Babylon Squared

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"Babylon Squared"
Babylon 5 episode

Babylon 4 reappears.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 20
Directed by Jim Johnston
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Production code 118
Original air date 10 August 1994
Guest actors

Kent Broadhurst (Major Krantz)
Tim Choate (Zathras)
Denise Gentile (Lise Hampton)

Episode chronology
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"A Voice in the Wilderness"
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"The Quality of Mercy"
List of Babylon 5 episodes

"Babylon Squared" is an episode from the first season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.

Synopsis[edit]

A starfury fighter is sent to Sector 14 to investigate unusual tachyon readings. The fighter returns on autopilot, its pilot having died seemingly from old age. The crew receives a distress signal from Babylon 4, which had disappeared from Sector 14 four years earlier; Major Krantz, the EarthForce commander of Babylon 4, requests assistance with evacuation. Sinclair and Garibaldi lead a convoy of transports to Sector 14

When they arrive, Krantz explains that the entire station has come unstuck in time, and that its crewmembers have been experiencing "flashes" that send them forward or backward in time for a short while. Krantz brings Sinclair and Garibldi to a detained alien named Zathras, who appeared on Babylon 4 just as its problems began. Zathras initially recognizes Sinclair, but then realizes that he is "not the One." When pressed, Zathras says that his group intends to take Babylon 4 to help with a great war. A man in a blue space suit appears, clearly in pain. Zathras declares this to be the One, who he says is deliberately giving the crew a chance to evacuate. When Sinclair tries to take the One's hand, an unseen force hurls him away. Zathras hands what he later describes as a time stabilizer to the One, who promptly disappears.

Krantz vows to take Zathras off the station as evidence of what has happened. As they head to the docking area, a falling structure pins Zathras. Sinclair tries to free him, but Zathras tells him that he has a destiny and begs him to go. Garibaldi and Sinclair leave Babylon 4 just as it disappears. On the station, the One removes his helmet: it is Sinclair, but much older. He informs an unseen Delenn off camera that he tried to warn them, but it all happened just as he remembered.

As all this is happening, Delenn leaves Babylon 5 on her own and travels to a large Minbari ship containing the Grey Council. They inform her that she will be the next leader to replace Dukhat. She declines the offer, insisting that she must investigate a prophecy. They vote narrowly to let her remain on Babylon 5 and she receives a Triluminary from one of the council members.

Arc significance[edit]

Events in this episode are clarified in the third season episode "War Without End."

  • Although it was not clear during this episode whether Babylon 4 was stolen by people from the past or the future. It is revealed in "War Without End" that Sinclair helped steal it to help the Minbari fight a war against the Shadows a thousand years prior.
  • Introduces the character of Zathras.
  • Introduces the concept of "the One."
  • Introduces the Ranger concept of living and dying for the One.
  • Delenn receives a triluminary, which is used in the season finale episode "Chrysalis" to transform Delenn in to a human-Minbari hybrid.
  • First appearance of the Grey Council (outside of flashbacks) with some of the council members' faces being shown.
  • There are several inconsistencies between this episode and "War Without End." One, the method by which Zathras is captured was changed.
  • At the end of the episode, Ivonova and Sinclair are discussing where in time B4 is going. Sinclair alludes to a possible reappearance in the future, and Ivanova tells Sinclair that "this time, I'm going and Garibaldi is staying here." In "War Without End", this is exactly what happens.

One common mis-held belief regards a change in the overall story arc resulting from Michael O'Hare's early departure from the series, and is that the plan was to take Babylon 4 forward in time to replace the destroyed Babylon 5 during the 2260s Shadow war. This is incorrect and was never the intention, as stated by JMS several times over the years (one such comment appears under the JMS speaks section on this site's entry for the episode: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/061.html#JS ). JMS rarely reveals what his original story was before cast changes, choosing only to say he always had 'outs' for everyone, but it was mentioned that had Michael O'Hare stayed on, "War Without End" would have been toward the end of the series.

External links[edit]