There is an explosion in one of the fighter bays days before the president is to visit Babylon 5. A dying man implicates Garibaldi, which is just what the head of presidential security wants to hear, as she blames him for her father's death.
- Michael O'Hare as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair
- Claudia Christian as Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters
- Stephen Furst as Vir
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Caitlin Brown as Na'Toth
- David Austin Cook as Special Agent #1
- David Crowley as Lou Welch
- Maggie Egan as ISN Reporter
- Jose Rosario as Nolan
- Robin Wake as Young Lianna
- Mark Ginther as Dagool
- Unknown as O'Connor
- Cal Johnson as Minbari Alien
- Douglas Netter as President Luis Santiago (voice)
- Regular cast members appearing in this episode are Jeffrey Sinclair, Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi, Stephen Franklin, G'Kar, and Londo Mollari.
A news broadcast declares that Earth Alliance President Luis Santiago is scheduled to arrive at Babylon 5 in a couple of days. Among other reasons, he will be delivering a new fighter wing to the station. As they ride the Core shuttle to the Cobra Bays, Michael Garibaldi and Susan Ivanova discuss the pros and cons of the impending visit. Among the cons are the fact that the Cobra Bays have to be renovated in a short amount of time by inexperienced crews. Just before they arrive at one of the Bays, an explosion rocks the station. In C'n'C, Commander Sinclair watches an ejected worker tumble out into space.
A crewman badly injured in the Cobra bay explosion (Nolan) is taken to Medlab, where Dr. Stephen Franklin tends to him. Garibaldi meets Sinclair in Medlab, but has little definitive proof about what happened. He speculates that it was an accident, but has not ruled out sabotage. Sinclair is contacted by Ivanova, who tells him that a Major Lianna Kemmer, the head of the President's security detail, has just arrived aboard and is insisting on meeting him. Garibaldi mentions that he used to know her when she was a child, that he and her father were close. The two of them arrive in the security office, where she treats Michael coldly and insists on using her own team to conduct the investigation into the Cobra Bay explosion. Garibaldi does not object, but heads down to the Zócalo with Sinclair on his heels. Before he can talk to Garibaldi about the obvious tension between him and Major Kemmer, he is interrupted by Ambassador G'Kar, complaining as usual. While Sinclair deals with him, Garibaldi confronts an alien thief named Dagool – a confrontation which almost turns violent. Sinclair has to physically pull Garibaldi off the thief. Taking him aside, he demands Michael fill him in on what is happening.
Garibaldi explains that 17 years earlier, he was working on Europa (a very rough place to work) and drinking heavily to deal with the job. Then he befriended Frank Kemmer, a local shuttle pilot, who helped him deal with the job and who took him in like family. Tragically, Frank was killed in a shuttle bombing set off by enemies Garibaldi had made. The incident was covered up and Garibaldi was reassigned, but not before he had to break the news to Frank's family, which included the very young Kemmer. He admits that he fell off the wagon and stayed that way for a long time afterward.
After the story is over, Sinclair gets a link from Dr. Franklin, insisting he come to Medlab. Major Kemmer is preventing Franklin from tending to the injured Nolan. She awakens him to question him about the explosion. Nolan mutters that it was a bombing. Sinclair arrives and forces his way into the room. When Kemmer asks who planted the bomb, Nolan mutters, "Garibaldi" just before he dies.
Garibaldi insists that Nolan was lying. Major Kemmer, however, insists Garibaldi be suspended from duty. Despite Sinclair's support of Garibaldi, he has no choice but to allow the suspension and put Kemmer in charge of security. Garibaldi reluctantly hands over his PPG and his link. He heads back to his quarters, but Kemmer arrives there first and has a team searching the place. While the search commences, Michael tries to talk to Kemmer about what happened to her dad. She is not interested in hearing it, however. Her aide, Cutter, emerges from Garibaldi's quarters with blueprints of the Cobra Bays and a bag of Centauri ducats. Kemmer orders Garibaldi placed under arrest, but Michael knocks over Cutter and runs away.
In C'n'C, Sinclair cancels the station-wide alert posted for Garibaldi. He accuses Kemmer of having a grudge and orders Ivanova to remove her from C'n'C. He knows she'll get him overruled, but hopes that the time it takes for her to contact Earth Central will allow him to find Garibaldi first. Ivanova manages to slow her down by temporarily tying up all outgoing communications with a maintenance check.
Garibaldi, in plain clothes, goes to the casino to confront Londo Mollari. He asks Mollari if he knows anything about the frame up, but Mollari has no knowledge of it, though he suggests G'Kar may be involved. Michael asks Londo for a loan so he can buy what he needs in order to clear his name. Londo is amused at the idea and says it's fortunate that he has been on a winning streak and as such he loans Michael a substantial amount in hard currency. As Michael leaves, Londo wishes him luck and tells him that he will deny that their conversation ever happened telling him he sees themselves as kindred spirits.
