Wednesday, September 19, 2012

B5 Rewatch: Eyes

Howdy, folks! Welcome to the Babylon 5 rewatch! Today's episode is the sixteenth of season one, "Eyes."

Spoilers ahead, as always!

Let Me Sum Up

Garibaldi is working on his downtime project, rebuilding a motorcycle, when Lennier stops by to convey a request from Delenn. Her friend Mayan is returning to the station, and since Mayan was attacked by Home Guard on her last visit, Delenn would like to request a security detail for the visiting Minbari. Garibaldi agrees to the request and says he'll arrange it. Lennier expresses an interest in the motorcycle and offers to help Garibaldi with translating the manual.

In a briefing with Garibaldi and Ivanova, Sinclair reports that there have been a series of terrorist incidents directed at Earthforce stations all across Mars. Garibaldi thinks it might be the radical group Free Mars, but Sinclair says it seems to be a number of new groups, some even more aggressive than the Free Mars group. As a result, Earth Central wants to place an embargo on any shipments of weapons to Mars. They are worried that Babylon 5 might become a center for arms trading for the terrorist groups. Their trade agreements with the various aliens allow them to sell weapons on the station as long as the actual transfer of goods takes place elsewhere. Sinclair says they will need to begin monitoring the transactions and alert Mars of any incoming weapons shipments. They also need to start keeping track of any arrivals from Mars.

A man named Franks arrives on the station and begins asking questions all around the station about Sinclair and the station itself. He claims to be working for a company called Quartermaster Corporation, hoping to supply the station. The questions get called to Garibaldi's attention and he checks out Franks' credentials, learning he arrived with another man, Gray. Their story does seem to check out, but he alerts Sinclair anyway. Quartermaster is an independent military supplier located very close to Mars and could make a good cover for anyone trying to smuggle arms into the colony. Sinclair advises Garibaldi to look into the matter, discreetly.

Garibaldi goes to meet with Franks and Gray and Franks reveals that his real name is Colonel Ari Ben Zayn, from Earthforce Internal Affairs (which Garibaldi calls Eyes). Zayn, along with Gray, a Psi Corps specialist, is there to conduct a thorough investigation of the station's command staff. He claims that due to the events on Mars similar investigations are taking place on every Earth outpost, intended to gauge who is loyal to Earthforce and who isn't.

Zayn also claims that there are new laws in place not only allowing telepaths to be involved in such investigations but requiring command staff to submit to scans. Ivanova outright refuses to such a test. Sinclair says he wants time to review the new regulations himself and Zayn allows it, though he co-opts Garibaldi to help him with his investigation, overriding objections from both Garibaldi and Sinclair.

Lennier, not having much to do while Delenn is occupied with her friend's visit, gets engrossed in working on Garibaldi's bike.

Ivanova has a terrible nightmare about the whole telepath scan situation and decides to tender her resignation in order to avoid the scan, knowing that Zayn will insist. Sinclair refuses to accept, however, unwilling to let her risk her career or to leave the station. He reassures her that he has found a legal way to avoid her submitting to the scan and she gratefully thanks him.

Zayn studies Sinclair's file almost obsessively, stating he needs to know all of the man's secrets. Gray tentatively reminds him that deep scans are prohibited and Zayn calls him naive. He reminds Gray that a telepath was killed because of Sinclair's actions when Ironheart was on the station. He also lets slip that Bester might have something to do with the investigation, giving Gray pause. Sinclair arrives for his interview and pulls out the regulation details, pointing out that Zayn is in the wrong demanding a scan without further approval from Earthforce. Gray sides with Sinclair's interpretation of the new regulation and Zayn grudgingly dismisses him before beginning the interview.

During the interview, Ivanova contacts Sinclair to let him know there's been a development in their tracking of arms shipments to Mars. Sinclair makes to leave and deal with it but Zayn refuses to let him go, insisting the interview isn't over. When Sinclair tries to leave anyway, Zayn relieves him of command and says he is taking over the station himself. He charges Sinclair with interfering with an Earthforce investigation and smirks that he therefore is now freely allowed to force Sinclair to submit to a telepathic scan. He orders Sinclair confined to his quarters until the scan as he assumes control of the station.

Ivanova still refuses to submit to a scan, even though she knows it means she'll likely be charged with insubordination and dishonorably discharged. Garibaldi promises to try to find a way out of it for all of them.

He does manage to dig up information that Zayn was originally in the top ten choices for people to take command of the station, but, as we know, the Minbari rejected all choices until they got to Sinclair, significantly further down the list. In addition, Zayn is very close to Bester. They realize that Zayn must have come to the station with a purpose, one definitely not in Sinclair's best interests.

Ivanova, trying to drink her problems away, ends up getting into a brawl in the casino. Garibaldi goes to calm her down. He gets her sobered up and says he needs her help to reinstate Sinclair. They all go to Sinclair's interview/scan, and Zayn says he intends for Ivanova and Garibaldi to be scanned as well. Sinclair manages to turn the tables, however, accusing Zayn of holding a personal grudge for being passed over for the Commander position.

