Friday, April 30, 2010

Deep Space Nine--"Accession"

I had completely forgotten about this episode until seeing it again now. It slipped my mind most likely because it feels out of place with the current narrative threads running through the series. It is a more significant episode now considering the parallels between a new emissary appearing to reestablish the more strict religious order on the Bajoran people and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

An ancient ship, similar to the one flown by Sisko in “Explorers,” comes through the wormhole. The pilot is one of Bajor’s most famous poets, Akorem. He was brought into the wormhole by the prophets who healed his mortal wound and then returned him two hundred years later. Akorem is convinced he is the true Emissary. Sisko who has grown weary of serving as a religious icon, readily abdicates as the Emissary.

Unfortunately, Akorem believes it is his job to reestablish D’Jara on Bajor. Think of it as Wahhabism. There is a caste system in which Bajorans can only serve in certain jobs according to their status. Refusal to cooperate results in execution by religious edict. Worse yet, a return to the D’Jara means Bajor does not wish to join the Federation.

The Bajorans originally cast off the D’Jara in order to uite in fighting the Cardassians. They have grown since then. Sisko realizes this and what a step back returnig to the old ways would be. he decides to challenge Akorem’s claim to be the Emissary.

They visit the wormhole to consult the prophets. They confirm they brought Akorem into the future to convince sisko he is the true Emissary ad future of Bajor. They Akorem back into the past fully healed, but with no memory of what happened. Sisko becomes much more comfortable with his Emissary role now that he knows what would happen without his guidance.

The B-story involves o’Brien adjusting to having his family back. The character is somewhat diminished here. He does not seem very happy to learn he is going to be a father again. It appears he would rather hang out with Bashir than his family. He even sees to long for his bachelor days, a point the vehemently denied back in ’Hippocratic Oath.” While o’Brien is not my favorite character by any stretch, I am comfortable with him more as the straitlaced family man than someone who still has wild oats to sow. He was not presented well here at all.

But otherwise, I liked “Accession.” I am betting this is one I like now more than I did when it first aired. Easy to speculate, since I had completely forgotten it.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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