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Recap / Babylon Five S 05 E 19 The Wheel Of Fire

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G'Kar: I've never understood that. Why does the universe give us puzzles with no answers?
Franklin: Pay back, maybe?

G'Kar returns to Babylon 5 where he is met by Captain Lochley. She thought he'd want to see a friendly face after everything that's happened, which he appreciates. They discuss Londo for a bit, G'Kar noting that he doesn't think he's ever felt more pity than anyone else before. At least things will settle down on B5. On that topic, Lochley mentions a few of his people are waiting to see him. G'Kar is relieved that it's only a few; he was worried this cult of personality was getting out of hand.

G'Kar: What matters is that you came to see me.
Lochley: G'Kar, I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

They go into the customs area where a large crowd, wielding signs and little statues, are waiting and start chanting his name as soon as they see him. Lochley watches with barely suppressed mirth, then excuses herself to get to a meeting with the president. G'Kar tries to protest, but she's already off. Turning to the throng, he raises his hands to try and quiet them and they all bow in his presence. G'Kar can only sigh helplessly.


Garibaldi is having a drink in his quarters when Stephen calls asking where he is, the meeting's about to start. Michael thought it was at 4, but it's actually at 2. He rushes over and since he's already up, Sheridan has him start off. He begins giving a lead in to his analysis of what happened during the war against the Minbari...uh, Centauri. It doesn't take long for Sheridan to work out he's drunk. He immediately dismisses everyone except Michael while he goes to talk to Delenn outside. While they talk it over, Michael paces restlessly inside the office, certain this is it and he's on a slow transport to the outer rim. Sheridan does not fire him when he comes back in, he just sits at his desk and calmly asks when he started drinking again. Just a couple of months, which is what Sheridan figured, hoped he was wrong, but the signs were there, he just didn't know for sure until now.


Michael says he has every right to be angry, but John says he isn't, Delenn managed to cool him off. But he is very disappointed, which Michael regards as even worse. Screaming and yelling he could handle. John clarifies that he isn't disappointed in Michael's failure, he's disappointed in himself for not picking up on it sooner, and in Michael for not feeling he could be upfront and honest with him about it. He recalls what happened with Stephen and his addiction to stims, how they all missed it and he nearly died trying to deal with it on his own. That's one mistake he doesn't want to make twice. He's not firing Garibaldi just yet, but he can't allow this to slide. He is placing Michael on suspension until he works this out.

John affirms that through it all, despite what's come between them in the past, he is still Michael's friend. This is not something that's come between them, or him and his job, it's something that's between Michael and himself. When he works it out, they'll be there.

Stephen is making his way through the Narn-clogged corridors, with a statuette that was forced on him, to G'Kar's quarters. G'Kar is not taking any visitors, but he lets him in once he knows it's not one of those sycophants. Franklin hurries in as the crowd tires to get a glimpse of G'Kar. For his part, he just does not get it. Franklin does; he got a call from the Narn government. They couldn't get through to G'Kar since he stopped taking calls.

G'Kar: It seemed a simpler way of achieving a little peace than hanging myself.

Apparently his world is up in arms, half of them ready to build a throne with his name on it. G'Kar already refused that, and is not about to change his mind. He offers Stephen a place to sit then asks what the rest want. They want him to come back and give them his blessing to run Narn on his behalf. They all seem to think that they were able to attack Centauri Prime and leave without retribution because G'Kar was there.

Franklin: You came through it alive, which they're considering another not-so-minor miracle, and you don't want the power. And people love giving power to those they believe don't want it.
G'Kar: This is insane!
Franklin: Yeah, well, that's as good a word as any.

G'Kar says according to the captain, more ships from Narn are arriving every hour, each one filled with dozens if not hundreds of pilgrims. If he stays they'll soon have Narn coming out the gills. If he goes him they'll turn him into something he has no desire to be. He wonders why the Universe puts them in situations like this, and Franklin thinks back to the meeting with his disciples he let Stephen sit in on. What he said about God reminded him of an old adage from Earth: can God make a rock so large even He can't lift it?

Franklin: I wonder if that's the wrong question? I wonder is the right question is, can God create a puzzle so difficult, a riddle so complex, that even he can't solve it? What if that's us? Maybe a problem like this is God's way of doing to us a little of what we do to Him?

