Wednesday, September 26, 2012

B5 Rewatch: A Voice In the Wilderness (Part I)

Howdy folks! Welcome to another installment of the Babylon 5 rewatch! Today we'll be talking about the eighteenth episode of season one, "A Voice In the Wilderness (Part I)."

Spoilers, of course.

Let Me Sum Up

Ivanova informs Sinclair of some strange seismic readings the station has been picking up from the planet it orbits. There seems to be some kind of geographic turbulence coming from the surface. He gives her the go ahead to send a team out to do a survey and see if they can determine what's going on.

While approaching the planet, the survey team's ship is struck by a burst of energy from within the planet. Their controls are shorted out but they are able to establish an orbit and communicate to the station to be picked up. The doctor in charge of the team, Tasaki, wants to go over what information they did gather before the burst and from the burst itself and then return to the planet the next day. Sinclair okays it as long as they can safely find a way to do so. They are all worried that the planet might have become unstable or might be inhabited after all.

On the station itself, there is uneasiness among the human crew, particularly Sinclair and Garibaldi, at word of a revolt on Mars. It seems the colony is rising up against Earth and claiming independence. On top of that, Sinclair begins to see visions of an alien asking for help.

Meanwhile, an old friend and teacher of Delenn's, Draal, has arrived to visit her. He confesses that he feels a growing darkness among their people, something more than just the growing rift between the warrior and religious castes. It has left him feeling useless and outdated, so he has decided to "go to the sea" which seems to be Minbari for wandering off into the stars and never coming back. Delenn is distressed by this revelation but Draal says he does not need to leave immediately and wishes to spend as much time with her as possible before he goes.

Garibaldi reveals to Talia that an old flame of his lives on Mars and he needs to speak to her and make sure that she is alright. He enlists Talia's aid to try to secure a line of communication through a secret Psi Corps training facility on Mars. She is dubious about her ability to do this but agrees to try.

The survey team returns to the planet with an escort of starfuries. When Tasaki tries to dip down into the planet's atmosphere to take some readings (against Ivanova's orders), a round of missiles launches at the survey ship from the surface. With a distracting volley of fire from the starfuries, the survey ship manages to evade the missiles and return to Babylon 5.

Talia is unable to convince Psi Corps to let Garibaldi use them to contact his friend, but they do agree to look up any information about her. Unfortunately, the news is not great. They could only access the list of survivors and her name wasn't on it. A further search revealed no record of anyone by that name on the colony. So, either she left Mars, which Garibaldi doesn't believe likely, or something has happened to her. He decides that he will believe she's fine until he has confirmation otherwise and thanks Talia for her help.

The survey team's second foray to the planet did manage to determine that the missiles were fired from five miles beneath the planet's surface, through a fissure that Tasaki believes is artificial. He thinks maybe it was uncovered during the earthquakes and maybe the missiles are part of some long abandoned automatic defense system.

Garibaldi and Ivanova both agree that this presents a danger to the station until they know more. They also agree that it could potentially be a first-contact situation. The two of them decide to go to the planet and into the fissure to investigate, using a squadron of starfuries to provide cover fire and distract any more missiles. Inside, they discover a technological wonder of the likes mankind has never seen. They also discover a person, the alien Sinclair has been seeing in fact, plugged into a device at the heart of the facility. He asks for their help and they disengage him and take him back to the station.

As they head back to Babylon 5, Garibaldi is alerted that a jump point is forming, and a very large ship is arriving. He looks at the readout on the ship in shock and...

To be continued.


Distinguished Minbari gentleman is distinguished. He looks like a jolly fellow.

They've been orbiting this planet for how long and they are just now doing a geological survey? Hmm. Going to assume it is just a new one in response to the current activity. Or hope, at least.

"Mr. Garibaldi is many things, but he is not omniscient!" (Sinclair)

...and there he is. Hah! Slightly stalkerish behavior though Garibaldi. Maybe just tell her you like her and ask her out instead, hmm?

Uh oh, random bolts of light from the surface of the planet are never a good thing, are they?

Oh good, they're okay. Though in need of help. I hope the energy burst doesn't hit the starfuries as well!

Meeting with Delenn and Londo. Interesting. Where's G'Kar? Okay, discussing trade routes. That makes sense I guess.

Oh, they did send previous surveys, good.

I do like that Tasaki not only seems resolved to go back and find out what's going on, but he also wants to make sure to do it with as much information and forethought as possible. Good.

An interesting recap of the conflict between the Centauri and Narn. Though...Londo, don't you think that maybe the Narn have a pretty good reason to hate your people? I mean, centuries of enslavement will kind of do that. Just, food for thought.

God, I bet sometimes Delenn and Sinclair feel like the parents of two particularly difficult children with the worst case of sibling rivalry ever.

"Without the hope that things will get better, that our inheritors will know a world that is fuller and richer than our own, life is pointless and evolution is vastly overrated." (Delenn)

Hmm. Something's up with Mars? It can't be anything good.

Oh, Delenn's friend found her. Seems like this Draal was one of her teachers, perhaps. Oh, he does seem jolly, yay!

Oh, contact with Mars cut off? Open revolt against Earth, huh? Like I said, not anything good.

Okay, random holographic dude appearing in Sinclair's quarters asking for help. That's creepy.

Well, at least Delenn is having a good day. That is a cool teapot! Hmm, seems like Draal is hiding something. Sounds like things aren't all peachy on the Minbari homeworld either.

Gonna guess going to the sea doesn't mean going on vacation. The call of the stars? That's poetic. It also seems in keeping with the Minbari mystic tendencies.

Oh, Garibaldi really isn't taking the news about Mars well. Poor guy.

Talia, wow, ice queen. Can't you tell the difference between when Garibaldi's being a goof and being serious? Aw, his lost love is still on Mars. No wonder he's so upset. Oh. Oh, he wants to piggy back on a signal from a classified Psi Corps post he's not even supposed to know about. Wow. Though, points to Talia for agreeing to at least try to help. She seems to like and deal with Garibaldi better when he's not actively trying to flirt with or hit on her.

Uh oh. Missiles. Well, I guess now we know there was definitely someone on the planet at some point in time, huh?

"Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God. And. If this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out!" (Ivanova)

Heh heh, Babylon 5 mantra. I love it. The best bits are when everyone else in control scurries when she notices them watching and then her little whispered apology to God. Dude. She is so awesome.

So, probably an automatic defense system uncovered by recent earthquakes. Oh, how cute. Both Sinclair and Ivanova are excited to go down and check it out.

Wow, Londo giving Garibaldi advice. Awesome.

"You looked as if you needed a friend." (Londo)
"I did. Thanks." (Garibaldi)
"You're welcome. Now. I go to spread happiness to the rest of the station. It's a terrible responsibility. But I have learned to live with it." (Londo)

Oh, but then he tricked Garibaldi into paying for his drink. Even better. This rewatch is giving me all kinds of Londo feels.

Oh, it's the holograph dude again, this time appearing to Londo. Interesting. Odds it has something to do with the planet? High.

Alright, diversion engaged? Yup? Okay, Sinclair and Ivanova off to explore. A very very dark pit. Ooh, pretty crystals. No life signs detected though.

No joy for getting Garibaldi a link to Mars. But at least the Psi Corps rep is willing to check on his friend's status. That's good. Though I agree with Talia on the completely paranoid bit, I am kind of amused that she was surprised by it.

Ooh, booby trap. Will cut down on tourism. Yes, Ivanova, it will. Snort. Dude, yay for science! I love these two together. Can we have a spinoff that's just The Adventures of Sinclair and Ivanova? Maybe with the occasional guest appearance by Garibaldi. Well, they've found something. Oh, is the planet a giant computer? Is that what the deal is? I am trying to remember. I mean, I kind of know what's going on with the holograph dude, but I am forgetting the why of it.

Oh my goodness. Wow. So I guess the Hokey Pokey has persisted all this time. That's...disturbing. Hehe, I like Draal. Oh man, it amuses me so much how confusing the other species all find humanity. Seriously. Because we are messed up, okay.

Oh, that is not the news that Garibaldi wanted. At least it's nothing concrete. He's gonna hold on to hope as long as he can.

Sinclair is geeking out. Uh oh, another earthquake. I sense they are not unrelated to holograph dude.

...and there he is in the flesh. Well. Nothing inspires kindness from others like a threat against them and theirs. A little clarification, please?

"It's a Russian thing. When we're about to do something stupid we like to catalog the full extent of our stupidity for future reference." (Ivanova)

Hmm. Is it wise to remove someone from a planet entirely when they were just plugged in to it? Well, I guess we'll find out.

Oh, and look, a new problem! Just in time for the "to be continued." Awesome.


That's it for this week! Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again on Monday for the second part of this story, "A Voice In the Wilderness (Part II)."

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