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Episode 1.13 - Each Night I Dream of Home

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[Episode Written By: JMS] (10/09/02)

The Excalibur is forced home on a secret mission concerning the plague, leading to potentially important discoveries.  The Drahk catch wind and the first battle in the series ensues.

The final curtain call for Crusade let's us in on a few secrets concerning the plague, and gives hints that the pace of the series was about to pickup.  Although not the best of the 13 filmed episodes, this one caries its weight nicely and the return to Earth is a fitting swan song to the series.

The appearance of Lockley in the episode to "save the Excalibur's fury teams" is laughable and, if left out, this episode would have been much better.  Another forced appearance by her only emphasizes that she should not be in the series and certainly not in the opening credits. In fact if you go to your VCR's or DVD's and remove her scenes the episode runs perfect as if she was never there, totally.  Her thread is truly totally irrelevant.

The episode gives a ton of new light on the plague and suggests that it may not be exactly what it appears to be, a fact that is not lost on discussions with JMS that suggest strongly that the plague would not be the central focus of the Crusade story once we left season one.  The Drahk are a welcome menace in the episode and like all good villains are best when they are kept to a minimal.  Less is more, just like the Vorlons.

It is very curious that the Drahk fleet was warned about the attack but is never brought totally into battle.  This could mean that the Drahk are in fact toying with the Excalibur for some reason.  Certainly they could appear at any time and wipe out the lone ship.  It is almost certain that there is a reason the ship has not been destroyed (once again, the series is not what it appears to be).

Although the first battle is welcomed, we do get a first hand look at one of the Excalibur's artistic flaws.  Because it is so big, battles involving it are extremely odd to film, almost to the point where they become impossible.  We get a look at almost all of the ship's weapons but at no point have any idea where on the ship they are.  You can't get the ship into the full frame most of the time, and if you do go with a long shot the fact that it is black hides it form view.  Also, its impossible to determine its relation in size to other ships.  For instance, the Drahk mothership and fighters seem to be on camera the same size.  You would think they were if not for the establishing shot of a fighter coming out.  Retractable wings for the Excalibur would not only have solved this problem but also been technically justified because they would have protected the ship during combat.

The highlight of this episode is Dr. Franklin's appearance which adds a ton to the cast.  The interaction, even through glass, with Gideon is very dramatic, reaching an artistic level in one minute that we never see with Lockley in the series.  The Franklin scenes, even though mostly exposition, are some of the best of the series and prove why JMS is such a good writer.  Because of Franklin, not because it is the last aired episode, this one is not to be missed.

Look for the appearance of both Drahk species together.


Less is more, and less is delivered.  Music never imposes and hits the nail on the head on every scene.  And looking back at this episode, the musical inspiration seems to look clearer with age.  I am reminded of the music of Disney's Tron, and I see perfectly what the composer was doing.  Periods of no music at all are frequent which only go to highlight those periods with music.  And for once, the last minute of the episode is not drowned with sharp tones.  It ends in a nice, fitting, ballad.


On a whole this episode is very well acted, but you have to keep in mind there are very few characters actually here and very few locations, so the range of acting present is minimal, hence the lower score.  There is very little to rate on frankly.  Gideon and Franklin shine together.  Franklin's moments are all grand, and not because of the words he says, but how he says them.  Lockley's performance brings down the cast substantially and is mono toned.  She sticks out like a sore thumb not only because she should not be in this episode, but does not match the tone of this episode.

Supporting characters, sometimes off balance in the B5 and Crusade universe, are near perfect.


There is nothing truly original about this episode.  It is mostly exposition.  As a vehicle to bring out new facts about the Drahk plague it does its job well.  And although these facts are very important, they are nevertheless few and far between.  Self sacrifice and the chain of command are key points in this one.

The whole deal about who is going to press the button to infect the patient is pretty pointless and is forced.  Although bad touches like these are brought up with great little touches like pneumatic manual door lifters that are perfectly executed and rather interesting.  When technology fails, technology should really show its true colors and it does there.


For a episode with a battle in it, very little was done in the way of battling.  The detail in the Drahk fighters are minimal and they look like a mass of brown stuff.  They need work.  Organization of the battle scenes due to the Excalibur's size (as stated above) is a real problem.  Most of the time we don't know where action is taking place.  Movement of the maintenance bots is too simple.

The highlight of the Episode is the rotation of Lockley's star fury as it entered the Excalibur's main landing bay.  The detail on the craft and of the physics hardens back to the early days of B5 season one where the staff paid the most attention to those things.


  1. Gideon is far too quick to endanger his ship to prove a point when Lockley's ship is captured.  The device used is unproved and there is no reason not to stop.  Gideon has been very anal about protecting the ship in far less serious situations.  His actions are far from consistent.
  2. Improbable that Franklin's console would not work for the sake of the plot.  What are the odd.  Forced.  Boo.  Would have been better to later find out Dr. Chambers intentionally disabled it.
  1. arc: The plague affects all life classified as mammals.
  2. arc: The plague affects every species in a differently way, making a cure for one meaningless for the others.  You have to test on humans to cure them.
  3. arc: The plague is artificial and based on nanotechnology much like the plague 48 shielding.  This may indicate that it is controlled at a central point inside the host..
  4. arc: The virus mutates immediately when it contacts the host and enters a human being at a size of 20 microns, immediately expanding much like a compressed computer file.  It effects only critical areas of the body and it most certainly intelligent.
  5. Furies can launch from the landing bays as well as the launch arms!  Likely uses the same gravitation system for crashes (see above) to keep it centered as it takes off.  Note that if the ship suddenly turned and this wasn't the case, the Fury would most certainly crash!
  6. The last words aired in Crusade were:  Life Goes On.  Indeed it Does.  Quite fitting and very sad.  This series was blossoming, but life does go on, unfortunately without it.
  1. Are there other types of Drahk beyond the two we have seen?
  2. Since the plague effects all mammals, are the Drahk another type of life form?
  3. Does the plague have a defense system, noting that it seems to be intelligent?
  4. How large of a ship can the Excalibur's main landing bays hold?  It would seem from the Starfury landing, not much more than a shuttle.
  5. Will there ever be any more answers or questions to Crusade?