Welcome back to the Babylon 5 Season Two Book Club!
Since we’re past the midseason point on season two, now, I thought I’d give a point back to anybody who is catching up. Plus, I keep finding myself wanting to point back to old episodes when they’re referenced, and we need a page that keeps ’em all in one place… a page that will henceforth live here.
Episodes in Season One, covered in the last iteration:
- Midnight on the Firing Line, Pat
- The Soul Hunter, Pat
- Born to the Purple, Pat
- Infection, Pat
- Parliament of Dreams, Pat
- Mind War, Jaybird
- War Prayer, Tod
- And The Sky Full of Stars, Pat
- Deathwalker, Dman
- The Believers, Jaybird
- Survivors, Pat
- By Any Means Necessary, Dman
- Signs and Portents, Pat
- TKO, Pat
- Grail, Jaybird
- Eyes, Jaybird
- Legacies, Jaybird
- A Voice in the Wilderness (1), James K
- A Voice in the Wilderness (2), James K
- Babylon Squared, Jaybird
- The Quality of Mercy, James K
- Chrysalis, KatherineMW
Episodes in Season Two, thus far:
- Point of No Return, Pat
- Revelations”, Tod
- The Geometry of Shadows, Pat
- A Distant Star, Pat
- The Long Dark, Pat
- A Spider in the Web, Pat
- Soul Mates, Pat
- A Race Through Dark Places, Pat
- The Coming of Shadows, KatherineMW
- Gropos, Pat
- All Alone in the Night, Tod
- Acts of Sacrifice, James K
- Hunter, Prey, Pat
It’s difficult to discuss this show without occasionally wanting to discuss 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. Hey, if you use Firefox, there’s a simple plug-in that makes this as easy as highlighting text.
Everyone sitting comfortably? Then onward!
Season Two, Episode Fourteen: “There All the Honor Lies”
Ivanova and Sheridan are griping… because the B5 Senate Oversight Committee has done a business analysis and found that the station could earn $2 million plus credits a year selling merch. They’re going to put a gift shop in the station (presumably in addition to selling B5-themed stuff elsewhere). Ivanova’s horrendously offended on principle. Sheridan is therefore putting her in charge, assuming that her natural dignity would prevent any particularly demeaning tchotchkes from being designed/sold. Ivanova accepts with pretty good grace. Sheridan has to scooter for Tutor Time with Professor Kosh in “How To Communicate Better with Vorlons, 101” (or, “How to Prepare Yourself to Fight Legends”, or perhaps even “How to be Mysterious”, depending upon how you look at it). Oh, but he wants Ivanova to pick him up a B5-themed ball cap.
Sheridan bumps into somebody wearing a hoodie in the hall, in the dark. Hoodie-guys are apparently low-lifes in the future… hoodie guy steals Sheridan’s link. Instead of running back to command and having the link killed remotely and tracked to the culprit, or not worrying about it because it’s got biometrics that prevent someone other than the authorized user from using it, Sheridan runs after hoodie guy. Cutting around a corner, he runs smack dab into a Minbari warrior, who then proceeds to try and beat the crap out of the Captain. Sheridan scoops a pistola up off the ground and tells him to back off, Minbari warrior says, “Death first!” and gets what he’s asking for. Sheridan plugs the guy and he rolls back down a stairwell to fall at the feet of some other Minbari who rabbits when he sees the commander with the gun.
You know, those PPGs have decidedly poor nonlethal capabilities. Maybe the B5 folks ought to consider packing something with stunning capabilities, it being a diplomatic station and all.
Is our little hoodie thief actually just trying to nab Sheridan’s link, or was it a setup to instigate a diplomatic incident? I guess we’ll find out… cut to intro!
Back from commercial, Sheridan is telling Garibaldi and Delenn of the incident. He thought the Minbari guy was going for a weapon. No weapon was found (more bets on “setup to instigate a diplomatic incident”?) The dead dude was apparently respectable. Minbar wants Delenn to run an investigation, parallel to Garibaldi’s normal incident response. She’s worried this will cause diplomatic trouble between Earth and Minbar. She leaves, Sheridan tells Garibaldi to find the Minbar witness, even though Sheridan can’t describe him very well, and everybody storms out.
Cut to Vir getting a call for Londo from somebody at home. Londo’s not available, but standby for transmission.
