DS9 Season 1 Ep1: “Emissary”

Meredith’s Synopsis:

We open with some NexGen backstory, giving us a brief rundown on the Battle of Wolf 359 (the Pearl Harbor of the Star Trek universe) from the Best of Both Worlds two-parter. In case you didn’t know, this was an unprovoked attack by evil bio/robot hybrids the Borg, in a star system that was basically on Earth’s doorstep (Wolf 359 is a real-life star you can actually see, FYI, it’s about 7.8 lightyears away from us). Dapper Captain Jean-Luc Picard was assimilated by the Borg and mind controlled to lead the attack, and the Federation lost the shit out of the battle – the Borg eventually made it into Earth’s orbit, only one ship survived. Ultimately, even though it was forty Federation ships versus one Borg Cube, eleven thousand people were killed or assimilated by the Borg. Seriously, it was effing heavy shit.

This feels like a lot of background, I know, but you have to understand that the target audience had a PTSD seizure when they heard the name “Wolf 359.”

Now that we’ve established our setting, we find ourselves on board a ship where the orders are being given by an African-American First Officer so poised and well-spoken that he makes Morgan Freeman look like Marlon Wayans. The Commander does his best, but the whole audience knows he’s screwed, and as his ship starts to blow up, he makes sure his crew is getting to the escape pods, and then runs through the wreckage in search of his wife. He finds his motionless wife and son pinned under some beams, and while the boy is OK, his wife is dead. A crewman gets the Commander’s son, Jake, to safety, and then literally has to drag the Commander away from his wife’s body as he screams, “we can’t just leave her here!”

But they do, and, on the escape pod, the Commander holds his son’s hand and looks out the window at the exploding ship with the look of a man who is about to become a Batman.

You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become an Admiral

We are going to have some allegiance to justice and righting of wrongs up in this bitch for sure.

It’s three years later, and we see Jake, the son, wearing some comical overalls, fishin’ off of a stereotypical bridge on a holodeck somewhere. It’s nice to know that 350ish years from now black people can wear overalls without feeling like they’re making some sort of statement.

His dad shows up, and tells him that they’ve been assigned to a space station near the planet Bajor, which he’s heard is lovely. Jake does not seem thrilled about this, but lets his dad talk him into it, and it’s clear that they have a really strong relationship. The Commander’s comm badge chirps, and we learn that his name is Sisko. He and Jake leave the holodeck, and get their first glimpse of their new home: it is pointy.

Looks like this

A log-entry-voice-over from Sisko tells us that Starfleet has agreed to provide a presence near Bajor at the request of the provisional Bajoran government – Bajor, you must understand, is Planet Post-War Poland. Their occupying force, the Cardassians, have finally left after sixty years, and the place is in pretty terrible shape. He and his Chief of Operations, Miles O’Brien from NexGen, arrive at a completely wrecked station of Cardassian design. The Cardassians trashed it before they left, taking all the S keys off all the keyboards and killing four Bajorans in the process.

Walking to his quarters, Sisko is confronted with an old Bajoran dude in an obviously ceremonial hat who urges him to come to a Bajoran temple. “The Prophets await you,” he says, and a creeped-out Sisko is all, “Um, maybe another time, thanks?” As Jake complains about their quarters while still managing to be adorable, O’Brien informs Sisko that Captain Picard wants to see him. You can tell that this is sort of a sore spot with Sisko, considering that Picard indirectly killed his wife and everything, but he tells Jake to suck it up (in a very kind way), and goes to see Picard like the big boy officer he is.

En route, he and O’Brien decide to visit the Station Commandant’s office, which is now Sisko’s. The two men discuss Cardassian architecture as they stroll, and tell us some important things about the species we’re dealing with in the process: the Commandant’s office is in Operations, but it’s set above the rest of the room so everyone has to look up at it. This tells us that Cardassians like power and authority. Also, the whole place is a balmy 30 Celsius (89 Fahrenheit) because Cardassians are reptilian.

