Recap: Babylon Five S 03 E 12 Sic Transit Vir

Vir's new bride is a killer.

Sic Transit Vir

Centauri Minister: Oh, I heard a new joke. Hehahaahhh. What is more dangerous than a locked room full of angry Narns?
Vir: Heh, I don't know. What is more dangerous than a locked room full of angry Narns?
Centuari Minister: One angry Narn with the key!
(Vir laughs, turns around, shakes his head and goes to his room, which is full of Narns)

Ivanova shows up in C&C in a bright, chipper mood ready for a new day…except for the fact that she forgot to get dressed. As she realizes this, she startles herself awake.

Vir is on Centauri Prime admiring the throne in the palace when Minister Virini comes to congratulate him on a good report, even though it clearly had Londo’s touch in places, something they found irritating. As Vir goes off to prepare for his trip to Babylon 5, the minister tells a joke about a room full of angry Narns. Vir laughs nervously then goes to his room which is full of Narns.

Ivanova is venting to Sheridan about the dreams where she shows up to work totally…unprepared. Sheridan tells her it’s just her subconscious trying to make sense of all the changes, and it could be worse, she could be having the kind of dream where she’s naked.

Londo is in his quarters fighting a cunning enemy, an insect that has taken up residence in his kitchen, and since he can’t get an exterminator, he has to deal with it himself. Just as he vanquishes the first of them a beautiful Centauri girl arrives at his quarters.

Sheridan finds Delenn and invites her to dinner, since it’s the first quiet time they’ve had in a while and he wants to make the most of it before the next crisis, and Delenn agrees.

Vir arrives at Londo’s quarters, who has just hidden something in his room and nonchalantly lounges on his couch reading a paper. He asks Vir about the royal court, and Vir says it's more or less the same. After a few more coy questions, Londo finally brings out his surprise, the girl from earlier, who somehow knows Vir’s name. Londo introduces her as Lyndisty and tells Vir she is here to become his wife. Vir is…floored.

They spend some time getting to know each other. The marriage was arranged by her mother and his uncle. She says Londo has told her all about him, to which he jokes it only the good parts, “It was a very short conversation!” Vir had wanted to marry for love but Lyndisty assures him when the time comes it will be.

Zack shows up on C&C with some reports of heavier than usual Narn traffic, which was arranged by someone name Abrahamo Lincolni, which is obviously not a Centauri name. When she checks which office they came from she’s struck speechless.

Vir and Lyndisty take a walk through the zen garden, Lyndisty flirting shamelessly, eventual kissing him, which overpowers Vir’s defenses.

Sometime later, Vir manages to pull himself away to meet with Ivanova. She wants to know about the transit papers. He didn’t have the authority to approve transfers, so he created someone who did. It’s to get the Narns away from Narn and to Centauri Prime, where conditions are generally much better.

In Sheridan’s quarters, he’s showing off his dish, flarn. Delenn is surpised and delighted at first but as she tries it her face changes and she asks about a picture behind him, adding salt while his back is turned. Before long a call comes in of an attack. Vir and Lyndisty are being attacked by a Narn, and Sheridan rushes off to help. He manages to keep either of them from getting killed, getting his arm sliced for his trouble, but as security shows up, the Narn yells “Shon’Kar”, and tries to attack again. Zack shoots and kills him.

Later Sheridan and Ivanova discuss the implications. The Shon’Kar means it’s personal and Sheridan orders her to look into the Narn attacker.

She calls Vir to her office again and says there may be another Narn, the first one’s brother, and since Shon’Kar compels the family to fulfill their revenge, he is probably still in danger. She asks again if there’s anything he can tell her but he’s still clueless. When Ivanova asks about Lyndisty, he tells her that she’s his wife…almost wife, she is but not yet…it’s a long story. He then takes the opportunity to ask what women want. Ivanova flails around for an answer for a while, especially after Vir tells her he’s never gotten past One before.

Vir: We have six…we have six. Each one representing a different level of intimacy and One is like “eh-ngh” and by the time you get to Five it’s like, *pant, pant*…
Ivanova: Alright, alright! All I can say is enthusiasm, sincerity, genuine compassion and humor can carry you through any lack of experience with…high numerical value.
Vir: Oh, I’m going to remember that!

As he leaves she muses to herself, “Six, whoo!”

Delenn comes to see how Sheridan is doing, and starts helping him dress since his arm is still hurting. As they gaze at each other they start to move closer together, closing their eyes for

She tells him they have a serious problem, and asks him to meet her in Londo’s quarters, while Delenn hastily leaves. There Ivanova presents her findings. Vir had forged the transit papers, which Londo is surprised by, but the worst is that all of them, two thousand, are dead!

Ivanova: No wonder the Narns are after you, and anyone close to you!

Meanwhile, Lyndisty walks through a corridor, with a Narn following closely.

Londo is actually quite impressed, much to Sheridan and Ivanova’s disgust, but Vir protests that they’re not dead. He faked the deaths to allow them to go into hiding, since no one cared about dead Narns. He had them sent to colony worlds where they could get treatment and then return to Babylon 5 or other friendly ports. Londo is not happy, especially since he’s the one who sponsored Vir’s appointment. And there’s still one problem: Why is there a blood-oath on him?

Vir is moping in the zen garden when Lyndisty finds him. She takes him to a “surprise”, the Narn who was stalking her earlier. She hasn’t killed him, she saved him for Vir. She tells him how her father worked on Narn essentially as an executioner, and trained her as well. This Narn came from a village they burned to the ground, and she presents Vir with the dagger he was going to use on her, encouraging him to kill the Narn with his own weapon.

