Archive for the ‘Babylon 5 Season 5’ Category

Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2263 and Later)   Leave a comment


Above:  The Destruction of Babylon 5


River of Souls:

The Legend of the Rangers:  To Live and Die in Starlight:


A Call to Arms:


The Lost Tales:  Voices in the Dark:

In the Beginning:

War Without End, Parts I and II:

Sleeping in Light:

The Deconstruction of Falling Stars:


Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2262)   Leave a comment


Above:  Title Card for the Fifth Season of Babylon 5


The Deconstruction of Falling Stars:

No Compromises:

The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari:

The Paragon of Animals:

A View from the Gallery:

Learning Curve:

Day of the Dead:


Strange Relations:

Secrets of the Soul:

In the Kingdom of the Blind:

A Tragedy of Telepaths:

Phoenix Rising:

The Ragged Edge:

The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father:

Meditations on the Abyss:

Darkness Ascending:

All My Dreams, Torn Asunder:

Movements of Fire and Shadow:

The Fall of Centauri Prime:

The Wheel of Fire:

Objects in Motion:

Objects at Rest:


Posted August 22, 2013 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 5

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Babylon 5–Sleeping in Light (1998)   1 comment

Space Station Babylon 5 Shortly Before Its Destruction


A series finale can be a tricky thing.  Was the entire series a figment of a child’s imagination, as in the case of St. Elsewhere?  Or was it a dream, as Newhart was?  Perhaps everything happened, Sam and Diane do not get back together, and the bar closes for the night, only to open the next day.  That was the scenario of One for the Road, the last episode of Cheers.  The ending of Star Trek:  Voyager was disappointing, with the ship getting home in the final moments.  Now what?

The best final episodes focus on characters.  I think of What You Leave Behind, with which Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine came to an end.  Jake was left without his father, who had joined the Bajoran Prophets in the wormhole.  And the memory of watching Admiral Adama grasp the hand of the dead Laura Roslin at the end of Battlestar Galactica still moves me.

I file Sleeping in Light among the best final episodes.  In fact, I consider it the best series finale.  This one is pure emotion.  The cast and crew were emotional wrecks during its filming.  J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) turned into an emotional wreck while recording the DVD commentary track for it.  And I have wept during it.

So let us begin.

Sheridan and Delenn Watch the Minbari Sunrise

It is the Earth year 2281, two decades since Captain John Sheridan died at Z’ha’dum.  Delenn is now the President of the Interstellar Alliance, and Sheridan has taken his wife’s old job, Ranger One.  He knows that he will die soon, for the twenty years Lorien granted him have almost expired.  And Sheridan has had the same foreboding dream for three consecutive nights.  He gets up early one morning to watch the sunrise, something he has never done on Minbar.  Delenn joins him.  Afterward, she sends out the invitations to Sheridan’s farewell gathering.

Rangers deliver invitations to Emperor Vir Cotto on Centauri Prime, Michael Garibaldi on Mars, and General Susan Ivanova on Earth.  Garibaldi is married happily to Lise, has a teenage daughter, and is still running Edgars Industries.  He is in the company of Dr. Stephen Franklin, still head of Xenobiological Research on Earth, when the Ranger arrives; the two travel to Minbar together.  The invitation intended for Zack Allan comes back; Sheridan and Delenn do not yet know that Zack is back in the military and on Babylon 5.

General Susan Ivanova

Susan Ivanova’s career path has been upward, rising from Captain in 2262 to General in 2281.  Yet she finds her work boring, and she has closed her heart since the death of Marcus Cole.  This is Ivanova’s situation when a Ranger arrives with an invitation from Minbar.

Old Friends Together for the Last Time

The final gathering is an occasion of laughter and stories.  It is, in simple terms, a time in which Sheridan does not speak of the obvious fact:  he has only a few days to live.  His son, David, is not present; David is in Ranger training.  Delenn is barely holding on emotionally, as is Ivanova.

The friends toast those who are deceased:  G’Kar, Londo, Lennier, Marcus.

The Final Embrace

The next morning, before the others awake, Sheridan and Delenn rise.  He puts on the black uniform for the first time in years.  It is tight in places; it must have shrunk while in storage, he says.   Sheridan is leaving Delenn for the last time, to take a ship to the Corianna system, where the Shadow War ended.  There he will die.  He embraces his wife, “the brightest star in my sky,” and leaves silently.

John Sheridan on Babylon 5 for the Last Time

Sheridan visits Babylon 5 first, however.  The space station is nearly deserted.  Commander Nils, the commanding officer, says that the station has become redundant; almost nobody comes there anymore.  The Earth Alliance government, again in possession of the space station, has to make budget cuts, so Babylon 5 is slated for destruction soon.  Sheridan sticks around long enough to speak to Zack Allan, who is back on board, but must leave, for his time grows short.

