Babylon 5: S05E03: A Paragon of Animals

The opening scene begins with a row between members of the alliance and the ruling council. They do not agree to the terms of the Declaration of Principals. The alliance members want technology without the constraint of a declaration. The Drazi ambassador feels that the sentiments expressed in the declaration are patronising, “You cannot legislate morality….. the Drazi have always respected the rights of our neighbour worlds, we have never enslaved or exploited another race…”. Garibaldi looks on. The Ranger appears

On a world at the edge of Drazi space we see a small habitation being attacked by spaceships. In one of the buildings a ranger appears. The inhabitants express a hope that the Ranger will take back the story of their plight to the alliance and that they will save them.

Later Garibaldi requests that the telepaths (Byrons bunch) be used as gatherers of covert intelligence. Sheridan initially disagrees but after discussion he agrees to let Garibaldi discuss the options with them. If they say no, then ‘end of story’.

"Baldi yer twit - STOP SHOUTING!"Garibaldi enters the Brown section where the teeps reside. They give him the cold shoulder treatment, I suppose they can sense his hostility to telepaths. Byron enter and says ‘the answer is NO’. Byrons colleagues gather round as Garibaldi exclaims that Byron does not know what he intended to ask. Byron retorts that yes he did, he could hear the question, the possible answers that Garibaldi had contemplated and the counter arguments. Byron continues telling Garibaldi that he is the sort of person that rehearses everything, not happy with a situation until he has gone over it a hundred times, it’s quite remarkable and extremely depressing. I like this Byron.

Byron refuses to help Garibaldi or Psi Corps, explaining that the telepaths will sell their services in any way possible except as hired teeps. Garibaldi leaves disappointed.

The Ranger, badly hurtThe Ranger that we saw earlier on the world in Drazi space manages to get back to Babylon 5. He is badly hurt and his ship is basically a right-off. He is rushed to Med-Lab but Franklin does not expect him to survive. Franklin asks the lovely Lyta if she would mind-link with the Ranger in the hope of finding out what happened to him.

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The terrifically lovely Lyta digs into the rangers mind and leans the story of the world on the edge of Drazi space and the raiders who have systematically ravaged the planet over the past ten years. He shows that the raiders will return in 12 days time. The planet has decided to revolt and the raiders’ revenge is terrible. Many of their people have been killed and the assistance of the Alliance is urgently needed.

Delenn reports Lytas findings. They are called the Enpheely. They have asked for membership of the Alliance she adds. Sheridan and Delenn conclude that the best way forward is not only to send white stars to their aid, but as many white stars as they can. The white star fleet sets off for Enpheely.

Sheridan checks with the Drazi ambassador before the White Star fleet arrives. The Drazi says that they have little interest in that area of their space and don’t mind the assistance of the White Star Fleet in aiding the Enpheely. Sheridan gives the Drazi ambassador information of the plans for the defence and asks that the Drazi assist. The Ambassador gratefully accepts the information and agrees to speak with his superiors. He expresses a hope that they will be able to assist. Sheridan says that the White Star fleet will wait at the rendezvous point for as long as they can. After Sheridan leaves, the ambassador rushes off. As he does so he passes Byron who seems to notice something not too wholesome about the situation.

Lyta's has a hard day!Lyta is sitting in a sort of stunned silence in the Zocolo. Garibaldi meets up with her and she launches into a real moaning session. She’s had an awful day and relates the worst part to Garibaldi. Lyta experienced the death of the Ranger and tried to tell Garibaldi how terrible it was. Garibaldi has other things on his mind but is touched by Lytas troubles. He pleas with her to ask the telepaths to help him set up a covert intelligence operation. She knows what reaction they gave him when he asked and is reluctant to try on his behalf. Nevertheless, Garibaldi used all his considerable persuasive powers and charms to persuade the lovely Lyta to help. She agrees reluctantly.

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Lyta arrives in Brown Space and meets with Byron. This is a great scene. Byron shows a little more of himself. He demonstrates to us that he feels deeply that telepaths are better than normals and that they should not be used by normals. (He is unimpressed by Lytas allegiance to them and tries to persuade her to join his merry band of heroes – what an arrogant git!). Lyta is distant at first but you just know that she understands and agrees with Byron to a certain extent. It is as if she feels an affinity with anyone who appreciates the difficulties and trauma of being a telepath. Byron is very persuasiveHe is impressed by her resolute request for assistance for Garibaldi’s initiative and agrees to provide two telepaths who will work for him gathering information. As a downpayment, Byron tells Lyta that he heard the Drazi broadcasting his thoughts after his encounter with Sheridan. He informs her that the White Star fleet is heading into a trap. The Drazi are behind the troubles on Enpheely and they will destroy the Enpheely BEFORE leading the White Stars into a trap. Lyta thanks Byron and leaves to tell Sheridan and Garibaldi.

Plans are changed and the scene is set for a showdown with the Drazi. We all metaphorically rub our hands together. Sheridan looks at Lyta sternly and tells her that she saved a lot of lives today. He thanks her. She excepts his thanks, but doesn’t look too pleased.

A council meeting is called and the Drazi leader is put on the spot. A holographic image displays the White Star fleet at the Enpheely home world. The Drazi ambassador looks momentarily confused. He asks why the fleet isn’t waiting at the rendezvous point. Delenn points out that they had intelligence that said they would be leading their ships into a trap, so they headed straight for the Enpheely planet, destroyed the raiders that were harassing the planet and are currently waiting to annihilate the stronger force that is on it’s way.

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"Whoa, what about me ships!?"The Drazi Ambassador is mortified by this news, he expresses an urgency to communicate with his government. He is then pressured by Sheridan and Delenn and finally admits that the fleet on its way to the Enpheely home world is Drazi. He is worried that the hundreds of people, not to mention all the battleships, will be destroyed. He promises that the Enpheely will not be bothered in the future if he can warn his battleships. Sheridan allows him access to a communications facility and asks point out to the other shocked members of the alliance the importance of signing the declaration of Principals. They all sign in silence.

Later, Sheridan contemplates his victory and tries to savour the moment. He tells Delenn that Garibaldi was right. The telepaths have already made their mark on the Alliance by supplying vital information. He is worried however, that things might get out of hand and expresses a need for caution and review.

This is clearly brought home by Lytas visit to Brown Sector to hear some more of Byrons views. This looked very sinister to me. I suddenly got the awful impression that the new found friendship that the teeps have with the Alliance, tenuous as it is, would be short lived, and that Lyta might switch sides.

Yes I know, is it me, or is this series starting to get you all worked up too? Things are not too clear, there are many unanswered questions and alliances that should be solid are very fragile indeed. I almost dread seeing the next episode. 

I’d rate that a large 31,789 out of 10 – What did you think?

This episode review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without the authors express permission

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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.

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