"Journeys End in Lovers Meeting" Review
by Mike Helba
"Journeys End in Lovers Meeting" is a pleasant character-building episode that shies away from Jeremiah's heavy plot arc.
As with "City of Roses", this episode is an opportunity for Malcolm-Jamal Warner to shine as Kurdy. Kurdy becomes enamored with the teachings of David, the charismatic leader of a religious group. He also develops feelings for Constance, one of the women in the group. Kurdy tells Jeremiah that he was several years younger than Jeremiah when the Big Death came. He can barely remember ever having a family, and the thought of feeling like part of a family in this religious group appeals to him.
Jeremiah, of course, is cynical. The obvious question is, are these people pilgrims or a cult? History and the media have led many of us to hold instantly negative views of cults. They never seem to come to a good end. Any religious group with a charismatic leader comes under scrutiny.
Straczynski does not make the scrutiny of this group easy. There's no evidence of abuse on David's part. In fact he is portrayed as very sincere and down-to-earth. His belief in miracles even has a sort of logical basis. However, his honest portrayal comes into conflict with the audience's preconceptions about cult leaders as voiced by Jeremiah.
This episode gives Malcolm-Jamal Warner great opportunity to stretch his acting skills. His journey continues to the point where the cult's vows against violence come into conflict with Kurdy's promise to Jeremiah, and he must make a very difficult decision.
Joe Straczynski is well respected for his ability to portray religion so evenhandedly while being an atheist himself. I am not at all surprised that he left the end of "Journeys End in Lovers Meeting" ambiguous. As a writer, his job is to make the audience think. We must come up with our own answer. Do miracles exist, or is the world darker that we want to imagine? Straczynski goes deeper with a third, subtler question. Does it matter a long as there is hope?
Constance says, "A world without miracles isn't worth saving." That applies to the world we want to live in just as much as Jeremiah's.