Ivanova (Claudia Christian) informs Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) that the EAS Cortez, an Explorer-class ship nearly as big as Babylon Five, is arriving from Earth. The ship is commanded by Captain Jack Maynard (Russ Tamblyn), one of Sheridan’s oldest friends. In Medlab, Doctor Franklin (Richard Biggs) insists that Chief Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) go on a diet. Captain Maynard is surprised that Sheridan is riding a desk instead of being out among the stars. Later, Maynard has dinner with Sheridan, Ivanova, and two Babylon Five pilots--Warren Keffer (Robert Rusler) and Ray Galus (Art Kimbro). Captain Maynard tells them he has seen something strange out on the Rim—a monstrous black ship.
Captain Sheridan, Garibaldi, and Ivanova are all told to go on a diet. Delenn (Mira Furlan) is met by a Minbari named Teronn (Sandey Grinn) who relays concern among the Minbari about Delenn’s transformation into a Minbari/Human hybrid. Commander Ivanova is told to go on a diet. The Cortez is ready to depart. Sheridan watches, a bit envious. In hyperspace, there is an explosion on the bridge of the Cortez, and it drifts off the hyperspace beacon.
In the Zocalo, the C&C crew of Babylon Five are having lunch and grumbling about their diets. They switch plates until the doctor shows up. A signal from the Cortez reaches Babylon Five. Despite Ivanova’s caution that no ship lost in hyperspace has ever been found, Sheridan orders Starfuries into action. The Starfuries will spread out to form a lifeline, each one in distant contact with the one before. If they spot the Cortez in the hyperspace wastes, they should be able to guide it back to the gate. Zeta Wing leader Galus struggles to stay in contact. Sheridan waits nervously. A Shadow vessel collides with the Starfuries, destroying Galus’ ship and damaging Keffer’s. But Keffer fires his weapons to act as a beacon. The Cortez comes in, but Keffer is left behind.
Garibaldi tempts Franklin with his favorite birthday meal, Bagna Cauda, a kind of Italian fondue which is made of everything forbidden in his diet. Franklin authorises the meal, if made for two. Delenn meets Sheridan in the Zen Garden, offering him some comfort for the loss of two pilots, and assuring him that he is exactly where he needs to be. Keffer, lost in hyperspace, sees the Shadow vessel again, computes its trajectory and finds his way back to the Babylon Five gate. At the wake for Galus, Keffer explains to Sheridan how he used the Shadow ship to find his way back. He is put in command of Zeta Wing.
The episode began with a new and improved opening sequence voiceover from Bruce Boxleitner, who recorded the previous version while knowing next to nothing about Babylon Five, and it’s a great improvement. Delenn’s words of wisdom seem to come mostly from Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos. The Cortez is quite impressive, orbiting next to Babylon Five, which is only slightly larger. The Explorer class ships have to be that enormous because they build jump-gates. Despite the Cortez and the excitement of the Shadow sightings, the episode received little love from Babylon Five fans. Russ Tamblyn’s portrayal of Captain Maynard was panned, as was Boxleitner’s Captain Sheridan this time. The B-story, about Doctor Franklin’s diets, was rightly considered lightweight. The script was written by D.C. Fontana and received what is probably a Babylon Five fan’s deepest insult. It was called Trekian.