Sunday, June 22, 2008

Destination: Everglades City

"Vacation all I ever wanted/ Vacation had to get away" -The Go-Gos

That's it folks. I need a break from it all. So I've decided to head to the Everglades. I thought the kids would get a kick out of the gators. Actually, I think I'm looking forward to them more than they are. Pelicans, snakes, racoons, maybe even a rare Ghost Orchid. Should be cool. Well, HOT as HELL, but cool. The One To Be Pitied is dreading the whole thing. Look, I'm tired of fake plastic Disney.

Anyway, it's probably a good moment to take a break. I'm at the half-way point of the Babylon 5 series and it's been a helluva viewing experience. So I will return in about a week to resume with Babylon 5, Season 3, Episode 11. From what I've been told the last three entries work in collaboration as a kind of 3 parter so it's a good point to break. I may try and post something remotely but in the event I can't get to it because I fell off a swamp rat [air boat] in the middle of the Everglades and I'm swimming for my life I just wanted to give my fellow sci-fi fanatics a head's up.
I totally geeked out in preparation for my trip and designed my own T-shirt with my blogspot address on the back of it; a little shameless self-promotion. So keep an eye out for me if you happen to be in the sunshine state.

This T-Shirt business was a total experiment just for fun. I'm making some for my kids. Anyway, funny thing is I actually made a mistake when I ironed on my advertisement upside down. You should have seen me with an iron in hand. I was like "Oh no. I just spent 6 dollars on a T-Shirt and I've ruined it." So I had to reprint it and try to make it work otherwise my shirt was a complete waste. So now it's like Mirror Universe Spock. I know. I'm dorkin' it. It was a good effort. Hey, I betchya never thought you'd see me in a Babylon 5 shirt based upon my initial skepticism for the show way back in Season One. I sure was kidding myself.

Have a great week guys!

T-Shirt Design: B
T-Shirt Execution: C-

Saturday, June 21, 2008

B5 S3 Ep10: Severed Dreams

X-Wing Fighters Attack! I mean Starfury Attack!

I am currently singing Severed Dreams in my head to the tune of Johnny Hates Jazz' Shattered Dreams. That one hit wonder was a terrible thing, but it works to the title of this episode just fine.

Babylon 5, Season Three, Episode 10, Severed Dreams [or Dad, Everything Is Going To Hell], by all accounts is considered one of the most popular episodes from Season Three. I have to admit, having seen some of the high marks on this one out on the web perhaps my hopes were set a bit high. It was indubitably a rock solid entry but it didn’t rank as one of my favorites. Might I be suffering from a touch of Babylon 5 fatigue if that's possible? Rather I think that’s the great thing about our favorite series. The things that make us who we are allow for a subjective reaction to the drama and the action. What one person hates another might love and so the reverse is true. Nevertheless I do like the raised stakes and the decisions being made by our heroes and heroines are indeed courageous and exciting.

The Narn are in a full security posture on Babylon 5.

The Alexander [a great Greek military commander] is under siege by Earth Force cruisers and will be destroyed unless they open fire with their aft batteries pretty quick. Wisely, they open fire with their aft batteries and unleash a world of hurt on the Clarkstown. So long sucker! Major Ed Ryan [played by familiar character actor Bruce McGill] brings the epic drama down to a personal level by speaking with a crewman about the people that are dying by their very hands. These are men with families like us. The damaged Alexander jumps to Babylon 5 for necessary repairs. Sheridan learns it is coming and tasks Garibaldi with severing communications channels, except for one private line and an ISN band.

Hell moment:
Sheridan: “Hague is arriving here in a few hours and Hell is riding in with it!"
Hey! There goes the White Star!
Elsewhere on the station, a Minbari has arrived with information, but is wounded and must be protected. We all know of Super G’Kar’s strength [after he lifted Vir in Dust To Dust] and he single-handedly carries the wounded to medlab. It’s interesting as trust begins to develop and unfold between the races. The injured Minbari confirms to Delenn and Lennier that “the Shadows are moving.” Alliances have been made among the non-aligned worlds with the shadowy forces of evil. This causation has created war between the worlds battling under the allusion they are protected by the very Shadows entity that is actually compelling these events to unfold. War is indeed growing.

