Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Siege"

3 stars

Air date: 10/11/1993
Written by Michael Piller
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The weakest of the overall stellar three-parter wraps the plot up nicely, but unlike the first two parts there's more a sense that the story's events were pre-planned by a writing team than they followed inevitably from the setup of the story.

"The Siege" documents a Bajoran coup d'état that backs the Circle's planned takeover of Bajor. The military operation is led by General Krim (Stephen Maght) who plans to take control of the station. Since internal Bajoran politics are out of the Federation's hands and the Circle's coup wants nothing to do with the Federation, Starfleet Command orders Sisko to evacuate all Starfleet personnel from the station. Sisko evacuates his crew, but hides himself and his team on the station to delay Krim's forces long enough so that Kira and Dax can deliver crucial proof of the Cardassian involvement to the Bajoran Chamber of Ministers.

"Siege" is an entertaining and credible wrap-up of the situation that benefits from plenty of interesting intrigue, but there's also a great deal of lackluster action mired in here. The bloodless phaser fight on the promenade lacks punch, and scenes where Quark hauls his latinum through the air shafts are needless wastes of screen time. On the other hand, the fresh action sequences where Kira and Dax fly to Bajor in a run-down craft that's been sitting since the resistance days are both engaging and humorous—and incredibly well done.

Kolbe's direction is atmospheric and the production is impressive, although the story's ending is less than what it could've been. The danger recedes a little too quickly, the Circle's coup disintegrates a tad too neatly, and the roles of characters like Jaro and Winn in the plot feel somewhat unfinished. Also, the arbitrary death that gets Li Nalas "off the hook"—while effective as closure for his character—highlights how much potential has been lost by simply deleting the character. The overall effect of this finale is good, but not up to what came before.

Previous episode: The Circle
Next episode: Invasive Procedures

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44 comments on this post

Fri, Jun 29, 2012, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Quite a groundbreaking 3 parter. An early sign of DS9's ambitious and experimental nature.

At least for Trek anyway.
Greg M
Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Surprised there are so few comments to this episode. Just watched the entire trilogy tonight and it holds up very well today. I also agree with Jammer that the best scenes were with Kira and Dax in the small ship. It added a sense of humor to the episode that needed it.
Mon, Jul 1, 2013, 3:59pm (UTC -5)
I thought some of the Bajoran villains were a bit overdone ... but generally a good and plausible trilogy about political intrigues on Bajor.
Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
I liked the flight scenes with dax and kira. from space to atmosphere. you reallly felt like you were in a tiny ship.

i liked the games of cat and mouse on ds9 with the fighting.

i thought the chambers scene with winn and the minister seemed a bit off.

they seemed so determined, but they offered no resistance to the proof. it seemed unlike their characters to that point. it seemed like the "colonel" who shot Li...acted more like how i expected the minister would have.

but...i guess it was the politicalness of Winn. she knew when she was beaten. of course, it was weird. it was like everyone knew that the minister and winn were part of the coup..but doesnt seem like anyone cared at that point. a bit confusing'
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
Just not that into the Bajorans other than Kira. An ok conclusion to the three-parter.

Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
So who does the Kohn-Ma form last years Past Prologue fit into this? Both them and Jaro here seem to be similar Bajor-for-Bajorans agendas.
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
The who from the what, now? Plot elements from shakedown episodes don't count; the writers didn't know what they were doing.

Unless you also want to insist that James Kirk's middle initial is "R."
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
@Jack and Grumpy: While the Kohn Ma and the Circle were both extremist factions and were about "Bajor for Bajorans," the Kohn Ma seemed to be more of an isolationist group. The character in "Past Prologue" tried to destroy the wormhole, which, at the time, was being declared the Temple of the Prophets.

Winn's involvement with the Circle would have likely made the Circle far more inclined to protect the wormhole while still being against outsiders like the Federation.

So, it's not that hard to believe the Kohn Ma and the Circle wouldn't have been acting together.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 4:58am (UTC -5)
An absorbing, intriguing 3-parter. The ending was a bit unimaginative and I was disappointed that they killed off Li Nalas. If they were going to do it, they should have done it much later during a major plot arc and shown the Bajorans mourning him, so it meant something. The crew have really made DS9 theirs by now, and the writers show us that in the third episode. An enemy may invade the station, but they'll never take it over. Jaro was a pretty thin character, but the sexual subtext with Winn was palpable and creepy. Once again Winn, like so many religious leaders in real life, is unable to separate her faith from her own power-hungry agenda. At least THAT part of the Bajoran religion was realistic and convincing. (The stuff we saw later on, not so much.)
Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 10:41am (UTC -5)
I'm grading all 3 parts of this arc a 3 out of 4 stars.
Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 10:44am (UTC -5)
Why would anyone believe that Quark has the authority to broker seats on Starfleet vehicles? It was a contrivance with no other purpose than to set up Li Nalas to deliver The Speech.
Wed, Feb 18, 2015, 8:14am (UTC -5)
Where were the Bajorans who lived on the station when all of this activity was taking place? for Yanks, I know many religious leaders who are not power hungry, they are great humanitarians, in thought and deed.
Sun, Feb 22, 2015, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Also surprised to see so few comments... I rewatched the trilogy today and found it amazing. So much quality. Of course it's not perfect (Quark in the third episode, the death of Li Nalas...), but it's high quality Star Trek. I agree with Jammer on this (as usual), and I look forward to seeing the rest of the season!
Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 11:25am (UTC -5)

What? did I say something here?
Mon, Apr 6, 2015, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Sorry Yanks, that was for Dusty.
Sun, Jul 19, 2015, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
Teaser : ***, 5%

Something I really liked here: Sisko gives the expected speech about the personal relationships Starfleet have forged with their Bajoran colleagues (including an engagement) and how that has motivated him to stay behind, in violation of both orders from his superiors *and* the edict of the new Jarro government; if Sisko were a captain, there might be some uncomfortable exchanged glances etc., but Sisko is only a commander and as such, the immediate reaction of his crew of extras is to start the “rabble rabble.” It's a small detail I found convincing; Sisko has authority sure, but he's not a captain, and that fact is actually relevant here.