Lorien and Sheridan

Sheridan takes his ship to the Corianna system, where Lorien meets him.  The two will travel beyond the Rim, and Sheridan can never come back.  So Lorien assumes Sheridan bodily, leaving the vessel empty, with all the airlocks sealed.

A few days later, Zack, Ivanova, Vir, Garibaldi, and Delenn attend the decommissioning ceremony aboard Babylon 5.  Garibaldi takes a souvenir, a shot glass.  He is still sober after all these years.

The Destruction of Babylon 5

A maintenance worker played by JMS turns out the lights.  As the last ship leaves Babylon 5, the controlled destruction of the space station begins.  An interspecies delegation is on hand to witness the event.

Garibaldi returns to Mars, Franklin to Earth, and Vir to Centauri Prime.  Zack goes to Centauri Prime, to work for Vir.

Ivanova becomes Ranger One.

Ivanova’s voiceover summarizes the philosophy of the series:

Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. There would never be another. It changed the future, and it changed us. It taught us that we had to create the future, or others will do it for us.  It showed us that we have to care for each other, because if we don’t, who will?  And that strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely of places.  Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings, even for people like us.

And, Ivanova finishes, “As for Delenn, every morning for as long as she lived, Delenn got up before dawn and watched the sun come up…”

Aside:  JMS filmed Sleeping in Light at the end of the fourth season, so the credits reflect that season’s cast.  It is an interesting exercise to watch this episode after Rising Star, which is how the series might have ended, if not for Turner Network Television (TNT).  I do know, however, that JMS did not complete the final edit of Sleeping in Light until 1998; he said so in the commentary track for the episode.  So, with an eye toward continuity, one might speculate that Elizabeth Lochley was dead in 2281.  Her character did not exist until the fifth season, hence her absence here, but I think of series continuity.

Back to the episode:

A voiceover explains that this series has been an ISN documentary.  A series of photographs follows quickly.  Pausing the disc reveals images of all the behind-the-scenes people responsible for the Babylon 5 series.

The credits, located at the end of the episode, show our main characters as he saw them first (chronologically) and last (chronologically).

People change.  We all know this, do we not?  Yet much television programming presents static characters.  This approach makes casual viewing easy.  Babylon 5, however, requires one to watch carefully and to pay close attention to details.  And the series rewards all those who do this.  One can see the characters change greatly over a few years, as in real life.  The final closing credits present these transformations dramatically.

This journey has ended.  Thank you for taking it with me.



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

Posted October 21, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 5

Babylon 5–In the Beginning (1998)   2 comments

Earth Alliance President Elizabeth Levy Addresses the Troops Before the Battle of the Line in 2248:  “Though Earth May Fall….”


The first four seasons of Babylon 5 aired in syndication as part of the Primetime Entertainment Network (PTEN). This platform ceased to exist in 1997. So series creator J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) pulled material intended for the fifth season into the fourth season and wrote and filmed the series finale, Sleeping in Light, the subject of the next (and final) post in this series of posts.  Then Turner Network Television (TNT) picked up Babylon 5 for the final season, commissioned some telefilms, and began to air the first four seasons.  Along the way, TNT gave JMS a chance to re-edit the pilot movie (The Gathering) and asked for a prequel, set to air on the Sunday night before the channel began to air first season episodes the next day.

I remember this well, for I was thrilled, and had videotapes and a VCR ready.  I had never seen The Gathering before, and the only cut of it I have seen fully is the re-edit that TNT broadcast and that is now available on disc.  And In the Beginning was wonderful, combining footage from episodes with new scenes to establish the background to the series and its universe.

There is a serious question among Babylon 5 fans about when to watch In the Beginning.  Should a B5 novice watch this first, or after the fourth season?  JMS reveals much of the back story throughout the first four seasons, so viewing In the Beginning first spoils surprises during the series.  On the other hand, this is a useful way to initiate a novice into the awe and splendor that is Babylon 5.

It is the Earth Year 2278.  Centauri Prime, the homeworld of the Centauri Republic, is devastated, with fires burning in the capital city.  (The fires are presumably the result of Drakh retalliation for the Resistance efforts led by Vir Cotto.)  Two cute and precocious children, Luc and Lyssa Jaddo, run through the royal palace.  They are related to Urza Jaddo, for whose death Londo Mollari was responsible in Knives (1995).

A Centauri woman comes to round up the children, who have wandered into the darkened throne room.  The children find the only window not boarded up, look out, and notice the devastation.  They wonder what happened to all the buildings.  The woman tells them that bad people made the buildings fall down.  Then she tells the children that they should not have entered the throne room, and that they need to leave.

But Londo Mollari, a.k.a. Emperor Mollari II, does not mind.  It has been too long since he has heard the sound of laughter in the throne room.  He summons the three guests to his throne, where he asks the children a generally fateful question in the Babylon 5 universe:

What do you want?

