That's what makes this war different from anything we have ever gone through before. This time we know everyone we kill.A fan favorite episode and winner of the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, 1997.Londo is making his way through customs, complaining about the mess everything is in, and particularly about the Narns the station's brought on as extra security, which the Narn checking identicards doesn't much care for and makes the ambassador wait for a couple hours due to a "computer error."
-Major Ed Ryan
- Londo: Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would have happened if the humans had not started fighting with one another!
- Ivanova: I say fight.
Sheridan: (grim smile) Fight.
- In the last few hours we have learned that warships are coming this way from Earth. Their orders are to seize command of Babylon 5 by force. As commanding officer and military governor of Babylon 5, I cannot allow this to happen. President Clark has violated the Earth Alliance constitution by dissolving the Senate, declaring martial law, and personally ordering the bombing of civilian targets on the Mars Colony. He is personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people! Following these attacks, Orion 7 and Proxima III have broken away from the Earth Alliance and declared independence. Babylon 5 now joins with them. As of this moment Babylon 5 is seceding from the Earth Alliance. We will remain an independent state until President Clark is removed from office. At the end of this current crisis, anyone who wishes to leave for Earth is free to do so. Meanwhile, for you own safety I urge everyone to stay in your quarters until this is over. That is all.
This episode contains examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: When the EAS Agrippa is nearly destroyed, Sheridan calls it to ask its surrender, but he calls it the Roanoke instead (the Roanoke being the other Omega-class destroyer that came in the initial attack).
- Badass Boast: Delenn has two:
- To a Minbari trying to prevent her from seeing the Grey Council: "Sixteen years I served the council. I was the chosen of Dukhat to replace him. I held him when he died. His blood is on my hands, his spirit in my eyes... his word on my lips. You will stand aside in his name and mine, or, in Valen's name, I will tear this ship apart with my bare hands until I find them!"
- To the Earth fleet: "Only one Human captain has survived battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else." The assault fleet proceeds to RUN LIKE HELL.
- Berserk Button: Both Sheridan's and Delenn's are pressed in this episode.
- Delenn's is hit when the Grey Council refuses to take a stand, saying it's "not their problem." Delenn... takes exception to this.
- Sheridan's is visibly hit when Clark starts bombing Mars, which has rejected martial law.
- Big Damn Heroes: Delenn shows up just as it seems Earthforce is about to overrun the station — with three Minbari war cruisers and the White Star.
- Boarding Party: Earthforce sends one to try and take the station. It doesn't end well for them.
- Bullying a Dragon: The Clark-loyalist reinforcements attempting to give orders to three Minbari cruisers, despite Sheridan being the only human to ever win a battle against the Minbari fleet. Delenn's reminder of this has them retreat before it becomes lethal.
- Bus Crash: Hague is killed in action before reaching Babylon 5. (Behind the scenes, his actor was double-booked to appear on Deep Space Nine, as Major Ryan explains in an outtake).
- Bystander Syndrome: As part of toeing a fine line, ISN kept mum about all the atrocities going on outside of Earth. But when civilian targets were being bombed, Rick, another reporter, interrupted Jane to tell the audience the truth.
- Call-Back: The Narns in Security are shown prominently, much to Londo's annoyance. From here until the end of the series, whenever Security personnel are shown, there will usually be a Narn or two among them.
- Continuity Nod:
- In "Exogenesis", Ivanova felt Lt. Corwin out about obeying a direct order. He said at the time that it wasn't his call to make. When Babylon 5 secedes, she checks with him; "You okay?" He's just fine, much to his surprise.
- When Delenn leaves the Grey Council's chamber, five members of the Council follow her out. Viewers may recall that Delenn's replacement (Neroon) was from the Warrior Caste, and given the content of Delenn's speech, the four who stay behind are likely from that caste.
- Day of the Jackboot: The declaration of martial law and siege and capture of ISN marks the completion of Earth's slide into fascism.
- The Dead Have Names: After the Alexander destroys the Clarkstown early in the episode, Major Ryan tells the other bridge officer the name of the Clarkstown's captain, and mentions some details about his family, having met them a few years before.
- Deadline News: The feed is cut as the ISN studio comes under attack by government forces. The last we see of the broadcast is debris hitting the desk in front of the two reporters, Jane and Rick, after which the station goes off the air.
