Babylon 5–A Race Through Dark Places (1995)   7 comments

He’s Back!  (Alfred Bester, the Nefarious Psi Cop, That Is)


Before I get to the main plot line of A Race Through Dark Places I want to get a couple subplots out of the way.

(1)  Minbari Ambassador Delenn, now a Minbari-Human hybrid, asks Captain John Sheridan out to a dinner date.  They are not to talk about business.  This matter is important because of where it leads:  the Delenn-Sheridan romance.  Stay tuned.

(2)  The Earth government, facing a budget crunch, requires Captain Sheridan and Commander Ivanova to pay rent on their quarters.  Sheridan takes a stand against this measure and orders Ivanova to stand with him while they are locked out of their quarters.  So they sleep in Sheridan’s office–Sheridan in his chair and Ivanova on a sofa.  They do this until Sheridan devises a way  out of the impass:  he reallocates some funds for combat readiness toward the rent.  He and Ivanova will not be ready to fight enemies without a good rest, he reasons.  Earth Force will pay rent to itself.  How is that for symmetry?

Now, for the main story.

Alfred Bester, a recurring protagonist, returns to Babylon 5 because he has learned that an underground railroad for telepaths evading the Psi Corps runs through the space station.  Bester is shocked to discover that Captain Sheridan is hostile to the Psi Corps, for had heard that Sheridan was sympathetic to the organization.  (Sheridan is not what those who appointed him thought he is.  He is far more and much more principled, in fact.)

Fugitive telepaths are living in Down Below, the slums of the space station, before moving elsewhere.    One of these telepaths abducts resident commercial telepath Talia Winters so that the telepaths can tell her their stories of abuse by the Psi Corps.  They convince Talia to side with them.

Meanwhile, Captain Sheridan seeks out the leader of the Underground Railroad.  This person is none other than Dr. Stephen Franklin.

Captain John Sheridan, Talia Winters, Dr. Stephen Franklin, and Fugitive Telepaths

Captain Sheridan, our hero, sides with the good guys, of course, and the fugitive telepaths (plus Talia) combine their powers to deceive Bester into thinking that the Underground Railroad no longer runs through Babylon 5. And Jason Ironheart’s gift from Mind War enables Talia to keep her involvement in the plot a secret from Bester.

Bester is a real “piece of work,” asking Talia to monitor Sheridan and the command crew due to their reactions to President Santiago’s death.  Santiago’s death was no accident; it was an assassination, and Bester was complicit in the dastardly deed.

The character of Talia Winters becomes even more multi-faceted as the season progresses.  Stay tuned!

There is a final bit of character development I need to mention.  Then-Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova was quite frosty toward Talia Winters in the first episode, Midnight on the Firing Line.  At the end of A Race Through Dark Places Talia Winters and Commander Susan Ivanova share drinks and stay up late, talking–but not before Talia removes her Psi Corps insignia.  Stay tuned for where this leads.



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

Posted July 11, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 2

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