The Babylon Project

Babylon Squared is an episode from the first season of Babylon 5, which is collectively entitled Signs and Portents.

Babylon 4 reappears at the same place it disappeared four years earlier, and Sinclair and Garibaldi lead an expedition to evacuate its crew. Meanwhile Delenn is summoned by the Grey Council. They inform her that they have selected a new leader: her.



Also starring[]


Guest starring[]



Cast notes[]



As Sinclair and Garibaldi are eating breakfast, Ivanova joins them, complaining that C'n'C woke her up early because of some strange readings coming from Sector 14, a location approximately three hours from the station. After they play a prank on her, she goes to C'n'C where Alpha 7 has arrived at Sector 14.

At Sector 14, the pilot relays back to Babylon 5 as he witnesses something that surprises him. Soon, he yells as he is then suddenly surrounded by light and the communication cuts out.

Act I[]

Ivanova tries to reach the pilot of Alpha 7, but to no avail, however, the Starfury is on a trajectory back to the station. Sinclair speculates that the pilot's communication system has failed, probably as a result of the continued tachyon emissions coming from Sector 14.

Delenn, alone on a Minbari flyer, leaves the station and enters the jumpgate.

Alpha 7 finally arrives back at Babylon 5, however, it's confirmed no life signs detected. The ship is brought aboard and examined. Later, in Sinclair's office, Garibaldi explains that the pilot of Alpha 7 died of a natural cause: old age, despite only being thirty. He apparently programmed the fighter to return on autopilot just before he died. Garibaldi has already ordered his team to begin investigating. A short time later, Garibaldi shows Sinclair and Ivanova the pilot's safety buckle: "B4" is scratched onto the surface. Sinclair mentions that the tachyon emissions from Sector 14 are coming from the exact place Babylon 4 disappeared four years earlier.

Meanwhile, Delenn exits a jumpgate and starts a journey.

Just then, C'n'C contacts Sinclair to tell him that they are receiving a distress call – from Babylon 4. They rush to C'n'C, where after confirming the station's ID code, they receive the call from the Commander of B4, Major Krantz. He tells them that the station is damaged and they need assistance in evacuating the skeleton crew. Then the signal disappears. Ivanova tells Sinclair that the message was time-stamped four years ago – the time that B4 disappeared. Sinclair orders teams prepared immediately to begin a rescue mission, which should take about 10 hours.

Act II[]

Sinclair warns the pilots that this is a very dangerous and unpredictable mission, and that it is strictly a volunteer assignment. No one asks to leave. Sinclair and Garibaldi also take a ship to Sector 14 to lead the rescue effort. He orders Ivanova not to send any other ships.

On the Minbari flyer, Delenn flies into a Minbari Sharlin class warcruiser. Delenn joins the other members of the Grey Council with a customary greeting. She is welcomed, and informed that she has been chosen to lead the Minbari, taking Dukhat's place. She is surprised and does not want to leave Babylon 5, mentioning the expected prophecy. They tell her that "prophecy will attend to itself," and that she will be staying with the Council.

As the Earthforce ships approach Sector 14, Sinclair and Garibaldi see for themselves – Babylon 4 appears in front of them.

Act III[]

The first shuttles fly toward Babylon 4, passing through a distortion field, and safely land.

Sinclair and Garibaldi enter Babylon 4, telling the other pilots to stay back, until it is shown to be safe. They are fired upon by a raving crewman. He is subdued by Garibaldi, and Major Krantz, assigned to supervise construction of Babylon 4, greets them. Sinclair tells him about Babylon 5, and when Garibaldi tells him that the year is 2258, he is shocked, but not surprised. He warns they must leave immediately. Suddenly there is a flash of light, and Sinclair finds himself in the middle of a firefight on the station, not sure what is going on. He is next to Garibaldi, who IS aware of the situation. This Garibaldi is dressed in riot gear and wielding a machine gun. He tells Sinclair that he has rigged the fusion reactors to explode and yells for Sinclair to leave without him. After another flash, Sinclair is back on Babylon 4. Krantz explains that it is a flash through time: people experience something from either their past or future, and it is different for everyone. He again tells them that they need to leave.

Delenn talks to another member of the Council, saying she cannot go back into the Great Hall, because once she enters, she will never leave again. She feels she needs to return to Babylon 5. She demands to reconvene the Council, and he agrees.

As the evacuation on B4 continues, Krantz tells Sinclair that the problems started 24 hours after going online. They noticed problems with time track system, then "all hell broke loose." He also shows them Zathras, an alien that they found on the ship, that is being held in Security. Zathras immediately brightens when he sees Sinclair, seemingly recognizing him, but then seems to think better of it and refuses to talk. Krantz tells them that Zathras just showed up in the conference room during a flash. Sinclair asks what he is doing there. When Garibaldi threatens to hurt him, Zathras begins to talk. He explains that he and those with him have come to steal the station, moving it through time to a place where it can serve as a base of operations in a great and terrible war. He mentions that he is following a figure called "the One," a person he would willingly die for. Zathras says the One is hurt and that he must help him.

The interrogation is interrupted when a security guard alerts Krantz to a situation. Everyone leaves, including Zathras, who rushes out of the room before the guards can restrain him. In a nearby corridor, a figure in a spacesuit materializes out of thin air. When Zathras sees her, he declares her "the One."

Act IV[]

The figure in the spacesuit is clearly in pain. Zathras explains that "the One" was willing to endure the pain – it is a consequence of her stopping the station where and when they did (i.e. 2258) to allow the crew to evacuate. Sinclair approaches the figure, and when he touches her, he is thrown across the room. Zathras rushes over to the figure, quickly handing her an object he claims he has fixed. The mysterious figure vanishes.

