Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time, Season 5: Episodes 21-22 (SERIES FINALE)

Surely, just a harmless gift from a friend right? Oh gosh… oh no! Oh my!

We made it! I never thought when I started watching Babylon 5 that it would turn from a show I had mild curiosity about into my favorite show of all time. Right around season 2, I already thought it might become my all-time favorite show. By the end of season 3, I knew it would have to be hugely messed up to not become my favorite show, and I started buying all the novels, comics, and random memorabilia I could find and afford. I started writing posts after season 1, and discussed the whole season in my first-ever post about the series. After splitting season 2 into two posts, I realized how much fun it was to analyze and discuss each episode, and started doing deeper reviews. I’m so glad to have had you all along the ride. Be aware: after I finish this first watch-through, the plan is to watch all the movies, the offshoots, read the books and comics, read books about the show, and re-watch the whole series, leaving reviews on here for each one as I go. There is so much more discussion coming, so keep checking in on the Babylon 5 Hub, and let me know what you think as we continue! Here, I’ll say, please DON’T SPOIL any books, movies, etc. for me or anyone else on this or previous posts in the series! 

Here we go, the discussion ending my first-ever watch of the entire series of Babylon 5! Once again, thanks for coming along on this journey with me, and I can’t wait to keep talking about the show, books, movies, and more with you.

21: Objects at Rest

This place “kind of grows on you.” – Summary of my thoughts about this whole series. My heart is full as I get towards the end. It’s perfection.

G’Kar leaves a message for Ta’Lon encouraging him to take up leadership of the Narn, as he also offers a number of beautiful pieces of advice. Dr. Franklin does something similar for his successor, noting that one has to be a generalist to be on Babylon 5. Lennier comes to speak with Delenn, and whistfully looks on at the photograph of Sheridan and Delenn together. Holloran briefs Sheridan on a number of problems and intelligence pieces. But Holloran will be staying behind on Babylon 5 to use it as a “hotbed of information,” as it is. Girabaldi offers the “troublemakers” at Edgars Industries a salary increase as well as numerous new aspects of their job, and Dr. Franklin departs in a solitary looking flyer to go take on his position. 

Sheridan and Delenn’s “secret” departure is broken on ISN, and they are forced into speaking. Sheridan defers to Delenn, which is somewhat hilarious. “Our souls are a part of this place… and we will pass this way again.” Yes! We love you, Babylon 5. I’m tearing up watching this part. The crowd parts to let them through, as they watch the statespeople of Babylon 5 leave. Zack says good bye in perfect fashion for him. Sheridan turns the ship around to finally look back at Babylon 5, his home for so many events and years. Lchochley salutes as Sheridan returns it, and they depart for the Minbari homeworld. 

Sheridan goes for a walk around the ship but gets caught up in a coolant leak. Lennier sees him, but doesn’t open the door, leaving Sheridan, apparently, to die! This is the betrayal! He goes back to help after his conscience catches up to him, but only after Sheridan has already saved himself and the Ranger or Minbari who was alongside. Sheridan glares at Lennier, who flees when Delenn asks what happened. 

The one thing that continued to irk me: what is happening with Mollari? Is he just going to be left to his isolationism and helping the Shadow-ally people for the rest of his life?

And… there he is! He says he was playing to the audience when it came to his cold attitude towards Delenn and Sheridan last time–a way to fire his people up for rebuilding. But as he sits at dinner with them, the Shadow creature seems to take over, in part, and Delenn possibly senses it. She leaves the dinner, though, to take a message from Lennier, who explains that he is hoping no longer to earn her love, but her forgiveness. As Sheridan and Delenn depart, Mollari assures them that they will always be his friends no matter what. He can’t–physically cannot–seem to share the pain and tribulation that he’s going through. We see him looking on as the ship departs, being praised by the Keeper and Shadow ally. The Keeper says “We await the passage of years… we are very patient.” Oh! And the gift that Mollari gave to Delenn and Sheridan has its own Keeper! I should have known! I did know! And I missed it. Somehow I wasn’t hugely suspcious. I’m so hoping they manage to stop it right now, turn around, and save Mollari! Come on! We can’t have the series end without this being tied up! 

