“Star Trek: DS9” – Season 1, Episode 2 (“Past Prologue”)

Garak [to Dr. Bashir]: Ah, an open mind, the essence of intellect.

The title is based on “What’s past is prologue,” a line from Antonio in The Tempest by Shakespeare. Tahna Los (guest star Jeffrey Nordling), a Bajoran terrorist during the Occupation, asks Cmdr. Sisko (Avery Brooks) for asylum on the space station. He is a member of the Kon Ma (an extremist group) and also accused of crimes against Bajorans. The leader on the ship chasing him, Gul Danar (Vaughn Armstrong), wants Tahna taken to Cardassia. When Tahna promises that he no longer wants to be a terrorist, Sisko decides not to hand him over to the Cardassians. Kira (Nana Visitor) works on getting amnesty from the provisional government for Tahna; they are old friends who went on different paths. We’ll shall see just how different by the end of this ep!

[Kira has managed to get amnesty for Tahna Los]

Tahna: I never realized you were such an accomplished politician.

Major Kira: Me? A politician? You… no, I- I don’t think so.

Tahna: You manipulate Sisko and the Federation, the ministers of the provisional government…

Major Kira: I’m just determined. I think they all simply get tired of hearing my voice.

Two Klingon sisters who tried to overthrow their High Council, Lursa and B’Etor Duras, arrive at DS9. The last Cardassian on the station, Garak (recurring character Andrew Robinson in his first ep), proves an interesting mystery to Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig). Garak claims that he is “plain and simple tailor,” but may have been a spy in a previous life. Near the start of the ep, Kira complains re: Sisko to an admiral (guest star Susan Bay Nimoy); she was married to Leonard Nimoy (Spock). Sisko mentions the Klingon Civil War, which took place in TNG (Redemption, Parts I & II); here The House of Duras is attempting to rebuild their forces. Morn, the silent patron always sitting at Quark’s bar, came over from TNG. I recently learned that Morn is akin to Norm from the popular comedy series- Cheers.

Odo: You know, there’s one thing about you humanoids I can’t imitate very well.

Major Kira: What’s that?

Odo: Pretense. There’s a special talent to it. It’s as hard for me as creating one of your noses.

We see the divided loyalties of Kira; she’s working w/in a system, not trying to overthrow one. Sisko is mad (of course) when she goes over his head; he even grabs her arm and chastises her in public. Now, that’s not something you’d see in TNG! Odo (Rene Auberjonois) and Kira have a good scene in his office; they are friends who respect and trust each other. They are also non-Federation characters, who aren’t gung-ho about dealing w/ new bureaucracy, political issues, and co-workers (who don’t have much experience w/ Cardassians).

[1] …the powerful ethnic conflict between Bajorans and Cardassians becomes a central focus.

[2] Did he [Garak] help the Federation learn what Tahna Los was up to because he wanted to help them, because it also served Cardassian needs, or did he have personal reasons? We just don’t know.

[3] I really enjoyed how Sisko let Kira make the decision of what route she would ultimately go in this episode- an astute command decision that exposes Kira’s true intentions/loyalty.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

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