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A Tragedy of Telepaths [Season 5]

What, another good episode? And this is Season 5 we're watching? Surely not.

The mysterious enemies ™ seem to be planting scraps of metal around the place, trying to foment a war. Now, don't get me wrong, but doesn't it seem the mysterious enemies™ are also a little foolish? I think that with their knowledge of the Interstellar Alliance, they'd know that Sheridan would run all sorts of tests on the metals. I mean, they cut the metals off? You'd think the Brakiri, Gaim and Drazi would have noticed that, even with their bloodlust.

So. Either the mysterious enemies are in fact foolish, or they are merely trying to make their presence known. The latter, I feel. There's nothing better than scaring people, while they don't know what you're doing.

This spoo. G'kar seems to enjoy spoo, and when he sees a plate of one being carried somewhere, he naturally takes it. But why on earth would they be feeding a prisoner something nice? Why don't they just give Na'toth some caviar and wine, at that? It's very vexing.

The telepath arc is getting better and better. Not that I like the telepaths, I'm just relishing the fact that soon, the moment will come when Byron gets killed. It keeps me from smashing the television in whenever I see his face. Now, if you want a good telepath, you get Bester. This man knows his stuff, and whenever Bester is in an episode, the episode is undoubtedly excellent (with the notable exception a terrible episode in Season 5, I forget which one. Since there are so many).

Let me put it this way. Walter Koenig is in Star Trek for, what, 5 - 6 years, and in several movies. Throughout dozens of episodes, and thousands of lines, all we know of Mr. Chekov is that he speaks Russian and is occasionally funny. Alfred Bester has been in only a few episodes of Babylon 5, and we hate him already. He's a power-hungry, scheming, deceitful man who still somehow has his moments when we like him. That's what I call character development.

Did anyone notice the not-so-subtle irony in this episode when Bester is saying 'Us telepaths, we're all a part of a family' and the shooting starts? A family that seems to be at war with each other. Somehow, I don't think Byron would have thought that 'bright and beautiful' Sarah would be beating people up. It might seem a little strange that the Sarah who was very indecisive about using violence is the same Sarah who we see shoving someone's face into some glass. Probably what's happened here is that the telepaths were always only too ready to use violence, but Byron was keeping them back on a very strained leash.

I think the heart of the problem of the telepaths is their attitude to the 'mundanes.' Even though they feel they've been manipulated, they look down on normals. They think they deserve more than people who can't communicate telepathically. The telepaths ask the normals to give them a homeworld, treat them as equals, while the telepaths think they are superior. I remember hearing someone call the telepaths 'Homo Superior' - that's what they think they are. So the minority of 'superior' humans are in an incongruous position of having to ask, even beg, normals for help. But the normals hate them.

What would be interesting is to see how the Centauri and the Minbari deal with telepaths. As far as we know, their telepaths seem to mesh pretty well.

Arc: 4

Apart from the mysterious enemies causing trouble again, this episode isn't too arc heavy. In fact, you could probably have missed this episode out and still have a pretty good idea about what's happening next episode.

Episode: 7

As good an episode as you can have when it's before the real conclusion of the telepath arc.