In the year 2281, 20 years since John Sheridan died on Z'ha'dum and 20 years since the Interstellar Alliance was formed, Sheridan realizes his time is running out and calls his old friends for one last get-together before embarking on one final journey. In the process, he learns that his fate and that of Babylon 5 remain intertwined. Series Finale.
- Bruce Boxleitner as John Sheridan
- Claudia Christian as Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Delenn
- Also Starring
- Richard Biggs as Stephen Franklin
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Jason Carter as Marcus Cole
- Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto
- Jeff Conaway as Zack Allan
- Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander
- Guest Starring
- Sharon Annett as Mary
- Dan Sachoff as Aide
- Lair Torrent as Ranger
- Kent Minault as Captain of the Guard
Special Cast Note
- The worker who throws the final switch to shut down the station is played by series creator J. Michael Straczynski.
Twenty years have passed since the end of the Shadow War and John Sheridan's death at Z'ha'dum. After several nights of the same dream, wherein he sees Lorien explaining that he can only extend Sheridan's life for 20 years, but no longer, Sheridan realizes that his life is approaching its end.
Hoping to enjoy the company of his old friends one last time, Sheridan has Delenn dispatch Rangers with messages. Michael Garibaldi is still the head of the Edgars Industries, which is still growing under his leadership. Dr. Stephen Franklin has been the head of xenobiological research on Earth for nineteen years, Susan Ivanova is now a decorated general with Earthforce, and Vir Cotto is Emperor of the Centauri Republic. As each receives his or her invitation to dinner, none needs to ask why. They all knew this day would come.
Franklin examines Sheridan but he has never understood what happened to him 20 years prior. When Sheridan presses, Franklin estimates he has a week maximum. Sheridan insists Delenn will be OK without him, and she herself enters, interrupting the conversation. She has prepared a room for their guests.
The group arrives on Minbar, and they have one last meal together as they laugh and reminisce about their experiences. Garibaldi in particular tells an amusing story surrounding a drunk pak'ma'ra, a data crystal, and a dead cat. No one at this point shows any concern at each other's words since they realize that it is normal behavior for human friends to poke fun at each other. Then Cotto recounts the story of when Londo Mollari was moved to tears by a rare occurrence: pak'ma'ra singing. Recalling Mollari like this, Cotto admits that he still misses him. Sheridan gives a toast to all those who have died: "To absent friends—in memory still bright." Garibaldi remembers G'Kar, Cotto remembers Mollari, Delenn remembers Lennier, and Dr. Franklin and Ivanova remember Marcus Cole. They later spend the evening together in the garden. Ivanova finds she is unable to stay, and leaves to go to bed by herself. Delenn follows her, and Ivanova confesses she is dissatisfied with her role in Earthforce, feeling that she is little more than "an old war horse, trotted out after a parade so all the kids can point at it." Delenn realizes this and in her capacity as President of the Interstellar Alliance asks Ivanova to assume the leadership of the Rangers after Sheridan dies. Realizing it would mean an escape from Earth's bureaucracy and a chance to continue serving with distinction, Ivanova says she will consider the offer.
Sheridan and Delenn spend one final night together. Sheridan decides to leave Minbar, and as the next day is Sunday on the Earth calendar, to go for "a Sunday drive" in space. He does not want to die on Minbar, but in space and feels that doing so would be an important symbol to the Alliance. Delenn remarks he is "always thinking strategy, even now."
The next morning, Sheridan dresses in his old Army of Light uniform and prepares to depart Minbar before anyone else awakes, but runs into a formally dressed Delenn. She tells him that "it's a pretty day, the perfect day for a Sunday drive" and, barely holding back emotion, tells him that if he is going to leave he must do so now. They tearfully embrace one final time and say their farewells (the Minbari having no word in their language for "goodbye"), and Sheridan departs Minbar for the last time.
