Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Past Prologue"

3 stars

Air date: 1/11/1993
Written by Kathryn Powers
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

When Tahna (Jeffrey Nordling), a former member of a Bajoran terrorist group, seeks asylum from Sisko after a narrow escape from Cardassians who have labeled him a criminal, he begins carrying out a new plan that involves gaining the trust of his old acquaintance, Major Kira. The most interesting aspect of "Past Prologue" is that it introduces the many shades of grey that define some of the strongest aspects of the series. The heated arguments between Sisko and Kira highlight how much of an asset that conflict between regular characters can be on DS9.

Meanwhile, the episode introduces "plain, simple Garak" with an amusing, unforgettable opening sequence between him and Doctor Bashir—and continues to develop Bashir's energetic kid-like naivete. Kira and Odo show an interesting understanding in a standout scene that reveals Kira's problem of being torn between her loyalties to the "old" Bajor and her loyalties to the ever-evolving provisional government that has made its alliance with the Federation.

Plot angles involving Tahna, Garak, the Cardassians, and even the Duras sisters tie together with surprising plausibility, leading to an episode that goes a long way toward defining characters and relationships while being quite entertaining all the same. Only the lack of development in Tahna as a character holds this one back.

Previous episode: Emissary
Next episode: A Man Alone

◄ Season Index

33 comments on this review

Thu, Jul 23, 2009, 10:28pm (UTC -6)
"Btw, is it just me or does Garak seem to be hitting on Dr. Bashir from the get go (...)?"

It's not just you. ;-) Bashir is so adoringly nervous during their first meeting, he acts like a blushing virgin girl, and yet he seems fascinated by Garak's charm and intimations of sinister secrets.

I see Garak and Bashir as the one great tragic love story of DS9, because they ended up apart, each one bitter and traumatized by their respective war experiences.
Sun, Apr 24, 2011, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
2. Past Prologue

Teaser *** 5%

Ahh, Garak. What an absolute joy. He's strange and probing and uncomfortable and so gloriously enigmatic. The scene is also strangely charged with something bordering on sexual tension. Bashir on the other hand, is understandably discomforted, but obnoxiously and unbelievably naïve for a 26 year old. His eagerness to be some sort of spy-hero is cloying at best. Kira's self-righteous shouting is if anything worse. A lot of this has to do with delivery. Given a quickness, a fluidity to the delivery of lines would lend a great deal of empathy to the dialogue, but alas it's all very stilted. The entry of Tana Los is sufficiently mysterious to engage and wet the appetite for more.

Act 1 17% **

First question, how does O'Brien know from looking at his panel that the Cardassians are “hopping mad”? The fact that Sisko so easily slips into his opportunism again in invoking “docking regulations,” it's rather disconcerting that he's the commander of the station. On the other hand, I appreciated his sentiments to Kira. Her political spouting is grating and totally unsympathetic. She's totally self-serving and hostile. No experience as a member of the underground permits such an attitude in or out of a starfleet command structure. Her communiqué to Admiral Roland is the icing on the cake. I don't like that she seemed more concerned with the lack of procedure than the lack of loyalty in the situation, but I digress. O'Brien's attitudes—so easy to stereotype and generalise about Bajorans and Cardassians—are perhaps even more disquieting coming from a human family man. Sisko's obstinacy in the face of Danar is unreasonable—even if he's right about Cardassian “justice,” it would behove the situation to show some of that cunning he's supposed to be renown for and offer a little diplomacy.

Act 2 **.5 17%
Los is a f**king idiot and it's obvious. He's just a child who likes to play with guns and exercise his aggression. You'd think given Kira's argument to Los about the benefits of Federation presence and the wormhole, she'd ingratiate herself to Sisko a little more. I'd like to meet a Bajoran who isn't a violence-prone asshole to validate the claim that their culture is enlightened. Lursa and Betor are likeable as ever, but don't really get developed in this episode, their motivations are vague and their presence borders on gratuitous. Sisko's refusal to arrest the Duras sisters is also silly given how he behaved towards Danar. Either he's a Federation idealist or he isn't, why make two choices which are both out of everyone's interests and contradictory in their motivations. Garak saves the act, however, with his unique brand of charm, slipping suddenly and with deadly sincerity into something more closely resembling his true nature upon spotting Los.

