It was the year of fire.
It was the year of rebirth.
It was a new age.
The year is 2261.
Sheridan is missing, presumed dead, on Z'Ha'Dum, and the alliance is falling apart. Security chief Garibaldi is also missing, prompting former Ambassador G'Kar to volunteer to find him.
Emperor Cartagia: Wortham Krimmer
Sheridan hovers between life and death. Dismissing Marcus' help, G'Kar is arrested by the Centauri on his search for Garibaldi.
Lorien: Wayne Alexander
While searching for the race known as the First Ones, Ivanova comes across an enormous fleet of Vorlon ships hidden in hyperspace
The Vorlons continue their annihilation of any region that the Shadows have visited; the latest Vorlon ambassador must be removed. On Centauri Prime, Londo provides a worthy Claudius to the Caligula-like mad emperor Cartagia. And Captain John Sheridan makes a surprising proposal.
Sheridan schemes to lure the Shadows into open warfare with the Vorlons. Londo carries out his plan to rid himself of Cartagia; Vir lends an unexpected hand.
Prime minister Mollari ends the Centauri alliance with the Shadows, but Centauri Prime escapes Vorlon annihilation only by the skin of its teeth; Vir gets to wave at Mr Morden. Sheridan and Delenn expose the reason why the Shadows and the Vorlons never fight each other directly, and persuades both races to leave the Galaxy for the Younger Races.
Having ended the threat of the Shadows and Vorlons, Babylon 5 is faced with a new threat -- Earth is preparing to shut them down for the threat they pose to the President. Bester helps them thwart the first Earth trap, in exchange for a trip to Z'Ha'Dum. The Vorlon experience has left Lyta a telepath stronger even than Bester.
Emperor Cartagia said I would leave Centauri Prime only over his dead body. You said I would re-enter Babylon 5 only over yours. There's only so many requests I can grant at one time.
--- Prime Minister Londo Mollari to Zach Allan (approx quote)
A corrupt Earth reporter turns up at Babylon 5 and edits together innocent footage to present a picture of the space station that suggests Sheridan has "Minbari War Syndrome", that aliens are running the place, and that weird genetic experiments are being carried out on cryo humans, to turn them into Minbari.
Dan Randall: Jeff Griggs
[Best scene: Lennier head-butting the floating camera.]
Delenn must defend her relationship with Sheridan to her Minbari clan. During the Dreaming, a drug-induced flashback to her original state before the Earth/Minbari war, she reveals that she was the Grey Council member who made a shocking decision. She must prove her current situation isn't just an atonement, but only by making an even more shocking revelation about Valen's inheritance.
Callenn: Brian Carpenter
Sheridan clashes publicly with Garibaldi, and Garibaldi is approached by some sinister Earth operatives. Sheridan and Delenn perform yet another Minbari courting ritual, to discover their 'pleasure centres'. Dr Franklin and Marcus Cole make it to Mars, disguised as a newly-wed couple, but trouble is brewing near the Mars resistance camp.
Wade: Mark Schneider | Captain Jack: Donovan Scott | Number One: Marjorie Monoghan | Number Two: Clayton Landey.
Earth's government continues its propaganda attack on Babylon 5, so Sheridan decides to open his own news station. Delenn meets the Drach, survivors of Za'Ha'Dum, and realises things need her help on Minbar. Franklin and Marcus rally support on Mars, and Franklin and Number One get close.
Number One: Marjorie Monoghan
Franklin and Marcus are back on B5. Garibaldi becomes involved in a potentially lethal mission, involving Lise, his old Martian flame, now the wife of a wealthy man, which puts him in further conflict with his B5 colleagues. The Voice of the Resistance goes on the air.
Lise Hampton: Denise Gentile
Sheridan uses reverse psychology to get the leaders of the League of non-aligned worlds to allow White Star border patrols against pirates. Delenn tries to prevent civil war on Minbar, but runs into misunderstanding and treachery from her own caste.
Alit Neroon: John Vickery
Delenn surrenders the Religious caste to the Warrior caste, but still has a trick up her sleeve (which she survives due only to the actions of Neroon), and reinstates the Grey Council. Bester drives a further wedge between Garibaldi and the rest of B5, and manoeuvers Lyta into rejoining the Psi Corps. Earth commits an atrocity against refugees, and Sheridan makes up his mind to start fighting back.
Alit Neroon: John Vickery | Alit Shakiri: Bart McCarthy
Last year Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams described B5 as the best show ever made. He was rewarded here with a guest appearance, as the cat-and-dog seeker Mr Adams.
Sheridan finally starts his reclamation of Earth, by liberating one of the colonies, and persuading some Earth-force battleships to join his fleet. Londo persuades G'Kar to sign a joint Centauri-Narn declaration of support for Sheridan; G'Kar agrees, but only if his signature is on a different page. Garibaldi leaves for Mars.
Garibaldi arrives on Mars, and meets his employer William Edgars, a powerful businessman. Edgars makes him undergo telepathic screening for a loyalty test, then tells him he must hand over Sheridan before he can learn the whole truth of Edgars' fight against Earth. Meanwhile, Sheridan orders Franklin and Lyta to take the frozen Shadow telepaths to Mars.
William Edgars: Efrem Zimbalist, Jr
Garibaldi's plot to help Edgars against Earth government escalates, as he betrays Sheridan. Then Edgars, assured of his loyalty, tells him of the plot to develop a virus fatal only to telepaths. But then Garibaldi contacts Bester, who was controlling him all along, in order to discover this plot. Bester releases him from control, and Garibaldi can finally acknowledge what he has done. Ivanova takes over the fleet.
William Edgars: Efrem Zimbalist, Jr | Psi Corpsman: Harlan Ellison
The captured Sheridan is tortured by a ruthless Earth official.
This Orwellian episode is particularly experimental. Each act of the story takes place in real time without interruption, while the breaks for adverts represent the intersections.
Garibaldi contacts Mars resistance; they want to kill him, but just in time Lyta confirms his story of why he betrayed Sheridan. Garibaldi, Franklin and Lyta break Sheridan out of his Mars interrogation cell, and return him to the fleet. Mollari and G'Kar persuade the League of Non-aligned Worlds to back Sheridan with ships. Meanwhile, Ivanova leads the White Star fleet against an Earth Forces ambush of Shadow-technology battlecruisers. She is victorious, but mortally wounded in the combat.
Lyta and Garibaldi on Mars arrange for the Shadow telepaths to be smuggled onto Earthfleet ships, where Lyta activates them. Sheridan heads for Earth, and President Clark makes a last ditch attempt to take the whole planet down with him. Meanwhile, Marcus discovers learns of the alien healing device used to heal Garibaldi (when he was shot in the back at the end of Season 1), and races back to Babylon 5 to use it to save Ivanova.
Ivanova is distraught over the circumstances of Marcus' death. Londo is elected Emperor. Sheridan and Bester clash over the telepath virus, and Sheridan warns Bester there will be trouble if the telepaths try to take over. Sheridan is forced to resign from Earthforce, but is then made President of the newly form Interstellar Alliance. He and Delenn finally marry.
The Interstellar Alliance's story is projected aeons into the future, with scenes set in 2262, 2362, 2762, 3262, and 1,002,262.