Ehhhhhhhhhhhh....I suppose there had to be a counterweight of something stupid to balance the scales here: “The Bajoran assault forces have been told that the Federation is their BLOOD enemy.” What. The. Fuck? Every time the writers try to up the tension with the Bajorans, they make them look like incredibly gullible, disloyal fools. If the assault forces have bought this idea, I can't imagine what possible future these morons hope to build together.

Anyway, Sisko offers to let his crew evacuate—no one takes him up on this—and they get to work preparing for the arrival of Jarro and his lemmings—I mean soldiers.

Act 1 : **, 17%

In the lull created by extending this story over three parts, there is some room for character analysis:

1.Quark and Rom (mostly the former) devise a plan to profit by selling the rare seats evacuating the station [Question: how many people can actually fit onto a runabout? Are there really only a few hundred people on a station many times the size of the Enterprise D? Shouldn't there be many thousands?]
2.Jake and Nog have a restrained goodbye; Lofton is still doing that irritating typical 90s teen performance, but Eisenberg is really handling his rôle well.
3.Keiko is understandably pissed off at Miles for sticking by Sisko on his fool's errand. Miles' use of the slur “Cardies” is unsettling. Seems like the events of “The Wounded” have worn off. Bonus points for Molly being the cutest little girl in the Universe.

So, given their communications blackout, it seems the only way to get information to the Chamber of Ministers is to deliver it directly (as in, in person). Sisko laments that, with all the runabouts being used to evacuate civilians, he can't offer one to be used in this task. Now, I'm no military strategist, but since getting this information to the government would completely end Jarro's hold on it and effectively end the conflict and the threat to the fleeing civilians, wouldn't it make sense to pull one of the runabouts away from evac duty for this purpose? It's not like it will take very long for a runabout to reach Bajor anyway. But again, surrendering to logic would rob us of more clichéd, silly nonsense, so tally ho! They will instead recover some decades-old sub-impulse Bajoran ships. At least this gives us the opportunity to meet Dax 2.0, who has upgraded from the failed stoic-celibate to the party girl she will be remembered for being.

Quark is hauled in, having been caught by Odo for his dealings. You know, I get really tired of people berating Janeway as some sort of unbalanced psychopath when Sisko does things like he does here: he grabs Quark by the throat and literally strangles him, because he's FRUSTRATED. Sigh...Bashir calls right on cue to let us in on the joke (which we all saw a mile away) that Quark “overbooked” his seats. I was too young to know for sure, but I'm pretty sure this is a commentary on aeroline debacles in the 90s.

Okay, this “lull” is starting to get out of hand; a little character work is great, but now we're just wasting time. Can we get on with it please?

Anyway, Li steps up to “be a symbol” I guess by reminding the lemmings—I mean Bajorans—that they, you know, have a responsibility to solve their own fucking problems once in a while. As usual, all the lemmings agree and that's that. Frightened out of their homes one minute, resolute to defend them the next. Seems realistic. Speaking of realistic, Quark shows up to the runabout late, weighed down by his suitcase full of latinum. Turns out Rom (the genius) sold his brother's seat to a dabbo girl. Wahh wahh wahh waaahhhhhh. Gosh what riveting drama and fresh comedy. Anyone else miss Okana?

Act 2 : *.5 , 17%

The extremely vindictive, Naziesque (Hollywood Naziesque anyway), and prejudiced Bajoran forces arrive to a seemingly deserted station. I particularly liked the way the #2 Bajoran emphasises the word “siege”--get it? It's the title! We're so clever. Sisko and co. (out of uniform, by the way) are revealed to be hiding in the air ducts because we dare not skip any cliché which should present itself.

Kira and Dax (the latter also out of uniform) are on some cobweb-infested setpiece passing for the moon where the Resistance's stash of craptacular ships are stowed. Some tired bs about eating spiders, and we're moving on...

Kira : “[The Bajoran engineers] were always building these things without thinking.” Well, that would seem to be the pervading Bajoran idiom wouldn't it? Lack of thought.

As much as I want to hate on the Bajoran #2 for being such a cartoon, he's such a beautiful man, it's difficult to hold that against him. Krim (the #1) demonstrates competence by scanning for the organic material which would identify Odo. Good.

Meanwhile, demonstrating incompetence, a second alternative to Kira's retarded plan presents itself as Jarro calls DS9 on subspace. With Sisko's teams still onboard, one would think there would be a way for them to make contact with the provisional government now that communications have been restored, no?

We close out the act with the previously engaging evil duo of Bitchwhore and Jarro figuratively twirling their moustaches and repeating information we already knew.

