Babylon 5 - Episodics (#112)

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Janet Greek

A wounded lurker warns security chief Garibaldi about a murder plot, and dies before revealing the victim's name. While a nervous Sinclair is proposing to Catherine Sakai, Londo has a meeting with the mysterious Morden, who offers to help solve a problem involving the Narns. Shortly after, a spider-like ship appears in Quadrant 37, completely destroying a Narn outpost. Delenn summons Sinclair to her quarters, where she has important information to tell him. Elsewhere, Garibaldi manages to discover who's about to be assassinated, but is shot in the back by his aide. Before losing consciousness, he manages to tell Sinclair that the president is going to be killed while on an interplanetary good-will tour. Sinclair tries to get a message to the president's ship, but is unable to get through. He and his crew are forced to watch helplessly as the ship explodes in space. Dejected, he's sitting in the Zocalo, when ambassador Kosh reminds him that he's forgotten some- thing. He arrives at Delenn's quarters too late; the Minbari ambassador is sealed inside a chrysalis, where she's beginning to change.

With 'Chrysalis,' the first season of Babylon 5 reached its staggering conclusion, as the president of Earth is assassinated, Garibaldi hovers between life and death, and Delenn enters a transformational state. As Sinclair says, 'Nothing is the same any more.' Although 'Chrysalis' was aired at the end of the season, it was actually recorded as episode 12 in order to book the necessary actors, as well as provide some extra lead time for the complicated visual FX. Shooting the episode out of order presented a major challenge for director Janet Greek, who spoke at length with writer J. Michael Straczynski about what was happening before the episode took place in order to modulate her actors' performances. This was particulary important for Ed Wasser, whose character, the mysterious Morden, was introduced in 'Signs and Portents,' which wouldn't be shot for several weeks. In addition to being a major 'arc' story, 'Chrysalis' was also a major episode in that it marked the final aired appearance for several B5 cast members for some time, including Julie Caitlin Brown who played Na'Toth, and of course, Michael O'Hare as Jeffrey Sinclair; both would eventually return as their respective characters.

Joe Nazzaro

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