Sheridan first goes to Babylon 5. He discovers the station deserted with only a skeleton crew. There he learns from Commander William Nils that the Earth Alliance is preparing to shut down and scuttle the station since the avenues of trade and diplomacy have largely bypassed the aging, off-the-beaten-path station. Walking into the remains of the Zócalo, remembering parting words from G'Kar, he hears the voices of the station echoing through history and remembers the momentous events the station experienced in its quarter-century of existence. Zack Allan interrupts his reminiscing by noting he is not the only one who remembers. Allan came out of retirement six months ago to serve on Babylon 5 until the shut-down. Sheridan's happy to see him since Allan's sudden return to the station caused him to miss his invitation to Minbar. Sheridan notes that he and Babylon 5 are inextricably linked even now, and begins to feel his body shutting down. He tells Allan that he will not be able to stay for the decommissioning ceremony, and announces that he will visit the Coriana system, thus fulfilling the request relayed to him from Vorlon Ambassador Kosh during the Day of the Dead: "When the long night comes, return to the end of the beginning."
When Sheridan arrives at the Coriana system, he is very tired, and he knows the end is near. The computer warns him that his life signs are fading, and Sheridan tells the computer to shut down. As the ship shuts down, Lorien appears to Sheridan and tells him that the First Ones have not forgotten him, and that they have been waiting for him beyond the rim of the galaxy. Sheridan asks if he can come back, but Lorien tells him that his old life is over and that it is time to start a new journey. The cabin of the ship fills with light. The ship is found a few days later, but the airlocks are sealed and there is no trace of Sheridan.
Ivanova, Garibaldi, Franklin, Delenn, Cotto, and Allan attend the decommissioning ceremony, taking one last look around the station before departing on the final shuttle against an honor guard of ships from member worlds of the Alliance. The final shutdowns are completed and the fusion reactors are set to overload, ending Babylon 5's existence – and the Babylon Project – once and for all: in fire, as foretold, but willingly, its mission to bridge races and build peace accomplished. Garibaldi returns to his life on Mars, Franklin to his on Earth, Zack Allan becomes advisor and counsellor to Cotto on Centauri Prime, and Ivanova accepts Delenn's offer and becomes Ranger One. Every morning for the remainder of her life, Delenn watches the sunrise in her late husband's place.
"Toast. To absent friends, in memory... still bright."
- – Sheridan
"I want to feel space beneath me, one last time. It's where I belong, where I've always belonged."
- – Sheridan
"Quarter of a million people, coming and going every day for twenty-five years. Every part of this station has somebody's fingerprints on it. Layers and layers, people's lives. There were times... I thought none of us would get out alive. Some of us didn't. But, we did everything we said we were gonna do, and nobody can take that away from us, or this place."
- – Zack Allan
"Monitors off. Turn it all off, it's too damn much noise."
- – Sheridan
"There is... so much I still don't understand"
"As it should be."
- – Sheridan and Lorien
"An expedition to Coriana space found Sheridan's ship a few days later, but they never found him. All the airlocks were sealed, but there was no trace of him inside. Some of the Minbari believe he'll come back someday, but I never saw him again in my lifetime."
- – Ivanova
"Goodnight, my love... the brightest star in my sky."
"Goodnight, you, who were my sky, and my sun, and my moon."
- – Sheridan and Delenn
"Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. There would never be another. It changed the future, and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future, or others will do it for us. It showed us that we have to care for one another, because if we don't, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places. Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope, that there can always be new beginnings... even for people like us."
- – Ivanova
Behind the Scenes
- This episode was originally filmed during Season 4. At the time, a fifth season had not been ordered, so it was assumed the series would be closed with this episode as the finale. This is why Ivanova is present and why Marcus Cole is mentioned. This is also reflected in the closing credits, where each character is shown in two side by side shots showing each at their entrance and exit. Later, before Season 4 finished airing, a fifth season was ordered, so the episode was edited so as to fit at the end of the Season 5 storyline, and The Deconstruction of Falling Stars was filmed next as its replacement for the Season 4 finale. In addition, Rising Star was edited to allow for the exit of Ivanova (because Claudia Christian was not present for the filming of the fifth season).
|Babylon 5 Season 5 "Wheel of Fire"|
|<<< Previous Season • "No Compromises" • "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" • "The Paragon of Animals" • "A View from the Gallery" • "Learning Curve" • "Strange Relations" • "Secrets of the Soul" • "Day of the Dead" • "In the Kingdom of the Blind" • "A Tragedy of Telepaths" • "Phoenix Rising" • "The Ragged Edge" • "The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father" • "Meditations on the Abyss" • "Darkness Ascending" • "And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder" • "Movements of Fire and Shadow" • "The Fall of Centauri Prime" • "Wheel of Fire" • "Objects in Motion" • "Objects at Rest" • "Sleeping in Light"|
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