B5, Best Episodes. Final Season

Woo! Finally, I get to the last installment of B5’s best episodes. After eleven posts, I think I’ve finally done this show justice. I tell ya, I didn’t think it was possible to overdose on your favorite show, but just to be safe, I’ll be taking a break from it for the next little while. But first, I have one final season to talk about. The fifth and final season of Babylon 5, where the show reached its grand epilogue and established plot threads that would be picked up in subsequent TV movies and the series Crusade. Granted it didn’t pan out, but what can you do?

Anyway, here are the best episodes, as selected by yours truly…

1. A View from the Gallery:
The entire episode takes place from the point of view of two maintenance workers aboard B5, Mack and . A crisis takes place involving a marauding species named theĀ  who are moving through the sector and attacking everything that moves. As Captain and crew deal with the crisis, Mack andĀ  run about, putting out fires and dealing with the aftermath. In the course of things, they come across Lockley, Sheridan, Delenn, G’Kar, Londo, and just about everybody else and get to play the flies on the wall.

Significance:
This episode was both creative and a big change of pace for the show. Ordinarily, we see things from the perspective of the main characters, the central figures who make the big decisions. This time around, its like watching Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, where the secondary characters who do their thing while the main ones carry on with the plot. And while it really didn’t advance the overall plot of the show, it was a fun watch, with lots of action and good dialogue!

Memorable Lines:
Mack: (sees Mack cross himself) When did you get religious?
Bo:
I’m not, just respect, that’s all. Every time we get a red star born out there, somebody’s life ends.

Bo: Sure looks pretty (referring to a White Star)
Mack:
You think?
Bo:
Hell yeah, what do you think?
Mack:
Me? I always thought they looked like plucked chickens. Hey, it’s not my fault they were designed that way.

Byron:(looking at helmet) A fellow of infinite jest, I knew him Horatio.
Mack: It’s Mack, actually.

Byron: At the moment of death there is a passing of energy, an explosion of consciousness. It permeates everything in close proximity… your clothes, jewelry… anything. We can still feel him – what he was, what he did, his hopes, and fears, and expectations. It’s still there for a minutes, then it will disappear… joining him in silence.

Londo: What, are you afraid I won’t come back G’Kar?
G’Kar:
No, afraid you will.
Mack:
(to bo) So… how long you figure they been married?

Mack: Hey, did you see that smile? I mean it was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud.
Bo: I did indeed. Suddenly, I think I understand Sheridan a lot better.
Mack: How do you mean?
Bo: Well, dead or alive, I’d climb my way out of hell and through ten miles of solid rock to see that smile again.

Mack: Bo?
Bo
: Yeah?
Mack
: She remembered my name.
Bo
: Our names.
Mack
: I think I’m in love.
Bo
: She’s married.
Mack
: Eh. We can work something out.

2. In the Kingdom of the Blind:
Londo returns to Centauri Prime and finds that something is amiss. On the one hand, warship production is up, and any and all matters pertaining to military planning are being reclassified so that only the Regent has access to it. In addition, Londo meets with an old friend who tells him that the Regent himself is acting very strangely. After being some hints that he is being controlled by a Keeper, his friend turns up dead shortly thereafter. His death is made to look like a suicide, but Londo doesn’t buy it. Upon further investigation, Londo finds that there is a plot to murder him. The attempt fails however when an unidentified alien intervenes and kills the would-be assassin. Finally, he meets with the Regent who tells him in no uncertain terms that there is an alien influence at work, and that soon enough, he will meet with “them”. In the end, Londo decides to leave, and wonder what the whole deal with their military vessels could be about. The episode ends with a Centauri warship destroying an Brakiri merchant ship.

Back on B5, Byron and the colony of free telepaths aboard the station learn from Lyta that the Vorlons had a hand in engineering them. This news serves to infuriate them seeing as how telepaths had always been told they were special and responsible for their own gifts. Byron decides to blackmail the Alliance council into granting them extradition to a new homeworld since the Alliance is responsible for cleaning up the mess from the Shadow War. This move causes tensions to escalate between the telepaths and the Alliance and violence begins to break out.

Significance:
This episode picks up where things left off in season four, where it was made clear that the Drakh were heading to Centauri Prime to wreak their revenge on the Centauri for betraying them. That revenge appears to involve controlling the Regent and preparing the planet for war against the other Alliance members. The colony of free telepaths and Byron’s own history with the Psi Corps was established in previous episodes. For some time, Sheridan and Captain Lockley have been protecting them from the Psi Cops. However, now that they are blackmailing the council, that protection has now evaporated and its only a matter of time before the Psi Cops close in on them.

Memorable Lines:
Minister Vatelli: (referring to G’Kar) And I see you brought your own entertainment with you! An excellent idea… and quite brave of you to let him so close without keeping him in chains. Perhaps we should change that. Just a few chains to make the others more comfortable before we put him in a cell.
Londo: He is my bodyguard.
Vatelli: Well it’s good to know that his excellencies sense of humor is intact after such aĀ  long voyage.

Regent:You do understand, Jano, that if it were my decision, that I would never let anyone harm you, I would never let anyone hurt you.Ā  If it were my decision… But it’s not my decision, you see (Jano is killed by the Drakh). Not my decision at all!

G’Kar: Tell me, Minister. If i were to strike you, which would you be angry at? The hand that struck you, or the heart that commanded it?… The hand has no choice but to do as it is told. It is the heart that carries the burden. And that heart is dead in both of us, Minister. It died with Cartagia, and it died in me soon after. Besides, everyone knows that the true source of pain is neither the hand nor the heart… it is the mouth. Is it not, Minister?

Garibaldi: Never, ever, ever trust a telepath. I swear to you, I’m gonna have that tattooed inside my eyelids.