Act 3 ***.5 17%

I have to say I laughed out loud when Sisko dressed Kira down in front of the entire command crew. While I can't say I approve of his lack of curtesy, it was nice seeing Kira smote a bit for her arrogance. Odo, for his part is engaging as an investigator and likeable for his frankness. “I think they all simply get tired of hearing my voice.” Hehe, truest thing you ever said, Kira. Actually, the scene where Los presents his plan to Kira is spot on. The arguments are solid and driven from a place of truth, both politically and in terms of character.

Act 4 *** 17%

But seriously, is Bashir 12 years old? Any subtlety in his relationship with Garak suffered a great deal given his adolescent dullness. Very quickly, the “new suit” joke becomes as tired as the “plain and simple clothier” gag. The episode didn't thirst for comic relief, it needed to develop Los with that time. Standout in the episode is the conversation between Odo and Kira. Damn if Odo isn't intuitive about humanoid psychology given his attested ignorance about the subject, but here it really works. The line “the only important things is not to betray yourself,” is a little bit of sophistry which really leaves a bad taste in my mouth however. It does on the other hand hint at the kind of people the Changlings will turn out to be. The reveal that the terrorist is making a bomb is a big let down. Who didn't see that coming? Surprising plot elements are not necessary for good drama. In fact I'd wager that most of the best drama comes as no surprise from an events point of view: drama stems from mythology and mythical plots are hardwired into our psyche. The key when turns of event are hardly earth-shattering is not to rely upon them, as I think the final scene here does in abundance.

Act 5 *.5 %17

I find it incredulous that given the gravity of the situation, Sisko would be willing to send Kira alone when he still oughtn't know if he can trust her. Why not send Odo along as a belt or something? Ah, anyway, Visitor does a very good job at believably portraying someone who is lying very well to Los. Los' threat to explode the bomb in Bajoran space is a comic-book style contrivance...there has been nothing to suggest this kind of desperation in a man who has myriad options and no pressing emotional concerns. It serves to move the plot along, which is something, but what follows drifts into excess...we get spinning ships which end up in the Gamma Quadrent with Kira and Los playing Die Hard in-vehicle fight's borderline laughable. The only dialogue the whole endeavour elicites from him is “Damn you” and “traitor.” Ho hum. Adding a little action into the mix isn't a problem on its own, but in this case it cut deeply into an ending which never occurred, namely a meaningful rehash and resolution between Kira and Sisko. A 3 second stroll down a corridor doesn't count I'm afraid.

Episode as functionary **.5 %10

Well, it's great that we get to scratch a bit into Kira's past. While I certainly appreciate complexity in my characters, making them appear absolutely two-faced is not a way to win me over to them. Understandable and worthy emotional struggles are undercut by trivial and self-serving political posturing. Sisko comes across as more of a plot piece than a meaningful foil for Kira as he really needed to be given the episode's premise. The bad guys are all underdeveloped. As a second episode, it's not too bad and spreads what gold there is around making for an uneven but watchable hour.

Final Score **.5
Van Patten
Fri, Jun 22, 2012, 1:53am (UTC -6)
Surprisingly impressive for the second episode although it was a little unfortunate they had to rope in some TNG characters in the shape of the Duras sisters (Arguably the main positive aspect of Star Trek: Generations was their demise) Nevertheless, A well- told story.I don't think the tension between Kira and Sisko was 'kept up' (At least not until the season finale) but those scenes were well- done.

The actor playing Tahna is sometimes slightly off- kilter, but the plot moves quickly, and the early promise shown by Rene Auberjonois in the pilot is confirmed here. His no- nonsense portrayal of a job- obsessed man with nothing else in his life really hits home. The scene where He advocates the immediate detention of the Duras sisters is excellent.

