Sheridan's forces attempt to liberate Proxima 3. Londo tries to enlist G'Kar's
aid in backing Sheridan against Earth.
Marcia Mitzman Gaven as Commander Levitt.
Richard Gant as Captain MacDougan.
Ken Jenkins as Captain Hall.
P5 Rating: 9.16
Production number: 415
Original air week: May 26, 1997
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Mike Vejar
episodic soundtrack is available.
- Sheridan's forces have liberated Proxima 3. In the
process, several additional Earth Alliance cruisers defected to his
side. Some are remaining to guard Proxima 3 against retaliation
by President Clark.
- During the Earth-Minbari War, G'Kar personally supervised
the sale of Narn weapons to Earth.
- Londo and G'Kar have agreed to throw the support of their
respective governments behind Sheridan. The nonaligned worlds have
apparently dissolved their mutual defense pacts with Earth and are
staying out of the conflict, aside from loaning ships to help defend
Babylon 5 itself.
- Garibaldi has left the station for Mars, and never intends
to return. He plans to try to help free Earth, but not in concert
with Sheridan, whose methods Garibaldi opposes.
- What exactly will come of the declaration of support by
Centauri Prime and Narn? Will they provide military support to
Sheridan? Did he know the declaration was coming?
- Does Londo's declaration mean that he has voided the
nonagression treaty between Centauri Prime and Earth
("The Fall of Night?")
Does the implantation of a Keeper on at least one Centauri official
spell trouble for Centauri support of Sheridan's cause?
- What was Vir writing when he fell asleep?
- What business did Garibaldi have in Centauri space?
- What does Garibaldi plan to do to fight for Earth?
- How does Sheridan hope to use the frozen telepaths?
- Sheridan told Commander Levitt the League wasn't getting
involved because he wanted this to be a clean fight, presumably
meaning no alien involvement. But in fact, aliens are already
involved; the crew of the White Star fleet is largely Minbari,
and the ships themselves are a Minbari/Vorlon concoction.
Earth forces being attacked by Minbari-made vessels with Minbari
crews would seem perfect propaganda fodder for Clark, further
"evidence" that Sheridan has gone over to the Minbari side as
"The Illusion of Truth."
Of course, it could be argued that many Minbari are part human anyway
and thus aren't completely out of place in a human civil war,
but that argument would likely do little to dampen the effect of
Clark's propaganda, should he choose to concoct any.
- Patriotism and its effects played a key thematic role in
this episode. Sheridan's patriotism (as described when he spoke to
the other captains about the ideals of the Alliance) drove him to
attack his own people. Garibaldi's patriotism, if his conversation
with Vir is to be believed, is strong as well, but Sheridan's
methods are abhorrent to him. Londo's patriotism led him to forsake
his friends, and now he finds himself alone. G'Kar's patriotism
lost him his eye.
Perhaps even Clark believes he's acting in Earth's best interest,
though that puts him on a collision course with Sheridan.
- Did Garibaldi tell Edgars about Sheridan's imminent
campaign? If so, Edgars doesn't appear to have relayed the information
to Earth Force, since the commanders at Proxima 3 were unaware Sheridan
was on the move. On the other hand, Garibaldi didn't know the
particulars of the first phase of the campaign.
- Garibaldi apparently
didn't visit G'Kar to say goodbye (or at least, no such visit was
shown.) Why not, especially given what G'Kar went through while
searching for him?
- G'Kar is apparently still working on the book he started
while in prison
("Messages from Earth.")
- When Londo asked about G'Kar's eye, G'Kar responded,
"It sees." His eye is therefore probably not, at present, the "eye
that does not see" from Lady Morella's prophecy
("Point of No Return.")
Was his natural eye in fact the one referred to by the prophecy?
