Babylon 5: S01E01: Midnight on the Firing Line
Review by Angelus.
(SadGeezer: And so it begins! 🙂 Sorry, couldn’t resist)
Ragesh 3, a small Centauri agricultural colony. Suddenly several large warships appear out of the jump gate. They open fire on the orbiting platforms killing many of the 5,000 Centauri and all the planets defenses.
On Babylon 5 Londo Mollari, the Centauri Ambassador is enraged by the attack, which he has discovered was carried out by his people’s old adversaries the Narn. He is worried about his nephew (Carn Mollari) whom he sent to Ragesh 3 as it was thought it would be safe and quiet.
“If Carn is dead there will be war… Today, tomorrow, the day after, it doesn’t matter…there will be war” he tells commander Sinclair.
This adds to an already hectic time for the Earthforce staff as Raiders are hitting transports and supply ships with bigger more powerful guns than they should have. The raiders seem to be able to know the shipping routes of certain transports. Garibaldi discovers that one company has is responsible for selling all the jumpgate routes used by the ships that have been attacked. Their information has somehow been hacked. Also there is an election back home on Earth to elect a new president between Luis Santiago and Marie Crane.
Enter Talia Winters, a newly arrived telepath to take over from Lyta Alexander. She was told to report to the second in command Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova, but the only response from Ivanova is a gruff “you will excuse me but I am in the middle of fifteen things, all of them annoying.“
Londo has drunk himself silly at the bar after hearing that the Centauri Republic is going to do nothing zip, nada about the attack on Ragesh 3.
“The great Centauri Republic, lion of the galaxy, will do nothing!”
He screams and shouts at his newly arrived attaché, Vir Cotto whilst throwing a bottle of ale or wine, not quite sure which, at the wall.
Londo request’s a meeting of the Babylon council and asks the other worlds to intervene in the dispute between Centauri and Narn. The ambassador of Narn, G’Kar informs the council that the Centauri themselves will do nothing to aid the colony. Then he shows the council a message from Londo’s Nephew explaining that the Centauri on the colony had invited the Narn’s onto their world.
A desperate Londo has had enough and in a blood red rage he decides to take matters into his own hands and after making up a pistol in his quarters (from objects that would make B.A. Baracus from the A-Team or Mcgyver proud) he goes on the hunt for G’Kar. But on his way he doesn’t see Talia Winters and stumbles into her. His thoughts are so single minded and strong on killing G’Kar that they appear in her mind.
She informs Garibaldi who meets Londo outside the Narn Ambassadors quarters and warns him off with a friendly word (if you try to kill him I will have to kill you, even though I understand what you are going through). Londo turns to Garibaldi and tells him that he has seen his death in a dream and believes one day that he and G’Kar will both die at each other hands. He explains his dream …He is in the Centauri Palace sat in the throne room when he turns around to see G’Kar with a patch over his eye. G’Kar reaches out and starts to throttle Londo, and Londo starts to throttle G’Kar.
Garibaldi discovers that only one ship on his list from the company whose information has been hacked that has not been attacked by raiders. It is a refugee ship and has over 500 refugees on board. It would be a disaster if the raiders attacked it. Commander Sinclair and a squad of Starfuries ship out to find the ship, when they arrive it is already under attack. They fight them off and discover something more interesting hiding nearby as the raider craft are not capable of jumpgate formation.
Commander Sinclair returns to Babylon 5 in his Starfury attack craft with a Narn hostage and evidence that the attack on the agricultural colony was unprovoked. He found evidence that the raiders where using a Narn command ship to organise their raids from. on board the command ship where data crystals, which connected the Narn’s to an unprovoked attack on Ragesh 3. He confronts G’Kar with his findings and forces him to withdraw his force from Ragesh 3.
In the Zoccolo (a bar, market and restaurant area) Ivanova is sat watching a telecast of the Earthforce elections with Luis Santiago
leading by a large majority.
Talia Winters joins her and Ivanova explains to her that her mother was a telepath but she wouldn’t sign up for Psi-Corp, so she was forced to take a weekly drug to suppress her telepathic abilities either that or go to jail.”The light in her eyes just went out bit by bit…and when we thought she could go no further, she took her own life.“
Talia is sorry about her (Susan’s mother) but tries to defend the Psi-corps saying that the law is there to stop telepath invading the minds of others. She hopes their relationship can start afresh. “I doubt that very much.” says Ivanova and turns away.
Point of Interest:
“Mr. Garibaldi, you are sitting at my station, using my equipment. Is there a reason for this or should I just go ahead and snap your hands off at the wrist.”
It’s only her first episode and the dark wit shines through.
And now for the first of many (well ‘til the end of season 3 anyhow) Koshisms
Kosh “They are alone. They are a dying people. We should let them pass.”
Sinclair “who? The Narn or the Centauri?”
(Thanks to the Babylon file for Koshisms and Ivanova’s wit)
The start of Londo and G’Kar’s relationship.
These two characters have some of the best scenes together in the series. They go through the full range of emotions over the next five years here is the start of something good.
Londo : “We thought your world was Beta 9, it was actually Beta 12. OK, we made a mistake. I am sorry. Here open my wrist.” Note: Centauri don’t have major arteries in their wrists.
Londo : “We should have wiped out your kind when we first had the chance.”
G’Kar : “What happened – run out of small children to butcher?“
G’Kar : “I confess I look forward to the day when we have cleansed the universe of the Centauri and carved their bones into little flutes for Narn children.”
What’s is Garibaldi’s most favourite thing?
In this episode we discover that his second most favourite thing is 20th Century Looney Tune’s especially “Duck dodgers: In the 24 1/2th Century.” Which was basically a Daffy duck cartoon more famous for Marvin the Martian. ( Note: the characters of Ambassador Delenn and Garibaldi where actually sat in front of a blue screen during this shot and the cartoon was added later Which probably explains why they are laughing at the least funny parts of the cartoon…oops given myself away there aint I). on the wall of Garibaldi’s apartment there is a large poster of Daffy Ducks head.
The “Midnight on the Firing Line” episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Angelus
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
Discuss this episode in the Babylon 5 & Crusade Forum
The BABYLON 5 names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of J. Michael Straczynski, TNT and Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.