The CollaboratorBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 12, 2004 - 10:56 PM GMT
See Also: 'The Collaborator' Episode Guide
Vedek Bareil's political enemies accuse him of having collaborated with the Cardassians and betraying a group of Bajorans to their deaths. When Kira investigates at Vedek Winn's request, she learns that Bareil was covering for the real collaborator - Kai Opaka, who chose to sacrifice the lives of a few to save a great many. Bareil refuses to allow the truth to be made public and withdraws from consideration to become the next Kai, leaving the conservative Winn with no real opposition.
I know Bareil is very popular among Kira fans, but I need to get something off my chest: the Big Bopper just doesn't cut it for me. I haven't much liked him since his little comment about how he knew nothing about the "The Circle" since he was hiding out in the monastery, and the latest revelations of his oh-so-noble non-involvement haven't helped his case. I didn't like him taking the fall for Opaka, either. The people of Bajor are not children who have to be protected from the decisions made by their religious leaders; Bareil's decision to cover for the revered Opaka just makes me glad he isn't going to the be the next Kai, Winn or lose.
I also don't like a man who has no apparent sense of humor and walks like his underwear's too tight around the legs. Moreover, he's been tripping out a little to much on those orbs. Although I was delighted to see Opaka again, I don't want the orbs to start getting used to show all sorts of implausible characters, like the holodeck on TNG.
I thought the episode was redeemed by Odo's touchingly obvious devastation at Kira's declaration of love for Bareil ("Really!"), then attempt to cover up with that "You humanoids always miss the obvious" remark. No kidding! I know Kira has a Bajorans-only prejudice, she's made that abundantly clear in her discussions with Dax about dating -- but it seems to me that she could do a lot better if she just looked around the station!
The more I think about this episode, the less I like it...or Bareil. TNG too often fell back on flashbacks, dream sequences, holodecks, and "Rashomon" imitations, and the orb sequences were like a bad combination of the four. Bareil doesn't deserve to be Kai if he wants to hide the truth about Opaka's fallibility . And if, as Kira said, there had to be another way, why wouldn't she hold him responsible for his silence?
She's too much the acolyte, honored just to have his attention, not needing his respect for her views. We've never seen Bareil tell Kira anything really personal. When they're not sweating at springball or in bed, what DO they talk about? It's time for Kira to rethink her adoration of both Bareil and Opaka; Kira revered the Kai, and since Bareil was her chosen successor, Kira loves Bareil. And if Odo's expression when she told him so didn't melt her heart, maybe she deserves Bareil; she doen't deserve Odo.
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.