One might recall Londo’s bad answer from earlier in his life, when Mr. Morden asked him that question.  Mollari’s reply (to restore Centauri glory and destroy the Narn homeworld) set in motion a series of events that led to his current bad situation–a puppet controlled by aliens on his devastated homeworld.

The children have simpler ambitions, though.  They want merely to hear a story.  Lyssa wants to hear a true story, and her brother desires to hear one about heroes and great battles.  So Londo Mollari, a pitiful old man filled with regrets and who knows his sins, tells them the story of the Earth-Minbari War, which ended in 2248, with the Minbari surrendering on the eve of final victory over Earth.

The present tense for this telefilm is within the third-season two-parter, War Without End (1996).  URL here:  So we audience members know already that this the last day of Londo’s life.  I will return to this point later in this post, but I mention this now to explain why I place this post at this point in the series of Babylon 5 posts.

Back to the Earth-Minbari War…..

It is the 2240s, and the Earth Alliance is full of itself, replete with military pride and hubris.  Earth, under one government, has expanded into outer space, where it has colony worlds, is expanding its sphere of influence, and is boasting over the recent victory over the Dilgar in a war.  Next, they plot to attempt to make contact with the Minbari, but a young Londo Mollari, stationed on Earth, attempts unsuccessfully to prevent this.

Delenn with Dukhat

The Minbari, meanwhile, have heard about the Humans, but have not met them, either.  The Minbari leader, Dukhat, is preparing his acolyte, Delenn, to join the Grey Council, the ruling body.  He also has a secret:  Dukhat is is secret contact with two Vorlons, Kosh and Ulkesh, who tell him that the Shadow threat is returning.  So Dukhat tries to persuade the Grey Council to investigate this threat, and decides that the warship carrying the council members will take the scenic, not obvious, route to Z’ha’dum, to see if the Shadows have returned there.  Maybe then the Council will support helping the Rangers, who are few in number and marginal in influence, with their task.

But before long, an Earth ship encounters the Grey Council vessel and fires on it, killing Dukhat.  It has all been a cultural misunderstanding, but a costly one.  The Grey Council gives the order to declare war, with Delenn, its newest member, breaking the tie.  The Humans do not stand a chance against one of the oldest space-faring races with superior technology.

Lt. Commander John Sheridan’s Destruction of the Black Star

Much of the story of the war is old hat to those who have seen Seasons 1-4.  It is sufficed to say that we see events characters discuss during those seasons.  We see Lt. Commander John Sheridan, First Officer of the E.A.S. Lexington, assume command after the captain dies in a Minbari attack.  We witness him destroy that Minbari vessel, the Black Star, with tactical nuclear weapons.  One might recall Captain John Sheridan tell the story to Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova in Points of Departure, the first episode of the second season, but seeing the events is more powerful than hearing about them.

Emperor Mollari II Laments the Fate of Centauri Prime

Emperor Mollari II is a great storyteller.  He is also a patriot.  Everything good and bad he has done has flowed from his patriotism.  So, as he tells this sad tale of the Earth-Minbari War and reveals that he was complicit in scuttling an attempt at peace talks between the Humans and the Minbari, he looks out over the burning capital city and laments.

2248:  On Earth, time has run out.  The Minbari fleet is on its way, and they will destroy Earth.  President Elizabeth Levy addresses the soldiers, telling them that they will certainly die, but that their sacrifices will allow civilian ships to escape and the human race to continue in neutral territory.  The President’s voice breaks:

We do not believe that survival is a possibility. We believe that everyone who joins this battle will never come home. But for every ten minutes we can delay the military advance, several hundred more civilians may have a chance to escape to neutral territory. Though Earth may fall, the human race must have a chance to continue elsewhere. No greater sacrifice has ever been asked of a people, but I ask you now, to step forward one last time, one last battle to hold the line against the night. May God go with you all.

(This is a powerful scene, especially with Christopher Franke’s music.)

Yet the Minbari surrender at the Battle of the Line.  They have, of course, discovered that the soul of Valen, founder of the Grey Council,  lives inside one Human, Jeffrey Sinclair.  Delenn herself gives the order to surrender.

And so the construction of the Babylon station begins, but ends in destruction.  The same is true of Babylon 2 and Babylon 3.  And Babylon 4 disappears shortly after becoming operational.  That is how we get to Babylon 5.

The woman and the children leave, and Londo is left alone again.  He consumes enough alcohol to put his Keeper to sleep and watches the captive Sheridan and Delenn in their cell.  And the movie ends.

Sheridan and Delenn’s son, David, has already turned sixteen years old.  Under the influence of the Keeper inside the urn, David Sheridan has traveled to Centauri Prime, with his parents not far behind.  This is how they have come to be in custody.  But, as Delenn says, David is safe now.  A novel tells of how, after these events, doctors removed David’s Keeper and the younger Sheridan went on with his life.

