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The Long, Twilight Struggle

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THE LONG, TWILIGHT STRUGGLE
Babylon 5, Episode 2x20
Production number: 219
First aired: 16 November 1994
42nd Babylon 5 episode to be aired
Production Credits
Written By: J. Michael Straczynski
Directed By: Michael Vejar
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: Skip Robinson
Music By: Christopher Franke
Episode Chronology
Story Date: Sun 3 - Sun 10 December, 2259
Chronological Order
Preceded by: Divided Loyalties
Followed by: Comes the Inquisitor
Broadcast Order
Preceded by: Divided Loyalties
Followed by: Comes the Inquisitor
Episode Gallery

A final bloody battle determines the outcome of the Centauri/Narn conflict — and signals an even greater threat to all civilization.

CastEdit

RegularEdit

Guest StarringEdit

FeaturingEdit

Cast NotesEdit

SummaryEdit

IntroEdit

Lord Refa has summoned Londo Mollari to Centauri Prime. Londo is still cross over having a lost a friend through Refa's schemes, but Refa waves it off as the cost of progress. He then reveals the reason for Londo's summons: the Republic is about to strike a final blow on the Narn Regime and end the Narn-Centauri War…and Londo will be key to this master stroke.

Delenn is meditating in her quarters when she senses the presence of an old friend, whom she greets very warmly. Meanwhile, Lt. Corwin, on station, detects energy surges coming from Epsilon III and informs Cmdr. Ivanova. Ivanova tries to relay the message to Capt. Sheridan, but he is interrupted by a new presence who wishes to have a conversation: Draal.

Act IEdit

Since Sheridan is not too familiar with him, Draal introduces himself first. Sheridan, however, is aware of the fact he is the Minbari who now resides on Epsilon III. Draal invites Sheridan down planetside. He cryptically notes that one other will accompany him.

G'Kar is given sobering news from G'Sten, his uncle and a Narn Warleader. The Narns are losing the war, badly, and the Kha'Ri have been trying to cover up the truth in hopes of preventing panic. They also have a desperate plan: to commit the bulk of their forces to the main Centauri supply depot at Gorash VII. If they take the outpost, they can force the Centauri to withdraw, buying the Narns time to regroup themselves and possibly turn the war into another war of attrition: giving an advantage back to the Narns. But there's a risk: if something should go wrong, the Narn homeworld would be essentially helpless. But G'Sten feels they are out of options; it's a risk they have to take.

As Sheridan makes his way to a shuttle, he is joined by Delenn, who quickly makes him realize that she is the one who must accompany him planetside.

Lord Refa tells Londo they've intercepted the very plan G'Sten mentioned earlier. That's where Londo is to step in…and his secret allies. If they can hold off the Narns at Gorash, the main Centauri force can commit to a direct assault on the Narn homeworld and strike the killing blow. Londo is stunned at Refa's audacity, since any force trying to attack the Narns on their homeworld would liekly incur massive casualties. Then Refa stuns him again with his plan to bombard the planet using mass drivers…fully aware that such devices are against all civilized law and behavior yet uncaring because it would be a true master stroke: saving the Centauri significant amounts of both time and lives. Londo feels the whole campaign is rushing headlong at breakneck speed, but Refa points out that is exactly what they want. All they need is Londo's cooperation. Londo finally agrees to do it, but says this would be the last time he will enlist their help.

Act IIEdit

In Sheridan's office, Garibaldi has concerns that Draal's message isn't real. After all, last year, Draal had demonstrated that the planet's defense grid was online and lethally efffective and that he wasn't to be disturbed. But Ivanova ends the argument by confirming the origin of the message to be within the planet. Sheridan doesn't want to keep Draal waiting, so he and Delenn set out.

Meanwhile, G'Kar enters Medlab and sees it crowded with wounded Narns. He had been summoned by Dr. Franklin, who wanted to relay something significant he'd heard from the incoming refugees. The Centauri seem to be changing their strategy, skipping various worlds instead of methodically neutralizing them as was their usual strategy. All signs point to them going straight for the Narn homeworld. G'Kar tries not to show it, but knowing his uncle's plan, this news alarms him. He tries to tell G'Sten to abort the assault, but it's too late; they're already committed.

Sheridan and Delenn arrive at the Great Machine and are greeted by Draal, who has spent the last year studying the machine's capabilities. In that time, he'd also been studying Sheridan carefully and having done so believes Sheridan to be just and trustworthy. Draal is now ready to offer his services to them for the struggles ahead: the first of many alliances that will help to secure Babylon 5 as a beacon in the chaos.

G'Sten's forces jump out of hyperspace near Gorash VII, about to attack. Almost immediately, however, several Shadow battlecrabs phase into normal space to block them.

Act IIIEdit

The battlecrabs launch fighters and engage the cruisers directly with devastating effect. Deep in prayer, G'Kar can apparently sense the impending doom as the Shadows lay waste to the Narn forces, destroying them to the last ship, denying them even retreat as they fire disruptors to collapse their jump points. G'Sten's ship is itself destroyed by such a collapse. Then, just as quickly as they appeared, the Shadow vessels vanish into hyperspace again. Draal soon senses these same events through the Great Machine and bids Sheridan and Delenn return to the station, but not before telling Delenn to introduce Sheridan to "the others".

The news soon reaches the station: the assault on the Narn homeworld has begun. Ivanova informs Garibaldi so they can discuss riot control. They agree that, as soon as the news is public, the station will be locked down. Cross-level traffic will be closed off, groups dispersed, and people urged to remain in their quarters.

