Star Trek: Deep Space Nine


2 stars

Air date: 11/29/1993
Teleplay by Frederick Rappaport
Story by Gabe Essoe & Kelley Miles
Directed by Les Landau

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Three million refugees from a race called the Skrreeans come through the wormhole looking for their destined homeworld. It's later revealed that Bajor is the world they have sought, and the problem becomes finding a place for them on a torn world that can barely sustain itself.

However, before this premise is revealed the story spends its first act mired in a lot of silliness involving the Universal Translator, which ultimately has little dramatic relevance and winds up being simply implausible. (And just because there's a language barrier doesn't mean the Skrreeans have to enter every room with such overstated trepidation.) Once we're through the awkwardly played scene where the Skrreeans become linguistically comprehensible, a social allegory of sorts begins to take form. About all I can say here is that I see what they were going for, but the execution leaves much to be desired. The idea of the Bajorans denying the Skrreeans the sanctuary they request is definitely a plausible argument, and the issues of xenophobia and unwelcomed immigration are certainly relevant.

But the script is heavy-handed in its obvious messages, and the dramatic tension is forced. Even though Sisko finds the Skrreeans a perfectly reasonable (probably more reasonable) alternative planet, Haneek (Deborah May), the Skrreean who represents the refugees, remains positively adamant on Bajor for reasons that are never made clear. The episode seems to be preaching about Bajor's unwillingness to help outsiders for the sake of preaching, rather than building a solid story around the premise.

I also don't care for the completely forced and manipulative ending sequence, where the story sends Haneek's son Tumak (Andrew Koenig) charging toward Bajor in a stolen ship, for the sole reason of killing him off and driving home the would-be message. Yes, there are some valid points here. But there's also a lot of lackluster drama that wants to mean more than it really does.

Previous episode: Second Sight
Next episode: Rivals

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154 comments on this post

Nebula Nox
Wed, May 16, 2012, 11:41am (UTC -6)
The Jews returning to Palestine comes to mind ... and the dangerous consequences of bullying
Thu, Jun 7, 2012, 6:04am (UTC -6)
The only reason for the universal translator issues and the Skrreean's misandry is to get Kira and Haneek to bond. Overplayed and unnecessary really.

And I would agree with you Jammer that the refugee issue is poorly handled. The get out of jail card of having a perfect spare planet available for colonisation robs the Bajorans of any moral consequences and leaves Haneek looking arrogant and ungrateful.

I guess the genesis project is not needed in the 24th century.
Fri, Jul 6, 2012, 12:31am (UTC -6)
It was a bit confusing.
The Jewish people returning to their ancient homeland seemed to be part of the point.
It is muddled in its message though.
The Jewish people WERE and ARE the rightful inhabitants of the land of Israel (wrongly referred to as "palestine,")
The bullying the previous post referred to is from the "palestinians," as Bajorans I assume...
Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 5:45am (UTC -6)
"I guess the genesis project is not needed in the 24th century."

I imagine the great controversy involving the Klingons and the Genesis Device caused it to be outlawed. (Perhaps in the Khitomer Accords?) We see in TNG and DS9 that terraforming is used to create habitable planets which could be used to backup a theory on the banning of Genesis.

But you're right, in Trek there are thousands of M-class worlds anyway, so you might be right that it's not really needed.
Fri, Jul 27, 2012, 7:03pm (UTC -6)
My biggest problem with this episode is its almost complete failure to generate any sympathy in me toward the Skrreeans. I understand what they did and why they did it, but I didn't care. Ultimately, they struck me as needlessly stubborn and unreasonable.
Tue, Jul 31, 2012, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
Uhm... the previous episode "Second Sight" not only brought a dead star back to life, but the guy who did it was a TERRAFORMER. He said that his crowning achievement would bring life back to the system.

He talked about many of his creations - multiple worlds. The Genesis Project probably was superceeded, as Dax mentioned the characteristics of a terraformer, making it sound like there were more of them, and that terraforming was not uncommon.
Thu, Aug 9, 2012, 6:45pm (UTC -6)
One sad thing about the Trek universe, with its history of progressive messages, is that every species has the regressive effect of making you wonder which unfortunate contemporary ethnic group it caricatures.

I could see their situation sounding like the Jews in Palestine after WWII, but this would have been more compelling if, as with the Jews, there had been something to tell us that Bajor used to be their homeworld, rather than their apparently temporary and arbitrary claim that it was. Then the issue of them coming back would have been more of an ethical dilemma.

In the Trek universe, their space Jews are already horribly represented by the Ferengi anyway. So I thought maybe they were the Space Gypsies. And nobody wants them around, apparently.

As with many DS9 episodes, the story is utterly weakened by giving them an easy exit as you guys pointed out, making the whole incident a throw-away that may as well never have happened.

The universal translator is one of those Trek technologies that always breaks when it makes things more dramatic for it to. I wonder how Trek writers look themselves in the mirror when many of their tropes are just as pitifully certain as "Shave and a Haircut" in Roger Rabbit.

Could have been much worse, though. Remember the Space Irish versus the stuck-up Space British in TNG?
Sat, Aug 11, 2012, 1:17pm (UTC -6)
I am very hesitant to pipe up on this whole Jewish allegory in the episode--it is definitely something I noticed the first time I saw it--the issues surrounding this continued problem are so thickly oppressive in their scope, that the idea of debating it alone is exhausting. However, let it be said that the only argument for any land belonging to a people who (for whatever reason) moved away and wish to return is a religious one. Otherwise, Americans would be morally obligated to return all the territory in the US to whatever native americans are still alive in our century.

That's why, I think, the social allegory works; the Skrreeans (who came up with that name?) have a perfect solution offered to them by the Federation, but insist, for religious reasons, that Bajor is the place they must inhabit, and try to curry sympathy for themselves as being victimised by the Bajorans. The only thing which would make the allegory more true to life would be arming the Skrreeans to the teeth with Dominion-style weapons which posed a serious threat to Bajor, and having the Federation back the Skrreeans.

I don't understand why the episode is lined with so much irrelevant nonsense, then--translator issues, gender issues, parental issues--the premise is potent enough on its own. 2 stars is just right.
Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
I agree with Eric..the Skreeeeeeans had no claim whatsoever to Bajor, and thus their stubborn and unreasonable sense of entitlement to a piece of it reeked to high heaven...
Thu, Jan 17, 2013, 2:43pm (UTC -6)
I agree with most of the previous comments. "Sanctuary" seemed lost in its efforts in both entertaining the viewer and telling a strong story.

- The 10 minutes spent on the Universal Translator was awkward and misplaced. These 10 minutes could have been used to better develop the Skrreeans as a race.

- Similarly, there is little sympathy towards the Skrreeans. I'm not sure if that's because the acting was a bit off, or if the plot was thin, or both, but I found it difficult to care about the outcome of their plight.

- I see how this episode can be seen as a Jewish allegory. However, I still agree with "LastDawnOfMan" though; the arbitrary claim that Bajor is the Skrreeans' holy land is far-fetched. The religious tones are not properly built up, so there's no meaning behind the Skrreeans' claim (unlike the Jewish/Palestinian conflict that has a very deep backstory).

The only saving grace of this episode is the ending, which I thought was actually NOT a fast exit. A fast exit would have meant the Bajorians giving up a piece of their land to the Skrreeans. Instead, they did end up relocating to a nearby Class-M planet.

It's also important to note Andrew Koenig's appearance as Haneek's son, Tumak. He was the real-life son of Walter Koenig (Chekov from TOS). Unfortunately, Andrew took his own life in 2010 after a battle with depression. May he rest in peace.

Lastly, this comment extends beyond "Sanctuary," but I personally find the DS9 early series aliens-of-the-week to be very cheezy on multiple levels (almost equally cheezy to the Season 1 TNG aliens).

- The Skrreeans are ridiculous, not only in their demands, but also with their hair and clothing styles from circa 1985.
- The Dosi were absurd with their facepaint and American Gladiators style outfits. Conceptually, they were "OK" (two-dimensional creatures but at least their dialogues weren't hokey). However, I still couldn't take them visually seriously.
- The immortality of the warring clans from "Battle Lines" was far-fetched to begin with.

My episode rating: 1.5 out of 4 stars
Shawn Davis
Sun, Mar 10, 2013, 5:06pm (UTC -6)
I agree with Jammer and most of the comments here about this episode.

I understand with what they are trying to do here by doing the story about the "Skrreeans" and finding their home planet being similar to Jewish people trying to find Palestine. I don't have a problem with this, but it's the way that the story was written that made me feel little simpathy for the Skrreeans and their representative Haneek. As Jammer said, there is no specific reason stated on why Haneek thinks that Bajor is their home planet that they are looking for. I agree with what he said about the Bajorans being right not to allow the Skrreeans to live on their planet due to paranoia and xenophobia also.

I agree with Jammer and everyone else's comments about the translator problem during the first 10 minutes of the show. I actually glad that they brought up something like this to indicate that not all the gadgets in the world of Star Trek doesn't always work for some species and not convient or is some type of "Deux-ex Machina", but it is the way that part of the story was executed that made the translator thing look ridiculous.
Thu, Mar 14, 2013, 5:38pm (UTC -6)
@Lastdawnofman about the ferengi:
I´m not sure if I understood you correctly, but are you implying that the star trek writers created the ferengi based on their view of jewish people? Or at least your comment would be based on an assumption of yours that jews are like the ferengi, greedy profit-makers an so on.

Either way, both of the possibilities are plain antisemitic. I think you should make clearer how you meant it or you should overthink again what you have written. Because if i´m right, this kind of argumentation should have no place in a forum, especially not in a star trek minded forum.

I just doesnt want to let this rest unspoken of.

Thank you.

Tue, Apr 2, 2013, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
In this episode, we learn from O'Brien that phaser beams can possibly ignite radiation.
Tue, Jul 2, 2013, 10:38am (UTC -6)
I really have to disagree with the comments above.

I think this episode was better than both the episode after and before it. Yes, the translator bits were awkward, and yes, it mixed a lot of issues, but overall I think it worked.

Without searching for real world comparisons, which I think is unnecessary and unwarranted, I think the real idea here is Bajorans turning down help because they have become suspicious and untrusting.

The Skrreeans could have helped the Bajorans out of a famine, but the Bajorans refused that help. Perhaps the Skrreeans could have been helpful in the problems the Bajorans were to encounter later in the series. Perhaps the Skrreeans could have really turned Bajor around... alas, they'll never know. Also, the Skrreeans were not unlike the Bajorans in their mysticism and religion.
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 7:53am (UTC -6)
If habitable planets are so widely available that they can hand them out like party favors, why bother with terraforming. Just because the Skrreeans decided Bajor was their home, doesn't mean that it is. The Skrreeans are given a whole planet of their own, and they come off as simply ungrateful because Bajor didn't give into their demands. The Skrreeans just don't have any claim on Bajor.

The sub-plot with the stolen ship seemed pointless, nothing was changed. It actually undermined the story, Tumak's belligerent behavior doesn't bode well for the Skrreeans fitting in well if they were to have settled on Bajor.

Besides, who said they interpreted their prophesy correctly? They did find their new home in he Bajoran system. It wasn't LOCATED there, but when they came through the wormhole, and arrived in Bajoran space, they were given a new home. They have a choice: they can reinterpret their prophesy, or they can stew over not being given land on Bajor. The former is healthier.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 3:42pm (UTC -6)
I found the premise and the Skrreeans to be quite annoying. A bad episode.

Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 11:30am (UTC -6)
"Naga dentana. Dentana. Oobay a-tal? Oobay a-tal. Keetama sootay. Shalanta Skrreea. Skrreea."


Boy, what a horrible episode.

Good thing the Skrreean just happened upon the "Eye of the Universe", eh? Good thing for them for sure, they'd be dead inside 2 months I guessing had they "missed it".

We see translator issues here, but not again in DS9? So why have issues now? How many other races do we meet that have no translator problems at all?

So this race is a female dominant society. So what? How does this add to the story? I guess the next time we see a "male dominant society" we should ensure they drag the women around by their hair and show the men sleeping with more than one woman. The characterization of the Skrreean males added nothing to the story, the solution... anything. eeesh...

The end of the story (kid dying) had no impact on anything at all. The way these "kids" acted, I had no problem with them dying. I didn't care!

Xenophobia was mentioned above for a reason that the Bajorans voted not to accept the Skrreeans. I didn't see that demonstrated at all. This episode might have been good had we seen the debate on Bajor and learned why they voted no. All we got was "We ran a series of projections" ... blah, blah...

Again, no replicators for some on Bajor I guess... so I guess that long winter could really be bad, you know if the crops fail, and they don't have replicators...

But it's even more stupid for "in charge women" to think Bajor is their Kentanna. All Keanna did was call up a chart of this star system and do what, compare dots? They might have had a good reason, but we never see it. (Bajor=sorrow?)

Whatever... I wonder is the real reason they turned them down was because they couldn’t stand the thought of 2 religions on Bajor?

The only reason to watch this episode is we get to hear this word:


Is this the first time it's mentioned in DS9?

½ star out of 4 stars for me.
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 11:43am (UTC -6)

I really despise this "Sanctuary", it's probably among the worst episodes of DS9. Yeah, it's worse than "Let He Who Is Without Sin..." or even "Profit and Lace". I get a kick out of those two and their hilarious levels of utter badness. This one... it's insufferable. It truly is.

1 star, and only because I hate Jammer's system that goes below 1 star. It's not proportional, it bothers me! If 2.5 stars is the average, we have 3 marks above that (3, 3.5, and 4 stars) and 5 marks below. I. Do. Not. Like. That. ;)
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
@ Paul M.

I need to write all these down I guess so someday I can get a series/season average.

3, 3.5, 4 above
2, 1.5, 1, .5, 0 below

Yup, I see your point. Is 2.5 the "average"? This being a trek centric review point, one would think that that number might be higher.
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 2:35pm (UTC -6)

Well, it says so on The Rating Scale link.
Dave in NC
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
This isn't a very good episode.

First off, the Skrreeans had a lot of nerve picking Bajor as their prophesied homeworld, because basically they wanted to do the same thing to the Bajorans that the T-Rogorans and the Dominion did to them. Hypocrisy much?

Haneek, the head Skrreean, was a total bee-yotch to Kira when she tried to make amends at the end, but the way the evolution of their "friendship" was portrayed, I didn't really care what happened with Haneek. I was on Kira and the Bajorans side the whole time.

Honestly, I wish Kira had told her (in that sassy Kira way) that it was insulting to imply that the Bajorans were so inept that an alien race could come take over their land and do better at raising crops than the people who already live there could.

I also wasn't a fan of the man-hating on the part of the Skrreea, because surely they've dealt with many alien species before where men held positions of power. They came across as short-sighted and bigoted.

And what's the deal with the men in this culture? Are they buffoons? Do they only possess the intellect of a child? What exactly attracts a Skrreean woman to "her males"? The characters seem to be written as the intellectual (and physical) equals of teenage Jake and Nog. This was painted with a very broad brush, enough where I was left confused (and slightly creeped out).

Last but not least, they shed their skin everywhere and don't clean up after themselves? Yuck.

Final thoughts: I'm glad I finally got to see how universal translator works. It was nice to see a mention of the Dominion this early in the series.

That's about it.

1.5 stars
Dave in NC
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 3:22pm (UTC -6)
@ Yanks

I forgot to mention this before, but the reason Bajor doesn't get replicators from the Federation is that

A) They still use a money-based economic system. (We've seen this time and again in this series: people getting their utilities turned off for not paying bills, etc.)

B) Bajor is not a member of the Federation. The Federation cannot give them technology because it would be a violation of the Prime Directive to do so.

I will admit that considering how bad off Bajor is, why it would even be a question to join the Federation is something I really don't understand. It's not as if being a member of the Federation means suppressing your cultural heritage.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
@ Dave in NC

Actually I was going to give credit to the actress that played Keanna. That sequence where she adds a word here or there to demonstrate the translator is working must have been hard to do. But I couldn't because there was no rhyme or reason as to why she had to do that :-)

Correct about Bajor and the Federation. I always thought the Federation could have "lent" those replicators to Bajor until they were back on their feet.

I'm trying to think if we ever got a reason why Bajor wasn't accepted or hadn't applied yet. Maybe it was mentioned in TNG.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 4:29pm (UTC -6)
@ Paul M.

Thanks. Agree, I think a 5 point scale would have been more appropriate.
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 10:12am (UTC -6)
"Correct about Bajor and the Federation. I always thought the Federation could have "lent" those replicators to Bajor until they were back on their fee"

They did give Replicators to Bajor, just not "enough". In "For The Cause" it mentions the Federation gave Bajor 2 CFI replicators.

EDDINGTON: This briefing will contain information considered extremely sensitive by Starfleet Command. Please, do not share it with anyone who doesn't have a level seven security rating. It seems that during their recent invasion of Cardassia, the Klingons inflicted far more damage than we've been led to believe. Two weeks ago, the civilian government on Cardassia Prime secretly contacted the Federation Council and made an urgent request for industrial replicators. And that request has been granted.
DAX: How many replicators are we talking about?
EDDINGTON: Twelve, all class four.
KIRA: The Federation only gave Bajor two CFI replicators.
EDDINGTON: With all due respect, Bajor is just one planet. The Klingons have destroyed the industrial base of literally dozens of Cardassian worlds. With twelve CFI replicators, they can at least start building new power plants and factories.

"I'm trying to think if we ever got a reason why Bajor wasn't accepted or hadn't applied yet. Maybe it was mentioned in TNG. "

They did apply, and the reason they weren't accepted was also discussed. In "Crossfire" Shakaar discusses the long admittance procedures. Somewhere in the first 4 seasons they did submit a petition to join the Federation.

ODO: I've been working with the Federation for a number of years. They claim to be open and understanding, but somehow they're always convinced that they're right. It can be exasperating at times.
SHAKAAR: I've been trying to get them to cut the timetable for Bajor's admittance into the Federation by half. But every time I think I've made them understand my reasons, they remind me that every member of the Federation has gone through the same admittance process.
ODO: And why should Bajor be any different?
SHAKAAR: I can't think of a single reason.
ODO: Unless of course, you take into account the effect that fifty years of occupation might have on a society.
SHAKAAR: Thank you.

And in "Emissary" Picard comments that they aren't ready yet.

PICARD: They've left the Bajorans without a means of being self-sustaining. The relief efforts we've been coordinating are barely adequate. I've come to know the Bajorans. I'm a strong proponents for their entry into the Federation.
SISKO: Is it going to happen?
PICARD: Not easily. The ruling parties are at each others throats. Factions that were united against the Cardassians have resumed old conflicts.
SISKO: Sounds like they're not ready.
PICARD: Your job is to do everything short of violating the Prime Directive to make sure that they are.

There have been discussions in TNG about how a government has to be relatively united to join the Federation. In TNG's "Attached"

CRUSHER: Are you worried about this mission with the Kes?
PICARD: Not worried exactly. This notion of admitting half of their planet to the Federation while leaving the other half out.
CRUSHER: First of all, the Kes are not half the planet, they're nearly three quarters of it. And the Prytt are not being left out. They themselves simply don't want to have contact with anyone from the outside. not the Federation or anyone else.
PICARD: Every member of the Federation entered as a unified world, and that unity said something about them. That they had resolved certain social and political differences and they were now ready to become part a larger community.
CRUSHER: By all indications, the Kes are a very unified, very progressive people.
PICARD: But the Prytt are not. They are reclusive to the point of xenophobia.
CRUSHER: Well, think about Earth. What if one of the old nation states, say Australia, had decided not to join the World Government in twenty one fifty? Would that have disqualified us as a Federation member?

So for a TLDR version, the Federation IS helping Bajor get back on their feet. They are offering protection, supplies and replicators and they were very much hoping Bajor's government would "get it together" enough to request Federation membership. Things worked out pretty good under Shakkar and by "Rapture" Bajor was accepted into the Federation.

Sisko convinced them not to join so that (although it was not known exactly at that point) they could sign a pact of non aggression with the Dominion, protecting Bajor if the war went poorly (which it did at one point). I'm about 100% sure that had there been a season 8, Bajor would have joined the Federation and I think putting Kira in a Federation uniform/getting a Federation commission at the end of Season 7 was a hat tip from the writers saying "we don't have time to fully resolve this plot line, but as soon as the war is over this is what will happen".
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 10:32am (UTC -6)
"Honestly, I wish Kira had told her (in that sassy Kira way) that it was insulting to imply that the Bajorans were so inept that an alien race could come take over their land and do better at raising crops than the people who already live there could."

Also, this is not what happened.

HANEEK: But Bajor has more than enough room for us. The plains of the northwest peninsula are practically uninhabited. The land's ideal for farming.
ROZAHN: It used to be, before the Cardassians got their hands on it.
HANEEK: Minister Rozahn, the Skrreeans are farmers. Just give us the land. I guarantee you we can make it thrive again.
ROZAHN: Under ideal circumstances, perhaps you could. But what if the circumstances aren't ideal? What if we go through another long winter? What if your crops fail? What if the famine that has been plaguing Bajor continues to spread? What then?
HANEEK: We're willing to take that risk.
ROZAHN: I'm afraid we aren't. We ran a series of projections to see whether a Skrreean settlement could survive on the northwest peninsula. The results were not encouraging.

Nobody on Bajor was trying to farm that area. It's uninhabited. The Bajorans were worried that the Skrreeans would be a burden and the Skrreean argument is that having another peninsula being farmed would increase food supply and that they could possibly produce such a surpluss that they would assist the Bajorans instead of being a burden. It'd be like aliens landing here and asking to use Antarctica. We might say that the land is worthless and that we'll end up having to give them aid and they could say that they know they could do it. Who's right?

I liked the fact that this episode presented neither side as right.
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 11:06am (UTC -6)
Thanks Robert.

If those big "industrial" type replicators were class 4, I wonder what the home use version is?

It seems that those would be that big a deal to distribute around.

"Unified" to get into the Federation... this supports my one religion thing. Too bad we don't get to see the debate on Bajor.
Dave in NC
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 12:46pm (UTC -6)
@ Robert.

It's still an insult to the Bajorans. My point is that no one would know how to farm Bajor better than the Bajorans.
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 2:59pm (UTC -6)
"It's still an insult to the Bajorans. My point is that no one would know how to farm Bajor better than the Bajorans. "

I just don't see that in the script.

Robert - Hey Dave, can I use that half of your backyard to grow some vegetables, since your kids moved out you guys haven't been over there. I'll give you the extras.

Dave - To be honest, I've thought about it and I think you're more likely to screw up, crack my fiber line that runs under there and cost me a ton of cash... it really doesn't seem worth it on the hope that you'll make some extra vegetables that I can have.

The key here is that I'm not telling you I can use the land better than you. I'm telling you that you ARE NOT using the land. And your projections about what it will likely cost you have NOTHING to do with what would happen should you have chosen to put a vegetable garden there, it's what would happen if I choose to put a vegetable garden there.

Bajoran and the Skrreeans only ever discuss the pros and cons of the Skrreeans farming that land and how likely the Skrreeans are to succeed. What Bajor could or couldn't do with the land they aren't using never factors. I just don't read the insult into it.

Yes, they ARE saying they could do more with the land than the Bajorans are CURRENTLY doing with it, but like in my example, why should you feel insulted that I think I could do something cool with a piece of dirt that you haven't touched in years?
Dave in NC
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 10:25pm (UTC -6)
Wel, if it was my land and someone else poisoned it (rendering it useless), the fact remains it is still my land.

Just because a squatter thinks it has no value doesn't give them the right to volunteer my land for their use. It is an insult to the owner to declare you know better than they what to do with their land. My response would be this: buy your own land.

The analogy is valid: The Bajorans were just getting over a 60 year occupation, which was the only reason that land wasn't farmed. Hence, it was still their land to farm/do with as they wish despite the Skrreea declaring it was worthless to the Bajorans.
Sun, Jun 29, 2014, 4:52am (UTC -6)
In all fairness I DO agree with you in the ultimate case. I'm just disagreeing on what is insulting.

"Just because a squatter thinks it has no value doesn't give them the right to volunteer my land for their use."

Right? No.... but is it really insulting to ask a question?

"Hey grandpa, I see you don't use your car anymore since your eyesight got bad. Mind if I take it? I'll promise to drive you around when you need a ride."

Asking for something someone else is not using and promising to have it be a benefit to them is not insulting.

For my personal opinions? I think Bajor and the Skreeans both screwed up. There wasn't anything wrong with asking, but when you're asking to settle on a planet you've got to respect the answer when it's no. For the "leader of a society" who was still being given a LOT of help by the first friendly aliens she had ever met she really acted like a petulant child when her request was turned down. Especially since they were helping her find a new planet (and I'm sure the bleeding heart Federation would give them aid on their new world too :) )
Ian G
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 10:40pm (UTC -6)
There are some interesting concepts here but the episode is very poorly executed and stumbles around mostly padding out the run time. The Skrean story might have been compelling if M class planets weren't miraculously ubiquitous in the Star Trek Universe. The Skreans just come off as arrogant and idiotic since the Federation is willing to give them a whole planet. The Bajoran government's reasoning seems perfectly sound.
Thu, Nov 6, 2014, 10:31am (UTC -6)
Poorly executed and unconvincing, especially the ending--which as Jammer says, is manipulative. Apparently the Skrreeans have no equivalent of the saying "beggars can't be choosers." The Federation dealt with the situation admirably and offered them everything they needed. That should have been the end of the discussion, but they had to force another conflict in there with some overly vague references to Bajor being some kind of promised land in the Skrreeans' religion--vague, no doubt, because these aliens are the writers' poorly conceived version of the Jews. Topping it off, the Skrreeans are quite unsympathetic, so we don't really care what happens to them.
Sat, Feb 7, 2015, 12:02pm (UTC -6)
I don't think the Skkreeans, other than somewhat their leader, were meant to come off as very sympathetic or that that decision was a big flaw to the episode; there's still, even from the title, some expectation that the Bajorans accommodate them, especially with having extra, unused land, and the tension between those dynamics made the episode interesting, especially with Kira having to make a choice on where she stood and what should happen (and the Skkreean leader, again not like what you would expect, reacting very negatively to her with little understanding).
Wed, Feb 18, 2015, 11:40pm (UTC -6)
Andrew you so right. What I got from this episode was the Skreeans were too secure enough to stand on their own. Why would they insist on farming poisoned land. The Cardassians did a number to Bajoran land. These people did not have manners, their children were unruly and disobedient. Who would want to live with them, I wouldn't.
Tue, Apr 7, 2015, 2:37am (UTC -6)
I have one other thing to say, I don't see any resemblance to the Jewish people at all. The Skreeans had never been to Bajor, it was just stated they would go to Kentanna? a planet of sorrow. "And I hope the writers of DS9 did not compare the Ferengi to Jews. That would be madness, illmannered and antisemetic.
Adam C
Wed, Apr 15, 2015, 6:16am (UTC -6)
I can live with the Universal Translator sequence. It's a bit silly, but it's generally well acted and plausible.

What makes me crazy is this extremely bizarre sequence:
1. The matriarchs make Haneek the leader.
2. Whatshisface, Nilz Baris, expresses his condolences to Haneek for not being allowed to settle on Bajor, despite that decision not being officially disclosed. A, How does he know? He's a flautist in a bar! B, Even if he did know (through a leak, say), how in the world does he think it's his place to reveal that information instead of a government official?
2a. (Also, Kirk was right about that guy. What a tool.)
3. The official and the vedek turn down the request for refuge for valid reasons. (Note that "valid" and "correct" are not necessarily the same thing.) Sisko then reminds them about the reasonable planet.
4. Haneek goes berserk, quietly at first but with increasing heat as her sense of entitlement runs amok. A, Does she not understand that Bajor is recovering from six decades of atrocities? She seems to base her argument that it's the promised land on that fact, but still. B, Does she really think that, should the Skrreeans struggle to survive on this questionable peninsula, the Bajorans would *not* help, would allow them to perish?
5. For the rest of the episode, Kira continues to offer Haneek olive branch after olive branch, only for Haneek to smack her across the face with the branch every time.

It's so far off the rails, you can't even see the track from here. None of it makes sense. So why not send the young fellow down to be killed? It's just one more senseless act in a senseless sequence in a senseless episode. They should have stuck with the Universal Translator nonsense, which could have made for a very funny episode (and sort of did a few years later).
Thu, May 28, 2015, 2:41am (UTC -6)
The ending was a real laugh... you have a general being contacted (and pretty much ordered not to fire) by Sisko concerning a real-time threat to his ships. Can you imagine someone interfering with another country's chain of command in real-time here on Earth, let alone an alien race. If you are fried upon, you have every right to return fire with deadly force. What do Trek writers not get about that?
Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 4:03am (UTC -6)
You know, sometimes it's a shame these writers try to be so heavy-handed with their allegorical storytelling.

What if, instead of thinking Bajor was their so-called promised land, the Skreeans wanted to move to Bajor simply to try to restore the unused/blighted land as a thank you for the hospitality they had been shown by Bajor/Starfleet since coming through the wormhole? Then the Bajoran refusal becomes another sign of how far their society has been stilted by the Cardassian occupation(these Xenophobic tendencies, overdependency on religion, etc.) and how hard they'll have to work to join the Federation.

