518: Movements of Fire and Shadow

Directed by
John C. Flinn III

First broadcast week of
17 June 1998

Sheridan has mobilized the White Star fleet against the Centauri - Babylon 5 is now no longer neutral in the outbreaking hostilities.  He sends Delenn to Minbar to propose to the Grey Council a plan to construct a new class of warship based on the White Star design: Vorlon-Minbari technology constructed by the humans who would benefit from the advanced technology available to them.  While still imprisoned on Centauri Prime, Londo and G'Kar are rendered unconscious, and Londo is subjected to testing by strange aliens.  An overseeing alien decides that "he will be sufficient".   Londo, perturbed by his "vision", decides that he wants out of the cell, where G'Kar obliges to help him save face by promptly regurgitating last night's supper.   The Drazi and the Narn agree to move against Centauri Prime itself rather than standing up to continual random attacks from the Centauri warships.  Vir pleads with Franklin and Lyta to go to the Drazi homeworld to investigate the lack of Centauri bodies being returned; it is custom in war for the opposing parties to return the bodies of the dead to their respective homes.  The Drazi have not done so and Vir wishes to know why.  Franklin agrees, as does Lyta - only after Vir agrees to donate five hundred thousand credits to the "Save the Telepaths Fund".  On the Drazi homeworld, Lyta discovers that there aren't any Centauri bodies on the Centauri warships - only leftover Shadow technology allowing the ships to be remote controlled.  Franklin and Sheridan realize that an outside force is using the Shadow technology to frame the Centauri for the attacks, giving just cause for the other races to wipe out the Centauri - in particular the Drazi, whose trade economy would benefit from the fall of the Centauri Empire.  En route to Minbari, Delenn and Lennier's White Star is attacked by Centauri warships and they are left for dead, adrift.  Londo meets with the Regent and learns that the end is near; "They" have given the Regent his last order to send the fleet away from Centauri Prime and deactivate the defence grid.  Londo can do nothing but watch as the Drazi and Narn fleet arrives in orbit and open fire...

Notes: The new ships proposed by Sheridan are eventually seen in A Call to Arms and Crusade (see also Legend of the Rangers).  Franklin and Lyta return to the same hotel - probably the same room - on the Drazi homeworld as the one visited by Garibaldi in The Ragged Edge.  The Centauri Regent refers to his comment that he would see Londo again "before the end", and the alien influence on Centauri Prime is revealed as being the Drakh In the Kingdom of the Blind.  The Drakh were first named in Lines of Communication as being allies of the Shadows.  Londo whispers Adira's name in his sleep (Born to the Purple, Day of the Dead); his capture by the Drakh is probably the first stage of having his "Keeper" implanted, as is the destruction of the planet (War Without End, Part II).

Guest Cast: Thomas MacGreevy makes his last appearance as the Centauri Minister of Defence (Darkness Ascending and And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder), as does Damian London as the Centauri Regent.  Wayne Alexander (the Drakh) previously appeared in numerous other roles, including Sebastian (Comes the Inquisitor) and Lorien.  Robin Sachs (General Na'Tok) appeared as the Minbari Hedronn, among other roles.  Bart McCarthy (Daro) previously played the Minbari Shakiri in Moments of Transition.