To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S01E19: “In the Hands of the Prophets”

To Boldly Sew is a recap of DS9 episodes, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the series. Feel free to discuss matters of plot and general Star Trek things in the comments. 

I’m getting all these screenshots from, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (

O’Brien is trying to convince his wife to have a jumja stick, which looks like an ice pop to me, but brown, and is apparently full of vitamin C and made from sap or something.


Keiko manages to again wear an outfit that doesn’t look like it would be out of place in our time. The orangey-red shirt goes well with the beige sweater. It’s pretty conservative, but then she’s a teacher so it makes sense.

He says that Neela told him about them. Keiko asks if she is working out better than the last one. He says she’s terrific. She teases him about having feelings for Neela.

Keiko is teaching her class about the wormhole.

I feel like this topic should have been covered earlier, but okay.

I thought it was a brown vest under the beige sweater, but it looks like it’s dark green, maybe with beading on it?

As she’s speaking, a fancily dressed Bajoran woman comes in. Keiko stops talking but the woman tells her to continue.

Kid: Um, why are you holding on to my shoulders? 

Ooh boy. Lots of stuff going on here. Let’s start at the top. The headdress is pretty complex but not really shown well in this screenshot, so we’ll come back to it. Really high turtleneck that I guess is connected to the cowl that’s beneath the hat thing. It looks like she’s wearing a fitted bright blue shirt beneath a looser-fitting garment that’s dark red. Maybe velvet? There’s some fancy trimming on top of all that which might be a separate garment and might not. And then there’s some big gold rings as well.


The outfit does a good job of conveying a sort of religious excess, if that makes sense. It reminds me of the robes that corrupt bishops would wear.

Keiko explains to the class that the wormhole is stable because it was artificially constructed. Sisko encountered the entities who created it. The woman who came in interrupts and asks if she means the Prophets. Keiko agrees that the Bajorans worship the entities as Prophets, and then goes on to continue explaining the science. The woman says the ships are guided through by the hands of the Prophets.

Keiko says that this is true in a manner of speaking, and the woman says, “Not, apparently, in your manner of speaking.” Keiko suggests they discuss this after class. The woman asks her thoughts on the Celestial Temple within the wormhole. Keiko says she doesn’t believe that, but respects that’s what the Bajorans believe. She says she doesn’t teach Bajoran spiritual beliefs either, that’s her job. She says she opens the children’s’ minds with literature, science. The woman says she’s opening their minds to blasphemy and she won’t let it continue.


O’Brien is working with Neela. They talk technobabble. They’re working on fixing things. O’Brien is pleased with how well she is working. They go to close the panel, but O’Brien is missing a tool he needs. He’s concerned as he doesn’t usually misplace his tools.

There’s this clear empty space where it should go, in case we were wondering.


Keiko talks to Sisko about the Bajoran lady who interrupted class. He says he’s not surprised this happened.

Sisko says the confrontation was inevitable, and he wonders if they’ll ever be able to find common ground enough for Bajor to allow them to join the Federation. He calls in Major Kira.

Kira says she’s heard that Vedek Winn has been meeting with some of the Bajoran civilians about it. Sisko asks for more info on Winn. Kira says she’s from an orthodox order, has some support to be the next Kai.

Keiko asks how much support she has on the station. Kira admits she supports Winn. Keiko is shocked that Kira would think that teaching the facts about the wormhole amounts to blasphemy. Kira says some revisions might be appropriate as she does teach a lot of Bajoran children. Keiko says she’s not going to allow a Bajoran spiritual leader dictate what she can and cannot each. Kira suggests they have two schools.

Sisko thinks that’s a little ridiculous. He thinks it’s not a good idea to separate Bajoran and Federation interests. Kira argues that they’re separate philosophies. Keiko says she’s not teaching philosophy, she’s teaching pure science. Kira says that some people might think that teaching science without a spiritual context is a philosophy. Sisko says there is room for all philosophies on the station.