Seems to me This would've made this story more relevant to the overarching story of DS9. At the very least it would be an improvement on this very underwhelming episode for me :)
Nathan B.
Sun, Jul 12, 2015, 2:18pm (UTC -6)
I hated this episode, thanks to how annoying (and ugly) the Skrreeans were. For me, the end was very much an instance of "good riddance!" I thought the issues of the episode--certainly important and relevant--could have been explored more thoughtfully. Perhaps we're supposed to find the Skrreeans annoying, though, and then reflect on what that says about us.
William B
Fri, Jul 31, 2015, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Wow, what a mess. Setting aside the real-world analogues this episode is attempting to allegorize, the episode makes wrong turns in basically every scene. In attempting to represent the whole breadth of the refugee experience, from language barrier to being bullied to religious prophesy, the episode never stays on any topic long enough to come to any satisfying point, and further is ridiculous on basically every point. The Universal Translator material wastes time and is forgotten the moment it is no longer a problem, with the sole impact that we find out that the Skrreeans are matriarchal and only want to talk to Kira. The matriarchy stuff with the Skrreeans is at least *not* "Angel One," and for a culture to be matriarchal is not that big a departure from the Trek norm (given the number of patriarchal cultures we encounter), but it's not used to any effect except to present, and never dispel, the idea that the Skrreean men are a bunch of foolish, aggressive dolts who wander around getting into fights, which, ahem, undermines Haneek's arguments about how wonderful Skrreean society is. The friendship between Haneek and Kira, solidified over their shared dislike of a dress and unfunny laughter afterwards, comes across as affected and false (and why did Haneek stare at that dress so long? did she really spend all that time saying "LOOK AT THIS STUPID DRESS!"). The Nog/Skrreean boys plot is supposed to, I guess, demonstrate that conflicts arise due to the native people's non-acceptance of the refugees, but since the episode is all building toward the Bajorans turning the Skrreeans down, why even bother involving juvenile delinquent Nog, a Ferengi who just escaped being jailed because Sisko blackmailed his uncle, rather than showing some possible BAJORAN-SKREEAN culture clash? Haneek's son taking a ship to Bajor because he's an idiot and being shot down, because he's an idiot, is manipulative, artificial "tragedy" at its worst, especially since his motivation is so badly sketched in.

The real question of import here *should be* the question of how refugees should be housed, and what it means to deny refugees entry to an already battered land. The episode begins with Kira neglecting her duties by arguing all the time with the Provisional Government, followed by her strongarming Quark into taking a Bajoran musician, to reestablish her bona fides in terms of her desire to preserve and help the Bajoran people, so that when she ultimately does not extend this to the Skrreeans we understand that Kira's broad desire to help her struggling people ultimately ends and cannot extend to all oppressed peoples -- which is not, by the way, me criticizing Kira, just stating the sad fact that resources are finite and we have to choose, and people tend to choose their own family, tribe, people above another even if the other suffers just as much and is equally "deserving." And, fine, but the post-scarcity world means that there's no reason they can't just settle on Dralon II, instead of a planet in a system they stumbled upon like a week ago. With every indication that Dralon II is habitable and indeed is *better* for farming and building a life than the burned-to-the-ground peninsula they are eying on Bajor, there is no reason to see Haneek as being shut out; Bajor turning refugees away because they quite literally have a galaxy of other options which are brought straight to them leaves us with no reason to criticize Bajor, and makes Haneek et al. just seem ungrateful, especially when Haneek suggests that Kira is her friend only as long as Kira doesn't have to do anything for her, after Kira saved her and her family's life, spent hours working on communicating with them, bought her a present, and then let her and hundreds of her people use the station and its food resources for days (?) or weeks (?). Jeez.

The ONE argument Haneek has in her favour is "God said so," where she has some mythological reason to believe that the first planet they happen upon on the other side of the "eye" will be their new home. And, you know, it does make some sense that Bajorans in particular would be sympathetic to "BECAUSE THERE'S A VAGUE PROPHESY" as a justification. But there is not, to my recollection, a single scene of Kira or the Bajoran government actually responding to the religious reasons Haneek gives, and so this is not even discussed. First Haneek suggests that it will be good because that's where they're supposed to go, and then at the *very* end, right after her son stole a ship because Skrreean males are apparently lunatics, says that it's Kira/Bajor's fault for not recognizing that the Skrreeans can help cure Bajor of its ills, an argument which she had not explicitly pointed out previously in the episode (though, to be fair, it is in the myth and she did make a point of saying she didn't want Bajor's help). So, no. I don't think we are "forced" to side with Haneek, but Kira's inability to come up with a good riposte suggests we're supposed to feel that Haneek at least had a good point, which, you know, she didn't -- in that it's hardly the Bajorans' fault that neither Haneek nor any other Skrreean pointed out that they would very likely be able to help Bajor, and so could not give any counterargument.

And, you know, putting all that aside, why would all the Skrreeans need to settle on one place anyway? Could not someone have suggested maybe letting a few hundred or thousand Skrreeans settle on the northern peninsula of Bajor, so that if the drought continues and no food is grown it is *not* going to be an unmanageable amount of aid necessary to keep them alive, and, if no aid comes, it won't be a full species extinction? It seems likely Haneek would reject this suggestion out of hand, but there is no reason the Bajoran provisional government couldn't *suggest* it.

I find this episode pretty painful to get through -- and while there are bits of interesting content, they are very scattered about. 1.5 stars at the most, probably 1 star.
Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
This episode is problematic for a few reasons.

1. Translator issues. The universal translator is a very silly thing, and like the Force, it's better left unmentioned/unexplained. There is simply no way to just translate what people are saying if you have no clue what they talk about, no matter how long they speak. You need references.
Every other species from the Gamma Quadrant is understood right away but here the UT fails mysteriously. Star Trek is full of these plot dictated realities.

2. No focus. The episode spends too little time actually dealing with the point of the story. There should be long philosophical discussions about why the aliens should be allowed on Bajor and why not. Instead we get like two scenes.

3. The Planet ex machina. It's totally implausible that there would be any M-Class planets left unclaimed. Especially if they're close to another inhabited planet, as Dax mentions.

4. Stupid ending. Unnecessary. Everything about that boy character was unnecessary and didn't advance the plot one bit.

5. The fleet. There are three million Skrreeans. Let's assume they could pack a thousand on a ship - that's really pushing it, as that's the crew size of the Enterprise-D. That means they somehow stole 3000 SHIPS from their oppressors. Again, implausible.
Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
Teaser : **.5, 5%

Oh good, an episode with absolutely no real-world analogues, about which expressing an opinion cannot possibly offend anyone! Refugawhosawhats? Silly sci-fi...

So, Kira has been shouting at Bajoran ministers about irrigation or something (why is this Kira's problem?). Sisko breaks character by displaying competence, insisting that Kira's diatribe with politicians not interfere with her duties. The scene reëstablishes that Bajor is still in dire straights and hasn't made much progress recovering from the Occupation. I can see why duty rosters are the Federation priority right now.

Cut to Deep Space Burning Man and a “mesmerising” performance of Enya's new hit single as performed by the Bajoran Kenny G. We'll call him K'enny B. Quark is pissed off because the buzz his musical guest is creating is anathema to a casino-bar. But Kira “asked” him to try out K'enny B for a month, so Quark has to deal.

Execution aside, I like the idea here. The most engaging aspect of the Bajoran story is the idea that their culture was extremely rich (if bafflingly slow given how old it is) and that richness and beauty was all but destroyed by the Cardassians. We finally return to the theme that was explored in “Duet,” that of Bajoran cultural victimhood. Kira implores K'enny B. to “play a variety of styles” to appease Quark's interests. This would be analogous to asking Emanuel Ax to play lounge music (again, if we ignore the execution). What's worse, extinguishing completely the practice of Bajoran art, or having it survive only to be relegated to a position of utter embarrassment and corporate shilling?

K'ENNY : Bajorans must reclaim their artistic heritage if they hope to regain their sense of self-worth.


Kira returns to Ops (odd structural choice) when a damaged ship emerges from the Wormhole and Sisko has its frightened crew of burn victims beamed aboard.

Act 1 : *.5, 17%

So the burn victims start blabbering away in their language—in case you didn't pick up on the, erm, “subtlety,” the lone female is either their leader or their mother.

O'BRIEN : For some reason, [The UT] is having a hard time understanding their language patterns.

I'm going to guess that reason is a big fat albatross called FILLER.

So, we spend some excruciating minutes following Kira, Odo, Sisko, burn victim and her delinquent children around. I do like Bashir not cowing to the Skreeans' sexism.

Ugh, bless Ms May who manages to keep this burning raft afloat with some engaging acting. We finally discover that three million of her people are on the other side of the “Eye” (wormhole) and that they need help.

Act 2 : *.5, 17%

This episode is really damning. The obvious is confirmed when burn victim lets us know that Screean men are too emotional to involve themselves in “such matters” as the future of their own civilisation. So it seems like we are getting a repeat of “Angel One” (horray...). However, the theme of sexism is really just skimmed over. I think the intention here was to establish, along with the goofy translator issues, the idea that the Skreeans have a culture which is somewhat incompatible with Bajoran or Federation culture, thus adding realism to the real story, which is about refugees. Okay. Except, how much more incompatible is Skreean sexism than Klingon sexism? Once the UT figures out their language, how is that difference an issue at all?

So as if all of that weren't enough, we learn that, just like the Bajorans, the Skreeans' religious mythology is tied in with the wormhole. They (all, of course) believe that the Eye of the Universe will lead them to Kantana, a sacred home of salvation.

It does pose an interesting if disturbing question: did the Prophets allow Bajor to suffer the Occupation in order that their home become the “world of sorrow” in which the Skreeans were meant to “sow seeds of joy”? By rebuking the Skreeans (spoiler), are the Bajorans in fact defying the will of the Prophets? Are they damning themselves? These and other interesting questions will go unresolved until, um, ever. Yay...

Anyway, the Dominion gets named dropped for a second time. We learn that the Skreeans' 800-year (!) oppressors were conquered by them, thus allowing them to escape in search of Kantana. The parallel to the Bajoran story, of a people broken by oppression who steep themselves in religious mythology to survive is evident.

Later, we learn that Burn Victim sleeps with her males (I really hope they aren't her sons). I suppose this is meant to be analogous to, say, Islamic or Semitic polygamy which is based heavily on gender stereotypes. In a painful scene, Kira delivers a gift (a dress they saw on the Promenade) to Burn Victim. The two women agree the dress is very ugly and bond over this trite bullshit because, hey, we're super progressive and challenge gender stereotypes, but OMG Becky, that dress is TOTES UGLY. LOL! Giggle giggle...

So in the middle of this crap, we get a reminder that Jake and Nog exist and that Jake is dating some girl named Marta. The two agree that the Skreean man they see eating table scraps is “disgusting” even though Nog just made a comment about eating insects and Jake is, you know, a Federation human. Remember that insight from “In the Hands of the Prophets”? I guess puberty has addled his mind.

Burn Victim begins the process of welcoming more Skreean refugees to DS9 and we're treated to the Parade of the Extras.

Act 3 : **, 17%

So Nog played a practical joke on the Skreean boys, or men—males I guess. Odo carts him away to his office. Quark and Odo get a decent little bantering scene and Nog is released. One wonders if Quark was as indifferent and downright mean-spirited towards the Bajorans during the Occupation as he is to the Skreeans, offering tacit approval of Nog's bullying.

Amid the beguiling sounds of K'enny B.'s “Ode to Pinball Wizard,” the Skreean women decide to annoint Burn Victim as their leader.

We take a trip down After-School-Special lane as Nog, Jake and Burn Victim's husband-sons get into a little brawl. If everyone on DS9 is xenophobic towards the Skreeans, why is it only the Ferengi who seem to say so? Cheap.

Dax discovers a potential and viable home for the Skreeans and Sisko delivers the news to Burn Victim and the Vaginal Council. Burn Victim puts 2 and 2 together and decides that “Kantana is Bajor.”

Act 4 : 0 stars, 17%

William B. has succinctly summed up the rest of this refugee issue : “the sad fact [is that resources are finite and [one has] to choose, and people tend to choose their own family, tribe, people above another even if the other suffers just as much and is equally 'deserving.' And, fine, but the post-scarcity world means that there's no reason they can't just settle on Dralon II, instead of a planet in a system they stumbled upon like a week ago.”

A Vedik and a Minister compete for worst acting performance in Sisko's office, while debating their decision to turn down the Skreeans' request. What the hell did the Cardassians do exactly that rendered and entire region of Bajor un-farmable? I thought they Cardassians were cruel and efficient, not stupid and reckless. Given the minister's description of the Bajoran famine, one wonders why the Federation doesn't resettle the Bajorans on Drahlon II.

So just like the GOP red-scaring about Social Security, the Bajorans stand by their “math” and refuse to budge. The scene is meant to end with an emotional punch to the gut as the music swells, but Burn Victim has made absolutely no argument (including the God argument) about why Drahlon II is an unacceptable option. Fail.

Ready for some non-PC humour? So the comments earlier discussing whether the Skreeans are more like the Jews or the Palestinians (yes, I know that's an arbitrary distinction since they're racially identical) is settled when Burn Victim treats Kira to the standard Jewish mother guilt-trip. “I thought you loved me! Why did you even pretend to care? You betrayed me!” Fuck you, you ungrateful bitch.

The icing on this shit-cake comes when we learn that Burn Victim's husband-son (Tumak) has “taken a ship.” So apparently no one is too stupid to steal a freaking space ship on DS9.

Act 5 : *, 17%

So, Tumak's stolen ship is in danger. It is intercepted by two Bajoran patrols. The patrol are completely hard-headed and blow up the vessel full of children. What a cluster fuck. Tragic? Yes. Comically avoidable? Yes.

So now that it's apparently too late and people have died, Burn Victim finally makes the point she should have made from the beginning :

“Maybe we could have helped you. Maybe we could have helped each other. The Skreea are farmers, Kira. You have a famine on your planet...Fifty years of Cardassian rule have made you all frightened and suspicious. I feel sorry for you.”

It's a damned frustrating speech, because she's right! But...the episode took no time to bear this out and contrived the characters out of making this realisation when it would have been useful. As William B. pointed out, why couldn't some of the Skreea stay and attempt to revive the land? If they were successful, the rest could move back to Bajor/Kantana and everyone wins! No risk! No downside! What's the issue here?

Episode as Functionary : .5 stars, 10%

There are about a thousand interesting ideas buried in this trash heap of an episode, making the final product all the more frustrating. Immigration, gender issues, cultural norms, genocide, religious doctrine—hell even simple bullying—all are swiped away or explored in only the most superficial sense leading to a totally contrived and pointless tragic resolution. And by pointless, I don't mean the gut-punching pointlessness of Marritza's death in “Duet,” I mean no tragedy was necessary if these characters weren't so brain-dead. The Skreeans are apparently inbred beyond belief, but I don't know what the excuse is for the rest. Throw in the techno-nonsense with the UT and some really dreadful performances (although Visitor and May do a good job), and you've got the worst episode of the season so far.

Final Score : *
Diamond Dave
Thu, Nov 12, 2015, 2:51pm (UTC -6)
So after the start I was glad it didn't turn into another Darmok. By the end I almost wished it had.

What we have here is clearly an allegorical episode, and in that regard one as relevant today as when first aired. But the problem is that the Skreeans are portrayed as an almost entirely unsympathetic race, and Haneek becomes almost an entirely unsympathetic lead. As such, not only does the Bajoran decision seem to make sense logically, it feels like an emotionally correct decision too. And I'm not sure that's the (rather heavy-handed) point the episode sought to deliver.

