117: The Quality of Mercy

Written by
J. Michael Straczynski

Directed by
Lorraine Senna Ferarra

First broadcast week of
15 August 1994

Franklin is operating a free clinic Down Below for the less fortunate of Babylon 5's population, using MedLab supplies.  But he has competition: Dr Laura Rosen, an ageing physician who has discovered an alien device that appears to remove all illnesses, disease and debilitation harmlessly.  Dr Rosen herself is slowly dying of a terminal illness, Lake's Syndrome, but does not use the machine on herself because it draws from the life force of the user.  Dr Rosen's daugher, Janice, is at first highly defensive to Dr Franklin but eventually softens.  Londo offers to show Lennier some of the sights of Babylon 5 in Delenn's absence, and takes him to the bars and casinos where he learns that Lennier is a Master Adept at probability.

Garibaldi is tracking down an escaped convicted murderer, Mueller, who has been sentenced to have his brain wiped and personality replaced.  Prior to the wipe, Talia must scan him to confirm the success of the process - a process which disturbs Talia greatly, as his mind is unbalanced and he has killed far more people than has been proven.  Mueller is injured during an escape and takes Dr Rosen hostage to cure him - but she turns the machine's full power against him and he dies of Lake's Syndrome. She agrees to hand the machine over to Franklin and leaves the station in an effort to absolve her guilt.  Londo and Lennier are apologetic to Sinclair after a bar-room brawl - caused when Londo was discovered cheating at cards using one of his six tentacular genetalia.

Notes: Dr Rosen's device (which looks like a piece of Vorlon technology) is used again in Revelations and Endgame.  Dr Rosen lost her medical practice following a stimulant addiction - a foreshadowing of events introduced in In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum.

This story was originally entitled The Resurrectionist.

Guest Cast: Dr Rosen was played by June Lockhart, who appeared in the original TV series of Lost in Space.  Jim Norton returns as Ombuds Wellington (see Grail), and also appears as Lazarenn in Confessions and Lamentations and a Narn in Dust to Dust.  Damian London makes his first appearance as the Centauri Minister.  Mark Rolston (Karl Mueller) has appeared in Lethal Weapon 2 and The Shawshank Redemption.