Babylon 5: All Alone in the Night
June 16, 2018 7:01 AM - Season 2, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Sheridan is kidnapped while in a Starfighter. Delenn returns to face judgment. "You have always been here."

-Sheridan needs a certain amount of flight time to keep his flight pay, so when some odd reports come from the edges of the shipping lanes, he flies out with a squad, thinking he'll be back in time to meet General Hague. The squad includes Ramirez, a pilot-of-the-week who was introduced by arguing with Franklin about interplanetary baseball (Ramirez is a Martian fan; Franklin says the Martian team is only good because of the lower gravity). This absolutely means that Ramirez won't die, right?
-Sheridan's squad is immediately destroyed by a strange alien ship. Ramirez survives, but receives a lethal dose of radiation and races back to B5 to debrief before he dies; Sheridan is captured.
-Sheridan lives a typical "aliens captured me and probed me" experience, except with an extra battle to the death with Ta'lon, a sword-wielding Narn. He disables the thing controlling Ta'lon, who was earlier begging for death, but both he and Ta'lon are injured in the fight. They find a way to escape together, and Sheridan finds out from Ta'lon that this strange race captures aliens, pits them in death matches against one another, and records the data--how much pain they can take, how quickly they give up, etc. It seems to be a scientific records-gathering mission, as a precursor to war.
-Meanwhile: Ramirez returns to B5, and is immediately put into medical care. Ivanova figures out what happens from his black box recording. General Hague arrives and is worried about Sheridan.
-Delenn is summoned to the Grey Council ship to find out she has been stripped of her position in absentia. This is unheard of, but she accepts the decision, requesting only to remain as ambassador on B5... only to find out her replacement, Neroon from the Warrior caste, has unbalanced the Grey Council (traditionally 3 religious, 3 warrior, and 3 worker; now it is 4 warrior and 2 religious). He is viscerally horrified by Delenn's change: "You are an affront to the purity of our race!" Neroon also rejects the "humans have Minbari soul" thing, is generally aggressive, and says that as the half-human Delenn is unfit for Minbar, she can take her mongrel rear end and serve as Ambassador.
-Ivanova gets in touch with Delenn. Delenn confirms what Ivanova gleaned from alien allies: the race that took Sheridan, the Strieb, do it as an attempt to find weak races to invade. When it happened to the Minbari, they took the battle to the Streib and informed them of the error of their ways.
-Hague's ship (the Agamemnon, Sheridan's old command), Delenn and Lennier's shuttles, and B5's fighters engage the Streib ship, blowing it up. Sheridan and Tal'on are believed dead, but they were actually sent out in an escape pod just before the explosion. Tal'on will be back!
-Everyone goes back to B5. Hague activates a bug-jammer in his quarters and has a talk with Sheridan, who, as it turns out, is a spy for Hague. Turns out Hague is part of a group in the military who feel Santiago's death was an assassination with aid from some sect of the military, but with the prime movers being outside the military--probably PsiCorps. Sheridan was the perfect mole choice as his record makes him look like a hard-nosed jarhead, which made him the likeliest choice when Clarke needed to replace Sinclair. Hague feels it's time to start the cabal of trusted agents.
-Sheridan's choice: Garibaldi, Franklin, Ivanova. For now, they're staying inside the rules...
-Also in the Streib ship, Sheridan dreamt... Ivanova shushes him in his quarters. A raver appears on her shoulders and she asks, "Do you know who I am?" In C&C, a stern Sheridan watches Sheridan. Garibaldi, a dove on one shoulder, says "The man inbetween is searching for you." Ivanova, now dressed as 'black widow at a funeral', says "You are the hand." Sheridan sees Kosh and asks "Why were you here?" and gets the reply "We were never away. For the first time your mind is quiet enough to hear me." "Why am I here?" "You have always been here."
-When Sheridan crosses paths with Kosh on B5, Kosh repeats that last line from his dream: "You have always been here..."
posted by flibbertigibbet (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
And so it begins . .
posted by Freedomboy at 10:45 AM on June 16, 2018

I always remember this episode for appearing to be a pretty bog-standard "encounter with an alien race" episode that then drops some big plot bombs.
posted by nubs at 11:28 AM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nice touch: the Streib were named after Whitley Streiber, a novelist who published a "non-fiction" account of his own abduction and examination by aliens.
posted by Zonker at 4:24 AM on June 20, 2018

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