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Babylon 5

Season 2 Episode 16

In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum

Aired Monday 7:00 PM May 11, 1995 on
out of 10
User Rating
136 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Sheridan is shocked to learn that one of the crew of the Icarus, a science ship that exploded with his wife aboard, is alive - namely Mr. Morden. A representative of the Ministry of Peace comes to the station to recruit personnel to the Nightwatch.

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  • Information overload!

    I had to read the recap as I got a bit lost in all that. It's clearly a very influential episode, but once again B5 shows the downside of how it's written from beginning to end: I think you have to have already watched through to properly appreciate the early episodes. But that is matched by an upside: from the reactions of others it's very clear that this is an exciting one to re-watch.

    Don't get me wrong though. This is definitely one of the better that I've seen. I'm fascinated by the darkness Sheridan crept into. I hate to do too much comparing to Star Trek, but I'm reminded a little bit of Enterprise's Captain Archer when he becomes a raging madman throughout the Xindi arc (season 3), torturing people in airlocks, storming around yelling about revenge. There is a clear difference in writing quality here as I couldn't sympathise with Archer much at all, he just came off as a crazed bully, but you find yourself reluctantly understanding Sheridan's approach. It's also a little more subtle (anything to do with Archer was about as subtle as stampeding buffalo) so that helps too.

    Still not sure I entirely understand where Morden fits in. I think it's that the episode is played like you're supposed to know. I don't. It could be me.

    On goes the frustration with Kosh - I let out a little squee when we learned the Big Secret about him, that he's one of these First Ones. Then I realised we know nothing about them and thus, it told us absolutely nothing :Pmoreless
  • In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum

    In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum was a perfect and classic episode of Babylon 5's second season. I really enjoyed watching this episode because we learned more about the Vorlons and the Shadows, who are the original Ancient Aliens! I really enjoyed the scenes were we got to see the Shadows as Mr. Morden was being held by Sheridan. I thought the story of this episode was excellent. This episode definitely moves the season's main story line along and gives viewers a taste of what is to come. I am very curious to learn what Talia saw when walking by Mr. Morden. I look forward to watching more episodes of Babylon 5!!!!!!!moreless
  • The greatest nightmares of our time is waiting...

    It is a episode what really has everything on it. Everything to set the action for future, very influential - like the "Coming of Shadows"... everything is going around. I really enjoyed the emotions, the way we saw Sheridan in totally new way. Something we have not known or seen but it was done so well. And the way everyone had their own agenda - wanting mr Morden being released for their own reasons. And more and more Sheridan tried, more and more he got into trouble but right time there were Delenn and Kosh. And the way it ended, him seeing them.. And everything else hinted there... just... major episode.moreless
  • mr mordon is held for question by captain sherdian.

    the scene opens up with zac and michael garibaldi watching the injured narns arrive on the station. vir is summin to mr mordon and mr mordon asks vir what does he want. l love the repy he gives. he says to mr mordon he would like to live long enough to see he head cut off and he would smile and wave. captain sherdian is in his office when mr garibaldi comes in and tells him that he has seen this man alive{ mr mordon}. captain sherdian gos nuts and wants to know what happen to his wife and the other crew. its a very good episode.moreless
  • What an excellent show. Very informative about many things.

    What an excellent show. Very informative about many things.

    First, we see the creation of the Ministry of Peace (Minipax) and the Nightwatch. The Ministry of Peace and his shortened version, Minipax, comes directly from George Orwell's book, 1984. In the novel, the Ministry of Peace is actually in charge of war. I fear the use of the same name was not a mistake by the writers. I feel that this is another way that President Clark is expanding his power over the citizens he is supposed to serve. He is trying to create a galaxy wide system of "eyes and ears."

    Second, we see how deeply Garibaldi believes in the law. So much that he actually resigns over the fact that Sheridan was breaking the law with his treatment of Morden.

    Third, we get a better understanding of what the Captain is capable of when under stress and emotions. He breaks the law. He chooses revenge over his friend (Garibaldi). He sets up Talia so she has to talk past Morden. I understand why he did what he did, but that does not make his decisions any better. Luckily, he made the right choice at the end and Garibaldi is back.

    Fourth, we learn much more about what Kosh and Delenn have known. Severel loose ends from the first season have either been brought back into the fold or explained. That of the ancient guardians of the galaxy, only the Vorlons are left.

    Fifth, in the last few episodes we have seen deeper into Vir. We have shown that he is more than a mere secretary to Londo, that he is a deep character in his own right. His standing up to Morden is the best example of that so far.

    Sixth, more information on the Shadows. They appear three times in this episode. Other than seeing their ships, we have only seen them in one other episode.

    Well, I think that’s it. I'm sure I'll think of more later, I always do. But this is good for now. Oh, and don’t you just hate when someone does a list the way I just did? I do. Oh well, it seemed fitting, this time.moreless
Alex Hyde-White

Alex Hyde-White

Pierce Macabee

Guest Star

Jeff Conaway

Jeff Conaway

Zack Allan

Recurring Role

Ed Wasser

Ed Wasser


Recurring Role

Ardwight Chamberlain

Ardwight Chamberlain


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The injured Narns coming onto the station as the episode begins are actually only a dozen or so actors walking in a circle so that it appears that Narns are pouring into the station without end.

    • When Sheridan and Garibaldi first see Morden's picture as part of the Icarus' crew (before the opening credits play), he's smiling in the photo. After the opening credits play, the photo changes and he is no longer smiling.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Delenn: Come captain. The greatest nightmare of our time is waiting for you.

    • Ivanova: As your executive officer, it's my responsibility to notify you if I think your behavior is becoming...
      Sheridan: Irrational?
      Ivanova: That's as good a word as any.

    • Sheridan: (interrogating Mr. Morden) What happened to the Icarus?!
      Mr. Morden: I told you I don't know. I don't remember.
      Sheridan: Well you better damned well start remembering, mister! Because, by God, by the time I am done with you, you will wish you had died on the Icarus!

    • Sheridan: (discussing the Narn refugee situation with Mr. Garibaldi) Tell Franklin to separate out the injured. Light cases get first aid only. Then load them on the first ship out. Critical cases get taken to Medlab on a priority basis.
      Garibaldi: And the dying?
      Sheridan: Medlab.
      Garibaldi: Earth Central will say this is waste of resources.
      Sheridan: I won't have people dying, cold and alone, on the docking bay floor!
      Garibaldi: Understood.

    • Kosh: If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die.
      Sheridan: Then I die. But I will not go down easily and I will not go down alone.

    • Morden: What do you want?
      Vir: I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave like this (waves at Morden). Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Sheridan's statement that Coventry was destroyed on the 14th November 1940 is something of an exaggeration. The city suffered heavy damage from German bombers with most of the city centre and numerous amunitions factories destroyed. Most famously the city's Cathedral, built in the 1300s, was burnt by incendiary devices and left in ruins (which still stand). The city was not however destroyed.

    • What really happened to the Icarus is covered in the novel "The Shadow Within" by Jeanne Cavelos.