We know from War Without End that Londo frees Sheridan and Delenn and asks them to free his people.  Then the Keeper awakens and discovers Londo’s betrayal, just as G’Kar honors Londo’s wishes by strangling him.  G’Kar dies in the struggle too.

We know from novels that Vir, who has been aware of the Drakh presence on Centauri Prime for years and who has led the Resistance, finds Londo dead and kills the Emperor’s Keeper.  Vir escapes from pursuing Drakh, flees to Minbar, and secures Interstellar Alliance aid in defeating the Drakh and in rebuilding Centauri Prime.  He also becomes Emperor Cotto.  Voices in the Dark establishes that he dies in 2291, after thirteen years in office, succeeded (presumably) by Dius Vintari, son of the mad Emperor Cartagia.  Hopefully, Galen’s prophecy concerning the events of 2301 does not come true.

And Vir commissions a giant statue of Londo to stand guard over one side of the capital city and a giant statue of G’Kar to stand guard over the opposite side of the same city.  We know this from a novel too.

If you want to see the background to the series arranged chronologically, In the Beginning is the film for you.  And if you want to study the acting of Peter Jurasik, who portrays Londo Mollari, you are in for a treat.  The character Londo Mollari begins as a buffoon in The Gathering (1993) and the first season (1994), but becomes more complex.  He turns into a villain, then a hero, eventually into a pawn, then, at the end of his life, a martyr.  He is the most compelling character in the saga, and the skilled acting of Peter Jurasik brings him to life.

We have one more stop on our journey.  Sleeping in Light is the greatest series finale ever.  So I have decided to save the best for last.



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

Posted October 20, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 3, Babylon 5 Season 5

Babylon 5–Objects at Rest (1998)   1 comment

Fireworks Mark the Arrival of Sheridan and Delenn on Minbar


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.



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

Babylon 5–Objects in Motion (1998)   1 comment

Sheridan and Delenn, Almost Ready to Depart for Minbar


Objects in Motion and Objects at Rest, the last two filmed episodes of the original Babylon 5 series, tell of the transition aboard the space station at the end of the Earth year 2262.  Sheridan and Delenn leave for their new headquarters at Minbar, although the series does not indicate who succeeds Delenn as Minbari Ambassador to Babylon 5.  Michael Garibaldi leaves for Mars, to become a corporate tycoon; Zach Allan remains as Security Chief.  Dr. Stephen Franklin leaves for Earth, to become head of xenobiology for the President of the Earth Alliance; Dr. Lillian Hobbs replaces him as the chief medical officer.  G’Kar and Lyta depart for regions unknown, and Ta’Lon becomes the next Narn Ambassador.  Londo has already become the Centauri Emperor, so Vir Cotto is already Ambassador aboard Babylon 5.  Life moves on; so do the characters.

Tessa Halloran, formerly “Number One” of the Mars Resistance, is experiencing difficulty boarding Babylon 5.  She is a duly elected member of the Mars provisional government, which issues its own passports.  The Earth government, however, does not recognize these passports, so Halloran is arguing with a security guard who will not let her pass.  Fortunately for her, Dr. Stephen Franklin witnesses this exchange and recognizes her face.  (She had never told him her name.)  He vouches for her, and the guard relents.

Halloran is on board the space station to warn Garibaldi and Lise that someone has hired someone to kill them.  Halloran and Dr. Franklin visit Garibaldi and Lise while the former Security Chief is detoxing.  Lise is a good influence on Garibaldi.

The assassin is on Babylon 5.  The hired killer is the man on the right in the above picture.  He assaults and kills a security guard then steals his communications link.  The assassin is able eventually to listen to the station security channel, so he knows all the details of how to get to Garibaldi and Lise.

An angered Narn pilgrim confronts G’Kar, who has refused to speak to him.  The pilgrim has sacrificed much to travel to the space station, to find G’Kar, whom, he says, owes him time and attention.  G’Kar tells him to go home.

Halloran meets with President Sheridan.  The Earth government has done its passive-aggressive best to make problems for the Mars provisional government.  And corporations on Mars have interfered, too.  They had exploited Mars before planetary independence, and they dislike the new order.  Sheridan offers to set up an office on Minbar so that the Mars government can bypass Earth interference.  She accepts this offer, as well as the one to set up an account independent of Earth interference.  Then Sheridan asks her to remain for a few days; he is thinking about something.

Meanwhile, Zack Allan discovers that the assassin can listen to the station security communications channel.  The assassin knows the plans already made for the farewell ceremony for Garibaldi and G’Kar.  (I notice that nobody said farewell Lyta.  This confirms her suspicions that people just use her for their own ends.)

