To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S03E013: “Life Support”

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 general Star Trek things in the comments. All screenshots come from trekcore.com, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (http://sttngfashion.tumblr.com/).


Synopsis: When a serious accident nearly destroys a Bajoran transport arriving at the space station, Vedek Bareil is critically injured.


Jake is on the promenade when he is approached by a girl whom he identifies as Leanne. He thought she was on Bajor but she came back early.

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Jake has a lame outfit today – red/orange pants and a shirt that’s brown and kind of the same red-orange. It’s not a jumpsuit, so I suppose we should be happy.

I do want to point out the yellowish striped outfit worn by someone in the background to the left of Jake. I don’t know what’s going on there but I like it.

Leanne says she was thinking about him as she passed the Klingon restaurant and they reminisce about that and another guy named Orak who was with them. Jake asks about Orak and she says they stopped seeing each other a few weeks prior.

There’s an awkward pause and then she asks if he’s doing anything tomorrow night. He admits he was going to play dom-jot with Nog, but they’re not firm plans and he was thinking of cancelling. Leanne says if he does cancel, would he like dinner at the Klingon restaurant? He agrees.

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Leanne has a pretty simple red dress here, with matching tights and shoes.

Jake smiles to himself as he watches her leave, and then Odo and O’Brien and a few other people come running through a door behind him, asking for people to move out of the way.

They head down a corridor where an alarm is blaring and meet up with Bashir and another medical person, a woman who is wearing the unfortunate uniform of medical people on DS9 who are not Bashir.

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This is, I presume, the Bajoran medical uniform. I hate it more than the usual Bajoran uniforms.

Bashir asks for details and O’Brien says there’s a Bajoran transport coming in that had some kind of accident onboard with casualties. Bashir says they should have beamed them directly to the infirmary, but they couldn’t do that because of a loose plasma coil and they couldn’t beam through the radiation.

Odo has secured the docking clamps and is opening the airlock. Everyone stands back as the doors open. They can see smoke and steam. Odo and the others rush through the doors as passengers start to come out.

There’s a woman, coughing – the female medical person goes to help her. A few other people come out, including Kai Winn, helped by an older man. Bashir recognizes her and is surprised.

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The Kai is wearing her usual yellow robes. I’m still not used to seeing her hair, which blends in with the yellow of her outfit.

Winn says take care of the Vedek, and then goes on her way, not visibly injured. Behind her, two men carry Vedek Bareil from the airlock.

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It’s not clear exactly what happened to Bareil, but he’s got some nasty looking wounds on his chest that I presume are burns.

Odo watches them pass and calls Kira to tell her she should come to the infirmary as Bareil was on the transport and has been injured.


 

CUE THEME

Kira paces the infirmary while an unidentified Starfleet medical woman examines Kai Winn.

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Winn has taken off her yellow robes and is just wearing the white from underneath. I’m not sure why that’s necessary, but whatever.

O’Brien comes in with a report from the transport accident. Sisko wants the short version, so O’Brien says that there was a molecular fracture in one of the plasma conduits and it was only a matter of time before it gave way. When it collapsed, the entire relay system exploded.

Winn asks if it was sabotage. O’Brien doesn’t think so. Kira wonders why she’d suspect sabotage. She says she’d rather discuss that with Sisko in private. Since she’s apparently feeling okay, she gets up and Sisko escorts her out of the infirmary.


Meanwhile, Bashir is doing surgery, which requires him to wear one of those all-red outfits with flat-top hats that I suppose work as scrubs in the future.

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He’s assisted by a woman with the same outfit (I assume the same assistant from earlier) and as they’re working there’s suddenly a sound – Bareil has gone into cardiac arrest. Bashir has a paddle and zaps him a few times, which brings him back around.

I’m not going to bother to try transcribe or translate the techno-medical talk for you, just suffice to say that there’s a lot of it passing between Bashir and his assistant. Synaptic failure. They stimulate the brain stem.


