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Star Trek DS9 - Season 1 - Episode 13

Star Trek DS9 - 1x13 - Battle Lines

Originally Aired: 1993-4-25

Sisko, Kira, and Bashir are stranded on a war-torn world where it is impossible for the combatants to die. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 4.13

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 16 6 11 14 8 9 10 6 5 1

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- As much as I hate to recommend such a terrible episode, if you don't watch this episode, you may find yourself wondering where the hell Kai Opaka went at the end of the season when they're holding elections for the next Kai.

- The nanites ending permanent death stretches realism. What if someone's limbs get hacked off? Or they get decapitated? Or they get blown to bitty little bits by a bomb? Or vaporized by a phaser?


Remarkable Scenes
- Kira's reaction to her "disappointing" file and feeling "under-appreciated."
- Sisko taking the Kai through the wormhole simply to indulge her.
- Bashir: "I've discovered we can't afford to die here. Not even once."
- Morn appearances; 1. Walks by with a bag on his shoulder when Sisko and Bashir are discussing the Kai in the teaser.

My Review
I don't like this one. This episode is a complete waste of a great character, Kai Opaka. A completely unfitting end for a character who was never given a chance to develop. The implications of the nanites which can apparently end permanent death are never sufficiently explored, nor is it ever explained how the nanites are supposed to resurrect someone who is vaporized by a phaser or something. And worse yet, the people of the planet are shown as nothing but mindless savages who Opaka is supposed to begin life anew with and somehow bring together these bitter enemies. Most of these concepts have been explored better elsewhere, and nothing particularly remarkable happens in this episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2009-12-03 at 5:29am:
    Interesting premise done badly, and I agree that the Kai is just thrown in there as a convenient way of setting up the ongoing bajoran story arc. I'd hardly say misuse of a great character though, she was only in the pilot for about five minutes!

    The three regulars are all well within character though and I liked Kira's reaction to Opaka's death, unfortunately because the viewer has not grown to know the Opaka character well enough any emotional impact is lost for me so you cannot share in her grief. It smacked much more of a TNG plot however with the convenient escape at the end. I gave it a 4, mainly for all the interesting moments and good characterisation throughout.
  • From John on 2012-03-24 at 4:06pm:
    This episode is pretty bad. Not nearly as bad as 'Move Along Home', but still pretty bad. It has the additional distinction of being the episode which open the doors for Winn's rise to power. This is also a bummer.

    However, it does have one redeeming moment: when Kira reads her Cardassian intelligence file and discovers they didn't consider her much of a threat, she flips out, and I laugh every time. Yet another example of Kira taking things way too seriously.
  • From Nathan on 2013-10-12 at 5:42am:
    This was a filler episode, and it was pretty awful. I think it might be my least favorite in this season (possibly even worse than move along home).

    About the only redeeming quality this episode had was setting up the Kai election at the end with Opaka's demise. Additionally, her end was thankfully brief- I hated every scene with her in it. She was a one dimensional character that spouted meaningless mumbo jumbo. People say she was a character that didn't get the chance to be developed. I say I am glad she didn't get more time and that they got rid of her when they did.
  • From tigertooth on 2016-08-07 at 11:03pm:
    Mike Ehrmantraut!

    I also thought I saw Hack Scudder (John Savage) in there as leader of the Nol-Ennis, but maybe it wasn't him.

    Anyway, did they ever follow up on the microbes that keep people from dying? You'd think that would be a major discovery.
  • From Abigail on 2019-08-29 at 5:52pm:
    I just rewatched this episode. I didn't hate it as much as anyone else. Sure, it was a rather unfitting end for the Kai, but it's not like she was a hugely developed character prior to the episode. The main thing that bugged me is the way they didn't explore this new nanite technology at all. You'd think they'd be staying there to study it, doing anything they could to recreate it so the people could leave that world. It was weird how they discovered how the people returned to life, realized they'd die if they left the surface, and then were just like, "Oh, well. We'll leave the Kai here and never think about it again!"

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