Point of No Return
Matters of Honor
Synopsis: A Ranger training post is sealed of with mines and one ranger who could escape asks Babylon 5 for help. Meanwhile Londo tries to cut his connections to Mr. Morden and his associates. Also a representative of Earth comes to Babylon 5 to investigate about the Shadow vessel that destroyed Lt. Keffer’s Starfury.
My opinion: I always liked Marcus and I sure love the White Star. But Sheridan has to be a bit mad to try a stunt like the one in this episode. Good introduction to the next step of the story.
Synopsis: A series of bombings shake Babylon 5. Bombs planted by a person who has no political agenda but to spread fear. And when Lennier tries to save Londo he gets badly hurt.
My opinion: While I never really understood the motives of the bomber I really liked the tube scene between Londo and G’Kar. I also liked the arrival of the monks around brother Theo who will stay for a while on the station.
A Day in the Strife
Synopsis: A probe approaches Babylon 5 and transmits a message: When Babylon 5 can answer a series of highly complicated questions, they will receive important knowledge in return. If not, the probe will explode and take B5 with it.
My opinion: Another average episode, there’s not really much to say about it.
Passing Through Gethsemane
Synopsis: Again we see the monks. But one of them is troubled because he gets flashes of memories but he can’t remember the events. Meanwhile Lyta Alexander return to the station on a Vorlon(!) transprt ship. She has been to the Vorlon homeworld but is forbidden to tell about it. She now works for the Vorlons and must hide from the Psi Corps.
My opninion: Great episode about crime and punishment. To see the life of a mind-wiped person and how the victims of a crime can’t let go. I really liked the acting of Brad Dourif (Dune, Deadwood) and the actions of brother Theo at the end of the episode.
Voices of Authority
Synopsis: Draal invites Sheridan to Epsilon 3 to search and contact the First Ones but Sheridan is distracted with the arrival of his new political officer from Earth.
My opinion: The direction in which Earth policy is developing is quite alarming. Did anyone recognize the off-voice to whom Clark was speaking? It was Mr. Morden’s voice, so the Shadows are also involved in the murder of the former Earth Alliance president Santiago.
Dust to Dust
Synopsis: Someone smuggles a drug called “Dust” onto the station. Dust gives temporarily teep abilites to normal humans. But it has strong side effects and is highly addictive. Bester comes to the station to catch these dealers, too.
My opinion: One does not know it yet, but this is a very important episode in G’Kar’s character developement and I also liked the idea of disabling Bester’s abilities via the sleeper drugs Ivanova’s mother was forced to take.
Synopsis: There is an alien parasite that takes over the bodies of lurkers in down below. But the parasites aren’t what they appear to be.
My opinion: The idea of symbiotes who keep the knowledge of the universe is interesting and the story was well told.
Messages From Earth
Synopsis: During archiological diggings a Shadow vessel is found on the Jupiter moon Ganymede. This has happend before on a digging on Mars several years back. But back then another Shadow vessel nourished the first on and both escaped. Bujt this time Earth wants the knowledge of that ship and the Babylon 5 crew cannot allow to let the ship fall into Earths hand.
My opninion: Great action flick. It shows what the White Star is capable of. Sheridan had to take a stand. His own government in league with the shadows wasn’t something he could bear and he made his point very clearly although no one on Earth knows it – yet.
Point of No Return
Synopsis: All hell is breaking loose. Clark has declared martial law and dissolved the senate. Open fights have broken out on Earth. General Hague is on the run and tries to organize a counter-strike. And Night Watch tries to take over command of Babylon 5.
My opinion: “Name of the season” episode. Loved it. As well as the next one. If Sheridan would be a lawyer I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw Babylon 5. Night Watch has was practically destroyed on Babylon 5 and G’Kar change of character is completed. He is now a different person than the one he was in the first season. I also liked Majel Barrett (“Nurse Chapel” in ST TOS; “Lwaxana Troy” in ST TNG; widow of ST creator Gene Roddenberry) in the role of Lady Morella.
Spoiler (mark to read):
Londo has to do three things to avoid the fire according to Lady Morella’s prediction;
“You must save the eye that does not see.
You must not kill the one who is already dead?
You must surrender yourself to your greatest fear, knowing that it will destroy you.”
I always thought about them and what they mean. I assume that the “eye that does not see” is referering to G’Kar. Londo saves him and his homeworld later, although G’Kar loses an eye. The second one is refering to Sheridan IMHO. He dies on Z’Ha’Dum, but Londo saves him and Delenn in events told in “War Without End” and “In the Beginning” shortly before Londo dies. But the surrender part – I never figured out where exactly JMS was hinting at.
Synopsis: After the bombings of Mars the Earth colonies Orion 7 and Proxima 3 are declaring endependence from the Earth Alliance. And so does Babylon 5 when Earth heavy cruisers are coming to take over control.
My opinion: As I said: Another great episode. Many died this day. But it were fantastic battle scenes, especially when the Churchill rammed straight into that other destroyer. And the favour of the battle is turning every second. When the reinforcments from earth jump into normal space you think it’s all over and then Delenn comes to the rescue with Minbari cruisers and the White Star. Awesome!
