Vir is in the docking area rehearsing a greeting, when Garibaldi comes up asking what he's doing. He's there to pick up Londo's three wives. Garibaldi comments, "A harem? The lucky dog." This notion is shattered as a woman with a shrill voice, Timov, marches up and demands to be taken to her husband. Garibaldi watches with amusement when he notices a man across the room arguing with one of the security guards, but the guard suddenly stops as though he forgot what he was saying. Later Garibaldi is telling Sheridan about him, but he can't say what the problem is. He notices things without realizing it, and hates not knowing why. Talia comes in and Sheridan tells Garibaldi, "We'll discuss this Stoner guy later." Talia asks if it's Matt Stoner, and Garibaldi tells her it is, and asks if she knows him. She tells them she was married to him.
In Londo's quarters Timov and Vir are waiting for him when another of his wives, Daggair, arrives. She and Timov apparently do not get along and they start squabbling.
Talia is wandering around looking depressed when Sheridan comes up and asks if she wants to talk. She tries to dismiss him, but he's here as a friend, not as station commander, and offers to listen if she needs.
Ivanova has someone of her own who needs help. Delenn is having trouble with her hair. Since Minbari don't have hair, she'd never had to care for it before and it's become messy and unmanageable. After some pressing, Ivanova agrees to help the ambassador with her problem.
Talia tells Sheridan about her training days in the Corps, where young telepaths were assigned a mentor; Stoner was hers. Eventually, the Corps found they were genetically compatible, likely to produce a child with equal or higher Psi talent, and made them get married. Talia regards it as a mistake, and soon after the marriage was annulled when Stoner left the Corps. Sheridan finds it hard to believe anyone could leave the Corps, but all Talia says is that he had connections, but no one in authority would say anything.
Later Sheridan is walking when G'Kar comes up. He makes references to when Sinclair was suddenly transferred out and how he still doesn't know what that was about. Apparently mysteries give him headaches, something he's gotten used to lately. Londo comes up just then, in a very cheerful mood, asks how Sheridan is settling in, then leaves, but not before complimenting G'Kar's health. G'Kar leaves as well, rubbing his temples.
In his quarters, Londo's wives are still going at it, when the man himself finally arrives. Timov demands to know what is going on and Londo explains that it's the thirtieth anniversary of his ascension, and since his star is now rising, the emperor has granted him a special favor, anything he wants. And what does he want?
- Londo: A DIVORCE!!
The emperor has agreed to his request, but has asked him to keep one of them around for special events, and so he will be choosing which one of them it will be over the next few days. The two women are about to start fighting again, when the door opens and a tall, beautiful Centauri woman comes in; Mariel, the third wife.
Stoner is in the Zocalo having some alien artifacts appraised, notably a small Centauri statue, when Garibaldi comes up. He wants to see some documentation on them and Stoner produces it. The chief still wants to have a chat with Stoner. He asks where he's been recently. Stoner gets him to reveal that he's friends with Talia and Stoner begins mocking him, asking if he'd like to know the juicy details of their marriage. Garibaldi can barely keep himself from hitting the guy. He lets him off, warning him that he'll be keeping an eye on him. Stoner simply replies, "Use both eyes. You'll need them."
Lennier brings Delenn an invitation to Londo's celebration, and is surprised to find her with her hair in rollers. Before he leaves he asks if it hurts. Susan and Delenn share a laugh before Delenn says, "It's oddly relaxing."
Sheridan is out again when Mariel appears. She appears quite friendly, and he is about to kiss her hand when Londo shows up, the other wives in tow. He takes Sheridan aside for a moment, warning him that Mariel is drawn to men of power, but she burns them.
Talia is in a restaurant when Stoner shows up. She tries to leave but he keeps her there, eventually telling her of a way to get out of the Psi Corps, and that he can arrange it for her. After she leaves,Garibaldi catches up to her but she brusquely sends him off.
That night, Londo is in his quarters when Mariel comes in, dressed in a light nightgown. She extols all the things she brings to his life, but is interrupted when Daggair comes in, also dressed for an evening. Londo says Timov should be there as well, but she wants nothing to do with this. He says they are just showing their feeling, and she does the same... by slapping him.
- Londo: Well, I see you haven't changed.Timov: You have; you've devolved!
In the morning, Talia comes to Garibaldi's quarters. She apologizes for her behavior last night then says she'll probably be leaving soon... with Matt. She's going to take him up on his offer to leave Psi Corps. She explains that he had an experimental procedure done to enhance his telepathy, but instead, it took it away completely. Despite his attempts to change her mind, she intends to go through with it.
In the Zocalo, the appraiser Stoner was talking to sells the statue to Mariel.
Sheridan is being briefed by Ivanova on the celebration, noting that all attendees must be barefoot.
At the party, Londo is with his wives when G'Kar comes up... wearing shoes, a grave insult. He asks if Londo takes offense (while seeming to toss something to Mariel), but Londo says, "Oh, no. Nothing is too good for my esteemed Narn colleague." G'Kar leaves, rubbing his temples again, as Londo chuckles, "I love doing that to him."