In what is now his office, Sisko finds Major Kira, his liaison from the Bajoran provisional government, yelling at a computer screen.

This is Kira's punching face. It makes up roughly 50 - 75% of all the faces she ever makes.

She is about five feet of angry, and you can tell that she thinks Sisko’s politeness is all sleazy obsequiousness (and let me tell you, it is hard not to be charmed by Sisko). She tells him right off the bat that she doesn’t think the Federation should be there, because she’s been fighting for Bajoran independence her whole life, and the Federation is just another, less reptilian form of oppression. Sisko says they just want to help, and Kira is all, “that’s what the Cardassians told us sixty years ago, and that worked out awesome.”

She’s interrupted by a page on her Microsoft Surface from from Odo, a super-weird-looking security officer, who says that there’s been another break-in to deal with. She says she’ll meet him there, and tells Sisko he needn’t tag along. She obviously thinks he’s the sort of person who won’t get his hands dirty. Over the course of the episode she’ll find out how wrong she is.

We cut to the break-in, which is being orchestrated by a young Ferengi. Odo the security

I guess we know what the Cullens did in the future when they never died

officer slides up, and, in a groundbreaking CGI effect, a thrown pointy-stick weapon thing (Tim says it is called a Morning Star) flies right through his face, which turns into sparkly liquid and then reforms. Somewhere, a young Stephanie Meyer had an orgasm and began writing in her trapper keeper dream journal.

I can’t really overstate the importance of this small moment: it tells us that Odo is a shapeshifter, a kind of shapeshifter we haven’t really seen on Trek before. We don’t know exactly what Odo is, yet, and neither does he –  discovered by confused scientists in his infancy, his origins are a mystery even to him, and all of us learning of them together will have a major impact later in the series.

For now, Odo starts to go all LAPD on one of the thieves’ asses, when Sisko breaks up the fight with a well-aimed warning phaser shot. Odo is upset because he doesn’t allow any weapons of any sort to anyone on the promenade (with the exception of his fists, Terry and Miranda).

At this point, a Ferengi in a crazy-looking suit steps out to see what all the ruckus is. He introduces himself as Quark, the proprietor of the station’s bar, and identifies the young Ferengi as his nephew. He tries to talk Sisko into letting him take the boy, since they’re all bailing out of the station tomorrow, and Sisko is all, “nuh-uh.”

After they leave, he tells Kira that he’ll probably let the boy go, but he wants to get something from Quark first. His comm badge chirps again – Picard is still waiting to see him.

NexGen was my point of entry into the Star Trek universe, and I have to say, it’s nice to see Jen-Luc Picard. It’s comforting, in a way, like he’s giving his stamp of approval to the new series. That said, he pronounces “Bajor” “Bah-JOR”  while everyone else on the show forever calls it “BAY-jor.” But I can let it slide. He’s very continental, after all.

Obviously no one has briefed JLP on this meeting,

“Oh no, another person whose whole family I killed.”

because he’s all like, “you look familiar! Have we we met?” Sisko says “I was on the Saratoga at Wolf 359,” like he’s saying “they call me Mister Tibbs,” and Picard makes this priceless, “oh, fuck” face.

Picard, because he is super classy, doesn’t even attempt to say sorry or justify his actions. He just asks Sisko, for expository purposes, if he’s been briefed on the Bajor situation. They run down: Cardassia occupied Bajor for sixty years, left them broken, and the relief efforts are not going to cut it. JLP is a strong supporter of Bajor joining the Federation, but it’s a long shot right now, because eligibility to join the Federation is a high bar to clear and there’s a lot of infighting planetside in the provisional government.

Sisko, who is not feeling inclined towards pity at the moment, is all, “whelp, too bad, guess they can’t handle it,” and Picard puts on his serious face and tells Sisko that is is his job to do everything in his power to make sure Bajor moves forward. Then he seems remorseful for having snapped, and more gently tells Sisko that he’s heard that he has objections to the assignment. He pours a cup of tea, and is clearly hoping Sisko will play the “small talk with my boss” game.