Zathras attempts to run away, but is quickly recaptured. He tells them that they must leave immediately, or else they will be trapped forever. Despite this, Zathras is taken back to the interrogation room.

Delenn, now reunited with the Grey Council, tells them that she must return to Babylon 5, because she has not finished her work with the humans. She is confident that the prophesy was indeed about the humans, and talks about their need to community, fight, and independence. They warn her that if she leaves, she may never return, may even become an outcast. She insists on staying on Babylon 5, and by a 5-4 vote, they withdraw their decision and allow her to return.

As Garibaldi struggles to get the panicked mob onto shuttles in an orderly fashion, Sinclair asks Zathras what he gave the figure. He tells Sinclair it is a time stabilizer, and that it was his (Zathras'), and that without it, Zathras will die. Sinclair realizes that the time distortions are what killed his pilot.

Garibaldi calls Sinclair to tell him that almost everyone is off, and that they need to leave. Suddenly a time flash happens, and Michael is in a room with Lise Hampton. He is at the moment in time where he was ready to leave her to go to Babylon 5, and experiences her anger at him all over again. The moment passes and Garibaldi is even more resolved to leave immediately.

Krantz insists that they take Zathras with them, despite what the alien says. As they are leaving, however, a tremor rocks the station and a column lands on Zathras, pinning him underneath it. Sinclair does not want to leave him, but Zathras insists, telling him that he "has a destiny." Sinclair leaves, and Zathras is soon joined by the space suited figure. Zathras is delighted, telling him that he knew he would not leave him, and that he trusts The One. Sinclair, Garibaldi, and the last of their ships manage to clear the station, just as it disappears.

As Babylon 4 moves through time, a figure who looks the same as the figure takes off his helmet, revealing that he is Sinclair, only much older. Talking to someone off screen he says that he "tried to warn them, but it all happened, just the way I remembered." A woman (off screen) speaks to him saying, "I know. It's time. We have to go. They're waiting for us." The woman sounds like Delenn.

As they are leaving the area, Garibaldi asks Sinclair if he believes the story Zathras told him. He tells Michael that it is, that he hopes Babylon 4 helps them with their cause.

Act V[]

Delenn is ready to leave the ship, when her Minbari friend comes to tell her goodbye. She tells him that she realizes she will never see the Inner Chamber of the Grey Council. He hands her a triluminary, a triangular-shaped object. She objects, but he insists, acknowledging that if she is correct about the prophecies than she will have need of it soon. He admits he feels large changes coming himself, but can't know much about it for sure. She bids him a friendly good-bye.

Back on Babylon 5, Ivanova tells Sinclair she is upset that she missed the excitement. Sinclair reminds her that they do not know when the ship will return. She tells him that if it does return, that "I'm going, and Garibaldi is staying here."

Memorable quotes[]

"Mathematics not Zathras' skill."


"Zathras not of this time. You take, Zathras die. You leave, Zathras die. Either way, it is bad for Zathras."


"Ooooh...Not The One. No.
Not the one what?
Not The One. Won't talk. Can't talk. Not The One!

Zathras to Sinclair

"Great war. Terrible war. A great darkness. It is the end of everything. Zathras warned, but no one listened to poor Zathras. Great war, but great hope of peace. Need place. Place to gather, to fight, to organize. To help save galaxy, on the side of light, so they tell me. The One leads us. The One tells us to go. We live for the One. We would die for the One. We pull this place through time to save us all."


"Summoned, I come. In Valen's name, I take the place that has been prepared for me. I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star. We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light."


"They do not seek conformity. They do not surrender. Out of their differences comes symmetry, their unique capacity to fight against impossible odds. Hurt them, and they only come back stronger. The passions we deplore have taken them to their place among the stars, and will propel them to a great destiny. Their only weakness is that they do not recognize their own greatness. They forget that they have come to this place through two million years of evolution, struggle, and blood. They are better than they think, and nobler than they know. They carry within them the capacity to walk among the stars like giants. They are the future, and we have much to learn from them."

Delenn, about the human race

"These are curious times. I feel a great change in my bones. A new beginning, an end I cannot say. We are surrounded by signs and portents. And I feel a darkness pressing from them."

Delenn's Grey Council friend when giving her a Triluminary


  • First appearance of Babylon 4.
  • First appearance of Zathras.
  • First appearance of the Grey Council (not including Sinclair's flashback). This episode is the first to definitively show Delenn as a part of the Council. Her role as a member had already been established by the use of the honorific "Satai" in "Soul Hunter" and "The Parliament of Dreams," and later via her exchange with Neroon in "Legacies." She had also been shown to be part of the Council in Sinclair's flashback (from "And the Sky Full of Stars,"), but Sinclair was not aware it was the Council he was seeing.
  • This episode features a cameo by Lise Hampton, appearing in one of Garibaldi's "time flashes." This builds upon the previous two part episode that established Michael and Lise's prior relationship.
  • Ivanova says that next time Babylon 4 appears she would go and Garibaldi would stay on Babylon 5.  This came to pass in War Without End


  • Delenn's words about the human race having the potential to walk among the stars like giants mirrors her description of the First Ones to Sheridan in Season 2. It also foreshadows the evolution of mankind as it is shown in The Deconstruction of Falling Stars.
  • In Garibaldi's flashback Lise's comment about him having met Sinclair just twice before leaving to work on Babylon 5 appears to contradict Garibaldi's comment that Sinclair was his friend a lot longer than he was his commanding officer in Infection. This is easily explained in that they maintained their friendship via communications with each other over the intervening years.
  • Zathras telling Sinclair about his destiny foreshadows the events of War Without End, Part I and War Without End, Part II.

Image Category[]

Category:Images by episode (Babylon Squared)

DVD release[]

This episode, along with the other episodes from season one, has been released on DVD with extensive special features.

External links[]