Babylon 5: S04E14: Moments of Transition
Garibaldi receives a call from William Edgars in the early hours of the morning. He tells Garibaldi to make sure that new delivery to Babylon 5 gets through customs. Garibaldi agrees to do the job but also mentions that he has woken him in the middle of the night and does he realise that the is a seven hour time difference between Babylon 5 and Earth.
The lovely Lyta is in the Zocalo being interviewed by a woman for a job. Things are going well until Lyta mentions that she is not with the Psi Corps anymore. This upsets the interviewer since she is unable to employ Lyta without the Psi Corps ok (insurance problems or something). She storms off leaving Lyta still looking for a job and worried about being short of money.
On Minbar Delenn visits Lennier who is treating some of the many wounded from the fighting in the city. He tells her that they have received word from the leader of the Warrior Caste, Shakiri. He says that if the Religious Caste don’t surrender by tomorrow, he will end the war by destroying the city and everyone in it.
Neroon meets with Shakiri and they discuss the futile attempt by the Religious Caste to steel the loyalty of Neroon from the Worrier Caste. According to Shakiri, this proves that they are unfit to lead the Minbari. Neroon asks at what cost to the Minbari will he win this war. Shakiri tells him that the cities can be rebuilt, and that the Minbari who die in the city will be reborn into the next generation he adds that war should be only be entered into for practical gains. Shakiri is convinced that when Delenn sees the Religious caste members dying in the street, she will surrender.
Zack notices Garibaldi in the docking bay doing what looks like a shady deal with some unknown geezer. As soon as he tries to investigate another officer who is escorting Bester through customs interrupts him. Zack asks why Bester is visiting Babylon 5. Bester makes short work of Zack by saying that he is not here officially and basically tells him that it is non-of his business. Zack lets him through but he has other things on his mind and runs after Garibaldi to find out what he is doing. Garibaldi insists that he knows nothing about any package.
Zack mentions that he has heard that Garibaldi is working for William Edgars. Why would he want Garibaldi to work for him? Garibaldi finds this approach offensive, he informs Zack that he is an honest bloke, hard working and that he minds his own business. Why shouldn’t Edgars want him to work for him? Zack asks how honest Garibaldis work is, smuggling packages through customs. Garibaldi, tired of the argument, mutters something about Babylon 5 dishonourably breaking away from Earth Alliance and leaves.
Delenn instructs Lennier to inform the Worrier Caste that they will surrender.
Bester visits Lyta in the Zocolo. She is not happy to see him. He tells he in his usual smarmy manner that he understands that she is looking for work and that Psi Corps will not give her a good reference. He offers her a solution to the problem. Basically if Lyta signs a power of attorney to allow Bester to have her body (!!??) when she dies (whoa erm.. and kinky much?!), he will fix Psi Corps records to show that she is an under cover Psi Corps operative. Lyta, after considering the offer, declines rather unceremoniously. Bester wants her body so that he can attempt to find out how the Vorlons increased her psychic ability. If I were in his position I’d do the same thing (except, I’d insist that she were alive). Poor old Bester tells her as she leaves, that he is around for a few days in case she changes her mind.
Lyta is having a hard time of things, she has just been visited by Zack who tells her that she has to move to cheaper living quarters and then he adds that he would like to pay her to read Garibaldis mind (without his permission). Zack is worried why Garibaldi has be acting like a plonker. She naturally refuses. As a last resort she visits Garibaldi to ask him for a job. He says that he will pay her a small retainer to help him out the odd time. Bester passes and makes a few remarks to wind Garibaldi up, but as he walks away Lyta notices that Bester has scanned Garibaldi. Garibaldi goes bonkers and chases after Bester. He pins Bester against a wall and asks him to explain himself. At this point the fracas is noticed by some security people who cart the irate Garibaldi away. Zack also notices the incident and approaches Bester.
