Acts of Sacrifice
|"Acts of Sacrifice"|
|Babylon 5 episode|
Ivanova "clinches" the deal
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Jim Johnston|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||22 February 1995|
"Acts of Sacrifice" is an episode from the second season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5.
Entertainment and news website Geek.com included Acts of Sacrifice as "essential watching" for season two. Reviewer Graham Templeton wrote that "This isn't actually crucial in any way, but to me it's one of the most quintessential B5 episodes of all. War, emotion, and multiple political battles fought in and out of the diplomatic arena. This is the sort of television which simply does not exist anywhere else."
The Narn-Centauri War is not going well for the Narn. In an effort to convince the Earth Alliance to help them, Ambassador G'Kar meets with Babylon 5's command staff and shows them a video of a Centauri attack on a Narn colony. In the battle a Narn warcruiser sacrifices itself to allow hundreds of Narn civilians to escape the colony before it is overrun by the Centauri. Captain Sheridan tells G'Kar that he will do what he can to convince Earth to help the Narn.
Meanwhile, Commander Ivanova, Sheridan's second-in-command, is assigned to negotiate a treaty of alliance with an advanced alien race called the Lumati. The negotiations prove difficult, as the Lumati are an elitist people who believe in "survival of the fittest" and are relatively unimpressed by Ivanova's efforts to win them over. They are finally convinced to form an alliance with Earth when Ivanova takes them on a tour of "Down Below", a section of Babylon 5 where the homeless and poor from many races live. Although Ivanova apologizes for the fact that some of Babylon 5's residents live in such terrible conditions, the Lumati are actually impressed that humans — as he sees it — would eliminate their "unfit" in such a fashion, and agree to an alliance.
To her horror, Ivanova then learns that the Lumati usually finalize an agreement by having sex with the person they're negotiating with. Ivanova — not wanting to break the deal but obviously unwilling to have sex with a total stranger (and unattractive alien) — comes up with a creative solution, working through an entire human relationship — from initial lust to break-up — in the space of a few minutes. During her "presentation" Ivanova yells, dances, and behaves wildly. The alien is reluctantly convinced to accept this version of "sex" and leaves, but before he departs the station, he sends a present to Ivanova with an attached note: "Next time, my way."
Meanwhile, Sheridan is rebuffed in his attempts to get the Earth Alliance to help the Narn fight the Centauri. He goes to Minbari Ambassador Delenn, and they agree to pool their resources to help Narn civilians escape from Centauri attacks and to provide humanitarian aid to the Narn populace, but that is the best they can do. G'Kar, who has been struggling to convince the Narns living on Babylon 5 to refrain from attacking Centauri residents of the station, is privately devastated at this news, but he graciously thanks Sheridan and Delenn for their help. After he leaves, however, the normally strong and stoic G'Kar breaks down and cries; he realizes that without outside military help his people will likely be defeated and re-enslaved by the Centauri.
- Sheridan and Delenn have begun covertly aiding Narn refugees.
- Foreshadowing that the Narn will lose the war.
- Templeton, Graham (16 January 2015). "Babylon 5 Condensed: How to watch sci-fi's most intimidating masterpiece". Geek.com. Retrieved 2 August 2015.