He asks for practical suggestions. Kira says she’s not sure if it’s possible to deal with it.

Sisko goes to the Bajoran temple on the station, which we haven’t yet been in. It’s full of candles.


I’m not clear on this aspect of Bajoran spiritual life. Are there services here where multiple people gather? Because it doesn’t seem like there’s much room for people here, so is it more of an individual practice, where people pop in when they feel they want to, or want to talk to a spiritual leader? Or is this just a small chapel where Winn is privately praying, but there’s a larger room nearby where larger gatherings take place? Anyway, the room manages to be spiritual and futuristic at the same time.

Vedek Winn says she’s looked forward to visit him. Sisko says if he’d known she was coming, he would have greeted her sooner, but she says she didn’t want to bother him with her insignificant visit. Sisko says he doesn’t call it insignificant.

He asks her not to call him the Emissary. She says he has an important place in Bajoran spiritual life. He says he’s not comfortable in that role. She says the prophets don’t always choose a comfortable path for us, but we must follow it.

inthehands06I’m still not sure how her hat was made. It’s three different layers, and reminds me simultaneously of the Sydney Opera House, a pioneer woman’s bonnet, and a bishop’s miter. I’m guessing the first was unintentional, but the other two work together to convey both modesty and religion, so good job on the costume designer.

Sisko says he wants to resolve the issue with the school. Winn says the Prophets have spoken to her through the orbs and her duty is to defend the Bajoran faith. She says the teacher has to recant or she won’t be responsible for the consequences.

Chief  and Neela are looking for his tool. She doesn’t know why he thinks it’s important, but he says with this tool (an interlock) someone could access every system on the station.

Dax asks if he’s seen Ensign Aquino, who can’t be found on the station, but is not shown to have been logged out. Chief says he has not, and Dax decides to contact Odo.

Neela and Chief search for the tool by using the scanners to search for the metal it’s made of. The computer finds the tool locker, where O’Brien has already searched. They also find something in a power conduit, so O’Brien has the computer reroute around the power conduit.

They find something in the conduit, which looks like a blob of something.

RIP interlock device….

They conclude it’s the missing interlock, melted by the conduit’s plasma flow. They still don’t know how it got there in the first place, though.

As he scans, O’Brien notes there are traces of organic material on the metal as well. He decides to take this sample to Bashir.

O’Brien talks to Keiko. He says that Ensign Aquino made a log entry the night he disappeared about a plasma flow irregularity in the conduit. He indicated he was going to fix it. So it was an accident. Apparently Bashir confirmed the remains were human.

They stop at the little shop for O’Brien to get a jumja stick. The guy says they’re out, even though there are clearly some on display. He says those aren’t for sale.

Worst. Liar. Ever. 

O’Brien starts to threaten him. Odo happens to be nearby and asks if there’s a problem. The guy says he doesn’t have to sell anything to them if he doesn’t want to. Odo is confused: why wouldn’t he want to sell to them? Keiko tries to get Miles to leave. As they walk away, the guy says “Seek the Prophets.”

Odo shakes his head and mutters, “seek them yourself.”

O’Brien thinks maybe he should put in for a transfer. Keiko says they can’t run away from this now.

Vedek Winn and some children and parents are standing out in front of the school when they arrive.

Inspiration: a box of Crayola crayons. 

Well, that’s a colorful image. The kid on the right has clearly taken Jake Sisko’s fashion advice with his jumpsuit. The kid to the left of him is turned to the side, so we can’t see his outfit clearly, but I’m getting kind of an Elvis vibe from the black. The girl all the way to the left is wearing the pinkest possible pink, and the kid next to her looks miserable in purple. There’s also a kid on the left wearing what looks like overalls (that’s probably really a jumpsuit) and Vedek Winn seems intent on manhandling the same kid she was holding on to in the class, keeping her hands on his shoulders.


She has been speaking about how they can’t abandon the Prophets. As they approach, Winn says that she’s heard Mrs. O’Brien is an excellent teacher.

