“Star Trek: DS9” – Season 2 (Episodes 22-25)

Episode 22: The Wire

Garak (Andrew Robinson) and Bashir (Alexander Siddig) are waiting in line at the mess hall, when suddenly, Garak gets an intense headache. An exam reveals an implant in his brain, which was put there years ago to prevent him from giving away secrets while being interrogated. Garak’s time may be running out; Bashir looks for a way to save his friend’s life.

Garak: Has it ever occurred to you that I might be getting exactly what I deserve?

Bashir: No one deserves this.

Garak: Oh, please, Doctor. I’m suffering enough without having to listen to your smug Federation sympathy. And you think that because we have lunch together once a week you know me? You couldn’t even begin to fathom what I’m capable of.

Bashir: I am a doctor. You’re my patient. That’s all I need to know.

The teleplay was written/edited by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who came over from TNG. It’s the first DS9 ep to be directed by a woman (Kim Friedman); producers brought her back for several crucial eps. This is the first time that Cardassia Prime is mentioned and also the first mention of the secretive group- the Obsidian Order. Garak admits that he was involved with the Order then explains how he came to be exiled. Each story is different.

Garak can be likeable and sympathetic, yet also pathetic and even aggressive (when suffering from withdrawal). When Bashir goes to see the former head of the Order, Enabran Tain (veteran actor Paul Dooley), he hears yet another story. Tain was grooming Garak to be his successor, but Garak was banished from Cardassian society for not murdering Bajoran children! Bashir gets the info that will save Garak, but only b/c Tain wants him to live long… and suffer.

Bashir: What I want to know is, out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren’t?

Garak: My dear Doctor, they’re all true.

Bashir: Even the lies?

Elim Garak: Especially the lies.

Episode 23: Crossover

Kira (Nana Visitor) and Bashir are returning from the opening of a hospital on New Bajor (the first Bajoran colony in the Gamma Quadrant). Just as they to enter the wormhole, a sudden problem arises. Kira is able to solve it, but when they arrive in the Alpha Quadrant, things have changed. DS9 is now orbiting Bajor and the runabout is entered by Klingons, who apologize when they see Kira. This is an alternate universe! In the opening teaser, the wormhole opens upside down. Klingons, Cardassians and Bajorans have formed an alliance against Earth; humans (“Terrans”) are forced to process ore. The station is led by Intendant Kira; she speaks of Kirk who traveled from the other side years ago. While Bashir is sent to labor away, Intendant Kira wants to know her other self.

Intendant Kira: You don’t trust me.

Major Kira: I’m… a little afraid of you.

Intendant Kira: Then you fear yourself. I don’t want your fear; I want your love. If you can’t love me, who can?

The teleplay was written by veterans of TNG (Wolfe; Peter Allan Fields), as well as Piller (EP). Wolfe wrote the fall of the Terran Empire as an analogy for the fall of the Roman Empire to barbarians and the Chinese Dynasty to the Mongols. He wanted to illustrate that if an Empire is as brutal as the Terran Empire was in TOS (Mirror, Mirror), there were probably reasons why it was so brutal. Wolfe wanted to convey that one cannot change things overnight, and even the actions of Capt. Kirk can have serious consequences. This episode is listed as being one of the “Ten Essential Episodes” of DS9 in Star Trek 101 by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block.

Sisko: What do you care about Terrans’ freedom?

Kira: I care about freedom! What I don’t understand is why you *don’t* care. Why the only one on this station I have met who seemed to give a damn was a Ferengi toad named Quark!

Sisko: You’re looking in the wrong place for a hero, ma’am. I’ve made the best of a bad life for my crew. That’s my contribution.

Kira: Yes – you charmed your way out of the mines. But you and I both know, you’re no less a victim than anyone else here.

Much has been said by critics/fans of the tight/leather outfit Intendent Kira wears. One podcast host called it “a G-rated version of what a dominatrix would wear” – LOL! Blackman (costume designer on various ST shows) credited the outfit for giving Visitor a more alluring image. For the milk bath scene, the crew made sure that the bath was nice and hot for Visitor; they put a few drops of orange oil on it, so the water had a nice smell and would soften her skin. During rehearsals, she felt the cones hiding her nudity started to pop off! When she asked her makeup artist what takes the glue off, it turned out to be the orange oil.

Smiley O’Brien: [referring to Bashir] This man… this man… is a doctor where he comes from. And there’s an O’Brien there just like me. Except he’s some kind of… high up Chief of Operations. And they’re Terrans. Can you believe that? Maybe it’s a fairy tale he made up, but… it started me thinking, how… how each of us might’ve turned out, if history had been just a little different.

Mirror Odo’s uniform has a belt, which Rene Auberjonois liked so much that he began using it in for his regular Odo uniform in S3. Odo doesn’t like weapons, but Mirror Odo carries a Bajoran phaser pistol. O’Brien isn’t a family man in this world; also Jake doesn’t appear. In the mirror universe, Quark tells Garak he is “a simple bartender” when accused of illegal acts; this is a joke based on Garak’s common saying that he’s only “a simple tailor.” Quark is not as flamboyant or confident in the mirror universe.

