Installment 14 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, then Dman recapped By Any Means Necessary. Then Signs and Portents, followed by TKO.
This week, Grail. You can watch it here.
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!
We start with Sinclair and Garibaldi eating together. There are some buddy cop remarks that are broken up by Delenn to rake Sinclair over the coals about a ‘VERY IMPORTANT’ guest that is arriving. Sheesh, it is almost like they are married. Stone face even works up the effort for dull surprise. Garibaldi starts to chuckle as Sinclair buckles, but the last laugh is on him as Sinclair declares he needs an honor guard, so much for lunch for the both of them. Cut to some lurkers and one called Jinxo. He is being strong armed by some smuggler. He needs 100k credits to pay his debts and then shows some other lurker that was going to testify against the smuggler. She gets a tentacle to the head and goes comatose. The tentacle retracts into and encounter suit that looks like Kosh’s. The smuggler then calls him by the name Kosh (does anyone really think it is Kosh?). Cut to credits……..
This is Indiana Jones and the Last Cr… I mean, This is Babylon 5!
Subplot (Please note there is only the subplot for this week’s episode. This one was soooo important that it needed the whole 45 minutes)
Open to a silly court hearing about a guy who grandfather was abducted by aliens years ago. They opened up the alien’s records to find out this was true and are suing for damages. The judge laments the stupidity.
Sinclair, Delenn, Lennier and Garibaldi are waiting the guest. I guy in a robe with a big staff enters. This is the important guy. The guy’s name is Aldus and we find out he is searching for the Holy Grail. There is plenty of eye rolling from Sinclair (even Sinclair’s eye show more emotion than his face) and Garibaldi. The most interesting thing about this is it gives us a glimpse into the Minbari religious sect. We have never heard them talk about a god they worship and we find out that they seem to worship commitment to goal or purpose more than a commitment to a particular god. This is a very interesting distinction to me. After a brief conversation over Sinclair’s lack of interest with Delenn, Sinclair is asked to come to med-lab.
Cut to Jinxo trying to steal from Aldus and getting caught by Garibaldi. Garibaldi requires both of them to come to the judge for prosecution. At least trails are faster in the future.
Switch to med-lab where the doctor briefs Sinclair on the woman who was touched by the tentacle. There were two others. Garibaldi comes in and we find out that she was going to testify against the smuggler, name Deuce. Deuce is going to walk (B5 has really crappy witness protection).
Jinxo is berated by the judge. We find out he is a very skilled zero-g construction worker that he could find work almost anywhere. The judge gives him the boot off the station and Jinxo goes a little nuts, saying the judge can’t do that. Do anything else but that. If he leaves, the station will blow up. Aldus asks to take Jinxo under his wing and the judge agrees! Deuce is up next and walks with no witnesses.
We find out why Jinxo thinks he must stay. The other four stations all went away (blown up, disappeared, etc) when he left. We find out Aldus is an optimist and says Jinxo should be called Lucky (shocking for a guy thinking he can find the Holy Grail, I know).
Franklin figures out that a creature could do this called a Nocaleen Feeder. Its world is under Centauri quarantine. Sinclair goes to Londo to ask about the Feeders. He is gambling and in a very good mood. Until Buzz Kill Sinclair lets him know a Feeder is on the station. Then Londo leaves, forgetting his credit chip. He looks very worried and will send the info on the Feeders.
Aldus finds out the Minbari do not know of the Grail. They are all three respectful. The only interesting thing to come out of this is Delenn saying that when the Religious cast and Warrior cast agree on something then it is a terrible thing that is unleashed. She hints that this happened with the war against Earth.
Cut to Deuce talking to the Feeder, it wants more ‘food’. Deuce decides to up the ante and kidnap the judge, and nab Jinxo too.
Garibaldi is looking at Feeder info from Londo and it is very good. Londo must be very scared. Franklin confirms it is a Nocaleen. Garibaldi is going to talk to Jinxo.
Cut to Londo laying into some poor bureaucrat, he is ordering the quarantine back in place on the Feeder world. Aldus is there to talk about the Grail. Londo tries to blow him off, but Vir show amazing initiative and has everything ready for Aldus. Londo is annoyed that he could not bilk Aldus for money (see previous shows) and tells Vir that the Centauri would have crumbled to ashes with more people this efficient. Vir is pissed. (This is the best scene in the show. As usual, Londo saves the segment).
Now Jinxo asks about Aldus’ history. We find out he lost a wife and child. It wrecked him until he found the last seeker of the Grail. He was converted and took up the task after the other seeker died. You can tell the torch is going to be passed to Jinxo.
Cut to the judge getting kidnapped. Cut to the same guys trying to grab Jinxo. Aldus beats the crap out of them with his staff. Why did B5 let him keep the thing? I thought they did not allow weapons. Aldus then keeps building up Jinxo’s ego.
Aldus goes to visit Kosh and Jinxo gets really scared (he saw fake Kosh, remember) and runs away. Aldus then finds out what Jinxo saw and he tells Jinx to talk to Sinclair. Thugs attack again and this time they stun rod Aldus. He is going to be fed to the Feeder.
Sinclair is filled in by Ivonova about the ship that could have brought the Feeder. Garibaldi fills in Sinclair about the judge’s kidnapping. Sinclair and Garibaldi go after Deuce. Cut to the judge in cuffs, then we see Aldus there as well. Jinx spills the beans on Deuce and the Feeder to Sinclair. Cut back to the Feeder reaching out the judge…. Vvvveeerrrryyyyy sssllloooowwwwwlllyyyy. Sheesh, you would think that a starving creature would be a little faster to eat their food. Aldus steps up and tells the Feeder the judge is under his protection…. And it actually works. The Feeder retreats into the encounter suit. Aldus then tells the Nocaleen to show itself… and it does. Damn, he’s good! Sinclair and Garibaldi bust up this serene moment and start shooting. Lots of shooting back and forth and the Feeder takes a bad guy, then goes after the judge. Jinx… ah heck Thomas… goes to the rescue, but Deuce lines up a shot. Aldus jumps in front of the speeding bull… er, laser blast, gets shot in the shoulder, and drops (who knew he had a glass shoulder). This set up the firing squad for security people and they fry the Feeder. Aldus is dying (maybe he is a new breed of humans that have their heart on their shoulders). He passes the torch, and staff, AND money, to Ji… Thomas.
Sinclair and crew see Aldus’ body and Thomas out of the station. Thomas is a changed man.
Sinclair, Garibaldi, and Ivanova are up on the bridge. Thomas jumps out and you can see Garibaldi is a little nervous that the curse is true. Nothing happens and Garibaldi asks, “No boom?” Then Ivanova saves the segment with the line, “No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow. What? Look, somebody’s got to have some damn perspective around here! Boom. Sooner or later. BOOM!