The Babylon Project

Nightwatch members who eluded capture on Babylon 5 plot to undermine the newly independent station. A Minbari ritual spurs contemplation and confessions.



Guest Stars[]



Cast Notes[]



Cmdr. Susan Ivanova is in C&C overseeing the departure of the last of the shuttles containing known Nightwatch personnel. Capt. John Sheridan enters and Ivanova relays that fact, although Security Chief Garibaldi is still seeking out hidden agents. Also on the shuttles are other civilians not wishing to stay on the station. Garibaldi walks in, his arm in a sling, claiming it was additional injuries he received during the previous battle. Garibaldi reports that the station is eerily quiet. Everyone is still stunned at the present turn of events: Clark's forces attacking the station, Babylon 5 declaring independence, etc. The primary complaint, however, is the continuing lockdown of comm channels. Sheridan has kept them down to prevent Earth Central from trying to hack into the station's computers.

Garibaldi then reveals that he has kept copies of the master access codes, meaning they can reset the system themselves. Garibaldi then notes that Sheridan is out of uniform; Sheridan says he won't wear the Earthforce uniform because it represents the very thing they are fighting right now: the Clark regime. However, he does concede he will be in full dress uniform later, but for the last time. Sheridan decides to make rounds. Garibaldi is against it since any Clark-loyalist in hiding would see Sheridan as a high-value target, but Sheridan counters that the presence of the station's CO is needed to help reassure the people on the station.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Delenn is meeting with certain members of the Sharlin-class warcruisers that had accompanied her to Babylon 5 to defend the station. She expresses her thanks and tells them that their actions would be remembered with reverence. As they leave, Lennier relays a request. Fleet Captain Lennan wishes to tour the station personally. She agrees to perform the tour herself. Then she asks Lennier how he personally feels about the dramatic action she has taken in the preceding days. Lennier continues to defer to prophecy, but Delenn counters that, "prophecy is a poor guide to the future" since one doesn't know the real meaning of it until it has already happened and since not all prophecies are good ones. The road ahead will be treacherous with no guarantee they'll survive it.

As Sheridan walks through the Zócalo, someone else observes him with keen interest...through a telescopic sight.

Act I[]

Before the marksman can take the shot, however, he is stopped by another man. The marksman protests he has a clear shot, but the other retorts that the timing is wrong. Killing Sheridan now would only martyr him and give rise to another. They need to do this the right way.

Marcus Cole returns to the station, greeting Delenn and Lennier. When she points out that Earth will be reluctant to attack Babylon 5 now that it has Minbari protection, Marcus says that he's not loyal to Earth, who he saw as nothing more than a parasite. Still, this breaking away from Earth has given Delenn an idea. She wants to call for the Nafak'cha: the Rebirth Ceremony. Marcus notes that now wouldn't be a good time, as the people on the station had their own affairs to attend.

One of those affairs is the military funeral service for the soldiers lost in the battle for the station. Sheridan (as he agreed, in full dress uniform) along with the rest of the command staff, solemnly salute their names and their sacrifices as, escorted by Starfuries, spaceborne coffins carrying each of the fallen depart the station to be committed to Epsilon Eridani.

Lord Antono Refa finds Ambassador Londo Mollari waiting for him in the Zócalo. Londo offers a drink as Refa sits down and testily asks the reason for being summoned. Londo starts by noting the many different front lines (emphasis on the plural) the Centauri currently seem to be engaged. While Refa points out the Centauri are bristling to expand, Londo counters that two fronts is bad enough – twelve is sheer insanity. Refa coyly counters they can handle it, but Londo sees through the bravado. He knows Refa thinks that with Mr. Morden and the Shadows backing him, they can't lose. And to prove he knows about Refa's association, he plays back part of a conversation Morden had with him. Londo expresses his deep concern for Morden's allies. He fears they'll turn on Centauri Prime one day, especially with Centauri forces as disorganized as they are now.

Mollari insists that Refa break off from Morden immediately. When Refa demands to know why he should remove himself from such powerful allies, Londo gives three reasons: propriety, patriotism, and poison. Refa's drink was laced with the first part of a bipartite poison. Now in his system, it can lay dormant for years, meaning at any time, Londo can deliver the other part of the poison and kill him. Londo promises to do that unless Refa breaks off from Morden, coyly pointing out that his little treachery was a nod back to the "good old days" of the Republic as well as a way to steal a march on Refa, who he felt would've done the same to him given the chance.

At his station, Garibaldi inputs the master access codes and waits for Sheridan and Ivanova, Commanding and First Officers, to give their passwords. Garibaldi, as Chief Security Officer, adds his password and then requests a fresh set of security passwords and a full system restart. Just then, Delenn walks in and asks for Sheridan. Since the essentials were already complete, he leaves with her. As he leaves, Ivanova pokes fun at Garibaldi for using "peekaboo" as a password, but he counters, "Would you have guessed it?"