Sheridan: But they did it in the wrong way, the inconvenient way.
Delenn: I seem to recall the Earth president saying the same thing to you, after your civil war (leaves).
Sheridan: I hate that she has a memory, don’t you?
Garibaldi: Damned inconvenient!

3. Pheonix Rising:
Bester and the Psi Cops arrive on the station to deal with the colony of rogue telepaths. After a tense standoff where people are killed and Garibaldi and the medlab are taken hostage, Byron kills himself in order to end the crisis. Heartbroken, but vigilant, Lyta takes his place as their leader and pledges to continue the fight he started. “Remember Byron” becomes their motto. While he’s on board, Garibaldi also takes the opportunity to corner Bester and threaten him. He tells him to confess everything he did to him, or he’ll shoot him with his PPG. Bester, refuses, but when Garibaldi tries to kill him, he finds that he can’t pull the trigger. Bester then reveals that he put a neural block on him to ensure that he would never be able to harm him. Between that and the hostage crisis, Garibaldi feels completely helpless and starts drinking again.

Significance:
With Byron dead, Lyta begins to plot the destruction of the Psi Corps, which will lead to the Telepath War that was hinted at in Season 4’s final episode. Garibaldi’s own role in this is assured thanks to Bester, who’s level 12 neural block can only be removed by a telepath of equal or stronger power. When he naturally turns to Lyta for help, she forces him to use his skills and resources to amass money for her cause, and two become unwitting partners.

Memorable Lines:
Bester: Every race to develop telepaths has had to find some way to control them, through laws, religion, drugs, or extermination. We may not be pretty, but we’re a hell of a lot better than the alternatives.

Sheridan: There’s only thing more dangers than Mr. Garibaldi when he’s loud. It’s when he’s dead silent.

Bester: Let me ask you something, Mr. Garibaldi. Purely philosophical question. On a scale of one to ten… how stupid do you think I am, anyway? Do you really think I’d let you run around, knowing what you know, and leave you free to kill me?
Garibaldi: What have you done to me?
Bester: I’ve hit you with an Asimov.

4. Darkness Ascending:
Lise surprises Garibaldi with a visit to B5. She finds that he is drinking and asks him to stop, which he agrees to. However, he finds he cannot maintain that pledge and secretly gets drunk during her time aboard. Meanwhile, Lennier and the Rangers are busy trying to determine who is responsible for the attacks on Alliance shipping. After traces some communications through hyperspace, he witnesses an attack by several Centauri warships on a convoy. He records the whole thing and hands it over to Sheridan, who tells Garibaldi about it since he’s head of Covert Intelligence. Garibaldi asks Lise to leave the station, saying that “barring an act of God”, they will going to war with the Centauri.

Significance:
After much investigation and hints being laid that the Centauri are responsible for the attacks, the Alliance now has the proof it needs. This will serve to isolate the Centauri, trigger a war between them and the Alliance, and thus make them helpless and dependent on the Drakh, which has been their plan all along. Garibaldi’s drinking is also getting out of control and threatening his work and his marriage, which will have consequences as the Alliance finds itself in the midst of a crisis.

Memorable Lines:
Sheridan: Damn it Delenn, I have been working up a good mad all day and I am not about to let you undercut it by agreeing with me.

Londo: You’d think they don’t trust us.
Vir: I don’t think anyone trusts anyone right now, Londo.
Londo: (laughs) You say that like its a bad thing. No one really trusts anyone, Vir. It’s the natural order of things. But up until now, its never interfered with business.

Londo: Gambling no longer has any appeal for me. When every day is a risk, cards and dice are not quite as interesting as they used to be.

Garibaldi: All I know is I am tired of being controlled. Controlled by others, by fear, by my past, by what everybody else expects of me, and its enough! Now this… this is my own private little act of rebellion, yeah. I may not be able to control what other people to do to me but I can at least be in control of what I do to myself.
Lise: So you don’t mind going off the road as long as you’re behind the wheel when it happens, is that it?

Lyta: As I recall, you made me a proposition. If I gave you access to my DNA to help your people develop telepaths, you would see to it that I was… oh, how did you put it? Um, that I would be compensated quite handsomely.
G’Kar: It was either to be a cloning of your genetic material or a… a direct mating. Pity, we never did find out what your pleasure threshold is.

Lyta: Oh, and you mentioned wondering what my pleasure threshold was. I just recently found out… I don’t have one. Have a very, very nice day G’Kar.

Garibaldi: Barring an act of God ā€” and since I don’t believe in God, that kind of narrows the odds a bit ā€” by this time tomorrow, we’re gonna be at war with the Centauri.

5. And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder:
The Alliance holds an emergency council whereby they declare that the Centauri are responsible for the attacks on their shipping. Forced to answer to these allegations, Londo denounces the proof and issues a declaration on behalf of his world. They will not recognize the embargo that is now being placed on them and will challenge it with military force, if necessary. War seems inevitable now, and all sides dig in and prepare for the worst. Sheridan tells Garibaldi to position the White Star fleet to respond and intervene in any conflicts between the Centauri and any of the member worlds.

Zack discovers Garibaldi is drinking and tries to help, but to no avail. Sympathizing and knowing that Garibaldi looked out for him in the past, he agrees not to report him. However, this leads Garibaldi to get drunk and fall asleep at the wheel when the Rangers detect a Centauri fleet challenging the blockade into Drazi space, and a firefight ensues. With the Drazi now demanding blood, Sheridan has no choice but to declare war on the Centauri.

On Centauri Prime, the declaration of war is announced to Londo and the Minister of War tells him that G’Kar, his bodyguard, must be locked away for security reasons. Londo refuses and says that where G’kar goes, he goes, which only manages to get them both locked up! Alone together in a cell, Londo broods that things are spiralling out of control and worries how it will all end.

