Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Siege

"If they want a fight, they'll have to fight on our terms."

Events rush to a head as Sisko disobeys Federation orders to abandon Deep Space Nine, concerned about the possibility Cardassians are waiting to take advantage of the Bajoran coup. Meanwhile, Kira and Dax risk everything to bring proof of Cardassian treachery to the leaders of the provisional government.

You've got to love a show that can pull off a three-parter like this, as part of a season opener, and make it work. While I had some minor quibbles with the plotting - really, Sisko receives no punishment for totally disobeying Starfleet and potentially breaking the Prime Directive? - this episode had heart. When we fell off last episode's cliff, the crew were deliberately delaying so they could prevent Bajorans from re-taking Deep Space Nine. The Kai and the Minister were making happy political cow-eyes at each other. Quark was a security deputy. All of this setup pays throughout - with mixed consequences for our characters, each of whom react in fascinating ways. From the conversation between Jake and Nog, who promise to be besties forever and by rights should have been taking selfies with Odo - to Quark's terror of being trapped by the extremist Circle - we have moments of humor and even horror.

"He gave a dabo girl my seat?"
Kira and Dax (which, by the way, turns out to be a consistently hilarious pair-up) manage to get the information to the government, but it's clear from the first no information stolen from a ship's manifest is going to break through to those ascendant in power. Minister Jaro and Kai Wynn between them have everything locked up. Either Jaro uses his power to get out of problems, or the Kai absorbs them by using her religious authority to ensure she can't be touched. The long shot of Kira standing in the Bajoran Chamber of Ministers, after her dramatic disrobing, where she's slowly realizing how completely she's been maneuvered, nicely showcased her desperation; she's completely boxed in. There's no real way to get what she wants. And the evidence? Plucked out of her hands.

Sisko's rebellion is successful, with one exception. Li Nalas dying didn't surprise me - he was so obviously a temporary replacement for Kira. I was sort of happy for him though; he seemed much more comfortable as a physical than a political hero. The siege itself was the weakest part of the episode. I think it's something Picard, for example, wouldn't have done; the chance of violating the Prime Directive is too great here. I also think it's a sign of how different this show is from TNG. That show is lovely, but its episodes have a tendency to clean solutions, and the world of TNG and the Enterprise are sterile worlds. There don't seem to be easy answers on Bajor, or on Deep Space Nine - and this might be why Sisko is the best leader available for the role, and why he won out on the siege.

Bits and Pieces

Another fight between the O'Briens. Keiko is far more liberal than the gung-ho Miles.

Miles using the epithet "Cardies." He's really more of an old-school army man isn't he?

Who or what is General Krim? I find myself struggling with which side he's on. I think he's the Bajoran version of Sisko - trying to do the right thing in a complex game.

Tobin Dax was some sort of mechanical genius, and Jadzia is able to call up his abilities in a time of need. I think she's also learning a bit more of a sense of humor, thanks to her interactions with Kira.

Rom screwing Quark out of his seat, giving it instead to a Dabo girl. Quark's distress is real, I'm not discounting it, but oh lord, I'm happy whenever I see Rom coming out on top!


Jake: Just when I think I've found a new home, made a new friend, it always seems like I got to leave.
Nog: Hey, Human.
Jake: Cut it out.
Nog: Has there ever been one of your kind and one of mine who were better friends?
Jake: Never.
Nog: And if our fathers couldn't break us up, no stupid coupe day. Coupe dey...
Jake: Coup d'├ętat. It's French.
Nog: No stupid French thing will either. We'll see each other again soon. That's a promise.

Li: I've done everything I can to help. I'd die for my people, but...
Sisko: Sure you would. Dying gets you off the hook. Question is, are you willing to live for your people? Live the role they want you to play. That's what they need from you right now.


This three-parter really set the stage and changed the game for Season Two, and in one of the more dramatic ways possible. I reiterate: I love this show. 4 out of 4.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Completely agree. This trilogy showcases perfectly why DS9 was by far the best Trek series.

Such a pity that they cut the last season that DS9 should have had to free more money for Voyager. It could have been epic.

Someone should have removed Berman and Braga from the helm years before. Moore would have done a much better job.