Act 3 : **.5, 17%

After Dax and Kira get their lemon started, the Krim and Bajoran #2 (whom we shall refer to as Hotpants) continue their argument about strategy. Like so many villains will eventually do, Krim plays with Sisko's remember that baseball conjured out of thin air by visiting aliens trying to understand imagination? Yeah...

Anyway, the lights go out indicating Sisko's teams have continued sabotaging the station. After a little break for Miles to make a mockery of Irish cuisine (or remind us why that's not a term we hear very often), Hotpants' search parties zone in on Bashir's team, who ambush and capture them. This whole plot on the station is really pretty pointless isn't it? I mean the only part of the plot that actually means anything is Kira's and Dax' but they've been given the least amount of screentime.

Speaking of which, the ladies are making their way to Bajor when they come under fire from some of Jarro's forces. I did like the use of Dax' tricorder in lieu of functioning sensors as well as the reveal shot in the cockpit window.

Act 4 : *.5, 17%

Sisko's various teams continue to waste time (again, what are they accomplishing at this point besides keeping Jarro away from Li? Wouldn't the same thing be accomplished by sending him far away in a Starfleet runabout?)

You've got to love the abundance of clichés in the Bajor plot: Kira's and Dax' crappy little fighter ship takes dozens of shots from the military vessels pursuing them, but ONE phaser blast from the lemon knocks the military craft out of the sky. Please.... So they finally end up being mortally hit by the other vessel and crashland...somewhere.

Back on DS9...oh Hotpants, you're so pretty and so dumb. He and his men “discover” Sisko, Li and O'Brien in an active holosuite, and don't realise that the men they've captured are holograms. Wow. Because we need more manufactured drama, Sisko informs the captured Hotpants via comm about the Cardassian supply of weapons to the Circle, but does NOT inform Krim in Ops via the same method. Hotpants, being an imbecile, is totally obstinate and does not convey this information to Krim when beamed away, because, it's more “dramatic” that way.

Act 5 : ***, 17%

As tends to happen, one of the two crash-landers is severely injured while the other is perfectly fine. In this case, Kira is badly hurt while Dax refuses her orders to deliver the evidence alone because, you know, she's not in uniform and the Federation “officially left” already. Nice to see Sisko's style of underhanded assbagishness is permeating the ranks.

Finally we get a scene which lives up to the potential set up in the previous chapters: Sisko decides that Li Nalas is the one viable alternative they have to winning over General Krim if Kira and Dax fail (which seems likely). Li's arc is furthered as he's called upon once again to arise from the trenches where he might die for his people and ascend to real leadership where he, as Sisko puts it, has to “live for people.”

Kira awakens, safe and healed at the monastery having been rescued by Driftwood's search parties. Another cliché is invoked as Kira and Dax don Vedek robes to infiltrate the Chamber of Ministers.

Bashir purposefully surrenders his team to Hotpants, apparently giving Li and Sisko the opportunity to ambush Krim in his office.

My personal favourite line, when Kira and Dax enter the Chamber, Bitchwhore delivers a calm “What is this blasphemy?” Hysterical. Interestingly, it seems like Bitchwhore was unaware that the Cardassians were behind the supply of arms to the Circle. Is she being sincere or is this her escape from culpability? It's purposefully ambiguous, which is a good move for her character.

Poor Hotpants is reprimanded by Krim for withholding information from him.

Remember the TNG episode “The High Ground”? While imperfect, the ending of that episode included an attempted murder which showcased the continued cycle of violence from Rutian society would need to escape. That action was justified by the history of conflict presented in the episode. Here, Krim and his forces have been inexplicably turned against the Federation on a visceral emotional level when up until the beginning of this episode, there was no real antagonism shown between them. And why? So Hotpants can pull out his phaser in seething anger at the news of Kira's success and we can have Li die a martyr. “Off the hook” indeed.

We get a little epilogue where Sisko defends the idea of allowing Li's grandiose achievements live on spite of the truth of his life. Bajorans are fond of their myths aren't they? In the words of Doc: “Revisionist history: it's such a comfort!”

Episode as Functionary : **.5, 10%

In a word: padding. Intellectually, the resolution to the setup from the first two parts of this story makes sense and is fine, but that resolution doesn't need more than about fifteen minutes to execute. If this story was going to take three chapters, the writers should have utilised the extra time to work more on the character interplay with Jarro, Bitchwhore and especially Kira, whose examination in “The Circle” is left completely unresolved. Li Nalas proves to be effectively arced out over the trilogy and, while not the most riveting character, makes his mark and leaves the show with his dignity in tact. I can't say the same for poor Quark or, as usual, Sisko. If it were up to me, I would have condensed the episodes into two parts, expunged all the silly action on Cardassia IV and on DS9 with Krim and Hotpants, as well as written another scene between Jarro and Bitchwhore that wasn't just “we are evil.” I really don't know what to make of what these episodes are trying to say about the Bajorans as a people. If anything, they seem more gullible, volatile and irredeemable than before. While the teaser scene made us want to connect with the relationships between the Federation and the Bajorans, the actions of these people do nothing to justify this sentiment. Overall, a lack-luster start to the season.

