“…a long, long time.”

Garibaldi drinks
BABYLON 5: “Phoenix Rising” (1998).

SEPTEMBER 14th 2018 — Our minds work in mysterious ways. Why are we sometimes suddenly reminded of something long in the past, with no obvious trigger for that particular memory? Things just find their own time to happen.

Today for some reason I was reminded of Garibaldi’s alcoholism storyline in BABYLON 5. The actor who portrayed him, Jerry Doyle, passed away in 2016 at the age of 60.

Along with those of G’Kar (the wonderful Andreas Katsulas) and Londo (the equally wonderful Peter Jurasik), his was one of my favorite storylines in this series that for many these days seems to have fallen between the cracks between the latter-day STAR TREKs and Ron Moore’s reimagined BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, which went darker than any popular TV SF series ever.

I just think there was particularly much truthfulness and emotional resonance to Garibaldi’s story, including the story thread of his struggles with alcohol. It was introduced in the first-season episode “Survivors” — still one of the early episodes I remember liking best — and came to play a bigger part later on.

I let my complete VHS collection go many years ago and haven’t repurchased the series since, as I rewatched all of it so many times in my earlier years that I still remember most of it nearly photographically.

From “Survivors”, for example, Garibaldi’s sad, regretful, softly spoken lines about how, long in the past, after a tragic event he crawled inside a bottle and didn’t come out for a long time.

I guess characters with regrets, and the numerous ways they cope or fail to cope with them, will be around, and relatable, as long as we human beings continue to fail so spectacularly and so often at being kind to one another.

Googling some of this today, I also noticed something interesting. In a much later episode, he sings “SHOW ME THE WAY TO GO HOME”, which became one of my favorite songs long after BABYLON 5 — so I didn’t remember it had featured on the show. (More of the interesting workings of our minds.)

Specifically, I came to feel very fondly about this song after a friend posted a few years ago that scene from JAWS with the main characters singing it, badly (that’s why it’s so good), in the little boat at night. I’ve since gone back to watch it again a few times.

One of those rare songs that can bring you up when you really need it.

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