Episode Review of Babylon 5 Season 3: "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place"

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Episode Information

Title: "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place"
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Director: David Eagle
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***
Reviewed on: October 26, 2009

Synopsis from The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5


Londo gets his revenge on Refa, while Sheridan gets some moral relief when religious delegates from Earth arrive.

Londo hatches a plan to lure G'Kar to the Narn homeworld so that he can finally be captured. He intends to do this by having Vir tell G'Kar that Na'Toth (G'Kar's aide from seasons 1 and 2) is alive and being held underneath the Narn capital. Vir is aghast at the plan, but Londo forces him to play his part.

We find out what has spurred Londo to decide to capture G'Kar now when Lord Refa and Minister Virini arrive from Centauri Prime. The fighting between Londo and Refa's houses has upset the Emperor, so the Emperor has ordered that matters between them be settled one way or another. Virini is on the station to hear from both sides. Refa smoothly emphasizes the good he has done for the Centauri Republic. Londo merely suggests to Virini that actions speak louder than words, and that Virini will soon see which house is more deserving of support.

Refa knows that Londo is up to something and has Vir kidnapped and interrogated using a telepath. We know that a forcible telepathic scan is painful (from way back in season one in "Mind War"), and poor Vir cannot resist. Vir really gets the short end of Londo's plotting, since he also didn't want to lie to G'Kar about Na'Toth. I found it interesting that Refa himself participated in the interrogation - I wouldn't think he'd want to dirty his hands, so to speak. I also thought he'd want to stay removed so as to build up plausible deniability should someone later accuse him of the deed.

Meanwhile, Sheridan has been driving himself to distraction by trying to analyze the Shadows' attacks to prepare for where they will strike next. The attacks seem random, and he's having no success, except in making himself a grouch, as Delenn attests. Some religious men from Earth have arrived on the station, so Delenn promptly commits Sheridan to dinner with them. This is a funny scene, as Delenn blatantly uses her Minbari honor as the reason why Sheridan can't break the engagement.

The religious men are Reverend Dexter (Baptist), a rabbi, a monk, and an Islamic cleric. Brother Theo (last seen in "Passing Through Gethsemane") has been their escort on the station, much to his chagrin. At dinner, we learn that each man has been gathering information about Earthgov, President Clark, and other related items to pass on to Sheridan. They had only heard a lot of disinformation about Sheridan and B5, but took a leap of faith (so to speak) in traveling to the station to meet with Sheridan in person. They tell Sheridan and the others that the people on Earth are afraid, too afraid to go against Clark when he has all the power. Dexter asks Sheridan if he can hold a religious meeting on the station before they head back to Earth.

Later that night, Dexter is unable to sleep and wanders into Sheridan's office, where Sheridan is still working. Dexter is none too subtle in suggesting that Sheridan has bitten off more than he can chew in trying to handle all the problems himself, and suggests that Sheridan share his burden with Delenn. Sheridan gets annoyed at the idea of giving Delenn more problems, but Dexter points out how loved ones like to share problems, because they are helping someone they love.

G'Kar beseeches Garibaldi to use the Rangers to smuggle him to Narn; Garibaldi agrees, despite his opinion that it's a death sentence for G'Kar. Londo breaks Vir out of his captivity (rather easily, I thought), telling Vir that Refa has taken the bait; Londo has a plan within a plan, but couldn't tell Vir because he knew Vir would be questioned. Needless to say, Vir is annoyed.

The next day, Sheridan and Delenn are poring over the Shadow attacks, and Delenn is just as frustrated as Sheridan at the random nature of the attacks. Finally Sheridan realizes that the Shadows are trying to terrorize the other races, and driving their refugees into one general area. He surmises that when enough refugees are gathered there, the Shadows will strike - a demoralizing blow for all races involved. When he admits that he realized the Shadow plan because "that's what I'd do", Delenn is aghast and insists he needs a break - and drags him to Dexter's meeting.

