Babylon 5 - Episodics (#417)
"The Face of the Enemy"

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Michael Vejar

As Franklin and Lyta arrive on Mars with their cargo of frozen telepaths, Captain Sheridan receives a message from former security chief Garibaldi, informing him that Sheridan's father has been captured. Garibaldi knows some people who can get him out, but Sheridan has to meet with them alone.
When Sheridan arrives at the rendezvous in a run-down bar on Mars, Garibaldi slaps him with a tranquilizer pad and a group of henchmen take him down.
His mission accomplished, Garibaldi goes to his employer William Edgars and demands the full story about what's going on. Edgars has invented a virus that is 100% contagious to telepaths and will help control them in the event of a future conflict between human and telepath.
Garibaldi sends a signal to the Psi Cop Bester who arrives, and is told of Edgars' plans. It turns out that Garibaldi had been captured and reconditioned by Psi Corps without his knowledge, and that mission now finished, Bester releases those long-trapped memories.
While Ivanova is informed of Garibaldi's actions, ordering him shot on sight, Garibaldi returns to Edgars' compound to find everyone dead, the virus gone. Although a traitor to his friends, Garibaldi is welcomed by Earth propaganda as a hero...

In 'The Face of the Enemy,' writer J. Michael Straczynski finally reveals the truth about Garibaldi's strange behavior during the fourth season, with revelations as shocking to the audience as they are to the character. The episode is a tour de force for actor Jerry Doyle, who literally didn't know what was happening to Garibaldi until he picked up that script. Doyle remembers the big 'reveal' scene as especially difficult, because he was forced to sit passively through most of it.
'The Face of the Enemy' is powerfully directed by Michael Vejar, who used a number of visual tricks including strange different camera speeds, strobe lights and in several cases, still frames that were inserted into the live-action footage. Vejar pulled out all the stops for the sequence where a drugged Sheridan tries to fight off his captors, which the director likened to a lion being pulled down by a group of hyenas.
Once again, the role of billionaire William Edgars is played by veteran actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr, who impressed cast and crew with his professionalism. Sharp-eyed viewers will also notice a cameo by the show's conceptual consultant Harlan Ellison, who appears briefly as a Psi Cop who helps recondition a captive Garibaldi...

Joe Nazzaro

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