We had a short breather last episode, if you can call Neroon pounding Marcus to a bloody pulp either short or a breather. Last episode was setup. This episode is just as much setup, but also a huge payoff (with another type of setup of its own!).
Sheridan is assembling his fleet to take on the Shadows. Telepaths are being distributed across the ships to give them the best fighting chance. On top of the war preparations, Brother Theo has some friends over from Earth who are more than meets the eye. The stress is clearly getting to John and some of the people around him take some steps to address the issue.
In the meantime, Londo has some stress of his own. It seems the emperor has had enough with the feud between Londo and Refa. A Minister has arrived to determine which House to support and put the feud to rest. Londo is not particularly worried, though, and assures the Minister that the issue will be resolved shortly to everyone’s satisfaction. Ok, well not everyone.
The two stories intersect in one of the most macabre and chilling scenes of the series. The elegance of it is probably one of the most disturbing parts.
Alliances of mutual survival can be fickle things. Especially when they are being driven by politics rather than the military that are having to actually do the fighting. Sheridan is learning that lesson the hard way as he tries to forge his alliance to fight the Shadows. He turns to Kosh for help and is will to pay the personal price for it. If you know what is meant by, “The Hero’s Journey,” this is that episode.
While this is going on, Londo is taking a journey of his own. A much darker journey that will lead him to embrace the darkness that continues to pursue him. While Sheridan’s journey is that of a hero, Londo’s is one of tragedy. This interlude for him marks the shift towards that tragedy.
Examinations is the best way to describe Franklin’s interlude in this episode. His stim problem that has been growing through the series finally catches up with him. He responds, of course, in typical “Franklin” fashion. Raul isn’t as sympathetic to him as some think he should be, and promises to be coming back to his thoughts there soon.
Over all, this is an incredibly arc-dense episode, so sit back, clear your head, and enjoy.
You think after the last three episodes President Clark might be a bit honked off at Sheridan & Co.? Nightwatch can’t be all that happy, either. I guess some people have no sense of humor. Go figure.
After all the crisis, Delenn decides to take matters into her own hands by having the rebirth ceremony. Yeah, we saw part of that in Season 1, as well. Though this time, there aren’t any possible weddings happening. Yet. Unfortunately, Nightwatch decides to express their displeasure with Sheridan by going after Delenn. I suppose, those three Minbari warships hovering in the background might have something to do with that.
Anyway, it does seem that Sheridan has had enough. He makes that rather clear in the end. We also have a few secrets revealed. Some of them will have an impact on the future of the story. Overall, this episode slows down the pace a bit after the roller-coaster we’ve been on. Pay particular attention to G’Kar. We will be contrasting him now with him in the future.
Raul and Jim are quite wrong in this episode. JP Harvey is NOT a guest. As of this episode he joins the podcast are our third host of the show and we are all much better for it.
Joining JP in our exalted guest list is the appearance of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. With those two, can it get any better? Well, yes it can. We also get the ever popular Marshall Teague back as Ta’Lon. OH! And Maggie is back!
A cast like this can only mean that we are in for a very special episode. This is the second part of the mid-season trilogy that changes the course of the show. After the events of last week, we find President Clark forced to make his move to consolidate power. That means bad things for Babylon 5 as the Nightwatch infiltration reaches a climax. Zach will have to find his way out from that spot between a rock and a hard place.
Londo is also having something of an existential crisis, so he pull in a bit of existential help. The outcome isn’t quite … well … it’s not what he hopes, but it is what he fears. He gets several puzzles added to his confusion with his answers. Of course. Vir also gets a few surprises along the way.
G’Kar explains his epiphany and why he is no longer what we saw in the beginning of the show. He also has a solution for a lot of the crew’s problems.
JMS describes this episode as a day where everything that can go wrong does go wrong. That’s a pretty good description. Vir’s having a bad day; Londo gets him a promotion. G’Kar isn’t doing much better; his replacement has arrived. And Sheridan? His day is so bad dealing with the guilds that the station getting blown up seems to be an option for improvement. Delenn seems to be the only one where things are going good. She’s getting a new ambassador to Minbar from the Centauri. Yep, that actually is a good thing. At least for her.
I know what those days are like. Bet you do, too.
This episode is also Straczynski’s tribute to Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series. Great classic SciFi I’d encourage everyone to read. At least give the original set of short stories a try.
This is one of the very few episodes that does not actually advance the main arc this year. That is, there is little to do at all with the Shadow War. That said, we do see a peek inside several of the characters; especially Sheridan, Londo, and G’kar.
Sheridan might be command rank, but he’s not above rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty. His “I’ll fix it myself” attitude can almost be messianic at times. Hmmm… Foreshadowing? In the case of Londo and G’kar, it’s more of a looking back rather than a looking ahead. Both characters are about to undergo some big changes and having them trapped together gives us a very clear picture of where they are now and where they were in the past. This is especially true with G’kar.
And? And, we get some Narn singing. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Jim threatened Raul with great bodily harm if he tried to turn it into a sing-along.
This is it. This is the episode you’ve been waiting for. Prepare to have a lot of questions answered. Or not. We get a big reveal for which we have waited since The Gathering. Or not. We get a great hour-plus of Babylon 5 discussion. Or not. Ok, we certainly do get that whenever you put Jim and Raul on the same podcast.
So you really don’t want to miss it.
Join us as we discuss the incredible season two finale; something Raul calls one of the best season finales in television. Players’ hands are revealed. Things planted in season one germinate. We also see just how well B5 can take care of itself since Gen. Franklin’s “upgrades.” (Think that might play a role in the future?)
It seems like each episode through the next several seasons just keep getting better. Most shows, you don’t find episodes like this until the end of the season when they are building to their finale. Heck, this episode could be a season finale with the Shadow war starting the next season. But no… JMS puts this one smack in the middle. If you’re new to the series, this episode will give you a hint of what is coming.
This is the arc episode of the season. The title of the episode also gives its name to the title of the season. This episode is also the first Hugo win for Best Dramatic Presentation for Babylon 5.
The season isn’t half over and the roller coaster has already begun…