Plot: A friend of Garibaldi's comes to Babylon 5 to fight in a dangerous alien fight. Denied participation, he's guided by an alien Caliban to challenge the reigning champ. They fight to a draw.
B plot: Ivanonva's rabbi comes to Babylon 5 to convince her to sit shiva for her father. He does, and she does.
The Title Means: Garibaldi's friend is a boxer.
Comment: Ok, look. Apparently season 1 of Babylon 5 was full of crappy guest-star-of-the-week episodes. (Lurker's Guide rates this second worst of the season, so it's not just me.) This makes this show kind of nigh unwatchable. (Perhaps I now know why Shaenon Garrity gave up.) To some extent, maybe I hold these episodes to too great a standard, since I know there's all that arc material coming down the pipeline. But it's not just that. It's just... this story is barely a story.
Like, Garibaldi's friend wants to participate in the fight because his chance at the boxing title on Earth was ruined when unnamed bad guys didn't want him to fight, so framed him as abusing drugs and something else I've already forgotten and he hasn't fought in years. He comes to these alien fights to try to get some fame that can give him another shot at the boxing title. Somehow he manages to hold his own.
I guess that's a story, but it's just... there's nothing there. I mean, there's a tiny unexpected bit: he's denied participation and has to challenge his way in. That's not all that original, but at least it's not the obvious simple story that the rest of it is.
I kept expecting that it would be revealed that Caliban was secretly plotting something, that Garibaldi's friend actually had been abusing drugs and now he was abusing drugs again to be able to fight against the aliens and Caliban was supplying the drugs because... who knows.
Even that would be pretty cliche, but at least it wouldn't just be the totally linear naive boxing story that basically has no surprises.