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Synopsis by Matthew Murray (mmurray@cc.wwu.edu)

Sheridan is in his office when Ivanova arrives. He tells her that he has been looking over his records and isn't sure how they will survive when they begin running out of supplies, since even the black market is unreliable. Ivanova tells him she will take care of the situation for him, then says she is relieving him of command, since he has taken no personal time in the previous nine months. He attempts to argue with her, but she won't hear it, nor will she hear his attempts at retaining command. Resigned, he leaves her alone with her work.

Franklin and Marcus, on the transport to Mars, are trying to pass the time by playing I Spy which, since there are very few things of note in the cargo hold, isn't going very well. Marcus disappears and reappears a few moments later, carrying a man in a neck-lock. "It would appear we have a spy on our hands, Stephen."

Franklin wants to know where the man came from, and he tells him and Marcus that he got in through an access panel, which Marcus knew to locked. The man says the Captain of the ship is his brother, and that he helped him get through. Franklin wants to know why the Captain didn't tell them, but the man says the Captain must have forgotten-- he gets forgotten a lot. When Marcus releases him, the man introduces himself as John Demeter, commonly called Captain Jack. Marcus and Franklin won't tell him who they are, but tell him that if he goes too far into their section of the cargo bay, he'll pay the price. Captain Jack says he won't push himself on them, and says that he was going to offer to share his dinner with them, but Marcus won't have it-- they have their own dinner: meal bars. Captain Jack, however, has something much more appetizing: Insta-Eats. Franklin is attracted to the smell of meat and potatoes coming from the small packet, but Marcus keeps him from partaking, reminding him that they are to speak with no one other than their contact.

Sheridan is in his office/quarters trying to enjoy his vacation, but finds it difficult since every channel and station coming onto Babylon 5 has been blocked due to jamming, except ISN. Sheridan reluctantly listens to it, only to find a replay of Garibaldi's interview with Dan Randall. After rewatching it, Sheridan turns it off.

Sheridan approahces Garibaldi in Downbelow, and tries to talk to him about the interview. Garibaldi no longer works for Sheridan, though, so he isn't willing to talk-- he thinks Sheridan is upset because he's challenging the Captain's authority. Sheridan considers it undermining instead, but Garibaldi insists he is entitled to his opinion, and thought free speech was something Sheridan was fighting for. Sheridan wants to know where Garibaldi's anger is coming from-- he thought they were friends, but Garibaldi tells him, "Yeah, well, maybe we both thought wrong." Sheridan doesn't want Garibaldi to give Clark's propaganda weight, and tells Garibaldi he's hurting the station and the cause when he speaks out. Garibaldi starts to leave to meet with a client, and tells Sheridan to go back to playing God. Sheridan follows and reminds Garibaldi that his former job gives him credibility, which he is using to undermine Sheridan's effort, and that, if Garibaldi doesn't stop, he will make things very difficult for Garibaldi. Sheridan tells Garibaldi to make a legitimate complaint if he has one, but, if it's a personal attack, to stop. Garibaldi says he didn't make it personal-- it was Sheridan who did so, as the focal point of a cult of personality. The people are following Sheridan, not the cause. Garibaldi feels Sheridan is starting to buy into his own publicity, and Garibaldi says it's time someone started poking holes in that. Sheridan tells Garibaldi that he doesn't want Garibaldi misusing his authority, and hurting everyone else just to get at him. He storms away, leaving Garibaldi behind. Among the many people in Downbelow who witnessed this heated exchange, there is one particular group of three men, near the back of the crowd, who seem particularly interested.

Franklin and Marcus are eating their meal bars, while Captain Jack continues to enjoy his own fine cuisine, which Franklin is not too happy about. Marcus reminds him that they aren't supposed to talk with anyone until they hear their contact's passphrase, which Captain Jack begins speaking to himself. Captain Jack explains that he wanted to check them out first, and then offers them some of his food. He hands Marcus and Franklin their new identicards, and explains that, since they get very few passengers, their access to the transit bureau is limited to what they could steal--in this case, Jim Fennermen and Daniel Lane, on their way to Mars--for their honeymoon. Neither Marcus nor Franklin is thrilled by this, but they resolve to make the best of it as the transport approaches Mars.

Garibaldi is approached in the corridor by the three men who watched his exchange in Downblow. One of them, the older of the three, tells him they wanted to talk to him about his "former friend, Captain Sheridan." The man explains that there are other people who share Garibaldi's feelings about Sheridan, who aren't thrilled with Sheridan turning against Earth. The man says he wanted to see what else they had in common. He explains that he has extensive information on Garibaldi, and wants to know if his objections are only half-hearted. Garibaldi tells him he can wonder whatever he wants, and begins to walk away, but the man stops him, saying that someone can become a threat to a cause he believes in when other things, his ego or sense of destiny, for instance, get in the way. If this applies to Sheridan, he asks Garibaldi if he would feel obligated to intervene. Garibaldi says he won't sell Sheridan out, but the man asks if Garibaldi really can just stand by and watch the cause die, if he could have done something to stop it. Without answering, Garibaldi walks away.

