Season Four draws to a close with these final two episodes, wrapping up with the aftermath of the Earth conflict and looking to the future and the legacy our heroes are leaving behind...
This episode wraps up the events of the latter half of the season and outlines the fate of some of our characters with Ivanova having been revived by Marcus, Sheridan facing Earth's newly installed President and Delenn hoping to form a new alliance of all the races.
Sheridan is offered an ultimatum by the President and is threatened by Bester after he learns of the telepath involvement in the Mars attack. Ultimately, with the arrival of Delenn, G'Kar and Londo at Earth, we see that Sheridan's future looks bright - or complicated and Earth is invited to join the new Interstellar Alliance.
As a wrap-up episode, this one works well and provides something to look forward to in the fifth season with the first year of this new alliance. We get to see Sheridan's father and Ivanova is given her own ship and G'Kar finally puts his prosthetic eye to use in a creepy way! There's a lot of talking and certainly much less action than we have become used to in the recent episodes but resolution is provided which is something many sci-fi shows stay away from.
The Deconstruction of Falling Stars
The episode is framed around 2262 but is told from the point of view a million years in the future, looking at key dates from the beginning of the Interstellar Alliance to 100, 500 and 1000 years beyond.
We see the initial Earth reaction to the alliance and a panel determining if Sheridan can lead it in the wake of the recent Earth conflict. We then jump ahead 100 years where a panel of academics look back on the beginnings of the alliance and whether Sheridan and Delenn were as influential as has been suggested.
Five hundred years on and Earth is divided once again, wanting to deconstruct the origins of the alliance in order to allow Earth to expand from the 'restrictions' it feels have been imposed since alliance membership. Five hundred more years after that and we see that Earth suffered greatly from a devastating conflict and the Rangers are at work piecing things back together for us.
Move to the end of the world and we see that all of these records are being catalogued as our sun is about to go nova and humans, now an evolved race are leaving for New Earth.
An interesting episode, but also one that I never found that interesting, except the final scene. I always took issue with 'The Great Burn' sending us back to the stone age. That we would have all this technology and become a space-faring race, only to bomb ourselves so stupid that we would be without interstellar travel for over five hundred years.
It was an episode that may never have happened if the show had only lasted four seasons, so its very existence at the time meant that Babylon 5 would run for its intended five years and we have already been given a peak and several hints at what's to come...