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.  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 mistress  (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 the  last Shadow War, and how it was won.

To break it down, a thousand  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.  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.  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”.  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.  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.  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!

B5 Continued…

B5 Continued…

Picking up where I left off, Babylon 5, second season!  When season one ended, Sinclair and G’Kar had taken off, both to pursue their own agendas. Delenn was in a chrysalis (cocoon) and undergoing a transformation, and Londo was making deals with “shadowy” forces. Resuming…

Season Two:
Season Two opens with Babylon 5 getting a new commander (Captain John Sheridan, played by Bruce Boxleitner) since Sinclair has been reassigned, somewhat mysteriously, to the Mimbari homeworld. Much like Sinclair, he too has a history that involves the Earth-Mimbari war. Sheridan is a war hero, the only man who ever destroyed a Mimbari ship and lived to tell about it. After receiving his post at B5, his first task is to deal with a renegade Mimbari cruiser that is staffed by warriors who never accepted their surrender. In the course of things, Sheridan learns the truth about the war. Lennier, Delenn’s assistant (who has taken over now that she is in a cocoon!), explains…

At the Battle of the Line, the humans who were captured were examined using a holy relic that came to the Mimbari from their chief prophet (Valen) who came to them a thousand years ago. The relic glowed in his presence, and a few others. When Sinclair was exposed to it, it glowed intensely. They concluded that his “soul” was Mimbari, that it was as strong as Valen’s, and that other humans possess Mimbari souls. This is why they ended the war. Few understood this decision, but given its importance of the Mimbari, they accepted it. In the end, Sheridan is successful and the renegade Mimbari cruiser is destroyed. But he is also made aware of the fact that he’s not too popular with the Mimbari.

Meanwhile, Londo meets with Morden again. Having gotten over the severity of what Morden “associates” did to the Narn border colony, he asks Morden what would happen if he were to ask for another “demonstration” of their power. Morden says plainly that they will provide it, and Londo only need “pick a target”. In return, all he asks is that Londo turn over whatever information he comes across about stuff happening on the rim. Which shortly thereafter comes in handy…

G’Kar returns from his investigation into the attack on their border colony. Going on a tip from some old Narn texts, he began looking into certain worlds at the border of known space. On one such world, he found something and barely got out alive. After determining that the configuration of the ships that attacked him were virtually identical to the ones described in the texts, he concludes that this ancient race is returning and is responsible for the attack. The border world he found is apparently called Z’Hadum, and his world has sent a ship to investigate.

Naturally, Londo tells Morden and the ship is ambushed just as it jumps out of hyperspace. G’Kar’s investigation is halted, and his warnings end up ringing hollow. However, Delenn emerges from her cocoon and appears half-human now. No explanation is given beyond her saying that it was a gesture to bring their two species – humans and Mimbari – closer together. Sheridan is impressed, and we get a preview of the romantic relationship which is to follow.

In time, Londo gets a visitor, a man named Lord Refa, who has heard of what Londo has done and is impressed. He comes to Londo bearing an offer: he and friends back home want to overthrow the current Emperor, who they think of as weak and conciliatory to the Narns, and put their own person on the throne. They want a return to the good old days of power, like Londo, and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Londo is enthused and agrees, but gets a word of warning from a seer (a Technomage) shortly thereafter. He is told that he will become powerful, and be responsible for the lives of billions. He is naturally perturbed.

Other developments include Sheridan finding out that Ivanova is a latent telepath who’s mother committed suicide to escape the Corps, that Franklin is running an underground railroad for telepaths looking to do the same, and that the station’s resident telepath, Talia Winters (whom Garibaldi has a thing for) is a sleeper agent whom the Corps planted to keep an eye on them all. They also get a visitor in the form of Lyta Alexander, a telepath who was originally assigned to B5 but has since been working with the Vorlons, and has been changed by them… She has since turned against the Corps, and seems to know a thing or two about the Vorlons secrets.

And of course, the old conspiracy about the president begins to shape up. Garibadli recovers, his old security deputy is busted but disappears on his way back to Earth to stand trial. Before leaving, he also leaves Garibaldi with a cryptic warning, that this is “much bigger than he knows”. Sheridan also learns from his old friend, General Hague, that the destruction of Earth One was an inside job and that the VP was involved. He also tells Sheridan that he was appointed to B5 because the new President, Clark, thought he’d be loyal, being a career soldier. Sheridan and his senior officers decide to join Haig’s counter-conspiracy and begin helping them, which includes giving safe passage to the doctor who had proof that Clark’s cover story about an illness was false.

