Comes the Inquisitor
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. Before Chase leaves, G'Kar gives him a dire warning:
- 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, solving both their problems by delivering the arms through another route.
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, seeming determined to break down this notion that she is on a divinely appointed mission, even if it kills her.
Vir ducks into a transport tube to escape another of Londo's supplicants, not noticing G'Kar already in there. After enduring the Narn's piercing stare for several uncomfortable seconds, Vir tries to apologize that he wasn't able to stop any of this. G'Kar is unresponsive until the tube opens and he walks out, then turns and draws a knife. He slices his hand then holds it up for Vir to see as blood drops fall down, one by one.
- G'Kar: Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead. How do you apologize to them?
Vir: I can't.
G'Kar: Then I cannot forgive.
In their dark corner of the station Sebastian begins mocking Delenn's sense of destiny. She claims that everyone has a destiny, but some, like Sebastian, try to keep others from seeing theirs. Sebastian sarcastically tells her to call out (with some urging from the manacles) to see if the Universe responds, and relishes the following silence.
He begins asking her why she is there, trying to down her reasoning that she is meant to be there, even when the world says otherwise. 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. They want some sign that he can make shipments through the Centauri lines. 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 berating her. She begins to point out some of his own deficiencies, much to his annoyance, and he activates the bracelets, bringing her to her knees, but still not admitting that she is unworthy.
G'Kar comes to Sheridan and asks for his help in finding the family. After he leaves, 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, Demanding to know how far Sheridan is willing to go, how much he'll sacrifice. 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, "Enough!"
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... Diogenes 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:
- Sebastian: 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:
- A Million Is a Statistic: The blood-dripping hand scene, where each drop represents millions.
- 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?"
- Armor-Piercing Response: Sebastian also asks Delenn whether she'd ever considered she might be wrong. With virtually no hesitation, she replies "yes", which actually shakes him up slightly.
- Because Destiny Says So: Sebastian keeps mocking and trying to deconstruct this trope, but ultimately tells Delenn and Sheridan they are the chosen ones—"the right people, in the right place, at the right time", as he puts it.
- Big Word Shout: "Enough!"
- Classy Cane: Which doubles as a control for the bracelets, among other things.
- Death Seeker: Implied by Sebastian's comment about the Vorlons finally letting him die.
- Driven by Envy: Delenn accuses Sebastian of this, that his failure to achieve something makes him lash out at anyone who thinks they have a destiny and try to prove they're just as flawed as he is. His reaction implies she's not that far off.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: G'Kar rejects Vir's apology in this episode because Vir's apologies could not make up for the many dead. Vir would eventually find his own way to make things better.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Both Sheridan and Delenn are willing to sacrifice everything they have — including 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.
- Irony: Sebastian notes that the Vorlons showed him the error of his ways, and wishes Sheridan better luck in his 'holy cause'. However, while Sebastian will forever be remembered not as a hero but only as 'Jack', the Ripper murders did actually have some positive outcomes, causing social reform movements and a considerable shakeup in the Metropolitan police.
- Jack the Ripper: a.k.a. Mr. Sebastian.
- Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Sebastian has been preserved for centuries for when the Vorlons need him, and seems to hope he's come to the end.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rejected Apology: G'Kar rejects Vir's apology on the grounds that he has no way to make it up to the scores of dead. That said, G'kar sounds very regretful as he does.
- The irony is that G'Kar is doing this to the one Centauri on the station who never wanted the war to begin with. It comes across as G'Kar acknowledging the sincerity of Vir's statement, but refusing to grant him absolution as Vir has done nothing to correct the situation.
- Relationship Upgrade: For Delenn and Sheridan, from True Companions to Fire-Forged Friends.
- La Résistance: The Narn are gathering stockpiles for one, now that their homeworld is under Centauri occupation.
- 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.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sebastian tries to portray himself as one, but then admits that the Vorlons showed him just how off the mark he was.
- 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.