He is lethal with that cane.
Comes the Inquisitor
How far are you prepared to go? How much are you prepared to risk? How many people are you prepared to sacrifice for victory? Are you willing to die friendless, alone, deserted by everyone? Because that's what may be required of you in the war that is to come.
G’Kar is in the Zocalo trying to persuade an apathetic crowd that the Centauri will eventually set their sights on everyone else’s worlds while Delenn meets with Kosh. He has concerns and has summoned an inquisitor to make sure she is worthy of her great calling.
When she explains it to Sheridan he is not quite sure what to make of it, but is willing to go along if the Vorlons have concerns.
G’Kar meets with a man named Chase to arrange the purchase of weapons for an underground resistance. The price is too high, even with a discount, but G’Kar agrees to it, but gives Chase a dire warning before he leaves.
G'Kar: The money to buy these weapons comes from the life savings of those Narn who were able to escape the Centauri occupation. It is a limited resource, purchased with blood. If it should be squandered, or stolen, be assured that while your body might one day be found, it could never be identified from what’s left.
The jumpgate activates and a Vorlon transport comes through. In the docking bay, Sheridan waits as the inquisitor, who turns out to be a human wearing old-fashioned clothes and speaking with a British accent, approaches simply saying, “I believe I am expected.”
As Sheridan escorts him through the station, he presses him for information, but gets little other than a name, Sebastian of 14B Heresford Lane in London, and disdainful commentary on what he sees. Sebastian insists he be allowed to do what he came to do or allowed to leave. Sheridan grudgingly submits.
Meanwhile, Garibaldi has gotten wind of G’Kar’s arms deal, and confronts him about it. G’Kar doesn’t deny it, which Garibaldi appreciates, but still wants them off the station. In return for not trying to lie about it, Garibaldi gives G’Kar a contact of his who might be able to help them out.
Delenn hesitantly makes her way to where Sebastian is waiting, where she is presented with a pair of large bracelets which she is told to put on. She can remove them at any time, but if she does she will admit defeat and fail the test. She puts them on and Sebastian appears, circling her like a predator, and asking, “Who are you?”
Confused, Delenn tries to answer, name, position, family, but Sebastian is not satisfied with any of those and expresses his displeasure with a painful jolt from the bracelets. He begins berating and mocking her for her view that she has an important part in what will happen, and tormenting her with ever increasing levels of pain.
He begins asking her why she is there, leading her down her reasoning that she is meant to be there, no matter what anyone else may say. When he points out that the others may well be right, she admits she does consider that sometimes. Taken aback, Sebastian allows her some time to rest.
G’Kar is speaking with a gathering of Narns, outlining his plans, but they are beginning to lose faith. They don’t doubt his intentions, just his capability. One in particular, asks for some word from his family, which G’Kar promises to deliver, or step aside.
Delenn is exhausted and frustrated and in pain as Sebastian continues. She begins to point out some of his own deficiencies, much to his annoyance, and he activates the bracelets, bringing her to her knees.
G’Kar comes to Sheridan and asks for his help in finding the family. Afterwards, Sheridan decides that it would be better to keep him where he is, rather than have the local Narns put in an unknown. He has Garibaldi tell the Rangers to find them and get a message.
Back in downbelow, Lennier comes to check on Delenn and finds her collapsed on the floor. He tries to get her out, but she insists he go before Sebastian comes back. He immediately goes to find Sheridan, since he’s the only one who can defy Kosh and get away with it, and tells him he thinks Sebastian is killing her.
Lennier may not be too far off, as Sebastian has turned the power up to the highest level yet, leaving Delenn nearly comatose on the ground. HE looks down at her, commenting on how her entire life has led to this point, doomed from birth. He stops as he hears the door open, and Sheridan comes in and demands she be let go. Sebastian knocks him across the room with his cane and says, “Your turn now.”
A while later Sheridan is tied to the wall, as Sebastian begins to question him. Sheridan refuses to answer and Sebastian starts using his cane to hit him with some kind of energy field, which becomes more and more intense until Delenn shouts, “STOP!”
She insists that if he take anyone, he take her. He seems surprised that she would put herself on the line for just one other, and asks about her great cause. She responds that if she falls another will take her place, “This body is only a shell. You cannot touch me, you cannot harm me. I am not afraid.”
Sebastian waves his cane and vanishes, and the two of them are released. They hug each other, though they’re not quite sure what just happened, and then Sebastian appears at the door. He tells them they can go, they passed.
