Babylon 5: Season 4

Babylon 5: Season 4

Season 3 | Season 5

No Surrender, No Retreat

Disc 1

The Hour of the Wolf

Synopsis: Sheridan seems to be dead. Mr. Garibaldi is missing. Londo is called back home to the royal court and emperor Carthagia. Carthagia has given the Shadows a base on Centauri Prime on the Island of Selini. Mollari fears for the safety of his homeworld. Meanwhile the alliance against the shadows is breaking apart because the shadows have temorarily retreated and Sheridan has gone.

My opinion: A very slow beginning of a new season. That is somewhat ironic if one knows how packed this season will be. But at least we know that the character of Sheridan isn’t out of the game. But it is not clear whether hes is dead or not.

Whatever happened to Mr. Garibaldi?

Synopsis: Sheridan is still in what seems to be a cave with a being that identifies himself as Lorien. Lorien claims that Sheridan is dead and all indications point to that being true. Meanwhile G’Kar is looking for Mr. Garibaldi.

My opinion: I really liked the conversation between Sheridan and Lorien who was the very first being in the universe. And again Londo proves that his first priority is the well-being of Centauri Prime even if that means to kill the emperor and/or die in the attempt.

Quote of the episode:
Sheridan: “If you’re falling off a cliff, you may as well try to fly. You’ve got nothing to lose.”

The Summoning

Synopsis: Delenn plans to attack Z’ha’dum with the entire White Star fleet and all who are willing to come along. Ivanova tries to find more of the First Ones to join the fight. Meanwhile the captured G’Kar is humiliated in the royal court on Centauri Prime and tortured afterwards. And Ivanova discovers a huge Vorlon fleet in hyperspace.

My opinion: The Vorlons have attacked the Shadows directly. Now it gets really ugly and the younger races are caught in the middle. This episode leaves you with the foreboding of doom. Now it even seems to be pointless that Sheridan has returned from Z’ha’dum. Very depressing.

Quote of the episode:
Drazi: “We thought you were dead.” Sheridan: “I was. But I’m better now.”

Falling Toward Apotheosis

Synopsis: The Vorlons have attacked and destroyed several more planets that were “touched by the Shadows”. They use a vast ship called the Planet Killer. Sheridan plans to kill the Vorlon ambassadorand Londo suggests to trial and execute G’Kar on the Narn homeworld.

My opninion: Sheridan plans to kill a Vorlon. That’s a though decision that could’ve turned out very badly. But it was really cool to see an angry Vorlon and then to see two Vorlons fighting. It had to be done and it won’t be the only hard decision to make for Sheridan (see next episode). But we also learn that Sheridan has a price to pay for his journey to Z’ha’dum but he has accepted that price for a greater good. Very good episode.

Disc 2

The Long Night

Synopsis: Now the Shadows use a Planet Killer of their own and they attack planets that supported the Vorlons. Meanwhile Londo tries to assassinate emperor Carthagia. And Sheridan plans to lure the Vorlons and the Shadows into the same solar system to confront them.

My opinion: It’s a decision I’d never would want to make. To command people to go into battle where they might die is one thing. But to order a mission where the soldiers have to die in order to accomplish the mission it is totally differnt thing.

Into The Fire

Synopsis: Parts of the White Star fleet are attacking Vorlon outposts to delay the arrival of the Vorlon fleet at Coriana 6. Meanwhile Londo tries to get rid of the Shadow vessels on his planet and he learns about the truth of how Lady Adira (see “Interludes and Examinations”) actually die. And then the greatest battle of our time begins…

My opinion: The Shadow war may be over. But the story isn’t over yet. It’s quite intersting to see that races like the Vorlons and the Shadows, both millions of years old, are still frightened of the unknown, of what lays ahead. And even they feel more secure if they are accompanied by someone who is even older than they are. But now the younger races have this galaxy for themselves. Let’s see what they make of it.

Epiphanies

Synopsis: Bester arrives at the station and tells the crew of the new sanctions that Earth president Clark has put into place. But his informations come – as usually – at a price. Meanwhile Mr. Garibaldi quits his job as chief of security.

My opinion: Something’s going on with Garibaldi, that’s for sure. It was aain a good Bester episode but in the great picture it’s one of the transition episodes between the Shadow war and the liberation of Earth.

Quote of the episode:
Bester: “The corps is mother. The corps is father”. Lyta: “In that case, Mr. Bester, I’m an orphan.”

The Illusion of Truth

Synopsis: A team of reports from ISN tries to sneak on the station but they are caught. Nonetheless they get permission to make a report about the stations and its crew. The “documentation” is shown at the end of the episode.

