The Babylon Project

He sees strange visions, dreams strange dreams. Gradually, John Sheridan understands he's become host to an alien lifeform. Meanwhile, a friend of Londo Mollari reveals he is being singled out for treason and is seeking help to defeat the accusation.



Guest Starring[]



Cast Notes[]



Captain Sheridan is winding down from a marathon session with the League of Non-Aligned Worlds with batting practice on the station's baseball field. Security Chief Garibaldi joins him and mentions his rough day in Grey Sector: nicknamed "The Triangle" for the strange events that occur there, Maintenance is noticing strange energy readings there. The story piques Sheridan's curiosity, and he decides to investigate.

Meanwhile, Londo is discussing Centauri opera with Vir, which leads them to singing a duet when the ambassador is suddenly grabbed from behind by a threatening hooded figure.

Act I[]

When the hooded figure addresses Londo as "Paso Leati," Londo suddenly realizes with relief and delight that his "assailant" is in fact Vocator Urza Jaddo, a much-regarded veteran Centauri war hero as well as an old friend from Londo's days in a dueling society known as the Couro Prido ("Proud Knives"). Londo invites Urza to his quarters for Brivari. Urza has matters to attend but promises to stop by later to explain the reason for his visit.

Sheridan walks into Grey 10 and starts poking around. He eventually comes across a Markab corpse, his head bashed in. Before he can report into Garibaldi, however, his link cuts off. Suddenly, the corpse grabs at Sheridan's face. A strange white glow passes from the corpse to him, then the corpse drops motionless again. Later, in Medlab, Doctor Franklin reports Sheridan is just a little shocked. As they discuss what to do about the Markab, Sheridan's vision suddenly turns eerily white. He decides to take the doctor's advice and rest for a while.

As Londo happily prepares for Urza's visit, getting out his best Brivari, he tells Vir that while he and the Vocator have been friends since childhood, House Mollari and House Jaddo have had a long-standing alliance. He explains the concept of fighting names among members of the Couro Prido, and that he gained the name "Paso Leati" for his style of fighting like a crazed leati. Urza's fighting name was "Skal Tura" (The Silent Beast), and although Londo was no mean fighter in his day, he could never outfight Urza. As Mollari continues to comment on the "good old days", Vir suggests that he dwells too much on the past, and Londo counters that Vir is too negative. Then Urza arrives. With Vir serving, Urza and Londo greet each other formally, give a Centauri toast, and start drinking.

Sheridan is having trouble sleeping. He keeps hearing noises and gets the feeling some beast is stalking him. Suddenly, he looks at his bed and notices a dangerous alien creature hovering over it.

Act II[]

The creature dives for Sheridan. He ducks under it and eventually gets to his PPG. However, his shots pass through the creature. The creature soon disappears, then Security rushes into his quarters, alerted by the gunfire. They can't find any trace of the creature (which Sheridan identified as a grylor) that supposedly attacked Sheridan. Sheridan seems confounded by this, and Garibaldi hints that Sheridan may be hallucinating. He also reports that the Markab committed suicide: he had literally bashed his own skull in. Sheridan decides to go on to C&C while Garibaldi keeps investigating.

With the edibles mostly eaten and Vir dismissed, Londo and Urza contentedly continue drinking as they talk over old times. When the Vocator mentions being still happily married to his wife Marilya, Mollari is sadly reminded of his lost love Adira Tyree. However, after commenting that Londo seems to be regaining prestige in the royal court and the Centauri Republic is on the rise again, Urza reveals a shocking surprise: he knows the Narn didn't start the war with the Centauri, but were forced into it by a Centauri faction which he also knows has assassinated Prime Minister Malachi, making it appear a suicide, and contributed to the rise of Emperor Cartagia. Troubled, Londo asks about the official account and Urza explains that there are many stories floating around. Pressed for an explanation, Urza finally gets to his real motives: his House of which he is the head is being accused of treason in a resolution being brought before the Centaurum, which has been developing a witch hunt attitude, and he is seeking Londo's support. Londo agrees to investigate and an assured Urza leaves, inviting him to a banquet he is holding on the station the following evening.

In C&C, Commander Ivanova reports nothing of note. As a scheduled ship arrives, Sheridan's vision goes white again. Then he sees a ship just outside the viewport. It's the Icarus, the ship that his late wife Anna was in, which then explodes in front of him. Ivanova grows concerned at his orders to scan something that isn't there. Sheridan then realizes that it's just like with the grylor: another hallucination. He excuses himself to go to Medlab.

Act III[]

Franklin tries to hypothesize the reason for the visions: a new virus, maybe stress coming from the change of roles. He orders Sheridan off duty for a few days so he can try to relax.

As Vir looks on, Londo contacts Lord Refa and asks for an explanation concerning Urza Jaddo. But Refa explains that Urza is a traitor and that supporting him could have grave consequences, hinting that Londo's own status may be at risk. Londo realizes that he needs to get more information from his agents back home on Centauri Prime.

Sheridan practices again on the baseball field. Garibaldi again walks in and notes that Sheridan has been at it for three straight hours. Sheridan decides to stop for a bit while Garibaldi fills in one more detail on the dead Markab: he passed through Sector 14 en route to Babylon 5. Sheridan knows the sector is off limits, and Garibaldi knows why and tells him of the story of Babylon 4's sudden reappearance last year, offering him a copy of the records supposedly confiscated by Earthforce.