In amongst all this, Dirty Harry star Andrew Robinson makes his first (and only in Season 1) appearance. His character is justly praised, and the excellence of Robinson's performance goes some way to making this a good vehicle for fledging Actor Siddig (I know he's called something else here)

So, light years ahead of its TNG counterpart second episode- agree with the rating, and even reaching it today, it's still an excellent second episode of a series. 3 stars from me also...
Tue, Jul 24, 2012, 11:01pm (UTC -6)
I thought for the first post-pilot episode, it was good. As you said:

The most interesting aspect of "Past Prologue" is that it introduces the many shades of grey that define some of the strongest aspects of the series.

Again, you can tell upon review they really had a vision for these characters -- and the people as cultures.

They just never seemed to get that many really compelling actors in these guest-star Bajoran roles, though. So a lot of the Bajoran political intrigue stories end up being lost in the fog of my mind as fairly good, but rarely stand out.
Mon, Mar 18, 2013, 12:06am (UTC -6)
Overall, a respectable effort. I liked how Kira basically got her own ep, and was genuinely wracked by divided loyalties. It's nice to see genuine conflict between main characters, and my favorite scene was probably her talk with Odo - very brother-sister like. Her choice was made kinda easy by Tahna turning out to be a bad guy at the end, but I still thought it pulled through.

And, I love "plain, simple" (HA!) Garak already. Hope to see more of him in the future.

The chase scene felt flat and preordained, though. I would have liked a little more action, and if the senior staff knew Tahna was going to steal a runabout, couldn't they have just taken the phasers out of the cabin so Tahna couldn't simply grab one and take Kira hostage, or replaced them with fakes? Seemed to me to be a basic precaution I would have taken in Sisko's place.

High 2.5 or mid- to low 3 for me.
Sun, Apr 7, 2013, 2:45pm (UTC -6)
I really enjoyed this! The "who is selling out whom?" aspect really worked for me and kept me interested until we discovered Tahna's ultimate plan.

I thought he was fine as a character--I wanted to believe him at first, so that was convincing, and when he turned out to be still with the Kohn-Ma, I understood and sympathized with his motivations.

Of course, this is in the middle of me writing a lecture about China during the "scramble for concessions" so I am fairly anti-imperialist at the moment. I totally get why he would want to destroy the wormhole and keep Bajor for Bajorans.

And I love Kira! I don't find her annoying at all and am not sure what others are seeing. I actually yelled "kick his ass, Kira!" during the shuttle fight.

So far, the first three episodes of DS-9 are knocking all other series' first three out of the water!
William B
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 10:15am (UTC -6)
I just realized -- Katharyn Powers, writer of this episode, is the same Katharyn Powers whose only other Trek episode is *Code of Honour*. I know that CoH was partly torpedoed by the director, plus we don't know about the levels of rewrites of both episodes, but, well, wow, an improvement.
Wed, Sep 4, 2013, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
I liked the episode. but i forogt about the Garak character. I always loved his "intrigue."

I thought it was maybe a bit too soon to make Kira soften her stance to the federation. but you knew it had to be done eventually.

i forgot how much a dupe the doctor was in the first season. it is almost like he is 20 years old.

solid show. 2 or 2.5 stars....

also, i wish elliott had done his reviews for Voyager...
Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 6:08pm (UTC -6)
I liked the episode, although Kira's acting is a bit off, her character seems a little too naive in this episode. Where is Ensign Roe when you need her.

I enjoyed seeing the Duras sisters in the continuity plot of the week.

Garak is setting up his reign of greatness in the series. "a new suit at 20:55 did I make myself clear?"

3 Stars from me.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
A decent follow up to the pilot with some important introductions and character development.

Wed, Jun 18, 2014, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
I thought this episode was pretty good. Love how they brought in the Duras sisters.

The best part was we start to get to know "plain, simple Garak".

Very good first regular episode.

