- This article refers to the Season 3 episode 'Z'ha'dum'. For the homeworld of the Shadows, see: Z'ha'dum.
- Bruce Boxleitner as Captain John Sheridan
- Claudia Christian as Commander Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Sercurity Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Ambassador Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Jason Carter as Marcus Cole
- Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto
- Jeff Conaway as Zack Allan
- Andreas Katsulas as G'Kar
- Peter Jurasik as Ambassador Londo Mollari
Special Guest Starring
- Regular characters appearing in this episode are John Sheridan, Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi, Delenn, Stephen Franklin, Lennier, Vir Cotto, Londo Mollari and G'Kar.
- Last onscreen appearance of Anna Sheridan as she dies, played by Melissa Gilbert.
- Lennier has no lines and is only seen briefly at the closing montage.
Anna Sheridan arrives in the middle of the night while Delenn is watching John Sheridan sleep as per Minbari tradition. Sheridan cannot believe Anna is there, and Delenn leaves hastily. Anna apologizes to Sheridan for keeping him in the dark about her survival all these years and offers to take any tests he wants in order to prove it is really her. But she makes it clear – she wants to take him to Z'ha'dum.
Dr. Stephen Franklin examines Anna in Medlab and determines that, for all intents and purposes, she is Anna Sheridan. Dental records and DNA are a perfect match. However, there is some scarring on the back of her neck. Sheridan tells him to investigate further.
Sheridan confronts Delenn over Anna's survival, believing that she had willingly lied. Delenn denies this; they had assumed Anna had died on Z'ha'dum and would never have willingly served the Shadows. Sheridan doesn't know if he can trust Delenn again, and admits that he had begun to allow himself to love her.
Meanwhile, Londo Mollari reveals to Vir Cotto that he has been promoted to an advisor to Emperor Cartagia. He views it less of a promotion and more as a warning. His alliance with the Shadows has made him a powerful man, and they want to keep a closer eye on him. Just then, Londo is approached by an agent of the Shadows and told to leave the station if he values his life.
Franklin compares Anna's scarring to that of Carolyn Sanderson's Shadow implants and finds an exact match.
Sheridan and Anna talk. Before he agrees to go to Z'ha'dum, he wants to know what happened to the crew of the Icarus. Anna tells him how the Icarus found Z'ha'dum after they got the coordinate from a tracking device installed on the Shadow Vessel that was found on Mars. After finding the Shadows, she says the Icarus was destroyed in an accident. They were stranded, and the Shadows were vulnerable from hibernation so they agreed to keep their secret in exchange for studying their technology. Sheridan agrees to go to Z'ha'dum, but is aware of Franklin's findings.
Sheridan meets with Michael Garibaldi in his office and asks him to arrange for the Minbari crew of the White Star to be brought to the station and processed with identicards. He also gives him a list of instructions on a datapad. One of the instructions gives Garibaldi pause. Sheridan asks Garibaldi to trust him, and when it is done and they meet next, they will "talk about the weather."
The White Star crew is ferried off the ship and Sheridan prepares himself for the journey. He arms himself with a PPG and straps a second weapon to his left leg. As he prepares, he sees Kosh in the mirror, who tells him, "If you go to Z’ha’dum you will die." Before leaving, he records a message for Delenn.
With Anna, Sheridan heads for a shuttle. Garibaldi meets him at the docking bay and gives him a "weather report" from Earth. Sheridan and Anna board the White Star and head for Z'ha'dum.
During the voyage, Anna examines White Star and realizes it is partially based on Vorlon technology. She explains that the Shadows believe if anything Vorlon touches their homeworld, then they will die. Sheridan promises to use the shuttle to reach the surface.
Franklin finds Ivanova and explains the problem with Anna, confused that Sheridan would go with her even after seeing his report.
On the surface, the two pass by the excavation site and into a structure. Sheridan is relieved of his weapon and Anna brings him to meet other agents of the Shadows, including Morden and a man named Justin, who presents himself as a "middle man."
Delenn receives the message from Sheridan informing her that he has gone to Z'ha'dum. He tells her about his experience in the future during the time rift that he encountered on their mission to Babylon 4. He also tells her that he know Z'ha'dum is almost certainly a trap.
On Z'ha'dum, Justin reveals the history of the Vorlons and Shadows, and how the Shadows use conflict to help guide the younger races to be stronger and better and to evolve and grow.
Around Babylon 5, Shadow Vessels appear and surround the station. Ivanova orders a red alert.
Babylon 5 launches its fighters, while Justin continues talking with Sheridan to try and convince him to work with the Shadows. They reveal the Vorlons have been manipulating the younger races for centuries and are responsible for the appearance of Human telepaths. Justin says that Humans are favored and could be the first to rebuild in the next war, making them the strongest. However, Sheridan is in their way. Either they work together, or Sheridan's "support mechanism" will be removed.
At Babylon 5, the command crew wonder why the Shadows haven't attacked. All efforts to contact Draal are jammed. Garibaldi joins the fighter defence outside the station.
The three continue to try to convince Sheridan of their way, promoting growth by conflict. Morden commends Sheridan's success in organizing the races. Sheridan wonders if they plan to kill him, but that would make him a martyr. Eventually, Sheridan reveals that he knows what they did to Anna – that she was a control unit for a Shadow ship. Justin says Anna made the wrong choice years ago and was placed in the ship, but they removed her once they knew who she was. As Sheridan appears not to be cooperating, a Shadow enters the room behind them. Sheridan uses his concealed weapon and opens fire on it.
On Babylon 5, G'Kar informs Ivanova about the nuclear weapons, telling her two are missing.
Sheridan, wounded and bloody, has left the room and finds himself on a balcony overlooking a city with a glass dome above. He sends a signal to the White Star, activating the nukes and programming it to crash into the planet. Behind him, Anna pleads for him to join them, promising to be a woman he can love. On Babylon 5, Sheridan's message to Delenn ends with him telling her he loves her.
As the White Star prepares to hit the city, Sheridan hears Kosh's voice telling him to jump. As two Shadows start to approach next to Anna, he jumps off the balcony and into the deep chasm as the combined explosion of the nukes and the White Star rip the city apart.
At Babylon 5, the Shadows retreat. Ivanova knows this means one thing: Sheridan is gone.
Delenn mourns Sheridan, while Lt. David Corwin informs Ivanova that they can find no trace of the White Star. He also tells her that one of the fighters did not return to the cobra bay – the one piloted by Garibaldi.
During, G'Kar notes that life can be reduced to moments of transition or revelation. These moments determine who they are. G'Quan wrote that their struggle isn't against borders or governments, but against chaos; that the death of hope is the real threat than actual death. We must keep moments in this context.
Garibaldi, meanwhile, has been abducted in his Starfury by one of the Shadow Vessels, which arrive at Z'ha'dum to view the destruction.
"It was the end of the Earth year 2260, and the war had paused, suddenly and unexpectedly. .. All around us, it was as if the universe were holding its breath, waiting. All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments .. of revelation. This had the feeling of both.
G'Quan wrote: 'There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain."
- – G'Kar
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