No Surrender, No Retreat (Babylon 5)

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"No Surrender, No Retreat"
Babylon 5 episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 15
Directed by Mike Vejar
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Production code 415
Original air date May 26, 1997
Guest appearance(s)

Ken Jenkins (Capt. Trevor Hall)
Marcia Mitzman Gaven (Cmdr. Sandra Levitt)
Richard Gant (Capt. Edward MacDougan)
Neil Bradley (Cmdr. Robert Philby)

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Moments of Transition"
Next →
"The Exercise of Vital Powers"
List of Babylon 5 episodes

"No Surrender, No Retreat" is a key episode from the fourth season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5. The episode also gives its name to the entire fourth season of the series, thus emphasizing its importance.


"Captain's Personal Log, September 2nd, 2261—Enough is enough."

Captain John Sheridan, the commander of the Babylon 5 station, organizes an attack to liberate the Proxima 3 colony from the forces of tyrannical Earth Alliance President William Morgan Clark.

Sheridan decides to take the offensive against President Clark after learning of the murder of 10,000 civilians by Clark's forces. Before taking the offensive, Sheridan gets support from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds for his actions. In exchange for continued protection of their borders from raiders and pirates, they are asked to provide for the defense of Babylon 5, to break contact with Earth except for humanitarian reasons, and to otherwise remain neutral in the pending civil war. Sheridan then takes a fleet of White Star warships to the besieged Proxima 3 colony. President Clark has positioned six Omega-class Destroyers around the planet to prevent any colonists from leaving and to prevent any supplies from reaching the colony. As a result of the blockade the colonists are starving and on the verge of surrender. Sheridan's plan is to surround the destroyers with superior firepower and then convince as many destroyers as possible to defect to his side.

The Earth fleet blockading Proxima 3 is led by EarthForce Captain Trevor Hall. Hall is loyal to President Clark and his dictatorial regime and commands the Earth Alliance destroyer Heracles. Sheridan sends the White Stars at Proxima 3 in three waves to confuse Captain Hall: the first wave, consisting of only 3 ships, exits hyperspace on the far side of the planet; this leads Hall to order the destroyers Pollux and Nemesis to investigate. A second, larger wave of White Stars exits hyperspace closer to the main destroyer force. The final wave of White Stars, commanded by Captain Sheridan himself, exits the local jumpgate. Sheridan orders the Earth Destroyers to either leave immediately or surrender to him. Instead, Captain Hall orders the Destroyers to arm weapons and launch fighters. However, the Vesta, under the command of Captain Edward McDougan, an old friend of Sheridan and one of his teachers at the EarthForce Academy, refuses to fire on Sheridan's ships. Instead, he tries to talk Sheridan into leaving Proxima without a fight; Sheridan tells him that Clark is violating the Earth Alliance Constitution and the Proxima Treaty; his blockade of Proxima 3 is illegal. He asks McDougan to switch sides. Furious at McDougan for breaking radio silence, Hall tries to force McDougan to take sides by opening fire on Sheridan's fleet. A fierce battle then erupts. The Heracles is joined by the destroyers Juno and Vesta, while the separated Pollux and Nemesis form a second group. Sheridan concentrates on the known hostiles: the Heracles and Pollux. Captain Hall orders Captain McDougan's second-in-command, Commander Robert Philby, to take over the Vesta and help the Heracles; Philby then puts a PPG to Captain McDougan's head and demands that he turn over his command. Sheridan then flies past the destroyer Furies to determine her stand; she refuses to fight Sheridan and is left unharmed. The Vesta begins firing at Sheridan's White Star, but the destroyer's crew arrests Philby; command is returned to McDougan and the Vesta surrenders. At the same moment, the destroyer Juno flees the colony via the jumpgate without ever engaging. The Pollux is completely destroyed when a White Star it has damaged collides with it, causing both ships to explode. The Nemesis then surrenders after suffering heavy damage. This leaves only the crippled Heracles still opposing Sheridan. Sheridan orders the Heracles to surrender or be destroyed. Captain Hall, who believes that Sheridan is bluffing, tells his crew that he plans to flee the system rather than surrender and face the consequences, believing he'd be facing death if caught. Hall's second-in-command, Commander Sandra Levitt, does not agree with Hall's belief that Sheridan will not open fire and does not want the crew to die needlessly, so she has Hall arrested and removed from the bridge. Levitt then takes command and surrenders. Sheridan then meets with the surviving captains and tells them they have three choices: they can return to Earth and continue to fight for Clark, they can help defend Proxima 3 from further attacks, or they can join him in his crusade to overthrow Clark and liberate Earth. Captain McDougan then tells Sheridan that the Heracles is withdrawing to the Beta 9 colony for repairs. The Furies will stay and defend Proxima 3, while the Nemesis and the Vesta will join Sheridan in his crusade to free Earth.

Meanwhile, on Babylon 5, Ambassador Londo Mollari goes to the quarters of Ambassador G'Kar. He tries to convince a suspicious G'Kar to sign a joint declaration of support for Sheridan's crusade to liberate Earth; he believes that if two old enemies such as the Narn and Centauri can agree to support Sheridan it may convince other alien races to do the same. But G'Kar coldly refuses Londo's offer and refuses even to share a drink with him to signal their new alliance. Eventually, however, G'Kar agrees to a drink and to sign the declaration (but not on the same page as Londo). Former Security Chief Garibaldi decides to permanently leave Babylon 5 to work for the powerful but mysterious businessman William Edgars on the Mars Colony.

Arc significance[edit]

  • Garibaldi moves to Mars.
  • The reconciliation begins between Londo and G'Kar.

External links[edit]