Commander Sinclair is reassigned. Captain John Sheridan replaces him. On his first day on the job, he has to deal with a renegade Minbari war cruiser.
- Bruce Boxleitner as Captain John Sheridan
- Claudia Christian as Lieutenant 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
Special Guest Star
- Jennifer Anglin as Deeron
- Jonathan Chapman as Ambassador #1
- Joshua Cox as Tech #1
- Kim Delgado as Dome Tech #3
- Russ Fega as Merchant #1
- Bennet Guillory as Merchant #2
- Catherine Hader as Young Woman
- Mark Hendrickson as Ambassador #2
- Kristopher Logan as Ambassador #3
- Michael McKenzie as Vastor
- Debra Sharkey as Tech #2
- Brain Starcher as Other Pilot
- Kim Strauss as Ensign
- Thomas Valinote as Security Guard #2
- Greg Wrangler as Security Guard #1
- Regular cast members appearing in this episode are Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi (no dialogue), Delenn (in flashback), Stephen Franklin and Lennier.
- This episode introduces the characters of Captain John Sheridan and Lt. Warren Keffer.
January 8, 2259
Aboard the EAS Agamemnon, Captain John Sheridan is finishing up a mission repelling hijackers when he receives a communication from General William Hague of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hague informs him that a rogue Minbari warship, the Tragati, has been sighted numerous times over the past few days, each time in closer proximity to Babylon 5. Though the Minbari have dispatched a warship to hunt for it, Hague wants Sheridan at Babylon 5 in case the Tragati arrives with hostile intentions. Hague explains, however, that he does not simply want Sheridan to command the Agamemnon in conjunction with B5 – the President has other instructions in mind.
On Babylon 5, Lt. Comm. Susan Ivanova records a log entry, detailing how she has been left in charge of the station ever since Commander Sinclair was recalled to Earth five days previously. Security Chief Michael Garibaldi remains in critical condition in Medlab, and Ambassador Delenn remains inside a chrysalis. General Hague contacts her on Gold Channel to deliver some surprising news: Commander Sinclair will not be returning, as he has been permanently reassigned.
General Hague explains that Sinclair has been reassigned as the new Earth ambassador to Minbar, having been personally requested by the Minbari. He informs Ivanova that Captain Sheridan will be the new station commander. Ivanova is surprised, though having served under Sheridan before she is familiar with him.
A Minbari named Hedronn (a member of the Grey Council) arrives at Delenn's quarters, and sees for himself what she has undertaken. He explains to Lennier (still praying vigilantly nearby) that the Tragati has been sighted in the sector. He orders Lennier to go to the humans and tell them what he has been told should the Tragati turn up.
Captain Sheridan arrives unexpectedly ahead of schedule, and Corwin immediately informs Ivanova. Ivanova rushes down to greet him at customs and turns over command of the station to him. She then begins giving a tour of the station and explaining about some of the more serious (or just outright strange) events going on, such as Garibaldi and Delenn's respective conditions, and how Ambassador G'Kar has vanished. Sheridan is enthusiastic about his new assignment.
A Minbari warrior arrives on the station and pulls up a map of the station. When he sees Green Sector, he immediately sets out for it.
Ivanova shows Sheridan his quarters. She takes the opportunity to ask why he of all people was assigned to replace Sinclair. Sheridan explains that he was the late President's first choice to replace Sinclair should anything happen. While commanding the Agamemnon, he had the opportunity to work with numerous members of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, in addition to the Narn and the Centauri. Ivanova asks about the Minbari, aware that Sheridan is still disfavored among them (still calling him by the epithet "Star Killer"). Sheridan hopes they will be more or less over it after twelve years. Ivanova also explains how stressed out she has been the past week with everything going on and how happy she is that he is there. Before she leaves, he mentions to her he plans on giving his "good luck speech" in C'n'C, the same speech he always gives when taking a new assignment.
Hedronn notices the Minbari warrior and recognizes him as Kalain. He confronts Kalain, and the warrior threatens Hedronn: he is aware that Sheridan "Star Killer" has been assigned to the station, which he calls an obscenity. He warns Hedronn to leave the station immediately if he values his life.
Sheridan arrives in C'n'C and begins to deliver his good luck speech. He expresses his confidence in the crew during the speech. He is interrupted by a link from Security, informing the captain that a Minbari is demanding to speak to him about a matter concerning the safety of the station.
Kalain saunters into Green Sector, but is stopped by a security guard who asks to see his identicard. Kalain knocks the guard out and continues on his way.
Hedronn meets with Sheridan and Ivanova in Sheridan's office. He explains how he has seen Kalain, who was second-in-command aboard a Minbari cruiser during the Earth-Minbari War and who has not been seen since the end of the war. Sheridan correctly assumes that the cruiser in question was the Tragati. They explain to Ivanova that the captain of the Tragati, Sineval, committed suicide rather than comply with the surrender order. Kalain assumed command and the ship went rogue, believing they had been betrayed by the Grey Council, and have existed the last twelve years in self imposed exile. When Sheridan asks how Hedronn was able to recognize Kalain (correctly assuming that Hedronn is a member of the Grey Council, despite not identifying himself as such), Hedronn mentions that he does not recognize Sheridan's authority. Sheridan defends his appointment, saying that the President felt the Minbari had previously had too much influence over an Earth station. Hedronn makes it clear that his people have not forgotten about the Black Star and stalks off. Ivanova asks him about how he destroyed the Black Star. Sheridan explains how during the War, the Minbari had a kind of stealth technology that prevented conventional weapons lock. So he came up with the idea of mining an asteroid belt with fusion bombs, which succeeded in taking out the Black Star and three other heavy cruisers.