Cut back to Garibaldi, interviewing Minbari guy (I can’t blame Sheridan for not being able to give a good description of his witness, I can’t tell if this guy is the witness or not, and I don’t want to rewind and cheat to find out). Minbari guy is not helpful. Before Garibaldi gets Bad Cop, Lennier shows up and asks to interview Minbari guy. Garibaldi agrees. Cut to Sheridan and Garibaldi stationwalking, Garibaldi is muttering about Lennier showing up with every interview he’s performing… which would make sense if Lennier is trying to find out exactly what Garibaldi is trying to find out, right? Sheridan notes that he could be organizing a cover-up, but Paranoid Garibaldi actually likes Lennier… and so does Sheridan. No luck finding the missing link (hah! missing link!), Garibaldi notes that the computer would pick it up immediately if it was used, making it… you know, pretty much worthless. Garibaldi points out that hoodie guy might have lifted it just to get Sheridan to follow him. They wind up at the autopsy and Franklin has null news; nothing to confirm or deny Sheridan’s version of the incident. Garibaldi wants to know where the PPG came from, Sheridan says he found it on the ground and figured that hoodie guy dropped it, Garibaldi’s Inner Paranoid sees a plant. No serial number trace yet on the PPG. Garibaldi figures this whole thing is a big setup. Cut!
Off elsewhere in the station, we see Talia. Hey, Talia! Haven’t seen you in the last couple of episodes. Vir bumps into her. He’s acting weird. No further information at this juncture, he heads off, she leaves.
Cut to Delenn and Lennier. Delenn asks Lennier if he’s certain, “he (this other Minbari) is the one who witnessed the attack”, Lennier confirms. Delenn questions the guy. He won’t talk to her because she’s a freak, she storms out. He’ll let Lennier question him, though, if he can tolerate the answers. Cut…
… straight to Delenn and Sheridan and Lennier. Lennier says the witness basically said everything the opposite of what Sheridan said; Sheridan attacked the Minbari warrior, who asked to surrender, and then Sheridan shot him. “Death First” apparently sounds an awful lot like “De’ah firs”, which translates to “I yield to your authority”. Well, that’s an unfortunate linguistic coincidence. Sheridan doesn’t buy it (and I don’t either). He calls out the witness as lying, and both Delenn and Lennier agree immediately that they didn’t hear that, since it would require a fatal-type response from the accused. Minbari take this lying thing seriously. Sheridan amends his accusation to, “well, then, he’s …. ah… in error regarding the truth, yeah, that’s the ticket…” and he wants to see the witness post-haste. They agree and exit to go gather the guy. Immediately Suspicious Pat wonders if the witness is going to have had an accident… Garibaldi isn’t sure that Sheridan interrogating the witness is a good idea, but Sheridan doesn’t have any other ideas right now. Cut.
Ivanova is strolling through the gift shop. Seems tasteful enough, she mutters, we get a couple of sight gags where aliens take off human masks and vice-versa. Cut again.
Security Flunky Guy is accosted by Firm Woman in Severe Dress who wants to go see Sheridan immediately.
Over to the witness, named Ashan, Sheridan, Lennier, and Delenn. Ashan is Hostile, he doesn’t like Sheridan. Lennier and Delenn offer explanations that are diplomatic. Ashan is Very Hostile. Before anything unravels further, Firm Woman in Severe Dress appears and introduces herself as Guinevere Corey, Sheridan’s attorney. Sheridan is confused. Interrogation breaks, Ashan heads off with Delenn and Lennier. In the corridor, he bows to Lennier and walks off. Lennier and Delenn discuss. Delenn doesn’t buy Ashan’s story, either, it doesn’t jibe with her understanding of Sheridan. Back with Sheridan and his attorney, she tells him “Surprise!” Earth is going to indict you. Why? Because, politics. Let it go to trial and it doesn’t look like a cover up. But, if it goes to trial, Sheridan will have to step down as B5’s commander, “probably permanently”. Fade to commercial.
Back from commercial, Sheridan and Ivanova are discussing. He’s worried. Chitchat, she leaves. Sheridan starts doing homebody stuff and the door opens, he assumes it’s Ivanova coming back but it’s Kosh.
You know, if you’re in trouble on B5, there are probably not very many better (or at least, more powerful) allies to have than the Vorlons.
Kosh wants to know why Sheridan is tardy for class. Sheridan mutters excuses, Kosh insists that they have their lesson now. Sheridan resignedly agrees.
Cut to Security Guy who we’ve seen before this episode, reporting to Garibaldi. For those of you trying to figure out who he is, it’s Jeff Conaway, from Taxi. Garibaldi is siccing him on Ashan. Follow him, don’t provoke him, just keep an eye on him.