3.5 stars for me.
Fri, Nov 21, 2014, 1:33am (UTC -6)
Past Prologue: B+
The Good:
- Garak is excellent, and I already know that we’ll be seeing more of him. He’s a wonderfully quirky character, and as morally ambiguous as the rest of this episode. I do wonder why he approached Bashir of all people (other than the fact that Bashir is a regular). Perhaps he sees that Bashir is full of enough self-importance to be easily manipulated.
- I’m liking Bashir, though he’s almost too bumbling at points – unlike “Emissary”, this episode didn’t showcase his medical skills to balance out the naïve fluttering. But that first scene with Garak was funny, as was the follow-up where he tries to convince the bridge crew to wire him.
- Odo. His nostalgia for the simpler days under Cardassian occupation, his inability to fake pretense, his basically straightforward way of handling Kira’s indecision – this is a character I’m growing more and more interested in.
- And speaking of Kira, this was a great episode for her. The conversations with Sisko, Tahna, and Odo reveal a certain degree of guilt about working with the provincial government of Bajor and the Federation, but I like the argument she makes about still fighting for her people, just in a new way.
- The whole plot really fit together rather neatly. Tahna is manipulating Kira while working with the Klingons, who are planning on betraying him to the Cardassians. Garak, somewhat fascinatingly, plays both sides of the fence by roping in Bashir, which allows Sisko to apprehend Tahna instead of the Cardassians. Sisko and Odo test Kira, who decides to betray Tahna. I enjoyed guessing who would end up playing who.
- Thematically rich episode, dealing with the delineation between warfare and terrorism, past and present, duty (to one thing) and duty (to another). Going back to “Emissary”, I might argue that Kira’s decisions in this episode validate some of the stuff Sisko says about pursuing the unknown based on our culminated experiences; she knows that the actions of the Kohn-Ma are no longer viable so she chooses to go with the Federation.

The Mixed:
- Tahna is pretty good in the earlier parts of the episode, and I like the ways in which he tests Kira. Even his eventual goal of destroying the wormhole is understandable. But it was probably a mistake on the writers’ part to let him start slapping Kira around; that very quickly burned away my sympathy for him and eliminated some of the episode’s moral ambiguity.
- Avery Brooks was better in this episode, although he was given less to do. I’m enjoying Sisko’s relationships with Kira, Odo, and Bashir, but Brooks is just so stiff, physically, in certain scenes, and some of his deliveries are quite wooden.

The Bad:
- The Klingon sisters were pretty goofy and awful, though functional within the plot.
- The chase sequence at the end was weak, and poorly edited to boot. I was confused as to what was happening at the end in regards to the wormhole and the bomb.
- Little follow-up to certain aspects of the pilot, especially the religious ones.
- Jake and Quark were no-shows this week, while Dax and O’Brien were given little to do. This is certainly understandable given the show’s large cast, but it’s still disappointing.
Fri, Nov 21, 2014, 6:40am (UTC -6)
@Black_Goat - You said you were not a Star Trek fan, so I'm not sure how much Next Generation you've watched. In case you were not aware the Duras sisters were recurring antagonists on Next Generation and their inclusion was a marketing ploy to get TNG fans to watch DS9.

Likewise when you see Q and Vash in a few episodes, same deal :)
Fri, Nov 21, 2014, 12:32pm (UTC -6)
@Robert - I kind of suspected as much. Understandable on DS9's part, but unlike the Picard appearance in 'Emissary", the sisters didn't add much for me. And they're just so goofy.
Fri, Nov 21, 2014, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
"And they're just so goofy. "

You probably don't want to watch Star Trek 7 then, the movie where they were one of the primary bad guys :)

In either case, welcome to DS9! If you make it through to episode 19 I guarantee you'll like it!
Mon, Feb 2, 2015, 8:57am (UTC -6)
The ironic thing is if Los were successful it would have prevented the dominion wars and saved countless lives.
Wed, Feb 11, 2015, 5:47pm (UTC -6)
I like this episode for 2 reasons, Kira got just what she deserves. She automatically believes Tahna because he was Bajoran freedom fighter in the past. He didn't have the same goals in mind that she had. He manipulates her then betrays her. Secondly, Sisko let her know in no uncertain terms, he was her boss and if she went over his head again, she would be history. I loved the ending when Kira looked like a fool and just walked away with Sisko, he could have gloated, but he didn't.
My second reason is Garak and Bashir.