The Alexander arrives and Sheridan orders all crewmen to assist despite standing Earth orders to the contrary. Cub scout Corwin is definitely looking a bit perplexed and we are uncertain within which camp he will fall as he struggles with each new crisis. Sheridan assures the crew the Alexander is NOT the enemy and deserves their humanitarian assistance. Sheridan makes an emotional plea to the crew about “our humanity.” He is an unorthodox Captain balancing emotion and instinct with judgment, decisiveness, courage, justice and the side of the man that is unmistakably Starkiller.

Major Ryan informs Sheridan of the shocking news that General Hague is dead. Hague has been killed in the fighting. Martial law has been implemented in full force with the exception of the Mars colony. Earth Force command has ordered the indiscriminate bombing of Mars to make a point. I really liked the Hague character and was hopeful he would return but clearly that t'was not to be.

Deeply concerned by current events Delenn embarks to Minbar to shake up the stodgy, old Grey Council. We are Grey. We are perfect. We are unmolested. We are above it all. We are boneheads. We are about to get our head and hands served to us by Delenn. Lennier does warn her that she may not be received well. Delenn could care less and plays a little Whack-A-Minbari. She has also discovered G’Kar, judged by his actions, has grown and through his own personal journey is changing.
The station surrounded by Minbari Cruisers looks like a whale in a fish-filled ocean.
A jumppoint opens and Earth Destroyer Churchill has arrived in Babylon 5 airspace. On Earth, ISN is being invaded by Earth Force troops and disrupts ISN's broadcast just seconds before it was deliver information of an ongoing Earth project they had been forced to suppress for some time. Earth colonies are breaking away in protest. Captain Hiroshi is in charge of the Churchill [do you love these World War II connections? Hiroshi-ma? Churchill?] and has arrived to inform Sheridan that Clark is moving elite forces upon any colony moving against him. Hiroshi warns that reinforcements are en route to Babylon 5 to seize control and command of the station. The captain and crew will be arrested and Babylon 5 will fall directly under Clark’s control via Nightwatch. Sheridan has roughly six hours before they arrive and all HELL breaks loose. Boy that felt good.
So, there are two options: 1. Fight [= die] or 2. Surrender [= court-martial]. Wow, that's great sign us up!

When Sheridan laid the options on the table in front of his crew, they clearly choose to fight. What I loved about this moment was how much I love the character of these characters. Loyalty. Justice. Determination. Integrity. This is why we love these guys. They believe in each other and they believe in Babylon 5 and what it represents. The fight in these characters never wanes. These aren't pacifists, appeasers, but true fighters. Sheridan has surrounded himself with people of genuine conviction. Ivanova, Garibaldi and Franklin desire peace but they are willing to fight, even die for it along with their captain. These are fiery individuals with a passion for justice. Love ‘em!

Starfuries are prepping for battle in the bays of Babylon 5.

Delenn, another fired-up individual, has a clear bone to pick with the Grey Council, a smaller head bone, but a bonehead nevertheless. She wills her way into the council chambers. Delenn scolds their pacifism. She scolds them for rejecting the prophecy that is upon them. The Shadows are real and she propels and wills them to listen. And the Grey have been warned.

We stand between the candle and the star, the darkness and the light. You say the words, but your hearts are empty. Your ears close to the truth. You stand for nothing but your own petty interests. The problems of others are not our concern.” Breaking a council staff she symbolizes her break from the council and the prophecy of the council’s dissolution. She will fight. Some take her side, while others do not. The time for isolation is over.

Sheridan worries for his family back home amidst Earth's chaotic shake-up and whether or not he will even survive the coming battle and see them again. He calls his father in one of the more intimate moments in this epic entry.

