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Knives

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He sees strange visions, dreams strange dreams. Gradually, John Sheridan understands he's become host to an alien lifeform. Meanwhile, a friend of Londo Mollari reveals he is being singled out for treason and is seeking help to defeat the accusation.

CastEdit

RegularEdit

Guest StarringEdit

FeaturingEdit

Cast NotesEdit

SummaryEdit

IntroductionEdit

Capt. Sheridan is winding down from a marathon session with the League of Non-Aligned Worlds with batting practice on the station's baseball field. Security Chief Garibaldi joins him and mentions his rough day in Grey Sector: nicknamed "The Triangle" for the strange events that occur there, Maintenance is noticing strange energy readings there. The story piques Sheridan's curiosity, and he decides to investigate.

Meanwhile, Londo is discussing Centauri opera with Vir, which leads them to singing a duet when the ambassador is suddenly grabbed from behind by a threatening hooded figure.

Act IEdit

When the hooded figure addresses Londo as "Paso Leati," Londo suddenly realizes with delight that his "assailant" is in fact Urza Jaddo, a much-regarded Centauri warrior as well as an old friend from Londo's days in a dueling society known as the Couro Prido ("Proud Knives"). Londo invites Urza to his quarters for Brivari. Urza has matters to attend but promises to stop by later to explain the reason for his visit.

Sheridan walks into Grey 10 and starts poking around. He eventually comes across a Markab corpse, its head bashed in. Before he can report into Garibaldi, however, his Link cuts off. Suddenly, the corpse grabs at Sheridan's face. A strange white glow passes from the corpse to him, then the corpse drops motionless again. Later, in Medlab, Dr. Stephen Franklin reports Sheridan is just a little shocked. As they discuss what to do about the Markab, Sheridan's vision suddenly turns eerily white. He decides to take the doctor's advice and rest for a while.

Londo hums happily as he prepares for Urza's visit, getting out his best Brivari. As he does so, he tells Vir that while he and Urza have been friends since childhood, House Mollari and House Jaddo have had a long-standing alliance. He explains the concept of fighting names among members of the Couro Prido, and that he gained the name "Paso Leati" for his style of fighting like a crazed leati. Urza's fighting name was "Skal Tura" (The Silent Beast), and although Londo was no mean fighter in his day, he could never outfight Urza. Vir comments on the "good old days", suggesting that Londo dwells too much on the past, and Londo counters that Vir is too pessimistic. Then Urza arrives. He and Londo greet each other formally, give a Centauri toast, and start drinking.

Sheridan is having trouble sleeping. He keeps hearing noises and gets the feeling some beast is stalking him. Suddenly, he looks at his bed and notices a dangerous alien creature hovering over it.

Act IIEdit

The creature dives for Sheridan. He ducks under it and eventually gets to his PPG. However, his shots pass through the creature. The creature soon disappears, then Security rushes into his quarters, alerted by the gunfire. They can't find any trace of the creature (which Sheridan identified as a grylor) that supposedly attacked Sheridan. Sheridan seems confounded by this, and Garibaldi hints that Sheridan may be hallucinating. He also reports that the Markab committed suicide: he had literally bashed his own skull in. Sheridan decides to go on to C&C while Garibaldi keeps investigating.

Londo and Urza keep talking as they continue drinking; both content to enjoy the evening like this. Urza comments that Londo seems to be regaining prestige in the royal court and the Centauri Republic seems on the rise again. Then Urza reveals a surprise; he knows the Narn didn't start their war with the Centauri but were forced into it by a Centauri faction. He also knows this same faction assassinated Prime Minister Malachi and contributed to the rise of Emperor Cartagia. Troubled, Londo asks about the official account and Urza explains that there are many stories floating around. Pressed for an explanation, Urza finally gets to his real motives: his house of which he is the head is being accused of treason by the Centaurum. He explains that there is a witch hunt attitude within the Centaurum and that he's seeking Londo's support to defeat the accusation. Londo agrees to investigate. Urza leaves but not before inviting Londo to a banquet the following evening.

In C&C, Cmdr. Ivanova reports nothing of note. As a scheduled ship arrives, Sheridan's vision goes white again. Then he sees a ship just outside the viewport. It's the Icarus, the ship that his late wife Anna was in, which then explodes in front of him. Ivanova grows concerned at his orders to scan something that isn't there. Sheridan then realizes that it's just like with the grylor: another hallucination. He excuses himself to go to Medlab.

Act IIIEdit

Franklin tries to hypothesize the reason for the visions: a new virus, maybe stress coming from the change of roles. He orders Sheridan off duty for a few days so he can try to relax.

Londo contacts Lord Refa and asks for an explanation concerning Urza Jaddo. But Refa explains that Urza is a traitor and that supporting him could have grave consequences, hinting that Londo's own status may be at risk. Londo realizes that he needs to get more information from his agents back home on Centauri Prime.

