Babylonia!

We’re back on track with our sixth installment of the Babylon 5 Viewing Club! This week’s recap is from our very own Dman!

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.

This week: Mind War! 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! Everybody who has done the watchin’, see you after the cut!

Mind War

(Hello, I am filling in this week for Pat and will give the synopsis for Mind War. Just a brief note, I have split the write up into the main plot and the sub plot. This is not the chronological order of the show. It helps my one track mind when I am writing; I hope you do not mind.)

The opening scene has a transport being chased by three earth Star Furies. The only difference on the fighters is they have the omega symbol painted on their tops (is this significant?). The fighters give the standard speech about surrendering to the transport. Suddenly lights flash on the outside of the transport, then one big flash. As the light goes away, only the transport remains. (Scene cut)

Sub plot

Brief flash of B5 (as if we might have forgotten where Commander Sinclair works), then Sinclair and Catherine are talking (she looks to have just finished a shower, I guess they are still a thing). Catherine has a job offer for surveying a planet. Sinclair goes “male protector” on her saying she needs to be careful around these big corps. She blows him off and goes to get ready. (Scene cut)

Talia is talking to some guy who asks questions about what it is like to be a telepath and if she hears everything people think. She says it is more like being in a hotel with thin walls, you can hear other people but not make out the words…. Except if the thoughts are very strong (Chekhov’s gun). They enter an elevator and Garibaldi is in it. He makes a face that I guess is supposed to mean he is thinking naughty thoughts about Talia. She ‘over hears’ those strong thoughts and gives him a shot in the gut (Bang! Gun used). (Scene cut)

Catherine is talking shop with the suit from Talia’s scene. The Corp is looking for ‘rare minerals’ for jump gates. The suit makes a cheap shot about her seeing the commander and keeping this secret. Talia is there to make sure Catherine tells the truth about keeping things secret. Sheesh, is this really that important for others to not know, yet you are in the middle of a busy section of B5 where anyone could over hear? I mean, there are people everywhere, walking behind them and so on, yet they needed a telepath to make sure Catherine did not blab to Sinclair. I think half the station knows about this job now. One last little detail turns out to be they need G’kar’s approval to enter that sector of space… and enter Snidley Whiplash himself! (Scene Cut)

Catherine is arguing with G’Kar to agree to her going into that sector. G’Kar, of course, is saying no and claims it is because the sector is not ‘safe’ and ‘strange’ things happen there. One has to wonder if this is like the Narn moving in on the Centauri sector, from first episode, because the Centauri had come to them for protection too. Catherine is not falling for it and calls G’Kar out. G’kar makes one of his first big quotes of the show, “No one here is exactly what he appears…” Then he ruins it with a threat, “My warning is sincere, ignore it at your own peril.”  Catherine is not daunted and says she will go over his head. G’Kar then says he fears the commander will miss her when she does not return. Way to go Snidely! (Scene cut)

Catherine launches out of B5 in her survey ship. I guess she is off to the ‘strange’ sector. Cut to G’Kar in his quarters and he orders up a couple of heavy fighters to go to the same sector and he wants them well armed. Is Snidlely making his play for Sinclair’s main squeeze? Will Sinclair find out in time to save her from being tied to the railroad tracks? (Scene cut)

Catherine comes out of a jump gate at her destination and moves towards the planet she was sent to survey. (Scene cut, and was this necessary?)

The survey has arrived at the planet safely. Catherine mocks G’Kar’s fears, and right on queue a strange jump gate opens up (Scene cut)

Things look to be going well for Catherine, suddenly a bright light flashes and a massive tentacle monster or spiky ship looking thing appears next to her ship. It then leaves, yet the damage has been done and her ship has had its power sucked almost dry. Her orbit is now degrading; she has 2 hours to live. (Scene cut)

Catherine tries to get help or save herself, but there is just not enough power. (Scene cut)

The survey ship is getting close to the planet’s atmosphere now. Ship has enough power to detect two ships coming into the system. They are Narn! And they are here… to help?!? What happened to my Snidely Whiplash? (Scene cut)

G’Kar is walking on B5 when he is hailed by Catherine. She thanks him for saving her life, but asks why. This leads to one of my most favorite conversations from G’Kar. To me this one speech transforms him from Snidely Whiplash into something more complex.

