Babylon 5: Convictions
September 15, 2018 5:13 AM - Season 3, Episode 2 - Subscribe

A terrorist/bomber causes chaos on Babylon 5. Missionaries from many faiths arrive on B5 after Kosh's decision in the season two finale. "There, you see? I'm going to live!" "So it would seem. Well, it is an imperfect universe."

-C&C receives messages saying "Chaos will begin in X hours". Turns out it's a guy planting bombs in high-traffic, low-value civilian areas.
-Lennier saves Londo from the second bomb by hurling him through a door, only to become gravely injured himself as he traps himself inside the exploding room. (Lennier had also previously lied to get an annoying guy away from him, so he's becoming a very flexible Minbari.) He survives, but Londo is in his debt and by the end of the episode the Centaurum pledges to honor him.
-Londo's visit to an unconscious, barely living Lennier gets a little silly: "And so here I am. It is the least I can do. If I were in your position, I am sure that you would do the same for me. Of course if I were in your position and you were still in your position, neither one of us could do very much for the other. So I suppose properly I should say that if I were in your position and you were in my position, you would do the same. Of course if both of us were in my position and neither of us were in your position, there would not be the need for anyone to do anything."
-G'kar loudly proclaims that the bomber must be Centauri as the last bomb (which almost killed Sheridan in the s2 finale) was Centauri. He refuses to listen to counterarguments.
-Many missionaries arrive on B5 because an angel/Dro'shalla'Tro'quan arrived (Kosh revealed himself). One group, lead by Brother Theo, consists of monks from Earth, who are of a Benedictine/Trappist bent who are experts in their fields and intend to earn their keep by selling their services. They have come to B5 to list all of the names of God and since B5 is an alien hub, they think this will reduce their time.
-Thanks to Space Science they track the bomb maker to a specific planet. They theorize the bomber is sticking around to see the chaos; they hire the above-mentioned monks to scrub through all the CCTV footage from near the bombings, looking for recurring faces.
-Meanwhile, another bomb forces Londo to leap into an elevator with G'Kar in it. The shaft is damaged; they are stuck in a wrecked elevator and everything is too hot to touch, and no one knows they are there. G'Kar is pointedly doing nothing; if he kills Londo, 500 Narn will be killed, but if he passively allows Londo to die, he'll get what he wants without any more Narn deaths. Unfortunately, plan B also requires his own death, but G'Kar is happy to oblige.
-The Monks figure out who the bomber is. Sheridan goes to confront him (with a link hidden in the place where the sun don't shine), but the bomber has a deadman switch for the final bomb; to arrest him would mean the destruction of B5. The bomber accidentally lets slip a clue as to the final bomb's location. This allows Garibaldi's team to find the bomb and throw it into space, just after the bomber making Sheridan sit accidentally makes his butt-link chirp. They fight, Sheridan prevails, etc.
-Lennier is worried that he has sacrificed the future for the present by saving Londo. Security find Londo and G'Kar in the elevator.
posted by flibbertigibbet (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This episode has a lot of tonal shifts. I remembered this as a super-serious episode in which Londo and Lennier nearly die to a bomber and G'kar tries to passively kill himself to achieve his goals; I totally forgot Londo's inability to be coherent at Lennier's bedside, various gags, and finally, Sheridan shoving a link... somewhere... in his rear (I'm saying his crack) and triggering the final confrontation via buttcheek movement.

JMS also says that Theo's quest for the names of God is less 'Nine Billion Names of God' and more 'comparative religion exercise.'
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:48 AM on September 16, 2018

I had no memories of this one from my first viewing. And, yeah, it's all over the place. The bomber is the least-interesting part of the episode.

I was dreading the elevator scenes when they started, but that ended up being the most compelling part of the episode for me. I liked the swift inversion of the trope of two enemies learning to get along in a crisis.

And I'm choosing to believe it was on a cheek, but not in the crack.
posted by Banknote of the year at 6:33 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Somehow, I remembered the elevator scenes with Londo and G’kar as being more relavatory. Upon re-watch, not so much.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:48 PM on November 17, 2018

They’re not revelatory, but they certainly are glorious!
posted by corb at 3:36 PM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

100% here for the specific-location-of-Sheridan’s-link discourse.

(Buttcrack, obvs)

Watching this episode a couple days after “The Long Twilight Struggle”, rather than after a months-long season hiatus, brings home the fact that the elevator scene is the first time Londo and G’kar cross paths after Londo ejected G’kar from the council chamber.

Apparently G’kar was scripted to play the scene relatively straight; the giggling and absurdity were Katsulas’s idea, and I think it worked well.

“I don’t have to kill you. I don’t have to do anything... and I still get to watch you die! I find this most appealing.”
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:44 AM on April 19, 2021

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