|Babylon 5 episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Minachem Binetski|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||1 March 1995|
"Hunter, Prey" is an episode from the second season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.
Out of curiosity, John Sheridan visits Docking Bay 13 to get a look at Kosh's ship, accompanied by a hesitant Susan Ivanova. As he reaches forward to touch the ship, a device forms on the hull and shoots an energy beam at Sheridan (although no ill effect is noticed). The incident brings out a newfound resolve in Sheridan to unveil as much as possible about the Vorlons. After the humans depart, Kosh is revealed to have been observing them the entire time. Later on, Sheridan notices Kosh following him, and he decides to strike up a conversation, but is left with more questions than answers.
Soon after, Garibaldi receives ultraviolet orders to apprehend or kill Dr. Everett Jacobs, former physician for vice president Clark, who is speculated to be traveling to Babylon 5. EarthGov believes he has information that could threaten the security of the entire Earth Alliance, and are sending someone to the station to coordinate the search. The representative from Earth, Derek Cranston, reveals that Jacobs has stolen information on secret projects using his security clearance and plans to sell it on the black market. Without knowing for sure if he is on the station yet or not, Garibaldi begins his manhunt by questioning Stephen Franklin, who believes wholeheartedly in Jacobs' innocence. When Jacobs does arrive on the station, rather than looking to sell his information, he is looking for an identicard (and presumably a new identity). To assist with the search, Cranston reveals that all high ranking EarthDome personnel are injected with a tracking device.
After noticing a red ribbon tied to a wall grate in a corridor, Sheridan meets up with a woman sent by General Hague, who warns him of great danger. She reveals that Earth Force Intelligence is under the direct control of President Clark, and that they will do whatever it takes to silence Jacobs. She reveals that Jacobs is being hunted because as the vice-presidential physician, he knows that Clark faked his illness on board Earth Force One before Luis Santiago was assassinated. Hague knew this, and worked to smuggle him off of Earth and into safety. Hague's representative asks Sheridan to ensure that Jacobs is found before Earth Force Intelligence finds him, and get him off the station alive.
Sheridan informs Garibaldi who recruits Franklin for help finding his old mentor. Sheridan leads Cranston's search away from Down Below, and into a fictional area "Downtown", a heavy machinery section lined with lead sealed when the station went online. Before they can reach Jacobs, he is captured by gangsters in Down Below, looking for anything of value. They find his data crystal, and pocket watch with the seal of the president on it, thinking that he or his information would be highly valuable to someone. In their search for Jacobs, Garibaldi notices a merchant trying to sell the pocket watch, and presses him for information. At the same time, the leader of the gang contacts Cranston, looking to make a deal for the return of Jacobs.
While the search is ongoing, Sheridan gets a request from Kosh for a meeting, and jumps at a chance. Sheridan pushes Kosh to reveal what is under the encounter suit, but Kosh says that Sheridan and others are not ready, and would not understand. Kosh instead wants to learn to understand Sheridan, but Sheridan mistakes this for an exchange of information. After Sheridan repeatedly asks "What do you want?", Kosh tells him to never to ask that question. Kosh says that he will teach Sheridan about himself, until he is ready to fight legends (the Shadows).
Garibaldi and Franklin find and rescue Jacobs, but are distressed to learn that the data crystal has been taken. While Franklin takes Jacobs topside, Garibaldi waits in ambush for the gang leader. When he arrives, Garibaldi intimidates the leader into returning the crystal with creative use of his PPG sidearm. In a debrief, Sheridan informs the rest of the staff that Cranston has learned he can interface with the station's scanners to look inside the station itself, and that nowhere will be safe for Jacobs. Sheridan instead hides Jacobs in Kosh's craft, knowing it will hide him. When the scan comes up blank, a bewildered Cranston leaves to continue his search elsewhere.
Following Cranston's departure, the command staff go to Kosh's ship, and retrieve Jacobs. Sheridan also meets with his resistance contact, gives her the data crystal, and arranges Jacobs' transport off the station.
- The illness that caused President Clark to miss the flight that killed President Santiago is revealed to be phoney, implicating Clark in the conspiracy.
- Kosh's ship is stored in Bay 13, and nobody is allowed in to see it.
- Kosh or Kosh's ship is revealed to possibly be telepathic, as the former maintenance crew assigned to Bay 13 refuse to return because they believe the ship talks to them in their dreams. (Further develops on Kosh's mental powers from "All Alone in the Night").
- When questioning Franklin, Garibaldi mentions the last time he vouched for a doctor, and its disastrous results in "Infection".
- Sheridan is the first person invited to speak to Kosh since the Vorlon's arrival. Kosh wants to teach Sheridan to "fight legends", meaning how to fight the Shadows in the upcoming war against them.
- When Sheridan asks Kosh, "What do you want?", Kosh replies, "Never ask that question." It is a reference to Mr. Morden's question in "Signs and Portents".