*I notice on different occasions how people say DS9 was underrated, I remember how DS9 continually beat Voyager in the ratings, all of the time. DS9 was not understood, but it has a cult-following now. Personally I thought and think this show is extraordinary. Star Trek had gotten to be old stuff and needed a change. (DS9)
William B
Tue, Jun 23, 2015, 8:37am (UTC -6)
Kira is forced to choose between an angry man who issues threats at her when he's not sullenly silent, whose mercurial shifts in moods render her totally confused...and an old Bajoran acquaintance named Tahna. (Rim-shot.) No, I kid. I don't think the real purpose of this episode is to make *us* doubt where Kira's loyalties lie when she's being put between her burgeoning loyalty to Sisko and the Federation presence on DS9 and her loyalty to old resistance fighter friends who have become extremist reactionaries; Tahna is clearly the villain, especially when he gets to the late-game mustache-twirling I'LL BLOW UP THIS MOON stage. What it does do is give Kira a reason to recognize that she is at least more pro-Federation than a lot of other Bajorans, to give her a reason to see herself as being on Sisko's side instead of being opposed to him. That neither Sisko nor Kira seem all that interested in what the Cardassians' charges against Tahna are, and that Danar never gets around to saying them (HE KILLED PEOPLE! HE ATTACKED US! HE TOTALLY DID LOTS OF BAD STUFF, WHICH IS NOT WORTH SPECIFYING!) is frustrating, though at least in Kira's case there is the big sense that she is still very much in DO NOT GIVE THE CARDASSIANS AN INCH! mode, and semi-consciously omitting any data about what might make Tahna a threat in the present. Kira identifies with Tahna, and she assumes that his crimes are the type of crimes she might have committed; she has guilt over what she herself did during the Occupation, but also knows/believes that she was justified by what the Cardassians did. She both is unwilling to re-examine her own behaviour, probably understandably, and is unwilling to start examining the behaviour of others, in the now, because it might reflect badly on What The Bajorans Did To Survive, which is actually a problem with her job.

I do like that Tahna's ultimate plan involved blowing up the entrance to the wormhole. It plays differently knowing what is to come in the series, that he's basically talking about cutting Bajor off from the Celestial Temple, but it seems that not everyone got the memo that this is a religious site. Despite his cartoonish threats, Tahna really was serious about not killing any more people, and his plan will indeed remove the need for Federation protection -- just as it removes a whole lot of possibilities for Bajor to be part of a galactic community. And that is the big rub: do you blow up your own oil fields so that people stop trying to "help" you or invade you? And what if doing so happens to hurt your own society, which, deep down, is badly in need of all the help it can get? Kira's understandable isolationism does not extend to destroying things which might actually help Bajor, just because they bring it (unwanted) attention; and the recognition that, yeah, she'd rather have the wormhole and the Federation and the headaches that come with it than lose the wormhole and allow extremist factions to push all possible allies away and go Bajor For Bajorans.

Garak! "Emissary" introduced the main cast, plus the wormhole aliens, plus Dukat, Nog, Opaka, Jennifer, and, uh, Morn. This episode introduces Garak, and while it won't be until season two that we see him again he is a great sight to see. The way he approaches/manipulates Bashir is really fascinating -- he has to know something about Bashir's naivete, and it is pretty ahrd to tell whether, at this point in time, Garak sees Bashir more as a brilliant but naive ingenue that maybe could use some mentoring or a young foll who is an easy mark; probably a bit of both. He pushes Bashir in ways beyond the limits of what is socially acceptable, and gives him very little room to maneuver without facing embarrassment, but he also, I think, recognizes that Bashir *wants* someone to push him into a spy adventure story that he would, truth be told, be too afraid to pursue directly. Julian is fascinated and afraid and Garak plays him so wonderfully throughout. Bashir's somewhat juvenile reactions do strain credibility a bit, but I guess we are seeing some Wesley Crusher-style gullible wunderkind story bits left over, and, let's be frank, Garak would make anyone uncomfortable but fascinated.

