Sheridan is kidnapped and taken to an alien ship. The Grey Council decides
Delenn's fate. General Hague makes an unofficial visit to the station.
Robert Foxworth as General Hague.
Marshall Teague as the Narn.
P5 Rating: 8.33
Production number: 211
Original air date: February 15, 1995
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Mario DiLeo
- A momentary change of clothes.
- The Minbari have installed a new leader.
- Sheridan's appointment to Babylon 5 was more than a coincidence. He
was picked by Santiago, who knew that his record made him look like a
hard-nosed military man, just the sort Santiago suspected Clark would
want to replace Sinclair with. But Santiago also knew that Sheridan
was a patriot who would stand against the forces seeking to undermine
the Earth government. In his first months on the station, Sheridan's
real assignment was to evaluate the crew, find out who could be
- General Hague, and others, are working to expose the machinations
behind Santiago's death and other recent events. They suspect the
Psi-Corps is behind the conspiracy, but so far have been unable to
- Alit Neroon (head of the Star Riders clan, cf.
has replaced Delenn on the Grey Council.
- Sheridan's dream is a big unanswered question, lent weight by Kosh's
comment after Sheridan's return. See Analysis.
- Why was Neroon appointed to the Council?
- What does Delenn think is about to happen? Why does she believe she
is about to descend into darkness and fire?
- Is the foray by the Streibs related to what the Shadows are doing,
or is it just coincidental timing?
- How did the Narn know so much about the Streibs and their ship?
- What was done to Sheridan? He was left with three scars on his
face, one of them on his forehead. Might he be carrying an implant
of some sort now?
- Neroon's appointment to the council is troublesome. Presumably new
members are approved by majority vote. The three warrior-caste
members probably voted for him; that means one or two of the remaining
five members must have voted for him as well, probably from the
worker caste. Valen's wishes seem to be held in less than the highest
regard by some Minbari.
- With four members, the warrior caste now effectively controls the
Grey Council. On any issue they need only win over one other member
to have a majority. It is unclear how far the Council's power
extends now that a new leader has been installed, and that leader
conceivably sides with the religious caste, but it looks like hard
times have arrived for Delenn's compatriots.
- That being the case, how does this mesh with Sinclair's gathering of
"The Coming of Shadows")
Some of them, recall, are Minbari. Are they primarily religious
caste? Is there enough difference of opinion within the warrior
caste about humans that he's able to attract warriors?
- We never actually hear Sheridan's answer to Hague, though it is
probably "yes." If it isn't, Sheridan's meeting with the
rest of the command staff may be a ruse to draw Hague's people out
into the open -- on the assumption that Hague will try to work
via one of the others -- and expose the counterconspiracy. Sheridan's
possible link with Psi-Corps (see below and
"A Race Through Dark Places")
makes this at least a plausible scenario, if an unlikely one.
- There's more to the dream sequence
than is apparent at first glance,
and it's chock full of ambiguities. A shot-by-shot rundown with
analysis (another, simpler, possible interpretation follows the
- Sheridan is in his quarters, in uniform. The lights are out.
- Ivanova is in the quarters with him, in uniform, hair draped
over her left shoulder. The door is open. She raises her
fingers to her lips and says, "Shh."
Analysis: Someone or something has entered Sheridan's
mind to give him a message, and is warning him to watch and
listen, not try to participate. The "something" might also
simply be part of Sheridan's own subconscious. This probably
relates to Kosh's answer to Sheridan's first question.
- Sheridan looks confused.
- Ivanova, now with a raven perched on her right shoulder,
says, "Do you know who I am?"
Analysis: The raven is typically symbolic of death;
Ivanova may represent destruction, perhaps eventually siding
with the forces of darkness. In older literature, the raven
was often a thief, rather than a harbinger of death.
- Sheridan looks to his right, and finds himself in a Babylon 5
corridor. He looks up.
- On a catwalk, in harsh lighting, gripping the railing, is
another Sheridan. He looks to his right.
Analysis: It's unclear what kind
of uniform the Sheridan on the catwalk is wearing; possibly
a Psi-Cop uniform. The angle of the shot is similar to
Sinclair's first view of Knight Two in
"And the Sky Full of Stars." This
Sheridan perhaps represents another side of Sheridan's
personality (more on that below.)
Garibaldi, also apparently on the catwalk, is in uniform and
has a dove(?) on his left shoulder. "The man in between is
searching for you," he says.
Analysis: "The man in between" may refer to the
Sheridan on the catwalk, a part of Sheridan that isn't sure
which side it should be on.
Of course, it could be a reference to someone else
entirely: someone between light and darkness, for instance.
As for Garibaldi's dove, the dove is traditionally a symbol
of peace, perhaps implying that Garibaldi will work to stop
the Great War.
strongly suggests that Garibaldi will ally himself with the
side of light.
- Ivanova, in a veil and black dress, is standing behind
Sheridan, who is now wearing a turtleneck and a jacket.
Analysis: This funereal garb lends some weight to
the idea that Ivanova represents death. (It really is
Ivanova, though some readers have disagreed; see
As he turns, we get a brief glimpse of a metal pin on the
left breast of his jacket: a Psi-Corps badge. And in fact,
his jacket appears to be the uniform of a Psi-Cop, with the
leather strap down the right side in front.