Sisko and Winn are in his office. She’s back in her usual gold outfit now, so I conclude that she put on the gold part over the white part. Sisko gives her a mug of some beverage.

Winn explains that she and Bareil were on their way to a secret meeting with a member of the Cardassian Central Command. She wanted to open talks that would lead to a treaty and a final peace settlement. She says that the prophets say that while violence may keep an enemy at bay, only peace can make him a friend.

Sisko asks how long this has been going on. She says that Bareil has been working to set up a meeting with Legate Turrel for five months and they’ve discussed a variety of issues including the possibility of a formal apology from Cardassia. They were heading to their first face to face meeting.

He is surprised and says that he never would have guessed she would be the one to bring such a bold vision of peace. She admits Bareil did a lot of the work and without him the talks would never have come this far.

Sisko also observes that she seems to appreciate Bareil a lot and she says he’s been a loyal and trustworthy aide since the election. She’s not sure she could be as forgiving if she were in his place.


Back in the infirmary, Bashir goes to talk to Kira. He says that the radiation severely damaged Bareil’s neural pathways, and he did everything he could. Kira says she knows he did and asks if Bareil regained consciousness. He says no, and he doesn’t think there was any suffering.

Kira thinks him and wants to go back to work. He discourages her but she wants to go, and does.


Back in the operating room, they’ve put a sheet over the body, and the assistant lady tells Bashir they’re ready to start the autopsy.

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He orders them to release the stasis field and the sheet turns from green to white. I thought stasis was what you did to keep things alive (or in suspended animation of some sort) but maybe it’s also for preservation?

Anyway, they pull the sheet back and put this metal helmet thing on Bareil. Bashir wants to start with a neural scan and map some pathways to figure out where things broke down.

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The assistant starts taking neural tissue samples. Bashir goes over to the computer and says the damage started in the parietal lobe and spread through the brain in a retrograde manner.

Suddenly, a flash of light appears like a lightning bolt on the screen. A neuron has fired in the cerebral cortex. The assistant pauses her own work and comes over to look. Another neuron fires and Bashir concludes that the nerves are still transmitting electrical impulses to the brain.

How can that be if his brain activity is zero, the assistant wonders. Bashir doesn’t know and says this means his body is sending messages to the brain but the brain can’t process them. The radiation might have fortified his peripheral cell membranes. He thinks they can regenerate pathways and revive him.

What about brain damage, the sensible assistant asks, as he’s been without oxygen for forty minutes. Bashir says it’s fine since he’s been in stasis most of that time. I again don’t know what stasis means but he’s the doctor.

Anyway they start directing bursts of energy into the cerebral cortex and that’s supposed to restart his brain is basically what I got out of this discussion. They shine some lights on Bareil’s head and then his eyelids start to flicker.

Then they plug something into his brain and zap him with some electricity, and then some more, and then some more. The assistant thinks he’s crazy but Bashir ignores her.

Bareil opens his eyes and takes a breath.


 

Sisko, Kira, and Winn gather in the operating room to stare at Bareil. Bashir says it’s early but he’s hoping for a full recovery, and he should get on his feet again in a few weeks.

The others are impressed and Winn calls it a miracle. Bashir disagrees and blames the science. Bareil says whoever gets the credit, he’s grateful. Winn says she’s grateful he’s still with them.

He says his work isn’t done yet, and she agrees and says they should resume negotiations immediately. She wants to send a coded message to Legate Turrel, the Cardassian they were supposed to meet with, and invite him to DS9 for the talks.

Bashir says that Bareil is in no condition to conduct negotiations. Winn says he’ll just be advising her, she’ll conduct the actual talks. Bashir says that’s okay as long as her visits don’t tire him. She agrees, then tells Bareil they’ll talk again soon, and she and Sisko leave.

Kira is alone with Bareil (and some medical people who are pretending not to listen). He asks if they’ll play springball next month, and she agrees, though confesses she might have an unfair advantage. Playing against a dead man? No, she says, she’s been practicing.


