This episode really doesn’t make a lick of sense. In fact, it makes so little sense that it stretches back in time and makes several *earlier* episodes nonsensical as well. Despite all that, I was so happy with the resolution that I really can’t say anything bad about it. After the last couple weeks of standalones, we’re now back in full-on Arc territory
PLAY BY PLAY
A ranger and a random extra are being chased through the sewers on Mars. One escapes, bound for B5 with information of some sort.
On the station, it’s a morning like any other. Sheridan and Delenn are buying newspapers; Talia and Ivonova are having an oddly intimate breakfast in a café in the zocalo. Garibaldi is taking a leak. Talia mentions her quarters are having a tech problem, and she needs to find a place to stay for a couple days. Ivonova invites her to stay at her place. It’s a little awkward, but they both seem happy about it since they‘re both gay this week. Garibaldi and Sheridan discuss bringing Talia into their cabal. They both think it’s a good idea. I’m not sure why they would as she’s really annoying, and consistently refuses to do her job, but there you have it.
A shot-up ship appears (Babylon 5 cliché # 6). They bring it aboard, and discover - dun-dun-dahhh - Lyta Alexander is aboard! As Garibaldi explains, Lyta was the station’s original Licensed Commercial Telepath, back in the Pilot 2 years ago. Since no one actually *watched* that, he recaps: Lyta arrived at the station. Someone tried to kill Ambasador Kosh via poison. In order to save his life, Lyta did an unauthorized scan, which necessitated actually reaching inside his encounter suit and touching him. “Afterwards, she was never quite the same.” Six weeks later, she was shipped back to earth. Or was it two months? The script flipflops. It doesn’t matter.
Lyta herself later explains that the Psicorps kept grilling her for information about Kosh, which she couldn’t give them because she didn’t remember it herself. There was just the subjective memory of the assassination attempt on Kosh and a vague inexplicable feeling. They kept grilling her anyway, kept probing. Six months ago, she escaped, and had been working with various underground “Mars Independence” movements to pay her expenses, and trying to get to Vorlon space. As we’ve repeatedly seen, no one gets into Vorlon space and returns. Of course no one’s ever touched a Vorlon and survived before, either.
I digress: Lyta explains that there’s a mole on the staff, something we’ve known for 13 episodes now, but which the cast have seemed oddly ambivalent about. Whomever it is, their code name is “Control.“ This person has been programmed by the Psicorps with an artificial personality that monitors and reports back in periodically. The host has no knowledge that they’re a mole, nor that the alternate personality is there, nor that they’re doing anything untoward. They have no memory of their actions when “Control” is in control of them. They don’t even know they’re disloyal. It’s totally not their fault.
Lyta has the password, however, that will fully activate “Control.” On the down side, this will permanently overwrite and destroy the personality of the host, effectively killing them and leaving their body possessed by the artificially-implanted personality. On the upside, the mole will be exposed, and Psicorp’s window into their doings will be shut down. All Lyta has to do is telepathically transmit the code into a person’s head, and zowie.
As we’re not even two acts in, Sheridan needs to hem and haw a bit, and ends up having an encounter with Delenn in the Zen Garden that’s almost cute/charming, but is really a bit too obvious and over-written to pull it off. He doesn’t actually tell her what the problem is, and she doesn’t ask, but she gets all goofy, ad then skips off like she’s got a schoolgirl crush. Which, of course, she does. (I must confess, when she lifts her head, and rolls her eyes up and to the side while declining the verb forms of the word ‘Butt,’ she’s very pretty) Talia and Ivonova are lounging around a bit too casually in robes and nightgowns, and talking about how much they trust each other, since they‘re gay this week. Later on, Talia wakes up alone in Susan’s bed, and seems distressed, what with them being gay and all this week. (Thought I was joking, didn’t you?) Then Control