Just then, it occurs to Sheridan that if Kalain feels his world has betrayed him, he might be aboard to go after the representative of that world: Delenn.
Kalain, inside Delenn's quarters, orders Lennier to move aside. Lennier stands his ground, even when Kalain draws a PPG on him. Sheridan and a security team arrives moments later, and Kalain peacefully surrenders to them. Sheridan introduces himself to Lennier, who explains that Delenn is currently "indisposed."
Sheridan personally decides to interrogate Kalain about his presence on the station. He finds it odd that Kalain did not kill Lennier and Delenn when he easily had the chance. Kalain does not offer any answers, though he accuses Sheridan of being the real problem.
After the interrogation, Lennier approaches Sheridan and asks to talk to him about a number of sensitive issues – including why the Minbari surrendered at the Battle of the Line. In Sheridan's office, Lennier divulges the truth to Sheridan and Ivanova. The Grey Council had come to oversee the final victory. Delenn ordered a Starfury captured so its pilot could be interrogated. The fighter that was captured turned out to belong to Sinclair. He was brought aboard, beaten, and during the course of his interrogation, they discovered something terrible: Sinclair had a Minbari soul. They brought aboard other humans and confirmed that other humans also had Minbari souls. This led them to believe that Minbari souls are being reborn in human bodies, and so the War was ended to prevent further destruction of Minbari souls. However, understanding the sensitive nature of this discovery, the Grey Council kept this information hidden from their own people. Lennier explains that he has been instructed to tell them because "changes are coming."
At that moment, the Tragati comes through the jump gate – and its weapons ports are open.
Lt. Warren Keffer is enjoying a holo-letter from home when he is alerted to the presence of the Minbari cruiser.
Sheridan and Ivanova head to C'n'C and sound a Red Alert, scrambling Starfury wings. They manage to hail the Tragati. Deeron of the Tragati demands Kalain be released to them. She launches a fighter wing of her own. Sheridan warns that an attack on the station will be considered an act of war, but she simply replies that the only thing left is "honor and death." Sheridan worries what this could mean and links to Security. They confirm that Kalain is dead, having committed suicide in his cell: obviously the Tragati is trying to provoke them to attack. Sheridan orders the station's fighters to engage the incoming fighters. However, when he realizes that the Minbari are not implementing their stealth technology, he orders the Starfuries to hold position. He then has Ivanova send a narrow band transmission through the jump gate.
The Minbari fighters pass right by the Starfuries without firing a shot. They loop back and return to the Tragati. As they do, a second Minbari war cruiser enters local space. Sheridan explains that he was aware of the Minbari government sending a ship out to search for the Tragati. He correctly assumed that the ship was waiting in hyperspace until it heard of an attack, so that was why he sent a transmission through the gate. The Tragati is ordered to surrender, but refuses. Before it can escape, the second ship destroys its engines. The Tragati then self-destructs with all hands. The captain of the war cruiser, Vastor, contacts Sheridan, and assures him that his involvement will not be forgotten.
Later in his quarters, Sheridan is visited by Ivanova. He confesses doubts about being assigned to the station. He mentions that he has spoken to the President, who is also aware of the Minbari's "soul transfer" explanation. Sheridan does not believe the story, but clearly understands that the Minbari believe it (which explains why they wanted Sinclair). Ivanova reassures him, telling him he should not second guess himself.
Lennier returns to his vigil, talking aloud to the cocoon. He expresses his regret that he could not tell Sheridan the whole truth: that a great enemy is returning and that the "two halves of our spirit must unite or be destroyed." After he leaves, the chrysalis begins to crack.
Ivanova, Franklin, and Keffer enjoy a few drinks late that evening. Sheridan is supposed to meet them, but first he has one last thing to do: he delivers his "good luck speech," though given the time C'n'C is empty.
"I'll say a prayer for him tonight."
"Then I'll say half a prayer."
- – Ivanova and Franklin, about Garibaldi
"Status report: Lt. Cmdr Susan Ivanova reporting. It is now 8 days since the death of Earth Alliance President Louis Santiago, and 5 days since Commander Sinclair was recalled to Earth without explanation. And the whole place has gone straight to hell..."
- – Ivanova's log entry for the 8th of January.
- This episode marks the departure of Jeffrey Sinclair and his replacement by John Sheridan as commander of Babylon 5.
- Sheridan's role in destroying the Black Star is first mentioned, as is his epithet, "Star Killer."
- First appearance of the EAS Agamemnon.
- First appearance of Warren Keffer.
- The history of the Tragati was briefly alluded to (in "Legacies") when Delenn told Commander Sinclair about its captain, Sineval.
- Garibaldi remains comatose following being shot in the back in the previous episode.
- The Minbari Warrior Kalain uses a PPG in this episode, which he obtained from a security officer. In "There All the Honor Lies", however, it was established that a Minbari warrior would never use a weapon of alien origin as it would be against their code of honor.
Behind the Scenes
- During production, 'Points of Departure' was originally titled 'Chrysalis, Part II'.
- The decision to replace Michael O'Hare (Sinclair) with Bruce Boxleitner (Sheridan) was part of a promise made between O'Hare and J. Michael Straczynski. O'Hare had been battling severe schizophrenia throughout filming but had agreed to stay on until the first season was completed. In return, Straczynski was able to film the season without delays, preserving the momentum of the series. Straczynski never revealed the exact reason for the casting decision until 2013, some eight months after O'Hare's passing and with the latter's prior blessing. Relieved of his primary role, O'Hare was free to seek treatment for his condition and would go on to make cameo appearances until his character arc was resolved in season three.
|Babylon 5 Season 2 "The Coming of Shadows"|
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