Babylon 5: The Coming of Shadows

The Centauri Emperor comes to visit Babylon 5. A number of events, however, combine to lead to a disasterous result for everyone.

Okay, this is one episode that turns everything on its head again. No wonder it won a Hugo.

Emperor Turhan of Centauri Prime decides to come to Babylon 5 for a visit. G’Kar isn’t happy about this at all. When Sheridan refuses to keep the Emperor away, G’Kar decides to take matters into his own hands and kill the Emperor. Before he can do so, however, the Emperor has a heart attack and collapses. He insists on Franklin delivering a message to G’Kar for him. The Emperor came to Babylon 5 risking his health to apologize to the Narn for what his people did to them. This was the only action he chose in his life. G’Kar is quite surprised and touched by this.

Meanwhile, Lord Refa is on station again. They both believe the Emperor is old and weak (I am not just taking physically week here). When the Emperor collapses, they know the Centauri will so be fighting to decide who will lead. Londo decides to ask Mr. Morden for assistance in attacking a Narn outpost in Quadrant 14. Refa will get what Centauri forces he can there after to claim credit. This will assure their faction will be the ones in power. After Refa leaves, Vir does his absolute best to get Londo to change his mind about this, but Londo doesn’t listen, much to his later eternal regret. G’Kar sees Londo in the Zocalo, and buys him a drink, saying that after what he has learned about the Emperor he is finally to start forgiving. This after Londo has given the order for the attack. You can see Londo thinking it on his face — what have I done?

Londo has a dream. He sees dark ships racing across the sky above him — Shadow ships though he doesn’t know this. He sees himself as Emperor. The then sees himself as a sick old man, and finally, being strangled by G’Kar. all the while, a dark hand coming out of a sun interspersed between these scenes. All these scenes are very telling. By the time Londo wakes up again, the attack on Quadrant 14 has already begun.

G’kar is naturally enraged when he learns the truth. It takes Sheridan with a full security team as back up and strong arguments to stop G’Kar: killing Londo will only assure that any Narn survivors will be killed in retaliation.

Meanwhile, Garibaldi has a very persistent human visitor. (We also get our second sight of Zack Allan – we also get his name this time.) Finally, Garibaldi agrees to listen to him alone for five minutes. The visitor gives Garibaldi a message. It is from Sinclair. The visitor is a Ranger, both Minbari and Humans watching for now for the return of the enemy. President Clark naturally knows nothing of this. Sinclair asks Garibaldi to help the Rangers and let them gather information on Babylon 5. Garibaldi agrees, in return for information exchange. The Ranger readily agrees. (Okay, it may be late to start, but time to play spot the Rangers!) The Ranger also says that the ancient enemy are really the ones responsible for the attack on Quadrent 14.

The Emperor gets his last wish, seeing a Vorlon, but Kosh’s words are not comforting. Before dying, Refa and Londo come see him. The Emperor condemns their actions. Only they know it, however. Refa has also had Prime Minister Malichi assassinated to prevent him taking power.

Garibaldi passes on the information the Ranger gave him to Sheridan, but refuses to reveal his source. Sheridan lets it pass when Garibaldi says he will never be trusted again if he does reveal his source. Sheridan then uses the information to blackmail the Centauri into letting any Narn survivors go. The Narn declare war against the Centauri.

Two last notes. Garibaldi isn’t the only one to get a note from Sinclair. Delenn did as well. The conversation between the Emperor and Sheridan is excellent.

Prime Minister Malichi, loyal supporter of the Emperor.

Emperor Turhan no longer cares for the trappings of power.

Vir tries to change Londo’s mind.

What are those ships?

Londo as Emperor.

What have I done?

Zach Allen tells Garibaldi he has a persistent prisoner.

Ranger on duty.

G’Kar enraged. Not that I blame him.

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