Zocalo: Spoiler-Free Discussion of “The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father”

Bester is back yet again, chasing yet another problem telepath to Babylon 5. This time his backup is two brand-new interns, about to get a fast education on pursuit procedures and just what it’s like having to work with mundanes who don’t trust you. Tell us what you thought of this episode here, without spoiling future episodes or any tie-in media.

5 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-Free Discussion of “The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father””

  1. The script editor wasn’t bringing a good game to this episode and as a result much of it is burdened with over-exposition. That brought out the worst in some unsteady guest cast, I’m thinking here of Principal 20xNarlboro, and Miss Giggles.

    This was a lot better than I remembered. The rest of the cast are fine, Conway’s and Biggs’ characters make good choices for counterpoints and Koenig always delivers. The final plot reveal of one personality hiding the truth about the other was quite masterful. That it was done in two sentences was odd under-exposition.

  2. The referenced comic issue #11 is a Psi Corps propaganda issue, and should be taken accordingly. It has also a slightly different take of the Battle of the Line, which credits a telepath for the “victory”. For the canon version of Bester’s backstory I’d use J. Gregory Keyes’ Psi Corps novels.

    Most of the things that JMS mentions in the script book were touched in the discussion, including the title “Murder, He Thought”. According to his own words, he likes playing with structure, which is quite obvious from many off-format episodes. He wanted to tell a story from the other side, and wrote the episode as if he was writing a Psi Corps show to a standard TV formula, which is why also the intro was changed, so of course it’s like a procedural and makes Bester seem almost like a nice guy. Because Bester is the hero of the story Walter Koenig got to use much wider range than in his most appearances, so unsurprisingly this is his favourite episode.

    By the way, at least on PAL DVDs that intro was originally botched, and the episode had regular season 5 intro. It was corrected for later pressings, though. Interestingly, PAL DVDs always got Delenn right in the intro of the first episodes of season two.

  3. It occurs to me that if the Psi Corp really want to keep their fleet of spaceships a secret from everyone else, maybe change the color scheme? Bester himself said that they have to return to port sometimes, and even in hyperspace other ships will occasionally pass. Painting your ships all black just screams “evil overlord” to anyone who sees them.

    1. That’s the Psi Corps all over. Here we have people with a unique insight into others’ minds, able to determine exactly what subtle combination of cues will make people trusting and susceptible to manipulation.

      And they decide that they want to dress like Nazis.

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