Babylon 5 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.

Secondary Plot: The Nightwatch 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.

Commentary: 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.

Majel Barrett 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 bombs 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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