G’Kar: [pointing to a nearby flower] What is this? [upon closer inspection, an insect is visible]

Catherine: An ant.

G’Kar: “Ant”!

Catherine: So much gets shipped up from Earth on commercial transports, it’s hard to keep them out.

[As Catherine is talking, G’Kar carefully picks up the ant.]

G’Kar: I have just picked it up on the tip of my glove. If I put it down again [replacing the ant on the flower] and it asks another ant, “What was that?” …how would it explain? There are things in the universe billions of years older than either of our races. They are vast, timeless. And if they are aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants…and we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us. We know. We’ve tried. And we’ve learned we can either stay out from underfoot, or be stepped on.

Catherine: That’s it? That’s all you know?

G’Kar: Yes. They are a mystery. And I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the universe…that we have not yet explained everything. Whatever they are, Ms. Sakai, they walk near Sigma 957. They must walk there alone.”

(The End)

Main plot

We see the transport moving in space again and Ivanova’s voice comes over the intercom welcoming it to B5. We see a picture of a human saying thank you. No alien menace this week, just the good old home grown kind. (Scene cut)

Two people in black walk out of the docking area. One is a women and the other is… Chekhov, I mean Walter Koenig! Walter has a very bored look on his face and stares at the back of a security guys head. Suddenly the guy turns around and start a seemingly one sided conversation with Walter. He is a Psi-Cop. (Scene cut)

Sinclair is in his office as Walter and side kick is lead into the office. Walter starts the mind talk with Sinclair. Sinclair starts the one sided conversation and then realizes what is going on, gets pissed, and tells them to talk normal. He questions them about Psi-Core rules on not messing with people’s heads. We find out that there are loop holes for everything and the Psi-cops are pretty much THE loop hole. We then find out that Walter’s name is Bester (remember that name).  They are looking for a rouge telepath and start giving Sinclair his marching orders. That goes over like a lead balloon and Sinclair starts to shoot it down. Bester comes back to say this is a very dangerous person that has already killed and is a threat to all of Earth. Cut to the man in the transport getting his room on B5. Everything seems normal until he gets a pained look on his face and then his room looks to be in an earth… er… space… er… station quake. The guy does an ‘I have to take an intense dump’ concentration face and the station quake subsides. Cut to Bester briefing Sinclair, Ivanova, and Talia about the rouge telepath, named Jason Ironheart (transport guy).  He instructed Talia at the Psi-Core. We find out that normal telepaths are rated P1-10, but Psi-cops are, of course, P12s because, “Someone has to keep an eye on the rest.” Ivanova shows that she read the Watchmen graphic novel and asks the Psi-Cops, “Yes, but who watches the watchmen?” Bester then start to pull the “need to know” BS on what Ironheart was doing and seems to have some smug satisfaction in handing it out (would you like to place bets on this coming back to bite him). They claim he will sell out covert operatives to other races. Talia blurts out that Jason would never do that. Seems Jason might have been more than just an instructor. Which gains her the Psi-Cops’ attention. Now they want to scan her and Talia cringes, I guess this will not be pleasant…. And it is not, the cops circle Talia and she gets a pained look on her face and starts gasping in pain. This is too much for Sinclair and he tells them to stop. The Psi-Cops tell Talia to stay away from Ironheart in a nice creepy fashion. Talia is walking away from the meeting and Ironheart is waiting for her. (Scene cut)

Talia makes a pitiful attempt to brush Jason off and asks if he knows what they did to her with the scan. Jason says he did and that is why he waited until after they met with her. He claims million of lives are at stake too. He asks her to meet with him later. She seems to agree. (Scene cut)

Jason is explaining to Talia what happened to him. He was experimented on by The Core to make stronger telepaths. It was not pleasant. It succeeded for Jason. But the truth was to make telekinetic abilities in telepaths (this is a very rare ability). Jason has TK now and somehow this means he cannot go back or let Earth have him… huh? Why? (Scene cut)

Garibaldi talks to Sinclair about a lead on Ironheart. Bester comes in and picks the info out of Garibaldi’s head. Garibaldi then thinks some bad thoughts about Bester, which Bester tells Garibaldi he could try anytime he wants to and puts on a very creepy smile. (Scene cut)