“I have a son I’m raising alone, ‘Captain’,” Sisko says, and you can hear the airquotes and everything. This is not one of Picard’s better days. Sisko hints that he’s thinking about leaving the service to move back to Earth, but he’s going to do his job to the best of his ability while he’s here. Picard dismisses him, and Sisko storms out, leaving him alone, contemplating his tea.

"Earl Grey, hot, with a lump each of sadness and regret."

We cut to the security office, where Sisko is explaining to Quark that he isn’t going to be leaving the station anytime soon. Odo is not a fan of this idea, because he says Quark is a thief. Sisko explains his “go to the mall post-9/11” station economic recovery plan, in which Quark features prominently as a community leader. Quark thinks this is hilarious.

Quark wants to know how he’s going to run his sleazy bar when there’s going to be excessive Starfleet regulation (I am continually amazed that Quark has not become a Tea Party mascot, but I guess his living in the future makes him too pro-science).


Sisko explains that Quark’s nephew is facing spending the best years of his life in jail, or, you know, they can all stay on the station in not-jail.

“You know,” Odo muses, “at first I didn’t think I was going to like him.”

Sisko goes to find Major Kira, who is gutting some sort of walk-in computer, and Sisko earns a tiny bit of her trust by helping out. Kira makes a refugee camp reference, and tells Sisko that the provisional government will be gone in a week, and him along with it. She says that the only thing keeping them from civil war now is their Pope, Kai Opaka, who, despite what you may suspect, is not an animal commonly found in front of your Jeep at Busch Gardens.

She goes on to explain that Bajor is super-duper spiritual, and if Kai Opaka told everyone to stop fighting they would – but she lives in a cave or something where no one can see her. The guy in the ceremonial hat shows up again and tells Sisko “it is time.”

Um, OK, stranger in a funny hat.

Sisko goes planetside, where everything is wrecked, much like the station, and has a meeting with Kai Opaka. She proves to be a pleasant, rotund lady who squeezes his ear like an affectionate aunt and asks if he’s explored his “pah.” She explains that the pah is a hippy-dippy spiritual life source, which is replenished by the Prophets, the central figures of Bajoran religion. She tells him to take deep breaths, and says that he is “to be the emissary,” and asks him to bustle off on a Harold-and-Kumar-style adventure with her. Sisko is all, “things to do,” and she’s all, “JUST COME.”

They go down a super-secret spiral staircase into a Phantom of the Opera cave and she starts

Bet you thought I was joking

lecturing Sisko about Bajoran religious duty and speaking in Oracle gobbledygook. Then she leaves him alone with a fancy box that opens to reveal a Sparkly Magic Floaty Thing, which she identifies as “the tear of the prophet,” and Sisko’s all like, thanks, suuuper helpful.

Suddenly, Sisko is magicked to the Long Island beach where he met his wife, Jennifer, and meets her again (she thinks he’s crazy because he knows her name and speaks exclusively in the past tense). He is looking at her so worshipfully and offers her a lemonade so creepily that her roofie alarms go off, and she all, “uh, no thanks, I have to go…place.”

He follows her, and she inexplicably continues talking to him. Sisko, who’s getting the hang of this, tries to stop talking like a crazy person, and she begins to find him charming, even though she clearly thinks he’s a pickup artist. He offers to cook her dinner, and she agrees, but the Sparkly Magic Floaty Thing appears in the sky again, and he’s back in the cave in the bowels of the opera house, or wherever the hell it is they are.

Kai Opaka explains that this thing is a Magic Orb of Magic, and that there were others, but the Cardassians stole them. Dogma has it that the Magic Orbs of Magic were sent by the Prophets in the “celestial temple” to teach Bajor shit, and that Sisko has to find the “celestial temple” before the Cardassians do (presumably they will blow it up or something if they find it). Sisko, in the classic tradition of the hooked sucker, asks her how much time shares in the temple usually run. Kai Opaka tells him that the Magic Orb of Magic is her gift to him, totally free no obligation if he calls now, and it will help him find the temple and warn the Prophets, at which point she can unite her people. Since she can supposedly unite her people by just coming out of her cave and yelling “UNITE” really loud, it seems like Sisko is definitely getting the raw end of the deal here. However, she tells him that it is his destiny to find the temple. I can see Kai Opaka advertising for help at the Temple now: “Internship Opportunity!!! No pay, but fulfills destiny!!! Looks great on resume!!!”