But by far the biggest part of season two is the “Great War” between the Narns and the Centauri. After the first time he called in a favor from Morden, his “associates” destroyed an entire colony of Narns on the border of disputed space. This incident gained Londo some serious popularity in certain circles back home, including Lord Refa. Things come together again when the Emperor himself decides to visit Babylon 5, apparently to issue an apology to the Narns for his family’s actions. G’Kar intends to assassinate him, but his efforts are cut short when Emperor suffers a near-fatal heart attack. When he learns of the Emperor’s true purpose, he reaches out to Londo for the first time.

However, Londo and Refa are already mobilizing. Refa’s people assassinate the Emperor’s Prime Minister back home, and he tells Londo they need an attention getter to set them ahead of the other potential successors. Londo remembers what Morden said about “picking a target” and chooses another military base that borders Centauri space. The dark, spidery ships attack, destroy everything, and Centauri forces move in afterwards. This time around, the Centauri ARE blamed, the Narns declare war, Londo is hailed as a hero by his people, and Lord Refa’s puppet Emperor (Cartagia) takes the throne. The Great War has begun!

And just before the Emperor dies, he is met by Kosh. He asks him how this will end, and Kosh tells him “in fire”. Londo and Refa also come before him to tell him the “good news” about the war. Rather than condone it, he pulls Londo close and tells him “you are both damned”. “Small price to pay for immortality” says Refa, but Londo appears shaken once again. In the ensuring weeks, Babylon 5 is thrust into the middle of the war, being asked to arbitrate and take in refugees from all the Narn colonies that begin to be overrun.

Meanwhile, John is made aware of what’s really going on. After learning the truth about the Earth-Mimbari War, he is told of another, more secretive war, one which has been a long time coming and is imminent. After learning that Morden is aboard the station, and realizing that he was on the same ship as Anna Sheridan (John’s wife) which was apparently destroyed, John orders Morden taken into custody and questioned. Apparently, the ship was lost during an expedition to the world now known as Z’Hadum, all hands thought to have perished. Since he’s not dead and wandering around freely, John wants answers!

His efforst are interrupted when Kosh and Delenn explain. Z’Hadum is the home of an ancient race known as the “Shadows”. They are one of the “First Ones”, a group of races billions of years old, the first to achieve sentience in the galaxy. The Shadows are the oldest, and they have been at war with the others for eons. In the last war, what few First Ones remained defeated them and drove them off, with the help of some younger races – including the Mimbari. Whereas all the others have now died or moved on, only the Vorlons remain. Now that the Shadows are returning, they must prepare! A new alliance must be struck, and both the Mimbari and the Vorlons understand that humanity and B5 are important to that effort, though they don’t fully know why.

According to Delenn, the Shadows are behind the Narn-Centauri war because they intend to weaken the younger races by making them fight each other before they invade. The only advantage they have right now is that Shadows do not know that the Mimbari and Vorlons already suspect what they are up to. He is also told that Sinclair is on Mimbar preparing a new force of fighters for when the time comes; they are known as the Rangers, and Garibaldi was made aware of them some time ago. Sheridan reluctantly agrees to join their alliance, and lets Morden go. In secret, they begin to plot and Kosh begins to teach Sheridan how to, as he says, “fight legends”. Sheridan also vows that one day, he will go to Z’Hadum to find out what happened to his wife, despite Kosh’s warning that if he does, he will die!

Season two ends with the end of the war. After months of fighting a losing war, the Narns prepare for one final assault to slow the Centauri down and prolongue the war. However, Refa’s people intercept their plans and make plans of their own. He asks Londo to arrange for his friends to destroy the Narn attack while they in turn attack the Narn homeworld, using mass-drivers. These are an outlawed weapon of mass destruction, and their use will level Narn’s surface. Londo is very reluctant, he doesn’t want the death toll, and he is growing suspicious of Morden and his “associates”. But, under pressure, he agrees, and everything happens without a hitch. The last Narn fleet is destroyed, he watches as  Narn is leveled and forced to surrender, and then dictates the punitive terms of peace at the B5 Council.

In order to avoid arrest and remain free, G’Kar is told by his people to request asylum. Sheridan agrees, but is powerless to stop the Centauri from imposing terrible terms of peace on the Narns. All he can do is promise G’Kar whatever help he can, and in a meeting later with Delenn, Kosh and the Rangers, he pledges that where they stand, they will draw a line against the coming darkness.

Almost immediately after the war ends with the Narns, the Centauri begin attacking the borders of several more worlds immediately thereafter. In response, a representative of the Earth Alliance came to the station for the purpose of “evaluating the Centauri”. Sheridan and G’Kar were hopeful that this meant Earth was preparing to take sides, but all were disappointed when it was revealed that Earth was signing a non-aggression pact with them, effectively turning their backs on the Centauri’s continued aggression.

However, these efforts are somewhat frustrated due to the appearance of a Narn cruiser which Sheridan offers aid to after it jumps in near the station. This leads to a confrontation with a Centauri cruiser, and Sheridan is forced to destroy it. In order to salvage the situation, Earth orders Sheridan to issue a formal apology. But on his way to deliver it, Sheridan is nearly killed by a bomb that was planted in his car. He jumps from the car and begins falling towards certain death. Miraculously, Kosh reveals himself and flies to his rescue.  When he leaves his encounter suit, everyone sees an angel, though in different guises, depending on their race. People feel the station is now blessed, a good omen in dark times…

At the same time, Zack Allen, one of the station’s pilots, dies pursuing a lead. Some time before, he saw a Shadow vessel in hyperspace, and became obsessed with it. While ferrying the Narn cruiser to safety, he breaks off when he detects a faint trace of neutrinos in hyperspace. He comes face to face with a Shadow vessel, and is then destroyed! However, his gun camera footage survived and was retrieved. Season two thus ends with the footage being aired on interstellar television!

Whoo, I get goose bumps just thinking about it! And I assume people can see by what I mean about the quality of the writing and the consistency of the plot. By this point in the show, things are really starting to come together. But of course, many threads still needed to be tied, and many mysteries still revealed.

Most of these come up in Season Three, coming up next!

Babylon 5, Best lines!

Babylon 5, Best lines!

One of the best science fiction shows of all time, in my humble estimation. And I know I’m not alone in this. I think I’ve watched the full series a couple of times over now. In fact, a few years back, some friends and I used to watch the reruns on DVD over a couple of cold Swan beers! Hi Aaron, hi Megan! And since I got my hands on all five seasons a few weeks ago, I’ve been replaying all the good moments.

I loved the action, the story, the writing, but one thing I especially liked was the dialogue. J. Michael Straczynski is definitely one of the best writers, but he also benefited from a kick-ass cast. I’m sure everyone had their favorites, and I can’t possibly do the whole series justice in one post. But here are some I managed to dig up. Enjoy!

Season 1:
G’Kar: The Earthers have a saying: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I believe they stole it from us.

Franklin: It’s all so brief, isn’t it? Typical human lifespan is almost a hundred years, but it’s barely a second compared to what’s out there. It wouldn’t be so bad if life didn’t take so long to figure out. Seems you just start to get it right and then…it’s over.
Ivanova: Doesn’t matter. If we lived 200 years we’d still be human, we’d still make the same mistakes.
Franklin: You’re a pessimist.
Ivanova: I’m Russian, doctor. We understand these things.

Narn Courier: Are you Ambassador G’Kar?
G’Kar: This is Ambassador G’Kar’s quarters. This is Ambassador G’Kar’s table! This is Ambassador G’Kar’s dinner! Which part of this progression escapes you?!

Londo Mollari: Do you know what the last Xon said just before he died? [clutches chest] AAAAGGGHHHH!

Vir: But they love each other!
Londo: Love. Pah! Overrated. Here. Look. These are my three wives: Pestilence, Famine, and Death. Do you think I married them for their personalities? Their personalities could shatter entire planets! Arranged marriages, every one of them. But they worked out. They inspired me! Knowing that they were waiting for me is what keeps me here — 75 light-years away.

