Babylon 5 Season 3, Episode 4. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Adam Nimoy. Originally aired on November 27, 1995.

Primary Plot: One of Brother Theo's monks discovers he has a forgotten past.

Secondary Plot: Lyta Alexander returns to the station after visiting the Vorlon homeworld.

Commentary: Ahhh, lovely Patricia Tallman. She, playing Lyta Alexander, was the station's resident commercial telepath in The Gathering (the series pilot), but was replaced by Talia Winters for the first two seasons. Andrea Thompson, who played Winters, had personality conflicts with at least a few people on the show, and so she was written off and Patricia Tallman (who is most noted for being a stuntwoman) returned to the show in this episode (although she had appeared in last season's Divided Loyalties in a guest star capacity).

As to where Lyta's been since Divided Loyalties...ever since she scanned Kosh in The Gathering, she had felt a force calling her towards Vorlon space. She rented a ship to take her out there, where she was taken in by the Vorlons. She's not allowed to talk about what happened to her there, but the gist of it is that they severely enhanced Lyta's telepathic abilities. Now, she's working for the Vorlons and returns to Babylon 5 to serve as Kosh's aide. This transfers much of the Talia storyline over to Lyta--instead of Talia having superduperpowers because Jason Ironheart gave them to her in Mind War, Lyta has superduperpowers because the Vorlons gave them to her in this episode.

The Brother Theo stuff is, as always, pretty stupid and will not be discussed. :)

The title of the episode is a biblical reference. It refers to a passage in Matthew 26:30-50...Jesus goes to Gethsemane with Peter and two others to pray and contemplate his imminent betrayal. They fail to keep watch over him, and Judas is able to lead the Romans to Jesus. Sheridan and one of the monks discuss this story during the episode.

Return to the Babylon 5 Episode Guide.

I will have to disagree with Rimrod's assessment of the religious plot of this episode. Passing through Gethsemane is perhaps the most powerful episode of Babylon 5 I have watched, and the religious nature of the plot is neither tacked on nor overblown, but instead dovetails with the entire arc of the series.

The conventional division of Babylon 5 episodes is into two categories: arc and non-arc. This episode is non-arc, meaning that the main plot does not move the overall story of the series forward. However, as with other non-arc episodes such as Believers, The Quality of Mercy, or Confessions and Lamentations, this episode is meant to reflect on the issues of the story arc in a more personal way.

Although it can be phrased different ways, the basic philosophical grounds of Babylon 5 are to investigate the polarities between mercy and judgment, chaos and order, identity and sacrifice, as evidenced by the Shadows and the Vorlon. (And, if you want to phrase it this way, Chesed and Geburah.) This episode demonstrates these same issues, but on a much more intimate level.

The plot centers around Brother Edward, one of Brother Theodore's monks. Brother Edward is in every way shape or form a conscientious, self-sacrificing monk whose biggest self-doubt is whether he would have the ability that Jesus showed at Gethsemane, to wait and accept the need to sacrifice himself. In a brief but powerful series of images, it is revealed that Edward might have a hidden past, and in uncovering his past, Edward receives the knowledge that lets him see why sacrifice can be desirable. And after that, there is a twist, in Twilight Zone manner, that makes the line between forgiveness and judgment even more unclear, and the thin line between them even more ironic.

So in all, a multilayered, well-executed story that has a deep bearing on the storyline as a whole.

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