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Jonathan
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

I too found this episode disappointing.

1. I feel that Archer jumped way too quickly to hostility. He has shown more patience with Klingons and Andorians that actually wanted humans dead. Than he did with these beings that just wanted to survive. He made no effort to communicate diplomatically with these beings. They seemed to just be enemies to Archer right from the get go.

2. Even though the beings did have an ulterior motive, the fact that no philosophical thought was given to how the Wisp's "possession" of the crew could have just been how they engage in "cultural exchange". One again, the trap of only thinking in human terms, kind of fails in any star trek setting when it comes to new experiences.

3. The end. The fact that the episode ends in genocide of these beings with no reflection, no consequences, and no future ramifications is inexcusable. I understand this is very early in Starfleet history, before the Prime Directive, but they claimed to be beyond things like genocide.

I would actually debate this being self defense. Because Archer offered no diplomacy. The idea of trying to help them fix their ship wasn't even explored. They just jumped right to "kill them all".

TBH that alone should have justified Vulcan's concerns and ended the Enterprise's mission. But nope. They just end hundreds of lives and go on as they do. Inexcusable and a disgrace.
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Jonathan Swift
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

James said: "Regarding BLM I remember a few years back the police used to march in the Toronto Pride parade. Then the local BLM chapter blockaded it and refused to allow it to proceed until it agreed to a list of demands, including expelling the police and a bunch of other nutty stuff. The craven heads of local Pride surrendered, kissed BLM's boots and still ended up resigning in shame as I recall."

Amen brother. Black Lives Matter Toronto unleashed a horrendously unacceptable 25 minute sit-in (almost a full, arduous 30 minutes!), which thankfully the reputable news networks covered fairly and were careful not to sensationalize.

Those monstrous BLMers felt that People of Color within the gay community were not being represented. They felt that that police officers joining the parades in plainclothes, costumes or policing from the sidelines was absolutely okay, but not big police floats, police cruisers and not uniformed officers in the marches themselves. They felt this, they said, because Pride is about inclusivity and community, yet many older LGBT members, because of violent attacks in the past by more homophobic police forces, continue to feel actively threatened / worried when they see an officer. On behalf of those people, BLM unfairly wished that on this one special day a year, a safe, welcoming environment could be created.

BLM Toronto also issued 8 other outrageous, monomaniacal demands. These asked for more inclusive hiring of black transgender people, indigenous Native Indian folks and other vulnerable communities, as well as community support, increased space and more funding for Pride events run by LGBT communities. These are devilish, civilization-toppling demands that should rightfully be shot down by any sensible-thinking person.

Unfortunately Toronto Pride caved in to these satanic demands, and the following year held a democratic vote on these demands and agreed to uphold them! Ghastly! What a perversion of the electoral system!

The Toronto Police - unsurprisingly headed by a black chief - even agreed to these demands himself. Making a choice evocative of that tyrant Jean Luc Picard, he kowtowed to these terrorist demands, explicitly citing his belief that withdrawing from the Parade and giving things a year or two to breathe, would help faster foster better relations between the police and minorities, would demonstrate a more positive relationship between the gay and black community and the police, and would bring the groups together in the near future. Like that idiot Picard, this chief believed he was taking a humble, long view, when in actuality he was demonstrating weakness and softness before the petulant horde.

I know some say the founder of Pride, Gary Kinsman, famously said that in this incident, “The Black Lives Matter contingent carried with it the spirit of Stonewall and the activist roots of Pride,” but he is clearly an idiot.

Others will claim that black protest has historically always been unfairly viewed as antagonistic, angry, hostile and anti-institutional. That when black people assert either rights or wishes, these simple requests quickly become deemed an inconvenient and militant attack by "uppity", "whiny", "complainers". But these are different times. People of all races and backgrounds will surely, rightfully, come to the conclusion that only a mentally deranged black homosexual would feel ill at ease when in a Pride March alongside rolling police cars and loomed over by big police floats. And why would should we take policy demands from the mentally deranged?
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Jonathan Swift
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 11:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Amen, brothers.

An episode named after one of the British Empire's practices, and about old Federation establishment figures falling prey to bigotry and suspecting a Klington and a quarter-blood Romulan of terrorism, in a franchise started by a guy whose wife literally said he was a communist and partial to Chinese-style Maoism (https://mix979fm.com/ten-things-you-didnt-know-star-trek-creator-gene-roddenberry/), is totally about our current historical moment, where innocent whites are persecuted by the powerful Black Lives Matters Hegemon, which uses its tremendous military might and political strength to destroy the lives of innocent whites who are accused of no crime greater than wrong-thought.

