On a mission to the edge of Centauri space, Lennier both teaches and learns. John Sheridan struggles to keep the Interstellar Alliance together. Meanwhile, Drazi agents plant a bug in Londo Mollari's quarters and face the wrath of Vir Cotto.
- Bruce Boxleitner as President John Sheridan
- Jerry Doyle as Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Ambassador Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Tracy Scoggins as Captain Elizabeth Lochley
- Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto
- Jeff Conaway as Security Chief Zack Allan
- Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander
- Peter Jurasik as Ambassador Londo Mollari
- Andreas Katsulas as Ambassador G'Kar
- Regular characters who appear in this episode are John Sheridan, Michael Garibaldi, Delenn, Stephen Franklin, Lennier, Vir Cotto, Zack Allan, Londo Mollari and G'Kar.
Delenn is having a sleepless night on Babylon 5 when she gets a signal from a device on the bedstand beside her. She quietly silences it and rises to leave, though John Sheridan feels her getting up and asks what's happening. She says she is restless in anticipation of the meeting tomorrow and wishes to double-check on some things. This satisfies Sheridan and he goes back to sleep, leaving Delenn alone to carry out a covert task.
She, however, goes to a noisy nightclub, looking for someone. During, a man tries to solicit her and refuses to take no for an answer until she casually breaks his finger. He tries to chase her, but another hooded figure fights and subdues him. He follows her outside – it is Lennier. Delenn has summoned him.
Lennier asks why the covert meeting, and Delenn explains that she is attempting utmost secrecy for fear of a leak. She is not even telling her husband because the mission will be dangerous, and Sheridan would be reluctant to send him. Given the recent evidence that the Centauri Republic are attacking Interstellar Alliance transports, she is reassigning Lennier to a training session aboard White Star 27 near the edge of Centauri space. Lennier knows Centauri better than other Anla'shok, so he would be better able to detect warning signs of an attack. He needs to gather concrete evidence of Centauri involvement so they can confront the Republic. Lennier prepares to leave at once, in spite of Delenn's requests to stay for a while. Before he goes, he tells her of Morden's visit during the Day of the Dead and the revelation that he would betray them someday – something neither of them believe, but Lennier does seem changed. He leaves her quickly while the thought lingers.
Vir Cotto returns to Londo Mollari's quarters overloaded with bags from a huge shopping trip. Mollari is curious why Cotto was shopping now when Cotto could have bought food for himself while Mollari was away. Cotto then confesses that he ate at McBari's. Mollari admonishes Cotto for eating junk food, which Centauri physiology can't even tolerate, but Cotto notes that while it may come back up, it still tastes so good going down. Just then, an alarm beeps in the quarters. It's Mollari's bug detector. A probe reveals a bug attached to a bag from a Drazi fruit merchant. Mollari spreads a little misinformation in reprise before breaking it. Then he notes Cotto will have to be more careful if he wishes to be worthy of his new job . . . as Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5.
Lennier reports to White Star 27, known more personally as Maria by its captain, Enrique Montoya. Lennier also meets Findell, a fellow trainee who notes that Montoya is a good teacher if a little unconventional. Maria sets out for the edge of Centauri space.
Meanwhile, G'Kar is beaming to learn that his permanent prosthetic eye has finally arrived. He cannot help but talk about so, so Sheridan decides to proceed with due speed. The Drazi ambassador reports of another attack on their shipping lines, and they have developed a hypothesis on the culprit. Sheridan advises against vigilante action, but the ambassador counters their hypothesis points to someone close to them: someone they might be willing to cover. Sheridan acknowledges the ambassador's candor and re-iterates no stone will be left unturned, but they need proof, not conjecture. Just then, Mollari enters and tells everyone in the room about the bug while discretely calling out the Drazi for planting it. As the Drazi ambassador leaves, G'Kar discretely motions to keep an eye on him; Sheridan nods as he realizes the Drazi are reaching the same conclusions as they.
Findell locates Lennier. Captain Montoya wishes the two of them to scout around in fighters once they jump out of hyperspace. Findell notes Montoya's reticence, and he and Lennier start a discussion about the differences between Human and Minbari thinking.
Dr. Stephen Franklin replaces G'Kar's prosthetic eye. For the first time in over a year, G'Kar can look in a mirror and see two nice red Narn eyes look back. As he operates, Franklin notes he has been trying to read G'Kar's book; as a Foundationist, any new viewpoints on religion and philosophy interest him. He asks to look in on one of his discussions, and G'Kar agrees.
Maria jumps back into normal space, and Lennier and Findell leave to scout the area. Shortly thereafter, however, Maria jumps back into hyperspace. Worse, their air supply is only good for another hour, and they are days from civilization.
Findell begins to show signs of panic, but Lennier suspects they have been called away on an emergency. Lennier suggests staying put for their return and meditating to conserve air. Unfortunately, Findell never got the technique down.
