Recap and Discussion for 4 x 22 – The Deconstruction of Falling Stars
This is an odd episode, to say the least.
It begins with John and Delenn arriving back on Babylon 5 with a Just Married sign on their ship. Everyone is jubilant and partying. Londo notes that Centauri celebrate funerals while weddings are very somber occasions.
John assures Delenn that everything will settles down and what they’ve done will endure.
We realize that this is a video feed as it breaks up into static.
We hear a computerized voice saying it is retrieving video records for 2262 through 3262…
A few weeks after the end of the war, three people discuss, on ISN, John Sheridan. One thinks the ISA might succeed while one, who was a Clark supporter, says it will fail and they third says time will tell. They argue and talk over one another.
The record ends and goes to the next one. We see the face of the viewer.
2362 - 100 years later
A newscast. A discussion of John and Delenn. One panelist says they really didn’t DO anything themselves. They were simply the catalyst and others did all the work.
There is footage of everything that went wrong on Babylon 5. We see a hostage situation and Sheridan refusing to deal with terrorists.
After they discuss the fact that Delenn cannot be alive, she walks in and basically tells them that they overrate themselves and that John was
a good man.
2762 – 500 years later
We see a hologram of a conference room on Babylon 5. A man is speaking. We get the idea really quick that he is representative of a new world order, one similar to that of Orwell’s 1984. He is going to ‘deconstruct’ Delenn, Sheridan, Franklin and Garibaldi to make their images work better in this new world, where they will be made into something horrible so his regime will have an easier time when they take over.
Oddly enough, the Garibaldi construct is a little too Garibaldi-like. They make John into a monster who kills prisoners, Franklin a mad scientist trying to create hybrids and using children to do it.
Before he can do anything with Delenn and Garibaldi, Garinaldi acts by sending the man’s speech about deconstruction out to his opposition and the ISA supporters call an attack on the military installations where the overthrow is being planned… just so happens they are at a military base.
3262 – 1000 years later
Monks! A monk is speaking into a recorder on the wall and someone knocks. It’s a young scribe who says he has a crisis of faith. The church in Rome will not accept them. They are tasked with record keeping since all technology was lost in the Great Burn, which was the war that Garibaldi’s construct seemed to have help start.
The young man has trouble with believing that the Rangers will one day come to save them. Brother Alwyn tells the young man that he must have faith and reason to survive and that for all he knows, there might be Rangers among them already. The young man is satisfied and leaves.
Brother Alwyn talks to the camera and we realize he is a Ranger walking among the people. He thinks now might be a good time to reintroduce the gasoline engine. He thinks the young man, Brother Michael, might be a good recruit.
1 million years have passed
The computer says it has gathered and archived all the records for a million years. The watcher tells the computer to carry the records to new Earth, where he will go shortly as well. It reminds him to leave soon as the sun is about to go out. He comments on the earth swallowed in fire. He says they have created the world their ancestors would have wanted and have kept the records. He then turns into a bright light and moves into an encounter suit not unlike those of the Vorlons and flies away in a ship that looks a bit like a Vorlon ship.
Back in 2262, Sheridan wonders if they’ll be remembered. Delenn reminds him they did what they did because it was the right thing to do.
Title card at the ending of episode: “DEDICATED TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO PREDICTED THAT THE BABYLON PROJECT WOULD FAIL IN ITS MISSION. - FAITH MANAGES.”
JMS himself that this was remain at the end of the ep no matter what. "This is how the world ends: swallowed in fire, but not in darkness. You will live on: the voice of all our ancestors, the voice of our fathers and mothers to the last generation. We created the world we think you would've wished for us. And now we leave the cradle for the last time."
The man as Earth’s destruction.
President John Sheridan: ...and I was wondering if they will remember us in hundred years from now or a thousand. And I figure probably not.
Delenn: But it does not matter. We did what we did because it was right and not to be remembered. And history will attend to itself; it always does.
1. Were you initially surprised when you realized you were watching a series of videos?
2. Do ‘goodfacts’ sound suspiciously like newspeak or alternate truth?
3. Which bit was your favorite?
4. WAS John just a self-serving megalomaniac? Was Delenn’s simply his best cheerleader/
5. Did you catch the Sheridan as Christ bit in the monk scene? He died, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven? Well, he did, didn’t he?
6. Most people love or hate this one. Which camp are you in? Why?
My answers to the questions:
1. I was, even this last time. For a second I thought the DVd was corrupted. It’s been a while since I saw it.
2. I hate it when governments or politicians twist the truth to suit their own needs. We and they all do this to an extent, I suspect, but to completely ignore the truth and change things to suit your own agenda is despicable and I see it today in our US government more than any time in my 57 years and it find it frightening.
3. The bit with Brother Alwyn. He was very cute and reminded me of Brother Theo. I loved that the Rangers were still working to help mankind.
4. No. He was autocratic and sometimes quite self-righteous, especially after he died, but he did what had to be done to save Earth from Clark and from a darkness that I’m not sure John even understood. Delenn’s defense of him reminded me of Libby Custer’s defense of her husband, George Armstrong Custer, until her death many years after the battle at the Little Bighorn.
5. I kinda liked that bit. It also reminded me of Tolkien and the death and resurrection of Gandalf.
6. I loved it because we do get to see it to the end of earth itself. I like things all tied up.
The Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/088.html
The Babylon Project: http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/The_Deconstruction_of_Falling_Stars