The changing of the guard completes as Sheridan and Delenn leave the station for the new ISA headquarters on Minbar. Their journey to their new home, as well as their arrival, however, are tarnished with ill omen.
- Bruce Boxleitner as President John Sheridan
- Jerry Doyle as Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Ambassador Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Tracy Scoggins as Captain Elizabeth Lochley
- Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto
- Jeff Conaway as Security Chief Zack Allan
- Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander
- Peter Jurasik as Ambassador Londo Mollari
- Andreas Katsulas as Ambassador G'Kar
- Marshall Teague as Ta'Lon
- Jennifer Balgobin as Dr. Lillian Hobbs
- Simon Billig as Ranger
- Joshua Cox as Lt. David Corwin
- Marjorie Monaghan as Number One
- Mike Manzoni as Employee
- Regular characters who appear in this episode are John Sheridan, Michael Garibaldi, Delenn, Stephen Franklin, Lennier, Vir Cotto, Zack Allan, Elizabeth Lochley, Londo Mollari and G'Kar (recording).
- Last appearances of Lennier and Londo, as well as G'Kar's final appearance in the series, although Andreas Katsulas reprised his role for the television movie Legend of the Rangers.
- Last on screen appearance of Ta'Lon, Dr. Hobbs and Tessa Holloran.
It is a restless night aboard Babylon 5. Very soon, President John Sheridan and Delenn will leave the station for Tuzanor, Minbar, the new seat of the Interstellar Alliance. Sheridan walks into C&C to find Captain Lochley on station, just as restless as he. Lochley comments on just how quickly her first year in command has gone, asking where the time goes. Sheridan suggests the Rim, and beyond that "the truth." At this point, Sheridan makes a request: when he and Delenn leave for Minbar, dispense with the pomp and circumstance. Lochley thanks Sheridan for choosing her to command Babylon 5, noting that despite her earlier misgiving, the place "kind of grows on you." Sheridan agrees, which is why he's so reluctant to leave. Lochley is about to leave for a quick breakfast before the station opens for traffic when Sheridan decides to thank her for keeping the place running; he feels he's left the station in good hands.
Vir Cotto is walking down the ambassadorial wing when he notices Ta'Lon ringing the doorbell to G'Kar's quarters. Vir advises Ta'Lon that G'Kar has already left never to return. Ta'Lon is confused since G'Kar had summoned him here. So he decides to hack his way into the quarters. Upon entering, he discovers that his entrance was expected. The BabCom unit recognizes him and informs him of a message waiting for him from G'Kar. Playing it, he sees G'Kar greeting Ta'Lon, apologizing for his absence since he had decided to leave sooner than expected, and declaring that he has summoned Ta'Lon to take his place as Ambassador for the Narn Regime.
G'Kar's message continues. He explains that over the last year, he's become a magnet for trouble. Their people's perception of him has become distorted, so he feels it is best to distance himself from them. Narn needs equal doses of strength and spirit, and he's frankly become too much of the latter. It's time for a dose of strength to even the scales. He notes Ta'Lon as being sensible, level-headed, and practical, not to mention very loyal to and very sensitive to the needs of Narns. This makes him an ideal candidate for the post at a time when Narn needs to rebuild itself and strengthen its ties with the Interstellar Alliance. G'Kar also reassures Ta'Lon that while he may not feel ready for the job, there was a time when G'Kar was himself raw and unpolished at the job as well; give it time, he suggests, and he'll get the hang of it. Upon completion of the message, a copy will be relayed to Sheridan and company; Ta'Lon will be received as they would G'Kar. He ends by wishing Ta'Lon the best.
- "Serve our people reasonably, fairly, and with honor. The rest will tend to itself."
