Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) is being examined by Doctor Franklin (Richard Biggs) in Medlab. He is clear for active duty, but Garibaldi is reluctant. He feels he may have lost his Mojo, when he was shot in the back by his second-in-command and never saw it coming. Plus, he is still unsure about the new Babylon Five commander Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner). Ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) meets Lord Refa (William Forward), who praises Londo for his role in the great victory over the Narns in Quadrant 37 and mentions that the Centauri Emperor is not long for this world. Londo agrees to support Lord Refa in the struggle that will ensue. In the Zocaro, the green-sash Drazi and the purple-sash Drazi come to blows.
Londo and Vir (Stephen First) escort Lord Refa to Customs. Londo notices three techno-mages arriving. These are magicians who use highly advanced science, and to see three together is extremely rare. Captain Sheridan discusses the Drazi with Ivanova (Claudia Christian). The clash happens every five years and will no doubt be disruptive on the station. Sheridan assigns Ivanova to find a solution. Oh, and she is now a full Commander. Londo remembers that the first emperor received the blessings of three techno-mages and wonders if he could get the same.
Ivanova gathers the Drazi in the Council Chamber. She discovers there is no difference between the factions except the colour of their sashes picked at random. A fight breaks out just talking about it and Ivanova’s leg is broken. Vir tracks down the techno-mages in Downbelow for Londo and is confronted by a huge demonic creature, which is called off by Eldric (the amazing Michael Ansara), the chief techno-mage. Vir explains that Londo wants an audience. Eldric refuses. Doctor Franklin treats Ivanova in Medlab. She will have to wear a cast and walk with crutches. She refuses Sheridan’s offer to take her off the case.
Londo decides to deal with the techno-mages his own way. He visits Sheridan in his office, suggests that the mages may cause trouble and offers to help. It seems Earthforce would like more information about the techno-mage migration going on, so Sheridan agrees to a meeting. Ivanova is informed that that on the Drazi home world the green and purple factions are beginning to kill each other, and she discovers that those on the station have begun to do the same.
Eldric meets with Sheridan and assures him the techno-mages will be on their way soon. Londo shows up, hiding a camera, and offers Eldric the hand of friendship. Eldric accepts, then waves his hand and the camera is destroyed. Sheridan kicks Londo out of his office and continues to talk with Eldric, who tells him a black and terrible storm is coming, and the techno-mages want to keep their collective knowledge out of that fight.
Ivanova finds the stronghold of the green Drazi faction. The green Drazi ask her help in murdering all the purples. She is appalled and they take her captive. Garibaldi is told that Ivanova wants him to herd the purple Drazi into one room, but he doesn’t believe it. He tracks her down and rescues her from the greens. Londo finds his quarters in a state of chaos, with a techno-mage holo-demon wrecking the place, changing his files, and blaring Narn opera. Vir suggests he apologize to the techno-mages. Garibaldi finds out that the Drazi struggle will last all year. Ivanova tears the sash off the purple leader in anger and discovers that this makes her purple leader. She orders them to make peace with the greens.
Londo heads for the techno-mages’ quarters to apologize but is met by silence. When he leaves, he has three tiny demons on his back. Sheridan, Ivanova, and Franklin are all toasting Garibaldi’s return to duty. Eldric tells Londo he has left off hassling him but warns that Londo is touched by darkness. He tells him that he has had a vision of Londo reaching out his hand for the stars and billions of his victims calling out to him.
Claudia Christian actually broke her foot and Straczynski wrote the episode around her injury, though she still had to do one scene walking around on her broken foot. One of Eldric’s wizardy lines was from The Lord of the Rings, neither the first nor the last time the Rings has been quoted in Babylon Five: “Don’t try the patience of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.” The techno-mages were once the agents of the Shadows but rebelled. One reason they are going into hiding is that the use of Shadow technology would attract their former masters’ attention. The Babylon Five Alien Repertory Group were actors for whom masks were made of various alien types. Pretty nice gig.
It appears that Garibaldi was contemplating suicide, Sheridan noticed, and talked him out of it without mentioning the fact. Michael Ansara is known for playing the Klingon Kang on Star Trek, not to mention Cochise in Broken Arrow and Kane in Buck Rogers. He also appeared in The Robe, The Ten Commandments, and The Greatest Story Ever told. He was married to Barbara Eden. The three techno-mages can be compared to the three witches in Macbeth. The Drazi wars of the green and purple sashes remind me of the chariot-racing teams that were an obsession in Byzantine Constantinople. The blue and green teams fomented street-violence, riots, arson, murders, and Imperial politics.