Sebastian: How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friend. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame... for one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see. I've been in the service of the Vorlons for centuries, looking... Diogynes with his lamp looking for a man willing to die for all the wrong reasons. At last, my job is finished. Yours is just beginning. When the darkness comes, know this: You are the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
Later, Sheridan is waiting for the Vorlon ship to leave, when he asks Ivanova to look up the name, date and address Sebastian gave earlier.
The Rangers have come through, and gotten the requested message, and G’Kar has cemented his position among the Narns on station.
In the docking bay Sheridan comes to speak with Sebastian one more time before he leaves. He presents the information Ivanova found, especially the fact that Sebastian disappeared on November 11th, 1888, after the last of a string of murders in the East End of London.
Sebastian begins to talk of what he did, how he felt the city needed to be taught a lesson, and pulled away from its course of immorality. When the Vorlons found him and showed him what he’d done he wept in despair.He turns to leave with a parting comment:
: Good luck to you in your holy cause, Captain Sheridan. May your choices have better results than mine. Remembered not as a messenger, remembered not as a reformer, not as a prophet, not as a hero... not even as Sebastian. Remembered only...as Jack
This episode contains examples of:
- Alien Abduction: Sebastian quickly clarifies that, yes, he's a human, he was born centuries ago and was taken from Earth by the Vorlons.
- Always Save the Girl: Or boy, in Delenn's case — neither she nor Sheridan hesitate in declaring that they'd die for each other.
- The Anticipator: Sebastian's comment when Sheridan interrupts implies he's been expecting him to show up sooner or later.
- Armor-Piercing Question: "Who are you?" This is the Vorlon Question, opposing the Shadow Question of "What do you want?"
- Sebastian also asks Delenn whether she'd ever considered she might be wrong. With virtually no hesitation, she replies "yes". This answer actually shakes him up slightly—making it an attempted Armor-Piercing Question that, by way of an unexpected answer, pierces his armor.
- Electric Torture: The bracelets Sebastian gives Delenn shock her when he activates them with his cane.
- Fire-Forged Friends: After this incident, Sheridan and Delenn certainly are. Almost to a literal point.
- Genre Savvy: G'Kar knows that Garibaldi doesn't ask pointed questions unless he already knows the answer. For that reason, when Garibaldi asks him about Narn weapons smuggling through Babylon 5, G'Kar doesn't bother denying it.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Both Sheridan and Delenn are willing to sacrifice everything they have—includng themselves—to save the other.
- Human Popsicle: Sebastian was abducted by the Vorlons in the 19th century, and ever since has been kept on ice except for the rare occasions that they need his special brand of help.
- Jack the Ripper: a.k.a. Mr. Sebastian.
- Orwellian Retcon: Watch Sheridan's lips during the last scene. When he says the words "East End", his lips say "West End". The original airing had Sheridan actually say "West End", as per the script; when it was pointed out that the script was wrong, JMS had Boxleitner re-record the line and dubbed it over the original.
- Relationship Upgrade: For Delenn and Sheridan, from true companions to fireforged friends.
- La Résistance: The Narn are gathering stockpiles for one, now that their homeworld is under Centauri occupation.
- The Power of Love: Sheridan and Delenn, in the first but hardly last or most powerful use of this trope between them. If there was any doubt about where their relationship is going before this episode, there sure as hell isn't after.
- The Reveal: Mr. Sebastian's true identity.
- Secret Test of Character:
- Sebastian releases Delenn and Sheridan after they prove themselves willing to lay down their lives in some forgotten corner of the station, where no one will know. Of course, that seems to fail to take into account the fact that the station commander and a major ambassador going missing would warrant a full search. Then again, seeing as he's an agent of the Vorlons, Sebastian would probably be able to see that nothing remains behind.
- Garibaldi throws one at G'Kar when he asks about the Narn trying to move weapons through the station. G'Kar, realizing Garibaldi already knows the truth, doesn't bother to deny it. After telling G'Kar to get his arms off the station, Garibaldi gives him information on a contact who would be able to help the Narns. When G'Kar asks why, Garibaldi responds, "I never start a conversation unless I already know where it's going, but I always leave room for someone to disappoint me. Thanks for not doing so."
- Security Cling: After their torture is over with, Sheridan and Delenn fly into each others' arms and cling to each other.
- Wham Line: Sebastian's parting line (quoted above) is one for the episode.
- What You Are in the Dark: The entire point of the episode. Delenn passes by being willing to give up her grand crusade for the sake of a single life, and by being unafraid to die. Sheridan, too, is willing to sacrifice everything to save Delenn. Sebastian, meanwhile, lives for centuries knowing that nobody will know or care why he did what he did, what his true fate was, or even his real name, as part of his punishment for his crimes.