Learning Curve (Babylon 5)
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|Babylon 5 episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||David J. Eagle|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||February 18, 1998|
"Learning Curve" is an episode from the fifth season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.
At Delenn's request, Sech Turval and Sech Durhan, mentors of new Rangers, come to Babylon 5 to discuss the state of training, bringing along two trainees, Rastenn of the warrior caste and Tannier of the religious caste, to experience the station since they will likely be returning there often as part of their official Ranger duties. While Delenn, Turval, and Durhan discuss matters, Durhan has Rastenn and Tannier explore the station on their own. In private, they warn Delenn that Lennier has been fixated on the combat part of training, perhaps eschewing the other ideals. Delenn suggests that she will make sure that Lennier, once done with Ranger training, will be assigned to one of the Minbar houses, an important role but well away from violence.
Elsewhere on the station, a black market dealer Trace seeks to take over the criminal underworld on the station. To convince others, Trace has had his henchmen kill one of his opponents and leave his body where it can be found. When security arrives, Zack determines that the body had been moved after being shot; Trace's henchman relay this to Trace, who believes they need to get rid of Zack because he appears too alert. Trace convinces a woman to lure Zack to Downbelow so they can deal with him. She does so, in exchange for credits to get off the station, but balks when she hears they plan to kill him. Trace's henchmen grab her, causing her to scream. Rastenn and Tannier are nearby when they hear the scream. Tannier decides to rush in to save the woman, but Rastenn is unsure. While Tannier helps the woman to escape, Trace and his men overpower him and he is critically wounded. Rastenn gets Tannier to medlab, where Dr. Franklin stablizes him. When Turval and Durhan arrive, Durhan declares that Tannier will face "mora'dum" - the application of terror - to help him to recover once he is able to stand. Delenn believes this is too much for how weak Tannier is, but Sheridan allows it. When Delenn talks about this to Captain Lochley, Lochley thinks Sheridan's allowance of the ritual is not like him.
Sometime later, Trace's henchmen find that the levels near theirs are clearing out, and then the sounds of fighting are heard. Trace orders his men to evacuate, but all but Trace are subdued by the Rangers. Tannier arrives with Delenn, Turval, Durhan, and Rastenn, and challenges Trace to a fight using Ranger pikes. Tannier expertly overpowers Trace, and even when Trace switches to fisticuffs, Tannier maintains his advantage, eventually subduing him. Durhan considers the "mora'dum" met, as Tannier knows what he must fight for. Delenn notes to Durhan that Tannier's skill with the pike was beyond what she expected of trainees, and suspects Durhan has been providing the trainees such training already.
Elsewhere, Garibaldi remains concerned about Captain Lochley's loyalties. In mess hall, he tries to have her state which side she was on in the civil war, but she only retorts she was on the side that followed orders until those orders needed to be questioned, eliciting a cheer from the other people there. Garibaldi tries to get Zack to get Lochley's records, but he also refuses. Later, when Delenn asks Sheridan about what Lochley meant by her comment about his actions not being like him, he is forced to reveal he had a previous relationship with Lochley prior to meeting Delenn.
- Pestered by continual clashes with Captain Lochley, Garibaldi becomes interested in learning about her past.
- Sheridan confesses to Delenn that he and Lochley once had an intimate relationship.