Franklin: Are you okay? Londo, do you know where you are?
Londo: (looks around, sees his wives) Either in Medlab, or in Hell. Either way, the decor needs work.
Daggair: Oh, Doctor Franklin! Thank you for saving our husband! You’ve done the Centauri a great service!
Mariel: I agree. It’s so good to see you with us again, Londo!
Londo: Well, that settles it, Doctor! I am in hell!

G’Kar: What do I want? The Centauri stripped my world, I want justice.
Morden: But what do you want?
G’Kar: To suck the marrow from their bones and grind their skulls into powder.
Morden: What do you want?
G’Kar: To tear down their cities, blacken their sky, sow their ground with salt… To completely and utterly erase them!
Morden: And then what?
G’Kar: I don’t know. As long as my homeworld safety is guaranteed, I don’t think it matters.
Morden: (looks disappointed) I see… Well, thank you very much for your time, Ambassador. Good day!
G’Kar: Nonsense!

Londo: You really want to know what I want? You really want to know the truth? I want my people to reclaim their rightful place in the Galaxy. I want see the Centauri stretch forth their hand again, and command the stars. I want a rebirth of glory, a renaissance of power! I want to stop running through my life like a man late for an appointment, afraid to look back, or to look forward. I want us to be what we used to be! I want… I want it all back, the way THAT IT WAS! Does that answer your question?
Morden: (smiles darkly) Yes… yes it does.

Londo: (after receiving the Eye from Morden) How? (Notices Morden’s gone) Where did you go, eh? Let me buy you a drink! Let me buy you an entire FLEET of drinks! How can I ever find you to thank you?
Morden’s voice: We will find you, Ambassador. We will find you…

Ivanova: Worst case of testosterone poisoning I have ever seen.

Londo: But this…this, this, this is like… being nibbled to death by, uh…Pah! What are those Earth creatures called? Feathers, long bill, webbed feet…go “quack”.
Vir: Cats.
Londo: Cats! I’m being nibbled to death by cats.

Season 2:
G’Kar: LONDO! (grabs him) I’m going to get you… a drink! …It’s not everyday I have a revelation, you know… I believed your people only capable of only murder and pain, but apparently there is still a spark of decency in your genetic code. It’s not much of a foundation, I’ll grant you that but… it’s a start!

Londo: But what happens if I ask for another of these… little demonstrations?
Morden: Then we’ll provide it. Simply choose your target, a colony, an outpost…
Londo: (laughs) Why don’t you eliminate the entire Narn homeworld while you’re at it?
Morden: (looks at him darkly) One thing at a time, Ambassador. One thing at a time.

G’Kar: Take my advice and go back to the time you came from. The future isn’t what it used to be.

G’Kar: Weep for the future, Na’Toth. Weep for us all.
N’Toth: Are you alright?
G’Kar: I have looked into the darkness, Na’Toth. You cannot do that and ever be quite the same again.

G’Kar: When you told me about the destruction of our base in quadrant thirty-seven, I knew that only a major power could attempt an assault of that magnitude, but none of the governments here could have done it, which left only one of two possibilities: A new race… or an old race… A VERY old race.

G’Kar: G’Quan spoke of a great war long ago against an enemy so terrible it nearly overwhelmed the stars themselves. G’Quan said that before that enemy was thrown down, it dwelled in a system at the edge of known space. I searched for days, going from one system to another. (Looks distant) Then, on dark, deserted worlds where there should be no life, where no living thing has walked in over a thousands years, something is moving, gathering its forces, quietly, quietly, hoping to go unnoticed. We must warn the others Na’Toth. After a thousand years the darkness has come again.

Marcus Cole: (noticing Ivanova’s not paying attention to his report) There’s always the threat of an attack by say, a giant space dragon. The kind that eats the sun once every 30 days. It’s a nuisance, but what can you expect from reptiles? Did I mention that my nose is on fire? And that I have 15 wild badgers living in my trousers (Ivanova glares at him) I’m sorry would you prefer ferrets?

Lennier: Sometimes I get so close and yet it feels like I’m shut out of the important things.
Vir: It’s a useless feeling. The Ambassador is definitely going through some changes. He even looks different.
Lennier: Indeed. And now with the military starting to stampede over everyone and everything…
Vir: People coming and going and secret meetings…
Lennier: You never know what it’s all about until later when it’s too late.
Vir: And they never listen to us.
Vir/Lennier: Makes me nervous.
Vir: Same time tomorrow?
Lennier: Sure.

