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Point of No Return

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POINT OF NO RETURN
Babylon 5, Episode 3x09
Production number: 309
First aired: 26th February 1996
53rd Babylon 5 episode to be aired
Production Credits
Written By: J. Michael Straczynski
Directed By: Jim Johnston
Executive Producer: Douglas Netter
& J. Michael Straczynski
Producer: John Copeland
Production Designer: John Iacovelli
Director of Photography: John C. Flinn, III A.S.C.
Editor: David W. Foster
Music By: Christopher Franke
Episode Chronology
Story Date: April 8th - 10th, 2260
Chronological Order
Preceded by: Messages from Earth
Followed by: Severed Dreams
Broadcast Order
Preceded by: Messages from Earth
Followed by: Severed Dreams
Episode Gallery

Centauri prophetess Lady Morella comes to Babylon 5 even as the station reels from the chaos of a declaration of martial law. Sheridan must find a way to prevent Nightwatch from using martial law to take over the station.

CastEdit

Regular CastEdit

Special Guest StarEdit

Guest StarringEdit

Co-StarringEdit

FeaturingEdit

Cast NotesEdit

SummaryEdit

IntroEdit

Londo Mollari reviews Vir Cotto's report on the Minbari, rewriting it to make it "acceptable" for the Centauri Royal Court. Vir objects to his revisions, eventually becoming so frustrated that he decides to get some sleep. Londo receives a call from Lord Trego informing him that Lady Morella has agreed to his request for a visit. When Londo steps out of his quarters to begin making preparations, he is caught off-guard by the flurry of activity due to President Clark's martial law order.

Sheridan and Ivanova are in conversation with an Earthforce general over the situation. The general reveals that Clark signed an executive order dissolving the senate, with many senators arrested or on the run and trying to curry military support against martial law. General Hague has gone missing since the declaration. While talking, the Elite Guard opens fire on the senate building. Before leaving, the general delivers Hague's last message for Sheridan: "Everything's gone to hell, John. God help us all. You're on your own."

Act IEdit

Sheridan and Ivanova update C'n'C on the situation. While other colonies have been ordered to follow through with the martial law order, Babylon 5 has not yet been addressed. Sheridan asks the command staff to continue as normal, with one squadron in space at all times. Garibaldi meets Sheridan and Ivanova in the hall, revealing that a multi-system alert is out for General Hague.

The Nightwatch liaison tells Zack Allan to come to a meeting at 1100 hours. He cautions him against putting the information out over the link, and especially against telling Garibaldi. He also advises Zack to bring extra caps for his PPG.

Garibaldi releases G'Kar from his cell, commuting his 60-day sentence because he needs his guards out in the station rather than guarding him. G'Kar states that he might have something for him when the time is right.

Meanwhile, Londo and Vir wait for Morella to arrive. Londo must tell Vir about Lady Morella, that she is a prophetess and seer. Morella arrives, inquiring as to why the Earth officials are not present, Londo and Vir indicate that they are "distracted" by recent events, and take Morella to her quarters.

Sheridan receives a transmission from General Smits, who informs Sheridan that the Political Office has decided to give off-world security responsibility exclusively to NightWatch personnel. He also tells him to "respect the chain of command" regarding any orders. At the same time, Nightwatch personnel are being briefed with the same information. When Sheridan objects, the general tells him to remember where the order comes from.

Act IIEdit

As G'Kar makes his way back to his quarters, he is surprised to see Ta'Lon standing watch by the door. He had been waiting for G'Kar's return since the latter's imprisonment, anticipating a way to repay his debt. G'Kar replies that Ta'Lon will get that opportunity, as he is about to make a significant decision: one which may call on Ta'Lon's assistance.

Allan and the liaison start calling roll of security personnel, demanding that they either join Nightwatch or leave security. Garibaldi is not pleased with this turn of events, but Sheridan advises against going down there since it would provide Nightwatch a justification to arrest him. But since it represents the undoing of years of effort and trust, Garibaldi goes down anyway.