Final Score : **
William B
Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 9:53am (UTC -5)
Bye, Li. Li's throwing himself into the trenches in "The Circle" is followed by his making an impassioned speech to chill Bajorans out on the Promenade, and finally to Sisko's asking him if he is ready to live for his people rather than die. The irony of course is that for all his protestations, Li *has* become the hero he was supposed to be, in terms of his readiness to sacrifice himself and throw himself into fights, if not his "tactical genius." Li throws himself in front of Sisko to save him from a phaser blast, and on the one hand he is getting himself "off the hook" by dying, but on the other he *is* fulfilling exactly the role he is supposed to play. The problem is that true heroes are not long for this world, always dying for others and all. Li's complex motivations -- he wants out of the role he's trapped in, he wants to live out the role he's been forced into because if he stops being The Hero for one moment he will become a hated pariah, his genuine desire to help others which is brought out by these circumstances -- combine to make his death a fairly natural thing.

Shame though, that his death still comes down to "idiot fires phaser because reasons." Colonel Day is SO STUPID, and the motivation for him to shoot Sisko in a fit of rage are so gossamer-thin as to be essentially invisible. There is wasted potential in Li to continue on the show, for one thing because he's actually as of this episode still the second-best developed (sympathetic) Bajoran character on this series -- Bareil is still a wooden blank, after all. Maybe Beymer didn't want to be on the show for a longer time, but still.

Sisko's choice to declare that Li Nalas is exactly the hero who he was supposed to be and that he died for Bajoran Freedom! is not only annoying in its overt declaration that the Bajorans need to continue to be lied to (spoken by a non-Bajoran), but also a particularly self-serving story. Right -- Li dying to save Sisko and the Federation/Bajoran alliance is dying for "Bajoran Freedom"! That will help turn some opinions, eh commander?

The overall resolution to the Circle/Jaro coup d'etat makes some degree of sense, but I do find it frustrating. I'm really not clear on how this story holds together. Jaro can make a coup d'etat happen with the Circle as his personal army because of weapons supplied. But then he gets military support anyway, which means that he surely didn't even need weapons anyway, and could have just gotten the military's support in the first place. Who is it that withdraws their support when the providence of the weapons comes out? Surely the Provisional Government ministers disapproved of the coup which removed their power by force *before* knowing where the weapons came from, so who is it exactly that holds the keys to the new kingdom, and who can withdraw them when the truth about Cardassian weapons comes to light? Certainly, Winn tactically withdraws her support, and that will do much -- but I'm unclear on whether members of the Circle themselves leave in disgust, or whether it's all a matter of the military now wanting to support the Provisional government, or what.

That the Bajoran military and seemingly a lot of its people would support this coup d'etat which advocated for the removal of the Federation presence on Bajor *until* they found out that the massive weapons influx was Cardassian in nature doesn't exactly say good things about Bajorans, nor about the Bajoran/Federation alliance. The reality that Bajor needs the Federation because if it's not the Federation, it's the Cardassians, is something Bajorans should *still* have been able to recognize even without knowing who was behind their current coup, and is anyway a hard pill for either Bajorans or Federation to swallow. All of which points back to the uncertainty at the core of these Bajoran political episodes: what is it that Bajorans-on-the-ground actually believe? After Neela's statement back in "ITHOTP" that most Bajorans and Starfleet keep to themselves, here we learn that one of the Starfleet officer is engaged to a Bajoran woman, and that all Starfleet officers have close Bajoran ties and will risk their lives to stay where they are not wanted. And you know, I will buy that there are *some* instances of very close relationships and some chilly or outright antagonistic relationships, but there is a tendency for the show to paint in such broad strokes that from line to line the situation goes from "no Bajorans or Federation like each other outside our main cast" to "all Bajorans and Federation love each other outside the scheming politicians."

Kira and Dax working together to deliver the information that the weapons are Cardassian is both a picture of Federation/Bajoran friendship and, I guess, *something* of a continuation of Kira's arc, in that Kira takes big risks and nearly dies to protect the Federation alliance and the truth. Elliott's recently posted comments are right on in that this seems like not actually the best plan -- and even if the Runabouts are full, or at least call in a favour somewhere -- there has to be *some* non-aligned ships that could handle some of the bulk of the evacuations; and it's also a plan that makes what happens on the station essentially irrelevant. But it also reduces on some level to a demonstration of Kira's commitment, friendship and reliance on Federation (via Dax), her own fragile Bajoran history (represented by the sublight craft), and finally on allies on the ground (Bareil). The plan to sneak into the ministers' office in religious garb pays off one small element of Kira's Orb experience, for the record -- Dax in religious garb appears here. Still, little of this pays off what "The Circle" in particular promised about Kira starting to come to terms with her calmer self.

I am still confused as to whose seats it is that Quark was selling. They were people who were convinced to give up their seat to someone else, but the only non-Bajoran who is not a Starfleet officer we see staying on the station is Quark. Maybe a bunch of non-Bajorans locked themselves in their quarters? Or maybe a bunch of Bajorans booked transport early, and then sold to other Bajorans or something. LOL @ Sisko choking Quark. I mean, even Darth Vader mostly force-choked other military personnel and not civilians, or am I misremembering? I wonder if Sisko has choked any *Bajoran* civilians on the station, and if that has contributed to the tensions. Probably.

