Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-02-08 Entry: "Babylon 5: The End Of Season Four"

Last two episodes, and we've got a wrap up episode first. "Rising Star" sees Ivanova up and around after Marcus sacrificed himself to heal her.

Londo and G'Kar are forming a very strange friendship, and the Regent of Centauri Prime is dying, so Londo'll have to go back and be Emperor in the new year... and we know how that turns out...

Bester comes to visit Sheridan on Earth (where he's turned himself in to face the consequences of his actions against Clarke), and he's a little upset that his lover might have been one of the telepaths that were used on the Mars mission. Of course, there's lots of threats and counterthreats here, and Sheridan has Bester's number as to what he's planning to do in the years ahead.

Garibaldi is looking for Lise on Mars, and he's not pulling any punches to find her.

Delenn has a plan that Londo finds very amusing... and more than a little crazy. When Sheridan resigns his position in Earthforce (to allow the rest of the crew amnesty for their actions) Delenn comes forward with the new Interstellar Alliance. A flyover of the White Star fleet, and a quick overview of their activities, followed by an offer to allow Earth to join, lead to them needing to find someone to negotiate with - the President of the new Alliance - John Sheridan.

John's father is released... and appointed as new Earth Ambassador to the Alliance. Obviously Earth has to concede something for membership, and Mars gets independence...

Ivanova, promoted to Captain, takes a position in command of one of the new Warlock class destroyers. Delenn and Sheridan get married...

And where is G'Kar's artificial eye?

And then we get the strange episode - "The Deconstruction Of Falling Stars" which sees a Ranger from faaaaaar in the future reviewing historical records of what for us is the future.

So we start with Sheridan and Delenn's return to Babylon 5 after their marriage. Still on January 2nd 2262, we have an ISN report with a bunch of talking heads arguing over the future of the Alliance.

Then we skip forward to 2362. Another bunch of talking heads on Earth, and in this case, they're playing down the contributions of Sheridan and Delenn - where they were just the nexus around which everything revolved and they themselves didn't do all that much. Apparently the first year of the Alliance was a bloody year, and the colony of telepaths was a bad idea.

So we have a Telepath War coming. And footage of Garibaldi being held hostage by some group - he's obviously been beated, but we don't see or hear anything from them. We do see Sheridan and Lochley decide not to bargain with terrorists for hostages, which obviously sells Garibaldi out... and the last shot we see is of someone firing a PPG at him.

And then there's the fiction that Delenn is still alive and living in seclusion, even though there's no way she could have lived for 140 years... at least until she wanders into the show. And she's still as melodramatic as ever.

Next, 500 years into the future, 2762, and we get a virtual environment, with a holographic cast. We do find out that Babylon 5 was destroyed in 2282 (or thereabouts), and that Earth's current policy is that the Alliance's policies are restrictive.

And we're back to facts the government have endorsed - propaganda to get Earth to break with the Alliance. Oh, okay, EarthGov is split, and heading for a civil war.

And while they're reprogramming Sheridan and Franklin to provide propaganda, Garibaldi is hacking the system to transmit the whole conversation and their complete plans to the other side.

And then, 1000 years later (so 3262), and Earth seems to be in a bit of a dark age. The Rangers are posing as monks and they're trying to preserve the knowledge that would have been lost 500 years ago, presumably in the war Garibaldi started...

They've got a book of records, and Lorien is in it, although space is closed to them so there's no way to determine the truth of it. Ivanova The Strong? Prophecies of Delenn the 3rd? The Rangers coming back to Earth... erm, you're having a crisis of faith but they're already there...

And then, the present... well, 1 million years after 2262... records being conveyed to New Earth, and the sun is going supernova... which seems a bit early doesn't it? Anyway, we see the human Ranger has evolved into a non-corporeal form in an encounter suit. In only a million years? Although I guess the timescales probably work out for the difference in age between the Vorlons and the Humans.

Okay, and there we are with the end of series 4. One to go, plus a bunch of not very good movies, and the killed-before-its-prime Crusade. And then we can watch something else... Yay!

So season 4, how was it? It started well, building up Sheridan's return, and the Shadow War finale... then it sort of lost its way for a bit... they had this Minbari Civil War going on that I either blanked out on large chunks of or it was really disjointed and not particularly interesting to follow. Then we had the war against Earth, which had a few good space battles, lots of interminable buildup, some good Garibaldi stuff, and then two naff slow episodes at the end. Not as stellar as I remember anyway... and now we've got to suffer through Season 5... which if I remember correctly starts really, really slowly! It should pick up a bit towards the Centauri Prime episode who's title pretty much gives the game away...

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