Chief says she doesn’t deserve what Winn is doing to her. Winn magnanimously says that she feels his anger and forgives him for it. She apologizes if she’s misjudged Mrs. O’Brien and asks if there’s a place in her school for the Prophets. Keiko flatly says No.

Winn says she admires her for standing by her convictions and wants to find a way for the kids to stay in the school. She says that she’ll make the first concession – she won’t require Keiko to teach about the celestial temple – just don’t teach anything about the wormhole at all. Find other things to teach.

Keiko asks about evolution and the creation of the universe – what then? Winn says they will face the issues when they come to them. Keiko says her job is to expose children to knowledge, not hide it from them. The answer is no. The crowd murmurs. Winn says she’s trying to be reasonable.

She and the crowd move away from the school, taking the kids with them, leaving Jake and a few other non-Bajorans behind.


Jake is taller than the rest of the kids by like a mile, but he has not advanced in terms of fashion. Still, the blue-purple jumpsuit is not the worst thing he’s ever worn. I’m not a fan of the dark haired girl with the pink outfit that reminds me of a doll from the eighties or the girl all the way to the left in multiple purples. I do love the green swirly outfit the kid all the way to the right is wearing, and the weird folding layers or whatever on the girl with the darker pink outfit. She’s also got some interesting hair going on.

Sisko and his team are discussing the death of Aquino. If he turned off the power conduit to fix it, why did it reactivate? O’Brien says some technobabble about how it might have come back on and rerouted through the conduit he’d turned off. Dax says he doesn’t sound convinced.

O’Brien says it adds up, but…Aquino borrowed the tool without asking. Kira points out it was 4:00 am and maybe he didn’t want to ask. Chief says the repairs could have waited. He was a Starfleet engineer, and they don’t take their chief’s tools without asking. Odo asks if he’s suggesting it wasn’t an accident. O’Brien says he doesn’t know.

Sisko suggests Odo take a closer look at things.


Jake has arrived and wants to talk to his dad. He says that even though it was only him and four other kids, Mrs. O’Brien kept the school open. They learned about Galileo instead. He was tried and convicted for teaching that the earth revolved around the sun, and then his books were burned. Jake wonders how anyone could be so stupid.

Sisko says it’s easy to look back and judge what’s right and wrong. Jake says the same thing is happening now, and it’s dumb. Sisko says that the one thing that allowed the Bajorans to survive the Cardassian occupation was their faith. The Prophets were their source of hope and courage. Jake points out that there were no prophets, just aliens. Sisko says that the aliens find the future no more difficult to consider than the past, so why not consider them prophets? It’s a matter of interpretation.

He tells Jake that they can’t afford to not consider other points of view. Jake asks if he’s worried and what he’s going to do. Sisko says he’s not sure but he needs to find some help.

Sisko goes to Bajor and throws rocks in the water. A man named Vedek Bareil comes to see him.


This image is just so bright I feel like I ought to put on shades. I don’t know how either of them is managing to not just squint constantly in this scene. Anyway, aside from the brightness, Bareil seems to be as plainly dressed as one can be when wearing orange. It’s clearly intended to be a boring monk type outfit, but in color! instead of brown.


Sisko starts to bow, and Bareil stops him, saying there’s no need to pay tribute. Sisko says he was bending because usually Bajoran spiritual leaders like to grab his ear. Bareil says it’s unpleasant, and Sisko agrees. Bareil says that he had an unpleasant experience with an old monk who used to do that to him, and so he wants to do away with that ritual. Sisko says he has the Federation’s support.

Bareil is planting while they talk. He’s tired of listening to vedeks talking and wanted to spend some time in the arboretum. He started his service at the monastery as a gardener with no other ambition but to grow beautiful bromeliads.

Bareil says he knows about Winn’s visit to the station. Sisko says he’s hoping Bareil can arrange an audience with the assembly to discuss the school because he’s the leading candidate to be the next Kai, and their ideologies are different.

