Monday, May 28, 2012

Battle Lines

*** (3 stars out of 5)

The Bajoran spiritual leader Kai Opaka leaves her home world for the first time and visits Deep Space Nine. Wouldn't have been my first choice, but it is conveniently close. I wonder if Dr. Bashir is trying to be funny when he says she looks "preoccupied". (See, because Bajor was under military occupation all her life? Geddit? No, he probably wasn't joking.)

Speaking of Bashir, how is he packed and ready to tag along on the Kai's runabout trip through the wormhole before Sisko thinks of offering one? And shouldn't she be in a bullet-proof domed Kai-mobile?

Out for a spin, they visit an unknown moon and are shot down by its satellites. Opaka's spine breaks in the crash and she dies. Didn't I JUST say Kai-mobile? Or even a seatbelt?

Still, she gets better almost immediately.

Cellular biomechanisms (nanites, to those playing along at home) have granted her eternal life, more or less. The moon's prisoner populace see this as a curse. They suffer and die over and over but are always revived.  Yet somehow not killing each other hasn't come up.

Although the conflict between the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis may once have had a cause, it has been forgotten in the struggle for bloody, stab-happy vengeance. (You should have seen what happened to the Garth Ennis...)

It's a lackadaisical sort of war, so Angry Kira tries to get them to fight it more efficiently. (Great plan.) Opaka asks Kira to embrace the violence within herself and try to move beyond it.

The leaders Zlangco and Shel-la can't come to a truce. Sisko offers to jailbreak and resettle them. They can't even stop stabbing long enough to discuss this. Bashir learns resettlement is not an option: the microbes will fail if they leave. (Why isn't this an option again? Is unending hell preferable to oblivion?)

Opaka chooses to stay and grab Ennis ears until they see sense. Or they dice her into chunks and set the chunks on fire. Whichever.

"Your pagh and mine will cross again," Opaka declares to Sisko. That's a thing on Bajor. Although, maybe she said path.

 "Battle Lines" is awfully similar to the original series' "Day of the Dove", only without the sense of closure. And maybe that's not a bad thing: maybe we need to hear more often that violence is futile. That said, if a bunch of heathens took the Pope out for a joy ride in a dune buggy and came back without him, don't you think Catholics might be a little miffed? Oh, relax, I'm sure Deep Space Nine will be fine: Bajorans seem very reasonable. How many terrorist bombers could they possibly have?

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