Significance:
After much build-up, the war between the Alliance and the Centauri is finally happening, as the Drakh had hoped. Outnumbered and outgunned, they are sure to be defeated, which will lead to the devastation of their planet – which was previewed in season three when Sheridan became “unstuck in time”. We also get further indications of Garibaldi’s alcoholism and how it is effecting his job. This, in turn, will lead to his dismissal down the road and Lise’s insistence that he go with her back to Mars where he will begin helping her run Edgar Industries, and massing funds for Lyta’s coming war with the Psi Corps.

Memorable Lines:
Centauri Minister
: Is that why you brought it (G’Kar) along?
Londo
: No, he is still here as my bodyguard, that’s all. Where I go, he goes.
Centauri Minister
: My condolences.
G’Kar
: Thank you. It’s a burden, but I’ve come to accept it.

Centauri Minister: I’m sure you would like to freshen up. Both of you.
G’Kar
: It’s a natural musk. I rather enjoy it.

Londo: Careful minister, we don’t want my companion to get the wrong idea. We don’t normally treat our guests so badly.
G’Kar
: Yes you do.
Londo
: Shut up.

Londo: Where he goes, I go.

Londo: (to G’Kar) Don’t worry. Even one as arrogant as this would not take it upon himself to imprison his own prime minister.
(next scene, Londo and G’Kar are in a prison cell)
Londo
: Shut up.
G’Kar
: I didn’t say anything.

Delenn: We are all born as molecules in the hearts of a billion stars. Molecules that do not understand politics or policies or differences. Over a billion years, we foolish molecules forget who we are and where we came from. In desperate acts of ego, we give ourselves names, fight over lines on maps, and pretend that our light is better than everyone else’s.

6. Movements of Fire and Shadow:
The war between the Alliance and the Centauri is raging, with both sides taking heavy losses. However, according to Vir, the bodies of the Centauri crews that are shot down in Drazi space are not being returned to them. He meets with Franklin and Lyta and asks them if they will investigate for him. Lyta agrees, but only if Vir is willing to pay a substantial sum. They travel to the Drazi homeworld where they find that the ships in question had no crews, but were instead being piloted by Shadow remote devices, which the Drazi were keeping a secret so they could study them. When Sheridan hears of this, he realizes that the Centauri have been set up and tries to fly to the Centauri homeworld to warn them before its too late.

While on her way to Mimbar to discuss a new joint Earth-Mimbari warship program, Delenn’s White Star is attacked by several Centauri vessels and disabled. She and Lennier are the only ones left alive on board and begin to drift. At the same time, the Narn and Drazi agree to a joint mission to attack the Centauri homeworld. This mission is in defiance of Sheridan and the Alliance Council, but after a Centauri remote ship tries to destroy the B5 jump gate, they come to the conclusion that Sheridan doesn’t have the stomach for a real war. They amass a fleet and fly to Centauri, just as Londo escapes from his cell and finds the Regent waiting in his quarters. He tells Londo that his time is almost up, but before he dies, he had only final duty: to shut down the planetary defense network in preparation for the coming attack. Londo runs and tries to stop it, but is helpless to do anything in time. The Narn-Drazi fleet begins bombarding the surface with impunity.

Significance:
The Drakh’s involvement in the war, as well as their use of captured Shadow technology, is revealed. The devastation of Centauri Prime, previewed in season three, now takes place. This will end the war, embitter the Centauri, and make them useful pawns to the Drakh, who need them isolated and angry so that they will allow them to operate from their homeworld. The Regent is also near death, which means Londo will become their puppet soon, something else that was previewed in season three. Sheridan also speaks with Delenn in this episode about creating a new class of warship – a White Star Destroyer. These ships will prove important in the coming Drakh War and are a focal point in the tv movie A Call to Arms and the series Crusade.

Memorable Lines:
Sheridan:
The White Stars are authorized to open fire on any Centauri warship engaged in combat with Alliance vessels. Any hopeĀ  of neutrality Babylon 5 had up until now… just went up in smoke!

Vir: As you know, our ships have been in combat with… well, just about everyone really. Our biggest losses have been in Drazi space. They are really good fighters! Not terrific conversationalists and there table manners could make you go blind in one eye but… really tough behind the weapons consoles.

Mollari
: No. I said where you go, I go. It’s become a matter of principle.
G’Kar
: You picked a terrible moment in your social evolution to develop principles. Perhaps you can start with something simpler. The moral equivalent of the opposable thumb, for instance.

G’Kar: I woke up when I thought I heard the expected angry mob coming to storm the palace on your behalf. But it was just you. Did you know that you snore?
Londo: I have to get out of here!
G’Kar: Yes, that’s what I’ve been saying for some time now.
Londo:
No, I have to get out now. I have this feeling… Something is terribly wrong…
G’Kar: You’re at war with everyone in the known universe. Perhaps its that.

Londo: Thank you! Who knew they could make such a stench! Great Maker, I don’t even want to think about it! I couldn’t stay in there a moment longer! And the smell was not the worst of it. It was the burning in my eyes! I think my buttons are melting!

Franklin: He said the room service is good and the food is cheap and… the staff is friendly.
Lyta: Meaning the food stinks, the rooms are small, and the staff will knife you in the back when you’re not looking.
Franklin: Exactly!

7. The Fall of Centauri Prime:
In the midst of the bombardment, Londo finally meets with the Regent and the Drakh leader. They tell him everything – about the destruction of Z’ha’dum, their search for a new homeworld, and their plans to use Centauri Prime as their new base. Londo is made to comply when they tell him that they have placed fusion bombs in the planet’s crust, and will detonate them if he doesn’t become their new puppet. Given the bombardment, they figure no one will notice a few extra craters. He agrees, Londo takes on the Keeper, and becomes Emperor after the Regent dies.

