Babylon 5

Season 4 Episode 16

Exercise of Vital Powers

Aired Monday 7:00 PM Jun 05, 1997 on
out of 10
User Rating
100 votes

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Episode Summary

As Sheridan's forces continue towards Earth, Garibaldi is finally allowed to meet his employer, William Edgars, face to face on Mars, and is, after telepath-assisted interrogation, finally told what he must do to gain Edgars's complete trust. Meanwhile Dr. Franklin discovers that Lyta can influence the Shadow-modified telepaths.moreless

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  • Deeper he goes

    I remain intrigued on just where this is all going. This show continues to be one of those that creates new mysteries faster than it solves them and I'm wondering what the heck Sheridan is up to with the telepaths that is so bad (some way to wipe out telepathy maybe?), why Garibaldi is acting like this and whether he has any reasonable points (is supporting what looks like an evil megacorp really so much better than military action?), just so many questions. I have a feeling it'll be very cleverly resolved though as we approach the original "ending".

    Could've done without the stuff with Garibaldi and his ex. If I wanted a soap opera, I'd go and watch Eastenders. -2 for that.moreless
  • Blech. More telepath nonsense.

    Practically a whole episode on Garibaldi. Blech. And the telepaths. Both Psi Corps, and the ones the Shadows altered. I wonder what Sheridan's plans are for them. And Edgars little disease. The way he said it couldn't infect him makes me think it's a telepath-only disease. He did have some intersting things to say about power and how those in power don't take it, but are given it by those who are too stupid or scared to realize what they're doing. The Nazis, Bush, the Prime Minister in V for Vendetta, it all follows that same logic. *sigh* But if Edgars really is planning on moving on the telepaths, and Garibaldi is being controlled by Psi Corps (if Bester's personal log means what I think it means) this should get interesting. But screw Garibaldi for betraying Sheridan. This episode was kind of aggravating. A whole lot of pieces moving around without anything clearly accomplished. All set up, no result. Grr. But the space battle was cool, although I'm wondering if there's any overarching series significance to a majority of the EarthForce ships having Greek names. Agamemnon, Pollux, Damocles, Delphi, Heracles (I hate that spelling/pronunciation, btw), Furies, Alexander, Vesta, Zeus, Apollo, etc. And the title is a reference to the Greeks as well. Just a curiosity.moreless
  • Exercise of Vital Powers

    Exercise of Vital Powers was a really great episode of Babylon 5 and this episode in particular reminded me of Star Wars in a way, Edgars and his organization being the Trade Federation building the Death Star, while Sheridan is the Rebel force, and Clark the Emperor. If your a fan you can see it and figure it out. I thought this episode had some great stories and scenes. It was interesting to see what Lyta could do to Shadow modified telepaths. It was enjoyable watching Garibaldi interact with Edgars. I can't believe Garibaldi is headed this direction and I can't wait to watch the next episode!!!!!moreless
  • garibaldi slow betray of sherdian

    in this episode of babylon 5 we see garibaldi starting his self imposed exiles on mars by meeting with william edgars, billionarie owner of a powerful medical corporation. michael garibaldi wants to stop corrupt earth forces president clark without military action, and so reluctanly agrees to betray his good friend sherdian to edgars. meanwhile, franklin tries in vain to delicately separate a group of unconscious human telepaths from complex, implanted shadows technology. when sherdian finally tells frankin about an astonising secrect plan of his franklin reveals this to lyta that they must go to mars immediately with a special cargo.moreless
Mark Schneider

Mark Schneider


Guest Star

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

William Edgars

Guest Star

Shelley Robertson

Shelley Robertson

Ms. Constance

Guest Star

Denise Gentile

Denise Gentile

Lise Hampton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Continuity: After Lise brings Garibaldi dinner, she starts to leave, but stays and closes the door most of the way. After she finishes talking, Garibaldi moves across the room toward her and shuts the wide-open door.

    • Typographical Error: The title as shown in first part of the episode is missing the leading "The." The "The" was present in the episode listings sent out by Warner Brothers, so it's included here.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Garibaldi: Mars. Three times before this place almost killed me. And now I have finally finished the job. I can't feel anything anymore. I don't know what I care about anymore, except Lise. I screwed up both our lives pretty good. Now I get to make up for it. Assuming any of us can ever make up for anything we have done in the past. Maybe we can't, maybe we just have to live with it and get on with it, and do what we have to, never what we want to. It has to be done. I hope you can see that one day.

    • Sheridan: I just start to worry when things are going too well.

    • Garibaldi: What you just told me, is that the whole truth?
      Edgars: It's as close to the truth as you or anyone else will ever get, Mr. Garibaldi.

    • Garibaldi: Today, President Clark has the power and we gave it to him, because we were afraid of the aliens and afraid of ourselves.
      Edgars: And now he's given it to the telepaths.

    • Edgars: Nobody takes power. They're given power by the rest of us, because we are stupid or afraid or both.

    • Garibaldi: Everybody lies.
      Edgars: That's a very sad view of the universe, Mr. Garibaldi.
      Garibaldi: Yeah, well, it's the only one I've got. It works for me.

    • Garibaldi: I don't trust them. Never have, never will.
      Edgars: Why?
      Garibaldi: I don't like the idea of somebody having the power to get inside my head.
      Edgars: There are safeguards.
      Garibaldi: No damn help to anybody. They'll never trust us, we'll always be jealous of them, afraid of them. They can lie to us and we never know. But if we lie to them, .. they know. How to stop a conspiracy if you have no evidence, no record? It all takes place in thoughts, exchange from one telepath to another, to another. Sooner or later this is going to get ugly. I just don't want to be alive to see it happen.

    • Garibaldi: Why the muscle?
      Edgars: So you had no time to prepare mentally. I want your heartrate fast, your thoughts jumbled, to guard against any blocks or attempts to mislead us.

    • Garibaldi: I don't trust Clark.
      Edgars: Well, who does? Many of us believed he was behind president Santiago's assassination long before your people leaked anything. He's out of control, running scared and he has to be stopped. But not by a military action.

    • Garibaldi: Mars. I can't believe I'm back on Mars. I gotta be out of my mind.

    • Wade: Everything is illusion, Mr. Garibaldi. Concepts [constructs] of language, light, metaphor; nothing is real.

    • Wade: You're the type of guy who doesn't like to give up control.

    • Garibaldi: Mars. I can't believe I'm back on Mars. Three times before this place almost killed me. I swore I'd never give it another chance to finish the job. Humans got no business being here. No business at all.

  • NOTES (0)


    • Edgars: Clark's Night of Long Knives.
      This is a reference to the murders that took place between 30th June and 2nd July, 1934, by Nazi followers under Adolf Hitler It was part of his campaign to rid himself of the untrained SA in order to gain the support of the German Army.

    • Episode Title: The Exercise of Vital Powers
      The title of ths episode is a reference to Aristotle's definition of happiness: "The exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence in a life affording them scope."