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Sleeping in Light --- did you/do you cry?

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  • Sleeping in Light --- did you/do you cry?

    I was quite surprised actually. The first time I watched SIL I bawled my eyes out. It was just too much. The station being blown up! NOOOOO! Very, very emotional ending.

    But that was the first time, and I thought next time I'll be ready.

    Eh, yeah...

    Last week FX came to the end of the season 5 and I watched it again. I was bawling again! It surprised me until I realised what the main factor was. It wasn't the station blowing up (although that WAS upsetting), or everyone saying goodbye. The main catalyst for the tears was...

    ... the music. God bless Christopher Franke (and I don't even believe in God --- wonder if he believes in me?) for a stirring, heartstring-plucking and dramatically draining soundtrack to the last moments of our favourite show. Great Maker! Some of his finest work on the series (and with the calibre of CF's music throughout the seasons, that's high praise indeed), totally unexpected and just blew any emotional walls and barriers apart like the Shadows attacking a log cabin. A perfect musical accompaniment to what was probably the perfect ending, and certainly the finest finale to any series I have ever seen (shared with the last few seconds of Blackadder Goes Forth), before or since.

    In many ways I don't think Christopher gets the credit he should for his contribution to the series. Imagine Earth Force One exploding just off the transfer point at Io, without his wonderful, dramatic, heart-wrenching music (which became the core of the season three theme), or his tense accompaniment to the "plunge" scene at the end of "Fall of night", or indeed anywhere in the series. In some very real ways, CF helped make Babylon 5 the true masterpiece it became, and I think we should all acknowledge his genius for that.

    But back to the title: come on all you tough guys, admit it! Didya cry watching SIL the first, second, third or more time? I think I'm going to have the same reaction every time I watch it, no matter how long an interval is in between. Some very few things in the world just have that raw, emotional power that doesn't dim with time, and just gets more poignant every time you relive the experience.

  • #2
    Oh, yeah, I cry. Not always really hard but there are points where there are tears.

    I agree with you about Franke's score for SiL, but the acting was top-notch, too. One of my big tear moments is the look in Delenn's eyes as Sheridan pulls away from their final embrace. And the pillow-hug. And her reaching out yearning, both as he leaves and then as the sun rises.

    Yeah. I cry.

    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization we're seeing now.


    • #3
      The first time I watched it I cried a bit. Every time it got worse so now I rarely watch it.
      Flying around the room under my own power.


      • #4
        I cry every time I see Sleep in Light. I also cried when I saw Changeling and Up.


        • #5
          I do pretty good, but can never make it past the sunrise conversation. That scene is actually what made my wife fall in love with me because i made her watch it with me. To this day, 9 years later, all it takes is me saying "Sun's comin' up" or referring to her as "The brightest star in my sky" to get one or both of us sniffling during the show.
          I agree it was excellent acting across the board.
          There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against such power, governments, and kingdoms, and conquerors cannot stand.
          WE WILL BE FREE!


          • #6

            I watched it only three times (broadcast, re-broadcast, DVD).

            I'm still preparing for my fourth.
            Babylon 5 Animations


            • #7
              Originally posted by Zoltan View Post

              I watched it only three times (broadcast, re-broadcast, DVD).

              I'm still preparing for my fourth.
              No avoiding getting misty-eyed. The raw emotional power of the episode is overwhelming.

              And yes - it is a combination of causes, like indicated by the others.
              Jan from Denmark

              My blog :


              "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"


              • #8
                OK it's time for confessions. Yes I did shed a few tears. I try not to watch that episode when my wife is around because she can't understand why I would get emotional over something like Babylon 5.


                • #9
                  It is just so well written, well paced and beautifully acted. The way everyone reacts when they finally get the news they have been dreading.

                  But the final 'good-bye' conversation between Sheridan and Delenn is just heart wrenching. As a well acted and fantastically written piece of drama it is pitch perfect. The thought of two individuals, who love each other passionately and really have become one, having to face the inevitable moment of good-bye.

                  There is clear pain, sorrow and regret there. Mira is such a great actress, but never better than in this scene. And Bruce carries his emotions with great skill too, showing exactly the right balance of love, pain and dignity.

                  The whole thing is just a demonstration of class from start to finish, played with great honesty but also a loving and subtle respect, but always with class. You don't need to see these two people sucking each other's faces to know that they are in love, to know that this separation is their most dreaded moment. You can tell that Delenn loves John by the way she agrees with him in that it must be that his uniform has 'shrunk' whilst in storage - and not that he might have put on a pound or two.

                  That whole sequence leads upto the final embrace. You can just see them holding on for dear life, not wanting to let go of each other because they know what it means for them both. Dear lord, what a performance of power. Just perfect, even down to the definitive Franke musical cue.

                  I defy anyone to have a dry eye!

                  Just a final comment on how important the direction and pacing of an episode is. If you watch it again, the whole structure of the episode is designed to point to that emotional climax - at least, it seems so to me - what comes after is more-or-less the epilogue of the episode. Sheridan travels beyond the rim with the First Ones and Lorien, and we are left with Delenn who keeps him alive with her through her cherished memories.

                  If you interrupt that pacing, it totally destroys the episode. On any other, you have a good chance of picking up the story from more or less where you might have had to leave it.

                  Try that with SLEEPING IN LIGHT and it kills it stone dead. That is exactly what happened when I first watched it with my mum and sister. I'd told them that it was a really emotional episode and they were quite 'up' for it. During playback of the disk, there was an telephone interruption just before that pivotal 'last good-bye' scene. Half an hour later they watched the end of it and...nothing!

                  I convinced them to give it a couple of days and that we then watched it again. This we did, and this time...(sneakily, I'd already turned the ringer off on the telephone!) the pacing was intact and so the tears flowed like Niagara.

                  A brilliant series end.
                  Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
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                  • #10
                    No. Absultely not. Never. And no matter what you've heard, it's really just allergies. That happen to kick in when that show is on the TV. Really.

                    "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                      I know a lot of people cry after watching Sleeping In Light, but I really haven't, the one that makes me cry is Walking Through Gethsemane (or however you spell it) Again the acting by all is incredible, JMS treats the whole subject incredibly well, IMO. Except for Lyta coming back, though, it doesn't have a thing to do with any of the arc, but it's quality of that type that make B5 such a great body of work that it is.
                      That's my quote from about a year ago. I actually feel happy towards the end because Lorien coming to take John away seems like a really joyful thing, to me at least. All of the wonders he's experienced of this life an now he's gone to the next life to even more.

                      B5 going boom isn't any more upsetting to me than watching a car get compacted, but the music is incredible.
                      "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                      "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                      "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                        B5 going boom isn't any more upsetting to me than watching a car get compacted, but the music is incredible.
                        For me, the destruction of the station evoked a response in me similar to how I felt when our family sold our childhood home and we drove away for the final time. Nothing took anything away from the memories we had from there, but there wouldn't be any more new memories and that made me sad. Throw in a bit of a feeling that the station got a Viking funeral and...I cried. But I love that scene and can watch it over and over.

                        And that's the thing. Even though I cry, it's not a sad ending. It's a very satisfying ending, I think.

                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization we're seeing now.


                        • #13
                          The first time that I went all the way through the series I was completely unprepared for the way that it ended. You have Sheridan and Delenn's first day on Minbar, Sheridan recording a message for their child to listen to after he is gone (this was probabaly foreshadowing, but I wasn't paying attention).

                          And then suddenly 19 years have passed and it's Sheridan's last day on earth. I felt so cheated, like I had missed out on so much of their life together. They didn't even show their son.

                          Yes, it was very emotional too. I felt like I would if a person I knew had died. I cried a lot, and I rarely ever do. But I felt as if they were filming the episode to evoke as much sadness as is possbile, too. On a sidenote I also stayed up all night too to finish the series, and it was the second all nighter I had pulled for Babylon 5 in recent days. I had a very hard day at work. I also felt extremely depressed for a while. And supremely dissatified.

                          Reading the Centauri trilogy helped a little, as well as the lost tales, seeing a little bit of what I had missed. Right away though I had to go back all the way through the series for the second time, and so for my second viewing I was more prepared for it. Everything I watched I watched with the awareness of how it ended. And so I feel more positively about the episode than I did the first time.

                          Now I can see the foreshadowing for it all the way through the series beginning with Londo's comment on his death in 20 years in the first eppie of season one. And now I see that it ended the way it was meant to end, and I don't mind it as much. I can even see the depth and the beauty in it. I will always and forever prefer the way Farscape ended their series, however. But sleeping in light was the perfect ending for B5.


                          • #14
                            Well for me, the first time I watched, the tears burst out when B5 ws destroyed. It was so unexpected, and seemed so brutal. For five years realtime we had watched events unfold around this station, had seen history, and prehistory, destiny and fate, war and death and hope and love and tragedy and fear and vindication and defeat and victory, all set to the backdrop of this (let's be honest) not exactly beautiful hunk of metal spinning in space, "all alone in the night".

                            And now, we were saying goodbye.

                            But we weren't just saying goodbye. It was being destroyed. This beacon of hope, this bastion of light, this fortress of all that was good and positive in humanity, having done its job superbly, was not being quietly retired, made into a spaceborne museum or even getting the 23rd century equivalent of a "preservation order". No, it was being blown up.

                            It just seemed so cruel, so unfair, and so god-damn ungrateful. It was like watching an old dog who has given years of faithful service be put down.

                            Terrible. I hated the idea, and as the station exploded in fire I exploded in tears.

                            I think, too, it was the awful realisation that this WAS the end. There was no going back now, no coming back. This wasn't cancellation (which can be, and has been on occasion, reversed) --- this was ending. Ending with a capital E. It was, as Bob Seger once sung, the famous final scene.

                            And it hurt.
                            It hurt big time.
                            It still does.

                            I really think Babylon 5 should have been preserved as a floating museum in space, so that people of all races could (still) come and meet there, see the shining example of hope and faith that had held the galaxy together during the very worst wars it had ever experienced.

                            Would that have been a bad thing?


                            • #15
                              Well maybe if they decided to do a second series they could just pretend like it wasn't desroyed and then we could have Babylon 5: the next generation.

                              I would be willing to forget if it meant a new series. We could have David all grown up, as a ranger stationed on B5 or something like that. Mary Garibaldi could be all grown up and be on 5 as a new security force cadet, and she and David could have an epic romance. LOL

                              I would watch it.