Saturday, March 13, 2010

B5 Season 4

Season 4 of Babylon 5, titled "No Surrender, No Retreat," originally aired between November 1996 and October 1997. The opening voiceover, featuring contributions by each of the main cast members, explains: "It was the year of fire… the year of destruction… the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth… the year of great sadness… the year of pain… and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed. The year is 2261. The place: Babylon 5."

Season 4 was almost the year that ended it. The show's home network (PTEN) sank under it, and with no guarantee that another network would pick it up, series creator and show-runner J. Michael Straczynski (a.k.a. Joe, a.k.a. JMS) was forced to move up his timetable for ending the meticulously-planned series. So it was at the end of this production season that the series finale ("Sleeping in the Light") was filmed. Then, luckily, TNT picked up the show's fifth and final season. "Sleeping in the Light" was transferred to the end of Season 5, and a new Season 4 finale was filmed (see below).

Season 4 is noteworthy for many reasons. This was the second season in a row for which JMS wrote all 22 episodes. It was the year that ended the Shadows storyline (early in the season) as well as the conflict surrounding the Earth Alliance under President Clark's fascist regime (towards the end). Both Sheridan and Garibaldi came back changed men from their experiences in Season 3's "Z'ha'dum" - a change that, particularly in Garibaldi's case, would keep fans of the show on the edge of their seat for most of the season. A civil war nearly rips Minbari culture in two. The Vorlons go Old Testament on everybody's ass, then exit the stage forever. Vir becomes an assassin and kingmaker. Londo becomes an emperor. The Narn become free, thanks largely to G'Kar's willingness to lose an eye without all the fun and games. Londo, amazingly, shows signs of redeeming himself and renewing his friendship with G'Kar. The season builds to a climactic battle, with a side of torture, an act of sacrificial love, and a glimpse into the near and distant future following the establishment of an Interstellar Alliance.

"The Hour of the Wolf" opens the season with these three ladies (Lyta, Delenn, and Ivanova) searching the ruins of Z'ha'dum for signs of Sheridan's fate. They need him badly, because without him the Alliance is starting to fall apart. Isn't it creepy how Lyta's eyes turn black whenever she scans the Shadows? Meanwhile, Londo learns that the Centauri emperor he helped put on the throne is a psychopath who collects the heads of people he has executed and talks to them. Emperor Cartagia has decided to give the Shadows (and their radiation-burned spokesman Morden) a defensive base on Centauri Prime, in exchange for godhood. Londo realizes that Cartagia must be assassinated for the good of the people, but the only person he can trust with the conspiracy is sweet, innocent Vir. The episode ends with a tantalizing hint that Sheridan has somehow survived his death-plunge into the depths of Z'ha'dum.

"Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?" is the question nobody seems to be asking except G'Kar, who cannot forget that the security chief was a friend to him when no one else was. So, at the risk of being captured by Centauri forces and executed as a war criminal, G'Kar leaves his sanctuary on Babylon 5 to look for Garibaldi. Marcus comes along to help, but when he leaves to follow up on a lead, G'Kar gets captured and delivered to Emperor Cartagia (pictured, played by Wortham Krimmer). The Emperor makes a gift of him to Londo. The latter, in turn, recruits G'Kar into his conspiracy to kill Cartagia, promising to set the Narn people free. Meanwhile, we see glimpses of Garibaldi being held prisoner, interrogated, and drugged. And back on Z'ha'dum, a mysterious alien named Lorien (recurringly played by Wayne Alexander for the first half of this season) informs Sheridan that he is caught between life and death, thanks in part to a piece of Kosh that the late Vorlon Ambassador left inside him.

"The Summoning" is the episode where both Garibaldi and Sheridan come back to B5 after two weeks M.I.A. - Sheridan literally risen from the dead, and Garibaldi ejected from an exploding spaceship in a "rescue" that, even to Zack Allan (pictured here with Garibaldi), seems anticlimactically easy. Their return comes none too soon. The alien alliance that has enabled B5 to stand up to the Shadows is teetering on the brink of breaking apart when Sheridan makes his dramatic reappearance. And now the Vorlons' mysterious plans have finally became clear. Armed with a "planet-killer" weapon, a fanatical Vorlon fleet begins purging the galaxy of the Shadows, along with every world the Shadows have touched.

