Babylon 5: Soul Mates
May 22, 2018 7:07 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Londo's three wives come to the station--so he can divorce two of them. Talia's ex-husband makes her an offer: freedom... Meanwhile, Delenn asks Ivanova for help. "Because with you, I will always know where I stand."

-Londo's Shadow-related 'services' to the Centauri republic are repaid: the Emperor is granting him a special boon to divorce 2 of his 3 wives (marriage, and the family links it creates, are hugely important in Centauri society). He loathes all three, however, and decides to bring them to Babylon 5 to test them...
-Londo's three wives arrive on the station. Two are transparently trying to curry favour with Londo by being sycophantic and saying 'yes' to everything Londo wants. The last wife, Timov, lets Londo know exactly what she feels for him: disgust. After Londo survives an assassination attempt--thanks to Timov secretly donating blood to keep him alive--Londo chooses Timov, in the pull quote chosen for this episode.
-Meanwhile, Talia's ex-husband ("Stoner") is on board, selling artifacts from an abandoned Centauri world in Narn space. He used to be in Psi Corps--all Psi marriages are arranged by the Corps--but "got out" because he allowed the Corps to experiment on him. The experiment failed, and he lost his telepathic powers. Everyone loves Stoner! Stoner is great!
-Londo's assassination attempt happens when Stoner sells a Centauri artifact to Mariel, one of Londo's wives, who gives it to Londo as a gift. It shoots out a poisoned dart, which hits Londo square in his formidable forehead.
-Turns out everything up to this point is connected. Mariel (Evil Wife #1) set up the artifact thing with Stoner to try to kill Londo before he can divorce her, which would set her up well. G'Kar figures it out and he toasts Mariel for her ingenuity. It is also maybe-implied that G'Kar slept with one of Londo's wives. Branching out from Earthers if it has a bonus "wounding my enemy" thrill, eh, G'Kar?
-Meanwhile, once Stoner is arrested for provided the trapped artifact, Garibaldi figures out he didn't get his powers stripped--he is instead an empath, who can manipulate feelings. He's running off-the-books missions for Psi Corps. Meanwhile, Talia is expressing fear of PsiCorps.
-Delenn is struggling with her hair. Turns out Minbari bathing is a symbolic acid bath. Ivanova helps her understand how human hair works. Minbari apparently also don't have menstrual cramps, but Delenn sure sounds like she does now!
-The Londo quote about Timov might be key to his character arc.
-The production code for this is 208, not 207. But it was shown 7th (to JMS' displeasure), so that's how I'm putting this in.
posted by flibbertigibbet (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
So, back in "The War Prayer", Londo refers to his three wives as "Pestilence, Famine and Death." With personalities that could shatter entire planets. I've always found it interesting that Timov is vomit spelled backwards, but I don't know if there's any meaning to that.

Also note that amongst the Centauri, the hair is a status symbol - and the women shave their heads.

It is also maybe-implied that G'Kar slept with one of Londo's wives. Branching out from Earthers if it has a bonus "wounding my enemy" thrill, eh, G'Kar?

Which, given what we've learned about Centauri reproductive anatomy and its differences from human, raises some interesting questions about the "sexual Olympics" that G'Kar gets up to. I know we didn't cover "The Gathering" in this rewatch, but in that he offers a generous sum of money to the station telepath in exchange for her genetic material as the Narn do not have telepaths. He offers her more money if she goes for "direct mating", but he isn't sure what her "pleasure threshold" is. G'Kar, like Londo, undergoes a lot of change over the course of the series (the pair form the moral centre of the story, I think), and the contrast here is an interesting one. Londo's choice of Timov says a lot about who he really is and may yet become, and G'Kar is still always looking for an angle to hurt or disrupt his enemy.

Minbari apparently also don't have menstrual cramps, but Delenn sure sounds like she does now!

Carrying on with themes of reproductive anatomy...
posted by nubs at 8:44 AM on May 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oops, should have said "first watch" not "rewatch".

And Timov was played by the amazing Jane Carr
posted by nubs at 8:51 AM on May 23, 2018


So, back in "The War Prayer", Londo refers to his three wives as "Pestilence, Famine and Death." With personalities that could shatter entire planets.

So I was trying to find out about the Timov/vomit thing, and I didn't turn anything up, (little short on time and energy tonight), but I did see this interesting tidbit:
According to Peter David, who wrote "Soul Mates," Timov corresponds to "Famine," following the "four horsemen of the Apocalypse" analogy used by Mollari to describe his wives in "The War Prayer." With Timov (Famine), Daggair (Pestilence), and Mariel (Death), Mollari himself completes the set as "War."
Via a wiki.
posted by mordax at 7:42 PM on May 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also note that amongst the Centauri, the hair is a status symbol - and the women shave their heads.

And that just made me depressed.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:57 PM on May 23, 2018


And that just made me depressed.

I've never been sure what to make of it; in one way, it seems a comment that women in Centauri society have little/no power, but we meet some throughout the course of the series who do seem to have influence, respect, and authority. Along the way one of the male Centauri does opine that maybe the women are right to choose to shave their heads and indicate that they don't believe in playing the games of status the males do. The implication that it is a choice is interesting, but the fact that it is apparently a choice made across the whole society by the one gender suggests it is maybe more imposed.
posted by nubs at 8:10 PM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Unless for women, they've changed their status rankings so that no hair = power. Remember how Londo's one episode girlfriend Adira had a ponytail?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:09 AM on May 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


One thing that caught me is how this episode didn’t age as well as other ones. The whole “clinging wives trying to seek power” was definitely a trope back then, but now seems somewhat jarring.
posted by corb at 12:08 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


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