Babylon 5 S4: No Surrender, No Retreat (1996-1997)

The fourth season of Babylon 5 sees the culmination of all the story threads from the previous seasons. The conflict with the Shadows get solved in a way that turns previous expectations on its head. Whereupon earlier seasons gave the impression that the conflict followed a simple good vs bad pattern, it turns out to be much more interesting. That said, the solution to that conflict comes rather early in the season, which seems initially like an odd choice.

The rest of the season is dedicated to the situation on Earth and while the conflict that follows might be less epic in proportions than the Shadow-war, it’s much more accessible. It’s not merely a war about some abstract philosphies but about more tangible things like seeing your home transformed into something quite ugly. What I found so fascinating about the Earth of the Babylon 5 universe is that the things happening there aren’t simple the fault of Clark. He might have been the catalyst, but the isolationistic and totalitarian thinking is all too easily adopted by the masses. The future history episode at the end of the season drives that point home as well.

It’s probably my favorite season of the whole series, a tour de force that covers a lot of ground and manages to give a very satisfying conclusion to many aspects.