Bareil says that he’s right about their ideologies, but the Vedek assembly won’t see Sisko. Some fear him because he’s a symbol of a godless Federation, some because he’s the Emissary, and some because Winn told them to. He says he’ll be a better friend one days if the Prophets will him to be Kai. Sisko interprets this all to mean that he is playing politics.


Sisko goes back to Ops. He notes that things look a little understaffed. Kira reports that 3 Bajoran crewmen didn’t report for duty, claiming to be sick.

He asks if her people are willing to throw away everything they’ve worked for over the last 7 months. She says that everyone knows if the Federation leaves the Cardassians will return. Sisko says protecting the borders is not the primary reason they’re there, and he wants to build a trusting relationship with her people and he’d like to feel like someone on her side is giving support back.

Kira starts to say that she’s giving support back, but he says it’s not enough. She says she thought there was room for all philosophies. He says to sell the sick Bajoran crewmen to get well immediately or they’ll recover on the way to their next assignment.

Bashir and Odo come in then. Bashir says he’s reconstructed the victim’s DNA. It was definitely Aquino, but the power flow didn’t kill him. He was exposed to a directed energy discharge before he was put in the conduit. O’Brien, who is standing behind them with Neela, asks if this means a phaser. Odo confirms – a phaser set to kill.

Sisko gathers everyone in his office to stand in a line.


He wonders if the murder is related to the tensions with the school. Kira is astonished. Before she can get too defensive, Bashir explains that the analysis proves he was killed the night before Vedek Winn arrived – there was no school issue yet.

Sisko asks if anyone has any ideas about motive. There is silence. He decides to start at the beginning. Ensign Aquino went to repair a conduit.

Odo is not convinced of that, though the log shows that. The log could have been altered. He’s checked the security videos of the turbolifts – Aquino did take a turbolift, but not to the power conduit where he was found. He went to  Runabout Pad C instead.

Chief and Neela investigate the runabout and Pad C – it seems normal. The airlock doesn’t seem to have been tampered with. Neela ran a diagnostic and everything is normal. There’s no evidence of anything having happened.

Neela asks if he knew the guy well, and he says no. Nor does Neela. She says that Bajoran and Starfleet officers don’t socialize much; she doesn’t know why, they just keep to themselves. Chief points out that she’s not like that with him, and she says he’s not like the others. He doesn’t put on airs and is just nicer.

Chief says he’ll close up, she should take off. She agrees, and says goodnight.

On the Promenade, a group of people are coming out of an airlift. Odo observes as Quark comes over to talk to him.


We don’t get a good look at any of the new arrivals, but they all seem to be wearing dark red vests. Quark is wearing his light green paisley jacket.

Odo tells him they’re from an Orthodox spiritual order coming to support Vedek Winn’s efforts. Quark says he’ll need twice as many dabo girls, as spiritual types loves those.

Odo asks what he knows about Aquino’s murder. Quark claims to be completely innocent, and none of his friends have taken credit for the death, but he promises to keep his ears open, as it is the 7th rule of Acquisition.


O’Brien comes over to talk to Odo next. He gives him a small thing that he says is a security bypass module. It wasn’t at the runabout pad he was investigating; the pad was clean. He ran a diagnostic across the board and found this at a different runabout pad. Aquino never went there, it doesn’t make sense.

Odo think it does make sense. Aquino went to Pad C because he saw some anomaly there. He interrupted whoever was tampering with it, and was killed. The killer put the body in the conduit, then moved to Pad A, since Aquino might be seen heading for Pad C.

But what was the plan? Everything else seems normal. Odo says he’d guess someone wanted to steal a runabout. But they’re not missing one.

While they’re considering this, an explosion happens.

O’Brien realizes it’s coming from the school, and starts running. The place is on fire.

Always share explosion pictures. Always. 

He screams for Keiko, and Odo has to stop him from running inside Keiko comes from another direction – she wasn’t in the school.

Sisko comes to check out the wreckage. Kira says that she’s reading traces of common explosives. Odo concludes it’s a simple, homemade bomb.

