Babylon 5: S04E11: Lines of Communication

Sheridan is still miffed at the ISN broadcast (see The Illusion of Truth). He is particularly annoyed at the way ISN are able to get away with broadcasting untruths about Babylon 5 unchallenged. ISN indicate that it will not be long before Earth Alliance attack the station again. Sheridan comes up with the idea that the only way win is to play them at their own game. He encourages a slightly unwilling Ivanova to become ‘the voice of the resistance’ and head Babylon 5’s own news station. It looses much in my reporting, but the banter between these two can be very entertaining. Sheridan enters Ivanovas quarters ranting about his new idea…

"I accept your offer"Sheridan: “We have the truth on our side, you can’t kill the truth…. well actually you can, but it always comes back to haunt you later…”
Ivanova: “Hello?

Ivanova:   “Why do I get the impression that you are volunteering me for the job?”
Sheridan: “I accept your offer”

Meanwhile on Mars, news of an explosion killing nine civilians makes the gorgeous Number one furious. She is upset that the scant support for the resistance from the populations of Mars and Earth will diminish soon as a result. She indicates to Marcus and Franklin that Earth Force will have captured or subdued the resistance on Mars before the end of the year.

I'll smash yer face in!Number one confronts the Earth resistance leader responsible for the attack. She furiously points out that if he does it again, she will ‘take his head off and scoop out his brains for cat food’ and that she is quite capable of taking his head off. I know it’s sexist, but she can take my head off anytime. Number one is  tall and beautiful, but not imposing enough to threaten a fairly burly resistance leader. Instead of concluding ‘cor she’s hard‘, I found myself thinking ‘she looks lovely when she’s angry‘.

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Delenn discusses the recent attacks on Minbari allies with Sheridan. She tells him that she needs to take a number of Ranger Spaceships out to see just who is making these unwarranted attacks.   Soon after the ships leave hyperspace, they receive a distress signal from a Pak’ma’ra. They arrive just in time to see the ship destroyed by a flight of unknown ships. I’m not surprised either – for goodness sake, have you seen the Pak’ma’ra!!?  Any race with what looks like two willies hanging from it’s nose deserve to be shot up in my book.  Good grief! I want some of whatever the designer was ‘on’ when he dreamed up this character!

After the misunderstandings that caused the Earth Minbari war, Delenn is reluctant to open fire on the aggressors immediately. She attempts to communicate with them and is surprised to learn that they, the Drakh, can speak Minbari. Then suddenly one of the Minbari (Forell) takes Delenn hostage, forcing her to listen to the Drakh spokesman when he comes aboard for a chat. The Worrier Caste have become more aggressive and Forell believes that the Drakh will be the allies  and protectors of the Religious Caste.

An ugly DrakhApparently the Drakh are homeless due to a natural disaster but Lennier indicates to Delenn that their homeworld could, in fact, have been Z’ha’dum. The Drakh offer protection for the religious Caste in return for a few deserted worlds near the Minbari border. Delenn concludes that they intend the destruction of Minbar because of the destruction by the Minbari and others, of the Drakh masters, the Shadows. She realizes that they are all in terrible danger but calmly says to the Drakh negotiator that she will discuss the situation with others and return in a week with her answer.

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Their fates are sealed when the Drakh negotiator hears Delens name being called. The Drakh will see Delenn as one of the causes of their homelessness and as the negotiator leaves, everyone prepares for battle – without actually declaring so.

The Ranger ships are completely surrounded by the Drakh and only because of some quick thinking (and re-programming of the ships computers) by Lennier do all but one of them escape through a portal. Forell dies soon after a falling beam had clobbered him on the head. Delenn returns almost immediately and destroys all the Drakh fighters and Mother Ship. As Delenn moves her White Star to make the final strike she says sternly, ‘end this‘  Delenn also looks hot when she’s angry.

On Mars, the resistance leaders are assembled and Franklin begins his presentation. He states that Babylon 5 have not forgotten Mars and they offer an alliance. He tells them that Sheridan will support them if they help him to overthrow President Clark.  They must carry out any Franklin, an uphill taskorder coming from Babylon 5, no matter how weird, and as soon as President Clark is out, Mars will be free.  There must be no more attacks on civilian targets! (Franklin threw that one in to help out Number one).  Marcus bets Franklin 50 credits that Number one fancies him.  Number one comes to ask if Franklin would like to join her for dinner (lucky geezer).

Marcus: ‘That’s 50 credits you owe me. come on you cheep bastard…..’. as he turns away he says, ‘touch passion when it comes your way Steven,  don’t walk away when it calls you by name.”

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When Delenn returns to Babylon 5 she finds that the War Room is now a TV studio. She tells Sheridan that the Caste system on Minbar is falling apart and that she mustTough talkin' Delenn return and rebuild the Grey Council. She also explains that his experiences on Z’ha’dum have changed him. He may kid on that he is the same, but deep down he knows that to rebuild things after the war will require a harder, more dangerous Captain Sheridan and that she feels he would be able to do this more effectively if they were apart. I’m not quite sure why she should feel this; perhaps she thinks he will be a lot ‘harder’ if, in her absence, he is not concerned with their love affair (or perhaps those silly Minbari rituals).  

I still have to rate this an very cool 33,392 out of 10.
What did you think?

The “Lines of Communication” episode review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without the authors express permission

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The BABYLON 5 names, characters, images and everything else associated with the series are the property of J. Michael Straczynski, TNT and Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.

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