Nog comes to see Jake, having heard that Jake was looking for him.

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Jake is playing chess by himself because he’s a nerd, and still wearing the same outfit as before.

Nog is in fairly subdued layers: tan pants, olive green long-sleeved shirt, short sleeved mustard shirt over top. He has a fondness for yellow colors, which aren’t my thing but don’t usually look terrible on him.

Jake wants to talk about what they’re doing the following night. Nog tells him about how he’s arranged a dom-jot game with some visiting aliens and he thinks they can beat them. Jake says he can’t do it tomorrow night.

Nog says they have to play tomorrow night as the visitors are leaving the following day. Jake has made other plans. What’s more important than dom-jot, Nog demands. Jake confesses he’s got a date. Nog is okay with this because “Money is money, but women are better.”

I’m not sure what that means. Jake also doesn’t know, and asks if it’s a Rule of Acquisition. Nog says it’s a personal rule. He asks about the girl.

Jake says Leanne and Nog approves and asks about his own date. Leanne has a friend, right? Tell her to bring her along. Jake says this isn’t what he had in mind. Nog says it’s because he was confused and would he rather the three of them go out? Jake admits that is a worse option.

Nog also makes him promise not to do anything to embarrass him.


Bareil is meeting with Winn and suggests putting off discussion of returning the Orbs until diplomatic relations have been established. She thinks this will delay an inevitable argument but he thinks it will let the process grow and once the Cardassians are invested they can have a more productive discussion. She reluctantly agrees.

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Bashir has come in to glare menacingly, so Winn says that the next meeting with Turrel is the next afternoon and she’ll see him before then, and leaves.

Since Bashir doesn’t look happy, Bareil concludes he’s there to deliver bad news. Bashir says that in order to revive him he flooded his nervous system with neurogenic radiation, but unfortunately this has caused some kind of selective constriction of blood flow to his internal organs. What do we do? Bareil asks. Bashir wants to put him back into stasis and do some research. For how long? He doesn’t know yet. Days, weeks, maybe longer.

Bareil doesn’t approve of this; he doesn’t want to be put in storage when his people need him. Bashir says he understands the talks are important but his duty is to his patient. Bareil says he has a duty to his people and that’s all that matters to him.

Bashir says there’s an experimental drug that might increase the blood flow to his organs and let him function normally, but there’s a lot of risk. In 22 percent of cases, the drug, Vasokin, has severely damaged the patient’s vital organs and sometimes even brain. He thinks it could be fatal.

Bareil focuses on the positive – it would let him function normally for a few days. He wants to carry on the will of the prophets, which he can’t do from a stasis tube. He begs Bashir to begin the treatment.

Bashir reluctantly agrees to begin that afternoon.


Sisko updates the log to say that legate Turrel has arrived and Bareil suggested that Sisko sit in on the talks as an impartial observer, and Kai Winn agreed.

They set up the meeting in the generic large conference room with the glowing table.

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Turrel is a Cardassian. I have nothing to say about him. I’m more intrigued hereby the screen behind Sisko, which looks like it’s displaying random hieroglyphs of eyeballs and something else. Is this just a generic screensaver for when they’re not showing anything of importance?

Turrel insists that there are no Bajoran prisoners in Cardassian hands. Sisko suggests that they redefine their terms. Maybe there are no official prisoners but might there be some detainees?

He admits that there are people detained at the Justice Ministry for crimes against the state – but that’s a discussion for another day. He wants to discuss war reparations. He says they are willing to pay for the destruction of Bajoran property that incurred during the Occupation if they return all Cardassian property and equipment left behind.

Winn asks for what kind of property. He says he can give lists of equipment and such, and wants an agreement that anything of Cardassian origin does still belong to Cardassian people. She says she’ll consider this.

He suggests a recess, and so they break, and he leaves the room.

Winn and Sisko stay behind. She thinks Turrel is up to something and wonders why he is insisting on this principle, and laments the absence of Bareil, the one who has been talking with Turrel for months.

