Minbari Mondays (B5:s4e14) “Moments of Transition” On Following Illegal Orders?

“You don’t.”

That is the short answer to Sheridan’s question to his old Academy professor. s4e15notEngageIlleglordrs This is also, imho, the brightest shining moment of this series: a service member is required to refuse to obey illegal orders. That will never be easy, nor popular, but it remains correct.

This is also the amazing conclusion to the Minbari civil war, as Delenn steps into the Circle of Fire to retain her caste’s right to be part of a governing coalition that she now re-balances as a new Grey Council, still “The 9,” but not 3×3 anymore.

The worker caste:

“They built the temples we pray in, the ships you fight in. … But prayers are fleeting, and wars forgotten. What is built endures. … Religion and war must act in the service of the people, not the other way around.”

So now, the Grey Council is 2, 2, and 5. And at last, understanding is required, rather than blind obedience, no?



    Except for poor Lyta, literally. She’s interviewing for jobs, and failing miserably due to the system, which Bester, of course, exploits to full advantage. This part had me in tears for her misery, and how isolated she becomes, through no fault of her own.

And then more bitter tears are shed for the “Ten thousand civilians” murdered in cold blood.

“Any crew that executes an order like that is guilty of war crimes.”

And at last, there will finally be consequences.

Side SciFi note: Delenn’s reform of The Grey Council (this episode could easily have made three separate episodes, if JMS hadn’t been forced to squeeze two seasons into season 4…) and later creation of the InterStellar Alliance in this series is, apart from the end of the dystopian Brazilian series The 3%, the only show that actually presents system change, like what Project Do Better is working toward.

Are there others??

Last Monday’s review was s4e13: Minbari Mondays: (B5:s4e13) “Rumors, Bargains, and Lies” Shows How A Little Knowledge is Very Dangerous ,


Next Minbari Monday will review: s4e15: Minbari Mondays (B5:s4e15) “No Surrender, No Retreat” and Another Lesson in Practical Empathy


Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

I come in peace, I am your friend.


Action Prompts:

1.)  Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how this episode of Babylon 5 could help that process.

2.) Write a book, story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.


Click here to read, if you like:


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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



6 thoughts on “Minbari Mondays (B5:s4e14) “Moments of Transition” On Following Illegal Orders?

  1. JMS’s original plan was for the fourth season to end with Sheridan’s capture. Had JMS known earlier that he would have a fifth season, alternative versions of the fourth and fifth seasons would have resulted.

    The path Lyta took into the fifth season is predictable, given how even Sheridan kept her at a distance.

    Liked by 2 people

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