Babylon 5: S04E09: Atonement
G’Kar gets his new prosthetic eye and is very pleased (and grateful). He finds that when he takes out the eye, it still sends images back to his nerves. It isn’t said, but I assume G’Kar is thinking about how such technology could be used in covert operations. I could think of quite a few uses.
Sheridan enters Delenns quarters to find her wearing a very revealing robe (by Minbari standards anyway) and is pleasantly surpassed. She asks if they can spend the night together. Don’t get excited, she doesn’t mean so that they can do anything rude. She simply wants to watch him sleep?? Another Minbari custom. She is troubled (more like weird), Sheridan picks this up but doesn’t say anything. She is about to leave for business on Minbar and does not want to discuss the matter with Sheridan.
Next day Lennier reminds Delenn that his has pledged to be by her side and insists that she take him with her. He understands that she must submit to the Dreaming. Her family and colleagues have expressed concern that she is intent on being a lifetime partner to Sheridan and that this is forbidden. The fact that Delenn has taken on many human traits (growing her hair for instance) does not detract from this concern and they insist, as is their right, that she submit to the dreaming and abide by its results.
Lennier is aware that Delenn has experienced the Dreaming once before as a rather immature ‘second’ to the leader Dukhat. Without understanding why, she understood that she was a sort of favourite, and her involvement with Dukhat elevated her standing in the Minbari governing circles.
Dukhat was the leader of the Grey Council at the time they first made contact with the Earth Alliance, with disastrous results. The Dreaming told the story of how, when the Minbari approached the Earth forces, they opened their gunports as a mark of respect. The Earth forces, believing this to be an act of aggression opened fire. Dukhat was killed in the confusion. As he lay dying in her arms, Delenn ordered that the Earth ships be pursued and destroyed without mercy. She soon regretted her decision but by then news had reached Minbar and the whole planet seemed to rise in uproar. This was the start of the Earth Minbari War.
Once the dreaming session is complete, Lennier concludes that her relationship with Sheridan is a direct result of her guilt and that she is seeking absolution for the death of so many humans. A pairing with Sheridan under these circumstances would therefore be wrong and would not be allowed.
Delenn is very upset by this, she doesn’t really believe that this was the only message in the Dreaming. Then she faintly recollects that Dukhat was trying to tell her something as he lay dying in her arms. She enlists the help of Lennier one more time to undergo another Dreaming session to see if she can find out what was said.
Dukhat reveals that there was a purpose to choosing Delenn. She was a ‘child of Valen’. Valen of course was a human and therefore human DNA is already in Minbari blood. Therefore there is no purity in the Minbari blood that would be poluted by her involvement with Sheridan. The Minbari reluctantly allow the affair to continue provided Delenn does not make public her revelation. She returns to Babylon 5, her objective achieved.
Meanwhile, Marcus and Franklin are on their way to Mars to make contact with the underground.
Another great episode, 39,3322 out of 10. What did you think?
The “Atonement” episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Tony Fawl
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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