The Babylon Project

Vir Cotto is suddenly the center of attention as a marriage is arranged for him. Trouble is that he has to hide from her the fact that he's been smuggling Narns out of Centauri space.


Regular Cast[]

Guest Starring[]



  • Louis Ortiz as a Officer

Cast Notes[]



Commander Susan Ivanova walks into C&C, ready to start another watch. However, all eyes are fixated on her. As she wonders what is going on, she then realizes that she is naked. Ivanova awakens with a scream from her nightmare, even as the station's computer delivers a wake-up call. This isn't the first time she's had this nightmare.

On Centauri Prime, Vir Cotto is waiting on feedback from the Emperor on his report from Minbar while admiring the Imperial Throne. A minister, Milo Virini, startles him and informs him that the Emperor is pleased with the report, but also detected Londo Mollari's influence. He encourages Cotto to be more accurate, due to the times. He's prepared a trip back to Babylon 5 for Cotto, but, oddly, passes on a new joke he heard: "What is more dangerous than a locked room full of angry Narns? One angry Narn with the key!" Cotto seems relieved, but it is short-lived as he reaches his room. The joke actually has some significance for him, as it is literally a room full of angry-looking Narns, one of whom evidently has the key.

Act I[]

Ivanova talks about her nightmares during breakfast with Captain John Sheridan without going into too much detail. Sheridan thinks it is a sign of mental turmoil caused by station's transition to independence and suggests giving it time to settle. Though, on his own, he notes having a nightmare of going to work naked to be a particularly bad problem, which unsettles Ivanova.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Mollari has a problem in his quarters: a roach. After several attempts to swat it, he tries throwing things at it and stomping it: to no effect. He tries to request B5 Maintenance to address the problem, but they are backlogged and will not be there for some time. Desperate, Mollari finally resorts to drawing a coutari from the wall. After a few strikes, he finally manages to impale the roach on its tip. But then he looks at it up close and believes it to be smaller than the one he saw earlier; he then rages that more of them are in his quarters. Just then, his doorbell rings. When he opens the door, a beautiful young Centauri woman enters, and instantly his mood changes.

Cotto arrives back on Babylon 5. He is surprised Mollari is not there to greet him at the arrivals area.

Sheridan and Delenn walk together and talk of affairs. With Clark too busy dealing with dissent back home on Earth, and with the Resistance using the time to gather forces and develop strategies, Babylon 5 is being overlooked for the moment, and Sheridan welcomes the reprieve. Indeed, this gives him an opportunity to ask Delenn out to dinner, before matters of state separate them again. She accepts the offer.

Just as he closes his bedroom, Mollari's doorbell rings. He opens the door, and Cotto enters. They engage in a little small talk about affairs back home, though Cotto does still show some small annoyance at Mollari's break with custom. Before things deteriorate further, Mollari proceeds to introduce Cotto to the young woman who arrived earlier. Her name is Lyndisty, and there is an arrangement for Cotto to marry her.

Act II[]

Cotto is having trouble wrapping his brain around the idea of an arranged marriage, especially to him. Mollari tries to relieve some of the tension, but then he tries to respond to the encroachment of another roach, asking Cotto and Lyndisty to help him seek it out so he can eliminate it "before it develops language skills."

Zack Allan walks into C&C, rather nervously as he normally does not visit the Command Deck. After a quick look-around, he explains the reason for his visit. There has been an increase in the number of Narns transiting through the station. While Ivanova welcome that news (since it means more Narns are fleeing Centauri control), Allan presents her with copies of their transit papers. It's the name of the authorizing individual that jumps out at Allan and now at Ivanova: "Abrahamo Lincolni". And then Ivanova notices the name of the office from which the papers came. She gapes; he nods.

Cotto and Lyndisty walk through the garden. Cotto tries to learn just how much about him she knows. Lyndisty appears sincere, but Cotto is still nervous about the whole affair and wants to delay the marriage. She tries to make her case by kissing him, and Cotto admits it was one to remember.

Cotto goes to Ivanova. He is here to confess of his use of a fake official, but Ivanova cuts him off, revealing they already know. The transit papers came through his position as Centauri Ambassador to Minbar, and only he with his extensive Human contact would know enough about Earth history to use an Earth name as the basis for a fake Centauri bureaucrat. Cotto explains that he's trying to shuttle Narns off the homeworld to Centauri work camps: not ideal, but better than their current situations. He's faking the details because the general Centauri attitude is that Narns deserve whatever brutality they get. In other words, Cotto is operating an underground railroad under the respective nose of his own government.

In his quarters, Sheridan is making an honest attempt at making Delenn a home-cooked meal. The result is a mess in his kitchen, but Delenn appreciates his effort. Meanwhile, Lyndisty finds Cotto in the halls of Green 2. Just then, a Narn approaches them, drawing a knife, and declaring he has found "the murderer." Cotto stands in defense of her. The Narn charges, but Cotto grabs the knife arm and holds him off. Security relays the alarm of the assault, and this reaches Sheridan in his quarters, one level above. Meanwhile, the Narn kicks Cotto away. Then, Sheridan charges the Narn, knocking him down. The Narn fights back, cutting his arm with the knife, and the two trade blows before Allan and Security arrive, PPGs drawn. The Narn declares, "Shon'Kar" and raises his knife, forcing them to shoot him dead.

