Londo summons his three wives to Babylon 5. A mysterious man from Talia's
Jane Carr as Timov.
Lois Nettleton as Daggair.
Blair Valk as Mariel.
Keith Szarabajka as Matthew Stoner.
(Originally titled "Pestilence, Famine and Death.")
P5 Rating: 7.68
Production number: 208
Original air date: December 14, 1994
Written by Peter David
Directed by John C. Flinn, III
- G'Kar tossing something to someone at a party.
- Daffy Duck.
Centauri culture is built largely on family stature, and virtually all of an
individual's position and influence derive from the relative standing of
the family. Links between families can be very important, and marriages
are the primary way of forging these links. Marriages are almost always
arranged by the families for the benefit of the families, regardless of the
wishes (if any) of the Centauri being married. Londo's marriages are
notoriously bad. Indeed, he calls his three wives Pestilence, Famine and
Death, and it's been hinted that he took a post to Babylon 5, a post where
he knew he'd be forced to concede defeat after defeat to the hated Narn,
simply to escape the three of them.
The control Psi-Corps maintains over its members is quite pervasive,
extending to all levels of their personal lives. In one respect they are
similar to the Centauri -- they arrange marriages between their members.
This, coupled with the fact that all persons showing any psi talent at all
are pressed into the Corps or nullified, makes them a budding closed
society. Most importantly, once in Psi-Corps you are theirs forever, and
they can do anything with you they want.
- Why do G'Kar and Mariel know each other? What's been going on in
the past with the two of them?
- Why did Psi-Corps dissolve the marriage between Stoner and Talia?
- Stoner is a puzzle. Did he really ever leave Psi-Corps? He is a strong projective
empath. He may be a receptive empath as well--but since he treats
people rather poorly this doesn't seem very likely...at best it's unproven.
Given his talent he could have manipulated the people around him from
the very beginning, up to and including letting him leave. His claim that he
lost his talent altogether is disproven rather quickly by a group of amateurs.
Psi-Corps scientists working on modifying psi talents would have been very
difficult to fool. On the whole, it's most likely that Sheridan is right, and
Stoner was actively working for Psi-Corps all along.
- At first glance, one might wonder why on Earth Stoner would be in
on a plot to kill Londo. G'Kar notes to Mariel that Stoner just happened
to bring the artifact onboard on the eve of Londo's ascension
anniversary, which would be too staggering a coincidence, if
it had been booby-trapped from the start. However:
- G'Kar may have been behind the plot to kill Londo. In the
scene where Mariel notices his boots, just before he walks off,
G'Kar tosses something small to her. Perhaps it's just a grape,
since he was picking them from the table. Or it could be a set of
poison darts to load into the statue. If so, Stoner is even more
innocent than he claims to Sheridan and Garibaldi; the statue really
was completely harmless when he brought it aboard. However:
- G'Kar later says to Mariel, "Mysteries give me a pain." And the only
way that he can ease the pain is to decipher the mystery. He
then goes on to describe the situation with Mariel and Londo as
the mystery that he had to solve. If so, then he was uninvolved
in the attempt on Londo -- which again raises the question: What
did G'Kar toss to Mariel?
- If G'Kar was involved, perhaps G'Kar knows what Londo is up to with
the Shadows and wants to assassinate him for that reason, or perhaps
it's just the general enmity between the two. Or maybe the whole thing
was Mariel's idea and G'Kar merely gave her the means.
- Whatever the answer to "who knew what, and when?" the relationships
remain. G'Kar knows Mariel well enough to have a private and
informal discussion with her, and he may have been involved in the
plot to kill Londo. Stoner (and by extension Psi-Corps) may know
Mariel, and may also have been involved in the plot to kill Londo --
at least insofar as Stoner delivered the instrument of his (near) death.
- Talia's relationship to Psi-Corps is called into question here on both
ends. First, it's clear that she is completely disillusioned with the
corps. She confesses to Garibaldi that Psi-Corps frightens her. She
is presumably deeply conditioned, but her loyalties are wavering
despite this. On the other side of the equation, if Stoner is still
Corps then his offer to her is also on the behest of Psi-Corps. Did
her actions during
"A Spider in the Web"
bring her to the attention of Bureau 13? And if so, are they trying to
unofficially take her out of the picture?
- Though it at first glance might appear to be a comedic throwaway line,
Delenn's final complaint may actually be the most important revelation
of the entire episode. It implies that her transformation has given
her a human reproductive system. Possibly that was even the point
of the transformation; if indeed the change was made to bring humans
and Minbari closer together, a child born of a human father and a
Minbari mother might be considered a powerful link by some.
- Which, of course, begs the question: who does she intend the father
to be, if this is what she has in mind? Sinclair seems an obvious
choice, given the evidence that she believes him to be the
reincarnation of a great Minbari soul (cf.
- Psi Corps seems to be big on assigning companions. In addition to
Stoner, Talia was assigned a support officer, Abby, during her first
year at the Psi Corps center when she was a girl
("A Spider in the Web.")
- The name of Timov's father, "Alghul," means "The Demon" in Arabic.
It may also be connected to the comic book character Ras Al-Ghul
("Head of the Demon") from the Batman series, debatably the Batman's
most dangerous foe. Ras' daughter, Talia, has been the Batman's
lover, and is the mother of his child. In any case, Londo has
remained married to the daughter of "The Demon," appropriate
given his recent acquaintances.
