Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 4 Episode 3

The Visitor

2
Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Oct 09, 1995 on Syndicado
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
232 votes
16

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 49037.7 An accident on the U.S.S. Defiant traps Ben Sisko in subspace. Jake spends the rest of his adult life trying to free him, when his father returns to normal space for a few seconds every several years.

Watch Full Episode

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Saturday
No results found.
Sunday
No results found.
Monday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of the best.

    10
    "The Visitor" is to Deep Space Nine what "The City on the Edge of Forever" is to the original series and "The Inner Light" is to The Next Generation: that special episode with universal appeal that outshines even the more expensive and ambitious two parters with its simplistic beauty. It was the first DS9 episode to be nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and it topped a 1996 TV Guide list ranking the best Star Trek episodes of all time.



    A Ben/Jake Sisko story, "The Visitor" is a "love through the ages" tale that eschews romance to instead explore the love between a father and a son. For those of us who grew up tossing around the baseball with Dad in the backyard, it's especially meaningful; but what really makes it unique is its imaginative structure. Like some of the episodes of the 1980s Twilight Zone series, instead of ending with a twist, it begins with one. Opening with an elderly Jake Sisko at the end of his life, the plot unfolds like a chess game in its late stages working its way backwards; it's a narrative tool that was clearly developed organically from the story, as no writer would sit down and spontaneously invent it at the beginning of the process. And it's a daring choice, putting the weight of the episode on the shoulders of a guest star and asking him to carry the show.



    Enter Tony Todd, who in his role as pinch hitter hits a grand slam. Todd, of course, had already secured himself free tickets to Star Trek conventions for life for his work as Worf's younger brother, Kurn. But his work as an older Jake Sisko here is his magnum opus. Sharing the stage with him as "the visitor" is Rachel Robinson, daughter of Andrew Robinson (Garak). While her understated performance is far less memorable than what her father has brought to the show, it's the perfect complement to Todd's charismatic storytelling, giving the two futuristic characters a chemistry that reverberates throughout each scene they're in.



    And then there are Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton. Brooks, playing a part reminiscent of Kirk in the "The Tholian Web", does the most with the least; his character appears infrequently, arguably becoming the titular character, yet Brooks plays him with such emotion, his love for his son spills over into scenes he's not even in. Lofton, meanwhile, is overshadowed as Jake Sisko by Todd, yet gives perhaps his magnum opus as well.



    Credit must all be given to the set decorators, makeup and wardrobe teams who effectively create the illusion that we've broken the bonds of Star Trek's present and are catching a glimpse of a possible future.



    All the elements together produce a synergy that can't be described in a recap or review. "The Visitor" is a must see, an episode that transcends Deep Space Nine and Star Trek, entertaining and moving nearly anyone who gives it a chance to do so.moreless
  • Jake embarks on a lifelong quest to save his father.

    10
    Have you ever had one of those experiences when watching a television episode for the first time, you feel the goosebumps that always accompany something meaningful? Have you ever watched an episode and then curse yourself for not taping it so you could rewind it and immediately watch it again? Or, if you had the foresight to tape it, rewind it immediately and watch it again? For me, "The Visitor", the second episode of Deep Space Nine's fourth season was such an episode. I feel that this is one of those special episodes that a person who has little knowledge of the show or the franchise can watch it and be touched by it. The premise is simple: a young woman finds herself at the doorstep of an author whose work has deeply and profoundly affected her, and she is granted a meeting with this distinguished man. He sits her down, makes her comfortable, and chuckling at the irony of the situation, proceeds to tell her his life story, beginning with the death of his father, Benjamin Sisko, when he was only 18 years old. We are taken on a journey of Jake Sisko, who is probably the least used regular character on Deep Space Nine. That's OK, because he was just a kid on the show, and we all know how people reacted to Wesley Crusher saving the day every other week. Jake was allowed to grow up, and because of that this episode, like many of Jake's, was very special. It is in "The Visitor" that we see how strong the bond between father and son can be. We watch as Jake struggles with the apparent death of father, and then wrestle with the mystery surrounding Sisko's sudden and periodic returns. Much of the show involves a "What if…" sort of feel. We see Nog advancing through the ranks of Starfleet, hear that Quark owns his own moon, and that Morn took over Quarks bar on the station. There are future versions of the old crew (complete with futuristic uniforms, courtesy of The Next Generation's season finale "All Goo Things...") and a good sprinkling of humour. We also learn how much Captain Sisko meant to everyone on the station. Of particular interest is Major Kira's speech at his funeral.



    The two things that are most impressive about this episode are the story and the acting. The story is wonderfully written and is one that almost anyone can relate to: the love between a parent and their child. We see how Ben Sisko is willing to be lost so that his son can go on with his life, and is content with the precious few moments that they have together. Jake, meanwhile, tries to do everything to bring his father back, even making the ultimate sacrifice. His motives are as much for the boy he was as they were for his father, because he knows how hard it is to go on without his dad. The acting in this episode is brilliant. Both Cirroc Lofton and Avery Brooks give mighty and emotional performances, but it is Tony Todd as the older Jake Sisko that deserves top credit. His performance, so full of emotion and depth, makes me believe that he is such an under-appreciated actor. Most of the work I have seen of his is usually tough-guy, no-nonsense stuff, or it is a bit on the psychotic side. Here, we see a performance that shows us his broader appeal, and it hits home the message of the story. This show has an even greater significance for those of us who have lost a loved one. Many times, we receive our own visitor in our dreams, and when we wake up, we are desperate to get them back. We continue on, not sure of when we will be visited again. Unlike science-fiction, there is little we can do to get that person back as Jake was able to, but it is best to keep that person close in our thoughts and hearts as we take the advice that first Ben, and then Jake offer in the episode: poke your head up every once in a while and take a look around; see what's going on. It's life! You can miss it if you don't open your eyes.moreless
  • One of My favorite all time episodes ever. I would rate it higher if I could.

