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Can a simple agrarian society save their world from the aliens stealing their resources?

My family is re-watching Babylon 5. I will post reviews of each episode as we watch them, one or two a week.

Season 4: No Surrender, No Retreat

"It was the year of fire . . . the year of destruction . . . the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth . . . the year of great sadness . . . the year of pain, and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history.

It was the year everything changed.


Racing Mars


Season 4, Episode 10

Originally aired February 24, 1997

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Tony Dow

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Marjorie Monaghan (Number One) and Donovan Scott (Captain Jack).

Marcus and Franklin make it to Mars. Sheridan and Garibaldi go at each other. Ivanova enlists the help of smugglers to bring goods into Babylon 5. And Delenn introduces Sheridan to a Minbari ritual.

Something is definitely wrong with Garibaldi. He gives a misleading news interview, and verbally accosts and punches Sheridan. Sheridan doesn't understand why, neither does the audience, not yet anyway.

The main part of the episodes focuses on Marcus and Franklin. They meet Captain Jack (the one played by Donovan Scott, not the one played by John Barrowman.) He takes them to the rebel hideout, gives them fake ID cards, and books them into the honeymoon suite as a young married couple. Unfortunately, he's not alone.

Although Delenn's Minbari ritual doesn't take much screen time, and we don't actually get to see anything, it is memorable. Sheridan and Delenn must discover each other's pleasure zones, but they are not alone.

In the end, Garibaldi meets with a few obvious bad guys and agrees to work with them - portends of things to come.

We learn that the Drakh keeper, the thing on both Captain Jack and the Centauri regent, cannot be killed. Even if it is removed, it grows back.

Marcus adds a lot to this episode with quips about his 'marriage' to Franklin. Back in 1997, this 'marriage' even though for expediency may have raised a few eyebrows. Today, the quips are still funny.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 10, 2019





Atonement


Season 4, Episode 9

Originally aired February 24, 1997

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Tony Dow

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Brian Carpenter as Callenn and Reiner Schone as Dukhat.

Marcus and Franklin take the scenic route to Mars. Delenn goes to Minbar to defend her engagement to Sheridan. And G'Kar gets a new eye.

Dr. Franklin fits G'Kar with a prosthetic eye. It's blue, instead of red, but it works even after he takes it out. By the look on his face, he has plans for that eye.

The main part of the episode takes place on Minbar. Delenn takes Lannier with her into the dreaming, drug-induced hallucinations of past events. Callenn wants to stop Delenn's marriage to Sheridan because her children will be impure and contaminate Minbari genetics with human DNA. But Valen (Sinclair) married and had children who had children, and so on down through the ages.

The dreaming is nicely photographed and gives the viewer insight into the events leading up to the Earth Minbari war, and Delenn's roll in that conflict. This season goes
back to stories the further the long plot lines but stand on their own. This episode just hums along, always interesting and fun to watch.

Just at the end, Marcus and Franklin leave for Mars. Because of the embargo, they can't use any normal methods of transport. Marcus finds a ride that leaves much to be desired. It reminded me of childhood road trips. Several kids, friends, and family, huddled in the back of the pickup with the camping gear, driving through the night to get to a lake.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 8, 2019







Epiphanies


Season 4, Episode 7

Originally aired February 10, 1997

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by John C Flinn III

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Walter Koenig as Alfred Bester and Damian London as Centauri Minister.

The war is over, but . . . Earth tries to isolate B5 by blockading travel. Bester wants to go to Z'ha'dum. All is far from well on Centauri Prime.

Londo wisely leaves Centauri Prime after the minister becomes regent. He has an uncanny knack for self-preservation. The minister wakes up with a creature attached to his neck. How and why this happened is not explained.

Garibaldi gets a message, odd images, after which he resigns. Another ominous portent that all is not quite as it should be.

Bester thinks there may be technology on Z'ha'dum to cure his girlfriend, but Sheridan takes Lyta along. Just as they arrive, a large number of ships flee the scene. Fortunately, Sheridan catches on in time to avoid being destroyed.

And Bester is foiled again.

However, Lyta gets a dressing down from Sheridan. His threats sound good, but I doubt anyone can touch Lyta if she doesn't want them to.

So much happens in this episode that it is hard to keep up. Even a group of Elvis impersonators come on board. Epiphanies opens many new story arcs that see the show through this season and into the next.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 28, 2019





Into the Fire


Season 4, Episode 6

Originally aired February 3, 1997

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Kevan James Dobson

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Wayne Alexander as Lorien and Ed Wasser as Morden.

Sheridan attacks both the Vorlons and the Shadows at Coriana 6. Londo confronts Morden.

Londo tells Morden to remove the shadow vessels from Selini Island. He refuses. Londo kills the Shadows that always follow him and asks again. He refuses again. At this point, Morden is acting rather stupid. The Vorlons are about to blow up Centauri Prime. Getting out of the way seems like the best option, but he still refuses, so Londo blows up Selini.

Vir finally gets to look into Morden's lifeless eyes and wave, just as the Vorlon planet killer cruises in front of the Centauri sun.

Sheridan mines the space around Coriana 6 and waits. First, the Vorlons arrive, sending a planet killer toward the Coriana. Then the Shadows make their appearance. Not much happens, so Sheridan fires off a few nukes. What follows is a space battle of massive proportions, complements of a lot of CGI. Just before Sheridan's fleet gets wiped out, a few more first ones show up. Actually, all of the remaining first ones gather at Coriana.

Lorien brings a representative of the Shadows and of the Vorlons aboard Sheridan's White Star, for a pow-wow. After all the excitement in space, the actual resolution is a bit anticlimactic. Although, Sheridan's response leaves no doubt about how the younger races feel about Vorlon and Shadow interference.

Into the Fire ends the Shadow/Vorlon war and the Centauri/Narn conflict. The Shadow war began during Signs and Portents, fifty-nine episodes ago. The Centauri/Narn conflict has been part of B5 from the beginning. JMS could have ended the series with this episode, but there are still 37 episodes, four movies, and a couple of shorts if I counted correctly. After all, Earth is still in political turmoil. Minbar isn't much better. Psi Corps still has some havoc to wreak. And just to make thing interesting, the Shadows and Vorlons left a few surprises behind.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 26, 2019



The Long Night


Season 4, Episode 5

Originally aired January 27, 1997

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by John LaFia.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Wortham Krimmer as Emperor Cartagia, Wayne Alexander as Lorien.

With the offending Vorlon gone from B5, Sheridan is free to attack on the Vorlons at Coriana 6. With both Cartagia and G'Kar on Narn, Londo is free to put his plan into play.

Not one to do thing by halves, Sheridan sends a White Star on a suicide mission with a message for the Shadows, luring them to Coriana 6 just in time to meet the Vorlons. So far, Vorlons and Shadows have avoided direct confrontation. Sheridan plans to change that.

Cartagia is on Narn, beside himself with pride and self-confidence. G'Kar's execution in front of his own people will make all of Narn realize that he, Cartagia, is a god. And since the Vorlons are about to destroy Centauri Prime, he will be safely away from the carnage.

G'Kar is paraded in, wearing a yoke and chains, a bloody bandage covering the eye Cartagia had plucked out. He listens to Cartagia's charges without saying a word. Then he breaks free, takes out several guards, and starts a general riot.

Londo leads Cartagia to a private alcove to do the dirty deed. However, Cartagia knocks the poison dart out of Londo's hand, getting him into a stranglehold. Fortunately, Vir comes to the rescue.

Everything is now in place. Londo is made prime minister and frees Narn. But he must hurry home before the Vorlons obliterate his world.

When this originally aired, I had to wait a week for the next episode, hoping it didn't get preempted and that I could get to the TV on the right day and time. Now, the next episode can be viewed without delay. That is a good thing.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 25, 2019





Falling Toward Apotheosis


Season 4, Episode 4

Originally aired November 25, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by David J. Eagle.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Wortham Krimmer as Emperor Cartagia, Wayne Alexander as Lorien, and Ed Wasser as Morden.

The Vorlons keep destroying any planet that has any connection to the Shadows without regard for the millions of innocent people living on those worlds. G'Kar is still in a Centauri prison being tortured by Cartagia.

Before Sheridan can plan to attack the Vorlons or the Shadows, he needs to get rid of their spy, Kosh's replacement. So, he sends Garibaldi to antagonize the Vorlon and the Lyta to trick him.

On Centauri Prime, Londo persuades Cartagia to take G'Kar to Narn for execution. It seems like a really dumb idea, but Cartagia falls for it. The Vorlons will destroy Centauri Prime in seven days.

The story does take a small break in the excitement so Sheridan can propose to Delenn. Knowing he now has only twenty years to live, he wants to spend all of them with her.

Falling toward Apotheosis is a great title. This episode doesn't exactly fall toward the climax. It charges headlong into the war between the Vorlons and the Shadows. It intertwines scenes of Vorlon anger with Londo's cunning and desperate attempts to control Cartagia. For Londo and Sheridan, there's no backing out now.

This is the first in a three-episode conclusion to the Shadow war. It isn't billed that way, but, none the less, this and the next two episodes belong together. However, when this originally aired, the next episode wasn't broadcast for two months. It wasn't an easy wait.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 24, 2019





The Summoning


Season 4, Episode 3

Originally aired November 18, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by John McPherson.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Wortham Krimmer as Emperor Cartagia, Wayne Alexander as Lorien.

Marcus and Ivanova head out to find more first ones. Zack goes to find Garibaldi. Cartagia tortures G'Kar. Some of the non-aligned worlds plot to revolt against Delenn's plan to attack Z'ha'dum. And Sheridan is still missing. Another episode with multiple intersecting storylines, all requiring the viewer to have watched earlier episodes.

Zack finds the ship carrying Garibaldi. It ejects a life pod with Garibaldi inside and then blows up. At least, Mr. Garibaldi is back on B5, confused and ornery, but home.

Ivanova and Marcus don't find any new first ones, but they do find the Vorlon fleet. Until now, Vorlons seemed rare. If the size of the fleet is any indication, there are plenty of Vorlons. And they're on the warpath, destroying planets with Shadow bases, no matter how many innocent beings get killed in the process.

Back on Centauri Prime, Cartagia is still foppish and cruel, taking great joy in tormenting G'Kar. Londo must watch and kowtow to his emperor, keeping his fear and disgust almost hidden.

A ship docks without permission just as Delenn attends the demonstration against her, hoping to speak to the crowd. Just as thing get out of control, Sheridan walks in.

Although the scenes with G'Kar are hard to watch, Wortham Krimmer does a wonderful job of portraying Cartagia. He isn't even trying to be nasty. He truly believes he is to become a god and that he is free to do whatever he wants to anyone.

So far, in season 4, every episode puts our heroes in more jeopardy. These episodes aren't quite cliffhangers, but they do make it hard to wait for the next installment.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 19, 2019





What Happened to Mr. Garibaldi


Season 4, Episode 2

Originally aired November 11, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Kevin James Dobson.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Patricia Tallman. With Wortham Krimmer as Emperor Cartagia, Wayne Alexander as Lorien, Damian London as the Centauri Minister.

