Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Homecoming"


Air date: 9/27/1993
Teleplay by Ira Steven Behr
Story by Jeri Taylor and Ira Steven Behr
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

When Kira receives a Bajoran earring—smuggled out of a Bajoran labor camp—she goes on a mission to Cardassia IV to liberate the prisoners, who have been held in contrary to the Cardassians' promise that all their prisoners of war had been released. Kira hopes to find Li Nalas, a renowned Bajoran hero whose return to Bajor could unite the torn world in its hour of need.

The first and best of three parts, "Homecoming" follows up the promise of Bajoran political situations that last season's "In the Hands of the Prophets" left behind. Paced much like a feature film, this installment sets up the three-parter beautifully. The expanded time format provides a great deal of character development opportunities. The dialog scenes between Sisko and Kira show two characters on the same wavelength in what feels like true Federation/Bajoran interaction. Each strives to similar goals, but acknowledges that the other has its own agendas.

In the episode's second segment, Kira and O'Brien take a Runabout to Cardassia IV to rescue the prisoners. The action sequences and outdoor locations are expertly done under Winrich Kolbe's stellar direction. The episode's third segment analyzes the situation of Li Nalas (Richard Beymer), revealing a textured, multifaceted character with some fascinating dimensions. Beimler's portrayal of a hero who never even wanted to be the living legend he became is a fully realized performance. Sisko's observation that "Bajor doesn't need a hero; it needs a symbol," is especially keen.

The introduction of Minister Jaro (Frank Langella) adds nicely to the character canvas and promises to play a big part in the arc. Overall, this is a difficult episode to summarize in words; much of the success can be attributed to various pieces of interesting dialog exchanges and performances. Even though the plot is just beginning, this is a knockout season opener that covers quite a bit of ground stylistically and dramatically. Well done.

Previous episode: In the Hands of the Prophets
Next episode: The Circle

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8 comments on this review

Greg M - Wed, Feb 20, 2013 - 2:21am (USA Central)
Could we say that The Homecoming might be DS9's most underrated premiere episode? It sure seems that way. I watched it and the entire trilogy tonight and it still holds up really well. Loved the scenes on Cardassia 4, and Li Nalas having to adjust to being the symbol the Bajorans see him as.
azcats - Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - 4:05pm (USA Central)
i am so confused. on the Voyager section. every talks about how great DS9 is. there is usually 20-40 comments. over here... 1 comment??

anyway, very good opening show. i enjoyed it very much. great characters and story line. ds9 is a very good show.
Kotas - Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - 3:26pm (USA Central)

I do not find Nalas to be a very compelling character. A decent episode on the whole.

Petetonglaw - Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - 9:12am (USA Central)
"The action sequences and outdoor locations are expertly done under Winrich Kolbe's stellar direction." Rewatched this episode on netflix and found the action sequences and outdoor locations just do not withstand the test of time (20 years). Also, graffiti is a lame form of civil disobedience particularly for a society that has just lived through an 80 year brutal occupation.
Jack - Fri, Dec 27, 2013 - 2:31pm (USA Central)
Odo's line about the Promenade being "deserted at this hour" seems odd for a space station, especially an open port like DS9...it's doubtful that the concept of offhours or the middle of the night would have any meaning.

And every indication is that Quark owns the bar. Rom's assertion that he should get half the profits is a bit absurd...That he got 1 share of profit for every 6 Quark did suggests he's getting 15% of the profits of a bar he seemingly doesn't even co-own.
Yanks - Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - 12:46pm (USA Central)
I enjoyed this episode. Good kick-off to the second season.

I thought the whole "Kira and Obrien rescue" was pretty unrealistic. It seems like the Cardassians are horrible shots and of course Iron Mike Kyra again floors someone with twice her strength. Wouldn't it have been much more realistic to send the runabout to C4, scan for Bajorans, then present the findings and the earring to Cardassia? (Dukat)

I enjoyed the Li Nalas character and thought Richard Beymer did a fine job playing the part.

While Sisko and Kira were surprised that Dukat was apologetic, I really don't think they should have been. Cardassia already publically said they've released all Bajorans... this would have been a huge embarrassment and unlawful for the Cardassian government.

The introduction of the Circle is good and realistic.

Jaro (Frank Langella) was awesome! Very believable and comes off as a very influential leader.

Sisko/Jake first date stuff was good.

I loved the interchanges between Sisko and Li Nalas.

"LI: But I am not the man that they think I am.
SISKO: Perhaps not. But Bajor doesn't need a man. It needs a symbol, and that's what you are. No one's asking you to lead troops into battle, or to kill a hundred Cardassians with your bare hands. I saw you in front of the crowd on the Promenade. They look at you and they see strength, and honor, and decency. They look at you and they see the best in themselves.
LI: But it's all based on a lie.
SISKO: No. It's based on a legend. And legends are as powerful as any truth. Bajor still needs that legend. It needs you."

Sisko not really caring about how Li really killed that Cardassian and bringing perspective to Li. All good stuff.

Then of course....

"Major Kira is no longer assigned to this post. She's been recalled to Bajor."

Jaw hit the floor... how's that for a cliff hanger? :-)

3 out of 4 stars for me.
Ian G - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 - 1:09pm (USA Central)
I really enjoy this whole arc which starts at the end of the first season. The action sequences were from 90's TV so the standards were much lower then, but I still thought they held up fairly well. DS9 has a really funny trip of giving tiny Kira, who weighs in at a whopping 115 lbs, an iron fist that can knock any character, no matter how large and powerful they are, down with one hit. I also thought that it was odd that the nature of the political violence was toned way down to graffiti and branding Quark, compared to religious extremism fueled bombings and assassinations from the previous episode which seemed more appropriate for a society that fought a 50 year long insurgency with terrorist tactics.
Kevin Mc - Fri, Sep 5, 2014 - 11:51am (USA Central)
Just realised, very slow of me, that Le Nalis (however it's spelled) is Twin Peaks' very own Benjamin Horn.

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