Sheridan is targeted by an assassin during his inauguration as President of the Interstellar Alliance. At the behest of Sheridan, Captain Elizabeth Lochley arrives from Earth to take command of Babylon 5. A group of rogue telepaths come to the station looking for sanctuary.
- 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
- Christina Gavin as Sarah
- Sean Wilson as Security Team Crew Leader
- Unknown as David
- Unknown as William
- Unknown as Cynthia
- Unknown as Rosa
- Unknown as Lesharr, Gaim ambassador
- Regular characters who appear in this episode are John Sheridan, Michael Garibaldi, Delenn, Stephen Franklin, Zack Allan, Elizabeth Lochley, Londo Mollari and G'Kar.
- The recurring character of Byron and his band of "rogue" telepaths is introduced in this episode.
The EAS Acheron arrives at Babylon 5 to transport Captain Elizabeth Lochley to take command of the station. She is met by David Corwin, who immediately starts explaining why only he is meeting her instead of the entire command staff. All the others are dealing with various crises and Lochley characterizes it as a poorly-run situation. Lochley leads Corwin through customs and expresses eagerness to get over the initial
Elsewhere, a Ranger, beaten up and tied to a chair, is at the mercy of another man. The man wants to send a message by killing the dead Ranger. Before he does so, he asks for last words. The Ranger declares he "lives for the one, and dies for the one."
Sheridan has gotten up early and is getting ready to make breakfast when Delenn exits the bedroom dressed. She needs to meet the Gaim ambassador. Before she goes, she asks a humorous question about Sheridan's socks, which he curiously washes separately from his other clothes due to a sergeant he had as a young man. He gets a call that Lochley is settled in, and they share a word about the fact they are living in separate quarters before parting.
Out in space, the maintenance drones have found a capsule containing the dead Ranger.
Lochley meets Sheridan in her office. She asks him why he wanted someone from Earthforce to run the station even though the ISA will want to buy it from them, and Sheridan responds it is symbolic. Further, she asks why he asked for her specifically, and he reveals he knows her background – good diplomatically, but also knows when to fight. She seems satisfied with the answers when she gets a call on her link. As she goes, she notes he did not ask her what side she was on during the Earth Alliance Civil War. He simply confirms that statement and leaves.
Michael Garibaldi continues to lead Zack Allan through the station noting all the things to look out for before the inauguration. Allan knows all the things Garibaldi is saying, but Garibaldi is insistent about making sure. They walk by the man who, unbeknownst to them, killed the Ranger.
Corwin, in Medlab, explains to Lochley that they found the dead Ranger, who didn't die of exposure to space.
In Sheridan's quarters, a message appears on a screen that he "is a dead man."
Lochley is eating at a restaurant, observed by the man from earlier. She notices him, and suddenly she can't hear anything. He sits down, introduces himself as Byron, and invites her to meet him in Brown 3. She asks why, and he simply responds that his "people are coming." She flinches and he is gone, with a call on her link from Stephen Franklin to distract her.
G'Kar is trying to write in his quarters when Sheridan enters. Sheridan notes that his job does not have an oath or a set of principles. He asks G'Kar to write both, and he considers it a great responsibility, hurrying Sheridan out of his quarters so he can concentrate on nothing else.
Lochley meets Franklin to learn about the dead Ranger. It appears the man was killed elsewhere and dumped outside. Franklin believed the killer was trained, but doesn't know if it has anything to do with the inauguration. Lochley is called away as a reminder of "an appointment." She goes to a corridor where Byron shows himself. Several other humans also enter and he thanks her for coming. She deduced he was a telepath and therefore dangerous. Officers arrive and confirm there aren't any weapons. Byron is not worried. He explains they are rogue telepaths who do not want to join the Psi Corps or the Resistance. They have disavowed violence, and want to call Babylon 5 home in return for help.
The Gaim ambassador finishes meeting with Delenn and leaves to the alien quarters. The killer follows the alien afterwards. Sheridan gets to his quarters and receives the text message from before. Then, an audio message: a person noting that previous presidents who have "paid the price" for their decisions. The computer can't trace the origin of the message. The man promises to kill Sheridan, even if it means going to hell.
Byron escorts Simon to Medlab to be examined by Franklin. He's surprised to hear that Simon never speaks, and Simon chooses to send Franklin an unexplained memory of himself with a girl. Franklin is distracted by a call and finds all the telepaths gone. Simon has entered a ventilation duct.
Sheridan is in front of all the ambassadors, Delenn and Garibaldi refusing to postpone the ceremony despite the evidence that a killer is on the loose. He wants to change the thinking here, but everyone else is in disagreement. Lochley interjects and agrees with Sheridan, as he is making a political decision while everyone else is just concerned about their friend. The others are not happy. Garibaldi chases Lochley down afterwards and tries to convince her to save Sheridan from himself, whereas she doesn't consider anything he says since he's not actually part of the staff.
Meanwhile, Simon is traveling the ducts when he comes across the killer preparing, Gaim helmet nearby. He senses what the man's plan is, and foresees Sheridan's death. Simon briefly stumbles, making a small sound which alerts the killer. He quickly goes to his PPG and shoots the ceiling. Blood runs down the wall, confirming the hit and the killer leaves, confident the onlooker is dead.
At the inauguration, G'Kar delivers the speech, but Sheridan is noting the larger number of people than he expected. He tells Delenn, who ensures him attendance was limited. Garibaldi, meanwhile, is in the security office obsessed with monitoring the situation and listens to the message again. Garibaldi eventually finds the killer's name and informs Allan, but does not have a description. Menawhile, the killer, dressed as a Gaim, enters the room with no one asking questions. Just then, Simon enters, wounded. He sees the killer and broadcasts what he saw to everyone there. The killer makes his move and two security officers prevent him from killing Sheridan.
The killer flees the scene and escapes to a Starfury while the ceremony continues. With security and Garibaldi in pursuit of the killer, G'Kar starts the ceremony. Soon, the killer floats toward the windows and allows everyone to leave except Sheridan, though Delenn and G'Kar stay. While the killer starts to explain himself, Garibaldi floats behind in another Starfury and pulls him away just long enough for the station's guns to lock on and blast him. With the crises over, G'Kar simply asks if Sheridan wants to be President and has him put his hand on the book without any other words.
Byron meets Sheridan, who expresses sorrow for the loss of Simon. Sheridan has heard of the request of Byron and his people to live there. Despite Lochley's refusal, Sheridan is making this a political decision and he agrees to it, promising part of Brown Sector. Byron goes, and Franklin asks about Garibaldi.
Garibaldi stops to see Lochley in her office and, in his usual casual nature, informs her of his appointment as the ISA's head of covert intelligence division. He also notes Lochley served with the killer, and she notes he went bad. As he leaves, he asks what side of the Earth Alliance Civil War she was on. She simply responds, "the side of Earth."
"On my world, we have learned that an inauguration is simply a signal to assassins that a new target has been set up on the firing range."
- – Londo Mollari to Sheridan
"Do you want to be President?"
"Put your hand on the book and say 'I do'."
"Fine. Done, let's eat."
- – G'Kar and Sheridan after being interrupted a second time
- Episode guide page for No Compromises at the Lurker's Guide
- No Compromises at the Internet Movie Database
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