Here is the former father of Sheridan in Knives. He certainly looks kind enough AND he has hair.
I love how Sheridan is humbled with pride for his father. “Never start a fight, but always finish it.” [Words to live by]. By the way that is definitely not the same father I remember seeing from Knives in his vision while the alien force was inside his body. I thought this new fellow was a good choice. He delivers a believable component to the story. We'll never know how the other actor would have conveyed the role of dear old Dad since he never spoke a word and only reached out his loving arms, but this was a good choice for the father of Captain John Sheridan.

The Starfuries launch. Sheridan utilizes Draal’s holographic projection utility to deliver a kind of State of the Station address across Babylon 5. He informs the people aboard that the station has seceded from the Earth Alliance and will act as an independent state until Clark is removed from office. I immediately considered how that might affect the safety and function of the station. Without funding or support via Earth from that point forward repairs and supplies might get scarce and hard to come by. I was also wondering about Epsilon 3 as a defense to Babylon 5, but Ivanova asked that very question. Sheridan sees Epsilon 3 as a last resort, their ace in the hole. For now he calls it Babylon 5’s fight, if they don't get blown out of the sky. His crew is given the chance to leave and Corwin stands ground with them. The allies continue to mount.
I love team shots like this one!
Ivanova is a full-bodied woman of the people and heads out in a Starfury to assist the men and women by backing them in person. She wants the troops to know what’s at stake and that they have her support as Lt. Commander. Sheridan relents to her decision. The Churchill and Alexander join forces with Babylon 5.

Sheridan attempts contact with the arriving Earth fleet and insists they stand down from their Earth orders to take control of Babylon 5. They are unconstitutional. The Agrippa [named after a Roman general and statesman] and the Roanoake sever communications with Babylon 5. Not good.

The sky is alight and crawling with spaceships. A Breaching Pod [very cool infiltrator] lands on the hull of Babylon 5 at the junction of Brown 95. Garibaldi and troops assemble and head to the insertion point. Earth forces breach the hull and the casualties begin. There is some cool slow-mo intensifying the sequence and sadly the Narn continue to be slaughtered.

In space, a damaged Starfury crashes into Control and Command and the explosion and damage is minimal thanks to closed blast doors. The Churchill is hammered and in flames and is going down hard but not before crashing headlong into the Roanoake. Ivanova is clipped while piloting her ship by another Starfury, but jettisons to safety [floating in space?] after losing control just seconds before the Starfury explodes into the Agrippa. The Alexander follows suit by absolutely annihilating the Agrippa with its own arsenal of awesome firepower.

This is a striking looking shot by the effects team with Babylon 5 in the foreground as an array of jumppoints open as points of light and surround the station.
The consequences of the battle while severe give hope to Babylon 5 the storm has ended until more Earth Force ships arrive. The new arrivals couldn't come at a worse time as Babylon 5 assesses its poor hull integrity. Things look dire, and as the shit continues to hit the proverbial fan things go from bad to worse as four jumppoints open around Babylon 5. Is it curtains or cavalry for Sheridan? Yes, the cavalry has arrived in the form of Commander Delenn and the Minbari to the rescue!

Man she kicks ass! She delivers a forceful ultimatum. It's one of her best 'stand by your man' moments to date. Thinking back, those effects have come along way indeed.

Garibaldi is injured in the fight, but not critical. Sheridan is handed over the remaining Starfury fleet following the destruction of the Churchill. This addition replenishes and reinforces Babylon 5's own weakened fighter contingent to full strength.

The Alexander heads off to find other Earth defectors.

Babylon 5’s diverse alien population and their rousing ovation greet Sheridan as hero.
Severed Dreams: B+

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

B5 S3 Ep9: Point Of No Return

Yup! It's official. FASTEN-ZIP!
If you’re like me, sometimes you watch an episode of one of your favorite shows and it may not resonate with you initially right away. Let the dust settle, so to speak, allow for things to sink in and appreciation for it begins to permeate your mind that may not have moments after initially watching it.

So let’s get to the point in the form of Point Of No Return, Babylon 5, Season Three, Episode 9. I’ve been a little less blown away of late, not that the entries haven't been consistently solid on the whole. Some of the WOW factor that I cherished in Season Two hasn’t quite been there for me, but that’s not to say the quality of these productions isn’t excellent. Point Of No Return is an exceptionally solid entry on the whole. Perhaps I spend so much time looking at the details for writing purposes I forget to just sit back, watch and enjoy. Here we go.