While riding in a transport tube, Captain Jack explains that they have been hearing some interesting stories about Babylon 5 on Mars recently--such as the Babylon 5 crew using aliens to take everything over, or that they had written off Mars entirely. Marcus assures him that Captain Sheridan hadn't had time to deal with it while dealing with the Shadow War--something Captain Jack knew nothing about. They don't get much information on Mars, he explains, but Marcus is not thrilled about having fought in a war about which the very people they wanted to help knew nothing. Captain Jack doesn't even know who won the war. Marcus jokes that the worst part of it all is being married to Franklin, are married, and though Franklin objects, he is subjected to several more well-spirited jabs as the transport tube pulls into the station.

Ivanova is in Sheridan's office, talking to four smugglers, each of whom had, at one time or another, been caught on Babylon 5. She says they were doing their job, and that, with the new conflict with Earth, they hardly seen any of them anymore. One of the smugglers explains it's becuase the penalties have become so much stiffer now--they are in serious trouble with the EarthAlliance, and no one is buying new weapons. Ivanova informs them that, in such a case, they should start thinking about the future. She wants them to help bring in needed supplies--food, medicines, spare parts--to Babylon 5. The smugglers protest--there is no profit in bringing in those things. Ivanova tells them, that, as long as they work for Babylon 5, they will get all the equipment, repairs, and service they require to stay in operation, but, if they don't, they might fall victim to unfortunate accidents. They will all still make a profit, but, beyond that, Babylon 5 will be willing to overlook their crimes against EarthGov, since everyone is entitled to a fresh start. She asks them, with all they'll gain, what more they could ask for. One of them, as he leaves, asks her, "You seeing anybody, Ivanova?"

Franklin, Marcus, and Captain Jack are making their ways through some underground tunnels, to find the leaders of the Resistance. After a short walk, they get where they are going, but find a welcome they didn't expect--three armed men with weapons aimed right at them. The leader tells tell them get up against the wall, but Franklin wants to know what's going on--he thought they were expected. The leader explains that they're expecting lots of people. He thanks Captain Jack for bringing Franklin and Marcus to them. One of the men searches Marcus and finds his Minbari pike. Marcus tries to explain that he's a Ranger, which doesn't mean anything to the leader. The three men with guns and Captain Jack lead Franklin and Marcus away. Franklin demands to talk to someone in charge, and the leader says he's Number 2. Marcus asks to speak to Number One, but the leader tells them they have word that a hit squad was coming into kill the leader of the Mars Resistance, from one of the outer sectors, and he has no reason to believe Franklin and Marcus aren't that hit squad. The leader says he only trusts the people he knows, and since he doesn't know Marcus and Franklin, and they weren't specifically cleared through by Babylon 5, he wants to test them first. He wants their identicards so they can check Marcus and Franklin's story. If they are who they say they are, they will talk. If not, they will be leaving "feet first." Marcus and Franklin surrender their identicards, which Number Two takes. Captain Jack asks to pay his regards to Number One, but Number Two wants him to stay behind to comfort them, and to take blood samples so they can match it against their DNA samples. Captain Jack and the two gunmen stand behind to watch over Franklin and Marcus.

Delenn enters the garden to find Sheridan there, obviously distracted. He explains that he's mad at himself over the way his talk with Garibaldi turned out. He says Garibaldi is like a complete stranger, and that he feels like he's better at fighting wars than relationships. Sheridan says he wishes he could find a way to turn things around, but Delenn explains that Garibaldi has to find his own way, as does Sheridan--their paths may simply not cross anymore. "It is the way of things." Sheridan tells her it doesn't make it any easier, but he asks her what she wanted. Delenn tells him that Ivanova told her that he had some time off, and she begins to tell him of another ritual they must perform in their relationship. He tells her he's almost "ritualed out" and asks how many more there are. She says there are as many as 50 more, and explains that this one--the shan'fall--is about preparation and mutal understanding. She tells him that they will spend the night together, discovering each other's centers of pleasure, though it is done respectfully, with prayer and meditation, since they should know all about each other if they are to continue with their relationship. She tells him to meet her in her quarters, and leaves. Sheridan is obviously quite taken with the idea.

As Marcus and Franklin wait for word from Number Two, Captain Jack tries to apologize to Franklin for what happened, but Franklin isn't interested in listening. Cpatain Jack pulls a picture out of his pocket and shows it to Franklin--it's his daughter, who just turned eighteen. He hasn't talked to her in a while, but thinks about her all the time, and is doing what he's doing to help her. Franklin notices her address on the back, which Captain Jack claims he wrote down so he couldn't forget it. Marcus asks Captain Jack if he's ever met Number One, and Captain Jack says he's met her many times, and that they're very close--Captain Jack says he wanted to bring her back something, but couldn't find anything. They are interrupted by Number Two who has done his check--and the numbers and DNA don't match. He wants to know where their contacts are, and then threatens to kill them both. He is stopped, though, by a woman who comes in from the corridor, telling Number Two to wait a little longer. She explains she wanted to see them for herself, and she wants to know what they're up to. Franklin and Marcus notice something on Captain Jack's back, and fight away their guards as Captain Jack attempts to fire on the woman, Number One. Franklin tackles her to the ground, moving her out of the line of fire just as Captain Jack fires. Marcus fires himself, and hits the creature on Captain Jack's back. The dead creature is still there, but Captain Jack is nowhere to be found.