Act III[]

Ivanova in C&C talks with Sheridan, in Medlab getting his arm bandaged. He reports that Cotto doesn't know any motivation for the attack. He notes the Narn's use of "Shon'Kar": a blood oath. This meant the Narn was out for revenge. He asks Ivanova to investigate the Narn to see of any possible connections.

Lyndisty sees to Cotto's injuries, and she shows genuine admiration for him. Cotto promises to protect her.

But later, Ivanova relays some bad news to Cotto. He's at risk of another attack, as the pouch brother of the dead Narn is aboard as well, and by Narn tradition, the Shon'Kar now falls to that brother. The only other thing Cotto can think about is his arranged marriage to Lyndisty. While on the subject, Cotto tries to ask for romantic advice, given that he has a complete novice on the matter, but Centauri sexual practices leave her at a loss. Besides, her own past troubles with relationships make her a bad woman to give advice. She offers some advice, though, and Cotto seems genuinely overwhelmed with it.

Delenn laters checks up on Sheridan. The cut on his arm is not too serious, and it will heal in due time. However, Delenn shows concern about him jumping into these dangerous situations. But Sheridan feels obligated to help when the situation was happening so close to him. The station seems awash in feelings of romance, and Delenn feels the same way. But before things can get more intimate, Ivanova interrupts. She's found a connection between Cotto and the dead Narn.

Sheridan and Ivanova talk with Mollari and Cotto in their quarters. Ivanova reveals Cotto's involvement in the underground railroad. The trouble is that all the Narns listed in the record have been declared dead. The dead Narn was related to some of those Narns.

Meanwhile, the other Narn approaches Lyndisty.

Act IV[]

When pressed on the atrocities, Cotto reveals there was no atrocity: the deaths are all fake. The Narns on that list were all children, women, and cultural leaders largely ignored by the Centauri but in desperate need of medical treatment. He'd faked their deaths to the Centauri would ignore their disappearance as they were taken to other worlds for medical care and then sent elsewhere. Mollari points out that Cotto has abused his position, and now he has to cover it up before the scandal threatens both of them. But that leaves the issue of the Narn who attacked Cotto.

In the garden, Cotto contemplates his actions when Lyndisty appears. As they talk, her stance on Narns becomes clearer, and Cotto realizes that she has a strong bigotry towards Narns. Then, she offers him something to cheer him up.

It turns out to be the other Narn. She had needed no help in capturing him, as it turns out she's a trained fighter who has her fair share of Narn kills under her belt. She had been participating in Narn culls and had killed the Narn's kin; the Shon'Kar the Narn had declared had been against her. And now she offers Cotto the Narn's life and a knife with which to finish the job as a testimony of their marriage.

Act V[]

Back in his quarters, Mollari explains all the favors he had to call in to cover up Cotto's transgressions. It is not the first time it has happened, so Mollari is able to deflect some of the blame to Minbari cultural influences. The whole incident is never to be spoken again. As it stands, he is being relieved of his ambassadorial position and recalled to B5. As for his arranged marriage, it is being postponed in light of Cotto's minor loss of prestige (which is all they know of the affair). The hope is that Cotto will recover from his misstep, allowing the marriage to go ahead.

Sheridan walks into C&C to discover Ivanova at his station, and using a picture of him doctored to make him look like a Centauri. It turns out she is fleshing out the identity of "Abrahamo Lincolni." While Mollari knows of Cotto's faking deaths to get injured Narns off-world, he does not know of Lincolni, and this gives B5 a valuable tool to funnel Narns away from Centauri control. Even if they can get a few off, it would still be a moral victory. More importantly, it gives Ivanova purpose again, allowing her to put her nightmares to rest. Sheridan jokingly assigns her the role of "sneak-in-residence."

Cotto apologizes to Lyndisty as she is about to leave. She kisses him again before leaving, and Cotto admits to himself that relationships are bound to get rocky at times.

Memorable Quotes[]

"I heard a funny joke today. What is more dangerous than a room filled with angry Narns? One angry Narn with the key!"

Minister Virini

"If kisses could kill, that one would have flattened several small towns."

Vir Cotto


  • Claudia Christian (as Susan Ivanova) was clothed on set for the opening scene. The illusion of nudity was achieved by the camera only showing her from the shoulders up or from the thighs down.
  • Chief of Security Michael Garibaldi does not appear in this episode. This was to give actor Jerry Doyle additional time to recover from a broken wrist he suffered during filming of "Severed Dreams." The situation gave an opportunity to provide more screen time for Jeff Conaway (Zack Allan) in preparation for his promotion in season four. This is the first episode of Babylon 5 in which Garibaldi does not appear.
  • Vir Cotto says the following: "If I hadn't gotten them out, they would've died. Instead, I had them sent to other worlds, got them medical care, and when they were healthier, I had them filtered back here to Babylon 5 or sent elsewhere." The last two words could be interpreted as a sly reference to Stephen Furst's role as a doctor on the series St. Elsewhere.
  • Alarmingly, there seems to be no resolution to Vir's dilemma with the incapacitated Narn that Lyndisty has secured for him. Knowing Vir's character, it would be assumed he bluffs out of actual murder! The fast cut, however, leaves the scene totally ambiguous and seems to be a disturbing editing oversight, although I may be wrong (I am, afterall, not very efficient. You must keep an eye on me at all times!)

DVD Release[]

This episode, along with the other 21 from Season 3 have been released on DVD with extensive Special Features.

External links[]

Episode guide page for Sic Transit Vir at the Lurker's Guide