The League of Non-Aligned Worlds has disbanded. Garibaldi and Sheridan are still missing. G'Kar leaves B5 to search for Garibaldi. Delenn organizes the rangers for one final assault.

Although G'kar is safe on Babylon 5, as soon as he leaves, he is vulnerable. Now captured and in chains in a Centauri prison, he and Londo plot to save both their worlds.

Garibaldi is in a room without any explanation or hope of escape.

Sheridan is still in a cave with Lorien, neither alive nor dead.

This episode is still sorting out the aftermath of "Z'ha'dum." It follows Sheridan, Delenn, G'Kar, and Garibaldi, so it can't spend very much time on any one of them. However, it does justice to all for characters, giving each a chance to tell explore their role in the story. The most powerful performances are Londo and G'Kar on Centauri Prime. Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas portray their characters with intense emotions, sensitivity, and depth.

Most of the time, Babylon 5 episodes are individual stories. They further the long plotline but are discrete stories. That is changing. Although the recent episodes are not entirely serialized, they rely heavily on the previous episode, and they don't wholly resolve their plots. There is just too much backstory and too many intersecting plotlines to do that. That is not a criticism, just an observation. This is a great episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 10, 2019





Hour of the Wolf


Season 4, Episode 1

Originally aired November 4, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by David J. Eagle.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, Patricia Tallman, and Ed Wasser. With Wortham Krimmer as Emperor Cartagia, Wayne Alexander as Lorien, Damian London as the Centauri Minister.

G'Kar asks two questions, "Where is Mr. Garibaldi?" and "What happened to Captain Sheridan at Z'ha'dum?"

Londo is still on Centauri prime, and so is Vir. Cartagia, insane to the core, has given the Shadows refuge on an island, believing this will bring him Godhood and immortality.

Delenn asks Ulkesh, Kosh's replacement, why he has not attended any meetings or helped in any way. He says it is irrelevant. We do learn that Lyta carries the Vorlon, or part of him anyway, inside her sometimes.

Morden survived the destruction at Z'ha'dum, but he is weak and peeling. Londo is to be his liaison - like it or not.

Ivanova, Delenn, Lyta, Lennier, and a Minbari crew take a White Star to Z'ha'dum to find Sheridan. They barely escape the telepathic trap set for them.

Deep in the tunnels of Z'ha'dum, a shivering and weak Sheridan meets a strange alien.

The early narration by G'Kar sets the tone for this episode. The war has halted for a time, and everyone is taking a moment to figure out what to do next. It is an odd way to start a new season. Had the Hour of the Wolf come after a long break, it might have seemed a bit disappointing. It is basically a catch-up episode. The main characters are still figuring what to do next.

However, there was only one week between the previous episode and this one, which worked fine. Watched together, they make a great pair.



Reviewed by Romana Drew July 6, 2019





Z'ha'dum


Season 3, Episode 22

Originally aired October 28, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Adam Nimoy.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Melissa Gilbert as Anna Sheridan and Jeff Corey as Justin.

Anna Sheridan returns, and Londo leaves.

Londo is promoted. He is now an advisor to Emperor Cartagia, a job he does not want. Cartagia, insane to the core, has given the Shadows refuge on Centauri Prime, believing this will bring him Godhood and immortality.

Anna Sheridan shows up in the middle of the night and invites Sheridan to Z'ha'dum to meet the Shadows. She accuses Delenn of lying about most everything and promises Sheridan that once he understands, he will join the Shadows, and the war will be over. Unable to trust either woman, Sheridan takes the White Star to Z'ha'dum with Anna. After he leaves, Shadow ships surround B5.

At Z'ha'dum, things don't go the way Anna or the Shadows had planned.

The early parts of this episode are a bit melodramatic. Sheridan is pissed with Delenn, thinking she should have told him Anna might be alive. He's also stressed out because Anna just can't be Anna, but she is. And of course, Kosh warned him that if he went to Z'ha'dum, he would die. So, there is a lot of heated back and forth. Once that's over, the story really gets going.

In the end, JMS tosses everything in the toilet. Sheridan jumps to his death just before the White Star crashes, detonating two enormous nukes. Garibaldi gets captured by a shadow ship. And, both Delenn and Ivanova fall into depression. However, we do learn something about both the Shadows and the Vorlons.

What a way to end the season.



Reviewed by Romana Drew July 5, 2019





Shadow Dancing


Season 3, Episode 21

Originally aired October 21, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Kim Friedman.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Melissa Gilbert as Anna Sheridan.

So, here we go! The penultimate episode of Season 3.

Sheridan, and everyone he can round up, engage the Shadow fleet. Franklin meets himself and lives.

When Franklin gets stabbed in Downbelow, he nearly gives up and dies. Then his alter ego shows up and throws insults until Franklin gets his act together and decides to live.

Sheridan and Delenn get as many ships as they can from the non-aligned worlds and other allies. Then they wait in ambush for the Shadow fleet. They drive the Shadows away, but one tiny ship exits a Shadow vessel and heads for B5.

The Franklin story is extremely well-acted and has a lot of emotional impact. It adds depth to the Franklin character. However, it feels as if it is here to pad out the plot. The Shadow attack story isn't complex. It is both critical and exciting, but can't fill up an hour by itself. On the positive side, Franklin fighting for his life at the same time our heroes are fighting for theirs is great counterpoint.

Although this doesn't have a complex plot, it does have an exciting space battle and a real twist at the end. Shadow Dancing is a must-see episode.

May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk.

Z minus 2 days.



Reviewed by Romana Drew July 4, 2019







And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place


Season 3, Episode 20

Originally aired October 14, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by David J. Engle.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With William Forward as Lord Refa, Louis Turenne as Brother Theo, Mel Winkler as Reverend Will Dexter, and Marva Hicks as the singer.

A team of religious leaders arrive with information about the resistance. Londo sets a trap for G'Kar.

Brother Theo and Reverend Dexter trade jibes and insults. Their clever banter serves as counterpoint to Vir's discomfort and Londo's scheming. In the end, Reverend Dexter holds a typical Southern Baptist service, which rejuvenates almost everyone, except Lord Refa.

Londo orders Vir to tell G'Kar that Na'Toth is alive and imprisoned on Narn. He also tells Vir that his guards will be waiting to capture G'Kar. This upsets Vir, especially after G'Kar falls for the lie and goes to Narn. But all is not as it first appears.

Londo does want revenge and has plotted a diabolical scheme to increase his political standing. Instead of giving G'Kar to his guards, he gives Lord Refa to G'Kar's guards.

At the very end, Delenn surprises Sheridan with a fleet of White Star ships.

Much happens in this episode that is important to the long story arch, but at times it feels a bit disjointed. However, is it still a good episode. " And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place," a traditional spiritual, is wonderfully sung by Marva Hicks. I wished it could have continued for a little longer.

Ominous words begin every new day, starting with "Z minus 14 days," and ending with "Z minus 10 days." No explanation is given for the countdown. Just like the first time through, many years ago, none is needed.

Reviewed by Romana Drew July 1, 2019







Grey 17 is Missing


Season 3, Episode 19

Originally aired October 7 20, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jonn C. Flinn III

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Robert Englund as Jeremiah and John Vickery as Neroon

A maintenance worker goes missing, and Garibaldi goes to investigate. Delenn is chosen to become Entil'Zha, Ranger One to replace Sinclair.

As it turns out, Gray Sector is missing a floor. Garibaldi finds two levels 17, the one everyone knows about and one between Level 16 and Level 17, also labeled Level 17. The alternate 17 is the realm of Jerimiah, his friends/disciples, and a monster. The show never explains if Jeremiah hid the floor, or if some malfunction prevents the elevator from stopping at that floor, only to be discovered by a few unfortunate souls who get in and can't get out.

Neroon challenges Delenn's right to lead the Rangers. He demands the rangers be under the Warrior cast. Lennier sees this as a threat and asks Marcus to prevent Neroon from reaching Delenn until the ceremony is complete.

Marcus challenges Neroon to a fight. Marcus fights the valiant fight, but he is no match for Neroon. Before killing Marcus, Neroon asks why. Marcus' answer not only saves his life but changes Neroon's beliefs.

This is an important episode because Delenn becomes head of the Rangers and Neroon gains a greater understanding of the Rangers. There is also a brief scene about recruiting telepaths. However, it is a bit weak.

The Grey 17 story is not as well-crafted as it could be. Robert Englund does a great job as Jeremiah, but living trapped in a level full of junk, with a delusional leader, and a man-eating monster doesn't bear too much scrutiny.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 24, 2019







Walkabout


Season 3, Episode 18

Originally aired September 30, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Kevin G. Cremin.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Erica Gimpel as Cailyn, Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander, Robin Sachs as Warleader Na'Kal, and Ardwight Chamberlain as the voice of Ulkesh.

G'Kar learns that several Narn warships survived the Centauri war. A new Vorlon comes to town. Franklin goes walkabout. And Sheridan tests the Shadows fear of telepaths.

The new Vorlon, Ulkesh, tells Sheridan to call him Kosh and asks Lyta, none too politely, if she carries a piece of Kosh.

To test the Shadows, Sheridan takes Lyta aboard the White Star and confronts a Shadow vessel. At first, Lyta isn't strong enough to contact the Shadow vessel, then Sheridan puts his hand on her shoulder. Kosh enters the scene, so to speak, and Lyta paralyzes the Shadow ship. Sheridan drains the White Star's power to kill it, leaving him vulnerable until the ship can recharge.

Four Shadow vessels arrive. A Minbari ship hiding in hyperspace, jumps to the rescue. The telepaths aboard the Minbari ship stop three of the Shadow vessels. Just before the fourth one fries the White Star, G'Kar leads a fleet of ships to the rescue, bringing the non-aligned worlds into the fray.

Franklin wanders the station looking for himself and finds a beautiful singer. But she is ill and committed to singing in Downbelow, and he is on a quest for redemption, or at least for a life without stims.

According to my research, or Wikipedia at least, Ulkesh is the name JMS gave to Kosh's replacement. Although, that name is never used in the show. Now might be a good time to say a word or two about the League of Non-Aligned World. Since they are all part of the 'League,' aren't they aligned with each other? The League of Non-Aligned Worlds sound like an oxymoron.

In past episodes, light streamed out of Lyta into Kosh, without any explanation as to what that light was. It appears that Vorlons can put part of themselves inside humans then sometime later take the bits back.

Walkabout lacks the intensity of the previous two episodes, but it is just right for this part of the saga. The Franklin story is sensitive and well done. The space battle is exciting and intense. And Lyta comes into her own against the Shadows.



Reviewed by Romana Drew June 23, 2019







War Without End


Season 3, Episode 16 & 17

Originally aired May 13 and May 20, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Kevin G. Cremin.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Tim Choate as Zathras and Michael O'Hare as Ambassador Jeffrey Sinclair/Valen.

Ambassador Sinclair reads a letter he wrote to himself 900 years ago. With the help of Draal, Babylon 4 returns to Sector 14. Garibaldi intercepts a message from eight days in the future showing Babylon 5 being destroyed. This two-part episode brings several plot lines together and opens many new possibilities, but it does slip around in both time and space.

While Draal keeps the time rift open, Sinclair takes Sheridan, Ivanova, Marcus, and Delenn to Sector 14 on the White Star. Zathras arrives and gives everyone time stabilizers.

