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Recap / Babylon Five S 01 E 17 Legacies

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A nice quiet funeral? Not on this station.
Season 1 Episode 17


Minbari warriors are heedless of their own lives in battle, but the body of a warrior must be treated with extreme reverence.


Sinclair and Garibaldi are in C&C awaiting the arrival of Minbari ship. Neither are very happy about it, as it is coming for a funeral service for Branmer, one of their most renowned military commanders during the war. The ship soon arrives, a large warcruiser, something they haven't seen since the war, and it's coming in with its gunports open! Sinclair opens a channel and demands to know why their ports are open, but the Minbari commander contemptuously brushes him off. Delenn arrives and explains that their weapons are not powered, that the open gunports is a sign that they carry the body of a great leader. Sinclair accepts her explanation but gives the order to watch them closely.

Elsewhere on the station, a young girl takes some jewelry from a stand in the Zocalo and runs off. Before she can escape, however, she suddenly collapses. Ivanova and Talia Winters were nearby and witnessed it. As they crouch over the girl, Talia explains that she's taken a "mindburst," meaning she's a telepath. After getting the girl to Medlab, she explains that some telepaths are born with their telepathy active and get used to it quickly; others, like this girl, are latent until something sets it off. When it happens, it overwhelms their mind and they simply shut down. Talia says she will notify Psi Corps, but Ivanova objects, saying she was caught in an act of theft.


Some time later the Minbari come aboard in a slow procession. The commander from earlier is introduced as Alyt Neroon of the Star Riders clan. Delenn introduces Sinclair and the command staff, but Neroon brushes them off and demands a place for the viewing and that all other races, especially humans, be kept away from it. As they leave, Sinclair and Delenn discuss the occasion. She comments that it's very unusual and Sinclair picks up that she doesn't like it.

The girl begins to wake up, crying out as the thoughts of those around her course through her mind. Talia comes over and teaches her how to block the thoughts of others. Eventually she opens her eyes, and her breathing calms. Talia confers with the others. Since she doesn't know how to control her talent, the girl is broadcasting everything in her head. Talia now knows her name, Alisa Belden, and Dr. Franklin looks her up on the station database. Her parents died, and she's been living in Downbelow ever since. Talia insists that she be given to Psi Corps but Ivanova refuses.


The viewing ceremony gets under way, but when the casket is opened, it is empty. Now, what was supposed to be a gesture of detente threatens to blow up, literally as Neroon promises. Sinclair orders Garibaldi to conduct a full investigation. He later talks to Delenn, who explains that Branmer was originally a priest, who became part of the Warrior Caste when the war began. He lead the Minbari to many victories, but obeyed the surrender order when it came. Others were not so understanding, and without his leader, Neroon seems eager to pick up where they left off.

Ivanova and Talia are still feuding for Alisa's favor, Talia showing how the Corps takes care of its members, while Ivanova tells how the Corps treated her mother.

Garibaldi is trying to find leads on the body-nappers, but questioning Na'Toth doesn't reveal anything. She does suggest some who would be interested, which makes Garibaldi groan. Later, a piece of Branmer's robe is found outside the Pak'ma'ra area, the carrion eaters. The pak'ma'ra deny knowing anything, but Garibaldi orders their stomachs pumped anyway.

Na'Toth comes to visit Alisa, offering a life of luxury in return for an occasional genetic sample, promising her that she could become the mother of a new generation of Narn telepaths. Alisa seems interested, but when she touches Na'Toth's mind she recoils, the alien mind seeming cold and uninviting to her.

Branmer's body is not found in any pak'ma'ra stomachs, and Neroon is losing his patience. He promises that if they can't find the body, he will have his ship carve the station apart if he has to.

Tests have shown Alisa's talent to be a P10. Talia and Ivanova again start arguing about where she should go, until Alisa says she wants to know all her options. One of those options is the Minbari. Delenn describes the role of telepaths in her society, as blessed individuals who live for public service, helping those who need their services. Alisa listens with interest, but again finds herself snooping into minds. She sees Delenn stunning the guards around Branmer's body and quickly runs out of the room. When Ivanova catches up to her she says Delenn knows what happened.

