Dust to Dust (***)
Recently, something has been bugging me about the show and I think that this episode is a good point to voice my concerns. I've seen a few people saying that one of the great things about this show is how subtle it is, and that's true in some cases, especially when it comes to Londo and G'Kar, but when it comes to President Clark and the Psi Corps I'm just not seeing it, at least not yet. For example, in this episode Bester seems to be mostly on the level and he's genuinely trying to sort out the dust smuggling operation on the station, but at the end we learn that they actually created dust in the first place in order to create more telepaths, here they're just covering their asses.
What have the Psi Corps ever done that was good? Why are they always scheming and sinister? Almost everything I have seen them do so far appears to be self-serving, where's the subtlety?
A drug that can give mundanes telepathic abilities is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. It is most defiantly a good thing. The biggest social problem in the EA is the persecution of telepaths, and while the Psi-Corps is the one doing the persecuting most of the time, they're driven mostly be the mundane population's (not quite unwarranted) fear of telepaths. The Psi-Corps was created for a dual purpose, to protect mundanes from telepaths (who can do some nasty things if they really want to) and to protect telepaths from mundanes (humans have never been particularly kind to the things that they fear). It is that dual purpose that really lead to its corruption. It created a Psi-Corps that was insular and paranoid.
If dust actually worked properly there would be no need for the Psi-Corps, as everyone would have access to telepathic abilities. Not that the leadership would use it that way, of course, but there are still some idealists in the Corps. Most members are good people just doing what they thing is right.