Babylon 5

Season 3 Episode 8

Messages from Earth (1)

Aired Monday 7:00 PM Feb 22, 1996 on



  • Trivia

    • There are several warnings that either weapons fire or opening a jump point inside Jupiter's atmosphere will ignite the atmospheric hydrogen. However, Jupiter has a atmosphere mainly composed of hydrogen, helium and methane. The lack of oxygen makes hydrogen ignition unlikey.

  • Quotes

    • Ivanova: I don't know how to relate to you, how you fit into anything here. I mean, where are you in the ranks? Above, below?
      Marcus: Left, right, in a box by the door? It doesn't matter. And that's not really the problem, is it?
      Ivanova: If anything happens to the Captain I'm holding you personally responsible.
      Marcus: Because I sent him off on a suicide mission.
      Ivanova: Ever since you've come here we've had nothing but trouble. You're a loose cannon!
      Marcus: He went of his own free will. He didn't have to go.
      Ivanova: Yes, he did, and you knew he would the second he found out what was going on.
      Marcus: I'd rather assumed he would send me. Funny that... But if you are right and it was inevitable why blame me?
      Ivanova: Because we shouldn't have to be doing this! Because he didn't have any business taking out that ship without me there to help him! Because we're going up against our own government, I don't know where the hell I fit in anymore, much less you! And dammit – because I don't have anybody else to blame!

    • Nightwatch Leader: We'll start making arrests in the next two months. This has already been drawn up.
      Security Guard: What can we do to help?
      Nightwatch Leader: Earth needs all the information we can give her. Any source is acceptable. To make it easier for sources to come forward, we're going to allow them to give us information anonymously. We're authorized to look into pas history, social contacts, party affiliations, to conduct e-mail and vid surveillance, BabCom and StellarCom transmissions, to –
      Zack: Whoa, whoa, wait. Just how far does this go anyway? Do we start suspecting everybody?
      Nightwatch Leader: No, of course not. Anyone with the Nightwatch is automatically recognized as working in the best interests of Earth.

    • Sheridan (to the rest of the command staff): The rest of you will be needed here to cover my absence. It's a two-day jump to Earth space, that's a long time to be gone. I'm leaving behind my Identicard, my uniform, command rank, anything that could lead back here if something should go wrong. Susan, in our absence, I'm leaving you and Garibaldi in charge of the Rangers. I'd tell you to take good care of the station but... I know that's not necessary. I've left instructions at my desk for a cover story if we don't come back. Then send out my Starfury and use the autodestruct sequence. Doctor, you'll provide the organic mass to simulate a casualty.
      I wish none of this were necessary. We all knew that sooner or later we'd have to deal with Earth. So, guess it's time we got down to business. If there's any way we can come back, we will.

    • Franklin: You can't take on Earth, I mean, not now. Later –
      Delenn: Later is too late.

    • Nightwatch Leader (to Zack): Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, Zack. Big things are coming. We've gotta be ready for them. See you tomorrow.
      (Starts for the door, then turns back and looks at the surveillance screens)
      You know, sometimes, watching them like this, without them even knowing we're here... Makes you feel a little like God, doesn't it?

    • Sheridan: you know what I miss most about home? The sound of rain hitting the roof at night. It always helped me fall asleep. Back when I was a kid preparing for the Academy, I'd be up 'til four or five o'clock in the morning studying. I'd have maybe two hours to sleep after that but I was so wound up, I'd just lie there. Same thing happened the night before my final test. I just knew if I didn't get some sleep I'd never pass it.
      Delenn: And? Did it begin to rain?
      Sheridan: No. But Dad, my dad, heard me walking around, he knew I couldn't sleep, so he went outside, and he got the garden hose, and sprayed it, so it came down on the roof, just like rain... He stood there making it rain until I fell asleep. I sometimes think he would've stood there for days if he had to. I miss him... And right now, more than anything else in the world I wish it would rain. Just for a little while...
      Delenn: Nadjas, Duve -Na.
      (the sound of rain falling on the roof fills the room)

    • G'Kar: I've taken the opportunity provided by my incarceration to meditate, to think. Sometimes I even sing.
      Garibaldi: I know, we got a petition.
      G'Kar: For or against?
      Garibaldi: Based on the sound, they think we are torturing you in here.
      G'Kar: Sit down, Mr. Garibaldi. You know, a true artist is never appreciated in his time.
      Garibaldi: Or his own cell block...

    • Garibaldi: You know what they say, No good deed goes unpunished.

    • Marcus: So, I went to the effort of preparing this chart. Now then, here's you, right here at the heart of everything and why not. And here is me. This is the captain, and here's Franklin. Here's my mom and dad. There don't actually have anything to do with it. It's a very good picture of them, don't you think?
      Ivanova: Marcus...
      Marcus: I actually think I have come up with a way to explain the organization structure of Babylon 5 using the Ottoman Empire as a model. It gets a little confusing around this bit here, but one has to start somewhere.

