The Homecoming starts out out with a Bajoran earring… and it’s enough to make me even more curious about them, since they’re apparently singular enough that Kira can look at one and know exactly who it belongs to. Which in this case is a war hero who everyone thought was dead. But the earring implies that he’s maybe still alive, and on Cardassia IV. She’s not just looking to rescue a fellow Bajoran, but hoping he can become a leader that her people need.
And then we introduce the Circle, a society of Bajoran anti-immigrant racists, basically, so this feels… nicely relevant to today. But that’s what gets Sisko to think maybe a little war hero rescue wouldn’t be a bad idea. This gives Kira and O’Brien a chance to have some time together; Kira seems a bit surprised when O’Brien just says “understood” after being told they’re either going to accomplish the rescue or die trying.
Kira and O’Brien rescue the guy they want and some additional prisoners. They get back just in time for Kira to walk in on Gul Dukat offering an apology for there still having been prisoners… which is… I don’t trust it. At all. And he says the rest of the prisoners are being sent back to Bajor. Also don’t trust it.
Frank Langella is a government dude that tells Kira to not pull crap like this again, but privately thanks her. He is just one hell of a politician character actor, isn’t he?
A bunch of masked assailants from the Circle come into Quark’s bar and brand him. Jake’s girlfriend can’t go out with him because he father says she can’t date someone who isn’t Bajoran. And Kira’s war hero (who doesn’t view himself as very heroic) is trying to run away from home by stowing away on a ship. Honestly, I can understand why a guy who’s been held prisoners and traumatized for years might not want to immediately launch himself into a racist garbage fire in an attempt to put it out with his own body.
And then Frank Langella comes back to let the war hero know he’s the “Navarch” and made the liaison to DS9. Which basically means they don’t want him messing with politics. And they’re putting Kira back on Bajor where they can watch her. Good place to end the episode…
The Circle starts with Langella totally shocked that Sisko isn’t happy to be getting rid of Kira. The Circle is attacking politicians (whew) and that’s Langella’s excuse to not want Li (the war hero, I’m tired of typing war hero) on Bajor. And there’s graffiti on Sisko’s door.
Odo’s mad as hell that Kira’s just quietly leaving.
Odo: You did fairly well at it once I smoothed your rough edges.
Kira: I thought you did well once I smoothed your rough edges.
And he’s just the first to the Kira room party. Then we get Dax, Julian, and O’Brien… and Quark. Followed by Vedek Bareil, the anti-Winn. Who has come to report that shit is tense and bad on Bajor, and invite her to hang out at his temple. And once she’s frustrated enough, she gets to stand in front of one of the orbs of the Prophets. (Apparently the way to hear what she needs to is naked sexy times with the hot Vedek. I mean. Okay. Glad to know the Prophets ship it.)
Vedek Winn: Stay as long as you like. Maybe a week if necessary.
Have I mentioned I hate Winn so, so much?
Also, I think I haven’t mentioned how hilarious it is that I find Odo’s widely varying density. Because he goes from being human-sized to very small things like glasses or a mouse. But mouse-snooping does reveal where the weapons are coming from.
And meanwhile, Kira gets kidnapped by the Circle…and they’re run by Frank Langella. It’s just the kind of behavior one would expect from a Frank Langella character! Thankfully she gets rescued by Sisko and crew before they beat her into a total pulp. And back on the station, Odo reveals that the Circle is getting its weapons secretly supplied by the Cardassians… because the Cardassians really want to force the Federation out so they can come back. Well played, Cardassians. (And my nemesis Winn is plotting with Frank Langella too, so there’s another reason to just hate them both.)
The Siege is the third and final episode of this little arc, and I’m really excited to see DS9 already dipping its toes into longer form storytelling. It wasn’t something I really got as a kid, particularly because this arc is so much about the internal politics of Bajor, but as an adult I could just roll around in this like a happy dog.
The start is an excellent moment for Sisko, reestablishing his unique command style with his spin on a pep talk. And going to the old device of slow-walking a transition of power to buy time. Classic, fun stuff.
Oh no Jake and Nog facing the prospect of being separated during the evacuation!
Nog: If our fathers couldn’t break us up, no [unable to pronounce coup d’etat] no stupid French thing can either.
MY HEART. BEST FRIENDS.
O’Brien calling the Cardassians the “Cardies” makes me think that Cardi B is going to take over that wormhole any fucking second now. But we see here where he sees his duty to Sisko specifically versus his duty to his family. “He needs me.” (Wondering how much fanfic launched off that line.)
Of course the Ferengi invented overbooking. Of course. Though Sisko trying to choke Quark seems kind of… I don’t like it. Doesn’t seem right. Sisko’s obviously willing to throw a punch or two when necessary, but that moment really rubbed me the wrong way. (Even if Quark kind of deserved it.)
The cat and mouse sequence between the bad Bajorans and the Federation resistance is wonderful. As Corina pointed out while we were watching, Li (the Bajoran war hero) is the king of this game of chess–and Odo is definitely the queen because he’s immensely maneuverable. And Meanwhile, the Kira and Jadzia adventure hour where they’re running around in a flying junk pile is just fun.
Sisko has to go all George Washington at Li, “Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder.”
Also, Winn turns on Jaro in the blink of an eye, which tells you everything that you need to know about Winn. Though boy, is this a series of the 90s, because Jaro is “fully willing to cooperate with the investigation.” Just imagine if this show was happening today.
It ends on a brief, but beautiful note about the difference between who our heroes actually were and who we need to remember them to be, because we need those stories. It’s such a solid little mini-arc.