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Sleeping in Light [Season 5 Finale, Series Finale]

What is there to be said that isn't already here? Sleeping in Light was truly a 'moment of perfect beauty.'

In the UK, we've been waiting to see this episode for months, and finally, on the first day of a new year we see the end of a grand story. How could the timing be more fitting? On the last day of a year, New Year's eve, we watch the goodbyes of all of those in Babylon 5 in Objects at Rest. On New Year's day, we see our old friends again, twenty years later.

I don't want to go over all the episode again - to do that would be to do an injustice on the story. But I'll talk about the moments which really spoke to me.

When Sheridan had come back to Babylon 5, he stood in the place where he had rallied the people of Babylon 5 against the Shadows. He saw a vivid flashback, and then looked around at the deserted space around him - it was just a memory. All he has now are memories. There's no point in reliving the past, so he quickly departs from Babylon 5 to return to the end, Coriana 6.

There, in the final seconds of his life, he gazes out into space… We are all the stuff of stars. We stand between the darkness and the light, and now Sheridan returns to the light to sleep. He didn't die clinging to life, he let go peacefully.

The other part that got me bad was the final act - when the lights are turned off and the station is finally destroyed. It was incredibly moving just to see all the other races there, paying their respects to the place which created the future. I knew that the station would be destroyed sometime or another, but the presence of all the other ships there made me feel, well, proud of Babylon 5. I normally don't cry, but when I watched that, a shiver went through my body for a few seconds.

I'm trying to find the words to sum up this episode, but I can't. Luckily, JMS has written about Sleeping in Light, and his words are of course fitting:

'I lost it several times as I was writing it, due to the content; there's one scene in'll know it when you see it...that put me away for an hour when I finished writing it.

But here's the thing...*every single person* who cried at the script, ended it feeling that it was not a sad script in the end, or a down ending...that it left them feeling proud, and tall, and *positive*...that life goes on...that it was a reaffirmation of life itself, on its most primal level. They felt good about the ending.'

'So how do I think people will react?

I think a lot of people will cry.

But by the end of it, I think it will come around, and be all right...and mainly, that people will then look back at the whole story, through all these long years, and say, "It was a good story." And close the cover, and put it on the shelf with the other books that will be reread again down the years, and turn off the lights, and go to bed feeling that the time was well spent.

Which is the most any writer can ever ask for. To tell a tale worth telling To make people cry. To make people laugh. And even, once in a while, make them think about things, and see the world just a little differently than when they began.

And then they can centerpunch me on the freeway, or throw a plane at me, and I won't even mind. Because everything I set out to prove, I proved. Everything I set out to say, I said.'

That sums it up, I believe.

Babylon 5 isn't about explosions, or computer graphics, or one-off episodes. It is supposed to entertain, but if we learn one single thing from Babylon 5, it was well worth the five years.

Babylon 5 was about people. Not spacecraft, or lasers, or technology. Those come and go, but people are still the same. The final words made by Susan Ivanova gave me the best lesson for life I've ever been priveleged to hear.

"Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. There would never be another.

It changed the future, and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future, or others will do it for us.

It showed us that we have to care for one another, because if we don't, who will? and that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places.

Mostly though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings, even for people like us."