The introductory post was here, The Soul Hunter was covered here, and Born to the Purple was covered right here. After that was Infection. Then came The Parliament of Dreams. Following on its heels was Mind War. Then, RTod covered War Prayer. After that, Sky Full of Stars, then Dman recapped Death Walker! Jaybird hit The Believers. Followed by Survivors, then Dman recapped By Any Means Necessary. Then Signs and Portents, followed by TKO, followed by Grail. After that, Eyes and then Legacies. Then we had a two-parter for A Voice in the Wilderness parts One and Two, and then Babylon Squared.
Henceforth, we’ll only be linking back to Season Two episodes to keep the beginning blurb from getting longer than the actual posts!
It’s very difficult to discuss this show without discussing the next one (or the one after that, or the one after that), or referring to the pilot; if you want to discuss something with a major plot point: please rot13 it. That’s a simple encryption that will allow the folks who want to avoid spoilers to avoid them and allow the people who want to argue them to argue them.
Everyone sitting comfortably? Then onward!
Season Two, Episode 1: Point of No Return
We open with the Agamemnon, commanded by Captain John Sheridan, getting a communique from Earth Command; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is calling. He’s asked, as he’s apparently the only human commander to have beaten the Minbari in the Earth-Minbari War, to take the Agamemnon to Babylon 5 and be on the lookout for the Trigati, a renegade Minbari cruiser. Also, he has “one other mission”.
We cut to Ivanova, who gives us a quick narration of the last few days. Sinclair has been ordered back to Earth with no explanation. Garibaldi is still in sick bay in critical condition, thus Ivanova is acting commander and she’s about as diplomatic as we would expect. She also receives a call from Earth Command, who informs her that Sinclair has been reassigned.
We get a new show intro monologue, voiced over by Bruce Boxleitner, which is sort of jarring after a season’s worth of Sinclair’s “The name of the place is Babylon 5!”
Cut back to Ivanova being informed that Sinclair has been reassigned to be the Minbari ambassador and Sheridan is going to be the new BMOC, to which Ivanova says Sheridan is a good man (having served under him before), but notes might be a controversial choice. The Chief of Staff tells Ivanova to get stuffed, in chain of command verbiage… suitable since it’s hardly cricket for a looey commander to start giving command suggestions about her superior to the equivalent of a five star general.
We move on to Delenn’s quarters, with the chrysalis present, watched over by Lennier. A visitor (of the Grey Council? From the Grey Council?), enters and seems either displeased at Delenn’s decision or resigned to it. He tells Lennier that the Trigati has been seen in this sector, and if it appears at B5 he’s to “go and tell the humans what we told you”, as apparently it’s time that the humans “knew the truth”. Ah, cryptic!
Over to Ivanova, getting the news that Sheridan is already on station, and she’s mortified. She darts out of command, and we cut to Sheridan strolling onboard with a carryon and no fanfare. She gets to the gate just about the time he does, though, welcomes him to the station, formally gives up command, and offers him a tour, which he accepts. There’s a bit of waxing poetic over fruit, with Sheridan musing that spending time out on the Rim means he’s going to want to hang out in hydroponics.
Hm, maybe that’s why we always seemed to find folks in the garden in the previous season. Makes sense, when you think about it.
Ivanova gives us a run-down of last season as a situation report for Sheridan. He seems eager to get to work. Tour ends in the commander’s quarters. Sheridan is psyched about the presence of a liquid water shower, a luxury that seems to be pretty limited, as Ivanova explains, the water reclamation system can’t support the load for just anybody to get a water shower, thus most people get “vibe showers”. Ivanova doesn’t bother to ask permission to speak freely but quizzes him about his appointment to the B5 position. Apparently Sheridan was Sinclair’s successor in the mind of the previous President. He has lots of experience dealing with the other races, although he appears to have something of a negative rep with the Minbari. Negative enough that some of them still call him “Starkiller”.
Given that the Minbari were basically cleaning Earth’s clock in the Earth-Minbari War, having such a moniker attached to your noggin seems notable.
Ivanova reveals she was particularly affected by the destruction of Earth Force One and the death of the President. A crack in her edifice. Sheridan jumps in the shower to prep for his “I’m the New Boss” speech and Ivanova returns to CnC.
There’s a nice little Minbari internal conflict between the Minbari dignitary we saw in Delenn’s quarters just a bit ago and a new arrival to the station named Kalain (who is a badass of some sort not happy about Sheridan’s position or Sinclair’s), who suggests impolitely that said dignitary jump ship.