Lochley is in her office when Zack comes to tell her Earth security HQ is standing by on the line. He brings up the link and the rep on the other end informs them of a series of attacks being carried out against Psi Corps. Security believes the attackers are amateurs, but they're being supplied with high-end weapons and munitions and other equipment. Further, at each site the words "Remember Byron" were found. There was a telepath named Byron who came through there not long ago was there not. They've traced the financial trail through a series of shell companies and the trail ends at Babylon 5. Whoever is funding all this is right there on the station. Lochley and Zack look at each other; there's only one person it could be. Lyta. Now EarthGov wants her detained, arrested if necessary, and send back for questioning.

Some time later, Lochley comes to see how Garibaldi's doing. He figures she must be enjoying this, she's finally getting her wish, he's gone. Oh, sure it may just be a suspension, but everyone knows he's not getting his job back after this. Lochley figures if that's what he's decided, that's what'll happen. But he could choose a different path. Garibaldi has little patience for trite wisdom and asks if there's something she needs. She just came by to see if she could help, and tell him she understands. Michael's a little skeptical; they've been butting heads ever since they met and now she wants to help? And how could she understand, hmmm?

Lochley: You're angry.
Garibaldi: Bravo, Ms. Holmes! A masterpiece of investigative work. Please, go on.
Lochley: Because you feel like you're alone, you need that anger to push away anybody whose compassion might contradict you. Because you feel like you're not in control anymore, hey, you may as well go even further out of control. And because you can't hurt the people who can't hurt you, like Bester, you've got to lash out at everybody else. See, the drinking gives a Control Freak like you permission to let go. To be angry. To lash out, to lose it.

Garibaldi asks if she got that out of a book somewhere. Lochley explains that her father was an alcoholic. Garibaldi nearly gets out of his seat at that, but Lochley pushes on, that he used to lash out the exact same way, not because he was mad at his family, he was mad at himself. As a career military officer, he kept it in, tried to present a polished image at all times. Keep your feelings tromped down. The alcohol gave him permission to let go.

Garibaldi asks what he was angry about, and Lochley admits she didn't know then. She was a kid and thought it was her fault somehow, so she kept trying to fix...whatever she thought it was and when it never worked she got to the point that she ran away. Which only confirmed what he already thought about himself, like Michael; that he's a failure, not good enough, couldn't handle the job.

Michael's had just about enough, demanding she get out, throwing his glass against the wall, but she refuses to leave until she's done. Garibaldi decides to leave instead, but she follows him out. He tries to get her to back off, but she says he's only trying to see if she'll follow him. Guessing what he's thinking only makes him irritated, so she continues with the story of her father as he ducks into a lift.

After her mother died, Lizzie was the one who had to go through her belongings and discovered a set of beautiful artwork, all of which were done by her father.

She halts the lift so they won't be interrupted before continuing.

He'd never actually wanted to be in the military, he just did it because it was expected of him. So he gave up painting, and that slowly killed him from the inside out. He didn't think there was a way out, but she tell Michael there always is.

Garibaldi again demands to know what makes her think she understands what he's going through. She doesn't even drink herself. That's right, because she has the same problem. He tries to stammer an apology, he didn't. Well, of course he didn't.

Lochley: You see, children of alcoholics usually wind up one of two ways, either they try to help everybody else because they couldn't help themselves, or they become alcoholics. I couldn't stop what was happening to my father, so I became the very thing I hated. Oh, if it swallowed, shot or smoked, oh, I did it...until someone very close to me died. Then I realized what I was doing. After that I tried to get better. And it hasn't been easy. Every day is a struggle. So, if you think I don;t know what you're feeling, mister, you're wrong. You're dead wrong.

Lochley has the lift continue, then muses that that might be why they haven't been getting along, they see too much of themselves in the other. She couldn't help her father, or herself back then, but she can at least try to help Michael. At least let him know he's not alone. The rest is up to him.

Zack and a security force are in the Zocalo when Lochley comes up. She asks where if Sheridan's there yet, he's not, and where Lyta is. She's over at a table, openly talking to a known arms dealer, which worries that captain that she'd being so bold. Despite that she decides to move.

They come over to the table and ask Lyta to come with them. She asks if she's under arrest, but they just want to ask her some questions. If they have to arrest her, they'll do it.

Lyta: What's the charge?
Zack: Aiding and abetting terrorist activities back home.

