Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine



Air date: 10/17/1997
Written by Michael Taylor
Directed by LeVar Burton

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I suppose I'm a lot more like you than I'll ever be like Vedek Bareil ... right now I don't like either one of us." — Mirror-Bareil to Quark

Nutshell: Some very good moments, but the storyline is somewhat slow, predictable, and even kind of pointless.

I've said it many times before (to the point that it's in danger of becoming a Jammer's Cliche), including last week for "You Are Cordially Invited": The success of a romance almost every time comes down to the believability of the leads' chemistry. Take, for example, this week's installment, "Resurrection," in which the alternate reality version of Bareil (Philip Anglim) from the mirror universe transports across dimensions where Kira finds herself face to face with the counterpart of her deceased lover. Here's a romance that almost works on human terms, because Kira and Bareil work so well together under the quiet, effective performances.

Unfortunately for "Resurrection," despite the believable romance provided by the initial characterizations, there's not much to the story that makes it stand out. There are good shows, bad shows, and neutral shows. "Resurrection" is a very neutral show punctuated with some nice little moments.

The most interesting driving storytelling element in this installment is the idea of an alternate Bareil who wants to start a new life in this universe. As we all know, the mirror universe is not a very comfortable place to live, and the idea of somebody crossing over to escape it has some intriguing possibilities. Considering the alternate Bareil is a thief who has never come close to religion, the differences are sure to prove challenging for Kira, who finds herself falling for this Bareil despite Sisko's warning to be cautious. (Sisko's warning, naturally, comes from his own experiences with the mirror version of his wife in "Through the Looking Glass" and "Shattered Mirror.")

Bareil's subsequent attempt to find spirituality through Kira is among the show's best notions. He respects the strength of these Bajorans' faith, and he wants to take the opportunity to obtain a new perspective on life. Bareil gets more than he bargained for when he encounters an orb and stares into his own destiny. Bareil's descent into confusion over his self-purpose following the orb experience is particularly well-conceived. Philip Anglim is good in the role, and it makes me realize that I've missed his presence on the series.

There's also an amiable scene where Kira brings Bareil as her guest at Dax and Worf's dinner. Not only is there finally some welcome evidence of a realistic relationship between Worf and Dax, but the scene also ends with Worf lightening up—acknowledging (with a reluctant respect) Bareil's theft talents when Bareil gets the better of him. As an only slightly related topic, Dax and Kira's previous discussion about the dinner reveals a lone Kira who, until Bareil enters the picture, would rather attend without a date. Dax recommends she bring Odo, to which Kira comments that neither she nor Odo are "ready" for that.

Speaking of Kira and Odo, I never commented on their lengthy, off-screen discussion in last week's "You Are Cordially Invited." I'm still very neutral about it. I do not think an off-screen discussion is at all sufficient, but since the issue, apparently, is still not rectified I'm going to keep an open mind and hope that it will be dealt with for real sometime down the road. For now I'm considering "Cordially" a stalling technique by the writers that acknowledged a problem exists (which in itself was necessary), but simultaneously delayed any payoff. In other words, the jury's still out. It's too soon to tell—but "Cordially" had better not have been the closing of the matter.

But I digress. Back in this week's storyline, it turns out things are not as they seem when mirror/Intendant Kira shows up on "our" side. She's in cahoots with Bareil to take advantage of Major Kira and steal the orb, which could give the Intendant (who wants to break Bajor from the Alliance) the power she needs to predict the future.

Working against "Resurrection" is that it moves so slowly. I wouldn't say I was bored, but nor is there very much to discuss about this episode because, really, there aren't very many events. The events are skillfully spread over the course of the hour and, in the meantime, the episode supplies us with plenty of reasonable filler. It takes a while for the story to get where it's going, and most of what happens in the story can be predicted well in advance because of the mere inevitability of it all. I don't mean to say that the predictability is a bad thing, because it does seem like a natural outcome of the characters' actions. At the same time, there are other ways this story could've been handled. The ending to "Resurrection," alas, takes the well-traveled road.

The last five minutes of the show could've either (a) taken a risk, or (b) settled into the expected routine of inconsequential, single-episode storyline results. The episode takes approach (b). Bareil's betrayal is understandable given his simple ethics as a thief, combined with the fact that he's hopelessly lodged under the Intendant's thumb. But given his experience with the orb, the creators could've given this guy another way out rather than having him admit defeat, accept his fate, and beam back to the mirror universe with the Intendant once Major Kira finds him out. Yes, he's sorry about his course of action; and he wishes he could begin a new life with the major; and he doesn't let the Intendant steal the orb as originally planned. But for him to simply return to his universe after building up all this potential for his future in a new world strikes me as a twist of fate the creators probably figured would be "unfortunate" or "tragic"—but, really, it's just pedestrian. Story- and character-wise, I suspect much more could've been explored if Bareil had remained in "our" universe. By returning him to where he came from, I'm left with almost no feelings on the matter. It seems a little ... well, a little bit pointless. An hour of slowly constructed setup to a payoff that says relatively little. It could've been much more interesting to examine more daring, long-term possibilities.

