After the very heavy intro, we continue the Dominion Invasion with Sisko’s crew facing a long trek home and Kira dealing with some serious issues on Terok Nor.  Originally broadcast on October 6, 1997, this is Rocks and Shoals.

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate 51096.2 Rocks and Shoals

After an emergency crash landing, Sisko and his crew find themselves up against a group of Ketracel White starved Jem’Hadar.  On Terok Nor, Kira has a crisis of conscious concerning her working with the enemy of the Federation although the Dominion is currently Bajor’s Ally.

The Breakdown:

Story A: Starship Down

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Unable to fully repair their Jem’Hadar ship in time, Sisko and his crew come face to face with a Jem’Hadar attack group.  Critically damaged and with Jadzia wounded, Sisko and crew crash their ship onto a nearby planet.

On the planet, two Jem’Hadar soldiers discuss their plight on the planet.  It seems that their group crashed on the planet and are out of communication with the Dominion.  With their numbers depleted, it appears things are not good for the Dominion troops.  Meanwhile, Sisko’s crew find themselves washed ashore and begin to regroup. Julian informs Sisko that, although Jadzia is stable, she will need medical attention soon.

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In nearby caves, the stranded Jem’Hadar soldiers begin the Ketracel White ceremony, The soldiers are dissapointed when only one vial is handed out by the wounded Vorta who tells them what they have left needs to last them at least 10 days.

Julian stabilized Jadzia as the team set up camp in a cave.  As the rest set up camp, Nog and Garak scan the perimeter looking for any signs of danger.  They soon find some when several Vorta appear, taking them captive.  Garak and Nog are taken to the Vorta and are asked if they have a Doctor.  Confirming that they do, the Vorta commands one of his Jem’Hadar to seek out the Federation team and report back their location.

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Realizing that Garak and Nog are missing, the team begin their search for their friends.  It isn’t long before they detect the Jem’Hadar in the nearby rock outcropping.  Just as they get to safety, the Jem’Hadar attack without provocation.  Just as the battle begins, the new Jem’Hadar leader orders the others to stop their attack and, due to their inability to cloak any longer, they begin providing cover fire for the Jem’Hadar to escape.  Back in the camp, the Vorta is upset that his orders were disobeyed.  The Vorta can see that his grasp on them is slipping and sends his 3rd out for a new task.

The Jem’Hadar soldier visits Sisko in the camp unarmed asking to discuss an important matter with the Captain.  The Jem’Hadar asks Sisko to come with him and bring a Doctor in exchange for Garak and Nog.  Sisko questions the situation and realizes that something is amiss.  Sisko agrees to join him when the Soldier agrees to set them free once the meeting with the Vorta has been completed.

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After the exchange is made, Sisko meets with Keevan, the Vorta in charge.  Immediately Julian realizes that the Vorta needs medical attention and begins his operation. It isn’t long before Julian is able to stabilize the Vorta and soon Keevan asks for a private discussion with Sisko and Julian.  Keevan informs the two men that they are dangerously close to losing control over his Jem’Hadar soldiers due to having only one vial of Ketracel White remaining.  Keevan informs Sisko that he is sending his soldiers to attack first thing in the morning and he expects them to defeat his men.  Keevan asks that he be taken as a POW when Sisko and crew call for help on the Vorta’s damaged com system.  Providing Sisko with the Jem’Hadar’s tactics,   Sisko returns to the cave knowing they are facing an attack.   They will have to slaughter the Jem’Hadar or face their own deaths.

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The Next day as the Jem’Hadar begin their approach, Sisko asks the 3rd Remata’klan to talk.  The 3rd acknowledges that Sisko’s men has an advantage and Sisko offers the man a chance to survive the attack.  Informing him that Keevan has betrayed them, the 3rd Ramata’Klan makes it clear that they have no intention to surrender.

In only a matter of minutes the battle is over claiming the lives of the Jem’Hadar and one of the Federation soldiers. With the Jem’Hadar warriors dead, Keevan approaches to fulfill his part of the deal.  It is clear, Sisko sees this as an empty victory.

Story B: A Crisis of Conscience

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Kira awakes and begins her day among the Dominion Troops.  It is clear that she does not have the drive she once did but pushes her way through the day fulfilling her duties to the Bajoran Government.