Meanwhile, Delenn’s vessel is found in hyperspace by a Centauri vessel under Drakh command. They are about to attack, but Londo convinces them not to. Thinking they are about to die, Lennier confesses his love, but she pretends not to have heard when the Centauri ship begins towing them to safety. Sheridan lands on Centauri Prime and meets with Londo. He turns over Delenn and Lennier to him, safe and sound. When Sheridan tells him about what he has learned about the Shadow devices, Londo lies and says that the Regent bought them on the black market. He rejects Sheridan’s offer for a rapprochement and is told that Centauri Prime must pay reparations as the instigator of the war. Londo denounces this publicly, but is forced to comply. He says goodbye to them and G’Kar, whom he does not expect to see again until he will die.

Significance:
The war ends and Londo has become emperor, as he has long foreseen. The Drakh are now free to pursue their plans for revenge against the Alliance, and Sheridan and Delenn in particular. While examining one of the Shadow devices, Sheridan, Franklin, and Lyta reflect on how the universe is now full of abandoned technology that is extremely powerful and dangerous, should it fall into the wrong hands. They draw a comparison to Earth after the fall of the Soviet Union, when people feared that Russian nukes might hit the open market. Lyta also reveals that they will one day be admitted to the Vorlon homeworld, which is currently impossible given all the automated defenses that shoot anything down. Though she’s not sure how she knows, she claims it will be one million years before humanity has proven itself ready.

Memorable Lines:
Regent:
They said, ‘the Shadows were our masters. We served them, believed in them, loved them. Then they went away, and left us behind, to escape on our won. But without our masters, who are we? In the end, what are we but –
Drakh:
A shadow of a shadow… an echo of what was?

Drakh: You are now what we need you to be. A beaten, resentful people who will have to rebuild. Who will have to rely on our good graces. Who can be used and guided as we wish to guide you. Perfect ground for us to do our work… quietly… quietly.
Londo: No I will not allow it!
Regent: Yes, you will, as I did. You see, Londo, they learn quickly. They learned from the Shadows and they learned… from you. They’ve planted fusion bombs throughout Centauri Prime. Unless they get what they want, millions of our people will die and the blame with go to the Alliance. In all this bombing, who will notice a few more craters?

Mollari: Isn’t it strange, G’Kar? When we first met I had no power and all the choices I could ever want. And now I have all the power I could ever want and no choices at all. No choice at all.
G’Kar
: Mollari. Understand that I can never forgive your people for what they did to my world. My people can never forgive your people. But I can forgive you.

Lennier: Delenn?
Delenn: Yes?
Lennier: I love you.
Delenn: I know.

Franklin: You ever been out ot the San Diego ruins? Well, I have. The thermonuclear device used by the terrorist to blow up San Diego could be traced right back to the breakup of the Soviet Union in the late 20th century. When they fell, all their weapons ended up in the hands of smaller governments that didn’t understand them, sure as hell couldn’t build them, but were eminently willing to use them. The great thing about war is that it advances technology. Bad thing about war is that most of those technologies are destructive. And once the war is over,t hose weapons are still around.
Lyta: Weapons like us.
Franklin: Yes, weapons like telepaths, and that thing there, and anything else that might have gotten out. Now we know that the Shadows had hundreds of allies working for them and we know that omst of them or all them got out before Z’ha’dum exploded. Now who knows what they took with them, and how much of it is in the hands of people who don’t understand it, couldn’t build it, but are willing to use it?
Sheridan:
The giants have left the playground, but they left their guns behind.

Lyta: The Vorlon homeworld is off limits until we’re ready, until we’ve earned the right to go there… a million years from now. Don’t ask, I don’t know where that came from anymore than you do. I just… know it.

8. Sleeping in Light:
This episode takes place twenty years after Lorien restored Sheridan, when he said Sheridan’s life would finally run out. Realizing his time is coming to an end, Sheridan invites all his old friends to Mimbar for a final dinner with him and Delenn. This includes Garibaldi, Franklin, Ivanova, and Vir. While together, they talk of old times and toast their friends who didn’t live to be with them – Londo, G’Kar, Lennier and Marcus. Sheridan then passes control of the Rangers to Ivanova and says his final goodbye’s to Delenn. He then sets off for B5 to say his goodbye’s there, where he meets Zack who is still working there. Zack tells him that the station is set to be decommissioned, much like Sheridan, it has reached the end of its life, and is about to be scrapped with minimal fanfare.

Sheridan then flies to Coriana 6, the site of their major battle against the Shadows and the Vorlons, and waits to die. Before he does, Lorien appears to him and tells him that they haven’t forgotten him, and that he will pass into the great beyond with them. Sheridan is both intrigued and saddened, since it means he will see what lies beyond, but that he will also never be able to come back. He then disappears in a huge ball of light, saying “the sun’s coming up”. We then are given a final montage, showing how everyone is carrying on with their lives and B5 being demolished. Ivanova gives the closing speech, reflecting on everything B5 taught them, and how Delenn spent the rest of her days watching the sun rise every morning in honor of Sheridan.

Significance:
This tearful farewell to the show was actually filmed at the end of season four, along with the Deconstruction of Falling Stars. At that time, JMA was not sure if season five would be a go and planned to use either this episode or Deconstruction as the finale. In the end, season five got the green light and he was able to use both. In addition to wrapping up the show, this episode provided some strong hints as to the outcome of all the plot threads that were lain down in season five that we wouldn’t get to see. These included the Telepath War, the Drakh War, Londo’s and G’Kars death, and Lennier’s death. In short, we get to see that though there were some bumps after season five, everything turned out okay. The Alliance held together, the known universe experienced peace after the Shadow War, and Sheridan died when Lorien had predicted. We also got to see how Lorien and Sheridan’s old friends amongst the First Ones hadn’t forgotten him and came back to carry him away with them. All of this was the perfect cap to the show, giving us a sort of epilogue/eulogy for the main characters as well as B5, the centerpiece of the show, itself.