My opninion: It’s the second time a TV show is aboard Babylon 5. And it is perfectly shown what power lies in the hand of the media. If they want to they can twist every fact into its exact opposite. In the eastern bloc there was a joke: Russians and americans do a race. The americans win. But when it comes to the news it goes like this: “In a race today the russian team achieved a very good second place. The americans however were only the last but one.”

Disc 3

Atonement

Synopsis: Delenn is called back to Minbar. Her clan will decide if she should be allowed to marry a non-Minbari. She has into go to the dream oracle and relives the events that lead to the Earth-Minbar war. Meanwhile Sheridan sends Dr. Franklin and Marcus to Mars to bring news and make contact with the Mars resistance.

My opinion: Great episode which fills the last holes about Delenn’s involvement in the Earth-Minbar war and a great explanation why The merging of Human and Minbari souls began a thousand years ago. Loved it

Racing Mars

Synopsis: Dr. Franklin and Marcus arrive on Mars and make contact with the resistance – or at least they try to. Meanwhile Ivanova suspends Sheridan for 48 hours from active duty, he hasn’t had a free day fro more than nine months.

My opinion: It’s an OK episode. Not much to say about it.

Lines of Communication

Synopsis: The problems of Minbar are getting worse. The conflicts between the warrior caste and the religious caste becomes more violent and Minbar stands on the brink of civil war. Delenn is forced to meet with a race called “Drakh”. Meanwhile Franklin convinces the Mars resistance to work with them and stop the terrorist bombings on the Mars colonies.

My opinion: Delenn has to go to Minbar to fight for her planet, Sheridan has to go to Earth to his planet. It’s a sad episode because even with the ended war there are still many open wounds that must heal and many conflicts left to be solved. One asks oneself if it will ever going to end. It’s the same question as in real life: Will there be ever a time where there is not a war or fight going on on this planet?

Quote of the episode:
Delenn (to Sheridan): “Curious thing about Humans. Minbari cities remain untouched and unchanged for centuries. I leave for three days and you redecorate.”

Conflicts of Interest

Synopsis: Garibaldi has to smuggle his former love in and out of the station. Meanwhile Invanova tries to find a power source for their news broadcasting system.

My opninion: One asks oneself what the Psi Corps did to Mr. Garibaldi. He is so hostile towards his former friends and colleagues he won’t get any help from them in the near future. Nonetheless it was a good episode especially the ending with the newly installed broadcasting system.

Disc 4

Rumors, Bargains and Lies

Synopsis: Sheridan tries to get the League of Non-Alligned Worlds sign a defense contract that allows the White Star fleet to patrol along the borders. And he does that in an very unusual way. Meanwhile Delenn (as representative of the religious caste) negoiates with Neroon (as representative of the warrior caste) in secret to end the fully outbroken civil war on Minbar.

My opinion: The episode is a great mixture of humour and seriousness. It’s funny to see hwo Sheridan drives the league into the illusion that there is a new enemy to make them sign the treaty. And it’s great to see how the mutual adversaries Delenn and Neroon work together to help their people. And then you realize that Neroon is going to betray Delenn. Very sad.

Moments of Transition

Synopsis: The religious caste has to surrender to the warrior caste. A place is chosen for the surrender. A place of great historical meaning from the time before Valen founded the Grey Council. Meanwhile Lyta is desperately looking for a job when Bester comes along an makes a proposal.

My opinion: While the Lyte storyline wasn’t that interesting, the events back on Minbar were quite fascinating. One episode you are to believe that Neroon betrays Delenn. And the next you learn the plan hidden in another plan. It was a very good ending for the character or Neroon, an end worthy of a true warrior. And the end of the episode promises a great storyline for the next episodes.

No Surrender, No Retreat

Synopsis: After President Clark ordered the killing of 10’000 inoocent people on refugee ships, Sheridan is no longer willing to stand by. He prepares an attack agains Earth Force ships that carry out such illegal orders. They are going to retake the colony of Proxima 3, then Mars and finally Earth. A fleet of White Star ships and Starfuries has taken course to Proxima 3.

My opinion: Brother against brother. Civil war. The Minbari just had their own civil war, but it didn’t feel as real as this one. This is probably because I – the viewer – am human. Of course I know it’s only a TV show but nonetheless a battle between humans feels much more real than the war amongst the Minbari castes. And you hope with Sheridan that the crew of the destroyer can evacuate before it explodes. A worthy episode as name–giver of the season.