Season 3:
Sheridan: You know, I just had a thought. You’ve been back and forth to your world so many times since you got here. How do I know you’re the same Vorlon? Inside that encounter suit you could be anyone.
Kosh: I have *always* been here.
Sheridan: Oh, yeah? You said that about me too.
Kosh: Yes.
Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.
Kosh: Good!

Garibaldi: I’m not authorized for that kind of information.
Endawi: But…you’re the head of Security.
Garibaldi: 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.

Londo: My people have a manifest destiny. They can achieve it just as well without the help of your associates, perhaps better.
Morden: So we’re no longer necessary?
Londo: That’s right.
Morden: And now that we’ve done everything you’ve asked, you’d like us to just.. disappear.
Londo: I do believe you have got it surrounded, Mr. Morden!
Morden: Aren’t you being premature? After all, you’re people are moving on several other worlds. You might still need us.
Londo: No, I don’t think so. We have danced our last little dance Mr. Morden. Now it is time for you… to go away.

Morden: What do YOU want?
Vir: I’d like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave like this (does a little wave). Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?

Delenn: Three years. For three years, I warned you this day was coming. But you would not listen. “Pride,” you said! “Presumption!” And now the Shadows are on the move. The Centauri and the younger worlds are at war, the Narns have fallen… even the humans are fighting one another. The pride was yours! The presumption was yours… “The problems of others are not our concern.” I do not blame you for standing silent in your shame. You, who knew what was coming, but refused to take up the burden of this war! If the Warrior Caste will not fight, then the rest of us will! If the Council has lost its way, if it will not lead…if we have abandoned our covenant with Valen…! (Grabs the leader’s staff, breaks it) Then the Council should be broken! As was prophesied! We must stand with the others—now, before it’s too late!

Delenn: This is Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari. Babylon 5 is under our protection. Withdraw…or be destroyed!
Capt. Drake: Negative. We have authority here. Do not force us to engage your ship.
Delenn: Why not? Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else.

Zathras: Zathras is used to being beast of burden to other people’s needs. Very sad life… probably have very sad death, but at least there is symmetry.

Draal: I don’t like surprises!
Ivanova: Really? Love ’em, myself. To me, everything’s a surprise! You’re a surprise. This place is a surprise. You see this? [She holds up a finger.] Paper cut. Hurts like hell! Anybody else would be upset, but to me, it’s just one more wonderful surprise! I mean, I even surprise myself sometimes! So I guess there’s nothing wrong with me surprising you. Right?
Draal: I like you! You’re trouble!

Ivanova: Good luck, Captain. I think you’re about to go where…everyone has gone before.

Marcus:I think you just hit a nerve. The Vorlons must owe them money or something.
Ivanova: At least it tell us they understand our language, they just aren’t willing to speak to us in it.
Marcus: Who knew they were French? (Ivanova glares at him) Sorry!

Walkers: ZOG!
Ivanova: “Zog”? What do you mean, zog? Zog what? Zog yes, zog no?
Marcus: It’s leaving. My guess is “zog” means “no”.
Ivanova: Like hell. I am not letting them leave here without saying yes.
Marcus: Really? And how do you propose stopping them? Perhaps a big red and white sign with the word “stop” on it? …I’ll put a bucket on my head and pretend to be the ancient Vorlon god Boogee.
Ivanova: That’s it!
Marcus: Fine. I’ll get a bucket.

Refa: You walked away from the greatest power I have ever seen! And now you expect me to do the same? They are the key to my eventual rise to the throne! Why would I abandon them?
Londo: Because I have asked you. Because your loyalty to our people should be greater than your ambition. And because I have poisoned your drink. Yes… and it is very interesting poison. It comes in two parts. Both are harmless on their own. But when combined…quite lethal. The first settles into the bloodstream, and the intestinal walls. It stays there for years. Silent…dormant…waiting. When the other half of the poison enters your system the two meet, have a little party in your cardiovascular system…and suddenly, you are quite dead.
Refa: Why? Why did you do this?
Londo: To guarantee your cooperation! And because sooner or later, you would do it to me! As we are returning to the old ways, Refa, and poison was always the instrument of choice in the old Republic, being something of a sentimentalist, I got here first.