Ironheart tells Talia that Earth wanted TKs for small jobs. Small enough to cut off the blood flow of someone and kill them. They wanted assassins. Then Jason gets the constipated look on his face again and another station quake happens. He tells Talia to go and that he cannot control this. Cut to Sinclair and Bester feeling the station quake. The lady Psi-Cop (call her Red Shirt) names it a mind quake. (Scene cut)

Sinclair is apprised by Garibaldi on the location of the quake and sees an energy shield has been created around that area. Sinclair now thinks he ‘needs to know’ the Ironheart threat level. (Scene cut)

Sinclair is dressing down Bester for not telling him Ironheart’s threat to the station. Nothing like that ‘need to know’ biting you in the butt. Of course, Bester using that line was like Chekhov’s gun again, you knew it was going to come back to be a problem. Bester breaks and tells the commander that Ironheart is not completely human anymore and they do not know what he is either. Cut to Ironheart trying to control his mind. Cut again to Bester talking about the experiments done on Jason. Claims Ironheart went nuts, killed the researcher, and fled. They kept his TK abilities a secret because they did not want another government to get him. It was a calculated risk. Ivanova insults them for a while. Red Shirt mentions they have a cut-off switch to take Ironheart down and the two Psi-Cop can burrow through and shut him down, together. But they need line of sight to do it. Cut to Talia going up to the energy shield and asks Jason to let her in. The shield goes down, Talia walks in, the shield goes back up. Jason tells her he had hoped seeing Talia would help him with control over the abilities… er… why? It did not work and now he needs to leave or people will die. We now find out that The Core is slipping its leash held by Earth Gov. They are starting to make a power base for themselves and they make great blackmailers. (Scene cut)

Sinclair is walking with a concerned look on his face. Talia runs up and wants to talk and lets out the bombshell that she has seen Ironheart. They find a private place and Talia tells Sinclair that Jason‘s TK abilities are about to blow. He wants to leave so that he does not hurt anyone. Sinclair agrees to help, but asks Talia what was between hey and Jason. She tells him they were lovers and then tries to describe telepaths making love. Talia puts on a face that I guess was supposed to be for fond remembrance, but it looked like the pained face she had when she was scanned earlier. Ugh, TMI, did we really need that? (Scene cut)

Sinclair meets Ironheart and Jason tells him that Psi-Core is about control of everything. Jason can now control energy and humans are not ready for that power, so Jason needs to leave and not give this ability to anyone. Cut to Ivanova and Garibaldi,  Sinclair comms them to clear a path for him. He tries to be secretive. I do not think he took to heart what Ironheart said about telepaths and controlling secrets. (Scene cut)

Security is moving people out, when Bester talks to one to find out what is going on. Security claims it is a drill. Does anyone think that got past Bester? Didn’t think so. Cut to Sinclair, Talia and Jason walking through the cleared area. Jason can barely walk and looks to be in pain. Suddenly, they are surprised (they may be the only ones surprised), when Bester and Red Shirt appear. They start to shut Ironheart down and Jason starts to lose it. Another mind quake happens and sparks jump off of Ironheart (that’s new). Sinclair decks Bester to make him stop, but Red Shirt still tries to shut Ironheart down even to the point of trying to shoot him. He looks at her and she is gone. Bester wakes back up and shoots Jason, but it is not enough and gets the TK push to knock him out (why not another disintegration? I guess Bester has more to do on B5). Cut to the transport leaving B5 with Ironheart on it… and BOOM! It blows up. We see a computer rendering of a human looking like a bunch of energy, it gives Talia a ‘gift’ and then leaves. Cut to Bester getting blackmailed by Sinclair to keep his mouth shut. It actually seems to work. Sinclair tells Garibaldi that they need to keep their eyes open for Psi-Core manipulations. Cut to Talia and she can now move a penny with her mind. Ironheart gave her TK abilities. (Scene cut)

37 thoughts on “Babylonia!

  1. Probably my favorite of all the episodes thus far.

    The Psi-Corps is finally a player, and we begin to get the sense that – unlike with most other sci-fi series – Earth may not represent what is good in the B5 universe. If I were to throw in any snark at all, it would probably be this: “Oh, so THAT’S why Walter Koeing never got any other work.”

    Dman rightly points out all of the sloppy thinking that always seem to accompany characters that can perform wonders with their minds. If I recall correctly, this “why didn’t they just use that power that other time?” happens in a lot of Psi-Corps episodes in the future — but it feels like those pop up whenever sci-fi TV & movies tries to use psychic characters as plot point.

