Women of Awesomeness: Susan Ivanova

Susan Ivanova 3

When we first meet Susan Ivanova she is a Lt. Commander and XO of the Babylon 5 space station. From the get-go she is a capable officer, strong in her convictions, loyal and honorable. Underneath her competent, hard as nails exterior is a woman with a tragic history, and a belief that all love is unrequited.

Susan Ivanova 1Ivanova came from the Russian Consortium on Earth; her mother was a telepath who chose to take power dampening drugs instead of having to join the Psi Corps. (In the B5 universe the Psi Corps was a unit that is feared more than respected . . .  they are highly controlled and never quite accepted by the rest of Earth, anyone not wishing to be part of the corps has to take medication to nullify their powers.) A side effect of the medication is depression and when Ivanova was still young her mother killed herself. Ivanova’s brother died during the Earth-Minbari war, which Ivanova was able to sense because of her own latent psi abilities (which she hid from pretty much everyone for fear of the Psi Corps). Her relationship with her father was estranged, but they reconcil shortly before his death.

Throughout the season Ivanova is promoted and in the season finale we find out that she is a general; which she’s not that enthusiastic about. Delenn also convinces Ivanova to become the leader of the Anla-shok (the Rangers).

As the XO of Babylon 5 Ivanova is a constant. Her ability to think quickly under pressure and her unique way of finding unusual solutions to problems makes her an asset. She has a quick temper which makes her quite intimidating. No one wants an angry Ivanova.

Susan Ivanova 2In matters of the heart Ivanova always seems to get the short end of the stick. She had been hurt by love and it made her hard to get close to. Every one of her relationships we see throughout the series ends badly. Her first love comes to B5 to start a business and rekindle his relationship with Ivanova. That relationship is cut short when she finds out he’s a member of a xenophobic organization sent to spy. Then we meet Talia Winters, a member of Psi Corps. It’s never explicitly stated that the two women had a romantic relationship but at one point Ivanova says “I think I loved Talia.” Any possible romance between the two of them ended when Talia turned out to be a sleeper agent in the most real sense.

Susan Ivanova 4Then there’s Marcus Cole, a member of the Anla-shok. He falls hard for Ivanova and gets to her in so many ways. She never lets him in; never lets him get too close. When she is injured beyond recovery Marcus sacrifices himself so that she can live. It is then that she realizes how much he loves her. She has Marcus cryogenically frozen in the hopes that someday he could be revived.

After the incident with Marcus Ivanova leaves the station and takes command of a new class of warship, the “Warlock-Class.” We don’t see her in the fifth season until the series finale.

Throughout her time on the series Susan Ivanova has some moments and lines where she really shines, many of these lines are quoted by fans. My favorites include:

“No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow.” (“Grail” Season 1)


“Don’t, you’re too young to experience that much pain.” “(“Infection” Season 1, said to a young reporter too eager for a story.)


“Sleeping is not the problem. Waking up-that’s the problem. I’ve always had a hard time getting up when it’s dark outside.” Ivanova

“You’re on a space station, it’s always dark outside.” Sinclair

“I know… I know.” Ivanova (from “Signs and Portents” Season 1)


“I like you. You’re trouble.” Draal

“Thank you, that’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in days.” Ivanova (“Voices of Authority” Season 3)


“Old way, you roll over and fall asleep. New way, you got out for pizza and I never see you again.” (“Acts of Sacrifice” Season 2)


And let’s not forget the Babylon 5 mantra:

“Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova’s recommendations. Ivanova is God.” (“Voice in the Wilderness: Pt. 1”  Season 1)

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One Response to “Women of Awesomeness: Susan Ivanova

  • I always liked Ivanova. She was one of the main reasons I watched B5. thanks for bringing back sweet memories. Ivanova is always right.

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