Lady Morella is preparing to follow Londo on a tour of the station. As she finishes, she notes that her late husband, Emperor Turhan, had been trying to stem a growing tide of madness, which she feels the current Earth-Centauri Alliance represents. Morella comments how greatness rarely gets truly appreciated in life. She finally insists Londo get to the point, and Londo reveals the true reason for her visit: he needs her psychic vision for guidance since he doesn't know if the path ahead of him is one to embrace or to flee. Morella agrees since she agrees Londo's path ahead will be significant to the Republic.

Back in Security, Zack tries to intercept Garibaldi, but Garibaldi says to stay out of the way. The two of them argue: Zack insisting that Garibaldi play along to keep down suspicion, but Garibaldi will have none of it, telling Zack that this is no game. He bursts into the room and starts overturning tables and trying to appeal to his relationships with his officers. When the liaison demands to know Garibaldi's stance, Garibaldi chews him out concerning this supposed loyalty. Finally, the liaison relieves Garibaldi of duty, and Zack takes him away, but not before getting some stinging words regarding his "promotion".

Act IIIEdit

In his quarters, G'Kar explains his thinking. While incarcerated, he had been meditating on the revelations he experienced during his attack on Ambassador Mollari, and those meditations had radically altered his world view. He had been committing his thoughts into a book, which he has brought back with him. In essence, G'Kar explains that for the Narns to save themselves they must be able to make sacrifices and commit themselves to a greater good, giving up the pride and enmity which has driven them for so long before it drives them to oblivion. And to begin that journey, they must help the humans.

Ivanonva walks into Sheridan's office just in time to get the bad news: the martial law order has just come in, to be enacted immediately (or rather, as soon as Sheridan can tolerate getting the words out). Meanwhile, Nightwatch begins to disperse crowds in the Zocalo. At that moment, Londo, Vir, and Morella arrive as well as part of Londo's tour. Morella can sense growing tension which reaches a fever pitch when an ISN Special Report airs, showing footage of General Hague's ship, the EAS Alexander, successfully escaping an attack from Clark-loyal ships at the Transfer Point on Io. Nightwatch tries to disperse the viewing crowd, but several of them start fighting back, and the scene degenerates into a riot. During the chaos, A bottle breaks on Vir's head, injuring him. While the riot continues (with Zack trying his best not to get involved), Sheridan appears on the monitors to officially declare martial law, but everyone's too wrapped up in the riot to pay attention (accentuated when one of the monitors is broken by a thrown chair).

Back in his office, Sheridan throws away the executive order in disgust. Just then, Dr. Franklin walks in, and while the two discuss how to deal with the Clark-loyal Nightwatch watching the entire station, Franklin brings up the subject of the chain of command. Suddenly, Sheridan realizes that Gen. Smits had earler been covertly hinting at Sheridan how to proceed (the hints had to be covert because it was an open channel). He tells Franklin to find Garibaldi (in person since Nightwatch controls the comm channels). Meanwhile, using his Link, Sheridan plays back the communique, focusing on several key words: "the chain of command", "the Political Office", and "opportunity".

G'Kar walks into C&C. When Ivanova approaches him, G'Kar exlains that he has "an idea".

Later, Zack returns to his quarters. To his surprise, he opens the door to discover that Ivanova, Garibaldi, and G'Kar are waiting for him inside. Just then, Sheridan approaches him from behind and firmly tells him, "Get in."

Morella tends to the cuts on Vir's head, though Londo chides her for the supposed coddling. While taking a towel, Morella touches Londo's hand, and she experiences a series of visions: the same visions that have been haunting Londo recently and have driven him to seek her guidance.

Zack returns to security and reports in to the Nightwatch liaison. It seems the conversation he had earlier concerned a solution to the station's Nightwatch problem. A ship of Narns is due to arrive at the station overnight. These Narns are intended to replace the security force. Zack confesses that he couldn't play along, which is why he's telling the liaison now. The liaison is thrilled; at last, they have the evidence they need to take Sheridan right out of command.

