The Babylon Project

In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum

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Is John Sheridan above the law? His heart overrides his head when he illegally detains a visitor - Morden - who may know if Sheridan's wife, Anna, presumed dead on an ill-fated scientific exploration is still alive.



Guest StarringEdit


Cast NotesEdit



At incoming, Zack Allen and Security Chief Garibaldi discuss the issue of the incoming wounded refugees from Narn and the space they are taking up. In the Zocalo, Mr. Morden meets with Vir to make a delivery for an absent Ambassador Mollari. Annoyed by Vir’s evident dislike of him Morden asks him what he wants. Vir responds by expressing an interest of viewing Mr. Morden following the event of his execution.

Meeting with Captain John Sheridan to discuss the Narn refugees, Garibaldi finds him going through the effects of is late wife Anna Sheridan, a crewmember of the ill-fated Icarus. While scrolling through the crew records of the Icarus, Garibaldi catches sight of a familiar face: Mr. Morden.

Act IEdit

Garibaldi checks station records and finds that Morden is still on the station. Visibly agitated, Capt Sheridan orders him to find and detain Morden for questioning.

Talia Winters is visited in her quarters by Pierce Macabee, the regional director of the newly formed Ministry of Peace. He is at Babylon 5 ostensibly to round up support for several programs in the interests of “peace”. He invites her to attend several lectures he is hosting. She agrees.

In Medlab, Doctor Steven Franklin, still taking stims to get himself through the day, is drifting off while overseeing the care of the Narn refugees. Commander Ivanova enters and orders him point-blank to go and rest over his objections.

Mr. Morden attempts to leave Babylon 5 and is detained by Zack’s security team. Escorted in to see Capt. Sheridan, Morden points out that legally, he cannot be detained without being formally charged. Sheridan confronts him with a picture of Anna, but Morden denies knowledge. Confronted with video of the Icarus, Morden tells a story of being found by a passing ship suffering from amnesia. Sheriden directly calls him a liar.

When again Morden attempts to leave, Sheridan aggressively tells him he won’t leave until he tells the truth. When Morden points out the illegal detainment, Sheridan argues that while Morden is legally dead, he has no legal recourse. He intends to hold Morden indefinitely until he is told the truth about the Icarus.

Act IIEdit

Susan forces Stephen to stop and eat. He tells her about dreaming about seeing lives he couldn't save. Lately, he's been seeing a lot of Narns pass on. They discuss their belief in God, and their religions. He's a Foundationist.

Sheridan continues drilling Morden about his rescue, looking for one verifiable lie.

The Ministry of Peace meeting preaches on the danger of subversive thoughts. Thus they created the Nightwatch, a paid volunteer group to make the public start thinking about peace. Essentially, they're an information gathering group, and by information, they mean rumors. "We must protect society against its own worst instincts".

Garibaldi then calls Sheridan on his illegal holding of Mr. Morden. He understands why he's doing it, but he cannot allow such a violation of "the regs". When John won't back down, Garibaldi quits.

Act IIIEdit

With Garibaldi no longer head of security, Sheridan puts Zack in charge. He gets a message from Vir about Mr. Morden. He orders Zack to find Talia.

Meeting with Vir, Sheridan receives a request from Londo for Morden's release. Morden's been granted diplomatic immunity, which inflames Sheridan's curiosity. John says he's being held in protective custody, so diplomatic immunity doesn't apply. He's undecided as to what Morden's begin protected from, however.

Susan then confronts Sheridan about Morden. She notes he's being irrational, and warns that she's going to have to report this behavior if he doesn't quit. Sheridan's desperate to find out what happened to his departed wife, Anna, and knowing that Morden was also in the Icarus, he cannot let this go without learning the truth. Nothing else matters.