That said, there are some really good scenes here - the one where the universal translator begins to work is exceptionally well handled. Kira and Haneek's initial rapport works well too. But ultimately it just doesn't work. 2 stars.
Paul Allen
Tue, Jan 26, 2016, 2:25pm (UTC -6)
Watching at the moment, seems to be an allegory less about Israel/Palestine, but more about how we're treating the current refugees and/or migrants (delete as appropriate, I don't care) - and it's uncomfortable viewing.

Which I suppose is no bad thing.
Paul Allen
Tue, Jan 26, 2016, 2:28pm (UTC -6)
Damn, Quark's viewpoints about the guests are gross.... who knew he was racist?
Mon, Feb 22, 2016, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
Let's talk about immigration, shall we? Because it's not like that's a hot topic here in the midst of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election campaign. Is it? *nervous laughter*

Let's just cut to the chase. The Bajorans were absolutely in the right to deny the Skrreeans their request to immigrate. Bajor is a wreck. How could they possibly absorb three million refugees? For all the protestations of "we're not asking for your help", does anybody honestly believe that the Skrreeans would still be saying that if things didn't go as planned. Of course they wouldn't. They would be screaming for Bajoran assistance. Assistance that Bajor simply does not have, even for their own people. But let's assume that Bajor isn't in a total state of disorder. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Bajor is the wealthiest, most prosperous planet in the Alpha Quadrant. They would still be within their rights to deny the request. Because it's their planet! They can decide whether or not to allow any refugees in for whatever reason. That's their right.

And that brings me to the biggest problem of "Sanctuary" - the Skrreeans' overwhelming sense of entitlement. The two representatives we have of this people, Haneek and her son, act as if they have some kind of right to Bajor. Lady, you have absolutely no right to Bajor, I don't care what your sacred texts say (which is about the only justification we're given for their insistence). Bajor belongs to the Bajorans, not to the Skrreeans! And yet, I honestly get the impression that the writers want us to side with Haneek. Why?! She's one of the most arrogant and unlikable people imaginable. Sisko has gone out of his way to find a perfectly acceptable world for them to colonize (one which in all measurable ways appears to be a better deal than Bajor) and yet she not only dogmatically insists on settling three million people on Bajor but also treats Kira like shit because she didn't automatically agree with the Skrreean point-of-view. "So you are my friend until I need you."? Fuck you, lady! If you want me to agree with a character, you have to make her at least semi-likable. Trek sure seems to have problem with this concept.

But, there are other problems as well. Quark continues to have his character assassinated by the writers - this time making him borderline racist just to suit the story. We have another example of Kira using her governmental power to engage in rent-seeking behavior (getting Quark to offer a venue to her musician friend) only to then treat Quark like shit for looking after his interests. Here's a tip - playing your music in a casino/bar is much better than not playing it all, so stop your complaining and show the guy offering you the venue some respect. The universal translator problems are interesting (it's nice to finally see a situation like this) but ultimately mean nothing as it's completely forgotten about once the translations work. I don't know what the hell Andrew Koenig was doing with his performance. And, of course, the sexism. Trek sure seems to like to do horrible stuff like this, because if the genders were reversed people would instantly see how terrible it is. Imagine, if you will, a male Skrreean having two wives who are completely clueless but "have their uses *giggle giggle*". We're supposed to hate Ferengi for enjoying just looking at scantily-clad Dabo Girls, but this never once gets called out?

The only good parts of the episode are our second reference to the Dominion - which shows that they're a military force to reckon with in addition to being the Gamma Quadrant's economic hegemon (established in "Rules of Acquisition") - and the fact that they actually did have the guts to have the Bajorans refuse the request.

Mon, Feb 22, 2016, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
WTF HAIR - 10 (+1)
Greg Q
Fri, Apr 22, 2016, 1:41am (UTC -6)
Hello. The Ferengi are space Jews, as offensive as that may be, it's just the way it is. The overt racism that went into creating the Ferengi makes it very difficult for me to ever enjoy episodes revolving around them. Anyone who doesn't understand this is living in a fantasy world. TV writers are racist, too. The Ferengi are the worst atrocity to come out of the Trek franchise, it's too bad nobody ever figured that out and its also too bad no one ever figured out that they weren't funny, in that their only reason for existence was comic relief.
Sun, May 8, 2016, 4:38am (UTC -6)
I really don't think the Ferengi are supposed to be Space Jews. They're supposed to be a representation of the excesses of capitalism. I read somewhere that a lot of the Trek species were initially supposed to represent different human characteristics, so Vulcans = logic, Klingons = aggression, Ferengi = greed, etc.

If anything, if the Cardassians are supposed to be Space Nazis, it's the Bajorans who are Space Jews, which does kind of fit nicely with the importance of their religion and the way their persecution by the Cardassians has made many Bajorans xenophobic and distrustful of outsiders.

Anyway, dreadful episode. The only part I liked was actually the Universal Translator. It's a shame because it could've been a really interesting premise, and particularly relevant at the moment with the Syrian refugee issue. Unfortunately the Skreeans were so massively annoying, entitled, rude and petulant that I wouldn't have minded Sisko telling them all to shove off back through the wormhole.

And the portrayal of the Skreean males was absurd. How can their species even survive if, what, 70% of them have a mental age of about 12?

LOL at William B:
did she really spend all that time saying "LOOK AT THIS STUPID DRESS!"
Sun, May 8, 2016, 4:43am (UTC -6)
Another weird thing is, if there are so many M class planets free in the neighbourhood, why didn't the Bajorans just settle on one of them during the occupation instead of living in camps as unwelcome immigrants on worlds inhabited by other species?
Mon, May 16, 2016, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
I was on the Bajoran government's side the whole episode. It would be like asking Afghanistan or Iraq to take in 100,000 Refugees.
Thu, May 26, 2016, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
On the Ferengi:

No, the Ferengi are not a racist clicheé, they are a carricature of rampant capitalism, as Caroline said above. If you think that that also fits the Jews, or clearly only them, maybe YOU are the racist.

Second, Quark was not racist against the Skreeans. He didn't say "No, I won't serve them because they are different", he said "They have no money, I don't like them". How is that racist? I bet you anything, if they were the most obnoxious hateful people in the Universe, if they had money, Quark would love them. I think people need to get their definition of racism right. Bajorans are racists against Cardassians, for example. Quark hates poor people - because it's all about the profit. That is not racist, is it? It may not be very nice though.

Lastly, a point about something raised very early in the comments, the notion that the Palestinians "occupy" Israel, and that it is the rightfull land of the Jews - well, then Danzig still belongs to Germany, Romania to Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltic Countries to Russia, America to England, Spain and France, or the Indians for that Matter, Tibet to China, and so on and so forth. There is a point where you have lost your claim on a strip of Land and have to accept that it is no longer yours. If you say it ain't so, I dare you to fight for the return of all lands of the Holy Roman Empire to Germany, because if your premise is true, that is all still theirs, and the Germans are an oppressed people, conquered by evil Imperialists from East and West, who suffered untold tragedy in exterminations and mass expulsions.

I think this episode is meant to deal with the question how we deal with refugees. From my point of view, the Bajorans were right. Trust has to be earned. Would you give a Stranger a part of your house, knowing that he may never leave again? I guess not. So if the Skrreeans had a little more sense, they could have formed an alliance with Bajor: They settle on that other M class planet, and give Bajor food in exchange for industrial help. Both sides profit, and trust can be built, and then, someday, both people may combine. Even though there is no need, since apparently, land is plenty, and the only thing that drives refugees is that there is not enough land (or resources) for everyone. Wars are also mostly driven by this. And Religion of course, but thats a can of worms best left unopened.
Tue, Jan 10, 2017, 6:15pm (UTC -6)
Looking at Germany and Europe, in general, these days seems to further show that the decision not to house these people was 100% correct. At least these were genuine refugees... most of the people coming to Germany have been economic migrants and would-be conquerors from the Religion of Peace.
Thu, Mar 9, 2017, 12:11am (UTC -6)
I have to laugh Sisko let's O'Brien get away with breaking the PD yet Janeway actually punishes Tom for doing the same? And people say Janeway is the bad one?
Sun, Apr 9, 2017, 8:57am (UTC -6)
This episode did nothing to generate sympathy for the Skrreeans. Even the death of Tumak failed in this regard. He was an annoying, violent p.o.s. who stole a shuttle and fired on the Bajorans. I just wish more of their men had been on that shuttle.

Also, if If the Skrreeans think their family farming (read : subsistence farming) on crap land is going to generate enough to feed themselves and the rest of Bajor, they are deluding themselves. Maybe one day the Bajorans will invent industrial farming.
Jason R.
Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 7:46am (UTC -6)
Let me say that I think the Skreeans being rude, ugly, rowdy or whatever others have pointed out is a feature of the episode, not a flaw. They are refugees who were recently slaves. Of course they are going to be uncouth, even offensive in some respects.

The comparison with the Jews is apt but I think the ancient Israelites are a better comparison than post holocaust Europeans. Exodus describes that they were made to wander 40 years in the dessert. As it was always explained to me, this was for good reason - the slaves needed to die out, not just physically but their slave culture as well. Slaves are not suited to freedom as the Skreeans demonstrated in their misadventures on the station.

Getting back to the original point, compassion for kind, meek, inoffensive people who look and behave like you is basically a given. It is easy, natural, and consequently not worth very much. Showing real compassion by taking in a group of rowdy offensive refugees, ex slaves, that's not natural - and that's why a character like O'Paka would not have turned her back on the Skreeans. But of course O'Paka is gone by this point in the series.

So I am not objecting to the charactization of the Skreeans with their offputting matriarchal chauvinism or their poor social graces - that part was bang on. The audience *should* dislike them - that is entirely correct and intentional.

Where the episode drops the ball is in (as others noted) the total lack of context to the Skreeans' claim on Bajor. We are given precisely zero background to this. Did the Skreeans previously live on Bajor? Did their God promise the planet to them? Could the Prophets have sent them an orb that revealed the planet to them?

It is not simply that the belief is implausible to us or to the Bajorans, which is a given anyway - but we are given no basis to understand why even the Skreeans believe this, let alone care about Bajor. So it comes across as just tacked on for the sake of plot. It is arbitrary and simply not believable as it is portrayed. Other than in one line of dialog from the Skreean matriarch do any of the other Skreeans even mention Kintana, let alone show the slughtest intetest in it?

Finally, the ready availability of a perfectly good planet renders the Bajoran choice almost a given - it nullifies the moral dillema for them and robs the Skreeans of sympathy. The Skreeans don't want to live on Draymar 2. Well okay, why not? What does that male Skreean think is waiting for him on Bajor that is so much better than Draymar 2? Again it just comes across as arbitrary. The Skreeans are shown as feeling unwelcome and uncomfortable on the station - so why would they think Bajor was going to be an imorovement?

Overall a good concept with a botched ececution. 2 stars is bang on.
Peter G.
Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 8:29am (UTC -6)
Part of the reason the episode is so badly botched is because the fact that they are refugees is completely irrelevant to the issue of whether they have any claim to land on Bajor. In the former problem it is simply a question of compassion and mercy, whereas in the latter it's a question of whether the Bajorans are willing to share their planet under any circumstances, even with a race that has a real claim to it. These are both interesting topics, but they ended up being treated as basically the same issue - whether Bajor would cave in and let them settle. The issue of whether the Cardassian occupation had made the Bajorans more like the Cardassians - being territorial and unconcerned with other races - would have made a happy home here, but instead it most ends up coming off to me as an issue of bureaucrats making pragmatic decisions.

Jason, you're right that failing to give a good reason why they claim Bajor as theirs destroys the episode. It's the difference between them being potential co-owners and being riffraff squatters, and this distinction isn't trivial. The last act or two were our last chances to have some sympathy for the Skreeans, and without that the episode ends up being as it is: unwatchable to me each time I go through DS9.
Jason R.
Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 9:19am (UTC -6)
It occurred to me Peter that there was a huge missed opportunity here and an easy way to fix the basic flaw of the episode: The Prophets. Imagine if they were worshippers of the Prophets too and may even have received orbs. That is hardly implausible either - the wormhole has two sides, doesn't it? What if the Prophets told the Kreeans to seek out Bajor?

I think the idea of a long lost twin sister to the Bajoran civilization, connected by a shared religion, also recovering from a recent history of slavery, would have been a powerful element in the episode. That would have not only justified the Skreean claim on Bajor (in a way the Bajorans could not lightly dismiss) but also illuminated the idea of how scarred the Bajorans had become by the occupation, incapable of charity even for the sake of their Gods and a sibling civilization in need.

I also think it would have been fascinating to explore the idea of the Prophets influencing other worlds, even in the Gamma quadrant. That might have made a more fascinating "discovery" and a hell of a twist rather than wasting time on the universal translator or dwelling on the Skreean's matriarchal culture.
Peter G.
Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 9:39am (UTC -6)
Yes, that would have been a great story. That way making the Skreeans as obnoxious as you like would have helped the story rather than rendered it as the irritating filler that it is. In fact, the absolute ideal would have been to spend the first two acts getting us to see the Skreeans as annoying primitives, and then turn the tables and only at that point tell us they were refugees from an occupying force just like the Cardassians. Now we would get a bitter taste in our mouth when we realize that we're assessing the Skreeans based on the same criteria with which the Cardassians assess the Bajorans as being annoying primitives by their standards. It would both humble the Bajorans to realize they can think the same way the Cardassians do, and also humble the audience at the same time. It could have been a powerful episode, I think.
Sun, Jun 4, 2017, 6:25pm (UTC -6)
I'm don't really see how you could have the Prophets interacting with another species, let alone telling them to go to and giving them a claim on Bajor, without radically changing a lot of the basic elements of the whole series or making the Bajorans the Bad Guys of the episode for rejecting them (which would also make them much less religious for ignoring the Prophets' wishes).

A single episode probably couldn't and shouldn't have a struggling species either become so humble as to welcome millions in as siblings or so cynical as to ignore their own religion.
Sun, Jun 4, 2017, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
That there were other available planets to me was good de-escalation of the dilemma and that the Bajorans, particularly Kira, are respectful and empathetic of refugees and religious belief but not to the point of acquiescing to co-ownership of the recently occupied planet was still an interesting dilemma and decision.
John Harmon
Fri, Aug 25, 2017, 8:07am (UTC -6)
I could see what they were going for with this one, but I don't think everything gelled.

I will say that I think it's interesting that i can watch this episode from 1993 and immediately notice parallels with 2017 events. The US refusing Syrian refugees, for example. Though it's not a perfect analogy since the US is in a much better position to receive refugees than Bajor (and not nearly as many).

It was nice seeing Andrew Koenig in this. A bit of Trek family lineage. So sad what happened to him.
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
3 stars

I liked this one

I enjoyed Kira, Haneek and their friendship in the episode

I liked the focus on Bajor and the fact that the Skrreea wanted to immigrate there. The episode did a good Job on portraying all the issues that would be involved and like the provisional government and Kira I thought denying them entry was the right decision

Seeing the translator have issues processing a language was different for a change

Nog behaved exactly like I would have expected at this point in the series towards the Skrreeans. I enjoyed the Odo/Nog/Quark scene in the security office--Nog looking at the weekly Wanted posters and Quark showing up and Nog's half heartedly apology that lacked any sincerity and Quark's observation of the Skreeans.

