Recap: Babylon Five S 05 E 22 Sleeping In Light

How will this end? In fire.
The Interstellar Alliance, based on the homeworld of the Minbari Federation, was founded in the Earth year 2261, shortly after the end of the Shadow War, twenty years ago. Twenty years of history. Those of us who have survived have seen it all. And those of us who understand, have been waiting, and dreading, the arrival of this day...
-Michael Garibaldi

This episode contains examples of:

  • Back for the Finale: Claudia Christian, who left the show after the fourth season, returns as General Susan Ivanova.
    • This episode would have originally been the fourth season finale as well. When the show was picked up for a fifth season, Deconstruction of Falling Stars was produced and this one pushed to the back of the broadcast queue, meaning that Claudia Christian didn't even have to come back to work to make this one work.
  • Call Back: Sheridan begins with dreams of Lorien's prediction.
    • Lady Ladira had a vision of Babylon 5 exploding as a single shuttle left. While some details are different (such as the series of ships acting as distance markers), the essence of the vision has come true: Babylon 5 ends in fire.
  • Character Development: The show ends with images of all major characters at the beginning and end of the show, to emphasize how much they had all changed. Note that at the time, this kind of thing was pretty much unheard of (and the show actually got complaints that the characters were "no longer the people we loved" after their development).
  • Continuity Snarl: A minor one: No mention is made of Elizabeth Lochley, as this episode was produced before her character was introduced to the show (see Out of Order and Back for the Finale)
  • Creator Cameo: The maintenance worker who appears at the end, looks around the station one last time before shutting it down is J. Michael Straczynski.
    • Most of the production crew gets featured in a series of rapid-fire shots at the very end, as the people who made this "ISN Special Documentary."
  • Cue the Sun:
    • Sheridan gets up to watch the sunrise because he never has before. After his death, Delenn gets up to watch it every morning after.
    • Also combines with Disappears into Light when Lorien comes to visit Sheridan.
    Sheridan: Well, look at that. The sun's coming up.
  • Distant Finale: Takes place nearly 20 years after the end of the show's plotline. Although the 4th season finale, Deconstruction Of Falling Stars, took place much farther into the future.
  • Fisher King: Babylon 5 is dying just as surely as Sheridan is.
  • Ghost Ship: Sheridan's ship is found abandoned and sealed from the inside, but his body is nowhere to be found.
  • Go Back to the Source: Sheridan returns to Coriana 6, where the First Ones decided to go beyond the rim and leave the younger races to grow without interference.
  • Human Popsicle: Marcus Cole is revealed to still be on ice after nearly dying to save Ivanova's life in the fourth season. If you look closely, you can see that this was according to Ivanova's orders, in hope that they are able to some day revive him.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: Sheridan's is almost up.
  • Old Soldier: General Ivanova suspects that she is seen as an old war horse, only to be brought out in public for parades. She ends up retiring from the Earth military and becoming the new head of the Rangers.
    • Zack Allen still works as head of Security on the station, mainly out of a sense of duty to the place than for any need for someone of his experience there. A later scene implies that Vir gave him a new job after Babylon Five was scuttled.
  • Out of Order: Originally filmed at the end of the fourth season when the show was due to be cancelled. When the show was picked up for another season, a new season finale was filmed and this one pushed back to the end of the fifth season.
  • Never Found the Body: Sheridan's body was never found, leading some Minbari to believe he will return again, someday.
  • Noodle Incident: A story that Garibaldi seems to find a lot funnier than Sheridan does. To be fair, whatever the story was about had evidently been eating through Sheridan's shirt.
    • It was something about finding an important data crystal that had been hidden inside a dead cat, only for the cat to be eaten by a pak'ma'ra, who then vomited all over Sheridan...
  • Show Within a Show: The very end of the episode indicates that this was an ISN Special Documentary, with the implication that the entire show might have been as well.
  • To Absent Friends: Londo, G'Kar, Marcus, and Lennier.