Londo makes every attempt to influence Vir’s reporting of life and culture on Minbar by placing a negative spin on its contents at every turn. Londo's perpetual couching of Vir’s material is the ultimate in Centauri propaganda. It’s disgusting and Vir knows it by letting Londo have it with both barrels in anger.

The costume design is always top shelf on Babylon 5.
Londo receives a call from Centauri Prime notifying him that Lady Morella [gracefully portrayed by Star Trek’s own aging but lovely Majel Barrett] will be making a visit to Babylon 5. She is the third wife of the late Centauri emperor. She is a prophetess, a seer and Londo has pulled many a string to bring her aboard Babylon 5 for one purpose and one purpose alone- confirm his fate.

Back on Earth martial law is in full effect thanks to the orders of dictator, I mean, President Clark. There is a nine system alert seeking the apprehension of Sheridan associate General Hague. We were first introduced to him in Season 2, Episode 11, All Alone In The Night. By the way whatever happened to Bureau 13 referenced in Spider In The Web, Season 2, Episode 6? Man, a guy's head could spin.

Fine turns continue from Marshal Teague as Ta’Lon and Vaughn Armstrong as the Security Guard. Zack is informed that Nightwatch must be fully armed in preparation for violence. G’Kar is released unconditionally three weeks early from the brig by Garibaldi. His security officers are needed elsewhere as unrest grows. Garibaldi gets in on the action and tosses one of his own ‘Hell’ bombs. “Everything else has gone to Hell!” Alright Garibaldi! Welcome to the party pal!

Later, Sheridan reports into Earth with Garibaldi at his side and is reamed a new asshole as it were or is he? He is informed to follow “chain-of-command” and keep his opinions to himself, because everyone knows what opinions are like, they're like, well, you know and everyone’s got one [including me right?]. Their marching orders continue with the revelation that Nightwatch has been newly charged with the task of off-world security. “WHAT?” declares Sheridan. More like, “What the Hell!” The Nightwatch reminds us of a gang of bullies with badges and PPGs. Garibaldi knows things are unravelling, which is why he is willing to go to the wall and bust some heads.

Lady Morella asks Londo, “why have you brought us here?” She looks to Babylon 5 as a kind of memorial to her late husband’s unfinished business. She plays a heavy heart and pervading sadness with much dignity. Londo eagerly informs her of his Centauri status. He tell her he is “touched” and that he is meant for something “greater.” “A Greater darkness or a greater good I can no longer say. All I have ever wanted is to serve our people. I need to see see what is before me- if I should escape it or embrace it?- if there is any longer a choice.” Lady Morella believes there is always a choice, a hope. “We say there is no choice only to comfort ourselves when the decision we have already made.” BINGO! She speaks directly to the heart of Londo’s problem. He makes bad decision after bad decision and makes excuses for them, because he voluntarily looks at his rise to power as something designed by fate. She agrees to provide Londo with a reading before her departure.

Elsewhere, Nightwatch is organizing, consolidating their resolve complete with logo armbands. Some show character and turn in their security gear refusing to join on principle. As a result of the Nightwatch tide, we get a little red hot Garibaldi. Man, I love red hot Garibaldi [definitely a hint of Jesus and the money changers from Straczynski the self-professed atheist].

WOW! What a fight for the hearts and minds of these men and women from Babylon 5's hot-headed finest.

G’Kar meets with Ta’Lon and expresses to Ta’Lon his newfound spirituality. His life is now guided by a mission to reach out beyond the Narn to benefit all who struggle.

