Past PrologueBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 12, 2004 - 3:56 PM GMT
See Also: 'Past Prologue' Episode Guide
Major Kira is recognized by Tana Los, a man she knew in the Bajoran Resistance who is now wanted for conspiring against the Cardassians. Kira insists that Sisko give Tana asylum, feeling guilty when he points out that her loyalties to the Federation have made her forget her obligation to Bajor. When she defends Starfleet's defense of region, he scoffs at her belief that the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant is crucial to Bajoran prosperity.
Meanwhile, Odo catches Klingon sisters Lursa and Betor on the station, secretly meeting with Tana. Bashir is warned by his new friend Garak the tailor that the two are dealing in a a highly explosive compound, and when he informs the command crew, Sisko must ask Kira to spy on her former friend. Her loyalties already stretched to the limit by the realization that Tana intends to fight the Federation, Kira discovers that he plans to blow up the wormhole to keep foreign powers from interfering in Bajoran space. He surrenders when his plan fails and the Cardassians pursue, but not before calling Kira a traitor.
I actually liked this episode better than the pilot; Kira's suffering over the Bajoran Occupation is more compelling and immediate than Sisko's ongoing grief about his wife's death during battle with the Borg. The latter was a terrible tragedy, but it happened to one man. Kira shares her situation with everyone on her planet - a situation which we learned in TNG's "Ensign Ro" that Starfleet has never addressed. It seemed to me that the Occupation is now being reported as longer than it was on the previous series, but that's a small nit. Kira grew up in the midst of a holocaust; it must take extraordinary discipline on her part to be able to trust foreigners, particularly Starfleet officers who have negotiated with the Cardassians when it served Federation interests. I found her torn loyalties to be very believable and wrenching; I also found Nana Visitor's performance to be subtle and strong, much more multidimensional than any of the women in previous Trek incarnations.
On the other hand, I was sorry that Tana turned out to be a little crazy. It's understandable, given what he and his planet have gone through, but it doesn't make Bajorans as a group look good when our first encounter with a former fighter shows us a man who can't get rid of his old xenophobia, nor his terrorist past. It's perfectly obvious to him that Lursa and Betor are ruthless mercenaries, yet he's comfortable dealing with them anyway. Even Garak the Cardassian exile, whose motives and role are complete mysteries at this point, is willing to stick his neck out to make sure their plan doesn't succeed.
I liked the way Sisko handled his dual loyalties to Kira - and by extension Bajor - and the Federation's interests in keeping peace with the Cardassians. I would have thought he would have questioned Tana closely himself, however, before making any critical decisions about him. It's just too soon to tell what kind of commander he's going to be.
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.