Garak obviously brings this episode up quite a bit, but the Kira material, while a bit hamhanded at points, is fair too. A low 3 stars.
Diamond Dave
Mon, Oct 19, 2015, 3:05pm (UTC -6)
An excellent episode first up. This does indeed play in the shades of grey, making Kira question her loyalties and how her past will affect her future. The expansion of her relationship with Sisko is a highlight, with the two jockeying for position. The final "Go over my head again, and I’ll have yours on a platter" nicely caps round one.

Watching in retrospect I'm surprised at quite how early Garak is introduced. But it's wonderful that he is. All of the best of Garak is already on display - the multi-layered conversation a particular delight. That Bashir is currently still the wide-eyed naïf makes it an extremely effective vehicle.

Bringing in Lursa and B'Etor is, I suppose, a fairly naked attempt to cash in on the TNG audience. But they do a solid enough job. The disappointment is that Tahna Los isn't quite so well fleshed out, and reverts to foaming 'terrorist' mode when the 'freedom fighter' epithet has already been introduced. It makes the conclusion simple, and isn't worthy of that which has gone before. 3 stars.
Sat, Jan 30, 2016, 8:00am (UTC -6)
Good drama, good character dynamics from everyone, and a wonderful introduction for Garak = a really enjoyable episode.

However, "Past Prologue" has three things holding it back. First, the use of the Duras sisters was completely unnecessary. Their roles could have been filled in by any nameless mercenaries and nothing would have been lost. Including established TNG characters just leaves the audience focusing more on them than was called for (not to mention that it was a transparent ploy to draw in more TNG viewers).

Second, after making a rather big deal about the Wormhole being the Celestial Temple in "Emissary" they immediately follow that by placing the Wormhole in jeopardy and never once mentioning the Celestial Temple? Pretty glaring oversight!

Third, Tahna's plan isn't very well thought out. No Wormhole and no Federation or Cardassians, huh? Wrong. The Federation was there before the Wormhole was discovered and so were the Cardassians. How this helps the cause of Bajoran independence I can't understand.

Still, an above-average episode.

Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 9:36pm (UTC -6)
While I try to write my comments in such a way that mostly ignores what would happen in later seasons, I must say that Garak would go on to be my personal favorite. It's been a while since I'd gone through DS9, and I'm attempting to write my thoughts (when I have 'em) soon after re-watching an episode. Heh, Gosh I like Garak! I was shocked when I read this was his only appearance of the season, as I'd not realized that. I'm so glad they brought him back on a semi-permanent basis.

I didn't have a problem with the Duras sisters. Yeah, any random baddies could have sufficed, but it brought home to me that this was a stationary station, and folks we saw in TNG might stop by from time to time if they were in the neighborhood. And for those that never watched TNG, or very little of it, they Were just random baddies. :)

Now for my Random Thoughts moment: Perhaps the Duras were NOT destroyed in ST7! Since the powers that be used the same scene of General Chang's ship being destroyed in ST6 as they used for the Duras ship in ST7 (*facepalm*), maybe we ACTUALLY saw Chang's ship get destroyed again in 7, by peeking through time! The Duras go through a Rift in the Space-Time Continuum caused by the warhead explosion and end up next to the Enterprise C, defending Khitomer from the Romulans!...

Yes, that is tongue-in-cheek (and I recall there being an explosion on the bridge behind Lursa), but if you've watched every episode of all the Trek's, you know it isn't above the realm of possibility for that to have been written by someone. :)

Regards... RT
Sat, Jul 2, 2016, 2:27pm (UTC -6)
For William B: Kira is forced to choose between an angry man who issues threats at her when he's not sullenly silent, whose mercurial shifts in moods render her totally confused...and an old Bajoran acquaintance named Tahna. (Rim-shot.)