Sheridan receives the Issuance of Executive Order: Declaration Of Martial Law on Babylon 5. There is still no word on his confidant General Hague. The concern outstanding is that Sheridan and company might be connected to the insurrection should Hague be arrested. At the moment Hague is commanding the Alexander and is under attack by Earth Force cruisers. Hague escapes and civilians aboard Babylon 5 cheer aloud. Without knowing all the facts, everyone certainly loves a good underdog fight and apparently Hague is their man. Nightwatch arrives and breaks up the congregation of races. A melee breaks out between the Babylon 5 population and Nightwatch. Vir takes one for the team as a glass bottle breaks against his neck and misses Lady Morella by inches. Over the vidcom system, Sheridan announces martial law has been instituted on Babylon 5 as the battle rages. If you don’t mind me saying, everything is clearly going STRIAGHT TO HELL! That felt good.

Sheridan reanalyzes the message from General Smits and determines there was indeed a subtle directive within the non-encrypted message. Sheridan reads between the lines concerning “chain-of-command” giving him the subtle backing he needed to restore order on the station.

G’Kar heads to the bridge and informs Ivanova he is interested in “saving all of us.” G’Kar has found religion and he does come across a little different as a result. He’s not nearly as fired up.

These guys are just plain bad ass and have justice in their hearts and minds.
Later, Zack returns to his quarters after what could certainly be deemed a tough day. Sheridan, Garibaldi, Ivanova and G’Kar are awaiting his arrival. Admittedly, it’s nice to have the authority and luxury of breaking into one another’s quarters when needed isn't it? Sheridan's plan is in effect.

Lady Morella is nursing Vir’s neck. Londo retrieves a cloth and during the exchange from his hand to Morella’s she see Londo’s future unexpectedly when their hands touch. That was a nice way of bringing the “reading” into play when we least expected it.

Zack sets up Security Guard Vaughn [and Nightwatch] with a plan of attack designed by Sheridan and company. I absolutely love the shot of Sheridan in thought, in the dark and the slow motion shots from Director Jim Johnston of our heroes executing the plan.

The slo-mo really heightens the growing conflict and the move to act. In the end, Zack doesn’t let me down. He makes the right decision and backs Sheridan and Garibaldi. He rips the armband off in protest. It is a symbolic moment to see Sheridan and the core four gain another ally with everything going to HELL and all. I mean, with all of the people surrounding Babylon 5 often making the wrong choices [especially Londo] it was actually refreshing to see the conflicted conscience of Zack come around and make the right play. Nightwatch is now trapped in Bay 9. You can give ‘em a PPG, but you can’t give ‘em brains. Check out the young whippersnappers in Nightwatch with Vaughn. They’re like babies for cryin’ out loud.
It's going to take more than these two chuckle-headed punks behind Vaughn's shoulder fresh out of Earth Force Elementary School to stop Garibaldi!
Sheridan reads Nightwatch the riot act. The rogue unit is officially de-teethed and placed under arrest for the time being for mutiny and failure to obey the chain-of-command. Zack is clearly joining the inner circle. G’Kar has enlisted the Narn to aid in the security detail of Babylon 5 now that many of the security forces have been rounded up as part of the Nightwatch brigade. These Narn are loyal to G’Kar. Might that be a conflict? Perhaps, but the noble G’Kar seemingly has Babylon 5’s best interests at heart and it’s not like there are a lot of alternatives. It was the first time watching Babylon 5 I felt as though an alien race was acting outside of its own self-interests. Let’s face it, there are a lot of self-serving interests competing for priority on the station and for a change it felt like there was an attempt to work together as opposed to the usual alien lobbying.

I snapped this image at just the right moment completely by chance, but I thought it really captured the spirit of this thread as Morella finally sees the fate of Londo, also by accident.
Morella advises Londo, “you still have three opportunities to avoid the fire that waits for you at the end of your journey. You’ve already wasted two others.” 3+2=5 if I do the math correctly, 5 chances, man I'm good. Hmm…let’s think about this, where along the way did Londo make those mistakes? Anyone? Bueller? I'm thinking perhaps during the Knives confrontation [Season 2, Episode 17] or his willingness to demoralize G'Kar before the council in The Long, Twilight Struggle [Season 2, Episode 20] along with accepting his role in the Narn assault as two distinct possibilities. If it's better I learn on my own, don't mention it.

