It was the mid-1990’s. In addition to the major television networks, there were also shows directly into syndication.
The thing about syndicated shows was that they didn’t have a universal time slot (or a single release of an entire season). Instead, the local stations had a window in which to air the shows. This becomes important later.
Television programs were also mostly episodic. The move towards the more plot heavy story arcs was going on (X-Files being a notable example), but in general, at the end of any given episode, things had basically returned to the status quo ante. Sometimes you had to wait for the conclusion of a two-part episode with a cliffhanger in between. This will also become important later.
In Denver, where we lived at the time, Babylon 5 aired at the end of it’s programming window, so we were almost always just shy of a week behind the first viewers. And then, the television station made a mistake. They aired The Coming of Shadows a week early.
Watching the episode, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and trying to figure out how they were going to get to a reset point. And then I realized that they weren’t. They were breaking the setting, and nothing was going to be the same after this episode.
This isn’t a post about the 1990s.
When we get to the other side of this, those of us who survive, we are going to be different. The world is going to be different. I don’t know the shape of those changes, it is far too soon to tell. But there isn’t a reset point ahead, the world after Covid-19 is going to be very different then the world that rang out 2019 a few months ago.