Welcome back to the Babylon 5 Season Two Book Club!
A recap and discussion of the first episode of season two, written by Patrick, can be found 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.
Everyone sitting comfortably? Then onward!
Season two, Episode 2: Revelations
As we fade in to the obligatory CGI of Babylon 5 opener, the episode begins with a council meeting already in progress. Sheridan and Mollari are there, as is Kosh, the Mimbari who is really Will Robinson from Lost In Space and G’Kar’s assistant.
The meeting is going poorly. This is probably to be expected, because for reasons that aren’t entirely clear everyone is sitting on the same side of the table facing the wall rather than one another. We are reminded that Delenn is still in a cocoon and G’Kar is still off doing something. Sheridan recognizes that without Delenn and G’Kar there nothing’s ever going to get done, and then in true city-bureaucrat fashion schedules yet another meeting without the two of them for early the next morning. As the meeting breaks up, Mollari corners G’Kar’s assistant to grill her on her boss’s whereabouts. She insists that wherever he is, G’Kar can certainly take care of himself. This is about the worst possible thing to say in Babylon 5’s cliché-driven universe, falling somewhere in between the babysitter saying “cut it out you guys, it’s not funny!” when all the lights suddenly go out, and the couple who are walking to the big meeting because their car broke down agreeing that “at least it’s not raining!”
We cut immediately to G’Kar, who is in a fighter fleeing from those black, spidery ships we have seen before. It looks like he’s done for, as the alien ships are making mincemeat out of the Narn fighters accompanying him. Adding insult to injury, the black ship look like they’re pooping out lasers from big alien anuses. His subordinates turn and ram the lead alien ship, sacrificing themselves so that G’Kar can escape.
Cut to opening credits!
And now we’re back at Babylon 5, which for some reason is piping Kenny G throughout the station. Sheridan is having a few drinks, trying to get ready to meet his sister, when the Dr. Franklin approaches him about Garibaldi. Garibaldi is still in a coma, so Dr. Franklin is hoping he might experiment on him with some alien technology. He has wisely decided to ask the station’s commander after he Sheridan’s got a few martinis in him. Sheridan is cool with the idea. He then goes an picks up his sister from the docking station.
We cut to the gardens, where Mollari is meeting with Mr. Morden. Mollari is worried that others will find out that they have been working together and were behind the destruction of the Narn outpost, but Mr. Morden assures him everything’s good. Mr. Morden happily agrees to blow other s**t up for Mollari. When Mollari incredulously asks why not just destroy the entire Narn home world, Mr. Morden says “one thing at a time.” He leaves the garden, and we see in Mollari’s face a complicated expression of fear, disgust, and craving. It is my favorite moment of the episode. It’s the kind of subtle nuance in performance that one savors from Peter Jurasik, because no one else on Babylon 5 is capable of doing anything other than Happy Face, Sad Face, Angry Face, and Blank-Face-While-Another-Character-Is-Talking Face.
At dinner, things aren’t going great with Sheridan and his sister. All he wants to talk about is work, and all she wants to talk about is how his heart was ripped from his chest when his wife was senselessly killed just two years prior, leaving him an emotional husk of a man incapable of love or happiness. Then they order desert.
We briefly see Will Robinson wiping snot off Delenn’s cocoon before cutting to Dr. Franklin experimenting on Garibaldi. Sheridan shows up and says that he wants to experiment on Garibaldi too. Don’t judge them — you would want to experiment on Garibaldi too. The alien technology is pretty cool looking. I’m pretty sure it’s a high-end Bang & Olufsen stereo system.
G’Kar has returned to the station. He has figured out that the aliens that chased him — the same ones that destroyed the Narn outpost — are an ancient evil mentioned in religious texts a thousand years old. All of the Babylon 5 species need to put aside their differences if they are going to defeat such an evil.
Dr. Franklin’s experiments on Garibaldi have worked, and he finally wakes up out of his coma. Upon waking, Garibaldi warns that the president’s life is in danger and is told he is too late; the president is dead. He is not happy to learn that Sheridan has replaced Sinclair. Everyone gathers to ask him about being shot, including the actual assistant that shot him. It looks like he is about to remember, and the assistant begins to take his pistol out of his holster to finish the job. Garibaldi then says he can remember nothing, and the assistant re-holsters his weapon. Despite the fact that he is standing in the open and the sickbay is full of people facing every direction, no one seems to notice. (Or perhaps they do but no one thinks it odd. Maybe he’s just the guy that takes his weapon out a lot for no reason, and everyone’s kind of used to it by now.)
Will Robinson returns to Delenn’s quarters to discover that the paper mache cocoon that was holding her has been opened. Her chrysalis is finally complete. When he sees her, however, he becomes concerned and calls Dr. Franklin. When Franklin arrives, he examines Delenn, and realizes that she has gone all Ben Grimm. Unlike, the Thing, however, Delenn’s rocky skin comes off, leaving her to ask aloud, “What am I?”
As this is going on, Sheridan is talking with his sister, and is again drinking. He explains why he can’t move on from his wife’s death. They were to get together on their anniversary, but at the last minute he had to cancel. He says the only reason she went on the expedition that killed her was that he wasn’t there for her on their special day.
Meanwhile, G’Kar has been trying to tell anyone who will listen that the ancient evil has returned. No one will listen, which is probably not surprising. When discussing the matter with the council, he explains that the Narns have agreed to send one battle ship to the ancient evil’s home, Z’ha’dum. “You mean the place Gandalf died,” asks no one incredulously. After the meeting, Mollari slips away to tell Mr. Morden of the Narn ship’s mission.
At sickbay, Talia visits Garibaldi at his request. She should be able to use her psychic abilities to carve through his memory block and help him figure out who shot him in the back. As they join hands, we learn something startling: Mr. Garibaldi is colorblind. Also, of course, Talia and Garibaldi discover it was the Lt. Assistant, in the corridor, with the pistol.
A team is sent to arrest the assistant. Unfortunately, he is touching his desk. Apparently on Babylon 5 your desk is like the tree where you count in hide and seek, and if you are touching it you are in kind of a time-out and you can’t be tagged or arrested. Security tricks the assistant into moving away from his desk so that he can’t touch it, and subsequently arrest him. Garibaldi limps over to the brig to do an interrogation, but the assistant is neither cooperative nor regretful. As Garibaldi leaves, the assistant gives a salute and implies he’ll be free soon enough. And he’s right about this — the new president calls Sheridan and tells him to send the prisoner and all evidence to Earth.
The Narn ship arrives at Z’ha’dum, but a black alien ship is waiting for it and destroys it as soon as it arrives. G’Kar figures out that someone on the council must have warned the aliens, and he does so out loud in front of the council but no one really notices. Will Robinson enters and announces that Delenn’s transformation is now complete, and asks if she can rejoin the council. The council happily agrees, as they are anxious to see exactly what kind of transformation she has undergone. As she enters, the council is shocked to discover that Delenn has bought a wig.
Later, Sheridan’s sister leaves the last message she received from his wife. As he watches it, Sheridan is relieved to finally discover that his wife didn’t really want together with him either. He tells the video he loves it, and prepares to move on with his life.
G’Kar has found an Earth poem that says, basically, everything totally sucks, and realizes that humans are wiser than he first suspected. Garibaldi tells Talia he is sure that Psycore had something to do with the president’s death, and Sheridan discovers that the prisoner got away with the help of an Earthforce ship. Worse, the Earthforce ship took all the evidence that was with the prisoner, which is especially bad because apparently Babylon 5 never bothers to make copies of anything.
Aaaaand, we’re out.