There All the Honor Lies

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"There All the Honor Lies"
Babylon 5 episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 14
Directed by Mike Vejar
Written by Peter David
Production code 215
Original air date 26 April 1995
Guest actors

Julie Caitlin Brown (Guinevere)
Jeff Conaway (Zack Allan)
Sean Gregory Sullivan (Ashan)

Episode chronology
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"Hunter, Prey"
Next →
"And Now For a Word"
List of Babylon 5 episodes

"There All the Honor Lies" is an episode from the second season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.

Synopsis[edit]

A Babylon 5 merchandise shop opens up on the station, to help increase the station's operating budget. Sheridan believes in the necessity of the store, and places Ivanova in charge. Ivanova is less than thrilled, remarking, "We're not some Deep Space Franchise" (possibly a dig at competing SciFi show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). On his way to meet Kosh for a lesson (see Hunter, Prey), he bumps into a hooded figure who steals his link. Sheridan pursues the person but runs into a Warrior caste Minbari who attacks him. He finds a PPG on the ground beside him, picks it up, and uses it in self-defense, killing the Minbari. As Sheridan recovers from the fight, he sees another Minbari, apparently witness to the entire event, run off. Meeting with Garibaldi and Delenn, he defends himself, but Delenn remains skeptical. The Minbari warrior came from a widely respected family, and Delenn has been asked by her government to independently investigate Sheridan. Garibaldi becomes deeply frustrated with Lennier, who seems to be ahead him every step of the way when questioning potential witnesses. Garibaldi moves his investigation to look for signs of a set-up (rather than a mistaken encounter), to try and clear Sheridan's name.

During the course of her investigation, Delenn encounters problems with the Minbari residents of the station, who still do not accept her new form. Lennier performs the interviews in her absence, and finds the missing witness. The witness, Ashan, states that Sheridan attacked without provocation, and that the Minbari he killed actually attempted to surrender before being shot. He also states that Sheridan mistook the surrender ("I yield to you" in Minbari) as "Death First". After Sheridan accuses Ashan of lying, Delenn says that Minbari do not lie, and that accusing the witness directly would provoke a fatal response. While he is questioning Ashan directly, Sheridan's lawyer Guinevere Corey arrives to take over his defense. Sheridan is irate with Earth assigning him a lawyer, until he learns that Earth has decided to charge him with murder, so that the truth may come out in a trial. She also reveals that if Sheridan does go to trial, he will have to step down from Babylon 5. While arranging the dead Minbari's burial, Delenn discovers that he and Ashan are from the same clan and sends Lennier to look for Ashan. Lennier finds Ashan in Down Below with the hooded thief from the beginning of the episode, and challenges Ashan to a fight but he flees.

Kosh visits Sheridan's quarters, insisting that it is time for his next lesson and that his current mindset is perfect for it. Kosh brings Sheridan to one of the worst parts of Down Below, and sends him into a dark and cluttered room alone, saying it contains "one moment of perfect beauty". Sheridan searches the room and finds a seated hooded figure who puts forward a bowl looking for payment. Lacking any physical currency, he takes off his gold command bar and places it in the bowl. After the hooded figure takes it, red light floods the room, and numerous other hooded figures appear chanting the medieval mass Puer natus nobis est. Afterward, Sheridan is left in awe of what he experienced, unable to describe it other than "beauty in the dark".

Vir receives a message from Centauri Prime in place of Londo, and becomes increasingly distraught over it. Distracted, he runs into Talia Winters in the Zocalo, spilling his drink down the front of her outfit. Londo finds Vir in the bar, dismayed to find him in such a depressed state. Vir finds himself spiralling downward for having to constantly keep Londo's secrets. He tells Londo that Centauri Prime is sending a replacement for him, as the posting has become more prestigious than it once was (as it was originally regarded as a joke posting). Londo resolves to ensure that Vir stays on as his aide, and will talk to Centauri Prime on his behalf. Walking back, Londo finds Centauri women laughing at a figurine of him, and snatches it up in anger. He immediately seeks out Sheridan and Ivanova, and complains of a lack of "attributes" on the figure. In the course of the discussion, Londo reveals that Minbari sometimes do lie, but only when to save the honor of another (as Lennier did for Londo in The Quality of Mercy).

Before Sheridan can challenge Delenn on Ashan's truthfulness, he learns that Ashan will be recalled to Minbar, removing any chance of the case going to trial. Sheridan believes that this will destroy his credibility, and knows that he must clear his name, and pushes Delenn to help him. Ashan meets with Lennier prior to his departure, and reveals that the leaders of their clan planned the operation without approval from the Grey Council, in order to enact revenge on Sheridan for his destruction of the Drala Fi' during the Earth-Minbari war (many of his clan were aboard). He reveals the dead Minbari paid the human thief to goad Sheridan into the confrontation, in order to discredit him. After this, it is revealed that Sheridan, his lawyer, Delenn, and Garibaldi were listening to the entire conversation. Sheridan decides not to reveal this information as it will disgrace both Lennier and his clan, and asks Delenn only for a truthful statement from Ashan in return for keeping everything else "a mystery".

Londo meets with Vir telling him to pack, as his replacement had arrived. Vir mistakes this as an order to pack his own things, but Londo reveals that he had told his government that if Vir were to leave, he would as well (thereby ensuring that Vir would be kept on). Londo jokingly tells Vir that he must stay, because if he doesn't, as a matter of honor Londo would have to go as well, and that if he is forced to leave he would have to kill Vir.

Afterwards, Sheridan meets with Ivanova in a corridor discussing the success of the merchandise store. Ivanova has finally come around to the idea, and is holding a stuffed bear in a baseball outfit. Sheridan examines it and initially laughs when seeing it is named Ba-bear-lon 5. His excitement turns to puzzlement and then outright anger after learning that it had the initials J.S. (for John Sheridan) on it. He tells Ivanova that the entire store is to be packed up and shipped off by the morning.

The episode ends with Lt. Keffer investigating an unknown contact outside the station. Initially he's unable to locate the object but suddenly it appears in front of him. It's the teddy bear, which bounces off the cockpit of his Starfury. When asked if he had identified the object he replies in the negative, adding "not on a bet."

Arc significance[edit]

  • A teacher/student relationship between Kosh and Sheridan begins in this episode, as a followup from their talks in the previous one.
  • The Minbari cultural practice to lie only to save someone else's dignity, which was established in "The Quality Of Mercy", is revisited in this episode as an important plot point.
  • When a Minbari is dishonoured, the same happens to his/her entire clan.

Production Details[edit]

Peter David (the Author) and J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) (Babylon 5 Creator) are old friends. As this story had dealt with merchandising, Peter's wife sent JMS the actual Teddy Bear used in the show. JMS as a long proclaimed hater of cute, then wrote the end section with the bear being thrown out of the airlock. In revenge for this, Peter David wrote an episode of his show Space Cases "Who Goes There" where the bear is found, someone asking "What kind of dope would toss a perfectly good Earth bear into space?". Later, we find out that the bear was left by an evil race called the "Straczyn."[1][2]

External links[edit]

References[edit]