Babylon 5: Point of No Return
October 27, 2018 1:34 PM - Season 3, Episode 9 - Subscribe

[titular episode of season] Everything goes to hell. "You have a chance few others will ever have, Mollari. You still have three opportunities to avoid the fire that waits for you at the end of your journey. You have already wasted two others. You must save the eye that does not see. You must not kill the one who is already dead. And at the last, you must surrender yourself to your greatest fear, knowing that it will destroy you. Now if you have failed all the others, that is your final chance for redemption."

-Clarke has dissolved the Senate and the Senate has responded by barricading themsleves in the Senate chambers and trying to encourage civilians to form a human wall of protection.
-General Hague is missing and is a wanted man, and his last message to Sheridan reads: "Everything's gone to hell, John. God help us all. You're on your own."
-General Smits contacts Sheridan with a message: "My opinion has nothing to do with this, Captain, and neither does yours! Our job is to follow orders from the Commander in Chief and respect the chain of command! If you have different opinions, I suggest you file them in a deep dark place where nobody'll ever find them! Am I clear?"
-B5 is in full martial law prep; it's a flurry of activity. Technically, though, it's not yet under martial law, just preparing for it and getting up to war readiness.
-Londo finally meets with a precog/seer wife of the late Emperor. She gives him the warning from the pull quote, and when she touches Londo she sees the visions dogging him (ships and death on Centauri Prime). She also feels the Earth-Centauri alliance is symptomatic of the madness sweeping the universe.
-G'Kar is released because Garibaldi can't afford to have guards watching low-risk prisoners. G'Kar says he might have a way to repay Garibaldi... Ta'Lon, the Narn with the blood-sword that Sheridan freed from the Streib, has been holding vigil over G'Kar's room, waiting for him to return so that he may serve G'Kar. G'Kar reveals the book he has been writing in prison: the Narn must (be prepared to) sacrifice themselves for the good of the universe, and give up on pride. This begins with helping the humans.
-Nightwatch is prepping for something: ban on using links to communication, instructing Zach Allen not to tell Garibaldi anything, and instruction to bring extra ammunition for his PPG (space-station-safe gun). Turns out it's a coup on Garibaldi, and ordering all security staff to become Nightwatch... or become civilians. Garibaldi goes civilian, but not before yelling at Zach Allen. Zach wants Garibaldi to play it quiet to avoid suspicion, but Garibaldi gonna Garibaldi and is now a civvie.
-As Londo gives Morella a tour, a riot breaks out because of Nightwatch heavy-handedness in the Zocalo and a news report about General Hague's ship, the Alexander, escaping Earthforce destroyers. Vir is injured. At the same time, Sheridan announces that martial law has officially come to B5, following orders from the new Political Office, but no one pays attention because, y'know, riot.
-Sheridan realizes that Smits' message was coded, focusing on a technicality involving the "chain of command"...
-Meanwhile, G'Kar goes to Ivanova and says that he has an idea...
-Zach Allen enters his quarters to find Ivanova, Garibaldi, G'Kar, and Sheridan.
-Zach Allen later reprots to Nightwatch that Sheridan is intending to replace Nightwatch security with a ship of Narn arriving overnight. Nightwatch Dude is overjoyed; evidence of treason!
-Ngihtwatch forces gather at the bay to ambush the Narn ship... but Zach alerts his allies and dives out of the bay before it locks the Nightwatch forces in the bay. He's allied with Garibaldi et al.!
-Now, the technicality: because Nightwatch/Political Office aren't in the military chain of command, Sheridan won't be taking orders from them. As such, no Nightwatch member can be a security staff until they hear from Chain of Command, which, given certain "communications difficulties", could be days. Since almost all of the security staff defected to Nightwatch, they are replaced by on-station Narn -- Zach's story was only a half-life.
-Given that they had no authority for their actions, all non-Zach Nightwatch members are under arrest for mutiny. They also turn in their links, identicards, and weapons.
-G'Kar confronts in: he knows Sheridan is part of a conspiracy, and wants in. Sheridan says he'll need to consult.
-Oh, and one more thing from Morella. When talking to Londo and Vir, she says:
Morella: One more thing. You will be Emperor. That part of your destiny cannot be avoided.
Londo: I see.
Morella: [to Vir] You will also be Emperor. [...] Why are you laughing?
Vir: I… I thought you were joking!
Morella: We do not joke in the face of prophecy, Vir.
Londo: Lady Morella, please! We cannot both be Emperor!
Morella: Correct. One of you will become Emperor after the other is dead. That is all we see and all we wish to see.
-This leads to... significant awkwardness between Londo and Vir. Vir leaves to go back to Minbar, as ambassador.
posted by flibbertigibbet (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I normally wait a week, but I consider this episode and the last episode effectively an unofficial two-parter (arguably a three-parter, with next week's episode, but... eh.)

So here you go!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 1:36 PM on October 27, 2018

This is one of my favorite episodes! That whole three parter is so good! Drove me insane when I first watched it because I had to wait one week between each episode.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 6:50 PM on November 12, 2018

MrsMogur and I watched it in re-runs, when it was being stripped (one episode per weekday), so we only had to wait one day between eps, but it was still agonizing.
posted by Mogur at 7:15 AM on November 13, 2018

The cable network Comet has been running B5 each night, and just ran this episode. It really is one of the best B5 episodes. So much of the show usually feels like it’s ambling toward...something...but it seems so far off in the distance. Then, this episode hits and everything changes in an instant.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:07 PM on November 23, 2018

Yeah, I'm not _quite_ here yet, but the thing that's kind of surprising me in the rewatch this time is how little feels like has happened to lead up to the kick ass 4th season. Yeah, some kind of creepy shit at home, the Narns aren't doing great, and the Centauri are running around like they've got everything they want, but it's all just at this sort of light simmer day to day.

Which is probably right? I mean nowadays it would have been 3 seasons of bombast and angst before FINALLY the good guys do the right thing. I suppose, it's the difference between 20+ episode and 10 episode arcs.

(I also kind of had the realization that a lot of what I remember about Bab 5 is actually the 5th season plot, so it had more room to breath than "wait, all of this has to happen in the next 30 episodes?!??!" was working out to be.)
posted by Kyol at 6:56 PM on September 16, 2022

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