314: Ship of Tears
First broadcast week of
ISN comes back on air - but it is now peddling propaganda for President Clark. While testing out the new Starfuries, Sheridan encounters Bester waiting for him in space. He has come claiming to hold important knowledge about the Shadows, and Sheridan reluctantly allows him to return to the station, using Ivanova's latent telepathic abilities to test his honesty. He reveals he is increasingly upset with the growing alien influences amongst the government and Psi Corps on Earth, and that there is a shipment of arms being sent to Z'ha'dum. Heading out on the White Star, they find a convoy and successfully capture a transport ship - an attacking Shadow vessel mysteriously withdrawing from the battle. Aboard the ship are telepaths in suspended animation.
G'Kar insists to be allowed onto the War Council - and Delenn agrees, confiding in him that she already knew about the Shadows while his world was suffering their attacks. Garibaldi discovers from the Book of G'Quan that, when the Shadows were present on Narn during the first War, G'Quan found that telepaths could be used against them (and in retaliation the Shadows exterminated all telepaths on Narn). The telepaths the Shadows had captured were being taken to the Shadows as pilots for their ships - and the powerful psi Bester's presence aboard the White Star was perceived as a threat to the attacking vessel.
Franklin attempts to revive one of the telepaths - Bester's lover, Carolyn. She instinctively attempts to meld with the station circuitry through her neural implants before Bester and Franklin manage to sedate her. Bester promises his allegiance to Sheridan if they are able to revive Carolyn and return her to him.
Word comes that the Shadows have finally commenced open attacks on Brakiri space now that they have been exposed - but Sheridan is ready to rally a fight against them now that they have an effective weapon to use against them...
Notes: ISN makes a return after it was taken off-line in Severed Dreams. The Starfuries Sheridan is testing were the ones salvaged from the destroyed Earthforce cruiser Churchill (see Severed Dreams). The lack of telepaths on Narn had been addressed before, most significantly in The Gathering and Dust to Dust. G'Kar recalls Kosh's words to him in Dust to Dust, that some of his people must be sacrificed if all are to be saved; pertaining as much to their previous treatment under the Shadows rather than their fight against the Centauri. G'Kar had previously given the Book of G'Quan to Garibaldi in Voices of Authority.
The War Room on Babylon 5 is introduced in this episode.
Carolyn is not given a surname in this episode, but it is revealed to be Sanderson in Z'ha'dum. Bester's first name Alfred is mentioned here for the first time in the series, although the comic strip The Psi Corps and You revealed it first. Bester is now reliant on Sheridan for the fate of Carolyn and the telepaths - Sheridan's allegiance with Bester (or Psi Corps in general) previously hinted at in All Alone in the Night when Sheridan sees himself in a dream wearing a Psi Corps uniform. The telepaths themselves are mentioned again in The Illusion of Truth, and become instrumental as of No Surrender, No Retreat. Bester talks of his intent to lead Psi Corps, whom he considers far superior to "mundanes".
The use of telepaths as a weapon against the Shadows is utilized in Walkabout, Grey 17 is Missing and Shadow Dancing.
Guest Cast: Joan McMurtrey (Carolyn); Walter Koenig returns as Bester.