Memorable Lines:
Vir
: One time, we were walking through the Alien sector, and we heard this beautiful singing coming from the Pak’Ma’Ra’s quarters.
Sheridan
: They sing?
Franklin
: There’s nothing in the literature about that.
Vir
: Apparently they only ever do it once a year, during their religious period. And we were listening to this singing and I saw a tear run down Londo’s face, and I said, “We should go, this is upsetting you.” But he said no, and we stayed. After the singing was over he turned to me and said, “There are 49 Gods in our Pantheon, Vir. To tell you the truth I’ve never really believed in any of them. But if just one of them existsā€¦then God sings with that voice.”

Sheridan: A toast. Toā€¦absent friends. In memory still bright.
Garibaldi
: G’Kar.
Vir
: Londo.
Delenn
: Lennier.
Franklin
: Mar–
Ivanova
: Marcus.

Sheridan: Zack. Ha ha! What the hell are you doing here? I thought you went back to Earth.
Allan
: Yeah, I did. Got bored. Re-upped about six months ago. I figured I’d be here ’til they turn the lights out.

Sheridan: There’s still so much I don’t understand.
Lorien:
As it should be.
Sheridan:
Can I ever come back?
Lorien:
No. This journey has ended. Another begins. Time to rest now.
Sheridan
: Wellā€¦look at thatā€¦the sun’s coming upā€¦

Ivanova: Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. There would never be another. It changed the futureā€¦and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future, or others would do it for us. It showed us that we have to care for one another, because if we don’t, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the mostā€¦unlikely places. Mostly though, I think it gave us hopeā€”that there can always be new beginningsā€¦even for people like us. As for Delenn, every morning for as long as she lived, Delenn got up before dawn and watched the sun come up.

Woo! All done! Babylon 5 everybody! May it endure, and someday come back and garner a whole new generation of fans. A guy can dream…

B5 Forever, Baby!

B5 Forever, Baby!

As I said last time, Season two ended with the defeat of the Narns and the coming of the Shadows. It also ended with the Babylon project being declared a failure. But as Susan Ivanova put it so eloquently at the very end of the season finale, “The Babylon project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. But in the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater. Our last best hope… for victory.” This forecast B5’s true purpose, the one no one really suspected. I guess sometimes peace is overrated, or as Ivanova put it, “sometimes peace is just another word for surrender.”

Yeah, season one ended with “Nothing’s the same anymore,” but henceforth, every season would end with a speech, and a kickass one at that!

Season Three:

Season three opens with some interesting revelations. An Earth intelligence operative shows up trying to collect info on the mystery ship (the Shadow vessel Zack Allen encountered). After getting only tidbits from everyone, except G’Kar who tells him what he’s seen, the agent goes away with virtually nothing. Delenn professes ignorance, but tells Sheridan that this is what a Shadow vessel looks like, that this is “the face of their enemy”. Upon returning home, we learn that Morden is working with Earth Alliance people, including the president’s office and the Psi Corps.

They are pleased that no one seems to know anything about the Shadows yet, and that the Narns have been neutralized in part because of what G’Kar had learned about them. We also see that Clark’s people are keen on using the feeling of a “threat to planetary security” that news of this ship has stirred up to speed up their own plans. In essence, we learn that the Shadows were not just behind the Narn-Centauri War, but the assassination of President Clark as well and the Psi Corps plans for world domination.

At the same time, we get to meet Marcus for the first time, a Ranger who is seeking the help of B5 to evacuate a training post on the border of Centauri space. It seems that the Shadows have become aware of it and are moving in. In order to save them, Sheridan is take to a prototype ship, the White Star, a joint Mimbari-Vorlon creation. Faster and more powerful than anything they’ve ever made, ships of its kind are planned to be the workhorse of the coming war. Sheridan and crew arrive at the planet to find a Shadow vessel closing in, and narrowly manage to destroy it by outsmarting it.

Londo also decides to terminate his relationship with Morden, fearing how powerful his “associates” are and suspecting that they might turn on them eventually. However, Morden establishes closer ties with Refa, keeping his position with the Centauri royal court open so that they might continue their wars. Eventually, Londo administers one part of a two part poison to Refa and tells him to end his relationship with Morden and pull their forces back from all their skirmishes to bolster their defenses. Refa agrees, but now sees Londo as an enemy. Lyta also returns to B5, now as the permanent attache to Kosh. As usual, she seems to be in possession of several secrets, but will not reveal them… yet.

Similarly, G’Kar has begun a resistance against the Centauri occupation and is running weapons and supplies to his people back home. However, when attempting to procure Dust (a drug that temporarily gives the user telepathic abilities), G’Kar experiences something that changes him. While “high”, he breaks into Londo’s quarters, assaults Londo, and begins invading his mind. He learns that Londo was responsible for enlisting the help of the Shadows, and while probing deeper, he experiences a revelation. G’Quon appears to him and tells him that his people are dying because of their obsession with the destruction of the Centauri. He must find a better way to help his people. G’Kar awakes and cries, and we see that Kosh was watching him and was the one who sent him the vision. Eerie…

G’Kar is placed in custody, but is pleased for the opportunity to have some time alone and reflect on everything he sees. He begins writing down everything that’s happened to him: the war, the mistakes, and his revelation. He decides that the coming darkness, and how he must pledge his and his people’s help to stop it. When he gets out, he pledges the help of all the Narns aboard the station, and asks that he allowed into Sheridan’s alliance. Sheridan tells Delenn, and they realize it will be hard. They are happy for the help, but it will mean telling G’Kar that they knew he was right about the Shadows, but chose to stand by and let his world be overrun in order to keep their own plans hidden.

