Babylon 5: The Fall of Night
September 2, 2018 5:40 AM - Season 2, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Earth sends representatives of the Ministry of Peace to the station. The last Narn battleship arrives at Babylon 5, requesting protection. Kosh makes a decision. "We came to this place because Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace. By the end of 2259, we knew that it had failed. But in so doing, it became something greater. As the war expanded, it became our last, best hope for victory."

THE POTATOES (important, but often forgotten in favour of the Kosh bit, below)
-The Centauri are now attacking the Pak'ma'ra and Drazi worlds, under the guise of 'stability' and 'buffer zones' and the like.
-Earth sends two Ministry of Peace representatives to B5. They both are interested in Ivanova -- the Night Watcher, to get her to join Night Watch, and the other guy, just 'as a friend.' Ivanova rebuffs Night Watch dude but seems fine with the other.
-It turns out they're mainly here to sign a pact of non-aggression between Earth and the Centauri. Because the Night Watch dude also says "There will be peace in our time," a common misquoting of Neville Chamberlain, clearly we are meant to think of some events of Munich 1938 and/or Moscow 1940.
-The Night Watch dude also convinces the conflicted, but easily pressured, Zack Allen to confirm some 'intel' about a possible 'threat' shopkeeper, who is openly (gasp!) talking about how much he hates certain trade regs. Dissent is a threat to EarthGov now, y'see. By the end of the episode, the shopkeeper has been arrested for "sedition."
-The non-Night Watch dude also interviews all of the ambassadors, except G'kar, who refuses to speak to him.
-The last, not quite functional, Narn cruiser arrives at B5, requesting protection. Since they are basically refugees at this point, Sheridan grants it, in accordance with Space Law. But one of the staff in C&C is Night watch, and news makes it to the MoP representatives, who blow their lids as it might scupper the non-aggression pact. They tell Londo, who tells Centauri Prime, and now we have a Centauri warship rushing to B5.
-Remember the weapons upgrade in "Gropos"? Well, that becomes pertinent right now. Fighters are scrambled to try to stop the warship until the Narn battleship can limp to a gate, and B5 activates its new advanced weaponry after the Centauri warship opens fire on *everyone*, including the civilian-berthing B5. The advanced weaponry forces the warship to focus fire on B5, letting the Starfury-escorted Narn ship to escape.
-Keffer, one of the Starfury escorts, goes off the beaten hyperspace path to find that (Shadow) ship he's been chasing all season after he catches a whiff of it on his sensors. He is destroyed, but manages to launch a buoy with a recording of the ship. In the coda, ISN is showing the footage from Keffer's ship, noting that the ship is unidentified...

-Because of all of the above, the two MoP reps order Sheridan to apologize publicly in the Zen Garden. That's all they can do, as technically everything he did was strictly SOP.
-Sheridan gets on the magrail cabin to go to the Zen Garden, but two Centauri blow it up. Sheridan sees the bomb just in time, and jumps out of the (low-gravity) mag cabin just in time to avoid being blown to smithereens...
-...but the mag cabin is VERY high above the ground. And B5 spins to provide its gravity, which means that even though Sheridan is falling through a low-G environment that normally might not kill him, the 60 mile/hour rotation of the ship surely will once he hits it. They're trying to suit up and send a rescue squad, but it might not be time.
-Delenn turns to Kosh: "Kosh. You know what is at stake. If you are going to do anything, you must do it now."
-Kosh reveals himself as an Angel (youtube link). We see him from Delenn's perspective--an Angel with Minbari bone crests--and Lennier, awe-struck announces him as "Valeri." Other aliens join in: "Troshala. [G'Kar:] Tre'lan." Every time, the shot cuts from the alien to Kosh looking like an angel from that alien's species... except for Londo. His shot cuts to Sheridan falling into seemingly empty space, and then another cut to Kosh grabbing Sheridan gently by the hands, as Sheridan sees a shiny-faced human angel.
-Londo confirms afterwards that he could not see Kosh.
-Sheridan theorizes that the Vorlons have been manipulating younger species for millenia, which is why he would have been recognized...
-Ivanova lights a menorah and says the pullquote:
It was the end of the Earth year 2259, and the war was upon us. As anticipated, a few days after the Earth-Centauri treaty was announced, the Centauri widened their war to include many of the Non-Aligned Worlds. And there was another war brewing closer to home. A personal one whose cost would be higher than any of us could imagine. We came to this place because Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace. By the end of 2259, we knew that it had failed. But in so doing, it became something greater. As the war expanded, it became our last, best hope for victory. Because sometimes peace is another word for surrender…and because secrets have a way of getting out.
posted by flibbertigibbet (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My personal top 5 of the first two seasons:

5. The Parliament of Dreams (s1) (listen, I really like Na'Toth and frightened G'kar, ok?)
4. Confessions and Lamentations
3. The Long, Twilight Struggle
2. Babylon Squared (Zathras, always with the comings and the goings)
1. Comes the Inquisitor

Top 5 of Season 2 only:

5. Soul Mates
4. The Coming of Shadows
3. Confessions and Lamentations
2. The Long, Twilight Struggle
1. Comes the Inquisitor
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:48 AM on September 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

I do love that the thing that kills Delenn’s hopes of having more time is a young fighter pilot earnestly doing what he thinks is right.
posted by corb at 3:48 AM on March 24, 2019

JMS putting gun on the mantelpiece in GROPOS: "With the additions to the defense grid, Babylon 5 can now handle a battlecruiser!"
(looking at a watch, season later)
"OK, that was enough time." (shoves angry battlecruiser into scene)

The Minpax guy wanting peace as a legacy to his grandkids had his heart in the right place, I guess. But I wish we'd catch up with him in a bit to see how he feels about that treaty he wrought.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:46 PM on February 6, 2021

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