Sinclair is kidnapped and interrogated by two men determined to prove he betrayed Earth during the Battle of the Line.
- 1 Cast
- 2 Summary
- 3 Memorable quotes
- 4 Continuity
- 5 Behind the Scenes
- 6 DVD release
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- Michael O'Hare as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair
- Claudia Christian as Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters
- Stephen Furst as Vir
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Caitlin Brown as Na'Toth
- Christopher Neame as Knight Two
- Judson Scott as Knight One
- Jim Youngs as Benson
- Justin Williams as Mitchell
- Joe Banks as Guard
- Gary Cervantes as Strongarm #1
- Mark Hendrickson as Grey Council #1
- Fumi Shishino as Security Guard
- Haley McLane as Computer (voice)
- Regular cast members appearing in this episode are Jeffrey Sinclair, Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi, Delenn, and Stephen Franklin.
Meanwhile, a security guard, Frank Benson, is accosted while on duty by some goons who angrily remind him that he owes money. He promises to pay them soon.
Benson arrives in Commander Sinclair's office soon afterward. Sinclair and Security Chief Michael Garibaldi confront Benson about his gambling. Benson insists he is not going over the limits set for station security personnel, but Sinclair orders him off active duty pending Garibaldi's investigation.
Meanwhile, the two agents continue to set up some equipment in the quarters they are occupying. One of them tells the other that he could not smuggle a "power source" aboard, so he had to improvise. Elsewhere, Benson enters a secure area.
In Medlab, Dr. Stephen Franklin is conducting an examination of Ambassador Delenn, happy to have some baseline medical data on a healthy member of her species. Afterward, she asks him about what he did during the Earth-Minbari War. Somberly, he explains how EarthForce tried to get him to use his notes on Minbari physiology in the construction of biogenic weapons, and that he destroyed his notes rather than comply. He then asks what Delenn did during the war, but she merely smiles and brushes off the question.
Benson meets with the two operatives, handing over the power source for the machine they are building. They tell him that he will be paid well, but he is upset when they renege on a promise to get him transferred off the station.
That night, Sinclair has a nightmare about the Battle of the Line. He awakens to find the station seemingly offline: neither his computer nor his link are functioning. He gets dressed and goes to C'n'C, only to find it deserted and the main computer offline. The computer comes back online, but only identifies a sole lifeform aboard. Sinclair heads to the Central Corridor to investigate and is confronted by a voice taunting him. The operative, Knight Two, appears.
The following morning, Delenn comes to Garibaldi in his office, telling him that Sinclair was uncharacteristically absent for their early morning meeting, and she cannot find him. Garibaldi cannot raise him on the link and immediately sets off to investigate.
Knight Two explains that Sinclair is hooked up to a Virtual Reality Cybernet (i.e. everything they see is in his head). He warns him, however, that Sinclair is still capable of feeling pain. He then proves this by unleashing an electric discharge, shocking the Commander.
Garibaldi enters Sinclair's quarters and finds his link. Knowing Sinclair would never leave his link for any reason, he contacts C'n'C to let them know what is happening.
Back in the VR environment, Knight Two explains that he is there because he – and the ones he works for – do not believe Sinclair's official story that he "blacked out" during the Battle of the Line while trying to ram a Minbari ship and cannot account for the 24 hours between when it happened and when he awoke following the battle. Knight Two vows he will discover the truth. Sinclair refuses to cooperate. Knight Two conjures up an image of Bill Mitchell, Sinclair's wingman and best friend who died on the Line. Knight Two continues to provoke him and calls him a traitor and Sinclair angrily attacks him, briefly disrupting the linkup.
Garibaldi coordinates the search with Dr. Franklin and Lt. Commander Ivanova while also suggesting sending some Maintenance Bots outside the station to look for a body, since the station's gravity would keep a corpse from drifting too far. Delenn finds Ivanova during the search and offers to help. Nearby, Benson overhears them discretely.
Knight Two takes a break from the linkup as Knight One alerts him to the search in progress and estimates they only have three or four hours before they are discovered. Disdaining Knight One's suggestion of resting, Knight Two orders that the power to the cybernet be increased, along with injecting Sinclair with an additional dose of psychotropics, in the hopes of breaking his will to resist. Knight One warns that this could lead to hallucinations and even death, but Knight Two coldly replies, "So be it."