Zack makes plans (to which the assassin is not privy) to subdue him before he can do any harm.  And Zack’s plan succeeds.  Yet the resentful Narn shoots at G’Kar and succeeds in shooting Lise.  Security guards arrest the Narn, who faces the justice system.  Fortunately, Lise survives, and she and Garibaldi marry that day.

Garibaldi hauls the would-be assassin to Lyta, who scans him.  The legality of this is questionable, but neither Zack nor Lyta nor Garibaldi care about that matter very much.  Lyta uncovers the fact that the Board of Directors at Edgars Industries hired the man, for fear that Garibaldi would uncover and shut down black ops projects.

Garibaldi calls the Board of Directors.  He knows their deep, dark secrets, both personal and corporate.  Garibaldi fires them, effective immediately, and informs them that all have a bounty on their heads.  If Lise or Garibaldi die of anything other than “extreme old age,” it will be trouble for surviving (former) Board members.  And Garibaldi introduces them to Tessa Halloran, the new head of covert intelligence for the Interstellar Alliance.

Meanwhile, G’Kar and Lyta depart the station.  As she walks to G’Kar’s ship, Lyta looks back, hoping to see someone.  She sees nobody.  But, outside her range of vision, is Zack, who has long had unrequited love for her.  Some departures are bittersweet.

Delenn returns from Minbar, where she has been supervising the final stages of construction of the new headquarters for the Interstellar Alliance.  She and Sheridan may leave at any time.  Before they do, however, the see Garibaldi and Lise off then walk the entire five-miles length of the station.  They had never taken that walk before, and today is all they have.

So Babylon 5 (1994-1998) nears the end of its run.  I, as a viewer and fan, am sad to see it go, even though I write of a series that expired twelve years ago.  The characters are that compelling.  It is obvious that the actors felt the emotion, too, based on the farewell scenes.  I invite you to watch the series and to discover the greatness of Babylon 5, if you have not done so already.



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

Posted October 9, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 5

Babylon 5–The Wheel of Fire (1998)   1 comment

Michael Garibaldi Looks at an Idol of G’Kar


All good things things must come to an end, and the Babylon 5 series is no exception.  Wheel of Fire begins the short countdown to the exit of many familiar characters from the space station.  Perhaps the mass exodus at the end is contrived, but, given the end of the series, it is part of the process of tying up loose ends.

G’Kar returns to Babylon 5 from Centauri Prime with his popularity greater than before.  Narn pilgrims, many of them wielding three-dimensional images of G’Kar, travel to the space station and make life difficult for the Narn Ambassador.  Other Narns want G’Kar to return home and either take over or grant his imprimatur for their rule.  G’Kar just wants to get out of Dodge.

Michael Garibaldi’s drinking catches up with him when he shows up drunk and late to a meeting.  President Sheridan is initially angry, but Delenn talks him down.

Sheridan suspends Garibaldi, saying that his old friend is welcome back in the spy chief job after sobering up.  The President admits that he had suspected that Garibaldi was drinking again, but had hoped he was wrong.  This calls into question Sheridan’s judgment, especially given the recent events with the Centauri.  We viewers are supposed to sympathize with John Sheridan, the valiant hero who defeated the Shadows then Earth Alliance President William Morgan Clark.  But Sheridan is just as human and flawed as the rest of us, and he chose not to look closely on what the knew was true.

Garibaldi is feeling sorry for himself in his quarters when Captain Lochley visits.  She asks if she can help in any way.  The angry and sarcastic Garibaldi rebuffs her overtures of kindness, even storming out of his quarters.  But Lochley follows him.  She does know what he is experiencing, for she is both an alcoholic and a child of an alcoholic.  After this, Garibaldi and Lochley, who had locked horns from the beginning of the year, become friendly toward each other.

The Earth Government orders Lochley to arrest Lyta Alexander and question her.  Earth Security has been investigating terrorist attacks on the Psi Corps, and has traced the money trail back to Lyta.  Lochley and Security Chief Zack Allan take a security force to the public marketplace on Babylon 5, where Lyta is negotiating on behalf of rogue telepaths.  She is angry about the fact that others have pushed her around and used her, and refuses to go with the security forces.   Lyta uses her telepathic powers to control others around her, including Zack.  To borrow a line from Network (1976) she is mad as hell and she won’t take it anymore.

Lyta thinks she is invincible, given the contact she has had with the Vorlons.  But she does count the fact that President Sheridan, who has also had much contact with the Vorlons, has a gun.  He places a gun to Lyta’s head and orders her to release the others telepathically.  She relents, and guards take her away to the brig.

