Babylon 5: S05E19: Wheel of Fire
This was another terrific Bab 5 episode. Stuff happened – BIG TIME!
The depressing inevitability of Londo’s situation, the scary effects of Lyta’s involvement with the Vorlons and that twit Byron, gives the impression of a saga REALLY hotting up. However, the feeling that this great saga was drawing to a close was overwhelming. Soon there would be no more Babylon 5 and I couldn’t help feeling a little depressed.
The episode opens with a greeting to G’Kar from Lockley as he arrives of Babylon 5 from Centauri Prime. She asks how he is. G’Kar is a little philosophical and mentions his sorrow for Londo’s predicament. Lockley indicates that G’Kar will probably soon have enough on his plate. She walks with him through Customs and G’Kar is greeted to his dismay, by lots of his ‘followers’. They are all carrying statues and chanting his name. G’Kar is most displeased!
Meanwhile, Baldi is sat in his quarters quietly drinking himself into oblivion when Franklin reminds him that an important meeting is about to start. Garibaldi was unsure about the time and rushes off. Unfortunately the meeting required that he had prepared. The situation is made worse when Garibaldi stumbles while trying to settle down. Sheridan exclaims, “Your drunk!” and immediately closes the meeting to the embarrassed satisfaction of Zack, Lockley, Franklin, Lyta, G’Kar and Delenn.
Sheridan dismisses everyone except Garibaldi. After a brief and embarrassing pause, Garibaldi asks, “You knew?” Sheridan says that he’d suspected but that it was his fault (?). Baldi admits that Sheridan has very good reason for being angry, but Sheridan continues, “…I’m not angry with you. Not now. I was… But Delenn has a…way of looking at things. No, I’m not angry with you. But I am very disappointed, Michael.” (Why the hell NOT! I am.)
He goes on to explain that he wished Garibaldi could have come to him with his problem, or at least confided in him. This was a heartfelt exchange between these two friends and just as it was getting a little too mushy, Garibaldi asks, cheekily, “…so I’m not fired then?”
Sheridan, quickly replies, “Erm… I didn’t quite say that.” He explains that Garibaldi is being put on suspension. This is a tricky part of the job for Sheridan, he doesn’t want to loose Garibaldi’s friendship, and lets face it, when the cards are on the table, most of us would want good ol’ Baldi on our side.
Poor G’Kar is continually being harassed by some wacky Narn followers. one particular spooky looking one offers G’Kar a statue of himself – rather insistently. Franklin joins G’Kar in his quarters and jovially comments on the size of the crowd and G’Kar explains that he isn’t taking any callers in the hope of getting some peace. Franklin explains that the Narn Homeworld is ‘up in arms’. G’Kar leans to his dismay, that the Narn government want to make him a leader. G’Kar declines immediately.
Meanwhile, the stupendously lovely Lizzy Lockley (yes ok, so I’ve just seen River of Souls!) is not, unfortunately wearing any sort of pink outfit with suspenders and stockings as seen in the picture!. Instead, she’s talking to Zack about an unusual increase in attacks on the Psi Corps headquarters. The head Psi Corps blokes believe that Lyta is co-ordinating attacks on their Headquarters because of the ‘Remember Byron’ slogans daubed at each scene of destruction. Captain Lockley has been ordered to arrest Lyta and send her back to Earth for questioning. (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the picture).
Later she goes to visit Garibaldi in his quarters. Baldi is not too pleased about Lockley coming to visit, he thinks she’s there to gloat! But the lovely Lizzy explains that she knows what he’s going through and that she too was once an alki! She explains the story of her younger days and of the loss of her dear friend (see Day of the Dead). She then suggests that his alcoholic tendencies might be the reason why they didn’t get on too well… maybe they recognised too much of the other person. She just wanted him to know he’s not alone. You can tell that Garibaldi is quite taken with this admission from Lockley. Maybe it’ll stop him acting like such a dope!
Lockley leaves to pursue Lyta. The next scene is a really spooky one. Most of us adore Lyta and to imagine her interaction with other Bab 5 crewmembers being anything less that amicable can be upsetting. Welp! Prepare to be upset!
Captain Lockley joins Zack and other security personnel at Lyta’s table in the Zoccolo (Sheridan is due to join them later). Lyta’s guest (a known arms dealer) leaves immediately. Lockley asks Lyta to accompany her to the station, erm… I mean to ask her some questions. She will be charged with aiding and abetting terrorist activities.
Lyta is fairly relaxed about the situation. She idly begins drumming her fingers on the table and asks, “what if I don’t want to go?” Lockley tells her that she has no choice. Lyta insists that she is tired of being pushed around and that she does not choose to be arrested!.
As Lockley tries to arrest Lyta we notice that ALL the occupants of the Zoccolo are tapping their fingers and that the security guards, including Zack, are all incapable of moving against Lyta.