Lyta asks what if she doesn't want to go. drumming her fingers on the table. Lochley says she won't have a choice, but Lyta seems to think otherwise as the captain becomes aware of nearly everyone else around them drumming their fingers. Ltya then bangs her hand on the table, her thralls following suit. She gets up, declaring she does not choose to be arrested, as the crowd begins to circle Lochley.

Lyta: I've done a lot for this place, and just once I think a little gratitude would be in order, don't you?

Lochley tries to get Lyta to stand down or they'll be forced what? Zack suddenly seems under her control as well. Lyta just grins smugly.

Lyta: You cannot harm me. You cannot stop someone who's been Touched by Vorlons.
Sheridan: (leveling an armed PPG) You're not the only one who's been touched by the Vorlons. Let 'em go. Let them go or I'll blow the back of your skull off.

Lyta releases her hold and the people in the zocalo look around, wondering what just happened. Zack orders his men to take her in. As they put her in cuffs, which seems to amuse her, she reminds Sheridan that he can't be everywhere. Lochely agrees, and knocks Lyta out with a sock to the jaw, then ordering her put in maximum lockup.

As Lyta is dragged off, Lochley comments that it might've been better if he'd pulled the trigger. They might not get another chance.

Later, Garibaldi finds her. He heard about what happened with Lyta. Lochley's at a loss over what's gotten into her lately, with her anger and powers. Michael speculates that her powers are increasing the angrier she gets, or it might be the more her powers grow the angrier she gets, who knows? Great. What do they do with her? They can't keep her in lockup forever, and sending her home would cause a bloodbath.

But that's for later. For now, Lochley has something she wants Michael to see. Before that, he actually came to apologize, something that's not easy for him, but he appreciates the effort she went to. Not sure what he's going to do about it yet, but he wanted to say thanks.

She nods and takes him to the customs area. A minute later, Lise comes in. She came as soon as she got his message. What message was that? Lochley comments that there's nothing like the love of a good woman to keep you stable. Michael asks Lise what part of the message she got, you know they've been having trouble with the comm systems. She just said the only part that mattered, "I need you."

They embrace as Lochley makes a discreet exit.

Sheridan is watching Lyta on his screen when Franklin comes in. They've put her in the furthest brig from human contact and put it on auto to prevent her from influencing anyone. He's having a hard time figuring out what could have brought this about. Franklin runs through everything she's been through, adjusted by the Vorlons then dumped by them, ran away from the Corps, lost her love and dedicated herself to finishing his work. In short, "She's pissed." Sheridan thinks there's more to it, something pushed her over the edge.

Sheridan: First Londo, then Garibaldi, and now this. Next person starts acting irrationally, I swear I'm going to shoot myself in the head.
Delenn: (storming into the room) Bastards!
Franklin: Did she just...
Sheridan: She did.
Franklin: I'll get the gun.

Delenn explains that the Narn government is going to boycott all Alliance ships until G'Kar comes home. That's not their choice, but they think if they ask him to leave he will. The idea is insane, but before Delenn can continue, she suddenly collapses.

In his quarters, Michael is explaining where he is. He's on indefinite leave until he sorts himself out. But he wasn going to leave at the end of the year anyway. He is going to do that, but he just doesn't know what to do right know. This is his biggest screw-up yet. He'll sober up, he's done it before. but what about in the meantime? Lise suggests coming back to Mars. Michael wants to but, not until get gets it right. Lise tells him that's going to be a looooong wait, because no one every gets it 100% right. He wants to give her a normal life, but she says there's just life. Whatever problems they have they can work through them together. Besides, she needs his help getting a handle on Edgars Industries. There's a lot she doesn't understand and some of it actually worries her. She can help him and he can help her. That's how married couples work.

Michael grins and asks if she really wants to go through with that. She wants it more than anything. They kiss and she tells him she has no intention of losing him again.

Lise: I'm offering you love, and passion...and co-ownership of one of the biggest corporations on Mars. What do you say?
Michael: I'd say that the president just got outbid.

They embrace, but a thought suddenly enters his mind. Much to Lise's confusion he gets up and heads off to kill two teeps with one stone.

In Medlab, Franklin has just gotten through examining Delenn. She's stable, but they're in uncharted waters, since she's half human and half Minbari, it's going to be different. Sheridan has him stop and back up, what's going on?

She's pregnant. Sheridan looks floored.

