Babylon 5: Racing Mars
April 27, 2019 11:47 AM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Franklin and Marcus arrive on Mars. Garibaldi and Sheridan have a confrontation. "There isn't much chance of me winning this argument, is there?" "None whatsoever; I never give up when I'm right. Your only option is to surrender."

-Ivanova temporarily relieves Sheridan of command, as he hasn't taken a day off in months (as in, since before he died). She negotiates with some smugglers, eventually threatening them to win (...I mean, it's Ivanova). They need the smugglers because the ongoing Earth blockage of B5 is making supplies hard to get.
-The above gives Sheridan time to stew, and sicne ISN is the only channel they can get and it is replaying the damning interview with Garibaldi, Sheridan's mind turns to Garibaldi.
-Sheridan confronts Garibaldi about the interview and they have a blow-out. Garibaldi says his interview hit hard but hey, that's freedom of speech; Sheridan just wants to know why Garibaldi did such a hard 180. Garibaldi tries to tell Sheridan to shove off, he has a client coming soon; the conflict escalates and soon draws a crowd. Sheridan tells Garibaldi that he can hate them all they want, just be quieter about it, and storms off. Three men, unknown to us, eye Garibaldi with interest...
-The men approach Garibaldi later and say, hey, maybe Sheridan needs help saving him from himself. And they know how they can help, and boy, Garibaldi would make a good ally...
-Delenn comforts Sheridan about his rift with Garibaldi. Sheridan is still confused and is hoping the old Garibaldi will come back. Delenn says they both need to do their part in bridge-building. She changes to subject to note that, hey, since they have the day off, they should do another Minbari marriage-prep ritual. Sheridan is... distinctly unenthused (he finds rituals tedious; Delenn finds they encourage seriousness) until he hears that the ritual involves finding each other's "centers of pleasure".
-Sheridan tries, again, to approach Garibaldi, except this time civilly and apolgetically. It immediately turns to ship when an alien treats Sheridan like a messiah, which inflames Garibaldi. He grabs the alien and insists that Sheridan is a normal human; Sheridan asks him to let her go as he is hurting her; Garibaldi keeps ranting; Sheridan touches his shoulder and Garibaldi sucker-punches Sheridan. Security goes to arrest Garibaldi, but Sheridan calls them off. Because of what they shared, Garibaldi got that one punch for free. But next time? "Next time I take off your head," warns Sheridan.
-Sheridan goes to the ritual with Delenn. She didn't mention that the ritual included witnesses. Traditionally the ritual is private but other Minbari meditate outside their chambers; poor lovestruck Lennier serves this role. The morning after, Lennier tries to make things less awkward by saying "woohoo". It... does not work.
-Garibaldi signs on with the anti-Sheridan strangers from before.
-Marcus, still onboard the smuggling ship, continues to annoy Franklin, this time with a game of "I Spy" that centers on "boxes," "more boxes," and "even more boxes." Suddenly the game stops, and Marcus retrieves a stowaway that he suspects is a spy.
-The stowaway claims he is the brother of the captain, who is given permission to hitch rides; he musta just forgot to mention it, is all. The stranger says he is Captain Jack and is incredibly friendly. Franklin is tempted to make nice, especially when Captain Jack offers better food than what they've got, but Marcus is an inhospitable iron wall and Captain Jack scurries away eventually.
-Eventually, from somewhere else in the cargo hold, Captain Jack sings the following version of Mary Had a Little Lamb:
Lyta had a little Vorlon.
Her skin was pale as snow.
And everywhere that Lyta went,
Her Vorlon was sure to go.
-Turns out that's the code word and Captain Jack is their Mars Resistance contact. Franklin gets the food he wanted, and they get the identicards of a gay couple on their honeymoon.
-Captain Jack tells them of some of the rumours the Clark government is spreading about B5: aliens have taken over Epsilon III and that they are abandoning Mars. Marcus and Franklin, for their part, realize just how isolated when they explain that they didn't abandon Mars, they were just busy with the Shadow War, only for Captain Jack to have no idea what the Shadow War was.
-While guided by Captain Jack, they are confronted by the Resistance in tunnels under Mars. They are thoroughly searched by armed and angry guards. They reluctantly hand over their real Identicards since the Resistance is missing part of the message from B5 and need to quadruple check their identities. The reason the Resistance is antsy is because they are expecting an assassin, targetting their Number One, from Outer Sector, e.g. from the direction of B5.
-Jack and Franklin make smalltalk about Jack's daughter and the unseen Resistance Number One. A bevy of very pissed guards come back and say they identicards failed the BG check, complete with the Resistance Number One. Marcus and Franklin knock out some guards but Jack is nervous and his hand is shaking. A PPG is audibly armed and Franklin figures out what is happening just in time to yell at Number One to duck. Jack fires on where she was standing, and Marcus fires on Jack, but the shot mainly knocks off a slithering alien from Jack's neck.
-Franklin investigates the alien's corpse while the Resistance members wonder why loyal Jack turned on them. Franklin explains that the alien hooks into its host's nervous system and was likely controlling Jack. Jack was trying to leave clues: wearing a coat in the heat of the tunnels; mentioning not finding anything to buy at one of the biggest market colonies; showing a picture of his daughter, with her address on the back, so that they'd know how to notify his next of kin.
-Jack, meanwhile, has made it to a tube shuttle with a thermal grenade. The Resistance contacts him; he explains that his parasite can regenerate from the bits left inside of him, and the only way to end this is -- well, to blow himself up in the tube shuttle. Which he does.
-In a coda, Number One (an attractive woman) invites Marcus and Franklin to dinner. Marcus declines, but Franklin is enthusiastic.
posted by flibbertigibbet (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
To this day, I want insta-hots.
posted by stevis23 at 7:14 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I still really, really like the fact that Captain Jack has no idea about the Shadow War; it's a neat little touch that shows off (a) that the Earth system is under a lot of different kinds of information quarantine and (b) that this is a big universe and that the concerns of the people on B5 - no matter how important or galaxy spanning - sometimes don't mean much to people on a local level.
posted by nubs at 8:37 AM on May 2


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