Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-01-31 Entry: "B5, With A Vengeance"

B5 Season 4 begins slowly, but then, when they've killed the Captain and vanished Garibaldi, the first few episodes are just going to be getting the ensemble back together. "The Hour Of The Wolf" opens 7 days after the finale... Ivanova is blaming herself, Delenn is fasting (for 7 days? Is she mad?!), Londo has returned to Centauri Prime, and the opening commentary is now given by all the cast instead of just one of them. And we're back to something like the original title music, after the strangeness that was the season 3 theme.

Mr Morden shows up on Centauri Prime, looking a little the worse for wear after being caught in the explosion on Z'ha'dum. He worries Londo by telling him that the Emperor has agreed to allow Shadow ships to use a small island as a base.

Delenn meets with the new Vorlon ambassador... and Lyta seems to be missing her gills... what happened there? G'Kar is looking for Garibaldi. And Londo witnesses the image from his dream of the Shadow ships flying overhead.

Okay, Sheridan is dead... but he's also wandering around stone tunnels in a big hooded cloak. Oh, and he's not the only one wandering around the tunnels...

Vir and Londo form a conspiracy to kill the Emperor, who's clearly insane.

And then, in "Whatever Happened To Mr. Garibaldi?" Sheridan has a long talk with Lorien, who sounds like the Inquisitor, and talks like a Vorlon. He seems to know all the questions - Who are you? What do you want? Oh, and he seems pretty sure that the Captain is dead.

G'Kar and Marcus search for Garibaldi. Unfortunately, G'Kar is captured by the Centauri and paraded in front of Londo by the Emperor.

Delenn is sick - Franklin wants her to start eating again. After finding a diary entry in the Captain's things, she decides to make a last strike on the Shadows at Z'ha'dum, with the entire Ranger fleet. Something to do with falling off a mountain and learning how to fly.

And Garibaldi is locked in a metal room.

G'Kar and Londo make an agreement to remove Cartagia from the throne, in return for the Centauri leaving Narn.

Ivanova has been teaching herself Minbari but I think she needs some more practice. I'm not sure what a hatrack ratcatcher is, but finding one in the heat of battle may be a problem. The Centauri are treating G'Kar as the court fool. "The Summoning" sees an opening with more personal diaries. Ivanova, Franklin, now Delenn. Then we see Marcus and Ivanova's search for the First Ones.

Zack gets a lead on Garibaldi, but no-one's heard from G'Kar... well, obviously... but you would have thought there was more news from the Centauri on his capture. So Zack has to pursue the lead on his own.

Lyta seems to be missing all her furniture. And she knows that something is brewing with the Vorlons, but she doesn't know what.

The rescue of Garibaldi goes badly when the ship he was on is destroyed when they try to disable it. However, they're lucky that he was in the only lifepod ejected. But what's happened to him during his captivity?

During their search, Ivanova and Marcus discover a huge Vorlon fleet hiding in hyperspace.

The Captain returns to station, persuading the League that they should continue their alliance against the Shadows. But the Vorlons have other plans - they're taking the war to the Shadows, destroying anyone and anything touched by them. Including whole planets...

The Vorlon planet-killer is still on the march in "Falling Towards Apotheosis" and Garibaldi is suspicious of the Captain and his new alien friend. Oh, and if we needed more proof that the Centauri Emperor is insane (other than his shadow cabinet of decapitated heads of ministers, that apparently talk to him), there's the fact that he won't blockade Centuari Prime against the Vorlon fleet, preferring to let it burn, lighting the way to his godhood.

There's a lot of wounded fleeing to Babylon 5 from the Vorlon fleet. Garibaldi is still convinced the Captain doesn't trust him since his return. And they want to get the Vorlon ambassador off the station... so Garibaldi has to ask him.

That didn't go so well... but the Captain has another plan, involving the fragment of Kosh that still remains in him. Delenn finds out that the Captain's return is only for a short while - Lorien isn't able to keep him alive forever... only a portion of his life was returned. In this case 20 years. But when Sheridan tells her, he also proposes marriage.

