Recap / Babylon Five S 01 E 16 Eyes
Not talking about these eyes, although it could.
Season 1 Episode 16


Let's face it, we've had to rewrite the book a few times to make B5 work.
Chief Michael Garibaldi

Garibaldi is in his quarters working on an Earth antique, a 1992 Kawasaki Ninja ZX in mint condition...except it's in pieces. Lennier comes in looking to arrange a security detail for Shaal Mayan, who will be returning to the station shortly. He then asks what the bike is and as Garibaldi explains, Lennier listens in fascination. When he offers to help, Garibaldi lets him have the manual (which is in Japanese).

Elsewhere, two men are looking at files of the station's command staff. One of them protests that Ivanova does not need to be included, that her record is spotless. The other says she will be, and that records do not always tell the entire story.

"That's one of the reasons you're here, Mr. Gray." he tells Gray.

Later, Gray's associate, who introduces himself as Aaron Franks, is talking to Lou Welch, one of the security officers, asking questions about the station and Sinclair in particular. Welch brushes him off, but as he leaves, Franks stops another station worker and begins asking more questions. Welch calls a suspicious individual in.

Lennier is watching historical videos about motorcycles, learning that they came to represent "sexual prowess and rebellion."

Garibaldi has started keeping tabs on Franks who has been asking more and more people about Sinclair. When he informs the commander, he notes that Franks and Gray are both listed as representing Quartermaster, a military supplier. Fearing they might be looking to conduct arms shipments, Sinclair orders Garibaldi to look into it.

Garibaldi goes to see Mr. Gray, who is in his room, seeming to meditate. He tells Garibaldi they are looking to negotiate a supply deal for the station, but Franks arrives at that point. He drops the charade and introduces himself as Colonel Ari Ben Zayn of Earthforce Internal Affairs (or "Eyes"). Gray is a specialist from Psi Corps and they are here to conduct a special investigation.

Some time later, he briefs the command staff. With all the unrest in recent months, Earth needs to be certain about its officers. Sinclair protests both the fact that they are investigating his officers and Ben Zayn's method of asking questions without notifying them, but Ben Zayn says he has the authority under new regulations, including having them submit to a telepathic scan. Ivanova objects strongly to that part, but Sinclair calms her down, saying he'll check the regulations himself. Ben Zayn orders Garibaldi to gather all his files on the staff, including classified ones, and bring them to him. Garibaldi does so... but also asks the Interweb for information regarding the colonel and Mr. Gray.

Gray goes to C&C to try to talk to Ivanova. He tells her how he wanted to be a pilot, but wasn't allowed to after his telepathy was discovered. Psi Corps allowed him to join their military office, which is almost like serving. Ivanova wants nothing to do with him and tells him if he enters her mind in any fashion she will tear his head off.

In Garibaldi's meeting with Ben Zayn, they are reviewing the Deathwalker incident. When Ben Zayn asks, Garibaldi points out that protesting to the Vorlons wouldn't have done any good. He suggests taking it up with the commander, which Ben Zayn intends to do. Later Garibaldi meets up with Sinclair, telling him he's been questioning every major decision the commander's made this year. He worries that Sinclair might have something to hide, just from having to make B5 work. Sinclair isn't too worried and sends Garibaldi to bed.

He finds Lennier in his quarters, chanting over the bike, about to delve into the mysteries of the fuel injection system. Garibaldi, ready to hit the sack, tells him to come back tomorrow. Lennier leaves saying, "Domo arigatou."

Ivanova is having a dream. She sees her mother flanked by two men in Psi Corp uniforms and theatrical masks who inject her with drugs. Ivanova is about to stop them, but Gray appears and tells her not to interfere. Her mother says, there's only one way out, and as she lifts her head, it's Ivanova's face as she says, "Only one way out." She then wakes up. A short time later, she arrives in Sinclair's quarters and offers her resignation to avoid being scanned. Sinclair refuses, telling her he's found a way around the scan. He asks what she's so afraid of, she had a telepathic mother. Ivanova agrees, and tells him a little about her memories of her mother and how she doesn't want anyone to disturb them, especially Psi Corps.

In the morning, Sinclair arrives and tell Ben Zayn that telepathic scans can only be used when specific charges have been filed, not for routine loyalty tests. Gray unexpectedly sides with the commander, and Ben Zayn angrily dismisses him.

