Babylon 5–Objects at Rest (1998)   1 comment

Fireworks Mark the Arrival of Sheridan and Delenn on Minbar

(EIGHTY-SIXTH IN A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS)

Objects at Rest is the last episode of the 1994-1998 series filmed.  The filming of the series finale, Sleeping in Light, occurred in 1997, at the end of the fourth season.  At that time, a fifth season was not guaranteed.  Objects at Rest is a moving episode, one of promise and foreboding.  It leaves some plot threads dangling, but one can deduce and discover their resolutions by reading novels and examining comments by series creator J. Michael Straczyinski (JMS for short).

Have you ever not been able to sleep on the night before a major event in your life?  President John Sheridan has such a case of insomnia.  So he walks to Command and Control, where Captain Elizabeth Lochley is keeping watch.  She can’t sleep, either.  The two converse, wondering where the time has gone. Has it been a year?

Meanwhile, two individuals learn of their new assignments.

Ta’Lon arrives at G’Kar’s quarters, but does not find G’Kar.  Instead, he finds a recording, in which G’Kar appoints him the new Ambassador from Narn.  “Serve our people” is Ta’Lon’s commission from G’Kar.

Dr. Stephen Franklin chooses Dr. Lillian Hobbs, a member of his staff, to succeed him on the space station.  She wonders why, noting that other doctors have more medical experience.  Yes, Dr. Franklin says, but they are specialists; the chief medical officer must be a generalist, which she is.  His job done, Dr. Franklin departs for Earth to begin his new job, a promotion.

Michael Garibaldi convenes a meeting at the headquarters of Edgars Industries, on Mars.  He has summoned the most notorious malcontents and trouble makers, people stuck for years in middle management positions.  Then Garibaldi informs them that they now sit on the Board of Directors.  Their job is to tell him where he is wrong.  If they correct, they get a bonus.  If they are wrong, he will “have them for them lunch.”  I wonder what lessons one might learn from the management tactics of Michael Garibaldi.

Sheridan and Delenn had hoped for a quiet departure.  They got a mass of people gathered to see them off.  Delenn addresses the group:  There is no Minbari word of “goodbye;” she will pass this way again.

Sheridan, Delenn, and Lennier, who surprised them by coming to Babylon 5 on this day, leave the space station for a White Star.  Sheridan orders the crew turn the ship so that it faces the station and match its rotation.  In Command and Control, Lochley salutes Sheridan.  Aboard the White Star, Sheridan returns the salute.  Then the White Star departs for Minbar.

The trip to Minbar is eventful in a negative way.  While Sheridan walks down a corridor, he discovers that a Ranger has found a leak in the weapon coolant system.  The President rushes to the Ranger’s aid just as the pressure door closes.  Lennier is also close by, but he hesitates to open the pressure door and to save Sheridan’s life:

So Lennier runs away and Sheridan has to force the opening of the pressure door from his side.  Lennier takes a one-man fighter craft and flees the White Star, in shame.

Delenn asks Sheridan to give Lennier “some room.”  There are all moments when we are not ourselves, she says.  In those moments some some people make mistakes.  Sheridan consents to Delenn’s request; this is a time for a good beginning.

Emperor Mollari II is on Minbar, waiting for Sheridan and Delenn.  Mollari seems friendly.  This odd, given the recent events of The Fall of Centauri Prime.  The three have dinner, during which Delenn perceives something disturbing:

A Drakh Keeper is visible only when it wishes to be.  Yet Delenn, who is sensitive to Shadow influences, detects (briefly) the Keeper on Londo’s shoulder.  She does not understand what she has seen, although we viewers do.

Delenn leaves the dinner table to accept a call from Lennier.  He apologizes, saying he never meant any harm.  He will seek a way to redeem himself.

Aside:  JMS has stated that Lennier and Lyta die during an explosion at Psi-Corps headquarters during the Telepath War, which is over by late 2266.  (This episode is set in late 2262.)

Londo extends his well wishes for Sheridan and Delenn’s unborn child.  He brings a gift, a ceremonial urn usually given to the heir to the throne.  They are to give to urn to the child on his sixteenth birthday.  Londo says he will probably be the last Emperor, for the office will probably expire with him.  Sheridan and Delenn accept the urn.  The dinner done, Londo returns to his ship, in orbit.

The Keeper speaks to Londo:

“You have done well. As a reward you may have an hour free from us.”

The Centauri Emperor is no more than a servant to an alien on his shoulder.  This a sad ending for a proud man.

We, the viewers, learn what Sheridan and Delenn do not know yet:  the urn contains a Keeper:

I will pickup this plot thread in my post on the movie In the Beginning.

Sheridan cannot sleep that night.  So he gets up and makes a recording of advice for this unborn child.  Recall that Sheridan has 19 years of life left, so he will not be around for most of the child’s life.  This is some of Sheridan’s advice:

“Delenn is the greatest ally you will have. Her depths of courage and compassion are unmatched in my experience. Look to her for wisdom and fire in equal measure. And if you ever have doubt, talk to her. She will never judge you, she will only love you….Fight for what you believe in. Which brings me to the first piece of advice my dad ever gave me, and now I’m giving to you: Never start a fight, but always finish it.”

Sheridan asks Delenn, who has also gotten out of bed, “Did I tell you today how much I love you?” “Yes,” she answers with a smile. “But you may continue to repeat it for as long as you like.” “Oh, I plan to. Every day that I can.”

Sheridan and Delenn are a great couple.  Kudos to Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan for their wonderful acting, which makes the fictional relationship believable.

So begins the 19-years period between the 2258-2262 narrative of events on the Babylon 5 space station and Sleeping in Light, which tells of Sheridan’s final days.  A few movies, a prematurely killed series, a direct-to-DVD release, and some JMS-authorized novels fill in some of the details of those years.  That time period is my next destination in this series of posts.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 11, 2010 COMMON ERA

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

Posted October 11, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 5

One response to “Babylon 5–Objects at Rest (1998)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2262) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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