Judging from the reliable sources where I get my news (objective news, free from data mining, and the social media brainwashing algorithms employed by radical left corporations), it is clear to me that we are on a slippery slope toward the criminalization of free thinkers - perhaps even the white race itself - if we don't trod too carefully.

Indeed, though many today are preoccupied with issues like coronavirus (which statistically primarily affects white workers), it is clear that 2020's key issue is cancel culture, and how it is employed - genocidally employed, some might say - by powerful black leaders to silence innocent whites. And so we must be vigilant. We must be vigilant and keep our eyes peeled for the blacks, commies and powerful radicals. For as Martin Niemöller said decades ago: "first they came for the whites, and I did not speak. And then they came for more whites, and again I didn't speak. Because they didn't let me speak...because of cancel culture."

Make no mistake. We have given these devilish BLM-types all they have asked for. Despite their inherent racism (only a fool would read "Black Lives Matter" as anything but a racist slogan), and despite the fact that society is fairer now than its ever been, we have bent to their will and en-acted countless political policies and structural changes which have dramatically changed society. And yet they continue to persecute the innocent white man, who wants nothing more than to live in peace without fear of slander or violence.

And it is not a rational violence, of the type we see and celebrate when practiced by our protesting white brothers in the streets today in France, or Lebanon or Beijing, or Belarus. No, it is an irrational, disorganized violence. The unthinking violence of the jungle. Of the animal.

I know MLK sympathized with rioters and called violence the language of the unheard, and said “Let us say boldly that if the violations of law by the white man over the years were calculated and compared with the law-breaking of a few days of riots, the hardened criminal would be the white man.”

But were he alive today, MLK would be aghast at what civil rights discourse has become. Roddenberry himself would no doubt insert a BLM alien into Trek, for he would recognize that there is no greater threat to the Federation than a black man taking the knee.
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Jonathan Hardy
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

I am doing my own rewatch of TNG, having not seen it since I was a young child, and I think BoBW stands as the episode in which TNG replaces TOS as the bedrock of Star Trek. Before this, there may never have been any other Star Trek shows or movies, and if there were, they could have been set at any time period, but after this, it nailed the 24th century as the true home of Star Trek.

With that said, I would have written part II and resolved the problem differently. When the Enterprise fires its secret weapon, it would have worked, or at least started to. It would have began ripping slowly through the cube. The Borg's response would have been retreat. Instead of using Picard's knowledge of the plan to completely defend against it, we say they were unable to, but knowing it would destroy them they were prepared to run away. The Enterprise would still be unable to give chase, but it resolves the problem of why not just destroy/assimilate the Enterprise?

Next, the battle of Wolf 359 would still be a crushing Borg victory; however, the cube wouldn't be seemingly impervious, rather it would take yet more damage, and when we see it approaching Earth it would be very clearly damaged. I think this would lessen the bump between this battle and First Contact. I much prefer the idea that the Borg are merely incredibly strong, than entirely invulnerable here.

So then, when the Enterprise goes to rescue Picard, it makes sense they are more vulnerable and less able to manhandle the Enterprise and the shuttle could fly in through a damaged section. Then later, the "sleep" command doesn't put the cube into autodestruct; rather, it allows an away team to beam aboard. Guided by Picard's knowledge they could plant explosives on a key system, like a warp core or something and get away while Picard and Data keep them asleep and prevent them from deactivating the bombs.

There's probably some other plot hole this would create, or I didn't think of, and it's only small minutia that keeps this from being perfect, and even still, in its current state, it's the peak of Star Trek so far. I'd say it's also peak Borg. Later Borg are ruined by the humanity of the Queen.
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Nathan L
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

“You can't deny that Jammer's opinion helped people see the truth, though.“

I can deny it. I love Jammer’s reviews, but we don’t need to agree! Sometimes I’ll go higher than him on an episode, and sometimes lower. I notice many here didn’t like Discovery either. When those people saw Jammer’s 4 star review of “If Memory Serves” did those critics back down and stop picking apart the episode? I checked the thread and it doesn’t look like it.

