Dramatis Personae

Summary:

The station crew are struck down by a ‘telepathic matrix’ brought on board by a Klingon who dies on arrival. The matrix causes everyone to become randomly obsessed and Kira mounts a mutiny with the rest of the crew taking sides. Sisko, though, seems completely disinterested in the whole managing the station thing, and instead locks himself in his office and obsesses over blueprints which he eventually uses to build a clock.

I’m not sure why.

Dax meanwhile does nothing but reminisce about old times with previous hosts, seeming pretty oblivious about the mutiny. In the end, Odo, who is unaffected by the matrix (although it knocked him out when it tried to affect him) works out  a way to assemble all the affected crew together and defeat the matrix by blasting it out into space, and everybody is alright again.

OK.

Probably the most interesting thing about this episode is the way Kira and O’Brien both fight for Odo’s loyalty, and Kira basically tries to seduce him with her feminine wiles! Perhaps this episode shows how the characters would act and behave if all pretense and inhibitions were abandoned?

Real Life Notes:

I’ve been so distracted, I thought I’d already written and submitted this post. But then I remembered that I struggled to see much purpose in it all. I’m not sure I can see any of this in our real-life characters. Thankfully, there is no big fault-line which could lead to familial civil war. The main issues are between Julian and Quark, and they regularly need pulling apart. But as far as I know, nobody takes sides, it’s more a case of learning to be peacemakers and negotiators. It is, however, depressingly constant. These two never seem to be able to learn to get on together.

I mentioned earlier that I would introduce my characters more properly in the episode ‘Dramatis Personae’, so here goes:

Sisko: my husband. We’ve been together 23 years which is somewhat miraculous considering how very different we are. Level headed, slow to anger, never acts in haste. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was a Vulcan.

Dr Julian Bashir: my eldest. Highly strung, sensitive and quite brilliant, friendly and sociable but never quite understanding people, so constantly confused, disappointed or frustrated. Feels strongly about social justice.

Jadzia Dax: my only daughter. Beautiful, strong, determined and feisty, capable and knows what she wants, but plagued by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. Talented and creative, but with no strong sense of direction.

Quark: my middle boy. Clever in a cheeky, cunning sort of way. Constantly working on any number of projects which usually include avoiding work and getting rich quick at the same time. Extremely sociable and extrovert. Has a heart of gold really but masks it with a thick layer of bravado.

Rom: my youngest. Shy and quiet and almost completely overshadowed by his older brother, (and like Julian, often completely confused about everything) but slowly beginning to come out of his shell to reveal a kind, clever funny young man.

Kira: that’s me. Even when I’m perfectly happy, there’s anger bubbling beneath the surface. I’m not sure anymore what I’m angry about, it just seems to be in my nature. In another dimension, I’m definitely Klingon.

For the purposes of this blog, the characters are interchangeable as I see aspects of ourselves in their stories.

ds9-cast

Emissary part 2

Act Four

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, in Act Four we are introduced to Odo, Quark, Nog, Jadzia, Dr Julian Bashir, Miles O’Brian (who we know from TNG) and the Cardassians.

In my original blog, Dr Bashir sometimes represented my eldest son, Jadzia my daughter. I can’t remember if I had a use for the others at the time. I suppose the Cardassians could represent anybody who might be my enemy. I think that, because they’re imperfect metaphors in that they don’t perfectly match specific characters in my real life, they will not always represent the same people.

Quark rather suits my middle son as he is absolute chock-full of cheek, and is always working on some scheme or other. I’m not sure who my youngest son was represented by but right now I am thinking along the lines of Quark’s brother Rom. O’Brien represented different aspects of Sisko’s character.

In the story, the crew of DS9 (and specifically Kira and O’Brien) move the space-station to the Wormhole to stake a claim on it before the Cardassians do. In my story, it was Sisko’s idea, and the move was designed to protect us from the Cardassians and give us all a better quality of life. I think it was a good plan in theory, but the reality has been far more complicated.

“The Provisional Government and I disagree on a lot of things, that’s
probably
why they sent me to this god-forsaken place.” – Kira

We have actually had to move several times, and although we are close to the Wormhole, I am not sure we have reached our final destination.

 

Act Five

Meanwhile, Dax and Sisko are meeting with the Wormhole Aliens, the ‘Prophets’ as the Bajorans see them, and Sisko tries to explain to these aliens who live outside of time the nature of linear existence, but they show to him how – due to the intensity of his grief in losing Jennifer – the existence that he experiences in his mind isn’t linear at all, but he “exists here”.

I love this sequence, and I think it is so profound. Until Sisko faces this fact, he is unable to properly grieve and move on. There are supposed to be stages of grief (5 or 7, depending on which scale you use) which takes you through anger and denial and so on, but in reality grieving doesn’t follow a linear progression at all. You might go from stage one to stage two to stage three and then back to stage one and back again before the next stage you’re ‘supposed’ to reach, and contrary to the lists of ‘stages’, you never get to a point of ‘done’ grieving, as even years later, grief still hits you in waves and you’re right back there at the beginning of the scale again. Perhaps not as raw as it once was, but no less real.

As I have already mentioned, my Sisko isn’t like this, he doesn’t like emotion and he doesn’t (as far as I can tell anyway) experience grief in the same way that I do. But Sisko in this sequence is me. I experienced grief, first in 2010 when I had a personal loss (which I probably won’t go into here) and then again in 2011 when my Dad died, and it has changed me profoundly.

I exist there.

It has become the pivotal moment of my life, and what defines the rest of it.

“And I have never figured out a way to live without her.” – Sisko

By the way, before you object, my ‘Acts’ don’t perfectly match with the content of the divisions of the episode. I haven’t fully covered Sisko’s meeting with Kai Opaka or Sisko and Dax’ orb experiences, so I will try and do a ‘part 3’ next.

I will love and leave you with another Metallica track from the most excellent Ride the Lightning album: Fade to Black. It won’t all be Metallica in future, I promise, but this is such an appropriately sad and melancholy tune, I thought it fit nicely with the theme.

LLAP.