Act IVEdit

G'Kar convenes a meeting of the station's Narns and makes his case. He is going to need their help more than ever.

At 0230, the station's computer delivers a wake-up call to a very-much-awake Sheridan. On both sides, forces muster. The liaison calls up every able hand in Nightwatch to round up the incoming Narns while the command staff gather to make their way to the docking bay. The Nightwatch personnel swarm into Docking Bay 8. Zack soon joins the liaison, confirming that every able and willing hand is on the way in. As Zack checks the bay entrance, everyone else charges up their PPGs. Just then, Zack activates his Link and relays a single word: "Now!" Suddenly, the doors of the docking bay close on the Nightwatch, with Zack making a last-second escape through the entrance. Just then, the command staff arrive, and Garibaldi is soon there to pick him up. With profound relief, Zack removes his Nightwatch armband and declares, "They're all yours, Captain," revealing he'd been on the command staff's side the whole time, leading Nightwatch into a trap. Sheridan uses the docking bay's PA to announce that all of Nightwatch is now under arrest for conspiracy to mutiny and failure to obey the chain of command. He then reveals the clues left by Gen. Smits. Earthforce has a distinct chain of command starting from the President, going through the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and continuing down through the ranks. The Political Office is not part of this hierarchy and therefore cannot give military orders. So everyone now has to await proper orders (which given the communications difficulties will take several days). In the meantime, they can either sit it out there (where they can't use their weapons to break out) or turn in their arms, relieve themselves of duty, and spend the interim confined to quarters. Ivanova points out that Clark will simply respond with a direct order which would have military legality, but still the move will buy them time to make another move. Franklin then points out that the arrest means they don't have many security personnel on duty. Garibaldi responds by bringing in G'Kar, with a number of Narns following. Sheridan reveals that the plan to replace Nightwatch was half-true. Yes, Narns would be replacing the Nightwatch; no, there was no ship, as G'Kar had managed to recruit the local population for the job.

Before proceeding with her vision, Lady Morella insists that her words stay between her, Londo, and Vir. She then reveals her vision. She tells Londo of three chances to avoid the dire fate in Londo's vision: to save the eye that does not see, to not kill the one who is already dead, or at the last, to submit to his fear, knowing it will destroy him. Then she drops a bombshell. Both Londo and Vir will be Emperor someday, though in turn: one will take the throne upon the other's death.

Act VEdit

One by one, the Nightwatch personnel turn in their Links, Identicards, and weapons. Meanwhile, Lady Morella follows a Centauri guard to a transport tube bound for the docking bays. The tube happens to have a Narn already in it: Ta'Lon. The two exchange looks but not words.

Sheridan thanks G'Kar for his help in enlisting the Narns. But now G'Kar insists on a favor in return. He wants in on the Conspiracy of Light. G'Kar reveals that he already knows much about Sheridan's activities in that end, and he wants to be involved as well. Sheridan agrees to discuss it with the others, but G'Kar points out that time may favor him rather than Sheridan.

Londo and Vir stare at each other nervously. Ever since Morella's last stunning revelation, they've been forced to see each other in a totally different and very uncomfortable way. Londo points out that Vir is due to return to his ambassadorial duties on Minbar. They try to break their mutual anxiety, but it keeps returning. It's hard for either to trust the other.

Ivanova reports to Sheridan. Ambassador Delenn has just returned. Also, she relays news from ISN that most of the ships that had defected with Gen. Hague have been shot down. Only Hague's ship, the Alexander, remains free. The situation is rapidly coming to a head, and Babylon 5 will likely be the next target.

Memorable QuotesEdit

DVD ReleaseEdit

This episode, along with the other 21 from Season 3 have been released on DVD with extensive Special Features.

External linksEdit

Episode guide page for Point of No Return at the Lurker's Guide

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