So, Dax is back?! What the What?  Yeah, not only is there a new Dax but Sisko continues his search for the Orb of the Emissary while his former crewmates continue their fight against the Dominion.  Originally Airing on October 8, 1998 this is Shadows and Symbols.

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate 52152.6 Shadows and Symbols

As Sisko searches for answers, Kira and the crew of DS9 double down with an attack on the Dominion shipyard near Monac IV.

The Breakdown:

Story A: The Revelation of Ben Sisko

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Ezri Dax visits Ben Sisko just as Ben and his family are about to head out hoping to get some guidance on how to be ‘Dax’.   The problem Ezri is running into is that she was never meant to have the symbiont but had to take on the Dax Symbiont in an emergency situation.  Ezri is beside herself and knew that finding her old friend would help give her guidance through her new identity struggles.  Upon learning they are heading on a mission, Ezri quickly volunteers, knowing that the answers Ben seeks will also help answer her own questions.

On their journey to Tyree Ezri gets to know her new companions.  Upon arriving at the planet, Ben begins to hear voices summoning someone to ‘Isolation Ward Four’.  Beaming to the planet, the four begin their journey in the desert wasteland in hopes of finding something to guide them on their journey.

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As they continue their journey, Ben continues to have auditory hallucinations and soon comes to an impasse.  Dax, frustrated at Ben’s indecision tosses his baseball out into the desert.  As if struck by inspiration, Ben tells the confused Ezri Dax that where the ball landed is where they will begin digging.

After digging for some time, Ben finally comes across the Orb of the Emissary.  Suddenly, he finds himself in an insane asylum as Benny Russel writing the story of Ben Sisko’s discovery on the walls of his cel.

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Benny Russell’s Doctor informs him that he needs to stop writing as his stories are too dangerous to Benny’s sanity.  Benny challenges the doctor that he needs to finish his story or his character can not finish their mission and contact the Prophets. Soon the Doctor tries to give Benny a chance to erase his story about Ben Sisko by painting over the words on the cell walls. Benny considers the doctors suggestion while, back on the planet, Ben Sisko begins to rebury the Orb in the sand he had just retrieved it from.  Just as Ben is about to destroy the box, Ezri steps in and demands that Ben fulfill his promise to Jadzia and make things right.  In the Asylum, Benny finishes his story allowing Ben to open the Orb unleashing a brilliant energy that launches into the sky.

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Ben is swept into the presence of the Prophets where his mother informs him that the Pah Wraith is no longer a threat.  Ben was sent to release Sarah from the orb and he has now fulfilled his destiny.  She informs him that The Sisko must still face many difficulties but will not tell him what these difficulties will be.  While in the presence of the Prophet Sarah, he learns that the Prophet possessed the physical body of Sarah Sisko in order for his existence to be assured.  He was the chosen one and it could be no one else.

Story B: Onward to Stovokor

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On DS9, Worf, Julian, Miles and, surprisingly Quark, all team up to assist in getting Jadzia into Stovokor.  After drawing their own blood in ceremony, they head out to join the battle. As they travel toward their destination, it soon becomes clear that Worf is not happy about his crew-mates company as he has become distant and demanding toward them, more so than normal.  Concerned over his temperament, Martok chastises Worf for his treatment of his crew-mates.

Worf soon explains that he feels that they have no place there as they are not actual member’s of his house.   Martok quickly reminds him that these men were her friends too and that their willingness to honor Jadzia should be enough for Worf.  Worf, Acknowledging Martok’s wisdom, makes it a point to apologize to his friends much to their surprise.  Not long after, they reach the Monac system and begin their mission to destroy the nearby Dominion Base.

On Cardassia, It is still clear that Damar is not dealing with current affairs as well as he should be.  Still drinking and ‘entertaining’ company, Damar is frustrated when Weyoun interrupts his fun. Weyoun instructs Damar to increase production at the shipyards in the Monac system unaware of the mission underway by Worf and his companions.

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As the Klingon Ship approach the Monac system’s Sun, the crew prepare to launch the weapon to cause a solar ejection that will cause the destruction of the nearby shipyards.  They soon realize that they need to get even closer in order to succeed in their mission, putting the ship at greater risk than expected.

Getting close enough, Worf orders the attack on the sun only to find themselves under attack by nearby Jem’Hadar.   As they defend themselves, they are soon able to complete their mission decimating the Dominion shipyards in a ball of solar fire thus allowing Jadzia entry into Stovokor due to their brave acts in battle.

Story C: Poker Face

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Kira and Admiral Ross debate the issues with the Romulans as Ross reassures the Colonel that the weapons will be removed as soon as possible.  Kira informs Ross that the Bajorans plan to setup a blockade to prevent the Romulans from activating their weapons but Ross is concerned that this will cause even greater issues for them all.

Odo and Kira discuss the potential blockade against the Romulans where Odo volunteers his presence as part of the strategy.  He soon learns that Kira is setting up a bluff, hoping the Romulans value their treaty with the Federation more than their newly placed outpost on the Bajoran moon.