Gray finds Ivanova in a lounge. He approves of Sinclair standing up to the colonel, which surprises Ivanova, who tells him he doesn't seem like the rest of Psi Corps. He counters that she must not know any people in Psi Corps very well. Ivanova gets annoyed when he mentions Talia Winters, then enraged when he brings up her mother. They are interrupted when she is called to C&C.

She calls down to Sinclair about something that needs his attention, but Ben Zayn tells her to deal with it herself. Sinclair has had enough with Ben Zayn's interference and gets up to leave, but Ben Zayn blocks him and accuses him of working against the best interests of Earth—and now that specific charges have been filed, he now has the right to use a telepathic scan. He assumes command of the station and goes to C&C to inform Ivanova. He also orders her and Garibaldi to submit to a scan. After he leaves, Ivanova tells Garibaldi she'll refuse, which will result in her being kicked out of Earthforce, an ending she says she should have expected.

Sinclair is on a call with a general who, while he could order Ben Zayn to stand down, will not. There are powerful influences behind this, people Sinclair's been pissing off all year. And the President immigration laws will soon be in the Senate, so he won't intervene either.

In the casino, a drunk comes up to Ivanova and says, "Hey, look at the cute commander." She simply looks at him. "Cute?"

Garibaldi's earlier query regarding Ben Zayn and Grey has revealed something interesting. Ben Zayn was in the top ten considered for command of Babylon 5. He is also an associate of the Psi Cop Bester, who assigned Mr. Gray to Ben Zayn. He is then informed of a disturbance.

The disturbance turns out to be Ivanova in the center of a huge brawl. Garibaldi manages to get to her and lead her out.

Sinclair arrives early for the interview, and finds Gray already there. He asks about Bester's association with Ben Zayn, which Gray confirms. Sinclair then suggests that Gray is scanning the wrong people. Ben Zayn, Ivanova and Garibaldi soon arrive and begin the interview. Sinclair asks if Gray will be scanning Ben Zayn as well, then asks why he turned an investigation into a head hunt. He goads the colonel on further until Gray senses deep hatred in Ben Zayn's mind. Ben Zayn knocks Gray to the floor and pulls a gun out, pointing it at "a trio of mutineers." Gray gets up and uses his telepathy to project pain directly into Ben Zayn's mind. Sinclair is able to grab the gun and knock the colonel out. The investigation is over.

Later, Garibaldi returns to his quarter to unwind, and finds Lennier standing proudly beside the completed motorcycle. Garibaldi is a bit dismayed, fixing it had been something to do, and now it's... done. And thanks to the installation of a Minbari power source, quite ride-able as well. Garibaldi immediately perks up and wants to take it for a spin.

Sinclair and Ivanova are walking along. She is grateful to Mr. Gray, something she finds ironic. Sinclair feels circumstances will vindicate him, but Ben Zayn would likely be discharged from Earthforce, and Bester might feel some repercussions.

Garibaldi suddenly rides by, Lennier on his backseat. Ivanova muses with irony, "It's good to have things back to normal."

This episode contains examples of:

  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Ben Zayn relieves Sinclair of command and installs himself as the commanding officer of Babylon 5.
  • Bar Brawl: Ivanova starts one in the casino.
  • Berserk Button: Do not bring up Ivanova's mother if you're in Psi Corps. Oh, and don't try to hit on her (or call her "cute") when she's drunk.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Harriman Gray. He rarely deviates from the rules in his task, and has misgivings about how Colonel Ari Ben Zayn tries to interpret the rules. Gray eventually turns on the colonel when it becomes clear that Ben Zayn has been abusing the rules for his own ends, and is not motivated by justice at all.
  • Call-Back:
  • Catapult Nightmare: Ivanova wakes with a start after a rather unpleasant one, involving her mother and two masked psi cops, one in a comedy mask, and another in a tragedy mask.
  • Colonel Badass: Ben Zayn is a brash, unsympathetic figure here, but it's implied that he has definitely earned his rank.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Ivanova threatens Mr. Gray, saying that if he scans Ivanova, she'll rip his head off and use it as a chamber pot.
  • The Cynic: When Ivanova says she'll refuse the scan, Garibaldi tells her she'll be charged with insubordination; she replies that she'll then be replaced and dishonorably discharged. She says it's a very Russian ending, and she should have expected it.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: A non-romantic (maybe) example; Harriman Gray keeps trying to get Ivanova to at least tolerate him, even though the fact that he's in Psi Corps immediately causes her to want nothing to do with him.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: When faced with the possibility of being kicked out of Earthforce, Ivanova goes for a drink, eventually starting the brawl mentioned above.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Ivanova has a very good reason not to want telepaths in her head. We find out in season 2 that she's a latent telepath herself. Ivanova's dream is also foreshadowing in this direction.
    • This dream also has a subtle foreshadowing, when you consider that Macaulay Bruton, the actor playing Garibaldi´s second Jack, is the man behind the tragedy mask. This sets up his connection to the Psi Corps.
    • Note that Ivanova states she rather serve the Minbari than go through what Earthforce intends to do with her. During the course of the series, she gradually ends up doing this - ultimately taking the cape as the next leader of the rangers after Sheridan.
    • Mars separatist groups are getting more active.
  • Honor Before Reason: Ivanova refuses to submit to a loyalty scan on the grounds that Earth Force no longer deserves her loyalty if they feel the need to question it. Of course, she had other reasons to avoid it.
  • The Inquisitor Colonel: Ari Ben Zayn in particular, and Internal Investigations ("Eyes") in general.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Lennier becomes fascinated by the Ninja ZX and motorcycles in general, to the point that he seemingly becomes more of an expert on them than Garibaldi.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Sinclair taunts Colonel Ben Zayn until the colonel, enraged, starts more or less confirming the suspected motivation for having Sinclair removed from the station. It also opens him up for Gray to sense Ben Zayn's hatred.
  • Jerkass: Col. Ari Ben Zayn.
  • Large Ham: Gregory Paul Martin as Ben Zayn. The director derisively described him as saying every line like he was doing Macbeth.
  • Literal-Minded: In reaction to learning that Lennier has installed a Minbari power source on the motorcycle so that it'll run, Garibaldi says, "Get outta here!" Lennier misinterprets this as an order to get out, until Garibaldi stops him.
  • Loose Lips: Gloriously averted. Lou Welsh trades a few obligatory words with the Colonel pretending to be a random businessman sitting next to him asking questions about B5 while he tries to have lunch. But as soon as the Colonel asks him about Commander Sinclair, Lou brushes him off and then contacts Garibaldi to report it.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Gray, who is decidedly Lawful Good, and more likely to side with Sinclair's interpretation of the rules than with his own boss's. Most telling is his reaction when he learns that Bester had him assigned to this mission. It's one of the only times he loses his composure in the episode.
  • The Mutiny: Toward the end, Ben Zayn accuses the command staff of this.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Ben Zayn is the first antagonist able to outdo Sinclair in Rules Lawyering. As a result, Sinclair has to resort to psychological warfare.
  • Product Placement: Word of God is that Kawasaki didn't pay for a product placement, but they were the first motorcycle company they asked who were willing to loan them a bike long enough to film this episode.
  • Pun-Based Title: Internal Investigations. Eyes.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: Garibaldi has the manual for the Kawasaki Ninja, but it's in Japanese.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sinclari gives one to Ben Zayn after he refuses to submit to telepathic scan, which by law he must after assuming command of Babylon 5
  • The Resenter: Colonel Ari ben Zayn resents the fact that, despite him being one of the top candidates for the position of Babylon 5's commander, he was rejected by the Minbari for a commander who was well down the depth chart.
  • Title Drop: Garibaldi uses "Eyes" as a colloquial name for "Earthforce Internal Affairs". The name is a reference to its role as a body that (theoretically) "watches the watchmen".
  • Undying Loyalty: Ivanova is as loyal to Earth as anyone could hope to be, but refuses to prove it with a telepathic scan.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When it becomes clear that Ben Zayn is looking to ruin that man he thinks stole command of Babylon 5 from him (and has more or less confessed all to his own interrogation recorders), he loses it, drawing a gun on the command staff and accusing them of mutiny, threatening to execute them for same then and there. Gray stops him by projecting pain directly into his mind, which gives Sinclair an opening to knock Ben Zayn out.