Later, Vir is with Londo who has arranged for the closing of the Minbar mission. He’s making sure the records are purged and forbids Vir to speak of it ever again, and he will stay on Babylon 5 under Londo’s tutelage. It also puts the marriage on hold for the time being.

It isn’t the end of it, as Ivanova has usurped Abrahamo Lincolni, who still has the authority Vir gave him and isn’t known to Londo, to continue helping Narns escape to safety. She feels a little more complete now that she has another purpose beyond parking ships.

Vir is bidding farewell to Lyndisty, and each expresses the hope that the other will be able to change and get over their “backwards” ideas. She gives him one final kiss then heads off.

Vir: Well, what relationships don’t have their ups and downs?

This episode contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: John Sheridan may be in charge of a space station five miles long and a quarter of a million people and earned the (sometimes dubious) distinction of being the only human victor over a Minbari warship in naval battle, but put him in front of the girl he likes so he can ask her out to dinner, and he turns into a bashful schoolboy.
  • Almost Kiss: Sheridan and Delenn (damn you, Ivanova!)
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Centauri. Complete with resistance from within in the form of Vir Cotto.
  • Arranged Marriage: Vir has become important enough for noble families to start trying to match him up with their daughters.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Through recordkeeping, Vir has freed thousands of Narns. How? By declaring them dead in Centauri databases, then smuggling them offworld.
  • Breather Episode: After the heavy events of the last few episodes, this one has some much lighter material.
  • Bug War: Londo finds himself having to deal with the insects that have invaded his quarters since he can't get an exterminator in.
  • Call Back:
    • The flarn Sheridan prepares is what Delenn and Lennier made for the Minbari dinner they invited him to.
    • The Shon'Kar was first mentioned when Na'Toth encountered Deathwalker.
    • Centauri have six...well, they have six. Ivanova seems to have trouble getting her mind around that.
    • Minister Virini has not been seen since "The Quality of Mercy", and then it was only as a head on Londo's comm screen. He gets considerably more air time in the next couple of seasons.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The sword Londo uses for bug hunting is the coutari he got from Urza Jaddo.
    • Remember when Londo "edited" Vir's reports for "political reasons"? The ministry noticed, and would rather have received Vir's originals.
    • Vir notes that everytime he comes back to the station it seems someone hits him. First G'Kar, then when he got caught in the riot, and now this.
    • Vir has mentioned his uncle before when telling Londo how his family arranged for him to become the aide of a drunken buffoon. His part in arranging the marriage seems to indicate said uncle may be the family patriarch.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Lyndisty.
  • Death Faked for You: Vir is able to smuggle Narns offworld by officially declaring them dead, as no one on Centauri Prime cares about a dead Narn.
  • First Kiss: Vir's as far as we know. "If kisses could kill, that one would have flattened several small towns."
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Vir first meets Lyndisty he gives her the same wave he gave Morden.
    • We first see Vir in a subtle reminder that he will one day become emperor.
  • The Hunter Becomes The Hunted: Lyndisty manages to capture the Narn that was stalking her.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Ivanova smoothly covers over her embarrassing dream while still getting the point across by saying she was completely unprepared for work (ie, naked).
  • Longing Look: Sheridan directs one of the wistful, "I can't believe I'm that lucky" type toward Delenn after she accepts his dinner invitation, in a lighter example of the trope. That man is besotted and it is adorable.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Londo's Bug War (see above).
    • The moment where Sheridan officially declares Ivanova the official Babylon 5 Sneak, complete with swelling music. He then tells her to get away from his workstation.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Ivanova has the fully naked kind in the beginning.
    • Claudia Christian apparently had the option of doing it naked or in her nightgown. She opted for naked because it was funnier that way.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Sic Transit Vir" could be translated from Latin as "So Goes Man" or "So Goes Vir", referring to Vir Cotto.
  • Running Gag: Unwitting reminders to Ivanova of her "Not Wearing Pants" Dream.
  • The Spymaster: Ivanova spends a great deal of the episode trying to figure out what her role is now that the station's no longer under EarthForce. She eventually decides that she's the station's resident "sneak".
  • Sue Donym: Sheridan and Ivanova are investigating reports of a Centauri who apparently has ordered the deaths of thousands of Narns. The name? Abrahamo Lincolni. Granted, the Centauri probably wouldn't recognize the name of a major Earth historical figure, but to humans, especially a Fan of the Past like Sheridan, it's a very obvious case of an assumed name.
  • Take Up My Sword: The Narn Shon'Kar is basically an oath for anyone in the family to take revenge on a particular target when the opportunity presents itself, whether or not the original oath maker has failed. In this case he has, and his brother picks up the hunt.
    • In a more figurative version of this, Ivanova decides to continue Vir's ruse of "killing" Narns in order to lead them to safety, as the "Abrahamo Lincolni" fake identity was never compromised.
  • The Talk: Once Vir realizes he's been shafted into an arranged marriage, he takes the opportunity to ask Ivanova for advice about courting women.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The ads made no bones about Lyndisty's actions, prompting JMS to warn the fans on message boards to avoid them if they could.
  • Underground Railroad: Vir has been running one to smuggle Narns to safety.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Lyndisty has captured the Narn she offers Vir the honor of killing him. Vir is obviously reluctant, but to refuse might expose his true sentiments... and we never see how the scene is resolved.
    • Word of God is that a deleted scene included a line about the Narn being in Medlab. Or, rather, the next scene was trimmed by one line...that one.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Some fans' reaction to Vir lamenting that no one would ever think him a hero for his efforts. They point out that surely the Narns he smuggled to safety must surely appreciate his efforts.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Both played straight and inverted. Vir is clearly not happy when Londo approves of his "mass-murder" and even less happy when Londo's berating him for actually saving the Narns he declared killed. In both cases the shame seems more directed at Londo, since Vir does not regret what he did.