Dust to Dust
There is fallout from the release of the President's recording, and Nightwatch isn't happy about it. One of them is trying to arrest a shop owner for posting "seditious" materials, but Sheridan shuts him down. This is apparently not the first time Nightwatch has done this and Sheridan warns that if it happens again there will be consequences. Meanwhile, Garibaldi informs Ivanova that her favorite person in the universe, Mr. Bester is on the line and will be arriving on station shortly, while a crazed man tears through Downbelow, screaming about a mountain falling on him.
The War Council meets and discusses what to do about Bester. They don't want him in their heads, and don't feel they can trust him with the rules not to scan them. Garibaldi and Ivanova don't mind killing (ok, wounding) him, but Sheridan doesn't go for it. Delenn then says she has an idea.
Later, Franklin is in Medlab with the crazed man from earlier when a woman is brought in. At first it doesn't seem connected but as it turns out she's a climber and was nearly killed in a rockslide some time ago. In other words, a mountain fell on her. Franklin groans and orders the first patient checked for traces of dust, the dangerous drug that temporarily grants the user telepathic abilities, but is highly addictive and...well, you saw what the guy did under its influence.
As Bester's ship approaches the station, Ivanova orders the crew out and then activates the defense grid, intending to blast him out of the sky, and effectively end her career, but Sheridan stops her. He assures her that Delenn's plan will work, and convinces her to stand down. Minutes later, an irritated Psi Cop is shown in to Sheridan's office where he is confronted by a group of Minbari telepaths who are shielding the minds of the command crew. When Bester asks why, ("Polite or straight up?"), Sheridan proceeds to outline everything he doesn't like about him, and holds him personally responsible for what happened to Talia. Bester protests that that particular project began under his predecessors, but he takes the opportunity to try and rile up emotions to break the mental shields. They refuse to talk any further unless he takes a sleeper to suppress his telepathic ability. Otherwise, all their business will have to be done with four Minbari telepaths hovering over their shoulders. Bester agrees to the sleepers, administered by Franklin, and leaves until the drug takes effect.
- Bester: We're here to save your butts. Next time show a little gratitude.
Franklin: On second thought, maybe wounding him isn't such a bad idea after all.
Delenn was in a tense meeting of her own, trying to mediate between the Centauri and Drazi. Londo insists on having a "buffer zone" that seems to grow larger every time it comes up. He leaves and the Drazi do as well. Vir, who is back on station for a while, thanks Delenn for helping get his current position on Minbar, which he has really warmed up to. He wants to have Londo come visit, thinking it would do him good, but the Minbari disagree. A darkness of the heart cannot be removed by moving the body, but Vir won't give up hope.
With the sleepers now in effect, Bester briefs the crew of his mission: to find and put a stop to the trafficking of Dust. Psi Corps believes the distributor is trying to break into alien markets, which is proven correct as the man, Lindstrom, is concluding a deal with G'Kar. Garibaldi and Bester begin searching, as G'Kar takes the Dust and then goes searching for his prey, "Mollari!"
In an interrogation room, Garibaldi is trying to get information out of Ashi, one of the underworld leader on the station. He's being tight-lipped, but Bester blurts out that he lying, which sparks a protest, but it can't be unsaid and Garibaldi gets him to spill information that a man named Morgenstern has quarters in Red Sector and a shipment coming through that day. Garibaldi has him sent out then demands to know how Bester knew he was lying. Bester just figured he was lying about something, and coupled with the badge and uniform, gave him an outlet.
In Londo's quarters, he is trying to show Vir how intelligence has nothing to do with politics and basically re-writing Vir's report on the Minbari, much to Vir's annoyance, when G'Kar comes in.
Bester and Garibaldi wait at the indicated location for Lindstrom and the shipment and manage to apprehend him and seize the drugs.
G'Kar drags Londo off and begins delving into his mind, learning that Londo was assigned to Babylon 5 simply because there was no one else willing to go, a joke assignment, which G'Kar finds very amusing but he's there for meatier matters. Next he finds Londo's memories of meeting with Morden, learning that he was the one who arranged for the destruction of the Narn base in Quadrant 37. G'Kar demands to know who Morden and his associates are, but Londo doesn't really know himself, and G'Kar begins tearing though him mind to find out what he does know.