In the meantime, Intendant Kira's scenes are certainly welcome. The shallow version of Kira is just so much fun to watch on the screen. The key phrase here is "body language"; Nana Visitor is wonderful as usual, playing the dual roles in a way so that it would be obvious to know which is which, even when she's dressed in Major Kira's uniform and not using spoken dialog. The smug, sultry, in-your-face narcissism is still entertaining. And her manipulation of Bareil is eerily similar to her power over the mirror-Sisko in "Crossover."

I also appreciated some of the small story points, like the use of Quark as the always-open-eared barkeep whose dialog with Bareil offers some insight into Bareil's identity problem. A subsequent scene between Kira and Quark is also intriguing, highlighting Kira's clouded judgment where Bareil is concerned while simultaneously demonstrating the observant skill Quark has for understanding a person who enters his establishment.

Other than the little details, "Resurrection" is a reasonable but ultimately slight episode that supplies few surprises or developments. It's a one-shot piece that has little lasting significance. It's by no means bad, but it isn't particularly great, either. It's just "there."

"Resurrection" is the third offering from Michael Taylor, the writer who brought us the emotionally-gripping classic "The Visitor" and the standout "Things Past." "Resurrection" is a step down from those two far-superior stories, and it doesn't deliver the emotional wallop that I had hoped. But like both of Taylor's previous works, it deals very respectably with the fundamentals of its characters by reopening old wounds.

Next week: Bashir and his band of crazies predict doom for the Federation.

Previous episode: You Are Cordially Invited
Next episode: Statistical Probabilities

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25 comments on this review

Connor - Sat, Jun 21, 2008 - 3:07pm (USA Central)
Sadly I was bored to tears by this episode. I could care less about Kira's relationship with Berial (a relationship which caused my apathy towards the Vedek) and quite frankly after coming off the epic-sweeping 6 part story arc and the fun "You are cordially invited.." it really doesn't stand up. The only plus in this episode is the evil Kira, a character which walks on a tightrope with some of the disturbing connotations and body language she gives off. Nana Visitor deserves praise for that. All that said this outing is probably one of the most pedestrian and possibly downright dull stories DS9 has done in a while.
Blue - Sun, Mar 22, 2009 - 9:39pm (USA Central)
One thing that I really liked about this otherwise mediocre episode is the Quark-Kira dynamic. Before the Dominion War, Kira still had fairly undisguised contempt for the Ferengi, but here, even when Quark attacks someone Kira's very attached to, she listens attentively and even trusts Quark's judgment enough to confront Bareil. She also doesn't have that usually snippy attitude toward the barkeep. I like how they show this subtle consequence of Quark's heroism during the War, though I would have liked some greater acknowledgment of it from the other characters. Here's hoping that the writers don't forget and have Kira contemptuously dismissing Quark again in the future...
Jay - Fri, Feb 11, 2011 - 6:46pm (USA Central)
Well if you think about it, it's really because of Quark (with Ziyal's assistance) that the Federation was able to take the station back. Kira surely can't ignore that.
Dave F - Sun, Apr 17, 2011 - 4:41pm (USA Central)
I just watched this episode today and even if this episode had a point it still would have deadly dull.

I would rate this as *. Abysmal.

1) The story was pointless. It didn't go anywhere. You had 2 choices; 1) he was going to try and become the new "replacement" Vedek Bareil; or 2) he was going to pretend-to-get-better-but-still-really-be-a-thief. They chose #2 but since the episode moved at a glacial pace it just dragged out the expected ending that this was a cliched bottle show.

2) Without Nana Visitor this episode would have been a total loss. She was terrific in both roles, but I know I am in the minority but i felt Philip Anglim's performance was stiff as he did not intrigue me at all.

3) This episode seemed incredibly dis-jointed especially with the war going on. It had me thinking this episode was planned when they were going to conclude the war after "Sacrifice of Angels" but never changed it. Sure, we got the mention that there was no Dominion activity, but it just sort of ruined the momentum that this season created.

4) Security. How did the Intendant get on board? Sure security is not like the Enterprise or Voyager because it is a station, but come on. How did she beam in and not be detected? This episode makes Odo's security operation look inept, especially with the new security procedures that were mentioned!

5) The stock shots. It struck me as odd that they were using old stock shots from previous seasons that didn't show any Federation or Klingon ships until the end. They could have re-used the station shots from last week.