On Minbar, Delenn, Lennier, Neroon and Shakiri are in the centre of some sort of big temple being watched by a large number of Minbari looking down at them as though they were players in an opera house. Shakiri tells Delenn that this day is the beginning of a new age for their people, and that the hostilities can finally end. She says that she speaks for the Religious Caste, and that they surrender. Shakiri confidently starts talking about rebuilding their cities and the Grey Council but is interrupted by Delenn who explains that the Religious Caste does not give up its sovereign right to form a new government. A hole in the roof appears and a bright white cylinder of light shines into a circle on the floor.
Delenn says that in ancient times, the leader of each of the warring castes would step into the circle on the floor where the bright cylinder of light, apparently, would begin to destroy the leaders. Those who remained in the fire to sacrifice their life would be representative of the true Caste and it would be they who should lead the Minbari people. Delenn steps into the light and Shakiri tries to wriggle out. The idea of burning to death just when everything seemed to be going so well does not appeal to him (I’m with you buddy).
As the cylinder of light, known as the Starfire, gets larger Delenn gets hotter. Lennier objects but she gestures him away. Shakiri steps into the light but can only stand it for a little while. He tries to persuade Delenn to leave with him but she refuses. He leaves, clothes smoking. Delenn however stays in and Neroon leans over to Lennier and says that this was not what they agreed when the planned this on the spaceship (see the last episode), it was a Delenn and Neroon plan all along. Lennier says she is making a point, for all Minbari. The Starfire opens nearly all the way, and Delenn is no longer able to withstand its force and collapses to the ground. “No!” cries Neroon as he runs to Delenn. He grabs Delenn and hands her out of the light to Lennier. Then, while still standing in the light, he shouts out, “I was born Warrior Caste, but I see now the calling of my heart is Religious! The war is over! Listen to her” The Starfire light opens up completely, and burns Neroon to a cinder; all that is left is a smoking circle
Edgars rings Garibaldi in the middle of the night again only to tell him that he doesn’t trust telepaths and that he should fire Lyta forthwith. Bester watches next day when Garibaldi and Lyta are seen discussing this rather heatedly (Poor Lyta, Garibaldi is such a wimp sometimes). Bester smiles, and then interestingly makes a personal log. He says, “August 3rd, 2261. By provoking Mr. Garibaldi, I have put him even further at odds with his former associates and further on the path I need him to follow. What I came here to get, I got even her.” The sometimes-pathetic Mr Mr. Bester is winning for a change. Interestingly enough this confirms that it was the Psi Corps who have fiddled about with Garibaldis brain, and, it seems, it is they who are pulling the strings at the moment. To make things worse, Lyta is so distraught at not being able to get a job that she accepts Besters offer, she cries as she dons the black gloves and badge of the Psi Corps in the privacy of her appartment.
On Minbar, Delenn, still a bit frazzled with sunburn, reforms the Grey Council. This time there are three from the Religious Caste, three from the Worrier Caste and five Worker Caste members. The Centre spot is left in honour of Neroon until a suitable leader can be found.
On Babylon 5, Ivanova furiously shows Sheridan footage of the destruction of a convoy of unarmed transports carrying wounded from the rebel stronghold Proxima 3. Sheridan is also furious and says, “This madness has gone on long enough. I don’t care if we’re not ready, I don’t care if we’re outnumbered or outgunned, I don’t care what ISN says about us. This stops, and it stops now! Now, if earth wants to declare war on us, then it is time that we took the war to Clark. You tell the others… Starting right now, we fight back and we fight back hard!“
Ivanova points out that Sheridan wanted to support the resistance from a distance, but Sheridan retorts, “Any crew that executes an order like that is guilty of war crimes, and they deserve whatever they get. No, we’re riding in, Susan. Anybody who wants to defect and join us, fine. If they get in our way, we will knock them down. If they kill one of our ships, we’ll kill three of theirs. And we keep going. We never slow down, and we won’t stop… We’re going after the colonies, then Mars… and then Earth. And God help anybody who gets in our way.“
If I were Clark I’d be getting more than a little worried.
Another cracker, 39,998 (lost two points because Zack didn’t have the bottle to give Lyta a hug) out of 10.
What did you think?
The “Moments of Transition” episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Tony Fawl
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