Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Air date: 11/22/1993
Teleplay by Mark Gehred-O'Connell and Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Story by Mark Gehred-O'Connell
Directed by Alexander Singer
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
In "Second Sight," the brilliant Professor Seyetik (Richard Kiley) comes to DS9 to prepare a groundbreaking experiment. Meanwhile, Sisko meets an enigmatic woman and finds himself falling in love for the first time since his wife's death four years earlier. The woman, Fenna (Salli Elise Richardson), is like a dream—she has a knack for saying the perfect thing at the perfect time. The only problem: she keeps disappearing ... literally.
Many portions of this episode ring true. There are some genuinely engaging emotional moments in the romance between Sisko and Fenna; often present in the performances is a sweet chemistry that proves engaging and sometimes downright moving. Even more engaging are the typically effective scenes between Sisko and his son. One scene in particular ends with a big laugh, as Jake gives his father a look of utter bemusement. What doesn't work, unfortunately, is the "sci-fi" plotting used to explain Fenna's existence. The plot makes a less than stellar attempt to link Fenna to Seyetik's wife, Nidell, writing Fenna off as a nonreal figment of Nidell's convenient telepathic abilities.
As compensation for the gratuitous twist, the episode has Kiley as the egomaniac Seyetik. He's the type of guy who writes his own obituary because he wouldn't dream of leaving the task of writing something so important in anyone else's hands. You've gotta love this guy—he's arrogant, and he knows it. Kiley is delightful, bringing a great deal of humor and charisma to the role, with a final scene that is bittersweet in its theatrics.
Unfortunately, the more important issue here—that of Sisko's romance—ultimately falls short (and feels too much like a Reset Button Plot) because of the story's need to make his would-be companion nonreal—thus rendering the romance dramatically unfulfilling.