Later, Delenn storms in Sheridan’s office, shouting, “the bastards!”  (Some curse words sound cute with a Croatian accent, for actress Mira Furlan is from that nation-state.)  Delenn is upset because the Narn Government has announced that it will boycott all shipments to and from Babylon 5 until G’Kar returns home.  Then she faints.  It does not take long for Dr. Franklin to declare that Delenn is pregnant.  He was not sure that was possible until this time.  The pregnancy will be risky for Delenn, given her Minbari-Human hybrid biology, but Sheridan says that he wants both his wife and child alive, if possible.  But if he can have only one, he chooses Delenn.  (He gets both, by the way.)

Lise arrives on Babylon 5, in response to Garibaldi’s message, “I need you.”

Finally, Garibaldi decides to settle down with Lise.  He accepts her offer to return with her to Mars and help her run Edgars Industries.  First, however, she will help him sober up.

Garibaldi visits Lyta in her cell.  She is in physical restraints.  This makes no sense to me, given the fact that she destroys a security camera with her telepathic powers.  So what good are restraints?  Anyhow, they negotiate a deal, only part of which Garibaldi reveals to Captain Lochley.  Earth will drop all charges against Lyta; a Senator who receives a generous campaign donation each year from Edgars Industries will arrange for this.  Lyta will transfer all funds she has received from the Narn government into an account used for helping telepaths, and the books will be open for inspection by anyone at any time.  That is the public part of the bargain.

Yet Lochley wants more.  Lyta must leave Babylon 5.  G’Kar, who has wandered by the Captain’s office at that time, has his own proposal.  He must leave the station, too.  He plans to travel the galaxy, and would like to do so with Lyta, if she agrees.   Lochley consents to handling these matters in these ways.

But what did Garibaldi keep from Lochley?  The public bank account is just show; Garibaldi will set up the real account, which will fund terrorist activity against the Psi Corps.  Edgars Industries moves large amounts of money around often; who will notice some more money?  And if, after two years, Garibaldi has built a force Lyta can use against the Psi Corps, she will remove the telepathic block against harming Bester.  There is no risk that Garibaldi will take the money and run, for Lyta is a very powerful telepath.  The Vorlons have transformed her into the telepathic equivalent of a doomsday weapon.  So she can destroy Garibaldi if he cheats her.

That night, Delenn and Sheridan speculate that Londo is celebrating his coronation.  In reality, he is sitting alone and quietly in the darkened throne room.

This episode sets the stage for the Telepath War, which we never see on screen.  This conflict, in which Lyta is involved, ends by 2267 (five years after this episode) and results in the dissolution of the Psi Corps.  We know that Lyta dies during this conflict, and that Garibaldi does pursue Bester. Some novels, the A Call to Arms movie, and a Crusade episode tell us all this.

More developments await in Objects in Motion, the next episode, and Objects at Rest, the last episode of Babylon 5 filmed but not the last episode aired.  Stay tuned and keep reading!



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

Posted October 7, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 5

Babylon 5–The Road From Here   Leave a comment

Season 5 Title Card

My journey through the universe of Babylon 5 is almost complete.  So I pause here to lay out and explain my plan for the remaining summary and review posts.

The Fall of Centauri Prime is episode 18 of the last season, which has 22 episodes.  Episodes 19-21 (The Wheel of Fire, Objects in Motion, and Objects at Rest) conclude most story arcs, consisting mostly of farewells.  Sleeping in Light, the series finale, dates to the end of the fourth season, when a fifth season looked unlikely, if not impossible.  I have chosen to write the Sleeping in Light post last, for it is the last story in terms of chronology.

Turner Network Television also commissioned a few television movies.  I choose to ignore Thirdspace, set somewhere inside the fourth season.  The continuity does not work well, and I dislike the film, which borrows too much from H. P. Lovecraft.  Much better is The River of Souls (1998), set in middle 2263.  I plan to write about In the Beginning (1998), in which the “present day” is 2278, with Emperor Londo Mollari as storyteller.  Then there is A Call to Arms, set in November 2266, which sets the stage for the prematurely canceled series Crusade.  This series was supposed to run for five years and have story arcs, just like Babylon 5, but TNT ended everything after 13 episodes.  I wonder what B5 would have been with just 13 episodes.

In 2001 the Sci-Fi Channel made The Legend of the Rangers–To Live and Die in Starlight, a pilot for a series the network did not pick up.  I do not own a copy of this anymore, nor do I wish to do so.  I taped it off cable television in 2002, and found it unsatisfactory then.  Once I saw The Legend of the Rangers on sale, and thought it overpriced.  $1 would be overpriced.  Consider this my review of that telefilm.

