Babylon 5–Born to the Purple (1994)   1 comment

Above:  G’Kar and Londo Mollari Agreeing How Wonderful Women Are While Commander Sinclair Looks On


Born to the Purple, the third aired episode, tells two stories.  The B-story concerns Security Chief Michael Garibaldi investigating the use of a communications channel reserved for official business for personal reasons.  The culprit is Commander Susan Ivanova, the Executive Officer, who is calling her dying father on the most reliable channel available.  Garibaldi chooses to ignore the infraction.

Below:  Commander Susan Ivanova Listening to Her Dying Father

The A-story concerns Londo Mollari, Ambassador from the Centauri Republic.  He has been avoiding negotiations with Narn Ambassador G’Kar.  Londo is distracted by other matters, specifically a woman, Adira Tyree (played by Fabiana Udenio).  Londo, who has three wives (whom he keeps on the homeworld, Centauri Prime), loves this beautiful dancer.  Such an affair would shock proper Centauri sensibilities, but Londo does not care.  With Adira Londo can drop his mask and be himself.  He tells her, “We Centauri live our lives for appearance:  position, status, title.  These are the things by which we define ourselves.  But when I look beneath  the mask I am forced to wear, I see only emptiness.”

Below:  Adira Tyree

Londo Mollari comes from a prominent Centauri family.  It gained and has retained this prominence by knowing where the proverbial bodies are buried.  Londo has a copy of this documentation, called the Purple Files.  Unbeknownst to Londo, Adira is also a slave belonging to Trakis, an alien.  Trakis is an unscrupulous “businessman” who forces Adira to use her access to Londo to get the Purple Files, which he (Trakis) plans to sell to the Narn.  When Adira disobeys Trakis after getting the Purple Files, her master kidnaps her.  So Londo and Commander Sinclair team up to liberate her from captivity and servitude.  Sinclair retrieves the Purple Files and returns them to Londo.  And Adira leaves the station, promising to return to Londo.  This last matter becomes a critical plot point later in the series’ run.

The characters of Babylon 5 are dynamic, not static.  Consider Londo Mollari, for example.  He begins as a buffoon, mostly a comic character.  We learn, however, that he is more complicated (in good and bad ways) than he appears.  Londo is a patriot, and his nation, the Centauri Republic, is a declining power.  He wants to restore it to its former glory, and the means by which he attempts to do this devastate both himself and his nation.  But he is never in it for himself.  That is the tragedy of Londo Mollari, progressively a buffoon, villain, mass murderer, hero, pawn, and martyr for his people.

That is your preview of coming attractions for today.



All images are the property of Warner Brothers, and I do not profit from said images.

Posted June 22, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 1

One response to “Babylon 5–Born to the Purple (1994)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2258) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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