From C & C, Lieutenant Commander Ivanova (Claudia Christian) rides herd on ships coming in to dock at Babylon Five, including a Narn freighter, Tal’Quith, which demands to dock immediately because it carries a precious item for Ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas). Trying to accommodate, she links to dock worker Eduardo Delvientos (Jose Rey). Despite being short-handed, he agrees to take care of the ship immediately. However, a glitch allows another ship to leave as this one is coming in, A collision damages the ship and a docking bay, and traps two workers.
The rescue teams bring out the injured workers. Delviento’s brother Albert is dead. Na’Toth (Caitlin Brown) interrupts G’Kar’s prayer ritual to tell him that the G’Quan flower aboard the ship is lost. G’Kar meets with Ivanova and Commander Sinclair (Michael O’Hare) as they discuss the accident with the docker’s guild union president Neeoma Connoly (Katy Boyer). Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) confirms that the accident was caused by instrument failure and not the workers, who are overworked and understaffed.
G’Kar goes to the Zocalo marketplace for another G’Quan plant and runs into Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik). He brushes off Mollari’s offer of help. G’Kar’s aide Na’Toth tells G’Kar that the plant cannot be found because Mollari has bought the last one. Earth Senator Hidoshi (Aki Aleong) contacts Sinclair over the budget. He cares nothing for the dock workers guild since they are trapped by their contract. However, a large number of workers have called in sick. They gather in one of the bays with Connoly. Sinclair asks her to get the dockers back to work, warning that the Senate might get involved. Connoly demands better working conditions.
Mollari returns to his quarters to find G’Kar waiting. He knows G’Kar needs the plant before the end of the days of G’Quan for a religious ceremony. He demands an exorbitant amount and G’Kar storms out. Senator Hidoshi calls Sinclair, worried about the strike. The Senate Labor Committee is sending Orin Zento (John Snyder) to negotiate with the guild. Sinclair must back him up, even if troops are needed. Zento arrives 12 hours later and arranges to meet with Garibaldi. G’Kar has raised the money for Mollari, but he still won’t sell the plant to him. G’Kar has one more thing he can do and tells Na’Toth to be ready.
Zento meets with Connoly and says there is no more money. But no-one is appeased. Zento insists the workers are bound by their contract and threatens to invoke the Rush Act. Sinclair calls a recess. The next day, the workers are on full strike. Sinclair reluctantly agrees to meet with G’Kar, who explains the importance of the plant. Sinclair agrees to talk to Mollari, but Mollari is adamant. G’Kar tells Na’Toth to proceed. Both sides of the labor dispute are also adamant. Zento tells Sinclair to prepare troops.
Mary Ann Cramer (Patricia Healy), reporter for ISN, follows Sinclair, looking for a comment. Mollari storms in with G’Kar, accusing G’Kar of stealing one of the gods from the Centauri temple. Sinclair has them all ushered out of C & C before turning his attention to the strike. He is forced to order Garibaldi to move in Security teams in full riot gear. Garibaldi arrives at Union Headquarters, says everyone is under arrest, and a fight breaks out. Sinclair orders Garibaldi out and goes in himself. As he is under orders to end the strike by any means necessary, he is reallocating money from the military budget to meet the Guild’s demands, and then grants a blanket amnesty.
Sinclair meets with G’Kar and Mollari, orders G’Kar to return the statue and confiscates the flower from Mollari as it is a controlled substance. Unfortunately, the religious hour is over. Sinclair points out that the ritual must occur when the first sunlight appears above the G’Quan mountains on Narn. But the light has been travelling through space and is just about to reach the station. G’Kar happily sets off to perform the ceremony. Sinclair gets a transmission from Hidoshi commending him on his solution to the strike but warns he has probably made enemies. Sinclair shrugs and goes to bed.
In Babylon Five, there are station stories, ambassador stories, and cosmic stories. The A plotline here was an excellent station story. Neeoma Connoly is a great character, a diminutive female dockworker union rep, cared for by her hulking dockworkers, but fierce as a bobcat. Sinclair is clever as hell, though exhausted and harried. O’Hare’s five o’clock shadow was not makeup, but real, as he had just returned from New York on an overnight flight. Straczynski said the look was great and told him not to shave. Using defense money to improve docking bays is okay because they are important for defense. The Rush Act was named after Rush Limbaugh. Behind Hidoshi is a view of Zurich. Londo is hoist with his own petard because he uses the plant to get high. Thus, it is a narcotic and a controlled substance.