Since it needs to be recharged nightly to continue seeing
and since it's not in evidence 17 years in the future, when G'Kar
and Londo kill each other
("War Without End, Part Two")
the artificial eye may yet turn out to be the one Morella was referring
- Londo offered a toast to the humans, who he regards as
a bridge between the Centauri and Narn. This echoes Delenn's statements
("And Now For a Word,"
"Lines of Communication")
that humanity's greatest strength is the ability to form communities
of diverse people.
- The drink Londo referred to while talking to G'Kar was in
"The Coming of Shadows,"
bought by G'Kar after he learned the Centauri Emperor had come to
make peace with the Narn.
Shortly thereafter, Londo did have some inkling that he was losing
his friends thanks to his activities; he offered Garibaldi a drink in
"Acts of Sacrifice,"
acknowledging that the two were still "friends, if only for a little
- Londo's rationale for the joint declaration was nearly
identical to Sheridan's argument for allowing the White Star fleet
to patrol Narn and Centauri space
("Conflicts of Interest.")
However, since Sheridan apparently decided not to publicize the
fact that both the Narn and Centauri had agreed to the patrols
(assuming the Narn agreed -- it's only been explicitly stated that
the Centauri did) this joint declaration is the first official
act of unity that's been shown.
- Vir's nightmare presumably related to the assassination
("The Long Night.")
It's odd that he cried out, "I didn't do it," when in fact he did
kill Cartagia, perhaps an indication that part of him still doesn't
believe what he did.
On the other hand, it's possible he was dreaming of something else,
perhaps one of the precognitive dreams Centauri have. In that case,
one candidate that'd fit his exclamation would be his discovery of
the dead bodies of Londo and G'Kar
("War Without End, Part Two.")
One other Centauri has been shown awakening from a nightmare recently:
the Regent in
who awoke to discover he had a Keeper attached to his neck.
- Earth appears to have improved its scanning technology;
White Star ships were hit more than once during the battle. Previously,
Earth weapon systems haven't been able to lock onto Minbari ships (e.g.
"Points of Departure.")
Presumably the White Stars, which incorporate much more advanced
Vorlon technology as well, are even harder to get a fix on. Perhaps
the Shadows supplied Earth with some technical tips.
It's possible manual targeting was used (novel
"The Shadow Within")
and the Earth ships simply got in a few lucky shots, but that runs
counter to Sheridan's message to the other captains that he wouldn't
consider them hostile if their weapons didn't lock on. That message
wouldn't make sense if they weren't capable of locking on anyway.
On the other hand, since Sheridan wanted to test the hostility of
the Earth ships, he may have ordered the White Stars to turn off
their countermeasures. In
"Points of Departure"
Minbari ships were able to make themselves trackable by the station's
scanners as desired.
Either way, only one White Star was seen to have been destroyed,
and then only because it smashed into a cruiser seconds after being
hit. Possibly the White Stars are advanced enough that a momentary
loss of control is the only real impact from a single hit by Earth
- While Marcus was gathering information on the hostility of
the Earth cruisers, his contact on Proxima 3 was under attack by ground
forces. What happened to the ground forces after the space battle?
Sheridan appeared to consider the planet liberated once the commander
of the Heracles capitulated; did she have authority over all Earth
forces in the region, or are there still holdouts on the surface?
- Sheridan promised to liberate Proxima, then take the battle
to Mars and finally to Earth. What about the colony on Orion 7, which
seceded from the Earth Alliance at the same time Proxima 3 did?
Perhaps it has already fallen, or maybe it's not under as much duress
as Proxima was, so Sheridan felt the best way to liberate it was to
take back Earth. Or perhaps it's a small colony and Clark didn't
deem it worth the effort to take back.
"War Without End, Part One"
the White Star's Vorlon technology adapted its defenses to shrug off
blasts from Shadow fighters after it was hit. Will the surviving
White Stars from the battle at Proxima 3 now be more resistant to
Earth's weapons, and thus even more potent weapons?
- Commander Levitt knew that the League worlds had sided
with Sheridan. How did she know, if Babylon 5 is officially cut off
from Earth? The most likely answer is that she'd been watching the
Voice of the Resistance broadcasts, which indicates that they are
indeed reaching the colonies.
- The Alexander
has survived and is apparently now patrolling Proxima 3 to guard
against retaliation by Clark's forces.
- The Vesta's logo (visible on the bridge) is a stylized
flame in a brazier. Vesta is the Roman goddess of the hearth.
The Heracles' logo appears to incorporate arrows in the "H" at
the bottom, probably a reference to Heracles' poison arrows from
- The ship that withdrew from the battle was the Juno.
In Roman mythology, Juno was the goddess of light and birth. In Greek
mythology she was called Hera.
- The names of two of the ships that surrendered had
symbolic relation to Sheridan's campaign. The Furies were goddesses
who punished crimes against one's kin. Nemesis was the goddess who
punished hubris -- putting oneself above the gods.
- The Pollux was named after Greek mythology as well.
Castor and Pollux, the two main stars of the constellation Gemini,
were brothers. When Pollux was killed, Castor was so despondent that
Zeus agreed to turn them both into stars so they could always be
- Possible continuity glitch: Just before Garibaldi's
arrival, Vir drops his pen while he's asleep. When he stands up,
he's holding the pen again. Of course, he might have picked it
up upon awakening.
- Effects glitch: The Earth Alliance logos on the Pollux
and the Furies are backwards. The "E" can be seen to point to the
left rather than the right.
- Why don't we ever see Clark?
I wanted to keep Clark more a force than a person...and Vir
has just been off doing his usual Vir stuff...he's back this coming
- Proxima 3 is in the Proxima Centauri system, next door to
Proxima 2, but no one goes there because the tourist season is way too
- "It seems to me that the White Stars (particularly in
the numbers I perceived in this Ep) should have been able to deal with
the Earth ships like lamb to a slaughter."
Yeah, if all you want is to slaughter fellow humans and
officers; if you want to try to minimize the body count of your fellow
officers, who you want to eventually side with you, it's more
difficult, you have to keep the kid gloves on...which endangers you in
the long run.
- "were these White Stars tired or something? I would've
expected that a couple of them could just go slice-slice, sever the
rotating sections on the EA ships and have 'em for breakfast."
Sure, if all you're interested in is slaughtering the opposition...they
were designed for "destroy"...when you have to pull your punches to
avoid just going in and killing EVERYthing in sight...which will only
work *against* you in the long run, it becomes more difficult.
- There were a lot of ethical decisions on all
sides, something you don't usually see in military SF. Were you
in the military?
No, I wasn't in the military, just having missed the Vietnam
draft. The points you mention are all the ones I wanted to get into
with that episode, and the ones a lot of folks have overlooked in
suggesting that it should have been an episode about slicing-and-dicing
the enemy (the enemy in this case being our own species). The show, at
root, is about ethics, among other things, and the ethical choices will
continue to get more difficult the deeper you go. There is a very fine
line that Sheridan's walking in all this.
- It's certainly an issue I care about quite a lot, and the
delicate balance between orders and conscience, between what you think
you should be doing vs. what you feel you *must* do, is the heart of
99% of all drama.
- "G'Kar seems to know that it's Mollari at his door -- why
else would he wait so long to call, "Enter?" But how did he know --
was it an official request by Londo?"
If you recall, when Garibaldi visited Vir, Vir mentioned that
Londo was arranging a meeting with G'Kar, so it was definitely set up
- The Londo/G'Kar stuff was nifty...and yes, he's
struggling toward redemption as best he can, making a real effort, which
is important, because if he's going to end up with a Keeper on him
eventually, as we've seen, best to feel for him, which you can't if
he's a bad guy.
Set 'em up, knock 'em down....
- If G'Kar came around too easily or quickly, it would
ring false; it had to go through some time and reflection. But even
though one could certainly agree with his anger over what's happened,
G'Kar has to try and overcome that and even transcend it.