Quote of the episode:
Delenn: “Only one human capatin ever survived a battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else!”
Ceremonies of Light and Dark
Synopsis: After heaving defended Babylon 5 against the Earth cruisers the crew has to “bury” the dead. But there are still followers of Clark’s and members of Night Watch on board who intend to retake the station. Meanwhile Delenn plans a Minbari rebirth ceremony which commemorates a great change.
My opinion: It is the “cool down” episode after the heated events happend in the previous episodes. Although it’s not really a full cool down. For that matter from now on it won’t be really cooled down until after the last but one episode of the fourth season. Sheridan finally admits that he has fallen in love with Delenn and the main staff gets their new uniforms!
A minor remark: Sometimes B5 has the same problem as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The authors can’t decide how strong some aliens are. In an episode in season one we see Sinclair and Neroon fight and they both seem equally strong while in this episode Lennier (who has a far less impressive stature than Neroon) lifts Marcus easily with one outstreched(!) arm. We’ve got the same problem with the Narn and (in Star Trek) with the Klingons and the Cardassians.
Sic Transit Vir
Synopsis: Vir Cotto – being Centauri ambassador on Minbar for some time now – visits the station. So does Vir’s soon-to-be-wife. And also a blood-thirsty Narn who has sworn a blood-oath to kill Vir because Vir apparently has sent over 2000 Narns into labour camps – where they all died.
My opninion: One must admit it: Young Centauri women are very, very hot! Even when they are bald. I find it a very good Vir episode and it is unfortunately one of few episodes. I always liked him because he is so different than Londo and most of the Cenaturi. He has seen to much of what Londo has done and he always at least tried to talk him out of it – but now he could actually do something! Too bad, G’Kar never learns of it.
A Late Delivery From Avalon
Synopsis: Arthur Pendragon, King of the Britons has arrived at the station to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Meanwhile Sheridan tries to set up a defense treaty of Babylon 5 with the League of Non-Alligned Worlds.
My opinion: Loved the speculation whether or not he could be King Arthur, especially with the experience that the Vorlons have indeed taken people from Earth. Michael York played this role very well. I also liked the episode because I think that a sword is the most fair weapon on a battle field – if something like a “fair weapon” exist. I always liked what I call “sword movies” (e.g. all kinds of “3 Musketeers” movies, Highlander, “Last Samurai” and so on). “Sword movies” are one of the few movies I’d watch even if they were made before the 80s.
Spoiler (mark to read):
Another slight contradiction to “In the Beginning”: Marcus tells Dr. Franklin, that the Rangers badge he wears is called “Isil’Zha”. It’s Minbari and means “the future”. Franklin doesn’t seem to having it heard before. In ITB this one Minbari word saves his life. Would you ever forget the one word in a foreign that saves your neck?
There’s also another glitch regarding this badge and ITB: In an early episode of this season Marcus explains how these badges are being produced. One needs Minbari and Human blood for it. Lenonn wears that badge even before the Minbari ever encountered the Humans. So how have they produced it back then?
Quote of the episode:
Garibaldi: “What are you so nervous about? We went up against the entire Earth Alliance and two carrier groups.” Security guard: “Yeah, but this is the post office. This could get us in real trouble.”
Ship of Tears
Synopsis: Bester comes yet again to the station to ally himself with Sheridan. He fears that alien forces have to much influence on the president and that they are threatening the Pis Corps. And so he acts accordingly to the old rule “the enemy of my enemy …”
My opinion: Again a very good Bester episode in which we learn a lot about the Shadows and we get the insight that Bester has indeed a heart beating in his chest. And now it makes sense why the Narns were the first victims of this great war. They knew too much about the Shadows and how to beat them.
Interludes and Examinations
Synopsis: Sheridan needs a great victory against the Shadows to draw other races into the war against them. And for this victory he needs the support of the Vorlons, the only race capable of winning such a battle. Meanwhile Londo is awaiting Adira Tyree, the exoctic dancer he fell in love with in the first season. But Morden is unhappy, that Londo did cut Morden’s connection to Lord Refa.
My opinion: It was great to see that a Vorlon can be made angry and that they have feelings just like the rest of us (fear of death for instance) and it was a very sad moment to see Kosh die. It was also sad to see Londo doing all the wrong things again. He was fooled again by Morden and was too blind to see it.
War Without End (Part 1)
Synopsis: Ranger One / Entil’Zha Sinclair comes to the station because he got a letter addressed specifically to him, but written over 900 years ago. When he arrives Delenn discloses to him, Sheridan, Marcus and Susan that she knows, where (or better when) Babylon 4 went, after it got lost. It was used in the great war a thousand years ago and it would be their task to steal it and move it back in time.
My opninion: Just like I waited for “Comes the Inquisitor” in the last season I waited for this one in this season. I always liked the fact that Sinclair simply wasn’t forgotten after he left Babylon 5. And for this episode he had to be there since we saw a “future Sinclair” in the “Babylon Squared” episode in the first season. Can’t wait to see the continuation.
