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The Wheel of Fire

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G'Kar deals with the 'cult of personality' forming around him. Delenn learns that she is pregnant. Lochley helps Garibaldi deal with his problems with alcoholism.

CastEdit

RegularEdit

Guest StarringEdit

Cast NotesEdit

SummaryEdit

IntroductionEdit

A shuttle brings Ambassador G'Kar, now alone, back to Babylon 5. Captain Elizabeth Lochley is there to greet him on his arrival, figuring a friendly face would be a welcome sight for him. G'Kar admits, for the first time in his life, he has grown to show considerable pity for new Emperor Londo Mollari. In particular, he agrees with Mollari's earlier sentiment that power is like a chain: the more one has, the less freedom one has to do as one desires. Then the talk goes towards his own affairs. G'Kar is wondering whether his people's adulation of him before his going to Centuri Prime will have abated, considering his voluntary action in serving the hated Mollari as his bodyguard. At this, Lochley is evasive. She mentions "a few" Narns are waiting in Customs.

"A few" turns out to be around fifty, all of whom raise banners and chant G'Kar's name upon his arrival. When G'Kar begins to speak, they all kneel in anticipation. It would appear that the Narns' worship of G'Kar has grown in his absence.

Doctor Stephen Franklin tries to summon Michael Garibaldi to a meeting. Problem is, Garibaldi has been drinking again and has lost track of time. He eventually arrives, but it becomes quite obvious to everyone present that he is in no condition to work. Everyone else steps outside but President John Sheridan asks Michael to wait inside.

Act IEdit

The discussion outside takes a long time: the closeness of their relationship clashing with the extent of his descent. Finally, Sheridan walks back inside alone. Garibaldi comes clean and admits he's a mess, but Sheridan replies they haven't decided to fire him yet. Sheridan notes that everyone else had suspected he'd been back in the bottle for some time and, partly to their detriment, had hoped they were wrong. So instead, he relieves Michael of his duties and suspends him until further notice. They want Michael to sober up again, and this time he doesn't have to do it alone.

Franklin walks down a hallway full of Narns. One offers him a figurine. Franklin declines at first, but the Narn insists, so he takes it to end the argument. He continues to G'Kar's quarters. G'Kar loudly refuses to open the door until he realizes it's Franklin. Finally able to talk to someone rational, G'Kar vents his frustration. Franklin is actually here at the behest of the Kha'Ri. Apparently, G'Kar had been refusing all contact from other Narns: including from his own government. It turns out that this idol worship has spread all the way to the Narn Homeworld. They want him back, immediately. Half ot the population want him to take over; the other half want him to bless them so they can rule on his behalf. G'Kar still can't believe everyone is rapt with this idea that he has become some messianic figure; his presence on Centauri Prime (until recently the home of their hated oppressors) and his surviving the attack there has only added to his fame. G'Kar had never wanted power, making the matter even worse as people feel they want to thrust it upon him. The situation is deteriorating rapidly. Either Babylon 5 will become overrun with Narn pilgrims or he'll be worshipped like the idol Franklin got earlier. G'Kar starts asking why the universe puts people into these dilemmas. Franklin, noting the philosophical turn, decides to propose an idea. He quotes an old question: "Can God create a rock so big that even He can't lift it?" Perhaps what they represent is a puzzle so complex that God Himself is lost in confusion. Seen that way, perhaps these dilemmas are payback for the confusion they leave Him.

Chief Zack Allan walks into Lochley's office. An emergency transmission is on hold from Earth Security Headquarters. He wanted Lochley to join the conversation so he patches the transmission through to the office. The investigator explains she is calling because her current case involves a string of attacks on Psi Corps facilities. The attacks are crude but backed by a lot of money. Furthermore, each attack left a calling card "Remember Byron," and the money trail leads straight to Babylon 5. Lochley and Allan immediately realize these clues lead to only one person: Lyta Alexander. The investigator issues orders to arrest Lyta.

