B5 Rewatch: S2E13 "Hunter, Prey"
A middlin' episode, but now that the train is moving, even middlin' episodes are pretty good. The key here is exploring off in two directons: what's the scoop with Ambassador Kosh, and what really
happened when President Santiago was killed. Neither plot leads to anything huge, but together they give a bit more push to that train ...
We'll call the latter the A Plot.
EarthGov security is at B5, looking for Dr Everett Jacobs, the former physician to Vice President (and, post-assassination, President) Clark. Word from Earth is that Jacobs has run off with all sorts of top secret stuff that could devastate Earth security, and he's wanted dead or alive. But Our Heroes are suspicious, and Franklin (who studied under Jacobs) is downright incredulous. And the suspicions get all the greater when Sheridan's contacted by a rep from General Hague (http://goo.gl/M61IDF
), who makes it clear they need to get hold of Jacobs and whatever info he has before the dear doctor gets disappeared.
As it turns out, the skepticism and incredulity are all justified. Jacobs examined Clark before and after he got off the doomed Earthforce 1, and found no sign of any viral infection that was used as an excuse for leaving the ship. What he has are all those medical records, which could prove kind of embarrassing to Clark. The question is, how to get him before the security sweep does, and, once they do, how to keep him from
the security folks finally tracking him down since he's been "chipped"?
The B Plot
has Sheridan finally beginning to (metaphorically) grapple with Kosh, both as an ongoing mystery on the station and as the intruder in his dream in "All Alone in the Night." This ends up with two things of note: Kosh's largest dialog scene to date, and the determination that Kosh's ship (http://goo.gl/O2H3CG http://goo.gl/dS4IgO
) is a living thing (http://goo.gl/UpFZDa
); the Vorlons, as suspected, use organic technology.
That main discussion between the two of them (http://goo.gl/Gl6iYY
) is worth noting:
SHERIDAN: You wanted to see me?
KOSH: You wanted to see me.
SHERIDAN: Well, I guess everybody does. See what you really are, inside that encounter suit.
KOSH: They are not ready. They would not understand. 
SHERIDAN: Am I ready?
KOSH: No. You do not even understand yourself.
SHERIDAN: Could you help me to understand you?
KOSH: Can you help me to understand you? 
SHERIDAN: Well, I can try. Is that what you want? An exchange of information? I tell you something about me, you tell me something about you?
KOSH: No. You do not understand. Go. (http://youtu.be/dwi__2WkDro
SHERIDAN: Dammit, what do you want? What do you want from me? You know, ever since I got here I've had the feeling that -- that you've been watching me. The records show you hardly ever went to council meetings until I showed up. When I was captured -- it was you who reached out and touched my mind. Now you call me here -- why? Just to throw me out? Are we just toys to you? Huh? What do you want?
KOSH: [Spins around to face Sheridan again.] Never ask that question! 
SHERIDAN: At least I got a response out of you. So what'll it be, Ambassador?
KOSH: I will teach you.
SHERIDAN: About yourself?
KOSH: About you. Until you are ready.
SHERIDAN: For what?
KOSH: To fight legends.
Yeah, nothing portentious, ominous, or creepy about any of that
encounter -- especially Sheridan's inadvertenly getting Kosh's goat by asking Mr. Morden's famous question.
 Yeah, there's an understatement.
 An alternate English translation of "Who are you?"
 See the attached video below.
(You can see about half the dialog here http://youtu.be/cGX-xWk50A0
... in Italian.)
Long story short in the A-plot, in case there was any question there was certainly a conspiracy around the death of President Santiago. Jacobs gets smuggled off the station (after hiding out, B-plottishly, in Kosh's un-scannable ship, which has its own creepy element to it http://goo.gl/YuTIHA
) and the info turned back over to Hague as another weapon to use in the future. Sheridan's still ticked off over being dragged into his own conspiracy, which never seems never-ending. If only he knew.
At the very least, though, he's got Kosh willing to "teach" him in some fashion. That'll turn out interestingly as well.
The other main Earth characters -- Ivanova, Franklin, Garibaldi -- all get some decent screentime, and we learn that Garibaldi thinks a fedora makes for a good disguise (http://goo.gl/RNqSB9
); that's all a little cute, but is played pretty decently, and nobody embarrasses him or herself badly. Indeed, it's noteworthy (though not called out) that the entire command quartet are suddenly working together -- and working (down the slippery slope) directly against the President of Earth. It'a subtle, inevitable shift in loyalties, and all the stronger for not being made a big deal of -- the characters, in some way, don't realize how far they've gone or how far they'll need to go.
The guest stars are competent, but a bit too pigeon-holed and not nearly as effective as they ought to be -- the Javert-ish security guy (http://goo.gl/0DRS9v
), the out-of-his-depth fugitive doctor (http://goo.gl/F53dOQ
), the leeringly menacing Lurker (Richard Moll http://goo.gl/6iluND
). And none of the ambassadors except
Kosh are around.
Overall, by no means a WHAM episode, but one definitely worth a watch-through. It's dependent on the overarching story, but (always a pleasure to have a conversation with Kosh aside) only helps push it along a little, adding a few ratchet ticks to the growing tension. The stakes don't feel like they extend, yet, beyond this single episode, but the groundwork they add onto soon will.Most Dramatic Moment:
Sheridan confronts Kosh (the second time), as detailed above, especially Kosh getting ticked off at being asked "What do you want" one too many times (see the video below).Most Amusing Moment:
Not a lot of humor here. Probably Sheridan pressing the EarthGov agent whether he wants to force Kosh in his ship back aboard the station and have it searched -- and the diplomatic furor and publicity that would ensue (http://goo.gl/jvVC9n
). Sheridan can play the game pretty well.Most Arc-ish Moment:
The Kosh/Sheridan exchange, or Jacobs spilling his guts to Our Heroes, or even Sheridan having a final chat with Hague's agent. It's all pretty arc-ish.Overall Rating:
3.9 / 5
- Lurker’s Guide: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/035.html
- Babylon Project: http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Hunter,_Prey
- IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0517655/
- AV Club: http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/babylon-5-acts-of-sacrificehunter-prey-96547
[includes next episode]
- Kay Shapero: http://www.kayshapero.net/b5review/ActsOfSacrifice.htm
Next ep is "There All the Honor Lies," which marks the final return of writer Peter David to B5, a lot of focus on Sheridan, and one of the most amusing end-of-episode shotsin the series.#babylon5 #b5