69. The Homecoming/The Circle/The Siege (2.01, 2.02, 2.03)

Synopsis: Kira rescues a Bajoran Resistance hero from a Cardassian labor camp; an extremist group calls for all non-Bajorans to leave Bajor. Sisko and Odo work to reveal the real force behind the Circle’s coup. Sisko tries to prevent the Circle from taking the station; Kira and Dax take proof that the Cardassians are the real force that is arming the Circle to the Bajoran government. 

Memory Alpha SummaryThe Three-Parter

Review: The first three-parter in the Star Trek canon does an excellent job at immersing us in the DS9 world of the Bajorans, while unfortunately only having an average plot to go with it. Li Nalas is a rather drab character study of a war hero, though I did like the scene where he describes his accidental foray into being that hero, shooting a Cardassian in his underwear out of sheer luck. During the final two episodes, he is just sort of there, doing predictable things, including his sacrifice to save Sisko. 

I like the fact that Quark is responsible in helping Odo crack the conspiracy behind the coup d’etat. It makes his character more complex, and occasionally useful. It’s self-serving, but it helps the Ferengi species that the writers acknowledge that they can’t be devious and selfish 100% of the time if they were to ever be successful in their relationships. 

I like that Gul Dukat’s only appearance in the episode is to apologize for the confusion over the Bajoran prisoners, and be completely contrite and cooperative. Enemies are more believable when they aren’t always vicious. 

I also enjoyed the scene where Keiko begs O’Brien not to stay with the station during the evacuation. It’s a scene we haven’t seen yet on Star Trek (at least so obviously), that of an officer having to choose between his duties and his family. Part of me wishes that O’Brien had decided to stay with his family, especially since he wasn’t the only officer available to stay and fight. I also wish Keiko had put up more of a fight. She seemed to give up just a bit too easily.

Overall, a solid arc with mild but good-enough cliffhangers. A little on the long side, as there wasn’t a ton of story here. Vedek Winn’s character is used brilliantly again, getting in a cutting remark at Kira, while also shutting down Minister Jaro once she finds evidence of Cardassian involvement in the coup. She’s a backstabber, but unlike Jaro, has some sense. 

The one thing that really bothers me is that Admiral Chekote orders Sisko not to be involved in the Bajoran Civil War, even if there is Cardassian involvement. Yet, just two years prior, Star Fleet allowed Picard to get involved in the Klingon Civil War because there was Romulan involvement. Sisko had way more evidence than Picard did, yet he had to resort to insubordination to save the entire quadrant.

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