Plus here we go with yet another mention of the mysterious Dominion adding to their aura and building them up as a big mysteey this season
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 10:43pm (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

The only, only thing I liked about this episode was the translator having problems to begin with. It was sort of neat to watch them talk and then a recognized word would pop in from time to time, until it was sort of normal(ish).

Well, this is your world, but since we just traversed a whole lot of space through a wormhole (and we have a story), it must be Our World Too!

Naaah... I don't buy it. Darned if I didn't cringe through most of it, waiting for it to end when I first saw it (and again now). I mean, don't tell a completely different race that their world is your home and that you intend to live there even if they don't want you to. Perhaps they learned the wrong lessons from the Dominion...

Just some quick thoughts... RT
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 4:25am (UTC -6)
Wow, the Skrreans come across as quite ungrateful. The Bajorans provided sanctuary in the time of need, made them feel comfortable and helped them find a whole new planet of their own. What more can a refugee demand? They don't have any level of legitimacy to their claims, nor are the Bajorans capable of supporting them. Kira should have defended herself better.

I, for one did not have a problem with the translator error. It makes the entire Star Trek universe seem that much more plausible. Why wouldn't you have communication issues with races previously unknown.
Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 3:39am (UTC -6)
Another note.

Even if these screeans once inhabited Bajor, they have no claim now.
Jews did not have a claim on Israel in 1950.
Palestines do not have a claim on Israel in 2020.
Every two-three generations, old claims are deleted. The new people born, are the rightful owners of the land they are born into. Their grandfather's crimes are not relevant to them.
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 1:11am (UTC -6)
Wow... hate for immigrants (or Jews... I can't really figure that out) is alive and well on these boards... fascinating. The aliens here don't claim ownership of Bajor. Their religious stories say there is a place they are destined to go, to help a suffering people. TO HELP. A lot of you are forgetting that part of the story.

This is what's so good about DS9.. not afraid to have an unhappy ending... and both sides had a point. Bajor couldn't support them if an emergency happened... and maybe the aliens could have helped Bajor.

And they weren't tossed out of Bajor and then returned. They just had a vision or religious belief of where they should go. In the end even the leader admitted Bajor was not katana (or whatever)

Very good episode.
Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 9:19pm (UTC -6)
These aliens need the discipline of the Dominion.
Wed, Jul 25, 2018, 2:31pm (UTC -6)
Unlike with "Second Sight", the problem with "Sanctuary" isn't a lack of good ideas-on the contrary. This episode is packed with fascinating ideas. It's just a shame that it never does anything interesting with them, nor can it tell an interesting story with them. The Skrreeans are incredibly unlikable, which robs the story of any of its dramatic tension. Unlike the real world parallels that this episode consciously or unconsciously resembles, there is a very obvious solution for them that they simply turn down out of stubbornness. It's a somewhat noble failure, but a complete and utter one at that.

1 star.
Top Hat
Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 8:20pm (UTC -6)
On some level I kind of like that the Skrreaans are not depicted as a being cute or cuddly or inspiring or even exceptionally likeable; the experience of being of persecution and displacement is not, after all, a character builder. But I wonder if the writers realized just how unsympathetic they made them, and the implications of the apparent message that "don't bother treating refugees sympathetically because they're ungrateful zealots anyway. Better to send them on their way and call it a day."

Especially since the original concept was that the Skrreeans would stay on Bajor, I wonder how that would have impacted the rest of the series. Like, would we see the odd Skrreean extra in scenes on Bajor, or have occasional lines about the Skrreeans are supporting Shakaar in the next election? Would we get substantial updates about they fared with the Trilar Peninsula? Or would it have fundamentally reshaped the direction of the series, at least where Bajor is concerned? Without that ending, the episode has a TOS/TNG sort of feeling of "one and done, never have to think about that again"... only with the aliens warping off instead of the Enterprise doing so.
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
Oh Chief O'Brien... You can't ignite a radiation leak. It's not like gas!
Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 9:04am (UTC -6)
The concept and execution of the episode are fine (mostly) imo if that is indeed what they were going for i.e to make the viewer perhaps reflect on the stamina of their own altruism when faced with a situation that isn't so clear cut as is often presented, and a species that isn't the, well, easiest... To put it mildly.

The problem is that the Skrreaans are so unlikable (both through appearance and more to the point, their behaviour) that I spent the majority of this episode grinding my teeth in sheer frustration. They're like Star Trek's version of the Jakovasaur from South Park.

I disliked them from the start and couldn't make the above leap enough to care about their problems and eventual outcome - the running time of an individual the show isn't enough to give them depth, and for me to come round to their pov. To go full circle and end-up sympathising with them in contrast to how I felt at the start etc, would've been amazing.

Love going through DS9 once more but am glad to get through this one again.
Thu, Nov 29, 2018, 7:04pm (UTC -6)
Here's another heavy-handed allegorical Trek episode with plenty of filler material due to a very basic plot. It tries to hammer home the point with a meaningless death in the end as a refugee makes a break for it. I think what is relevant is Bajor's ongoing instability with the provisional government frustrating Kira and the planet turning xenophobic after years of Cardassian occupation.

Liked the 1 mention of the Dominion as conquering the conquerers of the refugee farmers looking for a home. There was also a brief mention of the Dominion in "Rules of Acquisition" -- so early in Season 2, DS9 is dropping hints at something potentially big.

Thought it was interesting to see the Universal Translator not working initially and then gradually starting to work. There are a number of things taken for granted in Trek with first contacts but I thought it was refreshing to go through the process with these Skrreean refugees on DS9, although it dragged on a bit with the kids picking up stuff etc.

Plenty of filler in this episode -- like with the Bajoran musician, the nonsense with the refugee kids and Nog. Should have had more of a B-plot with perhaps Kira and the Bajoran provisional government or more about the Skrreean beliefs/travails could have been explored.

So we can understand how the Skrreeans don't take well to being rejected by the Bajorans. The whole Bajoran decision is understandable from their point-of-view. But the Bajorans clearly don't have the full story of the persecution of the Skrreeans like 1st world countries do today of the refugee crisis or caravan. They are dealing with a world in the GQ, whereas we on Earth are just dealing with another country and have good knowledge of the situation. So without full information, the Bajorans take a decision that is understandable. And the Skrreeans are hard-headed in their belief that Bajor is the planet they must go to instead of Sisko's suggestion. This is one of the heavy-handed parts. So no subtlety here in manufacturing conflict.

Barely 2 stars for "Sanctuary" -- just not enough happening for long stretches and the ending with the Skrreean ship destroyed by the Bajorans had no impact (was quite predictable). The main plot wasn't interesting but some of the details of the situation on Bajor are more relevant. This type of story is not original for Trek.
Sun, Dec 2, 2018, 12:21am (UTC -6)
I liked the interplay among the women in this. Really nicely done. Much rarer than it should be.

Actress playing Haneek did a good job.

Three million people - could be a huge boon or a huge bust. I can see why Bajor didn't feel ready to take that chance. Can also see why Haneek felt hurt and disappointed, that her people weren't been seen as a worth the risk.

Like Kira with the dress, Haneek was offering Bajor a gift she was sure they'd like . . . but they didn't want it.

A good, solid, Trekian ep.

Sleep tight, Trekians.
Sun, Dec 2, 2018, 3:13pm (UTC -6)
After reading review and comments:

Again, I find myself surprised by the reactions. But that's the fun thing about watching and commenting before I read: the surprises. But I've had bigger surprises than usual these last two eps.

Second Sight was a epic stinker to me, a zero star - awful acting, awful writing, a story that reminded me of helping my (then 11 yr old) foster daughter learn to read, with the starry eyed teen romance novellas that she liked.

Sanctuary isn't perfect, but to me, is much, much better.

I thought Haneek's reasons for wanting to live on Bajor were made clear. They weren't perfectly reasonable, but they were perfectly clear: Bajor fit the prophecy. She was feeling content and happy; they had found home and they were going to help this sorrowing, damaged planet.

Haneek's not angry because her people aren't getting what they want. A many have pointed out, her people have other options for getting good land. She knows that.

She's hurt because the Bajorans won't let her give them the gift of Skrrean help. Unlike Kira with the dress, she thinks her gift is wonderful. So she can't laugh off
the rejection the way Kira could.

To her, the Bajorans have made them stinky, sprayed them with the stench of their fears, then complained that they stink.

I sympathize with the Bajorans here, and don't blame them for thier decision at all. But Haneek's anger and hurt isn't about feeling entitled to the Peninsula.

The ep is meant to make is think about boundaries too, though, definitely.

Enough for now. To me, this is a decently crafted ep with a lot going on in it.
Thu, Jan 24, 2019, 7:56pm (UTC -6)
The Skreeans are a great analogy to the Jews going to Palestine, greedy entitled people claiming a land that they have no connection to as their own.
Wed, Mar 20, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
In my few years on this page, I've come to accept a few eccentricites of the community that is posting here, like the fact that some of the people here genuinely believe in a philosophy as odd as libertarianism. And apart from DLPB's regular tantrums (which I usually simply skip over), the community here has always been really good at keeping debates civil and respectful. However, it seems to me that recently, the atmosphere is changing considerably. I've been reading more and more hateful comments on this page, up to genuinely racist comment such as the one from Dave on the 24th of January. I hope that this will eventually die out (or be dealt with through administrative work by Jammer).

Anyway, to say something about the episode at hand: What a missed opportunity. The writers could have said something relevant about the treatment of refugees, about xenophobia, about dealing with limited resources. But instead, we waste a lot of time with filler scenes that don't contribute to the story (even though Jake dating a Dabo girl and helping here study seemed like an interesting plotline that I would've liked to see more of). Plus, the whole conflict was made pointless by the M-class planet ex machina. In TNG, this might at least have been used as an opportunity to question the Skreeans' religious claim to a planet that they didn't even know existed until a few days before. I imagine that Picard would have put them in their place for turning down an entire hospitable planet that the Federation was just willing to give them, simply because of how they interpreted their prophecy. But apart from Keiko, noone on DS9 seems to have any interest in questitioning religion.
Bobbington Mc Bob
Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 9:17am (UTC -6)
Bloody Hell, DS9 is good
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 10:28pm (UTC -6)
This episode is primarily about the rights of citizens verses refugees. Can refugees make a claim on land in a foreign Nation-State? This can get emotionally charged, so I suggest preforming this simple thought experiment. Pretend that several hundred thousand poor white people from Appalachia suddenly demand that Japan give them land to use as their own. They have no claim on the land, none of their ancestors ever lived there, and Japan never did anything to harm them; they just sail over one day and say "Give us land or you're hateful because we're broke and your country is wealthy."

Be honest, you would think they were entitled beyond words, probably racist, or even outright insane. And that's without perfectly fine land being offered to them from somewhere else.
Thu, Jan 2, 2020, 8:35pm (UTC -6)
Haneek: “Hi, we are the Skrreeans. We are refugees from the other side of the wormhole. Can you help us?”

Kira: “Of course! We found 3 million of your people in the Delta quadrant and they’re on their way. Please make yourself at home on the station while you wait. Here’s some food, and that dress you saw in the window that I thought you liked. And guess what? We found a whole planet in our galaxy that you can settle on. Our gift to you!”

(30 minutes later)

Haneek: “OK. Peace out assholes. We’re outta here. And fuck you very much losers. Don’t call. Don’t text. Don’t contact me in any way.”
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 3:58pm (UTC -6)
The Skrreans were probably one of the most entitled races I've seen in Star Trek. I think the writers wanted us to feel sorry for them but I can't think of a single redeeming quality about them.

Their matriarchal society seems to have led them completely astray, with no resources, no land, and wild/aggressive men that they can't even control. The Bajoran interceptors had every right to fire on a ship which first fired at them. Frankly, I was glad when the Skrreans ship was destroyed and I didn't understand how Sisko thought it was some tragedy. More reason for Bajorans to distrust the Federation. The Skrrean children were not the victims of bullying, over 300 of them were welcomed on to the station and fed. In fact, when Jake tried to get along with them, they were aggressive and rude. They were offered an entire planet but because of some poorly fleshed-out myth their leader was a spiteful B to the only person on the station who continually helped them when their request for land on an already established planet was denied.

This episode is like an advertisement for how often refugees are entitled, seek to impose their own beliefs on those they come upon, and lack any stable societal structure. Basically, why would any nation want to take in refugees? The Bajoran government totally agrees with this point. Why take on the risk? Especially when there is a whole other planet set aside specifically for them. What a heavy-handed episode.
Mon, Feb 3, 2020, 11:17am (UTC -6)
@Omicron (continued from ST:P ep2)
". while they can't even breath oxygen."
Yeah it is fairly contrived.

"And I actually find it refreshing, that the situation in that episode cannot be cleanly framed as an "anti-" vs "pro-" dichotomy. It forces you to think outside that box, which is a good thing in my view."
I'm not sure if there is even a box to think outside of. It is far to heavy handed for my taste. The conflict feels very forced as does the gender issue. If the refugees weren't so hellbent on Bajor for reasons that are shaky at best. It is one of the episodes I skip when I rewatch DS9 and I skip very few.
Shiva Menon
Mon, May 25, 2020, 3:01pm (UTC -6)
I think this episode deserves a lot more credit than 2 stars. Its execution definitely leaves a lot to be desired,but otherwise it's Star Trek in its element.

This episode is about finding purpose.

Skrreeans are not intent on land-grabbing; they just believed they had found their purpose in life,so to say. Their religion led them to believe that settling on Kentanna,and "sowing seeds of joy",was their ultimate purpose in life. Bajor fits the bill of the planet that was drowned in pain and shit. Having travelled all this way, they're understandably desperate for any kind of affirmation that their journey was not in vain, so they're only happy to accept that Bajor is Kentanna.

Bajor's refusal is itself a very deep commentary on their current psychological state. Apart from their reasonable unwillingness about sharing their land with strangers, it also talks about their deep distrust of aliens who come with promises of help. The Skrreeans however are probably sincere,unlike the Cardassians.

Granted,the backstory for the prophecy is really poorly fleshed out. But the point is that even when offered a much better planet, the Skrreeans refuse, because Bajor is the planet where they are to "manifest their destiny". They believe their purpose was to settle on Bajor and help Bajorans out in their crisis. Any other planet wouldn't do, simply isn't Kentanna.

Unfortunately, a lot of plot points have been unnecessarily exaggerated,like the completely unexpected flight and death of Tumak, or Haneek being unreasonably rude to Kira. Otherwise this is an episode that imo symbolises the spirit of Star Trek.

PS: Truly shocked to read Dave's comment. It's hard to imagine that there are Star Trek fans who are racists as well. How do these two traits co-exist?
Peter G.
Mon, May 25, 2020, 4:41pm (UTC -6)
@ Shiva Menon,

If you read on the episode is correct, that this is about purpose and meaning to the Skreeans, then IMO that would really mean to me that they're basically nutjobs who are so out of touch with reality that it's hard to identify with them on any level. And as I do believe this episode is one of DS9's epic botches, they actually *do* come off this way to a significant extent, which is unfortunately.