Overall, a few interesting elements but a pretty wan conclusion to what had been shaping up to be a shaky but decent two/three-parter. I guess 2 stars. (I hope my agreeing with Elliott's ratings of all three parts here doesn't make my write-ups redundant! :) )
Diamond Dave
Mon, Nov 9, 2015, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Something of a let down given the fine set up of the last two episodes. There's nothing really wrong with this, but it spends a long time on what are essentially irrelevancies and then comes to an extremely swift conclusion. It just doesn't feel like there's much meat to it, and we're left crawling around the conduits for far too long.

That said, the action is deftly handled with some real highlights, notably the aerial combat with Dax and Kira. (We're starting to see that Dax can actually be a character rather than a blank page here). Li Nalas also steps up to the plate as a character - only to be tossed away at the end in what seems like a wasted opportunity. There's some good Quark stuff too - Rom selling his seat to a dabo girl is a classic. And the speed with which Winn kicks Jaro to the kerb when the plot unravels is delicious.

Lots to like then, but not a classic. 2.5 stars.
Mon, Feb 8, 2016, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
When Kira and Dax shot that first fighter down, I hope I wasn't the only one expecting Slippy or Falco to appear in the corner.
Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 5:33am (UTC -5)
"The Siege" is definitely the weakest part of the Bajoran Trilogy, but not by much. It's still a very strong episode.

The weakest part is the station-based plot involving Sisko and company stalling for time. The obvious question is - why? Why are they stalling for time? What are they hoping to accomplish by delaying the takeover of the station? I suppose you could argue that they are keeping Li Nalas away from Jaro, but that's not the stated intention. It's clearly stated that they're attempting to give Kira and Dax time to get the evidence of the Cardassian involvement to the Chamber of Ministers. All the action on the station did absolutely nothing to aid that plan. It would have been a better use of resources to have everyone guard the evidence instead of entrusting it to two people who might end up stranded on one of Bajor's moons. Add to that the fact that one of the main station-based antagonists (Colonel Day) is a complete blithering idiot, who apparently is not only a mindless bigot but also doesn't understand the slightest thing about military tactics or have any respect for the chain of command, and you see the problems here.

But, of course, the biggest problem is the needless death of Li Nalas. He was obviously killed off simply because the writers felt they were finished with him and so therefore needed to be discarded. He should have been kept on as a recurring character - possibly serving in the role Shakaar was later intended to play. But even more obvious is the problem that his death doesn't really solve the underlying problems in Bajoran society. Sure, proof that the Cardassians were involved could have easily crushed this coup, but what about the next one? Bajor is still dealing with a lot of bigotry against non-Bajorans. All of that is just brushed aside. Given that that was the whole reason for rescuing Li in the first place, he should have been allowed to live to solve those problems, even if it would be done off-screen.

Still, the station plot does offer some good things. I love the way all the grand-scale political decisions and actions of the two previous episodes are brought down to a more personal level in the opening scenes (Sisko and his crew, the O'Brien family, Jake and Nog, Sisko and Jake, even Quark and Odo). And I absolutely adored the scene where Bashir gives Quark grief for clinging to his latinum. After giving Quark the standard Starfleet lecture about how money isn't important, Quark responds by essentially saying "fuck off, I'm keeping it anyway". Wonderful use of his character.

The Kira/Dax/Bariel plot-line is easily the stronger of the two. Everything here works and works well. Most noticeable is the final scene in the Chamber of Ministers (though, I must admit, it looks like an awfully small group of people to be the governing body of an entire planet). When Winn turns her back on Jaro and basically demands that he allow an examination of the evidence it shows that the nuance her character later becomes famous for is already taking hold. Is she just covering her own ass by distancing herself from Jaro or does she genuinely care about the allegations of Cardassian involvement? It's left vague and rightly (and beautifully) so.

One last thing - I'm sorely tempted to deduct a point from the score for the teaser (but I'm not going to). While it does offer some good moments between Sisko and some nameless red-shirts, I am so sick and tired of scenes like this - scenes where the hero says "you can walk away if you want to" and then nobody does. I've seen this exact same scene so many times (not just in Star Trek but all over the place) that it's beyond a cliche now. As soon as the hero says "walk if you want to" you just know that nobody is going to take that offer up. You just know they will all do the "moral and upright" thing and not refuse the hero. I don't think I've ever seen an example of it where someone, anyone, just up and walks out. Couldn't we get just one scene like that where someone says "I'm not violating the admiral's orders" or "nope, too dangerous for me, that's not what I signed up for"? Ugh, it's annoying!

WTF HAIR - 6 (+2)

Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
So I'm on my (latest) rewatch. I (finally) made it through to Duet and In The Hands of The Prophets, and of course the excellent Circle trilogy.

The Siege is definitely the weaker part, as the crew stalling on the station manages to slow any pace that had been built up in the previous two episodes.

I still also feel that it is an absolute waste to go the trouble of creating and building up Li Nalas, just to kill him off in a heartbeat. I wonder what role he could have played in later Bajoran stories. Oh well.
Sat, Jul 9, 2016, 10:06am (UTC -5)
@Elliiot......Hotpants is Brian from WINGS...LOL
Wed, Nov 23, 2016, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
I don't understand why Li not solving Bajor's troubles is a problem. The episode in no way suggests his death somehow did. It clearly portrays it as a tragedy that he won't be around to help. And personally, I wasn't sorry to see him go. I feel like hi story was over and there really wasn't much stuff you could do with him, that you couldn't do with say, Bareil.