The White Star flies through the rift to Babylon 4. Shadow fighters are about to blow up the station. The White Star defeats the fighters, but Sheridan's stabilizer is destroyed.

Now unstuck in time, Sheridan finds himself many years into the future, facing an elderly Emperor Londo Mollari. The Shadows destroyed much of the Centauri Prime, and Londo blames Sheridan. Back in his cell, Sheridan meets Delenn, who begs him not to go to Z'ha'dum and tells him their son is safe.

Londo is controlled by a parasite on his neck. He gets drunk enough for the creature to sleep and orders Sheridan and Delenn to escape. Then G'Kar walks in and strangles Londo.

While the White Star and its crew wait in space, Sinclair, Sheridan, Delenn, and Zathras go to Babylon 4. Sinclair and Zathras attempt to install time control equipment on Babylon 4 to send it one thousand years into the past. Once there, the Minbari can use it as a base to help them defeat the Shadows, making it much harder for the Shadows to gather enough strength to wage war in the present.

There is a lot of exciting running around and going back and forth before the B4 crew is rescued, Sheridan is back in his own time, and the station is ready to head into the past. With only, Sinclair, Sheridan, Delenn, and Zathras left on B4, and the time shift counting down, Sinclair announces that he will ride the station into the past to meet the Minbari and help them in their fight against the Shadows. Zathras goes with him.

Back on the White Star, Marcus puts it all together, who and what Sinclair is - Minbari not of Minbari born.

The concept of being unstuck in time is a bit hard to believe. Why didn't any of the B4 crew get unstuck when the station went forward in time in Babylon Squared? Why did Sheridan reappear in his body in the past, rather than as a separate person? It doesn't really matter. The concept works here. Best not to spend too much time analyzing it.

Although this episode runs in circles in the middle and can get a little confusing, it is a great episode. It's well worth watching in two one hour segments, or better yet, back to back. It explains what happened to Babylon 4, who Valen is, how Lady Morella's prophecies come to pass, and gives hope for the Sheridan and Delenn romance. And maybe Sheridan will win the Shadow war. But it won't be easy, and there will be casualities.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 22, 2019





Interludes and Examinations


Season 3, Episode 15

Originally aired May 6, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jesus Trevino.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Jennifer Balgobin as Dr. Lilian Hobbs, Rance Howard as David Sheridan, and Ardwight Chamberlain as the voice of Kosh.

Sheridan can't get other worlds to join the fight against the Shadows because they won't risk getting noticed. Londo prepares for the arrival of the lovely Adira Tyree. Franklin loses it, making bad calls and yelling at people.

Sheridan needs proof he can defeat the Shadows, so he asks Kosh for help. It doesn't go well, but he persists. Eventually, Kosh agrees, warning him that he will be sorry when he goes to Za'ha'dum.

Londo makes elaborate preparation for Adira, the slave he freed a while back. But Morden knows that Londo is responsible for Lord Refa's refusal to work with him. He finds the perfect way to get back at Londo, making it appear as if Lord Refa is responsible.

The Volons intercede in a Shadow attack and destroy or chase away the Shadow vessels. That victory gives other worlds' the confidence to sign on with Sheridan. However, it pisses off Morden, and he has Kosh killed.

Franklin admits that he is addicted to stims and leaves medlab to find himself.

Although Morden doesn't have a lot of screen time, he dominates the behind the scenes actions. Londo wants revenge, and Morden is just the guy to help, to hell with Centauri. And Kosh is dead. Of course, Morden is only a pawn.

The episode has a several emotionally powerful scenes. The intensity of Sheridan's argument with Kosh, and his refusal to take no for an answer, shows Sheridan's commitment to winning the Shadow War. Although it looks as if Kosh is attacking Sheridan, when he shoots beams at him, Kosh has another purspose.

And, Londo's grief is palpable. For all his bluster, inside, he is miserable. Everything he tries fails.

Interludes and Examinations sets the scene for the next two episodes and another major change in the B5 saga.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 19, 2019





Ship of Tears


Season 3, Episode 14

Originally aired April 19, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Mike Vejar.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Walter Koenig as Alfred Bester.

Sheridan investigates a distress call only to find Bester waiting to ask him for help. G'Kar begs to be let into the War Council. ISN returns as a propaganda machine for Clark.

Bester wants to intercept a Shadow transport carrying weapons components using the argument that 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend.' Sheridan agrees, and they take the White Star.

The White Star defeats the fighters protecting the transport, but another Shadow vessel appears and then mysteriously leaves without attacking.

The transport is full of humans in stasis, so they wake one up. She goes bonkers, attaching herself to a web of wires and invading the station's systems. She nearly kills Bester shooting at his Psi Corps badge. He insists she not be hurt. Even though she is out of control and a rogue telepath, she is his lover.

Delenn has the difficult task of telling G'Kar, that by her inaction, she let the Shadows help the Centauri destroy his homeworld. G'Kar had tried to warn everyone about the Shadows long before any serious conflict. Delenn could have confirmed his suspicions but chose to remain silent. He understands why time was needed to build up defenses, but forgiveness will not come easy. He does, however, get to see the new war room.

Garibaldi calls a war council. The Book of J'Quan, which he is still struggling through, tells of a Shadow attack on the Narn homeworld a thousand years ago. The Shadows killed the telepaths first, which may explain why the Shadow vessel didn't attack the White Star when Bester was aboard. But it doesn't explain why human telepaths are weapons components, unless . . .

So much happens in this episode. It explains why there are no Narn telepaths. The Shadows both fear and need telepaths. Although the Shadows have invaded Psi Corps, they don't seem to have any hold on Bester. Bester actually loves someone. And the Shadows openly attack the Brakiri. Another great must-see episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 18, 2019





Sic Transit Vir


Season 3, Episode 12

Originally aired April 15, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by John C. Flinn III.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Carmen Thomas as Lyndisty.

After a few bad dreams, Ivanova coming to work naked and Vir confined with angry Narns, the story gets going. Vir returns from the Centauri homeworld to find Londo has gifted him with a wife, the stunningly beautiful Lindisty. Ivanova discovers a large number of Narns who passed through B5 had papers signed by Abrahamo Lincolni, and they are all dead.

Vir doesn't want an arranged marriage, but Lindisty is so pretty and so kind that he changes his mind.

Turns out, Abrahamo Lincolni is really Vir. This appalls Londo.

But nothing is what it seems. The Narns are not dead. Vir just made it look that way, so no one came after them. And Lindisty . . .

Carmine Thomas does an incredible portrayal of a kind and loving young Centauri. The perfect wife, until she captures a Narn and gives him to Vir. She is so proud of her father's Narn cleansing raids, and the pleasure she gets from killing Narns. There is no remorse or guilt in her voice or demeanor. And she truly expects Vir to kill the Narn tied up on the floor.

After the previous two episodes, this one is a bit tame. However, It adds depth and compassion to Vir and a greater understanding of how ruthless the Centauri are toward Narns.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 15, 2019







Ceremonies of Light and Dark


Season 3, Episode 11

Originally aired April 8, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by John C. Flinn III.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With as Lord Refa and Don Stroud as Boggs..

Delenn schedules a Rebirth Ceremony. Each participant must give up something the value and tell a secret they have never told anyone before. Everyone can find a good reason why they can't attend. Former Night Watch members plot to defeat Sheridan.

While giving a few Minbari VIP's a tour, Delenn and two other Minbari are captured by Boggs and his friends. They demand Sheridan send the Minbari ships guarding B5 home or they will kill the Minbari.

Marcus takes umbrage at that. He finds a bar where someone should know something and starts a fight. Once Marcus subdues everyone, he has to wait for someone to wake up. While waiting, he and Lennier have a heart to heart about Delenn.

It works. Marcus finds Boggs and Sheridan Tricks them in believing they are in danger, so they all run out into the waiting arms of station security. One throws a knife at Sheridan but hits Delenn. Sheridan catches him.

Delenn is not critically injured but must spend some time in sickbay.

Maybe the rebirth ceremony is just what they need. Sheridan, Garibaldi, Franklin, and Ivanova all visit Delenn, tell her a secret and leave their Earth Force uniforms.

This episode is a kind of rebirth for the series. No longer bound by Earth laws and politics, Sheridan and friends are free to make their own futures, or at least use their wits to avoid getting blown to bits in the impending war.

In a side story, Londo poisons Lord Refa in an attempt to free his world of Mr. Morden and friends. He only gives him one part of the poison, so Refa will never know when or where the other half, the lethal half, will be administered. Although, a bit convoluted, it does work in this context. It also shows that Londo understands the threat Morden poses and is trying to do something about it.

Ceremonies of Light and Dark is another excellent and pivotal episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 15, 2019







Severed Dreams


Season 3, Episode 10

Originally aired April 1, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by David J. Eagle.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Kim Miyori as Captain Sandra Hiroshi, Rance Howard as David Sheridan, Bruce McGill as Major Ed Ryan, James Parks as Drakhen, Josh Coxx as Lt. David Corwin.

And here we go!

Defeated by Earth Alliance forces, the Alexander calls asking for help. An injured Ranger makes it to B5 with news that the shadows have caused civil and interplanetary wars. ISN defies President Clark and reports the secession of the Proxima III and Orion V colonies.

Sheridan cuts all communications before the Alexander arrives, hoping to avoid conflict. It doesn't work. Hague is dead, but the crew is still opposed to Clark and in desperate need of repairs. The Churchill arrives to tell Sheridan Earth Alliance ships are on the way, so Sheridan prepares for war. G'Kar and the Narn join station security. A much-needed boost since Nightwatch got kicked out.

Delenn gets pissed and gives the gray council a piece of her mind. When she leaves, three members of the council stay, but six follow her out.

Earth Alliance ships charge through the jump gate and fire on the station. The Churchill is destroyed. Babylon 5 defenses and starfurys give all they have, but more Alliance ships arrive. Either Sheridan must surrender, or B5 will be destroyed and everyone on board killed.

This is a great, exciting, must-see episode. The entire season has built to this breaking point. In the old cowboy movies, this when Calvary rides over the hill to save the day. There aren't any horses or cowboys in Babylon 5, just Delenn and the Minbari.

Sheridan announces that Babylon 5 has seceded from Earth. He didn't consult anyone first. But he does have chutzpah.

Reviewed by Romana Drew Jume 13, 2019







Point of No Return


Season 3, Episode 9

Originally aired February 26, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jim Johnson.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Majel Barrett as Lady Morella and Marshall R. Teague as Ta'Lon.

President Clark declares martial law throughout all of Earth's colonies, and Night watch takes over Babylon 5 security. Londo welcomes Lady Morella, the wife of the late Emperor Turhan.

Sheridan calls General Hague and is told to follow the chain of command. Zack and Garibaldi challenge Night Watch. Zack stays with Night Watch. Garibaldi quits. And Night Watch wreaks havoc.

Lady Morella, played so wonderfully by Majel Barrett, sees right through Londo's pretense to want to give her a tour. But the future she sees, and the advice she gives are both enigmatic and disturbing.

It takes Sheridan a while to figure out what Hague meant by follow the chain of command, but when he does, he sets a trap for Night Watch and kicks them off the station.

