Babylon 5: S04E20: Endgame

This was one of the best episodes to date!

The episode opens with the Army of Light speeding through hyperspace and on a Minbari Cruiser,    Marcus sits stroking Ivanovas hand.

This was one of the best episodes to date!

A sad scene...The episode opens with the Army of Light speeding through hyperspace and on a Minbari Cruiser,    Marcus sits stroking Ivanovas hand. Delenn enters and tells him that a shuttle has arrived to take Ivanova back to Babylon 5, it is too dangerous for her to be on-board during the battle. They then enter into a discussion about whether Ivanova would want to be in the battle even if she were conscious and if her last hours should be spent comfortably on Babylon 5. A sad looking Marcus looses out and leaves a sad looking Delenn watching over a sadly dying Ivanova. This was just too sad for this Sad Geezer. Where are the tall blondes and sexy spaceships?

Franklin and the stunningly attractive Lyta and the gorgeous (all right, all right I’ll stop it) Number one prepare for the battle of Mars. A sympathetic Earth Force officer is helping the resistance load wonky telepaths onto about 30 Earth Force destroyers.

On the surface of Mars, Garibaldi and his team climb a hill near a base. Lyta gets 'strapped in'.He is about to disable the base and radios to his HQ: “This is Baldi (oops I mean Grumpy) to Sleepy, Sneezy, and Doc…” When he has finished his report, he, Lyta, Franklin and the rest of the team take over the small base. At the same time, other Earth Security bases are disabled across Mars in the same way. A bit too easy this, far too clean. There was almost no blood and guts – nobody even stubbed their toe – on either side! We’ve been waiting for Clark and his mob to ‘get it’ for the last twelve episodes and I wanted to see them suffer a bit.

Meanwhile, Franklin prepares Lyta for her job. He puts a sort of headset on her presumably so that she can communicate with the wonky telepaths.

On route to Mars, Sheridan makes an announcement to his crew on the Agamemnon. He tells them: “We’re one jump away from more trouble than most of you have seen during your years in Earth Force, and it is my supreme hope that in all the years after this, we may never see a day like this again.” I know it’s a bit limp, but what would you say. Some of those crew members would be fighting some of their family. I wouldn’t have said anything, mind you, that’s why I’m a Sad Geezer and he is heading up the Army of Light!

After briefing the fleet on the battle plan, he then contacts Marcus on the White Star and tells him he’s clear to attack the Mars outposts as soon as he gets the signal from Garibaldi.

Marcus and Lennier’s White Star enters Mars’ atmosphere and shoots up lots of big guns and laser cannons and other fine looking battle paraphernalia in a glistening crescendo of pyrotechnical bursts of brilliance. You just knew that the rest of the episodes battle scenes were going to be great – and the were!

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As Sheridan speeds through Hyperspace, Lyta gets a command to activate the wonky telepaths.

Once activated, they will try to merge with the nearest computer network on the destroyer and the interference will shut down each destroyer and allow Sheridan to disable them by firing at their weapons and engines. A great plan!

We see a great shot of Lyta’sface, her eyes are black and she’s shaking under the strain. She looks really good. That does it, I’m off to by the girlfriend a pair of black contact lenses….

Things are going really well for Sheridan, don’t you just love it when a plan comes together. He is informed by Delenn that almost all of the Earth Force destroyers are not really able to destroy anything and Sheridan orders Marcus back to the fleet – They’re goin in!

On the White Star, Marcus gives Lennier control of the ship in order to “check on a few things.” He leaves the bridge and goes to a computer terminal in his quarters where he requests medical logs, concerning “terminal illness”, “death” and “extreme measures.” He finds what he is looking for.

Meanwhile the battle of Mars rages on. Lots of explosions on all the right ships, Sheridan isn’t so much winning as slicing his way through butter. He is careful not to destroy any enemy ship. And instead of us having to worry about lots of people killing their brothers and sisters, we can sit back and watch all those lovely spaceships and special effects.

General Robert Lefcourt sends a message to his destroyer group. His ships can’t navigate and most of them are disabled. The general is more than a little irate, “In case you haven’t noticed, the enemy have just pulled our pants over our heads and tied them in a knot”. (It was worse than that General! Those pants had skid marks on them!).

On Delenns ship, Lennier arrives and asks her why she has sent for him. Delenn looks puzzled and tells him that she did not. meanwhile MarcusWhite Star ship breaks formation and heads back to Babylon 5.  You can’t help feel that this is a bad career move for Marcus and I wondered if this was the beginning of his end.

Delenn calls Sheridan and tells him that Marcus has left for Babylon 5. Sheridan is pissed off. He asks why and Delenn suggests that he speak to her privately. She tells him of her suspicions but Sheridan is powerless to do anything about it with a battle on his hands.

