The Hour of the Wolf

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This article is about an episode of the TV series Babylon 5. For other uses, see Hour of the Wolf (disambiguation).
"The Hour of the Wolf"
Babylon 5 episode

Lyta, Delenn and Ivanova
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 1
Directed by David Eagle
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Production code 401
Original air date 4 November 1996
Guest appearance(s)

Ed Wasser (Morden)
Wortham Krimmer (Emperor Cartagia)
Wayne Alexander (Lorien)
Damian London (Minister)

Episode chronology
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List of Babylon 5 episodes

"The Hour of the Wolf" is the first episode of the fourth season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5.


Ivanova, Delenn and Lyta venture to Z'ha'dum to search for Sheridan. When they get there, a telepathic lure tries to draw them to the planet, but they are saved due to a precaution made by Lennier. Lulled also by the telepathic message, he had failed to trigger a vigilance control, setting off an automatic sequence that sends the White Star away from the planet.

Holding the League worlds together is proving difficult to impossible without Sheridan, and the new Vorlon ambassador refuses to help or to attend meetings of the League.

Meanwhile, Londo Mollari discovers that the political climate on Centauri Prime has worsened - the Emperor is mad and has granted the Shadows a base on the planet in exchange for godhood. Sheridan appears to have survived in one form or another, and meets Lorien, an enigmatic being living below the surface of Z'ha'dum.

Arc significance[edit]

  • A thousand years ago, the Shadows seeded hundreds of worlds with their ships so their forces couldn't be wiped out in a single attack.
  • The explosion on Z'ha'dum destroyed the Shadows' biggest city and threw them into chaos. Now they've decided to seek outside help, and have enlisted the Centauri to shelter a small fleet of their ships in case Z'ha'dum is attacked while they're weak.
  • Londo and Vir are scheming to kill Emperor Cartagia, who Londo believes has seriously endangered Centauri Prime by giving land to the Shadows. Londo's dream of Shadow ships flying overhead above him comes true in this episode, albeit with a few changes.
  • According to Ulkesh, Sheridan opened an unexpected door on Z'ha'dum. Whatever that means, Sheridan somehow survived the two-mile fall, and now finds himself in the company of an enigmatic being, Lorien, who appears to know why Sheridan survived.
  • The League of non-Aligned worlds, believing Sheridan dead and the battle against the Shadows at an end, are beginning to withdraw from the alliance.
  • The Shadows have something called "the Eye" near Z'ha'dum. It appears to be able to telepathically contact normals, probing their minds and drawing them to the planet. It was this "Eye" that sensed Ivanova during her journey in the Great Machine on Epsilon 3 ("Voices of Authority.")
  • The Vorlons are aware of what happened on Z'ha'dum, but according to Ulkesh, plan to do nothing about it. Lyta, however, believes they're planning something.

Production details[edit]

  • The dream of Londo Mollari regarding the Shadows flying overhead on a clear blue sky becomes true in this episode. However, in his dream, Mollari is standing on a sandy landscape with pieces of metallic debris lying around (it was speculated that he's standing on the ruins of a Centauri city that was attacked by the Shadows). In this episode, he's watching the Shadow arrival, along with several Centauri, on the "Sand gardens" but there're no debris visible anywhere. Also, with Mollari's costume changing from purple to black (or dark blue) between season 2 and 3, in this episode Mollari's wearing of his old purple coat was the result of his black coat being sent to the cleaners and his purple coat the only available outfit in his closet.
  • Emperor Cartagia's hair is shorter than that of the other nobles (it is customary for Centauri nobles to have big hair to match their high position). It is explained that he is doing this to start a new trend and to be closer to the people, as well as his own way of rebelling against tradition.
  • Emperor Cartagia is shown to be insane by talking to the decapitated heads of people who have opposed him, adorned on a table.
  • The hour of the wolf is that hour around 3 a.m. when you can't sleep because you're worried about one thing or another. Ivanova says that she's been living in the hour of the wolf since Sheridan disappeared on Z'ha'dum.
  • Lyta Alexander exhibited great powers in this episode, having the ability to telepathically scan Z'ha'dum for Sheridan (without line of sight) and hold back "any" Shadow ships nearby (which could number to dozens, hundreds, or thousands) even though in "Walkabout" she was only able to barely hold back one Shadow ship. It is possible that what she did was effectively hide them from nearby Shadow ships rather than physically restrain the Shadows.
  • Morden appears to Mollari scarred by burns he received from the attack of Sheridan on Z'ha'dum.


"Read the old books, Mollari. They speak of the ancient gods, they speak about them. Power, power beyond description."

"If their power is so great, why do they need to hide behind us? They are using us as shields. When the war comes here, our people will die first!"

"Some are always sacrificed for the greater good."

"What greater good?"

"Ah! Mine of course!"
— Emperor Cartagia and Londo

"Mr. Morden?"

"In the flesh. What's left of it. Sit. We have much to discuss."

"Mr. Morden, you are.."

"Unwell. My associates tell me I will be better soon. I wasn't as near the incident as others."

"And Sheridan?"

"Which one? You know what they say: 'What goes up, must come down.' 'Seen one Sheridan, seen them all.' 'Ashes, ashes, and they all fall down.'"
— Mr. Morden and Londo

"Flesh is transitory, flesh is a prison, flesh is .. an instrument. Flesh can be replaced. And flesh does as it's told. Or they will become most annoyed."

— Mr. Morden

"Have you ever heard of the hour of the wolf? My father told me about it. It's the time between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning. You can't sleep, and all you can see is the troubles and the problems and the ways that your life should've gone but didn't. All you can hear is the sound of your own heart. I've been living in the hour of the wolf for seven days, Lyta. Seven days. The wolf and I are now on a first-name basis. In times like this, my father used to take one large glass of vodka before bed. To keep the wolf away, he said. And then he would take three very small drinks of vodka, just in case she had cubs while she was waiting outside. It doesn't work."

— Susan Ivanova

See also[edit]

External links[edit]