Point of No Return is just that. Initially, Night Watch recruited people into a neighborhood watch type organization - pretty innocent, just looking for dissidents and criminals. But with time and power, it became the Gestapo. Zack had doubts and questions along the way, but he never quite understood until the end. Power often corrupts, but it feels so good. Night Watch was a perfect example. Had the members understood the real purpose of Night Watch when they first joined, would they have approved?

The Night Watch story is well done and thought provoking. The Londo story hinges on the performance of Lady Morella. Majel Barrett is perfect.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 8, 2019







Messages from Earth


Season 3, Episode 8

Originally aired February 19, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Mike Vejar.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Nancy Stafford as Dr. Mary Kirkish.

Marcus brings Dr. Mary Kirkish, a former member if Interplanetary Expeditions, to Babylon 5 even though people are trying to kill her. In the meantime, G'Kar sings and write to pass the time while in the brig.

Seven years ago, Dr. Kirkish found a buried shadow vessel on Mars. Her team unearthed the ship, but another shadow vessel arrived, and the two ships flew away together. All members of the team were sent in different directions. Now, they are either dead or missing. And another shadow vessel has been found on Ganymede.

Of course, Sheridan and Delenn take the White Star to investigate. This new shadow ship activates and then destroys the base that saved it. Sheridan attacks the shadow vessel, so it comes after him. He defeats that ship, then the Agamemnon demands the White Star stop and be boarded. But Ssheridan escapes that, too.

While Sheridan's away, Nightwatch goes out to play, putting Zack in a difficult position. Back on Earth, Clark declares martial law.

There's lots of excitement in Messages from Earth. It is also a significant episode in the long story arch. Look for the first shadow vessel from Mars to appear again as well as Sheridan's trick of opening a jump gate inside the atmosphere.

G'kar's attitude is a great counterpoint to the rest of the action.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 8, 2019







Exogenesius


Season 3, Episode 7

Originally aired February 12, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Kevin G. Cremin.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, Jason Carter, and Ed Wasser. With Josh Coxx as Lt. David Corwin, Aubrey Morris as Duncan

After Corwin is promoted to full lieutenant, Ivanova invites him to her quarters. Marcus discovers his old friend Duncan is missing

Corwin mistakes Ivanova's intentions and buys a bouquet of flowers, starting a funny chain of misunderstandings. At the last moment, Corwin comes to his senses and says he found the flowers outside Ivanova's door. Since Ivanova knows Marcus likes her, she assumes the flowers are from him. She then questions Corwin about his political beliefs. He leaves, more confused than enlightened. Later, Ivanova gives the flowers to Marcus, adding to his confusion, but pleasing him none the less. This thread runs through the episode adding delightful counterpoint to the main story.

Dr. Franklin discovers a parasite in a man who died unexpectedly. Marcus finds Duncan and other contacts are infected with parasites called Vindrizi. Together they try to stop the Vindrizi.

But all is not as it first appears. The Vindrizi are thousands of years old. They bring their memories to their hosts, along with improved health. They have no political agendas and select only willing hosts, preferring to improve the lives of those who have little.

This episode focuses on misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions. It is full of surprising revelations and gentle humor.

Reviewed by Romana Drew June 8, 2019







Dust to Dust
Dust to Dust

Season 3, Episode 6

Originally aired February 5, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by David J Eagle.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Walter Koenig as Alfred Bester.

No one, Sheridan, Garibaldi, Franklin, and especially Ivanova, wants to get scanned by Bester, but they can't stop him from coming aboard. So, they surround him with Minbari telepaths until he agrees to take the sleeper drug. Temporally defanged, he is free to roam the station.

Someone is selling Dust. Bester wants him, but so does G'Kar. Well, to be honest, G'Kar only wants a sample, just enough to test. Dust enhances telepathic abilities in humans. There are no Narn telepaths. Will Dust give G'Kar telepathy?

Telepathy he gets, but only after period of uncontrolled rage. After trashing his quarters G'Kar goes after Londo. Two things intervene to stop him from killing, a peek into Londo's mind and Kosh.

This is a turning point for G'Kar. He is left with a greater understandinging of Londo and several weeks in the brig to think about it.

Dust to Dust delves deeply into the political forces that created Londo Mollari giving a greater depth and somewhat tragic quality to his character. This is a must see episode, not just because it is good, but because it explains why both Londo and G'Kar will change their opinions of each other.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 15, 2019







Voices of Authority


Season 3, Episode 5

Originally aired January 20, 1996

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Menachem Binetski.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With John Schuck as Draal and Shari Shattuck as Julie Musante.

Political Officer, Julie Musante, informs Sheridan that she will help him make politically correct decisions. Ivanova meets with Draal on Epsilon 3 and steps into the great machine.

While in the machine, Ivanova uncovers a video of Morden and Clark discussing Santiago's impending death. Draal records the conversation. Sheridan knows just what to do with it. She also learns where she might meet some of the first ones.

The first ones turn out to be more enigmatic than helpful. Although their ship is impressive, they send a childish version of a Halloween lantern to frighten the impudent intruders. Undeterred, Ivanova stands up to the huge, fiery, image and calls its bluff.

The recording of Clark and Morden makes its way to Earth, causing enough havoc to force Julie Musante home, much to everyone's relief.

John Shuck has such a distinctiuve look, voice, presence, that he often overtakes the character, but I can't think of anyone who would be better at playing Draal.

Voices of Authority is another good episode that moves the long story arch forward while still being a independent episode, demonstrating that it is quite possible to tell a long and complex story while giving each episode a satisfying conclusion.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 18, 2019





Passing Through Gethsemane


Season 3, Episode 4

Originally aired November 27, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Adam Nimoy.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Brad Dourif as Brother Edward, Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander, Louis Turenne as Brother Theo, and Robert Keith as Malcolm.

Lyta's back! She arrives with Kosh on his ship. Brother Edward, one of Brother Theo's flock, is forced to remember his violent past.

Edward was a serial killer before he was captured and sentenced to death of personality. The friends and family of his victims hire a telepath to break the mind block, and force him to remember his past. Then they exact their revenge.

Lyta returns from the Vorlon homeworld harder and stronger. Even if Psi Corps finds her, it's doubtful they can capture or control her.

This is a powerful but dark and disturbing episode, somewhat difficult to watch. It explores concepts of spirituality, guilt, revenge, and ultimately, forgiveness. It questions the humanity of death of personality for both the convicted and their victim's families.

Most of the episode is devoted to the Brother Edward story, which is not important to the history of Babylon 5. But the return of Lyta and the revelation that Valen was Minbari, not of Minbari born, and that he formed the gray council are of significance.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 15, 2019







A Day in the Strife


Season 3, Episode 3

Originally aired November 20, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by David J. Eagle.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Stephen Macht as Na'Far and Marshall R. Teague as Ta'Lon.

A lot happens during A Day in the Strife. Traders are upset over new security procedures. Na'Far arrives to send G'Kar home and take his place. A probe will destroy the station unless they answer all six hundred questions correctly. Dr. Franklin's addiction to stems becomes obvious. And Vir is sent to Minbar.

Na'Far persuades G'Kar to return to Narn for the good of all Narns even though it means life in prison or worse. Na'Far's bodyguard, TaLon has more honorable inclinations, as do the majority of Narn on Babylon 5.

The stress of finding the answers to all six hundred questions on top of the general unrest and possible loss of G'Kar makes for an exciting episode. Just at the last minute, Sheridan's insight saves the station.

Is Na'Far a quisling, does she truly believe that destroying G'Kar will help bring peace, or does she see this as personal advancement? We may never know. But it unifies the stations Narn in support of G'Kar.

A Day in the Strife is a fast-paced episode chocked full of action, suspense, and character development.

Reviewed by Romana Drew May 16, 2019







Convictions


Season 3, Episode 2

Originally aired November 13, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Mike Vejar.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Louis Turenne as Brother Theo.

Chaos is coming in two hours, or so the message says. And it does. One explosion after another goes off. In the meantime, Brother Theo and a group of monks ask to live on B5 so they can learn all the names of God.

Lannier saves both Delen and Londo from one of the explosions but gets trapped behind a safety door. While Lennier is critically injured and comatose. Londo sits with him, showing a softer and more caring side to his character.

When Londo takes a break, another explosion forces him to dive into the elevator with G'Kar or die. Londo expects G'Kar to kill him. But G'Kar only laughs, finding it funny that he gets to watch Londo die without suffering the consequences of killing a Centauri.

This is an exciting episode with lots of action.

Although the show is called Babylon 5, it could be called the tale of Londo and G'Kar. These two characters anchor so many storylines. Their relationship grows and changes with the political events of the times. Both Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas portray the complexity of their characters with sensitivity and believability.

Reviewed by Romana Drew May 14, 2019







Matters of Honor


Season 3, Episode 1

Originally aired November 6, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Kevin G. Cremin.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Tucker Smallwood as Davie Endawi and Ardwight Chamberlain as the voice of Kosh.

It's a new season, and Babylon 5 takes several steps toward the coming war. Marcus arrives with news of the Rangers. Mr. Endawi, from EarthForce Special Intelligence, comes to investigate. Londo tells Morden he wants nothing more to do with him, which is fine. Morden can always turn to Lord Refa.

The Centauri have blockaded the Ranger camp on Zagros 7. When Delenn and Marcus give Sheridan a new ship, the Whitestar, he goes to the rescue. At Zagros 7, they encounter a shadow vessel, and Sheridan once again shows that he can outwit even a shadow ship.

Mr. Endawi searches for information about the ship that killed Keller (a shadow vessel) and comes up dry until he meets G'Kar. Back on Earth, Endawi has an ominous meeting with Mr. Morden, a Psi Cop, and a senator. Morden and Psi Corps are intimately intertwined with EarthGov, which can come to no good.

With each episode, the storylines get more complex and intertwined. This is a good episode with an exciting battle and many insights into political and personal agendas.

Reviewed by Romana Drew May 12, 2019







The Fall of Night


Season 2, Episode 22

Originally aired November 1, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jamnet Greek.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Roy Dotrice as Frederick Lantz, John Vickery as Mr. Welles and Joshua Lee Patton as Kosh.

Night watch representative, Mr. Wells and Ministry of Peace representative, Mr. Lantz, invade Babylon 5. Wells wants to bring the Nightwatch in line with his goals. Lantz has come to investigate the Centauri Narn conflict.

A Narn cruiser hides behind the planet and asks for help, supplies, and sanctuary, which Sheridan grants, promising to keep its location secret.

Lantz proudly announces that Earth has signed a non-aggression treaty with Centauri just as a Centauri warship arrives to take out the Narn ship. Sheridan launches starfuries, and the battle is on.

From the beginning to this point, the plot is predictable but never boring. The tension builds, and the battle doesn't disappoint. On his way to apologize for keeping his promise and saving B5, to avoid being killed, Sheridan leaps to his death. And we finally get to see Kosh.

Peter Jurasik gives an intense and almost over the top performance as the enraged and terrified Londo Mollari. Andreas Katsulas is just as powerful as G'Kar's hopes are shattered by Mr. Lantz.

