Babylon 5/Tear Jerker

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  • There were two moments in the TV movie In the Beginning that choked me up.
    • Regardless of how many times he watches it, I still have to choke back the tears when the Earth Alliance President calls for ships to take part in the Battle of the Line.

Earth President: This is... This is the president. I have just been informed that our midrange military bases at Beta Colony and Proxima 3 have fallen to the Minbari advance. We have lost contact with Io and must conclude that they too have fallen to an advanced force. Our military intelligence believes that Minbari intend to bypass Mars and hit Earth directly, and the attack may come at any time. We have continued to broadcast our surrender and a plea for mercy, and they have not responded. We therefore can only conclude that we stand at the twilight of the Human race. In order to buy more time for our evacuation transports to leave Earth, we ask for support of every ship capable of fighting, to take part in a defense of our homeworld. We will not lie to you. We do not believe survival is a possibility. We believe that anyone who joins this battle, will never come home again. But for every ten minutes we can delay the military advance, several hundred more civilians may have a chance to escape to neutral territory. Though Earth may fall, the Human race must have a chance to continue elsewhere. No greater sacrifice has ever been asked of a people, but I ask you now, to step forward one last time, one last battle to hold the line against the night! May God go with you all.

      • It's especially bad when you realise that even if the Line does its job, you're talking about a few hundred humans left. This is an extinction level attack, and she's begging for whatever help she can to save a pitiful few hundred people. Reduces me to tears every time I see it.
      • Damn it, I've never even watched In The Beginning (though I've watched a lot of Babylon Five) and I just started tearing up.
    • Likewise, Londo Mollari's account of the Human-Minbari war produced some tears as well.

Londo Mollari: The humans, I think, knew they were doomed. But where another race would surrender to despair, the humans fought back with even greater strength. They made the Minbari fight for every inch of space. In my life, I have never seen anything like it. They would weep, they would pray, they would say goodbye to their loved ones and then throw themselves without fear or hesitation at the very face of death itself. Never surrendering. No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable could help but be moved to tears by their courage and their stubborn nobility. When they ran out of ships, they used guns. When they ran out of guns, they used knives and sticks and bare hands. They were magnificent. I only hope, that when it is my time, I may die with half as much dignity as I saw in their eyes at the end. They did this for two years. They never ran out of courage. But in the end, they ran out of time.