Although I believe Kira and most of the Bajorans were suffering from PTSD, but Kira was clearly against having the Federation being involved with Bajor, she openly said it in "Emmisary". She didn't trust them and was very unfair in her attitude with them. This attitude also caused her to misjudge the entire situation and jump to the wrong conclusions. All Sisko was trying to do was investigate. He needed to ask Tahna questions., which made sense. He needed answers and Kira jumped to the wrong conclusion. Anyone with any common sense would have suspected something was wrong with Tahna and his dealings with the Cardassians. He was a known terrorist, also, Tahna arrives at the station being pursued by Cardassians trying to kill him. He was bringing potential danger to the station. Kira could not see that Sisko had every right to investigate Tahna and not take him for face value.

Sisko was clearly in the right in this situation, I don't think he was sullenly silent, I truly believe he stepped back and looked at Kira's reaction. Sisko was not in familiar territory he was in an alien culture and he needed to examine everything and everyone involved. Kira was really out of her element. she had no formal training. She was ill-equipped for the position she was in, but she knew enough about Bajorans to be a good go-between, while she learned about the Federation and Sisko. Kira did learn and became a very good first officer, she stopped busting into the office and learned to press the buzzer like everyone else, she learned diplomacy when dealing with her government and others and most of all she learn that her people were capable of hurting each other for their own agendas (season 2) she could not just take them for face value.
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 7:39am (UTC -6)
I had no problem with the Duras sisters. Using immediately let the audience know they were trouble. I loved the scene where Odo disarmed them. Also, bringing in TNG viewers was a good thing. Without viewers we might not have gotten seasons 2-7.

Good point about no mention of the Celestial Temple. Have a major trade hub in the system might be seen as a mixed blessing to Bajorans, but cutting off or destroying their gods would seem abhorrent.

Regarding the impact on Bajoran indepence, the Cardassians had apparently decided the cost of continuing to hold on to Bajor was too high. The discovery of the wormhole changed that equation dramatically. The Federation would not stay in a system with no strategic importance if its presence was unpopular.
Joey Lock
Fri, Aug 19, 2016, 2:26pm (UTC -6)
This episode was a fairly strong second episode which is exactly what you need in a new series, an amazing pilot but crappy 2nd or 3rd episodes won't get you anywhere.

The actors are begining to unravel slightly in this one, Kira's patriotism and stubbornness is beginning to show, Odo's want for law and order and not being too happy with change, Garaks analytical nature etc

I also noticed in the scene where Odo and Sisko discuss in his office, they're standing extremely close to one another, almost face to face, it just seemed a little odd, almost as if they were gonna kiss despite having a whole large office to stand in.
Daniel B
Fri, Aug 25, 2017, 5:04pm (UTC -6)
{ The line “the only important things is not to betray yourself,” is a little bit of sophistry which really leaves a bad taste in my mouth however. }

The episode itself addressed that, I thought, with Garak disagreeing that there is any true philosophical wisdom in it and considering it just empty words saying nothing.
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
Aside from Garak, this episode is like all season one episodes-mildly engaging, but nothing more than that. 2.5 stars.
Thu, Jan 25, 2018, 4:17pm (UTC -6)
Pretty good, intriguing episode that gets most of the important DS9 cast involved, setting up their inter-relationships and future arcs to some extent. The ending action scene, while not bad, is the least strong of the episode (other than the Duras sisters). So was Tahna just late in firing/detonating his bomb to seal the wormhole or did he not know when to do it? Instead he fires it somewhere into the Gamma Quadrant and then has to surrender.

A nice scheme and stakeout builds up well that puts Kira between a rock and a hard place. Great scene when she talks to Odo about her loyalties and having to be a traitor to one party. This episode goes a long way to fleshing out Kira's character -- from her conflict with Sisko, who deals with the hothead pretty well, I thought. Liked the line about potentially having her head on a platter if she went over his head to the admiral 1 more time. Her character and inner conflicts are definitely one of DS9's strengths.

