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Further thoughts after a Sunday mostly spent idly in front of the tv...


There's something about the Sheridan/Delenn relationship that just gets to me and 'romantic' doesn't even begin to adequately describe it.

I like the balance of it, that at the centre of this great war there is this love story that is at once very personal and an integral and crucial part of the story.

Maybe I'm reading/watching the wrong things, but I think it's rarely done like that, a relationship that is neither the obligatory, but ultimately negligible romantic sub-plot nor, as is the case with so many epic or mythological love stories, a distracting, disruptive or even destructive force. At the same time there's something almost old-fashioned about this blending of love and politics. On the Babylon 5 Lurker guide someone is quoted asking whether the kiss in 'And The Rock Cried Out...' against the background of the White Star fleet wasn't a bit odd, but it's only logical after 'Comes The Inquisitor' where their willingness to sacrifice themselves for each other saved them and proved them worthy for their task.

I also like how this relationship effectively cuts through all notions of power-(im)balance and gender stereotypes. In art maybe more than in life those are hard to avoid whether they are followed, modified or - more recently - occasionally reversed. Many shows apparently even avoid putting strong, independent women in lasting relationships altogether so as not having to deal with that problem. In the face of what Sheridan and Delenn are to each other, what they're prepared to do for each other, stereotypes and cliches are less than irrelevant here. In many ways Delenn is the driving force, and while I'm not sure if there's any canon information about her age, I keep seeing her as older, at least in human terms, though maybe that feeling is due to the Minbari being an older race. But she wouldn't have succeeded without him; and yet while he may sit in the White Star's captain's chair, whatever she does for him, gives to him, or gives up for him... he became what he is because of her. Through her. In S2 'A Distant Star' Susan gives Sheridan a much needed kick in the ass, but but Delenn gives him a whole different perspective. And to him whatever he does, it's always at least partly tied up with her "I promised Delenn we'd draw a line against the darkness, no matter the cost." ('Severed Dreams')

This is why this 'talk' the Reverend has with Sheridan in 'The Rock Cried Out...' feels so wrong to me, because he's unconsciously attempting to put this relationship in more conventional categories, though presumably he doesn't exactly know who and what she is, or what's really going on. Still, never fell the word 'love' so flat, so short of things. God knows, neither the audience nor Sheridan need to be told at this point that Delenn loves him, or vice versa. We've seen.

There are a lot of good moments...

['A Race Through Dark Places' and the not-date, and Sheridan's conversation with Ivanova afterwards; ''Confessions and Lamentations' ("Don't look away, Captain. All life is transitory, a dream. We all come together in the same place, at the end of time. If I don't see you again here, I will see you, in a little while, in a place where no shadows fall."), when Delenn surprises both him and herself, and later when she comes out of the quarantine zone her silent scream against his shoulder; 'Divided Loyalties', the scene in the garden; 'Severed Dreams' ( "Why not? Only one human captain has ever survived battle with Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else."); The kiss in 'War Without End'; 'Grey 17 Is Missing' when she tells him about her parents]

... but maybe my favourite one is in "Messages from Earth", ("Sleep now. I will watch and catch you if you should fall."), and then, after he tells her about falling asleep to the sound or rain, the exam, his father and the garden-hose, when she, with the utmost grace and simplicity just says the word and commands the sound of rain for him. So beautiful.



Also? Here I was, mentally beating myself up for entertaining even vaguely slashy thoughts, because, you know, B5 is the holy grail, B5 canon is to be worshiped and not to be altered, interpolated or otherwise meddled with, and then I was listening to the cast commentary for 'Interludes And Examinations' and there are Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle and Richard Biggs blithely slashing Garibaldi and Franklin, quipping about 'lost arcs', 'i'm sleeping on the couch tonight', 'this marriage could have been saved'. I never even saw this (what I do see are possibilities for Sinclair/Garibaldi and vague possibilities for Zack/Garibaldi), and now of course it's impossible not to see it. :: headdesk:: And I'm not even touching their commentary on the scene where Sheridan confronts Kosh...


Great. Now it's 2:30 am and I'm not even remotely tired.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
calanthe_b
Mar. 8th, 2004 02:12 am (UTC)
Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle and Richard Biggs blithely slashing Garibaldi and Franklin, quipping about 'lost arcs', 'i'm sleeping on the couch tonight', 'this marriage could have been saved'.

And Marcus/Franklin is canon, dammit, canon! (Don't mind me. Sometimes my SugarQuill experiences have a bad effect on me)...
solitary_summer
Mar. 8th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
ah, S4... still waiting for the dvd release. *sigh* I taped it, but the tapes are in German and I don't really want to switch languages *again*...

It's how these things *stick*, once they're brought to your attention... I was watching 'Shadow Dancing' with a slashy running commentary in the back of my mind. Like Claudia Christian commenting on how thick her eyebrows were, and for episodes every time she came on screen I was staring at her eyebrows. Even if I still thought they were perfectly normal.
calanthe_b
Mar. 8th, 2004 11:33 pm (UTC)
It's how these things *stick*, once they're brought to your attention...

Yes...I'll never be able to watch the swordfight between Innigo and Westley in The Princess Bride again without seeing it as more flirt than fight!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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