As Sinclair arrives at his quarters, he enters to find an absolute mess. Someone has turned the place upside down, and the guilty party soon appears and attacks Sinclair. After a brief fight, he finds it to be Neroon. The Minbari says he wanted to search the one place that would be off limits, but Garibaldi arrives and says he already did, with Delenn observing. Neroon leaves, and Garibaldi indicates Alisa, who tells the commander what she saw in Delenn's mind.

Later, Delenn is preparing a small urn to be transported when Sinclair appears. He commends her for a clever plan, stealing the body and cremating it. She justifies her actions, saying that while he spent the rest of his life as a warrior, he never stopped being a priest. Her actions have still left a major diplomatic incident smoldering, and she promises to take care of it herself.

Later, Neroon is in her quarters ranting and raving about what she's done. He threatens to lead a protest, but she uses her authority as one of the Grey Council to order him to keep silent. Further, he is to apologize to Commander Sinclair. Neroon meets with Sinclair and does so, even managing to sound sincere. Sinclair offers a tribute to Branmer's skill and courage. Neroon is surprised, and comments that Sinclair talks like a Minbari — a comment that shows more respect for humans than Neroon has ever shown before.

Later, Talia and Ivanova are in the docking bay to see Alisa off. She has decided to take Delenn's offer to live with the Minbari. Talia isn't exactly happy about it, but can see how relations would benefit from this. As the girl walks off, Talia offers to buy Susan a drink as a means of apology.

Before boarding her ship, Alisa runs into Sinclair. She tells him she saw something else in Delenn's mind, a word: "chrysalis". Neither of them know what it could mean, but Alisa says Delenn shut down fast when she hit it.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Pickpocket: Ivanova has a heartwarming conversation with Alisa that ends with the two of them clasping hands in a gesture of mutual sympathy...and the girl takes the opportunity to steal the commlink off Ivanova's hand, just to keep in practice.
  • Call-Back:
  • Cool Starship: The Minbari Warcruiser, which looks something like a giant angelfish.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: For such an advanced race, the Minbari sure seem rather archaic in their customs.
  • Due to the Dead: Delenn and Neroon have differing ideas as to how to show it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Neroon has a very low opinion of humans.
  • Fantastic Rank System: Neroon has the rank of Alyt, while Branmer was a rank above, Shai Alyt.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Alisa sees a word in Delenn's mind, but doesn't find out what it means: "Chrysalis."
    • Delenn tells of a rift that is forming between the religious and warrior castes.
    • An innocuous comment by Neroon turns out to be this: "You talk like a Minbari, Commander."
  • Gratuitous French: Na'Toth, of all people; mocking Garibaldi with "bon appetit!" after suggesting that the pak'ma'ra might have taken the Shai Alyt's body.
  • Literal-Minded: When Alisa says she wants to see all the cards before making a bet, Delenn thinks she's talking about a game.
  • Not Me This Time: Garibaldi briefly suspects the Narns might be scheming to undermine the peace again, but Na'Toth bluntly tells him that the glorious history of the Narn Regime has never involved snatching bodies.
  • Ordered Apology: Delenn orders Neroon to apologize to Sinclair.
  • Out of Order: This episode was originally supposed to air after "Babylon Squared". The device which Delenn uses to stun the guards is almost certainly the triluminary she receives there, or at least appears to be. This was, in fact, intended to be the second-to-last episode, with Alisa's parting line leading directly into "Chrysalis".
  • Puberty Superpower: Puberty is noted as something that can cause latent telepaths to become active.
  • Ransacked Room: Sinclair returns to his quarters to find them trashed, and Neroon lying in wait.
  • Street Urchin: Alisa, when she's first introduced.
  • Tastes Like Chicken:
    Franklin: (After looking at the contents of Pak'ma'ra stomachs) You know what they say Narn tastes like?
    Garibaldi: Yeah, chicken. I really need a vacation.
  • Telepathy: Deals with a newly-awakened telepath trying to get used to her abilities.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Alisa's mind is so overwhelmed when she has the mindburst that she just shuts down.
  • The War Just Before: Humans aren't the only ones with resentment over the Earth-Minbari War. The Warrior Caste is still smarting over it, causing a rift to form between them and the Religious Caste.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: "You talk like a Minbari, Commander. Perhaps there was some small wisdom in letting your species survive."

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