On Narn, we see Refa planning with some Centauri guards to capture G'Kar. G'Kar arrives in the dungeons underneath the city at the appointed time, and Refa can't keep from gloating. However, G'Kar plays a holographic message from Londo: Londo says that he has worked with G'Kar and the the Centauri guards to lure Refa there for revenge. Londo has provided evidence that Refa was responsible for the bombing of Narn (last season in "The Long, Twilight Struggle") and the subsequent massacre of many, many Narns. The Centauri guards melt away, and G'Kar tells his associates that they can do whatever they want to Refa, as long as his face is kept intact for identification.

As Refa sprints away in panic with the Narns right behind him, the music "And the Rock Called Out, No Hiding Place" is played over the scene - the music is from Reverend Dexter's sermon. We cut between Refa being beaten to death and the people on B5 singing and clapping. I have seen many of these types of sequences, alternating opposite emotions, but this is really one of the very best. No matter how many times I see the episode, it still surprises me when the music comes up and when I realize how appropriate the first words are ("no hiding place") to Refa, I want to laugh. But then, of course, it seems horrible to laugh at someone being beaten to death. The whole sequence is quite uncomfortable, which I'm sure was the intention.

Back on the station, Londo gives Minister Virini "evidence" that Refa was selling secrets to the Narn in order to further profits for his own family. Virini seems doubtful of this, but satisfied that matters between Londo and Refa have been settled permanently.

Delenn takes Sheridan out to show him an Minbari Religious Caste building project: dozens (hundreds?) of White Star ships. She says that now they are prepared to fight the Shadows. Sheridan and Delenn finally kiss (when they are both in the same time!) in front of the fleet.

This episode is most remarkable for the musical sequence I mentioned above - it's unforgettable. Otherwise, the political maneuvering by Londo is extremely adroit. Somehow he was able to predict just what Refa's reaction would be to Londo's supposed plan to capture G'Kar, and he took perfect advantage of it. Perhaps I can believe this, since Londo probably had some contingency plans to make sure Refa kept on track.

What is difficult to believe is that somehow Londo coordinated his true plan with G'Kar without Vir, Refa, or anyone else finding out about it. Why would G'Kar cooperate? Sure, he has Refa killed, but surely this is a relatively small satisfaction given the millions of Narns who died. Possibly the Narns that Londo arranged to have released were sufficient motivation. Even with that "payment", I'm not sure that I believe that G'Kar would want to help Londo in any way. After all, is helping Londo gain more power truly beneficial to the Narn? It's hard to say.

An irony of the episode is that what may have been Londo's main motivation - revenge for the death of Adira in "Interludes and Examinations" - is one crime that Refa really didn't commit. Londo is now satisfied - as much as he could be - that Adira's killer is dead. Will he ever find out that the killer was really Morden?

The second plot involving the religious visitors from Earth was entertaining, but not captivating. It provided some good background on what is really happening back home under martial law. We see what Sheridan and Delenn are really trying to accomplish, but I think that they would cringe at how they are being represented on Earth.

I did appreciate seeing the various religious men interacting with Delenn (and presumably other aliens on the station) without prejudice or judgment. It's not clear how the different religions view aliens (do they need to be saved?), but it does seem clear that they believe the aliens are intelligent, sentient beings. Dexter's sermon about the enemy being fear and not "the alien" was very pointed in that regard; I think that Delenn should have been especially appreciative of the philosophical bent of the sermon.

It's nice to seen Sheridan and Delenn's relationship continuing to grow, with Delenn willing to teach Sheridan good-naturedly. She still has a tendency to keep things to herself unless it's "need to know", however, such as with the new fleet of ships. Apparently Sheridan is willing to go along with this propensity of hers, but is it going to get them in trouble some day?

Finally, even though this episode is not particularly ominous, there is a countdown throughout the episode, starting "Z Minus 14 Days". Whatever is going to happen can't be good. Pretty much the only Z-word we know on the show is Z'ha'dum, so probably the countdown involves that planet. Will Sheridan go there?

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