Influenza-induced lung edema and inflammation are exacerbated by a positive feedback loop of cytokine and chemokine production termed a 'cytokine storm', a hallmark of increased influenza-related morbidity and mortality. Upon infection, an immune response is rapidly initiated in the lungs and draining lymph node, leading to expansion of virus-specific effector cells. Using two-photon microscopy, we imaged the dynamics of dendritic cells (DC) and virus-specific eGFP(+)CD8(+) T cells in the lungs and draining mediastinal lymph nodes during the first two weeks following influenza infection. Three distinct phases of T cell and CD11c(+) DC behavior were revealed: 1) Priming, facilitated by the arrival of lung DCs in the lymph node and characterized by antigen recognition and expansion of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells; asymmetric T cell division in contact with DCs was frequently observed. 2) Clearance, during which DCs re-populate the lung and T cells leave the draining lymph node and re-enter the lung tissue where enlarged, motile T cells come into contact with DCs and form long-lived interactions. 3) Maintenance, characterized by T-cell scanning of the lung tissue and dissociation from local antigen presenting cells; the T cells spend less time in association with DCs and migrate rapidly on collagen. A single dose of a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist, AAL-R, sufficient to suppress influenza-induced cytokine-storm, altered T cell and DC behavior during influenza clearance, delaying T cell division, cellular infiltration in the lung, and suppressing T-DC interactions in the lung. Our results provide a detailed description of T cell and DC choreography and dynamics in the lymph node and the lung during influenza infection. In addition, we suggest that phase lags in T cell and DC dynamics induced by targeting S1P receptors in vivo may attenuate the intensity of the immune response and can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit.