Babylon 5–Rumors, Bargains and Lies (1997)   1 comment

Captain Sheridan, Ecstatic Over Having Found a Way to Bring the Other Species Together to Pursue Their Common Best Interests


There is an old question:  Why do we make self-destructive, seemingly self-serving decisions rather than band together with others with whom we have common best interests?  I suppose the most succinct answer is that we are frequently idiotic.  In Rumors, Bargains and Lies, Captain Sheridan wrestles with this conundrum and how to manipulate individuals into doing what is best for themselves.  And he succeeds.

Various alien species with representatives on Babylon 5 refuse to permit the White Star fleet to patrol their borders.  They prefer to fight their own battles, guard their own sovereignty, and distrust outsiders.  So Sheridan’s challenge is to persuade them to demand a White Star fleet presence, so that a divide-and-conquer presence by forces of darkness will be more difficult.

Sheridan decides to use the aliens’ paranoia to his benefit.  The Centauri Republic permits White Star ships to patrol their borders.  Sheridan asks Ambassador Londo Mollari to deny these ships’ presence when asked about the matter.  (This is one of the titular lies.)  Londo agrees, and questioning aliens begun to spread rumors among themselves.  These rumors travel faster when Sheridan sends a White Star ship to a non-eventful region of space and orders it to fire at a few really big rocks.  Paranoid aliens suspect invisible forces Sheridan’s forces can detect.  Dr. Franklin asks alien representatives for blood donations–just in case of an attack–and they become more concerned.  And, on the Voice of Resistance, Ivanova announces that nothing happened in the Sector 83 x 9 x 12, where the White Star vessel was shooting at rocks.

Paranoid Aliens Wondering Why a White Star Fired on Asteroids

The aliens summon Sheridan and demand White Star patrols on their borders.  He agrees solemnly in their presence.  Privately, however, he is very happy.

This part of the episode is quite enjoyable and frequently humorous.  Happy-go-lucky Sheridan will be absent for a while, however, for the Captain’s story line is about to take a serious and very dark path.  Post-Z’ha’dum Sheridan is about to show his true stripes.  If you want to know what I mean, read subsequent posts.

Now for the serious part of the episode.

Delenn (of the Religious Caste) and Neroon (of the Warrior Caste)

Delenn meets Neroon, a prominent member of the Warrior Caste, aboard a Minbari heavy cruiser.  Each of them has a retinue of loyal caste members, Delenn’s most loyal ally being Lennier.  Neroon distrusts Delenn, but Delenn is willing to treat Neroon as if he has honor and a degree of trustworthiness.

Leaders of the Religious Caste Confront Lennier

Most of the leaders of the Religious Caste fear that Delenn will surrender to the Warrior Caste in the Minbari Civil War.  So they devise a plan to release a lethal gas on the heavy cruiser.  The ship will become a tomb lost in hyperspace, and the struggle between the castes will continue.  Lennier learns of this plot and foils it, placing himself at great risk.  He does recover from limited exposure to the gas, but not before Neroon leaves the heavy cruiser in a shuttle craft.  Neroon sends a message:  The Religious Caste is divided.  Victory for the Warrior Caste is at hand.

Roll to end credits.



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

Posted August 8, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Babylon 5 Season 4

One response to “Babylon 5–Rumors, Bargains and Lies (1997)

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post: Babylon 5 (2261) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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