Babylon 5

Series Rewatch: Babylon 5 – Revelations

Written by J. Michael Straczynski and Larry Ditillio
Directed by Jim Johnston

The second episode of the second season of Babylon 5 has a lot of ground to cover. It advances many storylines and goes a long way to creating the conspiracies that will plague the station for years to come.

Revelations opens with the Council of Ambassadors meeting, minus a few members. Narn Ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) has disappeared to parts unknown and Minbari Ambassador Delenn (Mira Furlan) is still in her cocoon. Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) is raging that they can’t get any business done and asks to reprimand the respective governments and have new representatives assigned. No one will second it, so Commander Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) adjourns them for the day to try it the next day.

G’Kar, meanwhile, has encountered mysterious ships that kill the rest of the squadron before he makes it to a jump-gate to return to Babylon 5. In his quarters, he tells his aide, Na’toth (Mary Kay Adams) about his theory of a very old race of beings having been awakened and destroyed the outpost in quadrant 37.

Dr. Franklin (Richard Biggs) comes to Sheridan and asks for permission to use the alien device he was given back in the episode, The Quality of Mercy to try to wake Security Chief Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) from the coma. All else has failed. He states he will hook himself up to the machine and transfer some of his life energy to Mr Garibaldi. Later, Sheridan comes and states he wants to be hooked up to the machine. He’s worried that something could happen while Franklin is plugged into it. The treatment is eventually successful and Garibaldi awakes. He tells Lt. Commander Ivanova (Claudie Christian) and Sheridan he can’t remember who attacked him. Garibaldi asks psychic Talia Winters (Andrea Thompson) to come and scan him to possibly figure out who was behind the attack on him. It works and the person who shot Garibaldi from behind is arrested. However, after being arrested Sheridan is ordered by President Clark (Gary McGurk) to send him to Earth for a full investigation into the possible conspiracy to kill the late President.

Sheridan’s sister Elizabeth (Beverly Leech) comes to visit him. She confronts him about still mourning his late wife, Anna (Beth Toussaint), after two years. Anna was also Elizabeth’s friend for a long time before she married John. Sheridan blames himself for Anna being on the ship that exploded and killed her. Elizabeth gives him a message Anna sent to her about a week before she died. It helps John know that Anna loved him and maybe be able to get on living instead of mourning.

Meanwhile, Londo asks to meet again with Mr. Morden (Ed Wasser). Londo is nervous about the destruction of the Narn base being traced back to him. At the same time, because he told his government he would take care of it, he is getting the credit back home. Londo jokes, “Why don’t you eliminate the entire Narn homeworld while you’re at it?” Mr. Morden does not joke around, and Londo seems a bit hesitant after saying that. Mr. Morden asks Londo to tell him if he hears any talk of strange things happening out on the rim.

G’Kar meets with Londo and Sheridan and tells them his theory that a race from Z’ha’dum being the one that awakened and attacked the Narn outpost. Londo runs to tell Mr. Morden about the Narn ship headed there. Mr. Morden gives away that he knows of that world, but he quickly covers. The ship is destroyed immediately after coming out of the jumpgate nearest Z’ha’dum. G’kar doesn’t know how that could happen unless they knew the ship was coming…

Delenn comes out of her cocoon She has some scaly coating on her and still seems weak. Lennier (Bill Mumy) asks Dr. Franklin to come to her quarters. Delenn appears before the Council on Babylon 5. She enters wearing a cloak, and reveals herself to be more human-like. She states she underwent the change to be a bridge between the worlds of the Minbari and the humans.

Garibaldi has a theory that Psi Corps might have been behind President Santiago’s assassination. He confides in Ivanova and Franklin after having interviewed his former aide himself. Ivanova checks on the prisoner transport and he’s been transferred to another, unknown ship and disappeared. President Clark won’t take any calls about it.

That sounds like a lot to cover in just over 40 minutes, but it works surprisingly well. The pace doesn’t feel rushed at all. Almost all of the ensemble cast appears in this one along with a few guest starts. While the first episode of the season dealt with Commander Sheridan replacing Commander Sinclair, this one deals with the many cliffhangers there were at the end of the first season while also giving us more of Sheridan’s background. This establishes his wife’s disappearance, a storyline I believe was intended for Catherine Sakai should Michael O’Hare have stayed with the show.

As blustery as Londo is in this episode, we also start to see some hesitancy on his part. He’s made a deal with the devil, although he can’t quite grasp that just yet. It’s enough to give him some uneasiness though. It’s a good bit of acting by Peter Jurasik under the makeup (and hair) to give Londo a bit of a conscience that will come into play down the line. G’Kar also tenders an olive branch to Londo in this episode as he is realizing the magnitude of what they will be up against. Unfortunately, Londo has already set some things in motion. Even with G’Kar’s revelations, it’s not enough to reveal what he knows,

I liked how events of previous episodes were brought into play, particularly Dr. Franklin using the machine from The Quality of Mercy. It’s a reminder that it’s still there, and it won’t be the last time it’s used in the series. Garibaldi wakes up to a world that is totally different than before he entered to coma, between the assassination and a new station Commander. I like that he and Sheridan didn’t know each other. It would have been too much of a coincidence if they did. This helps with storylines later on down the line, but for now, it’s Sheridan and Garibaldi being thrown together and having to break the ice. I would have thought Garibaldi would have had a more violent reaction to the discovery that it was one of his own men who shot him in the back. This is not a great revelation or spoiler, because the audience has known who it was since last season. Perhaps it’s more that he’s still weak from the coma.

Without knowing the rest of the story, it would be easy to think that Delenn’s transformation had more to do with an easier time in the makeup chair than anything else. There is a lot more to it, that will be revealed mostly when Michael O’Hare returns to wrap up Sinclair’s storyline. She is bringing the gap between the humans and the Minbari for a reason. Lennier’s devotion to her is made apparent during this episode as well.

Although there’s a lot that happens, the episode doesn’t feel rushed or like the information was crammed in. There’s little that gratuitous here, except for possible some of the interaction between Sheridan and his sister. Still, it helps round out his character and sew the same seeds that were planted for Sinclair in the first season. Sheridan has a family to think about for some of the decisions he’ll be making.

I feel like the second season is where the story starts to really heat up, and the 5-year-arc comes more into play. Revelations nicely ties up what we know from the first season with what is going to happen in the future. It’s an episode that can’t be missed for those who are following the series to the conclusion.

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