The Exercise of Vital Powers

Synopsis: Garibaldi has arrived on Mars and finally meets the head of Edgars Industries, William Edgars. And Edgars fills him in on his thoughts and worries about Clark, the Psi Corps and Sheridan. Back on Babylon 5 Lyta is able to awake the teeps that were “modified” by the Shadows. Sheridan needs them for a certain task in the war to free Earth.

My opninion: A quieter episode but nonetheless an important one. Garibaldi decides to capture Sheridan and hand him over to Clark. What the hell did the Psi Corps do to him that he would do such a thing? The interesting question is: How many decisions made Garibaldi on his won and how many was he forced to do due to his Psi Corps reprogramming.

Disc 5

The Face of the Enemy

Synopsis: Lyta and Dr. Franklin have arrived on Mars with a shipload of frozen teeps who were altered by the Shadows. Meanwhile Sheridan is lured to Mars were his father is held captive and Garibaldi learns of the plans that William Edgers has for the teeps.

My opinion: Garibaldi is fucked. He cannot be held responsible for his actions but nobody will believe him. And why? Bester! But seriously: I can understand Bester’s motives. He cares a lot about “his” teeps. Although it’s hard for me to understand why both Edgers and Bester see the teeps as a different species.

Intersections In Real Time

Synopsis: Sheridan is being interrogated.

My opinion: Short synopsis? Yes. But great episode. It’s practically a two man show featuring Sheridan and his interrogator. But Bruce Gray plays his role perfectly. I wouldn’t want him to interrogate me. Wink

If a fifth season would have been for sure at this time, this episode would have been the season finale. But since it wasn’t for sure, JMS wanted to make sure that his story is properly finished.

Between the Darkness and the Light

Synopsis: Garibaldi can convince Lyta, Franklin and the Mars resistance that he was reprogrammed by the Psi Corps. Then they try to break out Sheridan. Meanwhile Ivanova has to deal with advanced Earth Force destroyers that are anhanced with Shadow technology.

My opinion: The race for Earth is coming to an end. But as Indiana Jones said “That’s usually when the ground falls out from underneath your feet”. And while they technically had won the battle they had heavy losses. In my opinion it was necessary to see that Sheridan’s forces are not entirely unbeatable, that makes it more believable.

Quote of the episode:
Ivanova: “I am Susan Ivanova. Commander. Daughter of Andrei and Sophie Ivanov. I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that’s gonna kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart. I am death incarnate. And the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me.”

Endgame

Synopsis: The final attack on Mars and Earth begins. First the Earth destroyer fleet over Mars is taken out with the help of the frozen teeps, then Sheridan takes on Earth directly. Meanwhile, Marcus is making a hard decision.

My opninion: “Prepare for ramming speed.” Sheridan is also aware of the third principle of sentient life (see “A Voice in the Wilderness”). He would have sacrificed himself. He did it before on Z’ha’dum and was ready to do it again. Great episode, although it was a bit implausible that nobody on Earth was able to deactivate the defense grid.

Disc 6

Rising Star

Synopsis: Marcus sacrificed his own life to rescue Ivanova with the alien healing device (see “The Quality of Merci”). Sheridan has to answer for his actions against his own government. Meanwhile Garibaldi is on the search for Lise Hampton-Edgers and Delenn makes a proposal to EarthGov.

My opinion: The great storylines are over. The Firt Ones are gone. Minbar is peaceful again. Earth is free. Mars is free. Everytime I see that episode I know it’s over. Yes there is another season, but it isn’t the same anymore. A very good second to last episode.

The Deconstruction of Falling Stars

Synopsis: In german the episode is called “In Hundred, in Thousand Years” and that’s pretty descriptive. The episode shows what will happen over the next year, in a hundred years, in five hundred years, in a thousand years, in a million years.

My opinion: As I explained earlier JMS wasn’t sure whether there would be a fifth season. The final episode “Sleeping in Light” was shot with the fourth season. But then it became clear that JMS got the OK for another season and SiL was moved to the end of season 5. As a replacement this episode was shot. Most people don’t like it but I always thought it to be a good episode. I really liked the university discussion, the abbey and the end of the episode.

Quote of the episode:
Last man on Earth: “This is how the world ends. Swallowed in fire, but not in darkness. You will live on. The voice of all our ancestors, the voice of our fathers and our mothers to the last generation. We created the world we think you would’ve wished for us. And now we leave the cradle for the last time.”

Season analysis: Another great season. Second only to the third season. Both seasons togaether are one of the best pieces of Science-Fiction I’ve ever seen.

Season 5

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