"Falling Toward Apotheosis" carries the Vorlon crisis even further, as the Vorlon fleet cuts a planet-killing swath across the galaxy. Londo knows that he has only a few days to rid his planet of Shadow influence, including Morden and an entire island full of Shadow vessels. He cannot convince his Emperor to throw out the Shadows, because the insane Cartagia actually wants to see his world destroyed at the moment he ascends to godhood. Nevertheless, Londo cleverly manipulates Cartagia into moving the site of G'Kar's execution to the Narn homeworld, in order to facilitate the assassination on which both worlds' future depends. Meanwhile, Sheridan knows that he has to get rid of the new Vorlon ambassador if his alliance has any chance of halting the genocide. After a security team unsuccessfully attempts to escort not-Kosh off the station, Lyta lures him into a trap. Blown out of his encounter suit, the Vorlon reveals his true appearance, attacking everybody in sight with tentacles of light and bolts of energy. Luckily, Sheridan still carries a piece of the old Kosh in him, a piece which comes out and wrestles the bad Vorlon off the station and onto a Vorlon ship, which then explodes. The episode ends with Delenn learning that, even after Lorien (pictured here) has done all that he can, Sheridan only has twenty years to live; and with Emperor Cartagia, having agreed to hold G'Kar's trial on Narn, flippantly deciding to have one of G'Kar's eyes put out.

"The Long Night" is the suspenseful episode where Londo and Vir finally carry out their plan to kill Centauri Emperor Cartagia, with an assist from a rampaging prisoner G'Kar and a syringe full of neurotoxin. As a result Narn becomes free, Londo becomes the Prime Minister, and Vir is forced to live with the knowledge that his hand struck the fatal blow. Meanwhile, the Shadows have begun to retaliate against the Vorlons' policy of wiping out entire worlds that have harbored them. Now, with all the galaxy's "younger races" caught between these super-powered antagonists, the board is set for Sheridan's desperate last move: luring both hostile forces into a face-to-face confrontation, thanks in part to a suicide mission by a Ranger named Ericsson (pictured here, as played by Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston of "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Breaking Bad").

"Into the Fire" ends the Shadow War with a huge, final battle involving the Shadows, the Vorlons, and an alliance fleet led by Sheridan. This fleet is supported by a full set of "First Ones," ancient alien powers who have been recruited for one last stand by Lorien, the eldest of all. Meanwhile, racing to rid Centauri Prime of any Shadow influence that could provoke the approaching Vorlons into destroying his world, Londo nukes the island where the Shadows have their base and fulfills Vir's wish of being able to wave daintily at Morden's severed head. So yes, folks, this is the end of the ride for that recurring villain... almost. In the end, Sheridan persuades the First Ones (Shadows, Vorlons, Lorien and all) that the younger races no longer need them to guide their evolution. So the ancient powers pack it in and head out beyond the Rim, into the unknown darkness between the galaxies, where (one gathers) all the fully-evolved races are moving these days, and maybe the humans (and Minbari, Centauri, Narns, etc.) will join them there someday. At bottom, the idea of this episode seems to be that on a given date in Anno Domini 2261, the sentient races of the galaxy will finally realize that they don't need their gods anymore; and the gods, simultaneously reaching the same conclusion, will leave them alone to take care of themselves. How ironic! In a show that, in contrast to Star Trek, frequently treats the long-term survival of traditional religion in a positive light, JMS may have passed the clearest sci-fi message that, in the fullness of time, people will progress beyond their need for God.

"Epiphanies" is an episode foreshadowing conflict to come. In the brief pause after the end of the Shadow War, Psi Cop Alfred Bester comes aboard with news of a new Earthgov plot to discredit Babylon 5. The idea is for a shipful of Psi Corps telepaths to ambush an Earthforce patrol blockading one of the hyperspace jump-points on the trade route between B5 and Earth. If the attack is made to look like the work of Sheridan's forces, President Clark can then use it to inflame public opinion against the alliance. Bester offers to betray his own people in exchange for an opportunity to save his sometime lover Carolyn, whose brain has been altered by Shadow technology in a way that only the Shadows know how to undo. But when Bester and Lyta travel to Z'ha'dum to see what they can scavenge from what the departing Shadows left behind, Lyta purposely triggers the planet's self-destruct defense system in order to keep Shadow technology out of Psi Corps hands. Meanwhile, the rift between Sheridan and Garibaldi continues to widen, so that the latter quits his job. And finally, the still-unnamed Centauri minister (pictured here, as played by Damian London), appointed as regent to the imperial throne, is revealed to have something nasty growing on his shoulder. From a previous episode's "flash-forward" we gather that this creature is something called a "Keeper." As we will soon learn, it belongs to one of the alien races that used to serve the Shadows, races seen in this episode evacuating from Z'ha'dum.