The last filmed Babylon 5 comes from 2007.  The Lost Tales was supposed to be a series of direct-to-DVD releases, but there was only one, Voices in the Dark, set in 2271.  This consists of two related stories, which have just a few characters each.  These are good stories, although the obvious green screen work proves distracting in some scenes.  This production could have benefited from a larger special effects budget, but the station exterior never looked better.  Consider the image below:

Here then, is my plan for remaining Babylon 5 summaries and reviews:

Set in 2262

84.  The Wheel of Fire (Season 5, Episode 19)

85.  Objects in Motion (Season 5, Episode 20)

86.  Objects at Rest (Season 5, Episode 21)

Set in 2263

87.  The River of Souls (TV Movie)

Set in 2266

88.  A Call to Arms (TV Movie)

Set in 2267

89.  Crusade (Series)

Set in 2271

90.  Voices in the Dark (Direct-to-DVD)

Present Day = 2278

91.  In the Beginning (TV Movie)

Set in 2281

92.  Sleeping in Light (Babylon 5 Series Finale)

I hope that these posts have interested some of you in this excellent programming.  B5 has been a passion of mine since 1994, and I want to influence others to watch these episodes and enjoy them.



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

Below:  A White Star

Posted October 4, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Movies, Babylon 5 Season 5, Crusade

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Babylon 5–The Fall of Centauri Prime (1998)   1 comment

Emperor Mollari II on the First Day of His Reign


Perhaps Londo Mollari is the most interesting character in Babylon 5. He became ambassador to the new space station because the consensus at the royal court held that the job was a joke, and nobody wanted it.  Londo is patriot who longs for the restoration of national glory, for the Centauri Republic is a declining power.  Out of patriotism Londo aligns himself with the Shadows and with amoral courtiers.  Out of patriotism Londo arranges for the assassination of an insane Emperor whose actions are about to destroy Centauri Prime.  Out of patriotism Londo participates in the conquest of the Narn homeworld then liberates it a year and a half later.  Out of patriotism Londo has a Shadow agent executed.  Many of Londo’s actions, rooted in patriotism, bring about his ruin and that of Centauri Prime.

That is the theme of this emotional episode.  The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and Londo’s path leads to one of the lower levels.

The Centauri capital city is in flames.

Within the royal palace, a Drakh steps out the Shadows.  The Drakh have been on Centauri Prime since shortly after the Shadow War ended.  They were homeless after Lyta Alexander triggered the destruction of Z’ha’dum telepathically.  So the Drakh, remembering Londo’s role in the end of that war, headed to Centauri Prime and planted a Keeper on Regent Virini.  They have been controlling him since.  The Drakh have isolated the Centauri, who are now resentful.  So the populace will not notice when the Drakh do their dark work.  And Londo will have no choice but to go along with this insidious plan, for he will either accept a Keeper or the Drakh will set off bombs all over the planet.  Who will notice that the planetary bombardment is not the cause of these explosions?  The Regent dies when his Keeper leaves him, and Londo agrees to accept a Keeper in order to save the lives of billions of innocent Centauri.

Sheridan arrives too late.  He persuades the Narns and the Drazi to cease their attack on Centauri Prime, but at a price.  The Centauri must pay reparations.

Londo, while is still himself and free of alien control, visits G’Kar.  The new Emperor speaks in cryptic terms of how the imperial office changes the man who holds it.  Londo is really saying goodbye to his friend.  Then G’Kar says the Narn people can never forgive the Centauri people, but “I can forgive you.”  Londo is overcome with emotion.

Londo then does what he has to do.  The Drakh breaks a Keeper off his chest.  The Keeper scrambles on the floor toward Londo, crawls up his body, and attaches itself to his shoulder, embedding itself into his nervous system.  The new Centauri Emperor will spend the the rest of his life under alien control.   It is a sad end for a proud  and boastful man.

Delenn and Lennier seem destined to die aboard their White Star.  Yet a Centauri warship is headed for them.  Then Lennier tells Delenn that he loves her.  “I know,” she replies.  This is an inherently awkward situation, for Delenn is married and Lennier is her subordinate.  The situation becomes even for awkward when the Centauri vessel rescues Delenn and Lennier, and takes them to Centauri Prime.  Sheridan has asked Londo to rescue them, and the Drakh have permitted the Emperor to grant Sheridan’s wish.

Now Lennier must go forward knowing that Delenn knows about his unrequited love for her.  Delenn is a class act, so we need now worry about how she handles it; she is devoted to John Sheridan and kind to Lennier.  But Lennier is becoming emotionally unstable.

Delenn, Sheridan, and G’Kar watch Emperor Mollari’s address to the Centauri people.  It is an angry speech given at the behest of the Drakh.  But we, the viewers, know more than Delenn, Sheridan, and G’Kar; we know about the Drakh and their power base on Centauri Prime.  Sheridan will not know until 16 years later, in 2278.

Back on Babylon 5, our heroes sit and discuss what has happened.  Who knows how much more leftover Shadow technology is still out there?  Lyta’s Vorlon programming kicks in long enough for her to announce that nobody may approach the Vorlon homeworld for another million years; the planetary defense systems are active and have destroyed vessels dispatched to that world.  (Note:  The Vorlon homeworld is the New Earth mentioned The Deconstruction of Falling Stars.)  And Delenn states that her side has won this conflict, “but what have we lost?”