In between this all, the station personnel are made aware that things are changing back home. The Ministry of Peace, a strange organization committed to keep an eye on “public morale” has been creating and is enlisting the help of B5’s security. Their purpose appears to be none other than detecting and persecuting people who’s loyalty might be questionable, and Sheridan even receives a political officer for a time. However, she is pulled back home when a startling revelation is made!

In the last season, Draal invited Sheridan to the surface of Omicron 7 to tell him that he wanted to help their alliance and that the great machine was at his disposal. Now, he invites Sheridan to use the machine to help him find some of the remaining First Ones so that they might ask for their help as well. However, Sheridan is being watched by the political officer and sends Ivanova. In the course of finding some leads, she also is detected by the Shadows and is forced to flee. However, right before she disconnects from the machine, she sees something else. Earth Force One, right before it blew up, and a transmission where Clark is clearly speaking to Morden and openly talking about the assassination. They record this and send it home. The finally have the proof they’ve been looking for!

Then, Garibaldi gets a visitor, a woman who was working for Interplanetary Expeditions (IPX) who he knows from way back when. Turns out she’s discovered that the Earth government has found Shadow vessels buried on Mars and Ganymede. Years back, she witnessed them trying to revive the one on Mars, unsuccessfully. However, they are going to try again with this new one. Sheridan prepares the White Star and heads for Ganymede. Once again, they get into a fight with a Shadow vessel and are forced to outsmart it. They do this by luring it deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere and then flying out with all haste. The Shadow vessel, however, gets pulled in by the terrible gravitational forces and is destroyed. Sheridan and crew narrowly escape as the Agamemnon, Sheridan’s old ship, detects the disturbance and tries to capture them.

Between this latest incident and the revelations against him, Clark declares martial law, citing treason and a threat to planetary security as his reasons. General Hague tells Sheridan they are rallying their forces for a counter-strike, but things move too quickly. Clark’s people begin arresting anyone who appears to be resisting and even begins ordering the bombing of colonies that aren’t complying with the order. Sheridan and his staff decide to declare their secession, making B5 an independent port. But in order to do this, they have to get rid of the Night’s Watch, which has effectively take over their security forces.

They do this by leading them into a trap and then sealing them in the cargo bay. G’Kar then arrives with his Narns, who have taken over security, and the Night Watch are all disarmed and relieved. However, this move now means Clark will send the fleet to take over and institute martial law on the station. Sheridan and his crew are now forced to decide between laying down or fighting; they chose to fight! As the fleet nears, Hague’s co-conspirators in the fleet show up and declare that they will stand with B5. Hague himself is dead, but between their two ships and B5’s defenses, they have enough to make a stand. A big firefight ensues!

Delenn, meanwhile, attempts to get help from her government. She knows how important B5 is to the coming war effort, but her government does not want to listen. After undergoing her transformation, she was disavowed by the Grey Council and replaced by Neroon, a hard-core member of the warrior caste. The warriors now have control over the Council, are not convinced the Shadows are coming, and are not willing to commit forces to B5’s defense. Delenn responds by urging the Religious Caste and the Worker Caste to break the Council and join her. This effectively ends the Mimbari government, but it gets her the help she needs.

In the midst of the firefight between Earth forces and B5, when it seems all hope is lost, Delenn and several Mimbari cruisers show up. Delenn tells them “Only one man has survived battle with ou r forces. He is behind me, you are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else!” Naturally, they listen! B5 is safe, for now, and now an independent station. Sheridan is applauded when he steps into the public market, and all of Night Watch’s posters torn down! Yaaaaaay!

In time, another interesting visitor comes calling yet again. It’s Bester (played by Walter Koenig, aka. Chekov), the psi cop who always seems to show up wherever and whenever there’s trouble. The last two times, it had to do with the “underground railroad” and the Dust smuggling operation, this time it has to do with the Shadows. He claims that he knows they’ve infiltrated the Psi Corps, and that they are the ones pulling the strings back home. In exchange for their help, Bester promises to help them out. Turns out, he knows of a shipment that is heading for Shadow territory containing “weapons”, but when they board the ship, they find telepaths who have some kind of implants in their heads.

In short, they learn that telapaths ARE the key component to a Shadow vessel. The implants they carry allow them to interface with a Shadow vessel, keep them under the Shadow’s control, and make them very dangerous! Bester also learns that a woman he loves in amongst the people in the shipment. In addition to everything else, he asks that Sheridan and his people help her as best they can. Franklin begins studying the implants, but as yet, can find no way to remove them without killing the subject.

But most importantly of all, they learn from all this that a telepaths is capable of stopping a Shadow vessel by blocking the telepath that controls it.Ā  It is little wonder then why the Shadows are using the Psi Corps and wiped out the Narn’s own telepath’s the last time they were on the move. They good guys have a weapon! However, this realization comes just before they learn that the Shadows are now moving openly, attacking worlds all over known space. Having sown the seeds of chaos, they’ve decided to come out of hiding and begin mounting their invasion. Things very quickly become crazy!

Sheridan tries to mobilize the member races of Babylon 5, but no one who hasn’t been attacked wants to act. Most of the races have been fighting each other, don’t trust each other, or are too afraid to get involved. Sheridan is told that if he can show that he has can match the Shadows firepower, they might be willing to join. He asks Kosh for help, since the Vorlons are almost as old as the Shadows and haven’t done anything in response yet. However, Kosh does not seem to want to get involved. He says that it is not his peoples time, and that Sheridan must do this without their help for now. Sheridan is incensed, and demands that Kosh and his people put their money where their mouths are. He can’t understand why Kosh would bring him into this alliance and then leave him to flail helplessly.