Critics are great guides and help us formulate our ideas perhaps better than we can ourselves. But a professional review is only the beginning of an artistic discussion, not the end of it.
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Nathan L
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Eric

I read that article and there's nothing official stated about Seven's sexuality. They're basically saying "it's totally implied by this episode so that confirms it!" which is hardly a firm conclusion.

Jesus, that site is just as bad as BuzzFeed.
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Nathan L
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Brian

"What they have been doing wrong is they had a successful model and a successful show that it worked with and they wasted it and tried to go "forward" with this serialized crap and Trek just does not work well in that format. It never has."

"Voyager was where it became really apparent that things were off the rails (in a bad way). It had some good elements but there were many "WTF?" moments that obviously turned people off and just left me wondering why the hell they cancelled TNG so they could do this crap."

I like a lot of your points, sir. To be fair, VOY *was* modeled in the style of TNG, but it was still often poorly written and its best actors (McNeill, Picardo and Ryan) were not the senior officers. A huge amount of talent from the TNG days like Moore had also abandoned ship early in Voyager's travels.

"TNG (It was at it's peak when it was cancelled and Trek has never been the same)."

To clarify, although season 7 was arguably the weakest for the show, TNG wasn't cancelled. Paramount realized TNG was popular enough that they could be doing movies instead of television with it. There's a big difference in momentum between TNG and ENT's conclusions, for example.
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Jonathan Lane
Tue, Dec 24, 2019, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The first Star Trek feature film elicited mixed reviews from fans (and from the general public). Some Trekkers consider it a masterful exploration of the iconic characters of the Enterprise crew with breathtaking production values and a sweeping musical score that updates the 1960’s television series and prepares it for a bright future on the big screen. Other fans see it as a plodding snooze-fest of slow, indulgent editing—an opinion often sarcastically supported by pointing out that the Enterprise crew are all wearing pajamas, as if to say this movie will put us all to sleep.

But the one thing that nearly every fan and viewer agrees on is that the visual effects sequences are stunning and some of the grandest, most beautiful, and unforgettable in Star Trek‘s 50-plus year history. Among the most iconic and well-remembered of the segments were the introduction of the refit USS Enterprise with Kirk and Scotty flying around it for nearly five minutes (too long?—poppycock!), the opening sequence of the the three Klingon battlecruisers confronting and then being destroyed by V’ger, and the refit Enterprise leaving dry dock.

Those VFX sequences, overseen by the legendary DOUG TRUMBULL (who did the Enterprise shots) and JOHN DYKSTRA (who handled the Klingons, the Epsilon XI space station, and other segments) were rushed together in less than six months using models and blue screens and contraptions like periscopes to get cameras within inches of the amazingly detailed models. To see the finished breathtaking scenes, one would hardly think any of them were created with anything other than the most painstaking attention to detail over years…not simply months.
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Jonathan Byrd
Sat, Aug 17, 2019, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

I'd give star trek voyager a 4 star review; if it wasn't for the fact that every time I bring up the fact the Newton's "What goes up, must come down" Law of Nature was never a applicable law of physics, and ask some lefty, "Really MoFo', it was never a law; if so, when in the hell is the Voyager 1 probe going to fall back down?!" and they answer, "25 years at maximum warp." ....other than that, I give it full stars
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Nathan
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

I don't understand why the Moclan stigma for male-female relationships still exists. The existence of females is unheard of on their planet for quite some time (before space travel?) as I understand it, so why would it be controversial to be attracted to one? Taboos are always a defense against something that needs to be protected against, and I can't see how females are a threat to Moclan culture. It would be somewhat similar to Homo Sapiens in the 21st century keeping an actively enforced taboo against relationships with Homo Neanderthalensis.
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Nathan
Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 2:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

As someone who's pursued a scientific career, I take issue that doing so has anything to do with a "better future". The majority who pursue scientific careers will end up working for large pharmaceutical companies helping to sell opioid drugs for the masses to get hooked on, or engineering oil rigs to further decimate Earth's ecosystem.

In fact, it could easily be argued that a large amount of our problems wouldn't exist if certain people hadn't pursued scientific careers. Without combustion we wouldn't be facing a rapidly warming world, without gunpowder hundreds of gunshot victims each year would be saved, and and if it weren't for the invention of ships, genocides would have been prevented.

There is no 'better future' in inventing more things to substitute for our humanity.
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Nathan
Wed, Jan 23, 2019, 2:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Brother

"But Voyager was a show aimed at young men and teenage boys."