A flurry of images later he finds himself on Narn facing his dying father. He is then faced with a separate vision of his father, who urges him to put aside this Cycle of Hatred and begin building something better. G'Kar protests that he's honoring his father's name, but the other Narn asks if he truly is, and to rethink that. He warns that if the Narn and Centauri war continues, there will be no one left, and it won't matter who's to blame. He says that G'Kar has the chance to become something greater, and nobler, a chance the universe rarely offers. As the vision closes, G'Kar sees the angelic form of G'Lan flying off.
He awakes next to an unconscious Londo and begins sobbing, not noticing Kosh in the shadows, who turns and glides away.
Later, facing the Ombuds, G'Kar pleads guilty and while Sheridan tries to speak up for him, he is sentenced to sixty days confinement. Garibaldi tries to give him back the Book of G'Quon, but G'Kar tells him to keep it for now.
In Medlab, Londo is recovering while Vir, about to leave the station, come to see him. Londo tells him to never let anyone make of joke out of him.
Garibaldi sees Bester to the docking bay, where he's met by another Psi Cop. It turns out Psi Corps had actually created Dust to try and create new telepaths, but it hasn't been successful yet. Bester was against it from the start, but at least it's out of alien hands.
Sitting in his cell, G'Kar ponders what he saw.
This episode contains examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: When Bester invokes Insult Backfire on Garibaldi wanting to "play piñata" with him, Garibaldi actually can't help but chuckle.
- Batman Gambit: The part where Bester feigns to have sensed whether a potential witness was lying. He couldn't actually sense this, as he was on "sleepers" at the time, but he figured the witness had to be lying about something, and so played on the witness's paranoia.
- Call-Back: To the first episode.Kosh: They are alone. They are a dying people. We should let them pass.Sinclair: Who? The Narns or the Centauri?Kosh: Yes.—-Kosh as G'Kar's father: We are a dying people, G'Kar; and so are the Centauri.
- Also to the first episode: Bester is given the choice to either use "sleepers" (which is used to suppress telepathic ability) or have to deal with Minbari telepaths for the duration of his stay. He chooses the former. Ivanova's mother was Driven to Suicide over prolonged use of "sleepers".
- G'Kar's invasion of Londo's mind has several of these. He witnesses Londo's meeting with Mr. Morden in both "Chrysalis" and "Revelations"; this prompts him to dig deeper into Londo's mind for more of it. In doing so, he is overwhelmed by numerous split-second glimpses at significant events in the series involving Londo, including his dream-visions of the future. One bit that shows up three times is a great hand reaching out of the stars.
- Right before Kosh talks to him, G'Kar sees his father's death. Word of God is that the "second" Narn to speak to G'Kar (commonly assumed to be G'Quan) is another image of G'Kar's father.
- We see the station's courts again.
- Sheridan holds Bester personally responsible for what happened to Talia.
- Garibaldi tries to give G'Kar back his Book of G'Quon, but G'Kar tell him to keep it for now.
- Continuity Nod: As he's about to leave, Bester is met by the Psi Cop he was working with on Mars. (the one played by Walter Koenig's wife)
- The Mind Rape montage of Londo's interactions with Morden and the Shadows.
- Cycle of Hatred: When G'Kar protests that the Centauri started it, Kosh-as-G'Kar's-father responds,"And will you continue it, until there are no more Narns and no more Centauri? If both sides are dead no one will care which side deserves the blame."
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: While interrogating Ashi, Bester suddenly blurts out, "He's lying!" After Ashi protests that he has rights, Bester says, "Oh, I'm sorry, did I say that aloud?" Garibaldi is then able to leverage information out of Ashi about where the Dust is.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Security guard harassing the shopkeeper is Just Following Orders. The shopkeeper asks him if he has a Bund to get to.
- Drugs Are Bad
- Enemy Mine: Neither Bester nor the B5 staff want Dust on the station. Which isn't to go so far as to say they trust each other at all. But when Garibaldi and Bester decide they want the same thing, God help whoever gets in their way.