Garibaldi runs into Delenn, who now has her hair clean and nicely styled. She notices that he seems troubled, and he tells her how he likes Talia and then this guy comes in who hurt her once and how he hated him. Delenn tells him about a Minbari belief that certain souls will walk together from life to life. Garibaldi takes it to mean she's saying he and Talia might be soul mates.
Londo then begins opening his gifts, in pausing as he gets to Mariel's gift, the statuette from earlier, which suddenly fires two darts into his forehead. He collapses, and Sheridan calls for Medlab.
After Dr. Franklin has examined him, he says that Londo's metabolism has gone crazy, literally burning him out. The only thing that could save him is a transfusion, but they don't have any Centauri blood on hand and they've never been able to synthesize it. Mariel is by Londo's bed, looking despondent, until the others shoo her off. Daggair turns to Timov and comments that he hasn't made the divorce official yet so if he does die, they'll all get an equal share of his fortune. Timov is openly scornful of her attitude.
In an interrogation room, Garibaldi is grilling Stoner about the statuette. Stoner claims he didn't know it was booby-trapped, but otherwise does not seem concerned. Garibaldi warns him that if Londo dies, he'll find something to charge Stoner with, which prompts a flippant comment from him. After they leave, Garibaldi comments to Sheridan that no one's that calm under pressure unless they have an ace up their sleeve. Sheridan tells him to find out what it is.
That night, Timov comes to Medlab. She explains that she and Londo have the same blood type and offers to provide a transfusion, on the condition that he never finds out about it.
In Security, Officer Welch brings in all the information he can find on Stoner, then mentions he's eating dinner. Prisoners' mealtime isn't for another hour. Welch says he just asked for it, which gets Garibaldi thinking.
Londo is just waking up, surrounded by his wives. When Franklin asks if he knows where he is, Londo responds, "Either in Medlab or in Hell. Either way, the décor needs work." As Mariel and Daggair, fawningly say they are happy he is back, he comments, "That settles it: I am in hell!" Timov offers no false sentiments and quickly dismisses herself, with the other two following. After they leave, Londo makes disparaging remarks about them all, especially Timov. Franklin tells him to stuff it.
- Londo: That's odd... I didn't realize we were married.
Talia is visiting Stoner, who is trying to convince her to come with him, but she refuses... until she agrees. In fact, everyone around him suddenly starts doing what he says, until he gets outside, where Garibaldi decks him. "I love being right."
G'Kar in his quarters is talking about how in order to get rid of mystery-induced headaches, you have to figure them out. He then follows a train of logic, concerning a booby-trapped Centauri artifact that just happens to show up on station just in time for Londo's ascension anniversary. The gift giver publicly admits it's from her and thereby deflects any suspicion, because when you try to kill someone, you usually try to hide it. As he speaks he walks across the room to where Mariel is standing. They seem to know each other and imply that they've worked together before. He warns Mariel that if he (G'Kar) could figure this out, so could Londo.
Back in the cell, Sheridan is commenting on how Stoner supposedly left Psi Corps, but now that he's in trouble, here comes the Corps to the rescue. He thinks that Stoner's talent isn't lost, it was altered. He's an empath, and Garibaldi thinks he was sent here to convince his genetically compatible mate to join him and undergo the treatment. Garibaldi warns him not to try to influence him as he has armed men in the other room with orders to come in shooting if they think he's using his abilities. Stoner makes one more appeal to Talia, but she just storms off.
In the boarding area, Londo sends Mariel and Daggair off, as Timov asks, why her. Londo simply replies, "Because with you, I will always know where I stand."
Delenn catches up with Susan as they get on a transport tube and thanks her for her help. Susan was happy to help and offers more help if needed. Delenn does have one more question:
- Do you have any idea why I suddenly started having these odd cramps?
Ivanova's eyes go wide as she tries to decide how to answer that, and the tube doors close.
This episode contains examples of:
- Arranged Marriage: Londo's, of course, but in this episode we also find out that Psi Corps will pair telepaths together if they think there's a strong chance of breeding a more powerful telepath.
- Bizarre Alien Biology:
- Inverted. Delenn is having trouble with her newly-acquired human features, most notably her hair, and enlists Ivanova's help in dealing with it.
- Minbari females don't seem to have periods so their reproductive system is clearly different from humans.
- Minbari secrete a fluid when they sleep rather than sweating.
- Black Widow: Mariel attempts to be one, at any rate. Londo tells Sheridan about her tendencies; apparently, she was much more successful at this in the past.
- Book-Ends: The episode starts with Vir trying to find the right way to say, "It is a pleasure to meet you." By the end of the episode, he has it down pat.
- Brutal Honesty: Londo chooses Timov over the other two's machinations because of this.
- Continuity Nod: Lennier gets Londo a deck of cards...which he has marked in Londo's preferred style.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: A mild example, there are no passionate declarations here, but Timov does understand Londo appreciates her.
- Door Closes Ending: Susan and Delenn are in a lift when Delenn asks about odd cramps, and after a close-up of Susan's face, the doors close.
- Entitled Bitch / Rich Bitch: Daggair.