Unfortunately, the Duras sisters are more comedic than threatening -- getting them involved makes it seem like whatever they're associated with is not going to succeed. Hard to take them seriously.

Garak has a funny way of introducing himself -- certainly didn't come across as friendly (in a normal way) toward Bashir in the teaser, who seemed absolutely petrified. Julian's pretty green to Cardassians/Bajorans so this is good. But these 2 at least start off on the right foot and the doctor would seem somebody who reluctantly gets dragged into potentially dangerous "non-medical" situations.

A high 3 stars for "Past Prologue" -- plenty of interesting characters here in good situations. Well-written and thought out episode that touches on what will make DS9 so good. Definitely want to see more episodes like this one with the various parties (minus the Duras sisters) trying to fulfill their own objectives.
Sat, Sep 15, 2018, 11:20am (UTC -6)
How does Kira know how to pilot a runabout (and so skillfully)? It's now happened in two episodes in a a row It's not like she attended Starfleet. Perhaps she gained flying skills in the resistance. Most likely it's because Kira's part was originally written for Ro Laren, someone who knew how to pilot Federation craft.

Anyway, this episode doesn't do too much wrong, but once you watch it you forget about it a few days later. Bland terrorist guy tries to do bland terrorist objective.
Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 11:49pm (UTC -6)
Hmm. Netflix seems to have skipped this one. It took me straight from Emissary to A Man Alone . . . am not on right now, but will check this out tomorrow . . . weird.
Sun, Nov 18, 2018, 10:05pm (UTC -6)
Ok. Have not read review or comments. Going to comment as I watch, play-by-play, except not really commenting on each play.

Yeee. What a weird little scenes with Doc Julian and creepy, creepy Garak.

I pray that Julian gets his space legs soon. That is some over-the-top naivete, nearly adolescent in its nature.

Pretty good confrontation between Kira and Sisko, a little "new show rough," but that's to be expected.

Nice touch with O'Brien warning Sisko about the brutal ways of the Cardassians.

Tahna very annoying. I don't know why, but I feel he deserves the Duras sisters.

Garak, the Cardassian Tim Gunn. But what exactly is the sartorial spy up to?

What's going to happen when the Bajoran, Klingon, Cardassian, Federation party meet up, here?

How does Jadzia get that poof in her hair?

This wormhole gets a lot of action.

Drama, drama, "Traitor!" Pained look. The End.

Passable, some definite character development for Kira. Odo is growing on me.

Season theme, 3 eps in, seems to be about how the past impacts the present, the struggle to begin anew and to adapt to the present.
Wed, Dec 19, 2018, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
3 stars

This was a solid episode. Garak enters the picture and is put to intriguing use. The duras sisters were actually believably used not as a tng dressing but for a plausible purpose and their double crossing Tahna was definitely in their character.

Tahna wanting to destroy the wormhole makes a great deal of sense and provided a nice twist and exciting climax. His calling Kira a traitor was biting Kira sand odo soupseaeching scene was well done culminating with odo contacting Sisko letting him know that someone wanted to chat with him was also well done
Double A
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 8:46pm (UTC -6)
Kira's first vehicle of DS9 is an entertaining hour of Trek. Past Prologue reinforces the fact that DS9 is a different kind of Trek and that conflict between the regular crew is not going to be off limits, like it was on TNG. In my opinion this is a welcome news and makes for a better drama. This episode also marks the debut of Garak, who makes an unforgettable intro. I do have one minor issue with Past Prologue. I believe it is a little early in the season for a test your loyalties episode but that is a small gripe in an otherwise solid show.

Sun, Jul 28, 2019, 12:01pm (UTC -6)
Formulaic and predictable but entertaining. Past Prologue is a good character development show for Kira. But I believe it was too early in the season to put her in the situation where she had to choose between her new commander and her former comrade. The outcome was predictable but it was still a fun show. An added bonus was the introduction of Garak, which was the highlight of the episode.


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