2021i25, Monday: sticking the landing.

Approaching the last episode of a long-running TV show is terrifying. Will it be a TNG – or a BSG? A fitting end or a final insult?

Rest in peace: Sorry. Couldn’t let this go by without marking it. Mira Furlan, who was a star (and, with Andreas Katsulas, very much the soul) of Babylon 5, died last week. Nothing much to say that she – or J Michael Straczynski – hasn’t already said. Except thanks. From the depths of my heart, thanks. And may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


Short thought: Anyone who watches TV knows that feeling. A series you love, one that’s taken you places full of emotion, apprehension and excitement, one whose characters have grown and changed and learned and sometimes died, is drawing to an end.

And you’re scared. Because you don’t know if they’re going to stick the landing or not.

Put simply: is it going to be a Next Generation, or a Battlestar Galactica? Will it leave you feeling fulfilled or angry?

Some do both to different people. The Sopranos is probably the greatest case in point: the sudden cut at the end of the final show, with no-one knowing what actually happened, divided fans squarely down the middle. (I never really got into the Sopranos, so this is academic. But I empathise.)

From a genre perspective, I’ve been lucky. DS9 stuck the landing – indeed, the back half of its final season was almost uniformly wonderful. Babylon 5’s final season was patchy, but its last episode was transcendent. Fringe took its aggressive weirdness to the edge, and won. Person of Interest, Orphan Black, Elementary, the Good Place: they all went out on top. 

(Let’s not talk about the shows cut off in their prime. Firefly, Dark Angel: I’m thinking of you, with tears in my eyes.)

So the final season of Star Wars: the Clone Wars was a worry. With the weight of Star Wars mythology to navigate, and Revenge of the Sith ready to ruin everything if it got the chance, would they manage it?

Short answer. Yes. Gloriously. Tragically. With heart and soul.

As always, no spoilers – except to say that anyone with a soft spot for Ahsoka Tano (in other words, all right-thinking people everywhere) is going to love it. The final four episodes in particular comprise in effect one awe-inspiring 90-minute animated feature, that gets almost everything – direction, music, script, character and pace – just right.

If Star Wars means anything to you, anything at all: watch it. 

And be prepared for a tear or two. No shame in that.


Someone is right on the internet: Well, technically someone is good on the internet. 

I mentioned a week or two ago the glory that is RSS – and mentioned too my use of Feedbin as a back-end service to look after my RSS needs. I also mentioned Reeder as my feed-reading app of choice.

That wasn’t always the way. The grandparent of all Mac (and later iOS) RSS apps was NetNewsWire, developed by Brent Simmons. It was a lovely app, and like many other old-line Mac users it was my staple. Brent moved on to other things in around 2011 and sold NNW. And somewhere along the line I discovered Reeder and switched. But NNW was still my RSS gateway app, and Brent is one of the old guard of generous, wonderful developers, whose work I continue to follow with interest and gratitude. 

Brent’s “work” domain was always ranchero.com. He’d never bought NetNewsWire.com back in the day; and so, as humans will, someone else bought it – probably in the hope of making a quick buck flogging it to him. Brent never did so.

But in an instance of truly joy-inspiring humanity Ben Ubois – the creator of Feedbin – has acquired it, and given it to Brent for free. Don’t know what his motive was; but the sight of one RSS pioneer doing something beautiful for another is good for the soul.

I’ve always believed we all have better angels, if we choose to let them fly. Believing that is what keeps me sane, particularly over the past half-decade or so when it’s been a bit tougher to hold onto that article of faith. Things like this restore that faith. Blessings.


(Don’t forget – if visiting a site doesn’t float your boat, you can get this stuff in your inbox. Subscribe at https://remoteaccessbar.substack.com/.)

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