not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake
nothings

Now I Watch All Babylon 5: "Eyes"

Season 1, Episode 16: Eyes

Plot: An Earth Force internal investigator and his psi corp companion investigate the command staff, specifically all of Sinclair's doings. Ivanova doesn't want to submit to a psi scan, and has a weird dream in which she takes her (psi-abled) mother's place. Sinclair wrangles regulations to defer being scanned, and eventually provokes the investigator to reveal that he is motivated by having been passed over for the command of B5 (the fault of the Minbari), and is sufficiently nuts for his psi companion to take him down.

In the B plot, Garibaldi is trying to rebuild a motorcycle, and Lennier offers to help, then finishes the whole thing by himself.

The Title Means: It's slang for military internal investigators. (Why I parsed Garibaldi's "You're Eyes" correctly, not as "Your eyes", I don't know. Why Garibaldi, who isn't military, would know a slang term for military internal investigators... oh well. Damn your eyes.)

Comments: It's kind of a guest star episode -- the psi corp guy is played by an actor with quite the IMDB resume, but probably best known as the lead in Re-animator -- but since it stays more on Bablyon 5 topics it doesn't feel like it.

(I begin to suspect there was a budget thing here; none of Londo, G'Kar, or Delenn appear, and I remember hearing about other shows where they limited appearances of their semi-regulars for budget reasons--maybe two guests in an episode is actually cheaper than two regulars in an episode? And then maybe JMS chose to write all the episodes where all the regulars appear, so the non-JMS writers get saddled with having to write episodes that prominently feature guests.)

On the other hand, the recapping of all the things that have happened on B5 since the seasons started just feels lazy. I'm sure the writers were going "woo, continuity", but they just pay lip service to most of the events (i.e. they merely name them), and they mysteriously only consider exactly the history of Sinclair's actions since Kosh arrived (i.e. since the show started). The significant callback is instead in the fact that Bester, from Mind War, is behind the investigation, seeking to pay Sinclair back. In some sense this probably counts as arc development, even.

The provoke-him-into-anger trick (telepaths can't help reading people with strong emotion) is a good one, but the actual provocation sequence is kind of dumb.

Sinclair doesn't get into any fistfights or shootouts, but while watching another episode out of sequence it dawned on me another reason why those bother me: because as commander of the station he really shouldn't be there. This is of course a command perogative we've seen since Captain Kirk (and, probably, even longer), but you can have a more "ambassadorial role" justification for beaming down to a station; coming into the shoutout in Down Below with the mind-wiping Centauri creature, less so.
Tags: now i watch all babylon 5
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