By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:52 AM GMT

See Also: 'Resurrection' Episode Guide

Dax invites Kira to dinner and offers a list of suggestions for dates, ending with Odo. Kira insists that neither of them are ready for that, and says she'll come alone. Then the crew detects a buildup in transporter energy and a man materializes and seizes Kira. It's her dead lover, Bareil.

Well, actually it's Bareil from the Intendant's universe, and he takes Kira hostage, demanding a ship. Sisko gives him one, but Kira escapes after learning that this Bareil escaped from the Alliance; she sympathizes, and doesn't press charges. He asks whether she knew him in her universe, and she tells him of Vedek Bareil and invites him to temple. Though he's a skeptic, he's funny and warm, and despite Sisko's warning to her not to mistake him for her Bareil as he nearly mistook the alternate Jennifer for his own, Kira invites Bareil to dinner, where he charms Dax and Worf. Afterwards, he tells Kira about his dead Bajoran lover as she told him about her Bareil, and they make love.

Bareil wants to have an experience with the Orb of Prophecy, so Kira takes him to the shrine to meet a Vedek. The experience leaves him profoundly shaken. When he returns to his quarters, the Intendant shows up to ask on the status of their plans to steal the orb, and to inquire as to how the Major compares with herself. Bareil is snappish with her, telling her the plans are proceeding perfectly, but he is clearly not in the mood for her flirtation. She tells him that with the orb, he will be the holy man to unite Bajor in war against the Alliance; he says, "Just call me Vedek Bareil."

Quark becomes suspicious of Bareil and warns Kira that he's acting like a man intending to steal the orb, not a religious convert. Kira catches Bareil in the process of doing just that, then the Intendant - in Kira's uniform - catches the two of them talking. The Intendant tells Kira not to bother to save Bareil's soul, he doesn't have one, and demands that Bareil tell Kira how he used her. Bareil shoots the Intendant instead, telling Kira that the vision he saw when he looked into the orb was of the two of them together on Bajor, but that he's a thief who belongs with the Intendant, and he's sure he can talk his way back into her graces. He beams away with her to the other universe.


From the ridiculous to the sublime. Last week's episode was full of cliches about Klingons, culled from two generations of Star Trek. This week's episode blew the Mirror universe wide open. I should confess that I was never much of a fan of the Kira/Bareil relationship, and was not particularly looking forward to his return. I always resented the way she agreed to repress her own orthodox beliefs when faced with his radical ones, and with the extent to which she valued his life and work over her own. Though I missed him after his death because I couldn't stand Shakaar or his relationship with Kira, I hoped she'd stop falling for powerful Bajoran men and find someone she didn't have to kowtow to.

While this episode started on an unfortunate note - Dax telling Kira she cares too much about appearances when Kira refused to date aliens who didn't look humanoid enough for her taste - I think Kira grew a lot. At least, I hope she did, because I have always suspected that the biggest obstacle to Kira reciprocating Odo's feelings for her is her xenophobia. Disliking men with transparent skulls or three eyes is fairly superficial, but her past behavior indicates a deep suspicion of people who aren't enough like herself. As Quark pointed out this week, she's always seemed to go for controlled, controlling Bajoran men.

The alternate Bareil did look a lot like the Vedek, though his scruffy hair and clothes, and his relaxed walk and manner, were quite different. I found this one a heckuva lot more attractive right from the start. Philip Anglim did a terrific job playing up the differences between the thief Bareil Antos and the dead Vedek, emphasizing the alternate universe character's self-mockery and uncertainty about his role. The Vedek always seemed much stiffer, in control even when he was claiming not to know his path. Anglim's dual portrayal of Bareil is probably the finest performance of a character and double on Trek next to Nana Visitor's own characterization of Kira and the Intendant.

Kira's evil twin tops the list of female characters on Deep Space Nine whom I can't stand; she's sleazy, she's obvious, and above all she's stupid, as we see over and over in these episodes where her greed and megalomania cost her what she most wants. I have no idea how she keeps her power, because she doesn't seem bright or savvy at reading people; she was wrong about Sisko last time around, and she was wrong about Bareil. I would not be sorry if we never saw the Intendant again, but given the popularity of her dominatrix costume, fat chance of that.

Visitor did a terrific job demonstrating the differences between the two Kiras when we got to see them both acting as Starfleet officers, wearing the same costume. The Intendant swaggers, she simpers, she can fight but she doesn't know when to act tough. Kira's much more attractive despite being less stereotypically sexy, and she glowed throughout this episode, even when she realized she was going to lose another Bareil. It was easy to understand why this Bareil would be attracted to her goodness and the life she represents. I don't want to start caring about Kira again - she gets written badly too often on this show, and starts acting like a caricature woman in power who can't hold it together - but if the current version sticks around, I'm going to be very happy with this series.

There's not much to say about the rest of the regulars. Odo's absence was notable considering that he's chief of security and Bareil's a known criminal; it will be interesting to see what ramifications these events have for his relationship with Kira. Dax was much too fluffy, spending the entire episode giggling about Kira's romantic potential, but at least she didn't hang on Worf now that they're married; maybe eventually we'll get the old Dax back, too. I raised my eyebrows a little at the entire Ops crew considering Kira's love life their business, but that also seems realistic - unlike Voyager, where Janeway seems to think discretion should be possible on a tiny ship, the DS9 crew has a healthy penchant for gossip.

I loved that this episode took seriously Bajoran religion and the transformative power of spiritual experience. I have not yet forgiven the writing staff for "Prophet Motive," in which Bajor's gods were portrayed as meddling fools, and the idea of belief in higher powers was soundly trashed. Happy as I am that this show doesn't hit us with futuristic human religion, I don't like to see it dismiss outright the possibility of transcendence and the power of faith. "Resurrection" demonstrated how moving and compelling those concepts can be from a dramatic as well as personal standpoint.

Because of Bareil's orb vision, and because the Intendant revealed her plan to have Bajor go to war against the Cardassian-Klingon Alliance, it seems likely that interesting things are about to happen in the Mirror universe. For the first time I'm hoping we get to visit it again. It's finally stopped being a gimmick and become a compelling alternate dimension of the show.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

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.