Installment 12 of the Babylon 5 Viewing Club!
The introductory post was here, The Soul Hunter was covered here, and Born to the Purple was covered right here. After that was Infection. Then came The Parliament of Dreams. Following on its heels was Mind War. Then, RTod covered War Prayer. After that, Sky Full of Stars, then Dman recapped Death Walker! Jaybird hit The Believers. Followed by Survivors. Last week, Dman recapped By Any Means Necessary.
It’s very difficult to discuss this show without discussing the next one (or the one after that, or the one after that), or referring to the pilot; if you want to discuss something with a major plot point: please rot13 it. That’s a simple encryption that will allow the folks who want to avoid spoilers to avoid them and allow the people who want to argue them to argue them.
We good? We good! Let’s get to the recap!
The episode starts by showing us that Ivanova is really not a morning person. Or, in the context of space-station life, she’s at least a person who would gladly shoot an alarm clock given real freedom of choice. She manages to make it to the bridge, where she arrives just in time for an incoming distress call from a fighter escorting a transport, under attack by raiders. Sinclair orders Delta Wing scrambled, but it’s too late, the fighter is overwhelmed by numbers. Cut to commercial.
Coming back, Mysterious Stranger arrives on station, after spending “the last couple of years out on the Rim”, finding something… interesting. Meanwhile, the Command Triad of Sinclair, Ivanova, and Garibaldi are discussing the increasing raider attacks, which is mystifying for two reasons… the raiders are using heavy weapons and they thought that they had cut their supply… and they’re attacking with fighters lacking Jump capability, but they’re disappearing from the site of the attacks faster than transit time to the nearest gate. If Spock were around, you’d have the instant “They must be getting resupplied by some large organization, and they must have base craft support”, J Mike leaves that to the viewer. Sinclair orders Delta Wing to sit on standby with Ivanova as tactical lead, and she suggests checking the manifests of known incoming transports to try and predict the raiders’ next target. As she leaves, Sinclair stops Garibaldi from leaving.
The commander tells Garabaldi that he’s starting to remember some of his missing 24 hours from the Battle of the Line, and asks the Security Chief to help him out. Garibaldi agrees, of course, and asks for a recap from the beginning. To save the viewers from the long summary, we cut to Londo, who’s making a purchase from an interstellar Travis McGee, who has recovered some Jewel of Significance called “The Eye”. Mysterious Stranger is watching the exchange. Londo leaves and bumps into G’Kar outside an elevator, where the two trade barbed pleasantries which dissolves into outright threats, and they both miss the elevator and depart in disgust.
Back to Sinclair ending the recap of his surmises and guesses regarding his missing 24 to Garibaldi. It’s not clear what Jeff thinks Michael is going to do at this point, but he’s on board.
Back to G’Kar, who is meeting with the Mysterious Stranger in his quarters. The Stranger has a name, Mr. Morden (warning, spoilers at that link!) Mr. Morden has a question for G’Kar, which he repeats several times, as if a mental suggestion, “What do you want?” G’Kar is confused by the question, but after some byplay he answers honestly, “The Centauri stripped my world. I want justice… to suck the marrow from their bones, to grind their skulls to powder… to tear down their cities, blacken their skies, sow their ground with salt.. to completely and utterly erase them.” “And then what?” asks Mr. Morden. “I don’t know” replies G’Kar.
Cut to Londo, greeting dignitaries from Centauri, who have arrived for The Eye. One of them, Lady Ladira, apparently has a precognitive flash, foreseeing the destruction of the station. Cut to commercial!
Back from commercial, the Lady Ladira is getting checked up in medlab, she appears none the worse for wear and she leaves to rest. Lord Kiro, the other dignitary reveals that on his first birthday, she predicted that he would die by shadows, with a chuckle. It’s unclear if Centauri folk are known for being precogs, or not.
Cut to Mr. Morden, who is visiting Delenn. He asks her the same question, but Delenn doesn’t answer, apparently suffering from some sort of episode. She demands that he leaves, and reveals that her Grey Council triangle has appeared on her forehead when he does so, uttering, “They’re here”. The They have arrived. The They that are Them! Who are They?
Back to Londo, who delivers The Eye to Lord Kiro. Lord Kiro seems to be feeling Londo out for something. The Eye is apparently the greatest symbol of the Empire. Lord Kiro isn’t happy with the current Emperor. The implication is that he’d like to use The Eye to stake some sort of claim. Londo basically tells him, “Eh, you don’t have enough support and the Emperor will crush you, don’t think about it.” Kiro leaves. Over to Lady Ladira, in her bedroom, apparently hearing voices.
Quick cut to Earth Transport Achilles, under attack by raiders. Sinclair orders Ivanova to go kick some pontookas. Delta Wing heads out through the Jump Gate. Someone (we’ll call him Agent Hair) is chatting with one of the raiders, and it appears this attack is a ruse to get Delta Wing away from the station. Something Big is About to Go Down! Off to commercial.
