Babylon 5 - Episodics (#405)
"The Long Night"

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by John LaFia

As Sheridan's fleet prepares to strike back against the Vorlons and Shadows, Londo lures emperor Cartagia to the Narn homeworld in order to assassinate him. Sheridan dispatches Ivanova to track down the remaining 'First Ones' before the final battle. Londo makes his final plans with G'Kar, who he plans to use as a diversion while the emperor is killed by a poisoned needle. G'Kar is brought before the emperor in chains to receive his final sentence, but is able to shatter his bonds, creating a commotion, and Londo takes the emperor to 'safety.' A furious Cartagia tries to strangle Londo, and Vir accidentally kills the emperor by running into him with the needle. When news of Cartagia's sudden death is revealed, Londo announces it's time to leave Narn forever; with three days to save Centauri Prime from a Vorlon attack, Londo is made prime minister. On Babylon 5, the war council gets word that the Shadow planet-killer has destroyed another world, and Sheridan launches a plan that will bring the Shadows and Vorlons together - with the Alliance fleet caught in the middle.

In 'The Long Night,' the countdown to the final battle with the Vorlons and Shadows continued to build, while the Centauri emperor finally gets his just reward - and it's not the godhood he had hoped for. One of the most popular characters in Babylon 5's fourth season was Cartagia, the mad emperor, played by Robert Wortham Krimmer. An obvious nod to the sadistic Roman emperor Caligula, the role was a pleasure for Krimmer, who commuted back and forth between L.A. and New York, where he was appearing in the daytime drama, 'One Life To Live.' The actor worked closely with Peter Jurasik, who plays Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari, in the assassination scene, choreographing every movement between them. Ironically, Krimmer had more difficulty pronouncing the word 'corillium,' and flipping the court jester's hat into the air with his foot, both of which took several takes. The director of 'The Long Night' was B5 newcomer John LaFia, probably best known as one of the co-creators of the 'Child's Play' movies. LaFia, an accomplished writer/director, would return to the series for 'The Exercise of Vital Powers' and the chilling 'Intersections In Real Time.'

Joe Nazzaro

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