Babylon 5–Endgame (1997)   2 comments

Captain John Sheridan:  “We are here to place President Clark under arrest, to disband Night Watch, and return our government to the hands of her people.”

(SIXTY-FIFTH IN A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS)

Babylon 5 has been building to this point since Chrysalis, the first season finale, in which Vice President William Morgan Clark assassinated President Luis Santiago, with help, of course.  President Clark has turned Earth into an inward-looking dictatorship.  That ends with this climactic episode, a thrill ride and emotional roller coaster.

General Robert Lefcourt, Earth Force

President Clark has stationed a large fleet of destroyers at Mars.  Captain Sheridan knows that he needs to disable these vessels before heading to Earth for the final showdown, for he does not want Clark-loyal forces attacking him from the front and the rear.  Commanding the Earth Force fleet at Mars is General Robert Lefcourt, an old-style soldier.  Lefcourt trained Sheridan and still admires the rebel leader, and even regrets having to kill Sheridan.  Yet Lefcourt is willing to do this job because he believes that a soldier’s job is obey orders handed down through the chain of command, not to affect political change.

Sheridan disables most Earth Force vessels at Mars with telepaths he rescued from the Shadows in Ship of Tears, during the previous season.  This is why Sheridan wanted some telepaths mobile:  so they will awaken when Lyta Alexander triggers them and bond with any machine nearby, thereby disabling a warship.  When a Clark-loyal vessel is not disabled, White Star ships target engines and weapons only, as the image below depicts:

Meanwhile, Marcus Cole, the Ranger who has a platonic love for Commander Susan Ivanova cuts through a series of evasive answers and encrypted computer files to discover that there is a way to save her life on Babylon 5.  It is the alien execution/healing device from The Quality of Mercy (first season).  The machine can prove deadly to the person donating life energy if he or she loses consciousness while the machine is attached and functioning.  But Marcus does not care.  So he takes the White Star he commands back to Babylon 5 while the rest of the fleet proceeds to Earth.

Marcus Cole, Headed Back to Babylon 5

Early Morning (Earth Standard Time), November 2, 2061: Captain Sheridan’s fleet of renegade Earth Force vessels arrives in Earth orbit.  He commands from his old ship, the E.A.S. Agamemnon.  The verbatim text of Sheridan’s speech broadcast to Earth follows:

This is Captain John Sheridan.  We are here on the authority of a multiplanetary force that can no longer stand by and watch one of their greatest allies falling into darkness and despair.  We are here on behalf of the thousands of civilians murdered under orders from the current administration who have no one else to speak for them, and on behalf of the Earth Force unites that have joined us to oppose the tyranny that has darkened Earth ever since President Santiago was assassinated three years ago.  We are here to place President Clark under arrest, to disband Night Watch, and return our government to the hands of her people.

We know that many in the government have wanted to act, but have been intimidated by threats of retaliation against your families, your friends.  You are not alone anymore.  We call upon you to rise up and do what is right.  We have drawn their forces away from Earth and disabled them.  The time to act is now.  This is not the voice of treason.  These are your sons, your daughters, whose loyalties have never wavered, whose beliefs in this alliance have forced us to take extraordinary means.  For justice, for peace, for the future, we have come home.

(It sounds even more impressive when actor Bruce Boxleitner utters the words and the music swells.)

President William Morgan Clark in His Office

In his office, President William Morgan Clark listens to the audio of Sheridan’s speech.  Clark activates the planetary defense system and targets the fleet.  Sheridan summons the alien ships, for the planetary defense system is firing missiles at the forces of liberation:

Meanwhile, a senator, surrounded by Earth Force Marines, marches toward the presidential office, the doors of which Clark has obstructed.  Clark has written “THE ASCENSION OF THE ORDINARY MAN’ repeatedly on office stationery and circled letters spelling “SCORCHED EARTH.”  In other words, if he cannot have what he wants, more innocent people will die.

Then the President turns the planetary defense system on Earth.  Next he commits suicide as the Marines force open the doors to his office.  The senator, realizing the meaning of what Clark has done in his final official act, contacts Captain Sheridan and asks for help.

SCORCHED EARTH

The fleet destroys all the defense platforms except one, and that one is about to fire on the eastern seaboard of North America.  The Agamemnon, which has taken heavy damage, is the closest vessel to that platform.  But its forward guns are inoperative, so the ship will have to ram the defense platform.  Sheridan, on board the Agamemnon, gives the order and braces for death:

Fortunately, the E.A.S. Apollo, which a telepath had disabled at Mars, has restored its systems. General Lefcourt, in command, arrives in the nick of time.  He has been monitoring the situation at Earth.  Lefcourt tells Sheridan to “hang onto his hat” and destroys the final, lethal defense platform.  The Agamemnon is close to the platform, yet survives with all hands:

General Lefcourt welcomes Captain Sheridan home.  The general is still a by-the-books guy; Sheridan will have to stand before a board of inquiry.  Nevertheless, welcome home.

ISN, Back to Its Old Self

Jane, the ISN anchor broadcasting over a year ago when Clark’s elite forces stormed the network headquarters, is out of prison and back on the air.  Tearfully she announces the reasons for her absence, mentions in general terms what she and other journalists have endured, and announces what Captain Sheridan has done.

Marcus Cole and Susan Ivanova

Back on Babylon 5, to which Dr. Franklin is speeding on a White Star, Marcus Cole is using the alien device to transfer his life energy to the dying Susan Ivanova.  His last words before losing consciousness are “I love you.”

He will die quite soon.  But there is no greater love than to give one’s life for another.

The Earth Civil War has ended.  Its fallout occupies much of the remainder of the series, however.  Remember that this is Babylon 5, a series about actions and their consequences.  The Shadow War ended early in this (the fourth) season, and its aftermath plays out for the remainder of the series’ run.

Stay tuned and keep reading!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 16, 2010 COMMON ERA

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

Posted August 16, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 4

2 responses to “Babylon 5–Endgame (1997)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2261) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Pingback: B5 Rewatch: 4x20 "Endgame" - ***Dave Does the Blog | ***Dave Does the Blog

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