What I suspect it's supposed to be about isn't some random vision that will give their lives meaning; I think it's about indigenous peoples displaced from their ancestral land and making an ancient claim to it. Much like in our current environment, the most even quite liberal people are really willing to do is make a speech of commiseration and the odd art exhibit, but no one is going to give up their homes or half of their nation's land to let the previous inhabitants back. That's just not how it's going to work in the real world, like it or not, and I think this episode opened up the possibility of seeing the Bajorans not just as victims but also, even inadvertently, as a people who are likewise occupying land to which there may be an even more ancestral claim. Or at least the challenge is whether they're willing to even recognize that's possible.

The way the episode plays out it scarcely matters, because the hijinx with the adolescents along with the vagueness of the claim makes us annoyed most of the time and sort of wishing they would just move on. It's 'sad' but predictable when the Bajorans won't just give them the planet to live on, and I put that in scare quotes because it's not actually sad to the viewer, although it should be. That it's so unthinkable that those who have been wronged may have wronged others (or being doing so presently) is the challenge of the episode, but the challenge only makes sense if the Skreean claim is legitimately based on having been displaced in the past. If they aren't an allegory to the First Nations situation then they really are just another annoying race like the Move Along Home goofs.
Top Hat
Mon, May 25, 2020, 5:03pm (UTC -6)
I feel like people tend to misremember one aspect of the episode, which never has the Skrreea assert that they believe themselves to be displaced people returning to a homeland (Bajor). Rather they see it as their prophecized destination. As a loose analogy, Haneek is less like Moses than Joseph Smith.
Peter G.
Mon, May 25, 2020, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Oh man I should have proof-read my last post better, sorry everyone. I was writing really quickly that time.

@ Top Hat,

Technically I think you are right, but it's my suspicion at least that they were trying to go for something like "what happens if this other people with a real claim come along, will they be taken seriously?" Whether the claim literally comes from an ancestral presence, or a prophecy, or whatever else, seems to me secondary because if we don't take whatever it is seriously then they are just an annoying presence. For the episode to work it has to be taken seriously, and if we take it at face value that their claim is legit (wherever its origin) then I think what we have is a First Nations analogy. Now that I think about it I suppose it could be a plain refugee analogy as well, but in that case the prophecy thing comes across as a red herring. You don't tell people you're begging to asylum that you actually have an inherent right to their planet/nation. So to me it reads even worse as a refugee analogy than it does as a First Nations analogy. If that's what they wanted then they botched it even worse than I thought.
Top Hat
Mon, May 25, 2020, 9:53pm (UTC -6)
I see what you're saying, but the other thing is that they don't want to make a claim to Bajor per se... they don't believe themselves to be the rightful rulers of the place or something like that. They just want to settle some backwater and farm it, presumably deferring to the existing power structure in matters outside their immediate ken. Their manifest motivation is religious, not political.

I'd agree that the episode doesn't pan out as allegory, it's too muddled, which would perhaps be fine if the story were a compelling one on its own terms. And it isn't.
Tue, May 26, 2020, 2:56am (UTC -6)
The Skreeans are basically religious fanatics and I never understood it as them being actually from Bajor and even if for some reason they were, they wouldn't have a stronger claim to Bajor then the people who came into existence there. It is also debatable that a people can make a claim to land because they lived there once. This is somewhat heightened considering that Israel will annex huge part of the Jordan valley. People in that region all have some ancient claim to the land. Whose claim is legit? The once whose ancestors lived there 200 years ago or the ones who lived there 2000 years ago? In the end it comes down to international recognition. If your peers, other countries, recognize that it is your land, then it is your land.

@Shiva Menon
Bajor's refusal is itself a very deep commentary on their current psychological state. Apart from their reasonable unwillingness about sharing their land with strangers, it also talks about their deep distrust of aliens who come with promises of help. The Skrreeans however are probably sincere,unlike the Cardassians."

I don't think that is a fair assessment. It is understandable that a planet that just went through a devastating occupation which left most of their arable poisoned, a civil war, a planet who has a hard time feeding or provide medical care for it's own people and keep civil order, is unwilling to accept millions of refugees. Especially considering that there are far more accommodating alternatives for the Skreeans where the Federation would help them to start their colony. What if the Skreeans cannot make their part of Bajor flourish and starve? What if they react badly to environment? What if they get Corona?! :)

There is no rational argument for settling the Skreeans on Bajor.
Peter G.
Tue, May 26, 2020, 3:11am (UTC -6)
"There is no rational argument for settling the Skreeans on Bajor."

Agreed. Maybe I need to watch it again, but I think the only reason why their claim would even be worth considering is some sort of analogy to what the Bajorans went through. Like, somehow this used to be their world and they ended up as refugees, and now need to come back home after all these years. That could vaguely parallel Bajor coming out of the Occupation, and bitter pill here is maybe supposed to be that the Bajorans find themselves unhappily close to a Cardassian position here, which is "our people have to take priority over your people." But I think that only makes sense if the Skreeans are supposed to be understood as having some sort of right to be there. Otherwise it's just a request that comes at the wrong time, mixed with an unreasonable refusal to settle elsewhere despite a nice offer by the Federation. Unless it's their ancestral home they're being stupid. Even if it *is* the case is debatable, but if it's not then they're just being a pain.
Jason R.
Tue, May 26, 2020, 4:11am (UTC -6)
I mentioned it before that the other solution would have been if the Skreeans were actually worshipers of the Prophets and told to settle on Bajor by them. Suppose they had an orb? I mean the wormhole has two sides after all.

But yeah, this episode was botched from a storytelling perspective. Done right, it could have been one of the very best. But the writing just dropped the ball.
Top Hat
Tue, May 26, 2020, 7:11am (UTC -6)
That, or write out the Gamma Quadrant and make them a returning mass of the diasporic Bajorans introduced in "Ensign Ro." Bajoran civilization is hundreds of thousands of years old, so there's plenty of time for some group to have left long, long ago, and perhaps they would be considered culturally undesirable precisely because they don't worship the Prophets. Perhaps they have a different faith, or are more atheistic/agnostic like the Federation generally seems to be.

Admittedly they do eventually try something vaguely similar with the pah wraith cult, but they're EEEEEEEEVIL so there's no real chance to explore issues around migration and refugeeism.
Top Hat
Tue, May 26, 2020, 9:41am (UTC -6)
Or how about this? A different Cardassian vassal state has also fallen out of Cardassian control (maybe this could be placed a bit later, during the Klingon-Cardassian war). Their planet is ravaged to the point of being unliveable and so the native population spill out looking for a new homeland, and they come knocking at Bajor's door. Bajor has no strong historical ties to this people but the shared experience of Cardassian rule. The Bajorans are basically sympathetic to them but are also worried that they would become a burden. You can write out the prophecy angle and just treat it as a delicate political situation.
Shiva Menon
Mon, Jun 22, 2020, 11:58pm (UTC -6)

You're right. Bajor didn't refuse them land out of fear and paranoia alone. They themselves were running on scarce resources, and weren't ready to shoulder the additional responsibility of having to care for even more people.

@Peter G:

Totally agreed. The way that the motive of these refugees has been portrayed inspires little sympathy. To begin with, they're not particularly pleasant people. Add to that the fact that their request for colonizing a part of Bajor rests simply on a vague religious belief that might/might not fit Bajor, also doesn't help. If only they had a better explanation for their claim...*sigh*

In the end, I would say that the writers probably had a good idea for a story, but failed to really do justice to the characters of the story.
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 4:12pm (UTC -6)
Jammer. I've copied and pasted below and put asterisks around the quote. This comment is completely antisemitic and I'm surprised you have kept it on your page. A huge disappointment that it is still here.

Thu, Aug 9, 2012, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
One sad thing about the Trek universe, with its history of progressive messages, is that every species has the regressive effect of making you wonder which unfortunate contemporary ethnic group it caricatures.

I could see their situation sounding like the Jews in Palestine after WWII, but this would have been more compelling if, as with the Jews, there had been something to tell us that Bajor used to be their homeworld, rather than their apparently temporary and arbitrary claim that it was. Then the issue of them coming back would have been more of an ethical dilemma.

*******In the Trek universe, their space Jews are already horribly represented by the Ferengi anyway. So I thought maybe they were the Space Gypsies. And nobody wants them around, apparently.*******
Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
"Jammer, why aren't you actively reading the comments section of every single review that you did more than a decade ago so that you can know how disappointed a random stranger is with you for something you've likely never seen?
And to make sure, I'm going to copy and paste to draw further attention with lots of punctuation so that everyone sees it!"

How's that going for you?
Picard Maneuver
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -6)
When Jake and Nog were discussing entomology, I wondered if the universal translator would translate the concept but then Nog asked what entomology was. It's hard to believe a technology like this would leave gaps similar to how a child naturally learns language. That said, the earlier scenes with the alien race is how I'd expect the technology to work: the most common concepts are translated quickly while more obscure and technical language takes longer and doesn't seem to translate exactly. It's a little too fast, though. I think even a super advanced AI would need at least hundreds or thousands of sentences to make sense of things.

I agree with above comments that this episode has a season 1 TNG or TOS script leftover feel. Or someone cribbed some Space Mormon ideas from Battlestar Galactica.

Also, why does future music suck so much? it's very often tranquil and sonically boring.

The drama with the Space Lepers wasn't very compelling. The Bajorians really dodged a bullet on this one, for a change. Actually, the big brain move would have been to move Bajor to Draylon II and stick the overly demanding aliens with Bajor's withered husk.
Ares B
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 2:08am (UTC -6)
Shades of gray in this episode. The refugees weren't stereotypical helpless sympathetic bunch, but a people with culture and religion, strengths that they didn't get the chance to prove, and failures that were rather obvious.

One major failing was the reliance on a humble farmer to find their "prophesied ancestral home." It's obvious she just studied the Bajoran system charts and picked a place she thought suitable, and according to their beliefs, that was it then. The Bajorans didn't respect that, which is ironic remembering how they demanded their beliefs should be observed on the station in the first season finale. Sisko should have reminded them of their hypocrisy.
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 2:51am (UTC -6)

If it makes you feel any better, the Ferengi are not the Jews of Star Trek. Their mercurial and rapey nature reminds me more of Indians (open bob, SEO bombing, etc).

No, the real Jews of Star Trek are the Founders of the Dominion.

Anyway, I am completely on the side of the Bajorans for this episode. Not only are the Skrreeans irritating, demanding, and disrespectful, they can also go literally anywhere else. I remember that little exchange about the Northern Peninsula and how it can be farmed. Why not let the Bajorans handle it? Better yet, why do uninhabited places need to be inhabited? This episode has a clear message of brow-beating native peoples for not wanting to accept undue burdens, and if you apply that message to a real world context, you can start to see how insidious this messaging is.
Bob (a different one)
Sun, Feb 28, 2021, 10:27pm (UTC -6)
Greenjacket said: "No, the real Jews of Star Trek are the Founders of the Dominion."

Man, I can't wait to read your insights into Patterns of Force.
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 3:33am (UTC -6)
I just want to say: Judaism is a religion, not a race.

I wish people would stop calling people racist when they choose to insult or discriminate against those of a particular religion. (This applies to Muslims, too. Islam is not a race.)

Religion is not an immutable characteristic, so is definitely up for grabs to be insulted and discriminated against, as we see from people who regularly insult and discriminate against those who choose the 'wrong' political affiliation around the internet and in real life, or insulting people who have stupid hairstyles, or telling fat people to stop eating so much ice cream.

Of course, insulting or discriminating the individual or the group as people and their immutable characteristics, rather than because of their choices, is a different thing.
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 3:41am (UTC -6)
Picard Maneuver
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -6)

"When Jake and Nog were discussing entomology, I wondered if the universal translator would translate the concept but then Nog asked what entomology was."

It could also be that Nog is a dumb-dumb, who told us he doesn't do his homework, and didn't know what entomology was...
Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 10:55am (UTC -6)
"I just want to say: Judaism is a religion, not a race.

I wish people would stop calling people racist when they choose to insult or discriminate against those of a particular religion. (This applies to Muslims, too. Islam is not a race.)"

True, but at least in the colloquial sense those religions tend to be associated with particular racial or ethnic groups. In the case of Jews (there's an entire Wikipedia article entitled "Who is a Jew?") that's generally those of Israeli descent regardless of religious affiliation. The distinction between a practicing member of Judaism, someone who's Jewish, someone who's a Jew, and someone who's Israeli, is not as clearly delineated as say, white American Christians for example. Similarly, racism towards Muslims seems directed specifically to Arab/Middle Eastern people and not African or Asian.

Maybe think of it along the lines of ethnicity. Gypsies and Hispanic people aren't considered a separate race, but since there's no such term as ethnicism I think it's fair to call discrimination against those groups racism. An "ethnic Jew" is a thing, even if "ethnic Muslim" isn't, as far as I know. Is it sloppy? Yes. Is it silly? Sure. But there is at least a component of race in some of these religions, whether deserved or not.

Star Trek doesn't help the matter by using race and species interchangeably. Ferengi, Klingons, Vulcans, Cardassians, Bajorans, they're all different species, not different races. Yet in some dialogue they use the word race when they should be saying species. It doesn't help that they're all humanoid from a common ancestor (The Chase), we don't usually see different races within any of these alien species for the most part (except for Vulcans and Romulans), and since they're narrative proxies for human races it's not surprising that they'd be referred to in such a way.

I suppose Vulcans and Romulans are the same species but different races. It's interesting that they also have black and white skin, so they're more divided up than say the Klingons or Ferengi, or even the Bajorans. There's the Sharon from TOS whose faces are either white/black or black/white. The only other possible example I can think of would be Benzites Mordock and Mendon, who look alike because they're from the same geostructure. We don't know what a geostructure is though, so meh. I think that was just handwaved so they could use the same actor and prosthetics.
Bob (a different one)
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 11:09am (UTC -6)
A lot of people concerned about Jews on this forum.
Jason R.
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
FWIW Jews as a group have some fairly distinct genetic markings which doesn't make us a "race" in any technical sense (technically all humans belong to the same race) but does suggest a common ancestry particularly within Ashkenazi groups. I know 23andMe identified my dna as "99% ashkenazi Jewish" whatever the hell that means.

As an aside, Jewish identity has to be differentiated pretty strongly from religious affiliation. Jews have a very strong cultural identity that has virtually nothing to do with religion.

I know dyed in the wool atheists who go to synagogue and keep kosher. There is no contradiction here because religion is only tenuously connected with their status as Jews. Very different mentality from self described "Christians" or "Muslims"
Peter G.
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
Well the word "race" in social justice parlance doesn't mean the same thing as it does scientifically. What is called "race" in this sense meaning something more like geneological background, which certainly can be specified in a medically meaningful way. However that same parlance tends to muddle cultural background into it to an extent, which can muddle what we might call its technical definition. But even beyond medical background humans do have what in dogs are called breeds, and perhaps the lack of an adequate and non-insulting equivalent is why the word race is used. From that standpoint we have races, since obviously there are notable differences in physiognomy to different geographical areas. Maybe not as much as between Great Danes and Bulldogs, but that difference in degree is easily explained by dog breeding (we'll avoid the issue of historic human breeding).