Those three opportunities:
1. “You must save the eye that does not see.” [?]
2. “You must not kill the one who is already dead.” [G’Kar?]
3. “You must surrender yourself to your greatest fear- knowing that it will destroy you.” [Vir? or relinquishing power?]

I don’t understand,” worries Londo. One thing is certain offers the lady, Londo will be emperor, and much to Vir’s astonishment, and ours, so will Vir. Huh?! What? Cool! It's funny, Vir is like the antithesis to Londo.

One of you will become emperor after the other’s dead.” This could present a bit of a trust issue for Londo. Ya think. Check the discomfort. Vir's motives are pure and he is far more secure with his moral compass than Londo.

I’m always sucked into scenes featuring G’Kar [he's definitely been a favorite for a long time]. I love how he is now very much an outsider with no official capacity really. He's now beginning to think differently and for that reason he is far more likely to gain eventual admittance into the inner circle of trust, the War Council. We shall see. I also love the initial juxtaposition of Lady Morella with Ta'Lon [Narn Security] as seen here. It is ironic to see the Narn protecting those that would have them destroyed. Such a clever series with so many agendas and rich undercurrents at play.

General Hague is close to capture.

Sheridan: “They’ll be coming for us next you know."
Ivanova: “I know. Never thought it would end like this."
Sheridan: “Me either.”
Those downbeat endings continue. Is there any other kind on Babylon 5?

Point Of No Return: B+

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Voices Of Babylon

Back in the day a little group came along called The Outfield. They weren't anything extraordinary, but my younger brother and I would run around singing "Josie's on a vacation far away" with our handy air guitars. That was a line from their big hit Your Love. Anyway, the act sounded more American-oriented rock than they did English for a band hailing out of London. Needless to say they tempted credibility on their third album, Voice Of Babylon. They may not have succeeded but they have a load of great car songs and I've always had a nostalgic soft spot for their stuff including this title track from the aforementioned recording which fit perfectly for the Babylon 5, Season 3 episode, Messages From Earth, and the opening line, "Hit the message I can hear you calling."

Friday, June 13, 2008

B5 S3 Ep8: Messages From Earth

Into the eye of the Purple-Pink!

Whenever I see the word ‘messages’ I think of songs by OMD, the Bee Gees and ELO. I have no idea why, but to me there is something classic and analogue about the word. I cannot explain it. It just is. Anyway, it's a great word.

So here we are with Babylon 5, Season Three, Episode 8, Messages From Earth [or "I've Just Got To Get A Message To You"]. Great title. Great idea and Director Michael Vejar strikes again! I like this director. What a unique visual style and flair. He does interesting things with the camera and the whole episode, especially on Mars, has that creepy, lonely, dark, moody, ominous quality immersed in orange hues. Pinkish hues are nice, but I really like orange hues. My kids were running for cover. One of them made smart remarks about the old effects and even used the words “green screen.” I was like, “where did you learn that.” Too much Disney channel probably. Anyway, they were still pretty impressed with the White Star and those spindly Shadows vessels. No matter how old some of these effects may be by television standards they justifiably scared the bejesus out of the kiddies who either headed for the hills or forced them to bury their faces in pillows!

The episode kicks off in traditional Babylon 5 fashion with a meal. Bacon and Eggs. “I haven’t seen a fresh chicken egg in three years,” a shocked Garibaldi proclaims. Marcus has managed to surprise Ivanova with the ultimate breakfast dish. What better meal to remind us of Earth then good old-fashioned bacon and eggs.

Elsewhere on the station Marcus is proving his value opening a mighty can of whoop ass to protect a woman from a slough of determined attackers. If I had any doubts about our Shakespearean Ranger Man and his abilities they were vanquished here. Hey there Boo Boo, welcome this one aboard!

On Earth, Senate hearings continue into Santiago’s death while evidence has surfaced on Clarke via his former physician proving his timely absence from Earth Force One may not have been just unfortunate timing. Sheridan and Ivanova listen intently to ISN.

Garibaldi’s soft spot for G’Kar continues as he visits him in station confinement. It’s one of two intimate scenes in the entry. I love the lighting used here on G’Kar’s face and how he falls back into the shadows. Vejar has the cinematic touch indeed.