He gets Zayn really angry so that his emotions are running high enough that Gray can't help but read his thoughts, realizing that this is indeed a witch-hunt and there is some sort of conspiracy between Zayn and Bester. Zayn freaks out and pulls out a gun but Gray distracts him with some mental mojo, allowing Sinclair to knock him out with a punch, thus concluding his investigation. The record will show that he clearly overstepped his bounds and a subsequent mental evaluation will probably see Zayn taken off duty for the foreseeable future. That just leaves Bester lurking out there somewhere, but Sinclair is confident he will stay in the shadows for the time being.

Garibaldi returns to his quarters to find that Lennier has fully assembled the motorcycle. He is upset for a moment, having wanted to put it together himself, but he gets over it quickly, lamenting only that he's sad they can't ride it. Lennier shows him that it actually is rideable, as he installed a Minbari power source so that it would not require gasoline. The two take it for a ride through the station.


Garibaldi is building a...motorcycle. In his quarters. Because, why not.

Lennier! Yay! Heh, he's curious about the bike. Of course he is. Aw, he wants to help. Buddy project, whoo!

Uh oh, something is afoot. What are these people planning for Ivanova?

Okay, this Franks guy is bad news. Good call Welch, thank you for reporting that.

Hah, Lennier is reading up on the history of motorcycles. "Sexual prowess and rebellion." Hehe.

Okay, Gray, why you putting those gloves on? That's...disturbing. Um, if this guy knows Garibaldi "intimately" shouldn't he already know that he doesn't drink anymore?

Internal affairs, huh? I guess that explains why Gray didn't think they needed to involve Ivanova with her spotless record. Oh, AND Gray's a telepath. Goody. Oh, new regulations upping telepaths' powers and involvement? That doesn't confirm earlier claims that they are trying to take over Earth's government. Oh, AND he's hijacking Garibaldi. Dude. Not cool.

Is it just me or does Gray seem kind of jumpy?

Zayn really isn't trying to make any friends here, is he?'s really not the best way to go about securing cooperation for his investigation.

Oh, Lennier. He wants to put the bike together himself! I love him so much.

Peekaboo? That's Garibaldi's password? Heh. Oh, good call, find out what you can about these guys. Can't hurt.

Sigh. Gray, I don't know if trying to bond with Ivanova is the best route to end her hostility toward you and what you represent.

"If I knew who God was, I'd thank her." (Garibaldi)

So, all of Sinclair's little rebellions against Earth Alliance and the brass at Earthforce are coming home to roost. Remember what I've been saying about how Sinclair has realized (or at least begun to realize) that if Babylon 5 is to serve its true purpose of acting as a bridge between the races of the galaxy, it can't afford to be wholly overseen by Earth? Yeah, now's when his actions in that vein are going to start coming back to bite him in the butt.

"Ah, Mr. Garibaldi. I was just about to embark on the mysteries of the fuel injection system. Would you care to join me?" (Lennier)

Oh, I think we've embarked on a journey through Ivanova's dreams. Oh, this is sad. Having Gray on the station is stirring up all of her feelings about her mother.

Huh. Where is Talia during all of this? We haven't seen her in a long time, now that I think about it.

Man, she really doesn't want to be scanned. I mean, I don't blame her, but she's willing to resign over it, wow. Good old Sinclair's got her back though. Huzzah for technicalities! Hmm. It occurs to me that Sinclair promised to keep himself from being scanned too. He probably wants to keep all of that Battle of the Line stuff to himself as well.

Oh, and of course Zayn wants to know all of Sinclair's secrets in particular.

Oh, Bester is involved? Uh oh.

Gray does seem to be kind of a nice guy though. Oh, siding with with Sinclair about the regulation. Burn on Zayn.

Oh Gray, she doesn't want to see you right now. Or ever, really, but, yeah. Oh, man. He has a crush on her, doesn't he? That's cute. Oh, you were doing so well, why bring up her mother. Bad call dude. Sigh.

Um. Sinclair doesn't have any real leadership ability? Really? I think everyone under his command, along with all of the ambassadors on the station, would grossly disagree. Ergh. Zayn's one of those who equate "not doing it my way" with "lack of competence." I dislike those people.

Oh dear. Using Sinclair's own love of technicalities against him. Well, really. Who didn't see that coming? But...Gray does seem to be one of the good guys.

Oh man, Ivanova does not take this well. Garibaldi, I hope you are right. Please find some dirt on Zayn. Please.

Ivanova, it seems to me this is a bad day for you to be getting drunk. Especially in a crowded bar. Just a thought.

Oh, Zayn was up for command of the station? That's not at all surprising. Grudge-city. Also besties with Bester. Not a good combo for Sinclair. At all.

"Are you gonna arrest me Garibaldi?" (Ivanova)
"No way. I wanna live to see the future." (Garibaldi)

Heh, Sinclair wants Zayn to be scanned too. He's getting his emotions worked up so that Gray can't help but scan him. Nice. Dude. Slapping a telepath is not a good idea.

Aw, Lennier is so proud of himself. Oh, and he managed to give it a "clean" energy source so they can ride it. Through the station. Heh heh. Whee!


So concludes another week of the rewatch. I hope to see you back here on Monday for our next episode, "Legacies."

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