Minbari Mondays (B5:s4e20) “Endgame” and Service vs. Orders

This episode brought tears of both kinds, gladness and sorrow.

It is November 1st, 2261, and Delenn is having difficulty getting Marcus to listen to her, where Ivanova is concerned.  Normally he lives to serve, but today, he wants to ignore reasonable orders.  And with very bad timing.

the battle for Earth has begun, on Mars.  In orbit, a general knows that his actions are morally wrong.  Even the US Code of Conduct prohibits following unlawful orders.  Then there is the question of Captain Sheridan’s use of these telepaths who have not been able to give their consent.

Service and sacrifice with honor.

Last Monday’s review was s4e19: Minbari Mondays (B5:s4e19) “Between the Darkness and the Light” and Serving Humanity ,


Next Minbari Monday will review: s4e21: Minbari Mondays (B5:s4e21) “Rising Star” on Duty, Honor, and Peace “by the ballot”


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:


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



13 thoughts on “Minbari Mondays (B5:s4e20) “Endgame” and Service vs. Orders

  1. General Lefcourt came around to the side of morality at the end, though.

    I recall what Dr. Franklin said about the post-Z’ha’dum Sheridan in a previous episode. This Sheridan gave orders the pre-Z’ha’dum Sheridan would not have given.

    JMS did not paint the heroes as flawless; even Sheridan went over the line sometimes. But Sheridan was a good man, as Delenn said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *sigh*
      True, both the general, with some persuasion at Mars, and Sheridan, with some horror at Z., do change, but I’m not so sure if either change was true or better.

      Gen. L. came around because he lost a battle and didn’t die, which never makes me happy about the manner in which such change was accomplished.

      Sheridan saw the full extent of what we were up against at Z. and lived to tell it, by being forced to sacrifice one planet worth of people to save the rest (“cold hard numbers,” as Dr. Franklin said, I believe?). He does come back from Z. a changed person, a harder and harsher person, and possible needfully so, in order to save everyone, but at what cost? Perhaps there might have been telepaths among the blips or among the volunteers who would have volunteered to be uploaded to those ships from Mars? Perhaps there was some other way, had he asked Lyta rather than imposing his way on her? Perhaps Lyta could have taken them out of cryo earlier to get their consent, since she was able to communicate with them for short periods of time well before the battle. There were other options that were not explored for simple lack of creativity and will.

      And in the end, DownBelow never really changes, and it take a war to get the telepaths of Earth some (still limited) recognition as human beings. And the fundamental politics and ways of thinking on Earth, worst of all, (we’ll see this in the final episode…) never really change, leading to more Dark Ages that could be avoided with a different way of imagining or viewing the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. These points are valid.

        General Lefcourt was, as he explained, of the old school; he followed orders. We know the fate of that defense at Nuremberg.

        However, JMS has explained in writing that Sheridan was crossing some lines during the civil war. Crossing some of these lines may have been necessary, given the circumstances. Yet, even in these challenging circumstances, crossing these lines did carry consequences for others, such as those implanted telepaths. I also recall the crew Sheridan sent to die during the Shadow War, as well as the Narns he let die to preserve a military secret.

        We often live in shades of gray, and must make the least bad decisions, or try, at least.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This may be true, I (or, ok, the ‘practical’ side of me) must sadly agree, but I still insist on believing, or wanting to believe, that even under such dire circumstances, if all agree to at least try the most creative, bold, even outragious ideas, and to always ask for volunteers, there might still be a way to avoid crossing such lines. Yes, it is a hopelessly idealistic belief, but I cannot help imagining that there must always be some other way. If only to have the consent of those sent to die, as the White Star sent to sacrifice themselves -they were fully prepared and had already set their affairs in order. This is a normal part of volunteering, but the telepaths and Narns he allowed to die were not given that choice, and there lies the rub: other ways might have been found, if the will had been there, to at least try to find volunteers or get some consent beforehand.

          Yes, we live in shades of gray, but we must never be so complacent as to accept that situation without trying to change it, or acknowledging, as the lady doctor did in the case of the Alien Healing/Death Penalty Device, that “I did the necessary thing, but it was not the right thing.”

          Liked by 2 people

            1. You are welcome.

              I have an inner Reinhold Niebuhr-style realist inside my psyche. However, I also understand the power of idealism. Ideals exist to give us goals. Otherwise, we devolve into amoral realpolitik. The opposite extreme is ideology–who cares about facts because I have made up my mind? But you seem to exist somewhere in the middle and grounded in reality while maintaining high ideals.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Coolness, thank you! I am (or have been) so used to being criticised for “living in the world as it should be, instead of as it is” and for being “utopic” that I worry that I may not always stay grounded in reality, so I work extra hard to try to be. Thank you, again, for this needed confirmation.

              Liked by 1 person

Please Share your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s