    Though much smaller in time, the sub plot was the more satisfying part for me. For those that want to answer in rot13, the question I have about the bizarre aliens is this: To what degree was this small story line made to be in conjunction with things to come, and to what degree was it a one off to allow G’Kar both his speech as his inching over to a more sympathetic character? It somehow seems that it could be both, or either.

    • but it feels like those pop up whenever sci-fi TV & movies tries to use psychic characters as plot point.

      There aren’t very many SF pieces that adequately contain espers. This could be a whole series of posts, actually.

      why not another disintegration?

      The question presupposes that the first disintegration was a deliberate choice. I think it was a deliberate act, but not a choice. “Throw whatever psychic energy I can at target to make her stop!” “Whoa, I didn’t know I could do that”.

      • The only reason why I do not think this is the case is that when Ironheart was first talking to Sinclair, he said that he would not harm Sinclair and if he did he could just pull apart the atoms. Maybe that was smack talk, but I did not think so. I think Jason knew what he was doing.
    • Nf sbe gur nyvraf naq gurz gheavat bhg gb or bar bs gur cerphefbe enprf, V unir zvkrq srryvatf. V guvax gurer jnf n ebhtu cyna jvgu gur nyvraf, naq vg jnf syrfurq bhg yngre va gur fubj.
  2. The subplot (culminating in G’Kar’s speech) was really awesome. Above and beyond the whole “This is a side of G’Kar I haven’t seen!” part (which was gravy, don’t get me wrong), the speech itself managed to communicate a sense of mystery about the universe that rarely shows up in Sci-Fi. It’s always “something we don’t understand… YET” and never “we are as ants to some things out there and we should keep that in mind when we go jumping into some sectors.”

    It’s one of the speeches a bad guy can credibly give. It turns him from a “little picture” local baddie to a “big picture” bad guy.

    Now, I differ from my dear friends in that I don’t like Bester. And not in the “dude, he’s the bad guy, you’re not supposed to like him!” sense. G’Kar? I love him. Can’t get enough. He could be evil every episode and I’d come back for more. Bester? I’m furious the second “hey, that’s Chekov!” wears off. Perhaps that’s due to the episode and the next time he shows up I’ll warm a little bit… but I’m not in a hurry to see Bester again.

    • I mean, there is some “Cosmic Horror” stuff that explains how we just can’t know some things and these some things are going to SUCK THE MARROW FROM OUR BONES IN A NON-EUCLIDIAN FASHION!

      This wasn’t a speech about not being able to understand the horrible other dimension. This was just something so beyond us that we were just better off trying to stay away.

    • Perhaps that’s due to the episode and the next time he shows up I’ll warm a little bit… but I’m not in a hurry to see Bester again.

      I’m not a fan of Bester in this episode either. Part of it is Walter’s way of acting him, combined with the way he’s written. He’s more of a smarmy bully than a coldly calculating bad guy.

      Part of it is that he’s too conveniently explicable using the story framework of “the Psi Corps are B5’s Star Chamber + Bene Gesserit – Goodness”. The good espers we’ve met so far are a relatively low power one (Talia), two high power ones (the Inquisitors) and a Good Guy who was Experimented On. The Psi Corp are a little too monolithic for my taste.

      • I don’t always need moral ambiguity in my characters. I’m 100% down with having a straightforward good guy who doesn’t end up being a massive hypocrite or a straightforward bad guy who doesn’t have a soft spot/heart of gold.

        The whole “I’m in charge, you don’t have need to know, and I’m not smart enough to realize that I am creating situations that will come back and bite me in the butt!” is, like, anti-compelling. It telegraphs everything that’s going to happen… which would be fine if “everything that is going to happen” is something other than “frustrating”.

        • I mostly agree with you, here. This:

          “I’m in charge, you don’t have need to know, and I’m not smart enough to realize that I am creating situations that will come back and bite me in the butt!”

          … is basically what I meant when I said, “smarmy bully” instead of coldly calculating.

          I get that PsiCorp might have smarmy bullies. I don’t see how a smarmy bully could be a Grand Inquisitor.

          • Dude, exactly. Imagine if the Grand Inquisitor came across as a kindly grandpa type who is the most sympathetic old man in the world. He, like, has REAL TIME FEEDBACK from your brain.