Sisko says she may have to face facts, that Bareil might not be able to help much longer. Winn says she knows that she was chosen by the Prophets to lead her people but she was not meant to debate legalistic procedure with a Cardassian. She thinks peace with Cardassia will die with Bareil.


Jake, Leanne, Nog, and another girl are having a double date at Quark’s. Leanne is telling about how her father took her to wilderness preserves on Vulcan and that’s what she thought all of Vulcan was at first.

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The first thing I noticed about this scene is that Jake and Nog are wearing napkins over their legs. Good to know that both Ferengis and humans are worried about cleanliness.

Nog, bastion of sensitivity, says loudly, “Boy Jake, she talks a lot for a female!”

Leanne is understandably put off by this, as she’s sitting right there, and says, “Excuse me!”

Jake tries to diplomatically change the subject, asking the other girl, Riska about her uncle owning a bar, and how Nog’s uncle runs the bar they’re sitting in. Riska kindly takes the topic and tries to turn it into a conversation, but Nog tells her to just sit there and look beautiful.

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Jake is a little put off by this, and I’m a little put off by his shirt, which is shiny and also patterned and also checkered and I have no idea how to describe it. Is it the new Ugliest Jake Sisko outfit, even though it’s not a jumpsuit? Maybe.

The girls just look at each other, and Jake asks what he thinks he’s doing. Nog assures him he knows how to handle females. Then he suggests that after they’re done eating he and Jake take the females to the holosuites for a program he borrowed from his uncle: “The Massacre on Ferris IV.”

More discomfort from the females.

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Leanne has stuck with red, which is a good color for her, and also gone with either a large bow or maybe a side bun.

Riska has gone with a dress in shades of gray, with different patterns. The skirt is solid gray, the chest and shoulders checked, and the rest of the sleeves what looks like might be a floral pattern? It brings some visual interest to what could be a very dull outfit, but it’s still kind of a dull outfit.

Nog goes on to say that they can spend an hour pillaging and looting the frightened townspeople. Riska says “I don’t think so,” and Nog tells her no one is asking her to think. He then slides his plate over to her and commands her to cut up his food.

She tells him he must be joking. There’s an awkward silence, then he starts laughing, and they all join in. Nog then says that she’s perfect because she’s so dumb.

Riska has finally had enough. She gets up and walks away. Leanne gets up also.

Jake asks if she’s also leaving. She says she supposes he wants her to cut up his food also. He says he never said that. She says that she hopes they enjoy their holosuites, and leaves with Riska.

Afterward, Nog says that Jake has done enough damage for one night, as he had been treating his female as if she was an equal. Jake says he’s behaving like an idiot and he can get his own dates.

Angered, Nog says he can find someone else to play dom-jot with. Both storm off in anger and this scene finally ends.


 

Meanwhile in the adult world, Bareil, in the infirmary with Winn and Kira, explains to Winn that Turrel is trying to get a concession from her that he already rejected. He says to say that the question of Cardassian property on Bajor was decided in the armistice talks four years prior. He says Turrel will still pay the reparations.

Bareil is breathing heavily and obviously in discomfort, so when Bashir comes in, Winn points this out to him. She wants him to give Bareil more of the drug, and when Bashir refuses, she says he’ll need something else as the negotiations will resume in six hours and they have a lot to discuss.

Bashir harshly says he doesn’t care about the negotiations or the treaty, only his patient, who needs more treatment and less politics. He threatens to call Security if she won’t leave.

Kira says she will do it herself.

Winn advises Bareil to put himself in the hands of the prophets and they will not forsake him, and then leaves.

Kira asks if she can do anything; Bareil says just be there.

Bashir has this sort of frowny thoughtful face and Bareil says he doesn’t like that look.

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you look prettier when you smile, Julian

Bashir says that the vasokin has damaged his internal organs, as he’d feared. He can replace the organs with artificial implants (I like that this is no big deal), but as long as he’s taking the drug, he can’t guarantee the damage won’t spread. He wants Bareil to reconsider going into stasis.

