Crusade: S01E09: The Path of Sorrows

Our story starts off an another uninhibited planet. The crew is standing outside a giant temple, trying to find a way in… for the last 12 hours. The temple is rumored to be a place of healing. But for a “hospital” it has some really thick armor, so blasting their way in is not an option. The Temple is inscribed with the same message hundreds of launguages with the same message, “Enter freely through the path of sorrows”. After all these hours of futilely trying to enter the structure, tensions are high.

After a brief fireworks display by Galen, he get the attention of the crew, with an idea. His idea is to put Dureena down, emotionally. He grills her about her inability to find a way into the Temple, then reopens old wounds by asking her if her inability to find a way in ever cost someone their lives. These memories disturb Dureena and she begins to cry. Galen walks over to her, fingers one of her tears, then smears it on the walls of the Temple. With that walls open and the crew enter the tall structure. Dureena questions him if all that was necessary, and subtly asks for an apology. Galen replies yes he had to make sure the tears were authentic, and walks off, without an apology.

While in the Temple, the crew find it empty, save a giant glass ball, filled with smoke. Gideon studies the sphere, and momentarily sees an alien, then a vision of his old ship, the Cerebrus, being destroyed as he watched from an EVA suit. Gideon orders the sphere taken up to the Excalibur for further analysis.

After the preliminary examination of the sphere yields no results, the investigation team leaves med bay and the artifact for the day. Soon after Gideon enters for his own personal investigation. He looks closer to the ball and starts talking to the alien inside. The alien wordlessly replies with some form of telepathy. The alien tells him that he seeks the truth, then delved into Gideon’s head, to and bring up some old memories.

It starts out on the Cerebrus. The ship is being attacked by an unknown enemy, and it has taken serious damage. A young Ensign Gideon is ordered outside the ship to survey and repair the damage. The young and over eager ensign agrees, too quickly. After suiting up, he goes outside and moves away from the Cerebrus to get a better look at the damage. As soon as he’s away, the ship blasts its main engines, and begins to run away… without Gideon, bastards. The enemy is coming around for another attack, and the Cerebrus intends to jump to safety. Just as it opens a jump point, the unknown shadow looking ship opens fire, and destroys the Cerebrus, further screwing over Gideon. The unknown ship then jumps away.

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An hour later, Gideon is running out of air. He spots a fleet of small ships traveling by. He pleads with them to rescue him, but he is vastly ignored. Just as Gideon is about to lose hope, one of the ship arrives to pick him up. That ships pilot is… Galen. Okay so maybe the guy isn’t always a total jerk. Galen drops him off at a nearby Earth Alliance base. Later Gideon is debriefed by some SS like lieutenant. The Aryan officer tells Gideon that everything he saw was false, and that there was no attack. The Cerebus’s jump engines malfunctioned and that was what destroyed the ship. He also disputes his rescue story. He finished the debriefing by saying the Pres. Clark wants this whole mess to just go away. Noooo, Earth Alliance has nothing to do with this little fiasco…

The next vision is with Gideon in a poker game. He has a sweet hand, and bets the farm on it. All but one of the players, drops out. The remaining guy puts up his Apocalypse Box as collateral, then calls. Gideon wins, and claims the money and the box as his winnings. The loser starts to laugh, then runs off. The berk runs outside and does a fine job of getting himself hit by a car. Gideon runs outside to check on him, and discovers that the berk is about to die. His last words were not to tell his wife he loves her, but rather a warning that the box lies just enough and to be wary of it.

With that we are brought back to the Excalibur. Gideon is near tears, but asks the Alien if he intends to blackmail Gideon, now that he knows about the Box. He replies no, and that he forgives Gideon. An emotionally relieved Gideon takes his leave of the alien.

The doctor’s next patient is Matheson. He too does the stupid question thing, only to be brought back to his Psi Corp days. Matheson was a young proud member of the Corp. His commanding officer is telling him that they’re recently captured a number of resistance leaders. His job is to administer a sleeper drug to one of those prisoners, a P12+ telepath. His CO doesn’t want to trust this operation to one of the medical staff who are merely P1’s and 2’s, and instead charges it to the stronger Matheson. When he first confronts the prisoner, she tries to typical begging for her life thing. When will prisoners’ ever learn that, begging never works? She tells him that she will be killed and that he should look up the fates of the other prisoners if Matheson doesn’t believe her. But he doesn’t care and shoot her up full of teep sleepers.

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Interestingly enough, the captive was originally supposed to be played by Patricia Tallman, aka Lyta Alexander. But scheduling conflicts kept her from playing that part.

Later that night curiosity gets the better of him and Matheson checks out what happened to the resistance leaders. The prisoner was correct, all of them were eventually executed. The next time he sees the prisoner, he fakes administering the drug, and allows the prisoner to gain back her teep abilities. The following time he sees her, she grabs the needle from his hands, and uses it to cut open her boots. Inside is a homing device. She activates it, and sends a signal to the resistance to come over there and blow up the facility. She tells Matheson to get the hell outta Dodge before he’s killed. She also tells him to live out his dream of being an Earth Force pilot.Shortly afterwards, Matheson is on a shuttlecraft with other injured people, when the base behind him explodes in a terriffic fireball. Taking out most of the Psi Corp brass with it! Back on the Excalibur, Matheson tells the alien that he never told anyone about that, and that he is very ashamed. The alien forgives him.As a releived Matheson walks out, Galen walks in. He immediately starts threatening the alien. The alien tells him that he lives off of forgiveness. The jaded Galen doesn’t buy it, and threatens him some more. Soon after Galen’s own road to forgiveness beings.

Galen begins reliving his last few moments with his lost love Isabelle, we learn that the couple were betrayed by three other technomages. Galen wished to seek revenge against the three, but she’ll have none of it. She tells him that she’d be ashamed if the fire in his eyes were scorch his soul to ash. Isabelle also tells him in that there is a grand design to the universe. And if there is, when she dies she’ll find a way to “call you, say your name, send you a message” and tell him that she is right, “as always”. With that she departs her mortal coil, leaving a sorrowed Galen seeking revenge. …So that’s why he’s such a bastard sometimes.

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As the vision ends, Galen is distraught. We’ve never seen him so angry. He curses the alien, calls up a fire ball and is about to bar-b-que the pyscho-analyst. Just before he has a chance, Gideon and Matheson walk in and stop him. Gideon orders the alien taken to the planet, and left where he was found.

After the Excalibur leaves orbit, Gideon and Matheson are talking. Gideon tells the lieutenant that he’s had trouble sleeping for years. But after being with that alien he slept very well the night after. Matheson confesses that he too has had the problems, and that the alien corrected all that.

Later on, Galen decided to part ways with the Excalibur for a while, as usual. But before he leaves Matheson catches him and tell him that they received a message for him. The message is mostly static garbage, and has only two words: “Galen” and “Love”.

When asked where the message came from, Matheson replied that it appeared as if it came from “out there somewhere”. meaning that it had no apparent origin. Galen takes the message and reads it. We’re supposed to assume it’s from Isabelle. Galen doesn’t care, his soul is already blackened. He balls up the message and tosses it behind him. So much for loving Isabelle…

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This Crusade review is © 2004 Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

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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