This is a big surprise, every test they ran wasn't really conclusive, and Franklin figured the odds were 100 to 1. And then there's the other unknowns, can she carry a child to term? Can she survive it? Again, there are no answers. She's young, healthy and strong-willed, but there's still no real way to tell. Sheridan says if he has to choose, he'll choose her. But if he can have both he wants them. He smiles looking through the window as she begins to come around.

Lyta is in her cell when Garibaldi comes to visit. He doesn't have any access codes, or any way to get her out so they should just relax. He tells her he knows about the trouble she's in, and he might have a way to help her out, if she's interested. He can start by getting them into a cell that doesn't have a camera watching them. Lyta closes her eyes and the camera is shorted out.

Lyta: What camera?

Garibaldi give s quick run down of everything they've been through, how they both have grudges against the Psi Corps for quite similar reasons. They've done things to them they don't like and Bester put a block in Garibaldi's head that keeps him from meting out righteous justice on him, which has lead to other problems. Lyta realizes he's talking about drinking, but she can't help with that. Addictions aren't something telepaths can remove. He's not there for that, he wants to see about getting Bester's block removed. After that, he'll start to feel like he has some control over his life again. In return, he can have a very large and influential corporation talk to Earth and see about getting the charges dropped. She'd have to leave Babylon 5, though. Lyta wants more and says she has a counteroffer.

G'Kar walks by Lochley's office where he overhears Garibaldi explaining what Lyta's idea was. The money G'Kar gave her in exchange for telepath DNA was secreted away in hidden accounts that only she has the codes for. She'll transfer the money to a secret fund that will be used exclusively to help telepaths. No more of this terrorist nonsense. Everything will be accounted for, and available for review. And Garibaldi will pick someone to oversee this personally. Even then, Lochley doesn't have the authority to release her, but that will be handled by a certain senator who receives large campaign donations from Edgars Industries and will interceded on her behalf. Then what? She can't stay here, and they can't send her to Earth. G'Kar comes in at this point, claiming to have overheard that last part of their discussion. He thinks he has a solution. He notes ho his people have come to see him, placing one of the statuettes on Lochley's desk.

G'Kar: Despite my best efforts, I've become an icon. I didn't understnad why or how until I saw this. I realized it's simpler to make a statue to someone who you believe embodies all your better qualities than it is to actually improve yourself.
Garibaldi: And this saves you from having to think.
G'Kar: Exactly.

G'Kar has tried to point his people int he right direction, but his message has become twisted and now he is regarded as the personification of truth. As such, he can only be what they make him out to be, which is what they will try to make him into if he goes home. He cannot allow that, but neither can he stay or Narn pilgrims will keep flooding the station, which puts him in the same position as Lyta. He has resolved to go out.

His visits to Centauri Prime have helped him understand the Centauri and build a peace between them. It also showed him how much there is still yet to see and understand. He will go out, see, learn and understand until he knows how to destroy this image of himself without destroying the message. And Lyta? Well, he could use a traveling companion. And his experience dealing with healing and anger may help her as well.

G'Kar: Either way, as soon as I've put my affairs in order, I am leaving Babylon 5...and it is entirely possible that I may never return.

Garibaldi goes back to his quarters as Lise is getting out of the shower. She asks if the captain went for the deal, which she did. He mentions how G'Kar will be leaving and taking Lyta with him. And with everyone else going off in different directions, the place just won't be the same anymore. As far as Lise is concerned, the most important thing is he's starting to put his life back together. She tells him he made a good deal, then goes to get ready for bed. Michael thinks back to the deal, the way it really went down.

Lyta explains that this shows that she can't fight the Pis Corps without it being traced back to her. Someone like Garibaldi, on the other hand, with the resources of Edgars Industries, could make it work. So she wants two accounts set up, the one he told Lochley about is a show account, where anyone who looks will see what they want to see. The real account will be the one she uses to fight the Corps and help telepaths. He can't attack Bester directly, but he can attack everything around him. And as for the block? Well, Garibaldi won't rest until it's gone, so she'll check back in two years and if he's built something she can use to take down the Corps, she'll remove the block. Then he can deal with Bester and she can deal with the Corps.