Overall, not terrible, but not great conclusion to lots of build up. Shame.
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
The whole Circle coup plot was unresolved. For that alone, it was a fairly weak storyline.
Thu, Dec 22, 2016, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Where was Garak in all of this? I mean a the Bajorans are invading the station and there is no scene that tells you the only resident Cardassian is getting out?
Thu, Mar 30, 2017, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
I thought I'd live-blog this one. . .

Sisko's "motivational speech" is making me yawn. I just really don't care for this actor's style, or his voice. What a surprise that everybody decided to stay!

I've never watched the whole intro before--it is very similar to Voyager, even down to the "sound" of pebbles in space!

I love Keiko--love it when they give her cool things to do! Isn't their child younger than she was on "Rascals?"

So, the Ferengi have a practice of overbooking flights? Guess they learned it from all the airlines we have today.

Li Nalas is being awesome and saving the day. He's going to die, isn't he?

Poor Quark left behind! lol--that was a funny bit.

HAHA--that's Steven Weber from "Wings" with the Circle forces. This series seriously went all out with the guest stars!

Bajoran spiders are cute!

"Together, we will rule the galaxy as father and son!" Whoops! "Together, we will rule Bajor as one!"

I really enjoy Dax and Kira and their camaraderie--they have good chemistry.

Now I'm laughing at the "combat rations" bit. I like the humor--but does it fit in an episode about a takeover of the station?

And now the DS9 crew jumping out of buckets to capture the circle was hilarious! I have a feeling Odo is going to appear in some unexpected way.

Aaaaand he's a trip wire. I think it would have been funnier to reveal him AFTER the Circle guys tripped.

Now they trapped some Circle in the holosuite. I feel a bit like I am watching "Home Alone."

Kira and Dax dressing as "nuns" is funny--but pertinent to the story. The other humor seems a bit forced and is upsetting the tone of the episode.

"My name is Li Nalas. Perhaps you've heard of me." GREAT line! I know we've heard it before, but it really worked here.

Li Nalas' death would have been more meaningful if the pacing of this episode had been better. Instead it seemed pre-ordained, and the humor interrupted the buildup of tension. I liked it, but it could have been an epic end to the three-episode arc; instead it was sort of anti-climactic.

I despise Sisko's ending speech about Li -- just more feeding into the Bajorans' delusions about religion and faith and their hatred of truth. Are they seriously this weak?

And at the end we didn't get to see Jake and Nog or Keiko? Oh well.

And now I've read the review and comments--we all seem to have responded similarly to this episode. Not a great ending to a great beginning.
Fri, Apr 14, 2017, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
This triloy was much more enjoyable than I'd expected it to be. I'm not normally a fan of Bajoran episodes - Rapture for instance was a snooze and I still have yet to finish it because imo it's unwatchable - but this arc was well played, for the most part. I think one of the reasons I liked it was because certain individual Bajorans were engaging and carried their scenes well, such as Li Nalas and General Krim. Li is the obvious choice of course, but Krim - I can't believe no one's mentioned him yet. I found him to be an interesting and complex character. He's someone I could see as becoming a charismatic dictator such as Caesar, or even Feanor from Middle Earth, someone whom the military or the masses would willingly flock to. Too bad they never brought him back again.

Li is likeable, for sure, but I knew right after he told Sisko that story about killing the gul in his underwear, that he was going to get killed off at some point, because he obviously wasn't happy with himself and the person the Bajorans wanted him to be. If anything he seemed to be suffering from PTSD, and was certainly severely depressed. (Where's the counsellor when you need one? lmao)
He tried to sneak off the station and go to the Gamma Quadrant, never to come back, and I don't believe we ever saw him even smile. He was clearly a tortured soul - well meaning and uncomplicated, and he probably would have been a great leader if given the chance, but he probably would have committed suicide anyway if he hadn't been killed. So while I was sad to see him die, it was the logical denouement for his character.

Luke, it says on Memory Alpha that they created the character of Shakaar Edon specifically to fill Li's shoes, so you're right about the way his character could have grown.
While I do appreciate that they created Shakaar with Li in mind, it's interesting to me how differently the character turned out - at heart, Li and Shakaar are fundamentally different people.

Grumpy, in the last scene someone tells Sisko that the runabout Grande has arrived, and he and O'Brien go there to greet their families, and there's a scene where Sisko hugs Jake, while O'Brien goes on directly into the runabout. No love for Nog though, lol.
Thu, Sep 21, 2017, 2:56am (UTC -5)
3 stars

Nothing wrong with this episode. It's pretty entertaining --it's just that the first two episodes of this trilogy were so good and epic. This one felt a little smaller. That said I still enjoyed it--Sisko's speech in teaser, nog and Jake's good-bye, Quark's overselling seats, Dax and Kira trying to get the evidence to the Chamber of ministers, the series of action scenes aboard the station, Winn at the end when evidence provided being the first to want it examined, and seeing Kira's vision play out with Dax in religious garb and Winn's utterance of Blasphemy and the ministers calling to Kira
Thu, Mar 1, 2018, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Definitely the weakest of the 3-parter although not weak in absolute terms. The slower pacing that was better suited to the 1st 2 parts wasn't so great in the first half of this episode, which had a lack of material stretched out. Not as much intrigue or world building, no layers of complexity. Instead that good stuff is substituted with some bland action scenes. And the ending felt far too rushed.