“You cannot harm me. You cannot stop someone who’s been touched by Vorlons.” Says Lyta. Then she feels the cold hard nudge of a PPG at her neck! The gun is being held by Sheridan, ” You’re not the only one that’s been touched by the Vorlons. Let ’em go. Let them go or I’ll blow the back of your skull off!”
Lyta releases the mind numbing control on the other people in the Zoccolo and the security guards put her in handcuffs. “You can’t be everywhere, Mr. President.” She says.
Lockley, noticing that Lyta is indeed correct, gives her a sharp right hook across Lyta’s lovely face! (This is all very distressing!)
Later, Garibaldi catches up with Lockley, She mentions to him that Lyta’s negative attitude and ability have been getting more destructive every day. Garibaldi wonders if they’re linked somehow. The angrier she gets the more her abilities increase. Lockley breaks off and tells him that there is something she wants him to see. I get the feeling that it isn’t a physical demonstration of her pink underwear, and sure enough, they go to the customs area where Garibaldi is pleased to see Lise. Lockley sent for her when she found out that Garibaldi was in trouble with his drinking.
Sheridan is mightily upset! He can’t understand why Garibaldi, Londo and now Lyta are suddenly acting so strangely, “… if anyone else starts acting irrationally, I swear I’m going to shoot myself in the head.”
Delenn storms into the room and shouts, “BASTARDS!” She’s not shouting at Sheridan of Franklin apparently, more likely the Narn Government who are apparently boycotting Alliance ships until they let G’Kar return home! The fact that G’Kar does not want to go home leads them to believe that it is because of some misguided fear of obligation. The refreshing display of Delenn’s anger is cut short however, when she faints! Delenn is quickly rushed to MedLab.
Meanwhile, Garibaldi and Lise discuss their future together. They intend to get married but Lise mentions her problems back on Mars, she doesn’t fully understand all the workings of Edgar’s Industries and that there are a lot of areas that her ex-husband shielded from her. Garibaldi suddenly gets an idea!
In MedLab, Franklin tells Sheridan that Delenn is pregnant!
Garibaldi rushes off to see Lyta who is sitting in a cell wearing a straitjacket. Garibaldi begins with his proposition… He knows she’s been channelling money to the underground on Earth and funding a terrorist campaign against the Psi Corps. He knows that she’s doing it because she hates what 5the Psi Corps are doing to the telepaths – well so does he. Garibaldi hates them too for what Bester did to him in the last season! What he wants is for her to remove his neural block and in return, he’ll give her the resources of the Edgar’s corporation to fight her case on Earth. The deal sounds like a good one, but it’s not quite good enough. Lyta has a counter proposal.
Garibaldi goes off to see Lockley for permission to do a deal with Lyta. G’Kar overhears a conversation about Lyta and suggests that she accompany him! G’Kar is now in a similar position to Lyta. He cannot go home and cannot stay on Babylon 5 – neither can Lyta. He tells them that he is packing for a departure from Babylon 5 and may never return.
Garibaldi tells Lise that Lockley agreed to the deal between himself and Lyta. He also pointed out – quite rightly that – G’Kar is leaving Babylon 5 with Lyta, Franklin is going back to Earth, Londo is back on Centauri Prime, Sheridan and Delenn will soon be leaving for Minbar, and he and Lise going to Mars – the station won’t be the same anymore. Too right! Depressing isn’t it
The deal is that Lyta goes away for a couple of years and leaves Garibaldi in charge of the vast fortune she obtained by giving her DNA to the Narns. She will return in about two years and Garibaldi will, by then, have created a force that can take on the Psi Corps (they would both like to take on the Psi Corps) Garibaldi tells her she’s taking an awful chance. He could just grab the money and run. She doesn’t believe he’d do that. If she thought otherwise, she’d kill him where he stood. Garibaldi replies that if he is going to be a partner, he wants in all the way – he wants to know exactly what the Vorlons did to her. Lyta replies:
“I’ve only recently begun to understand it myself. You know the Vorlons used telepaths as weapons during the Shadow War, but what no one stopped to consider was that in a war, you have a certain number of small weapons, a certain number of medium-sized weapons…and one or two big ones… The kind of weapons you drop when you’re out of the small weapons and the medium weapons and you’ve got nothing left to use.”
Garibaldi adds that something like that would mean that she would be the telepathic equivalent of a thermonuclear device, a sort of doomsday weapon.
Lyta’s eye’s then go red and she says, “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Garibaldi. “
I always thought Lyta was a bit of a bombshell, but this is taking it a little too far !
Sheridan and Delenn are in bed trying to get to sleep. Sheridan is in a GREAT mood, a typical ‘I’m gonna be a daddy’ mood I think. But Delenn’s thoughts are of Londo. She is concerned that they have not heard from him in a while. Sheridan thinks that he’s probably still partying from his inauguration, but Delenn isn’t convinced.
This was a sad ending to yet another terrific episode!
Rating? A gripping 44,177 out of 10. It didn’t deserve any less.
What did you think?
This episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Tony Fawl
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
Discuss this episode in the Babylon 5 & Crusade Forum
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.