Babylon 5: S05E09: In the Kingdom of the Blind
From the saying, “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”.
This was actually quite a good episode. It had a complicated story line but the acting was good and it was well produced and directed. Londo starts to suspect that all is not right with Centauri Prime.
The show opened with a presentation by Garibaldi of new data, which proved that there were a number of increasing and alarming attacks on Alliance shipping lanes. Typically, an attack would be without warning, ships would be destroyed with their cargo still aboard and there would be no survivors.
Garibaldi adds that each attack is carried out with military precision and that the Rangers have no idea whom is responsible. Apparently, every member race has been hit equally and the attacks are totally at random. Sheridan asks Garibaldi to deploy the Rangers along the main shipping lines. He orders that all frequencies be monitored for distress signals (he is determined to find out who is responsible).
On Centauri Prime Londo and G’Kar arrive to the surprise (or horror) of the Court. Most are worried about the presence of G’Kar, especially Minister Vitari who greets Londo with an obvious distaste for G’Kar. Londo, tells Vitari that G’Kar is his bodyguard. Vitari assumes that Londo is joking and Londo re-iterates the reason for G’Kar’s presence.
Back on Babylon 5 that twerp Byron still has his feathers ruffled about the Vorlons manipulation of the ‘lesser races’ in the production of telepaths for the fight against the Shadows. Lyta tries to point out that this is all ‘water under the bridge’ and that ‘what is done is done’ (you tell ‘im luv). Byron informs his followers of a cunning plan to make things right and help them get their own homeworld, ‘but it is dangerous’, he adds.
On Centauri Prime, Londo is visited by his old school buddy Jano. Jano is concerned with the Regents behaviour. He is most worried about the interference by the Regent of Jano updating various production reports. Information about grain, ships, ore production, food supplies has now been re-classified as ‘top secret’ by the Regent. Jano tells a shocked Londo of when some staff found the Regent wondering around the palace late at night drunk and talking to himself. He told one of the guards to kill him because he was not himself!.
Jano left to return to his quarters only to find that the lights did not work. Sat in a dark corner was the Regent. You may remember that the Regent was a bit of a twerp. He suffered greatly from walking around with his head up his bum. In the forth Season we saw him wake-up one morning with a big black monster attached to his shoulder. This is the same type of ugly little black creature we saw controlling Captain Jack in Racing Mars.
Jano is surprised to see the Regent and tells him that it is late and that he should be in bed. I know this sounds patronising but our pal, the Regent is a fruitcake and, well I’d probably do the same. The Regent mutters something about liking Jano and that if it were up to him, he’d not let anything hurt Jano. Jano was a little slow on the up-take hear, but when he finally managed to work out the significance of these words, an unknown assailant clobbered him. Jano is thrown against a wall and is rendered unconscious.
On Babylon 5 The Alliance members break up after a particularly successful meeting and, as they leave, we notice that each ambassador is followed back to their respective quarters by one of Byron’s men or women (can’t tell, they all have long hair).
In the morning on Centauri Prime the rather insolent Minister Vitari is discussing Londo’s choice of bodyguard with other nobles. Londo is unruffled but asks the minister to arrange a meeting with the Regent. He also enquired as to the whereabouts of Jano who was supposed to meet him there. Vitari mutters that he doesn’t know and trundles off.
G’Kar and Londo then have a minor altercation with Minister Vole who resents the presence of both G’Kar and Londo in court. But this is interrupted by Minister Vitari who rushed to Londo’s side and urgently asks Londo to accompany him to Jano’s quarters. They find him hanging from the ceiling. G’Kar and Londo agree that Jano was not the type to kill himself and conclude that he had been murdered.
On Babylon 5, Byron is in Garibaldi’s office asking to have an audience with the Alliance council. Garibaldi flatly refused insisting that they are too busy. Byron scans Garibaldi’s mind and learns of the problem of raiders in the shipping lanes. He tells Garibaldi that he has important information concerning this and that he must present this to the Alliance Council members. Garibaldi agrees. Our Baldi is a bit gullible sometimes don’t you think? How the hell someone as thick as Baldi can be made Head of Covert Intelligence for half the galaxy is beyond me sometimes.
At the council meeting, Byron gets on his soapbox and starts his ‘poor little teeps want their own homeworld’ story. This time though, it has a twist. He tells the council members how his colleagues have been following them for the past few days and how they have scanned their minds and learned their secrets. This causes uproar in the council (as it would). Sheridan is outraged. Byron continues by telling the assembled that if they do not give them a homeworld, these secrets will be published and distributed.
Byron leaves with his girlfriend Lyta. Behind them is a shocked and angry Alliance Council. When the members have left, Delenn tries to look at the problem from the telepaths point of view. Sheridan is less forgiving. Garibaldi, Sheridan and Delenn ponder the consequences.
