- Bruce Boxleitner as Captain John Sheridan
- Claudia Christian as Commander Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Ambassador Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters
- Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth
- Robert Rusler as Lieutenant Warren Keffer
- Andreas Katsulas as Ambassador G'Kar
- Peter Jurasik as Ambassador Londo Mollari
- Paul Williams as Taq
- Christopher Darga as Narn #1
- Glenn Morshower as Franke
- Jeff Conaway as Zack Allan
- Ian Abercrombie as Correlilmurzon
- Paul Ainsley as Centauri #1
- Jennifer Anglin as Narn Second
- Joshua Cox as Tech #1
- Kathryn Cressida as Kat the Bartender
- Sandey Grinn as Narn Captain
- David Sage as Centauri Merchant
- Regular cast members appearing in this episode are John Sheridan, Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi, Stephen Franklin, Delenn, Londo Mollari, G'Kar, Vir Cotto, and Na'Toth.
Above a Narn colony, a battle is underway between a Centauri task force and Narn ships. The Centauri are clearly winning the battle. A G'Quan class heavy cruiser prepares to jump, but delays when it detects a civilian cruiser being attacked by the Centauri ships. The war cruiser shields the civilian transport as it jumps away – at the cost of its own destruction minutes later.
On Babylon 5, G'Kar reviews footage of the attack with Captain Sheridan and his senior staff. He explains that the Centauri attacked the colony, a civilian outpost, without warning and, had the Narn fleet not arrived in time to see civilians evacuate, the Centauri would have killed everyone. Commander Ivanova relays a message from Ambassador Mollari: the Centauri are claiming the transport ships had weapons, not civilians, and accuses the Narn of using civilians as shields. G'Kar denies these claims and appeals to them for help. Sheridan cannot promise any help will come of it, but does promise to appeal to his government to support the Narn Regime. G'Kar thanks him, confident that if the Earth Alliance takes sides then others will follow.
Soon afterward, a Lumati ship arrives at the station. Sheridan is hoping to secure the Lumati as a direct ally of the Alliance or as a member of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. Unfortunately, the Narn-Centauri conflict will keep him busy, so he leaves the task to Ivanova. He insists she do whatever she has to in order to make it happen.
G'Kar discusses the recent battle with Delenn in her quarters, appealing to her as he did to Sheridan for aid. He insists that if the Minbari intervene it could help save lives and maybe even end the war before it begins. Delenn admits she is distressed at the attacks on civilians, but points out that G'Kar's actions have always aimed for one thing: the utter destruction of the Centauri. She explains to him that it is difficult for anyone to trust the Narn Regime given their recent history. G'Kar offers to beg her for help if it will help. Delenn tells him that after the Earth-Minbari War, her people are tired of war. She tells him that the Babylon 5 Advisory Council can still act, but G'Kar insists it is too late for that – one side will destroy the other unless others intervene.
In the casino, a group of Centauri brag about the recent victories in the War, prompting some Narns to throw a bottle in their direction. Zack Allan and some other security officers are on scene, however, and move them along before anything can happen.
Ivanova greets the two Lumati when they come aboard. They are Correlimurzon, the delegate, and his servitor, Taq. Correlimurzon shares a telepathic link with Taq and speaks "through" him, as it would constitute a loss of face among his people if he communicates directly with an "inferior" race. Part of his visit is to determine whether humans are in fact inferior. Ivanova is a little put off, but is nonetheless accommodating and prepares herself as she starts a tour of the station.
Londo has a meeting with a Centauri merchant who is asking him for certain favors. Londo is annoyed, but agrees to do what he can. After the merchant leaves, Londo complains to Vir about how much his status has changed: from being a disrespected, barely known person with little further career prospects, he is now a "wishing well with legs," someone whom everyone wants to befriend because of his new found influence. Londo finds this role very unsatisfying.
The Centauri from the casino attack one of the Narns who threw the bottle. Zack steps in again, and when the Narn refuses to drop his weapon and lunges his way, Zack has no choice but to shoot him.
Sheridan and G'Kar get into a heated argument about the shooting. Ultimately, Sheridan insists that G'Kar keep his people in line, as such incidents make his appeal to aid the Regime all the harder. He insists that the station not be turned into a war zone and demands G'Kar make it so.
Ivanova leads the Lumati to Medlab and introduces them to Dr. Franklin as he is briefing some of his new staff. The Lumati are indignant to the idea of Medlab treating "inferior" races, disrupting natural evolution by allowing the sick and weak to survive. Dr. Franklin finds this idea repugnant, but the Lumati simply happily tell him how mistaken he is before leaving.
In the casino, Londo spots Michael Garibaldi walking by. He invites Garibaldi to join him for a drink and even hands him a bag of money, payback for all the times Garibaldi loaned him cash. Garibaldi is insensitive, telling Londo he does not know who he is anymore. Londo begs him to stay, saying that for the first time in his life everything is going his way, but he has no real friends to enjoy the moment with. Garibaldi offers to meet back with him later after he is off duty, if he is able.
G'Kar discusses the situation on the station with an assembly of the Narns on the station. He implores them not to resort to violence on the station, saying it will destroy any chance they have of recruiting allies. The Narn, lead by a rebellious younger Narn, agree to follow his orders. However, once he leaves, they pull out the leader of the Centauri from earlier and stab him to death. They are planning an attack in six hours time – an attack that will culminate in the deaths of all Centauri aboard the station.