Act IIEdit

Michael's doorbell rings. When he opens the door, Lochley steps in. Michael starts with sour words, figuring she's happy he's off duty as the two had never gotten along. Lochley is tempted to just leave him there, but she then comes clean that she's here to help. Michael claims she wouldn't know what he's going through, but she counters she knows exactly what he's going through. She fully understands the frustration and the control freakery and the need to let go...because her father was an alcoholic, and an angry one at that. On top of that, he was career military which meant he couldn't act like that in public, making all the lashings at home even worse. At the time (her youth) she thought it was her fault, and this caused her to run away. Not wanting to hear more, Michael tries to leave, but Lochley follows, continuing the story. She eventually learned the source of her father's anger; he had really wanted to paint but had been dragooned into Earthforce by a family that had been career military for generations. But by then it was too late. She then reveals a secret that stuns Michael. Lochley is herself a recovering alcoholic. She explains that children of alcoholics tend to either become bleeding hearts or alcoholics themselves. After running away, she became the latter: experimenting like mad on any drink or drug she could get her hands on. Ultimately, it had taken the death of a close friend of hers to snap her back into reality. She's been fighting to stay out of the bottle ever since. Perhaps that's why they can't get along: they're more alike than they realize, and likes repel.

Lochley later joins Allan overlooking the Zocalo. Below, Lyta is talking with an arms dealer. Lochley notes her audacity and realizes this level of boldness only comes when one isn't afraid of anyone. As they approach her, they soon learn why. As she starts tapping her fingers on the table, everyone else in the room starts mimicing her. Lochley soon realizes she's telepathically influencing the bystanders. Lyta explains that she's had enough of being pushed around. Now she'll do the pushing, and since she has been genetically augmented by the Vorlons, no one has the power to stop her...

Suddenly, a PPG is trained on her head. Lyta had forgotten that Sheridan has also been touched by the Vorlons, meaning he can resist her. Under threat of death, Lyta finally releases the bystanders, but she notes Sheridan can't watch her all the time. Lochley responds by punching her unconscious, and guards take her away. Lochley notes this had been close, but given what she demonstrated, where will they go from here?

Act IIIEdit

Michael runs into Lochley again. The two note that with Lyta as powerful as she is now, their options are few. For one thing, extradition to Earth would result in a bloodbath. As they approach the arrivals area, though, Lochley tries to change the subject. Michael first apologizes for earlier, but then Lochley reveals she has a surprise for him. At that point, Lise Hampton-Edgars walks in, happy to see Michael again. Eventually, he figures out Lochley sent her a message, in his name, asking her to come. She explains that close relations help in a situation such as his.

In his office, Sheridan talks with Franklin about Lyta. They're trying as hard as possible to keep her away from other humans: placing her in the most distant cell and using automated maintenance systems. Franklin notes that, given everything she's been through, she has plenty of reason to be pissed. Sheridan just wishes she knew what is triggering this spike in psychic power. He's frankly so fed up with this rash of irrationality that he's tempted to shoot himself. At that instant, Delenn bursts into the room in an uncharacteristic huff. To see more rage is one thing, but from the stoic and serene Delenn? Eventually, Delenn explains that the Kha'Ri is threatening to boycott the Alliance because they won't release G'Kar to them. In reply to the claim that G'Kar is avoiding them of his own volition, they say G'Kar is staying out of a sense of obligation and is waiting for them to order hm to go home. But as she voices her own frustrations...she suddenly faints.

Michael explains his situation to Lise. Lise notes that perhaps it's for the best, as she wants him to return with her to Mars. She could really use his help running Edgars Industries. Michael feels uncertain, and he doesn't want to mess her up the way he's messed himself up, but Lise points out no one's perfect. There's no such things as normal, but she's here to help. After all, that's what couples do. And more than ever, they need each other. Michael finally accepts her proposal. But before they can get passionate, Michael has an idea. He quickly leaves, explaining he's out to "kill two teeps with one stone."

In Medlab, Franklin is a bit evasive about what happened to Delenn. Basically, her body chemistry is undergoing drastic, perhaps unrecedented changes and her uncharactistic bout of frustration probably caused her body to shut down as a safety measure. Sheridan insists he get to the point, and he ultimately answers: "She's pregnant."

Act IVEdit

Sheridan is amazed at that announcement. He didn't even think it was possible for a the two of them to produce a child in spite of her hybridization. Even Franklin admits this to be a 100-to-1 shot. However, Sheridan is willing to let this proceed as long as Delenn agrees.

Michael goes into Lyta's cell. He starts by pointing out that, in her current situation, she's at a disadvantage. They could always drug her or give her sleepers before extradition, and once she's back on Earth, the Psi Corps will—literally—tear her to pieces. On that end, he offers a proposal. After Lyta knocks out the security camera, he spells it out. As he's about to become co-owner of one of the biggest firms on Mars, perhaps he can use that clout to create a shadow account for her so she can continue funding her activities against Psi Corps. He has as much reason to hate them as she does because of Alfred Bester. Thanks to his "Asimov" neural block, he can't strike at him directly. If she can remove the Asimov, he'll help cover her tracks. Lyta turns to him and asks how much this offer is really worth to him.

As G'Kar approaches Lochley's office, he overhears Michael explaining the situation to Lochley. He proposes the proceeds from Lyta's deal of telepeath DNA to the Narns can be transferred to a trust fund used to legitmately help telepaths. This would be an open account with full audits, so no more dirty deeds. In return, he chooses an administratior and calls in a favor from a Senator with ties to Edgars Industries. They help drop the case against her, and they avoid a bloodbath, but where does she go from here? It's then that G'Kar enters, offering a solution. He shows them the figurine as a prime example of his problem: he's become an icon, a distortion of his ideals. He's actually become a hindrance to his race's advancement, leaving him in the same position as Lyta: caught between the rock and the hard place, unable to go home yet unable to stay either. His itme on Centauri Prime had been a learning experience and the inspiration for his solution: leave civilization and explore the galaxy, and he can take Lyta with him, solving both their problems.

Act VEdit

Lise is surprised to see Michael back in his quarters. He explains that he's made all the deals he needed. He then notes that he's not the only one planning to leave, noting that just about everyone else he cares about is planning to leave soon. It seems like the place won't be the same anymore. Lise notes that's as it should be. She also compliments him on the deal he made. At that, Michael thinks long and hard...

...for in truth, Lyta had made a counteroffer, one he couldn't refuse. She proposes he set up two accounts: one for show, and one for the real dough. The first account was what he eventually proposed to Lochley, intended to act as a decoy. The real action would take place in the second account: the shadow account. She proposes a two-year time limit. If he has everything ready by then, she'll remove the Asimov. Michael then starts talking more frankly, wondering what happened to her. Lyta explains her own theory: that when she returned to Vorlon space, the Vorlons augmented her. In any war, you tend to have small weapons, medium weapons, and big weapons: weapons of last resort. With profound shock, Michael realizes Lyta has been made into one of those big weapons: the telepathic equivalent of a doomsday weapon. Her eyes glowing with energy, Lyta turns to him and calmly confirms his suspicions.

In that context, Michael has to wonder if the deal he struck really was as good as everyone believes it to be...

In bed, Sheridan and Delenn muse about Londo, wondering what he's doing now...

Emperor Londo sits alone on his throne, seemingly submitted to whatever fate awaits him.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"You cannot harm me. You cannot stop someone who's been touched by Vorlons."
(Charging PPG is pointed at her head)
"You're not the only one that's been touched by the Vorlons.
"

Lyta Alexander & John Sheridan


"What could make her turn like this?"
"Well, let's see. She was adjusted by the Vorlons, dumped by the Vorlons, used as a weapon, quit the Corps, lost the only man she ever loved and dedicated herself to finishing his work. Pick one or all of the above and, let's face it, she's pissed."

John Sheridan & Stephen Franklin about Lyta Alexander


"I tell you, the next person who act irrationally, I'm gonna shoot myself in the head."
"(storming in) Bastards!"
"Did she just--?"
"She did."
"I'll get the gun."

John Sheridan, Delenn & Stephen Franklin


"I can help you, and you can help me. So if you're interested, I'll try and get us transferred to a cell where we can talk privately, without having that camera watch over us the whole time."
"(camera explodes) What camera?"

Michael Garibaldi & Lyta Alexander


"You know the Vorlons used telepaths as weapons during the Shadow War, but what no one stopped to consider was that, in a war, you have a certain number of small weapons, a certain number of medium size weapons, and one or two big ones. The kind of weapons you drop when you're out of small weapons, and the medium weapons, and you've got nothing left to use."
"Someone like that would be the telepathic equivalent of a thermonuclear device. A doomsday weapon."
"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Garibaldi"

Lyta Alexander & Michael Garibaldi about her alteration


DVD ReleaseEdit

This episode, along with the other 21 from Season 5 have been released on DVD with extensive Special Features.

NotesEdit

  • The Terry Jones timeline printed in Across Time and Space, has the events occurring on August 19th - 21st, 2262.
  • The I. Marc Carlson timeline has the events occurring in December.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Across Time and Space, page 286-287

External LinkEdit

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