In the hall, Delenn explains the Rebirth Ceremony. She feels a ceremony or renewal would be just the thing to encourage the people on board. She intends to invite the command staff and many of the ambassadors on board, including Londo and G'Kar (who she points out need the ceremony more than anyone else, in hopes of burying past grudges).

In an unknown part of the station, the remaining members of Nightwatch convene to listen to orders from Earth concerning how to proceed. The plan is to use Delenn to force the Minbari escorts to withdraw, opening the way for Clark loyalists to retake the station. Though one of them (the marksman from earlier) points out that killing her would not be advised (since a similar death triggered the tragic Earth-Minbari War, which Earth barely survived), but the idea is to pin the blame on Sheridan. The marksman starts recounting how he tortured Minbari to death. It is clear he still holds a grudge against them and sees the plan as a measure of revenge.

Act II[]

Delenn seeks out Marcus in a Downbelow bar. She wants to invite Marcus to the Rebirth Ceremony, but he claims to be too busy and excuses himself before she can press further.

Back in Security, Garibaldi resets the main computer. There is a tense pause as the system reboots, but what happens next puzzles him and Ivanova. The computer doesn't respond in it usual clinical efficiency. Instead, a personality appears to inhabit the computer: a sassy and snappy one that doesn't always obey. Garibaldi then recalls that the computer had an AI installed prior to going online, but it had been turned off because, like now, it talked back. The reboot had unintentionally restarted the AI.

Delenn seems to be having more trouble getting people to attend the Rebirth Ceremony. While Londo asks for more detail from Delenn, he realizes the ceremony is not like how Centauri like to celebrate religion (which usually involves drinking and debauchery). He also feels offended about others looking into his personal affairs: affairs he would much rather attend himself. As for G'Kar, he appears to be too busy organizing the Narns who are now part of station security. Marcus notes that his sentiment about the ceremony is not isolated, but Delenn stands firm. Then Lennier reminds her about Lennan. She insists on having Marcus accompany her rather than Lennier

The reason is shown as they proceed to the docking bay. She keeps pressing Marcus about why he doesn't like the Rebirth Ceremony. Marcus notes that the ceremony involves giving something up, and he has very little left to give. His home is gone, and all his worldly possessions are on his person. He also blames himself for the loss of everything he had since he didin't heed his brother's warnings about the Shadows. Indeed, it was in memory of his brother that he joined the Rangers. Then Delenn points out he does have something to give up: the memories he has for the loss of the Arisia Mining Colony. If he doesn't let go, they can prove dangerous, even tragic. But Marcus doesn't see it as a chain, and he walks away. The Minbari shuttle arrives. Delenn proceeds to greet Lennan, and it is at this point that Nightwatch strikes, taking both Delenn and Lennan hostage.

Act III[]

Back in Security, Garibaldi continues to try to remove the talkative and condescending AI. Just then, Ivanova reports in on the kidnapping of Delenn and Lennan. He immediately realizes it's Nightwatch.

In addition to Delenn and Lennan, one of Lennan's officers is in the secret Nightwatch base, injured. The marksman is completely unconcerned about his health, but even as he trains his PPG on her, Delenn claims she is unafraid as well. Soon, the leader returns to report the word of Delenn's capture is public. He also checks to see if a comm line is being scrambled on schedule. Because he announces it's time to go public.

In Sheridan's office, Marcus blames himself for leaving Delenn in her moment of vulnerability. Just then, Lt. David Corwin reports in with someone on another channel. Patching it through, the leader of the Nightwatch cell is revealed. Garibaldi recognizes the man as Boggs. Boggs keeps it straightforward. Return Babylon 5 to human control in six hours or the Minbaris die. And since they can monitor Security and the comm channels, they can't coordinate any attacks without them knowing. And just to show how serious they are, they kill the third Minbari. Marcus storms off, and Sheridan lets him go, knowing that he is heading Downbelow where he can seek the lines of contact they can't reach. Meanwhile, Sheridan wants the call itself analyzed for clues that scrambling can't hide.

Downbelow, Marcus jumps in on the syndicate's card game and gets right to the point. He wants to know anything about Delenn's whereabouts. He points out that if he doesn't get what he wants in five minutes, he'll be the only one at the table still standing. Five minutes after that, he'll be the only one at the bar still standing. Everyone just laughs then stands.

Delenn and Lennan try to communicate between themselves; unfortunately, the gunman can understand their speaking in Minbari and counters their actions. He points out that both are dying regardless of the outcome. Delenn then expresses pity over a man whose morality has been ground out of him. The gunman reacts angrily and attempts to shoot Delenn, but Lennan jumps in and knocks him down, diverting the shot. He tries to fight back, but the gunman shoots him, then is about to shoot Delenn before being stopped by Boggs, who reminds him they need to be alive until the deal is finished.

About ten minutes later, Marcus makes good on his threat but now has a problem: no one's conscious enough to tell him anything. Just then, someone approaches him from behind. Marcus motions to strike but stops when he realizes it's Lennier. Lennier comments on the violence but Marcus notes that it helped him vent some long-repressed aggression. Strangely, though, Lennier has come as part of the Rebirth Ceremony. Part of the ceremony requires that one confess a hidden secret to another. In this case, Lennier is confessing his love for Delenn.

