Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Circle"

***

Air date: 10/4/1993
Written by Peter Allan Fields
Directed by Corey Allen

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

In "The Circle," Kira is recalled to Bajor, replaced by Li Nalas at the order of Minister Jaro and the provisional government. Meanwhile, the layered plot of political intrigue continues to unfold, as Odo discovers that the Circle—an extremist Bajoran group that wants nothing to do with the Federation and employs violence in its attempt to gain widespread Bajoran support—is unknowingly being supplied weapons by the Cardassians through a third party.

Like the first part, this manages to tell a lot of story while still maintaining a respectably slow pace. Kira's time at a Bajoran monastery proves quite interesting—the idea of Kira trying to be "useless" seems exactly like the type of thing she wouldn't agree with. And her encounter with the orb as she explores her pagh is downright powerful; the imagery is effective and the vivid symbolism and foreshadowing proves incredibly intriguing.

Minister Jaro turns out to be the leader of the Circle, and his motives—that of a Bajoran who has seen enough governments come and go—strike me as completely believable. One beauty of DS9's political backdrop is the way it allows the analysis of events that unfold; Jaro isn't simply a villain, he's an adamant man who, in his mind, has been forced into the direction he has taken and sets his sights for it. Such characters and their actions make for a compelling story that's believable.

One problem with the episode, however, is some of its pacing, particularly some slightly off-kilter scenes involving Vedek Winn. Two of her extended dialog scenes—one involving her and Jaro, and the other involving her, Bareil, and Kira—drag on longer than they should, and they don't quite have the powerful payoff they deserve. Such dialog isn't on the level of Sisko and Li Nalas' discussion in "The Homecoming."

Previous episode: The Homecoming
Next episode: The Siege

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8 comments on this review

Greg M - Wed, Feb 20, 2013 - 2:19am (USA Central)
One thing that struck me about the scenes with Winn, Kira, and Bareil were that the school incident wasn't brought up. It was almost like that whole situation was forgotten, and if you watch ITHOTP and the Circle Trilogy together, that is a little jarring. Really do wish we could have gotten some fallout from the school and what Neela did. I mean while there was no proof, Bareil's life was almost ended by an assassination attempt.
Chris NI - Mon, Mar 25, 2013 - 3:16pm (USA Central)
The school incident was referred to later in the season, in "The Collaborator". But I agree that there could have been more fall-out, particularly as the Circle trilogy comes right after it.
azcats - Thu, Sep 12, 2013 - 1:12pm (USA Central)
Winn reminds me of the mother on "everybody loves raymaond." she can say words that SOUND so pleasant but are so spiteful, coniving, and manipulative.

"stay as long as you want, even up to a week."

i liked her scene with Bareil and Kira. only because it is so well written.
Kotas - Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - 3:28pm (USA Central)

I hate Bareil and the Bajoran storyline in general. Not a good episode.

4/10
Cheyne - Tue, Nov 12, 2013 - 9:05am (USA Central)
What's interesting to me is the sexual undertones between Jaro and Winn, which appear later in the series between Winn and another villain... I think this is a subtle (or not so subtle) character aspect effectively incorporated by the actress, mixing sexual desire and manipulation into a religious figure. For me the Bajoran general was one of the better characters here... I found Jaro a bit two dimensional.

Also, the whole Bajoran religious heirarchy is shown as rather secular, which I like, more believable than later (and earlier) mysticism...
Yanks - Mon, Jul 14, 2014 - 10:41am (USA Central)
I'm grading all 3 parts of this arc a 3 out of 4 stars.
Jack - Sat, Aug 16, 2014 - 9:55am (USA Central)
In the scene where everyone comes to Kira's, her quarters looks strange. The room immediately inside the door looks more like a lobby then a living room. I don't remember her quarters looking like this in any future episodes.
Jack - Sat, Aug 16, 2014 - 10:06am (USA Central)
"The Krisari don't even have a military, they're botanic DNA traders"

Another example of Star Trek portraying entire race as all being of one occupation. Who ever first thought of such an absurd notion?

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