Thoughts on the episode
There is hardly anything directly relating to the overarching plot in this episode, it is mainly used for character building (which is not a bad thing, well done and rounded characters are an important foundation for a fictional world and fleshing them out needs dedicated time).
During this episode, negotiations between the Centauri and Narn are going on, emphasizing again that the two races are not on what one would call “good terms” (which was made quite clear in the first episode as well). This is done through the presence of Talia Winters, the resident telepath of Babylon 5. Sinclair needs her to “cut through the bullshit” (not a quote from the episode) as it where and prevent the two parties from lying to each other. She also leaves the room at one point due to the strong negative emotions between the two parties. During the negotiations, the diplomatic attachés of both Londo (Vir) and G’kar (Ko D’ath, who arrives just during the beginning of this episode) are put in charge in place of the ambassadors due to Londos’ “Purple Files” problem (they are stolen from him). These “Purple Files” highlight a trait of the Centauri race, their penchant for gaining power through blackmail and similar means. These files contain sensitive information about all the Centauri noble Houses and are so extensive that the entire Centauri Republic would be at risk, should the wrong people gain access to them.
During one of the scenes, we learn that there are Psy Corps regulations for telepaths that prevent them from interfering in personal matters as well as doing thought probes besides scanning “surface thoughts”.
Sinclair is shown to be resourceful during the episode, succeeding in both helping the negotiations come to a peaceful conclusion as well as getting Londo the Purple Files back.
The third plotline with Garibaldi and Ivanova is mostly disconnected from the other two, but it helps give some background to Ivanovas’ family / upbringing (her mother and brother died and her father seems to have neglected her afterwards), also showing some contrast to her usually stoic behaviour through her dialogue with her father and her reaction to his death (as well as during the conversation with Garibaldi at the end – though to a lesser extent).
Up next: 1×04 – Infection