Babylon 5: S01E02: Soul Hunter
Review by Angelus.
Commander Sinclair and Lt Commander Ivanova are waiting at customs for the new doctor.
Commander Sinclair and Lt Commander Ivanova are waiting at customs for the new doctor. When cleared, Dr Stephen Franklin departs customs and exchanges pleasantries especially about the fate of Dr Kyle, whom he replaces. “I met him in passing on the Io jump point.” He says.
There is a bleep on the Commander’s wrist-com from C&C (Command and Control), an unidentified ship had just come through the jump gate and is on a collision course with Babylon 5.
Ivanova goes to C&C whilst Sinclair suits up and gets ready to capture the craft with a grappling hook (attached to a Starfury). He tells Ivanova to prepare the defense grid (a group of weapons positioned around the outer hull of the station in case of attack) and to be ready to shoot down the alien craft if he misses. Ivanova asks why she can’t just blow it out of the sky. He replies that it is a first contact situation and unless its a clear and present danger to the station he must try and stop it.
“This is NOT a clear and present danger…. I must check the handbook,” is a wry reply.
The craft is within 1 min of hitting the station. Sinclair misses the first two times… but after putting another coin in the smash and grab machine he pulls out a teddy bear with the grappling hook… erm, no, sorry, he doesn’t…. with 10 seconds to spare he grapples the spacecraft and pulls it way from the station.
(Query: Why does it always wait until the last second for these things to work, its always a last second thing….. strange. Sorry I am drifting off again)
From the inside of the spacecraft they remove a badly injured pilot, whom they send straight to medlab for treatment.
On the promenade, Sinclair meets Ambassador Delenn. She offers to help them with the identity of the alien pilots species. Sinclair tells her that his craft has been in a firefight of some kind as it is badly scorched by weapons.
In medlab, Security man Garibaldi is questioning the new doc about his first patient’s condition, as it is not known which species he is, he’s either ok or his heart’s about to explode.
When Sinclair and Delenn walk in she is shocked and upset, “Shag-toth… Shag toth!!” she screams, grabs Garibaldi’s PPG (Phased Plasma Gun) and tries to kill him. Sinclair grabs her, “Soul Hunter it’s a Soul Hunter, kill it, put it in it’s ship, and fire it into the sun!! Kill it quickly. Get rid of it before someone dies.”
In Commander Sinclair’s quarters a calmer Ambassador Delenn tells him about the Soul Hunters. They are immortal and are drawn to death. They have the power to steal a soul at the point of someone’s death. But they only take the souls of those they consider important. As long as he remains on Babylon 5 we are all in danger.
Reports are coming in to C&C that alien ships want to leave the station en-mass. They have all heard about the soul hunter and want to be as far away as possible.
In down below a gameshark is trying to fleece some people in a game of Hide The Pea (the game where you have 3 cups and one pea and you have to guess which cup the pea is under. If anyone asks you ever to play this game for money just walk away because the pea is always in his hand….. end of public service, back to the story).
In Medlab the Soul Hunter opens his eyes. He is somehow connected to the gameshark. As the gameshark is discovered to be cheating he makes a run for it. the Soul Hunter is awake, listening to the chase of the man… a telepathic link seems to be happening. The man is stabbed, brought to Medlab and is treated by Dr Franklin. All the time the medlab staff can hear the Soul Hunter going through what’s happening to the man his heart slowing….. his breath shortening….. the man dies. Gone is his soul, the Soul Hunter seems unsettled by this waste.
Sinclair visits him, he ignores his questions until Sinclair calls him a thief of souls. He tells Sinclair that the Soul Hunters are drawn to death and they collect special souls so they are not lost for all time. They collect the souls of leaders, thinkers, poets and madmen. They worship, listen and learn from them. Dr Franklin listens to the conversation, nonsense, he thinks. The Soul Hunter continues, “Ducat was the pinnacle of the Minbari, we came in ships, but when he died they formed a wall of Minbari to stop us.”
He is quite unsettled by this and returns to his bed. (Ok now call me picky but anyone who’s watched Babylon 5: In the beginning will have noticed that when the Prometheus attacked the Grey council ship and killed Ducat that we couldn’t see any other ships around. Let alone all these Soul Hunter ships). Sinclair tells him that as soon as he’s well enough and his ship is repaired he wants him off Babylon 5.