Later that night, as Sisko tells Jake goodnight, Kira summons him to the promenade, which is cleaned up and thriving thanks to Quark’s (somewhat) sleazy bar. Quark gives Sisko some advice – “Never trust ale from a god-fearing people, and never trust a Starfleet Commander who has one of your relatives in jail.” He makes a face at Sisko that plainly says, “Well played.”

This is a pretty good visual representation of their relationship for the first season

In other news, it’s tomorrow, and we have more characters to introduce! Perhaps you thought we were done introducing characters! Perhaps you are foolish! The medical and science officers have arrived, and one of them is super hot and one of them is a varsity-level nerd. The hot one is Jadzia Dax, and the nerd, Dr. Julian Bashir, clearly has a thing for her.

As Jadzia and Sisko adjourn for a tour of the station, Sisko suggests that Bashir is a little young for her, considering she’s three hundred and change years old. It turns out that she is a Trill, a humanoid species that “joins” with symbiotic slugs that share memories and personality traits from person to person. Sisko was friends with the symbiote’s previous host, a dirty old man named Curzan Dax, and he comments that it will take some getting used to seeing Dax in its super sexy young new body.

In the sickbay, Kira is giving Bashir a tour and points out that it’s a wreck because the looters hit it hard. Bashir is unduly excited, because he says that this gives him a chance to practice “real frontier medicine.” Kira looks at him like he is crazy, because he is.

He goes on to explain that he his a young super genius, and picked this posting because he wanted the chance to star in Ripping Yarns in the wilderness. Kira does not take too kindly to him calling her home “wilderness,” and gets right in his face and makes some disparaging colonialism-themed remarks, which seem to really hit home because Bashir is an Indian guy with a British accent.

In the lab, Sisko and Jadzia examine the Bajoran Magic Orb of Magic and Sisko calls her “Old Man,” which he continues to do throughout the series and it gets less weird I promise. Jadzia asks the computer to make a database of Magical Bajoran Events for the last three millennia. The computer grumbles that it’s going to take, like, an hour, which is different than the response she would have received from my computer (“fuck you”).

Then she looks at the Sparkly Magic Floaty Thing in the box and has a flashback similar to Sisko’s. She remembers being on the table with a dying Curzon when the Dax symbiont was transferred to her. Curzon smiles at her, and damn does he have nice teeth for such an old guy. I guess TrillWorld has public option health care. BAM topical reference you’re welcome.

We see that this was a nice moment for Jadzia, the moment when she became who she is today, and it gets us in the right mindset for what is going to be some pretty heavy Trill-themed philosophical exploration of identity throughout the series.

Chief O’Brien, who I like to call Irishy, reminisces on the bridge of the Enterprise, and, though it looks like he’s going to slip away without saying goodbye, JLP finds him and tells him how much he’s going to be missed, and that the transporter room won’t be the same without him. Irishy is all, “it’s just a transporter room,” and Picard makes this totally adorable “you’ll understand when you’re older and you have your own series finales to look after” face. Picard beams him out, and gets as choked up as he ever gets, which is a nice moment even if you’re me and you didn’t realize that Irishy was on NexGen until someone (Tim) told you.

In Ops, there’s an incoming transmission from Gul Dukat, the Cardassian who used to be the Station Commandant. Kira almost spits when she hears his name, because, as you will come to understand, this is like your secretary getting on the intercom and saying, “excuse me, I have a Mr. Adolf Eichmann on the line for you?”

