Ceremonies of Light and Dark
No more! No more of you! No more Night Watch, no more hostages, no more lies. Not on my station, not on my watch. No more! No more.In the aftermath of the separation from Earth, the command staff have a number of problems, first and foremost rooting out Night Watch. Their communications are also down to prevent Earth from trying to remotely take control of the station.As Sheridan begins his rounds, a sniper gets him in his sights. Before he can take the shot, someone else stops him, reasoning that if Sheridan is killed he becomes a martyr, but promises to get their pound of flesh later.Delenn thanks the Minbari commanders for their help, and decides that the time has come for a ceremony called the Nafak'cha, or rebirth ceremony. Marcus isn't sure anyone will want to come as they have things to do of their own, such as Sheridan overseeing the funerals of those who were killed defending the station. As Ivanova reads the names, the caskets float out of the docking bay toward the local star.Londo and Refa meet up to discuss reports from the front lines.
- Londo: You will note the plural form, "lines". Is there anyone along our border with whom we are not currently at war?
Refa: We need room to expand.
Londo: Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts.
- Londo: As we are returning to the old ways, Refa, and poison was always the instrument of choice in the old republic; being something of a sentimentalist, I got here first.
- Garibaldi: No one knows, but I'm afraid all the time of what I might do if I ever let go.
Ivanova: I think I loved Talia.
Franklin: I think I have a problem.
- Sheridan: The crisis, for now, is over. Tell the ships we're open for business.
This episode contains examples of:
- Ax-Crazy: Sniper; just listen to his description of what he did to Minbari POWs, and he's looking forward to showing his buddies in person.
- Ambition Is Evil: Londo warns Refa that his loyalty to the Centauri should be greater than his ambition. In this case that ambition is causing dozens of wars of questionable military value.
- Backstory: Marcus gives some of his to Delenn. It's elaborated upon in the canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows.
- Badass Boast: Marcus casually states that if he doesn't get the answers he wants from the room full of thugs, he is going to be forced to beat all of them unconscious. The entire room then stands up in response. One discretionary scene cut later, we see Marcus finishing off the last two people in the room, cuing what may be the single funniest line in the entire show:Marcus: Bugger! Now I have to wait for somebody to wake up!!
- Berserk Button: Sheridan's is Delenn. He chases Sniper through the station, ending in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, after Sniper stabs her.
- Sniper himself earlier, while talking to Delenn about pity (see below).
- Bilingual Backfire: Held hostage, Delenn and Lenann quietly start assessing the situation and planning an escape strategy in Minbari, only for one of the captors to interrupt them. He doesn't actually say anything in Minbari, but he makes it clear that he understood exactly what was being said.
- Burial in Space: The station's fallen during the battle for the independence of B5 are set adrift through the main docking bay.
- Call Back: The clip of dialogue played back by Londo is lifted from his last meeting with Morden.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Sniper describes taking seven days to kill a Minbari, by tying off and slicing off each limb one at a time.
- Continuity Nod:
- Garibaldi's spoken authorization code for certain high-level computer functions is "Peekaboo".
- Londo has gotten into the habit of recording important conversations.
- Delenn demonstrated part of the rebirth ceremony two years ago.
- Delenn tells Sniper she's faced far worse than him. She doesn't specify, but it's almost certain she's referring to Mr. Sebastian.
- Londo's poisoning of Refa's drink echoes Sinclair's (fake) slipping a transmitter into G'Kar's drink. This time, though, whether the act is real is left unsaid... but it's entirely possible for Londo to have done either.
- Curbstomp Battle: Marcus vs. the bar patrons. "Bugger! Now I have to wait for somebody to wake up."
- Also Sheridan vs. Sniper at the end.
- Dig Your Own Grave: Sniper apparently learned Minbari just so he could order POWs to do this.
- Don't Create a Martyr: Boggs warns Sniper against doing this.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Delenn telling Sniper she feels sorry for him because he is still trapped in the madness of the Earth-Minbari War sets him off, causing him to shoot Lenann and almost shoot Delenn, but Boggs stops him before he can.
- Embarrassing Password: Garibaldi uses the spoken security code "Peekaboo" for certain high-level computer functions. (By comparison, Sheridan and Ivanova use "Obsidian" and "Griffin", respectively.) His justification: "Hey, would you have guessed it?"
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Boggs has a highly visible facial scar, and is a bad guy. Interesting, the actor actually got the scar protecting a woman from getting raped, so for the actor it would be a subversion.
- Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Delenn and Lennan discuss trying to untie themselves in Minbari, but Sniper learned it during the Earth-Minbari War and realizes what they're up to.
- Hostage Situation: The main plot.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Variant. Sheridan makes Night Watch think the Minbari have pulled out... then fakes a reactor leak to force them into the open.
- Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Londo poisons Refa partially because eventually Refa would have done it.
- Love Confession: This is the episode where Sheridan comes clean with his feelings for Delenn.Sheridan: ...I can no longer imagine my world without you in it. I don't know when or how it happened, but I'm glad it did.
- Two others come out, though one is towards a deceased character (Ivanova confesses she thinks she loved Talia) and another not directly to the object of affection because it's not meant to be (Lennier confesses he loves Delenn as his "tell a secret" rebirth ritual to Marcus)
- Missing Man Formation: During the memorial service.
- The Mole: Boggs still has people in Security, but Marcus manages to find out the identity of one of them.
- Neck Lift: Lennier does this to Marcus—a guy who'd just taken down an entire bar full of thugs.
- Not Hyperbole: When Marcus says that in ten minutes, he'll be the last one in the room still standing, he means it. The thugs failed to realize this.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Boggs keeps Sniper from indulging his darker nature, not because he doesn't agree with him, but they need Delenn and Lennan alive for now.
- Rage Breaking Point: Marcus mentions in passing that his instructors warned him that he was repressing a great deal of anger. After beating a large room full of thugs senseless, he doesn't feel repressed anymore.
- Alternately, his Ranger training...either way...
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Jerry Doyle's arm actually did get broken while filming the previous episode's fight scene. This happened after most of the dialogue in the script was finalized, and Sparky's "broken arm" line was in there before Doyle actually broke his arm.
- Straczyinski is no longer allowed to mention the body parts of crew members, after this and the Ivanova incident.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Boggs's scar got a lot of complaints for looking fake. JMS responded that it's the real thing, as the actor got it protecting a woman from being raped.
- Significant Wardrobe Shift: Sheridan and the command staff give up their Earthforce uniforms and receive new ones from Delenn as part of their rebirth.
- Survivor's Guilt: Marcus still feels it from being the only survivor of the Shadow attack on his colony. Delenn urges him to lay it down.
- Taps: Heard during the memorial.
- Underestimating Badassery: The guys in the bar didn't involve themselves in Marcus' business before, or they might have learned what being a Ranger entails.
- Villainous Rescue: Boggs keeps Sniper from shooting Delenn in a fit of rage.