Bareil refuses and just wants to get through the negotiations and carry out the will of the Prophets, whatever it takes.


In the conference room, Winn is sitting alone when Bashir comes in. She asks if he’ll have her removed from the room. He says it hasn’t occurred to him yet.

She asks about Bareil. The organ replacement surgery went well. He’s still unconscious but should wake soon. Winn is pleased as she wants to talk to him more.

Bashir says that’s why he’s come. He wants her to say that she doesn’t need Bareil and she can finish the negotiations without him.

She says she does need him. He realizes this but wants her to say otherwise. She says he seems to be asking her to lie.

He says he wants her to free Bareil of his obligation to her – the only way he’ll accept that will be if she tells him herself. Winn doesn’t think this sounds like a Starfleet officer. He says he’s a doctor and trying to give the patient his best chance to live, by putting him in stasis.

Winn says that she doesn’t want him to die but it’s his choice. Bashir agrees and wants her to help him change his mind.

He points out that these are her negotiations and so she should take the credit on her own. She says he speaks like there’s a guarantee of success, and he realizes that if they fail she’ll need someone else to take the blame. He calls her a coward, afraid to stand alone.

She says Bareil has made his decision and she won’t interfere. Then she says she won’t forget what he’s said. He says he won’t either and leaves.


Back at the Siskos’ Jake has changed into a somewhat better shirt.

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Well, sort of.

I’ve talked about this shirt before – I don’t hate the pattern or the colors, but the random seam across the chest is awkward.

Elder Sisko asks how the date went and mentions that Quark told him Jake and Nog were no longer speaking.

Jake says Nog was acting like a spoiled brat and he was very embarrassed. He doesn’t know if Leanne will ever talk to him again.

Sisko asks for details so Jake says he was treating Riska like a slave. Sisko says it sounds like he was acting like a Ferengi and you can’t blame him for that.

Jake thinks maybe this means Sisko was right and humans and Ferengis are too different to be friends. Sisko thinks that he was wrong and Jake and Nog have a real bond despite their cultural differences. Either way, Jake says he won’t set Nog up on a date.

Sisko thinks they should talk it over before it becomes a big problem. Jake isn’t sure Nog will want to talk to him. Sisko thinks he should do something to get his attention.


In the infirmary, Bareil is crying out in pain while the medical assistant lady waves a tricorder at him and Winn looks on. Bashir runs in, asking what’s happened. Assistant lady doesn’t know. Bashir orders some meds injected, and Bareil seems to relax.

Bashir is angry because he wanted there to be no visitors for the next three hours. Winn says that Bareil called her himself and said he had some ideas.

Bashir is not placated and says that Bareil’s left temporal lobe is showing signs of synaptic failure. He says he hopes Winn got all the advice she needed because the vasokin has damaged Bareil’s brain and the damage is irreversible.


Bashir, Winn, and Kira meet with Sisko in his office.

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Sisko asks if Bareil will regain consciousness; Bashir says not in his present condition.

Winn notes that he was able to replace some of his organs with artificial substitutes – can he do something similar with the damaged parts of the brain?

He can’t say as they still don’t understand the brain very well. He says one of his professors at medical school used to say the brain has a “spark of life” that can’t be replicated. If they replace parts of his brain, that spark will be lost.

Kira points out if they don’t, that Bareil won’t regain consciousness and will die.

Sisko says they should consider what Bareil would want them to do. Winn says he wanted the negotiations to go on regardless of cost. Bashir points out she’s hardly an impartial observer.

She says there’s more at stake than one man’s life. He says all he’s concerned about is one man’s life.

Kira says she thinks Winn is right and Bareil would want the implants. Bashir says that when Bareil wakes up he might not be the same person. She says she knows this but also knows that this is what Bareil would want.


Jake goes to talk to Odo and asks for a favor. He wants to be arrested.


