Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) is almost ready to begin the end of the Shadow War. Commander Ivanova (Claudia Christian) reports that the Shadows are retaliating for Vorlon attacks on Shadow outposts. The younger races are caught in between. On the Narn home world, Londo calls a meeting of the conspirators hoping to assassinate the mad Emperor Cartagia (Wortham Krimmer) and get the Shadow vessels off Centauri Prime.
Sheridan asks Ivanova to help recruit the remaining First Ones against the Vorlons and Shadows. She is reluctant because she wants to be on the front lines. In the replica throne room on Narn, Cartagia takes Londo aside to tell him he will take Londo with him when he ascends to godhood. In G’Kar’s (Andreas Katsulas) cell, Londo finds G’Kar with one eye. Londo loosens his bonds so he can break free and cause a distraction. G’Kar must not strike the Emperor himself or Londo cannot free the Narn.
Londo had sent Vir (Stephen Furst) on an errand because everyone thinks he’s harmless. Vir brings Londo a poisoned needle. G’Kar is paraded about, then brought to the throne room for judgement, where Londo finds out the Emperor strengthened the bonds Londo loosened. But G’Kar breaks his bonds anyway and a riot ensues. Londo takes Cartagia away, but the Emperor causes Londo to drop the needle. Vir picks it up and stabs the Emperor. Reports are that Cartagia died of a heart attack. Londo decrees the second death of an Emperor during the Narn occupation an evil sign. Best to let the Narns free. To his surprise, Londo is chosen Emperor.
In the Babylon Five war room, Lennier reports that the Shadows and Vorlons are raiding outlying colonies, jockeying for position. A report from White Star 14 says that a Vorlon-protected colony has been destroyed by the Death Cloud, the Shadow planet-killer. Also, a Vorlon fleet is massing near Coriana VI, population six billion. Back on Narn, Londo finds Vir drunk as a skunk at having killed the Emperor. Londo tells him he may have saved the entire Centauri race. They leave for Centauri Prime as the freed Narn celebrate with fireworks.
Sheridan convenes the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. In the light of the Death Cloud, it is time to end the Shadow War. They will raid Vorlon positions, take strategic positions in the Coriana system, recruit First Ones and put them in position, and lead the Shadows to their doom. The White Star 14 releases a false report to lead the Shadows to Coriana VI. On Narn, G’Kar is enraged by the looting and his nomination for leader. He didn’t go through all this to replace one ruler with another. He leaves Narn, laughing madly. Sheridan leaves Babylon Five to join the fleet.
It had been Stephen Furst’s idea that Vir would end up killing the Emperor, and Sraczynski loved it. Like Caligula, Cartagia was killed by his inner circle. The Centauri have two hearts like Time-Lords. Sheridan calls the Shadows and Vorlons “Giants in the Playground” and this was used as an opening line in Season Five. Captain Ericsson of the White Star 14, chosen for a suicide mission, is played by Bryan Cranston (Walter White of Breaking Bad and much, much more). His scene with Bruce Boxleitner is great, but Andreas Katsulas steals every scene he’s in. Stephen Furst is also wonderful.