Kosh eventually agrees, but tells him he will not be there for him when Sheridan goes to Z’Hadum. Sheridan seems to think this is some kind of punishment; Kosh tells him he doesn’t understand, but soon will. After ordering his people to attack the Shadows, a battle which goes their way and inspires the younger races to join Sheridan’s alliance, Kosh is confronted by Morden and killed by his Shadow escort. Sheridan sees this in a nightmare, where he is being spoken to by the image of his father who tells him not to regret anything, and that he’s sorry he didn’t get involved sooner, but was afraid to because he knew of the consequences. Sheridan awakes and realizes Kosh is dead, and what he meant. He has his alliance, but has lost a friend…

Getting back to Morden, he initially came aboard the station to confront Londo. He told Londo that if his people did not cooperate with their plans, they might turn their eyes to Centauri Prime. Londo ignores the threat and tells him there’s nothing he can do to him “that hasn’t already been done”. However, Morden finds his achilles heel and poisons Londo’s mistressĀ  (Lady Adira from the first season), who was on her way to B5 to see him. Londo immediately suspects Refa’s hand in this, seeing as how he poisoned Refa. Sad and indifferent, Londo reenlists Morden’s help and asks for his help in getting revenge. In turn, he will help Morden and his associates any way he can.

The season begins to wrap up with some curious reappearances. On the surface of Omicron 7, Draal begins to use the great machine to open a time-space rift in the neighboring sector. This coincides with Sinclair’s arrival on the station, having been summoned by a mysterious letter sent from the past. Seems he and Delenn have both recieved these letters, both of which were written over nine-hundred years ago, the Mimbari’s greatest prophet. Naturally, they are surprised, and meet up on B5 with Sheridan to discuss what’s going on. It’s at this point that Delenn begins to tell Sheridan more about theĀ  last Shadow War, and how it was won.

To break it down, a thousandĀ  years ago, the Shadows invaded, as they are doing again. The Mimbari, Vorlons and other member races were preparing for big offensive that they hoped would break their advance. However, these plans were delayed when the statio which was the rallying point for the offensive was attacked and destroyed. All seemed lost, until a new station appeared, with a prophet named Valen aboard it. He was the one who delivered this station, led the Mimbari to victory, and created their Grey Council. He was also the one who told them what the future held, that another Shadow War was coming, and the Mimbari would need to come together with another race to fight it (aka. the humans).

Delenn shows them a recording of all this, and Sheridan is shocked! The mysterious station, as it turns out, was Babylon 4! In essence, the station that disappeared without a trace years back, and which appeared briefly in season one, was being taken back in time to serve in the last Shadow War! What’s more, they see from the recording that shorty before it was taken back in time, the Shadow’s showed up and tried to destroy it, having realized its importance. But before they could, another ship showed up out of nowhere and saved it. That ship – drumroll! – was the White Star! Naturally, Sheridan is mind-blown, as is Sinclair.Ā  Basically, they now understand that history as they know it has been subject to a temporal paradox, and they have a direct hand in it.

Gathering a crew together, which includes Zathros (who appeared in the first season aboard B4) they take all the kit they need to pull of this temporal job and fly into the big time-space anomaly opened by Draal. This takes them back, they encounter the Shadow attack party, take it out, and land aboard the station to begin preparing to take it back in time. However, in the fight, Sheridan’s time-space device (which they all wear to keep them rooted in their own time) is damaged, and he becomes “unstuck in time”, as Zathros puts it. The rest carry on without him, since time is of the essence.

While they prepare the station, Sheridan gets a glimpse of the future. He is in the Centauri palace, Londo is emperor, and he is being sentenced to death. He quickly learns that it is seventeen years since he first came to Babylon 5, that they won the war, but that Centauri Prime was devastated in the process. Delenn is there too, tells him that their son is safe, and that everything they’ve done came with a terrible price. Londo releases them soon after, and shows them that he is being manipulated by a Shadow implant, but that he’s managed to knock it out by getting plastered drunk. He sends them on their way, ask G’Kar to come in, and asks him to kill him.Ā  However, the implant wakens as G’Kar puts his hands around Londo’s throat, he begins to fight back, and they end up killing each other. Vir then enters, and picks up the Emperor’s sigil. Thus we see the prophecy Londo and Vir were given coming true, how they would both be Emperor someday, but only after the other one died.

Before Sheridan becomes unstuck again, which returns him to B4 in time for Zathros to give him his time-space device now that its fixed. But before he does, Delenn tells him “do not go to Z’Hadum”.Ā  Now back, he realizes that they are reliving what Sinclair and Garibaldi witnessed a few years back. Zathros has been captured, and is being questioned by B4’s personnel and Sinclair (circa. three years ago). In keeping with what happened, the station is abandoned, Sheridan and crew finish rigging it, and prepare to leave themselves.Ā  Zathros also reveals to them that Sinclair, Sheridan and Delenn are all “The One”, explaining the statement he made to Sinclair years back. In keeping with the Mimbari tradition of all things in three, Sinclair is the one who was, Delenn is the one that is, and Sheridan is the one that will be.

However, the current Sinclair also tells them that someone must stay behind to guide it into the past. They don’t want him to do this, but oblige him when he tells him that HE sent the letters form the past, that it is his destiny to go back. They leave him with Zathros, narrowly making it away before the station is pulled back in time and the time-space rift closes. The crew then realize another startling truth, putting it all together. As Delenn explains to them, if the Mimbari had received the station with a human on board, they would not have accepted it. Marcus then realizes what was meant when Valen was described as “a Mimbari not borne of Mimbari”. Aboard the station, we see Sinclair using the same chrysalis that Delenn used to become half-human, and himself becomes half-Mimbari. We then see him in the distant past, meeting with the Mimbari and declaring that HE is Valen!