    10
    Wow... I just finished watching it again for prob the 14th time over the past decade and it still brings tears to my eyes. I don't understand how anyone could rate this 1.1 and not like it. I wonder if people like that have any empathy at all. But since we are all different and everyone doesn't like the same things I know its possible... just don't understand it myself.



    The episode is probably one of the most touching episodes I have ever seen in Star Trek. Well acted. And when Ben pops up like another reviewer mentioned... it's hard to keep the tears back.



    Wonderful story. Wonderful writing. Beautifully acted. Heart wrenching. Others have given more detailed accounts of what happened in the show. Otherwise I would have. I'm only here to applaud the writers for putting such a heart touching story into a science fiction show.



    Thank you for the memories...moreless
  • single worst trek episode ive seen.

    1.1
    this episode is terribly bland and dull. i am trying to watch the episodes in order but i barely made it through this one. i love DS9 but this was just outright boring. would have rather watched jean-luc sip earl gray while data does shakespear. if they had todd play kurn in the episode and make him cry all through it that might have been interesting.



    i did notice that "old jake's" makeup was really tacky. and in 2392 jadzia is supposed to be dead and so is morn i think from reading mem-alpha. so they have some explaining to do.moreless
  • Episode Likely Written By Someone Who Has Lost Their Father

    10
    This episode would resonate with anyone who has ever lost their father. In 45 minutes it taps into the overwhelming feeling one has after such a loss in wishing there was something, anything they could do to bring their father back. Jake spends much of his life trying to bring his father back, and this strong love and devotion is felt equally by his father, but it manifests itself in a different way- Whereas Jake is determined, maybe even obsessed at saving his father, his father, after re-appearing from stasis knowing he only has precious few minutes left, asks Jake not about the Dominion, the Klingons, or Deep Space Nine, but about Jake's life and happiness.



    A touching and highly recommended episode.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman

Quark

Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt. Commander Worf (Season 4-7)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Tony Todd

Tony Todd

Adult Jake Sisko

Guest Star

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson

Melanie

Guest Star

Galyn Gorg

Galyn Gorg

Korena

Guest Star

Aron Eisenberg

Aron Eisenberg

Nog

Recurring Role

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Nitpick: The shot of the station, used when the Defiant is returning to the wormhole, to recreate the accident, is the same shot that is used in the opening credits in the series, just before the title appears.

    • By the time they attempt the rescue on the Defiant, Starfleet had gone to the future-style uniforms seen in The Next Generation's "All Good Things..." and Voyager's "Endgame". However, when Nog visits Jake to celebrate his award, Nog is wearing the old red command uniform. By the time Nog would have been promoted to commander, Starfleet certainly would have stopped using those uniforms. Even if the grey uniform seen in Deep Space Nine's seasons 5-7 hadn't been introduced yet, presumably, all officers would have switched to the uniform seen on Voyager and on Deep Space Nine's seasons 1-5. The sad truth is that they probably didn't have that type of uniform in Aron Eisenberg's and didn't want to go out and create one just for that scene.

    • When Sisko is in the future and is handed Jake's novels, Anslem is placed in his left and and the collected stories in the right. When the camera shifts to a wider angle the books are in the opposite hands.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Adult Nog: Quark finally got that little moon he was always talking about, and my father, as usual, is making sure it doesn't fall out of orbit.

    • Adult Nog: (toasting Jake) To my dear friend Jake Sisko, winner of this year's Betar prize for his Collected Stories. May the years continue to be good to you, may your muse (nods to Korena) continue to inspire you, and may someone make a holo-program of one of your stories so you can start raking in the latinum!

    • Adult Nog: Fish? When these woods are crawling with perfectly good slugs?
      Korena: I suppose you're going to ask me to chew your food for you?
      Adult Nog: I have to admit I've been more popular with women since I stopped asking them to do that.
      Adult Jake: I tried to tell you that twenty years ago.
      Adult Nog: I'm a slow learner.

    • Old Jake: There's only one 'first time' for everything, isn't there? And only one last time, too. You think about such things when you get to be my age. That today may be the last time you... sit in your favorite chair... or watch the rain fall... or enjoy a cup of tea by a warm fire.

    • Melanie: (to Jake) I savored those stories; I read them slowly, one each day. And when I was done, I wished I hadn't read them at all. So I could read them again... like it was the first time.

    • Sisko: I'm no writer, but if I were, it seems to me that I'd want to poke my head up once in a while and take a look around - see what's going on. It's life, Jake; you can miss it if you don't open your eyes.

    • Jake: (to Sisko) It was me. It was me all along. I've been dragging you through time like an anchor... and now it's time to cut you loose.

    • Melanie: I can't believe I'm really here. Talking to you. You're my favorite author... of all time.
      Jake: You should read more.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

More
Less