Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2:
What a piece of work is man, How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god, The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seem to say so.
The Interstellar Alliance Declaration of Principles:
The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
The language is not Narn or Human or Centauri or Gaim or Minbari.
It speaks in the language of hope. It speaks in the language of trust.
It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion.
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice.
It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us.
And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born.
It is the small, still voice that says we are One.
No matter the blood, no matter the skin,
No matter the world, no matter the star,
We are One.
No matter the pain, no matter the darkness,
No matter the loss, no matter the fear.
We are One.
Here, gathered together in common cause
We agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another.
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,
And each voice lost diminishes us.
We are the voice of the universe, the soul of creation,
The fire that will light the way to a better future.
We are One.
Okay, we have the documents out of the way. Time to talk action.
The Drazi refuse to sign the Declaration of Principles. We should get a clue there, shouldn’t we? G’kar is offended and Garibaldi says they need a show of force instead of ideals.
Cut away to some planet somewhere being bombed with its people in some sort of shelter. A Ranger comes in and they ask for his help.
As the Advisors try to figure how to get all the worlds to sign the declaration, Garibaldi brings up his idea to employ several of Byron’s telepaths as covert operatives for the ISA. Though he isn’t happy about it, Sheridan gives Garibaldi permission to ask Byron.
Garibaldi goes off to find Byron and is treated rather rudely until he makes a not so veiled threat to them. Byron shows up and tells him no before Garibaldi has the chance to speak. Byron lectures Garibaldi on how hard teeps have and sends him away.
A White Star arrives with the Ranger from the previous scene and he is badly injured.
In the next scene, Franklin tells Delenn that the Ranger will not survive and is in a coma and cannot tell them where he has come from. Delenn says they must find out and they get Lyta to scan him. She finds out that the planet is a world on the edge of Drazi space and they’ve been plagued by raiders for a long time and have decided to rebel though they really have no defenses and need help. She is inside the Ranger’s mind when he dies.
When Delenn tells Sheridan of Enphili, he realizes they will have to make a show of force as Garibaldi said. He is a bit concerned that whoever the raiders are, they have the tech to trash a White star so he decides to send as many of the White Stars as are available on this raid, a real show of force.
When Sheridan talks to the Drazi ambassador, he says they pay little attention to the planets on the edge of their space. He will send the Drazi ships to rendezvous with the White Stars before they reach the Enphili. As the Drazi ambassador leaves Sheridan, Byron steps out and watches him leave.
Garibaldi finds Lyta and tells her he has a job for her. Lyta tells him she’s had an awful day, explaining how difficult it is to scan someone who is dying. She mentions that Bester scanning dying people is what made him a cold, nasty person. He asks her to talk to Byron. She doesn’t want to but in the end, agrees.
We see G’kar leave the empty conference room, papers in hand.
Sheridan is sleepless and gets up. Someone rings his door and when he opens it, there lays a scroll. Delenn is awake by now and he reads the revised version of the Declaration. It’s wonderful. As Sheridan reads aloud replaced by G’kar then back to Sheridan, we see the White Stars amassing in hyperspace, the Enphili waiting, and Franklin writing a letter to the dead Ranger’s family. Lyta finds Byron.
Byron asks Lyta why she keeps them all out. Lyta says she keeps everyone out. He goes into the song and dance about telepaths must take care of one another because mundanes don’t care about them… and he sounds almost EXACTLY LIKE BESTER… He finally asks Lyta if this job matters to her. She tell him yes and he says he will give them 2 well trained teeps as covert operatives. He also tells her that the Drazi are setting a trap for the White Star fleet.
The word gets to Sheridan and he decides to move post haste to rescue the Enphili before the Drazi can ambush them. We see the White Stars come out of hyperspace in the Enphili sky.
Back on B5, the ISA counsel is watching as this unfolds with Sheridan making sure the Drazi are pout on the hot seat and they finally admit that they were indeed responsible and the ambassador asks to call his homeworld and cancel the ambush. All the ambassadors sign the declaration and Sheridan allows the Drazi to call home.
Sheridan is not happy that it took a show of force and the teeps to get the declaration signed. He says it’s a slippery slope with the teeps. G’kar runs in with an even better version of the declaration, which when Delenn and Sheridan read, they agree that it is better.
Lyta seeks out Byron, asking him to tell her more.
My thoughts on this episode mostly deal with Byron. He is a character that I wanted to like but he had the insufferable arrogance of Bester without the outright violence. He came off as whiny and annoying. If he was supposed to be the Marcus replacement, they screwed that up royally. Other than his Fabio hair, there was little to redeem him and the whole story line. He and Lyta became so completely unlikable that I hoped all the teeps would die! (You have to remember that I despised the telepaths anyway. Jason Ironheart was the only one I had any liking at all for.)
Mollari and G’kar have a cute exchange during the opening meeting:
President John Sheridan: What about the Pak'ma'ra? They have an outpost just a couple of jumps from there, an agricultural colony. It produces far more food than they need. Maybe they can help. G'Kar.
[no reaction - Sheridan coughs]
President John Sheridan: G'Kar?
G'Kar: Oh, sorry. I was modifying clause 12 in the Declaration of Principles. I was thinking that if I could make it more linguistically suitable to the Drazi they might be open to signing it.
Londo Mollari: Great Maker, I need a drink.
G'Kar: Well, they don't like to say "we commit" to anything. They prefer "The universe, through us, agrees to."
Londo Mollari: Make that two drinks.
President John Sheridan: Somehow, G'Kar I don't think a rewrite will solve the problem.
Delenn: We may be able to get the Pak'ma'ra onboard to help but they are going to need something in exchange.
Londo Mollari: Oh, offer them my body. Another 10 minutes of this, I'll be dead anyway.
G'Kar: I second the motion.
1. Did you suspect the Drazi were in on the raids all along?
2. Is Byron right? Who has persecuted the telepaths more: mundanes or other telepaths? Think of Bester and his treatment of telepaths that he cannot control.
3. Is Sheridan right or is Garibaldi? Or both? Is it a case of speak softly and carry a big stick?
4. Do you feel sorry for Lyta? Does she seem to be particularly needy?
5. Opinions on Byron…
Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/
The Babylon Project: http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/
A Dream Given Form: The Unofficial Guide to the Universe of Babylon 5 by Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz.