The first thing I noticed this episode, which pits religion against science in part for political gain, is that Keiko’s school is now a new set. Speaking of which, Vedek Winn (apparently a Vedek is a type of Bajoran clergyperson) just enters the school without permission, stands in the back, and then says Keiko’s teachings are blasphemy. I don’t really remember the episode, but I remember having an instant dislike for Vedek Winn.
Speaking of Vedeks, when Sisko goes to Bajor to visit Vedek Bareil, we have a matte painting establishing shot of the Bajoran surface. It’s quite beautiful. Also, they spend a full 18 seconds on the shot. I’m not complaining at all, but that is probably one of the longest establishing shots on Star Trek to that point (and perhaps until the end of Star Trek television).
I like that we have Keiko in this episode. She’s always been a great character and I love that she stands her ground against Vedek Winn.
I have often been impressed by Major Kira as a character. When Sisko asks her to join him and Keiko in his audience and she sides with Vedek Winn, saying that perhaps the curriculum could use some adjustment, I was, at first, disappointed. But then we have the scene between Sisko and Jake where he explains that their faith was all they had to get them through the Cardassian occupation and I’m back with the program.
As a season finale, it flies in the face of the then recent season finales of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which had been cliffhangers since 1990. This is not a cliffhanger, but does set the stage for things to continue in the next season.
A few other observations…
The attempted assassination of Vedek Bareil is seen in slow-motion. It does not work. I am not a fan of the use of slow-motion in television or film. You really have to have something special to sell me on the use of it.
We finally know what those edible things on sticks are called. They’re jumja sticks. We still don’t know what jumja is, but it’s apparently a natural sweetness.
Finally, when we first saw Odo referred to as “Constable,” he didn’t seem to like it. But now Sisko calls him that and he doesn’t seem to mind.
At first, I thought this would be a very short post. Haha. Looking forward to season two.
– Evan Bindelglass