Part Two of an unexpected multi-part Premiere. As things get more difficult on Bajor, Sisko and his crew must find a way to stop the Circle before it gets bigger. They soon learn that there are factions involved who may not want it to be stopped. Originally airing on October 3, 1993, this is The Circle.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined (seriously this guy is the worst at keeping logs): The Circle
After losing Kira as his liaison officer, Sisko is unhappy at the situation but tries to make the best of it. Soon, however, he is faced with a bigger threat, one that gets closer to home.
Sisko challenges Kira’s reassignment but is rejected by Minister Jaro Essa. Essa indicates that Kira has been promoted in order for Li Nalas to remain behind on DS9 for his protection from The Circle. Soon Jake contacts Ben only to reveal that The Circle have tagged the door to their quarters, indicating that they can get to the Commander and his son any time they want to.
Meanwhile Kira is dealing with her reassignment she is soon visited by her friend from the station who do not want her to leave. Just things begin to get crowded in her quarters, Vedek Bareil shows up to speak with Kira. He offers her a chance to come visit him at the monastery to recuperate. She thanks him and goes to ops for one last visit where she runs into her replacement Li Nalas. Li doesn’t want the job but is willing to try. Ben Sisko informs Kira that he will get her back no matter how difficult it is to do so. This will not be the last they work together.
Kira finds life at the Monastery challenging in that she feels out of place. Vedek Bareil comforts her and, even though she feels useless, he encourages her to explore who she is. While there, Bareil gives Kira a chance to encounter an Orb of the Prophets. Exposing her to the Orb of Prophecy and Change, Kira finds herself surrounded by the Vedek Assembly where Winn and Jaro tell her that the Prophets speak to them. Bariel tells her to listen to herself and they soon find themselves in each others arms.
Back on the station, Odo is investigating the Circle and the violence on Bajor. Quark arrives afraid that everything they have been working toward is over as he knows that The Circle is not just a minor threat but an armed militia being supplied by Kressari traders. In order to get information, Odo reluctantly deputizes the Ferengi Bartender and sends Quark off to gather more information. Soon after Sisko travels to Bajor after hearing that the planet is facing a coup in the form of The Circle.
Still at the Monastery, Kira and Bareil encounter Vedek Winn who is unhappy with Kira’s orb encounter. Soon Ben Sisko visits General Krim of the Bajoran Militia. Sisko challenges that the Military is doing nothing to stop the violence of The Circle, constantly falling back with each attack. Sisko informs Krim of his intel on the Kressari and then asks for Kira’s reassignment back to DS9. The General is pleased with how the Commander handled himself.
Back on the station, Li Nalas has to deal with the Kressaro trader who may be smuggling weapons. The Trader is upset at the situation but is assured that it will not take much longer. While inspecting the ship, O’brien places a certain…box on board. Odo is on the case. While on board he soon learns that it is the Cardassians who are funding this coup without the knowledge of the Bajoran dissidents.
Sisko meets with Kira at the Monastery where she tells him about her Orb encounter. He informs her about his findings with the Bajoran Militia shaking her into realizing that Bajor is facing a huge threat. After Sisko leaves, Kira is accosted by a group of cloaked people not unlike those who attacked Quark. She awakes to find herself in front of Minister Jaro who reveals himself to be the leader of The Circle and begins to press her for information.
Sisko and team find out where Kira is being held and mount a rescue. After a brief fire fight, they manage to get her back to DS9. She informs them of Jaro’s plans just as Odo reveals that the Cardassians are involved with the Coup. The Cardassians are using The Circle to rid themselves of The Federation presence opening the door for the Cardassians to return. Back on Bajor, Jaro and Winn begin to discuss their plans, Jaro intends to take over Bajor with Winn backing him up. He insists that Winn tell the people of Bajor that The Prophets are behind Jaro but Winn refuses to help unless she becomes the next Kai.
Two Bajoran assault vessels head toward the station as Sisko contacts Admiral Chakote where he is instructed to remain neutral. This situation is out of their control and since it is an ‘internal situation’ on Bajor, this is a situation covered by the Prime Directive. Sisko informs O’Brien that a full evacuation is in order and EVERYTHING belonging to the Federation is to be removed. He plans to be on board when the assault vessels arrive.
To be continued…again.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Holy Crap. Another To Be continued. This is the first time ever that a Star Trek episode has been stretched out past two episodes. I guess this is a premiere so big, it needs to take up over 10 percent of the whole season. Think about that for a moment. Yeah, that’s crazy huh?
This episode, while fantastic, is really just more placing pieces on the chess board. In playing the long game, we really get a chance to see Sisko and team work together like never before. Kira, even though re-assigned, is still his ‘man on the ground, while everyone else fills in their part as it is necessary. Even Quark gets in on the action proving that he can be relied on…for a little profit.
If anything, this episode really establishes more of what makes Sisko such a great Commander for the station. He doesn’t just want to take care of his Federation staff but he also wants to be sure that EVERYONE on board is safe and sound. It also firmly establishes his concern for Bajor itself as he has come to see it almost as a second home in the year he has spent orbiting the planet. These people are more than just an assignment now, they are on many ways his very family.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We don’t really get to see much of Li Nalas in this one, it seems he really was just a pawn for a certain Minister.
We meet Admiral Chakote, no relation to another man with a similar name.
We also learn that Vedek Winn and the leader of the Circle Minister Jaro are in cahoots and plan to take over Bajor one way or another. This is the beginning of the long game for the character of Vedek Winn and one that she plays very well. Trust me, she is a slippery one.
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: The Siege
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 1/17/2021 (Originally published 4/12/2019)
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.”