As Ivanova predicts, the moment news reaches ISN, the Narns and Centauri in the Zocalo break out in fights. The situation quickly degenerates into a general riot. Sharidan and Delenn arrive on station just as the riots break out. Meanwhile, aboard the Centauri cruiser Valerius, Londo personally witnesses the crumbling of the Narn homeworld as impact after impact from the mass drivers reduce their cities to rubble.

Act IVEdit

Three days later, the station remains on lockdown. The Zocalo stands empty of everyone except heavily-armed station security. ISN continues to report on the assault, summing the destruction as total, complete, and catastrophic. Yet the Narn refuse to surrender even as continued bombardment threatens to wipe out Narn civilization as anyone knows it.

G'Kar receives the same information from his homeworld. It will only be a matter of time before they are forced to surrender. He is then given one final instruction relayed from the Kha'Ri: a very difficult one. Minutes later, a much-humbled G'Kar walks into Sheridan's office. The once-proud Narn has trouble getting the words out, but he eventually carries out the Kha'Ri's final order: seek sanctuary.

A short time later, Londo returns to Babylon 5 and calls for a meeting of the Advisory Council and League of Non-Aligned Worlds. There, Londo announces the formal surrender of the Narn Regime and the end of the Narn-Centauri War. He lists the terms of surrender:

  • The Kha'Ri will surrender to the Centauri for trial and sentencing.
  • Any murder of a Centauri by a Narn will be punished by the execution of 500 Narns including the murderer and his family.
  • A provisional government appointed by the Centauri will rule in the Kha'Ri's place.

Sheridan requests that Earth send observers to monitor these activities but is firmly rebuffed. Then Londo makes one final demand: that G'Kar, as a member of the Kha'Ri, be surrendered to him. But at this point, Sheridan intervenes and announces that, prior to this meeting, G'Kar had requested sanctuary, and as military governor, Sheridan had the power and granted it, and since Babylon 5 is officially Earth-controlled space, and Earth is not signatory to the surrender, Londo has no power to force G'Kar to leave or surrender so long as he remains on Babylon 5. Sheridan's decision has Delenn's support, which means Londo cannot force the issue without drawing antagonism from both the Earth Alliance and the Minbari Federation. However, Londo can force G'Kar to relinquish his seat on the Advisory Council. G'Kar reluctantly stands to leave, but not before delivering a stirring speech that warns Londo that, no matter how long it takes, Narn will regain its freedom.

Act VEdit

Londo watches ISN as it reports the victory celebrations on Centauri Prime. He also learns of the Centauri's intention to absorb several smaller worlds just beyond the edges of Narn space into the Republic and spends some time in serious thought.

Meanwhile, Sheridan apologizes to G'Kar for recent events and promises to devote what resources he can to help free the Narns. G'Kar is reluctant but accepts the offer as the first step to taking back his homeworld. Just outside G'Kar's quarters, Sheridan is summoned by Delenn to the conference room.

Inside, Sheridan sees a large group of people besides Delenn: mostly human and Minbari but also, interestingly, Garibaldi and Kosh. Garibaldi tells him that the people in the room are Rangers: a covert force established to help fight the coming darkness. He also comes clean about his knowledge of them, which he'd kept secret by request until just now. Delenn informs him that she is their leader, but now, she offers him joint leadership to help defend Babylon 5. Sheridan agrees and announces that Babylon 5 will stand as the light in the coming darkness.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"You're sure you know where you're going? "
"Of course. I have an excellent memory. "
"You're positive? "
"Abso-fragging-lutely, damn it. Since our last discussion I have been studying your use of language. Do you approve? "

Sheridan and Delenn.


"No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years...we will be free. "

G'Kar following the Narn unconditional surrender.


"For the last year, things haven't exactly been going our way. I started to wonder if it would ever get better. I think it just did. Tell the other Rangers, the ambassadors, everyone in this “army of light” that Babylon 5 stands with you. Tell them…tell them that from this place, we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness, and we will hold that line…no matter the cost. "

Capt. Sheridan upon accepting joint leadership of the Rangers.


ContinuityEdit

  • Londo points out that Refa's actions have already cost him the life of a dear friend: Urza Jaddo ("Knives").
  • Draal ends his year-long isolation on Epsilon III ("A Voice in the Wilderness, Part II") and offers the services of the Great Machine to John Sheridan and Delenn in the upcoming struggle.
  • Draal is seen trying to summon someone named Zathras. Zathras was the alien found aboard Babylon 4 in "Babylon Squared". The connection is revealed in season three.
  • The Narn-Centauri War, begun in "The Coming of Shadows", has ended with the unconditional surrender of the Narns, with harsh terms set by the Centauri. However, before this surrender, Sheridan grants G'kar's request for sanctuary on Babylon 5, allowing him to remain free even though he is no longer allowed to represent Narn.
  • Delenn and Garibaldi reveal the Rangers to Sheridan, and Sheridan now shares leadership of the Rangers on the station alongside Delenn. Garibaldi was made aware of the Rangers in "The Coming of Shadows" by a message given by Jeffrey Sinclair (the "old friend" Garibaldi mentions), who is apparently heading efforts in secret on Minbar while also acting as Earth's ambassador. Kosh is also revealed to be involved with Delenn and the Rangers.

DVD ReleaseEdit

This episode, along with the other 21 from Season 2 have been released on DVD with extensive Special features.

External links Edit

Episode guide page for The Long, Twilight Struggle at the Lurker's Guide

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