Babylon 5: S05E14: Meditations on the Abyss
The episode opens with Sheridan and Delenn asleep in their quarters (wearing rather frumpy pyjamas if you don’t mind my saying so). Delenn gets up, something is troubling her. Sheridan asks if everything is ok, she says that it is, and then heads off for a sleazy bar !!
In the sleezy bar, Delenn meets an equally sleazy stranger who, basically likes her eyes and, makes a rather silly statement that it is she whom he will wake up to in the morning! You just know that this geezer is going to suffer one or a number of broken limbs and we all sat back and waited to see which ones they would be. In the end she only breaks his finger.
But the sleazy geezer is not content with this and chases after her. At this point a hooded figure jumps to Delenns aid and knocks the living daylights out of sleazy geezer. Following Delenn out of the bar, he reveals himself to be our old Minbari pal Lennier.
Delenn and Lennier go to a secluded corner and talk. She has been worried that the Alliance have not been able to prove that the Centauri are behind the attacks on Alliance ships. She needs someone whom she can trust to undertake a covert investigative mission to get proof. Lennier wonders how Sheridan feels about this, but Delenn points out that he doesn’t know. There is nothing particularly sinister about this, Sheridan would probably agree with Delenn that Lennier is the right bloke for the job, but Sheridan knows how important and dangerous it is and would not want Delenn to loose such a good friend if things went badly.
Lennier agrees and just as he is about to leave, he tells Delenn that Morden visited him on the Brakiri Day of the Dead and told him that he would betray the Rangers. With concerned disbelief, Delenn consoled a troubled Lennier by saying that she could not think of anything that would cause him to do that. Lennier replied, “Nor can I”.
Londo is working in his quarters when a befuddled and welcome Vir enters carrying a number of boxes. The two greet each other and Londo surprises Vir by telling him that he will be the new Ambassador to Babylon 5 once Londo is made Emperor. Vir is very pleased and honoured.
Londo notices (before he mentioned anything of importance) that one of the boxes brought in by Vir was bugged! It transpires that the offending box was purchased from a Drazi merchant. Londo blurts out a number of carefully crafted insults to the Drazi people before destroying the device. Vir is outraged however.
Lennier reports to Captain Enrique Montoya, a rather direct but friendly captain of White Star 27. The Captain is impressed by Lenniers experience but tells him that officially, he is a trainee and that he must treat him as such. Lennier also meets and befriends Findell, another Minbari Ranger trainee.
In Sheridans office G’Kar is full of glee. He will soon have a new prosthetic eye that matches his right and not that freaky human looking one he has currently. An impatient Drazi ambassador presses Sheridan for more information about who is responsible for the attacks. He knows that the Alliance suspects the Centauri but Sheridan will not confirm this until there is proof. The rather pushy ambassador reminds Sheridan that he has promised to back any action by the other Alliance members once the culprits are uncovered.
On White Star 27, Findell informs Lennier that the Captain wants them to take a pair of fighters to scout an area of space once the White Star leaves hyperspace. Lennier asked if they were to look for anything in particular. Findell is irritated to know that Montoya did not. Lennier explains that the human captain is probably trying to encourage the two trainees to act on their own initiative and that Minbari techniques are somewhat ‘rigid’.
G’Kar meanwhile, in a scene which is definitely not for the squeamish, is having his new eye plugged in. Franklin asks about the Book of G’Kar. He admits that he has been reading it, and asks why there is a circular stain on page 83 in every copy of the book. G’Kar sighs and points out that all religious books are reproduced EXACTLY as they were written and that the circular stain was left by a coffee cup used by Garibaldi. Smiling, G’Kar told how, when he confronted him about this, Garibaldi proclaimed that it was the best part of the book!
Once the new eye was in place, G’Kar asked Franklin how he could repay him. Franklin asks if he can take part in G’Kar’s ‘gatherings’. In a demonstration of eloquence and humility, a flattered G’Kar agrees saying, ‘You have given me back my sight, the least I can do in return is share a little of my confusion.’