Viewers have pointed out that Kira plays an evil commander of Terok Nor, which is the same role that Gul Dukat had. Also, the mirror Kira’s personality is the same as Dukat, as she blames those under her for being too harsh. She tries to seduce others to get what she wants and plays political games to get an advantage, just as Dukat did in the series.

[1] This was a fun episode… Nana Visitor did a good job as the two very different versions of Kira however I think Avery Brooks is much better as the serious Commander Sisko than here where he seemed rather hammy laughing…

[2] Too often the Trek shows are extremely nice and astoundingly perfect–often TOO perfect. With episodes like this one and the Maquis, you finally see a different sort of future–a dark, twisted and darkly funny one. Well worth seeing, though the original episode is a touch better.

[3] …the Klingons have not changed in the Mirror universe at all. In relation to character they remain essentially the same as Klingons have throughout the franchise.

Although Garak acts ruthless in contrast to his normal character on DS9, the Cardassians have not changed in the Mirror universe as one can detect… their use of torture during prisoner interrogations has been well documented in multiple episodes.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

Episode 24: The Collaborator

The election day for Kai (main spiritual leader of Bajor) is approaching and both Vedek Bareil (Philip Anglim) and Vedek Winn (Louise Fletcher) are on DS9. Bareil is esp. interested in Kira’s vote, but Winn has a different agenda. She’s awaiting the arrival of secretary Kubus Oak, who was liaison between the Cardassians and the Bajoran government during the occupation. Kubus fled to Cardassia afterwards. Kira and Odo want to make sure he gets a proper trial; Winn wants to leave the station w/ him. There was a Prylar Bek (another Bajoran collaborator) who hanged himself after allegedly giving up the location of a rebel base. Winn claims that Kubus gave her the name of the person really responsible for the massacre: Bareil!

This was the final ep of DS9 to air during the run of TNG. This ep was written by Behr, Wolfe, and (regular staff writer) Gary Holland. It turned out that Holland was surprised by how Odo reacted to finding out that Kira was in love w/ Bareil (as he hadn’t written the scene that way)! It’s a subtle reaction which some viewers may’ve missed. The (obvious) tension between Winn and the crew of DS9 harkens back to Winn’s attempt to stop Keiko teaching secular science. Winn coerced a young engineer to try to kill Bareil. However, there was no evidence to prove her involvement. According to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, there are Watergate parallels here: Quark helps Kira bypass the security lockouts and the Prylar Bek character (based on John Dean).

Episode 25: Tribunal

O’Brien (Colm Meaney) is preparing for a vacation w/ Keiko (Rosalind Chao), but has a hard time leaving work to others. As he is leaving DS9, runs into an old friend, Raymond Boone, who he served w/ on the Rutledge. Boone left Starfleet 8 yrs ago and moved to a colony on the Cardassian side of the Demilitarized Zone. O’Brien leaves with his wife in a runabout; a ship suddenly approaches and he is arrested by the Cardassians! They refuse to tell him what crime he is accused of and transport him to undergo a trial. After he is processed, a Juror (judge)- Archon Makbar- makes it clear his guilt is already established and the trial is a formality. Odo (an officer of the court) gets himself on O’Brien’s defense team as Nestor (representative). The crew on the station do their best to come up w/ info to free O’Brien.

Kovat: Once again, justice will be done. Our lives will be reaffirmed, safe and secure. Here on Cardassia, all crimes are solved, all criminals are punished, all endings are happy. Even the poorest of our subjects can walk the streets in the dead of night in perfect safety. You’re only one man; but your conviction will be a salutary experience for millions.

This ep was written by Bill Dial, who also wrote S2 E12: The Alternate; it was directed by Brooks (the first cast member to direct). Production designer Herman F. Zimmerman took inspiration in the set design from George Orwell’s 1948 book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Zimmerman explains: “Spartan, uncompromising and merciless are all adjectives that you could use to describe Cardassia.” Robert Stromberg of Illusion Arts, Inc. created the matte painting of the city on Cardassia Prime; he went on to win Oscars for art direction on Avatar (2009) and Alice in Wonderland (2010). If you watch Law & Order (or other courtroom shows) and don’t mind dark humor, then you’ll like this story.

O’Brien: I’ve been in service to the Federation – Starfleet – all my adult life. No one has ever questioned my loyalty. No one in my entire life has ever had cause to ask “Miles O’Brien, are you a criminal?” I took an oath to defend the Federation, and what it stands for…

[1] Good keeps getting better; evil stays the same. Any era, any generation can appreciate the truth in this episode. Fantastic exploration of authoritarianism, justice, and the human journey. Season 2 really ratcheted up the writing and direction of the actors.

[2] This episode has a couple nice guest stars. The best is Fritz Weaver as a defender. With defense attorneys like him, you cannot help but laugh… He is hilariously inept, cowardly and worthless- and funny, In fact, I think he’s the best thing about this show! Additionally, John Beck (Moonpie from the original “Rollerball”) is on hand as a secret agent working for the cause of injustice. Well worth seeing, as well as dark and foreboding.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

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