Babylon 5: No Surrender, No Retreat
August 18, 2019 4:02 PM - Season 4, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Sheridan and B5 try to free Proxima III. Londo and G'Kar try something new. "So from now on, I guess the operational phrase is 'trust no one'." "No. Trust Ivanova; trust yourself. Anybody else -- shoot 'em!"

-Previously on B5: President Clarke is killing civilians, wantonly.
-B5 returns to wartime footing after the end of the Shadow War. Since the enemy is now fellow humans, there are special precautions in re: false orders (see pullquote).
-Sheridan calls in the League of Non-Aligned Worlds: there will now be a price for the White Star patrols of League space: every League member must contribute one destroyer to B5 defenses, and must cut all non-humanitarian contact with Earth Alliance.
-Meanwhile, Sheridan has Ivanova send 3 White Star to harry Earth Space with flybys. The goal is to freak out Clarke and have him pull his forces back to Earth Space, giving Sheridan breathing room for his assault to break Proxima III's blockade without being detected by patrols.
-Marcus Cole returns to B5 with news from Proxima III, one of the fellow rebels: they're at the brink of collapse. The colony is blockaded by six Omega-class destroyers, including two known to be firing in civilians: the Heracles (Hercules) and Pollux (one of the twins from the constellation Gemini).
-Sheridan's plan: a staggered assault that will give the less evil commanders a chance to join Sheridan's forces or otherwise stand down. The Heracles and the Pollux are well and truly hosed, though.
-Sheridan's White Star now has the B5 emblem on its side... Sheridan gives a speech about the difficulty of firing on other humans, but why it is necessary.
-Sheridan has ships jump in on both sides of the planet; the Heracles sends the Pollux and the Nemesis to investigate the other side of the planet. It seems the fiercest Clarke loyalists are keeping an eye on other commanders...
-Sheridan's standing battle orders: don't shoot first. Only shoot at ships that are shooting at you. Focus on the Heracles and Pollux to begin.
-The Earth Force ships:
Heracles (survives): led by Captain Trevor Hall, a known Clarke loyalist and civilian-killer. On the near side of Proxima III. This is the first ship to fire. One it is the only ship left in the fight, Sheridan offers him the chance to surrender; Hall refuses, since he knows he'll be court martialed for his actions regardless, and continues to fight, when his first officer Sandra Leavitt relives him of duty because the crew doesn't intend to die for him today.
Pollux (destroyed): Clarke loyalist and known civilian-killer on the far side of Proxima III. Is destroyed when a White Star, badly damaged by the Heracles, crashes into it, blowing up both ships.
Nemesis (survives): commanded by Yoshi Kanagawa, of unknown loyalty, on the far side of Proxima III. Spends much of the battle only advancing with the Pollux, but eventually opens fire on Sheridan's forces. Eventually surrenders after being blown halfway between here and hootenany.
Vesta (survives): led by Captain Edward "Mackie" MacDougan, who knows Sheridan personally. He tries to warn Sheridan not to engage in treason, but Sheridan notes that Mackie's orders are illegal and he should maybe reconsider his life choices. He refuses to fire so Hall (Heracles) tries to get the Vesta's first officer to take over; this works for awhile, aided by the first officer's PPG, but eventually the first officer is, uh, 'subdued' and Mackie stands the Vesta down and declares her non-hostile to Sheridan's forces.
Furies (treated as non-combatant): commanded by Stephanie Eckland. Unknown loyalty, do not respond to initial flybys that Sheridan tells its commander is to determine its standing. Is deemed a noncombatant.
Juno (flees): Commanded by James Mandala. Refused direct orders to engage and only ever advanced. Eventually fucked off to a jump gate without ever having fired.
-After the battle, Sheridan gives the remaining commanders -- Kanagawa (Nemesis), MacDougal (Vesta), Eckland (Furies), and Leavitt (F.O. in temporary command of the Heracles), a choice. (1) They can withdraw from the war's theatre; (2) they can defend Proxima III; (3) they can actively join Sheridan. Sheridan insists that he is not interested in becoming a dictator, but merely removing one; after Clarke is removed he promises to return full control to Earth voters, so the people can decide on their next steps.
-After some offscreen deliberation: the Furies agrees to defend Proxima III. The Heracles withdraws for repairs. The Nemesis and the Vesta will join Sheridan.
-The Voice of Resistance announces the liberation of Proxima III and encourages further defections of EarthForce personnel.
-Vir is still having nightmares about assassinating Cartagia. Garibaldi comes to his quarters, asking for Londo; Vir lets slip that he's out seeing G'Kar... Garibaldi, for his part, is pissed by Sheridan's actions and bringing the station back to wartime status.
-Londo is trying to make amends for, you know, re-imprisoning the entire Narn people with G'Kar. G'Kar is not feeling it, and is especially bitter about his own imprisonment and mutilation. Londo says he doesn't want to trade insults anymore -- he thanks G'Kar for his help saving Centauri Prime, and makes a proposal: a Centauri-Narn joint statement of support for the Earth Resistance, in the hopes of inspiring more races to support Sheridan. He offers G'Kar is drink to seal the deal, and pointedly says it is a parallel of when a euphoric G'Kar tried to drink with Londo right before Emperor Turhan died and Turhan's hopes of letting the Narn live free died with him. G'Kar refuses the drink and leaves.
-G'Kar eventually joins a despondent Londo in the Zocalo. He will sign the agreement... on a different page than Londo signs. They drink together. Later, Ivanova announces this agreement on the Voice of the Resistance.
-Sheridan asks Franklin about the telepaths in cold storage, including Bester's wife, for a future mission...
-Garibaldi leaves B5, planning never to return...
posted by flibbertigibbet (1 comment total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As with all battle episodes, this one took a long time to recap.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:02 PM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

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