But yeah, the Jews self-identify by race first in my experience, even among those who are religious. And as Jason R mentioned, Jews can be die hard atheists who even hate religion and think religious people are idiots, but yet who still identify strongly as Jewish even over and above any other identifier.
Dave in MN
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
This whole discussion stems from the plasticity of language and the resultant multiple interpretations of the words being used.

Despite being a group that spread via diaspora, Jews were socially and genetically isolated for thousands of years. There are genetic conditions (such as Tay-Sachs) which occur at much greater frequencies with Jews then other groups. There are also certain physical traits (such as hair type and eye color) that are likely to be different than those of European heritage.

I guess calling them a race depends on how you look at it.

If you hold to a very basic definition of race based on skin color and eye shape; then it is logical to lump historically Jewish people in with other whites.

If you hold to a more scientific interpretation of race such as I outlined above, then historically Jewish people should be classified as their own distinct racial entity.

What further muddies the waters is that a recent convert to Judaism or the offspring of such people can't be included in this discussion despite linguisically there being no distinction between historical Jews and those who recently adopted the religion.

The undeniable fact remains that there was a group of people isolated from others for millennia based on the religion they held. How you classify and categorize that data using your inherent vocabulary is up to the individual.

But it should be worth acknowledgement that no one is wrong here. We're all using our own linguistic methodology in a different way.
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
"If you hold to a more scientific interpretation of race such as I outlined above, then historically Jewish people should be classified as their own distinct racial entity."
Two things. There are/were many Jewish communities all over the world and they are very diverse. Another thing to keep in mind is that Jews didn't fall from the sky and thought:" I guess, I'm Jewish."
I could outline it but just make yourself a cup of tea and read a little. :)

I also want to mention that there is really no fixed definition for race. Neither in science in general nor in specific fields. Is it genetic make up, culture or social behavior. It is really a free for all.
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 6:13pm (UTC -6)
In that context one should probably mention the Khazars
(under religion)
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 6:44pm (UTC -6)
@ Dave in MN

"If you hold to a very basic definition of race based on skin color and eye shape; then it is logical to lump historically Jewish people in with other whites."

I don't believe this is correct at all. There is one race, the human race. The sooner everyone gets on board with that the better.
Mon, Apr 5, 2021, 12:38am (UTC -6)
The episode addresses an issue that you don't always think about in a sci fi setting, although it got annoying very fast.

I had some sympathy for the Skrreeans at first, but lost it when they became entitled and antagonistic. Bajor had every right to deny them settlement and their morality is not damaged by this decision. I found the Bajoran minister's delivery of this message to be kind and thoughtful. Ironically, the Bajorans just dealt with the Cardassians who felt entitled to a planet that wasn't theirs, and now they get the same mindset from the Skrreeans.

I applaud DS9 for taking a realistic approach to this issue and acknowledging that dealing with refugees is not an easy issue that must be decided with the head, not the heart.
Mon, Apr 26, 2021, 6:32pm (UTC -6)
This was the only episode during my rewatch I actively did not like because of the Skreeans, specifically their leader. Though I do appreciate the episode for creating this difficult ethical situation.
Thu, May 20, 2021, 6:56am (UTC -6)
@Jammer wrote, "Sisko finds the Skrreeans a perfectly reasonable (probably more reasonable) alternative planet"

found the key moment:
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
""The Jewish people WERE and ARE the rightful inhabitants of the land of Israel (wrongly referred to as "palestine,")"" ~ Ian

Then why are they white and from Europe?

Take genetic ancestry tests like 23&Me: If Ashkenazi Jewish people were indigenous to Israel (Western Asia) then why is "Ashkenazi" listed under the European category instead of Western Asia (the Middle East where Palestine/Israel is)?

You can't tell me folks like Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Barbara Streisand, Zac Efron, Jennifer Connelly, Lisa Kudrow and Paul Rudd are indigenous to a Middle Eastern country. They're white.

Even Golda Meir (Israel's first female prime minister) was a Ukrainian immigrant. Just because white people practice Judaism (nothing wrong with that, more power to you) doesn't mean they're Hebrew and indigenous to the land.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 2:13pm (UTC -6)
I've always seen the Cardassian occupation of Bajor as an allegory for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And in some episodes (like "Duet") the Cardassians remind me of Nazis and the Bajorans as European Jews.
Peter G.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 2:37pm (UTC -6)
@ sony,

Because the Cardassians' attitude toward the Bajorans was mostly business and not personal (i.e. they came for resources, not out of racial animosity) I'm not sure it tracks very well onto either of the Jewish scenarios you mention. If you want to look for a Nazi allegory, maybe the occupations of Poland or France track better since they were taken chiefly for military expansion. And both of those countries had notable resistance movements, as well.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
" If Ashkenazi Jewish people were indigenous to Israel (Western Asia) then why is "Ashkenazi" listed under the European category instead of Western Asia (the Middle East where Palestine/Israel is)? ... Even Golda Meir (Israel's first female prime minister) was a Ukrainian immigrant."
The majority of Israeli prime ministers were immigrants, technically everybody until Netanyahu. The rest of your post borders on nonsensical. I thought about pointing out the logical holes/craters/canyons but I think it is better if I tell you what Aviva said to Sonja

"It not about me or my charity.
It is about the children
Who don't have LEGS!"
Jason R.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 3:28pm (UTC -6)
@Sony I am not all that up on the genetic purity of the Ashkenazi Jewish lines and whether that tracks to ancient middle eastern stock.

FWIW I was under the impression that Askenazi Jews were from similar semitic blood lines as Palestinian. On 23andMe I am listed as 99% Ashkenazi Jewish which is a separate category from other Eastern European groups.

However, just to address your more general point about Ashkenazi Jews being "white", it seems to me many Palestinian Arabs are also white or white passing or however you want to call it. They are not a particularly dark skinned people.
Peter G.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
The genetic lineage of European vs mid Eastern isn't going to track neatly onto skin color. Afaik the 'Caucasian' genetic history has more in common with East Indian than mid-Eastern. But I've also read (although haven't taken the time to verify) that the European Jewry came about as a result of a mass conversion, rather than migration into Europe from the Israel area. At least some accounts I've seen place the Semitic diaspora as theoretically going through North Africa, and maybe also ending up in Ethiopia.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 4:21pm (UTC -6)
"the European Jewry came about as a result of a mass conversion, rather than migration into Europe from the Israel area"
Do you mean mass conversion of Christians into Judaism???
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 4:35pm (UTC -6)
Nonsensical? Unlike that random quote I'm not going to look up.

I'm just glad that strip of sand the size of New Jersey isn't my "ancestral homeland", I'll take the fjords and forestry of Scandinavia any day.

As for the Abrahamic god of those lands: if he were real, I would find the flaming sword (or whatever talisman that would work) to kill him. What a psychotic, sadistic, narcissistic evil entity. Glad I'm not "chosen" by him. *shudders*
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
""I am listed as 99% Ashkenazi Jewish which is a separate category from other Eastern European groups."" ~ Jason R.

Yeah, but it's still under European and Eastern European Groups.

Scandinavians are a separate category from other European groups.

Ireland is a separate category from other British groups.

Italians are a separate category from other Southern European Groups.

Still European.
Peter G.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
Yes, Booming, presumably it would have been Christians converting to Judaism. As the story goes, it was a forced mass conversion by a ruler. BUT as I mentioned I've never looked deeply into this, merely heard the claim from time to time. It's not a ridiculous hypothesis on its face, at least given the physiological differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
"Nonsensical? Unlike that random quote I'm not going to look up."
It's from real housewives of new york. duh! What are they teaching you at your communist schools?!

"I'll take the fjords and forestry of Scandinavia any day."
Norway, eh? I'm Saxon by the way. Neither from new Jersey or Jersey.

"Then why are they white and from Europe?"
During the 10th century Jews entered the Holy Roman Empire through Italy and France. That is why they are from Europe. Immigration.

Less skin pigmentation is due to changing geno- and phenotypes because Germany is a little colder and less sunny than Palestine. Sure every now and then a German Hermann probably secretly won the girlish heart of a beautiful Rachel and a blued eyed David was born but that was certainly not the norm. Some secret converts.

"If Ashkenazi Jewish people were indigenous to Israel (Western Asia) then why is "Ashkenazi" listed under the European category instead of Western Asia (the Middle East where Palestine/Israel is)?"
I don't know what category you mean or what list you are referring to. Are you questioning that European Jews come from Palestine??

"You can't tell me folks like Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Barbara Streisand, Zac Efron, Jennifer Connelly, Lisa Kudrow and Paul Rudd are indigenous to a Middle Eastern country. They're white."
We all come from Africa... Why does some Jews having less skin pigmentation prove that they do not have roots in Palestine?

" Just because white people practice Judaism (nothing wrong with that, more power to you) doesn't mean they're Hebrew and indigenous to the land."
True, but if you have Jewish ancestors then it does which is true for streisand (I didn't look up the others). The people you named aren't converts, they have Jewish ancestors.

I guess you are referring to the Khazar Khaganate. That has nothing to do with Azkenazi. In Christian Europe there were no mass conversions from Christian to Judaism, only the other way around and often involuntarily. Converting in noticeable numbers to Judaism would have lead to a burning response.
Jason R.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 6:58pm (UTC -6)
It is an interesting question about Ashkenazi heritage to be sure. I don't have any additional facts to offer except I was always taught that Askenazi do descend from Hebrews and therefore semitic Judains or Palestinians or whatever.

But I'm not aware if modern genetics backs this up. Obviously there has been alot of intermarriage, especially in the last 100 years or so. I don't really see this as very relevant to the modern Israeli / Palestinian conflict. And no I am not touching that topic with a 1,000 foot pole.
Peter G.
Wed, Aug 11, 2021, 8:55pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming,

"Converting in noticeable numbers to Judaism would have lead to a burning response."

Obviously I'm not an authority on the history of religion, but depending on where such an event took place, I imagine it would be different depending on the predominant religion there. Under the Western Church, for instance, there's a very strict 'chain of command' that often did involve concerted efforts to combat attacks on the religion; whereas the Eastern churches are much less unified, and have some larger groupings and some smaller ones. In theory I suppose a local Orthodox sector could convert wholesale (in theory!) and there would be no one left of that sect to object. As I understand it, the patriarchs around those parts don't have any actual authority over each other.
Thu, Aug 12, 2021, 3:19am (UTC -6)
Mass conversion is normally not a bottom up but a top down process and converting en masse into Judaism would certainly lead to violent conversion efforts by either muslims or christians. Maybe both. That is what happened to the Khazars. Eastern Europe for a long time had a very small Jewish population. Furthermore converting to Judaism was a little more time consuming and Jews don't proselytize.
Thu, Aug 12, 2021, 7:10pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

“It’s from real housewives of new york. duh! What are they teaching you at your communist schools?! “

Obviously, not how to paint neutrons the color of gravity like they did at your Non Sequitur school.

“”Less skin pigmentation is due to changing geno- and phenotypes because Germany is a little colder and less sunny than Palestine….During the 10th century Jews entered the Holy Roman Empire through Italy and France. That is why they are from Europe. Immigration””

When African immigrants in the UK take a DNA test, the results show that they originate from a region of Africa, not the UK.

You can’t change race after only 1,000 years. It took 60,000 years for the human colonizers in Europe to become "white people". European Jews have the same range bone structure, jaws, teeth, nose etc as white Europeans. It’s not just skin color, it’s bone-deep.

“Are you questioning that European Jews come from Palestine??”

Affirmative, duh! That was my whole point! All of these Jewish white people (NOT converts) can’t PROVE that Israel is their ancestral homeland.

That’s why I brought up the 23&me genetics test, I saw the results of a person who’s 90% Ashkenazi Jewish (which means Jewish ancestry) and I was expecting to see the Middle East “lit up” on 23’s map but instead it showed central and Eastern Europe.

There’s no proof that Israel belongs to them except for traditions and legends of 1,000 year old ancestors that have been washed out of them. The genetics test I mentioned (and others like it) fail to show a connection to Israel for those who test “positive” for Ashkenazi/ Sephardic Jewish heritage.

“We all come from Africa.”

Then I guess it was totally OK when the British, Dutch and Germans colonized Africa since it was the continent of their ancestral homeland. We should also have no problem with China’s current plans to colonize Africa since they also came from Africa and it’s their ancestral homeland.

I have .05% Siberian DNA so I should have the right to colonize Siberia because it’s my ancestral homeland?

Palestine belongs to Palestine, not these white folks.
Fri, Aug 13, 2021, 1:30am (UTC -6)
"Obviously, not how to paint neutrons the color of gravity like they did at your Non Sequitur school."
To quote another housewife from new york, Worf:"I'm a graduate of Starfleet academy. I know many things."

"When African immigrants in the UK take a DNA test, the results show that they originate from a region of Africa, not the UK."
Ok, sweetheart. When you make these kinds of statements then you have to name your source. I guess you are talking about some kind of genetic database that correlates genetic information with certain regions?

"You can’t change race after only 1,000 years. It took 60,000 years for the human colonizers in Europe to become "white people". European Jews have the same range bone structure, jaws, teeth, nose etc as white Europeans. It’s not just skin color, it’s bone-deep."
Race doesn't change after only 1000 years...oh boy... how about natural selection, then. Why do you think people in colder climates almost always have lighter skin? Vitamin D. A black skinned person has a hard time producing enough vitamin D in for example Norway. A severe lack of vitamin D can lead to quite a few nasty illnesses. Mostly bone and muscle diseases but also loss of teeth and schizophrenia. Not something you would want in medieval Europe.

"Affirmative, duh! That was my whole point! All of these Jewish white people (NOT converts) can’t PROVE that Israel is their ancestral homeland."
So they are fake Jews, is what you are saying. Some people in medieval Europe thought:"You know what friends, I'm don't feel discriminated enough. I'm Jewish now!" Well, I'm happy to see your sources for that.

"The genetics test I mentioned (and others like it) fail to show a connection to Israel for those who test “positive” for Ashkenazi/ Sephardic Jewish heritage."
Sources, please.

"Then I guess it was totally OK when the British, Dutch and Germans colonized Africa since it was the continent of their ancestral homeland. We should also have no problem with China’s current plans to colonize Africa since they also came from Africa and it’s their ancestral homeland."
Yes. To all. With one asterisk. Only Kenya because that is where humanity came into existence. Everybody should live in Kenya.

"I have .05% Siberian DNA so I should have the right to colonize Siberia because it’s my ancestral homeland?"
Maybe you could cut of a pinky and sent it to Siberia but the rest should be in Kenya.

"Palestine belongs to Palestine, not these white folks."
Israel exists because the of mutual recognition of the international community and because they won several wars to defend the territory they were given. That is what actually matters. Not if Jews lived there for 3000 years, not that Palestinians lived there for a long time, only recognition of other nations and the ability to defend your territory. That is what makes a country in our world.
Fri, Oct 29, 2021, 5:23pm (UTC -6)
Very weak episode. I wouldn't even give it two.