            He could just ask you to go to the Malt Shop on the station, he’ll buy you a sundae the way your grampa did a million years ago, and soon you’ll be telling him your social security and bank account numbers of your own volition because he’s Just That Good.

            And you can see him snarling at his underlings in the next scene that “THAT IS HOW YOU DO AN INTERROGATION YOU CLUMSY BULLY! WHEN I COME BACK HERE, I WILL BE WELCOMED WITH ALCOHOL AND HUGS!!!”

          • I think he is very used to winning. Things rarely come back to bite him in the butt (except when dealing with B5). He is a bully because it works. There is very little anyone can do to him, except perhaps try to shoot him from a distance. However, there is a good chance he would pick up on the strong emotions and have a fair warning.
            He is one of the most powerful telepaths. His job is to enforce rules that he gets to ignore. He sees non-telepaths as a lesser species.
            He does not have to be kindly to be Grand Inquisitor, because he can just rip what he needs to know right out of your head. I imagine he could also plant evidence there, if he really wanted to. I doubt there is a requirement for being a Psi-Cop beyond being P12, because there are not many P12s available for the job. A winning personality is not one of those requirements.
          • I doubt there is a requirement for being a Psi-Cop beyond being P12, because there are not many P12s available for the job. A winning personality is not one of those requirements.

            Well, yes, that’s a eminently fair point. If P12’s are rare enough, and there’s enough for them to do, it’s pretty likely that you can get away with almost anything and still maintain your position in PsiCorp if you’ve got the chops.

            Including being just an idiot about how you use your powers, and bullrushing all the time when you don’t have to.

            However !

            If you’re in charge of PsiCorp, you’re probably still going to be extremely cautious about where you send your P12s. You’ve got a short list of P12s who are Grand Inquisitors… and you know you need Bester because of his psi capabilities… but you’re still only going to use Bester when you need to use Bester, because he’s an incredibly blunt object (the guy essentially goes out of his way to create repercussions in this episode.)

            Bester is thus the last guy I send to B5. Too many opportunities to interact with the international diplomatic community, there.

            Well, unless of course your overarching plan is to have the B5 project fail… then throwing Bester into B5 has the added bonus of quite possibly creating interspecies incidents.

  3. I have to point out something that’s bugging me: It’s Snidely Whiplash, not Smiley Whiplash.
  4. Best episode thus far, and showcases some of Babylon 5’s best points. The role of politics is much stronger on B5 than in most comparable science fiction shows that I’ve seen, and the worldbuilding that’s done around telepaths in particular is well done. If people who can read minds start showing up in the population, non-telepaths are obviously going to want some kind of control mechanism to protect their own privacy, hence the requirement that teeps be in Psi Corps or have their powers repressed (as described in the first episode, regarding Ivanova’s mom). But what happens when the telepaths turn that control mechanism around and start using it to gain power?

    Then there’s the introduction of a new class of beings, almost incomprehensibly more powerful than humanity (or its relative peers – Narn, Centauri, Minbari). Va gung jnl, guvf rcvfbqr vf ernyyl gur fgneg bs gur fubj’f pber cybg. Naq gur gjb cybgf gvr gbtrgure gb n qrterr, va gung Vebaurneg vf nyfb orpbzvat n ulcre-cbjreshy orvat. (Naq jr yrnea gung gurl gvr gbtrgure rira zber jura jr yrnea zber nobhg gur bevtvaf bs gryrcnguf yngre.)

    And G’Kar also introduced a third theme of Babylon 5 – everyone has layers. I love that the show’s already showing some of his; he’s hands-down my favourite character, and he’s awesome in this episode.

    Amusingly, I got into B5 as a teenager before I knew anything about Star Trek, so my actor-recognition went in the other direction from most people’s. After I saw the new Star Trek movie in 2009 and started looking up stuff about the original series, I ran across the name “Walter Koenig” and something jogged in my memory. “I think I remember that guy….who is he…find a picture…Bester!? Bester played Chekhov?!” The idea of the same actor playing a good guy just felt weird – as Bester, Koenig does despicable really, really well. And with quite a few middling actors on the show (and among the guest stars, some downright bad acting on occasion), Koenig’s acting chops really show up.