6) I know that I am discussing a lot of filler and technical elements because there is not much here in this episode. It was absolutely pointless. It would have been interesting had they kept him around as a foil to the Kira/Odo romance perhaps....or something. I just didn't see the point of bringing him over and not show his "true colors" until the very end.

7) I just don't understand that with the entire Alpha Quadrant at war we got this Mirror Universe show. The previous Mirror Universe shows were really good (especially "Crossover"), but it seemed they were absolutely devoid of ideas. "Statistical Probabilities" would have been a better choice to air. Here is where the problem began of "There is a war going on out there" that proved so frustrating to me during the sixth and seventh season.
tec - Thu, Dec 15, 2011 - 2:19pm (USA Central)
All I want to know is when Kira visited the Mirror Universe?

Her line "I know I been there" I dint think she visited there
tec - Thu, Dec 15, 2011 - 2:52pm (USA Central)
Please ingore previous comment that was my mirror universe self that had no knowlage of all things ST
Jack - Sun, Feb 26, 2012 - 4:24pm (USA Central)
Since Kira cut Shakaar loose merely because the prophets said so, shouldn't she have scampered off to an orb to make sure this relationship was kosher?
Justin - Sun, Apr 15, 2012 - 1:11pm (USA Central)
Anglim's performance was beyond stiff, it was plain bad. The best scene he ever acted on DS9 was when Bareil was near death and the only thing left of him were the "positronic implants" that Bashir conjured up for him. And that's only because it wasn't much of a stretch for a brain dead actor to play a nearly brain dead character. If that sounds harsh, it's because it is.

I also think there's something about male Bajoran characters - they're boring. I don't know why, but they just are. Shakaar was no different. Even Frank Langella was a total bore. The only one I can recall liking was Richard Beymer, but even that performance hade its problems because it was like watching Ben Horne in space (Twin Peaks reference).

This reminds me of a Trek convention I attended back in 1996 in New Jersey. A rather socially inept fan was handing out flyers from the "Friends of Bareil," and she wanted people to sign her petition to the writers of DS9 to bring the character back. I guess she got her wish with this episode.
Jay - Thu, Jun 28, 2012 - 1:26pm (USA Central)
So after "Bareil" struns "Kira" at the end, Kira just tells Bareil she'll kill him when they get back. Uh...why didn't Kira call for security to take "Kira" into custody? They were here to steal an orb, but off they go at the end?
Moegreen - Tue, Oct 2, 2012 - 8:04pm (USA Central)
This was a real 'who cares?' episode for me. Mirror's been done to death by this stage.
William - Thu, Dec 20, 2012 - 5:39pm (USA Central)
Usually, I like the Mirror episodes a lot. This was OK, that's about it. But after the six-story arc, we're used to more.

As others said, Nana V saved the episode.
Herman - Sun, Feb 3, 2013 - 1:48pm (USA Central)
I don't like the Mirror apisodes at all. The idea that those mirror persons can just hop to our universe and screw things up whenever they feel like it seems like a huge securty risk to me. Sisko or the Federation would've taken steps to (genetically) identify them or prevent them from transporting to DS9 by now.
Baron - Fri, Mar 22, 2013 - 7:34am (USA Central)
I liked this episode but thought it could have ended better. Also I was hoping to see some static with Odo since he and Kira seemed to be getting closer.
Kotas - Sun, Oct 27, 2013 - 8:57pm (USA Central)

The mirror universe is an annoyance at this point. The real universe is more interesting.

Ric - Tue, Dec 10, 2013 - 3:24am (USA Central)
Ok, the little twist in the middle of the episode is a bit enjoyable and as always, mirror-Kira is always funny/fun to watch.

But really, is it becoming that easy to travel between universes just going to the corner's bar to buy a snack? It is Star Trek - Fringe, not DS9. It is ridiculous, it is lazy.

Not to mention what Kotas has perfectly said above: the mirror universe is just less interesting than the real at this point.
K'Elvis - Wed, Jan 8, 2014 - 1:40pm (USA Central)
I didn't care for the Mirror Universe episodes, and this was no exception. I would have liked them better if there had been some sort of arc in the Mirror Universe, or if it tied in with the larger story in the "real" universe, but they just go nowhere. It would have been interesting if Bariel had stayed and joined a monastery. The MU characters should be something our characters were capable of becoming, and vice versa. Could mirror Bariel learn to follow the same path his counterpart did? Another interesting idea would to have mirror Kira look into the orb. It might make her look at herself differently.

I think the mirror universe had potential that was unexplored to shuffle the deck. The humans could have been the mirror universe's version of Barjorans. Sure, sure, the Barjorans and humans are similar in that they are (or were) oppressed people, but there is no equivalent of the Federation. Here, everyone is against the humans. In my mirror universe, the Federation would have fallen to the Klingons, and the Cardassians would become the allies of the humans.

The ability to beam between this universe and the mirror universe would have been a major tactical advantage in the Dominion War. It would let you bypass enemy defenses: you beam over to the mirror universe, go to the target, beam back to our universe and attack.
eastwest101 - Wed, Mar 19, 2014 - 6:34pm (USA Central)
Plodding pedestrian snoozefest. Although the idea of the mirror universe was pretty good (and characters from it) - this episode wasted all the good oportunities, full of pointless filler and slow lumbering by-the-numbers formulaic development of a very uninteresting romance, very very predicatble. The script absolutely stunk and I am not a huge N Visitor fan anyway, but her depiction of the Intendant Kira was laughably over-acted to the point of inducing winces, Anglims performance was bad as well, but they didn't have much to work with. Good scene with Quark was the only clever piece of dialoge in the entire episode, the conclusion of this episode was slapdash and perfunctory.

What a stinker - half a star.
Vylora - Wed, May 7, 2014 - 2:43pm (USA Central)
I actually like this episode a little better now than when I last saw it. Which I believe was when it first aired. That doesn't mean I actually "like" it now just that I understand it a bit more for what it is. I especially enjoyed a few of the smaller scenes like the dinner one with Worf and Dax and the scenes with Quark.

Ultimately, though, it is overall a bit mundane and the last five minutes was predictable to a fault. Nothing here played to DS9's known strengths which is a shame considering the plot elements and characters involved.

2 stars.
Yanks - Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - 11:54am (USA Central)
I detest the DS9 "mirror" eps.

Is there anyone on the planet that thought Bareil was really defecting?

Didn't Kira tell Odo he couldn’t have an "orb experience" because it "doesn't work like that, faith must come first" ... and here she just gives mirror Bareil a viewing at the earliest convenience. “KIRA: No, actually it was his. He's curious about Bajoran spirituality. It's a new concept for him.”

Am I the only one that thought Kira was having "grudge sex" with Bareil because of Odo's conduct in the previous episodes?

.5 stars. (normally a skipper for me)
msw188 - Wed, Sep 17, 2014 - 7:12pm (USA Central)
I find it a bit interesting that I agree with basically all of Jammer's complaints about this episode, especially about how slow and ultimately pointless it feels. It also doesn't make a lick of sense to me why the dude feels he HAS to go back, and why Kira doesn't, oh I don't know, ARREST the bad Kira.

The result is that I really don't get Jammer's star rating on this one. The few 'nice' moments he mentions feel way too inconsequential to boost the score this high.

Also, if Quark was the one who decided to put those flashing lights outside of his bar, he should be shot out of a docking bay. Worst background visual ever. At one point I wondered if they were supposed to be some kind of visual cue that the audience's warning bells were supposed be going off (duh) even though Kira's weren't.
Jammer - Wed, Sep 17, 2014 - 7:48pm (USA Central)
The star rating on this episode is indeed too high. It should be lower, and I'm willing to concede that.
$G - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 - 9:56pm (USA Central)
I didn't mind the middle part of the story - particularly the scene with Worf and Dax. Not that I wanted to see Odo pine for Kira with a new Bareil, but this episode doesn't even have THAT going for it. It just happens and then it's over - completely pointless. Bareil's excuse for not staying is asinine, cliched nonsense.

Once an episode falls under 2 stars it's just a matter of how unbearable it is to watch. It's not as unwatchable as "Meridian" or "Distant Voices", so 1 and a 1/2 stars, I guess. I think I'd rather re-watch "The Muse."
Del_Duio - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 - 10:41am (USA Central)
I dunno, I liked it!

I like how it was slow-paced in sharp contrast to how most of Season 6 has been going thus far. At least the actor who plays Bareil got another crack to erase that horrid show where everybody was trying to get into each other's pants in season 2 or whatever haha.
Del_Duio - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 - 10:49am (USA Central)
"It also doesn't make a lick of sense to me why the dude feels he HAS to go back, and why Kira doesn't, oh I don't know, ARREST the bad Kira."

Hahaha, good point! Actually my 13 year old said near the same thing at the end. WHY let basically Mrs. Hitler go back and kill more people? Hasn't she committed crimes against the real universe? I think they'd probably want her in jail at the least.
Masako - Sun, Sep 6, 2015 - 3:10pm (USA Central)
I agree with the comment rating this episode abysmal. I know others praise Nana Visitor for her performance as "Intendant Kira", but I just find it outrageously overplayed and annoying. I feel the urge to shut down the TV every time that character's on screen. (And I do love Visitor's work with "our" Kira).
Aside from that, the plot was completely transparent. The minute this mirror guy was there and crossed eyes with Kira, plot elements "there will be feelings between these two but alas they must tragically part before the credits roll" were certain. I thought he would die, but it ended up being even more boring than that.
I did like the scene where Worf had his weapon stolen off him, and the short exchange between Kira and Quark. That's it.

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