Was it? I don't know the background, but what I do know just from reading reviews and opinions is how much an effect having a strong female captain had on different audiences. Women appreciated it. A lot of men definitely didn't. My impression was that what women saw as a tough, smart, beleaguered captain who had to think on her feet in often impossible situations, men saw as a ruthless and controlling tyrant who had double standards and was too uptight. Whatever the intent was behind Janeway, it wasn't something that went down well in the minds of many young male viewers.
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Nathan B.
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

Cellphone autocorrect error: "Dislodge" was supposed to be "Sisko."
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Nathan B.
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

Autod, you need to see "Rocks and Shoals." Keeven sent his Jem'hadar to be pointlessly slaughtered just so that he could save his own skin, which he did by surrendering to Dislodge as a prisoner of war. In that context, he's not sympathetic at all.
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Jonathan
Fri, Dec 8, 2017, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

@navamske. On your third point, they showed Malloy piloting the shuttle back to the Orville, he dropped off Isaac.
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Jonathan
Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 2:25am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Also quite late to the discussion, watching through Enterprise for the first time (have seen all of the other Star Treks). I also really enjoyed this episode despite some flaws (certainly the way evolution is understood by the characters is lacking).

One thing I haven't seen mentioned (it's possible it was, as I haven't read every comment) is how Phlox's decision was influenced by human perspectives. He originally sees nothing wrong with the Menks' condition, as they seem quite content with the way things are. It's only after human crew members argue that they have their potential limited by the Valakarians that Phlox eventually come around to that position. In fact, I don't think he would even consider withholding the cure if not for how humans have influenced his view on the Menks.

So, paradoxically, it's human ideals, mediated through Phlox's alien perspective, that lead to a decision Archer makes against his instincts. It raises some profound questions of how human morality can be differently interpreted by other species--and lead to unforeseen outcomes. That's my perception of the episode, anyway.
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Nathan
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 10:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I just can't get my head around the spore transport. Do they mean to say that when they attempted the first jump there were spores floating above the sun? How did they get there?
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Nathan Beast
Fri, Jul 21, 2017, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Did noone else find Ryker's reaction to Troi clawing him hilarious?? He looked like he was about to cry, ran away, and didn't see Crusher to treat his wounds until the next day! That scene had me doubled over in laughter. 😂
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Jonathan Archer
Wed, Mar 8, 2017, 7:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Devil in the Dark

Did anyone notice that except for the Horta, there are no female cast members in this episode... anywhere.
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Jonathan Archer
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 7:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

Glad I got another chance to see this episode again on Netflix because I didn't remember any of it.
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Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 13, 2016, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Sorry for the typos. I wrote my comment on my cell phone!
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Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 13, 2016, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Peter G. and Andy's Friend: good discussion!

I think a few things need to be cleared up. First, I use the word "god-like" as something of a metaphor--both for Star Trek and for Nietzsche. Furthermore, Nietzsche's Overman emerged from the same intellectual stream that produced Charles Darwin. Also, I do definitely think that Sisko *functions* as what is traditionally termed a Christ-figure. The fact that he does so does not mean that this role exhausts who Sisko is, though! I agree that Sisko can be fruitfully compared to Abraham--and that comparison also does not exhaust his character, either.

More centrally, I think that Peter G. and I have a fundamental disagreement about the meaning of Trek. As I see it, the evolution of humankind and other species towards something that greater is central to Trek, most especially in TNG. From Transfigurations to Evolution to Emergence to the Q episodes, TNG celebrates the evolution of species and individuals, and that evolution is open-ended, and often trends in the direction of the divine.

Regarding the notion that humans should not aspire to be god-like, I disagree. I suspect you may be thinking most especially of two episodes: "Hide and Q" and "The Nth Degree." But surely the point of these two episodes is that humankind is destined for far greater power and knowledge, but these have to come organically from within--no short-cuts. No one argues that because the boy Wesley refuses Q's gift of instant manhood, that he should remain a boy forever. As Wesley tells Q, "I'd rather get there on my own." If Wesley had accepted Q's gift, he would have been a sort of Pakled (i.e. he would be advanced but without the morality to justify the advance). Similarly, Barclay as God didn't work because it wasn't a logical development of Barclay's journey--he was literally zapped into godhood by an alien.