Dr. Franklin sits down with his fellow Dr. Hobbs in the Zocalo. Here, Franklin announces that he has chosen her to be the station's new Chief of Staff. Hobbs wonders why she was chosen, as there are many more senior doctors on staff while she has been bounced between Medlabs. Franklin explains her roving provides just the reason. Most of the senior staff are specialists; Hobbs has a broader base of medical knowledge, making her better suited to lead the team. Hobbs appreciates the compliment and notes Franklin's speeding things along. He explains that the new appointment is effective today; he intends to leave tonight for Earth and his new position as head of Xenobiology Research. As he notes Sheridan step out of a transport tube, he gets up to tell the news to him next. Hobbs looks on as Sheridan listens and then embraces Franklin, wishing him well. The two then walk together down the hall.
In her quarters, Delenn finishes packing the last of her and Sheridan's belongings when the doorbell rings. To her surprise, it is Lennier, on a brief break from his Anla'Shok training and here on a "working holiday" to help load their boxes. Delenn is pleased to be able to take a short break and hear of news from home. As she prepares a drink, Lennier looks at a framed picture of Sheridan and Delenn, taken shortly after their marriage.
In his office, new head of ISA Covert Intelligence Tessa Holloran reports that, apart from a minor flareup between the Drazi and Brakiri over a seedy layover planet on their border, the situation is relatively quiet, meaning he can make the transition to Minbar without any ongoing trouble. As Tessa leaves, Lochley notes she is staying at Babylon 5. Sheridan explains that the station remains a focal point for information; she'll be better informed by staying. That's one reason Michael Garibaldi chose to resign: so he would be free to move to Mars with his new wife Lise. Chief Zack Allan wonders what he's doing now.
What he's doing now is introducing himself to the new Board of Directors at Edgars Industries. He is now in charge of day-to-day operations, and he explains why he chose his new board; all of them are firebrands, mid-level workers with a history of being "troublemakers". Basically, they can't help but be frank when there's a problem, so he's shaking things up, giving them a chance to prove themselves. His rules are simple: if something is wrong, tell him. If they're right, they'll earn a bonus. If not, he'll have them for lunch.
Franklin walks into the docking bay for the last time. He takes one last look back at the station before boarding a shuttle from which he will begin the trip back to Earth.
ISN, to Sheridan's chagrin, has been quick to pick up on the importance of a White Star class ship arriving at Babylon 5. It is obviously here to take Sheridan and Delenn to Minbar. Sheridan hates it since it means they can't leave quietly. When the doorbell rings, Sheridan opens the door. In steps Lennier, informing them that packing is complete and that they can leave as soon as they board. Delenn asks to take a last look through the room in case she missed anything. Left alone, Sheridan thanks Lennier for coming. As they talk, Lennier informs him that he must return to training soon after arriving on Minbar. Sheridan invites him to come over at any time. Hesitantly, Lennier accepts the invitation. Delenn returns to report nothing missing. So, taking her arm, Sheridan begins the walk to the docking bay.
But upon reaching the Zocalo, he is further chagrined to see Lochley and a sizable number of people waiting for them. They'd seen the ISN report as well. Finding himself unable to say anything, Sheridan defers to Delenn, who does have a few words. She tells of the time when she first came to Babylon 5, learning how to speak the alien languages: particularly the human language that was the standard on board. She notes there is one Human word for which there is no Minbari equivalent: "goodbye", as the Minbari mindset always allows for the possibility of meeting again, somehow. Even now, as she prepares to leave Babylon 5, she will not say it now, instead essentially saying, "Until we meet again."
Zack awaits them at the docking bay. He was a bit late due to a dustup in Brown Sector, but he still wanted to see them off. Sheridan notes it's nice that not everyone is leaving. Zack quips he'll probably still be on B5 "when they turn off the lights." Lochley joins Zack as Sheridan, Delann, and Lennier head for the shuttle.