Act IV[]

For once, Marcus is intrigued. Lennier continues his confession, explaining that his is a love that is hard to place into words since it is not the kind of love humans normally associate. And it is a love that recognizes that Delenn's destiny falls with another. Just then, someone wakes up, and Marcus quickly grills him, and he finally gets the needed information.

Back in Sheridan's office, Ivanova reports that an analysis of the audio signal picked up a recurring noise in the background. Garibaldi recognizes the noise as coming from the reactor coolant systems, meaning the room is in Grey Sector. Just then, Marcus appears revealing that his contacts had supplied parts to individuals trying to get it to a Level 14-and that one of the Security force is secretly a member of Nightwatch. Ivanova puts them together and calls up a map of Grey 14. They discover that part of the level is secured: supposedly by Garibaldi. They realize that's the room, but they have a problem. With only one way in or out, they can't barge in. They need another way. Garibaldi decides to assemble a small team of trustworthy Security personnel, and Marcus gives info on the Security guard interested in Grey 14. Sheridan formulates a plan... to surrender.

In the room, Boggs wonder if Sheridan will accede to the demand as time runs out, but then his Nightwatch contact calls in to relay an image: the Minbari cruisers leaving. Boggs is thrilled: he gives the order to send a coded signal to Earth, who are waiting to storm the station. Just then, there is the sound of an explosion and the lights dim for a moment. There is a commotion outside. When Boggs investigates, he learns that the reactor coolant system is leaking. The level is no longer safe, so they're forced to leave: taking Delenn and Lennan with them.

As they enter a corridor, they are suddenly assailed with PPG fire from various angles as Security ambushes them. Several members of Security are shot down, but a shot from Ivanova takes out Boggs. Garibaldi shoots down another gunman, and Sheridan wounds Boggs' triggerman. Well-aimed shots take out the Nightwatch holding Delenn and Lennan. As Sheridan checks on the downed Nightwatch, the triggerman draws a knife and tries to attack Sheridan. Delenn rushes to him and takes the thrown knife in the back. Enraged, Sheridan pursues him down a hallway and finally catches up to him, tackling him and then punching him mercilessly: his rage at Nightwatch boiling over until one final punch knocks the triggerman unconscious.

Act V[]

Later, Lennier reports that the knife was stopped by Delenn's ribs and thus it missed any vital organs. She will recover, but not in time for the Rebirth Ceremony.

Meanwhile, Garibaldi is getting fed up with the AI. Removal won't be complete until midnight, so he continues to endure its condescending voice. Finally, in a fit of frustration, he shoots out a speaker with his PPG.

In Medlab, Delenn requests Lennier to rest, but he won't until the time is right. Just then, Sheridan appears, carrying his uniform. He's come to the decision that if the Rebirth Ceremony must take place at a certain time, why not here and now. Learning from Lennier about the need to sacrifice something precious and confess a deep secret as part of the ceremony, Sheridan offers his Earthforce uniform (and everything it symbolizes) and, for the first time, openly confesses his love for her. One by one, others of the command staff enter, each one offering their Earthforce uniform and a secret. Garibaldi admits his fear of losing control of his emotions. Ivanova admits, despite her distrust of Psi Corps, she had developed romantic feelings for the (assumed now-deceased) telepath Talia Winters. Franklin confessed his stims addiction.

As they leave, Lennier reveals that their actions had been somewhat anticipated and that they would find something waiting for them in their quarters.

Later, the people in C&C look up in surprise as the command staff enter with the gifts Delenn had provided: brand new uniforms to signify their independence. Sheridan notes that now they and the station are reborn and back in business.

Memorable Quotes[]

"In breaking away from Earth, we have begun a difficult and uncertain journey and none of us can see its end. But our cause remains a just one. That truth honors and sanctifies our fallen comrades who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might carry on the work that is ahead of us. We are gathered here today to honor their memory and their names."
"- Hamilton. Rodriguez. Spinelli. Singh. Osterman. Massie. Cooper. Kim. lndari. Nagashima. Lietz. Mankowski."
"From the stars we came, to the stars we return, from now until the end of time. We therefore commit these bodies to the deep."

Captain John Sheridan & Commander Susan Ivanova

"Bugger! Now I have to wait for someone to wake up."

Marcus Cole

"No more! NO MORE OF YOU! No more Nightwatch! No more hostages! No more LIES! Not on my station! NOT ON MY WATCH! NO MORE!!! No more..."

Captain John Sheridan, to the Nightwatch gunman before punching his lights out.


  • According to the previous episode, "Severed Dreams", Garibaldi had an injured ankle after the Battle for B5 Independence. However, actor Jerry Doyle broke his wrist while filming the same fight scene and had to spend time with his arm in a sling. Therefore, the script for this episode was slightly adjusted to allow for this by claiming it to be an additional injury from the battle.


External Link[]

Episode guide page for Ceremonies of Light and Dark at the Lurker's Guide