Sheridan is practising again on the baseball field. Garibaldi again walks in and notes that Sheridan has been at it for three straight hours. Sheridan decides to stop for a bit while Garibaldi fills in one more detail on the dead Markab: he passed through Sector 14 en route to Babylon 5. Sheridan knows the sector is off limits, and Garibaldi knows why and tells him of the story of Babylon 4's sudden reappearance last year, offering him a copy of the records supposedly confiscated by Earthforce.

Londo notices Urza's banquet is opulent as always and attended by numerous Centauri nobles who openly fawn on the ambassador, something they would never have done in the past. The reception turns sour, however, when Londo learns that the treason resolution against Urza appears likely to pass. It grows worse when Londo mentions Lord Refa. Urza reveals that Lord Refa was the one who had brought forth the resolution. Urza goes on to say that like the late Emperor Turhan, he has grown disillusioned with conquest, and asks Londo why he has to stay on his current course. Londo replies that he has a destiny to fulfill, and must see it carried out. Before things grow more somber, Urza offers a gift to Londo: the coutari he had used during his most-famous battle, the Battle of Gorash. When Londo refuses, Urza raises the stakes by challenging him to the Morago: a duel to the death. Realizing Urza is deadly serious, Londo accepts both the sword and the challenge so as to preserve his honor. Urza bids Londo to return in two hours for the duel.

Act IVEdit

Sheridan studies Garibaldi's footage. Seeing a similar eerie white in the viewscreen makes Sheridan realize there is a connection. Suddenly, the strange energy throbs in his head. Sheridan demands to know what it wants. Then he sees his parents for a moment before they disappear in a brilliant flash, just like the one that preceded Babylon 4's disappearance. Sheridan gets an idea and quickly leaves his quarters, forgetting to take his Link, even as Franklin tries to contact him.

Vir is very upset at Londo's decision in accepting Urza's challenge, but Londo replies that honor is at stake: something which to him is more important than life (and something with which Vir does not agree). Indeed, in times of insanity, Londo says, it's best to ride the insanity and let it fire you.

Franklin reports to Garibaldi that Sheridan is missing. By the time Garibaldi issues a general alert, Delta 1 launches with Sheridan inside. Ivanova demands to know what's going in, but Sheridan (almost coyly) replies that's he's just taking a stroll.

Back at the banquet hall, Londo asks one more time if Urza intends to go through with the Morago. When Urza answers yes, Londo himself prepares to duel.

Garibaldi boards Delta 2 and eventually catches up to Sheridan as he heads towards Sector 14. Sheridan explains that he's following a hunch and thinks he's leading someone home.

An elderly Centauri noble serving as referee announces the Morago. The two combatants ceremonially draw their swords, bow ritualistically, then begin the duel, their swords clashing. Urza draws first blood, cutting Londo's left arm.

Sheridan arrives in Sector 14. Just then, a time portal emerges, and with a scream, the mysterious white energy pours out of Sheridan and through the portal. The shock knocks Sheridan unconscious, and it is only a quick grapple by Garibaldi that keeps Sheridan from following the energy through the portal. Still holding tight, he brings both ships home.

Meanwhile, the Morago continues until Urza apparently leaves himself vulnerable for a final thrust by Londo. With his dying breath, Urza explains that he did all this to spare his family the disgrace. Now he will die and the disgrace will be meaningless, and Londo promises to see to his family even as Urza dies in his arms, calling him "old friend" one last time.

Act VEdit

Sheridan finally explains what had happened. The Markab had been carrying an alien being that somehow wandered from Sector 14. It apparently drove the Markab to suicide. When Sheridan happened upon it, it jumped to him and tried to communicate with it with images of fear (the grylor), loss (the Icarus), and home (his parents). He pieced together that the being was scared, lost, and wanted to go home, so he accommodated by returning it to Sector 14. When asked by Franklin if he could contact it again, Sheridan refuses, preferring to be "only slightly insane."

In his quarters, a despondent Londo is brooding over a drink as Vir enters and tries to comfort him, pointing out that he had no choice, Urza was going to kill him. Londo replies that Urza, who always was the better fighter, deliberately set himself up to be killed. Londo goes on to explain that Urza would've gained nothing by killing him, but by losing and dying, he saved his family for by the laws of the Morago, Londo as victor must now assume responsibility for them. They are now of House Mollari, and therefore immune to Refa's resolution. Once again Vir tries to dissuade Londo from the course he is taking, but Londo admits that, wherever the path he has chosen leads, his hands are now too bloodied to turn back. He must see it through to the end.

Memorable quotesEdit

"How fitting you should die with a song on your lips!"

Urza Jaddo to Londo while the former threatens him as a joke

"Why make history if you fail to learn from it?"

Vir Cotto to Londo Mollari


ContinuityEdit

  • This is the second time Sector 14 is brought up; the first time was the Babylon 4 incident in "Babylon Squared". Sector 14 will be brought up one more time in season 3.
  • Londo's relationship with Lord Refa begins to deteriorate at this point as their ambitions begin to put them at odds. This will also indirectly drive a further wedge in his relations with G'Kar.
  • It is revealed to Londo for the first time the real cause of Malachi's death.

DVD releaseEdit

External LinkEdit

Episode guide page for Knives at the Lurker's Guide

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