On Minbar, Rathenn (Time Winters) speaks with Entil’Zha or Ranger One, former Captain of Babylon Five Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O’Hare), telling him he is opening a box that has been sealed for 900 years. Inside, to Sinclair’s surprise, is a note for himself. On the station, Ivanova (Claudia Christian) hears a message from the quarantined Sector 14. It is her own voice, describing the destruction of Babylon Five.
On Minbar, Sinclair reads the 900-year-old note. He will tell no-one what it says but thanks the Rangers and leaves. The Vorlon Ulkesh (voice of Ardwight Chamberlain) says Sinclair is the Closed Circle and he is returning to the beginning. So, I guess they all talk like that. Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) and Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) listen to Ivanova’s message. Garibaldi wants to go to Sector 14 to see if it’s from the future. Zack Allan (Jeff Conaway) welcomes Sinclair to the station. Lennier (Bill Mumy) tells Delenn (Mira Furlan) that Sinclair has arrived. She worries about the future, having received a message herself in the same hand. She meets Sheridan and Ranger Marcus Cole (Jason Carter) in the War Room and tells them they must go to the White Star.
Sinclair enters and Garibaldi tells them the time-rift is twice the size it was before because of tachyons coming from Epsilon III below. On that planet, Spragg (Eric Zivot) and Zathras (Tim Choate) debate interrupting Draal at the Great Machine. Delenn insists the group leave for Sector 14. Garibaldi is there, getting a clear look at Ivanova’s message for herself coming from a wrecked Babylon Five. The Captain is dead, the defense grid is down, and past Garibaldi has rigged the fusion reactor to blow, because. Shadow vessels are attacking, and it must not fall into their hands. On the White Star, Delenn asks Sheridan to trust her. Then she shows him images from the First Shadow War, a thousand years ago, in which the White Star defends Babylon Four from the Shadows. They must now steal Babylon Four and go mback in time.
A ship from Epsilon III is on the way, sent by Draal. Zathras appears and tells Sinclair he is pleased to meet him. He does not quite understand that Sinclair has already met him in Zathras’s future. At Sinclair’s request, Sheridan orders the worried Garibaldi back to Babylon Five. The White Star stabilizes in 2544, six years in the past. The Shadows have a fusion bomb. The White Star engages the Shadows and is protected by its Vorlon technology, and it detonates the fusion bomb. Sheridan becomes unstuck in time. Sinclair refuses to rescue him because they must board Babylon Four now. Sheridan pops up on Centauri Prime seventeen years in the future and is arrested by an aged Emperor Londo (Peter Jurasik) for contributing to the fall of the Centauri Republic. He shows Sheridan the city engulfed in flames. In 2264, the crew of the White Star burn into Babylon Four.
This is the only time in the series that Sheridan and Sinclair meet. J. Michael Straczynski made Michael O’Hare and Bruce Boxleitner each lunch together every day to cement the friendship of the characters. The episode was supposed to be the series finale but was moved up because of O’Hare’s deteriorating mental health. The show was a continuity nightmare, and we can see why Zathras is confused. It is charming, but also puzzling, how Sheridan is becoming just as cryptic as the Vorlons. Becoming unstuck in time—those words—is from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.