Babylon 5: Points of Departure
The Babylon project was our last best hope for peace. A self-contained world five miles long, located in neutral territory. A place of commerce and diplomacy for a quarter of a million humans and aliens. A shining beacon in space, all alone in the night. It was the dawn of the third age of mankind, the year the great war came upon us all. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2259, the name of the place is Babylon 5.
–Captain John Sheridan
The music for this season’s opener is much more militaristic and empire-like feeling. You really get a sense that something is coming. The visuals are different, but in many cases echo those of the first season. One nice addition is the cast being shown with their names. Not my absolute favorite, but still very nice.
Sinclair is reasigned, and Captain John Sheridan is the new commander of Babylon 5. A Minbari warship appears, and the truth is finally revealed about what happened at the Battle of the Line.
So the first season ended with a bang. The second season begins with changes in assignment. Sinclair is invited to be the first permanent human ambassador on Minbar. Captain John Sheridan takes his place. Ivanova likes this choice, since she served with him on Io. The Minbari, however, are not pleased at all. This disapproval comes in the form of Hedronn, a member of the Grey Counsel. He also disapproves of Delenn’s actions, which is shared by others and will have later repercussions. Sheridan took out their biggest ship during the Earth-Minbari War by mining asteroids with nuclear bombs, a tactic the Minbari see as cowardly. This is not the best time for this change, as a renegade Minbari Warship is in the neighborhood.
Lennier, with permission from the Grey Counsel, tells Sheridan and Ivanova what happened at the Battle of the Line. Sinclair was taken aboard one of their ships, and was interogated with a crystalis (among other things). To their shock and dismay, the Grey Counsel discovered that he had at least a part of the soul of Valenn, their greatest leader. They knew Minbari souls had been migrating away from the Minbari people, but they never imagined they were going to humans. Minbari don’t kill Minbari, so for this reason and to save Minbari souls, they surrendered at the battle of the Line. But this was something the Grey Counsel knew their people were not ready for. So they kept the reason for the surrender to primarily themselves. This is how there can be a renegade Minbari Warship.
Sheridan, thankfully, is a master strategist, and he knows the Minbari well so he is able to avoid disaster for Babylon 5. When another Minbari Warship arrives in pursuit of the renegades, they self-destruct which is a waste.
You have to love Sheridan’s fascination with fresh fruits and vegetables, which is understandable given how long he was in deep space. He also gives the same speech whenever he goes to a new posting. The story about the Dali Lama is especially interesting.
Delenn is still in her cocoon, although it has started to crack, and Garibaldi still hovers between life and death. G’Kar presumably is still investigating the attack on his people.
All in all, an excellent beginning to a new season. I miss Sinclair, but story wise Sheridan is needed.
Captain John Sheridan, who had the only real victor against the Minbari during the war. A very cheerful guy, but there is more to him than meets the eye.
Kalain, a renegade warrior on station to cause trouble for the new captain.
Hedronn, member of the Grey Counsel from the religious caste. He does not approve of Delenn’s actions, or of Captain Sheridan.
Warren Keffer, ace starfurry pilot and expendable.
Sheridan takes command.