Recap: Babylon Five S 04 E 09 Atonement

There is nothing to fear in the dreaming. Only that which we bring with us. The dreaming takes us forward and the dreaming takes us back.

This episode contains examples of:

  • The Atoner: Delenn has regretted starting the Earth-Minbari War, and has been trying to make up for it ever since.
  • Awful Truth: Callenn clearly regards the fact that many modern Minbari have human DNA as this, and Delenn is able to use it to leverage an agreement where he approves her marriage as an ancient Minbari reconciliation custom in exchange for her keeping it to herself.
  • Call Back:
  • The Clan: Delenn is summoned by hers to explain why she is going to marry a human. Lennier is from another clan, but he accompanies her anyway.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Ivanova goes to the Drazi...Party? War? Whatever it is, she's wearing the Green Leader sash she got in The Geometry of Shadows. Considering how she'd resolved the conflict in that episode, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that she left the "party" in not the best shape.
    • When Dukhat takes Delenn as his protege, he says, "I cannot have an aide who will not look up. You will be forever walking into things." She said the same thing to Lennier when he arrived.
    • Zack's uniform still doesn't fit properly.
  • Credits Gag: "I am the very model of a modern major-general..."
  • Don't Ask: Ivanova when she emerges from the Drazi party.
  • Easily Forgiven: Lennier forgives Delenn for starting the Earth/Minbari War, despite losing family on the Black Star. He doesn't seem to be one to hold a grudge.
  • Foreshadowing: Callen recalls a tradition from long-forgotten times when Minbari fought against each other. This tradition might come back into vogue soon.
  • Little Black Dress: Delenn causes Sheridan to forget what he was thinking when she appears in it.
  • Loophole Abuse: Callenn's solution makes use of an all-but-forgotten custom from when Minbari still fought wars with each other to approve Delenn's marriage to Sheridan.
  • Major General Song: Thank you, Marcus.
  • Mentor Archetype: Dukhat to Delenn.
  • Moment of Weakness: Delenn, consumed by rage and grief over Dukhat's death, was asked to cast the deciding vote for the action to take after the attack by the Earth vessel.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Delenn immediately regrets her enraged decision, but it's too late to stop a full-scale war.
  • My Greatest Failure: Delenn's is starting the Earth/Minbari War in A Tragedy of Impulsiveness.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Delenn inadvertently starts a genocidal war when she votes to destroy the human ships.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: Neither the audience nor Delenn hear Dukhat's last words when he first says them. It's only when she goes back to the Dreaming late in the episode that she finally hears what he said.
  • Rewind, Replay, Repeat: The vision replays over and over in Delenn's mind until she realizes that the important part of the vision was what Dukhat was trying to tell her just before he died. She then goes back to The Dreaming in order to hear what it was:
    Dukhat: There was a purpose to my selection. Your heritage—you are a child of Valen.
  • Secret Legacy: Delenn finds out she is descended from Valen, a.k.a. Jeffrey Sinclair, which means she's always been part human.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Delenn's reaction to Dukhat's death.
    "No mercy! No mercy!"
    • The Minbari in general during the war with the humans. As one of Delenn's colleagues tells her, they are "a world gone mad", and the fires of their madness cannot now be controlled; they must burn out over time.
  • Vision Quest: The Dreaming.
  • Warts and All: Delenn fears that her standing with Lennier would be harmed from his knowing her involvement in starting the Earth/Minbari War. She's wrong; Lennier holds no grudge despite losing family on the Black Star.