Yep, it’s destroyed.

Outside, Winn comes through the crowd. When she hears everyone is okay, she says the prophets have been kind. Sisko says the prophets have nothing to do with it. This was the work of a disturbed and violent mind who listened to her voice.


She asks if the Emissary is blaming her for this act of terrorism, and he says the Commander of the Station is. He says she claims the Prophets as her personal constituency, but he’s not sure that’s justified – who does she speak for? An order barely listened to in her own assembly so she came there to drum up support?

Winn asks if Bareil told him that: he’s misguided. She then says Sisko is not misguided, but wants to destroy him, and he lives without a soul. The Federation exists in a universe of darkness.


There’s an interesting aspect to Bajoran religion that I think this image shows via clothing. Vedek Winn wears red. Previously, the people we’ve seen near the Bajoran temple have been wearing orange robes, like the guy standing next to her. It seems like the members of Winn’s order, who we can see here wearing dark red vests and purplish shirts, have similar fashion sense. Bareil was shown wearing orange robes on Bajor. I wonder if the colors have symbolic meaning for Bajorans, and whether or not these ideologies have caused as much chaos as, say, the division between Catholics and Protestants.

Sisko says she’s made her first mistake. The Bajorans who have lived and worked with them on the station, helped them move the station to protect the wormhole, joined them to explore the Gamma Quadrant, who have begun to build the future of Bajor, know that they are not the enemy or the devil. They don’t always agree, he says, looking at Kira, but they come away with a better understanding of one another. The school will reopen and when her rhetoric is old, the Bajoran parents will bring their children back.

“We’ll see,” she says.

He leaves, and Kira follows, leaving Neela there.

Back at Ops, Chief reports that his wife is okay and will hold school in one of the cargo bays. Sisko says Jake will be there.

Chief tells Sisko about the security bypass module he was discussing with Odo. He details how he’s upped security at all the runabout pads, thinking someone might try again to steal one.

Dax reports there’s an incoming transmission from Vedek Bareil on a Bajoran transport. Sisko orders it onscreen.


Bareil appears and says he’s decided to accept the gracious invitation. Sisko is confused. Bareil recalls that he was invited to tour the facility. Oh, yes, of course, they’d be honored. Unfortunately there’s some damage, and they won’t have time to clean it up.

“Yes, I heard,” Bareil says, “perhaps I can help you clean it up.”

In the Bajoran temple, a monk is helping Winn to dress. Neela approaches to speak to her. Winn says she should not be there. Neela reports that they found out about the runabout. She has no way to escape.


Neela has a fancy hairstyle. I wonder how long her hair would be if she let it down.

Winn says they must accept that this is the will of the Prophets. Neela says if she goes through with it she’ll be caught and executed. Winn takes her hands and says the Prophets call on them to make great sacrifices but also give great rewards.

O’Brien discovers a subprogram he doesn’t recognize that is protected by a personal access code under his authority, though he never saw the file before. The computer won’t let him access it. He and Dax start to decrypt it with some technobabble.

Meanwhile, a ship is docking. An enthusiastic crowd has assembled to great Vedek Bareil as he arrives. Above, Neela is watching them.


The crowd here seems to mostly be ordinary Bajorans, some wearing uniforms and some in ordinary clothes. Near the top of the screen there are a few who might be wearing robes.

O’Brien has decrypted the file. It seems to be a bunch of commands to disable force fields leading to Runabout Pad A. They run a sensor sweep of the promenade. He realizes it’s an escape route. But from what?

The computer reports that a subspace relay was activated from the security office. It can’t tell them what it was to designed to do, though. O’Brien heads there to check it out.

Bareil and his crowd arrive at the temple where Winn is waiting.



He’s still wearing orange, but now he’s put an over-robe of sorts over the plain orange part. It’s fancier, but still nowhere near as fancy as Winn’s outfit.

They both talk about how their paths have separated and they want to come together. Bareil invites her to the school to show their commitment to a peaceful resolution. She has no choice but to agree. They move through the promenade, the crowd following. Neela is amongst them.

