The Ninjabot

Retro Review: Babylon 5, “There All the Honor Lies”

Posted on August 3, 2013 at 10:00 am by Will Wells

Babylon 5

“There All the Honor Lies” is a difficult episode to review. It has four plot threads, and they all intertwine quite well. In the end, though, nothing really comes of any of them. The characters are all around, doing their thing, but it isn’t really a good character piece either – well, except for Vir maybe. There’s no noteworthy guest stars or monsters of the week. It’s just one of those mid-season filler episodes that don’t take much money to make.

And yet, it has some outstanding moments.

Okay, let’s get to it. The four plot threads are as follows:

  1. Sheridan needs to meet Kosh for another lesson on Fighting Shadows.
  2. Sheridan gets accosted by an angry Minbari, is forced to shoot said Minbari, and is then accused of murder by a second Minbari who witnesses the attack but is lying about what happened.
  3. Centauri Prime is replacing Vir because he isn’t important enough to be Londo’s assistant (now that Londo is an important man who can command fleets and start wars and all).
  4. Earthdome is making a line of Babylon 5 branded products and selling them from a gift shop on Babylon 5.

I wish they actually sold some of those products.  So very cool.

The murder charge is the focus of “There All the Honor Lies” – in fact, the words Honor and Lies in the title directly tie into this plot line. See, according to Delenn, Minbari do not lie, and to accuse them of such would be an offense. And yet, the witness says that Sheridan’s attack was unprovoked, and Sheridan remembers the ass-kicking he got just before hand, so obviously the witness is “mistaken.”

Meanwhile, Kosh is still waiting on Sheridan. Kosh isn’t about to let a little thing like murder get in the way of his lesson plan, so off they go. Kosh takes Sheridan to Downbelow, the worst part of the station, and makes him crawl in hole. Sheridan asks Kosh what’s inside the hole, and Kosh replies “one moment of perfect beauty.” The look Sheridan gives Kosh is simply priceless.

Inside the hole, Sheridan makes his way past several lumps that look kinda like the rock monster from Star Trek the original series, you know, the one Spock mind-melds with. Sheridan actually leans on one of these lumps as he makes his way through the room to a hooded figure sitting on a small rug. The hooded figure slides a bowl out in front of Sheridan. Sheridan doesn’t have any cash, so he pays with a rank pin – he has “about a dozen” of them in a drawer in his quarters. The hooded figure takes the payment…

Gotta love that look on Sheridan's face

And those lumps come alive. Singing. It turns out that the lumps were more hooded figures, sitting in a circle and leaning their heads into the center. They sing choral music, in Latin or something that sounds like Latin. Sheridan sits there as these monks, or whatever they are – frell, maybe they are the rock monsters from Star Trek for all I know – sing their song. Outside, Kosh tilts his head, listening as well.

I mentioned outstanding moments earlier. This is one of them.

Afterwards, Sheridan bumps into Ivanova. She asks what the lesson was, and Sheridan replies “beauty in dark places.” Ivanova replies that the lessons must be working because Sheridan is starting to sound like a Vorlon.

Ivanova, meanwhile, has been dealing with the gift shop issue. And there’s a problem. They’ve got dress up dolls of all the ambassadors, and Londo is upset that his doll has no genitals.

Londo and Little Londo

Londo’s need to yell about this gets him in the room with Sheridan, who promises to get rid of the dolls. As Londo is on his way out, Sheridan makes a comment about Minbari not lying, and Londo stops and says that they do lie. Londo explains that Minbari will lie if it protects another. Londo has personal experience – Lennier lied to protect him last season. Come to think about it, that incident involved Londo’s genitals too. Don’t ask.

Armed with this and Lennier’s discovery that both the victim and the witness were of the same clan – and that the witness paid a man to get Sheridan in that hallway – Sheridan manages to get the charges dropped.

B5 Honor Lies 03

Londo, meanwhile, tells Centauri Prime that they can kiss his ass if they think they’re replacing Vir. This is after Vir gets drunk and tells Londo why he’s upset. This aside with Vir is hilarious. Londo gets to play the drinking mentor, telling Vir that his first hangover is a rite of passage.

B5 Honor Lies 06

Also, while Londo has ordered Vir kept on as his assistant, he’s also invited Vir’s family to visit him on the station for a month as a cruel practical joke. Londo doesn’t seem to have a reason why he’s done this other than he’s Londo and if he’s too nice the universe might implode.

Oh, and Sheridan has the gift shop closed because they made a teddy bear version of him. Which he fires out an airlock because… Sheridan doesn’t like Sheridan Bear, I guess?

And good voyages to you, Sheridan Bear.

Rating: C

Breakdown: Like I said above, “There all the Honor Lies” is really hard to rate. The bits with Kosh, Vir, and Londo are wonderful – call that a B+. The attempted frame-up, meanwhile, is kinda forgettable. And the gift shop sub-plot, aside from a few visual gags, is pretty much pointless. Both of those plots get a D-.

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