On White Star 27, Lennier and Findell launch their fighters to begin their scouting trip. once in space they both notice that they only have one hour of air and, to Findell’s dismay, they spot the White Star whizzing through a jump Gate back into hyperspace. They are both puzzled by their circumstance but Lennier suggests they slow down their heartbeat and respiration by meditating. Findell is not confident about this, but he agrees to try.
On Babylon 5, G’Kar tries to impart more wisdom on the attendant Narns (and Franklin, who is listening at the back). He is talking about the problems of being serious when one the his followers asks, “What is truth and What is God?”
G’Kar is lecturing his followers on the evils of being too serious. ‘They can’t be free until they learn to laugh at themselves, and from laughter comes wisdom’. G’Kar asks for the next question. A follower askes: “What is truth? And what is God?”
G’Kar, after trying to avoid answering the question, discusses the definition of Truth and God in a most intelligent and captivating way. Unfortunately this leaves his followers flailing in a sort of intellectual mud. one of them asks again, “Yes, but what is truth and what is God?” G’Kar gives a resigned smile and glances at a smiling Franklin who gestures with a look of ‘go on pal, lets see how you get out of this one’. G’Kar indifferently points out that truth is a river and that God is the mouth of the River. This definition seems to please the followers but G’Kar is slightly saddened. This last simplistic explanation is not consistent with his feelings. The group leaves and Franklin looks back at G’Kar sensing that he has at least tried, he smiles and shrugs. (This was a nicely crafted scene).
The wimpy Findell is beginning to run short of air in his fighter and panics. Just as he begins to loose it completely the White Star returns and when de-briefed, Montoya points out that it was an exercise to see how the trainees would react. He mentions that Lennier was correct in staying where he was and trying to conserve air until the White Star returned.
Vir bursts into the Zocalo on Babylon 5 determined to confront the insolent Drazi merchant that bugged Vir’s last purchase. The Drazi denies doing anything wrong and tells Vir that he is a wimp and that if he doesn’t go away he will ‘swot’ him. The crowd laugh and Vir leaves in a huff. Upon returning to Londo’s quarters Vir extracts a ceremonial sword from it’s scabbard and goes back to the Zocalo, a puzzled Londo follows on behind. Vir angrily smashes the Drazi’s stall with the sword. He looks seriously upset and so, for that matter, does the Drazi bugger!
Zack enters the Zocalo with some security officers to see what all the fuss is about. He asks Londo why Vir is behaving this way. Londo replies, with a proud smile, that he has just promoted Vir and that NOW Vir is ready. Vir picks up a handful for grapes and mashes them on the Drazi’s head, a couple of security guards rush in to restrain him.
On the White Star we are subjected to another fairly pointless training exercise. This time it involves four trainees shooting homing beacons from asteroids. Findell is becoming less and less confident in his abilities and during the exercise he decides to commit suicide by ramming his ship into an asteroid. Lennier saves his life with some hoopy flying skills. When they are debriefed Lennier is officially rebuked for his actions and Findell is sent home (though not in shame). Unofficially Montoya tells Lennier that he did well.
Sheridan and Delenn are having dinner with Zack and Franklin. They all chuckle at the out of character actions of Vir in his run-in with the Drazi. Sheridan concedes that he wishes he had Londo’s quarters bugged. Delenn is convinced that Londo is in the Dark about the actions of Centauri Prime. Sheridan asks as to the whereabouts of Garibaldi (he was supposed to join them). Delenn had apparently invited hime by sending him a note. We then see Garibaldi lying on the floor, drunk. You can always tell if Garibaldi is drunk, he’s holding onto the floor to stop it spinning!
And on that downer, the episode ends.
Will you lot stop emailing me to tell ME that I’M a pratt for saying Garibaldi is a pratt! I KNOW you like the geezer but he’s still a PRATT!
I’d rate this a 33,433 out of 10. What did you think?
The “Meditations on the Abyss” episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Tony Fawl
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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