Back to Kosh and Sheridan, in the worst part of Down Below. Kosh opens a hatch of some sort, Sheridan wants to know why Kosh wants him to go in there, Kosh says, “One moment of perfect beauty.” This reminds me of the Cave Scene in The Empire Strikes Back for some reason. Sheridan goes inside. It’s dark and he crawls around for a bit before finding a robed figure. Sheridan sits criss-cross-apple-sauce and the robed figure puts out a donation bowl. Sheridan doesn’t carry cash, he offers his staff bar in the bowl. The figure accepts the donation, and some rose lights come up and we get Gregorian Chanting from a number of these robed figures who melt out of the shadows. Kosh listens in the hallway.
Cut over to Londo, who finds Vir in a bar. Vir is not happy covering Londo’s secrets. Londo offers to send him home. Vir points out that the whole reason he’s on B5 is because B5 was a joke post when he took it, and Vir wasn’t exactly considered a great prospect for anything but failure. And then he tells Londo that the communique that arrived earlier today was Vir’s dismissal. Apparently Londo’s success has convinced Centauri Prime that he needs a more suitable (e.g., attached-to-a-politically-important-family) assistant. Londo says he’ll make it so that Vir can stay. Vir’s not sure he wants to stay, he sees going home as failure, and staying as being trapped in a web of power and lies. Vir leaves, Londo starts to follow but he’s distracted by giggling Centauri women, who have… a doll of him from the gift shop. Londo appears displeased.
Cut back to Sheridan and Kosh. Sheridan rather enjoyed the chanting, and tells Kosh so. Kosh appears pleased (at least, that’s how I read his response), and leaves. Appreciation of beauty is important to the Vorlons, it appears. Ivanova enters, and Sheridan gives Mysterious. Ivanova notes that the lessons must be working, he’s starting to sound like a Vorlon.
Cut to Lennier and Delenn. Delenn has discovered something regarding the victim. Minbari script scrolls by on a screen, Lennier looks concerned.
Cut to Sheridan and Ivanova, stationwalking. Enter Londo, he’s not just displeased, he’s Supremely Pissed about his action figure.
Cut to Ashan, our witness, down somewhere in the bowels of the station. He’s being followed by Security Guy Zack Allen (hereinafter referred to as Zack). Zack gets kaboshed by Lennier, who chases after Ashan, and finds him just in time to see him interact with a guy in a hoodie. Lennier wants to give Ashan a chance to come clean, since they’re both of the same clan, and since Ashan is a terrible conspirator and he’s going to get caught eventually. Ashan rabbits.
Back over to Sheridan and Ivanova and Londo. Anatomically correct doll joke. Sheridan agrees to pull the dolls. Londo lets spill that Minbari might lie to protect honor, as he knows from experience. Londo leaves, Sheridan gets a call from the Minbari ambassador on Earth. Cut!
Sheridan meets up with Delenn in a garden. He tells her the Minbari are requesting that Ashan be recalled on the next shuttle. With no witness, there can’t be a trial. Without a trial, though, Sheridan figures he will have a credibility problem, not being vindicated… which might have been someone’s plan all along. Sheridan and Delenn have a Moment. What is the greater good, if it is built on lies?
Cut to Ashan, meeting with Lennier, who is sending him home. Lennier says he’s going to go to the captain after Ashan leaves, and confess that he was the one complicit in the attack, thus redeeming the clan’s honor from Ashan’s lie. Ashan says the whole thing was the clan leaders’ collective idea. The victim staged the whole thing. A door to the side opens and in comes Sheridan, Garibaldi, Delenn, and Sheridan’s attorney. Confession on tape! But Sheridan doesn’t want to use it. Lennier’s clan would suffer disgrace. Sheridan offers to ditch the confession if Delenn can get Ashan to testify to the actual truth of the circumstances of the encounter, omitting all the background, thus getting Sheridan off the hook for the attack, keeping the Minbari clan safe from public shame, and generally letting everyone come out ahead except the actual dead dude. Cut!
Back from commercial, Vir is nursing a hangover. Londo enters. Vir’s replacement is here. Londo isn’t going to accept a replacement, though, he’s reported that Vir is exemplary and he won’t let his assistant leave. Londo asks him to stay, Vir agrees.
Off in the hallway, Sheridan runs into Ivanova and asks for an update on the merchandising. They made Sheridan into a bear. He loses his temper and wants the store shut, but he keeps the bear and windws up tossing it out an airlock for the end-of-episode joke.