At the Babylon Five Advisory Council meeting, Ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) and Ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulis) argue about the Narn aggression against the Centauri in Quadrant 37. Londo says the Quadrant is neutral because of a treaty, G’Kar says the treaty was signed by his people under duress and is not binding, thus the entre quadrant belongs to the Narn. Londo threatens and G’Kar leaves. As usual.

Elsewhere on the station, Stephen Petrov (David Anthony Marshall), bleeding from a chest-wound, collapses before Chief Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle). “They’re going to kill him,” he gasps, and passes out. As he is undergoing treatment in Medlab, Garibaldi explains to Commander Sinclair (Michael O’Hare) and Ivanova (Claudia Christian) that Petrov was a petty criminal that Garibaldi helped and who responded with information. Doctor Franklin (Richard Biggs) emerges and says Petrov is dead. That evening, Sinclair watches a broadcast about Earth President Santiago’s Goodwill Tour. He is watching with his girlfriend Catherine Sakai (Julia Nickson), who asks about his New Years plans. He proposes marriage.

In his quarters, Londo is disturbed about the state of the Centauri Republic, which he has learned is about to concede Quadrant 37 to the Narn Regime. He hears from the enigmatic Morden (Ed Wasser) who once helped him with a problem. Garibaldi heads for Downbelow to find out who killed Petrov. A Lurker (Gianin Loffler) says he and Petrov were hired to unload cargo by Devereaux (Edward Conery). Londo meets Morden in the hedge maze. Morden says he and his associates want to help him out with the Quadrant 37 problem, and he should tell his government that he will take care of it himself. Delenn meets Kosh and he opens his encounter suit, revealing himself to her. She agrees to keep a promise and says farewell.

Early on New Years Eve, Garibaldi tracks down Devereaux and his men and arrests them. Sinclair goes to see G’Kar and gets no concessions. At Dinner at Fresh Air, Sinclair and Sakai ask Garibaldi to be Best Man and Ivanova to be Maid-of-Honor, which they agree to happily. Garibaldi’s aide Jack (Macaulay Bruton) calls him to say Devereaux and his men are missing. Garibaldi is disturbed because Devereaux’s gun was unmarked, and they usually belong only to Earthforce Special Agents.

At the Narn outpost in Quadrant 37, strange, black, spider-like ships suddenly appear and totally destroy the Narn ships in minutes. Ivanova hears that Earth Vice-President Morgan Clarke (Gary McGurk) has left Earth Force One with the flu and the President is going on to Io. Garibaldi has found some of Devereaux’s cargo that was not shipped out by mistake. With his aide Jack, he finds a jamming device which could flood the Gold Channel frequency for Earthforce One. He finds Devereaux, pulls his gun to arrest him, and Jack shoots him in the back.

Sinclair and Ivanova can’t find Garibaldi. Sinclair runs into Delenn who shows him the triluminary device, which he recollects from the Battle of the Line. She wants him to come speak with her, but he’s desperately looking for Garibaldi and can’t come. She asks him to hurry. G’Kar learns that 10,000 Narn were killed in Quadrant 37 and realizes that none of the regimes he knows about could or would be responsible. Someone new must be out there. Garibaldi crawls to a transport tube and is found when it opens at the Zocolo at midnight.

Lennier is worried about Delenn. She places the triluminary in a device she is building. Garibaldi is rushed to Medlab and prepped for surgery. He barely recognizes Sinclair but warns him that someone is planning to kill the President at Io. Sinclair finds the Gold Channel jammed. Earthforce One explodes live on ISN. Sinclair orders Jack to track down Devereaux and post guards on Garibaldi in Medlab. Londo meets with Morden, appalled at the slaughter in Quadrant 37. Morden says they’re only Narns and Londo will be rewarded for his solution of the problem.

A Senator from Earth says the destruction of Earthforce One is officially an accident. Devereux and his goons turn up dead. Sinclair watches while Vice-President Clark is sworn in as President. He runs to see Delenn and finds a terrified Lennier standing vigil. Delenn is in a spun cocoon like a butterfly pupae. G’Kar is gone to check out the attack on Quadrant 37. Londo and Ivanova stand guard over Garibaldi’s surgery. In his quarters, Morden confers with two shimmering black spider-like entities. He tells them Mollari will do what they need him to do. Lennier continues to stand vigil. The first season, entitled Signs and Portents, ends.

Michal O’Hare was bowing out as a series regular. His increasing schizophrenia was the cause, though only Straczynski knew it. He had written a trap-door plotline to have the command of Babylon Five transferred to Bruce Boxleitner in Season Two. The scene of Garibaldi crawling for help was based on Straczynski’s experience of being mugged. The swearing-in ceremony of President Clark of Earth was based on Lyndon Johnson’s swearing-in as US President, right down to the window’s pink dress. The scene was shot on the anniversary of that event and the set was strangely quiet. Morden once again reminds us of Rod Serling with Ed Wasser’s stance and manner. Peter Jurasik continues to be brilliant. Straczynski said that every time he sat down to write dialog for Londo, the character surprised him. Every season will end on New Years Eve. The triluminary was not invented by the Minbari. It was found by them in a space vessel a thousand years ago. J. Michael Straczynski said this episode tipped over every table they had.

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