Season 4:
Marcus: At least a dozen ships have reported seeing something rather godlike in the area, and since neither you nor I were there, it must be one of the First Ones.
Ivanova: [smiling] You’re having delusions of grandeur again.
Marcus: Well, if you’re gonna have delusions, may as well go for the really satisfying ones.

Drazi: Captain…we’re sorry…We thought you were dead.
Sheridan: I was. I’m better now.

Morden: You’re insane.
Londo: On any other day, you’d be wrong. But today… today is a very special day! One last time, remove your ships!
Morden: No! You don’t frighten us Mollari. If you go up against our ships, you’ll lose.
Londo: Yes! Your ships are very impressive in the air, or in space, but at this moment, they are on the ground.
Morden: Right. They’re on the ground. But they can sense an approaching ship miles away. So what’re you gonna do, Mollari, huh? Blow up the island?
Londo: Actually…now that you mention it… (he produces a small remote detonator)
Moden: NO! (Londo blows up the island)

Lorien: We’ve lived too long, seen too much. To live on, as we have, is to leave behind joy, love, and companionship because we know it to be transitory; of the moment. We know it will turn to ash. Only those whose lives are brief can believe that love, is eternal… You should embrace that remarkable illusion. It may be the greatest gift your race has ever received.

Sheridan: Commander! Did you threaten to grab this man by the collar and threaten to throw him out an airlock?
Susan Ivanova: Yes, I did.
Sheridan: I’m shocked! Shocked and dismayed. May I remind you that we are short on supplies here? We can’t afford to take perfectly good clothing and throw it out into space! Always take the jacket off first—I’ve told you that before! Sorry. She meant to say, “stripped naked and thrown out of an airlock”. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Franklin: Smells like the inside of a Martian pleasure dome on Sunday morning.
Marcus: Wouldn’t know about that.
Franklin: Don’t make me come over there and [flick] take that thing from you.
Marcus: Helps me relax.
Franklin: Marcus, this is the kind of conversation that can only end with a gunshot!
Marcus: Would you like me to sing instead?
Franklin: No.
Marcus: You haven’t heard me!

Sheridan: You have a face people trust.
Ivanova: I’d rather have a face people fear.
Sheridan: That too.

Marcus Cole: Touch passion when it comes your way, Stephen. It’s rare enough as it is. Don’t walk away when it calls you by name.

Now this is one of my favorites. It was taken from the season finale of season 4, when J Michael Straczynski was apparently planning on wrapping it up. It happens after we get a montage of scenes showing how Sheridan, Delenn and what they’ve done will be remembered a million years hence.

Sheridan: I was just thinking about it all, and what I said earlier. And I was just wondering, if they will they remember us in a hundred years or a thousand. And I figure, probably not.
Delenn: But it doesn’t matter. We did what we did because it was right, not to be remembered. History will tend to itself, it always does.
(End Credit) DEDICATED TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO PREDICTED THE BABYLON PROJECT WOULD FAIL IN ITS MISSION. FAITH MANAGES.

But alas, there was a final season. A friend told me that gwas convinced to make it for the sake of his fans, but I also heard he planned to do five all along and got the funding for it at the last minute. Either way, there were some more doozies! Here are a few…

Season 5:
G’Kar: Do you want to be President?
Sheridan: Yes.
G’Kar: Put your hand on the book and say “I do.”
Sheridan: I do.
G’Kar: Good. Done. Let’s eat.

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.

Sheridan: Delenn, I have been working up a good mad all day and I am NOT about to let you ruin it by agreeing with me!

G’Kar: Well, with everyone now on the same side, perhaps you’re planning to invade yourselves for a change. I find the idea curiously appealing. Once you’ve finished killing each other, we can plow under all the buildings and plant rows of flowers that spell out the words, “Too annoying to live” in letters big enough to be seen from space.

Londo: I have this feeling… Something is terribly wrong…
G’Kar: You’re at war with everyone in the known universe. Perhaps its that.

Alright, that’s all I got room for now. Holy hell, that was a good show! So many good episodes, so many good lines. I wish they’d get on the spin-offs already!