2.03: “The Siege”

So this is the conclusion to the show’s first real multi-parter! And it’s not too bad, actually. I kind of feel like the pacing of the three episodes together is a bit off, but that may also be that it’s been 26 years since it was made, and after years of Peak TV™ my expectations around story beats are different.

First things first

I love pretty much everything about the evacuation scenes at the beginning of the episode. A small selection of my personal highlights:

  • Everything about Jake and Nog, who are angels.
  • Molly O’Brien’s hair, which is extremely cute.
  • Odo turning Quark’s trolling around by telling him that he’ll miss him.
  • Rom beating Quark at his own game and giving his ticket to a dabo girl, because even years before he starts a union Rom already has a sense of of class solidarity.

I do find it interesting that the crew who stay behind don’t wear their uniforms — there’s never going to be any question about their identities, so it’s clearly a symbolic gesture, but there isn’t really any attention drawn to the significance of it.

And on the subject of symbolic gestures, this marks the first time they use the baseball on Sisko’s desk for one. As I mentioned during “If Wishes Were Horses“, I had forgotten, or perhaps never even fully appreciated, that it’s not just a memento from home, but something he was given by an alien during a first contact incident. That changes the significance of the symbol for me a bit — it’s not just Sisko staking a claim to the station, but a caution to Bajor not to retreat in on itself. Even if the separatists win, they’ll have seized a station right next to a wormhole into the Gamma Quadrant; they’re simply not going to be able to avoid interactions with aliens. (And that’s not even mentioning the fact that the Cardassians are actively preparing to annex Bajor again.)

Kira’s cave time is going far better than it did last episode

Kira is 100% flirting with Jadzia on the moon. I have never really been into that ship but I am not gonna pretend I don’t see where people are coming from with it.

This is also, I feel like, the first we’ve really seen of Dax as less than 100% collected. As I’ve mentioned a bit in the past, in the first season, it felt like they were never quite sure how to use the character in a way that plays to Terry Farrell’s strengths; this season, they let her loosen up a bit.

Also, remember in “Move Along Home” when she was injured, and tried to convince everyone else to leave her behind by telling Sisko she’d do the same to him? I mean, we all knew that was complete BS anyway, but I was still delighted to get confirmation when she refuses to leave the injured Kira behind.

Plus, really, from a practical point of view, given that they’re in the middle of an attempted coup by people who want all aliens off Bajor, it, uh, may not be much safer for Dax to risk getting caught alone than for her to stay with Kira, not to mention that a lot of people in the Chamber of Ministers will probably not be as inclined to give the evidence much weight, if she’s even allowed access in the first place.

Speaking of the Council of Ministers…

Oh, right, that whole coup thing

I found Winn’s immediate abandonment of Jaro both hilarious and also interesting? Interesting because, while of course it marks her further as ambitious and untrustworthy, it also says interesting things about her instincts — she immediately understands that Jaro has failed, and promptly cuts her losses and keeps moving. Whatever else one might say of Winn Adami, she’s a survivor.

But also, the way we see her do a total 180 on him with no friction at all is just hilarious to me. No agonizing, no long drawn-out scenes of her ~betraying~ him or coming to him to gloat later, just Winn’s internal “WELP” and it’s done.

(Partly this might be that, as someone who can turn even the most trivial choices, like what candy to buy when I’m having a snack craving, into a long and anxiety-ridden ordeal, I’m a bit envious of her ability to make a snap decision like that.)

Horniness rankings

  1. Winn, who is slightly horny for Jaro but significantly more horny for power.
  2. Rom, for justice in the face of naked capitalism!!! But also for a dabo girl.
  3. Kira, who seems to be having more fun on that little moon than we’ve seen her have maybe ever, and is also extremely into Jadzia. Which, really, who can blame her?

2 thoughts on “2.03: “The Siege”

  1. I thought this was a satisfying ending to the trilogy, except for the Li Nalas storyline. I understand why they wanted the character to die, but it felt cheap and predictable when it happened. It would have been much more interesting (and challenging to the writers) to have him return as a semi-regular character showing the perspective of what it was like to have been a quote-unquote hero now forced to confront the realities of a Bajor still very much trying to get its stuff together. Eventually I guess they decided to do this with other characters (Shakaar mainly) and I didn’t think Richard Beymer was… the most… gifted? actor, so I don’t necessarily disagree with the choice, it just felt like it was the writers letting themselves off the hook. So to speak. (It also rings false that no one ever mentions him again throughout the run of the series, unless I’m forgetting something. I had barely remembered his storyline all before I rewatched these episodes.)

    All the characters worked well together here. The Dax/Kira pairing was inspired and genuinely hilarious. Although the fighter-piloting hijinks look primitive as an action set piece by today’s standards, they were pretty new for Star Trek at the time, which was still very much centered on big lumbering battlecruisers taking shots at each other, like WWI in space. This was a harbringer of much more innovative and high-speed starship battles yet to come on DS9.

    Other set pieces were much less successful. I feel like the climactic scene in the Chamber of Ministers should have been in an elaborate legislative hall which could have showcased some Bajoran architecture, but instead it was in a tiny, dull conference room. Then as I was thinking about it, I remembered that in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the government of South Korea – which had been liberated by 35 years of Japanese occupation at the end of World War II in 1945 – used Japanese buildings for everything because they had no choice; they were what was around, they were standing, they used them. So maybe the Bajorans have to have their Chamber of Ministers meet in a crummy conference room because they’re using the Cardassian government center building (although the architecture isn’t particularly Cardassian, or particularly anything else that I noticed). Fun fact, the largest U.S. Army installation in South Korea from 1945 until 2018, Yongsan Garrison in the heart of downtown Seoul, used Japanese-built buildings for a bunch of its functions because they were there and it was cheaper than tearing them down just to build new buildings. (The buildings are actually still there, but that particular base is closing and will be demolished probably next year.)

    Again, I liked General Krim in this episode a lot. His caution and deliberation are well-signaled by the script (mostly by bouncing them off his more impatient subordinate) and are shown to be correct. I like when intelligent characters are written intelligently and it works well in a story. The one area I think is lacking is how quickly he wraps up operations and returns the station to Sisko after a short conversation. For a character written to be deliberative and cautious, it’s a fast turn. But the episode was at the 39 minute mark I guess.

    Is the station actually empty when the Bajorans arrive or are all the civilians sheltering in their quarters? I thought the Bajorans were staying while Starfleet evacuated.

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