Monday, December 17, 2012

B5 Rewatch: All Alone in the Night

Hello! Welcome to another installment of my Babylon 5 rewatch! Today I'll be looking at the eleventh episode of season two, "All Alone in the Night." Spoilers, spoilers, everywhere.

Shall we proceed?

Let Me Sum Up

Delenn is called to a meeting of the Grey Council to discuss her status since her transformation. She also mentions that their people have a new leader. Lennier decides to go with her.

Several transports have encountered trouble or gone missing in a nearby sector and since it is in the station's jurisdiction, Sheridan decides to take Delta Squadron out to investigate.

General Hague, a member of the Joint Chiefs, is coming to visit the station, and more specifically Sheridan, on what the Captain says is a private matter.

Sheridan and a pair of fighters from Delta Squadron arrive at the troubled sector and don't find anything much of note. There is quite a bit of debris from ships that have had trouble there, but that's it. Sheridan calls it a mission and they start prepping to go back when a jump window opens up in front of them. A ship comes barreling out, attacking on sight, and Sheridan's fighter is hit. He manages to evacuate but then the enemy ship scoops him up and jumps away. The only other survivor of the attack is Lieutenant Ramirez, and his fighter is badly damaged.

Delenn finds that she was summoned by the Council not to be one of them but to receive judgement for her decision to transform against their wishes. They have decided to remove her from the Council. She asks what about her position as an ambassador on Babylon 5 and is told the Council is still debating this matter. If she wishes, she may speak before them before they make their decision. She says yes, she wishes to.

In captivity, Sheridan wakes up strapped down to a table by some sort of cocoon. A probe device descends from the ceiling to examine him. When it is done, it retracts and a lead pipe is dropped near Sheridan. His bonds loosen and he barely has enough time to free himself before a Drazi is sent into the room, similarly armed. The Drazi begins attacking, but Sheridan notes that a device appears to be attached to his head. He recognizes it and realizes it is making the Drazi attack him. He pleads with the Drazi to fight the control of their captors, defending himself but refusing to fight back. The Drazi is accidentally impaled on Sheridan's pipe and as he falls over, he vanishes. Another armed alien, a Narn, appears behind Sheridan before he has a chance to process what just happened. He begins attacking Sheridan and begs for Sheridan to kill him. Sheridan realizes this is what their captors want, assuming it is some kind of sport or entertainment for them. He refuses to oblige, knocking his second opponent unconscious instead.

Ramirez makes it back to the station, barely alive, and is rushed to MedLab. He is completely contaminated with radiation and does not survive, despite Franklin's valiant attempts. But his Starfury did at least contain the data regarding Sheridan's abduction, so that Ivanova and Garibaldi know about it. Though, as Garibaldi points out, the ship is of unknown origin. That means they don't know where it came from or where it's going. Still, they have something to work with.

Delenn speaks before the Council, reminding them that she underwent her transformation to further its cause to prevent or prepare for the coming war against the Shadows. She says that their insistence on maintaining borders between the Minbari and human races is petty and will only damage their efforts. She begs them to let her at least remain on Babylon 5 to continue her works, and to keep her sacrifice from having been in vain. One of the Nine speaks up and says smugly that he is more than happy to let her remain with the humans.

She asks if she knows him and he pulls back his hood to reveal that he is Neroon, of the warrior caste and the Star Rider clan. Delenn is outraged that a warrior was chosen to replace her. The council has traditionally been made up of three members from each caste. She should have been replaced with one of the religious caste. The appointment of Neroon has given the warriors unprecedented influence over the Council. Neroon says that if there really is a war coming that is as it should be. He says she isn't Minbari anymore, and decries all of her actions and those of the Council for keeping itself isolated and hiding the truth from the rest of their people. He clearly does not want to embrace the humans that share Minbari souls. He says that regardless, she is the perfect liaison between the two races, having no place with either, so he decrees that she should return to the station, and stay there.

Sheridan gets the mind-control device off of the Narn while he is unconscious and disables it. When he wakes up, Sheridan asks if he has any idea what the purpose of the ship might be. The Narn speculates it is a scout for an invasion, designed to capture different races and analyze their behavior and abilities. Sheridan starts making plans to try to escape but the Narn declares it impossible before passing out again. Sheridan does not give up, however, realizing that he may be able to use the Narn's sword to lever the door open.

