“Star Trek: DS9”: Season 1, Episode 14 (“Progress”)

Mullibok: You’re halfway pretty.
Kira: Does that mean I can come in?

The teleplay was written by Peter Allan Fields; he also wrote the (much-loved/highly-rated) TNG eps “The Inner Light”, “Cost of Living”, and “Half a Life.” The Federation is helping the Bajorans to tap the core of one of its moons; this will provide energy for many homes (and make the moon uninhabitable). All 47 known inhabitants have been evacuated, but Lt. Dax (Terry Farrell) still detects three life signs. Major Kira (Nana Visitor) beams down to investigate and meets an elderly farmer named Mullibok (Brian Keith) and his two helpers (who are mute due to torture by Cardassians). Mullibok invites her to dinner, tells some tall tales, and explains that he has no intention of leaving. This place has been his home for 40 yrs; he built it up w/ his own hands. Although he’s cranky and stubborn, Kira starts to grow fond of the man. Meanwhile, Nog (Aron Eisenberg) overhears his uncle Quark (Armin Shimerman) punishing his father for buying 5,000 wrappings of yamok sauce (loved by Cardassians, but despised by most others). Secretly, Nog and Jake (Cirroc Lofton) try to sell the stuff for bars of latinum.

Mullibok: You know, you look real good even from this angle. But you know something? You walk like a carnivorous rastipod.

Kira: [unnerved] Now look…! [looks annoyed, but then starts smirking] You’re trying to make me mad!

Mullibok: How am I doing?

Kira: Not well enough to get rid of me.

Mullibok: Damn!

This is a moral dilemma story, which we find commonly in the ST universe. Some viewers recognized the plot from Wild River– a classic movie directed by Elia Kazan- about the Tennnesee Valley Authority and one woman’s refusal to leave her family farm. Time is spent building a bond between Kira and Mullibok. She goes through a lot of emotional turmoil, as she represents the government, but admires this man’s fighting spirit. Kira can’t forget her past in the Bajoran Resistance; some viewers commented that perhaps this man reminds her of someone from those days. There is a fine scene between Kira and Cmdr. Sisko (Avery Brooks) which shows us more of his leadership style. When Mullibok is injured, fighting w/ two security guards, Sisko gives Kira time to look after him.

Sisko: [referring to Kira] I’m going to tell Minister Toran that she’s remained temporarily on Jerrado, at your request.

Bashir: But sir – that isn’t true.

Sisko: Make it true, Doctor. Now, please.

Bashir: [officially] Commander, I’d advise that Major Kira remain on Jerrado for humanitarian reasons… [under his breath] How long?

Sisko: The next day or two.

Bashir: …for the next day or two, sir.

Sisko: Thank you, Doctor. I’ll consider that request. Dismissed.

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