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The Quality of Mercy

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THE QUALITY OF MERCY
Babylon 5, Episode 1x21
Production number: 117
First aired: 17 August 1994
21st Babylon 5 episode to be aired
Production Credits
Written By: J. Michael Straczynski
Directed By: Lorraine Senna Ferrara
Episode Chronology
Story Date: September, 2258
Chronological Order
Preceded by: Eyes
Followed by: Chrysalis
Broadcast Order
Preceded by: Babylon Squared
Followed by: Chrysalis
Episode Gallery

The Quality of Mercy is an episode from the first season of Babylon 5, which is collectively entitled Signs and Portents.

Cast Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

With Edit

Guest starring Edit

Co-starring Edit

Featuring Edit

Cast notes Edit

Summary Edit

Intro Edit

After a conversation with a Centauri senator encouraging him to establish more allies, Londo Mollari leaves his quarters and runs into Lennier. Ambassador Delenn is away from the station, so Lennier's duties at the moment are light. Mollari invites Lennier to join him for the day, promising to "educate" him with some real world experience. Lennier is uncertain, but Mollari talks him into it.

In the courtroom, Ombuds Wellington pronounces a guilty verdict for Karl Mueller. Mueller had been charged with two counts of murder of two civilians and one count of killing of a security guard. Wellington announces that the sentence will be read the following day.

Act I Edit

Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova makes her way to a free clinic in Downbelow. Dr. Stephen Franklin has established the clinic without authorization. Ivanova points this out to Franklin, who insists that he is doing what any good doctor should. Ivanova is more annoyed by him not telling her about it, and tells him that she will not shut it down. Pleased, Franklin invites her to assist him. He is puzzled that the numbers outside the clinic have fallen off.

Ombuds Wellington has a meeting to discuss Mueller's sentencing with Commander Jeffrey Sinclair, Michael Garibaldi, and Talia Winters. Garibaldi is convinced Mueller has committed more murders and favor spacing, but that is not a legal option for Mueller. Not able to send him away or keep him confined indefinitely, the only option left is the mindwipe, also known as the "death of personality." For that, they will need the help of a telepath. Winters is the only one available, and though she is strongly against being involved (having previous bad experiences), she reluctantly agrees.

In Downbelow, Dr. Franklin meets a young woman named Janice Rosen. He is looking for her mother, Laura Rosen, who is rumored to be some kind of "faith healer" treating people. She points him in the right direction, and Dr. Franklin meets Dr. Rosen right after one of her sessions. Franklin is very critical of her methods, which employ the use of a strange alien healing machine. Dr. Rosen admits she does not know much about it, but insists that it is completely legitimate for any number of illnesses or ailments. Janice Rosen enters at this point and defends her mother's work. Franklin, however, dismisses Rosen as a con artist who is interfering with people getting proper treatment.

Ombuds Wellington announces Mueller's sentence: the death of personality, to be carried out on the station at midnight following a telepathic scan ordered for that afternoon. After the sentencing, an enraged Mueller has to be dragged from the courtroom.

Act II Edit

Garibaldi discusses the Mueller case with Franklin. They are at odds over the ethical questions involved with the mind wipe, but Franklin agrees to set up the equipment that will be used. He also asks Garibaldi to investigate Dr. Rosen and find out if she is doing anything illegal.

Mollari and Lennier go to one of Mollari's favorite clubs, the "DarkStar." Lennier is very uncomfortable with the setting, and most of the aspects of the place are lost on him. He cannot drink any alcohol, as even the smallest amount induces homicidal rages in Minbari.

Franklin tracks down Janice Rosen at the kiosk where she works, asking to talk to her about her mother. He has learned that her mother used to be a legitimate doctor, until she became addicted to stims. A patient died and she lost her license three years earlier. She set out to find some means to continue healing people, and she has found it. She stands by her mother's device and its abilities. Franklin asks if it really works why they have remained on the station instead of returning to Earth. Janice is somewhat evasive in answering, though she mentions her mother is neither young nor healthy. She flatly tells Franklin to leave them both alone.

Back at the DarkStar, Mollari is bored almost to tears by Lennier's stories about his past—that is until Lennier mentions that he was a master adept at probability. Excited, he ushers Lennier out of the club, telling him he wants to introduce him to "poker."

Hesitantly, Winters prepares herself for what she has to do. She confronts Mueller in custody and performs a deep scan of his mind (so she can compare it to his mind in a scan following the mind wipe). Inside his mind, she is horrified by what she finds: Mueller indeed has killed more than the three people he has been convicted of killing, a dozen or even two dozen or more, both humans and aliens. Mueller is clearly insane, taunting Winters about "needing more voices for his choir." Winters quickly finishes the scan and leaves the room as quickly as she can, leaving a sneering Mueller behind.

