"Falling Toward Apotheosis" is an episode from the fourth season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5.
Commander Ivanova delivers a report regarding the recent Vorlon military campaign. "We're pre-empting your normal BabCom service to bring you another update on the continuing crisis. Two more deep-range planetary colonies have been eliminated by Vorlon forces."
We're then given a vid of a gigantic Vorlon warship, the planetkiller, along with dozens of Vorlon ships. "This footage was taken as the Vorlon fleet closed in on Ventari III. The ship eclipsing the local star is presumed to be their main weapon, the planet-killer. Below is a list of nearby colonies and League worlds which are accepting refugees from Ventari III. We will continue to update this list as the situation changes. If you are from the Ventari system, you are asked not to return until authorized. The local jumpgate has been destroyed, and hyperspace traffic is creating a hazard at the jump intersection. Contact your ambassadors for information on family members who may have escaped before the colony was destroyed. We're taking in refugees and escaping ships as fast as we can, but our resources are almost maxed out. We will repeat this bulletin every twenty standard minutes until we receive new information. Once again, please remain calm. Right now, our greatest enemy is fear."
Garibaldi is in his office, looking through securecam stills of Lorien. He says that he's worried about Sheridan's new friend--wherever Sheridan is, Lorien is. Zack says that it is probably because Lorien saved Sheridan's life. Zack doesn't pretend to understand it, but is glad Sheridan made it back alive. He asks Garibaldi if he's sure he's okay, which annoys Garibaldi. Garibaldi asks Zack if he thinks he's lying about not remembering what happened after his disappearance, and Zack insists that nobody thinks Garibaldi is lying. Garibaldi, however, is still upset that he's being kept at arm's length while Sheridan, who went through similar circumstances, is welcomed back. Zack tells Garibaldi that Franklin wants to do one more examination, but after that, he'll be back on the job. Zack begins to leave, but as he goes, Garibaldi tells him that he feels Captain Sheridan is avoiding him, even though they were on good terms when Garibaldi left. Zack says he doesn't know why, but is sure Sheridan has his reasons. Garibaldi, taking this in, turns back to the securecam still of Lorien.
Morden informs Londo Mollari of the Vorlon's military campaign against the Shadows. Londo naturally tries to use this as proof that the Shadows must leave Centauri Prime, but Cartagia and Morden overrule him.
Londo and Cartagia walk back into the palace, and Londo tells Cartagia he is relieved that Cartagia won't send the Centauri ships. Cartagia says he reached Londo's conclusion as well, and that, when he realized that, he learned that he liked Londo very much, since they think the same way. Because of this, Cartagia tells him, he shows Londo something very few others have seen--his collection of heads. He says he was discussing the situation with them earlier, and that one of them, a previous minister, got the idea to not send out the Centauri ships. Londo asks Cartagia if that means Cartagia will ask the Shadows to leave, but no--Cartagia wants the Vorlons to come so that the planet can become an inauguration pyre to commemorate Cartagia's ascension into godhood. Cartagia reasons that, when he becomes a god, his subjects will not be able to live without him, therefore, if he takes them all with him, no one will be sad when he dies. "Don't send the ships," Cartagia tells Londo. "Let them come! Let it all end in fire!"
Ivanova delivers another report on recent developments regarding the Vorlon advance.
"This is a Command and Control update. The safe haven for refugees on Tizino Prime is no longer responding. We believe they may have fallen to the Vorlon advance, but we can't be sure for another--I guess--ten, twelve hours? Before they attack, the Vorlons blanket all frequencies so no reports can get out. There have been some changes to the list of refugee stations. We'll have that information for you shortly--we've lost three of them. All the governments in sector 57 have declared a state of interplanetary emergency.
"Reports coming in from survivors indicate mass destruction on a planetary scale. We continue to need medical ships, transports, anything that can fly. We're in special need of atmosphere-capable shuttles to evacuate survivors from the ground. We'll rebroadcast this message in twenty standard minutes."
In the war room, Ivanova tells Zack, Franklin, and Garibaldi that the station is up to its ears in ships of all kinds. Franklin understands, since MedLab is the same way. Garibaldi tells them, however, that they are going to have a much bigger problem on their hands soon when all the survivors come to Babylon 5 looking for someone--anyone--of their own races that survived the Vorlon onslaught. Garibaldi knows there isn't a thing that can be done to stop it, and the problem will get worse since they are already well over capacity. Franklin suggests that they shuttle as many people as they can to Epsilon III to keep the population in check and when Sheridan comes into the room, he agrees.