Nog is brought to the Security holding cell area, protesting loudly that he didn’t steal from the Tholian ambassador. Jake is already there.

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Jake’s not-terrible shirt is paired with brown pants. I don’t think I would have chosen those pants. Meanwhile, Nog is wearing orange and rainbows.

He demands to know why Jake is there. Odo says that Jake is his accomplice and has also denied involvement but he has an eyewitness that saw them breaking into the Tholian ambassador’s quarters the night before.

Nog protests he doesn’t know what a Tholian looks like.

That makes two of us! Here’s a link to the memory alpha page on Tholians, described as “an extremely xenophobic, non-humanoid hermaphroditic species with a propensity for precision.” Doesn’t seem like the sort of species you’d want to make an enemy out of.

Odo is not sympathetic, and throws him in the same cell as Jake, ignoring Nog’s request for his own space.


Bashir, wearing his red robes, tells Kira and Winn that the positronic midbrain is functioning and Bareil is awake.

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Kira goes to talk to him. He says “Yes Major?” in a kind of robotic voice. She asks how he’s feeling. “Awake.”

He then says everything is different. In what way? It’s hard to explain, but when she touches him it doesn’t seem real. It’s more like the distant memory of a touch.

Kira looks worriedly toward Bashir.

Winn asks if he remembers the negotiations and she has some questions. Kira gives her a look, but Bareil says he’ll do all that he can.


Nog and Jake are still in the cell together. Nog is pacing thoughtfully and thinks something’s wrong.

He says that his father told him if he got caught stealing again he’d have to go live on the Ferengi homeworld with his grandmother. So where is he? Why hasn’t he come to yell and threaten? And where is Quark? Now he’s late for work. And why is Jake there?

Jake is twiddling his thumbs and lounging on the cot and says to ask Odo.

Nog is not placated. He says that you don’t just arrest the Station Commander’s son without strong evidence and he knows there’s no evidence because they didn’t do anything.

Jake admits he put Odo up to it because he wanted to talk to Nog. He didn’t think Nog would listen otherwise.

Nog says it’d better be good.

Jake says he wanted to apologizes and says he forgot Nog was a Ferengi. Nog points out the lobes are a dead giveaway to most people. Jake clarifies that they spend a lot of time together and he sometimes forgets they’re different.

Nog says he knows this and anyone who talks about females with fawning respect is no Ferengi and it made him sick. Jake says that sick is having Riska cut up his food for him. Nog says that in traditional Ferengi homes the females also soften the food with their teeth so at least he didn’t do that. He knew Jake would react that way (saying it’s disgusting) which is why he did not tell her to do it.

Jake asks if there are other disgusting Ferengi customs. Plenty, and he also knows lots of human customs would disgust him. Great, Jake says, so we both disgust each other. This will just get worse as they get older, but he doesn’t want to lose Nog as a friend.

They both agree double dating is out. Then they agree they feel better.

Nog asks if they can leave. Sure, Jake agrees. They shout for Odo, who doesn’t respond.

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The first time Jake and Nog met, I thought Nog was dressed better. Not the case any longer.


Sisko updates his log to say that Kai Winn has announced that Legate Turrel has signed the peace treaty. The news has shocked the quadrant and although there is still some opposition from hard-line elements on both sides, it seems they are willing to put the conflict behind them.

There is a cocktail party to celebrate.

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Drinks are passed out by this grumpy, old-looking Ferengi.

Bashir gets a drink and goes to sit by a window. Dax says to remind her not to invite him to her next party, and he admits he’s casting a pall over the gathering.

She says he should try to enjoy himself as the party is partly for him. He says he can’t imagine what he’s done to deserve celebrating. Dax says he kept Bareil alive against incredible odds; no matter what happens he should be proud of that.

Quark arrives, goes to Kai Winn, and shows her a bowl, which he says he’s named after her – a chocolate soufflé with Haligian tongue sauce. He eats some with his finger and says it’s quite popular and he can barely keep up with the demand. Winn says she’s honored, but I’m skeptical.