Sheridan delivers a lengthy monologue to his future child while we see the people of Babylon 5 dispersed across space. It’s a lovely moment, but I can’t help but keep wondering: what about Centauri? What about the Keeper thing right in that urn! It’s right there! Will I have to wait for the books to wrap it up? I hope we get closure on this last major thread before the very end.

I thought I had time to dive into the last episode right away after this one, but I didn’t! So, I endured a somewhat agonizing wait for the last episode.

Rude.

22: Sleeping in Light

This is it! The Finale! 

We see all the series regulars hanging out in various places–I especially love the Dr. Franklin/Garibaldi friendship as a major thing 20 years later–and getting a certain type of envelope delivered by a Ranger. This, after Sheridan tells Delenn he is dying, because he was only granted a certain number of years on his resurrection-ish. Throughout, we get tantalizing hints of how the universe has developed in 20 years, with Vir as Emperor, and Londo a no-show, apparently? Ivanova is a general, off doing Earthforce things. 

Much of the episode is spent between Sheridan and Delenn, as one might expect, given that they’re essentially saying goodbye forever. They return to Babylon 5, and Sheridan is told that the station has “become sort of redundant.” He takes it in stride–the station and Sheridan are tied together, he assumes. And interspersed with this we see Lorien’s words: “one day, he will simply… stop.” 

Sheridan flies to Coriana 6, where he meets again with Lorien, and a bright light shines as he closes his eyes. Ivanova’s voice over tells us that they found his ship but his body was never seen again. Some Minbari apparently believe he’ll return one day, but she never saw him again. The assembled crew disperse from Babylon 5 as the crew shuts it down, and they fly away together as Babylon 5 is demolished. We hear Ivanova again. This time, she tells us Babylon 5 was the last of the stations, and that there was never another. The station changed the future by showing all the Alliance peoples that they have to care for each other, and that true strength comes from unlikely places. (I’m paraphrasing her here.) “Mostly though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings, even for people like us” she says. Delenn always watched the sun come up until the day she died, and apparently she’d occasionally see Sheridan sitting next to her. And that, after some flyovers showing the cast and crew quickly, is that. And I’m crying again.

The Finale was good, but really it felt like the last 3 episodes added up to a finale. Together, they make up a wonderful goodbye to the characters I’ve grown to love over 5 seasons.  I can’t say how much I loved this experience.

I will miss you, Babylon 5, but the good news is I can always come back. And, it’s clear that some of the canon novels will be covering the few threads left standing–and beyond. And I still have the movies. In particular, I want to find out about the following: Garibaldi vs. Psi Corps (possibly the premise for the Psi Corps trilogy?); What the hell happens with Mollari and the Keeper/Shadow things (possibly one of the movies or the Centauri trilogy of books?); where does G’Kar go with Lyta, and what happens? These are huge questions, but even if the main series were all we had, I’d be satisfied. It’s a beautiful, incredible experience. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best series that has ever been made. I’m a massive sicence fiction fan, and I’ve watched a lot of sci-fi, but this outstrips them all. My heart is full, and I love this series. The characters are amazing, and the story is amazing, and everything is amazing.

Thank you for coming along on this amazing journey. And it’s not over! Next, I’ll be watching the movies, Crusade, and reading the books and comics. Several of the books are considered “canon,” and I’m sure we’ll see a few of the questions I have left getting answered. I also plan to read and review several related works and rewatch the series with some insights from having seen it once before (and some read-along books, too!). Again, thank you! Let’s continue, together, talking even more about Babylon 5!

