Babylon 5: Interludes and Examinations
December 8, 2018 7:55 AM - Season 3, Episode 15 - Subscribe

The Shadows begin open war. Adira, the dancer-with-a-heart-of-gold that Londo fell in love with in season 1, returns to the station. Franklin and Garibaldi have confrontations about Franklin's addiction. "All I want now is revenge. They took from me the one thing that I have… have ever truly loved. [...] Give me this, and the safety of my people--and let the rest of the galaxy burn. I don't care any more."

-Ivanova voice-over: open war with Shadows on minor races. Babylon 5 is tense. Extra security hired, but without connection to Earth databases, they can't properly vet the hires... and indeed, Morden has already subverted one hire to help him smuggle something aboard. (He later kills this guard to cover his tracks).
-Londo tells Vir to prep a very luxurious cabin for Adira.
-Morden is on the station with three Shadows, spider-looking things. He confronts Londo, and tells him to release his hold on Refa, or else. Morden needs the Centauri to engage in wars to distract the universe from the Shadow aggression. Londo scoffs, saying he has nothing to loose, and leaves.
-Kosh has vanished, worrying Ivanova.
-Franklin is still struggling with his stims addiction. He is now making near-lethal mistakes with patients. Garibaldi confronts him one last time, and Franklin angrily blows him off. He instead goes to Fraklin's second-in-command and asks her to illicitly pull Franklin's monitoring blood sample (to make sure he hasn't caught any strange alien disease, done regularly). She balks, tells him the request needs to be official... but Franklin sees them talk.
-Franklin confronts Garibaldi as he's about to pull up the blood tests. Franklin admits he has high, addiction-level stims in his blood. Franklin can come clean on his own terms, or Garibaldi will force the issue.
-The Shadows are doing lightning attacks: jump in, wipe everything out, jump out. The League of Non-Aligned Worlds are refusing to band together, fearing it will just paint targets on them. The Brakiri, attacked at the end of last episode, are woefully outmatched. B5 was ill-prepared to secede and can't offer much help.
-Delenn tells Sheridan, who hasn't been sleeping, that he needs to score a victory himself to try to pull an alliance together. Sheridan notes Delenn was sounding like Kosh...
-...and gosh to ask Kosh for help. Kosh refuses, saying the Vorlon are few in number. Sheridan keeps pushing, accusing the Vorlon of manipulating younger races and not being willing to get their hands dirty. They are legends; they should fight legends. Kosh gets increasingly angry, telekinetically pushing Sheridan against a wall, giving him a minor cut, and choking him. Sheridan declares he will gladly die to get the Vorlon involved. Kosh agrees to help... but he will not help Sheridan at Z'Ha'Dum. Sheridan will die there.
-True to his word, the latest Shadow lightning attack is stopped by Vorlon ships.
-Adira emerges from the shuttle... on a gurney, covered by a sheet. Londo realizes that Morden found out what he had left to lose (and tracked Vir to get the details) and poisoned Adira. Londo cannot be comforted. Morden pays off a fellow occupant of Adira's shuttle with the gems he smuggled on early in the episode.
-Morden receives whispered news that concerns him. He immediately hacks into Kosh's quarters and confronts him, as Shadows appear beside him...
-Sheridan dreams, and his dream is invaded by Kosh, in the form of his father. He tries to make Sheridan feel better about what is happened; to give him strength for the coming conflict. He says "As long as are here, I will always be here..." Kosh is then killed by the Shadows.
-Everyone in the Council knows Kosh is dead, but agree to keep it quiet to preserve the new, fragile alliance. Sheridan realizes why Kosh attacked him: he knew that he would be killed for interfering in the war, and was afraid.
-Morden manages to spin the murder of Adira as Refa's doing, in retaliation for his poisoning. Londo agrees to make one last deal with Morden, for revenge, and he doesn't care anymore: "Let the rest of the galaxy burn."
-Kosh's belongings are given to his living ship, who grieves his death and will commit them, and itself, to Epsilon Eridani.
-Franklin resigns.
posted by flibbertigibbet (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I liked Adira in her one appearance and was all excited to have her back, and then...NO!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:28 AM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

How did I suddenly manage to view two or three episodes ahead of your posts now?

Anyway, this is when B5 really started moving. Like "we actually have a plan" moving. I think every episode from here on is required viewing now.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:09 PM on December 9, 2018

I love this episode, hidden behind its bland title, with its series of collisions that send everyone off on new trajectories that now seem irrevocable.

High octane TV-making. When I first saw this, I hadn't seen the season 1 episode that introduced Adira, but I was still saddened. And mad at Londo for not seeing through Morden's scheming.

Meanwhile, Bruce Boxleitner continues to be better than I gave him credit for back in the 90s. That whole confrontation scene with Kosh can't have been easy to act opposite someone whose reactions you can't see, whose dialogue has to be post-synced in, but he pulls it off.

Starship captains are hard to cast because they can feel oddly characterless... but one character trait that Sheridan does have is his combativeness. He's a fighter where Sinclair was a peacemaker. Over the rest of the season, he'll learn the difference between being a fighter and being a leader: that one is about combat, and the other is about sacrifice. (Or so it seems to me).

Kosh gives Sheridan that as his final lesson tonight. Sinclair is about to give him another such lesson. On to the next....
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:29 PM on April 29, 2021

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