Garibaldi says she's taking a bit of a risk, he could jsut take the money and run. If she thought he'd do that, she'd just kill him right here. Garibaldi asks how, if they're going to be working together, he needs to be able to trust her. He wants to know what's happening to her, what is she becoming? She says she's only recently started to understand. Telepaths were created as weapons for the Shadow War, and in a war there are a certain amount of small weapons, and medium sized weapons...and a handful of really big ones. The kind for when there's nothing left to use.

Garibaldi: Someone lioke that would be the telepathic equivalent of a thermoluclear device...a doomsday weapon.
Lyta: (turns around, eyes glowing) Pleased to meet you, Mr. Garibaldi.

Sheridan and Delenn are in her quarters asleep...or trying to. John keeps staring as though he's never seen a pregnant half-human/half-Minbari before. As for Delenn, she keeps thinking about Londo. They haven't heard a word from him at all since they got back. He's probably just busy, or still partying, but that doesn't keep Delenn from worrying about him.

On Centauri Prime, Londo sits alone in the throne room.

This episode contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Garibaldi of course, but also Lochley's father.
  • Call-Back:
  • *Click* Hello: It's actually "buzz", because it's a PPG, but this is how Sheridan arrives during the confrontation with Lyta.
  • Control Freak: Garibaldi, which Lochley says is why he turns to the bottle, give himself an excuse to lose control.
  • The Determinator: Lochley is determined to say what she came to say, and will chase Garibaldi down to do it.
  • Dramatic Irony: Lochley expresses the hope that Emperor Mollari will have a chance at happiness that Ambassador Mollori never did. We already know that won't happen.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Lyta
  • Fainting: Delenn passes out mid-rant.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: G'Kar already pretty much had this, but now it seems to actually be 110% adoration.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The entire Narn population, it seems, is runnign on this now with regards to G'Kar, not least of all their government.
  • Gilligan Cut: A rare dramatic example. At the end, Sheridan mentions how he believes Londo is partying and celebrating his recent coronation as Emperor, something Delenn hopes is correct. Cut to Londo sitting and contemplating quietly on his throne, utterly alone.
  • Groupie Brigade: They're back.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Lochley and Garibaldi never got along from the start, whcih Lochley thinks is partly because they saw too much of themselves in each other.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Sheridan is shown to be unaffected by Lyta's powers since he too has been Touched by Vorlons.
  • It's All About Me: When they come to bring her in, Lyta starts talking about how she's done a lot for the station, and it's about time she got a little gratitude for it.
  • Mangst: Lochely describes her father as keeping everything tightly wrapped up inside and using the booze as an excuse to let go for a little bit.
  • Mind Control: Lyta can now control an entire room full of people.
  • Mind over Matter: Lyta can now use telekinesis, demonstrated when she destroys the camera in her cell effortlessly.
  • Not So Different:
    • Lochely and Garibaldi discuss this as she describes her life dealing with addicts and as one.
    • Garibaldi makes this argument during his pitch to Lyta, they're both trying to fight the Corps but aren't able to do anything about it on their own.
    • G'Kar and Lyta as well, both have become major problems just by their presence but can't g home without causing even biggers ones.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Lampshaded by Sheridan and Franklin while discussing how everyone seems to be going crazy.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Garibaldi's is turned all the way up while Lochley is trying to talk to him about his issues.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Delenn suddenly faints and when Dr. Franklin examines her, he determines she's expecting. Sheridan is quite surprised — and then thrilled.
    • JMS did it yet again; shortly after, Mira Furlan discovered she was herself pregnant, leading her to half-jokingly accuse him of witchcraft.
  • Tantrum Throwing: When Lochley starts saying things he doesn't want to hear, Garibaldi demands she leave, throwing his glass against the wall.
  • The Teetotaler: Garibaldi's never seen Lochley take a drink for the exact same reasons he avoided it prior to his relapse.
  • Title Drop Chapter: "The Wheel of Fire" is also the name of this season.
  • Touched by Vorlons: the Trope Namer episode. Lyta demonstrates she can control an entire room of people. Sheridan is apparently immune since he has also been Touched by Vorlons.
  • Troll: Lochley gives G'Kar a little hope that his popularity has died down some then leads him right to a mass of his followers.
  • Waving Signs Around: And little statues of G'Kar's likeness. He is not happy about it at all.
  • There Are No Therapists: Sheridan tells Garibaldi that this time he wants to help- but sends him off to deal with his alcoholism on his own, not referring him to anyone who can help with rehab.

Example of: