*** (3 stars out of 5)
O'Brien and Bashir make the two hour trip to Bajor by runabout in uncomfortable silence and equally uncomfortable conversation. O'Brien finds Bashir nearly as annoying as Dax does. (Although clearly not annoying enough to use the warp engines. Even at a measly Warp One this trip could be four times faster. Are there posted limits? Bajoran speed traps?) They arrive at a third village. A dying holy man, The Sirah, is too ill to defend the villagers against the wind and storm of the Dal'Rok. When Sirah dies, the unprepared O'Brien must lead the village in a light show of unity to dispel the big, bad gasbag. The one in the sky, I mean.
Nog would rather drop things on people from the Promenade overlook than play baseball with Jake. And both boys would rather make time with Varis Sul. Only the Prophets know why: she's quite a piece of work. She could learn a thing or two about dignified leadership (if not sensible dress) from Padme Amidala. Nog badgers Jake and Sul into swiping Odo's bucket for a prank. He fills it with oatmeal and "accidentally" spills "Odo" on Jake. Har dee frakkin' har. Can somebody get these kids a violent videogame?!
O'Brien doesn't know how to defeat the Dal'Rok, and doesn't need the free wives, nor a life of blessing babies. The Sirah's disgraced original apprentice agrees, and tries to solve the problem with stabbing. The Dal'Rok and the light show turn out to be creations of a Celestial Temple Orb Fragment.
Does every village on Bajor do this? Every year? You'd think there wouldn't be enough Orb chunks to go around. You'd also think people would get wise to the catharsis. "Oh, Dal'rok time again. I wonder if we'll drive it away like we've done every night this week?"
"The Storyteller" probably deserves better than 3 stars. Like much of this season it feels competent but not exactly engaging. Nog's advice to Sul to seek opportunity is more useful than Jake's advice to do whatever his father says. That's probably why she kisses Nog at the end. She's the first Bajoran to kiss a Ferengi, but she's not the last.