Recap: Babylon Five S 02 E 09 The Coming Of Shadows
The Coming of Shadows
- Emperor Turhan: How will this end?Kosh: In fire.
On the planet Centauri Prime, the Emperor of the Centauri Republic is preparing to make a state visit to Babylon 5. He is informed by the prime minister that everything is ready but he has concerns about the emperor's poor health. The emperor is only more determined to do this now, since he has little time left.On Babylon 5, G'Kar is in Sheridan's office vehemently protesting the approaching visit, listing atrocities committed against the Narns by the emperor's father, but which he himself, Sheridan points out, did not take part in. In fact the current emperor has gone out of his way to make reparations to the Narns. G'Kar is not placated, and blows off Sheridan's suggestion that he try to open a dialogue, before storming out. Sheridan warns him not to do anything they'll both regret. G'Kar replies that it's too late for that.Meanwhile a man arrives on the station seemingly looking for Mr. Garibaldi.As the emperor arrives, Londo meets with Lord Refa. Refa has prepared a speech for Londo, predicting several changes that Refa has already arranged in an effort to make the emperor appear foolish and short-sighted. After he leaves, Vir expresses his discomfort with the whole notion, and Londo agrees. The emperor comes aboard, and is greeted by Sheridan and his senior staff. They exchanges greetings and Sheridan offers a tour of the station. The emperor wonders if it would be possible to meet Ambassador Kosh, as he is curious about the Vorlons.G'Kar, meanwhile is on a call to the Narn homeworld. The Kha'Ri have approved his plan; he intends to assassinate the emperor. He reflects for a moment on the possible outcomes: "In the moment that I strike, the emperor and I will both die. Or, he will die and I will spend my life in prison. Or, I will fail and be killed. For the first time in my life, the path is clear."The emperor, meanwhile, is in the observation dome, looking out into space. Sheridan finds him there and the two spend a few minutes talking about choices, the emperor regretting that he never really made any in his life. G'Kar, his choice made, is preparing a will in the event he is killed or captured. He says that he acted alone and that the Narn government should not be held accountable for his actions, nor Na'Toth.At the reception, Sheridan and his officers talk about the veiled Centauri women following the emperor, who are apparently telepaths who have been raised together since birth, so they all know each other's thought no matter how far apart they are. They suddenly notice G'Kar arriving, and when asked, G'Kar says that he will listen to the emperor.Meanwhile, the man who arrived earlier has been following Garibaldi, who finds it suspicious and has him locked up for the time being.As they wait for the emperor, G'Kar clutches at his dagger. The opportunity to use it never arrives, as the emperor suddenly collapses while on the way to the reception. On Centauri Prime, the other two telepaths enter the court, and the prime minister rises, seeming to fear the worst. Sometime later, the emperor wakes up in Medlab. Despite his health, he has a very important message, and he asks Franklin to deliver it for him.Londo and Refa are meeting again. The competition is already lining up to take the throne when the emperor dies, and Refa wants something that will separate them from the pack. Londo has a sudden flash of inspiration. He proposes they take over a Narn outpost in Quadrant 14. He tells Refa to arrange for a military force to be sent there. After Refa leaves he tell Vir to find Mr. Morden. Vir desperately tries to talk him out of it, but eventually relents and goes to find him, warning Londo that one day he'll remind him of this conversation. Londo darkly replies that he already understands:
- Londo: By this time tomorrow, we will be at war with the Narns. May the Great Maker forgive me.
- Jeffrey Sinclair: Hello, old friend.
This episode contains examples of:
- Berserker Tears: G'Kar starts here, then breaks down into Broken Tears after Sheridan puts a stop to his rampage.
- The Bus Came Back: Garibaldi gets a message from Sinclair, which was actually filmed at the same time as the season one finale, before Michael O'Hare left for what was later revealed to be an intensive treatment for his schizophrenia.
- Call Back: Some of the things Londo sees in his dream are a hand reaching out of the stars, and himself as an old man being strangled by G'Kar.
- "He said, 'Just pick a target.'"
- The Chains of Commanding: Turhan never chose to be Emperor; he was born into the role. By virtue of his position, Turhan caught heat for atrocities that were set in motion by his family. Near the end of his life, Turhan confides the irony that despite his vast power, he never really had a "choice" in much of anything.
- Dream Sequence: Londo has one that shows him a number of things that will happen to him later.
- Dying Curse: Turhan's final words are telling Londo and Refa they are damned for what they've done. Refa isn't bothered by it, but Londo seems shaken up. Later seasons will show that both do meet tragic ends due in part to what they've done here.
- The Good King: Emperor Turhan.
- Sketchy Successor: Cartagia.
- In Londo's dream he sees himself looking up as Shadow ships fly overhead, then being crowned emperor — and then dying as he and G'Kar strangle each other.
- A milder form: Emperor Turhan's greatest regret is that, despite his great power, he never really had choice. Londo ends up in the same situation late in season 5.
- Hugo Award: the first Babylon 5 episode to win one, but not the last.
- Ignoring By Singing: Sheridan suggests G'Kar stay in his quarters, stick his fingers in his ears, and hum real lous until the emperor leaves. Or he could actually try opening a dialogue.
- The Kingslayer: G'Kar intended to become one, but Turhan's health got there first, much to G'Kar's annoyance.
- Man Behind the Man: Londo would prefer to be this if possible.Londo: The reward is nearly as great, and the risk far, far less.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Londo has this moment when G'Kar, who has just received the Emperor's apology, buys him a drink, saying he finally found decency in a Centauri, and that it's a start. Londo shakily accepts the drink, knowing he's shot down perhaps the only real chance for reconciliation between their peoples before it even took off.
- Mysterious Stranger: No indication is made of the Ranger's purpose or motive until he shows Garibaldi the message from Sinclair.
- Oh Crap!: When Londo sees G'Kar and thinks he's already found out about the attack on Quadrant 14.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: G'Kar does this when buying Londo a drink to the emperor's health, making Londo feel like an absolute heel since he's pretty much just started a war between them.
- Royal Cruiser: The emperor travels to Babylon 5 on a personal battlecruiser.
- Silent Whisper: We don't hear what the Emperor tells Londo, until Londo tells Refa:He says we are both damned.
- Start of Darkness: This the first point when Londo seeks out Mr. Morden for his services. In addition the attack was his idea and he picked the target himself, without any prompting other than Lord Refa saying they need something to gain influence.
- Unstoppable Rage: When G'Kar learns of the attack on Quadrant 14, he storms toward Londo's quarters leaving battered security guards in his wake.
- Wham Episode: one of the Whammiest.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Londo has a little of this after Refa expressed his disdain for the Emperor's Last Words.