311: Ceremonies of Light and Dark

Directed by
John C Flinn III

First broadcast week of
8 April 1996

Sheridan assists DelennDelenn plans to restage the nafak'cha renewal ceremony, where the participants reveal a previously untold secret and give away something of value.  Marcus strongly refuses to partake for reasons he won't specify.  During a visit from Lord Refa, Londo slips him one half of a deadly poison - promising that he will deliver the other half if he does not cease his associations with the Shadows, endangering the Centauri in their border wars with other races.  Some remaining members of Nightwatch kidnap Delenn and Lennan, the leader of the Minbari fleet protecting the station, keeping them hostage until the Minbari fleet withdraws so Earthforce can retake the station.  Marcus and Sheridan fake a reactor leak to bring them out of hiding where Garibaldi captures them; one of them makes an attempt on Sheridan's life but ends up wounding Delenn instead.  As she lies injured in MedLab, the command staff bring the ceremony to her, giving her their Earthforce uniforms.  She supplies them with new Minbari-crafted outfits, which they adopt as the new uniform of the independent state of Babylon 5.

Notes: Delenn first attempted to stage the rebirth ceremony in The Parliament of Dreams.  Marcus does not participate in the ceremony (perhaps he does not wish to admit his love of Ivanova (see Exogenesis)), neither does Delenn (perhaps because of the Earth-Minbari War - see Atonement and In the Beginning), nor Lennier (whose love for Delenn begins to surface here (and culminates in Objects at Rest)).  Sheridan admits to Delenn his feelings for her; Ivanova admits she loved Talia (see Divided Loyalties); Garibaldi admits he has a problem maintaining his self-control (see Survivors and Phoenix Rising); and Franklin thinks he has a problem (a reference to his stim addiction; see In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum, Confessions and Lamentations, A Day in the Strife, Interludes and Examinations).  Londo severed his ties with Morden in Matters of Honor, where Morden also mentioned his alliance with Refa.

This episode lies precisely halfway through the series.  It was originally entitled Ceremonies.

Guest Cast: William Forward returns as Lord Refa.  The voice of "Sparky the Computer" was supplied by series conceptual consultant Harlan Ellison.  Don Stroud (Boggs) appeared as Caliban in TKO.