We are sorry to report that our Control Group, one Steven Schapansky (not appearing in this episode) had a conniption fit over the lack of descriptiveness in this episode’s title. Wait until he gets a load of next week’s.
Meanwhile, meet the Drakh! Watch Delenn take charge! See Susan roll her eyes at her next assignment! Let your breath catch in your throat as Babylon 5’s power couple prepare to go their separate ways! All this, and some pretty Star Trek-ish chair acting on the White Star bridge, too.
Somehow we made it through the whole episode without a John Barrowman reference. Chip considers this a personal failing. But, hey, let’s advance the Earth plot line a bit, spend significant time on another planet, and continue the buddy-movie adventures of Marcus and Steven. Plus, the Sheribaldi shippers take another gut punch…
(Is “Sheribaldi” a thing? Some of us are curious, and some of us are afraid.)
OK, did this episode have the best guest casting find ever in B5 history, with Reiner Schone, or did it have the best guest casting find ever? Yeah, the three of us are big fans of Dukhat. Plus, this episode was directed by Wally Cleaver! And Lennier was such a nice guy in this one! All this, and revelations about Delenn on screen and Valen in spoiler space…
It’s the B5 directorial debut of one Vir Cotto (not appearing on your screen this time) and the flip side to Season 2’s “And Now for a Word.” Call them Alternative Facts, call it Fake News, call it what you like: Sheridan and Delenn discover the limits of truth-telling before Interstellar Network News in a 1997 episode that feels really darn uncomfortable 20 years later.
It feels like the first time, only different! Londo’s happily haggling on the Zocalo. Sheridan’s matching wits with Bester. But Garibaldi’s quit his job, and the certainty of the Shadow War’s endgame has vanished. Welcome to Babylon 5 as it was earlier in the series: unpredictable.
There’s a really obvious Hamilton reference that Chip could drop into this podcast, particularly the last half of a certain King George song, but Erika would kill him.
Besides, this podcast is chock full of content, so there’s no time for song inserts that would antagonize a co-host. Did we mention that the Shadow War is over? Did we mention that the Space Mobster got his? Did we mention that the First Ones are gone? Did we mention that Centauri Prime is saved? And how the heck did this all happen in the space of roughly 45 minutes? For such a momentous episode, we’ve got a lot to talk about in normal and spoiler space, so this was a perfect time to bring Michi Trota back as we review this reset of Babylon 5’s status quo.
It’s special guest star Bryan Cranston! OH EM GEE!
But maybe in the ’90s that wouldn’t be what held your attention. Maybe it was the sight of a very determined Narn breaking his unweakened chains, or a formerly cherubic second banana diplomat killing his emperor. Is that breaking bad or what?
How different is Season Four, and how different is John Sheridan now? He sits at the war room table and puts a hit out on a Vorlon. Yeah, things are getting serious in Grid Epsilon. Pull up a chair and listen as we go through all the plots.