"You know the Vorlons used telepaths as weapons during the Shadow War, but what no one stopped to consider was that, in a war, you have a certain number of small weapons, a certain number of medium size weapons, and one or two big ones. The kind of weapons you drop when you're out of small weapons, and the medium weapons, and you've got nothing left to use." "Someone like that would be the telepathic equivalent of a thermonuclear device. A doomsday weapon." "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Garibaldi."
REVIEW: The DVD set took this title as its own, probably because it sounded good and generic - it's not that obvious why this story would be called that - because it comes too late to be the season's "hinge". Rather, it's one of those character-building eps where we try to visit everyone. I don't mind that at all. There are still two big threads and they dovetail together. One is Garibaldi finally getting busted for being drunk on the job, a thread that threatens to turn the show into a PSA for alcoholism, but which is narrowly saved by the performances. Yes, even stilted Jerry Doyle gets one or two moving moments, as does Scoggins as Lochley. The writing lets them down however, with Garibaldi initially coming off as Sheridan's little boy, and Lochley getting reams of uninterrupted text, like she's on the fast track to character development, cuz y'know, she's new. Still, her assessment of Garibaldi as a control freak needing permission/excuses to get out of control is a sound one, and we have to wonder if his running off to Mars with Lise is anything more than an escape from his failures on Babylon 5.
Lyta's story is the stronger thread, though to tell you the truth, I'm dead tired of her self-serving whining about everyone's lack of gratitude. Despite some advancement over the course of the season, she's still something of a non-character ("What are you?" indeed), one on whom JMS can hang just about anything, i.e. make her responsible for funding terrorism. I guess Byron be damned, she's a lot more militant than we realized. And why shouldn't she be? She was built to be a Vorlon weapon, and as we learn here, a telepathic WMD to boot. The scene where she makes everyone in the room copy her movements is excellent - as is the 1-2 Sheridan-Lochley combo that gets her under control - and there's every sense, by the time her agreement with Garibaldi is revealed, that he's made a deal with the devil. I don't know if the show will be able to make good on the promises made about their two-year plan, but I wonder if JMS' idea for a PsiCorps series would have featured former B5 stars as the antagonists.
Meanwhile, G'Kar returns to the station to find zealous pilgrims waiting for him, and his homeworld demanding her return to either bless their government or take the throne himself. He ends up leaving with Lyta to explore the universe, and perhaps pacify her own zealotry. Before he leaves, he gets a nice scene with Franklin, though I raised my eyebrow at their talk of sentient life being the puzzle God cannot solve. Why? Because we've gotten a lot of God talk over the course of the series - sometimes sounding like what Garibaldi calls "fortune cookie wisdom" - and I'm wondering if it's all meant to be "meta". JMS is an atheist after all, so is his characters' God really himself? Because characters/stories as unsolvable puzzles certainly resonates, even if it's a bit egotistical for the writer to give himself this role so literally. Anyway, the episode also makes Delenn pregnant, which was only a matter of time. Begs the question though: Doesn't Sheridan remember (or trust) anything from his experience in the future?! It's really weird. Brain damage or something? And while we check in on everyone, how about Londo? Yeah, that wasn't necessary at all, was it?
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORMHOLE: Delenn becomes pregnant with an impossible-ish hybrid baby only months after Jadzia Dax does. Delenn will have better results.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - That came off as more negative than my actual feeling watching it. There are some very good moments here; they could just have been even better.