    I felt like both the main and the subplot were really well done. There were still weaknesses – I don’t like how easily the characters share private things with people they don’t know well, whether it’s Ivanova telling Talia about her mother’s suicide in the first episode or Talia talking to Sheridan about telepath sex in this one. It feels unreal, too much like what it is – a contrived device to get us inside the character’s heads, even when what’s in their heads isn’t something they would likely choose to share with anyone.

    Another of my ongoing quibbles with the show that shows up here is that, for someone with a reasonably high military rank, Sinclair doesn’t have a lot of regard for authority, which feels strange. Guvf fubjf hc cerggl pbagvahnyyl jvgu obgu gur fgngvba pbzznaqref. N onfvp zvfgehfg sbe nhgubevgl – juvpu vf rira pyrnere jvgu Furevqna – qbrfa’g frrz gb svg n zvyvgnel pbzznaqre, naq vf jbefr jvgu Furevqna orpnhfr ur unq orra pubfra ol Rnegu cerpvfryl orpnhfr gurl rkcrpgrq uvz gb or eryvnoyr. Qvq gurl xabj abguvat nobhg uvz, qrfcvgr frireny lrnef bs uvf pnerre nsgre gur jne gb ybbx ng sbe ersrerapr? Gur zvyvgnel crefbaary ba guvf fubj gnyx yvxr yrsgvfgf (cnegyl orpnhfr WZF vf bar, cnegyl orpnhfr gur cybg arrqf gurz gb unir gubfr nggvghqrf), naq vg qbrfa’g frrz gb svg.

    Lastly – Ironheart’s description of what the Psi Corps wanted to use his telekinesis for matches the reason I’ve long thought of telepathy and telekinesis as the trump cards of superpowers. If you’ve got that, you don’t even need to be in proximity to someone to kill them (or to knock them out, if you’re more ethical. Or disable for that matter – break a bone in the leg and they’re down).

    • The one problem with TK + Telepathy as the double trump is that TK + Telepathy sorta puts you in demigod territory and then the “use the TK Telepath as the assassin” idea seems wrong, because… well, if you’re a teek with brainscan what the hell do you care about politics for anymore anyway?

      I mean, if I’m the guy in charge of Psi Corp and somebody from Earth PowerMuckityMucks comes to me and says, “Give me a TK assassin!” I’m going to say, “I don’t think that’s going to work out the way you think it is.”

      This was my original difficulty with PsiCorp in the series. It seemed constructed the way a non-telepath, non-esper would consider constructing PsiCorp as opposed to the way someone with telepathy would consider constructing PsiCorp.

      It’s kinda like the Supremely Powerful Wizard bothering to take over the world. Why would they effin’ care about humans anymore?

      • This was my original difficulty with PsiCorp in the series. It seemed constructed the way a non-telepath, non-esper would consider constructing PsiCorp as opposed to the way someone with telepathy would consider constructing PsiCorp.

        Jryy, vs lbh tb vagb gur onpxfgbel, gung’f jung vg vf. Vg jnf perngrq ol zhaqnarf gb xrrc pbageby bire gryrcnguf – nal grrc jub vfa’g univat gurve novyvgvrf fhccerffrq unf gb or n zrzore, naq zrzoref unir gb sbyybj fgevpg ehyrf ba ubj gurl pna naq pna’g hfr gurve cbjref, naq nalbar jub oernxf gubfr ehyrf vf cranyvmrq ol gur Pbecf, naq nalbar jub ehaf njnl sebz gur Pbec vf erpncgherq ol gur Pbec. Naq, va gurbel, gur gbc yriryf bs tbireazrag pbageby gur Pbecf. Gur ynfg fragrapr vf jurer gur vqrn riraghnyyl oernxf qbja.

        Nyfb, vg frrzf yvxr va guvf havirefr gryrcnguf pna ernq zvaqf, ohg gurl pna’g syng-bhg pbageby gurz. Naq nfvqr sebz Vebaurneg, nyzbfg abar bs gurz ner gryrxvargvp. Fb gurl’er abg ubyqvat nyy gur pneqf.

        • V trg gur onpxfgbel, vg whfg qbrfa’g frrz gb or n angheny bhgpbzr bs gur onpxfgbel.

          V zrna, vg’f abg yvxr CfvPbec jnf znqr lrfgreqnl. Naq sbe na betnavmngvba guvf vzcbegnag, gur vagreany fgehpgher vf tbvat gb or sbezrq nf zhpu ol gur vafvqr nf ol gur bhgfvqr.

