I just started watching "Babylon 5" this year and had started by viewing experience with the two television movie "prequels" that established why the capture of Jeffrey Sinclair ended the Earth-Minbari War. That bit of information was helpful in understanding the deeper implications of some of what happened during the show's first season. So when I start watching season two and in the premier episode "Points of Departure" we learn that Commander Sinclair has been permanently reassigned to the Minbari homeworld as the first human ambassador to the planet, I was a bit taken aback.
The new commander of Babylon 5 is Captain John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner), who scored Earth's only real victory during the war destroying the Minbari flagship Black Star and several cruisers by mining the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars with fusion bombs. For this he earned the name "Starkiller" among the Minbari warrior caste who pretty much hate him big time. The casting change was a bit of a shock, although I knew that Boxleitner was part of the cast and had been surprised when he was not there from the beginning. Still, the switch reminded me of when General Savage died on "Twelve O'Clock High" and they replaced him with another character, the first time I had to deal with the weird idea that television characters might actually "die."
However, the part that really threw me was when Lennier (Bill MumY) drops by to see Sheridan and Ivanova (Claudia Christian) and just TELLS them the whole deal about Sinclair and what is going on with Ambassador Delenn (Mira Furlan) and her cocoon. I was really stunned because "Babylon 5" is a show where they give away key facts grudgingly, so to just suddenly let Lennir be the Lord of Exposition like this was a bit much (in other words, I was sad that now the characters know more about what is going on than I do).
"Points of Departure" (Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Aired November 2, 1994) basically has Sheridan showing up to his new command and having to deal with the immediate crisis of a renegade Minbari warship showing up and causing trouble. There is also a nice little bit with Sheridan trying to work in delivering his traditional speech to the C&C crew before his first day of command is over. Of course, Sheridan is concerned because his first crisis has to do with the Minbari and they, as noted above, do not like him all that much.
"Revelation" (Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Aired November 9, 1994) continues to clean up details from the first season and set up some key parts of the second. Dr. Franklin (Richard Biggs) comes up with an unorthodox procedure to try and bring Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) out of his coma and Delann finally completes her mysterious metamorphosis and emerges from the chrysalis. Meanwhile, Ambassador G'Kar (Andreas Katsulas) brings news of the enemy that is attacking his people, another element in the coming War of the Shadows, and Sheridan gets a visit from his sister (Beverly Leech), who reveals the new commander's tragic past.
Basically these two episodes are essentially pushing the reset button on "Babylon 5." After watching these two I was thinking that we were now ready to start Season 2 in earnest, and that is exactly what happens in the next episode "The Geometry of Shadows." So while these are be no means great episodes, they are important for setting up the second season.