Delenn is surprised to see the ship without a captain. Lennier informs them that the captain is staying so that Sheridan and Delenn can command the flight. Sheridan appreciates the symbolism. As he looks out the front window, Sheridan orders the ship to match rotation with the station. The ship's front window aligns with the C&C window. Looking out across the emptiness, he sees faces new and old looking back at him: David Corwin, remaining at his post; Tessa Holloran, new head of Covert Intelligence; Vir Cotto, new Centauri Ambassador; Elizabeth Lochley, standing CO; Zack Allan, standing Chief of Security; Ta'Lon, new Narn Ambassador; and Dr. Hobbs, new Medlab Chief of Staff. In a final sendoff, Lochley steps forward and delivers the Earthforce salute, which Sheridan returns from the White Star. Upon finishing, he orders the ship away.
En route, Delenn notes Sheridan to be rather restless, in spite of his saying otherwise. She suggests taking a walk. After some reluctance, he decides to do so. Meanwhile, a Ranger on board notices something wrong. There is a hissing sound and some smoke emitting from an opening. The Ranger quickly warns of a coolant leak in the weapons systems as he begins efforts to stop the leak. It is as the alarm rings through the ship that Sheridan notices the commotion and rushes in, unaware of the ongoing problem. Just as the Ranger warns of the danger, the door automatically seals off: an automatic safety measure due to the increasing contamination. Sheridan is now trapped inside. Just then, Lennier happens upon the scene. Sheridan asks Lennier to override the lock from the outside, but he hesitates. In spite of Sheridan's pleas, he backs away, leaving him behind.
Sheridan realizes that Lennier is not going to help him, so he decides to take action himself. He rummages through the now-unconscious Ranger and finds his fighting pike. He opens it and tries to bash the door down. Meanwhile, Lennier pauses in a hallway, as if reconsidering his actions. Sheridan then hits upon an idea. Closing the pike, he wedges it between the door and a wall and opens it again. The action causes the pike to break through the glass. Lennier finally decides to double back, but by this time Sheridan has already carried the unconscious Ranger out of the room. Other Rangers and crew soon enter the scene as well. As Sheridan stares at him, Lennier realizes that he has just committed a very shameful act. Delenn then enters and asks what happened. Lennier's panic grows as he realizes he must now answer to her as well. But he cannot; how can he admit his shame before her? He runs away instead, taking a fighter and abandoning the ship. Delenn tries to contact Lennier. She tells him she knows what happened, but that they're willing to talk about it. Lennier cuts off the transmission and disappears into hyperspace.
Later, Delenn talks to Sheridan about the ongoing investigation. In Lennier's quarters on Tuzanor was his diary. In it was evidence that his love for Delenn was even stronger than he had admitted. More importantly, it showed he did not approve of her marriage to Sheridan. Although the diary noted that he intended no real harm to him, it's obvious Lennier succumbed to a moment of hate and tried to leave Sheridan to die. It's also obvious that Lennier now regrets that moment and has fled in shame. Sheridan is angry at this and wants Lennier to be held accountable for that fact, but in spite of his own misgivings, he's willing to at least try to make amends. Sheridan is coughing from his exposure to the coolant gases, and Delenn recommends they delay their arrival, but Sheridan insists they arrive on time. They have an image to uphold. He'll just say he caught a cold. As for what happened with Lennier, he'll keep it secret. Not only will it help maintain their image again, but it will allow Lennier time to come to terms and return on his own. Delenn appreciates Sheridan's capacity to forgive him.
The White Star arrives on Minbar and lands on the space port in Tuzanor. To their surprise, Sheridan and Delenn find someone waiting for them upon their arrival at the presidential suite: Emperor Londo Mollari.