Talia refuses to scan Morden, even after Sheridan argues that he is officially dead. So Sheridan tricks her, ordering Zack to move Morden to another cell, and then escort Talia back to her quarters. This is done in such a way that they will pass one another in the hall. Talia senses darkness surrounding Morden, hears Shadow voices, and collapses in pain. Morden utters a very quiet "wait" at the same moment to the Shadows, indicating that they should not act and in doing so reveal themselves.

In MedLab, she's recovering from it, explaining what she sensed, when Sheridan walks in. She slaps him, justifiably, and then storms off. Stephen says he hopes it was worth it. Taking her reaction as proof that there was something off about Morden, he's more determined than ever to press on.

As he's leaving MedLab, Sheridan is confronted by Delenn and Kosh. They also urge him to release Morden. He won't, until he gets answers, so they agree to give him answers ... though once he knows, he'll never sleep well again.

Act IVEdit

Delenn explains to Sheridan about the First Ones - beings millions of years older than either of their races. Some moved on, but not all. A few remain, waiting until they're needed, when the Shadows come again. She tells him about the last great war, and then how the Shadows began to return 1000 years ago. They were defeated by the few remaining First Ones and the Minbari, and now there's still one race of First Ones left: the Vorlons.

For centuries, they stood alone, watching and waiting. She tells him how last year, she sent Kosh a message: "Have the Shadows returned to Z'ha'dum?". He sent back the answer, "Yes" via Lennier. He recognizes the world from G'Kar's warning.

Then Kosh projects images into his mind. He sees the Icarus, which went to Z'ha'dum. There, they woke the Shadows. The crew either chose to serve the Shadows, as Morden did, or they were killed. After, Sheridan swoons from the power of the projected vision.

Sheridan desperately hopes that his wife, Anna, is still alive. Delenn urges for Morden to be released, because if he pushes the man for information, he will break. Right now, their only advantage is the Shadows do no realize how much they know. Last time, they moved too quickly, so this time the Shadows are moving slowly, carefully. The Light needs that time to prepare their own forces. She also informs him that Morden is never alone.

In the security office later, Sheridan talks to Zack. He compares his need to let Morden go, to keep information from the Shadows, with World War II and the cracking of Germany's ENIGMA code. The British kept the secret, and the city of Coventry was sacrificed to keep the Germans from learning that ENIGMA had been cracked. He greatly identifies with Churchill at that moment, seeing the parallels with his own situation.

Zack asks, "How many lives is a secret worth?"

Then they hear a sound. Recalling that Delenn said Morden is never alone, he has Zack adjust the monitor in Morden's cell to see on different wavelengths. Then, just for a moment, he sees the Shadows with him. That leads to him cutting Morden loose, so that he can keep his own secret safe.

Act VEdit

Sheridan returns Garibaldi's link and PPG, informing him that he cut Morden loose. He says that Michael was right, and he was wrong. He also claims that there "won't be a next time" for that kind of situation.

Zack joined the Nightwatch, and is wearing their armband, just so he can get an extra 50 credits a week to do what he does anyway. This will later come back to haunt him.

Sheridan goes to Kosh, and tells him he let Morden go. In return, he wants to learn how to fight and beat the Shadows. Sooner or later, he says he will go to Z'ha'dum. Kosh replies that if he goes there, he will die. Sheridan is not deterred. Kosh agrees to teach him.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"I want to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look up into your lifeless eyes and wave like this. Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?"

Vir, responding to Morden


  • Vir reveals his desire to see Morden beheaded.
  • The history of the war between Shadows and other races, including First Ones, is described for the first time.
  • Morden's relationship to Anna Sheridan is established.
  • Dr. Franklin is first seen taking stims.
  • First mention of the Nightwatch.
  • The Vorlons are revealed as being First Ones.
  • Z'ha'dum is officially named as the home world of the Shadows.
  • The question that Delenn asked in season 1 is finally revealed.

DVD ReleaseEdit

This episode, along with the other episodes from season two, has been released on DVD with extensive special features.

External linksEdit

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