- Y'know...for the past five years I've been writing Trek novels, and
fans kept asking, "When are you going to start doing Trek TV
So here comes B5, I do an episode...and what do the fans keep asking?
When am I going to do a B5 novel.
- [Re: Talia] My feeling was that it was something that had been
building slowly within her ever since the Ironheart episode. That
although she had been *saying* she was devoted, well...the difference
between the reality of a B5 and the frequent unreality of STTNG is
that folks don't always say exactly what's on their mind (kind of like
the real world.) As it turned out, my own thoughts on Talia
dovetailed with future plans for her.
Daggair was Pestilence. Timov was Famine. Mariel was Death.
Originally I was going to have each of their names reflect their
respective "incarnations," but decided that was too cutesy. The
only holdover from that idea is Timov's name which is, of course,
Vomit spelled backwards.
- Daggair is Pestilence, Timov is Famine, and Mariel is Death.
At first I was going to have all their names be reflections of the
titles "assigned" them by Londo, but I decided that would be too
cutesy. The only holdover from that idea is Timov, whose name
backwards is, of course, Vomit. (I'll never forget Jane Carr coming
over to me the fifth day of shooting and saying in that accented
voice of hers, "Peter...did you *know* that my character's name is
vomit spelled backwards?" Uhhhh...well, yeah...)
You all realize, of course, that Londo is--by process of elimination--
- In response to someone who thought JMS wanted a line of
This is a total misinterpretation of a statement I made, and yet another
example of how the information age can also be the misinformation age.
Incorrect "facts" can make the rounds at light speed and stay there.
I did *not* say that Joe wanted one particular line put into the script.
What I *said* (in response to a question some time ago of "How much
did JMS tell you to put into the script? How much of the events were
dictated) was that all I was given was one line of *description* (much
like a log line you'd see in TV Guide). The line was something to the
effect of, "Londo's wives show up on B5 and, in the way that Londo
handles the difficulties that ensue, we learn something about the type
of man that he is." I explained this in order to make clear how much
latitude JMS gives writers on the show, as opposed to the omnipresent
smothering hands-on attitude of other programs.
And somehow this became mutated into "JMS has a line of dialogue that
he wanted inserted."
- How funny. Other people who stated flatly that they likewise knew
Londo loudly proclaimed (over on Usenet) that he would have chosen
Daggair. Maybe he's a kind of tough guy to know.
- Poster had no trouble guessing; the actress playing Timov "was the
most well-known actress of them all"
Oh, I don't know. Lois Nettleton's career goes way further back than
Jane Carr's does. Although Jane *is* from the Royal Shakespeare
Company (and yes, she did work with Patrick Stewart. She's so pleased
that now she too has portrayed a bald SF icon.)
- *I* didn't get "bitch" past the censors. I just put it in the
(What I loved was Daggair's expression on that line. It's the only
time she let her facade slip and she looked like she was ready to
- The second scene between Garibaldi and Stoner was intense
Tension really crackled between the two of them, didn't it? In one
of the takes, it was so intense that at the end, the director forgot
to yell "Cut." Instead he shouted, "God, that was great!"
- Thanks for showing us another side of Garibaldi
Oh, the side was already there, in my opinion. I think back to
previous episodes where Garibaldi was all for spacing that serial
killer. When he encounters people he doesn't like, or have done dirt
to people who are Garibaldi's friends, he can be pretty ruthless.
- As we've seen, Garibaldi doesn't exactly have the easiest time being
demonstrative in his feelings for women.
- Originally, "Soul Mates" was intended to be broadcast after "A Race
Through Dark Places." ARTDP required a rather substantial amount of
post production work and audio design; "Mates" did not. Rather than
rush "Race," we decided it was okay to air those two in reverse order.
If they have aired with "Race" first in the UK, then yes, it's
different than the US order, but it *is* the correct production and
- All things considered, the episode went through fairly cleanly, script-
wise, not much in the way of revision. Peter has a good ear for
dialog (not surprising). So for the most part it was little stuff; for
example...Peter came up with, "Either I'm in hell or in medlab," to
which I appended, "...either way, the decor needs work." Which is kind
of the fun in getting an outside script; you can hear the first part of
a line you'd never considered, and knowing the character, you can take
it just a little further.
- Timov's "WHO IS THIS?!" in that high-pitched voice would also be a
great one for an answering machine.
- What I love best about this is that given the time of year [of its
North American premiere], "Soul Mates" is basically our Christmas
I mean, are we perverse or what...?
- . . . when you say "why wasn't Mariel arrested on the spot by
Garibaldi and her quarters searched," you omit both legal procedure
and evidentiary law.
You arrest someone AFTER you have reasonable cause and sufficent
evidence to justify it. You don't need enough evidence to convict,
just to arrest or indict. So the order is reversed for starters.
Second, what evidence *was* there to be found if he HAD searched her
quarters? She neither brought nor had ANYthing of an incriminating
nature. She bought the figurine in the bazaar...and that's all she
had, and all she used. There WAS no evidence in her quarters to find.
(Believe me, I spent 2 years on MURDER, SHE WROTE, and we learned a
lot about how this stuff works. You can't just go around arresting
people willy nilly, and the evidence must exist, and be sufficient,
- Peter's having the time of his life. He loves where his character
is going, loves the range of emotions he gets to play...I saw him for
a bit on the set today, shooting "Soul Mates," and he's just tickled
(particularly since he's acting opposite Lois Nettleton, Jane Carr
and Blair Valk as his three wives).
Compiled by Steven Grimm and Dave Zimmerman