Strap in, folks, it’s time for our season finale! There’s a lot stuffed into this one, with big events for nearly every main character on station, so it’s turned out rather long.
We open with Londo and G’Kar quarrelling over a section of space called Quadrant 37. Cut to a dying man (Petrov) in a corridor, who just lives long enough to tell Garibaldi “They’re going to kill him. They’re going to kill…”. (Incidentally, he doesn’t use his last words well – he could have said a name after the first sentence rather than repeating himself. But he was near-dead, so we’ll give him a break.)
After the credits, Garibaldi explains the dead guy was a lurker he’d hired as an informant.
Sinclair and Catherine Sakai are watching the news, which reports that Earth President Santiago is on a five-planet goodwill tour and will be delivering a major speech on human-alien relations from the jump point on Io. Sinclair and Catherine Sakai make plans for New Years’ Eve, which prompts Sinclair to say he has a surprise and – after a review of their long, turbulent relationship – …. “Well, do you want to get married or don’t you?” (I think I’d consider myself almost contractually obligated to refuse anyone who phrased a proposal so unromantically.) Catherine Sakai doesn’t seem to mind his delivery, though, and accepts immediately, followed by a big kiss. So, Major Event #1 of the finale – the Commander’s getting hitched!
Londo is venting to Vir about his government’s decision to give Quadrant 37 to the Narn “in the interest of peace”. It’s like “being nibbled to death by…what are those Earth creatures? Feathers, long bill, go ‘quack’?” “Cats.” “I’m being nibbled to death by cats.” He’s interrupted by a call from Mr. Morden, with an offer of help, putting Londo in a more serious mood. The quick transition between hilarious and serious that’s quite characteristic of Londo is one of the things that really shows off Peter Jurasik’s acting skills.
Lennier relays Kosh’s answer to a question from Delenn: “Yes.” This visibly startles Delenn and she leaves the room.
Garibaldi’s search for Petrov is impeded by the resentment and hostility the residents of Downbelow hold towards the security services. But one guy tells him Petrov was hired to load (probably illegal) cargo by a man named Devereau who hangs out in the casino. Also that whatever Petrov was trying to tell Garibaldi “scared him half to death”.
Londo meets Morden in a hedge maze (seriously? A space station has room for a hedge maze?) and Morden offers him advancement through his associates. Londo doesn’t believe it, doesn’t see himself ever being able to move beyond his current position. “Nothing can be changed.” Morden offers to “fix” the problem of Quadrant 37, and while Londo doesn’t believe it, he tacitly accepts the offer. And what does Mr. Morden want in return? “We’re simply here to help.” And Londo will owe his ‘associates’ a favour. Well, that’s not unsettling at all.
Delenn asks Kosh for confirmation of what he said in answer to her question. The head on his encounter suit rises, and he shows her something. She thanks him and says she will keep her promise. “You will not see me again as I am now.”
Garibaldi finds and detains Devereau, who spouts some typical villain rhetoric: “You shouldn’t poke around in things you don’t understand. This is too big for you.”
Londo tells Vir to tell Homeworld that he will “personally take care of the problem in Quadrant 37”, using Mr. Morden’s words. Vir finds this deeply unsettling.
Sinclair interrupts G’Kar, who has been diverting himself with some human ladies. G’Kar doesn’t appear remotely embarrassed by this. The commander raises the issue of Quadrant 37 and warns: “If you let your anger cloud your judgement, it will destroy you.” Thanks, Obi-Wan Sinclair. He says they’re standing at a crossroads. G’Kar looks worried, but doesn’t give an answer.
Sinclair and Catherine Sakai are at dinner with Garibaldi and Ivanova and ask them to be best man and maid of honour, respectively. Garibaldi gives a little speech ending with, “I’ve always been honoured to be your friend.” This is pretty much TV code for, “something terrible is going to happen to me”. Right on cue, he gets a call that Devereau is missing, and mentions that he had a PPG made without a serial number – guns like that are only given to Earthforce special agents, and Devereau’s name wasn’t on the list. (Wait, there’s a list of Earthforce special agents that’s available to someone as relatively low-level as security chief on B5? Not surprising they’d leave the super-secret people off it.) “I don’t like this. I don’t like this a lot.” DUN DUN DUN.
Cut to Quadrant 47. The giant spider-ships we saw back in “Signs and Portents”, the last time Mr. Morden was involved, show up and obliterate the Narn base. Major Event #2!
Ivanova listens to the news report that the Vice President left Earthforce with a viral infection while the President continued to Jupiter.
