Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 4 Episode 17


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Feb 26, 1996 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
141 votes
  • A snoozer

    DS9 returns to Bajoran politics and prophecies for this Sisko/Kira story - sort of a poor man's "Destiny" (from the prior season). The episode flirts with a lot of meaty material: Sisko passes the Emissary torch to another, Kira questions her future, a religious leader brings back an archaic idea, the Bajorans have differing opinions of how to handle this, and there's even a murder. (And if that's not enough, Kai Opaka makes her last appearance in the series). Yet most of the issues go unexplored, and there's a lack of energy behind what we do see. It's as if everyone is getting a bit tired of Bajoran spiritual beliefs and they're now just going through the motions. (The B story itself, about the O'Brien family dealing with change, is forgettable in its own right).

    Special guest star Richard Libertini (as Akorem Laan, the new Emissary) does the script no favors. He's a weak antagonist with no gravitas or presence. Had David Warner played the part (as originally intended) it's likely Warner and Avery Brooks would have given the Akorem/Sisko adversarial relationship enough sparks to carry the episode; but Warner's wife didn't want "Accession" to disrupt a vacation and asked her husband to decline. What we're left with is underwhelming.

  • An ancient Bajoran poet comes through the Wormhole and claims to be the Prophets' Emissary. At first Sisko is glad to give up the title, but has second thoughts once the new Emissary announces a sweeping back-to-the-roots philosophy.

    Up until this point, Captain Sisko's grappling with his anointment as the Emissary of the Bajoran Prophets has been a recurring theme in this series. Though obviously uncomfortable with this messianic role, he'd accepted it out of both practical reasons and respect for the Bajoran people.

    The arrival of the Bajoran poet bails Sisko out; he's glad to concede the Emissaryship to the new guy. The problem is that the new Emissary has a very strong vision for Bajoran society -- he wants to bring back a very strict caste system that Bajor had before the Cardassian Occupation.

    The Bajorans are somewhat shocked by this announcement, but most of them try to adapt as well as they can. Major Kira announces her resignation and begins to explore her "heritage" as an artist. (Without much success.) Sisko becomes alarmed once he realizes that the new caste system will disqualify Bajor from Federation membership. Things get even more out of hand once a man is murdered for refusing to adhere to his caste.

    It's an intriguing premise, but the writers waste a good opportunity. Sisko tries to reclaim his title; he and the poet go to the Wormhole and the Prophets settle the dispute by reaffirming their original choice.

    The second plot of the episode -- O'Brien readjusting to life when Keiko returns to the station (with a second child), after a long period of effective bachelorship -- is not very interesting. But it does generate the two best moments of the episode Worf's response to the suggestion that he'll deliver Keiko's second baby (hilarious!), and Keiko's clever plan to reunite Bashir and O'Brien.

    Also, I enjoyed the scene at the end of the episode where Kira presents Sisko with one of her "statues".