Season 3, Episode 9. Written by J. Michael Straczynski
, directed by Jim Johnston
. Originally aired on February 26, 1996
Primary Plot: General Hague
starts an insurrection to try to stop President Clark
's martial law decree
try to take control of all security responsibility, causing Zack Allan
to re-evaluate whether he's on the correct side..
Tertiary Plot: Londo
invites a "seer", Lady Morella
(played by Majel Barett Roddenberry
) to the station to read his future
We pick up about 5 seconds after the end of Messages From Earth
, as pandemoneum ensues
following Clark's declaration of martial war
. This episode is terrific not only because of how much happens, but also becuase of just how realistic JMS' manages to depict the aftermath of a martial law decree. You have Clark back home, desperately trying to retain control by unleashing the Nightwatch
and similar organizations that he had formulated over the past year for this very purpose. You have General Hague
and his followers desperately trying to rally the military to move against Clark. You have Sheridan and the others on Babylon 5
, ignored for the moment because Clark's attention is elsewhere--but not for long. You have General Smits passing messages to Sheridan but not being able to say too much because there's no way to get a secure channel. And, finally, you have people like Zack Allan who really aren't sure
which side is right in all of this.
Another thing I love about this episode is just how much stress
you can see in the faces of the lead characters. Zack is walking around like he's ready to explode the whole episode, and by the end of the show Sheridan looks like he really hasn't slept in weeks
. The scene where he's just sitting in his quarters wide awake, waiting for the alarm clock
to give him his wakeup call is particularly telling.
We also now see the immediate effects of G'Kar's revelation
--he seems to be an entirely different person. Calm, calculated, almost happy
to have been incarcerated. And, above all, reborn from his own ashes to fight for his people.
does a great job in this episode. She has repeatedly gone on record calling B5 the "only other intelligent science fiction series out there" besides the Star Trek
shows, and she agreed to guest star
in an episode to support the show. Here's the interpretation of the reading Morella gives Londo:
He will have three opportunities to avoid the fiery future that awaits him, and he has squandered two chances already.
The two missed chances: one of these was most definitely sparking the Narn-Centauri War
in The Coming of Shadows
, and the other was probably allowing mass drivers
to be used on the Narn
homeworld in The Long, Twilight Struggle
He must save the eye that does not see.
This refers to the Season 4 episode Falling Towards Apotheosis
, when Londo stands by and watches Emperor Cartagia
pluck out G'Kar
's eye without trying to stop it.
He must not kill the one who is already dead.
This refers to the Season 4 episode Into the Fire
, when Londo condemns Morden
to death. Morden was "already dead," as he died and was reborn on Z'ha'dum
when he started to work for the Shadows
. By killing Morden, Londo condemned Centauri Prime
to almost 20 years of retribution by the allies of the Shadows (as explained in Season 5's The Fall of Centauri Prime
And, at the last, if he has missed all his other opportunities, he must surrender himself to his greatest fear, knowing that it will destroy him.
This refers to the Season 5 episode The Fall of Centauri Prime
, in which Londo is implanted with a Keeper
and becomes Emperor
to stop nuclear bomb
s from being detonated all throughout Centauri Prime
. He saves billions of lives doing so, but destines himself to being a Drakh
puppet for the rest of his life.
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