Babylon 5–A Spider in the Web (1994)   1 comment

She is dead officially, but she is alive and well, doing black ops work for the Earth government as part of Bureau 13.


In the Star Trek universe the United Federation of Planets is a benevolent organization with a few bad apples in it.  Rooting out these rotten characters is a relatively simple matter, lasting as long as a movie or two-part episode at most.  The exception to this rule was Section 31, which Deep Space Nine introduced.  In contrast the Earth Alliance of the Babylon 5 universe is mixed bag.  The Alliance is a constitutional republic with an elected President and Senate, but it contains a frightening Psi-Corps (for telepaths) and operatives for secret organizations which commit perfidious deeds.

We retain our capacity to commit evil, often for official purposes, in 23rd Century, in the Babylon 5 universe.

The struggle of many Mars colonists to break away from the Earth Alliance is part of the background of the Babylon 5 universe.  Many of the colonists on the red planet feel alienated from Earth.  Some of these have created or joined a militant (some say terrorist) organization called Free Mars.

Amanda Carter (after Abel Horn attacked her) and Talia Winters

Amanda Carter, of the Mars colonial government, is aboard Babylon 5 to negotiate with Taro Isogo, of FutureCorp.  FutureCorp, an Earth-based company, wants to expand to Mars.  Monitoring these negotiations for truthfulness on the parts of both parties is Talia Winters, the resident telepath, as well as a good friend of Isogo.  Talia’s good friend dies on the station, for a man saying only “Free Mars” kills Isogo, receives long-distance orders from Bureau 13, a top-secret Earth government organization to kill Talia Winters, and attacks Amanda Carter.

This is a plot to neutralize perceived threats to certain government interests while shifting the blame to the militant pro-independence Mars partisans.

Abel Horn

The assailant is Abel Horn, who is a mere pawn of Bureau 13.  Horn is a former member of Free Mars who was near death a few years ago after an Earth Force ship fired on his vessel.  The Psi Corps supervised his transformation into a cyborg and reprogrammed him so that he is constantly fixated on his near-death.  So now Horn is all theirs.  And, during brief moments, Horn is lucid enough to ask others for help.  But there is no help for Abel Horn, save his death, which triggers an explosive device implanted in his body.

Talia Winters remembers images from Abel Horn’s mind.  These images include the face of the Psi Cop who supervised Abel Horn’s transformation into a cyborg and pawn.  According to Psi Corps records that Psi Cop is dead.  Yet the Psi Cop in question was giving Horn orders during the episode.

As the Second Season progresses Talia Winters becomes disenchanted with the Psi Corps, an organization which scares her.  Yet leaving the Psi Corps is somewhere between difficult and impossible.

This episode reveals the fact that Captain John Sheridan is not a jarhead, despite all outward appearances.  Rather, Sheridan has collected government conspiracies for years.  He knows about Bureau 13 and some of their operations.  Sheridan tells Security Chief Michael Garibaldi that there is a spider in the web.  The Captain intends to find it and to kill it.

The Psi Corps provides some of the most menacing bete noires of the Babylon 5 universe.  Psi Cop Alfred Bester (played by Walter Koenig) is a fascinating recurring character.  The mysterious officially dead Psi Cop from Bureau 13 is interesting, also.  I wish that her character were in more than just this episode.  C’est la vie.



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

One response to “Babylon 5–A Spider in the Web (1994)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2259) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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