In his office, Garibaldi continues to coordinate the search. Jack, his aide, informs him he has pulled in every available hand to help, even Benson. When Garibaldi questions bringing in Benson, Jack explains that he personally checked out Benson and discovered he not only had no debts but had a surplus in his account. Garibaldi is suspicious, as he had checked the accounts the day before and they had been in the negative. Pulling up the accounts, he notices that Benson made several payments only after a deposit of 15,000 credits. Garibaldi orders Jack to bring Benson in, as the timing of the deposit was just hours before the commander went missing.
In the VR world, Knight Two continues to push Sinclair to remember. Suddenly, in the dark, Sinclair sees he's surrounded by gray figures, all with hoods that completely covered their faces. One of them, carrying a staff, strikes him down with an energy discharge. The scene quickly fades as Sinclair blacks out.
During this, Benson returns to the two operatives concerned about the whole station looking for him. Hearing a cry from Sinclair, he forces his way in and discovers what they are doing to him. Knight One promptly murders him with a PPG. Some time later, Benson's body is discovered outside the station near Red Sector. Garibaldi orders the search teams to concentrate on Red Sector, hoping the body stayed close to where it was jettisoned.
Still in the VR environment, Sinclair comes to, and Knight Two demands to know what the image of the gray figures was about. Sinclair does not know, and continues to resist. Knight Two then posits his theory: the Minbari surrendered because they knew the cost would be too high for a direct assault upon Earth. Instead, they hoped to use Sinclair as a fifth columnist, having him undermine Earth's defenses until such time as the Alliance would be too weak to stand up to a renewed Minbari assault. Sinclair rebuffs this, countering that the Line had been decisively broken, nothing they did had a hope of slowing the Minbari, much less defeating them, and the only thing stopping the Minbari from annihilating the entire human race was themselves.
Only when Knight Two asks him if anything has ever made him doubt his story about blacking out does something stir within Sinclair. He remembers the words of the Minbari Assassin: "There is a hole in your mind." He decides that he does really want to know what happened.
Sinclair is able to recreate what really happened: while trying to ram the Minbari ship, his fighter was disabled and brought aboard. He was bound and tortured by the Minbari and confronted by the circle of gray figures. He briefly tried confronting one of them, pulling back the hood and revealing their face before he was struck down and blacked out.
With all his physical and mental strength, Sinclair manages to break free from the cybernet, but not before striking Knight Two's physical body while he's still connected, causing a system backlash. Knight One attacks him but Sinclair is able to knock him out, stumbling out of the room with his kidnapper's PPG.
Sinclair, now delirious and hallucinating, wanders into Downbelow, his befuddled mind perceiving all he comes across as more of the grey-robed Minbari figures. When one of the station's security personnel approaches him, he wards her off with a PPG blast and flees, while she is killed before she can report by Knight One as he pursues Sinclair.
Sinclair wanders into the Zócalo, only for Knight One to arrive and engage him a shootout. Garibaldi arrives and wounds Knight One, but the still-delusional Sinclair starts firing at Garibaldi. Dr. Franklin has found the operatives' location and links Garibaldi, warning him that the commander may be under the influence of psychotropic drugs.
Just then, Delenn comes to the Zocalo and approaches Sinclair. His memories blurring with reality, he levels his weapons at her, muttering "I know you", as he flashes back to pulling up the robed figure's hood... and seeing Delenn's face beneath. In his trance, Sinclair aims and fires... cutting down Knight One as he rises, before collapsing, exhausted.
Some time later in Medlab, Sinclair has recovered, fully purged of the drugs used on him. Garibaldi informs him that Knight Two has been ordered back to Earth, as Earthforce believes he is part of an organization that is alleging collusion between Earth officials and the Minbari during the War. Dr. Franklin is skeptical that they will learn anything, as the feedback that occurred when Sinclair broke free of the machine caused significant brain damage, wiping out most of Knight Two's memory. Sinclair tries confronting him before he leaves the station, but, indeed, Knight Two does not even remember his own name, let alone anything useful about what happened.