  • For someone who knows the Backstory, the meeting between Delenn and "King Arthur" in "A Late Delivery from Avalon". Both bore heavily the knowledge that they had helped to start the Earth-Minbari war. Indeed "King Arthur" might actually have fired the shot that killed Delenn's beloved mentor.
    • The prequel Clip Show movie In The Beginning verifies that his flashback was the real deal. This also has the weird effect of giving Micheal York a half-second cameo in the film.
  • Londo after he finds out Adira is dead. The haunted loss on Peter Jurasik's face was something that a lesser actor could have reduced to Narm, but in his capable hands...sob.
    • There's also the follow-up in the Season Four episode "Into the Fire." Londo has been informed that it was in fact Mr. Morden who had Adira killed. As soon as he is alone, he completely trashes the room he's in, upending tables and breaking furniture, screaming "He played me!" over and over again. Then, he collapses against a wall, sobbing uncontrollably and staring at a picture of himself, looking into the face of the one indirectly responsible for her death.
  • Raise your hands if you could watch the last scene of "Gropos" without bursting into tears over the needless waste of human life. This moment really hammered home the wastefulness of war-that whether the characters were not-very-admirable, like the men who accosted Delenn and started the barfight, or sympathetic like Dodger-whether they were seasoned, like the black man who stayed with Keffer, or men just having their first fight, like the Asian man-that battle didn't discriminate, and in the end, all of them, good or bad, were killed in this battle they didn't even know they were going to fight. This brings in an additional bit of Fridge Horror for repeat viewers, when you realize that because they had no idea they were going on a potentially deadly mission, so many of them probably didn't concern themselves with saying goodbye properly. The wastefulness of war, indeed...
  • Or how about Sheridan touching the screen with his wife's face on it at the end of the episode where his sister visits and saying "Goodbye, Anna. I love you." So..very..poignant. Must..get..tissues.
    • It gets worse. He forgot to say that the last time they spoke, and always regretted it.
    • It gets even worse. In Season 3 she shows up again, but she's not really Anna any more.
  • The scene where Kosh dies. Sheridan figured it out when it was well too late to stop it. Kosh appearing as Sheridan's father and explaining that the reason he didn't act earlier was that he was afraid because he knew the Shadows wouldn't let him live if the Vorlons got involved. It's very humanizing and it made the death all that much more painful.
  • Sheridan's departure in "Objects at Rest", where he orders the ship turned around and takes one last look at C&C, now filled with the station's new staff. Lochley steps forward and she and Sheridan share a salute across space. I have talked to people for whom Lochley was The Scrappy who said they still teared up.
  • I would add the scenes from the Minbari civil war to this list.
  • The scene in "The Fall of Centauri Prime" when Londo walks willingly to his doom - knowing he has to sacrifice his freedom and his friends to save his people. All while we see a montage of his life so far set to heartbreaking music. I was in floods of tears.
    • Made even worse by the fact that he doesn't get out of it, and he is controlled by his 'keeper' until the day he dies.
    • It gets better / worse in the Centauri Prime Trilogy of sequel novels. They put a whole new spin on Londo's death at the hands of G'Kar. And Londo finally gets to see what a Vorlon looks like: it takes the form of his dead lover Adira, and guides him away from the Shadows and into heaven. It's kind of breathtaking.
    • Also, the conversation beforehand when G'Kar finally forgives him for all the terrible things he did...let's face it, that entire episode was one big Tear Jerker.
  • "I think I loved Talia."
  • The very end of "Endgame" (and the resulting personal aftermath). Marcus Cole, trying to save the life of his pretty much unrequited love, bludgeons his way through the medlab so he can resuscitate her with an artifact (that, incidentally, needs to drain his life to work its magic). The faint "I love you" that the nearly-dead Marcus whispers over the still unconscious Ivanova had this relatively stoic male viewer convinced there was something in his eye.
  • Sheridan's farewell message for Delenn, played to her after he departs to Z'ha'dum. And especially her reaction: after his last words "I love you, Delenn", she touches the screen...and sinks to the floor with utter desperation on her face.
  • The ending of "Confessions and Lamentations". Dr. Franklin finally succeeded to develop a cure from a plague that torments a group of aliens. Along with Sheridan, Ivanova and Garibaldi he rushes to the quarntine zone but...they are too late. All the aliens are dead. Along with the rest of their race. Delenn who willingly entered the restricted zone to give the sick some consolation emerges from there with completely devastated look on her face. It's bad enough already but then you realise that she was there when they started to die one by one all around her, watching helplessly.
    • To make matters worse Dr Franklin had just developed a possible treatment and, after the bleakness of the episode, and the introduction of a small Markab girl infected by the disease you think they're going for an Everybody Lives ending, only for the humans (and audience) to discover they were too late.
    • Delenn and Lennier both look like they've been through the ringer in this one. When he leaves Lennier looks like he's already been crying, but Delenn manages to hold it together until she's alone with Sheridan, and then... Ugh. She breaks down and we all cry with her.
  • "No dictator... no invader... can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free." --G'Kar, The Long, Twilight Struggle. I held my breath the whole time he was talking.
    • The Colony Drop on the Narn Homeworld that prompted that little speech.
    • It's a much smaller moment, but when Delenn and Sheridan tell G'kar that they will only be able to bring a limited amount of help to his people, and he politely thanks them for what they're trying to do-then breaks into sobs and slides slowly down the wall, holding his face in his hands. Perhaps, as with the Londo moment above, the moment could have been ruined by a less capable actor-but Andreas Katsulas pulls it off so perfectly. Without saying a single word, he manages to convey every bit of sorrow, frustration, helplessnes, and desperation he feels at his inability to make things better. An impressive feat that most actors couldn't pull off au natural, but add in doing that through the cold, reptillian-looking Narn makeup, and Andreas has proven himself a beyond-amazing actor.
      • As scripted: "G'Kar is unsure whether to laugh or cry. And so, he does both."
    • Earlier in the same episode, when G'Kar is confronted by Sheridan on his way to kill Londo, there's a moment that gets me every time. G'Kar's absolute anguish as he begs Sheridan to let him pass: "Don't you understand? They'll kill everyone. They did it before, they'll kill everyone." If the raw emotion in those three sentences doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you're probably a robot.
  • "Sleeping in Light". I am profoundly grateful I watched B5's series finale by myself so nobody saw me bawling for ten minutes after. Hell, even JMS sounded like he was having trouble holding it together on the DVD commentary.
    • Me too, hon. Only my whole family was crying, so, don't feel bad.
    • I still get choked up when hearing the theme that plays over the end credits and at the destruction of B5. And you're not imagining that JMS really did break up there.
    • I got choked up just reading about the music that plays during that part. Sleeping in light still breaks my heart.
    • I lost it when Delenn curled up in the empty bed clutching his pillow.
    • Or when they say their last goodbye and they're both managing to keep their composure, then he touches her shoulder, and she just falls into his arms as the music starts and they both lose it... Sleeping in Light is a contender for most tear-jerking episode of anything, ever filmed.
    • "You know, Londo never liked the pak'ma'ra..." That speech gets me tearful every time (most of the episode does, but this bit in particular. "There are 49 gods in our pantheon, Vir. To tell you the truth, I've never believed in any of them. But if just one of them exist...then god sings with that voice."
    • The first time Sheridan's shortened lifespan comes up is awful, because at that moment you know what's coming and that Sheridan and Delenn will lose the war personally no matter how the battles turn out. It's been ten years since I last watched the series and I still had a hard time typing that.
    • Just the words "Goodnight, my love, the brightest star in my sky" broke me.
      • "You were my sky... and my sun... and my moon."
    • "Every morning for as long she lived, Delenn got up before dawn and watched the sun come up" I'm crying now just thinking about it.
    • I was just about keeping it together on the first broadcast of "Sleeping in Light" until the moment JMS himself walks through a hallway of the deserted station dressed as a technician, takes a quick look round, and turns out the lights. This was pre-internet-spoiler age for me and it came completely out of the blue. Seldom have I been reduced to a quavering, snot-nosed, blubbering wreck of SAD so effectively.
    • "Sleeping in Light" = one miserable, blubbering, hysterical, heartbroken wreck of humanity. End of story.
  • The news in "Lost Tales" that G'Kar and Franklin are "exploring beyond the rim" together. Reality Subtext at its tear-jerkiest.
    • And now, Zack Allen took ship and went out to join them.
  • While it was not something that is on the show, JMS' introduction on the Season Five DVD booklet as he explains the odds the show overcame to become what is was, especially the final words.

