Babylon 5: S05E02: The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari
Another quite tense episode, a little frightening and also a little bit too close to US formula TV for my liking. Not enough sex, violence and special effects like the last episode, I hope things hot up soon.
Delenn awakes from slumber (in her quarters this time) and gets up to answer an incoming call. The call is from Ruell on Minbar and he is requesting some advice for choosing Lenniers replacement. Delenn looks surprised and mentions that she did not know Lennier was leaving.
Londo is arguing with a Zack and Vir in his quarters. Babylon 5 has suffered a number of ‘infestations’ and food must now be quarantined for three days before being allowed onto the station. This is bad for Londo since the consignment contains a bottle of his favourite tipple, Bravare. This fragile liquor will ‘go off’ if it is not stored at the right temperature. Londo is in his element, hurling insults and digs at them both, pleading to allow him to keep hold of his precious Bravare. Zack, as you just knew he would, insists that he is simply following orders, but he says it with a smile.
Londo fingers the bottle and attempts to take a ‘swig’. Suddenly he collapses and falls to the ground. He is rushed to Med Lab. Ohmygodohmygod!
Lennier visits Delenn and informs her of her schedule. Delenn, looking upset, asks Lennier why he should want to leave. He feels that she does not need him anymore, he feels as if he is in the way and not comfortable. He tries to tell her that he can’t explain it very well. We all know why of course, he fancies her like mad and is jealous as hell of Sheridan (well as jealous as a Minbari could be). He tells her that he will replace Marcus as a Ranger. It is the calling of his heart and Delenn understands that he must follow it.
Londo is in critical condition. Vir is very upset. Garibaldi explains that Londo has had a heart attack. The Centauri as all us Sad Geezers know, have two hearts. The Right is basically a pump and the left is much more important, works as a sort of kidney, cleansing the blood of impurities. Londo’s Left heart is in a bad way. The doc tells Sheridan that his whole arterial system is almost shut down because of all the stress that he has been under. The doc continued, saying that he had asked Centauri Prime to send over an artificial unit that would take three days to arrive. Unfortunately he could only be sure of keeping Londo alive for the next 24 hours.
Sheridan and Delenn visit the sick Londo and express their concerns. Sheridan delicately raises the question of Lennier and asks if it was his fault. Delenn feels that it might be part of the reason and Sheridan replies, ‘Back on Earth we say that three is a crowd’, Delen retorts with, ‘On Minbar three is sacred’. Sheridan then smiles and adds that he is not quite ready to handle ‘that’ yet (wadda spoilsport). Delenn gives him a frosty look and Sheridan clears his throat sheepishly. Sheridan can see that Delenn is upset and they leave together, wishing Londo luck in his recovery.
Londo goes into a sort of dream sequence. Delenn plays a sort of Ghost of Christmas Past and they discuss whether Londo wants to live. Londo tells her that he does and she tells him that wanting to live is not enough. Delenn tells him that there is a word that he needs to say before he can live. She won’t tell him.
In the real world, there is a friendly exchange between two valued assistants. Vir and Lennier discuss their relative situations. They part with a warm embrace.
We return to Londo’s dream sequence and find that the Ghost of Christmas Present is our old pal Sheridan. Mr Scrooge meets with him in an empty Zocolo. All the bottles of spirits are empty. Sheridan’s glass is full. Intuitively, Londo exclaims that the metaphor is getting a bit thick. They walk for a while and Londo tells the Ghost of Christmas Present that he wants to live. Sheridan tells Londo that all he needs to do is turn around. Londo replies “NO, I can’t “. G’Kar (The Ghost of Christmas yet to Come). Is standing behind him. Sheridan leaves to Mr Scrooge’s annoyance.
In his dream state, Londo exclaims that he doesn’t want to die. Vir slips in and tells him that his heart can no longer bear the weight of his conscience. He should turn around. Londo struggles to do this. He is frightened of facing his most upsetting experiences. Vir tells Londo that he must face his conscience and that if he doesn’t do this Vir would miss him.
Meanwhile, Londo’s condition fluctuates between crisis and stability. The poor doctor Franklin is being run ragged by this and looks like he is suffering more than the comatose Londo.
In the dream, the menacing shape of G’Kar appears and tells Londo that ‘We must end this’. The Ghost of Christmas yet to Come meets with Londo in the Presidential Suite on Centauri Prime where Londo dreamed of his death at the hands of G’Kar 20 years earlier. The two discuss Londo’s past and his involvement in the subjugation of the Narns. Londo is brought face to face with his past and made to re-live his guilt. Smugly G’Kar tells Londo that there is a word that he wants to hear.
Londo screams. In the blackness of Londo’s conscience, G’Kar tells him that he is the face Londo’s conscience, and that he is the only one that can get his attention and strike him down in the one place where he is still vulnerable. Londo asks tearfully, ‘why’. G’Kar replies, “You want to believe that you have changed, you want to feel good about yourself. He shouts, “you are not sorry for what you did, you’re just sorry that you got caught!” Londo retorts that he has never apologised for anything in his life! G’Kar looks into his eyes and tells him quietly, “that’s just it, this is YOUR life”.
Londo screams that he is sorry. He wakes momentarily to see G’Kar watching him. He turns his head and quietly mouths the words, ‘I’m sorry G’Kar, I’m sorry.’ G’Kar, sensing the internal turmoil that Londo must have suffered to express such sentiment, is moved.
Those last few scenes were very well put together but ultimately bloody irritating. If I were a Centauri, I would have felt that Londo had represented the best interests of his homeworld and done a dammed good job. Actually I’d have been very proud of him. Either Londo is going through a bit of a confidence problem or he’s gone nuts. He definitely doesn’t have too much to feel guilty about. Londo has stuffed a lot of people in his time but this Sad Geezer can’t help conclude that they bloody well deserved to get stuffed!
A short time later we see Vir trying to get Londo to eat his vegetables while sitting up in bad. Vir tells him that he must cut back on the stress. Londo explains that there is stress on Babylon 5 and on Centauri Prime …. “No Vir, the universe is an evil place, but it seems to have a sense of humour about the whole thing.” (A classic Londo responce).
Lennier waits for the ship that will take him away. Delenn catches up with him and they say their goodbyes. Lennier leaves and Sheridan escorts a sad Delenn away.
Another disturbing episode ends. I almost felt that we would be loosing the great Londo. I just can’t get into this series so far, how do you feel?
I’d rate that a large 37,739 out of 10 – What did you think?
This episode review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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