The Centauri are winning a battle with the Narn. A G’Quan-class heavy cruiser is about to escape when it detects a civilian cruiser being attacked, so it shields the civilian transport to allow it to jump away and pays the price. On Babylon Five, Ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) watches footage of the attack with Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) and his staff, and they watch the Centauri attack the defenseless colony. A message from Ambassador Mollari (Peter Jurasik) claims the transport ships were carrying weapons, not civilians, and were using civilians as shields. All Sheridan can do is ask Earth Alliance to support the Narn Regime.
A Lumati ship arrives at Babylon Five. Sheridan hopes to gain the Lumati as an ally of the Alliance or a member of the Non-aligned Worlds. He turns this job over to Ivanova (Claudia Christian) while he concentrates on the Narn-Centauri War. G’Kar discusses the battle with Delenn (Mira Furlan) asking for help. Delenn is distressed by the attack on civilians, but the Narn have always called for the destruction of the Centauri, and she cannot intervene. She does not add that she has less power than before. In a casino, a group of Centauri brag about the attack and are assaulted by a Narn, but Security Officer Zack Allen (Jeff Conaway) and his men break up the fight. Ivanova greets the Lumati—Correlimurzon (Ian Abercrombie) and his Servitor Taq (Paul Williams). The two are connected telepathically. They wish to determine if humans are so inferior as to preclude contact.
Londo meets with a Centauri merchant asking for help. Afterwards, he complains to his Aide Vir (Stephen Furst) that now he is constantly sought after for favors. Another Narn-Centauri fight on the station results in Zack Allen having to shoot the Narn. Sheridan and G’Kar argue about the incident and Sheridan demands that G’Kar keep his people in line. Ivanova brings the Lumati to Medlab and they are disappointed that inferior races are prevented from dying there. In the casino, Londo invites Garibaldi for a drink, but Garibaldi is cold to him. G’Kar asks the Narns to remain non-violent on the station. After he leaves, they stab a Centauri to death. This is just the beginning.
Doctor Franklin (Richard Biggs) autopsies the Centauri. Garibaldi wants to alert Mollari, but Sheridan fears that will incite even more violence. Sheridan learns that Earthgov is denying help to the Narns. Afterwards, he contacts Delenn. Na’Toth (Mary Kay Adams) sees Narns buying weapons, alrts G’Kar, and he wants to handle it himself quietly. She will accompany him. The Lumati are curious about the undesirables, so Ivanova shows them Downbelow. They assume the lurkers there are the segregated inferiors of Earth society, so they believe Earth is worthy of alliance, and the ambassador deigns to speak to Ivanova. G’Kar ends up in a one-on-one fight with the rebellious leader and wins, but he is cut with a poisoned blade.
Sheridan discusses with Delenn a plan to evacuate Narn citizens from the war zone and smuggle Babylon Five supplies to the refugees. Correlimurzon meets Ivanova to complete the deal, but that requires them to have sex. Flabbergasted, she leaves. She talks to Doctor Franklin about her dilemma, and when he says the Lumati know nothing about human sex, she has an idea. G’Kar is cured of the poison, but when Sheridan and Delenn meet him, he is disappointed that all they can offer is secret aid to civilians. Ivanova invites the Lumati to her quarters for sex the human way, which involves her dancing around him, rapping about romance and stock portfolios, and faking an orgasm. He is somewhat disappointed, but still agrees to sign the treaty.
Sheridan and Garibaldi meet with Londo. He will not make a fuss about the dead Centauri because he was nobody important and his killer will not be executed, but the Narn must be deported and his assets donated to the Centauri War Fund. Garibaldi meets Londo for a drink later. Londo says he is happy to help a friend, even if they will be friends for only a little while.
Na’Toth will not appear again until Season Five, when she will again be played by Caitlin Brown. Perhaps it was supposed that no-one would notice the difference under all that prosthetics and makeup, but the actors have completely different styles. I much prefer Caitlin Brown, as I think everybody does. Mollari buys a Shirley Temple for Garibaldi, who is on the wagon. The Lumati policy of non-interference with the evolution of other species even if they die is portrayed as arrogant and inhuman, though that is pretty much the Prime Directive on Star Trek. The Lumati ambassador using a translator to deal with lesser species was inspired by a news report Straczynski saw, in which a warlord who spoke English would speak only to a male translator instead of the female reporter.
Londo and G’Kar will be different after this. Londo is questioning himself for the first time and knows he has made a terrible mistake. He goes so far as to behave honorably, this time. G’Kar is begging for help instead of fussing and fuming and making threats, forced to change from a ranting rebel to a thoughtful diplomat, but in the end getting very little. It’s a wonder how Andreas Katsulas can portray so much emotion with all the prosthetics he has to wear and the red lenses in his eyes. These two are frightening, amusing, and heartbreaking by turns. Because Londo is so tortured by events he himself set in motion, it falls to Ivanova to provide the comic relief, but it is intelligent comic relief, and she is brilliant at it.