The Nightwatch is at odds with the philosophy of B5. EarthGov is a odds with Sheridan and most of the command staff. As an end of season episode, this one is great. It signals the massive changes to come.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 15, 2019





The Long, Twilight Struggle


Season 2, Episode 20

Originally aired October 18, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by John C. Flinn III.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With John Shuck as Draal and William Forward as Lord Refa.

The Narn plan to attack Gorash 7 leaves their homeworld unprotected but should strike a decisive blow against the Centauri. However, the Centauri learn of the plan and launch an attack on the Narn homeworld. At the request of Lord Refa, Londo asks Morden to defend Gorash 7.

Draal visits B5 and invites Sheridan and Delenn down to Epsilon 3 for a chat. When they return, G'Kar asks for sanctuary on Babylon 5, which stops him from being deported and imprisoned, or worse.

The Centauri nearly wipe out the Narn, and Londo is forced to watch. Although he must continue to act like a conquering ass, he now knows that his fate is sealed. Nothing good can come from his past actions no matter how much power or land the Centauri acquire.

The Centauri bomb Narn with mass drivers instead of explosives. That only makes sense if the mass the driver hurls is large enough to survive the atmosphere and massive enough to do more damage than an explosion. Nudging large asteroids into descending orbits could be devistating, but the Centauri ships fired glowing balls at the planet. It was impressive CGI but didn't really make sense. Why not put explosives into those balls?

This is a pivotal episode, well written and well executed.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 14, 2019





Divided Loyalties


Season 2, Episode 19

Originally aired April 26, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Mario Di Leo

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander.

Lyta returns to Babylon 5 half dead in a small ship. She insists there is a Psi Corps super sleeper agent somewhere on the station, and only she can find them. Sheridan is skeptical.

Someone attacks Lyta, but she escapes. Sheridan then agrees to let her send the secret password into people's heads telepathically. Ivanova refuses, which looks rather suspicious.

As it turns out, Ivanova isn't the sleeper, but someone else is.

This is Andrea Thompson's last episode as Talia Winters, and she leaves with a stunning transformation. It also signals the return of Lyta, although it will be a few episodes before we see her again. At the end of the episode, she asks Kosh if she can see him kone more time. He comes out of his encounter suit, but we don't get to see him.

Although it lacks some of the comic relief typical of B5, and it lacks a second storyline, this is a good episode. Patricia Tallman gives an intense performance as Lyta.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 11, 2019





In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum


Season 2, Episode 16

Originally aired May 10, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by David J. Eagle.

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, Ed Wasser, and Ardwight Chamberlain as the voice of Kosh..

Vir tells Morden that he wants to live just long enough to see Morden's head on a pike. Sheridan discovers that Morden was on the Icarus with his wife, and therefore should be dead.

Sheridan incarcerates and questions Morden until Garibaldi, and the rest of the command staff tell him to back off. Eventually, Delenn and Kosh insist Morden be released. But Sheridan has one last go, discovering Morden is never alone.

Morden asks everyone what they want, and if it meets his needs, his friends make it happen. He accepts Vir's wish without any emotion, which may have been a mistake.

This episode gives more information about the shadows, the first ones, and a threat much greater than the Narn Centauri conflict. It's an important episode, and a good one.

Reviewed by Romana Drew April 9, 2019



And Now for a Word


Season 2, Episode 15

Originally aired May 3, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Mario Di Leo

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Kim Zimmer as Cynthia Torqueman and Christopher Curry as Senator Ronald Quantrell.

Cynthia Torqueman, ISN reporter, spends 36 hours on Babylon 5. Back on Earth, support for the station is faltering, and she intends to find out if the investment is worthwhile.

It's just a typical day on B5. Narn and Centauri ships battle it out right in front of the station.

Torqueman interviews G'kar and Londo, getting very different versions or the war and of each race. She also interviews Sheridan, Garibaldi, Delenn and Senator Quantrell. Each gives their own interpretation of B5. There is even a creepy ad for Psi Corps, with an obvious subliminal message. And Kosh says a few words in his language.

This episode further develops the Narn Centauri conflict, showing that they are both guilty of advancing the conflict, but the Centauri are better at pretending to be innocent victims. It also develops the conflict with EarthGov that will eventually result in significant changes.

This is a solid episode, well-crafted and never boring. For B5 fans it is an important part of the station's history.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 24, 2019







There all the Honor Lies


Season 2, Episode 14

Originally aired April 26, 1995

Written by Peter David. Directed by Mike Vejar

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Sean Sullivan as Ashan.

To offset some of the station expenses, a shop sells everything B5, dolls, masks, teddy bears, etc. Much to her surprise, Sheridan assigns Ivanova to oversee the shop while he strolls off for a lesson with Kosh. According to the Centauri government, Londo is now too important to have lowly Vir as his assistant. A replacement is on order.

Before he finds Kosh, someone steals Sheridan's link. He gives chase, crashing into a Minbari who attacks him. He kills the Minbari in self-defense. The only witness, also a Minbari, claims it was murder.

Sheridan appears doomed. Everyone knows, Minbari never lie, everyone except Londo because Lennier once lied for him.

This episode delves deeper into relationships; Minbari prejudices and what they will do to protect their beliefs, Londo's fondness for Vir and his refusal to accept a replacement, and Kosh's relationship with Sheridan.

There are a few technical issues. The B5 store couldn't just spring up overnight without all the command staff knowing about it. Who is running the store, and why give profits to the station? Why would a group of people gather in a crawl space in Downbelow to sing medieval church music for a fee?

It has a few truly memorable moments. Londo gets pissed because his action figure lacks proper attributes. Sheridan spaces a teddy bear. And there is Kosh's lesson - a moment of perfect beauty.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 26, 2019









Hunter, Prey


Season 2, Episode 13

Originally aired March 1, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Menachem Binetski

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Bernie Casey as Derek Cranston, Wanda De Jesus as Sarah, Tony Steedman as Dr. Everett Jacobs, and Richard Moll as Max.

Derek Cranston from EarthGov, demands that Sheridan help him find Dr. Evertt Jacobs, President Clark's former doctor.

Cranston turns the station upside down searching for Jacobs. He even commandeers Garibaldi's security officers. Then Sarah shows up and secretly tells Sheridan that Jacobs may have proof someone murdered President Santiago. While the official EarthGov manhunt is on, Sheridan and Garibaldi do a bit of sleuthing on their own.

Jacobs makes his way to Downbelow, not the safest place for the well dressed and uninitiated. Even though Garibaldi and Cranston can't find him, Max has no problem catching the hapless doctor and selling his possessions to the highest bidder. Richard Moll is perfect as the nasty, bad man Max.

Most B5 episodes have a main story with two or three side stories which may or may not be related to the main story. Except for Sheridan trying to make friends with Kosh, this episode stays focused on Jacobs and the attempts to find him.

Sheridan's attempts to friend Kosh pay off, not only in this episode but also in the next.

This episode delves further into the corruption inside EarthGov, and the intrepid leaders of Babylon 5's willingness to circumvent or outright defy EarthGov.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 24, 2019






Acts of Sacrifice


Season 2, Episode 12

Originally aired February 22, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jim Johnson

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, Jeff Conaway, and Ed Wasser. With Ian Abercrombie as Correlilmurzon and Paul Williams as Taq

G'kar quells a rebellion and begs for help in the war against the Centauri, Ivanova must learn the fine art of diplomacy, and Londo misses his old friend Garibaldi.

G'Kar nearly gets killed trying to stop his fellow Narns from assassinating the station's Centauri. The war is going badly. But neither Earth or Minbar will join the fight.

Everybody wants a piece of Londo, or at least they want a favor. His star is on the rise, and friends he never heard of all want something.

The Lumati are arrogant, pretentious, and condescending. They don't just close a deal, they consummate it, much to Ivanova's dismay.

How does that work with different species? Narn have pouches, or at least pouchlings. Centauri have . . . I don't know what those appendages are called or what they do, but they aren't at all like humans. This is one of those situations that shouldn't be analyzed too much or the fun goes away.

Although there is no main story in this episode, it shows a day in the life as tensions rise and lives are disrupted. With each episode, both Londo and G'kar develop greater complexity and depth. Ivanova's unique solution to the Lumati quandary is the perfect counterpoint to the seriousness of the other storylines.

This is another memorable episode, well worth watching. Boom! Shabba-labba-labba.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 16, 2019



Alone in the Night


Season 2, Episode 11

Originally aired February 15, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Mario Di Leo

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser. With

Just before General Hague arrives, Sheridan leads a small squadron out to investigate a strange ship. It destroys all but one starfury and captures Sheridan. Delenn gets a summons to the Gray Council, and Lennier insists he travel with her.

Sheridan is tortured and forced to fight for his life without any explanation. In a dream, Kosh says, "You have always been here." When he finally gets home, Kosh walks up to him and says the same thing, and then leaves.

This episode has several major plot developments. Delenn, of the religious caste, is replaced by a member of the warrior caste, tipping the balance of the council to the warrior caste. Sheridan tells Hague that the senior staff are all loyal to Earth. Franklin, Ivanova, and Garibaldi all agree to help Hague and Sheridan discover who killed Santiago and if Psi Corps has infiltrated Earth Gov.

Scooping up people and testing them is a tried and true scifi trope, which tends to fall apart if you examine it too closly. Here it works to get Sheridan in trouble and off the station so we get to know Hague a little better. It also lets Delenn come to, or at lease assist in, the rescue.

And in one of the sweetest scenes, Lennier is secretly in love with Delenn. Of course, he will never let her know. Bill Mumy, as Lennier, is always perfect.

This is another solid episode, delving deeper into the intricacies of both human and Minbari cultures, and setting up tension between the B5 crew and Earth.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 13, 2019



The Coming of Shadows


Season 2, Episode 9

Originally aired February 1, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Janet Greek

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser. With Turhan Bey as the Centauri Emperor, William Forward as Lord Refa, Fredric Lehne as the Ranger, and Michael O'Hare as Jeffery Sinclair.

The Centauri emperor travels to Babylon 5 to apologize to G'Kar for past Centauri atrocities, but before he can say anything to anyone, he collapses, which denies G'Kar the chance to kill him. It isn't foul play, he is simply dying of old age. All the while, a strange man follows Garibaldi around the station.

G'Kar is humbled and amazed when Dr. Franklin tells him that the emperor came all the way to B5 just to apologize. He even believes that reconciliation may be possible. Unfortunately, Londo and Refa take advantage of the emperor's imminent demise and call on Mr. Morden. Now, the Narn and Centauri are at war again and G'Kar is crushed.

Garibaldi apprehends his shadow only to discover that he is a ranger sent by Sinclair. The first of many rangers to come through B5.

This is a pivotal, must-see episode. In asking Morden for help, Londo not only seals his own fate but G'Kar's as well. There is no way for him, or his world, to escape the clutches of the shadows.

Londo and Refa's plans put Cartagia on the Centauri throne, perhaps not the best choice. We also see Londo's dream of his death.

Like most of the B5 episodes, this is a complete story, but it's main purpose is to push major plot lines lines forward.

Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas never fail to deliver outstanding performances. G'Kar goes from suicidal resolve to ecstatic happiness, to anger and despair. While Londo goes from worry about his future, to polite political maneuvering, to the internal pain that comes from knowing your success will end in tragedy.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 10, 2019



A Race Through Dark Places


Season 2, Episode 8

Originally aired January 25, 1995

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jim Johnson

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser. With Walter Koenig as Alfred Bester and Gianin Loffler as the lurker and leader of the rogue telepaths.

Bester discovers an underground railroad funneling unregistered telepaths away from Psi Corps and comes to B5 to shut it down. Sheridan has no choice, he is obligated to help Bester round up the culprits, but he doesn't have to be particularly good at it.

The telepaths tell their stories to Talia, shaking her faith in Psi Corps, and persuading her to help them outwit Bester. For once, Bester is bested by the unregistered, untrained telepaths he wants to capture and control. It is great to see him on the short end of the stick for once.

Delenn asks Sheridan out to dinner and they talk for hours, setting up a long story arch about their relationship. Talia and Ivanova also begin to develop a friendship.

Gianin Loffler gives an intense performance as an escaped telepath living in Downbelow. His unique appearance and voice add to the eerie, but powerful way he delivers his lines.

This is a good episode, a pleasure to watch.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 6, 2019



Soul Mates


Season 2, Episode 7

Originally aired December 14, 1994

Written by Peter David. Directed by Mark C Flinn III

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams , Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser. Also featuring Lois Nettleton as Daggair, Blair Valk as Mariel, and Jane Carr as Timov

For the thirtieth anniversary of Londo's ascension, the Centauri emperor grants him one wish. Londo, in his great wisdom, wishes to divorce his three wives but decides to keep one just for appearances.

Matthew Stoner, ex Psi Corps telepath and Tallia's ex-husband, arrives in B5 claiming to have lost his telepathic abilities, but Garibaldi isn't so sure.

Being divorced means losing access to Londo's bank account and prestige, so two wives, Daggair and Mariel, fawn over him wanting, to be the wife he keeps. Although Mariel does attempt to kill him. His third wife, Timov (vomit spelled backward) doesn't even try to be nice.

Talia has no love for Stoner but agrees to travel with him, much to Garibaldi's surprise. As it turns out he isn't quite as free of telepathic abilities as he pretends. In fact, his telepathic abilities are powerful. There are several scenes reminiscent of Luke Skywalker using the force to influence others.

In a third side story, Delenn asks Ivanova to help with her unruly hair and her cramps, a hint that her human looks may be more than skin deep.

Jane Carr's portrayal of Timov is spot on. She never gives Londo a moment's rest and has nothing positive to say about her co-wives. I think she could take on the shadows if she were so inclined.

Stoner's telepathic skills hint at some of the more complex kinds of telepathy, which is displayed in later episodes.

Reviewed by Romana Drew March 4, 2019







Spider in the Web


Season 2, Episode 6

Originally aired December 7, 1994

Written by Kevin G DiTillio. Directed by Kevin G Cremin

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser.

Guests stars Michael Beck, Adrienne Barbeau, James Shigeta, and Jeff Conaway.

Talia's old friend, Taro Isogi, comes for a visit. He wants to negotiate a peaceful solution to the situation on Mars with Mars government representative, Amada Carter. All goes well until he is killed by Abel Horn. Talia sees enough of Abel's mind to determine that he is not in control of his actions.

Abel is supposed to be dead, which leads Sheridan to suspect that he might have been part of the Lazarus project, cybernetically enhanced and programmed to relive the moments before his death a thousand times every day. Although it should drive him stark raving mad, he follows orders from Control.

This is the first time we meet Zack Allen, played by Jeff Conaway. He will become a regular as time passes.

Amada Carter mentions her great-grandfather, John Carter, who lived on Mars. John Carter of Mars, is an Edgar Rice Burroughs' character. And Control agents 86 and 99 work diligently to thwart KAOS.

Talia learns that her beloved Psi Corps has an evil streak.

This is a well-crafted story. Michael Beck gives an intense performance as the painfully disturbed and confused Abel Horn. And Adrienne Barbeau is always a joy to watch.

Reviewed by Romana Drew February 19, 2019







The Long Dark


Season 2, Episode 5

Originally aired November 30, 1994

Written by Scott Frost. Directed by Mario DeLeo

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser.

An old ship, the Copernicus, drifts past B5. Sensing something alive, the crew pulls it into a landing bay and looks inside. They find two cryonic chambers, one with a living woman and one with a dead man. Down below, Amis, a lurker played by Dwight Schultz, goes bonkers, wandering the station shouting about the hand of evil reaching out to kill everyone.

Dr. Franklin revives the woman, Mariah Cirrus, played by Anne-Marie Johnson, and learns that her ship has been in space for over one hundred years. The dead man was her husband. The dead man is a bit of a mystery because all his organs are missing even though there is no evidence of an incision.

Amis continues to run around the station shouting about impending doom. Garibaldi chalks it up to post-war trauma until people show up dead with all their organs missing.

Dwight Schultz's performance is perfect. Underneath the freewheeling insanity, there is sensitivity and vulnerability. And, he is correct about the impending doom.

This episode reinforces the threat from Z'ha'dum and the prophecies of G'Quan.

This is an excellent episode. I highly recommend watching it, if for no other reason than Dwight Shultz's delightful performance.

Reviewed by Romana Drew February 19, 2019





Distant Star


Season 2, Episode 4

Originally aired November 23, 1994

Written by D. C. Fontana. Directed by Jim Johnson

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser.

When the EAS Cortez stops by Babylon 5 to resupply, Sheridan gets a chance to catch up with his old friend Captain Jack Maynard, played by Russ Tamblyn. And Doctor Franklin puts everyone on a food plan otherwise known as a diet.

After listening to Maynard's exploits, Sheridan comes to regret taking the Babylon 5 job. But, as soon as the Cortez leaves, it's lost in hyperspace with Sheridan to the rescue.

Sheridan's method of rescuing the Cortez highlights some of the problems of travel in hyperspace. Apparently, it is necessary for the ships to keep a lock on the jump gates, or they drift off course. That implies that the gates broadcast on a very narrow beam. Why not broadcast over a wider area? But it does give the drifting ships an opportunity to see another shadow ship and suffer from just passing near it.

This isn't a bad episode, but it isn't a great one either. Both the acting and the writing falls a bit flat. Litttle new information is covered. There is a good scene where Garibaldi, Ivanova, and Sheridan are sitting at a table with their prescribed diets, eying each other dishes.

Reviewed by Romana Drew February 9, 2019







Geometry of Shadows


Season 2, Episode 3

Originally aired November 16, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Michael Vejar

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Mary Kay Adams, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser.

Londo discusses Centauri politics with Lord Refa, played by William Forward. Ivanova sorts out the Drazi. And a troupe of Technomages invades the station.

To increase his standing in the Centauri government, Londo wants the endorsement of a Technomage. He sends Vir to make an appointment. Vir fails but has a nice chat with a monster. So Londo tries subterfuge with even less success.

Techomages use science to simulate magic. They are just passing through and want to be left alone. Londo's persistence doesn't sit well, and the mages work some of the magic on his computer and him.

Ivanova is promoted to Commander. Her first assignment is to stop the green and purple war. Bands of Drazi, some wearing green and some wearing purple, pick fights with each other. They don't kill anyone and only attack Drazi, so, other than being a nuisance, no one really cares. Then they start killing each other. After several attempts and a broken leg, she stumbles upon the solution. Somewhere on the station there just has to be a vat of purple dye.

Londo eventually gets his audience with the leader of the Technomages, Elric, played by Michael Ansara. Elric warns Londo that a great hand will reach out of the darkness, and millions of victims will call his name.

This episode introduces Technomages and Lord Refa. It also adds to the feeling of impending doom.

Apparently, Claudia Christian actually broke her foot, so that was added to the script.

This is a good and fun episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew February 5, 2019







Revelations


Season 2, Episode 2

Originally aired November 9, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jim Johnson

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Bill Mumy, and Ed Wasser. Also starring Beverly Leech as Elizabeth Sheridan and Beth Toussaint as Anna Sheridan.

G'Kar is nearly killed investigating the destruction of the Narn base in Quadrant 37. Delen emerges from her cocoon. Londo meets with Morden. Sheridan spends time with his sister, Liz. And Garibaldi is still in a coma.

The book of G'Quan has pictures of the ships that attacked G'Kar in Quadrant 37. It warns that they are evil creatures from Z'ha'dum bent on taking over the galaxy. However, his warnings of impending doom are not taken seriously.

Londo meets with Morden and tells him about G'Kar's plan to send a ship to Z'ha'dum, which is something he will someday come to regret.

Garibaldi recovers, but his assailant escapes thanks to President Clark. Sheridan suspects Psi Corps is behind it all.

Sheridan sees a message his wife, Anna, sent to his sister, Liz, which helps him recover from the guilt he felt over her death.

With important events in the lives of five main characters, the episode doesn't dwell long on any one of the stories, but they are all necessary developments that further the tale of Babylon 5. This episode introduces John's deceased wife, Anna Sheridan, who will be seen again. It also fuels Sheridan's distrust of Earth Dome and President Clark.

Skipping this episode isn't recommended. Besides being entertaining, it fills in a lot of gaps and gets the station back into normal operations.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 30, 2019







Points of Departure


Season 2, Episode 1

Originally aired November 2, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Janet Greek

Starring: Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, and Bill Mumy.

Delenn is in a cocoon. Sinclair is on Minbar. John Sheridan is assigned to head up Babylon 5 against the wishes of the Minbari. They call Sheridan Starkiller because while captain of the Agamemnon he destroyed the Minbari war cruiser, Black Star, the only human to ever commit such a dastardly deed.

Kalain, captain of the Minbari war cruiser Trigati, played by Richard Grove, threatens to kill Lennier and Delenn but gives up way too easily when station guards confront him. The crew of the Trigati never accepted the Minbari defeat and have been in exile, waiting to start another confrontation. Kalain's presence on the station is a mystery and warning sign.

Lennier tells Sheridan and Ivanova why the Minbari surrendered to the Humans at the Battle of the Line. He barley finishes before the Trigati comes through the jump gate spoiling for a fight, demanding Kalain's release, and spewing out fighters. Then Kalain kills himself.

This is another must-see episode. It sets up Sheridan as the new commander and explains a lot about Earth Minbari history. Although changing the main character can spell doom for a series, Bruce Boxleitner steps into the captain's shoes without a hitch. In the end, he shows both wisdom and restraint in dealing with the Trigati.

This is a great beginning for the second season.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 27, 2019



Chrysalis


Season 1, Episode 22

Originally aired October 26, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Janet Greek

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, Julia Nickson, and Ed Wasser.

Garibaldi discovers a plot to kill Earth Alliance President Santiago but is nearly killed before he can stop it. Morden gives Londo credit for removing the Narn problems in Quadrant 37. Delenn has a less than illuminating conversation with Kosh.

Throughout this season, J. Michael Straczynski consistently produces episodes that are self-contained but continue to further several long and complex plot lines. As the season finale, this episode has a strong hook at the end to keep viewers wondering and waiting for the next season. But the rest of the season does not rely on cliffhanger endings to further the long story arcs. However, it does develop those plot lines consistently and memorably.