With the blockade firmly in place, Romulan Senator Cretak informs Kira that she has fourteen Romulan warbirds in transit to deliver medical supplies.  Kira counters asking why she needs the heavily armed ships to do this job and informs Cretak that, should these Warbirds attempt to cross the blockade, they will be fired upon.   Cretak acknowledges Kira’s position and, after ending the transmission, informs Admiral Ross that the Bajoran Colonel is bluffing.

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As the Romulan fleet approaches, Kira informs the approaching ships that she will not allow them to cross the blockade.  Contacting Kira, Admiral Ross and Senator Kretak beg Kira to reconsider but the Bajoran Colonel refuses to budge putting Admiral Ross into a precarious position.

Just as the Romulan fleet is about to attack Kira recieves word from DS9 that the wormhole has returned.  Seeing this as a sign from the Prophets, Kira commands her fleet to hold their position and prepare to fire on the incoming Romulan fleet.

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Just as Cretak is about to allow her fleet to attack, Admiral Ross steps in and informs the Senator that she needs to remove their weapons from the medical facility or the Federation will do it for them.  Contacting Kira to inform them of her win, Ross is impressed with the Colonels resolve. Kira is relieved that she will not have to fight… for now.

In the end Sisko returns to Deep Space Nine with Ezri Dax in tow.  Ben Sisko is welcomed with a grand reception with everyone thanking him for the return of the Prophets while the crew remain curious about the new incarnation of Dax.

 

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

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So, there it is, this whole time Ben Sisko is part Wormhole Alien or ‘Bajoran Prophet’.  Let that sink in for a minute.

I mean seriously, you may need to think about this one.

Ben Sisko, The Emissary is legitimately a vessel of an alien culture that is worshiped by a planet of people he has been protecting for six years.  So, Ben Sisko is pretty much Space Jesus.  Yeah.  That happened.

I’ll be honest, I was never 100% on the whole destiny of Sisko thing. I mean, I get it, this is basically what the series had been leading up to but to make him an actual child of the Prophets seemed a little out of left field.  I mean, how do you come back from that?  I would love to see his next report to Star Fleet. ‘Resumed Command of Deep Space Nine, preparing crew for upcoming conflict with the Dominion, despite earlier doubt of my title as Emissary, It has been clarified that I am indeed the child of the aliens who live in the wormhole, please refer to me as Captain THE SISKO in all future communications.’

Yeah, Admiral Ross is gonna LOVE THAT!

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All that being said, the one person that we never really discuss is that of the ‘real’ Sarah Sisko.  Imagine for a moment what she went through.  First she is possessed by an alien entity, travels across the world where she is unwillingly married to Joseph, soon baring his child.  After a few years of having absolutely no control of her life or actions she is suddenly freed from this possession only to discover that she has both a husband and a child but likely little memory of it even happening.  Frankly, Joseph is lucky that she didn’t claim he drugged her and forced her into marriage.  Those Wormhole Aliens are pretty terrible beings. You would think, with their infinite powers and time spanning memories, they would have shown Sarah what her destiny was and gave her the chance to have a say in it.  Surely, if it was indeed ‘written’ she would have agreed to the situation and went through with it voluntarily.  Then again, maybe she did, maybe her deal with Alien Sarah was that she would be able to leave after x amount of years, but that kinda leaves Joseph on the shitty end of that stick.  No matter how you slice it, the worm hole aliens are dicks.  Hands Down.

Outside of that left field revelation, and the certainty of dickish Prophets, this episode is actually a pretty stellar one wrapping up most of the major plot threads left dangling by season six while introducing a few new wild cards like that of Ezri Dax.

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Now, there is a LOT of hate for Ezri Dax and, while she is no Jadzia, that is kind of the point.  Sure, her presence really throws a wrench into the station’s personnel but I look forward to getting reacquainted with this character in my journey through season seven for this review series.  You can be sure that we will discuss her at length in the coming weeks.

Some of the other great aspects of this episode really give us a chance to see how the rest of the crew are handling life without Sisko and Jadzia.  We see that Kira has become a badass commander in her own right and, honestly, I don’t think she really needs a superior officer at this point.  She has things well at hand and it is pretty clear that some of Sisko’s stubbornness has rubbed off on the already stubborn Colonel.

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It was nice to see Worf and his friends finally come to terms with the death of Jadzia by finally seeing her off to Stovokor.  However, now that Dax has returned, you know this is not going settle well with the Klingon Commander, or the rest of the crew for that matter.

Overall, solid episode that felt more like a season finale than a season opener but still, it really sets the stage for things to come.  Trust me, this season has some seriously intense episodes…and some seriously silly one’s too.  I look forward to talking about them all with you!

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

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  • This is the last time we see Joseph Sisko on the show.
  • Eagle Eyed viewers will recognize actor Casey Biggs as Dr Wykoff,  Casey also plays Damar.
  • This is the first direct reference to the episode Far Beyond the Stars since the episode aired, giving that entry even more weight in the overall story so far.
  • While the Pah Wraiths have been expelled from the celestial temple, this is certainly not the last we will see of them.

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: Afterimage

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 2/7/2020

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Pro Tip: Never ask a Klingon to remove a splinter.  This will not end well for you or the splinter.

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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