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Quark is wearing his weird almost animal print jacket. It’s better than Nog’s outfit. Winn does not seem impressed by the soufflé .

A call interrupts the festivities and Bashir is summoned to the infirmary. Winn passes her glass to the random dude she was talking to and also heads out.


Bareil is lying unconscious in the same place he’s been all episode.

Kira concludes it’s the other half of Bareil’s brain, and also that they can replace that with a positronic matrix, right?

Solemnly, Bashir apologizes and says this is where it ends. He says he won’t remove the last shred of humanity Bareil has left.

Kira doesn’t want to accept this. This time, however, Winn agrees with the doctor and says maybe they should listen to him. Kira says she got her peace treaty and now doesn’t need Bareil.

Winn says she shares her pain but the Prophets are calling to him. She says she’ll see Bajor never forgets him. She gently places a hand on Bareil and then leaves.

Kira pleads with Bashir to continue. He says that if he removes the other half of his brain and replaces it with a machine, he might look and talk like Bareil but he won’t be Bareil; the “spark of life” will be gone. He’ll be dead, and Bashir will be the one who killed him.

She says if they do nothing he’ll die. He says he’ll die like a man, not a machine. He doesn’t want to fight her; just let him go. She asks how much time. He says about three hours.

Kira wants to stay with him until then. Of course, he says, and leaves, taking the assistant lady with him.

Kira stays and talks to Bareil, saying she wishes they had more time together and there’s so much she still has to say. She kisses him and says she’ll never forget the first time she saw him and he had such a serenity about him.

The camera zooms out as she talks to him about how she first disliked his serenity but then came to realize that he was also confused, just accepted his confusion, and then she realized she loved him.


 

Stray Thoughts:

* I really do need to apologize for the delay on this one, but it felt like such a slog to get through. The plot about Bareil’s injuries was bogged down by medical-techno talk, the plot about the peace treaty was bogged down by the vagaries and being as boring as peace treaties ever are, and the B plot about Nog and Jake was weighted down with extreme sexism.

* The scene with Jake and Nog’s double date was infuriating for several reasons, but in short: In season 1, episode 13, The Storyteller, Nog and Jake are infatuated by a visiting Bajoran girl who leads her tribe, and they both fall over themselves trying to impress her in a pretty human way. Nog doesn’t tell her to stop talking, he’s fascinated by her words and tries to engage her in conversation. Had the writers just not decided on the extent of Ferengi sexism at that point? But no, we’ve seen Quark also interact with (non-Ferengi) females in an equal manner without being disgusted – of course he’d have to as someone who runs a business with a customer service element, whose customers include women. Is it because Nog views Riska as “his” that he feels the need to behave this way? Or does it just fit the confines of this particular story?

And Sisko’s reaction to this is to just shrug and say “Well, he’s a Ferengi and you knew that, you should apologize.” I know we’re about accepting other cultures, but that’s small comfort to Riska and Leanne, who were forced to go through this demeaning experience. What about an apology to them?! At what point do we say “well that’s just their culture?” and when do we say “no that behavior is not acceptable?”
* Stepping aside from that, was no one else from Bajor working on this treaty aside from Bareil and Winn? She doesn’t seem to have any security or assistants assisting her with the process, nor does he. Did he not keep detailed notes that she could look back on? Did he not keep her updated on the progress he was making before the talks started? This seems like a haphazard way to run important peace talks. Also, I’m still unclear about the Bajoran Provisional Government and how it works – is the Kai the head of the secular government as well as the religion? If not, who is, and why aren’t any council members involved in this process? It seems to be just the Kai and one lone Vedek negotiating peace for the entire planet.

* As for positives, despite the fact that I’ve never cared for Bareil, Kira’s grief at losing him was effective at the end. The episode didn’t focus too much on her personal pain, which was probably for the better, and that made the ending a bit more moving than I was expecting.