DestinyBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 12, 2004 - 11:07 PM GMT
See Also: 'Destiny' Episode Guide
Sisko undertakes a joint scientific venture with Cardassian scientists to place a communications relay on the far side of the wormhole, despite a frightening Bajoran prophecy of doom that seems to be coming true piece by piece. The prophecy speaks of three vipers attempting to peer through the Temple gates (which could be Cardassian scientists); a sword of stars appearing in the heavens (which could be a comet); and the Temple burning so that it will never open or close again. Ultimately Sisko and Kira realize that a prophecy can be completely true yet entirely misinterpreted.
Despite some annoying timidity from Kira based on spiritual convictions I didn't know she held -- her religious background has always been portrayed as rather unorthodox, though it's clear she believes the wormhole aliens are her people's Prophets -- "Destiny" is an engrossing episode, and one of the few cases where Star Trek attempts to take seriously the scientific validity of religion even as it debunks fundamentalist interpretation of sacred texts.
Sisko has a fine outing as the Emissary, balancing his dual role betwixt Starfleet and Bajor as well he can. "Where you see a sword of stars, I see a comet; where you see vipers, I see three scientists; and where you see the Emissary, I see a Starfleet officer," he complains to Kira, after telling her to keep her religion off the bridge of the Defiant. Under normal circumstances, I'd agree with him. But the wormhole aliens have involved themselves in the history of Bajor in a concrete way; prophets who have had contact with them before have come away with accurate information about the future, including Sisko himself. His dismissal of Kira seems uncharacteristically harsh, just as her fears seem uncharacteristically exaggerated. I like the storyline; I just wish someone else had gotten to play the passionate Bajoran believer.
A wonderful subplot involving pushy Cardassian scientists, one of whom gets on the wrong side of Miles O'Brien, enlivens the events. These witty points of confusion enrich the philosophical main plot, and make yet another case for tolerance and understanding among people sharing different belief systems.
Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.