Babylon 5–Severed Dreams (1996)   1 comment

Part of the Aftermath of the Battle of Babylon 5

(FORTY-SECOND IN A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS)

Severed Dreams is a powerful and moving episode about the high cost freedom carries sometimes.  It is also the episode for which Babylon 5 won its second Hugo Award.  The title goes back to the first season opening titles narration:  “Babylon 5 was a dream given form.”  The original purpose of Babylon 5 was to create and maintain peace in the wake of the Earth-Minbari War of 2245-2248, which almost resulted in the destruction of Earth and the near extinction of the human race.  Yet, as Commander Ivanova’s voiceover in the second season finale, The Fall of Night, and the third season opening credits narration indicate, Babylon 5 failed to become the last, best chance for peace.  Now it has become something greater–our last, best chance for victory.

Major Ryan Ponders the Costs of War Aboard the E.A.S. Alexander

It is five days after the previous episode.  The E.A.S. Alexander is fighting the E.A.S. Clarkstown, which is loyal to President Clark.  The Clarkstown‘s attack has just killed General Hague, so Major Ryan is now in command on the Alexander.  Ryan gives the order to destroy the Clarkstown.  Then, speaking to his Executive Officer, Ryan says that he knew the captain of the Clarkstown–that he had a wife, young children, and an Abyssynian cat named Max.  In this war, Ryan says, “we know everyone we kill.”  Ryan then gives the command to head to Babylon 5, for repairs.

The Final Broadcast of ISN Before the Military Shuts It Down

Reaction to the declaration of martial law has been mixed during the five days since President Clark declared it.  Many people support it, for it restores order and reduces crime rates to almost zero.  Many others, however, have chosen to resist.  The colony on Proxima III has seceded from the Earth Alliance over martial law.  And the governor of the Mars colony has refused to institute martial law, so Clark has ordered the bombing of civilian targets on Mars.  Furthermore, just as the Interstellar News Network (ISN) reports all this, military forces loyal to Clark cease the channel’s transmissions.

Be afraid.   Be very afraid.

Captain Sheridan, Major Ryan, and Captain Hiroshi

Not only does the Alexander, under Major Ryan’s command, arrive at Babylon 5.  So does the Churchill, under the command of Captain Sandra Hiroshi.  President Clark knows where the ships are, and the destroyers Agrippa and Roanoke are en route to seize control of Babylon 5 and place all rebellious officers under arrest.  It is time to fight.

Delenn Confronts the Grey Council

The Shadows have been encouraging minor powers to fight each other.  This is what the Shadows do:  they sow chaos.  Minor powers think that they are invincible with the backing of the Shadows, but that they cannot win if the Shadows back other minor powers.  So they fight each other, and many sentients die needlessly.  The Grey Council, the Minbari ruling body, has heard of this and stated that this does not concern them.  So Delenn, once a member of the Grey Council, confronts them and dissolves that body, taking with her those who will resist the forces of darkness.

David Sheridan, John Sheridan’s Father

Before John Sheridan does what he must do, he calls his father, David.  David Sheridan says that he knows John will do the right thing, which is not to start a fight but to finish it.  This might be the last conversation they have in a while, but John needs to make some difficult decisions, so David lets his son make them and follow up on them.  “I will talk to you when I talk to you,” David Sheridan says.

Then John Sheridan makes a public declaration:  Babylon 5 is seceding from the Earth Alliance.

The Agrippa and the Roanoke arrive and begin their assault on Babylon 5, the Alexander, and the Churchill.  Forces loyal to President Clark enter the station via a breaching pod, so human and Narn security personnel fight Earth Force soldiers on the lower decks, too.   Babylon 5 and the Alexander survive the first assault, but the Churchill does not:

Captain Hiroshi’s last act is to ram the Churchill into the Agrippa, destroying both vessels.  And the Roanoke explodes under the barrage from the Alexander and Babylon 5.

Then Clark’s second armada arrives.  Babylon 5 and the Alexander are in no condition to fight back.  All seems lost until three Minbari vessels and the White Star, under Delenn’s command, arrive.

In a thrilling moment for a Babylon 5 fan, for the following exchange occurs:

Delenn:  This is Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari. Babylon 5 is under our protection. Withdraw or be destroyed!

Earth Force Captain:  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!

The Earth Force vessels leave.

It is helpful to be on Delenn’s good side.

Back on Babylon 5, station personnel take prisoners, prepare to deport the Night Watch personnel who are not incognito, and gather the wounded and the killed.  Major Ryan and Captain Sheridan augment their diminished supply of Starfury fighters and pilots with survivors from the Churchill, and Sheridan vows not to wear his Earth Force duty uniform for a while.

Civilians and station personnel give Sheridan, Garibaldi, Ivanova, and Delenn a standing ovation.  Yet on the wall behind our heroes is a poster:  TRAITORS CAN’T HIDE.

The struggle has just begun.  Evil can still win if Good is not very careful.  And greater sacrifices will be necessary for Good to win.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 25, 2010 COMMON ERA

All images are property of Warner Brothers, and I do not profit from said images.

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Posted July 25, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Reviews

One response to “Babylon 5–Severed Dreams (1996)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2260) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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