Sheridan sits down and says they have an important problem-- Kosh. As long as he's there, they can't make a move without him knowing about it. Sheridan says that they don't know how telepathic the Vorlons are, and Sheridan has kept Garibaldi out of the loop so that, in case Kosh can read from a distance, he won't learn of their plans. Sheridan tells Garibaldi he wants the Vorlon gone. He wants to give Kosh what he expects, so that they can do what they have to do. Sheridan wants Garibaldi to take only a few people, and Garibaldi says Kosh will wipe up the floor with them, a fact which Sheridan understands only too well. Garibaldi leaves to go assemble the team, and Zack gets up to follow soon after. Lyta and Lorien come into the room and say that their part of the plan is ready. Lorien tells everyone that the Shadows could kill Kosh because they were both First Ones, but that, when a Vorlon is enraged, its power is beyond human comprehension. Franklin asks what the plan is, and Sheridan tells them all that as long as Kosh remains, billions of lives are at stake. "So we're going to take out the Vorlon... any way we can."
Garibaldi and his security team, wearing their oxygen masks, approach Kosh's quarters, and ask to come in, but there is no response. Garibaldi overrides the controls, and they all go in. Garibaldi tells Kosh that the Captain told them to ask Kosh to leave. Kosh doesn't respond. Garibaldi says that the request is now an order, and that they will escort Kosh to his ship. The Vorlon has but one reply, "No." One of the officers tries to approach Kosh with his PPG, but a blast from the Vorlon sends him against the wall. The others fire at the encounter suit, to no avail. Kosh, fighting back, creates a high-pitched noise which, after a few moments, shatters the glass on the front of the teams' oxygen masks. They run out of his quarters and the alien sector, choking and gasping for air. Garibaldi notes that if Sheridan wanted the Vorlon to think that he's invulnerable to harm, then they've succeeded.
Sheridan is in his quarters when he is informed that Londo is sending him a message. Londo asks Sheridan if the rumor about the Vorlons is true, and Sheridan confirms that it is. Londo asks how far the Vorlons are from Centauri Prime, since that information is not widely distributed on the planet. Sheridan tells Londo it will be about a week before they arrive. Londo asks if Sheridan is doing anything about it, and Sheridan says that, though they won't have anything in place for a while, they are doing their best, but there are no guarantees. Londo wishes Sheridan good luck and signs off.
Lyta tells Kosh that she thinks she knows who may be keeping a piece of the old Kosh in him. Kosh is repulsed by the idea of a human "imprisoning" a fellow Vorlon and sets out with Lyta to "liberate" the old Kosh. Lyta and Kosh leave the quarters, and make their way through the alien sector to the main part of the station. Lyta leads him down a corridor when the new Kosh notices that Lyta is hiding something from him. Soon enough, Kosh is bombarded by PPG blasts from station security all around him, augmented by blasts of electricity from what look like junction boxes around him.
The attack goes on for nearly a minute when suddenly the headpiece of Kosh's encounter suit shatters, and a flurry of light emerges from within. Kosh emerges from the encounter suit, but he appears this time as an enormous, glowing, tentacled being which begins flying around the room, attacking everything it can, and firing energy bolts of its own.
As the Vorlon goes on its rampage, one of the security officers near Delenn falls, and she attempts to bring him to safety. The current, which exhausted itself shortly after Kosh was released, is no longer effective, and Sheridan calls Ivanova for more, which she tries to give him. While she does so, she receives a message from someone in the docking bay saying that the Vorlon's ship is going crazy, trying to break away from the station. She orders the ship to be cleared to leave before it tears apart the station. Meanwhile, the Vorlon sets its sights on Delenn as she tries to drag the security officer away from its wrath. Sheridan sees this and jumps between them, but is snared by a tentacle. The Vorlon ship clears the station, but Sheridan is caught.
Lorien, who has been observing, nods to Sheridan. "Now." Sheridan manages to turn around and face the Vorlon, and as he does so, an enormous golden shape, bearing much resemblance to the other one, emerges from Sheridan's chest, and locks onto the other one. The two forms begin fighting each other. Delenn concludes that the last piece of the original Kosh is what emerged from Sheridan, and Lorien confirms this, adding that it is "the last of Kosh. And some of him, and some of me."