Londo joins Sheridan and Delenn for dinner that night, and he talks about some of the benefits of being in power: such as seeing the dismay on the faces of your enemies. Delenn then notes that his demeanor the last time they met (on Centauri Prime, just after it was attacked) was far from civil or cordial to them. Londo says his words were directed towards his people, not them. He had been firing them up for the task of rebuilding their capital. Outside of his people, he can return to his more-friendly words. And upon hearing of their moving to Minbar, he decided to pay a state visit to convey his well wishes. Although he finds it disappointing there is no alcohol to be had (owing to the Minbari's sensitivity to it). His status prevents him from keeping his own stash. Delenn then senses something very strange...as if something else was watching her in secret. Londo then turns to them and presents to them a gift: an antique urn. He also knows that Delenn is with child, and the gift is meant for their future child. He claims that it is a Centauri custom to present this to the heir to the throne when he comes of age. He adds that he doesn't expect to he have any children of his own, and that the Centauri may be abolishing the office of Emperor after his death, so he feels it best to pass on the tradition to the Alliance. Just then, a Minbari summons Delenn on a matter of some urgency, and she excuses herself from the room. Londo continues to explain the tradition to Sheridan. It is to be turned over when their child turns 16. Sheridan notes the bottom of the urn is sealed. Londo says it contains water from the time of the first Centauri palace 2000 years ago.
The urgent matter for Delenn is a message from Lennier. She is taking it in private so they may speak freely. Lennier explains that he cannot talk long and that he cannot be traced. Delenn tries to explain that he can return, but refuses. His shame is too great. All he can do at this point is apologize and stay away. Before he can seek their forgiveness, he must find redemption. He does make one promise, the same one Minbari imply when they part ways: "We will meet again, Delenn."
Soon, Londo has to return to Centauri Prime. Before he goes, he admits that they are still his friends, and that this visit means more to him than they realize. Sheridan and Delenn note that his way of leaving seemed odd, as if he doesn't expect to ever see them again. Sheridan then asks about Delenn's mysterious caller. He realizes that it has been Lennier, and Delenn says she will explain later when they're alone.
Aboard the Centauri cruiser, Emperor Londo hears the voice of the Drakh through his Keeper, praising him for a job well done. For this service, the Drakh allow him an hour's respite from them. He accepts a drink and asks what happens now. The Drakh explain that now they wait. Their plan will take nearly two decades to bear fruit, but they are patient. Inside the urn they have given Sheridan and Delenn through Mollari is another Keeper: one intended for the unsuspecting couple's child. It sleeps, waiting...
Later that night, Sheridan can't sleep. He gets up and goes to another room. There, he begins to record a message. It is a time capsule message meant for his unborn child to hear in the future. If the lease on life given to him by Lorien holds, he won't live to see his child come of age in human terms (21 years); he only has 19 years left. So instead, he will leave this message. He promises to give his child the same love he has given Delenn for as long as he can. And then, he proceeds to give what wisdom he can pass on. He says to trust Delenn; she is a pillar of both courage and compassion. He says to expect missteps and mistakes, just as Garibaldi did; just learn from them like he did and you can grow from the experience. He says there may be times when you'll take a great journey, like Franklin on his way to Earth. But it's your passion that tells you you're home. He talks about gaining and losing friends; they're all part of the learning process. Change is a part of life; if the time comes to part ways, don't fight it. Everyone has his or her own journey to make. Finally, he conveys his greatest belief: that sooner or later, things will work themselves out. The journey may be long and hard, but you'll get there in the end. Stand for what you believe. He then conveys the wisdom of his father David. "Never start a fight, but always finish it," Delenn volunteers. As he ends the recording, Delenn bids him return to bed. He finally feels ready to sleep, so he follows her.
- The Terry Jones timeline printed in Across Time and Space, has the events occurring on September 6th - 11th, 2262.
- The I. Marc Carlson timeline has the events occurring in December.
|Babylon 5 Season 5 "Wheel of Fire"|
|<<< Previous Season "No Compromises" "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" "The Paragon of Animals" "A View from the Gallery" "Learning Curve" "Strange Relations" "Secrets of the Soul" "Day of the Dead" "In the Kingdom of the Blind" "A Tragedy of Telepaths" "Phoenix Rising" "The Ragged Edge" "The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father" "Meditations on the Abyss" "Darkness Ascending" "And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder" "Movements of Fire and Shadow" "The Fall of Centauri Prime" "Wheel of Fire" "Objects in Motion" "Objects at Rest" "Sleeping in Light"|
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