Meanwhile, Ivanova and her people have been busy trying to track down the ship. She has recalled all of the station's fighters and put them on standby. They've also alerted all of the ambassadors and representatives aboard, knowing that the other species have an interest in stopping this foe as well. Hague reached out to Sheridan's old ship, the Agamemnon, for help as well. As he says to Ivanova, they have an army now, they just need a target. The ship has been dropping in and out of space and they've manged to pick up its signature. If they can act quickly enough when it comes out again, they might be able to ambush it.

Delenn returns to the station and asks why she had difficulty making contact with them. They inform her of the situation and she asks for the details on the ship that took Sheridan. She gets patched through to Ivanova and tells her that her people know of this ship. It belongs to a race called the Streibs, who operate much as the Narn with Sheridan suspected. They once made the mistake of trying the same thing in Minbari space. The Minbari followed them back to their home world and made it clear that doing so was a bad idea. She is able to pass the location of that home world on to Ivanova.

When the Streib ship arrives at its home world, Ivanova, the Agamemnon, and Delenn are waiting for it. They begin attacking (aiming for disabling targets only), and Sheridan and the Narn take advantage of the distraction to escape their cell. They manage to make it to an escape pod, just in time, it turns out. The Streibs spaced the rest of their captives and in disgust Ivanova orders the fleet to stop holding back. The ship is destroyed. They detect the escape pod and prepare to fire upon it as well, but Ivanova picks up an SOS in Morse code and realizes it is Sheridan. He and the Narn are taken back to the station and treated for their wounds. The Narn is in critical condition but expected to survive. Sheridan is very disturbed to learn of Ramirez's death.

Hague pays a visit to Sheridan in his quarters. It turns out Sheridan was sent to be in charge of the station because not everyone in Earth Dome believes that Santiago's death was an accident as Clark and his regime is claiming. But. They need Clark to keep thinking they do. Sheridan is in the unique position of looking like a mindless grunt who follows orders explicitly while actually being his own man completely willing to do what he needs to in order to protect the greater good. Hague confirms that he and his cohorts believe that Psi Corps is calling the shots on Earth and starting to move to take over the government fully. He intends to stop that, and Babylon 5 is in a unique position to be able to help with that effort. If, that is, Sheridan trusts his staff enough to bring them in on the effort. He does, and after Hague leaves, he calls Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin in to read them in on the situation.

From this point forward, the station is at the heart of the movement to stop Clark and Psi Corps. It is still going to be behind the scenes for now, but they are all officially on the same page.


Oh, Delenn is so sad that she might not get to come back to the station. I would be sad too. Yay for Lennier being supportive. Aw, he's such a good friend.

Sheridan must have cabin fever. Wow. "What could go wrong?" Really? You do know that saying that guarantees that something will, indeed, go wrong, right?

Lennier wants to go with Delenn! He will not be dissuaded otherwise, even though it might hurt his career. See, this is why he's my favorite. All of the hugs for him.

"Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you, Lennier?" (Delenn)
"Not really. But it will give us something to discuss on our trip." (Lennier)

Heh. And he could be making a joke or he could just be stating a fact. There's no way to know with him.

Ooh, Ivanova is not pleased that she wasn't told about this general coming to the station. Sheridan doesn't look too excited that Hague is coming early either.

It makes me happy that there's still a World Series even when humanity has spread into space. Also, apparently, the Dodgers are still a thing, and Mars has a team. I wonder if the World Series is truly a global event now? One can only hope.

Why do I get the feeling that this Lieutenant Ramirez is the token red shirt of the episode?

Sheridan is barely out of the station and already super jazzed to be going on an adventure.

Grey Council affairs, whoo! I love getting Minbari lore.

Well, that was almost a simple milk run. They stole Sheridan! That's not cool! Poor Ramirez is all alone with a radiation leak already at terminal levels. Ouch. Not good. Dang. At least he realizes how important it is that the ship and a message get back, even if he doesn't make it. That's harsh though.

Uh oh. The general has arrived before Sheridan is back. This is going to cause problems, isn't it? I mean, beyond just Sheridan being captured by an unknown enemy force.

This doesn't look like a Shadow ship. Oh, lovely, a probe thingy.

Back to the Council. Wow. It is kind of crazy to see Delenn look so unsure. Though it is certainly with good reason. They're kicking her off the Council, ouch. They're still debating whether she gets to stay on the station though. At least they'll let her get to speak in her defense on that matter. I did notice how he evaded her question about who replaced her though.

Looks like Ramirez made it back. Minimal life signs? That's better than none, right?