Anyway, Gul Dukat was the Eichmann to Cardassia’s Third Reich, and he’s coming aboard. You may find it hard to believe now, but you will come to regard his guest appearances throughout the series with irrepressible glee. You will hear his name and clap your hands, and bounce in your seat when he comes onscreen. Get used to this face, because it will soon trigger a Pavlovian response of hyperventilation:

99 problems, but Bajor ain't one

Dukat is played by the amazing Marc Alaimo, an actor who plays every single scene to the hilt, and turned what was, I think, supposed to be a relatively minor villain role into a complex, larger-than-life antagonist for the ages. Also Marc Alaimo is such a BAMF that the Cardassian makeup was specifically designed to utilize his neck.

As we return to the episode from the treehouse where I keep all my Marc Alaimo posters and bubblegum cards, Gul Dukat is in Sisko’s office, being all oily and obsequious, which is really what he does best. He says he wasn’t happy to leave the station, and says he wants to help any way he can, and rather threateningly emphasizes, “your Cardassian neighbors will be quick to respond to any problems you might have.”

Sisko glibly tosses out, “we’ll try to keep the dog off your lawn.”

Dukat then reveals that he knows all about the Magic Orb of Magic that Sisko now has, and tries to see what kind of man Sisko is by suggesting they share information. He sees what kind of man, alright, as Sisko gets out of his chair with an indignant “bang-stand,” as Tim’s family calls it.

Dukat is all, “any reason my boys can’t wreak havoc on the promenade,” and Sisko is all, “I can’t diplomatically refuse,” and their first chess game is adjourned.

In the lab, Jadzia tells Sisko that at least five of the Magic Orbs of Magic were found in what seems to be a Bermuda Triangle of Space right next door. Sisko wants to go check it out, but needs to ponder how to do so without attracting Cardassian attention.

The next thing we see, Kira and Irishy are closing down Quark’s bar, which is full of Cardassians. Quark is understandably upset, and gives the Cardassians a bag in which to put their gambling winnings. But Quark seems a little uneasy, and Kira makes a ‘there are larger plans afoot’ face (only slightly different than her punching face).

The Cardassians carry their booty back to their ship and lock it down, at which point: OMG the bag is Odo. Set phasers to shenanigans!

Sisko and Jadzia, meanwhile, take the shuttle Rio Grande out to check out the Bermuda Triangle. They leave as Kira reveals that Odo disabled the Cardassian sensors. Irishy tries to beam Odo out, and is frustrated by the Cardassian technology. In a funny little moment, he kicks the transporter computer really hard, and Odo materializes.

Out exploring the Bermuda Triangle, Sisko and Jadzia suddenly find themselves in a wormhole. After a bumpy ride, they’re on the other end, which is in the Gamma Quadrant. This is 70,000 light-years away, which is pretty crazy. Jadzia points out that it’s kind of a weird wormhole, and Sisko bubbles that they may have just found the first stable wormhole known to exist, and that may explain the appearance of the Magic Orbs of Magic.

On their way back, they discover that the wormhole is capable of supporting life, which I guess is kind of unusual. They land on a planet, and discover that each of them perceives the planet differently: Sisko sees a nasty, dark, thundering and lightninging mountain range, and Jadzia sees a pretty pretty garden in SoCal.

To-may-to, to-mah-to, really

Then a Sparkly Magic Floaty Thing appears in the sky, and it seems to be scanning them. Sisko identifies himself per Starfleet regulations, but the Sparkly Magic Floaty Thing zaps them. Dax is absorbed into the Sparkly Magic Floaty Thing, and Sisko winds up in a blinding white nothingness, complete with pulsing heartbeat soundtrack. In Ops, Irishy and Kira detect the Sparkly Magic Floaty Thing and beam Jadzia out of it, and everyone seems pretty surprised to see one another.

Sisko, meanwhile, finds himself confronted by the faces of other characters who make robot-like observations about him: “It is corporeal.” “It is responding to visual and auditory stimuli.” They ask him what he is, and he gives the standard Starfleet explanation of what humans are. It turns out that these non-corporeal aliens taking on the faces of his costars do not understand time, and Sisko sighs, like, this is going to take a while and I don’t even have a physics degree.

