The Fall of Night


The Fall of Night

Infobox Television episode
Title = The Fall of Night
Series = Babylon 5


Caption =
Season = 2
Episode = 22
Airdate = 1 November 1995
15 August 1995 (UK)
Production = 222
Writer = J. Michael Straczynski
Director = Janet Greek
Guests = Roy Dotrice (Frederick Lantz)
Jeff Conaway (Zack Allan)
Juli Doland (Pilot #1)
Rick Hamilton (Mitch)
Robin Sachs (Na'Kal)
John Vickery (Mr. Welles)
Episode list = List of "Babylon 5" episodes
Prev = Comes the Inquisitor
Next = Matters of Honor

"The Fall of Night" is the final episode of the second season of the science fiction television series "Babylon 5".

ynopsis

The Centauri have been expanding their war of aggression; now they are launching attacks into Drazi and Pak'ma'ra space. Sheridan confronts Ambassador Londo Mollari about the incursions, but to no avail.

The Earth Alliance sends two members of the Ministry of Peace to the station. One of them, Mr. Welles, a representative of Nightwatch, meets with Nightwatch members on the station, including security officer Zack Allen. Mr. Welles encourages the local members to be more vigilant in reporting suspicious or "disloyal" activity, including any talk by civilians critical of the President or of EarthGov policies. Welles also attempts to recruit Commander Ivanova as a Nightwatch informant, but she declines, on ethical grounds.

The other VIP, Frederick Lantz, is there ostensibly to investigate the Centauri situation, meeting with representatives from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, though he refuses to meet with G'Kar. It is soon revealed that he has been sent to sign a non-aggression treaty with the Centauri.

Before this is revealed, however, a Narn warship arrives at the station, seeking sanctuary. Captain Sheridan grants their request, and supplies them with equipment, along with promises of protection while in Babylon 5 space. The presence of the Narn ship is kept secret, until a member of the command staff who is attached to Nightwatch informs Mr. Welles, and soon the Centauri know about the ship as well.

The Centauri dispatch a battlecruiser to Babylon 5, demanding custody of the Narn ship. Sheridan refuses, having given his word that the Narns would be granted sanctuary. Mr. Lantz objects, but Sheridan overrides him. Sheridan orders a squadron of Starfuries to escort the ship out of Babylon 5 space. But when they move toward the jump-gate, the Centauri vessel opens fire on the cruiser, on the Starfuries, and on Babylon 5 itself.

Babylon 5 returns fire and launches additional fighters forcing the Centauri to concentrate on the station, thus allowing the Narn ship to escape into hyperspace. Thanks to B5's new weapons systems and the fighters, the Centauri vessel is heavily damaged resulting in an explosion which destroys the ship. Babylon 5 has itself sustained some major, but localized and non critical damage.

The Centauri are furious, and demand a public apology, which Sheridan's superiors order him to provide. While his actions in destroying the Centauri vessel were legally and ethically acceptable actions of self-defence, they violated the spirit of the soon-to-be-signed non-aggression pact between Earth and the Centauri.

The public apology is to be given in the station's zen garden, where numerous ambassadors have gathered to hear it. As Sheridan travels to that location on the station's core shuttle, he discovers that a Centauri assassin has planted a bomb on the shuttle. In a desperate act of self-preservation, Sheridan jumps from the shuttle just before it explodes. High above the garden, Sheridan is freefalling, weightless, but the ground below him is spinning towards him at 60 mph.

With only moments left before Sheridan hits the ground, Delenn urges Kosh to do something. Kosh agrees, and leaves his encounter suit, revealing publicly for the first time what he is under his encounter suit: an angelic being of light, complete with wings. Kosh rescues Sheridan, bringing him safely to the ground.

Kosh's public revelation of his true nature, however, is startling - for every race that sees him sees something different: one of their own divine beings, deities, gods, or in the case of humans, an angel. Apparently, the Vorlons have been manipulating the younger races over time, programming each race to see the Vorlons as they wished them to be seen. Only Londo Mollari, of the Centauri, claims to have seen nothing.

Meanwhile, Starfury pilot Warren Keffer continues his obsessive investigations into the Shadow vessels, determined to prove their existence. Having learned that they leave neutrino trails when passing through hyperspace, Keffer sets his Starfury instruments to scan for them automatically. While escorting the escaping Narn warship through hyperspace, Keffer detects a Shadow vessel, and breaks off to investigate. The Shadow ship destroys Keffer's Starfury, killing him, but not before he is able to launch a message buoy with recordings of the Shadow ship. The buoy is discovered by ISN, which broadcasts images of the Shadow ships, revealing the Shadows existence publicly for the first time.

As the season finale of year two, the episode ends with foreshadowing of year three, narrated by Commander Ivanova. While lighting a menorah, she states that Babylon 5's mission as "our last, best hope for peace" had failed, but instead had become something greater: "our last, best hope for victory." The Nightwatch is shown having "disloyal" dissidents arrested, their businesses shut down, citing charges of sedition. And the Centauri become more aggressive by the day, expanding their war to more and more worlds.

Analysis

If Mollari did indeed see "nothing" when Kosh left his encounter suit, it indicates that the Centauri were perhaps not one of the races influenced by the Vorlons and may have been instead under the Shadow's sphere of influence (like the Drakh).

Arc significance

*We see a Vorlon outside of its encounter suit for the first time (although this was later learned not to be their true appearance, which was not revealed until season 4).
*The Earth Alliance signs a non-aggression pact with the Centauri.
*The Centauri have begun conquering neighboring planets.
*Against orders, Sheridan offers sanctuary to a damaged Narn ship, leading to an armed confrontation with a Centauri battlecruiser.
*The Narn warship, the G'tok, commanded by Warleader Na'kal, will reappear in season 3 on "Walkabout" to assist Sheridan.

Production Details

*In an outtake when the Drazi asks Londo what he saw, Peter Jurasik replied, "I thought I saw a puddy cat. I did, I did see a puddy cat." (See Tweety Bird)

External links


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