Babylon 5: Point of No Return   Rewatch 
October 27, 2018 1:40 PM - Season 3, Episode 9 - Subscribe

[all-spoilers!] [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 (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Anytime there's significant prophecy, I try to match a rewatch one.

"The one who is already dead": Morden or Refa.

Per word of god, it is actually the "I" that does not see. I hate this bit of the prophecy, regardless.

His greatest fear is his vision of his death at G'Kar's hands.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 1:43 PM on October 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Sheridan also makes sense for the “one who is already dead”. As does Delenn if you consider her change a sort of death.

It’s maddeningly vague, like much prophecy. The bit about who will be emperor though is pretty great.

Any thoughts about which two chances he missed previously?
posted by nat at 12:17 AM on October 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Separately, I had a tough time watching these episodes last year (for the first time); they were a little on the nose for current political fears of mine, considering this show aired two decades ago.
posted by nat at 12:18 AM on October 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


At least one of the big ones is Londo initiating the chain that ends with Refa bombarding Narn with mass drivers - maybe the first event there is Londo lying about the emperor's last words?

I feel like there's a jms post in the vast midwinter archive that reveals what the two are but I'm not seeing it right now.
posted by range at 8:34 AM on October 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I assumed that one was saying yes to Morden's first offer.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:22 AM on October 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


Some spoilers ahead for future seasons (this being the re-watch post):

Per word of god, it is actually the "I" that does not see. I hate this bit of the prophecy, regardless.

I always assumed it was...not that. I thought this was G'Kar, for reasons that have yet to occur, and which JMS strongly suggests was G'kar ('would've been nice if Londo had at least tried to do something about the eye that did not see Cartagia's splendor....'). I wouldn't be shocked if he wrote in multiple plausible readings, though: Morden or Sheridan are both people he needs to not kill, at various points, for example. The resonance with the other Eye that does not see - which got him involved with the Shadows in the first place -- is probably not coincidental, thematically.

At least one of the big ones is Londo initiating the chain that ends with Refa bombarding Narn with mass drivers - maybe the first event there is Londo lying about the emperor's last words?

Londo makes so many bad decisions it's hard to judge: asking for Morden's help in retrieving the Eye? Answering Morden's question, such that the Shadows sought an alliance? Not standing up to Refa and allowing the mass bombing of Narn? The (as mentioned) lying about the emperor? The emperor -- where he stands in a position alone to stop a war -- and his original deal with Morden would be my vote, and I'm curious if there's a canon answer.
posted by cjelli at 12:33 PM on November 6, 2018


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