Babylon 5: And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place
January 26, 2019 9:43 AM - Season 3, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Delenn, Sheridan, and Earth religious leaders meet. Londo orders Vir to tell G'Kar a secret. Refa arrives on B5. "You know the sinners gonna be running / At the knowledge of their fate. / They gonna run to the rocks in the mountains, / But their prayers will be too late."

-Ivanova voiceover: they're still recruiting telepaths. Sheridan is working too hard and is neglecting his own needs. Franklin hasn't been seen in a week. G'Kar wants a Narn bodyguard for every telepath, as this would serve both the telepaths and the Narn well.
-Religious leaders congregate on B5 (with Brother Theo seemingly involved), include an Southern Baptist leader who gives a sermon during the climax of the episode (see below). They are anti-Clark and hand Sheridan intelligence. Delenn, worried that Sheridan is working too hard, drags him to a religious ceremony.
-The Baptist leader, Dexter, tells Sheridan a story of his wife cleaning his place (when hers was just as dirty) and how it is great to share the burden of responsibility: his wife cleaned his place because it wasn't just cleaning, it was helping him.
-At the end of the episode, Delenn reveals a secret White Star fleet that just finished construction to sheridan. They kiss.
--Londo orders a reluctant Vir to tell G'Kar something to lure him off B5 (where he has sanctuary), so he can be captured and executed. This will also raise Londo's star even more. The intel: G'Kar's awesome aide from s1, Na'Toth, is being held in a specific prison facility on the Narn homeworld; he beleives G'Kar will try to navigate the maze-like underground tunnels to free her, and can ambush him there. Vir tries to refuse; Londo threatens to reveal his role in the Narn underground railroad, which would destroy Vir's family (near enough to literally).
-Meanwhile, Refa arrives on B5 and hears that Emperor Cartagia wants the Refa-Londo feud put to bed, permanently. Unfortunately, they are both powerful in different ways, so this is a problem... until Refa sees Vir go to G'Kar. He has Vir kidnapped and telepathically interrogated, and learns of the intel G'Kar received.
-G'Kar arrives on Narn Homeworld, where the surface has been rendered largely uninhabitable (almost akin to a nuclear winter) due to dust from the mass-driver bombardment. Meanwhile, Refa is setting up a Narn building as a replica of the Centauri Palace, just in case Cartagia should ever visit.
-The climax of the episode: Londo saves Vir from the telepath. Dexter preaches about "the enemy"; as Refa's luck turns (below), a singer sings No Hiding Place Down Here. Sheridan and Delenn figure out the Shadows are deliberately leaving a sector untouched, hoping refugees will flee there so they can destroyed in one attack. Refa and his guards confront G'Kar in the caverns. Refa orders his guards to attack...
-...but they do nothing. G'Kar activates a hologram of Londo: it's a double-cross. Everyone gets what they want: Londo gets a less bloodthristy Centauri foreign policy, and Refa dead. G'Kar kills the man who made things worse for the Narn. G'Kar stuffs a data crystal into Refa's shirt, says his head must be left relatively undamaged for the purposes of identification, and walks away as "No Hiding Place" plays.
-The data crystal? Planted to make Refa look like he was bribing the Narn; it was full of information they'd like.
-Vir is PISSED. Londo put his life at risk to increase his power. Londo can't mollify him, despite trying to (claiming that Vir wasn't important enough to kill); he thinks this Londo is nothing like the man he once knew, and storms off.
posted by flibbertigibbet (3 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I remember watching this with utter dread, thinking G'kar or Vir might die and then when the song started, just the feeling of vengeful glee that carried over with Londo's cleverness until I saw Vir's face and realised his argument too. Such great character acting and the music oh man.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:05 PM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Most of Babylon 5 is written somewhere on the inside of my brain. This episode is written in the brightest and most permanent ink. I've been thinking about it a lot in the past year or so.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:15 AM on January 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Such a good episode. And sets up the finale nicely, in a "This character's actual motivation may be different from what you're being shown" way.

We're not used to that sort of fakeout on Babylon 5-- maybe with duplicitous characters like Bester, but with the main cast (from what I can recall, at least) we're trained to believe that what we're seeing is "real". And the plot we *think* we see Londo making is absolutely in character for him, so we're as surprised as Vir when the turn comes.

(Stephen Furst does great work in this one. Also, G'kar's last reaction shot at Refa's death is great. No pleasure, just a sort of resigned nod: it's ugly but necessary.)

Meanwhile, I quite like the squabbling between Brother Theo and Reverend Dexter; I wish Susan had had a moment to bond with the rabbi; the "It's nice to have the company" moment is lovely, and the SONG is fantastic (here's an older version).

Haaaa it turns out that the singer, Marva Hicks, is from the same small town in Virginia that my singing teacher is from. Small galaxy!
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:01 PM on April 30, 2021

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