"Yes, we've disagreed, even fought, but I would rather have someone who opposed me out of an honest belief in the rightness of his cause than someone who is always on my side because it was expected and required."
REVIEW: I love the con game, and I love what Michael Vejar does with the camera, so no surprise I liked this episode a lot. Sheridan's solution to the Non-Aligned worlds' refusal to let their space be patrolled by the White Star Fleet or contribute ships to that fleet, is both fun and brilliant, and I don't think it makes the League look too stupid. They're comic relief, but not acting illogically. Sheridan just stimulates their paranoia about a very real threat, and let's them do the work. Now, I guess he got Londo and G'Kar's good will behind the scenes? Or did I sleep through a scene in a previous episode? Maybe I made the wrong inference about the ellipsis at the end of their scene together. Regardless, the plan is elegant, roping in various characters to tell the League nothing's happening so they'll believe the opposite is true. Their participation becomes their own idea, with them thinking they're manipulating Sheridan. Well done.
Delenn and Neroon may be playing a similar game when they team up against their angry castes. There is such sincerity in the mutual respect they show each other, I don't want to believe in Neroon's betrayal at the end. After all, if both castes make false assumptions based on partial information (just like the Non-Aligned ambassadors did), why should we? There seems to be a lesson there. The warriors over-react and knock Neroon upside the head, and only Lennier's intervention prevents the religious caste from blowing up the ship in an act of foolish zealotry, with both sides regretting every doubting their leaders. I think that gives us permission to trust Neroon in this case (or if you'd rather, Delenn's faith in him), lets we also feel foolish. I guess I'll be disappointed if Neroon really is a short-sighted warmonger. Lennier once again comes up on top, sacrificing a piece of lung not to save the zealots from themselves, but to save Delenn the shock of knowing their betrayal. His love for her and for her unique perspective is quite touching.
Direction-wise, I love how Vejar makes his camera is always lurking behind people and things. Revealing Neroon behind his men, while Delenn is front and center creates a powerful contrast; you'd think the warrior caste would be braver. The lens whirls around paranoid delegates and loses sight of Sheridan in a mob of people. It keeps the eye consistently interested and plays up the idea that we're getting partial information, that no one gets a complete picture (though some get a fuller understanding). And while our two heroes, Sheridan and Delenn, do not consider themselves gods, perhaps the director does (if not gods, then saints, or great charismatics). Why else light Delenn with a bright light on her head so she has a halo? Why else shoot Sheridan in the center of a starburst?
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORMHOLE: In the Pale Moonlight will have Sisko trying to manipulate other powers into an alliance with Starfleet which less success.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - A great combination of plot, dialog and picture-making, and that's no lie.