Season 1 | Season 3

The Coming of Shadows

Disc 1

Points of Departure

Synopsis: Cmdr. Sinclair has been re-assigned, Garibaldi is still comatose, Delenn is still in her cocoon and Babylon 5 gets a new commander: Captain John Sheridan, amongst the Minbari known as “Starkiller”, because he destroyed their flag ship – the Drala Fi (Black Star) – in the war. And now a renegade Minbari war cruiser takes course to Babylon 5.

My opinion: The new season starts as powerful as the last season ended. While I liked Sinclair, Sheridan seems much more powerful as a station commander. And we finally learn why the Minbari ended the war. I especially liked the speech of Sheridan in front of – no one. Wink

Revelations

Synopsis: G’Kar has returned from his search and reports from a great ancient enemy who has returned after a thousand years and he believes that this foe is responsible for the destruction of the Narn base in quadrant 37. Meanwhile Dr. Franklin heals Garibaldi by using the alien healing device we’ve seen in the previous year and Anna Sheridan – Cpt. Sheridan’s sister – visitis the station. And Delenn has left the cocoon!

My opinion: Without knowing Garibaldi Sheridan decides to give his own life power to heal him, I liked that a lot. And we learn about the loss of his wife, who died on an IPX expidition on the Rim. But at least the traitor has been apprehended. But Londo drifts deeper and deeper in the maelstrom of his destiny. And finally, Delenn has been transformed into a beautiful being!
Spoiler (mark to read):
Londo asks about the complete destruction of the Narn homeworld and Morden answers something like “not everything at once” – we know it will happen. Sad

The Geometry of Shadows

Synopsis: The Techno Mages are leaving for the Rim and don’t intend to return because they feel a dark force rising. But Londo wants to meet with them because it would be a powerful symbol to his people. Meanwhile Ivanova has to “negoiate” between the “purple” and the “green” fraction of the Drazi who are fighting over leadership.

My opinion: Ivanova says our flags have meanings whereas the colors of the Drazi are totally random but I tend to disagree. A flag is nowadays a symbol for a country. In earlier days it was the clan or the colors of the local lord. They only showed alliegience but for most of the people who fought and died it made no difference on which side they fought because they were forced to and often one side wasn’t an inch better than the other. Even nowadays for most people the color of the flag is set by the birth place. Therfore it’s not entirley true that our flags aren’t random.But i liked the episode because it showed how stupid it is to fight over flags or colors.
The Techno Mage wasn’t that interesting except for the dialog between Elric and Londo at the departure.

A Distant Star

Synopsis: A huge earth explorer ship arrives at Babylon 5 and refills their supplies. When it re-enters Hyperspace there is an accident and the ship drifts aways from the marked routes and may get lost. The station’s Starfurys try to find and rescue it.

My opninion: I think we’ve seen the Hyperspace for the first time in the show. Yes we’ve seen ships entering and leaving but not being in Hyperspace. Except from that it was an OK episode, nothing world-shaking.

Quote of the episode:
Sheridan: “If the primates that we came from had known that someday politicians would come out of the gene pool they’d have stayed up in the trees and written evolution off as a bad idea!”

Disc 2

The Long Dark

Synopsis: A ships enters the Babylon 5 area which comes from a different time. Sent from earth before jump gates were known it contains two passengers in stasis chambers. On the station is a confused man who announces the return of a dark being,

My opinion: Murdock is back and he is as mad as ever. ;-). Again we are warned that a dark force is gathering its allies and that they have awoken not long ago. While the “ship from the past” is no new concept to sci-fi shows I liked the combination with the main arc.

A Spider in the Web

Synopsis: A business man from earth tries to make a great contract with the Mars provisional government and gets killed by a man who is presumed to be dead.

My opinion: It was ok, not great though. Interesting about it was seing nuclear wastelands on Earth and again the meddling of Psi Corps with humans (even though in this case not with teeps).

Soul Mate

Synopsis: The three wives of Mollari – he described them as pestilence, famine and death in an earlier episode – arrive at the station. Also a man who has done the impossible – he left Psi Corps.

My opinion: And yet again we see a walking Psi Corps experiment. It seems they try everything to enhance teeps beyound their natural borders. But the more interesting part of this episode is the Londo arc. As I said, Londo described his wives as pestilence, famine and death – three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And that would make Londo the fourth – war. Not even a seer could have described it better. It was one of the last happy episodes for Londo even if there was an attempt for his life.
Although the funniest moment was the struggle between Delenn and her hair.
Spoiler (mark to read):
It’s sad we never see Timov again – read the Centauri trilogy if you’re interested, it explains a lot of what happend between 2262 (last season) and 2278 (Londo’s death).

