Tough Decisions, the bonds of friendship and the sense of duty are all explored on the episode that was originally aired on May 22, 1995. This is Shakaar.
Station Log Stardate 48764: Shakaar
Kira must confront an old resistance leader when his farming equipment is being reclaimed by the Bajoran government.
After losing a dart game to O’Brien, Sisko is called to Ops where he learns some distressing news. Quickly, he visits his second in command only to find her praying for her dead friend, Vedek Bareil. Reluctantly, he informs her that the First Minister of the provisional government has died and Kai Winn has taken his place.
Kira is distraught at the appointment of Kai Winn to the position of First Minister and she feels that Winn should not have control over both the Religious and Political sides of Bajor. Odo explains that the Bajoran people do not see her as they do, they simply do not know the real Winn.
Kira is shocked when she is visited by Winn who has a mission for the Major. Winn observes that Kira is still mourning the death of Bareil and berates the Kai for not giving the Vedek any credit for his work in the peace talks with Cardassia. After a tense moment, Winn informs Kira that she wants the Major to report to her home province of Dahkur to reclaim some soil reclamators so that they can begin rebuilding another Province. The catch, is that she needs to reclaim them from the former leader of the resistance, Shakaar Edon, a man who saved Kira’s life countless times. Reluctantly, Kira agrees and heads to Bajor to complete her mission.
Beaming down to Bajor, Kira encounters her old friend and fellow revolutionary, Shakaar. He is clearly proud of her and updates her on the status of her old friends. He informs Kira that he knows why she is there but needs some time to consider his options.
That night, Kira shares stories and drinks with her old friends, Lupaza, Furel and Shakaar. It is when Shakaar informs the group that Kira was sent down to take back the reclamators no matter how bad they need them that things get serious. The group make it known that they have no intention to return the devices as they have only had them for three months of their promised year. Kira offers Shakaar a chance to have a direct discussion with Kai Winn about the reclamators and he reluctantly agrees, knowing that nothing may come of it.
Reporting the matter to Kai Winn, Winn is clearly unhappy that Kira was unable to get the requested equipment. Winn informs Kira that she is no longer needed and that she can tell Shakaar that they will talk about it. As Kira informs Shakaar of the situation, two Civil Police officers arrive with the intent to arrest the farmer on the First Ministers orders. Kira defends her friends and decides to flee with them into the mountains in order to protect the people she cares about.
Two weeks later, Sisko pays a visit to Kai Winn who informs the Commander that, due to the antics of Kira and Shakaar, Winn has had to declare martial law. She needs Sisko’s help as the Emissary and asks him to supply troops to hunt down Shakaar. He refuses the request based on the Prime Directive, angering Winn who claims he is refusing her request for aid. She threatens him that Bajor will withdrawal their petition to join the Federation if they are not helped. Sisko sees that Kai Winn has gone off the deep end when she informs the Commander that she will stop Shakaar by any means necessary.
Back on Bajor, Kira and the band of renegades flee from the Bajoran security teams. Using old techniques from their days against the occupation, they manage to throw off their pursuers buying themselves some time. Deciding it is time to end this pursuit, the team make plans to ambush the security teams in a nearby canyon.
With the plan underway, Kira and Shakaar realize what they are doing is wrong and that firing on their own people is not as easy as taking out Cardassians. Shakaar decides to confront the leader of the search party in person, explaining the situation to him. Just as he is negotiating with Colonel Lenaris, one of the Colonel’s people fires causing a tense moment. Kira tells the Colonel that, should this continue, the Bajoran people are facing the threat of a civil war.
Back at Kai Winn’s officer, she is delighted to see that Colonel Lenaris has brought both Kira and Shakaar in with him. Shakaar informs Winn that he has every intention to run for First Minister and he knows that he will win. Kira informs Winn that, should she run for office, Kira will inform the people of Bajor of what the Kai has done in order to reclaim the farm equipment. Winn realizes that she has lost.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a solid one that really gives us some additional back story for Kira and starts to put the chess pieces in place for the Bajoran Government drama to come.
For Major Kira we got to meet more of her friends from the resistance and really got a chance to really see how close the war with Cardassia made them. Each member of the Resistance have a firm belief as to what Bajor is and what they helped save from the Cardassian Occupation. They have a deep sense of duty to the world they helped liberate and to them, they are standing watch against any would be usurpers, even if it turns out to come from their very own people. It is this sense of friendship and duty that makes them realize that their own government is starting to slide down the same path the Cardassians forced Bajor down several years prior, causing the small band of rebels to take up arms again. This act of open rebellion gives us a deeper understanding of who Major Kira is and what she stands for.
There is a really pivotal moment in the episode where Kira and Shakaar have the opportunity to kill their pursuers but choose not to. It is in that moment that we learn that neither Kira nor Shakaar are warmongers, they just want what is best for their people. Even though she is still mourning the loss of someone dear to her, that grief and anger is put aside to protect the people she loves.
It is no secret that Kira is not a fan of Kai Winn. From the start this is a person who is clearly not there for the greater good and only in her position for the pursuit of personal power. So, when she claims the role of First Minister, Kira knows that things will not improve under the leadership of Kai Winn. Unfortunately, that foresight comes into focus much sooner than expected as we see just how dangerous Winn is when she perceives a threat to her power base.
You see, Kai Winn is not unlike many of our political leaders around the world today. There are not many of them that are in their positions purely to lead the country or area they have been assigned for the good of their constituency. For the most part, they are in it for themselves because, as human beings, we have a tendency to be pretty selfish. Some would say it is against human nature to put others above one’s self, as there is always an angle, always a benefit to the person that has been placed in charge. Whether that is a financial, emotional or political benefit, determines what kind of leader they will be. In this case, Winn is simply in love with the power her position gives her. With this power, she has deluded herself that she is doing all she can for Bajor and, she may actually believe she is, which makes her even more dangerous. Sadly, she has proven time and again that she has no real leadership skills of her own making her susceptible to petty whims of others who have goals of their own. It is events like this one that show Winn is a danger to not only Bajor but to the entire sector as well. Back when this first aired I wondered how someone like Winn could have risen to power with how evil she clearly was. I guess as Odo states, ‘one of the prices of giving people freedom of choice, is that sometimes they choose wrong.’
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- While we meet Shakaar for the first tie here, this will not be the last time he appears on the show.
- This is not the last of the power plays from Kai Winn. Remember those three Vipers from a few episodes back, well, she would certainly be one of them.
- I do find it interesting how Kai Winn only really refers to Sisko as The Emissary when she wants something, as if she is flattering him somehow. It makes me wonder if she has not been doing this on purpose this whole time in order to cause the Commander to start thinking of himself as this Bajoran Religious Icon.
- There is a fun side story involving O’Brien and his love for darts. Not really worth adding to the main breakdown but lets just say Quark needs to learn to not bet on O’Brien.
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Late To The Game 7/4/2021 (Originally published 8/2/19
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