Babylon 5

Season 1 Episode 22

The Quality of Mercy

Aired Monday 7:00 PM Aug 17, 1994 on
out of 10
User Rating
149 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Dr. Franklin investigates an unlicensed medical practitioner in Downbelow, while Londo takes Lennier for a tour of Babylon 5's seedier locales. In the brig, a convicted murderer waits for his sentence to be carried out - the death of personality.

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  • Quiet quality

    I agree with their decision to have a quick breather episode before the inevitably epic season finale.

    Let it not be said that it's boring though, as the amazingly consistent quality of B5 continues. I have yet to see an episode that I'd consider "bad", and this is far from it. As a Trekkie exploring one of the competitors from the DS9 era, I have to admit, it's far more consistent than Trek was, which flitted from 9/10 to 2/10 and back within a few episodes at a time (but had the advantage of a bigger legacy).

    Interesting also to see the continued grey areas of future humanity as B5 sees it, with talk of "spacing" (out of the airlock you go) as a punishment for murder and the eventual sentence of a brain wipe. This is definitely no Trek universe - it's a lot closer to the Federation of Blake's 7 than of Star Trek, and there is no convenient lack of explanation for what happens to such criminals in this one.

    Nice also to see deeper insights into Dr Franklin (he's already more interesting than Bashir, fellow DS9 fans, let's be honest). He's a very nice, kind-hearted guy and I admire his foray into Downbelow (somewhere that also shouldn't exist in the future eh!) to help people there. It was a fascinating story for the old lady doctor, and whilst actually a bit of a painful outcome for her (20 more years to live, but at what cost to her sense of guilt, even though she did the right thing) it was nice to see her rising above her discomfort and heading out into the universe to find the self-redemption she seeks. Pleasant.

    Interesting also to see a possible budding love for the good doctor. She seems rather promising for him. I was concerned at first that he asked out someone he was going to have to keep a serious secret from, and it would've been interesting to explore this a bit more, but I'll definitely let it slide as they're sweet and it's a believable development.

    Points of amusement

    - Lenier avoiding alcohol by saying it induces homicidal rages in his people (can seem that way with humans sometimes). Nice excuse buddy :) Or was he telling the truth . . . . . . . ?

    - Londo cheating at poker by using what I thought was the tentacle creature that wipes minds from a few episodes back (who needs telepaths). But it would seem he was using his... his uh... ewwwww!? ? ? Really? Was he trolling Lenier or was he telling the truth . . . . . . . ?

    - "This station generates gravity through rotation. The room NEVER stops spinning" - good one, Jeff XD

    Let's call it an 8.moreless
  • The Quality of Mercy

    The Quality of Mercy was a really great episode of Babylon 5. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it had a lot of character development and it was fun to watch Londo and Lenir interacting. I also enjoyed the story line where Talia read the mind of a killer. I thought this episode was very entertaining with action, interesting characters, and drama. This episode had a good story and the actors played their parts really well. I thought it was nice to see more of the Alien's experience on Babylon 5. I look forward to watching more of Babylon 5!!!!!!!moreless
  • A beautiful story what fits the title so well

    Even if this story is most likely little pause between the amazing season ender, this episode itself has a beauty too. First the things we learn about the court system and way punishments are done - telepathically removed all the memories and creating new person. This is really intriguing and I am so glad that concept is more developed in later.

    But the best part of this episode is the other doctor on down below who is having that machine and is ready to give up her life pit by pit to help others. And her story and all - it just really moved me and that I love with Babylon 5 - they can create stories what move people, remind us that we have to care.

    This episode did.moreless
  • The calm before the storm

    For some reason ,after the excitement of three terrific story arc episodes the producers or the schedulers give us a bit of a filler here before we get to the finale

    Maybe they felt that the audience needed a breather. I'm not saying this is a bad episode or anything, but it could have come earlier in the season quite easily.

    There are a few plot strands here. Londo takes Lennier under his wing and introduces him to the delights of the casino and seedy bars. Talia gets to scan a notorious murderer. Franklin investigates an alternative healer in Down Below. All the elements are quite entertaining, but it does rather feel like a bunch of loose ends being thrown together to give characters who haven't been around much something to do...moreless
  • a disgraced doctor using an alien healing devise.

    this is a great episode of babylon 5 the qualily of mercy. in this episode we see londo and lennier going out to the lower decks and going to dance bars then they play a game of poker. then down below a disgraced doctor with an astonishing secrect is plunged into the dilemma of a lifetime when she is confronted by an escaped psychoopathic killer in need of medical attendion. meanwhile londo molliari finds an unusual drinking buddy when he goes out on the razzle with uptight minbari attache lennier. a very amusing scene when they get into a fight and are called into the captains office.moreless
June Lockhart

June Lockhart

Dr. Laura Rosen

Guest Star

Kate McNeil

Kate McNeil

Janice Rosen

Guest Star

Mark Rolston

Mark Rolston

Karl Mueller

Guest Star

Damian London

Damian London

Centauri Senator

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This episode marks the first appearance of Damian London as the Centauri Senator. He later goes on to become the Centauri Regent.

    • After speaking with the senator, Ambassador Mollari grabs his lower abdomen and says "touch this". Considering that in future episodes, we discover that this is where Centauri males have their genitals, this is the Centauri equivalent of grabbing his crotch.

    • Goof: Dr. Rosen says that the alien device was used for "corporal punishment" (i.e., bodily pain) rather than "capital punishment" (execution).

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Dr. Franklin: Next! You can start by removing your clothes.
      Ivanova: Not without dinner and flowers.

    • Sinclair: I'm still waiting for an explanation, gentlemen.
      Londo: Yes and I am prepared to give you one, Commander ... as soon as this ROOM stops spinning.
      Sinclair: This station creates gravity by rotation, it never stops spinning.
      Londo: Now you begin to see my problem, hmmm.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Bill Mumy and June Lockhart both starred in Lost in Space. They pleaded with the staff to let their characters have one scene together, where they look at each other like they recognize each other, but the producers wouldn't allow it.


    • Portia in Act IV Scene I of the Merchant of Venice speaks the famous line, "The quality of mercy is not strain'd,/ It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven/ upon the place beneath..." (line 180-183). This is the origin of the title of this episode.