- False Reassurance: Bester is quick to reassure Ashi that officially, he has rights. Of course, Bester has no intention (or more accurately, no capability) to violate those rights, but Ashi is still sufficiently intimidated to play ball.
- Fantastic Drug: Dust, a highly addictive and illegal substance which gives its user temporary telepathy.
- Fauxdian Slip: Bester trolls the command staff by mentioning that Talia was "dissected" before stopping himself short. We never find out whether or not this actually happened.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Dust was the Corps' attempt to create telepaths from mundanes. What they got was one of the worst drugs in Earth space.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Sheridan warns Ivanova about this when she tries to destroy Bester's transport.Sheridan: Fight them without becoming them.
- Also touched upon by Kosh in his message to G'Kar: "...obsessed with each others' death until death is all we can see, and death is all that we deserve".
- Insult Backfire: During a stakeout:Bester: If I had my talent working, I could've warned you when he was coming.
Garibaldi: And if I had a baseball bat, we could hang you from the ceiling and play piñata. I still think I should've gone right to G'Kar.
Bester: We have no evidence that he made the sale yet. Why annoy the Narn without cause or if we're wrong? Shut off the problem at the source, and the rest attends to itself. A piñata, huh? So you think of me as something bright and cheerful full of toys and candy for young children? Thank you. That makes me feel much better about our relationship.
Garibaldi: (opens his mouth, then snaps it shut and visibly struggles not to burst out laughing)
- Irony: Londo tells Vir not to let the Centaurum think of his position as a joke. We later learn that Vir is using said position to smuggle Narns to safety.
- Laser-Guided Karma: While G'Kar is Mind Raping Londo, Kosh intervenes and pushes himself into G'Kar to get him to stop.
- Madness Mantra: "The mountain is falling on me!"
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Ivanova's intention was to use the defense grid to destroy Bester, then say it was a computer glitch. Her expression as she tells herself this makes it clear she knows there's no way she can get away with it.
- Mind Rape: G'Kar pulls the fact that Londo initiated the attacks against Narn outposts straight from his mind.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After his vision from Kosh, G'Kar sits and weeps in shame.
- The Needs of the Many: Kosh tells G'Kar that some will need to be sacrificed for all to be saved.
- Not So Different: After getting information out of Ashi, Garibaldi and Bester have a brief discussion about how Bester was able to intimidate him into spilling the beans, which Bester considers one of the advantages of the badge and uniform. He then looks at Garibaldi and says, "Just like your badge...and your uniform."
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- Bester is the only one who can move Dr. Franklin to wish physical harm on him.
- Franklin angrily snapping at his assistant is a sign of his stim addiction.
- Oh, Crap!: When Franklin is told that one of his patients had been a climber and nearly buried in a rockslide, he realizes the significance of an earlier patient's ranting and raving—and realizes, more significantly, that "dust" had made it to B5.
- Psycho Serum: "Dust" gives the user temporary telepathic abilities (up to and including Mind Rape), but unprepared users can be driven insane by what they see. It was developed by Psi Corps in a failed attempt to make telepaths from mundanes.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sheridan gives the "straight-up" version of why he's not willing to trust Bester.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Londo was sent to Babylon 5 because no one else would take it. Londo was the only one considered enough of a joke to send there.
- Rule of Three: The image of the great hand is shown three times.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The only part of Vir's report about the Minbari Londo likes, is the line about them being "a deeply spiritual people".Londo: Yes, that you can leave in. It always scares people.
- Script-Reading Doors: After Ivanova dismisses everyone in C&C the door behind her stays open long enough to let Sheridan in just in time to stop her.
- That's an Order!: Sheridan has to remind a Nightwatch-banded Security guard that the chain of command on the station runs through Captain Sheridan, and not the Ministry of Peace. This won't be the last time Sheridan has this problem with the Nightwatch personnel.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Bester accuses the command staff of being this. This could be seen as rather dubious due the fact that so far as Bester knows, he left a dozen dead bodies the last time he was on the station.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Delenn says she has an idea, and then the camera cuts away. The idea, of course, was to compell Bester to use the sleepers so he wouldn't have to conduct his business with alien telepaths hanging around.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Kosh's message to G'Kar, and to the Narn as a whole.