Babylon 5: Lines of Communication
May 5, 2019 11:08 AM - Season 4, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Marcus and Franklin address a bombing on Mars. Ivanova is given a new task. Delenn investigates strange attacks... "John! It pleases me that you care for what I have become... But never forget who I was, what I am, and what I can do."

-Sheridan is increasingly exhausted. "Sometimes I feel as if I've been carrying this station on my back and crawling through broken glass for three years."
-Sheridan watches ISN propaganda for "motivation" in the middle of the night. He gets an idea from the French Resistance during WWII: resistance broadcasts, airing the truth and encouraging Germans Clark loyalists to defect.
-After storming into Ivanova's quarters in the middle of the night while she's in her jammies, and finally gives her time to change, Ivanova, uh, volunteers:
Ivanova: Why do I get the ugly suspicion that you're volunteering me for this job?
Sheridan: I accept your offer!
-She is also told she has a "face people love" from her time as the head of the Shadow War status updates. When she counters she'd rather face a "face people fear", Sheridan cheerily responds "That too!"
-Here's her first broadcast.
-Franklin engages in some pretty good spycraft: to check in with B5 about his progress, he sends a short message broad spectrum, so the intended recipient and the origin are unlikely to be traced. The words he uses are vague and cryptic so his exact actions are unknown. Number One in the Mars Resistance is pleasantly surprised.
-Number One almost immediately has to leave because news has come in that a bombing has killed 10 civilians, and is a Mars Resistance cell is taking responsibility. She is pissed, and even Marcus notes that she is scary when angry -- the bombing happened at the orders of the Earth Number One, who has no authority over her, and also damaged their credibility because although the target was Security, most of the killed were civvies.
-Franklin delivers messages from B5: B5 is upset at the treatment of Mars and wants to send support. Martians counter with the fact that B5 only declared independence when they were about to be attacked, and Sheridan was part of the group sent to put down the Mars Food Riots, so it's not like they necessarily believe this change of heart. Franklin also delivers the unethusiastically received message that the problem is Clark, not the concept of the Presidency. Many of the Martians want complete separation from Earth, y'see. Franklin asks that they stop the bombings, and emphasizes the need for mutual trust. And to top off this speech (which again, references that they've been busy with the Shadow War) Franklin makes a promise, direct from Sheridan: if Mars signs up with B5, they'll be granted independence after the war. Can Sheridan actually do that? Franklin has complete faith. And it's Mars' best chance to avoid isolation, attrition, and death.
-Delenn receives a message from Forell, a Minbari. There are raids from an unknown species hitting Minbari allies on the borders of Minbari race, and the Warrior caste is sowing dissent on Minbar and are almost to the point of rejecting the Religious Caste's alliance.
-Later, Number One notes that Sheridan could have never said anything about the bombings, since they started after the last communique from B5. Franklin made that up to support Number One, and she appreciates it, even though it is a lie. Marcus senses romantic tension between Number One and Franklin, but Franklin dismisses him. Marcus says that in a "war of trust" relationships are rare... and then Number One invites Franklin to a private dinner, gut asks Marcus to go on guard duty.
-Delenn leaves to go investigate attacks on small races near Minbari space, after having the convo with Sheridan from the pullquote where he suggests sending Lennier instead. Sheridan suggests it's lesser races using the chaos of the Shadow War to take advantage.
-They arrive too late to save a pak'ma'ra ship, but instead see its unknown attackers. Delenn initiates first contact protocols and attempts to parley, but Lennier notes that the unknown race, who call themselves the Drakh, are not being translated by the computer -- they are speaking Minbari.
-Forell pulls a gun on Delenn. It turns out he is a servant of the Drakh; when Delenn reminds him that Minbari do not kill other Minbari, Forell says he can persuade with pain. The Drakh want Delenn to hear them out; the White Star follows the Drakh ships.
-The mothership lands a lifepod, containing an emissary who seems to be shifting through space. He needs a translator to speak with Delenn:
-The Warrior Caste are expelling the Religious Caste from cities, allowing them to die of exposure in the polar wastes. This technically avoids the prohibition on killing. Forell sought out external help before the Warrior Caste wins this cold (literally and figuratively) war between the castes, and came upon the Drakh.
-All the Drakh want is a home of their own, as theirs was recently destroyed in a natural disaster.
-Delenn promises to take their offer to the Grey Council, and says they will return in 7 days with an answer. The emissary replies "They know," and turns to leave, when Forell says that "Delenn" will keep her word. The emissary pauses and leaves.
-Delenn procedes to rip Forell a new one: the Drakh ships? Are the ships they saw fleeing Z'ha'dum. The natural disaster? The destruction of Z'ha'dum. Why the emissary paused when he heard Delenn's name? She is known as a leader of the Army of Light against the Shadows. The Drakh will want revenge on her.
-Delenn orders Lennier to try to silently escape to hyperspace, but they are attacked first. They destroy a White Star escort, and Forell is lethally wounded as Delenn's White Star is damaged.
-They repair in hyperspace as Forell apologizes.
-They jump back into the fray: Delenn turns to Lennier and says that they must have retribution for the loss of the White Star ship and the attacks on their allies.
-They destroy all the ships. Delenn grimly says "End this." (This is not the end of the Drakh, just of this portion).
-Delenn returns to B5. She says to Sheridan that much has changed (the Shadow War, his death of resurrection, his limited lifespan, the Earth Civil War, Garibaldi's defection, etc.), and yet he is still pretending nothing has changed. They both need to focus on their own civil wars and perhaps a bigger change will put them on the right path -- so Delenn is leaving to deal with the Minbari civil war. They go out for dinner one last time.
-Delenn notes that humans are excellent at forming communities, and that although rebuilding is hard, she believes in the humans.
-In a coda, Marcus is on guard duty as he hears Franklin and Number One have sex.
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