Captain Sheridan is accused of murdering a Minbari citizen. Ivanova is placed in charge of a gift shop selling Babylon 5 merchandise.
- Bruce Boxleitner as Captain John Sheridan
- Claudia Christian as Commander Susan Ivanova
- Jerry Doyle as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi
- Mira Furlan as Ambassador Delenn
- Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin
- Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters
- Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto
- Bill Mumy as Lennier
- Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth
- Robert Rusler as Lieutenant Warren Keffer
- Andreas Katsulas as Ambassador G'Kar
- Peter Jurasik as Ambassador Londo Mollari
- Neil Bradley as Minbari #3
- Ardwight Chamberlain as Ambassador Kosh
- Jonathan Chapman as Minbari #2
- Vincent Duvall as Centauri Envoy
- Eliott Harold as Human Customer
- Mark Hendrickson as Human/Alien Customer
- Ossie Mair as Store Owner
- Michael McKenzie as Alien Customer
- Julie Caitlin Brown, who plays an advocate in this episode, played Na'Toth in season 1 of Babylon 5.
- Regular cast members appearing in this episode are John Sheridan, Susan Ivanova, Michael Garibaldi, Stephen Franklin, Delenn, Lennier, Londo Mollari, Talia Winters, Vir Cotto, and Warren Keffer.
Captain Sheridan briefs Commander Ivanova about a new gift shop opening in the Zocalo—one that will sell Babylon 5 themed merchandise. Ivanova is indignant regarding the very idea, which is precisely why Sheridan informs her that he is putting her in charge of overseeing it. He then leaves to meet Ambassador Kosh for another "lesson" from the Vorlon.
On the way to the Zocalo, someone bumps into Sheridan and palms his Link. When Sheridan realizes it is gone, he begins chasing the man, only to run into a Minbari who attacks him. He is knocked to the ground and sees a PPG lying nearby. Drawing it on the Minbari, Sheridan orders him to stand down, but the Minbari replies, "Death first." When the Minbari then begins reaching for something, Sheridan shoots him. As the Minbari falls dead down a stairwell, Sheridan sees a second Minbari standing nearby, watching the event. The second Minbari quickly runs away.
Sheridan discusses the incident with Michael Garibaldi and Ambassador Delenn, pleading self-defense. Delenn explains that the deceased, Lavell, came from a highly respected family and his death will cause shock waves back home. Sheridan apologizes, but insists he had no choice. However, no weapon was found on Lavell's body. Delenn informs him that she has been asked to investigate the shooting independently of the Garibaldi's investigation. Sheridan orders Garibaldi to track down the Minbari witness.
Garibaldi is quickly sand bagged in his investigation. Every time he goes to speak to a Minbari, Lennier is either just arriving or just leaving. He discusses the problem with Sheridan, and also discusses the captain's missing Link. Garibaldi theorizes that the thief took it because it was the one thing he knew would prompt the captain to chase after him. They arrive in Medlab as Dr. Franklin finished the autopsy on Lavell. The reports are inconclusive, unable to either support or undermine the Captain's story. Garibaldi wonders why there was a PPG on the deck for the captain to find: an Earth made PPG would never have belonged to the Minbari, and the convenience of it being there is highly suspicious to the Chief.
Lennier produces Ashan, the Minbari witness, bringing him to Delenn for questioning. Ashan is a member of the Third Fane of Chudomo, the same clan as Lennier. He refuses to speak to Delenn, however, calling her a "freak." Insulted, Delenn leaves the room to let Lennier question him.
Delenn and Lennier meet with Sheridan and Garibaldi in the Captain's office to discuss Ashan's statement. Lennier states that according to Ashan, Sheridan attacked Lavell without warning and then shot him after Lavell attempted to surrender. Sheridan accuses Ashan of lying. Lennier explains that "Minbari do not lie," period. Delenn warns Sheridan that it would be perilous to make such an accusation. Sheridan calmly states that Ashan must be mistaken then and he asks to speak to him personally. The Minbari comply, leaving to fetch Ashan.
Ivanova, meanwhile, checks out the Babylon 5 Emporium, though she is not exactly impressed by it.
Zack Allan is approached by a woman recently arrived on the station who demands he take her to see the captain.
Sheridan tries to talk to Ashan (in the presence of Delenn and Lennier), but the Minbari is indignant, calling Sheridan "Star Killer" and standing by his story. Zack arrives with the woman, Guinevere Corey, who introduces herself as Sheridan's lawyer. She requests to speak to Sheridan privately. Once they leave, Delenn and Lennier both express their concern over the situation, believing Ashan's words to be "dubious."
Corey discusses the situation with her client. She explains that she has been assigned to him by Earth Dome. After reviewing the facts, EarthGov has decided to proceed with an indictment to avoid allegations of collusion or a cover up. Corey warns Sheridan that if the case does go to trial, the captain will have to permanently step down as commander of Babylon 5.