Garibaldi is investigating a shipment of whatever Petrov had been helping to load when another Security guy comes down to help. The crates contain transmitters broadcasting static to block out a communication channel, and a triangulation system that shows where the transmitters should be placed – indicating placement off the transfer point on Io. Garibaldi asks the frequency for the transfer point, the Security guy claims “he can’t make it out” – and when Garibaldi recognizes it as the Gold Channel for Earthforce 1. He contacts Sinclair for an urgent meeting (the link isn’t secure enough for communication, which is a plot-convenient reason), runs off – and Security Guy calls Devereau and pals, and then shoots Garibaldi in the back. Major Event #3!
Immediately after Sinclair realizes Garibaldi is missing, Delenn comes to visit him, showing him the triluminary and acknowledging she knows he knows what happened at the Battle of the Line and offering important – and dangerous – information. She has little time. Sinclair arranges to meet her later.
Na’Toth informs G’Kar of the destruction of the Quadrant 37 outpost. Ten thousand Narn are dead. “It’s as if some great hand reached out of space and just erased them.” It doesn’t make sense as something any of the known races would and could have done, and realization dawns in G’Kar’s face as he recognizes, “There’s someone else out there.”
Garibaldi manages to make it back to the elevator and is discovered by revellers just after the stroke of New Year.
Lennier questions Delenn about her plans, and she responds by invoking prophecy. “What if you’re wrong?” he asks. She responds, “Then speak well of me when I’m gone.” She places the triluminary at the peak of her pyramid of objects, and the pyramid begins to glow and throw out what appear to be silk threads.
Garibaldi is taken to Medlab with extensive internal injuries. He manages to gasp out, “They’re going to kill the president at the transfer point on Io,” but he’s too late. Conventional channels as well as the Gold Channel are all being jammed, and as the station try to get through to ISN to deliver a warning, they see Earthforce 1 explode on the screen. Major Event #4.
At Medlab, Sinclair orders a Security officer to find Devereau – but it’s the traitor. In Delenn’s quarters, Lennier weeps as he hears whimpers of pain from the ambassador.
G’Kar, Na’Toth and Ivanova discuss the recent events, and G’Kar offers condolences on the president’s death and wishes her luck in finding the culpable parties. “This has been a black day for both of us. A black and terrible day.”
Londo, meanwhile, is rather horrified by the extent of Mr. Morden’s actions. Morden plays his role as the corruptor quite openly. “Ten thousand, a hundred thousand, a million, what’s the difference? They’re Narns, ambassador. Your sworn enemy.” And Londo’s gained the positive notice of people in very high places. By the end of the conversation, he’s clearly torn between the scope of the destruction and its positive effects for himself.
An Earth senator disbelieves Sinclair’s claims that the president’s death was an assassination and orders him to keep quiet.
Security Guy Traitor has killed Devereau and his sidekicks, claiming they were resisting arrest. The security man with him notices that Devereau’s PPG is cold, not warm like it would have been if he had fired it, but decides to accept the claim.
Vice President Clark is sworn is as the new president, and gives a speech saying Earth will “focus more on the needs of our own people”. Given the late President Santiago’s five-planet tour to discuss human-alien relations, this seems to indicate a policy shift away from engagement with other species and towards greater isolation. “And so it begins,” Kosh tells Sinclair, who was watching the television. “You have forgotten something.” Sinclair rushes to Delenn’s quarters, but is too late – she is encased in some kind of cocoon – a chrysalis. “She is changing.” Major Event 5.
G’Kar has returned to Homeworld to follow up on certain suspicions he has about the destruction of the Quadrant 37 base, and left a message for Na’Toth. “Tell the Commander…he was right. We were at a crossroads, and there is no going back.”
Londo meets Ivanova at Medlab and stays with her to wait until Garibaldi’s surgery is complete. “He is an annoying man, but I would miss him.” The traitor in Security is watching as well.
Morden, sitting in his quarters, meets with some shadowy, non-humanoid figures, who speak in strange electronic voices. “Yes. I think he is ready. Perfect for our needs…He suspects nothing. When the time is right, he will do exactly as we wish. Destiny is on our side.”
Catherine Sakai comforts Sinclair as he sits awake. “Nothing’s the same anymore.” Lennier keeps vigil over Delenn.
To sum up, as the season ends major changes have taken place for all our characters. Londo has become the pawn of much larger and darker fortresses. G’Kar has some suspicions of what is going on. Delenn is undergoing a mysterious transformation. Garibaldi has been shot and his survival is in question. And the president of Earth has been assassinated. The import of these events will continue playing out over the rest of the series.
It is the end of the beginning.