In the Babylon 5 season 2 episode "A Race Through Dark Places", Bester comes to Babylon 5 to hunt rogue telepaths. The rogues kidnap Talia Winters and convince her to help them. At the end of the episode she and the rogue telepaths manage to create a false memory in Bester. They make him believe she betrayed the rogues and the two of them (Talia and Bester) shot all of them.

However, later in the season, in the episode Divided Loyalties, we learn that Talia Winters has been a spy for the Psy Corps, which secretly planted an alternate personality in her brain.

Since her true personality was loyal to the Psy Corps, why would she help the rogue telepaths trick Bester? And even if she wasn't aware of the alternate personality spying for the corps, how could she help the rogues without that alternate personality finding a way to report to the corps about the rogue telepaths still being alive?

  • 8
    Because she was a true sleeper agent. She didn't even know herself
    – Valorum
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:03
  • @Valorum But I seem to recall that when the alternate personality was revealed, she told Ivanova that she (the alternate personality) was always watching and influencing the actions of the original personality (for example - causing her to get close to Ivanova). This suggests she had some sort of control over Talia's actions.
    – Eran
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:07
  • You are right regarding the watching and waiting, but I don't see anything for influence.
    – user40790
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:12
  • @Terriblefan I haven't watched these episodes in a long time, but I found this reference - "Before leaving Babylon 5, Control taunted Ivanova, claiming to have influenced Winters to get close to Ivanova and her secrets." - babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Talia_Winters - which seems to match what I remember.
    – Eran
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:19
  • Also keep in mind that Talia wasn't meant to be the Control personality at all. It was supposed to be the original first officer from the pilot, Laurel Takashima (played by Tamlyn Tomita). Straczynski knew that Tomita didn't want to stay for all 5 seasons, so she was written with the control personality to provide a way out for her. But she didn't come back for season 1 so all of her plot points had to be given to other characters. Talia inherited the Control personality plot point. You can read more about it here: www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/041.html
    – Alarion
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


This was addressed by Babylon 5 showrunner J. Michael Straczynski. In short, burrowing into the 'underground railroad' and potentially compromising their entire network was a dream opportunity, even if it meant that she would occasionally seem to be working counter to PsiCorp's interests.

JMS: The real Talia was becoming more and more disenchanted with PC, and this was in time going to pull her into resistance activities, which Talia v2.0 would only be --thrilled-- about. The self-protection mechanism only kicks in when the personality's existence is threatened.

Midwinter Lurker's Guide - Divided Loyalties - JMS Speaks

Note that her core "Control" personality only surfaces when she's directly at risk of discovery/danger. Unless ordered to do so, she wouldn't compromise herself, even to share this interesting tidbit of info.

  • That's a good find. I'm out of votes at the moment, but I'll be back.
    – Eran
    Dec 28, 2016 at 20:12
  • @Eran - If you found it useful, don't forget to mark the answer as "accepted".
    – Valorum
    Dec 28, 2016 at 20:14
  • 1
    @Valorum It's a shame that they didn't get a chance to have Kosh reinstall Talia from the backup.
    – bp.
    Dec 29, 2016 at 13:45
  • @bp. - Talia wasn't real. She was always a construct.
    – Valorum
    Dec 29, 2016 at 13:55
  • 2
    I don't think that's true, the phrase 'The real Talia' from your JMS quote suggests otherwise, as does any other quote from him on the topic that I've read. It seems clear that she was a real person up until the construct (Talia v2.0) took over. The backup I was referring to was when Kosh hired her to mind read a fake 'business deal' between him and a cyborg that could record thoughts. It's generally believed that this was him taking a copy of her mind for unknown purposes but after the construct reveal, that he had a backup for this purpose.
    – bp.
    Dec 30, 2016 at 3:26

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