For the first time, we see shadow creatures with Morden, Londo learns the price of his association with Morden, G'Kar realizes there are things worse than Centauri out to get him, and Delenn uses a triluminary to encase herself in a cocoon, leaving Lennier to worry and Sinclair to wonder.

This is a must see episode. Not only for the way it brings all the storylines into focus and sets up the field for next season but because it is just plain good.

Although Michael O'Hare is in a few later episodes, this is his last episode as a regular character on Babylon 5. He left because of health issues. It would be interesting to know what would have happened had he been able to continue.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 22, 2019



The Quality of Mercy


Season 1, Episode 21

Originally aired August 17, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Lorraine Senna Ferrara

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, and Bill Mumy.

While running a free clinic in Downbelow, Dr. Franklin discovers Laura Rosen, played by June Lockhart, treating patients with an alien machine. Karl Mueller, played by Mark Rolston, is convicted of multiple murders and sentenced to a mind wipe, even though Garibaldi would rather space him. And Londo takes Lennier on a trip to the Darkstar strip bar/casino.

At first, Dr. Franklin thinks Laura Rosen is a quack. He learns that her machine transfers some of her lifeforce to her patients, healing their injuries or curing their illnesses. Since she is suffering from an incurable disease, she chooses to spend what life she has helping others. However, the machine does have a more sinister purpose. It was invented to drain the lifeforce of criminals slated for execution.

Talia must scan Muller's mind so she can confirm that the mindwipe is successful. There she learns of the dozens of murders he committed before getting caught, making him the perfect character to come to a bad end.

All the seriousness of the first two stories could drag this episode into a depressing melodrama, but Lennier and Londo come to the rescue. In a bar full of gorgeous showgirls, Lennier relates his life story. Londo is about to die of boredom until Lennier mentions he studied probability. So off to the poker table they go. Lennier rakes in a fortune. Londo, being considerably less successful, has a unique method of cheating that ends in a brawl. Lennier asks, and Londo picks up a gold statue explaining that the snake-like appendages are not decorations.

As always Bill Mumy and Peter Jurasik play their characters perfectly making otherwise silly scenes believable and wonderfully enjoyable. And Mark Rolston's performance as Karl Muller is impeccably evil. Oh, and June Lockhart steals every scene she is in.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 21, 2019



Babylon Squared


Season 1, Episode 20

Originally aired August 10, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jim Johnson

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, and Bill Mumy.

Babylon 4 suddenly appears in Sector 14, so Sinclair and Garibaldi investigate. The station is unstuck in time, going back and forth randomly. The crew is in a panic to get off. At the same time, Delenn is called to the Gray Council. She has been selected to replace Dukhat as the new leader of the Minbari.

Babylon 4 is a mess. As time ripples through the station, Sinclair and Garibaldi find themselves fighting in a battle, then Garibaldi meets his ex-girlfriend on Mars, all withough ever leaving the station. In the middle of everything, a strange creature named Zathras says that Sinclair is not the One. Someone in a spacesuit partially materarilizes and floats around. Zathras insists he is the One.

Delenn must decide to accept the greatest honor her world can bestow or leave the Gray Council and return to Babylon 5. It is not a decision she makes lightly.

The Gray Council is a wondrously mysterious place. It looks too huge to be on a spaceship, but the special effects are excellent. There didn't seem to be any kind of audience to the council's deliberations, so the dramatic lighting is a bit excessive. However, it makes for a great scene.

Zathras, played by Tim Choate, steals every scene. The costuming and makeup are perfect for his character. And the dialogue gives him one of the most unique personalities in the series.

Plot-wise, this is a big episode. This episode introduces Babylon 4, The Gray Council, time stablizers, Zathras, a triluminary, and the One. And it is the first time we hear the name Valen.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 17, 2019



A Voice in the Wilderness Part 1 and 2


Season 1, Episode 18 and 19

Originally aired July 27, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Janet Greek.

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, Louis Turenne, and Ron Canada

Epsilon III, the planet Babylon 5 orbits, starts to have earthquakes, so Ivanova sends a geological team to investigate, but they almost get shot down by something located deep in a planetary fissure. Both Sinclair and Londo have visions of someone begging for help. Both disregard the visions. The Mars colony breaks out in war. Garibaldi worries about his ex-girlfriend who lives on Mars. And Delenn's old friend Draal stops by to for a final goodbye.

Sinclair and Ivanova manage to get inside the fissure and rescue the ancient alien controlling a gigantic machine before he dies of old age. Now that the controller is gone, the machine goes into self-destruct mode. Within a few hours, Epsilon III will blow up and take Babylon 5 with it. Just to make things easy to sort out, an Earth heavy cruiser comes through the gate uninvited, and the captain announces he has orders to take over the station and claim any technology on Epsilon III for Earth. He doesn't get far before the Takarn fleet arrives, claiming to be the rightful owners of the planet. And then they shoot at each other.

Often two-part episodes have a little too much plot for a one-hour episode, but not enough for two hours. That is not the case here. A strong well-developed plot and compelling characters carry this episode to its exciting and surprising conclusion.

There are some great scenes. When a survey team ignores Ivanova's orders, she opens the comm and gives them a piece of her mind. "Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out."

Delenn and Draal enlist Londo to pilot a shuttle to take the alien back to the machine. With a wide-eyed grin, Londo makes a suicidal run through the warring Tarkan and Earth ships to dive deep into the fissure with Garibaldi hot on his tail.

This is a great episode. Everyone is still in their original roles. There are only two episodes left before things change.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 10, 2019



Legacies


Season 1, Episode 17

Originally aired July 10, 1994

Written by D. C. Fontana. Directed by Bruce Seth Green.

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, John Vickery, and Grace Una

Alyt Neroon, bigwig in the Minbari warrior cast, brings the body of Shai Alyt Bramner, a hero of the Minbari Earth war, to Babylon 5 so the Minbari on the station can see it. The body disappears, and Neroon blames everyone except the true culprit. He all but threatens war if the body isn't returned, further showing the rift between the Minbari religious and warrior castes.

Both Talia and Ivanova find a young telepath, Alisa Beldon. Talia wants to take her to Psi Corps. The Narn offer her wealth in exchange for genetic material. Ivanova tells Alisa there are better options.

Delenn proves instrumental in finding solutions to both Alisa and the missing body. She also continues to stack colored triangles on the increasingly complex structure on a table in her quarters.

Grace Una's portrayal of Alisa is sensitive, natural, and believable. Like most of Babylon 5, the casting is perfect. It was great to see Delenn put Neroon in his place in the end.

We get a hint of the future when Alisa tells Sinclair that she saw the word chrysalis in Delenn's mind.

This is another good solid episode. It continues to develop the characters and further the overarching plot lines within a complete and self contained story.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 8, 2019



Eyes


Season 1, Episode 16

Originally aired July 13, 1994

Written by Lawrence G. DiTillio. Directed by Jim Johnson.

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, and Bill Mumy

Two men come to the station and question people about Sinclair. Turns out one is Colonel Ari Ben Zayn from Earth Force, and the other is Harriman Gray from Psi-Corps. They claim to be investigating Babylon 5 command staff to make sure everyone is loyal.

Ivanova refuses to be scanned. Sinclair gets pissed but feels compelled to comply. And Garibaldi investigates. In the meantime, Lennier becomes fascinated with the 1992 motorcycle Garibaldi is assembling. Garibaldi claims the bike is in pristine condition and that he is building it from scratch from parts he scavenged from all over. One would expect Lennier to catch the contradictory statements, but he doesn't.

This episode focuses squarely on Zayn and his increasingly unreasonable and apparently illegal investigative techniques. Unlike Bester, Gray is just a hapless telepath assigned to do a job. He tries to be nice, but no one wants to be near him.

Zayn, played by Gregory Paul Martin, starts out oily and harsh, but by the end of the episode, hatred consumes him. Apparently, he is jealous because he didn't get Sinclair's job.

It is delightful to see Jeffery Combs in his human form as telepath Herriman Gray. Science fiction fans know him as the Andorian commander Sharn; a Ferengi named Brunt, and another Ferengi named Kerm; the Vorta, Weyoun; Plenk a humanoid from the Delta Quadrant; Tiron, a questionable associate of Quark's; and others I may not know of.



Reviewed by Romana Drew January 3, 2019



Grail


Season 1, Episode 15

Originally aired July 6, 1994

Written by Christy Marx. Directed by Richard Compton.

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, and Bill Mumy

Station worker and general loser, Jinxo, owes money to a general lowlife named Duce. When Jinxo can't pay Duce demonstrates what will happen if he doesn't get the money. Someone, or something in an encounter suit, which looks a lot like Kosh, extends an appendage and touches the head of a woman tied to a chair. The creature wipes her mind, leaving her alive but comatose. Jinxo takes the hint and works the Zocalo picking pockets. Garibaldi catches him stealing from Aldous Gajic, who has come to Babylon 5 to hunt for the holy grail. Aldous takes Jinxo under his wing and tries to rehabilitate him.

As it turns out, Jinxo, or Thomas Jordan, his real name, worked on all five Babylon stations. As soon as he left, the stations either blew up or disappeared. He refuses to leave Babylon 5 for fear it will also suffer the same fate.

When the bodies pile up, Dr. Franklin determines a Na'ka'leen Feeder is on the loose. Londo goes bonkers when he finds out and hides in his quarters.

Even though most of the people on the station dismiss Gajic, Delenn treats him as an honored guest.

David Warner portrays Gajic with warmth, kindness, and just enough skepticism. The character is believable and likable. Tom Booker's Jinxo goes from Duce's timid pawn to Thomas, the next seeker of the grail. And, as for the Na'ka'leen Feeder, He isn't quite as scary outside of the encounter suit, but he isn't easy to kill either, making for exciting special effects.



Reviewed by Romana Drew January 2, 2019











Signs and Portents


Season 1, Episode 13

Originally aired May 18, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jaanet Greek

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, Ed Wasser, Gerrit Graham, and Fredi Olster

Londo buys an ancient Centauri artifact called the Eye while Ivanova and Sinclair try to outwit the raiders. Centauri psychic, Lady Ladira, has a vision of destruction. Sinclair learns that the Minbari chose him to run Babylon 5, not the Earth government. And, Morden goes around asking VIP's, "What do you want?"

A transport vessel reports a raider attack, so Sinclair sends an entire wing of fighters to help, leaving the station defenses vulnerable. Londo arranges for Lord Kiro to take the Eye back to Centauri Prime, but Kiro is kidnapped. Raiders attack the station, and in the confusion, Lord Kiro is spirited away -- almost.

Morden is quiet, and polite, and utterly evil. Both Londo and G'Kar, in their inimitable ways, initially treat him as a nuisance, but in the end, they tell him what they want. Delenn kicks him out and continues to arranges trangular shaped objects in layers.

And a shadow vessel makes a brief but decisive appearance.

This is a big and important episode. It never disappoints, and it establishes several plot lines that carry through the entire series. G'kar and Londo will come to wish there had never been an episode 13.

Reviewed by Romana Drew December 28, 2018







By Any Means Necessary


Season 1, Episode 12

Originally aired May 11, 1994

Written by Kathryn M. Drennan. Directed by Jim Johnson

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, and Sarah Douglas

Faulty equipment and fed up dock workers lead to an illegal strike, while Londo and G'Kar duke it out over a G'Quan Eth plant.

