Babylon 5: Conflicts of Interest
June 22, 2019 3:02 PM - Season 4, Episode 12 - Subscribe

The conflict between Sheridan and Garibaldi escalates, as Garibaldi takes on a client: smuggling an old acquaintance through B5. Meanwhile, Sheridan negotiates with Londo and G'kar, and Ivanova descends to Epsilon III. "But only Zathras have no one to talk to. No one manages poor Zathras, you see. So Zathras talks to dirt. Or to walls, or talks to ceilings. But dirt is closer. Dirt is used to everyone walking on it. Just like Zathras. But we have come to like it. It is our role. It is our destiny in the universe. So, you see, sometimes dirt has insects in it. And Zathras likes insects. Not so good for conversation, but much protein for diet."

-Sheridan realizes Garibaldi never turned in his weapon or link, and orders Zach Allen -- to Allen's great discomfort -- to force Garibaldi to turn them in. Allen wants to know why the urgency, and Sheridan repleis that Garibaldi is hanging about with ne'er-do-wells.
-Garibaldi, meanwhile, has saved a man's lost daughter -- and has also cut his fee for the job to 1/3rd of the agreed-upon price, just to be a good guy. Meanwhile, the associates who recruited Garibaldi to the anti-Sheridan group, including Wade, are planning a potentially deadly test to see if he's good enough. And if Garibaldi fails? Well, Garibaldi is expendable...
-Garibaldi initially refuses to turn in his PPG; Allen points out it is military-issue and he is free to get a civvie PPG. Garibaldi relents, and then reluctantly hands in the backup gun that Allen knew about.
-Wade enters Garibaldi's quarters as he watches Looney Toons, and offers him a mission as a a bodyguard and 'expediter'. Effectively, someone is coming onto B5 to do some clandestine business that may turn violent. Garibaldi's job is to protect the asset and make sure B5 never knows the asset was on-board. Since he's the former Chief of Security, he knows all of B5's blindspots. Garibaldi, who is obviously still pissed about having to turn in his link and PPG, readily agrees.
-Turns out the contact is sending his wife instead of himself, just so she can hone her business sense for if she needs to take over. When Wade and Garibaldi see the contact's wife, Garibaldi is shocked: it's his old flame, Lise. Now Lise Hampton-Edgars, which means she's the wife of Mars' wealthiest man. (Turns out Franz, her beau from the last time she and Garibaldi spoke, was a serious cheater and divorced her; because he's Earth-born, he finagled the hearing to get an Earth-born judge on it so that Lise lost custody of the baby with which she was pregnant during the Mars riots.)
-Allen realizes there's a check-in to a secure area by Michael Garibaldi. That's why he was willing to have in his identicard and link so readily -- he had a backup. Allen deactivates all of Garibaldi's security access.
-Lise, Garibaldi and Wade head to a Downbelow bar for an exchange. Lise receives a clear block that Garibaldi recognizes as the high-tech security used for biotech. Lise explains that she and her husband are examining a genetic defect in telepaths that could cause an epidemic if exploited; they want to cure the telepaths without causing a panic. Some bad guys walk into the bar, and Garibaldi gets Lise and Wade -- but not their contact -- to safety, while dodging PPG shots. Garibaldi takes one assailant's PPG and seals a bulkhead behind him. They try to exit the bulkhead, but whoops -- Allen canceled Garibaldi's access.
-Garibaldi uses his new PPG to shoot open a ventilation grate. He piles crates up to get access to the grate for himself, Lise and Wade. Their assailants break down the door to see an empty room -- but they notice the crates and one of the assailants stares at Garibaldi. Garibaldi realizes the assailant is a telepath and tells Lise and Wade that he is leading them to Docking Bay 3. He insists they keep on thinking about Docking Bay three as PPG shots perforate the shaft they are in. This is to mislead the telepath -- they exit the shaft nowhere near any Docking Bay. Garibaldi tips off a guard about gunmen in Docking Bay 3, and heads there himself, after telling Lise and Wade where to go for fake IDs.
-The gunmen in Bay 3 bite down on cyanide pills rather than be taken alive.
-Sheridan is QUITE PISSED that Garibaldi is somehow connected to the three corpses in Docking Bay 3. Garibaldi says he was just protecting his client; Sheridan says he is drawing violence to the station. Garibaldi angrily says that getting his security clearances pulled nearly killed him; Sheridan says he shouldn't've had those clearances for this long and that Garibaldi committed crimes. Garibaldi brushes that off; they are minor crimes, barely worth the time to care about. Sheridan doesn't care: any more of this crap and he'll revoke Garibaldi's business license.
-Garibaldi, hugely pissed, returns to his quarters and sees a message from "Lise Hampton" (not Lise Hampton-Edgars). He deletes it unwatched.
-The next day, Bill Edgars contacts Garibaldi and offers him a job, on retainers, on Mars. Garibaldi agrees.
-Franklin is back from Mars! Huzzah.
-Ivanova muses to Franklin how the Voice of the Resistance feed isn't really reaching many people -- they just don't have the transmitting power. Franklin recommends Epsilon III, which has power to spare. Ivanova chides herself for not thinking of that first.
-On Epsilon III, Ivanova runs into Zathras -- or, as she quickly figures out, one of 10 (now 9) Zathrases. Zathras immediately groks Ivanova's problem and offers his help, but with the steady barrage of woe-is-me-ing of the other Zathri.
-Ivanova returns to B5, but is counseled not to confront Sheridan with her victory right now: he is in the process of chewing out Garibaldi (above).
-Ivanova's first Voice broadcast goes out (which I incorrectly linked in a previous episode recap. Sorry!)
-Sheridan gathers an uncomfortable Londo and G'kar in for negotiations. The Drakh -- former allies of the Shadows of whom Londo has heard, and is unhappily impressed with their negative reputation -- seem to be attacking border worlds. Except Sheridan can't just suggest the White Star fleet patrol the border worlds of the League of Non-Aligned Planets, it will seem like B5 is engaging in a power grab. Thus why Londo and G'kar have been gathered -- if they can agree to let the White Star fleet patrol the Narn/Centauri border, it will ease Sheridan's negotiations with the Non-Aligned Worlds. Londo agrees.
posted by flibbertigibbet (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had a lot of weddings recently (just as a guest). Today I'm home sick and ta-da! Return of the recaps.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:04 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hope you feel better, but I am delighted to see these back. It's a lot of fun to remember these times, and see what you all think about them. :)
posted by mordax at 9:57 PM on June 22, 2019

Ditto, glad to see you continue!
posted by Frayed Knot at 11:37 AM on June 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I wanted to say that I really enjoy these even when I can't think of a comment worth making about a particular episode. Thanks!
posted by range at 6:26 PM on June 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

I will say I really dislike this 'Garibaldi, freelance dickhead' plotline. I don't like Bad Cops (which Garibaldi is) to begin with and barely tolerated him, so 'bad cop' + 'on the villains' side' is a nasty combination.

The attempt to turn him into a 'freelance dickhead with a heart of gold' in the cold open, with the discount on finding the lost daughter, felt transparent.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:48 AM on June 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also glad this is back, thanks flibbertigibbet!
posted by Molesome at 4:55 AM on June 26, 2019

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