On Centauri Prime, Minister Vitari tells Londo and G’Kar that the Regent will see them now. As Londo and G’Kar walk down a rather dimly lit and deserted corridor they are followed by two hooded figures. Londo and G’Kar hurry as one of the hooded men takes out a knife. G’Kar turns on the two assassins and Londo continues only to find that a metal door descends cutting him off from G’Kar.
Londo looks round and sees the figure of Lord Vole. Vole tells Londo that he should never have come back and that he is an obstacle to Vole’s ambitions. He takes out a knife and throws it at Londo. The knife races towards Londo’s chest. It seems as if Londo is stunned and he doesn’t move. Then, the knife slows. It stops as the point is just about to enter Londo’s heart (one of them anyway) and magically turns around and tumbles back towards Lord Vole. This time the knife strikes home and Vole is killed.
The still surprised Londo looks over his shoulder to see a really evil looking creature with glowing red eyes (it would have I suppose) staring back at him. I don’t think we have seen this species before. The metal door opens and G’Kar is clasping two unconscious assassins. Londo turns back to the alien but finds that it has gone.
After Byron’s showdown with the Council, the teeps get a mental view of one of their buddies being battered by a group of Drazi unimpressed by the teeps activities in gathering Drazi secrets. An argument breaks out and a group of renegade telepaths leave to seek revenge for the attack. As they do, Byron tells them to leave, never to return.
Byron’s situation is made even more complicated when Sheridan, after consultation with Zack, withdraws his protection and authorises Zack to, ‘do what he has to do’. Things are rapidly looking black for Byron; half his followers have left his enclave and now Babylon 5 security is after him.
A very worried Minister Vitari expresses concern to Londo over the assassination attempt. Londo is unmoved by this and well realises that Vitari’s concern is false. He mentions to Vitari that he had said that the Regent was ready to see him, ‘Was he or wasn’t he?’
Vitari becomes even more ruffled by this, he is well aware that it looks as though he has set Londo up for a failed murder attempt. He laughs nervously, attempting to cover his worries by assuming that Londo is joking with him. G’Kar, pointedly and menacingly, reiterates Londo’s question. Londo suddenly notices an arm gesturing from round a corner for him to come into the next room. Londo quickly dismisses a relieved Vitari and follows. When he enters the room (alone) he sees the Regent hiding behind the room giggling.
You immediately get the impression (if you hadn’t already) that this geezer is not the ‘full shilling’, that whatever marbles he had well and truly departed long ago. He tells Londo that he was the only one who treated him fairly when Cartagia was there and that he was glad that ‘they’ had saved him. Laughing boy clutches at his shoulder and his mood changes from wild and giddy laughter to a serious sombre mood. Londo was clearly uneasy when he asked, ‘so it was you who saved me?’ The Regent replied that it was not him but ‘them’ and that ‘they’ liked him. Trying to be serious, the Regent tells Londo that ‘they’ have a message for him. “We know you have been asking about our food and ships, let it go, you will understand soon enough.” Londo, slightly irritated, insists that he understand now. The Regent (very seriously) tells Londo, “No, no you don’t. If you ever believed me before Londo, believe me now, You still have time, enjoy it.”
The Regent becomes agitated and dismisses Londo quickly. It was as if the ‘keeper’ was displeased at the Regents advice to Londo. Outside the room, G’Kar asks a worried looking Londo if he had learned anything. Londo replied that he had not. The regent however, finds that a second alien (looks a little like a Drahk) is hiding in the shadows and it seemingly has some control of the keeper. We see a distressed Regent struggling with a tentacle that appears out of his clothing and tries to wrap itself round his neck. That sounds a lot funnier than it actually was. How would you behave if your every word was monitored by strange aliens and a nasty little black creature with a tendency to strangle you if you got too chatty?
Later that night, Londo tells G’Kar that his is frightened of the Palace on Centauri Prime and that they should return to Babylon 5 as soon as possible. G’Kar is surprised. If Londo is frightened then it must be serious!
Londo ponders what ‘they’ are doing with the Centauri ships. As he does, somewhere in space, we see a Brakiri transport ship destroyed by a Centauri Warcruiser. It ignores the plea for mercy from the transport ship.
On Babylon 5, Byron and Lyta are cuddling up together in bed when they hear Zacks voice over the public address system (I had to smile – good timing Zack). He informs the telepaths in Brown Sector that they must surrender otherwise he wouldn’t be responsible for the consequences. He especially makes a plea to Lyta to come out.
Byron looks at Lyta with those puppy dog eyes of his and tells her that there will come a day soon when he will ask her to leave him behind and when that day comes she must do so, he makes Lyta promise. Then they cuddle some more.
And on that depressing note, this episode ends. I’m starting to get into this season a little more now. If it weren’t for the distracting teep story, I’d have thought that this was the best episode of the season.
I’d rate this a less than marvellous but still credible 29,553 out of 10. What did you think?
The “In the Kingdom of the Blind” episode review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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