Is that a Drazi? With a glowy device in his head making him attack Sheridan? Fun. Of course he tries to talk his way out of it, remaining on defense rather than attacking. Then the guy just vanishes? Okay. Now here's the Narn from the opening sequence that we saw get attacked. He wants to be killed? That's never a good sign. So of course Sheridan refuses to play ball. He's a stubborn one.

Franklin will, of course, try to save Ramirez. Despite the odds. Franklin doesn't believe there's any such thing as a hopeless case, I'll give him that.

Time for Delenn to get her say.

"I have not turned my back on you. In trying to help I have sacrificed all that I was and all that I am. We can no longer allow ourselves to be separated by names and borders. Our two sides must unite or be destroyed." (Delenn)

Oh damn. Neroon is her replacement? That throws the whole Council out of balance. The "purity" of their race? No. Just no. Step away. When people start talking about the purity of their race and trying to reclaim it that is just not good. Sigh. At least this guy is too blinded by his anger to understand how crucial it is to keep Delenn on the station. He'd leave her there feeling smug that she's in exile. If he understood this allows her to continue her work then he would probably be fighting tooth and nail to have her locked up on the home world.

I wonder how much of naming Neroon to the Council was an apologetic reaction to wiping out the Star Riders back at the beginning of the season? The Minbari who showed up were not at all happy that they had to deal with the matter that way. Largely because, I think, the Star Riders are kind of an embarrassment and a source of pride them at the same time. Maybe they feel that by placing one of them on the Council, to spite the Ambassador to Babylon 5, no less, it exonerates the name of the clan a little? Maybe makes how things went down a little less shameful?

Poor Delenn. She gets what she wants but not at all how she had hoped. She definitely cannot rely on the cooperation of the Council anymore.

Heh. Sheridan was busy while his Narn buddy was out. I like that his first instinct is to remove the obstacle from making the other guy an ally.

"The first obligation of a prisoner is to escape, right?" (Sheridan)

Of course, the Narn doesn't really believe they have any sort of chance. Did he die? I can't tell.

Oh Lennier. You are so wonderful.

"Very soon now I will be going into darkness and fire. I do not know if I am fated to walk out again." (Delenn)

These two are my BROTP of the series.

Oh, Hague and Ivanova are working to track the ship that has Sheridan. Nice. Hague called Sheridan's old ship to help with the search. See, that poor Narn should have known better than to give up when Sheridan was in play.

Freaky mind trip time? Okay. Why not?

Oh...kay. That bit with Kosh was just creepy. "We were never away." Why do I think that one simple little phrase is COMPLETELY gonna turn out to be relevant foreshadowing?

Delenn knows about the ship that took Sheridan? The Streibs, eh? Ooh. I like this. She is not pleased at all that they are back and that they had the nerve to take her (future) honey bee.

Yay! The Narn is awake!

Damn. Ivanova led the charge to get Sheridan back. Awesome! Heh. Also, Delenn proves she is a total BAMF in this one. "If you remember our last confrontation..." Heheh.

Stubborn Narn is stubborn. Ooh, a survival pod! How fortuitous. Well, I am sure that Streib was making for it. But still.

They spaced their captives? I am with Ivanova on this one.

I love that science fiction writers find ways to make Morse code useful even so far into the future. Seriously. This makes me very happy.

Oh, hello Kosh. Nope, not creepy at all. Really. The Vorlons, man. Shudder.

Looks like Sheridan still has that meeting with Hague to get through. Hmm.

"There's always a crisis somewhere." (Hague)

That is an apt analysis of this show.

Hague has a jamming device? Interesting. Oh. He's being debriefed? His assignment had a larger purpose here, doesn't it? Ouch. He was sent to spy on the crew. Also, to deceive Clark into thinking that he's not going to make trouble like Sinclair did. Interesting. Not everyone on Earth believes Clark's lies. Awesome! So, Sheridan is on the same side as Ivanova and Garibaldi, they just need to make sure they all know it now. Hague too, and he's pretty high ranking in the government. This is a Good Sign.

Pieces are starting to be moved into place. We've got dissent in the Minbari government, a growing movement within Earth's government against its current leaders, the Rangers, and Delenn, working to unite the two races.

Time to read in Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin! Hopefully everyone can get their cards on the table. This moment right here, this is where Babylon 5 becomes its own force. This is where things start to get real.



Thank you for stopping by! Please drop in again tomorrow for the next episode, "Acts of Sacrifice."

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