After failing to get Ivanova to free up the com system, Major Kemmer has one of her staff go to their ship and send the transmission from there. She also orders Cutter to step up the search for Garibaldi.
Garibaldi makes his way to G'Kar's quarters, who was expecting him (as he has people watching Mollari). G'Kar explains that he is not responsible for what has happened, and even that all the ducats they acquired are accounted for. He further offers to help him escape to the Narn Regime to work for them. Garibaldi declines as it may require betraying Earth.
Zeta Wing, the new wing of Starfuries, arrives ahead of Earthforce One and docks with the station. Ivanova orders them set up in one of the Cobra Bays, ready to launch for a fly by when the President's ship gets there.
Garibaldi goes to see N'Grath, trying to secure some means for him to move around the station easier, but N'Grath refuses to deal with the "policeman." After leaving N'Grath's quarters, Michael is almost caught by security, but manages to escape – only to run headfirst into Dagool and a pair of Drazi. The three savagely begin to beat him until Commander Sinclair turns up and helps him fight them off. Sinclair asks Garibaldi to come in and work with him to prove his innocence, but Garibaldi refuses and rushes off again, making his way into Downbelow.
As the president approaches the station, Sinclair is contacted by General Netter, who insists that Sinclair give Major Kemmer his full cooperation. Sinclair then confronts Kemmer, again accusing her of having a personal vendetta that is blinding her to the truth about Garibaldi.
Garibaldi makes it to a bar in Downbelow and evades security again. Unfortunately, despairing over his current situation, he gives in to temptation and begins drinking heavily. He is thus easily apprehended later, after one of the aliens who recognized him turns him into security. Kemmer is not surprised to find "Uncle Mike" drunk again. She orders him taken to her security office. Cutter offers to check the Cobra Bays one more time, as Earthforce One is due to arrive within the hour.
Kemmer questions Garibaldi in her office, demanding he confess. Garibaldi tries to appeal to her, saying he would have gladly given his life for her father's. As they talk, Lou Welch walks in. Per Sinclair's orders, he had been searching Nolan's quarters, where he discovered both Homeguard paraphernalia and a bomb detonator. Garibaldi theorizes Nolan must have been setting up the bomb when it exploded prematurely. Kemmer links to Cutter, checking on the Bays, and Cutter tells her that they are secured. She asks about the evidence found in his quarters, and Michael mentions that Cutter was the one who "found" it. Michael suggests she make a personal inspection of the Cobra Bays, just to be sure. Kemmer decides to follow his advice, even as the station prepares to launch. She and Garibaldi head down to the Bays. Cutter knocks out Kemmer with a Shock stick and then attacks Garibaldi. Michael is able to beat him, then links to Ivanova just in the nick of time to cancel the drop.
As Michael is treated in Medlab, Sinclair arrives to tell him they discovered charges set by Cutter on all the bay doors – enough to take out the entire wing of Starfuries and damage half the station. They also found further proof that Cutter had planted the money in Garibaldi's quarters. Michael is glad to be exonerated, but upset with himself for "crawling back into the bottle." As he gives the chief back his PPG and link, Sinclair tells him to stay strong, as he could not run the station without him.
The President's trip was successful. As she prepares to leave, Kemmer is met by Garibaldi. The two manage to reconcile, and share a hug before she leaves.
"If you ask me, this whole damned luau is a waste of time and money!"
- – Garibaldi, to Ivanova
"You are going to resist, I hope?"
- – Ivanova, to Kemmer, after Sinclair asks to have her removed from the Observation Dome
"The universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest."
- – G'Kar, to the fugitive Garibaldi
"Drunk again, Uncle Mike?"
- – Kemmer, to Garibaldi, first as her adult self, then, in a flashback, as a child
"Mr. Garibaldi, do you really think that I would do such a thing to you, my good and dear friend?"
"In a minute."
"You're right, but I didn't."
- – Garibaldi and Mollari, after Garibaldi accuses Mollari of framing him
- Homeguard's activities on the station (from "The War Prayer") are briefly alluded to by Garibaldi.
- The Narn attack on Ragesh III (from "Midnight on the Firing Line") is briefly alluded to by Mollari and G'Kar.
- In this episode, Garibaldi uses Cutter's link to warn security. However, later episodes establish that each link is individualized and cannot be used by someone other than the owner.
- Garibaldi's alcoholism is touched upon for the first time.
Behind the Scenes
- During production, "Survivors" was originally titled "A Knife in the Shadows."
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