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Star Trek DS9 - Season 1 - Episode 02

Star Trek DS9 - 1x02 - Emissary, Part II

Originally Aired: 1993-1-3

Synopsis:
On a distant outpost at the edge of the final frontier, an untested crew embarks on an unprecedented journey. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.34

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 49 5 2 2 3 5 13 27 18 33 17

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Not filler by virtue of being the pilot.

Problems
- The behavior of the prophets are a little confusing. They don't understand the nature of linear time, nor do they claim to interfere in the world of the corporeals. Yet, they encouraged Bajor to develop an entire religion around them and shaped their society for 10000 years. I'd say that's a pretty good set of interference in corporeal matters, and requires a pretty vivid understanding of linear time. We could write this off by saying the prophets are vastly more superior to corporeal beings, which isn't hard to imagine, and that their confusing display of behaviors is just a misinterpretation of a greater purpose.

Factoids
- Sisko's love for baseball is first established here when Sisko is talking with the prophets.

Remarkable Scenes
- Odo crashing the Cardassian ship's computers.
- O'Brien getting the Cardassian computer to work by kicking it.
- Sisko and Dax' first trip through the wormhole.
- Sisko's first meeting with the prophets.
- Moving DS9.
- O'Brien getting in a fight with the computer.
- O'Brien: "Computer, you and I need to have a little talk."
- Odo: "Doctor, in my experience, most people wouldn't know reason if it walked up and shook their hand."
- O'Brien mentioning his participation in the border wars to Bashir.
- Morn appearances; while Odo is evacuating everyone to safer parts of the station.
- The special effects used in the battle with the Cardassians were quite good.
- The Rio Grande towing Dukat's ship back through the wormhole.
- Sisko treating Picard better in his second conversation with him.
- Kira to Quark: "If you don't take that hand off my hip, you'll never be able to raise a glass with it again."
- Morn appearances; 1. In background when Sisko is reunited with Jake; 2. In the background in the last shot.

My Review
This episode is a fine sequel to the first part, but it suffers from the scenes with the prophets being far too lengthy. That, and all the great fun trivia and whatnot was all introduced in the first part. So the second part is merely a conclusion to the plot of the first. In the end, we're left with a nice premise for the show. In particular, the wide cast of characters is exceptional. I'm most fond of Commander Sisko. He's not as cowboyish as Kirk was, but he's not as rigid and stuck up as Picard is. Kind of the best of both worlds. Other notable highlights are Odo and Quark. The interplay between them is fun. Even in the first episode, DS9 is competently able to make use of a vast set of characters and complex plots, setting the stage for a stellar new Star Trek show.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rob on 2008-04-18 at 7:16pm:
    I really like the scene where the Prophets force Sisko to realize that he's "not acting linear" regarding his wife's death. It's heart breaking watching him break down and Avery does a wonderful job to make us feel his heartbreak. I think this one scene probably shows more raw emotion than all of TOS (except Spock's death in Wrath of Khan) and TNG combined.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-12 at 12:08pm:
    This is probably the best pilot of all the series. The only flaw is noted in the review; the scenes with the prophets drag on and the scene shuffling through Sisko's memory is well executed but borders on corny at times. Still, a fine maiden voyage, so to speak.
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-12 at 6:58pm:
    Just started rewatching DS9 back through again on dvd. This two parter/feature length gets better every time I watch it. I would agree with the previous poster that it is most definitely the best pilot episode, setting up the premise of DS9 perfectly. Shame much of the rest of season one does not build on it as well as it could have done.
    Avery Brooks' performance is nothing short of exceptional considering the range of emotion that he has to convey while coming to grips with his new character. I also like the handling of the introductions of all the main cast as well as our first sitings of Rom, Nog, Gul Dukat and even Morn!
  • From Cory on 2011-09-27 at 10:45pm:
    I'm confused, maybe somebody can clear this up for me, I thought the aliens in the wormhole stated it disrupts them whenever anyone passes though, how did Sisko manage to convince them to not only re open the wormhole but to allow passage from any ship that desires it?
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-09 at 6:54pm:
    Since I keep pointing out scientific issues, I can't resist pointing out the gaping hole in the story with respect to the "wormhole aliens" as they come to be known in DS9. This concerns the temporal nature of these aliens, I.e., that they supposedly exist in a non-linear fashion with respect to time.

    Any one remotely familiar with either Einsteinian or Quantum physics knows this is completely nonsense. The existence of a four dimensional universe consisting of three spatial and one temporal dimensions is a basic feature of our physical universe. Only string theory postulates any deviation from this, and that is in a very different form from that shown on DS9. That is, string theory postulates the existence of several temporal dimensions, all of which are linear. (Only one of these has sufficient depth to have any relation to normal matter.) Also, the experimental basis for both Einsteinian and Quantum physics is overwhelming, while the experimental basis for string theory is non-existent, making it a form of intellectual masturbation in my view. But I digress.

    Lots of quality scifi concerns the varying rates at which life forms live in linear time. One excellent example is "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L. Forward in which he proposes the possibility of life on the surface of neutron stars. The compounds in these life forms would be nuclear rather than chemical, and thus would be much faster than normal biological processes. Thus, these life forms would live and die very quickly. (Nonetheless, they would be "linear".)

    In order for a life form to transcend time it would have to exist outside of the physical universe. The only intelligent being that could exist outside of our physical universe and still relate to creatures within it would be God. (This is the very nature of the definition of God in philosophical terms.) While the writers of DS9 attempt to take on the issues of religion and philosophy in ways that no other series has attempted (in the process going where no other star trek series has gone before), they pull back from making the WHAs truly divine. These creatures are severely limited in their physical locality, for example. They live only in the wormhole. This may be a very strange location in non-Newtonian space. It is nonetheless a single location. A truly divine creature would be capable of co-existing everywhere in the universe simultaneously.

    In the end, the WHAs present some difficult scientific and philosophical issues which the writers of DS9 do a pretty poor job of reconciling.

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