"Always said I had a lot of repressed anger... I'm not repressed anymore."
REVIEW: Just when I thought we were rid of the Nightwatch, here they are again. And I freaking HATE THEM. How can they be so two-dimensional when the rest of the show is so rich and complex? One psychotic, I can believe, but that every one else just stands there while he sings little songs about dismembering Minbari kills my suspension of disbelief, DEAD. Maybe it's a directing problem. The scene might have played better if it was just between the leader with the nasty scar (Boggs) and the singer-torturer. But then "the Sniper" (Nightwatch guys don't deserve names, apparently) is always losing his temper and shooting people he shouldn't, an artificial and illogical engine of jeopardy. Sometimes JMS just wants to make his point and won't let character psychology get in the way (which is what I hate about a lot of his comics work). Delenn's attack on the Sniper's alone-ness is well taken (and part of the show's theme that the collective is more than the sum of its parts), but since everyone else in Nightwatch has a hive mentality, the point is weakened.
Thankfully, the episode isn't really about this action plot. Much more watchable is Delenn's rebirth ceremony. It never really happens and a lot of characters refuse her invitation (including Marcus who is just strident with loathsome self-pity, gross), but when she's too wounded to proceed, the Earthforce Four go to her, each with a secret confession and their uniforms, something important to them they willingly give up, following Sheridan in his gesture. These last few minutes of the episode would redeem almost anything that had failed in the previous ones, each confession as poignant as the next. Sheridan's love (well, "care" for Delenn). Garibaldi's wavering voice as he admits his fear of losing control. Ivanova's feelings for Talia confirmed. Doc Franklin's simple "first step", no details required. And then her gift of new - AND MUCH COOLER - uniforms to the group, having anticipated what they would give up. The prospect of of this ceremony puts several other characters in a place of turmoil. Jury's out if Marcus will let go of his burden of guilt for having survived a Shadow attack where everyone he loved did not, but it's Lennier who keeps my interest most. We've never seen him so edgy and he confesses he is in love with Delenn even if he's accepted she is not his to have. He carries on, just as he continues to do her will after she is taken hostage because that is all he can do. Who would have thought this meekest of characters would repress so much rage, but you see it in his burning, resigned eyes.
Of the subplots, the strongest is without a doubt Londo's, who forces Lord Refa into a corner with a fun threat of poison (a sentimental gesture, he says). When Londo broke off ties with Morden and the Shadows, they just went running to Refa whose personal ambitions outstrip Londo's, which doesn't help anything. Refa is terribly foolish to allow the Shadows to dictate the Republic's strategy, and Londo is right across the board about how Centauri forces (and alliances!) are thinning out, leaving the homeworld poorly defended. Refa is where Londo was a season ago, but lacks the conscience that would allow him to ever step back. Poison, conscience... they can serve the same purpose. From the logical necessity to reset the station's passwords in the wake of its declaration of independence is born a much lamer subplot. The reboot awakens a silly - by which I mean to say STUPID - bitchy A.I. with the personality of a disappointed father, right down its talking about "your mother and I". Annoying comedy and nothing more.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORMHOLE: Remember when TOS had badly programmed computers who flirted with Captain Kirk? Yeah, I didn't like that either.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - It's amazing how that ending and the plot thread that accompanied it elevated the episode to a point where the stupid comedy and the mustache-twirling villains couldn't sink it below Medium-High.