On Centauri Prime, its cities still burning, Emperor Mollari II sits alone and silent and a darkened throne room.

The Fall of Centauri Prime is a staggering episode, among the greatest of Babylon 5.  Happy endings are cliches, yet they do not satisfy me much of the time.  Sometimes good drama requires a tragic ending.  Tragedy, as you might recall, is an ancient Greek form of theater.  The tragic figure destroys himself or herself via bad decisions made while trying to do the right thing.  Londo Mollari is a tragic figure by this definition.  Actor Peter Jurasik was masterful at portraying this complex character, who ranged from being sympathetic to monstrous.

As always, I recommend that anyone who finds these summaries and reviews interesting seek out the episodes through legal means.  They are available on disc and the Internet.  And watching an episode is a different experience than reading another person’s summary and opinions of it.



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

Posted October 3, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 5

Babylon 5–Movements of Fire and Shadow (1998)   1 comment

A Centauri-Drazi Battle


The final season of Babylon 5 heats up and reaches devastating emotional peaks with the episodes Movements of Fire and Shadow and The Fall of Centauri Prime.  This is a television series about, among other things, consequences actions.  Londo Mollari is about to realize the personal costs of his deeds over the last few years.

The new Centauri war has casualties in many places, Babylon 5 among them.  Members of various species are murdering Centauri nationals on the space station.

So far Babylon 5 has been exempt from attacks because of perceived neutrality.  Yet, as Captain Lochley records a personal log in her quarters one night, President Sheridan visits her to inform her that he has given the order for White Star ships to attack any Centauri vessel firing on Alliance ships.  Now the perception of Babylon 5 as neutral territory is over, and the station is vulnerable to attacks.

Meanwhile, Sheridan asks Delenn to visit the Grey Council and request that they agree to build more White Star ships.  This will be a perilous journey, given the state of war, but the Alliance needs more White Star vessels, for the fleet has taken many casualties during recent wars.  Sheridan is reluctant to send his wife on this mission, but she agrees.  Life is full of risks, she explains.

Vir Cotto asks Lyta Alexander and Dr. Stephen Franklin to investigate why the Drazi have not returned Centauri bodies following battles.  (There are rules, even in war.) Lyta and Dr. Franklin agree, and they travel to the Drazi homeworld, where, at great risk to themselves, they discover a room full of pods, such as the one pictured below.

There were no crew members aboard the ships.  The Centauri government has been conducting warfare via remote control.  The Drazi have kept this secret because they compete with the Centauri in commerce.  So telling others what they know is counterproductive.  Sheridan realizes that there was no Centauri strategy to the attacks; the strategy of those using the pods was to turn everyone against the Centauri and to start a war.  These pods are leftover Shadow technology; are you getting nervous yet?

If not, how about now?  Individuals remove Londo from his cell and take him to  a dark room, where they probe and examine him.  Really ugly aliens stand above him, and one, a Drakh, says, “Yes, he will be sufficient.”  Later, Londo awakens in the cell.  He needs to get out so he can deal with (or attempt to deal with) the terrible situation in the royal palace.  G’Kar creates the occasion for a guard to remove Londo; the Narn throws up voluntarily.

Centauri warships have begun to destroy jump gates.  This is an especially severe war measure, one considered contrary to the rules of war and mutually harmful.  A Centauri warship in hyperspace near Babylon 5 has locked on to the station’s jump gate.    Captain Lochley sends Starfury fighters to intercept and destroy the ship first.

Aboard a White Star headed for Minbar, Delenn and Lennier survey the damage.  Centauri ships have attacked them, and the White Star is adrift in hyperspace.  Delenn and Lennier are the only two left alive on the bridge:

On Babylon 5, Michael Garibaldi informs President Sheridan that most of the Narn and Drazi fleets (except enough ships to guard the homeworlds) are presumably headed for Centauri Prime.  The Drazi and Narns plan to attack the Centauri homeworld.  Sheridan, commanding a fleet of White Stars, races to Centauri Prime, hoping to avert the fall of that planet.

Back on Centauri Prime…

Regent Virini tells Londo that he (the Regent) will be dead by tomorrow, “they” say.  “They” say that Londo will be Emperor tomorrow.  And “they” told Virini to send the ships guarding the planet away on a false emergency and to turn off the planetary defense system.  The Regent, under the control of a Drakh Keeper, has obeyed.  Londo, horrified, races down corridors and to the front door of the palace.

In orbit, Drazi and Narn warships open fire on the planet.

Turner Network Television (TNT) aired this episode on June 17, 1998.  The channel aired the next episode, The Fall of Centauri Prime, on October 28.  It was a long delay.   Thanks to the Internet and DVD season sets, we do not have to wait, fortunately.



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

Posted October 3, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 5