Babylon 5–Z’ha’dum (1996)   1 comment

There is a Shadow behind Captain Sheridan.

(FIFTIETH IN A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS)

It was two years ago, in series time, that G’Kar issued the first warnings that the Shadows had returned to Z’ha’dum.  The Vorlons had known before that.  The forces of Light have moved cautiously, gathering their forces, until recent episodes.  Now the Shadows strike back against Sheridan in a personal way–via his wife, presumed dead for years.

Sheridan’s First Reaction to Anna’s Return

About a year prior (in In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum), Delenn and Kosh had told Sheridan that Anna had died on Z’ha’dum.  The Shadows, they said, had killed those who refused to cooperate.  This was obviously not true, so why is Anna alive now?  And why is she speaking cheerfully in support of the Shadows?

Recall also Kosh’s warning to Sheridan from In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum:  “If you go to Z’ha’dum, you will die.”

Not the Anna Sheridan John Sheridan Knew; Not the Woman He Married

Perhaps the most terrifying horror movie is the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  To recognize a person outwardly as someone known yet to realize that the soul is absent is scary.  That is what the Shadows did to those among the Icarus crew who did not cooperate with their ultra-Social Darwinian plans for war and genocide; they stuck them inside ships and converted them into CPUs, in the style of what they were planning to do to the rogue telepaths in Ship of Tears.  Dr. Franklin realizes this when he finds scars consistent with implants, such as those on the rogue telepaths in coolers aboard Babylon 5 until technology enables someone to remove the implants.

Sheridan, realizing the truth but not telling Anna what he knows, agrees to go with her to Z’ha’dum, to meet with the Shadows.  They travel aboard the original White Star, which makes Anna uneasy because the ship is based partially on Vorlon technology, and the Shadows despise the Vorlons.

John Sheridan, Justin, and Anna Sheridan

On Z’ha’dum, Anna introduces John Sheridan to Justin, a middle man (“the man in-between” who is seeking Sheridan, according a Kosh-induced dream from the second season).  Justin, along with Anna and Mr. Morden, explains the Shadows’ agenda:  to promote progress via bloodshed.  Then Captain Sheridan tells them that he knows what the Shadows did to Anna.

Shadow Vessels Outside Babylon 5

With Captain Sheridan on Z’ha’dum, the Shadows send ships to Babylon 5.  Oddly enough, they do not destroy it.  They are waiting for something.  Commander Ivanova scrambles fighters to protect the station, and Security Chief Michael Garibaldi is in one of them.

Delenn Weeping

Aboard Babylon 5, Delenn opens a message from Captain Sheridan.  It ends with, “I love you, Delenn.  Goodbye.”

Captain Sheridan, with Nowhere to Run

Captain Sheridan, pursued by the Shadows and his body snatcher wife, flees to a balcony overlooking a vast underground city (covered by a dome) and a very deep hole.  He knows that the Shadows do not; he has just sent the White Star, with two thermonuclear weapons aboard, flying toward his position.

The White Star breaks through the city dome, and the weapons detonate as Captain Sheridan falls into the very deep hole.

Back at Babylon 5, the Shadow vessels break off.  One picks up the starfury fighter piloted by Security Chief Garibaldi, and Commander Ivanova realizes telepathically that Captain Sheridan is dead.

The Shadow War pauses as the Shadows lick their wounds.

The episode ends with G’Kar’s narration:

It was the end of the Earth year 2260, and the war had paused, suddenly and unexpectedly. All around us, it was as if the universe were holding its breath. Waiting… All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments of revelation. This had the feeling of both….G’Quon wrote, ‘There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.

Thus ends the third season of Babylon 5.  The fourth season is the most intense of the series.  That season features the resurrection of Captain Sheridan, the end of the Shadow War, a Minbari civil war, the resolution of the Earth Civil War, and the creation of a new galactic order.  Stay tuned and keep reading!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2010 COMMON ERA

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

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

One response to “Babylon 5–Z’ha’dum (1996)

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

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