    • Delenn: In Valen's name. It's awake.

    • Delenn: The shadow vessels use living creatures as their central core. Whoever steps inside merges with it, becomes one with the ship. After that it's fully functional. They must be sending one in right now.

    • Marcus: And according to one of our units on the border of Centauri space, they've continued massing their fleet. We don't know why. Maybe they expect a counter attack, it's hard to say. And they have much to be concerned about. There's always the threat of an attack by say, a giant space dragon, the kind that eats the sun every thirty days. It's a nuisance, but what would you expect from reptiles? Did I mention that my nose was on fire? That I have fifteen wild badgers living in my trousers? I'm sorry, would you prefer ferrets?

    • Sheridan: How can you sleep in these things?
      Delenn: It's quite simple with proper meditation. We consider sleeping in the horizontal to be tempting death.
      Sheridan: Yeah... If I sleep in this I'll be tempting fate... all night.
      Delenn: Don't worry. I will watch, and catch you if you should fall.

    • Dr. Mary Kirkish: That's when I saw it. I just wanted to run away and hide. Jump in a hole and haul the ground in over me, but there was nowhere to go. Nothing to do but watch. At first I thought it was destroying the other ship. Then I realized it was digging it out. For 20, 25 minutes, nothing happened. Then we heard it. A sound that just reaches right into your brain and rips it apart. The sound of something terrible being born.

    • Sheridan: But back home they're saying they have never seen ships like this before.
      Dr. Mary Kirkish: They are lying. I was there.

    • Dr. Mary Kirkish: Seven years ago I was stationed on Mars. We were always getting false leads on artifacts supposedly buried beneath the Martian soil for thousands of years. Nothing ever came of it. And then one day our sonic probes picked up something three hundred feet beneath the surface of Syria Planum. We didn't know what it was. Except that it wasn't a natural formation. And given its depth, it had been there at least a thousand years. It was in the middle of Martian winter, so it took weeks just to dig half of it from the ground. But that much was enough to give me nightmares for the rest of my life. It's the same ship we have been seeing on the news lately, the one that looks like it came straight from hell.

    • G'Kar: I'm writing it all down right here.. the war, the fall of Narn, our mistakes, and what must be done to correct them. I expect to have it finished by the time I'm released.

    • G'Kar: In here, Mr Garibaldi, you can not hide from yourself. Everything out there has only one purpose, to distract us from ourselves, what is truly important. There are no distractions in here. We can learn much from silence.

    • ISN Broadcast: As Senate hearings into the death of President Luis Santiago enter their sixth week, evidence purporting to be from President Clark's personal physician has surfaced. These records seem to indicate that the illness which prevented President Clark from being aboard Earthforce One when it exploded may have only been a convenient alibi. Representatives for President Clark, speaking before the Senate Investigative Committee today, dismissed these latest allegations, describing them as attempts to destabilize Earth Gov from within and without. In related news, Earthdome Chief of Staff Bill Harris announced that a new alien race only recently detected may pose a significant threat to planetary security. When asked what was being done to counter this threat, Harris said only that extreme measures may be required.

    • Sheridan: Full power! Give me everything you've got!
      Lennier: If I were holding anything back I would tell you.

    • Garibaldi: But where in my contract does it say that I have to eat the same food for breakfast everyday for 3 years?
      Sheridan: Paragraph 47 subsection 19 clause 9A. You can find it in the Index under S.U.A.E.I.
      Garibaldi: S.U.A.E.I.?
      Sheridan & Ivanova: Shut Up And Eat It.

  • Notes

    • Peter Jurasik (Londo Mollari) does not appear in this episode.

    • Stephen Furst (Vir Cotto) does not appear in this episode.

    • JMS was reportedly upset over the B5 comics printing order DC used. The story was apparently printed before it should have been. This resulted in tipping off the surprise links revealed in this episode too soon.

    • Garibaldi's story about discovering a Shadow ship on Mars was covered in issues 5 - 8 of the original Babylon 5 comic.

  • Allusions

    • The Nightwatch is the title of one of Rembrandt's most famous paintings, depicting the Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq led by himself and his lieutenant, on the move. The girl on the painting is wearing a yellow dress, said to represent victory, and carrying objects that symbolize the militia's emblems. It produces a highly militaristic, yet at the same time sociable atmosphere, and has been the subject of much controversy, including attempts to vandalize it in 1975 and 1990.

    • Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Freedom This Jefferson quote is repeated, ironically, by Nightwatch.

    • Ivanova: suaei
      Short form for "shut up and eat it." Word used when Ivanova got bacon and eggs from Marcus.

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