Analysis: Sheridan's change of clothes is perhaps the
most ominous part of the entire sequence. Combined with
Bester's comment in
"A Race Through Dark Places"
that he was told to expect Sheridan to be sympathetic to
the Psi-Corps, it suggests some yet-to-be-revealed connection
between Sheridan and the Corps, something that may cause
a conflict of interest as he works with Hague's people.
- Ivanova, still veiled, says, "You are the hand."
Analysis: Hands abound in Babylon 5,
from Kosh's hand in
to Londo's dream hand in
"The Coming of Shadows."
Presumably Ivanova isn't referring to Kosh's hand. If she
is referring to the hand from Londo's dream, it suggests that
Sheridan will become a pawn in Londo's machinations; recall
Elric's comment in
"The Geometry of Shadows" --
the hand reaching out across the stars is Londo's.
Alternately, if Sheridan's Psi-Cop uniform is taken to mean
that he's symbolic of Psi-Corps as a whole, perhaps she means
that Psi-Corps, not Sheridan, is the hand. Or, more sinister,
that Sheridan is unknowingly acting on behalf of the Psi-Corps,
perhaps as the result of some mental conditioning (which
would explain Bester's comment at the end of
"A Race Through Dark Places.")
- Kosh is standing behind Sheridan in the corridor; Sheridan is
back in his normal uniform. Sheridan starts to turn toward
- In what seems like a simple switch of camera angles, Sheridan
now appears to be sitting down in front of a backlit wall
with an organic look not unlike that of the Streib ship's
interior. "Why are you here?" he asks.
Analysis: The change of scenery suggests that "here"
refers to a different place or time or context than the rest
of the sequence. Perhaps the question means, "Why are the
Vorlons involving themselves with the other races?" Of
course, it could mean what it looks like: "Why are you in
- "We were never away,"
Kosh answers from the corridor. "For
the first time your mind is quiet enough to hear me."
Analysis: Depending on the meaning of Sheridan's
question, the answer says different things. If the former
refers to the Vorlons in general, the answer can be taken to
mean, "We've only just allowed you to notice us." The second
part of the answer suggests that Sheridan's question refers
to the dream, though. See below for a possible explanation
of this question and the rest of the dream. Also note that
Kosh uses both "we" and "me" -- see
- Sheridan is back in the corridor, standing. "Why am I here?"
he asks, in a tone that makes the question sound unconnected
to the previous one.
Analysis: Again, it's unclear what "here" means.
Babylon 5? The dream? His circumstances?
- "You have always been here," answers Kosh.
Analysis: Kosh's repetition of this statement after
Sheridan's return may mean it is very important; or perhaps
Kosh was indirectly telling Sheridan that the dream wasn't
a simple construct of his subconscious. (Of course, Kosh
might have read Sheridan's mind outside medlab and pulled the
line from Sheridan's memory of the dream.) As for the meaning
of the line itself, only time will tell. "You" might refer
to Sheridan himself, or to some group (e.g. the human race)
of which Sheridan is a part.
- Another way of looking at the dream sequence, more metaphysical,
is that Sheridan entered a psychic continuum, an astral plane, for
lack of a better term. That makes many of the comments less ambiguous:
- "We were never away. For the first time your mind is quiet
enough to hear me." This is the first time Sheridan has
been in a mental state to consciously recognize the plane;
Kosh and everyone else have always been there to some degree.
- "You have always been here." Sheridan has always had some
presence in this psychic world; he just hasn't been able to
consciously recognize it.
- "The man in between" refers to someone between the physical
and spiritual worlds. Perhaps the Sheridan in the sequence
is Sheridan's spiritual side, and "the man in between" is
Sheridan, searching for his higher soul.
- Ivanova and Garibaldi, as shown in the sequence, are either
the projections into this other world of the real people,
or are abstractions for something else (darkness and
- Sheridan's Psi-Cop uniform may mean that the Corps plays
a part in bridging the physical and astral worlds.
- The Streibs are probably a reference to Whitley Strieber, whose popular
book "Communion" dealt with alien abduction.
- Effects glitch: When Ramirez' damaged Starfury jumps back
to normal space, the vortex is orange, not blue as it normally is when
a ship is arriving.
- Marshall Teague, the Narn, also played Nelson Drake, the assistant
turned living weapon, in
- Ravens and doves, from the King James Bible:
- And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened
the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent forth a
raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried
up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to
see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she
returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face
of the whole earth; and then he put forth his hand, and took her,
and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet
another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the
ark; and the dove came in to him in the evening; and lo, in her
mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off; so Noah knew that the waters
were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet another seven
days, and sent forth the dove, which returned not again unto him
any more. --Genesis 8:6-12
- And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead,
said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom
I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but
according to my word. And the word of the Lord came unto him,
saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide
thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it
shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have
commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; for
he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and
bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
--1 Kings 17:1-6
- Some raven references in various other mythologies:
- Hugin and Munin: Odin's two ravens (thought and memory)
- Kurkil: Mongol creator god who flew to create the Earth and
- Mictla or Mictlantecuhtli: Aztec god who rules the underworld
- Moragga: Celtic. The incarnation of the Goddess as war.