Two solid turns are delivered via Robert Vaughn as a Nightwatch Security Guard and the beautiful Nancy Stafford as hottie Dr. Mary Kirkish. I got curious. I knew she was a hottie! The actress was formerly Miss Florida in 1976 and had a role on Matlock. I never watched Matlock. It's not science fiction.

Garibaldi has found the person he has been looking for to corroborate his story. His “package” has arrived thanks to Marcus and her name is Dr. Mary Kirkish. Seven years ago Garibaldi saw something. He has kept it under wraps until now. She is an important messenger. Mike Vejar serves up a perfect slow motion sequence with her arrival as she is escorted to the war council room to the sound of thumping percussion. Great stuff pumping up the importance of the episode!

Kirkish worked as an archaeologist for Interplanetary Expedition searching for buried technology [can you say Stargate SG-1?] on other worlds. She has been brought before the council to share her story. While on Mars, sonic probes uncovered something in the Martian soil. That thing they found was a Shadows vessel. I love when Kirkish describes it like the one from the news, the one that looks like it came “straight from hell” [maybe not “straight to hell” but cool enough!]. Kirkish now joins a long list of characters happily expounding the state of the galaxy.

Sheridan points out that back home they’re saying they’ve never seen anything like this. The doctor [of archaeology] confirms they are indeed lying.

She explains only a handful of people know what happened after that discovery. Many have died or gone missing. “Sooner or later they’ll find me and I’ll disappear.” Fortunately for Kirkish, Delenn and Lennier have other plans and will handle her sanctuary on Minbar. In other words, thanks for coming and playing a part on our Babylon 5, we’ll call you if we need you, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Tell Sinclair we said hello. Have a great day.

Before leaving she recalls how one worker touched the entity accidentally and died instantly. Yikes! That can't be good. During the excavation she spent time in a Mars bunker [great atmosphere and eerie coloring in these scenes once again]. Through a lookout she witnessed the arrival of another Shadow vessel that reawakened the other lifting it from Mars, as if summoning it from the bowels of hell through utilization of its devastating purple-pink firepower. The doctors were warned to keep quiet concerning exactly what they witnessed [or else]. All were separated and dispatched to different locations with the intention of maintaining silence.

During that dig, Garibaldi was piloting a shuttle for Mars when he too viewed those same events. He went back to that site to investigate, but all he could uncover was a badge, the dreaded badge of a Psi Corps officer.

Now the bad news, just a few weeks ago Dr. Kirkish was brought to another secret location where yet another vessel had been discovered. This time it’s different. Deeply concerned she tells the group how Earth is planning to dissect the knowledge of their finding to learn from it and use it to Earth advantage perhaps as a weapon against others by bringing it home. Whoever is in charge clearly wants to become more like the Shadows in power. Can you say Morden and Psi Corps? In theory, could Morden and Psi Corps be attempting a double-cross of The Shadows? It feels as though the Earth government is employing a very dangerous game with some very dangerous people.

The dreaded Groupthink model inaction. "I dunno Lennier. What do you think?" "I dunno. Marcus?"
Upon receiving all of this information, Sheridan adjourns the meeting and needs time to think…alone, err….with Delenn…kind of alone. Hmmm….

Elsewhere on the station Nightwatch is becoming more and more like Big Brother. Zack is looking very torn and troubled by the developments, especially when Vaughn smiles it’s like playing “God” a bit. I’d say the power is going to your head a bit there big fella. He’s whipping the troops into a bit of a frenzy. I like Conaway’s sometimes exaggerated “WTF!?” facial expressions. I have to admit I’m enjoying him more than I ever thought I could have as the show has progressed.

Sheridan has informed Delenn of his intentions [not those intentions]. Together they will take the White Star to Ganymede and stop the implementation of the Earth plan by destroying the Shadows vessel. White Star GO! The slow pan to Boxleitner in the Captain’s chair was a real nice touch. Classic Vejar! Delenn accompanies the Captain. Their bond and resolve is strengthening and there is definitely a comfort there for Sheridan having her by his side.