"The Illusion of Truth" is Babylon 5's bitterest depiction of the way the press can be manipulated to serve government interests. A reporter from ISN news persuades Sheridan to let him and his crew film interviews during an otherwise uneventful day on B5. Even expecting that what they say and do on film will be twisted into propaganda against them, Sheridan and his crowd are shocked to see the use ISN makes of their footage. This is one of several B5 episodes that demonstrate aspects of the Orwellian nightmare of what an authoritarian regime can and will do to maintain its control over the lives and thoughts of its citizens. As an extreme exercise in manipulating information, it deserves to be studied by anyone working in the government, the media, or the commercial sector. Someday, perhaps rather sooner than you expect, your freedom may be threatened by people who use tactics similar to those shown in this episode. Henry Darrow (The High Chaparral and a three-time Trek guest) appears as a psychiatrist who speculates on Sheridan's mental health.

"Atonement" guest-stars Reiner Schöne (pictured here, also a guest on TNG) as Dukhat, the Minbari leader of blessed memory. He appears in "the Dreaming," a Minbari ordeal Delenn undergoes to examine her motives for becoming half-human. Delenn's dreaming reveals her background as Dukhat's star pupil, her role in starting the holy war against humanity triggered by Dukhat's tragic death, and a clue from Dukhat's whispered last words indicating that Delenn was never "pure" Minbari in the first place. Rather, she is one of many descendents of Valen who, after all, was the very human Jeff Sinclair halfway transformed into a Minbari. While objections to Delenn's plans to marry Sheridan are thus mooted, Marcus and Stephen travel to Mars as unlikely partners in a crucial, secret mission.

"Racing Mars" introduces Marcus and Stephen (pictured here) to a resistance cell on Mars led by "Number One" (played by Marjorie Monaghan, next picture down). They have a hard time convincing the Mars resistance to think of B5 as an ally, since the Earthgov communications blackout and a steady diet of ISN propaganda has left folks on Mars ignorant of, for example, the entire Shadow war. It doesn't help that their guide, "Captain Jack," is possessed by the first Keeper our guys have ever seen; his last act, before blowing himself up, is to make an attempt on Number One's life. Meanwhile, back on B5 (my synopses sound more and more like voice-overs from "Bonanza"), Garibaldi sets himself up as a hardboiled detective. A wise guy named Wade (played by Mark Schneider, two pictures down) hires him to help his shady employer smuggle pharmaceutical specimens past customs. And Garibaldi and Sheridan have a tense confrontation over the growing differences between them, each more convinced than ever that the other has changed for the worse.

"Lines of Communication" features the Mars resistance leader Number One (pictured here) agreeing to work with Sheridan against Earth Alliance Pres. Clark. A growing chemistry between Number One and Dr. Franklin may have something to do with this; there is one scene, for instance, where Marcus listens with chagrin as Stephen and Number One make an alliance of their own ("Ohhh, Stephen!"). Ivanova sets up B5's former War Room to broadcast the "Voice of the Resistance," an alternative to the steady stream of anti-B5 propaganda on ISN. But first, she must visit the Great Machine on Epislon 3, where another Zathras (there seem to be 9 or 10 of them, all identical, all with the same name) helps her obtain the type of transmitter needed to reach everybody with her broadcast. Ivanova's scene with Zathras #2 is one of the season's lighter moments. And, in time for the obligatory "meanwhile," Delenn leads a White Star fleet to meet the Drakh, a race that formerly served the Shadows and is now looking after itself. In their bizarre first appearance, the Drakh are digitally manipulated to appear to shimmer, as if not quite tuned to the same frequency of space-time as the rest of us. Nevertheless, as Delenn finds out, their ships are just as capable of killing and being killed as the next enemy.