Sinclair later goes Delenn's quarters to thank her for helping him snap out of his delusions. As he leaves, Delenn asks him if he remembers anything from his experience, but he says he does not. After he leaves, a mysterious Minbari with a triangle on his forehead emerges from the next room. He tells Delenn that if Sinclair ever finds out what happened, he will have to be killed. Delenn says she understands.
Back in his own quarters, Sinclair records a personal log entry. He remembers everything now: how he was brought aboard the Minbari ship, tortured, and interrogated before what he guesses is the Grey Council. Though why they do so, and why they tried to suppress that memory is a mystery he remains intent on uncovering...
"Everyone lies, Michael. The innocent lie because they don't want to be blamed for something they didn't do, and the guilty lie because they don't have any other choice."
- – Sinclair, to Garibaldi
"Maybe you're asleep. Maybe you're insane. Maybe you're dead. Maybe you're in hell! Not that it matters much, Commander Sinclair because wherever you are, wherever you go ... You're mine."
- – Knight Two to Sinclair
"We never had a chance. You say we could have won, but you weren't there, you didn't see them! When I looked at those ships, I…I didn't just see my death — I saw the death of the whole damn human race!"
"Then why did they surrender?!"
"I don't know! Maybe the universe blinked. Maybe God changed His mind. All I know is that we got a second chance!"
- – Sinclair and Knight Two
- – Delenn, to Sinclair, just before he passes out
"Command-- Commander Sinclair. There's... There's something in my head. It says... maybe you're still inside. Maybe we're both still inside."
- – Knight Two to Sinclair just before he's taken away
- The episode's title is a reference to a line originally cut from The Gathering (later restored for the Special Edition) in which Sinclair recounts his experience on The Line to Carolyn: "The sky was full of stars...and every star an exploding ship."
- Sinclair's abduction during the Battle of the Line is first revealed. What happened to him aboard the ship would be further brought to light in "Points of Departure" when Lennier explains the story to Captain Sheridan and Commander Ivanova.
- Delenn's presence at the Battle of the Line is shown, as is her connection to the Grey Council.
- The copy of Universe Today Garibaldi is reading contains a number of stories that are relevant to several episodes, past and future:
- The article entitled "Psi Corps In Election Triangle" references the Psi-Corps possibly violating its charter by endorsing Vice-President Morgan Clark in the last election. Garibaldi would later recall this story in "Revelations" when theorizing about the death of President Santiago.
- The article entitled "Is There Something Living In Hyperspace?" is later mentioned by Warren Keffer in "A Distant Star" and would be proved correct in the Crusade episode "The Well of Forever" when the Excalibur encounters the Fen.
- The article entitled "San Diego Still Considered Too Radioactive For Occupancy" references the fact that San Diego had been nuked in an act of nuclear terrorism over 100 years ago, in 2157. The ruins of the city are later seen in "A Spider in the Web", while the incident itself had previously been mentioned by Sinclair in "Midnight on the Firing Line". It would be referenced again in "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place" by Sheridan, and in "The Fall of Centauri Prime" by Franklin. (Interestingly, another Universe Today article glimpsed in "Day of the Dead" entitled "Reclamation of San Diego Wasteland Gets Underway" indicates conditions in the ruins have changed in the intervening years.)
Behind the Scenes
- The part of Knight Two was originally written with Walter Koenig in mind to play the part, however in early 1993 Koenig suffered a heart attack and would still be recovering from surgery when the episode was due to start shooting in September. J. Michael Straczynski initially tried to have the shooting postponed to accommodate Koenig's recovery time but, when this didn't pan out, Straczynski instead promised to write another new character, which became Alfred Bester.
- According to Lawrence G. DiTillio, when writing the season two episode "A Spider in the Web", he imagined Bureau 13 to be the same organisation as the one that Knight One and Two were working for.
- A scene scripted (but ultimately dropped) has Knight Two make Sinclair relive the confrontation with the Ikarran war machine Tu'lar stating the event was last month.
- The newspaper text in the articles of the copy of Universe Today have been copied and pasted from the Microsoft Word 5.1 for Macintosh user manual, specifically the document called Formula Glossary Information. The words "Microsoft Word's User Guide" are replaced by "Babylon 5 Universe User Guide".
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