Thursday, March 7, 2013
Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Season 4c)
Season 4b - Season 5a
The reputation the “Deep Space Nine” has as being a show that was largely about religion really begins to be earned late in the fourth season. Nearly every episode touches on—if not the faith side of religious institutions exactly—the cultural aspect of religion.
Episode 17: “Accession”
In this story, a new emissary emerges from the worm-hole and his message—supposedly from the prophets themselves—changes everything the Bajorans have believed. The faithful follow this new teacher unquestioningly, and it leads to some pretty ugly results. Sisko was initially happy to give up the religious role he had been given early on in the series. However, he is troubled by the direction the new leader is taking Bajoran culture and he decides that they need clarification. Rather than debate theology or enter some religious-political fight, he takes things back to the source. What exactly do the prophets want?
This is a good reminder for people of faith everywhere on several levels. One, we should question anyone coming in the name of God. Two, we should compare every teacher’s teaching with what we believe to be God’s word. Three, we should distrust religious leaders that have political ambitions or that are eager to tell everyone else how they should live. That responsibility—discovering what God would have us do—is something we all share.
Episode 18: “Rules of Engagement”
Episode 19: “Hard Time”
Episode 20: “Shattered Mirror”
A return to the mirror universe is even less engaging than the first two times around.
Episode 21: “The Muse”
In another plot, Odo demonstrates an act of love that is not the commonly understood love that leads to marriage. However, in some ways this idea of marriage as purely a social contract still manages to be moving. It is perhaps a better understanding of love than the romantic ideal that so many marriages feed on, ultimately starving. For the purposes of the episodic show, though, it is not carried through.
Episode 22: “For the Cause”
The writers suddenly remember a minor storyline they introduced way back in the TNG days, and use it to create a (somewhat artificial) tension for Sisko.
Episode 23: “To the Death”
Mostly an action piece that forces mortal enemies to work together for a common good. There are small reminders here of the nature of the fight with the Dominion, reminders that this is a religious fight as the enemy think that they are being obedient to gods. More on that as the series progresses…
Episode 24: “The Quickening”
Episode 25: “Body Parts”
Episode 26: “Broken Link”