Miscommunications in the landing bay kills a dock worker and damages a Narn transport, destroying the G'Quan Eth plant that G'Kar needs for a religious ceremony. Never fear, Londo has the only one on the station, which he keeps just out of G'Kar's reach. In the meantime, spaceships stack up outside the station and tempers flare. The Earth Senate Labor Committee gets involved, and a full blown riot is in the making.

Although the strike is probably meant to be the main story, G'Kar and Londo steal the show. The Narn ritual must be held at a specific time, and time is running out. First Londo agrees to sell the G'Quan Eth for an exorbitant price. But when G'kar gets the money, Londo changes his mind just to taunt G'Kar. It is delightful to watch the two actors play off each other.

In the end, Sinclair gets the better of both the Senate Labor Committee and Londo Mollari.

This is a fun episode, well written and well acted.

Reviewed by Romana Drew December 26, 2018







Deathwalker


Season 1, Episode 9

Originally aired April 20, 1994

Written by Lawrence G. DiTillio. Directed by Bruce Seth Green

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, and Sarah Douglas

Na'Toth nearly kills a woman dressed in Minbari clothing as she enters the station. She claims the woman is a Dilgar named Jha'dur, or Deathwalker, an infamous war criminal and assassin. Jha'dur should be long dead or at least quite elderly, but here she is in the prime of her life.

As Dr. Franklin treats her and saves her life, he discovers that she really is Jha'dur and that she has an anti-aging drug she intends to sell to Earth. This leads to dissent on several levels. Some want her tried for war crimes, some want the drug, and Na'Toth has a personal vendetta to avenge. Sinclair barely manages to keep control.

At the same time, Kosh asks Talia to help with a negotiation. As in most things Vorlon, the negotiations don't make any sense, but they do cause Talia to have disturbing visions.

This episode gives insight into the Dilgar war, the league of non-aligned worlds, and a faction of the Minbari warrior caste called Windsords. And according to the Kosh, we are not ready for immortality. It moves along without any problems. There isn't much humor but the outcome is never predictable, especially the end.

Reviewed by Romana Drew December 22, 2018







War Prayer

Season 1, Episode 7

Originally aired March 9, 1994

Written by D. C. Fontana. Directed by Richard Compton

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy.

An old flame of Ivanova's, Malcolm Biggs, played by Tristan Rogers, drops by to say hello, and maybe pick up where they left off, while a plague of attacks on non-humans sets the station on edge. When Minbari poet, Shaal Mayan, played by Nancy Lee Grahan, is attacked and branded, Delenn demands Sinclair find the culprit, and G'kar attempts to incite a riot.

In the meantime, Vir's cousin Kiron, played by Rodney Eastman, and his girlfriend Aria, played by Danica McKellar, come to Babylon 5 to marry against the wishes of their parents. Londo insists they go home and accept their arranged marriages. They refuse, and then they also become victims of the attackers.

Londo demonstrates sensitivity and depth in this episode as he comes to terms with his feelings about his three arranged marriages and arranged marriages in general. And Ivanova learns that her old flame isn't quite the man she remembered.

This is a good solid episode, not a masterpiece but well worth watching. It explores feelings and justifications for racial hatred and intolerance but tempers it with action, humor, and romance.

Reviewed by Romana Drew December 18, 2018








Mind War


Season 1, Episode 6

Originally aired March 2, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Bruce Seth Green

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, Walter Koenig, and Julia Nickson.

This episode introduces Alfred Bester, Psi Cop extraordinaire, played by Walter Koenig.

Talia Winters' friend and mentor Jason Ironheart, played by William Allen Young, comes to Babylon 5 for one last goodbye, and to evade capture by the Psi Cops. The victim of Psi Corps experiment, he has developed advanced telepathic abilities. Bester either wants him, or wants him dead. With little control of his abilities, Ironheart wreaks havoc on the station.

In the meantime, Sinclair's friend, Catherine Sakai, heads off to Sigma 957 against G'Kar's warning not to go. There she encounters something mysterious and dangerous.

In the early episodes, G'Kar seems to be an angry troublemaker, but as time passes his character develops surprising depth. Some of that is seen here in his relationship with Sakai.

Walter Koeing steals every scene he is in. There is always a tension surrounding Bester that never lets go. Although, he sometimes seems to be a villain, and no one on the station likes him, he is committed to his job and considers his actions to be honorable and necessary.

Reviewed by Romana Drew December 16, 2018











The Parliament of Dreams


Season 1, Episode 5

Originally aired February 23, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Jim Johnston

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Bill Mumy, and Caitlin Brown

This episode introduces Lennier, played by Bill Mumy and Na'Toth, played by Caitlin Brown

During a festival to celebrate different religious beliefs, G'Kar is notified that someone is about to assassinate him. You will know pain. You will know fear. And then you will die. At first, he suspects his new attache, NaToth, but she isn't the assassin, so they join forces to find the real killer.

Sinclair rekindles his romance with an old girlfriend. The Centauri host a feast of gluttony and debauchery. The Minbari contemplate life, death, and rebirth. Sinclair introduces representatives from some of the many Earth religions.

The Centauri, Minbari, and Narn cultures are further developed, but other than G'kar running around trying not to die, there isn't much plot to this episode, However, that isn't much of a problem. It has some great scenes. G'kar's, fear and pain is palatable. Londo becomes one with himself after crawling on the table, kissing a statue's ass, and passing out drunk. Take a good look at the statue. It gets explained in a later episode.

And from the moment he walks into the show, Delenn's personal aid, Lennier, is the perfect complement to her character.

Reviewed by Romana Drew December 7, 2018








Infection


Season 1, Episode 4

Originally aired February 2, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Richard Compton

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, Julie Caitlin Brown, and Richard Biggs

Dr. Stephen Franklin's old friend, archeologist Dr. Vance Hendricks, played by David McCallum, brings a box of artifacts from Ikarra VII to examine. Unbeknownst to Doctor Franklin, Hendricks assistant, Nelson Drake, played by Marshall Teague, didn't send the artifacts through quarantine, and he killed a guard to get them on the station.

The artifacts are designed to convert people into unstoppable bioweapons, monsters with built in guns programed to destroy anyone who does not conform to the ideal version of an Ikarran. Nelson gets blasted by one of the artifacts and turns into a hunting, killing machine. He then goes around the station randomly vaporizing people and melting holes through walls.

The plot is a bit predictable and straightforward. The Nelson/monster has to rest after every kill, and then he returns stronger than before. How he gets all that power is never explained. Did he eat? Did he hook into the station's power grid? Oh well, Nelson/monster's costume and makeup are great.

David McCallum does a fine job as Dr. Franklin's good old friend who isn't quite as honest, or clueless as he first appears.

Reviewed by Romana Drew November 29, 2018









Soul Hunter


Season 1, Episode 2

Originally aired February 2, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Richard Compton

Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian, Stephen Furst, Andrea Thompson, and Richard Biggs (as Dr. Stephen Franklin.)

This episode introduces another main character, Dr. Stephen Franklin. And Sinclair learns that Delenn is a member of the Gray Council, the ruling body of Mimbar.

The soul hunter, played by Willian Morgan Sheppard, nearly crashes into the station in his damaged spaceship, but he is saved and set free to roam Babylon 5. Soul hunters collect the souls of the dying and preserve them in glass spears. Having failed to collect the soul of the Minbari leader, Dukhat, during the Earth Minbari War, this soul hunter sets his sights on Delenn. Rather than wait for her to die, he plots to kill her and add her soul to his collection. Needless to say, that is against soul hunter rules, and Sinclair is determined to stop him.

Delenn believes souls should be free so they can reincarnate into the next generation, which explores another aspect of Minbari religion and sets up future story lines.

The plot works, but the acting falls a bit flat. Willian Morgan Sheppard's performance lacks the kind of fascinating presence or evil power that would make this a great episode. His mumbling and chanting is more irritating than threatening. So, this episode is a little slow and lackluster, but worth watching.



Reviewed by Romana Drew December 3, 2018







Midnight on the Firing Line


Season 1, Episode 1

Originally aired January 26, 1994

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Richard Compton Starring: Michael O'Hare, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, Claudia Christian (as Susan Ivanova,) Stephen Furst (as Vir Cotto,) and Andrea Thompson (as Talia Winters.)

This episode introduces three more main characters, Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova, telepath Talia Winters, and Londo's assistant Vir Cotto.

Narn warships attack the Centauri agricultural colony on Ragesh 3. The unprovoked attack sends Londo into a fit of rage because his nephew is stationed there. G'kar is equally outraged because the Centauri destroyed his world. He claims the attack was justified. Sinclair goes after the raiders.

This episode is full of emotional posturing and political maneuvering which move the plot along at a good clip. It introduces the complex relationships between Londo and G'Kar, and between Ivanova and Talia. While in the background the election of President Santiago sets up future episodes. There is also a great scene with Delenn and Garibaldi, and his second most favorite thing in the world.

Both the makeup and costumes are an improvement over the pilot, and the characters are better developed. The introduction of Vir and Ivanova adds comic relief and emotional depth.

Reviewed by Roman Drew November 29, 2018











The Gathering


Pilot

Originally aired February 22, 1993

Written by J. Michael Straczynski. Directed by Richard Compton Starring: Michael O'Hare (as Jeffery Sinclair,) Jerry Doyle (as Michael Garibaldi,) Mira Furlan (as Delan,) Peter Jurasik (as Lando Molari,) Andreas Katsulas (as G'Kar,) and Patricia Tallman (as Lyta Alexander.)

The pilot introduces the main non-humans Delenn, a Minbari, G'Kar, a Narn, Lando Molari, a Centauri, and Kosh, a Vorlon. It also introduces three of the major human characters, station captain Jeffery Sinclair, station security chief, Michael Garibaldi, and telepath, Lyta Alexander. Although, Lyta disappears and isn't heard from for a while, she does return to play a major role in the series.

In the year 2275, ten years after the end of the Earth Minbari War, Babylon 5 serves as neutral territory for resolving disputes and as a center of commerce.

The members of the Babylon 5 Council, Delenn, G'Kar, Lando, and Sinclair wait for Kosh, the fifth member of the council to arrive. Kosh is poisoned before he gets more than a few feet inside the station. If he dies, the Vorlon empire will destroy the station. Since Kosh lives inside an environmental suit, treating him, or even diagnosing him is nearly impossible until Lyta uses her telepathic powers to find out how he was poisoned. However, that implicates Sinclair.

This is a bit of a who-done-it with evidence leading in the wrong direction and Vorlon ships charging weapons.

Although the acting is often a bit flat, the story is well developed, and the pacing moves the plot along at a good clip. The early 1990's special effects are not as cutting edge as they once were, but they still work fine, especially the fighter ships. Their thrusters actually fire in the correct direction when they turn, accelerate, or slow down.

After having seen the entire series, the makeup and costuming, in the pilot is also a bit rough.

The pilot does a great job of setting up the major plot lines that run through the entire series. It is a must see if you want to watch the series.

Reviewed by Roman Drew November 27, 2018