Garibaldi takes on a new job. The resistance's counter-propaganda
broadcasts begin. Sheridan proposes a plan to protect the Non-Aligned Worlds
Tim Choate as Zathras.
Denise Gentile as Lise Hampton.
Mark Schneider as Wade.
Charles Walker as Ben.
P5 Rating: 8.04
Production number: 412
Original air week: May 5, 1997
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by David Eagle
- Wade and his group still consider Garibaldi expendable.
- Lise Hampton, Garibaldi's ex-lover
("A Voice in the Wilderness")
divorced her first husband and eventually married one of the richest
men on Mars, William Edgars. Among other things, Edgars is the owner
of the largest medical research center on the planet.
- Some medical researchers believe that one of the genes
responsible for telepathy in humans has the potential to mutate into
some form of communicable disease, lethal to other telepaths. There
may be a cure, but there are those on Earth who'd rather the basis
of the cure be destroyed to rid Earth of telepaths.
- Sheridan has proposed to assign the Rangers to patrol
the borders between the various parts of alien-controlled space,
protecting civilian transports from the Drakh
("Lines of Communication")
- The Centauri have had contact with the Drakh in the past,
but long enough ago that nowadays they're considered little more than
- Zathras had nine brothers, all named Zathras but with
slightly different intonations.
- What exactly was the substance Lise was picking up?
- Were Wade and Lise and their contact telling the truth about
the telepath virus, or was the substance something else entirely?
- Who were the gunmen? Were they with Psi Corps, or were
they rogue telepaths? What did they mean by the phrase, "To the
- Why didn't Garibaldi fire at the telepath?
- Did Wade know about Garibaldi's past association with
Lise? Was she part of the test, to see how emotional stress would
affect his performance?
- Does William Edgars' job offer conflict with whatever
plans Wade and his cohorts have for Garibaldi, or is his employment
just another part of the plan?
- Why didn't Edgars show Garibaldi his face?
- What was in the message Lise left for Garibaldi?
- Why did she send it using her maiden name?
- Did G'Kar and Londo take Sheridan up on his offer?
- If Garibaldi takes the job, will he be working close to
William Edgars? That would imply he'll also have frequent contact
with Lise, which likely wouldn't be easy for either of them.
- His consideration of the job offer is at odds with the
glimpse of his programming, if that's what it was, in
"The Illusion of Truth."
In that flashback, Garibaldi recalled being drilled over and over
with the idea that he worked for nobody but his captors. Of course,
if Edgars is involved with his captors, that might not be inconsistent.
It's also possible his captors want to get him close to
Edgars, and that by taking the job he'd in fact be following their
- Edgars claimed to have checked up on Garibaldi. Checked
up on him how? Garibaldi himself has said on more than one occasion
that his past is checkered at best, and his history isn't too closely
guarded a secret (for example, the Senator knew about him in
Maybe Edgars was taking Garibaldi's performance as security chief
on Babylon 5 into account, or maybe his "checking up" involved talking
to whoever captured Garibaldi
("Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?")
- The Daffy Duck cartoon Garibaldi was watching (1953's
viewed as a metaphor for his situation; depending on what was done
to him after his capture
("Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?")
he may well no longer be in control of his own fate, and is certainly
being influenced by forces he can't detect.
- If the researchers are correct and the human telepathy
genes can indeed mutate into a lethal virus, what are the parameters?
Likely it's something that's telepathically transmitted. For example,
it might cause a telepath to broadcast noise on whatever medium
telepaths use to read thoughts. Telepathic interference can cause
physical effects (Ben Zayn doubling over in
or Lyta's bloodied eyes in
so it's not inconceivable that telepathic broadcasts of the right
type could kill someone attuned to them.
- Which begs the question, was this some kind of genetic
timebomb intentionally implanted by the Vorlons when they modified
humans to give them telepathic ability
Since the Vorlons, according to Morden, created human telepaths to
use as weapons against the Shadows, perhaps the Vorlons also put a
time limit on human telepathy so it wouldn't remain once the upcoming
conflict with the Shadows was resolved.
That would put a different spin on the disappearance of Narn telepaths
("Ship of Tears.")
The Book of G'Quan was probably correct about the Shadows killing
most of the Narn telepaths. But maybe the reason the gene never
resurfaced in the Narn population wasn't that it wasn't strong
enough, as G'Kar supposed, but that it was only designed to last a
few generations, and once the previous Shadow War was over, its time
simply ran out. Of course, that assumes the Vorlons implanted
telepathy into the Narn.
- The threat isn't limited to Psi Corps; Ivanova's latent
telepathy makes her vulnerable to any sort of disease that's
transmitted between telepaths.
- The fact that Wade was cooperating with Lise in her effort
to get the vial into her husband's hands implies that he's at least
somewhat sympathetic to telepaths, and perhaps to the Psi Corps.
If he were one of the people who wanted to see all telepaths dead,
presumably he'd've arranged for the vial to quietly vanish on
its way to Lise. That ties into the apparent contradiction mentioned
above between Garibaldi's programming
("The Illusion of Truth")
and his consideration of Edgars' job offer.
