric. It's fairly small but it's still there in plain sight. Elric notices it and blows it up.
- Loophole Abuse: Ivanova ends the fighting by taking Green Leader's sash, thereby becoming Green Leader. When she asks, she's told that the rules never mention aliens.Former Green Leader: Rules change caught up in committee, not come through yet.
- Loud of War: Elric punishes Londo by blasting Narn Opera into his quarters.
- The Prophecy: As a parting gift (of sorts), Elric tells Londo what he sees of his future:"As I look at you, Ambassador Mollari, I see a great hand reaching out of the stars. The hand is your hand. And I hear sounds — the sounds of billions of people calling your name."
- On Second Thought: When Vir first proposes that Londo apologize to Elric, Londo scoffs at the suggestion. After the holodemon forces yet another investment in a useless company, Londo reconsiders.
- Shout-Out: the Technomages are made of them - the one we meet is named Elric, and he paraphrases, among other things, The Lord of the Rings, Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
- Silly Reason for War: From a human perspective, anyway.
- Survival Mantra: As the Technomage's monster advances on him:Vir: My name is Vir Cotto, diplomatic attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic...My name is Vir Cotto, diplomatic attache to Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic...MY NAME IS VIR COTTO...
- Take Our Word for It: Apparently, the imps attached to the back of Londo's jacket after his apology did some damage to his quarters. We never actually see the damage, though.
- Written-In Infirmity: Claudia Christian broke her foot in a skiing accident shortly before taping began on this episode. As a result, this episode had to be rewritten around her injury. (Contrary to a popular rumor, her foot was not injured during the fight scene that broke out among the Drazi, though her shout of pain was because someone landed on her already-broken foot.)
- You Are in Command Now: Again, a humorous case; Ivanova accidentally becomes leader of the green Drazi by taking the leader's sash.