“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
Jake takes a personal journey in the episode that originally aired on October 21, 1996. This is Nor the Battle to the Strong.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: Nor the Battle to the Strong
Jake finds himself on the front-lines, and faces the truth about himself, when he accompanies Bashir on a mission to the Federation Hospital on Ajilon Prime.
On a trip to a symposium to write a profile about Doctor Bashir, Jake finds himself board to tears when the Doctor begins prattling on about the events at a conference. Just as things begin to get worse, their runabout receives a distress call from a hospital on Aijilon Prime who, despite the cease fire, are under attack from Klingons. Even though there is a possibility for danger, Jake is excited to have something more riveting to write about.
With no way to transport down, Julian and Jake land the runabout in the middle of the affected area. There Jake soon finds himself feeling useless as doctors run about trying to save wounded soldiers. Soon he runs into a young officer who has shot himself in the foot to avoid combat. Confused as to why people would do things like that to themselves,he is summoned by a medic to help with a wounded soldier. It isn’t long before Jake finds himself working along side the medics bringing in wounded and applying minor treatments.
Back on the station, Captain Sisko worries about his 18 year old son and, even though he knows his son is strong enough to make it through the worst situations, he can not help but be concerned that he will not be there to protect him. Soon he and Dax take the Defiant and head to the Aijion System to see what they can do to help. Traveling to the site where his son is in danger, Ben Sisko works with Dax to keep himself busy and his mind occupied on menial tasks.
Soon, however, after getting things under control, an explosion rocks the medical station. With the power out, Jake and Bashir head to get a generator from the runabout but are attacked on their way. Soon, Fearing for his life, Jake runs away when he witnesses Bashir disappear in an explosion.
Stumbling through the battlefield among bodies of Klingons and Federation alike, Jake runs into a wounded officer in need of assistance. Doing his best to assist the officer, Jake learns that the man stayed behind to insure his men made it out. The officer is upset when he learns that Jake left behind Doctor Bashir and, when the wounded man dies, Jake finds himself alone once again with no way to redeem himself.
Back at the triage center, Jake returns much to everyone’s surprise. Learning that Doctor Bashir manages to get the generator back by himself, sustaining plasma burns in the attempt, Jake is embarrassed to visit his friend. Bashir, however, is elated to find that Jake is safe and apologizes to the young man for bringing him to the front lines. Believing himself to be a coward, Jake has trouble dealing with his recent actions. When he is asked to bring food to the young officer who shot himself, he learns that even those that were trained to function in high stress situations can find themselves in the same predicament, only wanting to run.
Frustrated at the situation, Jake lashes out at his fellow triage friends and Julian pulls him aside. There Jake considers admitting his actions to the Doctor but finds himself pushing his friends away again. Before long the triage unit is bombed again and the doctors announce that they are evacuating. Jake, soon finds himself facing a group of Klingons as they charge their way after the retreating doctors. Taking a Phaser Rifle, Jake fires blindly causing a cave-in that buries himself and the attacking Klingons in rubble. Awaking sometime later, Jake finds Julian and his father leaning over him. Jake learns that his random phaser fire saved the patients and the doctors from certain fate.
Putting his experiences to paper, Jake shares his work with his father who expresses his pride in his son.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Jake Sisko is one of the most under developed characters on the show to no fault of actor Cirroc Lofton. While he has had a few good moments and even a few episodes that gave him some breathing room, his character has mostly been relegated to just Jake Sisko, son of Captain Sisko. Living under the shadow of such an important man must be a challenge, so when he finally gets a chance to shine, he of course takes on the challenge.
Everyone has a moment, or several moments, in their lives that begin to define who they are and what they will become. For me one major event was leaving home for basic training and subsequently finding myself on my own a few years later in a town I knew nothing about with no friends or family within 150 miles. It was scary at times, but I was determined to make the best of it and soon found that I had in me the drive to become my own person despite the challenges laid in my path. For Jake, this event is a turning point in his life, giving him a unique perspective that showed him who he was and what he was capable of under a severely stressful situation. It is impressive that Jake could have cracked under the stress and shot himself much like the young officer did, but it was through blind luck and survival instinct that allowed him to make it through the day. This single event provides the son of Sisko a name of his own.
All in all, a great drama depicting a seldom seen front-lines of the Federation at war and the personal growth of one of the lesser used supporting characters.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Quarktajino is introduced as a decaffeinated Raktajino. Really Quark? Decaffeinated anything is a sin.
- Pregnancy is considered a rental in Ferengi culture.
- Odo finds his new solid body is not up to his usual standards finding that he forgets that he can no longer change shape.
- Ben Sisko shows his concern for his son even though he knows his boy is no longer a child. I love the dynamic between these two.
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 Assignment
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Late To The Game 10/30/2021 (Originally published 10/14/2019)
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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