Later that day, Jake interviews Kira and Odo about their current situation. Kira informs Jake that a group of Vorta have been transported to Bajor as facilitators.  Jake informs them that a demonstration is being planned on the promenade and, the two decide that they need to shut it down before things get out of hand.  Jake finds himself having difficulty gaining intelligence for his reports to the Federation News Service.

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Kira converses with the Vedek who planned a demonstration.  Vedek Yassim accuses Kira of becoming a sympathist to the Dominion Occupation of Bajor.  The Vedek leaves, leaving Kira wondering if she is on the right side or if she is even doing the right thing.

On the promenade, Odo and Kira begin to prepare for the worst.  Jake arrives just as Vedek Yassim jumps from the upper level of the Promenade hanging herself to the shock of everyone around.

The next morning it is clear that Kira has been affected by Yassim’s demonstration.  Looking around Ops at who she is now working with, she abruptly leaves. Soon Odo finds Kira at the spot Vedek Yassim killed herself.  Kira is shocked that she has become a collaborator, the very kind of person she was up against during the Occupation.  It is then that she realizes that she needs to begin fighting back despite Odo’s words of caution.  He agrees that they need to do do something and they begin their plans as the New Resistance.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

We really get to see some great dynamics between Sisko and his crew along with Kira’s relationship with her newfound position on Terok Nor.  Let’s start with Sisko.

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For much of the series Sisko has been in command of a Space Station.  Sure he has ventured out in the Defiant plenty of times, but this guy has become somewhat of a desk jockey in the past 5 years.  Now that the Dominion has taken hid desk, Sisko is finally getting a chance to do what he has always wanted to, he is getting a little piece of the action.  Interestingly enough, it seems his time in ops hasn’t slowed him down one bit and Captain Sisko remains the bad-ass leader he has been from the get-go.  Even without the Defiant, Sisko is able to keep most of his crew alive while finding themselves stranded behind enemy lines in Cardassian Space.  He has never been one to put up with tyranny and, since his first dealing with the Vorta, he has certainly not been one to fall for their brand of leadership.  To be honest, I half expected him to outright kill Keevan the moment that guy showed up but we aren’t quite at that moment in Sisko’s life yet.  YET.

All this aside, this was actually a great way to get Sisko and his team back from behind enemy lines while pushing the story forward.  Although it would have been rather interesting to see them as ‘believed dead’ as they journeyed back home, knowing what is coming up more than makes up for that oversight.

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The real story is the B-story this time around.  Kira has long been a freedom fighter.  Even though she has become an official in the past few years, that rebel streak has not left her.  It was a shock to many of us that she willingly accepted that she would have to work with the Cardassians once again, even though it was Sisko who asked the Bajoran people to hold tight, as they would be back to rescue them.

For Kira, this is an affront to everything she is and everything she has come to be, but it also shows that Kira has matured quite a bit from the fiery rebel we met in the first season. It seems her time with Sisko and crew has given her the balance and foresight to accept change, even when that change is difficult.  That being said, it takes a pretty extreme event to shake her into realizing that, while she will not be able to fight back directly, she can fight back nonetheless.  Needless to say, this is the start of a very important story arc that leads to the return of a certain Captain and his crew.

Overall, solid second part to a six part story-line setting up the pieces for things to come.  Between this one and the last, these are episodes that are mostly there to setup the board and make the opening moves.  We still have a little more to setup but man, once things get going, there is no stopping what is to come.  Stay tuned!

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

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  • This is not the last we see of Keevan. He returns in one of my favorite episodes of the series.
  • Several episodes are referenced here from The Ship, where they first found the ship they only end up crashing, Empok Nor where Nog sees the dark side of Garak and even To The Death where Sisko fought along side the Jem’Hadar.  I love the continuity presented in these episodes making the world so much bigger than just an alien of the week.
  • Interestingly enough, although the Ketracel White production facility has been destroyed in the last episode, there is no mention of this on Terok Nor.  You would think this would be a major event for them.  Are the Vorta keeping this close to their chest?

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review: Sons and Daughters

odo farewell
Sadly we lost Rene recently and will remember him always as the shapeshifter named Odo.  Rest Easy Rene and Thank You.

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 12/9/2019

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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