So Nighwatch is drawing up lists of those to be arrested and nearly anyone is a suspect as Vaughn stirs up the security staff. I like that Zack is still asking questions. He clearly is trying to figure out which side he’s on and navigate the minefield of issues. At a nightwatch meeting things begin to unravel as an officer asks, “does anyone in this room know where the Captain is?” How’s that for loyalty? Wow. Here's a clue. It's none of your damn business and shut the F up!

The White Star continues its journey to Mars. Lennier recommends that Sheridan rest. Lennier is such a voice of reason and wisdom. It’s interesting to see the Minbari [religious caste of course] stand at attention for Sheridan as he walks by. It must be surreal for Starkiller given his Black Star history. Those Minbari pilots are so funny navigating from those mobile chairs; they even smile later on. So Sheridan heads off to get some rest. Those Minbari beds look comfy. NOT! Delenn looked kind of seductive too. This is a sweet sequence with Sheridan sharing a bit of his past with her about his father. You gotta love Dads.

Ivanova looks terrific with her hair down. She is clearly struggling with events as they unfold and this scene really amplifies her frustration and her inability to have a hand in controlling the outcome as she lashes out at Marcus who’s on the receiving end of her wrath. Marcus is a solid, caring character for taking it as well. He knows she needs to release her tension and absorbs it for her without fighting back.

An interesting point is learned about the Shadows vessels and how they operate. A living creature enters the vessel and merges with it to take control and engage the craft. Earth has sent its own pilot and Delenn is troubled that the merging will be too hasty. Apparently, any life force has a shot at merging with one of these very curious Shadows vessels.

Don’t you just love the sound effects applied to the Shadows ships? It's like there's a hint of Toho, perhaps a nod to Godzilla or Monster Zero in there? It may be unintentional but at least that’s how it sounded as it screeched and released its purple-pink rage on the Mars research station after liftoff. I was half-expecting to see Ghidorah appear. The White Star fires a volley upon the craft and the results are “negligible.” Those moving Mibari chairs are particularly strange, but cool, and it was interesting how the ship’s firepower increased the closer they moved together. One more shot takes off an arm and pisses the enemy off. The White Star is pursued by The Shadow craft as Sheridan lures it into the gravitational pull of Jupiter. The White Star flips 180 degrees and pulls away from Jupiter's strain. The Shadows ship cannot pull out and is pulled back further toward the surface of the planet disintegrating. Interesting that the organic nature of the Shadows vessel did not have the strength to beat Vorlon-Minbari propulsion technology. And how about Captain Sheridan's laid back, brown, leather jacket look. What's up with that?

Just when our fearless heroes thought it was safe to head back into space, the Agamemnon arrives and fires upon them. Sheridan refuses to fire upon one of his own. Of course, it’s also the very ship he once captained [if I'm remembering that correctly]. He also refuses to surrender or it could spell the end of their mission as the “chosen ones.” The future would be Z'Ha'Doomed! Delenn suggests opening a jump point despite being dangerously close to the Jupiter surface. Lennier advises against it. The results could be catastrophic. In other words, they could all just explode. The White Star has not been fully tested on many fronts but continues to astonish and amaze therefore we definitely have to do it! If they played it safe it wouldn't make good television to be sure. Our heroes escape and remain unidentified in the process.

Later, ISN reports that an unknown alien ship destroyed the research station. The Earth powers continue to spin it to their advantage. The Agamemnon is reported to have destroyed the ship. Sheridan shakes his head in disbelief of the report. Yup, that's intergalactic politics for you.

Nightwatch urges Zack to begin probing the Security Chief. Zack is very much a pawn caught between his friendship to Garibaldi and the pressures of fulfilling his duties within the Nightwatch or "fire and flood" as Vir once said to Londo. The question is will he make the right choice? I'm hoping YES.

In the final moments, ISN reports Earth is now under martial law. YEs. Things are looking up as Babylon 5 ends with yet another happy ending.

Classic lines:

Lennier: “If I were holding anything back I would tell you.

Messages From Earth: A-