Point of No Return (Babylon 5)
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|"Point of No Return"|
|Babylon 5 episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Jim Johnston|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||February 26, 1996|
Point of No Return is an episode from the third season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5.
The B5 command staff deal with orders to allow the Nightwatch to take over station security. Londo receives a prophecy from Emperor Turhan's widow when she visits the station.
Londo Mollari prepares for the arrival of Lady Morella, the late Emperor Turhan's third wife. However, he foresees that the recent declaration of martial law by Earthgov will be most inconvenient to his trying to show her that the Republic's treaty with the Earth Alliance is justified.
Sheridan and the command staff receive word of the situation on Earth. President Clark has dissolved the Senate and ordered the arrest of its members. The Senators have barricaded themselves inside the Senate hall and have asked civilians to form a human shield around the Senate in order to protect them.
General Hague reveals his opposition to President Clark and has begun a coup by escaping aboard his ship, the EAS Alexander, along with several Earth starships. He urges more starships to defect in order to gather enough forces to depose Clark.
On Babylon 5, Sheridan and the command staff find the martial law decree difficult to stomach but are afraid to act openly against it since the local Nightwatch are extremely loyal to President Clark.
Due to the shortage of security personnel, G'kar is released from incarceration three weeks ahead of schedule.
Things on the station are made worse when Nightwatch is given orders by the Political office to take over Babylon 5's security, prompting Michael Garibaldi to oppose them. However, he is relieved of duty as the Nightwatch begins consolidating its hold on station security by recruiting more personnel and dismissing those who wouldn't cooperate and join.
Total chaos descends upon Babylon 5 when the martial law decree finally arrives and Sheridan is forced to publicly announce it. In a scuffle in the Zocalo, Vir Cotto is injured whilst protecting Lady Morella and the Centauri entourage makes a hasty exit back to her suite.
Lady Morella confronts Mollari on the real reason he had requested for her visit, and Londo finally admits that he wants Lady Morella (who's a "seer" or "prophetess") to look into his future and tell him if the grand destiny he believes he is due will come true or not.
Morella tells Londo that his destiny to become an Emperor is unavoidable, but he still has a chance to save himself from damnation. He must "save the eye that does not see," must not "kill the one who is already dead," and if he still fails on those two, he must "surrender to [his] greatest fear, knowing it will destroy [him]."
For her closing remarks, Lady Morella notes that Londo will be emperor, as would his attaché, Vir, saying that "one of you will be emperor after the other is dead."
G'kar meets with Ta'lon in his quarters and speaks to him about the revelation that he has had recently about the future of the Narn people and how the humans are the key to that. With that, G'kar offers his assistance to Sheridan to help solve his problem with Nightwatch.
Zack Allan is contracted by Sheridan to help neutralize the Nightwatch problem by telling him that he plans to ship in hundreds of Narns in order to replace the Nightwatch personnel currently running station security. Zack Allan, however, goes to his Nightwatch associates and reveals Sheridan's plan. Nightwatch then gathers all its members on the docking bays in order to intercept the Narns and arrest Sheridan and the rest of the command staff for treason. Once all the Nightwatch members are gathered in the docking area, Zack Allan seals them in between airlocks before narrowly escaping himself, revealing that he had turned on Nightwatch, allied with Sheridan, and had just led Nightwatch into a trap.
Via commlink, Sheridan informs the imprisoned Nightwatch personnel that the order for Nightwatch to take over station security is illegal because it was issued by the Political office, which is outside the direct chain of military command. He arrests the Nightwatch personnel on the grounds of treason and mutiny. Dr. Franklin then asks who will serve as the security force aboard Babylon 5 now that Nightwatch is gone, and Garibaldi responds by summoning G'kar and his Narn associates, revealing that Sheridan was serious about having Narns take over—it's just that the Narns are already aboard; the enlistees are from the local population.
Distrusting each other after the prophecy of Lady Morella, Vir and Londo sit at opposite sides of a sofa, staring nervously at each other and wondering whether or not the prophecy is true.
Towards the end of the episode, we learn that all of the defector ships save for the Alexander have been destroyed. All alone, the Alexander is now a fugitive and is being pursued relentlessly by Clark's forces. Sheridan and Ivanova note that Clark will soon go after them next, and they can simply contemplate on the grim nature of this future.
- Nightwatch attempts to take over the station and is eventually rebuffed and replaced by a Narn security detail.
- Prophecy reveals that both Londo and Vir are destined to become Emperor. The prophecy also foreshadows several key events in the future, such as G'kar having his eye plucked out ("the eye that does not see"), Emperor Londo allowing Delenn and Sheridan ("the one who is already dead") to escape imprisonment and free Centauri Prime from the Drakh, Londo's death at the hands of G'kar ("surrender[ing] to [his] greatest fear, knowing that it will destroy [him]") and the ascension of Vir Cotto to the throne. The prophecy may also refer to "the eye that does not see" as being the jewel known as the "eye" in "Signs and Portents" but more importantly in "Interludes and Examinations" and killing the one who is already dead may refer to the death of Mr. Morden, executed on Mollari's orders in season 4, or to Mollari's treatment of the Emperor's last wishes in "The Coming of Shadows".
- The Earth Alliance civil war begins. General Hague and the EAS Alexander are fugitives.
- Martial law is declared on Babylon 5
- Lady Morella is played by Majel Barrett, widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and known for playing Nurse Chapel, Lwaxana Troi and Federation computer voices in Star Trek. Her appearance was intended as a gesture of goodwill in the frequent rivalry between the two franchises.