          CfvPbec nf vg vf cbegenlrq nf jr’ir frra fb sne, jbhyq or xvaq bs yvxr jung V jbhyq rkcrpg gb frr vs Pbaterff gevrq znxvat CfvPbec ol pbzzvggrr, sebz gur urnq bs gur betnavmngvba evtug qbja gb gur fznyyrfg betnavmngvbany havg.

          Gung’f… abg ubj V frr betnavmngvbaf sbezvat.

          • Ohg zbfg tbireazrag obqvrf nera’g perngrq gung jnl. V zrna, lbh qrpvqr “yrg’f perngr n uhtr tbireazrag ragvgl!” ng gur yrtvfyngvir yriry, lrf… ohg lbh qba’g abeznyyl unir cbyvgvpbf zhpxvgl zhpxva’ nobhg va gur betnavmngvbany fgehpgher nyy gur jnl qbja gb gur obggbz yriryf bs bcrengvba. Hfhnyyl lbh nccbvag fbzrobqvrf naq gurl ohvyq gur guvat naq lbh bayl trg vaibyirq jvgu qnl-gb-qnl bcrengvbaf jura fbzrobql fperjf hc rabhtu gung lbh pna znxr cbyvgvpny unl bhg bs vg.

            V’ir frra n ybg bs bqq creirefvgl va tbireazrag ntrapvrf, ohg vg’f cerggl ener gung lbh frr bar gung vf betnavmngvbanyyl fgehpgherq va n jnl gung frrzf ernyyl yvxryl gb cebqhpr begubtbany erfhygf gb vgf zvffvba.

            Vg’f bar guvat gb unir na ntrapl naq unir vg fhpphzo bire gvzr gb pncgher. Vg’f nabgure guvat gb unir na ntrapl gung frrzf fbegn qrfvtarq sbe vg.

    • V guvax lbh svaq va zbfg fubjf gung qrny jvgu zvgvgnel glcr pbzzraq fgehpgher, gur znva punenpgref bsgra vtaber gung fgehpgher. Vg vf n gebcr gb zr. Fvapynve naq Furevqna qbvat vg whfg pbagvahrf gung. Furevqna V nyzbfg yvxrq orpnhfr ur gevrq sbe n yvggyr juvyr gb sbyybj beqre, ohg vg whfg orpnzr ‘gbb zhpu’. Ng yrnfg ur znqr noevrs abq gbjneqf vg. Fvapynve, ba gur bgure unaq synhagrq uvf qvfertneq bar rcvfbqr bar ol fraqvat Vinabin gb gur pbhafry punzoref gb cynpr n ibgr Fvapynve jnf gbyq abg gb cynpr.
    • Sinclair kinda falls between The Captain (generally able to do what he wants because it’s HIS ship, and, by custom, not even the higher-ups can stop him) and Military Maverick (bend the rules to get results; actually happens in real life [see the link], but only works if you have rank). More towards the latter.
    • Bester!? Bester played Chekhov?!” The idea of the same actor playing a good guy just felt weird – as Bester, Koenig does despicable really, really well. And with quite a few middling actors on the show (and among the guest stars, some downright bad acting on occasion), Koenig’s acting chops really show up.

      I’m reminded of the Star Trek tribute episode of Futurama. When talking about how people could make better lives for themselves, Fry says “look at Walter, after Star Trek he became an actor.”

  5. BTW, Alfred Bester (the psi-cop) is named for Alfred Bester the sci-fi writer. I don’t know much about him, but telepathy plays a large role in The Demolished Man, one of his classics.

    I keep meaning to read his work…

    • You should. Bester’s first two novels, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination, are two of the best in the history of science fiction. He was also a brillant writer of short stories; most of the best ones are collected in Virtual Unrealities. He also wrote two mainstream novels which are interesting for their portait of the late-50s New York showbiz scene (Bester wrote and produced radio shows), but only fair-to-middling as stories. His later SF books (starting with The Computer Connection) are dreadful.
  6. Gotta say I liked this episode as well. One of my favorites in the “Sinclair” episodes. It lays the foundation, as mentioned, about layers of characters and provides a starting point for easing into the “great powers” still roaming around the universe.

    I think the whole Ironheart story line could have been a bit tighter and the CGI was really bad, looking back, but the concept and how it begins the story arcs with Bester, Talia, and the Telepath Wars are all good.

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