Back from commercial, the Vorlon Ambassador Kosh is arriving back at the station. As he strides through the corridors, Mr. Morden avoids meeting him. Interesting… he’s all about interviewing all the other ambassadors, why not Kosh? Ivanova is leading her assault out in space. Londo, meanwhile, has made arrangements for an escort for Lord Kiro’s ferrying of The Eye back to the Emperor. Heh… oh, sure. To keep it safe. Not to babysit you and your potential treasonous thoughts, Lord Kiro, heaven’s no. Londo bumps into Mr. Morden in the hallway, who attempts to quiz him. Londo finally falls to the gentle badgering and says he wants the Centauri to be a mighty empire again, as they once were, where he can be unburdened by bureaucratic troubles. G’Kar wants revenge. Londo wants to be Conan! He leaves Mr. Morden. Londo, Lord Kiro, and Lady Ladira are then escorting The Eye through the station and they’re waylaid by the raider-friendly Agent Hair, who guns down the bodyguards, seizes The Eye, and takes the three hostage.
Cut to the bridge. Sinclair receives the manifest of the transport under attack, and notes that there’s nothing valuable on this shipment, unlike the previous raider attacks. He contacts Ivanova, who tells him that the raiders have broken off their attack on the transport and she’s going to pursue. He smells something fishy and orders her back to base. Ivanova turns her ships around. Sinclair asks which ships are supposed to arrive or depart in the next couple of hours, the time window where Delta will be out of range. Nothing unusual, except Lady Ladira’s ship is leaving in 10 minutes… Sinclair mutters, “That might be it…” and orders Garibaldi to get Alpha Wing on station at the ready, then heads off to the launch bay.
Sinclair gets to Kiro, Londo, Ladira, and Agent Hair before they reach the gate, but Hair gets Kiro and threatens to kill him if Sinclair doesn’t let him past onto the ship. Sinclair lets him go, after they get through the door he orders Garibaldi and Alpha Wing to disable the ship as soon as it launches. He says they’ll program the Jump Gate to reject jump authorization, and the ship will be stuck dead in space with nowhere to go, as it’s too small to have it’s own Jump generator. A good plan, but suddenly a new Jump Gate opens, and the raiders’ large fighter carrier which can generate its own Gate arrives, scrambling fighters.
Fighters and Alpha Wing engage in dogfights around the station, which blasts away with its own armament. Londo is trying to get Lady Ladira into a shelter, she acquiesces, but says, “The Shadows have come for Lord Kiro… The Shadows have come for us all!” and you can hear the capitalization. While the battle goes on outside, Mr. Morden is walking through the corridors and he runs into Kosh, who orders him off the station, saying, “They are not for you, go… now!” Cut back to the battle.
Sinclair and Garibaldi are already boxing in the raider fighters when Delta Wing arrives, making the raiders decide to rabbit… right where Sinclair has just finished re-targeting all the station’s guns. Mincemeat is made. Sinclair orders Alpha to clean up the fighters and Delta to head for the command ship. Before Ivanova can engage, the big ship creates its own Jump Gate again and bails.
Post battle summary in Sinclair’s office, given by Garibaldi. The raiders took a beating, and as a side note Ambassador Kosh’s environment suit was “damaged” “in the battle”. Hmmm! Two fighters on the Good Guys team went down. Londo and Ladira are called to Sinclair’s office, he wants to know why the raiders’ big ship took off with the small Centauri transport. “It’s a long story” is met with, “We have plenty of time…” and then we cut to the raiders’ ship.
Lord Kiro thought they had a bargain. He apparently was dealing with the raiders, giving them transport times and manifests in return for their assistance getting The Eye and helping him usurp the Empire. Hey, thanks, say the raiders, but we’re not dumb enough to try and take on the Centauri navy by ourselves and we really don’t think you’re all that… so we’ll keep The Eye and you, for ransom at a later date to build our own little private fleet. *And*, once you’re ransomed, we’re going to blackmail you because heck, why not? Honor. Thieves. Ah, well. Kiro has just enough time to realize they’ve got him in a vice when a huge ship appears… apparently *not* through a Jump Gate but just materializes just off the large ship, and blows Kiro, the raiders, and all and sundry to kingdom come.
Ladira’s prediction, come true. Back on B5, she feels a great disturbance in the Force.
Exit scene? Londo is bidding Lady Ladira goodbye, musing that he’s probably all done as Ambassador now that he’s lost The Eye. She departs. Cut to Londo, in his quarters, interrupted by… Mr. Morden. He’s leaving shortly, “having got what he came for”, but he has a gift from “friends you don’t know you have”… it’s The Eye. Londo’s career is saved, and he’s giddy with gratitude… Morden quickly disappears in spite of Londo’s “How can I find you to repay you?”… with a slightly ominous, “We’ll find you”
Off to the exit scene? Garibaldi and Sinclair. Garibaldi apparently read Londo the riot act for not telling him about The Eye, so that the station could have prepared better security. On that other matter… Garibaldi has discovered something. It turns out that Jeff wasn’t on the top of the list to command B5. In fact, he was pretty far down the list, with Admirals and other top brass all above him… but all of the other candidates were rejected… by the Mimbari, who were the first to sign on to approve of the Babylon 5 project with the condition that they got approval for the station commander.
Nope! One scene left, Lady Ladira and Sinclair. She tells him that she can share her vision with him, and he agrees. She touches his temple, and we get a flash exterior scene of B5, with one last ship fleeing from the launch bay as the station explodes. Is it a true vision? Uncertain is the future, she says. One possible future. Good luck avoiding it…