Finding your place at home or in the universe can both be equally as difficult. This is explored in the episode that originally aired on February 24,1996. This is Accession.
Station Log Undetermined: Accession
Sisko’s title of Emissary comes under fire when a three hundred year old Bajoran Ship comes through the wormhole with a passenger claiming the title for himself.
Story A: Finding your place in the Universe.
Ben Sisko finds himself fulfilling the duties of Emissary, being asked to bless the recent union of two Bajorans. Just as he completes duties he is obviously uncomfortable with, Kira alerts him that something is coming through the wormhole. Rescuing a badly damaged light ship, the crew are stunned to find an old Bajoran man who claims that he is in fact The Emissary.
The old man, who identifies himself as Akorem Laan, tells them about his contact with the Prophets in the celestial temple. Kira is shocked when she realizes that this is a famous poet who disappeared some 200 years prior. Laan finds it difficult to understand how much has changed in his absence, and Kira volunteers to help him acclimate. As Kira works with Lann, Sisko soon begins to explore the possibilities that he is not in fact The Emissary to the Bajoran people. In fact, he sees Laan as a better candidate for the job.
The next day a crowd gathers on the Promenade to welcome the new Emissary Akorem Laan. Kira is excited to see what Lann has in store for them but when he begins preaching that they must return to their caste system from before the Occupation, she begins to realize that this may not be the best thing for her people. Soon, Sisko meets with Laan and questions his statement that Bajor needs to return to the Caste system. Ben warns them that if Bajor returns to the Caste system, they would no longer be eligible to be a member of the Federation. Laan indicates that he has already spoken to Kai Winn and she is willing to sacrifice their membership.
The next morning Kira experiences the first signs of the d’jarra caste system when a young woman gives up her seat to the Major due to her social status. She begins having doubts of her own but wants to follow the new Emissary no matter what. Sisko begins to realize that this may not be the best for Bajor. Returning to her quarters, she begins to experiment with her new caste, attempting to become an artist. Soon she talks to Vedek Porta who encourages her to fully embrace her d’jarra and abandon her role as part of the Bajoran Militia.
That night Sisko is visited by three ghosts, okay not really, but he does receive a message from the Prophets via a dream involving Kai Opaka. The next morning, Sisko learns that he had an Orb Shadow experience, and it may be because he has ignored what the Prophets are telling him.
The next day, Sisko is upset when he learns that the Federation consider his mission a failure due to the new situation. Sisko soon learns that Kira plans to resign her commission in order to follow her d’jarra and asks him to accept her new found path. It is clear that she is unsure with her decision but is determined to follow her faith, no matter the consequences.
Soon it becomes clear that the new caste system is causing problems when Vedek Porta kills another Bajoran due to the persons last name indicating that he was unclean. Sisko meets with Laan who is determined to push forward with his plan to re-implement the d’jarra system. Sisko informs Laan that he will challenge the new Emissary for the title and it is clear that Laan is not willing to give it up. Sisko tells Laan that they must both go to the wormhole and ask the Prophets themselves. Laan reluctantly agrees. Taking a shuttle into the Wormhole, Laan and Sisko soon find themselves in the presence of the Prophets. There they inform Laan that he is mistaken. They had no intention for Laan to go to the future and change things but instead sent Laan there to show The Sisko the right path. Sisko asks the Wormhole aliens to return Laan to his own time allowing him to live a full life.
Sisko returns to the present only to find that everything is back to normal. Kira is happy that things are back to normal but is shocked to find that the timeline has changed slightly, Laan’s unfinished poem has been completed and Kira has no memory of it in it’s entirety. Sisko finds that he has fully embraced the role of the Emissary.
Story B: Finding your place at home.
With Keiko returning to the station after being gone for six months, she comes baring some shocking news. It seems that the last time she visited, they were successful in their attempts at having another child.
O’Brien, dealing with the fear of a new child, visits Quarks bar to lament the news with his best friend Julian. While he is happy at the prospect, it is clear that he is not sure he is ready for the added responsibility. As he attempts to get used to his time with his family and the prospect of a new addition, Miles begins to realize that he misses spending time with his best friend Julian.
The next day, Miles visits Julian in the bar having not seen one another in a few days. The two admit that it is not the same now that Keiko has returned but the two wish they had their time together again. Much to Quarks dismay, they have to cancel their appointment for their holosuite.
Keiko, realizing that her husband needs his free time, tells him to go ‘play with his friend’. He is excited for the opportunity and she is happy to get her husband out of her hair.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a turning point episode. For much of the series, Ben Sisko has fought against the role he had as The Emissary. Over this season, however, he has started to realize that his path was aligned with Bajor in a way that he could never understand. It is only when his position is challenged that he realizes that he, not only wants what is best for Bajor but may indeed be the very Emissary they believe he is. While this does not mean he has fully embraced the idea of being part of Bajor’s religious beliefs, it is a step closer to his exploring the possibilities that he is truly the spokes person for the Prophets. Sisko’s journey is far from over but this is a step toward even bigger things.
The part of this episode that really stuck out was just how faithful Kira was even after all she had seen and experienced in life. Here is a woman who has fought wars, been altered to look Cardassian, been kidnapped, experienced an alternate universe, seen untold numbers of lifeforms and civilization but still, no matter, blindly follows anything someone claims as being the will of the Prophets. To me, Kira trying to become an artist just because some 200 year old poet said she should be shows me that Kira really hasn’t grown much as a character. Sure, she has developed in other ways but to blindly follow some guy who just happens to show up out of the blue claiming to be the Emissary, yeesh, talk about blind faith. Frankly, I would have expected more from Kira but then again is that really that far from reality?
I really liked the B story with Miles and Keiko. This was a turning point for them as well showing that Miles is a dedicated husband who would sacrifice his happiness just to make sure Keiko gets what she wants. Soon we learn that Keiko would do the same and, while she appreciates Miles dedication, never wants him to be unhappy. Say what you want about Keiko and Miles, the two are a good couple.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- It seems Ferengi had their own version of Dick and Jane books. See Brok acquire, acquire Brok acquire!
- Another event of STNG is referenced in this episode, this time the episode Disaster, where Worf delivered Molly. He is sure to not let that happen again.
- We never see nor hear from Akorem Laan again, but it is assumed that he lived a full life in the past seeing that he finished the once unfinished poem. The fact that nothing major changed in Bajor’s history really shows you just how important he was in the grand scheme of things…
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Late To The Game 9/12/2021 (Originally published 9/13/2019)
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.
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