Speaking of aliens, the Wormhole aliens are worshipped as gods by the Bajorans. Now, DS9 drops hints that the Prophets have already evolved (they are, "of Bajor," as the Prophets themselves put it. But apart from Keiko and Jake (and Weyoun), no one ever says the Bajorans shouldn't worship the Prophets. Sisko himself goes out of his way to tell Jake, who wants to see the Wormhole Aliens as not divine, that "we can't afford to think that way." Now, in the real world, I side with Keiko and Jake, but that's another matter.

DS9 delves not only into themes of evolution, but also the meaning of faith. After we see so many heartfelt prayers, from Dax at the orb to Weyoun (forget which #) to Odo, to even Dukat at the altar of the Pah-wraiths, you can't say that DS9 isn't a show in large part about the impulse to faith and religion. The fact that this theme sits in fruitful tension with the stories of evolution to godhood is a testament to the tremendous writing that undergirds the whole series.

DS9, like all other cultural phenomena, didn't arise in a vacuum. With themes from evolution to godhood to the journey of faith and religion, it responds to the world we really live in--which, by the Nineties, was a world in which it was obvious that religion was gaining in importance, rather than declining, DS9 was perfectly positioned to entertainingly probe what it means to be human, even as the two themes (among others) guaranteed a wide potential audience.
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Nathan B.
Fri, Jul 8, 2016, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Well, Peter G., I think your comparison to Abraham was interesting--there certainly are, as you pointed out, a number of parallels between Sisko and Abraham. That said, I think the Christ-figure designation has far more applicability to Sisko. Abraham did not have an unusual birth or death, and he was not divine. Jesus, on the other hand, has a virgin birth, a resurrection, and is a deity, to boot, so I'd say that it is the Christ-figure comparison is much more applicable here. Furthermore, Jesus, like Sisko, is in a sort of communion with God; thus, for instance, you have Jesus on the cross asking God why he (i.e. God) has forsaken him (i.e. Jesus); I was reminded very much of this when the wormhole closed itself and the Prophets stopped speaking with their Emissary and through the orbs.

I think the term "Christ-figure" is the one that best captures this aspect of Sisko. Of course, there are similar figures in other mythologies and in stories from other cultures, but the fact remains that DS9 was produced by Western culture steeped in biblical imageries and stories.

Now the fact that Sisko is willing to do things like murder several Romulans, and deceive an entire people in ITPM, throws a whole twist on the Christ-figure theme.

Back in The Next Generation, on the Enterprise, there is in Picard's conference room a painting showing the light of a sun coming over the shape of an intervening planet. It's an obvious allusion to a magnificent scene from "2001: A Space Odyssey"--it's shown quite a number of times in TNG. 2001 itself was paying homage to Nietzche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra," which predicted that mankind would eventually turn into something god-like, once it had cast off the shackles of religion. The whole idea of TNG is that things, people, species, even ship spare parts, are evolving into something that we could conveniently call "godhood." Sisko in DS9 parallels this evolutionary development, except that he gets incorporated into a existing sort of religious system--even as Odo does (despite the fact that he didn't want it). A major part of DS9, then, remains optimistic about the potential of living, sentient beings in a fundamentally TNG-ish kind of way.
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Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 10:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

"...Bajor assured...." Sorry!
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Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

I'm surprised no one mentions here the fact that Sisko is a Christ-figure. Born of the will of the Prophets, taught to suffer and to bear the weight of the Alpha Quadrant, died, and resurrected. Then, like Jesus, he appears to Mary Magdalene, er, Kassidy. That closing shot of Jake and Kira--who so deserved their final goodbyes with Sisko--looking at the wormhole and missing him recalls Jesus's "where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them." But Sisko and the Prophets also have a bit of an Old Testament feel to them, too: that's how they can surprise us with their willingness to undertake actions that don't immediately look right: possessing Sisko's mother's body so that she will bear the Chosen one, firing a gas into a planet that will make it uninhabitable for humans, murdering a foreign diplomat and his enterouge and lying so as to bring the Romulans into the war, etc.

And that's why we don't get to see Bajoran assured of Federation membership. That's why Jake doesn't get his farewell. We're dealing with godhood, now. Things will be different, and surprises will be in store. Ultimately, then, the story is about Sisko's evolution towards, and acceptance of, his divinity.

In making the story in this way, DS9 leaves the consistent atheism of TNG behind in favour of concerns more germane to our world today. I'm something of an atheist myself, but I find the long-term character arcs of the darker, if still Trekkian DS9 much more entertaining.
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