Chief goes to the security office and begins scanning things. He learns that the subspace device is inside the isolinear coprocessor that he just repaired two days ago. He realizes that he did so with Neela.

The crowd moves toward the damaged school. Bareil begins to speak about the shame he finds on the sight.


Lots of good crowd shots here. There are Starfleet officers here – I wonder if this is like tourism to them, or political intrigue – and a few other aliens. I love most the woman all the way to the left who is wearing a light-blue sheer-looking thing over a dark green long-sleeved shirt. Interesting combination. I think I like it.

Chief figures that Neela must have messed with the isolinear coprocessor, and he thinks it was to disable weapons sensors on the promenade. Everything looks okay, but he acknowledges that she’s really good and can make it look normal. He calls Sisko.

Sisko steps away from the speech by Bareil to listen to Chief’s report that he thinks the weapons detectors might have been disabled by Neela. Returning to the platform, Sisko scans the crowd to look for Neela.

She moves among them easily, moving closer to the platform. She opens her case and takes out a weapon. Sisko shouts “No!” and dives off the stage, running toward her. Neela aims at Bareil and misses. The crowd parts around her. Sisko jumps and tackles her, pulling the weapon from her.


This shot is amazing. Sisko, in mid-air, falling on to Neela. Their shadows clearly outlined on the ground. The crowd, parting. The tall guy in bright yellow seems to be held on to by an ordinary-sized Bajoran in a gray uniform. Some people are falling into one another to get out of the way.

Odo arrives to assist.

“The Prophets spoke!” she shouts as they drag her away, “I answered their call!”

Bareil’s attendants move him away. Kira realizes that Winn was behind the whole thing, and rushes forward to confront her. “It was all to get him here, wasn’t it?” she demands. It was all to get him out of the monastery and bring him there and kill him, to stop him from becoming Kai.

Winn doesn’t answer, just walks away.

Kira is in Ops, absently staring into space. Sisko approaches.


Neela insists she acted alone, unless you want to consider the Prophets coconspirators, he reports. Kira says she’ll never say the truth, and they’ll never prove Winn was involved. He asks if she’s okay and she says she left okay a long time ago. She was thinking about how a year prior she was fighting Cardassians in a swamp, and if you’d told her how things would change….

She says she envied Winn because she was a true believer, and wanted her faith to be as strong. Sisko says maybe it is. He says he has a report to put together for Starfleet, but she should get some rest. Kira says she’d rather help. She then says that she agrees with what he said to Winn at the school – that she doesn’t think he’s the devil. Sisko says maybe they’ve made some progress after all.

Stray Thoughts:

* Wow, two really heavy episodes with fairly clear parallels to reality in a row. Phew.

* I like that the B plot (Aquino’s death) eventually connected to the main story, but not in the way expected by anyone. Sisko even senses that there must be a connection, and you know most viewers were thinking that, but it doesn’t line up the way we expected.

* I am disappointed that we don’t get to see Kira’s thoughts on matters. How does she reconcile her spiritual beliefs about the Celestial Temple with the scientific facts of the wormhole that she no doubt sees every day? That might be an interesting thing to explore.

* Also interesting would be any ordinary Bajoran’s thoughts on the school. Winn speaks on behalf of the kids and the parents, but we don’t get to hear from the parents themselves. I assume maybe some of them think the school is a good idea, but feel like they ought to go along with what everyone else is doing, via peer pressure, or because they’re afraid of Winn.

* Maybe because I don’t come from a strict religious background, but I kept wondering why they couldn’t have a separate religious school and secular school. I had CCD. My husband had Hebrew School. I also wonder how the non-Bajoran parents would feel if they knew their kids were learning about Bajoran spirituality instead of science.

* This was the last episode of Season 1. Way to go out with a bang! (Literally!) Next week I’m going to do a retrospective of the best and worst outfits and episodes of the season before moving on to the next season. I welcome your thoughts on that!