At the reception hall Urza has booked, Londo observes to Vir that the Vocator's banquet is opulent as always, and finds himself acknowledged by noble Centauri who until recently would have ignored him. The event turns sour when Urza announces that the resolution against him and House Jaddo appears likely to pass, and grows more somber when Londo mentions his alliance with Lord Refa, whom Urza reveals as the one who brought forth the resolution. Urza goes on to say that like the late Emperor Turhan, he has grown disillusioned with conquest, and asks Londo why he has to stay on his current course. Londo replies that he has a destiny to fulfill, and Urza then offers him a gift: the coutari he used during his most famous battle, the Battle of Gorash. When Londo refuses, a deadly serious Urza challenges him to the Morago: a duel to the death. Londo accepts both the sword and the challenge to preserve his honor, and Urza bids him to make his peace with their gods and return in two hours.

Act IV[]

Sheridan studies Garibaldi's footage. Seeing a similar eerie white in the viewscreen makes Sheridan realize there is a connection. Suddenly, the strange energy throbs in his head. Sheridan demands to know what it wants. Then he sees his parents for a moment before they disappear in a brilliant flash, just like the one that preceded Babylon 4's disappearance. Sheridan gets an idea and quickly leaves his quarters, forgetting to take his Link, even as Franklin tries to contact him.

Vir is very upset at Londo's decision in accepting Urza's challenge, but Londo replies that honor is at stake: something which to him is more important than life. Indeed, in times of insanity, Londo says, it's best to ride the insanity and let it fire you.

Franklin reports to Garibaldi that Sheridan is missing. By the time Garibaldi issues a general alert, Delta 1 launches with Sheridan inside. Ivanova demands to know what's going in, but Sheridan (almost coyly) replies that's he's just taking a stroll.

Back at the banquet hall, Londo asks one more time if Urza intends to go through with the Morago. When Urza answers yes, Londo himself prepares to duel.

Garibaldi boards Delta 2 and eventually catches up to Sheridan as he heads towards Sector 14. Sheridan explains that he's following a hunch and thinks he's leading someone home.

An elderly Centauri noble serving as referee announces the Morago. The two combatants ceremonially draw their swords, bow ritualistically, then begin the duel, their swords clashing. Urza draws first blood, cutting Londo's left arm.

Sheridan arrives in Sector 14. Just then, a time portal emerges, and with a scream, the mysterious white energy pours out of Sheridan and through the portal. The shock knocks Sheridan unconscious, and it is only a quick grapple by Garibaldi that keeps Sheridan from following the energy through the portal. Still holding tight, he brings both ships home.

Meanwhile, the Morago continues until Urza, when he seems to be winning, suddenly leaves himself vulnerable for a final thrust by Londo. With his dying breath, Urza explains that he did all this to spare his family the disgrace. Now he will die and the disgrace will be meaningless, and Londo promises to see to his family even as Urza dies in his arms, calling him "old friend" one last time.

Act V[]

Sheridan finally explains what had happened. The Markab had been carrying an alien being that somehow wandered from Sector 14. It apparently drove the Markab to suicide. When Sheridan happened upon it, it jumped to him and tried to communicate with him with images of fear (the grylor), loss (the Icarus), and home (his parents). He pieced together that the being was scared, lost, and wanted to go home, so he accommodated by returning it to Sector 14. When asked by Franklin if he could contact it again, Sheridan refuses, preferring to be "only slightly insane."

A despondent Londo is pouring out a drink in his quarters as Vir returns from having arranged for Urza's body to be transported back to Centauri Prime. When Vir tries to comfort him, pointing out he only killed Urza in self defence, Mollari replies that the Vocator deliberately set himself up to be killed to save his family for, by the laws of the Morago, Londo as victor must now assume responsibility for them. They are now of House Mollari, and therefore immune to Refa's resolution. Vir again tries to dissuade Londo from the course he is taking, but Londo admits that though he now regrets his choices, his hands are too bloodied to turn back, and he must see it through to the end.

Memorable quotes[]

"How fitting you should die with a song on your lips!"

Urza Jaddo to Londo while the former threatens him as a joke

"Why make history if you fail to learn by it?"

Vir Cotto to Londo Mollari

"Vir, you have what the Earthers call a 'negative personality'."
"No, I don't!"
"There, you see!"

Londo Mollari and Vir Cotto

"Knowledge is a key tool in politics."

Urza Jaddo

"You cannot build an empire based on slaughter and deceit."

Urza Jaddo


  • This is the second time Sector 14 is brought up; the first time was the Babylon 4 incident in "Babylon Squared". Sector 14 will be brought up one more time in season 3.
  • Londo's relationship with Lord Refa begins to deteriorate at this point as their ambitions begin to put them at odds. This will also indirectly drive a further wedge in his relations with G'Kar.
  • Londo is reminded of Adira Tyree, which will become crucial later on.
  • It is revealed to Londo for the first time the real cause of Malachi's death.

DVD release[]

External Link[]

Episode guide page for Knives at the Lurker's Guide