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Season Six:
-530: "Sacrifice of Angels"
-535: "Waltz"
-541: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night"
-545: "The Reckoning"
-548: "Time's Orphan"

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The Reckoning

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season Six (1997-1998):

26 episodes @ 43 minutes each.
Get your copy of this 7-disc DVD set from the links below:
Region 1, NTSC, U.S.
Region 1, NTSC, Canada
Region 2, PAL, U.K. (regular)
Region 2, PAL, U.K. (Slimline Edition)

The Reckoning

(Star Trek - Deep Space Nine episode production code 545)
story by Harry M. Werksman & Gabrielle Stanton
teleplay by story editors David Weddle & Bradley Thompson

Here we get a fascinating episode that sees Sisko embracing his role as the Emissary of the Prophets, and putting in a good effort to solve some mystical mysteries that pre-date the lost city of B'Halla that he rediscovered in last year's "Rapture". All cool. And Kai Winn returns to up the ante with both superstitious and rigid thinking, although this is very well handled today and Winn is presented as a balanced character that anyone can understand and sympathize with. Nicely done.

Only when the mysterious forces of the past take corporeal form and begin to speak and act does the episode begin to falter philosophically. On the surface, the on-screen visuals representing the external A-plot battle between the prophet(s) and the pagh wraith Kosst Amogen depict a very one-dimensional polarizing struggle... and it is a bit sad to see so much effort made on the part of the production to put such a less-evolved third density way of viewing the world on screen as though that is the reality of these creatures. They should be more complex if they are anything that a civilization like Bajor should aspire to. And curiously, it is an off-hand remark by Kai Winn about who Kosst Amogen is that seems to trigger Sisko's conviction about how this whole encounter should play out - thus he winds up amplifying her superstition and making it his own. Have we not lost our own common sense to believe that simply getting rid of an enemy will give us paradise for 1000 years? It seems to me that that very conceit is what produces war and hell.

This is one instance where Roddenberry's Starfleet training looks like a better template for what to do in this situation. We see Prophet Aliens becoming aggressive and adversarial, their unknown grievances spawned on a plane we can barely comprehend. Apply enough Prime Directive to not take sides in this dispute, a dispute that should remain internal to the wormhole aliens. Don't get sucked into their enemy-centered philosophy, much less mistake it for anything remotely spiritual, and just police your station to keep order. The episode "Day of the Dove" from the original series' third season comes to mind as using similar ideas to produce what I consider to be a much more spiritually aligned final message.

But the real joy of "The Reckoning" can be found in all the complex interpretations in the rest of the castmembers. I don't think any of them have a viewpoint that can be cast as purely good or evil here, and that richness is sustained right through the conclusion of the episode. As for the final debate between Kira and Kai Winn, I have to say I think Kira is a bit off today, and a little too easily invested in the simplistic polarity of Prophets vs. Pagh Wraiths. Give a point to Kai Winn in this episode for seeing a little further, and in fact being the one to employ the solution that in the end I think is the best one after all. Hey, there are third parties standing by during the big pyrotechnic battle on the promenade, and Kai Winn steps up to the plate, gives those third parties a voice, and says "Hey you two, settle down. That's enough of that." Awesome. Good for her. Just what the Dog Whisperer would have done. She claimed her space.

But, in retrospect, does this not just postpone the conflict until late season seven? Well, since we don't believe this is something that actually can be resolved with battle, particularly if it is spawned from a non-corporeal arena and we don't really know definitively how that could be threatened or what the stakes really were, the conflict would continue anyway... as it probably does past the end of season seven. Much mystery is maintained as to what this is really all about, which is a cool artistic choice.

And so ultimately it is good that Bajor has a Kai as well as an Emissary. Today, that balance proved critical.

This Deep Space Nine Season Six story is available on DVD.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the desired disc format and location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season Six (1997-1998):

26 episodes @ 43 minutes each.

Get your copy of this 7-disc DVD set
from the links below:

DVD Extras include:

  • Crew Dossier featurette: Julian Bashir
  • Crew Dossier featurette: Quark
  • "Far Beyond the Stars" in-depth
    episode featurette
  • 24th Century Wedding featurette
  • "Section 31" barely hidden featurettes
  • DS9 Sketchbook - John Eaves
  • Photo Gallery


DVD Canada



Article written by Martin Izsak. Comments on this article are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

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Read the next Star Trek review: "Time's Orphan"

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