After Dax and O’Brien discover a Cardassian file on Major Kira (which leaves her feeling underappreciated), Kai Opaka comes aboard. It’s her first time leaving Bajor and Sisko offers to take her on a trip through the wormhole. Kira and Bashir join them.
Once on the other side of the wormhole, they pick up what seems to be a distress call. They follow it to a moon where a satellite network attacks them and they crash. The Kai is killed and some of the inhabitants of the moon bring the survivors into their cave. It turns out they’re at war with another group on the moon, which is a penal colony. A battle ensues, leaving almost off of the combatants dead. Then the Kai walks in. Then the combatants still in the cave wake up. It turns out that after death on this moon, some biomechanical system brings people back to life, every time! Death is irrelevant.
Once O’Brien and Dax find them and are preparing to get them off the surface, which would allow them to complete their lives, Bashir makes a discovery. These biomechanical devices are dependent on the moon. If those who have died there leave, they will die instantly. So, the combatants are left there, as is the Kai, who believes it is her destiny. But she tells Sisko “…your pagh and mine will cross again.”
I found this an fulfilling episode. The idea of a prison where your punishment is to live forever, no matter how many times you do, is certainly interesting.
Nana Visitor is quite good as Kira tries to find her place in a world where she is no longer at war. Kira and Opaka have some wonderful moments together.
Shel-la, the leader of one of the factions, is played by Jonathan Banks, who made quite a mark about two decades later as Mike Ehrmantraut on “Breaking Bad.” He’ll reprise that role in the upcoming “Better Call Saul.”
When we see the crashed runabout Yangtzee Kiang, the nacelle seen is obviously recycled from a shuttlepod and does not match the nacelles seen in any other shot of a Federation runabout.
I expect the pace of my writing these reviews to pick up in the near future as I just finished season eight of “The X-Files” this morning.
– Evan Bindelglass