Babylon 5: S05E07: Secrets of the Soul
This episode opens with Franklin expressing concern over the possibility of cross species infection. He is looking forward to the cataloguing of medical information. He begins work conducting experiments on aliens visiting or resident on Babylon 5.
Zack is also concerned. His dislike for telepaths is heightened with the steady influx of teeps on Babylon 5. one of these is a rather pathetic character called Peter who is pleased to see Byron again when they meet in Customs. He demonstrates with pleasure his heightened telekinetic ability by raising an object using only the power of his mind.
Zack asks to speak to Lyta in the Zoccalo. He is worried that Lyta is hanging around with ‘the wrong sort’, especially Byron who is trouble as far as he is concerned. Lyta eloquently and forcefully points out that Byron is a ‘sweet and caring’ person and that his activities give Lyta a sense of newfound purpose and community. She has not felt this since coming to Babylon 5. She tells Zack that if Byron were to ask her to follow him into hell, she would do so gladly with a smile on her face because she trusts him. She also accused Zack of being jealous (I know the feeling).
Byron is getting hassled everywhere he goes it seems. As he escorts the new teep arrivals to Brown Sector, he is met by a few thugs. The thugs attempt to goad Byron and his people into a fight but Byron simply picks on the chief thug and asks his to take his anger out by punching him. The thug obliges but there is no resistance from Byron. There is no fun in hitting someone who won’t hit back. Byron’s actions take the heat out of the situation and, slightly bloodied, he leads his followers to Brown Sector.
Franklin is interviewing the Hyach Ambassador. He asks for their medical records so that he may continue his experiments. The Hyach are not willing to provide medical information because they believe that if it fell into the wrong hands then their race would be in some kind of jeopardy. This puzzles Franklin. They are joined by the Hyach Attaché Kirrin. She is very hostile to the idea of releasing genetic information. Franklin gives his word that it would not be used to compromise the Hyach. The Hyach are clearly holding back a dark secret. The ambassador and the Attaché are worried, but they agree to release the medical records.
Lyta visits the battered and bruised Byron. She is annoyed that he didn’t fight back. Byron points out that violence is the way of the mundane’s (What is it with this mundane crap! – Byron is such an arrogant git!). He changes tack and starts chatting our Lyta up. She falls for his patter and the two have a bit of a kiss and a cuddle. Poor Lyta, she has really been taken in by this twerp. Despite her feelings for Byron and his group she does not feel that she is a part of them yet. Byron senses this and asks the group to show her. They all give her a nice warm hug to reassure her. Ahhh isn’t that sweet!
Franklin checks the results of the Hyach medical data. There is no recorded history of the Hyach older than 800 years. Franklin concludes that they are hiding something.
The same thugs that attacked Byron accost the new teep arrival Peter. They violently assault the poor bloke. He is rushed to Med Lab where Franklin’s trauma crew attends to him. Byron meanwhile, tries to stop some of Peter’s angry friends exacting revenge on one of the attackers. As more and more of teeps arrive on Babylon 5, the more difficult it becomes for Byron to control them. Things are not helped of course by the prejudice against telepaths. Things are getting sticky for Byron’s bunch.
Franklin discovers that the Hyach planet once served as home for two races, the Hyach and the Hyach-Doh. He confronts the Hyach ambassador and finds that the Hyach-Doh were killed off by the Hyach, 40 million of them – they tried to hide what had happened by changing all records and documents to hide the existence of the Hyach-Doh. Kirrin tries to tell Franklin that it was all a long time ago, the Ambassador, Tal adds the they are now paying the price. Franklin learns that the Hyach-Do and the Hyach needed each other. It terns out that the Hyach are a doomed race. There is something in their biological makeup that has broken down. Their population is steadily dwindling. It took the Hyach a long time to realise, but now they know that they needed the Hyach-Doe to keep their genetic bloodline strong. Franklin tells them that they must not hide their past any longer. If the Hyach are to be saved they must come clean so that the Alliance can help them. It will be a long process of genetic re-engineering but it must be started now or the Hyach will die out.
Byron is brought into Zacks office. He had been kept in overnight because of the revenge attack by the teeps. Unfortunately (or fortunately – whichever way you look at it) the chief thug was killed by some renegade teeps while Byron was being held. Zack confronts Byron with this news. He tells Byron that he is aware of the dead thugs’ attack on the teeps. And indicates that he is also aware of the connection. Byron says that he couldn’t know anything about the death since he was locked up, but that he might have been able to stop the teep attack if he was there. Arrogant git, if he’d been able to control his bunch of telepathic nerds the thug wouldn’t have popped his clogs in the first place. It’s ok continually complaining of the harassment, but the fact is that Lyta’s new found bo is a bit of weakling in the leadership stakes. He advocates cuddles and stupid singing sessions instead of some plane and simple discipline. The guy is too much of a dreamer and not enough of a leader.
Lyta tries to comfort him, – IN BED!!! The bedroom scene was quite tastefully done, a bit boring really. It was sickly sweet and not very passionate. Lots of holding hands stuff!???!!
During love making Lyta’s memories of her incarceration by the Vorlons is revealed (Byron must must be really boring). The teeps in the next room see the images in Lyta’s mind. They are interested and disturbed by what is revealed and congregate in the bedchamber (they are a weird bunch these teeps). It’s all heady stuff. Apparently Lyta reveals that the Vorlons were responsible for the development of the telepaths to help them in their war against the Shadows. ‘They created telepaths on a hundred worlds, interfered with their genetic development, took people from their homeworlds and adjusted them over the course of the centuries’. I think we had all suspected this but the telepaths sure as hell didn’t. Despite seeing Lyta and Byron in the throws of lovemaking, the telepaths are mortified to find that they are the product of the Vorlons, that they could have been normal.
Byron sounds off about retribution. He feels that now the Alliance must give them a home world – the Alliance owe them BIG TIME. He formulates a plan to make the Alliance listen.
And there the show ends. Not a particularly memorable one I think. I’m sure we are just being distracted by all this teep stuff and the Hyach story was incidental to JMS’s ‘story arc’.
The newsgroups have been giving JMS a hard time over the last few shows and quite rightly too. He has insisted though, that we should bear with him and that we will soon see where the story is leading. I hope it will be soon.
I’d rate this a mediocre 28,334 out of 10. What did you think?
The “Secrets of the Soul” episode review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl
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