321: Shadow Dancing
First UK broadcast 1 September 1996
First US broadcast week of
Z Minus 6 Days.
Delenn is having difficulty convincing the League of Non-Aligned Worlds of the merits of committing large numbers of their forces to a full-frontal assault on the Shadows. After much deliberation, the Council accepts. Sheridan dispatches Marcus and Ivanova on the White Star to serve as an early warning for the fleet. Delenn proposes that, after the battle is over, she and Sheridan engage in a Minbari ritual in which she watches him sleep over three nights so she can see his "true face". Franklin, still on walkabout, tries to intervene in an assault in Down Below, but is severely wounded. The White Star is damaged after a battle with a Shadow scout, and defenceless in the face of an oncoming Shadow fleet. Franklin lies alone, dying, when he has a vision of himself: a heartless professional who is disappointed with his own performance. He taunts himself into dragging himself to safety so he can start practicing medicine all over again. The fleet arrives and engages in a furious battle with the Shadows, losing twice as many ships as they can destroy. The Shadows eventually withdraw, and Franklin returns to MedLab just in time to assist curing the wounded. The Shadows launch a shuttle which heads for Babylon 5. As Delenn watches Sheridan sleep, the shuttle's occupant comes aboard and identifies herself: Sheridan's wife, Anna.
Z Minus 2 Days.
Notes: Delenn first watched Sheridan sleep aboard the White Star in Messages From Earth. Anna Sheridan was originally aboard the Icarus on its expedition to Z'ha'dum (Revelations, In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum, and the novel The Shadow Within) and was presumed dead when the ship exploded. Delenn had a flash-forward of herself in Sheridan's quarters being confronted by a female stranger in War Without End, Part II - whom we now know is Anna. Anna's life as a Shadow vessel features in the Passing of the Techno-mages series of novels, the third of which, Invoking Darkness, coincides with events of this episode.
A partial explanation is given for Sheridan's dream in All Alone in the Night: Ivanova asking "Do you know who I am?", an indication of her latent telepathic powers (see Divided Loyalties); himself in a Psi Cop uniform, indicative of his working with Bester (Ship of Tears); Ivanova telling him he is "the hand", which Delenn takes to mean he has an equal opposite among the Shadows (possibly Anna Sheridan). Garibaldi telling him "the man in between is searching for him" is as yet unexplained.
The soundtrack of this episode is available on CD.
Guest Cast: Bruce Boxleitner's wife Melissa Gilbert appears as Anna Sheridan - Beth Toussaint originally played her in Revelations.