As Franklin studies the creature, Number Two comes in, explaining that he found their real identicards--Captain Jack must have replaced them with the fake ones. Franklin might have an explanation--Captain Jack might not have had a choice. The creature was controlling Captain Jack by overriding neural impulses. It was controlling him the whole time, but Franklin realizes that Captain Jack had been giving him hints, such as the photograph with his daughter's address, so that they knew where to find her if he didn't survive. One of the scouts comes back--they didn't find Captain Jack, but they did find out he broke into a weapons case and stole a thermal grenade.

In the transport tube, Captain Jack's communicator beeps. He answers it, and Number One tells him that what happened wasn't his fault. She wants him to come back, but he won't do it. He tells her they found him in the middle of the night and attached that thing to him. He tried to warn them, but the creature wouldn't let him. She tells him that they killed it, but Jack knows you can't kill it all--it always grows back. Number One tries to convince him not to do anything stupid. Captain Jack tells her he always wondered whether or not the transport tubes on Mars could withstand anything, and just as the creature begins to regrow, Captain Jack pushes a button on the grenade, and the transport car explodes, taking Captain Jack with it, not destroying the tube in the process.

Garibaldi is just finishing up with a client when Sheridan returns. Sheridan says he wants to apologize for what happened, and asks if they could try again. As he is speaking, though, a Brakiri woman comes up to him and recognizes him as the one who went to Z'ha'dum, died, and returned with the knowledge of good and evil. Sheridan tries to stop her, but she insists on a blessing, which Sheridan doesn't want to provide. Garibaldi grabs her away from him. "Come on! He's not the Pope! He doesn't look anything like her," Garibaldi tells her. Sheridan asks Garibaldi to leave her alone, and Garibaldi asks Sheridan if it's because he likes what she's saying. Sheridan insists it's because Garibaldi is hurting her, but Garibaldi won't let go. Sheridan forces Garibaldi to let go of her, but for his attempt receives a punch directly to the jaw, courtesy of Garibaldi. Security comes to the rescue, but Sheridan won't let them do anything. He tells Garibaldi that, because of all they've been through, he gets one punch for free, but, should Garibaldi try it again, Sheridan will fight back. Sheridan turns and walks away, as does Garibaldi soon after.

Sheridan goes to Delenn's quarters, still rubbing his jaw, and rings the bell. Delenn lets him in, but when he enters, he is surprised to find Delenn isn't alone--Lennier and several other religious caste Minbari are there with him. She explains that they are there for the ritual--they will pray and meditate, but wait outside her bedroom, to make sure that things don't go too far. Sheridan whispers to her that he can't do it, but she tells him that it is important to her that he do it properly. The engagement means a lot to him, and the Minbari ceremonies mean a lot to her. Delenn leads Sheridan into her bedroom and closes the door.

Sheridan, apparently just after having woken up, enters an elevator to find Lennier there. Sheridan doesn't say anything, but he doesn't need to. Lennier, apparently somewhat distrought, turns to him and has only one thing to say. "Whoo-hoo?"

Number One tells Franklin and Marcus that the other leaders of the Resistance are on their way, but it will take a couple of days. Marcus isn't too happy about this, but Number One is willing to put them up in a hotel where she has some control. She asks them to go out to dinner with her, but Marcus declines, allowing Franklin to go alone with her. Before they leave, Marcus asks her where they are staying. She tells him it's the Red Planet Hotel, and mentions that, for some reason, they were given the honeymoon suite. "Right. Fine," Marcus says as they leave. "I'll remind you of this when we decide on custody of the children."

Garibaldi is sitting alone when he is approached by Wade and his cohorts. Wade tells Garibaldi that he heard about the fight with Sheridan. "I, uh... I think he's lost it," Garibaldi tells them. "He's starting to believe the things everybody's been saying about him, and buying into this hero worship stuff. It's become about him. Not what we've been saying, not what we've been fighting for. And if he could see straight, he'd agree with me, but uh... In the end... We're going to lose everything we've been working for because of one man."

"That's what happens," Wade tells him. "That's exactly what happens when one man begins to matter more than the cause. Are you with us?"

"I won't hurt him," Garibaldi insists.

"No one's asking you to," Wade says. "You give him to us when we tell you to. We'll see to it that he gets the help that he needs. Are you with us?"

Garibaldi does have to think for a moment, but does come to a decision. "I'm with you."

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Last update: June 10, 2018