In 2262, longstanding conflicts between telepaths and normal humans lead to a major clash on Babylon 5, and the former captain of the station continues its peacekeeping mission by forming the InterStellar Alliance.]]>
This was immediately followed by a rare episode not written by J. Michael Straczynski. Much was expected of "Day of the Dead," penned by Neil Gaiman, the British creator of DC's landmark Sandman comic and graphic novel series. Yet despite a change of tone including a guest appearance by Penn & Teller as 23rd-century comedy favorites Rebo & Zooty, the story proved an incongruous side trip into an unexplained twilight zone of fantasy. As usual the season picked up toward the end, with a string of fine political episodes leading to "The Fall of Centauri Prime" and the haunting "Objects at Rest," in which Sheridan and Delenn leave Babylon 5 for new quarters on Minbar.
The final episode, "Sleeping in Light," was directed by J. Michael Straczynski and made an epilogue to the series. Set 20 years later, after all the sound and fury this quiet, elegiac tale is the apotheosis of the love story that proved the balance to the tragedy of the preceding darkness. A personal story resolved against a background of the epic, at once transcendent, deeply human, and profoundly optimistic, "Sleeping in Light" is as moving as any hour in the history of television drama and a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to one of the greatest series ever made. --Gary S. Dalkin