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Recap and discussion for Season 1, Episode 20 – Babylon Squared**

This is one of the pivotal episodes of the whole show, if not THE pivotal episode. It answers one question and poses many, many more, some of which will not be answered for some time to come.

We begin the episode with Ivanova, Garibaldi and Sinclair at breakfast. Ivanova is sleepy because she was called to C’n’C early to deal with a strange tachyon reading in Sector 14. Sinclair lulls her to sleep with some meditation and then he and Garibaldi hide their breakfasts and convince her that she’s slept through breakfast.

And then…

The pilot in Sector 14 reports something strange then he is engulfed in light.

Delenn leaves the station alone.

Alpha 7 returns to the station but the pilot is dead, dead of old age according to Dr. Franklin. A distress calls comes in from Babylon 4! Major Krantz, the officer overseeing the construction says they are damaged and need evacuation.

Sinclair agrees to help them. He and Garibaldi prepare to lead a force of fighters and escorts to remnove the station personnel. He assembles the men and tells them that anyone who doesn’t want to go doesn’t have to. They all go.

Delenn arrives at a huge Minbari ship. She meets with the Grey Council, which have summoned her to tell her she is to be their leader. She tells them she does not want to leave B5.

Sinclair and Garibaldi have ‘fasten or zip’ conversation.

They arrive at Sector 14 and they see - Babylon 4!

As they fly toward B4, they go through some sort of distortion field. They land and are shot at by some man who seems mad. They subdue him and are then met by Major Krantz. He asks were they passing through and Sinclair tells him they are from Babylon 5 and Garibaldi tells him they are from the year 2258. Krantz says they must hurry… \

A distortion field passes over them and Sinclair is in a burning ship with Garibaldi trying to get him to leave. Garibaldi is shooting at something we can’t see and –

Everything is normal again. Krantz tells them they have become unstuck in time.

Delenn does not want to go back into the Great hall – she does not want to lead the Minbari. She tells her friend on the Council that she must follow the calling of her heart. She must stay on B5. She says he must recall the Council.

B5 prepares to send the evac ships and Krantz tells Sinclair and Garibaldi that the time distortions began about 24 hours after the station came online.

He takes them to see their prisoner – Zathras. He looks at Sinclair and says, “Not the one! Won’t talk. Can’t talk.” Krantz says he just appeared in the conference room. Zathras tells them he needs this place, that a terrible war is coming and B4 is needed to help save the galaxy on the side of light. He tells them he lives for the One and would die for the One. He says he needs to pulls the station back through time.

A guard comes in and tells Krantz something and they all go look - at a figure in a space suit. Zathras says he’s the One.

The man is fading in and out and seems hurt. Sinclair goes to him and touches him and is thrown back several feet. While the others help Sinclair, Zathras goes to the figure and hands him something and tells him it’s fixed and to hurry. When Krantz and the others notice Zathras they chase him and he tells them they must go soon or they’ll be trapped forever.

Delenn tells the Grey Council she will return to B5. They tell her she could be an outcast and they vote 5-4 to allow her to return to B5.

Zathras tells Sinclair that the device he gave the man in the spacesuit is a time stabilizer and that he gave his to the man thus he will be stuck and die. Sinclair realizes this is what killed his pilot.

In the next time distortion, Garibaldi is sent to the past, to the time he told Lise that he was leaving for B5 and she was angry with him. It ends and he tells Sinclair they need to go. Krantz insists on taking Zathras as proof of what happened on B4.

A large pipe falls and traps Zathras. He entreats Sinclair to leave, saying “You have a destiny.” Sinclair goes. They run to leave the station.

After they are gone, the scene goes back to Zathras. He smiles as “the One’ in a spacesuit comes for him. He takes off his helmet and it’s Sinclair, older and greyer but still Sinclair. A hand touches him (we only see the hand) and tells him it’s time to go. The voice is Delenn’s.

Babylon 4 disappears.

Sinclair and the rest head home.

Delenn’s friend gives one of the three tuiluminaries and they are surrounded by signs and portents and that he feels a darkness coming…

*

Quotes:
Zathras: "Great war. Terrible war. A great darkness. It is the end of everything. Zathras warned, but no one listened to poor Zathras. Great war, but great hope of peace. Need place. Place to gather, to fight, to organize. To help save galaxy, on the side of light, so they tell me. The One leads us. The One tells us to go. We live for the One. We would die for the One. We pull this place through time to save us all.

Delenn, about the human race: "They do not seek conformity. They do not surrender. Out of their differences comes symmetry, their unique capacity to fight against impossible odds. Hurt them, and they only come back stronger. The passions we deplore have taken them to their place among the stars, and will propel them to a great destiny. Their only weakness is that they do not recognize their own greatness. They forget that they have come to this place through two million years of evolution, struggle, and blood. They are better than they think, and nobler than they know. They carry within them the capacity to walk among the stars like giants. They are the future, and we have much to learn from them."

– Delenn's Grey Council friend: "These are curious times. I feel a great change in my bones. A new beginning, an end I cannot say. We are surrounded by signs and portents. And I feel a darkness pressing from them."

*

Questions:
1. Did this episode surprise you? Were you expecting B4 to be real?
2. What did you think the first time you saw Zathras?
3. What did the man who shot at Sinclair and Garibaldi say? What do you think he meant?
4. Do you think the time distortion is natural or was it created?
5. Was the Grey Council right when they said prophecy must take care of itself? Does Delenn know more about what is happening than she will say?

Sources:
Wikia: The Babylon Project: http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Babylon_Squared
The Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/020.html
Babylon 5: Signs and Portents by Jane Killick, pages 157-163.

** I am sorry that I had to post this one out of order but with a death in the family, I simply did not get to it.
ruuger: Londo from Babylon 5 and the text: "And now for something completely different - a Centauri with seven tentacles" (And now for something completely differe)
[personal profile] ruuger
Here you can post your fanworks about "Babylon Squared" - icons, fanart, fanfic, vids - or recommend fanworks made by others. You can also suggest fic-prompts, for example.

(Remember to read the posting rules in the community profile!)

No spoilers are allowed in the the comments here (including in any possible fic prompts), but they are allowed in linked material (for example, you can link to a fic that's set during "Babylon Squared", but contains references to later storylines) as long as they're clearly marked.
ruuger: Londo from Babylon 5 and the text: "And now for something completely different - a Centauri with seven tentacles" (And now for something completely differe)
[personal profile] ruuger
This is the spoiler-free discussion post for episodes 1X20, "Babylon Squared". No spoilers beyond the episode currently being discussed are allowed here (this includes icons).

Summary:

Babylon 4 reappears.
ruuger: Londo from Babylon 5 and the text: "And now for something completely different - a Centauri with seven tentacles" (And now for something completely differe)
[personal profile] ruuger
This is the discussion post for the episodes 1X20, "Babylon Squared". Spoilers for the whole of the series, including the spin-offs and tie-ins, are allowed here so newbies beware.

Summary:

Babylon 4 reappears.

Extra reading:

The article for "Babylon Squared" at Lurker's Guide.

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