- Fee Fi Faux Pas: Invoked by G'Kar, who wears shoes to Londo's ceremony despite knowing it was a major sign of disrespect. Londo is apparently so happy about his impending divorce that he lets it slide, giving G'Kar another headache. (Londo apparently did that because he enjoyed messing with G'Kar.) Of course, the real reason is to avoid the nightmare of designing Narn feet.
- Freudian Trio:
- Id: Timov (Famine); loud, demanding, makes no secret of her contempt for Londo.
- Ego: Daggair (Pestilence); between Timov's all-too-obvious feelings, and Mariel's scheming, she maintains a dignified and polite air, but is more than willing to take an opportunity in her favor if she can.
- Superego: Mariel (Death); coldly calculating, willing to arrange someone's downfall if it's in her best interests.
- Gold Digger: As her husband lies dying, Daggair only cares that he hasn't divorced any of them yet, so his fortunes would go to all of them.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Garibaldi does this to Stoner after he mind-tricks his way out of the cell.
- Hilarious Outtake: Also Harsher in Hindsight. Londo falls to the ground because of the poisoned dart, and Boxleitner (Sheridan), yells into the link: "Medlab, this is Sinclair". The set had to shut down for five minutes. Notice the edit of the right line in the aired version.
- I Kiss Your Hand:
- How Londo bids Timov farewell.
- Sheridan almost gives Mariel.
- Insurrectionist Inheritor: Londo decides to keep Timov, who continued to honestly show her disdain for him, and divorce Mariel and Daggair, who put on a great show of sucking up to him.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Stoner's abilities tend to be this.
- Karmic Jackpot: Variant. Timov's honesty is what leads her to save Londo's life. It also leads to Londo keeping her over the other two, since at least she wouldn't try to kill him. While she's not all that fussed about having Londo for a husband (and the feeling is mutual on Londo's part), it will lead to her (and her family) eventually inheriting from him.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Timov agrees to give Londo a blood transfusion on the condition he never finds out about it.
- Manipulative Bitch: Mariel.
- Messy Hair: Delenn, being a Minbari, knows nothing about the care of human hair, and has to have Ivanova teach her.
- Mundane Wish: Emperor Turhan offered Londo anything that was within his power to grant, from riches to appointments to the Royal Court. Londo just wants a divorce from his three wives.
- No Periods, Period: Minbari women, apparently, seeing as how Delenn has no idea what to make of them.
- Noodle Incident: Timov doesn't bite...except that one time.Vir: It was twice.
- Oh, Crap!: The look on Ivanova's face after Delenn asks about her cramps is just priceless.
- Orphaned Punchline: We first see Londo at a bar saying, "And then he said, that's not my leg that's my airhose!" *laughter*
- Out of Order: "A Race for Dark Places" was meant to go before this episode, which would have made Talia's distrust of Psi Corps make much more sense.
- In the original VCR release (Warner Home Video), the episodes were swapped and put in due order.
- Proper Lady: The image Daggair tries to cultivate.
- Refuge in Audacity: Mariel takes credit for the Centauri statue, moments before it fires darts into Londo's head, poisoning him. She then acts astonished and distraught, and the suspicion falls on Stoner, who brought it on the station.
- Running Gag:
- People keep asking Sheridan if he's gotten settled on the station. He lampshades it at one point, thinking that people are implying that he shouldn't get too comfortable. G'Kar has some choice words on the matter:Oh, nonsense. It's not as if anyone expects you to, oh, vanish overnight under mysterious circumstances to a strange Minbari post. Why that would be unprecedented in this station's history.
- Londo intentionally being nice to G'Kar in order to give the latter a headache.
- People keep asking Sheridan if he's gotten settled on the station. He lampshades it at one point, thinking that people are implying that he shouldn't get too comfortable. G'Kar has some choice words on the matter:
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Though she could potentially get a considerable part of Londo's fortune if he dies, Timov gives him the tranfusion he needs to live because, "I have some standards that even twenty years of marriage with Londo cannot remove."
- Sdrawkcab Name: Timov. The actress pointed it out and asked if they'd noticed. Apparently it was quite deliberate.
- Word of God was that in the original concept of the episode, all three characters had these corresponding with their personalities. Timov's was the only that stuck.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Mariel. As Timov observes, "still the iron claw in the velvet glove?"
- Smug Snake: Matt Stoner, almost to the point that you want to strangle him.
- Social Climber: Daggair and Mariel, not so much Timov.
- Statuesque Stunner: Mariel is certainly the most attractive of the three and stands almost a head taller than either of them.
- Unwanted Harem: Londo didn't really want any of his wives.
- The Vamp: According to Londo, Mariel has had a string of suitors who were drawn to her only to be burned.
- What You Are in the Dark: Timov donates blood for a transfusion for Londo, under the condition that he not find out about it. In doing so, she proves herself a far better person than Daggair or Muriel.
- Worthy Opponent: As much as G'Kar despises Londo, he does respect the latter's intelligence, to the point that G'Kar warns Mariel that if he could figure out what she had done, Londo certainly could as well.