In Ops, Jadzia explains about the weird wormhole, and everyone wants to rescue Sisko, and Kira is the boss because he’s not there. She tells Irishy that she needs him to move the station to the mouth of the wormhole so Bajor can stake its claim. Irishy is all, “I CANNAE CHANGE THA LAWS OF PHYSSUCCS” but they technobabble their way out of it and I guess we’re going to move the station over to the wormhole now! Hooray!

Kira enlists Dr. Bashir’s help by asking if he’s ready to be a hero. He responds like the dog in the “I can’t believe it’s not bacon” commercials (Tim: “ONLY ONE THING SMELLS LIKE HERO AND THAT’S HEROOOOO!”)

So the on-station cast marches down the promenade to go to the wormhole, and Odo wants to come with. Kira is all, “no way,” but Odo makes the compelling argument that no one knows what the hell species he is, only that he was found in the Space Bermuda Triangle, and the answers to his questions about himself may lie in the wormhole.

Back in the wormhole, the aliens are debating whether or not to kill Sisko, and he says he was sent by the Bajorans, the people they themselves contacted. The aliens are all, “oh, I think not, we only communicate with civilized races, not corporeal trash such as yourself.”

Sisko tries again to explain about how sparkly and awesome humans are, and says that he’ll prove that they are not enemies. The aliens are intrigued. Sisko says that a man is the sum of his experiences, and the aliens are all, “experiences?” and Sisko’s all, “memories,” and the aliens are all, “memories?” and Sisko’s all, “things that happened in the past,” and the aliens are all, “past?,” and Sisko’s all, “I WILL BUY YOU AN OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY FOR CHRISTMAS JUST LOOK INTO MY GODDAMN BRAIN PLEASE.”

Back on the station, they’re technobabbling their way towards the wormhole. It seems like it’s touch and go, and then it happens because Irishy is awesome and also because of magic, I guess!

Kira and Co. are in a shuttle en route to the wormhole, and Dukat is all, “hello, what’s this?” and tells them that he’s going into the wormhole.

Meanwhile, in that very wormhole, the aliens have a therapeutic breakthrough as they learn about Jennifer Sisko and see the moment when Jennifer and Sisko decide to have kids. Sisko defines the words “lost,” “death,” and “past,” and the aliens call bullshit, all like, “NO ONE could live that way. That is AWFUL dude.” Then they are further confused by the concepts of “physical touch,” “pleasure,” “happiness,” and “sadness.” It’s all very existential, and in explaining human existence, Sisko is finally given an opportunity to confront Jennifer’s pointless death as the aliens explain that he exists only in that moment.

Then, as Dukat barrels into the wormhole, the aliens close the wormhole up because they hate it when linear beings come and bother them. They believe linear beings to be inherently destructive, and it’s all very Picard/Q, all of a sudden. Then Sisko has to explain baseball for some reason, and decides that the game could serve as a good analogy for linear existence, because of uncertainty. The aliens can’t believe how much humans get off on the unknown, and Sisko recites what may be the Official Starfleet Creed about explorers, and says he wants to “conquer them not with weapons, but with ideas.”

Back on the station, Kira is dealing with the ongoing presence of Cardassian ships near them who want to know where Gul Dukat went. They don’t believe the “through the wormhole that has now collapsed,” explanation, and demand the station’s unconditional surrender. Kira buys some time, saying she has to weave a burial shroud for the station before she could possibly be expected to surrender. She gets an hour.

They don’t have any shields on the station at the present moment, because they had to use them somehow to move closer to the wormhole. So, they have to solve that problem, and Bashir pipes up that he can’t see the Cardassians firing on a Federation outpost. Kira and Irishy chuckle and pat him on the head, and mutually agree that surrender is not an option. “You’ve seen what they do to their prisoners.” Irishy intones to Kira.

