Babylon 5: The Long, Twilight Struggle

Sheridan gets an offer he can’t refuse from Draal. The Narn-Centauri War reaches it’s peak.

Let’s start with the lightest story first. Draal invites Sheridan down to Epsilon 3 for a visit. He says he may bring one other, which is obviously Delenn. Nice timing for Draal’s visit, by the way – right as Sheridan gets out of the Shower. Draal seems different from before, younger, more energetic. Delenn says he is as he was decades ago when he was her mentor – the effect of the Great Machine. Once under the planet’s surface, they meet Draal again, who says how he has been watching Sheridan. He knows about the Icarus and Anna, about the Shadows, and about Sheridan’s own “conspiracy of light” against his own government. And Draal proposes an alliance. Sheridan readily agrees. That is when Draal feels something momentous happen, and tells Sheridan he is needed back on station. We also learn (though we don’t actually see him) that Za’thras is apparently one of the helpers down on the planet.

Why does Draal send Sheridan back? To understand, we need to backtrack. G’Kar is told by his uncle, Warleader G’Stan, that the Narn are loosing badly. Their only chance is to hit the Centauri supply line hard and make them pause, but this requires the use of the bulk of their forces. G’Kar is worried that the Narn homeworld will be vulnerable, but G’Stan sees no alternative.

Unfortunately, Refa has through his agents learned of this plan. He has recalled Londo to Centauri Prime. He has the Centauri forces in hyperspace waiting to attack the Narn homeworld. He wants Londo’s associates to attack the Narn fleet. Londo is reluctant to bring the Shadows in again, having second thoughts. Refa argues that a quick win to the war will save Centauri lives. So Londo agrees, but says it is the last time.

Dr. Franklin calls in G’Kar to medlab. He talked to a refuge who was tortured by the Centauri and asked about defenses to the Narn homeworld. Also, the Centauri seem they may bypass the last Narn colonies to hit the Narn homeworld. G’Kar tells this to G’Stan, but the information is not enough to convince the old Narn. Unfortunately, G’Kar is right. The Shadows hit the Narn. When the Narn fleet tries to flee, the Shadows destabilize the jump points, destroying the fleet. And the Centauri fleet starts using weapons of mass destruction against Narn. Londo realizes his error, but it is too late.

The last order G’Kar has from his government is to ask for sanctuary on Babylon 5, which Sheridan readily gives. When Londo returns to Babylon 5, he announces the surrender of Narn and the terms: the Kha’Ri disolved, Narn as a Centauri protectorate, five hundred Narn killed for any Centauri, and G’Kar returned to Narn to face trial with the rest of the Kha’Ri. Sheridan refuses on this last point, and since Earth didn’t sign the surrender they have no obligation to honor it. But Londo still wants G’Kar removed from the counsel. To prevent further problems for Sheridan, G’Kar leaves, but not before giving a stirring speech about freedom. Later Sheridan pledges all is support in helping G’Kar win back the Narn homeworld.

Finally, as Draal asked earlier, Delenn introduces Sheridan to the Rangers and gives him co-command over the Rangers in their area – the first good news of the day. Sheridan gives a speech himself about standing firm against the darkness, whatever it’s form.

In my humble opinion, Refa wants that throne a little too much.

Warleader G’stan, a powerful Narn and G’Kar’s uncle. He should have listened to his nephew.

Draal seems to have adapted to the Great Machine well.

G’Kar somehow knows the Narn fleet has been destroyed by the Shadows.

Narn is being bombed back into the stone age.

Not for the last time, Londo is thinking “what have I done?”.

G’Kar faces Londo. If I were Londo, I would never sleep soundly again.

Delenn introduces Sheridan to the Rangers. Finally, something to be hopeful about.

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