Monday, December 3, 2012

B5 Rewatch: Soul Mates

Hello! Welcome back to my Babylon 5 rewatch! After a month away I am raring to get back into it, I've missed the crazy shenanigans of the Babylon 5's crew! Today we'll be looking at the seventh episode of season two, "Soul Mates."

Spoilers incoming.

Let Me Sum Up

Londo's three wives, Timov, Daggair, and Mariel are coming to visit him on the station.

Meanwhile, Garibaldi sees a man in customs who triggers his suspicions. He checks up on the guy, Matt Stoner, but doesn't find any red flags. Still, he tells Sheridan about it, just in case. Talia comes in for a meeting with Sheridan and overhears the man's name. She reveals that he is her ex-husband.

Londo reveals to his wives that, because his star is on the rise the emperor has agreed to grant him one wish for the 30th anniversary of his Ascension, which is tomorrow. Londo's wish is for a divorce from them. The emperor has agreed to let him divorce two of his wives, wanting him to keep one to accompany him to future events of state. They have until tomorrow to make their case so he can decide which one to keep, the other two will be cut off completely.

Stoner tries to sell a Centauri artifact in the Zocalo and Garibaldi notices. He asks where Stoner came by the artifact, wanting to make sure no one on the station is dealing with stolen goods, of course. He quickly provides authenticity for the artifact and Garibaldi is forced to drop it, though he does tell the guy to stay away from Talia while on the station. Stoner is not intimidated.

Stoner finds Talia, in fact, and tells her that he wants to reconcile. She doesn't really want anything to do with him, but he knows she's dying to find out how he managed to leave Psi Corps. He says it's because they experimented on him and caused him to lose his telepathic abilities. He promises that if she comes with him, he will help her lose her abilities as well. She thinks about taking up the offer.

In a bid to secure Londo's affection, Mariel buys the artifact that Stoner brought with him to give to Londo as a gift at his Ascension celebration. Unfortunately, it apparently was booby-trapped, and when Londo opens it, two darts shoot out, poisoning him. He is very ill and Franklin laments that the only way to save him in time would be a blood transfusion, but they don't have enough of Londo's blood type on hand.

Daggair points out to Timov that if Londo dies before the divorce has been decreed, all three wives would still be his beneficiaries and would be set for life. Timov looks dissatisfied at this thought. Later, she goes to Franklin to tell him that she and Londo share a blood type. Franklin asks why she didn't speak up before and  she admits she was considering whether she wanted to save him. But she says that "winning" that way unsettles her, and so he can have the transfusion as long as he never tells Londo where the blood came from.

Garibaldi jumps on the fact that it was Stoner's artifact that poisoned Londo to arrest Stoner. Unfortunately, Security's investigation into the artifact digs up that Stoner is free of any wrongdoing in that situation. The artifact was found in a section of Centauri space abandoned during their war with the Narn, and the Narn had a habit of booby-trapping everyday items to kill Centauri. The artifact was likely just left over from that time.

Still, Garibaldi is suspicious of Stoner. He's not really convinced by Talia's story of how Stoner left Psi Corps, and he notices that Stoner seems to be able to influence people to act against their inclinations. His suspicions are doubled when Psi Corps shows up to bail Stoner out once they learn he's been arrested. With Talia's help, Garibaldi is able to reveal that Stoner didn't lose his abilities, they were actually improved. He is now an empath, but Psi Corps couldn't risk anyone finding out they'd been doing experiments to improve and alter telepathic abilities, so officially, they let him go. Unofficially, they have him still working to try to make more empaths--this time by trying to reconcile with or influence Talia to come with him so they could make lots of little empath babies.

Londo, upon recovering, decides to keep Timov as his lone wife. Timov is just as shocked as everyone else by that decision and asks him why. He tells her that with her, he always knows where he stands.


"I'm here to pick up some women." (Vir)
"You'll have better luck at bars." (Garibaldi)

Oh, poor Vir. Don't let Garibaldi sass you. I am guessing the relatives in question are Londo's? I would assume Vir has met his own relatives. Oh! Londo's wives. Plural.

Timov. Wife one. Not having any of anyone's nonsense.

Oh. Dude cuts off rant in the middle for no apparent reason? That doesn't seem suspicious at all. Nope. Not a bit. Oh, Talia knows who this Stoner guy is and isn't happy about it. That can't be a good sign at al--oh. Her ex-husband. We are all about the random spouses turning up in this episode it seems.

"I won't bite, Vir." (Timov)
"With all due respect madam, that's not what I've heard." (Vir)
"Alright. That one time." (Timov)

Heh. I like Timov so far. Wife number two! Hello, Daggair. Oh, not much love lost between these two. So we're probably not talking Aiel sister-wives here.

That's a random place for a guitar. I guess that's some sort of Earth cultural exhibit?

Aw, Sheridan's trying to extend the olive branch.

Oh!!!! I know why Delenn wants to see Ivnova. I have been waiting for this scene!!!! Oh, Ivanova's face when Delenn says she hasn't been washing her hair. This is so amusing and incredibly sweet to me. Also, I love that it's a little extra bonding time for these two amazing ladies.

Ooh, some background on Psi Corps. For the record, someone that Psi Corps let leave, that they don't want to talk about, is someone you probably want to keep an eye on.

Running joke! Everyone asking Sheridan how he's settling in. I love it!

Hmm. Londo's in a good mood. Does he know his wives are waiting for him? Getting impatient. Uh-oh. When women start talking about "knowing their place" I get all itchy. That's right, Timov, you tell him. Daggair does seem to be laying it on a bit thick, doesn't she?

"The secret of our marriage's success, Londo, is our lack of communication. You have jeopardized that success and I would know why!" (Timov)

Seriously, Timov is my homegirl. Oh, so Daggair's been paying attention and knows that the emperor is favoring Londo and that's why she's sucking up.

Wow, Londo's really gloating about being able to dump two of his wives. These must have been some antagonistic relationships. Oh, is wife number three here now?

Wait, isn't that the dancer girl? Did he marry her?

Oh, we're back to this Stoner guy. What's he up to? Centauri artifact, eh? Oh, and you know Garibaldi isn't going to like this guy because he was married to Talia.

Oh, Lennier you are such a cutie pie. Worried about Delenn and her human grooming.

So, this 30th anniversary of Londo's Ascension is a big deal. He's clearly older than 30, so I wonder what this "Ascension" was.

Okay, this Stoner guy is clearly a creep. I mean, I know he's just trying to push Garibaldi's buttons, but dude. That's unnecessary, and also gloating.

Ah, here we go, wife number three! a moth? Okay then. I guess that was Mariel earlier, she just looked an awful lot like dancer girl.

Hmm. He seems to think Talia doesn't want to be in Psi Corps. That's not an opinion she's shared with anyone on the ship, even if she has shown doubts. Has she felt this way for a while? Is it actually possible to lose one's telepathic abilities? Or has Stoner just figured out how to mask them? Ooh, Talia is conflicted.

Sigh. Oh Garibaldi. When are you going to understand that Talia doesn't want to be with you? You can't go overstepping your bounds like that, even if you think you're helping her. It really just does anything but.

"Do you seriously expect me to become involved in your sexual olympics?" (Timov)

That's right girl, you tell him. Sigh. This is an episode that reminds me that Londo really is kind of a creep. I get that he wants to keep the wife that he thinks he'll get along with best, but it's not cool to take advantage of them while they vie for the position. Hell, making them vie for the position in the first place is really kind of bastardly as it is.

Aw, Talia apologized to Garibaldi. Because she's leaving with Stoner? That seems like a bad idea. Um. Talia, did you miss the part you just said about how the treatment almost killed your ex-husband before it took away his telepathic ability? Why would you want to try that?

Look. I am glad she can admit that Psi Corps scares her, and that it is a flawed organization. That is EXCELLENT character (and plot) growth. But I don't for one second believe she actually wants to give up her abilities, even if they aren't always convenient for her. Wouldn't it be better to try and clean up the organization (or bring it down) from the inside out?

A barefoot party? I like this. Heh. So G'Kar wears shoes especially to offend Londo, who just says that he's fine, and gives G'Kar a headache. I love their dynamic.

Aw, Delenn can see that Garibaldi is bummed.

Cosmic Sewing Circle is so the name of my new band.

Oh! Do Londo and Lennier still play (cheat?) at cards together?

Is anyone surprised that the artifact Stoner brought aboard turned out to be some sort of weapon? Anyone?

Oh, Daggair. Don't go there. Despite Mariel's tears, I suspect that she too realized that if Londo died before finalizing the divorce they would all be set.

Oh, Garibaldi and Stoner just do not like each other. If Delenn's theory about souls traveling together is right, then their souls must have had some epic disagreements in the past.

Oh, look, it's time for me to gush on the awesomeness of Timov some more. Seriously. Awesome.

Gee. Stoner is able to influence the people around him? Yeah. He definitely lost his telepathic abilities (insert eye roll).

Sigh. Whatever else I might think of the Centauri, their wardrobe is gorgeous.

"Ambassador Mollari, do you mind if I make one personal observation?" (Franklin)
"No, no, not at all." (Londo)
"Stick it." (Franklin)

Oh good, Talia changed her mind. Because she's not a freaking idiot. Oh, hey, look, he's putting the whammy on her. Yup. This guy is just a bucket full of lies. Ah, Garibaldi got her to get Stoner to show his hand.

G'Kar! What are you and Mariel up to? Oh, you're being naughty. Did they conspire together to kill Londo? Or did G'Kar just figure it out when he was asked about the artifact and want to tell Mariel he was on to her and (likely) give her kudos? I would guess the latter, but that's kind of a weird little scene.

Sheridan is not buying what you're selling, Mr. Stoner. Ew. Psi Corps is super extra creepy now. They want to breed Talia to get more empaths out of Stoner? Ew ew ew.

I don't like how he keeps referring to it as a "cure." Seriously. Psi Corps, this is what you have wrought, to make people look at telepathy like a curse or a disease.

Yay! Londo's keeping Timov! Because she's the BEST.

"Why me?" (Timov)
"Because with you, I will always know where I stand." (Londo)

He kind of redeems himself with this a bit, because at least he knows that he needs someone to be real with him and keep him in check. I know he doesn't completely avoid becoming a monster, but I think between people like Timov (and G'Kar), he is able to hold back quite a bit.

...and final bonding moment between Delenn and Ivanova, yay! Oh, poor Delenn.


Well, let's wrap things up for the day there, shall we? Thank you so much for stopping by! Be sure to check back again tomorrow for the next episode, "A Race Through Dark Places." Ooh, that sounds ominous.

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