"Conflicts of Interest" pulls Garibaldi deeper into the criminal world of William Edgars, the boss behind Wade (pictured here). His current job is to bodyguard Edgars' wife, who turns out to be Garibaldi's ex-girlfriend Lise, as she hand-carries another top-secret experimental drug through B5. It's the kind of thing that mustn't be noticed by Customs or Security. For some reason, however, a bunch of telepaths are after Lise, leading to an intense scene in which Garibaldi, Wade, and Lise flee through the air ducts. It doesn't help that Zack Allan is gradually becoming convinced that his old boss isn't coming back, and he starts taking steps to limit Garibaldi's freedom to move throughout the station. Ivanova begins broadcasting as the Voice of the Resistance, and Sheridan becomes concerned about the Drakh attacking alien transport ships.

"Rumors, Bargains, and Lies" shows Sheridan to be a master of Macchiavellian tactics when he manipulates first Londo and G'Kar, then the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, to allow the Rangers to patrol their borders. Meanwhile (there's that word again!), Delenn tries to enlist the cooperation of her Warrior-Caste rival Neroon to stave off a civil war on Minbar. Members of her own Religious Caste, however, misinterpret Delenn's overtures as an attempt to surrender. In a desperate act of betrayal, the Religious sabotage Delenn's ship with a canister of toxic gas aimed at their air circulation system. Lennier saves the day but nearly pays with his life. In spite of Delenn's efforts to stop the civil war, Neroon betrays her and runs back to his own caste with information that will deliver the Minbari capital city into their hands.

"Moments of Transition" closes the arc of the Minbari civil war, and brings John Vickery's recurring role as Neroon to an end. As the Warrior Caste presses the Religious Caste into a corner from which it can only emerge by surrender, Delenn finds a way to restore the balance of her society. It involves a test of leadership called the Starfire Wheel (pictured here), an iris-like opening that admits a focused beam of sunlight into the Minbari temple where Valen established the Grey Council. Whoever stands in the Wheel while the iris is fully open will die a hideous, burning death - but whoever steps out of it in time to survive, thereby shows that his caste is unfit to rule. Delenn challenges Shakiri, leader of the Warrior Caste, to this ordeal, but after all his talk about honor and sacrifice he is unwilling to put his own life on the line. At the last moment, Neroon sacrifices himself to save Delenn, declaring in his last words that he now considers his true calling to be religioius, and urging his people to follow Delenn. She sets up a new Grey Council in which 5 of the 9 members belong to the often-overlooked Worker Caste. Meanwhile, Garibaldi gets a warning from his new boss Mr. Edgars, forbidding him to employ Lyta or any other telepath. Lyta, who has been going broke since her Vorlon protectors left the galaxy, is forced to accept Bester's offer of a way back into Psi Corps. The scene where Garibaldi fires her, followed by a shot of Lyta weeping as she pulls on the black gloves of the Psi Corps, is one of the series' most moving instances of dialogue-free storytelling.

"No Surrender, No Retreat" follows up on Sheridan's decision, at the end of the previous episode, that "Enough is enough!" It's time to go on the offensive against Pres. Clark and forces loyal to him, now that Earthforce is attacking civilian targets. Their first battle is over the breakway colony Proxima 3, which has been blockaded to the point of starvation by Earthforce ships. The trick will be to distinguish between the ships that have fired on civilian targets and those that have avoided doing so -- and between those captains who will join Sheridan's rebellion against Clark, vs. those who will fight to the last man standing. One of the latter captains, pictured here, is played by Ken Jenkins, late of "Scrubs" and TNG's third-season episode "Evolution." Also, this is the episode where Garibaldi - fed up with what he perceives as Sheridan's delusion of being "the second coming" - makes up his mind to leave Babylon 5, possibly forever.

"The Exercise of Vital Powers" features no less a guest star than Efrem Zimbalist Jr., late of "77 Sunset Strip" and "The F. B. I." Zimbalist plays William Edgars, Garibaldi's secretive employer who until now has been heard but not seen. Edgars reluctantly allows Garibaldi to visit him and his wife Lise (Garibaldi's ex) on Mars. Garibaldi's opening and closing voice-over ("I can't believe I'm back on Mars...") is like the narration of a hardboiled novel or a noir film, and it gives this episode a certain memorable quality that makes it stand out as a series classic. On the other hand, when I first saw it in 1997, I thought: "What the heck is going on? Garibaldi has broken up with Sheridan and left B5?? Is this for real???" But then again, it was the only episode of this season that I saw back then. It's no wonder I was confused. A lot had happened, especially to Garibaldi. Nevertheless, you could well watch everything up to this point and wonder, "Is Garibaldi undercover? Could he really be considering this?" This being helping Edgars' ruthless plot to prevent telepaths from taking control of Earth. This having something to do with a bio-agent that causes telepaths to die horrible, excruciating deaths. This, finally, involving the betrayal of Garibaldi's former friend Sheridan as proof that he is committed to their cause. Speaking of experimenting with telepaths, back on B5 Lyta stumbles upon Stephen's latest experiment in unhooking his 100 frozen telepaths from the Shadow implants in their brains. In a classic "You've got your chocolate in my peanut butter" moment, they discover that Lyta can somewhat control these folks -- which brings Sheridan a step closer to using them as a weapon against Clark's forces.

