220: Divided Loyalties

Written by
J. Michael Straczynski

Directed by
Jésus Treviño

First UK broadcast 25 July 1995

First US broadcast week of
9 October 1995

Talia WintersLyta Alexander, the first telepath assigned to Babylon 5, returns in a badly damaged spaceship.  She claims that, following her mental contact with Ambassador Kosh, she was interrogated on Earth before escaping and joining the Mars revolution.  She has discovered that someone on Babylon 5 is a "sleeper spy" - telepathically implanted with a secondary personality that cannot be detected even with a deep mind-scan, and is possibly reporting back to Psi Corps and EarthGov.  Sheridan initially dismisses Lyta's claim until an attempt is made on her life.  She says that a single telepathically transmitted code word will trigger the secondary personality to take control, and suggests that the station staff subject themselves to the test.

Ivanova balks at the prospect, confessing to Sheridan that she is a latent telepath trying to evade detection by Psi Corps, but ultimately agrees to the test.  All of the command staff pass the scan - except for when it comes to Talia's turn.  The enraged secondary personality emerges, completely wiping the real Talia out - to the dismay of Ivanova, who has only recently become grown closer to her.  Talia is arrested and forced to leave Babylon 5.  Since her contact with Kosh, Lyta has felt drawn toward Vorlon space, and is determined to go there.  Before she leaves, she pays a visit to Kosh, telling him that she has kept secret what she saw when she scanned him, and she asks to see his true form again.  Kosh complies.

Notes: Ivanova's relationship with Talia is revealed in this episode (as hinted at in Eyes and A Spider in the Web; and recalled later in Ceremonies of Light and Dark), as is the true reason behind her distrust of Psi Corps and telepaths.  Sheridan recalls his "dream" in All Alone in the Night, with Ivanova asking "Do you know who I am?": a foreshadowing of the revelation here.  Talia also mentions being "close" to Lyta during their internship at Psi Corps.  Psi Corps' secret installation on Mars (first mentioned in A Voice in the Wilderness, Part I) and a hint toward the identity of the "sleeper personality" on Babylon 5 is explored in the comic Shadows Past and Present.  Garibaldi recalls the recording made of Talia's mind by Kosh in Deathwalker, but no more mention is made of this after this episode.  Bester lets slip Talia's fate in Dust to Dust.

Lyta's involvement with the Mars Rebellion is referred to later in The Face of the Enemy, and her compulsion to visit Vorlon space given a new spin in the novel Dark Genesis.  Delenn recalls her encounter with Earth reporters (And Now For a Word); Franklin's underground railroad for telepaths is mentioned (A Race Through Dark Places); Sheridan wonders whether Garibaldi's traitorous aide (Chrysalis, Revelations) could have been a sleeper spy.

Guest Cast: Patricia Tallman returns as Lyta Alexander (The Gathering).  This is Andrea Thompson's final appearance as Talia Winters, the actress having decided to leave because she felt she "wasn't getting enough to do".