War Without End (Part 2)
Synopsis: While Sheridan is somewhere stuck in time the rest brings Babylon 4 from the time where it originally disappeared (six years previously) to the time where Sinclair and Garibaldi evacuated it (2 years previously). And then one of them brings it back a thousand years in time.
My opinion: Valen, a Minbari not born of Minbari. A very good conclusion to the Sinclair storyline. And very well put together with the events and footage in “Babylon Squared”.
Let me make another point about time traveling: Time travelling is a fairly common conept in Sci-Fi. Personally I distinguish between three different kinds of “time theories”.
The first one is the Multiverse. In that you travel “back in time”, repair something and when you travel forward again you land in a different universe. It’s based on the theory that every choice you or anyone else makes creates a new universe for each possible outcome. Left or right? There will be two universes, one in which you went left, one in which you went right. When you back in time you simply choose to ge left instead of right this time. But the other universe will still be there where you went right. Although it is not really time travelling the TV show “Sliders” uses the concept of multiverses.
The second one is the most comfortable. You go back in time, repair something and when you arrive in the future you will be the only one who recognizes the change that has be done. This concept is used in “Back to the Future” and several Star Trek episodes.
In the third one time is a closed circle. You can jump in any point of time but whatever you do it has always been done this way and will always been done so. The first “Terminator” movie is an example for this (but only the first one, not the sequels). Kyle Reese brings the photograph with him that is made at the end of the movie. John Connor sends Kyle back in time and Reese becomes the father of John. Has always been, will always be that way. Ironically, Star Trek uses this concept, too, for example in the DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations”.
The third one may seem scariest one because one could think there is no such thing as a “free will” because every event seems to be carved in stone, but that is not true. It only states that every descicion we make can only be made once and when we look on it from an out-of-timeline perspective we see which descision we’ve made when the time has passed or what descision we will make when it still lays ahead. But once we’ve done anything we cannot undo it. It is unchangeable and unerasable.
Babylon 5 uses the third concept of time travelling. Sinclair is Valen and he has always been. He didn’t change the past, we (the viewer) knew of Valen before we knew of Babylon 4. And when Sheridan jumps into the future we see events previously seen in dreams or prophecies. And it makes perfect sense. Prophecies (that are actually seen and come true, not fake ones) are only possible when the future has already been written. Londo sees his death and it comes true exactly as he saw it. Delenn warns Sheridan not to got to Z’ha’dum but he will go as he has always done it and will always do.
Synopsis: After Dr. Franklin took a leave from his post as chief of medical staff a few episodes earlier he wanders around the station. He tries to get rid of his stim addiction and uses an old aborigines tradition called Walkabout. Meanwhile Kosh’s replacement called “Kosh” arrived at the station.
My opinion: Assumed she sung herself, Erica Gimpel has a great voice. And we see the first real fight between the White Star and the Shadows.
Gray 17 is Missing
Synopsis: After Sinclair has left Delenn is supposed to be become the new Ranger One / Entil’Zha. But that is a post the warrior caste member Neroon claims for himself. Meanwhile Garibaldi investigates the mystery of “Gray 17”, a section of Babylon 5 which does not exist – officially.
My opinion: The “Gray 17” part was – in a miss for another word – weird. And so was the character played by Robert Englund. But I really liked the other part where Marcus was willing to lay down his life for Delenn and Neroon had to acknowledge her leadership over the Rangers.
And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place
Synopsis: The royal court on Centauri Prime demands that the dispute between House Mollari and House Refa is to be settled. And Mollari as well as Lord Refa have a plan how to achieve this. Meanwhile three religious people come to the station. Officially to sheperd their herds, inofficially to bring news from home and the resistance.
My opninion: The Z-countdown has begun. Sheridan once said “Always plant a lie inside a truth, that makes it esear to swallow.”. And what a nice plan had Londo planted into another plan. I really liked the plot twist because at the first watch it came fairly unexpected. And it was awesome to look at the White Star fleet.
Synopsis: Many refugess are gathering in sector 83, where the Shadows have not yet attacked. But Sheridan expects an attack on that sector soon. So he assembles a fleet of Minbari ships and ships of the non-alligned worlds to protect the refugees. Meanwhile Dr. Franklin is still on Walkabout.
My opinion: Babylon 5 has a great way of showing fantastic space battles but never fails to show the price, too. The view of that many destroyed ships is terrible and yet awesome.
Synopsis: Anna Sheridan has returned from Z’ha’dum. She is an ambassador of the Shadows and she tries to convince John that the Shadows are not the evil race the Vorlons and Minbari say they are. And John went with her to Z’ha’dum.
My opinion: “If you go to Z’ha’dum, you will die.” And he died. Great season finale. Finally we understand why the Shadows do what they do, but does he end justifies the means? I think not. And that includes the means of the Vorlons, too.
Season analysis: Best season of Babylon 5. It feels as if it were made out of one piece. And in fact it is, JMS has written the entire season himself. Yes, there were weaker episodes in it but I have yet failed to hear of a perfect TV show season but bottom line is that was one of the best Sci-Fi show seasons. And I know quite a lot of Sci-Fi shows.