Act III Edit

At the free clinic, Dr. Franklin goes over the examinations of the patients recently treated by Dr. Rosen. He is surprised by the results and leaves immediately.

In a much seedier bar, Mollari and Lennier are in the midst of a poker game. Again, the subtler points are lost on Lennier (though he still manages to win quite a lot).

Franklin arrives at Dr. Rosen's during one of her treatments. He scans her as her treatment goes on. Once it is over and the patient has left, Franklin approaches her. He apologies for calling her a fraud. His scanning of her indicates that the device works by transferring "life energy" from one person to another, healing the second person. Rosen explains that the device (of unknown origin) was originally used as a means of capital punishment: convicted criminals were executed with it and their life energy was used to save others. She has figured out how to use the device, however, on a smaller setting that is not fatal. When Franklin points out that it must be slowly killing her, she informs him that she is dying anyway of Lake's Syndrome. She also explains that she "played dumb" about how the machine works to him because she did not want her daughter to know the truth. She plans to find out exactly how the device works before she dies, and she promises that he can have the device if anything happens to her. Franklin agrees not to intervene, on the condition she come to see him weekly for exams. Franklin runs into Janice as he is leaving and offers to buy her dinner sometime.

Garibaldi finds Winters in the Gardens. She is still clearly troubled by what she saw, and confirms to him that Mueller is nothing short of a mass murderer.

The poker game continues. Mollari, falling a bit behind, begins to cheat by using one of his "tentacles" to secretly steal cards from the deck.

At midnight, Garibaldi and some guards begin escorting Mueller on his "last walk." He manages to make a break for it, though Garibaldi gets a shot off and wounds him in the shoulder. Mueller gets aboard a transport tube, knocking out Lou Welch and stealing his PPG. He then escapes into Downbelow.

Act IV Edit

Mollari is caught cheating red handed. One of the other players attacks him, but Lennier is able to defend Mollari. Unfortunately, they are soon surrounded by a large number of angry thugs.

Lou Welch recovers in Medlab, telling Dr. Franklin that Mueller was definitely injured. Franklin contacts his assistant at the clinic to warn her that Mueller might show up. He then remembers Rosen, and heads there immediately. Once there, he forces his way in, and finds Mueller there, holding both Rosens at gun point. Mueller and Dr. Rosen are hooked up to the Machine, which Mueller is using to heal himself. After Mueller continues to threaten them all, Dr. Rosen reverses the feed of the Machine—her Lake's Syndrome is transferred to Mueller, and he dies in agony even as she is completely healed.

The following day, Ombuds Wellington rules over the death of Mueller. He finds Dr. Rosen acted in self-defense and orders no charges will be filed, though he orders the energy transfer device to be taken into the station's custody. Dr. Rosen is relieved, though she is deeply troubled at having taken a life, despite the words of her daughter and Garibaldi.

Ivanova finds Garibaldi, having some good news to give him. She has been able to identify the name of two aliens involved in the instigation of a bar fight. Garibaldi can hardly believe it when she tells him who it was.

At that same time, Sinclair meets with the culprits at Mollari's, insisting on an explanation for what happened. Mollari says nothing, but then Lennier inexplicably takes all the blame, saying his misunderstanding of the rules of conduct are what prompted the fight. Sinclair is reasonably satisfied, and citing their diplomatic immunity says that the matter will be dropped, provided restitution for the damages in the club is made. After he leaves, Mollari asks Lennier why he lied for him. Lennier explains that among his people, it is considered an honorable thing to help another save face. After Mollari thanks him, Lennier asks about the "tentacle" Mollari used to cheat—and is aghast when Mollari explains to him about Centauri genitalia.

Act V Edit

Dr. Rosen turns over the alien healing machine to Dr. Franklin. He looks forward to studying the device, hoping it can some day be used properly to heal people when nothing else works. Dr. Rosen explains that she is leaving the station, hoping to find further evidence about the machine's origins. Janice Rosen has decided to stay, and agrees to take Dr. Franklin up on his dinner invitation.

Notes Edit

Memorable quotes Edit

"Next! You can start by removing your clothes."
"Not without dinner and flowers."

Franklin and Ivanova


"I'm still waiting for an explanation, gentlemen."
"Yes, and I'm prepared to give you one, Commander, as soon as the room stops spinning.
This station creates gravity by rotation. It never stops spinning.
Well, you begin to see my problem, hmm?
"

Sinclair and Mollari


ContinuityEdit

  • First appearance of the alien healing machine.
  • Winters' previous experience with a serial killer and the effect scanning him left on her was discussed in "Deathwalker."
  • It is revealed in this episode that Centauri males have multiple genitalia.  

Image CategoryEdit

Category:Images by episode (The Quality of Mercy)

DVD release Edit

This episode, along with the other episodes from season one, has been released on DVD with extensive special features.

External links Edit

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