Sheridan and Garibaldi watch as Dr. Franklin goes over a preliminary autopsy of the dead Centauri. There is no conclusive proof regarding an attacker, but Garibaldi reads between the lines and wants to alert Mollari. Sheridan insists he wait, worried that telling him will ignite violence all over the station.
Meanwhile, Londo waits for Garibaldi in the casino until closing, but he does not turn up. Londo sadly leaves.
The Lumati make a surprise visit to Ivanova's quarters, saying they would like to see more than the "good parts" of the tour, to which Ivanova is presumably limiting the tour. As they snoop around her quarters, Ivanova objects, saying there's such a thing as privacy and counters by offering to show them any part of the station they want to see.
Sheridan discusses his request with an Earthforce officer over StellarCom, but the officer informs him that EarthGov is denying his appeals, telling him that the Narns will have to fend for themselves. After he hangs up, Sheridan gets a hold of Delenn.
Na'Toth observes the rebellious Narn buying Drazi Blades, becoming aware of their plot. She goes straight to G'Kar to warn him about the impending attack. G'Kar insists on handling it personally, as if he does not then it will only result in greater violence later on. Na'Toth insists on coming with him to watch his back.
Ivanova leads the Lumati into Downbelow, as they are curious about the Lurkers. Ivanova explains about their presence. The Lumati misunderstand her, believing that the station intentionally isolated the "undesirables" of their own species. This is enough to convince Correlimurzon that Humans are worthy of direct communication, and he shocks her by speaking himself. He assures Ivanova that before he leaves there will be an alliance and they leave her to discuss.
G'Kar and Na'Toth confront the Narns. G'Kar challenges the leader to a one-on-one fight. Na'Toth stops another Narn from shooting the ambassador in the back while he fights. G'Kar is able to defeat his opponent, which is enough to reassert his authority over the others. They agree to abandon their plan and follow his instructions. The defeated Narn, however, tries to stab G'Kar in the back as he is leaving. G'Kar is only grazed, though the blade was poisoned. Na'Toth helps him walk out.
Sheridan discusses a plan with Delenn to help evacuate some of the Narn civilians from the war zone. Part of the plan also includes smuggling left over food and medicine from the station into Narn territory aboard Minbari ships to help those who cannot be gotten out. Delenn agrees to the plan.
Correlimurzon meets with Ivanova to conclude the deal. He informs her that before the deal can be finalized, it is necessary for them to have sex. Flabbergasted, Ivanova makes an excuse and leaves quickly.
Na'Toth turns the Narn leader over to security. She explains that the Narn was the one who murdered the Centauri citizen and that he will confess given a trial. Garibaldi has the Narn taken into custody, though he worries about the repercussions it will have once Londo finds out.
Ivanova discusses the "diplomatic problem" she faces with the Lumati to Franklin. She flat out refuses to have sex with him, but does not know how else to resolve the situation. She gets an idea when Franklin suggests that Correlimurzon knows nothing about human physiology and rushes out.
Na'Toth visits G'Kar (who has just finished treating his injury and the poison) and tells him that Sheridan and Delenn are asking to see him. G'Kar is excited over what this could mean. At the meeting, however, he is greatly disappointed that all they can offer is indirect, secret aid to civilians. He is gracious for the help all the same, happy that it will save lives, but is at the same time crushed realizing that many more Narn lives, and perhaps the entire Narn empire, will be lost without outside intervention.
Ivanova invites the Lumati back to her quarters. She agrees to have sex, but insists they do "the Human way," which she claims is superior to the Lumati way. Correlimurzon agrees, and is disappointed when the "sex" ends 10 seconds later and consists entirely of Ivanova dancing around him. He agrees to keep his word, however, in finalizing the treaty.
Sheridan and Garibaldi discuss the situation of the murdered Centauri with Londo, asking if the trial can be delayed to prevent an explosive situation. Londo decides to help them out by not making a public fuss, but merely insisting that the Narn be deported after having all his belongings seized and auctioned (with the proceeds going to the Centauri war fund). Sheridan and Garibaldi are surprised, but grateful.
Sheridan meets up with Ivanova at the officer's mess later. He congratulates Ivanova on securing the treaty and also delivers her a gift left by Correlimurzon (with a note that reads "Next time, my way").
Garibaldi meets Londo in the casino, joining him for a drink. He thanks Londo for helping them out, and Londo is happy to have been able to help his friend, even if he is that only "for a little while."
"When you have been crushed beneath the wheel for as long as we have, revenge occupies your every waking thought."
- – G'Kar
"'Do whatever it takes, he says.' No one told me that would involve having sex with an alien!"
- – Susan Ivanova
"Well you could put a bag over his head and do it for Babylon 5!"
- – Stephen Franklin to Ivanova, about the idea of her having sex with Correlimurzon
- The Narn-Centauri War takes a clear turn in favor of the Centauri Republic.
- From this episode onward, Londo Mollari begins wearing a new suit (with a much darker color scheme) as his regular attire.
- This episode contained the final appearance of Na'Toth until season 5, and the last time Mary Kay Adams appeared in the role (the season 5 episode returned Caitlin Brown to the role). Her absence was explained by her being on leave on Narn when the Centauri launched their bombardment of the planet.
|Babylon 5 Season 2 "The Coming of Shadows"|
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