- Raven: Amerindian creator and trickster god. Created all living
creatures out of wood and clay. Similar to Coyote.
- Yangwu: Chinese. The sun-crow.
- Yetl: Amerindian. The thunder-raven who dragged the flooded
earth above the water.
- In Japanese culture, the dove symbolizes war because doves
were used as messengers during battles.
- One episode will look very much unconnected to the arc until the
last five minutes, at which point there's a revelation that will likely
astonish some and confirm suspcions for some other viewers.
- Streibs, actually. Similar to, but not quite the same as the
- Delenn's flyer is called Zhalen.
- Re: we/I...
yes, it's interesting, isn't it? You'd almost think it
was contradictory or something.
- And of course there's the story of the man who dreamed he was a
butterfly, and when he awoke, wondered if he was actually a human
who dreamed he had been a butterfly, or a butterfly who was dreaming he
was a human....
- Who was the woman in the veil?
- In a way, there are several Sheridans in that dream, signifying
changes currently in the works, changes yet to come, messages
forthcoming or unrecognized. It's a very reflective dream, which will
grow clearer the deeper one gets into the show.
- Certainly there are some archetypes that always creep into a work
of this sort; for all we all not Jung at heart...?
- You'll see at least one piece of Sheridan's vision decoded before
- Remember, Kosh was the one who sent those images into Sheridan's
brain, not anybody else; he was communicating useful information that
may come up down the road, but in rather symbological form.
- Yes, Sheridan was speaking in the Drazi's native language, trying
(without success) to get through; they're a cranky species to start
with, and this didn't help.
- Sheridan learned a smattering of various languages while on patrol on
- During the Minbari war, the Narns were selling us
weapons, so Sheridan and other Earthforce captains had to learn at
least a smattering of Narnish for purposes of negotiations.
- The aliens from Grail are similar to, and distant relatives of, the
streibs, but not the same, no. A closer shot would've revealed red
slitted eyes instead of the black eyes of the one in Grail.
- Pledging oneself to someone's side is not common, and carries great
significance. From that point onward, you are bound to that person
until your death, and you must defend that person at the cost of your
- Some tie-ins...remember Sheridan in "A Distant Star" saying that he
was feeling beached, abandoned? His unsureness in taking on this post,
what if it was a mistake? A number of his actions come into a clearer
light once you know he was in essence checking them all out, and putting
on a hard "I'm a nice guy" attitude.
- Wasn't attacking the Streibs an act of war?
The Streib saw an alliance between Earth and Minbar at that moment,
which is the LAST thing they wanted to go up against. Also, you don't
go to war at the drop of a hat just because somebody sinks or shoots
down one of your ships. This is one of the cliches in storytelling.
And what the Streibs were doing was totally unjustifiable in any event.
Do you gear up for the massive hassle of total war -- supply lines,
fleets, all the rest -- because of this incident? Remember, the purpose
of the ship was to find races weak enough for them to attack with
impunity; they don't want to go up against a force that can strike
- I doubt we'll be seeing these guys again for a long time, if ever.
So I don't consider them on the level of certain shadows or stuff.
They came, they grabbed, we whomped.
- By the way, in addition to the re-appearance of Neroon, you may have
noticed that the first Grey Council member Delenn addresses is the
same one we saw in "Points of Departure."
- Membership in the Grey Council is usually for life; a person
can choose to leave but only under truly extraordinary circumstances
(kind of like being appointed to the Supreme Court). In Delenn's case,
though, remember that she didn't quit, she was booted out.
- Sheridan and the other fighters flew at a slight angle right past
the window in C&C. I don't see where the problem is in this. The
window wasn't used as a monitor, it was used as a window. The
starfuries came out of the cobra bays as the station rotated them
planet-side, they banked, and headed toward the gate, passing C&C.
- Ejecting would not have purchased Ramirez's life because when the
system came back on line with its analysis, it announced that the
radiation was "already at terminal levels." From the instant he
heard that, he was a dead man waiting to stop moving. He could've
sent the ship back, risking a faulty autopilot...and might've died
for nothing if it encountered the *slightest* glitch en route.
- One of the themes in this show is how you face life...and how you
face death. Ramirez faced his honorably. In the end, honor and
dignity are all we have left.
- If you trust Sheridan, there's no need for a lengthy report; plus,
a written report, no matter how well encrypted, can be broken or fall
into the wrong hands. The best record of a secret meeting that could
get you fired or killed is no record at ALL.
- Re: Kosh's voice carrying some emotion...starting at about "All Alone
in the Night," or maybe one before (memory fades), I took on the job
of directing the voice sessions for Kosh. He was moving from a neutral
delivery to things that had to carry specific emotions and implications
for the future, and nobody else knows what all this stuff means, so it
fell to me.
- Also, I noted somewhere in a preview for upcoming episodes, among the
things coming, "conspiracies of light as well as dark." Perhaps that
is now clearer.