Ivanova explains in a voice over how the situation has changed now that the shadows are attacking openly and, it seems, randomly, against worlds close to the Rim. More security is needed on the station, but some of the new hires might not be what they seem, and they no longer have the resources for full background checks. As she explains this, we see Mr. Morden effortlessly bribing his way out of the customs queue. Dr Franklin is taking more stims and losing control, Kosh is in seclusion, and Londo Mollari is preening himself in preparation for a long-expected visit from his mistress Adira Tyree. Meanwhile, in a back passage, Morden is recovering his bribe from the security guard's dead body. Yoink! Then he's joined by three of his "associates".
In Sheridan's office, the Brakiri ambassador insists they cannot fight the Shadows themselves. Sheridan says that he can't help, since they no longer have Earth's support. He turns to the Gaim ambassador on the other side of that table, imploring them to help their Brakiri neighbors. Thanks, but no thanks - If they join in the fight, the Shadows will take notice and come after them, too. The only way the Gaim ambassador will be swayed is if Sheridan can prove that he has power equal to that of the Shadows. Good luck with that.
In Medlab Dr. Franklin and Dr. Hobbs are arguing about a treatment that Dr. Franklin is about to give to a patient. Dr. Franklin dismisses her objections in a rude way and gives his own instructions to the medical technicians. Garibaldi arrives with an injured Security guard at the exact moment that the first patient's stats decline, causing Franklin to shout at the med techs that they were not following his instructions - when, in fact, they did exactly that. Dr. Hobbs' badgering and Garibaldi's persistence gets on Franklin's last nerve, causing him to shout at everyone. Switch to decaf, buddy! The new treatment works on the respiratory patient, and Franklin storms off.
Londo is by himself, recalling the time he spent with Adira a couple of years earlier, and the happiness that she brought him. His memories are interrupted by Vir, who has prepared the suite at Londo's behest. Londo tells Vir he will be right there. Along the way, however, his path is blocked by Morden, who is displeased with him. Lord Refa is no longer taking Morden's calls. Londo realizes now that the Shadows are only using the Centauri to further their own goals, and is not impressed with Morden's veiled threats. After he leaves, one of the Shadows takes Morden aside, but Morden insists that they need Londo alive. They'll have to find another way.
Garibaldi visits Dr. Franklin in his quarters to discuss about the incident in Medlab and his suspected overuse of stims. Dr. Franklin gets angry and refuses to listen to Garibaldi's offer to help him. Garibaldi leaves, inferring that he will have to use official ways to stop him.
Delenn enters the war room to find Sheridan sitting at the table, poring over reports of Shadow attacks. Their only hope is to organize all the other races into one force, something that has never been done before. If they can somehow score one victory against the Shadows, it might convince the others to join in the fight. Delenn says that that is exactly what they should do, and Sheridan asks how she intends to do that. "I'm sure you'll think of something," she says, and leaves. Puzzled, Sheridan mutters to himself about how everyone is beginning to sound like Kosh. Suddenly, his smile vanishes, and he begins formulating an idea.
Garibaldi searches through the Zocalo until he finds Dr. Hobbs sitting by herself, filling out forms. Garibaldi tells Hobbs that she was right, and that Franklin gave the wrong instructions to his assistants. Garibaldi tells her that he knows everyone in MedLab needs to have blood samples taken regularly and tested. Hobbs tells him that the only person authorized to see those results is Franklin himself. Garibaldi asks her to pull Franklin's files, but she refuses to do so - though she tells him where the information is stored. Garibaldi gets up to leave, unaware that Dr. Franklin witnessed the whole transaction.
Vir Cotto is also in the market ordering clothes and...things to be delivered to Adira's suite. As he leaves Morden comes up and tries to talk, but Vir blows him off, saying he's busy.
- Morden: Is there anything I can do to help?
Vir: Um, short of dying? (cheerfully) No, can't think of a thing.
Morden makes a beeline for the vendor with whom Vir was talking; uh oh. He's up to something. Morden, flashing his best used car salesman grin, says he was supposed to meet Vir to discuss some business. The vendor says Vir just left and Morden, acting disappointed, asks the man to fill him on on what they talked about.
Garibaldi makes his way into Franklin's office, and begins using the computer. Franklin, unnoticed, watches him do this...and Garibaldi refrains at the last moment from opening the file. Moved by Garibaldi's trust in him, Franklin admits that he ran a test on himself to prove he was clean, but found enough stims in his bloodstream to prove that he was, indeed, an addict.
Sheridan is talking to ambassador Kosh in a corridor, trying to convince him to use Vorlon forces to score a victory against the Shadows. Kosh refuses, saying that this is Sheridan's war.he starts to leave, but Sheridan has had enough. His people have broken away from their own government and put everything on the line, all according to Kosh's cryptic instructions - and now the Vorlons are refusing to lend any practical help? Sheridan sees that he is finally getting to Kosh and continues to berate him until Kosh calls him "impudent" and "disobedient", hitting him with an invisible energy burst to the point of making Sheridan bleed. Sheridan is not afraid and tells him that he has nothing to lose. Resigned, Kosh tells Sheridan that he will do as he has ask, but that there is a price: he will not be there to help Sheridan when he goes to Z'Ha'Dum.