Whoa… Now we understand why Sinclair was thought to have Valen’s “soul” and why they believed humans carried other Mimbari souls. Turns out, the device he gave the Grey Council was tuned to sense his DNA, and the Mimbari and humanity have been connected ever since. So really, the bit about souls being shared was true, after a fashion. We also learn that Delenn’s transformation was seen as necessary in order to return the favor, combining her physiology with humanity’s in return for Sinclair taking on Mimbari form.

With the past fulfilled, they get to work ensuring the future. It begins with Delenn showing Sheridan to the White Star fleet, a force of over a thousand ships that are based on the original White Star which are now at their disposal! She tells him that at last, they have a “fighting chance”, and the two come together and kiss. The budding romance between them is now in full blossom!

Then, back on B5, they prepare their new alliance to fight the Shadows. It takes time coming up with a plan, since the Shadow’s attacks seems totally random. However, they soon realize that their goal is to create chaos and panic by striking as many systems as possible along the rim, thus driving as many refugees as possible into one sector in the interior where they will then attack to obliterate them all. Sheridan rallies their forces to meet at this sector, and a major battle ensues. The alliance forces suffer serious losses, but the Shadows are beaten and forced to withdraw for the first time ever.

With this victory, however, comes worry… Now that the Shadows know they are onto them and are able to stand up to them, how long before they come knocking on B5’s door?

Also, I should mentioned that Franklin begins struggling with an addiction to stims (stimulants) and quits his job when it becomes clear he is an addict and has problems. After going on walkabout for a while, he is knifed in the stomach and experiences a revelation of his own. His problem, it turns out, is that he keeps running from his problems. His “other self” then tells him to get off his bleeding ass, get back to his job and his friends, and fight for what matters! He does, and barely makes it to help before passing out from blood loss. After a few days recouping, he wakes up and sees Garibaldi and Sheridan, and tells them he’s happy to be back and alive and will do it all better from now on. Coincidentally, he’s back just in time to help as casualties come pouring in from the battle…

As it turns out, they do, but as not as anyone would have suspected. In the middle of the night, Sheridan and Delenn are greeted by a visitor. Anna Sheridan, John’s wife, shows up! She’s alive, it seems, has been living on Z’Hadum for years, and wants John to come with her. The invite is peaceful, she says. The Shadows simply want a chance to tell John their side of the story. He has Franklin examine her to determine she’s real, which she apparently is, and confronts Delenn. Basically, he feels like he was lied to, seeing as how Delenn assured him she was dead, but apparently knew that there was a slight chance she might have been alive. He decides to accept the invite, and leaves with Anna aboard the White Star. However, he is also made aware before he leaves that Anna bears the same marks as those telepaths they captured, the ones who had the implants placed in their heads. He also has a vision where Kosh reminds him that if goes, he will die…

When he arrives, John is met by Morden and a man named Justin, a human who appears to be the Shadows main human laison. Here, Sheridan learns the truth, the whole truth. As it turns out, the Vorlons have been keeping some things from John, Delenn and everyone else. Long ago, they say, the Vorlons and Shadows were allies, ambassadors to the younger races who worked together to shepherd them. However, ideological differences soon led to a split. The Vorlons believed that order and stability were the keys to growth, the Shadows that evolution came through chaos. In time, they began to fight each other, and enlisted the help of other races to fight. They want John’s help because apparently, those that survive the wars are rebuilt, bigger and stronger. Humanity has been selected as one such race, the Shadows having seen great potential in them.

At the same time, Shadow ships appear around the station, waiting and preparing for an attack. It seems that if John says no, they will destroy the place. In addition, Delenn gets a message from John in which he explains his true reasons for going. He tells her of what he saw of the future when they were going aboard Babylon 4, how she told him not to go to Z’Hadum and how they’d won, but Centauri Prime was destroyed. He says that he believed that he suspected he might have listened to her, hence why the Centauri were destroyed, and that he could still prevent that future by going. And of course, that they have all learned that they are mere players in this prophecy, and they must do what’s they are required to, even though he knows its a trap.

*Personally, I would have thought a better explanation would be that by telling him NOT to go, he knew that he must have. Since time is circular in this series and all things in the past and future are connected, he would therefore reason that he had to go because it had already been foretold.

But I digress… back on Z’Hadum, Sheridan reveals that he knows what they did to his wife, that they must have put her in one of the Shadow ships and that she was changed. The woman they sent to convince him is no longer his wife, and he imagines they will do the same thing to him if he doesn’t cooperate. Realizing he won’t cooperate, a Shadow walks in and Sheridan begins shooting his way out. Cornered on the edge of a balcony which overlooks a massive underground city, Sheridan orders the White Star to crash into the city and detonate its cargo. Turns out, he also smuggles some nukes aboard, knowing he might need them. Before it crashes, Sheridan hears Kosh’s voice telling him to jump into a massive chasm below.Ā  He does, the nukes go off, the city and Anna Sheridan (what’s left of her) are destroyed, and the Shadow vessels withdraw from the station.

Everyone on board quickly realizes that something terrible must have happened, as the Shadows would not have left unless they thought the station were no longer a threat. But that couldn’t be unless… Oh dear! Delenn, Ivanova, and pretty much everyone else is heartbroken, and to make matters worse, Garibaldi’s fighter is also reported missing. Seems the Shadows picked him up before they left, but as far as anyone can tell, he simply disappeared…

The season ends with G’Kar narrating a part from the Book of G’Quan in which the author speaks of tragedy, revelation and transitions, and how all new ages are borne of pain. Heavy stuff… and a very poignant note to end a season on!