I'm not sure if you're supposed to empathize with the Skrreeans or not. I'm sure they made them annoying and grating (down to their name) to make you feel bad for being against them, but there's absolutely no justification for their claim to Bajor. It's just silly.

And the "we're great farmers" load. Puhleeze. I'm sure the Skrreeans are completely skilled at farming on Bajor. And of course, suddenly the Feds don't seem to have any replicator technology to help.

This just seems like a train wreck script that could have been fixed. If the Skrreeans truly could help Bajor farming, why not bring it up early on, by maybe somehow demonstrating it? Give Bajor at least some reason to consider it.
Fri, Oct 29, 2021, 7:18pm (UTC -6)
I'd forgotten how bad this episode was.

Haneek's parting comments to Kira:

"I think you've made a terrible mistake. All of you. Maybe we could have helped you. Maybe we could have helped each other. The Skrreeans are farmers, Kira. You have a famine on your planet. Perhaps we could have made that peninsula bloom again. We'll never know, will we? Fifty years of Cardassian rule has made you all frightened and suspicious. I feel sorry for you. You were right. Bajor is not Kentanna."

Kira should have kicked her ass through the airlock. That's outrageous and vile. All those "maybes" and "perhapses" are big whopping unknowns with very serious concerns behind them. "Maybe" the Skrreeans are terrible farmers. "Maybe" they are flat out liars. Who knows?

By Haneek's own admission, the Skrreeans are matriarchal because their men are too violent. Which, btw, was illustrated. "Maybe" they start fighting Bajorans soon after arriving.

If Haneek had stopped after her "maybes" and "perhapses", it wouldn't have been that bad. Are least somewhat understandable disappointment.

But throwing the occupation in Kira's face was shockingly vile.

Plus, Haneek sure is quick to give up the supposed prophecy of Bajor being Kentanna. Religious people usually aren't so wishy washy. Seems more likely she just figured out how to map some vague prophecy to the current star system.
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 7:22pm (UTC -6)
I hate this episode, it's pointless and extremely not at all believable. I hate the skreeeens alien designs and they seem incredibly stupid and ungrateful and imo should just be thrown out of the nearest that may be a bit harsh......but is it really?
Thu, May 19, 2022, 1:05am (UTC -6)
If the entire male Skreean population is essentially manchilden, I can't blame Bajor at all for showing them the door.
Fri, May 20, 2022, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
The best part of this wretched episode was the appearance of William Schallert as the Bajoran musician. His career extended over 60 years. He had dozens of appearances in films and tv shows (most prominent was "The Patty Duke Show"). He might be remembered by Star Trek fans as being Nilz Baris the Federation Administrator of Deep Space Station K7 in "The Trouble with Tribbles."
Fri, May 20, 2022, 6:39pm (UTC -6)
Missed that one. Schallert was really one of the great character actors of all time. I think he was even in "In the Heat of the Night" and several Perry Masons (once as a drunken rocket scientist opposite Jean Bal, a.k.a. Nancy, the salt creature in early TOS) as well as in one episode of the comedy series Coach, where he fires Luther van Damm.

I think he was in just about everything! Thanks. :)
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 11:14am (UTC -6)
Oh... Dios mio...

Firstly, regarding allegories:
1. I'm a freelance Jew and I don't recognize myself in the Ferengi. AT. ALL. I don't know if the Ferengi were actually envisioned by Star Trek's writers as being somehow based on Jews AND those writers are on record as saying so or, far more likely, a bunch of Leftist liberals took offense on our behalf because THEY see us as greedy and ugly. Either way, it's total B.S.

2. I vehemently resent attempts at drawing parallels between the Screeches or whatever, plus their narrative about Bajor, and Jews and Eretz Yisrael. Give me a break. One has to be totally ignorant of history to try to assimilate the two cases. There are too many to count but, among more notable ones: the Jewish nation's origins are in that region, Jews had an uninterrupted and large presence in the area (including Jerusalem) since the exile in Babylon in 600 B.C., at the time of the first and second 3aliyot (waves of pre-WW2 Jewish immigration) the region was not a sovereign entity, the Jewish immigrants did not seek land to be ceded to them but purchased plots from their titled owners, and so on.

As far as the episode, I don't get the hate. It's pretty good... - considering. Sure, there are MANY absurdities, ranging from Sisko allowing the Station to be flooded by thousands of aliens without knowing much of anything about them, to the Screeches being ridiculously doctrinaire and belligerent, to them initially acting more befuddled than a pilgrim in an F-35, to the totally pointless C-story with that flute or whatever player, etc. None of those points were a deal-breaker for me. I think the end was appropriate and fair to everybody.

I like the budding friendship between Quark's and Sisko's sons. I also like Quark; he's fast becoming my favorite character (must be a Jewish thing 😝😝😝).
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
"far more likely, a bunch of Leftist liberals took offense on our behalf because THEY see us as greedy and ugly. Either way, it's total B.S."
Man, I just defended you. I do not like your posts and I normally disagree with them but for the most part you stay away from making stupid political points. The vast majority of antisemtic crimes and propaganda is done by the right but hey, next time we sit close to each other in a cattle car on it's way to the east, I will explain to you why that is.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 3:11pm (UTC -6)
"The vast majority of antisemtic crimes and propaganda is done by the right."

No, it's not. Graffiti, semi-literate fliers, etc. yes, that's usually knuckle-dragging skinhead-types' doing. Actual violent assaults, in America and especially in Europe, are overwhelmingly perpetrated by "new Europeans" (ask Time magazine what that's about). Most virulent and high-profile anti-Semitic activity, often masquerading as "anti-Zionism," is rooted almost entirely in the extreme Left, mainly on college campuses, q.v. the B.D.S. efforts.

Oh, and A.D.L. is a bunch of politicized two-bit charlatans and hucksters who need to justify their existence.

Anyway, it's not a competition and it's not a discussion even worth having. My point was that the Left--almost always privileged, middle-class Caucasian folk--are the ones who come up with risible pseudo-intellectual nonsense under the guise of protecting the weak. The ludicrous "Latinx" shit is the most notable example, as well as white-knighting against Aunt Jemima, Red Skins, and so forth and so on.

Peace out!
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 5:25pm (UTC -6)
Ok, you are one of those. I provide a source and you just say "nooooo good" without any evidence why the numbers are wrong. You hate the ADL which in your mind means that their numbers are wrong. Then you make even more accusations and your reference is "Time"Magazine. Not even anything specific just the magazine.

Here the official numbers for Germany collected by the department of the interior:;jsessionid=91B4727688AB56C2EE8D54BC986E58D0.2_cid295?__blob=publicationFile&v=2

84% of anti semitic hate crimes are committed by right wing groups. So yeah, maybe the ADL numbers aren't so wrong after all.

Just say that you hate leftists and muslims. Saves me and anybody else a lot of time.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 5:37pm (UTC -6)

"The sub-plot with the stolen ship seemed pointless, nothing was changed. "

And that is the point. Haneek was a stubborn and irrational person who reflects some of the people that we know. To me she was the point of the whole episode. There are times when someone seems to be a good person (though friendly encounters with them) only for them to show their true irrational and fearful selves.
Those types of people are very difficult to deal with.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 5:49pm (UTC -6)

"There is a point where you have lost your claim on a strip of Land and have to accept that it is no longer yours."

But this argument cannot be used when religion is used as the justification. The Zionists (sorry I wont say Jews because there are anti-Zionist Jews) use the Torah to justify their claims. Thus they can only be refuted by either rationally dismissing the Torah or showing that it does not contain a claim to Palestine.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 7:47pm (UTC -6)
The Torah definitely contains a claim to Palestine--in fact, it commands genocide against non-Jews living there. Not that this should be a rational basis for modern living!

Deut. 20:16-18
"However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God."

The Canaanites are widely considered to be what we call Palestinians today.
Peter G.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 8:37pm (UTC -6)
@ SlackerInc,

"The Canaanites are widely considered to be what we call Palestinians today."

I'm not terribly studied in ancient civilizations, but I've learned a thing or two, and at least in my limited experience it seems like there is no way this can be true. Those ancient peoples consisted of all sorts of civilizations that are long gone, which may or may not have included the so-called "Sea Peoples" who came and wiped out a bunch of bronze age civilizations. You're trying to draw a parallel between the Biblical passages about wiping out enemy nations (not a pretty thing, admittedly) and the fact of the Jews trying to re-settle there and ending up in conflict with the Palestinians. I can't see any reasonable connection between the two.

Just so I can pretend this wasn't off-topic, the issue with the Skreeans isn't just that they say they have an ancient claim to Bajor (although tracing the historical land rights using ancient text would obviously be impossible) but that have come out of nowhere from across the galaxy and made demands. Would the Federation have taken their demands any more seriously if they spontaneously popped up near Earth out of a wormhole and said they need to take totally occupancy of Australia? The claim itself is simply ridiculous, and I see no way the audience could have the slightest notion that this ought to be granted to them. It would almost be offensive if they got their way. Now of course in principle it would be heartwarming to be able to take in refugees and give them a new life, and since this episode aired we have more reason than before to see the situation of


Dominion refugees being a real problem for the surrounding inhabited systems (like in Europe recently). But the way this story is told, we don't merely dislike them because we're biased, we dislike them because they only exist in the story for us to dislike them. Contrast with the Jews, who were widely known through history, and would have surprised no one for wanting to return to their ancient homeland (regardless of how they initially acquired it).

That said, as a minor aside, unlike Michael I actually *can* see a comparison between the Skreeans and the Jews, but this would involve seeing the Jew specifically through the lens of having no legitimate claim to Israel. If that was your perspective I think the episode would have resonance. If not then the analogy wouldn't work.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 9:55pm (UTC -6)
@Peter G.: Regardless of whether Palestinians and Canaanites are or are not ethnically the same, the passage is pretty clear that anyone living in those lands and practicing a different religion must be wiped out. There are extreme ultra-orthodox political parties in Israel that often participate in coalition governments with the ordinary right wing Likud party, and are quite persuaded that this is exactly what Yahweh has ordered.

Which is very understandable, as it's spelled out so clearly in Deuteronomy. I am an atheist myself, but I find it curious how so many religious people ignore or distort the plain language in their own holy books. So even though I am the furthest thing from a religious fundamentalist, I credit them with at least being more honest about the implications of their own religious texts and traditions.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 10:11pm (UTC -6)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas believes Palestinians are descended from Canaanites, while former Israeli PM Netanyahu is dubious:

According to DNA evidence, Netanyahu is more wrong, as both Jews and Arabs who live in Israel today have lots of Canaanite ancestry. But of course only one group would be judged by Yahweh in the commandments of Deuteronomy to be practicing a "detestable religion": Muslim Palestinians (Christians might slide, unclear).
Sun, Jul 24, 2022, 1:04am (UTC -6)
The whole "we have a claim to this or that land" is nonsense anyway. Sure, the Zionist idea had the ability to focus Jewish resettlement efforts on one place and motivate people to some degree but in the end, and this episode is a nice example, the only thing that matters is the ability to take and defend a region. A legitimate claim to something falls more into the "nice to have" category. So people debating who has a more legitimate claim because "insert reason here" just highlight that they don't understand how international politics work. Israel has no legitimate claim to the Golan Heights or the West-Bank but they will never give them up because of the water supply question.
Sun, Jul 24, 2022, 2:58am (UTC -6)
@Booming comes in hot with the realpolitik!
Sun, Jul 24, 2022, 4:47am (UTC -6)
Without more chronological specificity, it is impossible for me to assess the claims of either side. It all makes me ill.

"I was here first. No, I was here first. No, I was." (Wash and repeat). Let's bring the Canaanites into it and claim to have a definitive idea of the area 10,000 years ago. "Oh, I happen to know from 23 and Me that I had important ancestors doing shoe repair in Machpela in 11,000 B.P. So there." Means nothing, since my little cave had been used by the Natufians before that 14000 - 11500 years B.P.

Conclusion: we are a childish species (also confirmed by 23 and Me).

As we know, the Golan Heights were seized in June 1967 by Israeli forces. Formerly it was Syrian territory. Think it had less to do with water in 67 than just getting more defensive margin. Prior to 67, Syria shelled Israeli settlements regularly from these strategic heights.
Sun, Jul 24, 2022, 6:21am (UTC -6)
Sure, there were other reasons to conquer it but mostly one to keep it. With modern Israeli artillery Syria couldn't fire a BB-gun at Israel from the Golan Heights.

If your country is mostly desert and you get a third of your water from the Golan Heights and considering Syria's political system an affiliations, no politician would give those Heights back.
Sun, Jul 24, 2022, 7:38am (UTC -6)
Fact checking: looks like skirmishes over access to the River Jordan was always part of politics in this region, certainly in the lead up to the 67 War. Thanks.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:53pm (UTC -6)

))I don't believe this is correct at all. There is one race, the human race. The sooner everyone gets on board with that the better.((

Well, then: Would you agree to the existence of "SUB-races?" Would you agree that the term "sub-race" might be useful and consistent (really the only justification for using *any* word) in a discussion of, say, geographical variations in blood type prevalence or other obj. quantifiable differences?

That it might be useful - in view of the objective distinguishing genotypical and phenotypical characteristics - to refer to the Negro sub-race, and the Caucasian sub-race, etc.?

And how is that any better than the term "race?"
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN:

))Bajor is not a member of the Federation. The Federation cannot give them technology because it would be a violation of the Prime Directive to do so.((

The Prime Directive pertains to interference in the cultural and tech development of *pre-warp-capable* civilizations - and has nothing to do with membership in the Federation.

The Federation obviously had dealings with and even traded with such civs as the Klingons, etc. who were most definitely NOT members of the Federation.

It might not be *prudent* to give another relatively advanced civ some really advanced tech (that might be easily weaponized, say), but the Prime Directive does *not* forbid it.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 1:08pm (UTC -6)
@Ares B:

))It's obvious she just studied the Bajoran system charts and picked a place she thought suitable, and according to their beliefs, that was it then. The Bajorans didn't respect that, which is ironic remembering how they demanded their beliefs should be observed on the station in the first season finale. Sisko should have reminded them of their hypocrisy.((

It is fallacious to compare the Bajorans and the Skreeans in this respect! In the 1st Season finale ("Hands of the Prophets"), it was a matter of promulgating teachings violating (or at least: in conflict with) Bajoran religious doctrine - ON A G*DDAMN BAJORAN space station! The Bajorans certainly have a moral right to demand that.

That does NOT require that the Bajorans (to be logically consistent) ABIDE by the religious "teachings" of any other species - said "teachings" having been actually made up and/or "interpreted" on the spot by a random Skreean farmer named Haneek. It does not require that the Bajorans cede territory to a foreign species.

Jeffrey Jakucyk
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 4:41pm (UTC -6)
"The Bajorans certainly have a moral right to demand that."

Not gonna agree with that one. As mentioned in the discussion for "In the Hands of the Prophets" there's non-Bajorans in that school. But let's say you're right, and they do have a right to demand their religion be taught in school. So they're going to learn about the love of the Pah-wraiths and read from the ‎Kosst Amojan, right? No? Well then which religious sect is the "correct" one?

See the problem there?

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