Later, Sheridan is in C&C waiting for the arrival of the other ambassadors escorted by Delenn. The Shadow vessels are still attacking the Brakiri when Vorlon ships arrive and engage them, winning the battle. The Gaim nod to Sheridan in acknowledgement.
Londo and Vir are awaiting Adira's arrival in the cargo bay, yet after the last passenger has left the ship, Adira still is nowhere to be found. A group of medical officers appear from the ship with a body on a stretcher; it's Adira. Dr. Hobbs doesn't know how she died, but Londo suspects he knows—he instructs Dr. Hobbs to inspect her for poison, and as the body is carried away, Londo begins crying.
The battle concluded, the victorious Vorlon ships enter their jump point and return from whence they came. Meanwhile, Morden pays the last passenger of the ship - inplying he had the man assassinate Adira - and then receives word from one of his contacts, and seems troubled by what he hears. Kosh waits in his quarters when Morden breaks in with his Shadow companions, who collectively swarm Kosh. At the same time, Sheridan is having a dream in which his father is apologizing to him, and saying not blame himself for what happened. Sheridan wakes up shouting the name of Kosh and, in Kosh's quarters, the remnants of his encounter suit are left smoldering on the floor.
The Vorlons have asked that nobody be let in on Kosh's death, since such news could destroy the fledgling alliance. Since Kosh is typically unseen for weeks at a time, the Vorlons have time to send a replacement. Sheridan feels guilty, realizing that Kosh's warnings about not coming with him to Z'Ha'Dum was not about being unwilling but being unable.
Londo has received the report on Adira's autopsy, confirming poison as the cause of death. Morden is in Londo's quarters offering false sympathy, while subtly hinting (as in, not subtly at all) that it was Lord Refa who ordered the killing. Blinded by grief, Londo does not realise that he is being played and asks for Morden's help in wreaking revenge on Refa.
Dr. Franklin meets with Sheridan and gives him his resignation, on the grounds that he cannot control his stim addiction any longer and needs to go away from the pressure of the job.
The Vorlons also asked that all of Kosh's belongings should be loaded into his ship and that the ship should be allowed to leave without a pilot. The ship was made for Kosh, it is part of him, and cannot survive without him. It will grieve and then perform its last duty as funeral vessel by destroying itself in the sun, in memory of Kosh.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Sheridan directly asks Kosh "How many worlds have to die before you get involved?" It becomes clear Kosh isn't prepared to answer that question at all, until he realizes he has to.
- Bald of Evil: The last passenger of the ship turns out to be an assassin Morden ordered to poison Adira.
- Bus Crash: The ex-slave Adira Tyree has not been seen since the Season One episode "Born to the Purple", when Londo purchased her freedom. She only appears in flashbacks in this episode.
- Kosh appearing to John Sheridan in the guise of his father is analogous to "Dust to Dust", in which he spoke to G'kar using his late's father's appearance.
- A couple seasons ago, Dr. Franklin met a Back-Alley Doctor who'd lost her medical license years before. The reason she'd lost it is that she'd been abusing stims, and because of her drug abuse, one of her patients had died. The same very nearly happens to Dr. Franklin this episode.
- Sheridan recalls that Kosh was preparing him "to fight legends".
- Kosh's silent wait at his quarters for the Shadows to come for him echoes the wait Brother Edward went through in Passing Through Gethsemane.
- Calling the Vorlon Out: Sheridan gives Kosh an epic chewing out for refusing to help him at a vital moment, despite the setup the Vorlons went through manipulating Delenn and Sheridan into doing all their dirty work fighting the Shadows. Kosh doesn't take it well at first, but his own assault on Sheridan wakes him up to how Sheridan is right.
- Consummate Liar: It's amazing that Morden can stand in front of Londo and lie so transparently. Londo clearly still has no idea who he's dealing with.
- Cryptic Conversation: Sheridan, resigned to the fact that nobody ever talks to him straight, lampshades the situation after his chat with Delenn.Sheridan: Every day, more and more people around here start talking like Kosh.
- Dead Person Impersonation: The Vorlons don't want news of Kosh Narenek's death leaking out. To prevent this, they have deployed a second Vorlon ambassador (Ulkesh) post-haste, believing that no one will tell the difference despite him wearing a different encounter suit.
- Descent into Addiction: This has been brewing for a year or so, and finally comes to a head when Franklin realizes it for himself.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Kosh's patience is tested when Sheridan gets in his face. Eventually subverted when Kosh decides Sheridan is right.
- Empathic Environment: As Morden intercepts Londo, the hallway is suddenly bathed in an infernal red light.
- Eureka Moment: A lightbulb appears over Sheridan's head after comparing Delenn's riddle-speak with that of a Vorlon. He realizes that a precision strike by the Vorlon fleet would convince the non-aligned worlds that the Shadows are far from invincible.
- Face Death with Dignity: Kosh. He knew bringing a Vorlon fleet into the war would mean the Shadows hiding with Morden would retaliate against him directly.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Garibaldi deploys it in the MedLab during Franklin's freak out.