In C&C, Ivanova and Dr Franklin commit the lurker’s body to space. “From the stars we come, to the stars we return, from now ’til the end of time.” Says Ivanova to the departing body.
Franklin “You’re a pessimist”
Ivanova “I’m Russian. We understand these things.”
In Medlab the Soul Hunter has a visitor. Delenn asks the Soul Hunter where his collection is. She knows he has his collection of souls with him, that they are never far from each other. She tells him that she will take his ship apart piece by piece until she finds them and sets them free. He asks her why is a member of the elusive Minbari Grey Council playing at being an ambassador?
After Delenn leaves the Soul Hunter manages to knock out a guard, steal his PPG and leaves Medlab. He goes back to his ship and collects his bag. In the bag is a collection of small glass balls. Each glass ball contains a soul, they all seem to be talking to him. He heads for Down Below.
The Soul hunter visits several people for information about all the secret ways around the station, he is told it is very expensive, but his new mission aboard the station requires it….. he now knows what he is here for.
Through the jump gate comes another Soul Hunter ship. It is given permission to dock and is met by Sinclair and a squad of security people. The second soul hunter tells Sinclair that the first soul hunter (I wish they had given them names cause its getting me confused here) is insane and that after he was sent to collect the soul of Ducat and failed, it sent him over the edge and decided that the easiest way to stop missing souls was too make sure that the people he was collecting died on cue. He killed them.
The alarm is raised after Ambassador Delenn is kidnapped by the soul hunter (the first one). He tells the screaming Delenn that her soul will atone for the soul of Ducat that he could not get. He has her tied to the floor and is slowly draining the blood out of her from her ankle.
The second soul hunter helps Sinclair and Garibaldi by sensing the general location of Delenn as she is dieing.
Sinclair and Garibaldi split up to search for Delenn. The (first) soul hunter sets up a machine to capture Delenn’s soul in a small glass ball. as the life starts to drain out of her he can see into her soul. He can not believe what she is planning to do.
When Sinclair was in earshot he calls out to Delenn. The Soul hunter hears him and a firefight ensues. The soul hunter is injured and looses his gun and Sinclair ends up being thrown across the room. As the Soul hunter approaches his collection of souls rise up around him, the glass balls circle him blocking his route to Sinclair. They seem to be talking to him. Whilst he is distracted Sinclair turns the machine away from Delenn and towards the soul hunter. Whilst frozen by the machine he asks, “Why would you fight for her? Don’t you understand she is Satai. She is Satai. I have seen her soul they are using you, using YOU.“
The machine finishes its work and his soul is taken from his body and captured in one of the glass balls. His empty dead body slumps to the floor.
In medlab Dr Franklin cannot understand how Delenn is still alive after loosing so much blood. A human would not have survived. Delenn opens her eyes, “I knew you would come, I knew we where right about you.”
“Who?” questions Sinclair.
But Delenn passes out.
In Sinclair’s quarters he takes off his jacket and asks the computer. “Computer, keyword search: Minbari Language Keyword Satai.“
The Computer responds, “Satai , one reference Honorary title applied to a member of the Minbari leader council , The Grey Council.” A puzzled Sinclair retires.
In the custom hall Sinclair and the second Soul hunter are getting ready to see each other off. Sinclair tells him that Soul hunters are not welcome on Babylon 5. The soul hunter asks Sinclair if a collection of glass balls where found anywhere near the (crazy) soul hunter when he died. No was the response and the soul hunter turns and leaves.
In Delenn’s quarters, she sits alone in the dark with a large bag in front of her.
She opens the bag and removes one of the balls. It glows gently as she squeezes it, it cracks open and what was inside leaves the ball and fades into the ether.
Points of interest :
The Minbari call the Soul Hunters Shag Toth…it is pronounced Shag-Tot.
If the glass balls containing the souls are so fragile (Delenn can easily crack them open.) why are they kept in a cloth sack? Soul Hunters have been to Earth why?
Franklin “Your a pessimist”
Ivanova “I’m Russian. We understand these things.“
The “Soul Hunter” episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Angelus
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
The first half of this review has been corrected by Kamelian
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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.