Londo (Peter Jurasik) reviews Vir’s (Stephen Furst) report on the Minbari and revises it to make it acceptable to the Centauri Royal Court, doing his best to make the Minbari look inferior. A call comes in that the Lady Morella (Majel Barrett) is coming to visit with Londo. Sheridan and Ivanova talk to an Earthforce general who tells them President Clark has not only declared martial law, but he has dissolved the Senate. General Hague, a rare friend of Babylon Five, is missing. The Elite Guard has opened fire on the Senate Building. Other colonies have capitulated to the martial law order, but there are no orders as yet for Babylon Five. Zack Allen (Jeff Conaway) hears from Nightwatch—come to a meeting, don’t tell Garibaldi, bring extra ammo. Garibaldi commute’s G’Kar’s sentence because he’s going to need his guards elsewhere.
Londo and Vir meet Lady Morena. She wonders why Earth Alliance has not met her. Sheridan hears from General Smits (Lewis Arquette) that Nightwatch is in command of off-world security. G’Kar, returning to his quarters, finds the loyal Ta’Lon (Marshall Teague) standing watch by his door. Zack and the Liaison do a rollcall: join Nightwatch or quit Security. Garibaldi takes the bait despite Zack’s warnings. Lady Morella is disturbed. Her husband, the late Emperor Turhan, feared the outbreak of madness in the galaxy, and she thinks this is it. Londo wants her to predict his future and she agrees because she believes Londo will be important.
Zack tries to stop Garibaldi from confronting Nightwatch, but he does and is relieved from duty. G’Kar believes the Narn must help the humans. Nightwatch is dispersing crowds. ISN reports that General Hague is fleeing before the President’s ships. A riot against Nightwatch breaks out. Vir is injured defending Lady Morella during the riot. Sheridan is forced to declare Martial Law, but no-one pays attention. Sheridan throws away the executive order. Doctor Franklin (Richard Biggs) asks about the chain of command and Sheridan remembers something General Smits had hinted at. He tells Franklin to find Garibaldi. Then, G’Kar walks in.
Zack Allan returns to his quarters, surprised to find Ivanova, Garibaldi, and G’Kar waiting until Sheridan comes in. Lady Morella touches Londo’s hand and has the same vision he did about the Shadow ships. Zack Allan reports in to Nightwatch and tells them a shipful of Narns are coming to take control. Nightwatch is thrilled because they believe this means the end of Sheridan.
Just as Nightwatch is to seize control of the station, Zack locks them up in the docking bay. Sheridan tells them they are under arrest for mutiny and failing to obey the chain of command, which passes from the President to the Joint Chiefs to the military ranks, including Sheridan, but the Political Office is not part of it and cannot give military orders. Until this changes, the Narns will replace Nightwatch as station security.
Lady Morella gives Londo riddles about the future and predicts that he and Vir will both be Emperor. Nightwatch turns in their guns and IDs. Lady Morella leaves for her ship, passing a Narn security guard without comment. G’Kar, in exchange for his help, wants in on Sheridan’s group. Londo and Vir eye each other with suspicion. Delenn returns to the station. All of General Hague’s ships except the Alexander are captured. Babylon Five will no doubt be the next target.
This episode is important enough to give its name to the entire season. Majel Barrett’s role came about after she met J. Michael Straczynski at a science-fiction convention. A fan suggested she appear. I suppose one of the reasons was to show there was no rivalry between Deep Space Nine and Babylon Five. The persistent rumors that Deep Space Nine was a rip-off of Babylon Five arose because Straczynski had pitched Babylon Five to Paramount Studios seven years earlier. His proposal was rejected, probably because they knew he would not want to adhere to Star Trek’s creative control, and then Deep Space Nine happened. I think we can be grateful, actually, that Babylon Five was not produced by Paramount.