"The Face of the Enemy" is a huge episode; there's just so much going on in it that it's hard to summarize briefly. Let's see if a list does the trick. (1) Sheridan pushes his forces closer and closer to Earth, in spite of heavy resistance made desperate by Pres. Clark's propaganda that Sheridan kills the crews of ships that surrender to him and replaces them with aliens. Things start to go more smoothly when the Earthforce captains who have crossed over to Sheridan's side speak out and explode that myth. Meanwhile, (2) at Sheridan's orders Stephen, Marcus, and Lyta ferry 30 frozen, Shadow-implant-affected telepaths to Mars to prepare for their part of the final assault. (3) Also on Mars, Garibaldi gives up information Earthforce needs to capture Sheridan's fugitive father, then offers Sheridan help saving his Dad. But it's a ruse, enabling Earthforce to capture Sheridan and potentially to cripple the resistance. But then we learn (along with Garibaldi himself) that (4) Bester has been using Garibaldi all along as a way to get to William Edgars and his anti-telepath virus. After Bester removes the telepathic suggestion from his mind, Garibaldi becomes himself again for the first time this year - and is left fully aware that he can never go back to B5, where everybody knows that he betrayed Sheridan. For example, (5) as Ivanova takes over command of the fleet, she orders anyone who sees Garibaldi to shoot to kill. And finally, (6) Wade and Edgars are found dead, but no one knows what happened to Lise...

"Intersections in Real Time" guest stars Raye Birk, who had recurring roles in the Naked Gun movies, "Due South," "Nightcourt, "Cheers," "The Wonder Years," "Silk Stalkings," "L.A. Law," and "Coach," and who also appeared more than once on Star Trek. Oddly, I always tend to remember him as the ridiculous Mr. Pinsky in Throw Momma from the Train. There is nothing ridiculous about his role in this episode as an interrogator who physically and psychologically brutalizes Sheridan. It's an intensely focused episode, playing out in "real time," almost like a stage play that has been filmed in a single take, and nearly all of it is a two-character drama between Sheridan and Birk's "William." Like "The Illusion of Truth," this episode is a rich study of the nature and tactics of a totalitarian regime, and it is among the darkest and grimmest episodes of an already deadly serious series. Wayne Alexander (who previously played both Sebastian and Lorien) returns as a Drazi torture victim whose willingness to cooperate with his interrogators ends (along with his usefulness to them) after Sheridan gives him a pep-talk.

"Between the Darkness and the Light" guest stars Bruce Gray as Sheridan's new interrogator, who favors the use of telepaths and hallucinogenic drugs as a method of extracting information. Current American viewers would probably recognize Gray as the actor who plays the ghost of Patricia Arquette's father-in-law on "The Medium"; he has also made multiple appearances on Star Trek, co-starred in Starship Troopers, and played the groom's father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. For all that, his role is relatively brief, since Garibaldi - on the point of being executed by Number One's resistance fighters - proves his innocence in Sheridan's capture by submitting to Lyta's mind-scan, then turns around and leads a daring mission to rescue Sheridan from his torturers. Meanwhile, G'Kar and Londo work together to get all the alien races on B5's council to send ships to support Sheridan's fleet. And Ivanova clings to life after receiving a paralyzing injury - one that must soon become mortal.

