Babylon 5–Shadow Dancing (1996)   4 comments

Commander Ivanova:  “Well, who wants to live forever?”


Shadow Dancing resolves Dr. Stephen Franklin’s walkabout while advancing the Susan Ivanova-Marcus Cole relationship  and building momentum toward the creation of the Interstellar Alliance, which culminates at the end of the fourth season.  The episode does all this breathlessly and with many wonderful character moments.  Follow along with me.

The Shadow War heats up.  Sheridan knows that the Shadows will attack soon in a specified sector of space.  So he sends Commander Ivanova and Marcus Cole aboard a White Star ship as advance scouts.  When they send the signal, the gathered multi-species forces (formerly quarreling among themselves) will emerge from hyperspace and attack the Shadows.  This is to be the opposite of the Shadows’ divide-and-conquer strategy.

Aboard their ship, Marcus speaks Minbari to Susan Ivanova:

He tells her that it actually means, “My words are inadequate for the burden of my heart.”  That is true, in a way.  Marcus loves Susan, but tells her that only once–at the end of the fourth season.  His love is deep, taking the form of selfless devotion–perhaps as close to agape as a human can get.

But I get ahead of myself.  Back to our regularly scheduled program.

The multi-species attack against the Shadows succeeds, ending with Shadow vessels retreating.  Yet the Shadows are not done yet.  Shortly afterward, a Shadow vessel launches a ship with one passenger on board.  That vessel heads for Babylon 5.

While on walkabout, Dr. Stephen Franklin nears death after attempting to stop an assault and battery on another person.  Bleeding and injured, he meets himself at last, or so he imagines.  Imaginary Dr. Franklin lectures real Dr. Franklin about not running away from his troubles anymore.  So our good doctor crawls to the safety of security personnel, who notify medical personnel.

Later, the recuperating Dr. Franklin accepts his old job back.  He tells Captain Sheridan that he (Franklin) had defined himself by what he was not.  So he had missed many moments, which was all he had.  Now Franklin had come to define himself by what he was–alive; “everything else is negotiable.”  These are wise words indeed.

Now, back to that person from the Shadows-dispatched vessel.

When Minbari become close, the female watches the male sleep for a few nights.  If she likes what she sees, the two become closer.  If not, the relationship ends there.  So it is that Delenn is watching Captain Sheridan sleep when the door opens and Sheridan’s wife, Anna, presumed dead for years, enters.

Anna Sheridan, Not Really Dead

This is a delicate situation–and a perilous one.  The Shadows sent her.

Roll to end credits.

The next episode is the third season finale, which has haunted my memory since I watched it the first time in 1996.



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

Posted July 30, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 3

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