A Race Through Dark Places

Synopsis: Bester’s back. Renegade teeps are hiding or are being hidden on Babylon 5. And he wants them back – badly. And Talia is re-evaluating her loyalty towards the Psi Corps.

My opninion: Although I said I loved Bester episodes, this is not one of my favourites. It was a simple catch-me-if-yo-can episode. Nothing special.
Spoiler (mark to read):
Maybe I didn’t like it that much because the Talia storyline is soon coming to an end and her newly developed abilities have not much meaning afterwards. Basically, the part of the super-teep goes to Lyta although they had to give her a different background story why she had devolped these abilities.

Disc 3

The Coming of Shadows

Synopsis: The Cenaturi emperor arrives at Babylon 5 with the not widely known intent to apologize to the Narn before he dies. Meanwhile a man contacts Garibaldi with a message from an old friend.

My opinion: Again the name-giving episode of the season and once again a turning point of the story. This time Molari used Mr. Mordens forces with the full knowledge of what they are capable of and what they will do to the Narn colony. And ironically we have the same situation as in “Midnight of the Firing Line” although with opposite signs (this time G’Kar tries to kill Londo in the ambassadorial quarters). Great but very sad episode.
Spoiler (mark to read):
When the emperor asks Kosh how it will end, Kosh answers “In fire.”. When the last human leaves Earth in “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars” he says something similar: “This is how the world ends: Swallowed in fire, but not in darkness.”

Gropos

Synopsis: 25,000 Earth soldiers, most of them Gropos (Ground Pounder) have arrived at the station and the crew has to find sleeping places for them. Commander of these troops is General Franklin, the father of Dr. Franklin, and he intends to attack a rebel stronghold on a planet allied to the Earth Alliance.

My opinion: Another very sad episode. We spend an entire episode to get to know some of the Gropos just to realize they are all – the good ones as well as the bad ones – dead by the end of the episode. One cannot say that this is an enjoyable episode, but it leaves a strong impression. Especially when you watch it for the second or n-th time and you are aware that they will all die. Sad

All Alone in the Night

Synopsis: Captain Sheridan is kidnapped by an unknown alien species while he is away from the station. These aliens have kidnapped other aliens as well, e.g. a Narn.

My opinion: Let’s cut to the chase: I think it is a very boring episode, although some parts are important for the main arc (such as Kosh being in Sheridans mind; the now unbalanced Grey Council and the conversation between General Hague and Sheridan). But the main story with the capture aboard this alien ship is not really interesting.

Acts of Sacrifice

Synopsis: Since the war between Narn and Centauri has started, open fights have been broken out between the residents of the station. G’Kar is trying to get military aid from the humans and/or the Minbari. Meanwhile Ivanova has to deal with a new race that has it’s very own point of view in matters of evolution.

My opninion: I liked it because we see that Londo is not too happy about his new “popularity”, because he is aware that things like real freindship matters more. But I think since the events of “The Coming of Shadows” he has passed “the point of no return” and is trapped on the path he set foot on with his choices.

Disc 4

Hunter, Prey

Synopsis: The personal physician of the former president Santiago and the former vice-president (now president) Clark is on the run and tries to hide on B5.

My opinion: The intersting thing about this episode is not really the run of the doctor, but the relationship between Kosh and Sheridan. For the first time we see Kosh doing a bit more but standing around. And Sheridan must have made quite an impression for Kosh allowing him to hide the doctor within Kosh’s ship.

There All The Honor Lies

Synopsis: Sheridan shoots a Minbari in self-defence but is accused of murder. Meanwhile a gift shop has opened on the Zocalo that sells stuff like Mollari dolls and Sheridan “Babearlon” teddy bears.

My opinion: The whole episode is build around the fact that Minbari do not lie. It is an OK episode, but definitively not a must-see one.

And Now for a Word

Synopsis: An ISN News team has arrived on the station and makes a “36 hours on Babylon 5” report and the whole episode is told from that angle. Meanwhile the Narn destroy a Centauri ship just outside the station under the accusation that the Centauri ship has loaded weapons of mass destruction to be used against the Narn.

My opinion: Very interesting approach for an episode. One could see that Earth isn’t entirely sure anymore that B5 is worth all the trouble, while the stations command crew as well as Deleen are sure that it is the only way to – not maintain, but to – make peace.
Spoiler (mark to read):
The TV team approach is used in the fourth season again

In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum

Synopsis: Sheridan’s wife died on an expidition to the rim. Now we see that she was on the Icarus and that they were on Z’ha’dum when they died: And one other person was also on that expidition: Mr. Morden, Londo’s associate. Meanwhile a man from the “Ministry of Peace” arrives and recruites people for a new-founded organisation called “Night Watch”.

My opninion: Great episode. Loved to see Sheridan clinging to his wife’s death and the hope she might not be dead after all. And we learn that the great enemy Delenn (and also G’Kar) is talking about are the Shadows and that they are Londo’s allies. And that the Vorlons are one of the First Ones – one of the oldest races in the universe.
I also liked the other storyline very much because if you listen with care you’ll see immediately where this is going when the recruiter speaks of “harmful ideas” the society has to be protected from. And I also liked the hint in the direction of “1984” when the Ministry is called MiniPax.
Spoiler (mark to read):
Delenn describes the Vorlons as First Ones, but not the Shadows. I am not sure whether this is a story glitch or that she has been told this by Kosh. After all, we know that the Vorlons are as manipulative as the Shadows

Disc 5

Knives

Synopsis: An old friend of Londo’s arrives at the station and asks for help. His house and his name are about to be destroyed with false accusations. Meanwhile the captains begins to get hallucinations.

My opinion: Alas, there are still Centauri who feel uneasy about this whole war. I liked the character of Urza Jaddo and I like the actor Carmen Argenziano (Jacob Carter/Selmak from “Stargate SG-1”). But the Sheridan storyline wasn’t that interesting.
Spoiler (mark to read):
The children from the movie “In the Beginning” – Luc and Lyssa – who want to hear a story are the nephew and niece of Urza Jaddo. This is revealed in the novelization to ITB.

Confessions and Lamentations

Synopsis: The Markab aboard the station and aboard transports begin to die. It seems to be of natural causes but there are to many of them to call it natural.

My opinion: Again you get to know some people just to see them die. In this case an entire species. And again a sad episode.

Divided Loyalties

Synopsis: Lyta Alexander – the commercial teep from the pilot episode – arrives at the station and announces that there is a sleeper agent amongst the station’s crew. But the sleeper him- or herself doesn’t even know it.

My opinion: And this is how the Talia storyline has ended. And again we see the Psi Corps meddling with one of their own. But all in all not a very good episode.

The Long, Twilight Struggle

Synopsis: Again Londo uses his associates (on Lord Refa’s request) to strike against a Narn fleet, while the Centauri fleet is attacking the Narn homeworld directly. Meanwhile Draal – the Minbari who has taken the place in the Great Machine on the planet beneath B5 – asks Sheridan and Delenn to visit him.

My opninion: Great episode. One could see the sadness and disgust in Londo’s face when he see’s what his people are doing to the Narn homeworld (they’ve collected meteors and asteroids and shoot them on the planet’s surface with mass drivers, a weapon that is outlawed by most planets including the Centauri). And a great speech when G’Kar is removed from the council.
I also liked the side remark, that the appearence of Draal has changed (he’s being played by a new actor Wink)
Spoiler (mark to read):
Did anyone recognize the name Draal is shouting? “Zathras”? Don’t we know that name? Of course we do, from “Babylon Squared”.

Quote of the episode:
Citizen G’Kar: “No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand.”

Disc 6

Comes the Inquisitor

Synopsis: A human arrives at the station in a Vorlon vessel and he is about to interrogate Delenn, because the Vorlons want to make sure that she is the right person in the right place at the right time.

My opinion: I’ve been waiting for this episode since Sheridan has taken command of the station. After the shadows got their question “What do you want?”, the Vorlons now have one of their own: “Who are you?” I really like the inquisition because the actor of Sebastian played it very plausable. And I really liked the revelation who he really was. Also, Delenn and Sheridan are getting closer with every episode. I don’t know what would have happend in the original draft of the story, but I’ve got the feeling they had to rush Sheridan into the position Sinclair previously held. Within one year he gets very close to both Delenn and Kosh, closer than Sinclair has ever been. But it serves the story well.
Spoiler (mark to read):
The actor of Sebastion/Jack the Ripper – Wayne Alexander – returns in the fourth season in the role of the First One called Lorien.

The Fall of Night

Synopsis: After the victory over the Narn, the Centauri attack other races as well and the Earth Alliance plans to sign a non-aggression pact with them. Meanwhile one of the last (the last) Narn battle cruisers arrives heavily damaged at the station and is hidden behind the planet. But the Centauri get wind of it and send a battle cruiser of their own.

My opinion: Another great finale. I must admit, there isn’t a season finale I didn’t like, I even like the one between the fourth and the fifth season. But the battle between Babylon 5, the Narn and the Centauri cruiser and the flight of Kosh afterwards? Magnificent. And the circle is closed. The Starfury pilot who saw the shadow vessel for the first time very early in this season (“A Distant Star”) saw it now for the second but last time. But the long-kept secret is out: there is a new (or better: a very old) race out there.

Season analysis: As I said before, I liked Sinclair, but Sheridan is so much better. In this season most of the things have been set in motion that are essential for the following years. In my personal rankings of the seasons it takes the third place (first place is the third season; second place is the fourth season).

Season 3