"Endgame," guest-starring frequent Trek guest Carolyn Seymour as Senator Crosby, brings the war to liberate Earth from the tyranny of President Clark to its ultimate climax. The fleet led by Sheridan batters down Earth's fierce, final resistance - then joins them in rushing to destroy the planet's defense grid before it turns against Earth. Found by the president's side, after his suicide at the point where surrender becomes imperative, is an eerie note saying, "Scorched Earth." Marcus, meanwhile, deserts the field of battle and rushes back to B5 with Ivanova's paralyzed and dying body. While en route, he ransacks Dr. Franklin's medical files, following the trail of a hunch to the alien artifact first seen in Season 1's "The Quality of Mercy" (Remember, the alien healing/killing device used by June Lockhart?). The episode ends with both Marcus and Ivanova both hooked up to the machine, the one sacrificing his life to save the other, and whispering "I love you" as he loses consciousness....

"Rising Star" is the episode where everybody figures out what to do about Sheridan after his resistance force successfully put an end to the Clark regime on Earth. Now that civil order has been restored, Sheridan's mutiny is an embarrassment - not least because it was both necessary and successful. The new President (pictured here, as played by Beata Pozniak) offers amnesty to everyone who followed Sheridan's orders, in return for his resignation from Earthforce. At the very meeting where this deal is publicly announced, however, Ambassadors G'Kar, Delenn, and Mollari make an announcement of their own: They, together with the non-aligned worlds, have voted to create an Interstellar Alliance, policed by the Rangers, and for their first president they have chosen... John Sheridan! After this earthshaking announcement, and a bit of ISN news coverage of some political fallout, Earth's application to join the alliance, the independence of Mars, the marriage of Sheridan and Delenn and their return to B5, we find Ivanova mourning the loss of Marcus just as she realized he was Mr. Right. The episode closes with the newly-promoted Captain Ivanova leaving the station and with an epilogue narrated in Delenn's voice, foretelling the Drakh War still to come, and apparently tacked on at a point when the fate of Season 5 was yet unknown. This episode marked Claudia Christian's last appearance as Ivanova except for the series finale, which (after all) was filmed right after this episode.

"The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" is the Season 4 finale that was filmed during the fifth production season, after TNT picked up B5 for its final year. In a break from the ongoing storyline, this episode shows glimpses of Earth history from 100, 500, one thousand, and one million years after the founding of the Interstellar Alliance. Each moment in history is viewed in terms of how succeeding generations remember Sheridan and his role in Earth history. It immediately becomes clear that an Earth-first fascist party, inspired by the late Pres. Clark's ideology, continues to run a full-court press against the politics of Sheridan, Delenn, and the Alliance. By 100 years in the future, when Delenn is still living but extremely aged and reclusive, historical pundits and biased journalists have already demonized Sheridan. It's wonderful, for a moment, to see them struck speechless when Delenn appears to shame them and to tell the world, one last time, that Sheridan was a great man. Then we see, 500 years on, a breaking point between Earth and the rest of the Alliance, fueled by xenophobic ideology that has continued to fester. An appalling attempt to use holographic, AI replicas of Sheridan, Delenn, Franklin, and Garibaldi to separate "goodfact" from "realfact" ends badly for the operator (played by Eric Pierpoint, pictured above), who doesn't take into account the resourcefulness of even a hologram of Garibaldi.

1,000 years on, Earth seems to be just starting to re-emerge from a technological dark age. Pictured here, Roy Brocksmith plays Brother Alwyn, one of an order of monks who study illuminated manuscripts of the legends of Babylon 5, passed down since the "Great Burn" 500 years before. Alwyn and another monk spend their part of the episode debating whether or not the legends are true, rather as today's scholars debate whether or not Beowulf or Arthur were historical persons. Finally, at the million-year mark, we glimpse Earth at the moment our sun goes supernova, by which time humanity has evolved to the level of the Vorlons and taken to the stars again. This certainly isn't as hopeful an outlook on mankind's future as, for example, Star Trek's. Some might even say it's a big let-down, considering the point reached at the end of "Rising Star." On the other hand, don't forget that the human colonies Mars, Proxima 3, Babylon 5, and perhaps others, were independent of Earth. So... I don't know. It isn't really over until the fat lady sings. Or in this case, until I've seen Season 5 and perhaps also the spinoff series Crusade. But I have to be honest: this season finale, daring though it was, left me bummed.

See also my review of Babylon 5 seasons one, two, and three. For comparison purposes, see also my season-by-season reviews of Star Trek, including TOS seasons one, two, and three; of TNG seasons one, two, three, four, and five; and of DS9 seasons one, six, and seven.

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