The two Vorlons, still fighting, flow through the ceiling of the section and move through the rest of the station, eventually emerging and coalescing onto the Vorlon ship, which is making its way away from the station. As the two forms encompass the ship, it explodes as well. Then, all is quiet.
Delenn runs over to Sheridan, who lies crumpled on the floor. Lorien tells her that his life force must be replenished, and places his hand on Sheridan's chest. Lorien's hand glows, and Delenn asks if that is how he brought him back at Z'ha'dum. Lorien tells her that he gives of himself to replenish Sheridan, for a little while. Sheridan regains consciousness, and Delenn holds him closely.
Londo waits nervously in Emperor Cartagia's throne room. When Cartagia arrives, annoyed at being summoned on such short notice, Londo tells Cartagia that, while he thinks that the emperor's coming godhood is a momentous event, he thinks that others should see his greatness. Cartagia asks why they should care what others think, and Londo explains that, after the fall of Centauri Prime, there will be no one left to sing Cartagia's praises. Once the Centauri are gone, there will be no one left to remember him. Londo says what he has in mind is that, if G'Kar's trial and execution were conducted on Narn instead, the whole planet would be able to see Cartagia's greatness. Londo convinces Cartagia that, if he does this, his name will be remembered long after the fall of Centauri Prime. Though Cartagia is worried about the barbarism of the Narns, Londo convinces him that gods should not be afraid. Cartagia agrees with Londo's plan, and sets it in motion. Londo tells Cartagia that he will go with him in order to personally end G'Kar's life.
Thousands of warships crowd around Babylon 5--Ivanova explains to Garibaldi that Sheridan wants the biggest fleet in history to end the war. Garibaldi asks what will happen if they win, since there is nowhere else for them to go. And, if they lose, that's the end. "God, I thought I was depressing," Ivanova says as she leaves C&C, allowing Garibaldi to ponder this on his own.
Delenn enters Sheridan's quarters to find him there with Lorien. Sheridan says he has something to tell her that he feels she has a right to know. Lorien explains that, when Sheridan was dying on Z'ha'dum, he did what he could to help. He cannot prevent death, but can extend and enhance life. Sheridan tells Delenn that Franklin's tests revealed an energy inside him, repairing and sustaining him. Lorien tells Delenn he did the best he could, but that he could only give Sheridan back a portion of his life--twenty years, barring further injury or illness. Sheridan tries to convince her that, though he'll only be living until his early 60s, it's a decent life-span, but Delenn is taken aback, upset since she believed she would have a much longer period to spend with him. Lorien says that, after twenty years, one day, Sheridan "will simply... stop." Sheridan asks Lorien to give them a moment together, which he does. Sheridan tells Delenn it's all right, and that he knew what he was getting into--his shortened life is the price he had to pay. Delenn, however, isn't so sure--she feels like she is still losing him before she should. Sheridan tries to convince her that it's a long time--twenty more years than he would have had otherwise. He pulls a small box out from a hiding place and hands it to her--he says he got it in the Zocalo, and though it isn't what he had in mind, it's merely a temporary engagement ring. She clearly doesn't understand, and he explains that the ring is given to a loved one as a down-payment for another ring--the ring exchanged during a wedding ceremony. Sheridan tells her he wanted her to have it so that she would know that, whatever time he has left, he wants to spend with her. They kiss.
Londo arrives to find Cartagia and two guards looking after G'Kar. Londo tells Cartagia that their people on Narn are ready for their trip. Cartagia pulls Londo aside and tells him that he doesn't like the way G'Kar is looking at him. He asks Londo for advice, but Londo says that he is sure Cartagia will make an appropriate decision. Londo leaves hurriedly, and Cartagia continues to ponder the problem.
"No, I don't care at all for the way he looks at me," Cartagia says to himself. He reaches his decision. "Pluck out his eye!"
"Which one?" asks one of the guards.
"I don't know," Cartagia replies. "It doesn't matter!" He moves his finger back and forth, trying to choose between the eyes, and he settles on G'Kar's left eye. "That one," Cartagia says, and he leaves, smiling. The two guards inside move closer to G'Kar, and as one of them draws a knife, the cell door slams shut.