On the front of my house, there is an art deco door knocker, with a small silver plaque in the center. It contains just three words: Never Surrender Dreams. Faith manages. Here endeth the lesson.

  • Delenn and G'Kar's discussion right before the latter joins the war council.
  • After Marcus dies Lennier is talking with Delenn, and he asks this question, "Delenn, do you know what Ivanova said at the end? That all love is unrequited?" It's a small one but it hurts to hear his voice crack when he says it.
  • Sheridan talking with his dad one last time before everything is about to hit the fan in Severed Dreams. His dad doesn't know the details, but he's Genre Savvy enough to have a solid idea, and simply reassures his son that he and his mom will be alright, and that Sheridan must do what he needs to do, just like he was raised to do.
  • In an episode shortly after the Centauri takeover of Narn: Vir ends up in an elevator with G'Kar and this exchange takes place
    • Vir: I'm sorry!
    • G'Kar: (Takes out a knife and slices his own hand open, squeezes it and as each drop of blood drips from his hand) "Dead...dead...dead...dead...dead...dead. How do you apolgoze to them!?"
    • Vir: I can't!
    • G'Kar: Then I cannot forgive.
      • What really made it a tear-jerker for this troper was that you can see the anguish in Vir's eyes. He REALLY is sorry, he's horrified at what his people did.
  • My favorite episode is "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari." It has a lot of powerful moments, but the bit that gets to me the most viscerally is his small, pathetic, "I do not want to die."
  • From the episode The Long Night, after the Centauri withdraw from Narn and an exhausted G'Kar confronts a group of his fellow Narns in the replica throne room. The Narns want to immediately begin plans to strike back, saying that the Centauri have taught them the path to victory, but G'Kar tells them that they have learned the wrong lessons.

Narn: "But the Centauri -"
G'Kar: "ARE A LOST PEOPLE! They should be pitied! They are already on a course for self-destruction! They do not need help from us!"

    • The way G'Kar's voice almost breaks as he shouts this got me tearful. Part of it's no doubt a result of having been brutally tortured for days, but another part of it is G'Kar taking another step on his path to full enlightenment. He once lived for the purpose of destroying the Centauri, but now he's almost crying for them. In some ways, I found this moment as tear-provoking and significant as his epiphany in Dust to Dust.
    • "I never thought you were a coward, G'kar! We suffered and died during their occupation. Where were you? What have you endured?"
  • Everything in Dust To Dust from the words "It is enough!" to G'Kar awakening from his Dust-dream and weeping.
  • The despair in Ivanova's voice at the end of Season 3 when she says "He's gone" is heart-breaking... but it's G'Kar's season closing narration that makes it impossible to keep a dry eye.