Babylon 5 - Episodics (#404)
"Falling Toward Apotheosis"

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by David Eagle

As the Vorlon-Shadow war continues to heat up, Cartagia, the Centauri emperor, makes a deal to allow the Shadows a base on Centauri Prime. The emperor hopes the Shadows will help elevate him to godhead, but Londo plans to assassinate him before their world is ultimately destroyed. Back on Babylon 5, Captain Sheridan decides the new Vorlon ambassador must be removed from the station. He enlists the help of Lyta Alexander to lure the ambassador into a trap, but the Vorlon's encounter suit is cracked open in the resulting fire fight, and a furious energy creature emerges from within. Sheridan is caught by the being, but with Lorien's help, a brilliant light is released from Sheridan's body - the last piece of ambassador Kosh. The two Vorlons entwine in a howling stream of energy, plunging into space where they destroy each other. Lorien approaches Sheridan's dying body and uses a portion of his own energy to bring the captain back to life. At most, it will last 20 years, he tells Delenn. After that, Sheridan will simply - stop. Faced with his own mortality, Sheridan decides to live what life he has left, and proposes to Delenn . . .

With 'Falling Toward Apotheosis,' Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski began tying up elements of his five-year story arc, including the Vorlon-Shadow war, the ultimate fate of ambassador Kosh, and the growing relationship between Sheridan and Delenn. The climactic battle between the two Vorlons proved to be one of the biggest challenges of the episode, not only for the visual effects animators at Netter Digital, but also for the crew during shooting. Two of Kosh's encounter suit helmets detonated prematurely, and the effect ultimately had to be done in post-production. Actress Pat (Lyta) Tallman was able to gather up some of the Kosh fragments, which were later donated to charity. In addition to the Kosh subplot, 'Falling Toward Apotheosis' also continued the storyline on Centauri Prime, as Emperor Cartagia continued his mad ascent to god-hood. The character had quickly become a favorite among viewers, although the story would reach a surprising conclusion in the next episode. The scenes in which Sheridan has to deal with his now-decreased life span of 20 years would eventually became a major part Babylon 5's final episode, 'Sleeping In Light,' which takes place, not surprisingly, 20 years later.

Joe Nazzaro

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