Off duty, Sheridan discusses the grim situation with Ivanova, who offers him some words of encouragement. She assures him that she has not lost any respect for him, no matter what happens. After she leaves, Kosh arrives, insisting that they carry out the lesson that Sheridan missed earlier. Despite his reservations, Sheridan agrees to accompany him for the lesson.
In his office, Garibaldi gives Zack orders to follow Ashan and report his activities to him.
Kosh leads Sheridan into Downbelow. They arrive at a secluded location and Kosh insists the captain enter it without him. Inside, Sheridan meets some strange, hooded monks. After handing over his stat bar as an offering, the monks share "one moment of perfect beauty."
Ambassador Mollari finds a still inebriated Vir in the Zocalo and he asks what is bothering him. Vir explains that his family sent him on this job because it was a joke to them. Now that the job has become more important, he has received word that Centauri Prime is replacing him. Vir is upset, feeling trapped by his role as keeping Londo's secrets but not having anything to go home to either. He then apologizes and rushes off. Londo starts to go after him, but stops when he sees some Centauri women playing a with a doll made in his likeness.
Delenn calls Lennier into her quarters. She explains that she was going over Lavell's background when she discovered something distressing.
Sheridan thanks Kosh for the lesson as they ride a transport tube. Sheridan meets Ivanova after Kosh leaves, discussing the lesson. Afterward, as they head for his office, they are confronted by Londo, who is very put out over the Londo Mollari doll.
Zack follows Ashan into Downbelow. He oversees Ashan speaking to a Human, but before he can learn anything he is knocked unconscious by Lennier.
As the Human runs off, Lennier confronts Ashan about what he is doing. Lennier is aware that the Human was the thief who stole the Captain's link. Lennier insists Ashan come clean before whatever he is involved in is discovered.
Londo discusses the doll situation in the captain's office. He insists that the doll is a mockery and an insult—especially since it lacks any "attributes". It takes a moment for Sheridan and Ivanova to realize that Centauri expect figures of themselves to be complete down to the genitalia. Sheridan agrees to have all the dolls removed. As they talk, Londo mentions that Minbari are known to lie—lying to help another save face (preserve honor) is acceptable. After Londo leaves, Sheridan gets a communication from the Minbari representative on Earth.
Afterward, Sheridan finds Delenn in the Zen Garden. He explains that the Minbari government are insisting Ashan be sent back to Minbar. Without the primary witness against him, there can be no trial. Without any concrete answers, doubts will always remain and his credibility and reputation will be ruined. Sheridan appeals to Delenn for help. She explains that she is having doubts about her own capabilities. She also explains that for the Minbari, service to one's clan is more important than anything, even one's life. Sheridan replies that Humans also understand the concept of honor and have themselves at times gone to great lengths to protect it, but greater ideals can't stand without the lesser ones. He again appeals to her for help, and she agrees.
Ashan is called to Lennier's quarters to receive parting instructions. Lennier explains that after Ashan leaves, he will go to the Captain and announce his complicity in the death of Lavell. He reasons that as he is of the same clan as Ashan, he bears some culpability. Ashan begs him not to do so, as it will bring dishonor upon their entire clan. Ashan admits that what has happened was orchestrated by the leader of their clan. They resent Sheridan's assignment to the station. Lavell, as a member of their Clan, was willing to give his life to the cause. After his confession, Delenn, Sheridan, Garibaldi, and Corey emerge from the next room. Sheridan explains that Delenn correctly concluded Ashan was lying when she learned that Lavell and he were of the same clan—saving the honor of the Clan was the one thing that could compel him to lie. They reveal they have recorded his confession and Garibaldi has Ashan taken away. Sheridan, grateful to Lennier, decides to compromise by not forcing the whole truth out (which would disgrace Lennier and his entire Clan). As long as Ashan agrees to release a public statement about the attack (thus proving Sheridan acted in self-defense), the motives behind the attack can remain a secret.
Vir, nursing a hangover in Londo's quarters, is surprised when the Ambassador informs him that he has insisted to Homeworld Vir remain as his attache. He assured Homeworld (and Vir's family) that he has never had a more capable assistant—and Londo explains that he meant every word of it. He also explains that he invited Vir's family to come for a month long stay.
Ivanova shows the captain the latest piece from the gift shop—a "Bab-bear-lon 5 John Sheridan" teddy bear. Sheridan immediately orders the gift shop shut down as soon as possible. He takes the bear with him.
"Welcome to Babylon 5: the last best hope for a quick buck!"
- – Susan Ivanova
"So you feel like you're being symbolically cast--in a bad light."
- – Susan Ivanova to Londo Mollari
"You can't have larger ideals if the smaller ones get compromised along the way."
- – John Sheridan
- The incident Londo refers to about a "certain Minbari lying for a certain Centauri Ambassador" was, of course, referring to himself and Lennier (as seen in "The Quality of Mercy").
- Ashan discusses the destruction of the Black Star with Lennier. He expands upon the details Sheridan gave to Ivanova (as seen in "Points of Departure") by saying that Sheridan lured the Black Star into the asteroid field by sending out a fake distress signal.
|Babylon 5 Season 2 "The Coming of Shadows"|
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