Ivanova visits the good doctor to check in on Garibaldi, who is still in a coma. No further information. The doc doesn’t have much useful information, which isn’t terribly reassuring. She leaves medlab and hooks up with Sheridan, and introduces him to the command staff. Sheridan gives a nice little speech interrupted by a Minbari calling for his immediate attention. Welcome to B5!
Cut to Kalain, sneaking into the diplomatic section and decking a station guard to do it. Meanwhile, the Minbari dignitary is meeting with Sheridan and Ivanova, letting them know that Kalain is on the station and he should be arrested. Sheridan guesses that Kalain was on the Trigati, which turns out to be correct.
Apparently at the end of the War, the Trigati’s commander – rather than surrender – committed suicide in protest over the Grey Council’s order. His second in command was Kalain, who took the Trigati into self-imposed exile for the last ten years. Ivanova quizzes Sheridan about how he won his battle with the Minbari (plot hole: one would think this is standard tactics teaching nowadays), and he tells her of mining the asteroid field and luring the Minbari warship The Black Star and some heavy cruisers into the trap and blowing them up. Sheridan says, “He said the crew of the Trigati felt betrayed by their own world… wouldn’t that make your first target that world’s representative?”
Cut to Kalain armed and in Delenn’s quarters, asking Lennier to step aside, when Security jumps in just in the nick o’. Kalain gets hauled off to the brig. Sheridan interrogates him, not buying that Kalain didn’t have the time to kill Lennier and Delenn, and he wants to know what’s going on. Kalain isn’t talking. Sheridan leaves the interrogation room and Lennier is outside, apparently to tell Sheridan something that “concerns why you were sent here, why Commander Sinclair was reassigned, and why we resigned at the Battle of the Line”. Whoa.
We get a flashback of Delenn ordering the capture of Sinclair’s ship at the Battle of the Line. Cut back to Lennier, who informs Sheridan and Ivanova that the Minbari learned, through their interrogation of Sinclair and some other humans captured during that battle, something that they couldn’t believe at first. Apparently, the Minbari believe that each generation is reborn into the next… but with a declining birthrate, they couldn’t figure out where their missing souls were going… and they found out those missing souls were going, in whole or in part, to the humans. Rather than commit genocide against themselves, they halted the war, but they couldn’t tell the humans or their own warrior caste the reason why.
Before anything else can be revealed, a Minbari cruiser exits the jump gate with targeting computers running and gun ports open, headed straight for B5. Commercial break!
We come back to a brief holodeck moment which jumps straight to the station going to Red Alert and scrambling fighters. In the brig, Kalain pops out a false tooth, breaks it open and pops it. Up on the command floor, Sheridan is talking to the commander of the incoming Minbari ship (yep, it’s the Trigati) and they’re demanding Kalain’s immediate release. They launch fighters, and B5 does as well. Looking like we might be having a full-blown donnybrook.
Sheridan figures out that the Trigati is trying to provoke a shooting war, but with the suicide of Kalain, he doesn’t think he has much choice. But as the fighters move into position, he notices that they’re tracking the incoming Minbari ships… but they shouldn’t be able to do that, as the Earth forces have never been able to lock onto the Minbari ships before. He orders the fighters to stand by. The Minbari continue to advance.
Sheridan sends a quick message into hyperspace, the Trigati fighters don’t fire upon the human ships, and a second Minbari cruiser exits the jump gate. Sheridan knew there was another Minbari cruiser looking for the Trigati, and figured since they hadn’t been seen they must have been lurking in hyperspace (didn’t know that was a possibility!)
This whole exercise was a gigantic seppuku attempt by the Trigati.
The other Minbari cruiser fires on the Trigati and disables it, but rather than surrender, they blow up their own ship.
Cut to Ivanova dropping by Sheridan’s quarters. He’s having a bit of a guilt trip over his presence bringing forth outcomes that might not have happened if Jeff was still around. Ivanova gives a quick pep talk. Over to Delenn’s quarters, where Lennier is talking to the chrysalis. Apparently there’s more to what the Grey Council told him than he was to communicate to Sheridan… there’s still a great evil moving against the Minbari and the Earthers, and they need to unite to fight it, but the Council believes that the Earthlings will find out about it in their own time. He leaves… and the chrysalis begins to open.
Ivanova and the doctor are talking to a pilot in the bar, wondering where Sheridan is, but he’s up at the bridge, following personal protocol and giving his good luck speech (because otherwise it doesn’t count if he doesn’t give it on the first day)… but there’s nobody else there. Apparently superstition is alive and well in 2259.
See you next week! RTod has the conn!