Sheridan is heading directly for Earth now. The enemy ships at Mars are almost all disabled. As he exits the jump point he makes an announcement to Earth.

Sheridan talkes to the world.“This is Captain John Sheridan. We are here on the authority of a multi-planetary force that can no longer stand by and watch one of their greatest allies falling into darkness and despair. We are here on behalf of the thousands of civilians murdered under orders from the current administration, who have no one else to speak for them, and on behalf of the Earth Force units that have joined us to oppose the tyranny that has darkened Earth ever since President Santiago was assassinated three years ago. We’re here to place President Clark under arrest, to disband Nightwatch, and return our government to the hands of her people. We know that many in the government have wanted to act, but have been intimidated by threats of retaliation against your families, your friends. You are not alone any more. We call upon you to rise up and do what’s right. We have drawn their forces away from Earth and disabled them. The time to act is now! This is not the voice of treason. These are your sons, your daughters, whose loyalties have never wavered, whose beliefs in this alliance have forced us to take extraordinary means, for justice, for peace, for the future. We have come home!”

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The final defence begins...During his epic speech we see president Clark in a room writing something and then a woman heading for Clarks room with some security people. Clark activates the Earth Defence Grid which is basically some huge guns and missile launchers (they look pretty scary actually). The missiles start firing, it seems that there is a never ending supply, they pour out of their rockets one after the other. The ranger craft and a few dinky little Earth Fighters attempt to ‘knock them out’ but it looks like they’re getting clobbered.

On Earth, the security troops reach Clark’s office, but the door is locked. I think that she was going to force Clark to resign or something!  Just before they manage to break the door down, Clark shoots himself in the head – wadda coward.

The security people break the door down to find Clark with half a head and a piece of paper on his desk. The woman accompanying them, a senator apparently, notices the words ‘scorched earth’. She immediately opens a communication line with Sheridan and tells him that she thinks that Clark has turned the Defence Grid on Earth. She informs him that they cannot disable the grid from Earth. Sheridan has ten minutes to disable the big guns before they start firing on Earth. Nice twist that. Sheridan now has to save Earth from itself!

The defence Grid can smash up about 40% of Earth’s surface and Sheridan immediately orders the fleet to fire. The Agamemnon is hit badly by a couple of missiles and Sheridan calls Delenn for help from the alien ships that make up part of the fleet.  Until now they had not been not used. Delenn replies reassuringly, “We are there.”

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Little ships fight big guns...Most of the other Defence Grid Guns are disabled or destroyed, all that is, except for the one that the Agamemnon is firing at. The Agamemnon takes a direct hit to its forward guns disabling them. There is no-one left in the vicinity to disable the last Earth Defence Gun. Sheridan orders, “All power to engines. Give me ramming speed.” What! ….. WHAT! He can’t do that he’ll get blown up! He has another series to do yet doesn’t he? Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!Sheridan saved in the nick of time...

Delenn is watching the Agamemnon head for certain death as it approaches the Defence Grid Gun. I think it would be safe to say that she was very worried. But just in time, a jump point opens and god ol’ General Lefcourt appears. He says that he has been monitoring the situation and that he will help out. His ship blasts the offending Gun into the hereafter.

A little banter between the two men follows and Lefcourt welcomes Sheridan home. Sheridan sighs a big sigh as no doubt do the people of Earth in the 23rd and even the 20th Century.
Nice job John, a tidy days work!

Sheridans presence is requested at Earthdome as soon a possible. Franklin however is already on his way back to Babylon 5 to stop whatever Marcus is going to do.

ISN broadcasts a tearful presenter informing Earth that Clark is dead and that his last act was to try and smash them all to bits. She is very emotional as she tells of the imprisonment, interrogation, torture and death of some of her colleagues, and then announces the victory of Sheridan’s fleet.

On their way back to Babylon 5, Franklin and Lennier on the White Star review the information that Marcus downloaded from Babylon 5’s medical records. It tells of an alien machine which was developed as a form of capital punishment that sucks the life force out of a person. This life force can then be used to save someone else. It is dangerous to use this to save someone’s life since it will usually mean the death of the donatorMarcus lays down his life for Ivanova..

Marcus meanwhile as arrived on Babylon 5 and has Ivanova ‘plugged in’ He is also wired up and looking a little tired. He lies next to her and whispers “I love you” and closes his eyes.

Oh no! Does this mean that Marcus is leaving too? What a sad way to go, noble sure, but still sad. And on that downer, this wonderful episode was concluded. Whew!

Rating? A gripping 44,177 out of 10. It didn’t deserve any less.
What did you think?

The “Endgame” episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Tony Fawl
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission

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The BABYLON 5 names, characters 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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