"Intelligence has nothing to do with politics!"
REVIEW: Truth adjustment. Londo does it to Vir's reports, but he also wants his prophetic dreams "adjusted". And there's the Nightwatch, of course, which is promoting a pro-president agenda, but truth can be adjusted both ways, and Sheridan uses a Sinclairian loophole to turn the tables on them. Thematically, the episode is pretty impeccable. Now, I'm not a fan of Nightwatch. The idea is presented in a most obvious way, and its members, except for Zack, have been caricatures. The lead Nightwatchmen in the last couple episodes, the never even named Security Guard #1 played by Vaughn Armstrong, relishes his role a little too much and comes just short of growing a mustache so he can twirl it. The other guys either look pitifully afraid to speak up or quit, but have no lines to express that, or DO have lines and appear to be vindictive loyalists who just want to take the captain down for its own sake. It's like the crack team Garibaldi assembled is made up of cowards and traitors - good job, bro - only Zack excepted. In other words, it's really satisfying to see them defeated on the eve of their great triumph.
The title of the episode, shared by the entire season, makes it clear that this Sheridan, like the fugitive General Hague, has officially set himself and his governorship (Babylon 5) against Earthgov. If there's to be a coup, B5 may have to be a part of it, or the station may just have to pull a Mars and declare independence. Already, replacing most of the station security with Narns takes B5 away from full Earth ownership and control and towards the kind of heterogeneous community that was the station's dream goal. It's also a strong symbol of the station's independence from Earth Alliance, which has thrown in with the Centauri. G'Kar, now more spiritual leader and wise man than anything else, waxes cryptically about sacrifice on a massive scale, and Minbari-like, is starting to see "us" as more than the Narn, but as all life. He describes a Christ myth on a collective scale. So when he asks Sheridan for a place at the army of light's table, I dare say he's proven he deserves it. Kosh in fact recruited him by unlocking ideas in his mind.
Another fount of wisdom can be found in the Centauri seer played by the Grand Dame of Star Trek herself, Majel Barrett. No Lwaxana Troi, this. The Lady Morella is a serious and earnest woman who really doesn't need the power of prophecy to earn our attention. She has several good moments, including an awkward elevator ride with Ta'lon which shows she's above the Centauri's imperial biases, no dialog needed, and her contention that we always have a choice, but usually choose to fob responsibility off to fate. I find the view that the future isn't written rather ironic from a writer who prided himself on a a five-year plan, but I do share it. The fun will now be to watch Londo refuse to make the choices that can save his soul according to Morella's visions. Why mention three if he's going to take the first out, right? This is a test he's already failed twice (the two Shadow attacks, presumably). Here's the prophecy, in case we need to refer to it again: To save the eye that does not see, to not kill the one who is already dead, or at the last, to submit to his fear, knowing it will destroy him. It's a redemption puzzle for us and Londo. She does confirm that whatever happens, Londo will become Emperor, but bombshell!, Vir will succeed him (though it could technically go in the other direction). With that she leaves them in a symmetrical shot, Londo wondering if he'll have to play Julius Caesar to Vir's Brute. Exciting stuff.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORMHOLE: Majel Barrett has appeared (or her voice heard) on every iteration of the Star Trek franchise, only sometimes as a visiting VIP with mental abilities.
REWATCHABILITY: High - The one weakness is the Nightwatch's two-dimensional portrayal, but that seems to be at an end. The rest is top notch, with very exciting changes made and heralded.