Links

Babylon 5 Hub– Find all my Babylon 5-related posts and content here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

3 thoughts on “Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time, Season 5: Episodes 21-22 (SERIES FINALE)

  1. First of all, thanks again for doing this. Unfortunately, you can only see Babylon 5 for the first time once, thus it’s always great to be able to share in this experience with someone else. Looking forward to you tackling the movies, novels, and possibly the entire show again (BTW, the secong viewing is great too; you’ll notice quite a few things that you didn’t take note of the first time). I’ll definitely be there for the ride! 🙂

    Now, because you’re going to read the novels next, and don’t want any spoilers, I’m reluctant to get too deeply into it, but… even though the Centauri-trilogy by Peter David details the further story on Centauri Prime, including the keeper in the urn-business, we actually get enough bits and pieces of information during the show to pierce together what happened with it just from the series alone. Same is true about the ultimate fate of Londo (and G’Kar); both of whom are not simply “no-shows”, but featured in the “to absent friends, in memory still bright”-toast (we pretty much already knew their ultimate fate since the very first episode, “Midnight on the Firing Line”).

    Concerning the movies: You should watch “Crusade” after “A Call to Arms” – since it’s essentially the pilot ;-). As for the movie order: I’d recommend watching “In the Beginning” last, especially if you plan to head right back into the show (starting once again with “The Gathering”) anyway. So, if I may recommend an order, it would be: Thirdspace, River of Souls, Legend of the Rangers (since chronologically, it is set before ACTA/Crusade; however, if you prefer, you could also watch it afterwards, since it’s pretty stand-alone), A Call to Arms, Crusade, The Lost Tales, In the Beginning.

    When it comes to the novels: You can easily skip the first six (from “Voices” to “Betrayal”), plus “Personal Agendas”. Those are a) not particularly good, and b) non-canon (“Clark’s Law” even directly contradicts “In the Beginning”). If I were you, I’d start with “The Shadow Within”, then head to “To Dream in the City of Sorrows”, followed by the three trilogies: Techno-Mages (be aware, however, that those spoil some things from “Crusade”), Psi-Corps, and finally the Centaury-Trilogy. Also, don’t forget that there were a couple of comics (if you can get hold of them). The first four are essentially a prequel to “To Dream in the City of Sorrows”, picking up where “Chrysalis” left off. Issues 5-8 feature a prequel-story depicting how Garibaldi met Sinclair (embedded into a rather superflouos adventure with Garibaldi and Keffer), 9-10 are the adaptation of a (stand-alone) story which originally was supposed to be an episode, 11 is a one-shot (a Psi-Corps propaganda-pamphlet), and then there’s “In Valen’s Name”, which I’d recommend reading after “To Dream in the City of Sorrows”. See -> https://babylon5.fandom.com/wiki/Comic_Books

    There were also six short stories (four of which written by JMS himself, and thus considered canon), however, those are particularly difficult to get hold of nowadays. -> https://babylon5.fandom.com/wiki/Short_Stories

    Finally, if you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to me, either via comment or via e-mail (I’m assuming you see my e-mail-address in your WordPress-administrator-tool, under “user info” next to my comments?)

    • J.W. Wartick says:

      Thanks for following and for your comments–it’s been great seeing them! Also, thanks for the reminders about Giraba… er Garibaldi’s name! I think I’ll be reading every novel, even the non-canon ones. I already bought all the comics, novels, movies, Crusade, etc. to go through. I even have a decent amount of the related works like the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia and other stuff. I’m super excited to go through and read all of this as I watch.

      I’m especially looking forward to the three trilogies, but I’ll probably not be reading them until I’m through the other novels published before. The techno-mages really interested me in the show, but we never got much from them. And obviously I want to know more about Psi-Corps and the Centauri ASAP.

  2. Bob says:

    I’m sure you’ve seen this elsewhere, but the workman throwing the Big Switch shutting things down in SIL is JMS himself in a cameo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.