Londo only has 7 days before the Vorlon fleet get to Centauri Prime... so he has to move quickly to get rid of the Emperor... and so he suggests the trial of G'Kar on the Narn homeworld. Unfortunately, the Emperor has one more punishment for G'Kar before they go... and Londo misses another of his chances at redemption.

On to disc 2, and Sheridan's fleet is almost ready. But the Shadows release their own planet killing creation, to counter the Vorlon planet-killer. Londo plots with other loyal Centauri to stop Cartagia. It's "The Long Night" and Ivanova has to go searching for more First Ones... with Lorien's help perhaps they'll find some this time!

G'Kar breaks free of his shackles, and runs rampant in the court. Cartagia flees, and Vir ends up killing him. Londo uses the death to persuade the Centuari to leave Narn forever, but he manages to get put into the position of Prime Minister... which was obviously not his intention.

Reports on the Shadow planet-killer also include details of where the Vorlon fleet is going to strike next - Corianus 6 - a planet with six billion inhabitants. Sheridan has a crazy plan - delay the Vorlon advance on the planet, but invite the Shadows to fight them. For that he has to order the deaths of one of the White Star crews...

And then, the war... "Into The Fire" sees Ivanova collecting the last of the First Ones for the fight with the Shadows and Vorlons.

Unfortunately, in defending Corianus 6, they've left Centauri Prime undefended... well, except for whatever defence the Centauri can put up now that they're free of the Shadow influence. Londo finds out who killed Lady Adira... and the perpetrator gets what's coming to him... and Vir is the only one who gets what he wants from the Shadows.

But Londo has miscalculated... there is still something that has been touched by the Shadows on Centuari Prime... Londo himself. Fortunately, the First Ones attack on the fleets causes the Vorlons to call for reinforcements, indirectly saving Centauri Prime.

And then there's the slightly silly telepathic conversation with Sheridan and the Vorlons, and Delenn and the Shadows. And then Sheridan gives them a good talking to, and tells them to "get the hell out of our galaxy" and so everyone leaves.

Huh, if only we'd known that all they had to do was sit them down and give them a stern lecture, it would have saved a whole lot of strife and bloodshed. And so begins the Third Age of Mankind.

And because I'm a sucker for punishment, I get to watch an hour of Charmed... and now that they're living in utopia (and Brody is dead), it's up to Leo to realise everything is bad and he has to undo what has been done. I presume they're going to kill him off here (especially if the rumours about the 150th episode are anything to go by). Huh... Kerr Smith is still listed as a guest star... flash backs?

Huh? Another unbeatable bad-guy defeated by a stern talking to... what is it with these omnipotent villains? And Leo is back... but he has to answer to the Elders... and that won't go well... Oh, but Brody is back... how did that happen? Oh, they made him a whitelighter. What a cop out. But I guess one of the sisters need to hang on to a boyfriend eventually. Hold it - he's leaving? But if he's a whitelighter he could drop in whenever he had a free moment!

Back to B5, and there's another war to deal with - this time against Earth. Although everyone is celebrating the end of the Shadow war, "Epiphanies" sees the Psi-Corps given orders by the President to shut down Babylon 5.

Garibaldi gets a mysterious swirly graphic sent to him... so what has he been programmed to do? Well, resign apparently. Londo's back on the station, and so's Bester. Oh, and the President has ordered that no Earth ship is allowed to or from Babylon 5.

Bester insists on going to Z'ha'dum in return for information on the President's plans. There's a bunch of allies of the Shadows leaving when they get there, and the planet blows up. Where have those allies gone? Centauri Prime by the looks of things.

Zack tries to make friends with Lyta... who's definitely more than the P5 she was rated as...

The next episode, "The Illusion Of Truth" sees ISN come to B5 to make another report. Of course, with the network in government hands and the President determined to shut down B5, this is going to be a very skewed report...

Wow, it's like watching Fox News... Government propaganda, masquerading as hard-hitting news reportage. The allegedly qualified expert spouting any rubbish that follows the party line. Yes, definitely an offspring of the Murdoch "news" enterprise.

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