Points of Departure (Babylon 5)

Points of Departure (Babylon 5)

Infobox Television episode
Title = Points of Departure
Series = Babylon 5

"Sheridan Arrives"
Caption =
Season = 2
Episode = 1
Airdate = 2 November 1994
Production = 201
Writer = J. Michael Straczynski
Director = Janet Greek
Guests = Richard Grove (Kalain)
Robin Sachs (Hedronn)
Robert Foxworth (General William Hague)
Episode list = List of "Babylon 5" episodes
Prev = Chrysalis
Next = Revelations

"Points of Departure" is the first episode of the second season of the science-fiction television series "Babylon 5".


The episode opens with a recounting of the events from the last episode of season one. Jeffrey Sinclair, the commander of Babylon 5, has been reassigned to Earth and Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova is temporarily in command. Security Chief Garibaldi lies in a coma in medlab; he was shot in the back after discovering a plot to assassinate Earth Alliance President Luis Santiago - his discovery was too late and the President was killed when his starship (EarthForce One) exploded. Narn Ambassador G'Kar has mysteriously vanished and no one knows his whereabouts. Delenn, the Minbari Ambassador, has entered a cocoon and is physically transforming into something, but no one knows what it is - or when she will leave the cocoon.

After the prologue, the view shifts to the massive Earth Alliance Destroyer "Agamemnon" orbiting an Earth colony. The ship's captain, John Sheridan, informs the colony's leaders that if they have any further trouble with raiders (pirates) to contact him and he will handle the situation. Sheridan then receives an incoming message from General William Hague, the Chairman of the EarthForce Joint Chiefs of Staff. Commander Ivanova then receives a message from General Hague; he informs her that Sheridan has been appointed as the new commanding officer of Babylon 5, and that Commander Sinclair is the new Earth Ambassador to the Minbari. After his arrival, Commander Ivanova gives Sheridan a tour of the station; he appears excited about his new command assignment. However, Sheridan soon learns that a renegade Minbari warcruiser, the "Trigati", has been sighted in hyperspace near the station. The "Trigati" had participated in the historic Battle of the Line, the final battle of the Earth-Minbari War ten years earlier. When the Grey Council suddenly gave the order to surrender when the Minbari were on the verge of total victory, the "Trigati" had refused to surrender. Instead, the warship had gone into exile and had spent the years since the war roaming the galaxy. Sheridan believes that the re-appearance of the "Trigati" is a bad sign, especially since the Minbari still resent him as the "Starkiller", the human who destroyed their flagship, the "Black Star", during the war. Sheridan believes that the "Trigati" may attack the Babylon 5 station in revenge for him being named the new commander.

Unfortunately, this suspicion is confirmed when the "Trigati" commander is arrested while trying to kill Delenn in her cocoon. The "Trigati" herself soon exits hyperspace, approaches Babylon 5, and launches her fighters. Babylon 5 activates her weapons and launches fighters, but Sheridan has doubts as to whether the "Trigati" really intends to attack. He is suspicious because during the Earth-Minbari War the Minbari ships used stealth technology which made their ships impossible to detect on targeting sensors, yet the Babylon 5 sensors can target both the "Trigati" and her fighters. His suspicions prove correct when the "Trigati" commander commits suicide in his jail cell. Sheridan realizes that the Minbari ship is trying to make it look as if the humans provoked an attack, so they can start the Earth-Minbari War again and return home with honor. Sheridan tells Commander Ivanova to send a signal via laser beam into hyperspace; the signal alerts another Minbari warcruiser, which exits hyperspace and orders the "Trigati" to surrender. The second Minbari cruiser fires a beam which destroys the Trigati's engines. Unable to escape, the "Trigati" blows herself up rather than surrender. Sheridan thanks the commander of the second Minbari cruiser for their help, but the Minbari commander coldly tells him that the "Trigati"'s destruction is a "dark day" for his people and that Sheridan is still hated by the Minbari. As the episode ends, Sheridan finally gets to give his standard welcoming speech after assuming command of a new post. However, since it is so late no one is present in the command center to hear it.

Arc significance

* Sinclair, the commander of Babylon 5 during the series first season, is transferred to Minbar as the Earth Ambassador. His story is continued in a series of comics and the novel . He is also seen again in two third-season episodes.
* Captain John Sheridan assumes command of Babylon 5; we learn that the Minbari still resent him because of his victory over them in the Earth-Minbari War.
* The Minbari Grey Council chose to surrender at the Battle of the Line because, after capturing Sinclair during the battle and examining him, they learned that he was carrying a Minbari soul. The Grey Council then learned that Minbari souls were being reborn into human bodies. Since Minbari do not kill one another, they chose to surrender rather than continue to kill their own souls. However, believing that neither the warrior caste nor humans would accept the truth, they have chosen to keep this fact from both groups.
* Sheridan was President Santiago's second choice to command Babylon 5 after Sinclair; the new President, Morgan Clark, likes him because he believes he will be tougher in dealing with alien races on the station than Sinclair was.
* The Grey Council's orders to surrender at the Battle of the Line was bitterly opposed by much of the warrior caste; this has led to a growing rift between the religious and warrior castes in Minbari society. The rift will eventually lead to a civil war on Minbar in the series fourth season.
* Delenn didn't consult with the Grey Council about her transformation and they do not approve of her decision.

Production details

"Points of Departure" was originally titled "Chrysalis, Part II."

External links

* [http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/023.html Points of Departure] at "The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5"

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