- Faceless Goons: The pilots bombing Mars are wearing opaque helmets. The crews of the attacking Earthforce ships are also never seen, just voices on the radio.
- Forgotten Superweapon: When the second wave of Earth ships arrives, it seems to be implied that Sheridan would give up, but what about asking Draal to use Epsilon's firepower to support his side as was previously discussed? Sure, it wouldn't be good for optics, but this is life and death.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the Gunship Rescue forces the second Earth Alliance task force to jump out, they do not use the nearby jumpgate they arrived through a moment ago before advancing on the station. They are in such a rush to get out they open their own jump point.
- Held Gaze: The purely platonic variant between best friends and True Companions Sheridan and Ivanova, when she leaves the command deck to join the Starfuries and they see each other in person for what they know might very well be the last time. Fortunately, it isn't.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: Delenn accuses the Council this, standing by as the Shadows' influence grew. It's true that Delenn had been doing the same, but she had been making preparations in quiet. The Council had outright stated that they were doing nothing, as they believed it wasn't really happening.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- When the Churchill is too damaged to fight any more, they ram another destroyer, enabling B5 and the Alexander to take care of the rest of the enemy ships.
- Rick clearly knows what reporting against Clark will bring him, but the bombing of civilian targets and military forces storming the ISN headquarters are things he cannot ignore and before things get worse, he will do his job as a reporter and tell the truth.
- Hollywood Tactics: Garibaldi arranges a sensible defense to repel the invaders, but the Narns don't listen and charge headlong to the entry point. Garibaldi is forced to abandon the defensive position to back them up.
- I Kiss Your Hand: Sheridan to Delenn, the first time he sees her after she comes riding to his rescue.Sheridan: I want you to know that seeing your face at that moment was probably the single finest moment of my life.
Delenn: It seems this is the only home we have left. How could I abandon, as you say, my partner?
- I Warned You: Delenn's righteously indignant speech before the Grey Council, in which she reminds them she's been telling them for three years.
- Leeroy Jenkins: The Narns on Garibaldi's defense force rush ahead him and straight into enemy fire, getting a lot of them killed in the process.
- Line in the Sand: Sheridan gives this line to everyone in C&C before the battle. One background extra decides to Opt Out; everyone else stays.
- Moment Killer: Really, Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin? You couldn't have given our lovebirds one more minute together?
- Oh, Crap!:
- Sheridan's face when he is informed that four jump points are forming right on top of them. Luckily for him, it's a coldly furious Delenn with the White Star, three Minbari war cruisers, and no intention of allowing Babylon 5 to be overrun.
- Just before that, Corwin's reaction to the news that a second wave of Earth destroyers was attacking.
- Old-School Dogfighting: Seen when the two sides of Starfuries engage each other.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- A single Bridge Bunny leaves the deck when Sheridan gives permission for anyone to do so before the battle, in a deliberate subversion of the typical scene where everyone shows Undying Loyalty at such an order.
- Note that when retreating, the Earthforce reinforcements don't bother using the Jumpgate they came in through, they just hightail it out with their own jump point.
- Screw You, Elves!: Delenn lets the Grey Council have it for their absurdly aloof view of what's going on at B5.
- Slow Clap: At the end when the crowd shows their approval of Sheridan's actions.
- Snowy Screen of Death: When ISN goes off the air.
- Tempting Fate: Corwin after the two opposing Earth Force destroyers are destroyed.Corwin: It's a good thing [the battle] ended when it did. We wouldn't have been able to take much more. [his board beeps] Oh, no!
[Cue second wave of Earth Force destroyers.]
- Vertigo Effect: One on Sheridan right after Hiroshi informs him that Earth Force is coming to seize control of the station.
- The War of Earthly Aggression: When colonial governments refuse to implement the illegal laws, Clark responds with force.
- We Used to Be Friends: Major Ryan personally knew the commander of the Clarkstown. He lampshades the worst part about fighting in a Civil War: You know every single person you kill in battle.
- Wham Episode: The station and other colonies break away from earth. Delenn faces down—and breaks—the Grey Council.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Rick's fate is never revealed.
- Similarly, two of the four Earthforce ships that arrive with the first wave to attack B5 simply disappear after their first appearance. Word of God is that they were destroyed in the fighting; this was filmed, but cut from the final episode for time.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delenn delivers one to the Grey Council for their inaction.
- You Are in Command Now: Major Ryan takes over after General Hague is killed in combat.