- Flashback: Londo reminisces about his lover Adira in a string of flashbacks. Later, he recalls the unpleasant exchange with Lord Refa, which ended with Londo slipping poison into his drink.
- Foreshadowing: There's a moment where Londo hears one of the Shadows talk to Morden, though he can't see it. The knowledge from this becomes important later.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Kosh masquerades as David Sheridan, John's father, while transmitting his final message into his dreams.
- Functional Addict: Stephen Franklin has been this, but this episode hints that his addiction is taking a turn for the worse. Thankfully, he realizes this before it gets him (or anyone else) into real trouble.
- Heel Realization: In the hindsight of Season Four, Kosh is implied to have undergone one of these. Later on, the Vorlons are exposed as having the power to destroy the Shadows from the start, but intentionally letting them run loose. The Vorlons would rather let the lower races suffer the consequences of siding with the Shadows, thereby proving their own philosophy correct.
- Franklin has a version of this when he tests himself for stims... and finds he's an addict. He can no longer ignore the truth.
- Hurl It into the Sun: Kosh's ship, evidentially unable to survive without Kosh, destroys itself by flying into the nearest sun.
- I Want Them Alive: It's hinted that Morden's entourage is hissing at him to assassinate Londo. Morden, however, has other ideas on his mind.
- Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: Sheridan's ultimatum to Kosh, declaring that the only way he'll stop bugging Kosh for assistance is to kill him, and as the Vorlon holds him against the wall, he keeps up the taunting, "Go ahead, maybe one more death will even out the books." Kosh backs down.
- Love Makes You Evil: Adira's death is the last straw for Londo; he's lost nearly everyone who was ever close to him, and Adira was especially close.Londo: Everyone around me dies, Mr. Morden, except the ones that most deserve it. That is about to change. You said that you would go away for as long as I wanted. I no longer want that. All I want now — is revenge. They took from me the one thing that I have... have ever truly loved. And you will help me, Mr. Morden, to strike them down. Give me this, and the safety of my people... and let the rest of the galaxy burn. I don't care anymore.
- Manly Tears: You can see Franklin's eyes beginning to water as he admits his drug addiction.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard / Sacrificial Lion: Kosh.
- No Body Left Behind: Kosh's "body" was never recovered (though pieces of his encounter suit were), but Delenn assures everyone that he's dead as Dillinger.
- No-Paper Future: Defied yet again, this time by Dr. Hobbs complaining about her paperwork. "Every time someone says we're becoming a paperless society, I get ten more forms to fill out!"
- No-Sell: Vorlon battleships can shrug off the Shadows' hitherto-invincible beam weapon.
- Practical Voice-Over: Ivanova narrates the Cold Open in this episode.
- Precision F-Strike: Sheridan has a few choice words for the Vorlon ambassador. "Up yours!"
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Morden apparently isn't a big believer in loose ends. The Security officer who smuggled Morden past customs can attest to that.
- Say My Name: Sheridan wakes from his dream shouting Kosh's name - but it's too late to help him.
- Screw You, Elves!: Sheridan delivers a brutal verbal assault to Kosh. While this does test Kosh's patience (to the point where the Vorlon assaults Sheridan physically), it eventually drives Kosh to the realization that his inaction really is harmful, setting him up for his Heroic Sacrifice later.
- Shirtless Scene: Garibaldi walks in on Franklin in mid-wardrobe change.
- Shout-Out: - The Gaim are a reference to Neil Gaiman and their space helmets resemble Dreams helmet from The Sandman.
- Silent Whisper: Morden whispers various things to different people in league with him on the station. We don't hear what's said, but the context of things that happen next tells us enoughso it's probably simply a device to indicate how covertly he must operate on the station at that point, since he's a recognized persona non grata there.
- Sinister Silhouettes: Morden standing before Londo, framed in a red doorway. By this point Londo knows the guy is trouble, but he doesn't completely grasp just how serious.
- Tempting Fate: Londo's rejoinder to Morden. "There is nothing you can do to me that has not already been done." (O rly?)
- To Be Lawful or Good: Garibaldi grapples with his legal obligations over his friendship and concern for Franklin. Ultimately, Franklin ends up being the one to turn himself in.
- Kosh, too, grapples with this—it's implied there are rules of engagement in place between the Vorlons and Shadows, and in order to help the younger races he'd have to break them. He ultimately does so, which results in his death.
- Viking Funeral: Kosh's ship is put to rest following its master's death.
- Wham Episode: It's basically a Wham season, and this is a big one. Three-season veteran Dr. Franklin quits his post. Kosh, the inscrutable, incredibly-powerful Big Good of the series, dies.
- The Worf Effect: The Shadows and Vorlons trade being Worfed; first, the previously-invincible Shadows are crushed with relative ease by the Vorlons - but then the previously-invincible Kosh gets killed to make it clear that the Shadows are still a deadly threat.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Morden offs the guard he bribed to get onboard the station. Word of God is that the assassin who killed Adira was not offed in the same manner afterward, as Morden might need the use of his services later.