Back in the episode of interstellar Between the Lions going on in the wormhole, the aliens continue to harp on Sisko’s emotional attachment to the moment of Jennifer’s death. Some of Kai Opaka’s oracle-speak comes back to him, and he realizes that he has to confront the moment and get past it. “I was ready to die with her,” he explains, and the aliens are all, “die?” and now I want to die with Jennifer Sisko as well. Jesus.

Sisko tries to explain to the aliens how emotionally wrenching it is to see your dead wife in your mind’s eye all the time, and he reaches deep down inside and gets past it. Those aliens may be annoying as crap, but they should definitely be charging a couple hundred space-bucks a pop for these sessions.

Back on the station, Kira orders Irishy to fire all six of their torpedoes at the lead Cardassian ship, and bluff their asses off. Kira tells the lead Cardassian that if he was

dealing with a Starfleet officer, that officer might admit the fight was lost, but she is a

I don't make things difficult. That's the way they get, all by themselves.

Bajoran, and she is stir-Mel-Gibson-in-Lethal-Weapon-crazy. She concludes with “so, if you want a war, I’ll give you one.” (“Did I fire six torpedoes, or only five? You gotta ask yourself, punk, do I feel lucky? Well, do ya?”)

This works a little too well: instead of stepping off, the Cardassians decide that the Starfleet cavalry could arrive at any moment, and they should definitely just start shooting.

Odo starts evacuating people on the promenade, but there are lots of classic Trek blown-forward-by-an-explosion casualties.

Bashir runs to tend to the wounded, and deputizes Odo specifically so that he can make a M*A*S*H reference. Irishy laments the damage to the station he so recently fixed. Just as Kira is about to surrender, the wormhole reopens, and Kira does a Maury-not-the-father style victory dance, yelling, “WHAT DID I TELL YOU? THERE’S YOUR WORMHOLE!”

Sisko flies out the Rio Grande towing Gul Dukat, who apparently did not have a good time in the Gamma Quadrant (I hear there’s hardly any good restaurants). Dukat signals his ships to disarm, and the crew in Ops all smile at each other, like, teamwork achieved.

On the promenade, Sisko learns that there are no fatalities and Jake is fine. It’s the first time in the show that we see him genuinely happy.

He log-entry-voice-overs that the Cardassians left, and then we cut to another meeting with him and JLP. JLP seems impressed by the badassery of towing Gul Dukat out of the wormhole, and tells Sisko that Bajor is on the map now and this is one of the primo Starfleet postings now. Sisko is all, “please disregard what I said about not wanting to be here,” and JLP is all, “are you sure?” and Sisko is positive. The two share a very manly handshake, and Picard leaves.

We see the characters trading barbs on the promenade – Bashir teasing Odo about using his phaser; Quark hitting on Kira (and Kira subsequently threatening physical harm to his person); Jadzia and Irishy talking technobabble – and the station is beautiful and the horn music swells and I’ll be damned if we’re not in for something great.

AnalysisThis premiere did everything right. It not only introduces characters, it develops those characters over ninety minutes in much the way a movie would. It has a good balance of action, humor, and drama, and we come away feeling close to the characters and wanting to know more. The best part is that, watching it the full episode on DVD or Netlix, you don’t feel like it’s an hour and a half – it doesn’t feel dense, it doesn’t feel like too much. It just feels like a great, great episode, and it whets your appetite for the great episodes to follow.

Tim’s Analysis: I can’t add much that hasn’t already been said. This is the best Star Trek premiere. We get a solid introduction to the neighborhood and the players. We see the character interactions start to form. We get a lot of little questions we want answered to keep us coming back and we get a nice send-off from Picard. This is an hour and a half well spent to get started in this universe.

6 thoughts on “DS9 Season 1 Ep1: “Emissary”

  1. Pingback: DS9 Season 1 Ep13 – “Battle Lines” | Meredith and Tim Watch Star Trek

  2. Pingback: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | Meredith and Tim Watch Star Trek

  3. Pingback: DS9 Season 1 Wrap-up | Meredith and Tim Watch Star Trek

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