Babylon 5: Shadow Dancing
February 2, 2019 1:44 PM - Season 3, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Sheridan takes the battle to the Shadows. Franklin's walkabout reaches its conclusion... "And what are you?" "Alive. Everything else is negotiable."

-Delenn convinces the League nations to give ships to a massive attack on the Shadows in the 'honey trap' Sheridan recently discovered. It's not all the ships they wanted, but it will do.
-Delenn tells Sheridan that, after the attack, they will proceed to the next part of the Minbari relationship ritual: the woman watches the man sleep all night, to see if she likes what she sees.
-Ivanova and Marcus agree to serve on the scout ship, signalling when the fleet should jump in. This is intensely dangerous. Marcus teaches Ivanova some Minbari, beginning with "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever met" -- which he lies and says translates to a strange Minbari greeting.
-They discover a scout and jam its attempt to send out a warning.
-The Shadow fleet jump in; the allied fleet jump in; battle is waged; the White Star with Ivanova and Marcus is damaged. But the allies win and the Shadows retreat.
-Garibaldi is worried that he did the wrong thing by agreeing to back off of Franklin -- that people walk away for two reasons, to left alone or to see if anyone's willing to follow them into hell.
-In Downbelow, Franklin tries -- nobly -- to break up a fight, and is stabbed in the stomach and left for dead. He calls out for help, and is met by...
-...the mean bastard version of his own subconscious, who proceeds to tear him(self) a new one about his past decisions, especially his tendency to run away from his problems. Which he was doing, again, with a walkabout. And if he was so unhappy with his life, why, just die! That's the easy way out. To prove himself to, uh, himself, Franklin begins to climb out of the area he's in, mostly out of pure stubborness. He decides he'd live life all over again.
-Franklin is found and taken to Medlab. Relieved, Garibaldi goes to talk to Franklin in the recovery room. Franklin reveals that, upon meeting himself, he didn't like himself all that much.
-Delenn and Sheridan talk with Ivanova. Sheridan, haunted by the dream Kosh1 sent him, wonders why they haven't been attacked. Delenn suggests that the "man inbetween", from the dream, is his counterpart among the Shadows... They also note that B5 will now be a target.
-Franklin unofficially takes over Medlab and is then officially offered his job back. He accepts.
-The Shadows launch a teeny ship...
-Delenn and Sheridan have their night together, and she is staring at his face while smiling lovingly. She briefly pulls away from him to play with a snowglobe, and in a vision from before, drops it when a woman walks in -- Anna Sheridan, Sheridan's long-presumed-dead wife.
-Throughout the episode, title cards count down from "Z minus 7 days" to "Z minus 2 days"...
posted by flibbertigibbet (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I had a look at the battle scene. Even after all this time, it looks better than pretty much anything on TV recently. Amajor feat, considering they barely had the CGI to do the job.
posted by happyroach at 8:41 PM on February 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

So the show tried pretty hard to keep Melissa Gilbert's appearance quiet; her name even appears last in the list of guest stars. At the time, she was married to Bruce, so they wanted to avoid people making the obvious connection. But the whole set of reaction shots that happen once she boards the station just feel really off to me; nobody should know who she is, really, so having the surprised reactions just feels weird. Apparently the script called for the extras to not react, but the director on the day decided to go in a different direction.

Maybe not a big deal, but I found it an odd choice in this episode that I otherwise really, really like.
posted by nubs at 3:04 PM on February 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

This year, we've all been Stephen. Dragging ourselves forward with our wounds oozing, just willing ourselves to continue, while being shouted at by the harsh voices in our heads. Biggs plays his dual self so well.

Ivanova vs Minbari beds was also a great moment.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:08 PM on April 30, 2021

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