Ben Sisko comes face to face with his past in an alternate universe in the episode that originally aired on April 17,1995. This is Through the Looking Glass.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined. Through the Looking Glass.
Commander Sisko finds himself in the Mirror Universe and comes face to face with an alternate version of his late wife.
After dealing with Quark and Odo over an incident involving Voles, Sisko finds himself kidnapped into the Mirror Universe by Miles ‘Smiley’ O’Brien. After arriving in the alternate universe, Sisko disarms Smiley and discovers the reason the alternate version of his Chief Engineer brought him over. It seems that the Mirror Sisko has been killed and Smiley needs Sisko to take his place in order to lead the new Terran Rebellion for one mission. Initially refusing to help, it is when Sisko learns that he must save his late wife, Jennifer from building a sensor array for the Klingon/Cardassian Alliance.
Ben soon agrees to assist with the mission and Smiley finds himself nervous at the prospect of this Sisko impersonating his. Beaming down to their home base they encounter mirror versions of Julian Bashir, Rom and Tuvok (from Voyager). The group are surprised to see that Sisko is still alive and they soon begin planning their next attack. Sisko is soon surprise to find that Mirror Sisko is involved with Dax in this universe and finds himself involved with the Trill.
Sisko soon finds himself facing his crew with many of them wanting to kill Jennifer in order to prevent her from making the communications device for the Alliance. Sisko insists that she is more valuable for the Terran Resistance and begin their plans to rescue Professor Sisko from Terok Nor.
On Terok Nor, Intendant Kira informs Jennifer that Ben Sisko has been killed. Soon it becomes apparent that Kira herself is upset at the news of Sisko’s death and begins to lash out at the slaves working on the station. But, when news comes from Rom that Sisko is in fact not dead, Kira realizes that her lover is up to something. Rom, betraying his friends, soon provides the Intendant with the plan for Jennifer’s rescue. Soon after, Smiley and Sisko make their way to Terok Nor in order to complete their mission. Just as things look like they are going well, several ships come out of cloak and they both soon find themselves captured by the Intendant.
As soon as he sees Kira, Sisko greets her with a passionate kiss, much to the Intendant’s delight. Kira falls for the ploy but turns on Smiley, sending him to ore processing as a punishment. Garak insists on being allowed to punish Sisko, but Kira has other plans as she escorts him to her quarters instead. While in Kira’s quarters, she tells him that all she wants is his loyalty but she feels she can no longer trust the Terran Captain. Before long, Sisko is reunited with Jennifer at his request and the two begin to talk. It is soon clear that she does not care for her Sisko, accusing him of being an egotistical, self-centered man who was only in love with his ship. She does not like that he is leading a rebellion, accusing him of only causing the Terran’s more hardship. He soon informs her that he is there to rescue her.
She is shocked to learn that he wants to help his own people and refuses to believe that he is not in this for himself. Soon, he convinces her that he is there to save her and protect the Rebellion from her transceiver. Just as he is in place he activates his sub-dermal communicator informing Smiley to act. Smiley begins to deactivate the ore processing security as Sisko mounts his rescue of his late wife. Just as Smiley completes his task, he leads the Terran Slaves on a revolt allowing Sisko a chance to escape with Jennifer. Fighting his way through the station, they soon find Rom impaled on an airlock door left as a message to Sisko and his team.
As they mount their escape, Kira and her team arrive and inform Sisko that there is no escape. Just as everything looks bleak, the Rebels manage a surprise escape into the ore processing section of the station, giving them the upper hand. Soon Kira and her crew arrive into Ore processing and discover that Sisko has activated the stations self destruct sequence. Kira is shocked to learn that Sisko is telling the truth and the station will be destroyed unless she releases the Terran Rebels. Reluctantly, Kira lets Sisko and his people go, knowing that she has no choice.
Arriving back at the rebel base, Sisko tells Jennifer that he is leaving. She is sad to hear that he is going away but tells him that she knows he is not her Ben Sisko. He tells Jennifer that Smiley can fill her in as to who he really is and reluctantly leaves his late wife behind in the mirror universe.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Even though the episode does nothing to really move the main plot forward, this is a great one off episode that gives us another glimpse into the Mirror Universe that originated in the Original Series Episode Mirror, Mirror. This time we see the results of Kira and Bashir’s visit from the episode Crossover and we learn that the Terrans have started an open revolt against the Klingon/Cardassian Alliance.
For Ben Sisko, this is a tough trip. This is the first time since the death of his wife Jennifer that he has had a chance see her alive, face to face (not including the time-travelly stuff from the wormhole aliens, but that doesn’t really count). This is both a dream and a nightmare he has had for the past five years and, for him, it is one of the most painful events of his time on DS9 so far. Imagine, meeting a loved one who died but they are not really the person that you lost. Imagine that they are every bit the same person you remember but there is something different, something off that keeps you from recognizing them as that person, however there is just enough of that loved one there to bring back all the pain and all the feelings you had surrounding their loss. Sisko is a proud man, a stoic man, but in the quiet hours after this event, you know he wondered if he should have brought this version of Jennifer back with him so that he could have a version of his family back together again.
Avery Brooks does a great job depicting the emotions our Ben Sisko is going through facing the woman he lost several years prior. There is not a moment that you don’t see the internal struggle that his character is going through as he tries to save the life of someone he feels he failed in his own universe. It is rare we get a Sisko-centric episode like this but man are they solid every time.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- This is not the last time we meet Mirror Jennifer, she will return.
- This episode marks somewhat of a crossover with Voyager as we meet mirror Tuvok acting as one of Sisko’s pirate crew and Terran Resistance members.
- It had to be pretty odd to go back to his universe after sleeping with both Dax and Kira in the mirror universe. I wonder if he left those details out of his official report…
- We learn that Morn has more than one heart! Who knew?
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Late To The Game 6/13/2021 (Originally published 7/22/19)
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