Recap / Babylon Five S 04 E 08 The Illusion Of Truth

Smile, you're on Candid Camera!
Sheridan: Commander! Did you threaten to grab hold of this man by the collar and throw him out an airlock?
Ivanova: Yes I did.
Sheridan: Well, I'm shocked. Shocked and dismayed. I'd remind you that we are short on supplies here. We can't afford to take perfectly good clothing and throw it out into space. Always take the jacket off first, I've told you that before. Sorry, she meant to say: "Stripped naked and thrown out an airlock." I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

This episode contains examples of:

  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Sheridan would rather face the Vorlons and Shadows than reporters.
  • Blatant Lies \ Malicious Slander: Practically everything Randall says on the air.
  • Call Back: Randall calls attention to the updated defense grid that was installed two years ago which was used against the loyalist forces when they seceded, and insinuates there was a conspiracy behind it.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Played with. As the ISN broadcast is about to begin, Sheridan turns on the monitor, commenting that "it'll probably be a commercial". In the original US broadcast, the show then cut to an actual commercial break.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A Hollywood-type producer being accused of using his medium to promote seditious and anti-Earth propaganda.
  • False Confession: The above mentioned producer. He's clearly being forced to make an admission and he looks like he been treated harshly, thin, ragged, with a dark look in his expression.
  • Fascists' Bed Time: The ISN broadcast mentions that curfews are in effect all over the Earth Alliance.
  • Idiot Ball: For people who have been warned that there will be a propaganda offensive against them, and who have been watching the Clark-controlled ISN for nearly a year now, the command staff and Sheridan in particular seem remarkably lacking in smarts.
  • Longing Look: During their joint interview, Sheridan spends most of the time he's not talking gazing at Delenn with the dopiest, most besotted expression ever seen on a sentient being's face.
  • Manipulative Editing/Twisting the Words: The ISN broadcast is a solid half-hour of these tropes.
    • The episode has actually been used in college journalism courses to demonstrate how effective this can be.
  • Police State: We all know this is what Earth has become, but now we start to really delve into it.
  • Propaganda Machine: This is what ISN has become.
  • Red Button Interactive: Several times a red button appears which would allow ISN viewers to download the program. Could be a case of Technology Marches On as the series was produced before there was DVR.
  • Show Within a Show
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Ivanova threatens a reporter with this. Sheridan scolds her quite thoroughly for not being specific - "...sorry, she meant to say, 'Stripped naked and thrown out an airlock. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.'"