- The telepathic assassins' closing
bears some similarity to a description of another telepath: Talia
"A Race Through Dark Places."
Lurker: You tipped the balance. I felt it when we were joined.
You're more than you think you are.
Talia: Then what am I?
Lurker: The future.
- The last time Garibaldi resigned, even briefly
("In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum")
he offered up his gun, his station ID, and his link. So did the
security staff who resigned rather than join Nightwatch in
"Point of No Return."
Why did Garibaldi keep them this time? Was he perhaps intending
to return at some point?
- Sheridan said of Garibaldi, "I don't like the company he's
been keeping." How does Sheridan know what kind of company Garibaldi
has been keeping? Is he having Garibaldi watched? And is he referring
specifically to Wade's people? If so, what does Sheridan know about
- Was there a reason Sheridan kept the lights in his office
low when he met others there, or was it just a directorial touch?
- Franklin commented to Ivanova that Mars was cold. But in
the tunnels where Franklin and Marcus were staying were noted as
uncomfortably warm. Significant, or was Franklin simply referring
to the surface, which is indeed cold?
Zathras complained, "Zathras warned, but nobody listens to poor
Zathras." In this episode, that's doubly true: even Zathras
doesn't listen to Zathras.
- G'Kar's artificial eye is now brown, rather than red like
his natural one or blue like its initial color
- The onscreen logo displayed while Garibaldi spoke to
William Edgars read "EI" (presumably short for "Edgars Industries"
or some such.) Underneath, it read, "Mars - Phobos - Deimos."
Phobos and Deimos are the two moons of Mars. Presumably this
implies that there are people living or working on those moons,
which in fact are little more than large asteroids and would thus
be attractive for microgravity pharmaceutical research.
- William Edgars' voice was played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
- The telepaths' PPG blasts penetrated the floor of the air
"Grey 17 Is Missing,"
Garibaldi commented that PPGs are used rather than traditional guns
because they don't penetrate hulls. Of course, an outer hull is
likely quite a lot thicker than an air duct wall, and likely made
of material with a higher melting temperature, so this most likely
isn't a contradiction.
- BTW, there's another example of a long single take
coming up soon, on Epsilon 3, which is all I'll specify. I kinda
wanted the scene to play itself out, without cutting, and to show just
how amazingly capable some of our actors can be. We're talking here
almost 4 minutes of footage, not one cut in the whole thing, very fast
dialogue, and not a single muffed line, with the performances working
wonderfully. You'll know it when you see it.
- Our cast invariably comes in knowing full scenes, and
can hit them without breaking or blowing a line. So we have a tendency
at times to just let the master play out, keeping the intensity, which
can sometimes be broken by too much cross-editing. (Note that the
Zathras/Ivanova scene a few episodes back is *entirely* one shot, four
- Re: Daffy...I knew that cartoon, and had that definitely
in mind when I wrote the script. Took some maneuvering to get WB to
let us use that much of it.
- Re: the cartoon...I'm a big WB cartoon fan, and knew that
one very well, and there were two places where it would've fit with the
story; the other one, which I almost used, was when you see two Daffy's
arguing with each other.
Re: the CGI...we've been fairly conventional with the CGI in
recent seasons, we're trying to get a bit more adventurous.
The Lise flashback material is all exactly as was filmed for
"Babylon Squared." I think we used a few more pieces of the original
footage, but it was all stet.
Why didn't we see what happened to Delenn, since she
left in the previous episode?
Re: Delenn...these episodes happen close to one another in
time, so you have to allow travel time for her to get to Minbar.
- Lise was the typical "woman in distress."
Re: Lise...well, everybody can't be a fighter; we've had guys
and the occasional female character who isn't used to being shot at. I
daresay I'm not terribly used to being shot at, and someone who's
mainly a civilian would probably react about that same way. It's just
a matter of showing that diversity realistically rather than saying,
"Okay, let's have a helpless female now." Having every female (or
male) hard-nosed and laughing off PPG bursts is as unrealistic as its
- Was there anything important in Lise's
No, nothing you need worry about.
- Why didn't Edgars show his face?
As we'll learn shortly, he doesn't want his face seen around.
But we'll see him soon enough.
(And the voice belongs to Efram Zimbalist Jr.)
- Did the PPG blasts melt through the air conditioning
This is substantially correct. The PPG blast is extremely hot, and will
melt through the plastic coating and the metal lining inside the tube.
The entire energy of a PPG will not come through the tube (unless by
some coincidence the exact same area is hit twice or three times), and I
believe that this was propoerly portrayed in the sequence. Even if it
isn't the entire energy blast, it will hurt like hell and de-mobilize an
individual meat packet (person) for the bad guys to come get later.
It did take a *very* long time to burn through the bulkhead door to
allow them access to the hallway, and said door did mildly glow in the
affected areas prior to melting through. The station hull is even more