Babylon 5: A Voice in the Wilderness, Part 1 and Part 2
March 17, 2018 6:15 AM - Season 1, Episode 18 - Subscribe

[arc episodes] The planet around which Babylon 5 orbits begins to activate long-dormant weapons systems that threaten Babylon 5. Mars colony loses communication with Babylon 5 due to rioting, to Garibaldi's distress. Delenn's old mentor arrives on the station. "Incorrect answer! The third principle of sentient life is the capacity for self-sacrifice: the conscious ability to override evolution and self-preservation for a cause, a friend, a loved one. It has been too long, Delenn. You have forgotten your training. Soon you will have forgotten all about your old friend Draal." "Not if I live to be a thousand and one."

-Draal has left Minbar to do the Minbari version of the Tolkien Elves' "going to the west", as he is tired. "Our world is changing, Delenn. I'm not sure when it began to change... Perhaps the war. Perhaps the death of Dukhat. Perhaps the darkness was there all along, and we refused to see it." "If you're referring to the growing division between the religious and military caste--" "That, and more than that. There is a sense that we are lost. Adrift. In the streets and the temples you can hear it in their voices, their manner--an anger just beneath the surface, a growing dissatisfaction, a self-involvement above the need of others... It is not the same world into which I was born, Delenn. Not the same world at all."
-Epsilon III was only surveyed from orbit before being chosen as the site of Babylon 5. A fissure opens up after some seismic activity which contains weapons strong enough to blow up Babylon 5 shuttles sent to investigate. Soon after, Babylon 5 receives a repetitive transmission that they cannot decipher.
-It turns out the seismic activity was created by an installation 5 miles below the surface to open a channel.
-Meanwhile, Sinclair and Londo start seeing visions of an alien asking for help.
-Sinclair and Ivanova go down to the surface to enter the facility. They follow the visions of the alien to a room where the barely-living alien is hooked up to a large machine. He says that if they don't help him, everyone will die.
-Londo has been driven mad by trying to divine a hidden meaning to the hokey pokey.
-While Sinclair dismisses the lack of communication with Mars Colony as a "glitch", it's really being caused by riots. Garibaldi's true love, Lise, is on Mars colony and he is terrified about her fate. He ropes Talia into contacting the Psi Corps Mars base--of which he should have no knowledge, but he figured it out during his time on Mars--to get word of her. They aren't thrilled about the contact but promise to send word.
-"I know, I know. It's a Russian thing. When we're about to do something stupid, we like to catalog the full extent of our stupidity for future reference."
-At the end of an episode, a large ship enters Babylon 5 space through a jumpgate.

-The large ship from the end of last episode was the EAS Hyperion of Earth Alliance, on orders from the Office of Planetary Security to assume control of Babylon 5.
-Franklin manages to stabilize the alien from Epsilon III.
-The Hyperion starts sending ships to Epsilon III, which triggers worsening quakes that threaten to blow the planet apart, killing everyone on Babylon 5. Sinclair bluffs about a "jamming beacon" to get the Hyperion to stop sending ships for a few hours. Meanwhile, Sinclair and the captain of the Hyperion butt heads over whether the Hyperion actually has authority to take command.
-When Londo angrily asks Ivanova for an update on the situation, she replies, “Boom. Boom boom boom. Boom! Have a nice day.”
-Meanwhile, Draal starts seeing visions of the alien, which draws him and Delenn to sickbay. The alien, named Varn, tells Draal that the planet will explode if anyone tries to land on Epsilon III--and that the reason the planet is falling apart is because he, its Guardian, is finally dying.
-Garibaldi has roughed up an anti-Martian Babylon 5 citizen. He gets reprimanded.
-A new alien ship comes through the jumpgate--and it seems to be of the same species as Varn. It turns out that long ago Varn's species exiled a violent group, and now they are back to try to claim Epsilon III. Varn stresses that they must not get Epsilon III.
-Draal and Londo decide that as the people 'called' by Varn, they must descend to the surface with Varn on Londo's ship, which will prevent the automated defense grid from blowing up the surface. (Delenn accompanies them.) Meanwhile, the Hyperion and alien ship engage in combat and attempts to reach the surface of the planet.
-At some point Garibaldi makes it to the surface and confronts Delenn, Draal, and Londo as they hook up Draal to the machine to control the mind of the planet-machine. This is just in time for Draal to prevent Varn's outcast fellows from descending to the surface, easily cutting the ship apart with Epsilon III's defense grid. Garibaldi helps get them off-surface.
-"The mysteries of this place will take centuries to explore. Let my life have meaning. Help me to do what we both know must be done."
-It turns out the visions of Varn were holographic projections. Now Draal can pull the same trick: "It belongs to none of you. It belongs only to itself and to the future. Commander Sinclair, the secrets buried here must remain secret--it would give any race an advantage... We entrust the safekeeping of this place to the Babylon 5 advisory council. [...] Make sure this world is left alone until the time is right. If enlightened self-interest is not sufficient, understand this: the defensive capability are now fully operational..."
-Delenn, to Varn, about the machine: "Tell me that it's a wonder, so that I can sleep when all I can see in the night is this place."
Varn: "It is a wonder. The machine will extend his life, as it did for me. He will see all the tomorrows, hear all the songs, touch the edge of the universe with his thoughts..."
-At the end of the episode, Garibaldi finally reaches Lise on Mars. She's pregnant and married to a guy named Franz.
posted by flibbertigibbet (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Been awhile, but I still remember Draal quite fondly.
posted by mordax at 3:10 PM on March 17, 2018

Did they end up doing much with Epsilon 3? Is that where Zathras (et al) live?
posted by Sebmojo at 2:05 PM on March 20, 2018

I liked that this one broke formula by having the ambassadors solve the problem the command staff was facing. Usually, when those two groups interact, it's Sinclair solving problems for the ambassadors. It's a nice reversal. And it's a rare moment of Londo and Delenn cooperating.

And Sinclair telling off Ron Canada's captain was some better-than-usual acting for Michael O'Hare.
posted by Banknote of the year at 11:53 AM on March 22, 2018

It's hard to watch all the casual police brutality and accept that "Mike" is a character we're supposed to like. He's such a cop. Lazy, bad at his job, entitled, violent, drunk, self-hating. If he had any ambition at all, he'd be a lot more dangerous.
posted by rikschell at 6:35 PM on June 18

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