Franklin attends G'Kar's next session with keen interest. G'Kar is noting the importance of laughing at one's self in order to gain wisdom on one's own pursuits. He takes another question about truth and God. He uses the metaphor of a shining lamp, using it to describe how people perceive themselves, God, and so on, and how they may come to false conclusions depending on where they stand or look in relation to that light. However, some of the Narns in attendance do not seem to get the lesson. G'Kar relents on the complicated answer and ends the talk by giving an abstract but cryptic answer that seems to satisfy the group, though he obviously considers that answer useless.
After nearly an hour, Findell is nearly out of air and is on the verge of panic when Maria returns. In debriefing, Montoya explains that a situation such as theirs can happen in a battle. He also compliments Lennier for his prudent course of action: conserve resources and maintain position for easier retrieval.
Cotto confronts the Drazi fruit merchant in the Zócalo. However, the Drazi starts belittling Cotto. After all, he has historically been known as very timid and submissive. Unable to respond to that, Cotto leaves to return to Mollari's quarters and take Mollari's coutari from the wall, to Mollari's astonishment, which he then uses to hack the fruit stand to pieces and hold the Drazi at swordpoint, demanding an apology. Sufficiently cowed, the Drazi complies and gets a face full of grapes in reply. Security soon surrounds him, and chief Zack Allan asks a grinning Mollari what happened. Mollari proudly proclaims, "Now he is ready to be the Ambassador for the Centauri!"
The next morning, aboard Maria, Montoya summons Lennier, Findell, and two other trainees, Nurella and Drenn, to the bridge. Their next training session is an "Easter egg hunt": a test of their maneuvering skills in tight, unpredictable quarters. They are each to take a fighter into a nearby asteroid belt and seek out and destroy 10 short-range beacons scattered among the fast-moving and highly-dangerous chunks of ice and rock. However, to promote competition, there are only 39 beacons total; someone will fail the mission. After the briefing, Findell confesses that he didn't want to be a Ranger but felt compelled because two of his family, both Rangers, fell during the Shadow War; it fell to him to take up their legacies. Lennier cautions that Rangers should only join because they want to join.
The exercise begins. Lennier takes an early lead, but then Findell runs into trouble. He cannot score a hit; when Findell does not respond Lennier and Montoya quickly realize he is snapping: contemplating suicide. On a private channel, Lennier tries to talk Findell out of it. When that does not work, Lennier is forced to override the friend-or-foe system and manually target Findell's fighter, knocking it off its suicide course.
Later, Montoya berates Lennier for the friendly fire incident and, as Lennier took the blame for the incident, fails Lennier for the mission; he also gives Findell a neutral grade due to the interference. Then, Montoya decides to reassign Findell to recruiting duties. His new job will be to screen candidates to make sure they want to join the Rangers. After Findell leaves, Montoya secretly thanks Lennier for saving Findell... and points out that a White Star can listen in on any fighter in its complement: even the private channel.
Over dinner in Sheridan and Delenn's quarters, Allan recounts the story of Cotto's outburst. After the incident, Security took him in and questioned him but did not bother to put him in the brig. The event had been sparked by a diplomatic incident, after all, and the Drazi did not want word of their bugging Mollari's quarters getting out. Sheridan, Delenn, and Franklin laugh at the story and at how proud Mollari had been at Cotto's "coming of age": his ability to actually respond like a proper Centauri to intimidation. Sheridan then muses that he had half-hoped the Drazi had bugged Mollari's quarters in the hopes of learning more about the connection between the Centauri and the raiders. But Delenn notes that Mollari is not involved. Franklin then deduces that whatever is happening is going around him: the Prime Minister. That means the Royal Court is involved: most likely the Regent. Sheridan notes that time is against them. The other worlds will only wait for so long: a month tops. If they go vigilante, the Alliance will unravel into another war. Everyone then notes the absence of Michael Garibaldi.
As it turns out, Garibaldi is succumbing to the stress of his job. He has "crawled right back into the bottle," lying on the floor in a drunken stupor.
"Now... wanna finish our little conversation, spoo-for-brains?"
|Babylon 5 Season 5 "Wheel of Fire"|
|<<< Previous Season "No Compromises" "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" "The Paragon of Animals" "A View from the Gallery" "Learning Curve" "Strange Relations" "Secrets of the Soul" "Day of the Dead" "In the Kingdom of the Blind" "A Tragedy of Telepaths" "Phoenix Rising" "The Ragged Edge" "The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father" "Meditations on the Abyss" "Darkness Ascending" "And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder" "Movements of Fire and Shadow" "The Fall of Centauri Prime" "Wheel of Fire" "Objects in Motion" "Objects at Rest" "Sleeping in Light"|
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