Mark Watches ‘Babylon 5’: S01E20 – Babylon Squared

In the twentieth episode of the first season of Babylon 5, I DON’T GET IT. HELP. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Babylon 5. 



It’s not that anything here is necessarily “easy” to decipher, but at least there is some directness to Delenn’s subplot in this episode. Of course, I’m still missing so many pieces, and the Prophecy that clearly influenced the Minbari’s decision to end the war with Earth is pretty damn mysterious. But that’s a tiny piece given to us: the motivation for the end of the war. Something the humans do—or some humans, I should say—are so significant that the Minbari surrendered in order to make sure that prophecy came true. And was it specifically about Sinclair? Because they didn’t take any other humans to experiment or poke or prod, so there’s something there, right? 

I don’t know what that is, but this episode felt like such a natural accompaniment to “A Voice in the Wilderness.” There, Delenn bid her friend goodbye after they made a heart-wrenching decision because they knew it was the right thing. So, there’s a very quiet journey on Delenn’s part that finally becomes loud. She’s summoned to the Grey Council, where she learns that she’s been nominated as the new leader of the Council. AND THEN PROMPTLY REJECTS IT. She knows what a big deal this is, but she also knows that her study of the prophecy is vital, too. Why does she have to stay on Babylon 5? Well, we know that she’s got something on Sinclair, but by the end of the episode, we discover that they’ve got a completely different mission: stopping some horrible war. 

The non-linear plot makes it hard to analyze this because I don’t know if anything here is definite or just a potential future. Regardless, though, Delenn’s journey is incredibly important, and it’s a fascinating thing to follow her as she rejects this huge honor, all so she can remain on Babylon 5. Does she want to do anything there? Is she just a distant observer, or is she going to eventually find a way of getting involved? What is that involvement? How does she end up alongside Sinclair, pulling Babylon 4 in and out of time to use in a war against… I don’t fucking know. WHO IS THIS WAR BETWEEN. What the fuck???

Babylon 4

I know I’m probably botching some of these details, but: Babylon 4 disappeared because it was pulled out of time to be used as a station and a base of operations for… some war? Between light and dark? But when this happened, well over a thousand crew members were also stranded aboard it, so if that was really Sinclair, DAMN. That’s messed up. But that doesn’t make sense, does it? I’m leaving out Zathras, the mysterious species of alien who tells the present-day crew what’s going on. They are a bizarre character, but as far as I could tell, The One/Sinclair was genuinely trying to save as many people from dying by holding the time jumps. 

AND THOSE TIME JUMPS. Was that the war in Sinclair’s glimpse? Seeing Lise again so soon after the last episode was a trip, too. We know one of these events really happened, so is that massive fight an inevitability, too? I DON’T KNOW!!! I don’t know how much determinism and free will plays into all of this. Fuck it, I don’t know much at ALL about where this show is going. This is such a bold episode because of the way that it largely does not resolve anything that is brought up. Delenn’s story is a chapter in a much larger one, the writers know that, and the writers don’t care about MY FEELINGS. Y’all, what is the prophecy??? Who made it? How has it been affecting events thus far in the show in ways I have not picked up yet? WHY ARE YOU ALL EVIL.

What the fuck did I just watch? 

The video for “Babylon Squared” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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