How does Dax destroy 1 Bajoran ship with 1 shot while Dax/Kira's ship gets hit so many times but doesn't get destroyed? Isn't it a ship/shuttle that's been in a cave for 10 years? Ultimately it does go down but I wasn't overly fond of this space ship fight scene. The one good thing about it is Kira emphasizing to Dax to do things by the "seat of your pants".

A couple of scenes fell flat: Li Nalas's speech was not all that rousing as he convinced a bunch of Bajorans to stay back from the runabout. Quark's scene with the runabout departure dragged on -- his nonsense was one drag on this 3-parter. What's funny is the scene with Jaro/Winn plotting together plays a lot like Bajoran Dukat/Winn in Season 7 -- just needed that evil laugh MUAHAHAHA! I'd expect more from these two later in the season/series.

Hey - we got to see a native Bajoran animal -- something like a tarantula the size of a small dog. And they used to be eaten! Not enough native fauna in Trek for me.

2.5 stars for "The Siege" -- after 2 episodes the denouement takes place quite quickly with the evidence of Cardassian weapons supporting the Circle. I don't get Jaro's muted reaction to this -- he's now going to have the Federation overseeing Bajor, but I guess that's better than taking help from the Cardassians. And what was Kira looking at after Jaro agreed to the investigation? More time should have been spent on the resolution of the coup after the Cardassian evidence than on Quark's nonsense. Li Nalas dies a hero -- his legacy is preserved; turns out he was a useful plot device. Nevertheless, quite a lot of has been accomplished to start DS9 S2 -- some nice plots have been set in motion.
Thu, Jun 14, 2018, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Siege? More like Capitulation.

The premise makes no sense... and if the idiotic plan failed, they'd have lost the station entirely...

Just leaving a heavily armed station to terrorists? haha.
Wed, Jul 25, 2018, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
"The Siege" is tasked with wrapping up an ambitious three-parter, but it unfortunately bungles that task. The problem with it is that it gets so bogged down in resolution it forgets to be a good episode in its own right. This three parter was rather weak. The setup and resolution were dull-only "The Circle" really worked.

2.5 stars.
Wed, Nov 28, 2018, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
That little Molly O'Brien is great for her age! Poor Molly and Keiko.

Fletcher and Langella are great. But I am bored by part 3. Not that the ep isn't good on its own. I just feel weary of this storyline. My interest in Bajor just isn't strong enough for 3 parts worth of this.

Love watching Odo putting his shape shifting ability to work I clever ways.

Well done, just not my thing.
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
The Kira-Dax secret mission to Bajor is awesome, Dax is so hot in these scenes, love it! Hope there are more adventure team-ups between them!
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Is it just me, or do Starfleet commanders keep offering their crews a way out but keep doing it publicly? Like Sisko in this episode tells them they can leave if they don't want to risk their lives in this illegal mission, but does it in the middle of Ops with everyone literally staring at eachother daring them to be cowards. Who the heck is going to volunteer in that crowd??

Seems unprofessional and poor leadership for a Starfleet commander. I can see that happening in a militia, rebel base, or other unstructured group that relies on intimidation to get things done, but that wasn't very Starfleet of him I thought.
Jason R.
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
@Rom I think in the context of DS9 it is utterly disingenuous because there is just no chance, none, that the senior staff won't go. So it isn't even about forcing conformity or bullying as it certainly would be in real life. It is just narrative flimflammery really.

Funny enough though I recall in Babylon 5 there is this kind of scene where the commanding officers are announcing something shockingly illegal (I won't spoil it in case some want to check out the series) and actually several crewpeople actually do walk out. But in that scene it is the main cast who have already decided to proceed and it's the extras and occasional cast members who have to make the call on whether to go along with it. So there is no phoniness to it because we really don't know for sure which way it will go.
Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Winn's decisive role in stopping a coup she had initially supported is an example of why she's such an intriguing and sophisticated villain. Most Star Trek villains would have reacted like the Bajoran Colonel and dismissed the accusations as lies. She immediately wanted to know the truth - and made it happen, crushing a coup that would have given her far more power.

I know it sounds like I'm praising her to the skies, but her vices should hopefully go without saying. But her convictions and that weird sort of integrity she shows are just as significant. They make her a far more believable and interesting TV villain. What a great job the writers and the actress did with her character.
Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
As many have mentioned a very ambitious installment that perfectly encapsulates the consequences of the events of'' In the Hands of the Prophets''. And also a worthy introduction to a bad guy staple along Dukat being Kai Wynn (Vedek at this point sorry for the spoiler) .

What I loved about season 1 and especially amplified in season 2 , were the political intrigues of the Beta quadrant ( and to some extent the alpha quadrant) pre Klingon / Dominion War.
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Having just completed a full rewatch of TNG, I've started out watching ds9. I missed it the first time, bar the odd episode, so it's totally fresh. And I'm finding it amazing. It's kinda like 3 stars for ds9 is a lot higher than 3 stars for TNG. From duet to the conclusion of this episode I've never been more gripped by a series of startrek.
Paul M.
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Ugh, here the whole arc falls apart, sadly. I really truly wanted this to work, but it just... doesn't, on almost any level. First of all, I the story, the way it was set up in the first two parts, needed a resolution that doesn't rely on phaser fights and smuggling ipads. This thing should have been about political issued front and center and not... whatever is was about.

