Babylon 5: Season 4, Episode 17

The Face of the Enemy (9 Jun. 1997)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
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Garibaldi sets up Sheridan who is promptly taken into custody by Clark's men. Garibaldi's behavior and what happened to him when he disappeared in his Starfury is revealed.

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Title: The Face of the Enemy (09 Jun 1997)

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Richard Biggs ...
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Vir Cotto (credit only)
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Zack Allan (credit only)
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G'Kar (credit only)
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Londo Mollari (credit only)
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Denise Gentile ...
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Garibaldi sets up Sheridan who is promptly taken into custody by Clark's men. Garibaldi's behavior and what happened to him when he disappeared in his Starfury is revealed.

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23rd century | See All (1) »


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9 June 1997 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Because of the obvious parallels to Jews in the Holocaust during World War 2, 'Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.' had some difficulty saying the phrase "telepath problem", which is why he paused while saying it. Even though he was an Episcopalian, his parents had him baptized in the faith when he was very young, and they were in fact of Romanian Jewish ancestry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: Commander's personal log. The war to liberate Earth and her colonies continues. We have more Earth ships on our side than ever before but the battles are becoming more desperate the closer we get to home.
Marcus Cole: Near-proximity hit, 10% damage to the hull. Auto-repair systems are moving as fast as they can to keep up.
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Welcome back, the real Garibaldi!
13 February 2011 | by (North West England) – See all my reviews

Seventeen episodes prior to this one (at the conclusion of the third season), Chief Security Officer Michael Garibaldi was abducted by the Shadows. Unknown to the audience at that time, he was sent off to receive some serious if subtle doctoring of his mind by the delightfully scheming Bester at a top secret Psi-corps base on Mars.

As we learn in this episode, not only was Garibaldi's mind altered to make him throw a spanner in the works of the Army of Light, but Bester also took the opportunity to add some programming of his own. This made Garibaldi susceptible to remote commands via a psychedelic pattern transmitted to a video screen.

Bester was aware all along that there was a conspiracy against the telepathic community, but did not know the exact details of it. His hidden agenda was to have Garibaldi root out the perpetrators for him.

Bester's plans worked out even better than he'd expected, being a complete success with the conspiracy foiled and the chief perpetrators killed. Bester could then effectively "switch off" Garibaldi and do with him as he pleased, since he had served his purpose. He could kill him, leave him in the altered state or restore his previous personality, leaving memories of this whole saga intact in his mind. For some reason, Bester chose favourably and decided to restore Garibaldi's previous "likeable" personality. The scary thing is, the personality of the "bad" Garibaldi was simply derived by accentuating the existing paranoia and natural distrust of the "good" Garibaldi.

So for the last seventeen episodes, Garibaldi had effectively been playing a different character, the altered personality who rejected authority, lost all of his friends and came to blows with Sheridan.

Thankfully, this uneasy-to-watch behaviour finally culminates in this episode where Garibaldi commits the ultimate betrayal by setting up Sheridan such that his enemies, the Clark regime can capture him. It is at this point that Ivanova orders a "shoot on sight" policy on him, should he ever dare show his face again. Although extreme, this seems somewhat justified seeing the damage he's done. Of course at this point, nobody from B5 knows the truth that Garibaldi has been subject to forced alterations of his mind.

So it is relief then that good old Garibaldi is apparently back with us after all this time of us watching one of our previously favourite characters becoming slowly destroyed, and this episode leaves many questions open such as, how will Garibaldi get back to where he was before in terms of his career and friendships? How will he avoid getting shot dead by his former colleagues and can he ever get back into their "good books" again?

Overall a great unmissable episode compelling the viewer to watch the next one with great anticipation. It's these very long story arcs that make Bablylon 5 great to watch.

Besides, any episode featuring Bester is usually a good one, not to mention the ongoing saga of the war against Clark's forces and further defecting Earth Alliance destroyers. There's so much shoehorned in to a single episode here - very intense!


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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