For one, I dislike the station takeover plot, which in hindsight isn't even necessary. If the whole thing depended on Kira and Dax delivering evidence to the Chamber of Ministers, why does it matter if Sisko et al remain on the station? They are risking their lives and the lives of the incoming Bajoran force for what? They could have just as easily left with the evacuation and returned when Kira and Dax did their thing. The takeover and subsequent cat-and-mouse game was directed poorly and without any energy -- the phaser fight on the promenade was laughably cheedy -- while the Bajorans end up looking rather stupid seeing as how easily Sisko dupes them at every corner, culminating with them infiltrating the general's own office right there at the OPS without anyone noticing. This whole thing seems engineered just to kill of Li Nalas in the most contrived way possible, thus wasting a potentially interesting recurring character. At least Beymer seemed a bit livelier than in the last episode, what with his speech to the crowd waiting to be evacuated that I think worked and worked well.

Kira/Dax buddy comedy was... eh, it was okay. I wasn't actively annoyed like I was with the stationside story, but it was just a bunch of silly quips traded back and forth like in some 80s B-level action movie. Also, how fortunate that the ancient unmaintained fighter can survive multiple phaser hits, but Bajoran military craft get shot down after a single hit. But that's nitpicking.

Finally, looking back at Jarro's plot, I must admit that I don't understand any of it. We're continually being told that a military coup is in progress, but when we get to see the Chamber of Ministers, it looks like Jarro holds legitimate power and serves at the sufferance of the other cabinet members. As William B pointed above, if he has military on his side, why did he need the Circle? And if he needed them as a way to destabilize the government in order to take over (also see Hitler and Palpatine), why would he need outside weapons when parts of the military are obviously sympathetic to his cause? And to continue this exercise, even he for reason needed outside weapons, why would the realization that weapons come from the Cardassians instantly topple the whole plot? Cardassians or no, the underlying issues that made the military support the coup are still there, and it's not like Jarro made a secret pact with Cardies. And lastly, even if the Cardassian connection spells doom for the Circle, why would Jarro be bothered? It's actually excellent news for him! No one knows he heads the Circle (except Kira, but that's her word against his) and the fact this destabilizing force is part of the Cardassian plot should only validate Jarro's claim that Bajor needs a strong new government to fight this outside threat, essentially scapegoating the Circle, which I always though was the point. So, what the hell is going on here? It's completely muddled and unclear.

Because I enjoy watching these characters, and because there were good intentions behind all of this, and also some solid scenes, especially in the beginning while evacuation was underway, I award this episode:

Low **1/2 stars / 5.5 out of 10
Peter G.
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 11:06am (UTC -5)
@ Paul M.,

I like your reviews of this three-parter, and especially in light of the threads they were trying to weave it *did* seem in the end to boil down to good guys vs bad guys. Whereas in SW: Ep 1 we are pointed towards what is actually a pathological situation in the Galactic Republic, where corruption and inaction lead to serious grievances with the system, here it is not clear to the viewer that the provisional government needs to go, or that at minimum the Circle may in fact be trying in their own way to change the system for the better. No, they are just bad guy terrorists led by Skeletor, essentially. To the extent that there was nevertheless complexity in the various facets of the Bajoran system introduced, and most importantly, multiple important people we meet, this aspect of the Bajoran world was unfortunately discarded. The series would have done well to give us on ongoing and developing relationships with important Bajorans other than Darth Winn.

I also like that you point out a missed opportunity to give a logic to Jarro's plan. Ep 1 failed in execution but in conception it was meticulous: Sidious' plan was excellent, leading right up to Ep III. But here it does seem like we see his plan from the goody-two-shoes perspective only: bad terrorists, duplicitous motives, Cardassian involvement, selling out his people. But what the actual plan was, and perhaps the elegance of it, is neither focused on nor perhaps even thought through by the writers. They were not interested in how *he* thought of his plan, only that our heroes should crack the case and expose that it's bad. Why it's bad, or what the details of it were meant to achieve, was not the point. In Trek this kind of detail is often not meant to be the point, but once you're going to introduce intellectual intrigue, I would think it's appropriate to go all the way with it and show us why it's intriguing.
Paul M.
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.: "they are just bad guy terrorists led by Skeletor"

Ah, a connoisseur of Dolph Lundgren's opus from the 80s! I approve. :)

Yes, the trilogy needed clearer plotting: what exactly was Jarro's plan and how did he intend to achieve it. Devote more time to socio-political climate on Bajor. What do people (and Starfleet for that matter) think of the provisional government, what are its failings and why does the military think the current situation is untenable?

Ideally, much of the groundwork should have been done in Season 1, Babylon 5 style, but barring that, this three-parter had enough time to flesh out these issues instead of culminating with boring phaser fights.
Peter G.
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
@ Paul M.,

"Ah, a connoisseur of Dolph Lundgren's opus from the 80s! I approve. :)"

Sorry to disappoint, but I was in fact referencing the graphic artistry and pastel stylings of the celebrated art house project by Filmation, which some claim inspired the derivative yet charming Lundgren opus.
Paul M.
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Frank Langella may disagree! ;)
James diGriz
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
Paul's points came to me as I was watching. The first two episodes were an interesting setup, but this episode was totally illogical. Why did they need to stay on the station? What were they stalling for? Also, the way they suddenly decided to illegally disobey Starfleet's orders was very un-Trek-like. I think I hated this episode.

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