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Star Trek DS9 - Season 7 - Episode 02

Star Trek DS9 - 7x02 - Shadows and Symbols

Originally Aired: 1998-10-7

Synopsis:
Sisko searches for a lost Orb. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 3.97

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 101 8 1 1 2 4 31 16 15 20 25

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Ezri's ranting about how she got the Dax symbiont and her inability to control her new urges.
- Kira declaring she's going to blockade Bajor's moon from the Romulans.
- The desert hike.
- Kira's blockade.
- Kira: "Since when did the Romulans start using Warbirds to deliver medical supplies?"
- I love Kira's bluff.
- Quark complaining about the gagh.
- Sisko suddenly appearing in a mental hospital with a human version of Damar.
- Kira's game of chicken with the Romulans.
- Sisko reopening the wormhole.
- The Rotarran destroying the Dominion shipyards.

My Review
This episode confirms what I initially suspected, Sisko is actually descended from the prophets. This episode does everything its predecessor should have and exceedingly well, too. It's as if the writers wanted to cram all the good stuff into this episode for some reason. Sisko reopens the wormhole, the Rotarran destroys one of the Dominion's shipyards, and Kira successfully blockades the Romulans, forcing them to dismantle their fortifications on the Bajoran moon. It's a successful conclusion to the two parter, though the two episodes would have been worth more points (both rated 7) if they had been spread more evenly. It seemed to me that one part was all buildup and the other was all action. Oh, and I loved those Starfleet sand-planet uniforms. Most cute. Especially on Ezri. ;)

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From MJ on 2011-02-25 at 1:18pm:
    A decent two-parter.

    First, this Romulan ploy to hide weapons on the Bajoran moon seems a bit forced. I know the Romulans are supposed to be the deceptive chess masters always looking to one-up the Federation with some clever ploy, but it seems out of place here considering the Romulans are already at war with the Dominion. And Kira would be much more believable if she was just a tad bit anguished over this whole situation rather than arrogantly sure of herself through the whole thing. Ever see the movie “Thirteen Days”? In the real world, I’d imagine Kira is losing some sleep over something as significant as the Romulan Empire building up weapons on her homeworld’s moon. Instead, she acts more like Maverick at a game of poker. I don’t buy it.

    Sisko’s mission to find the Orb of the Emissary and his false vision was enjoyable. I’m usually not a fan of this Emissary story arc, but this is one of the rare times it was well handled and intriguing. I like the idea of explaining Sisko’s connection to the Prophets by having him be a descendant of them; it grounds the story a bit more and removes some of the supernatural. And I always LOVE when Brock Peters guest stars. He’s a fantastic actor.

    The third subplot, where Worf and the DS9 comrades go on a mission to get Jadzia into Sto’Vo’Kor is the best, though. I like the petty bickering between Bashir, O’Brien, and Quark, especially over the mess hall incident. And Worf’s apology is a nicely done scene. Their destruction of the shipyards was a very good action sequence, and made for a fine plot addition.

    In the end, the three subplots work well together; I even like the occasional flash to Damar and Weyoun.
  • From Lt. Fitz on 2012-07-05 at 1:02pm:
    The whole Trill thing is weird.

    It seems a bit unfair that keeping a symbiont alive can entail what seems to me to be the enslavement of a Trill host. She didn't want to host Dax? Then it should have died. I mean, Ezri already had a life. She was in Starfleet, for goodness sake. She obviously wasn't planning to be a host. Now she is stuck with the symbiont. And, why didn’t they just put the symbiont in Stasis until they could find it a willing host?

    Also, it has been established that when symbiont and host are put together, they basically become a new person. Shouldn't that new person have to be reconsidered for Starfleet? It's not the same Ezri after all. What if Dax had ended up in a Trill like Joran?

    I know. It's a TV show. I'm probably thinking it through too much. :)
  • From Lt. Fitz on 2012-07-05 at 2:17pm:
    I don't get it. I watched the very first episodes after watching this one, because it seemed to me that the prophets were being very inconsistent. In the first episodes, the prophets don’t know what linear time is. They don’t seem to know what Sisko is. They even conclude that he must be destroyed! He has to argue with them to save himself! Now, late in the series they are written to have reached far across the quadrant to take control of a human woman to produce Sisko himself. Making Sisko what exactly? A human/prophet hybrid? The son of the gods? The savior of the wormhole? To do all this, it seems to me a species needs to have a pretty firm grip on what linear time is. It’s clear that the writers have gone too far with the whole emissary thing. Throughout the series it seemed like they were really pushing to go too far with it, and in this episode, they finally did it.

    I now understand why a lot of Trek fans had problems with DS9. It was mostly working for me when I could frame the prophets as a difficult-to-comprehend race of aliens that the Bajorans were mistaking for gods who must have been inadvertently interacting with the Bajorans simply because their planet was in the vicinity of one end of the wormhole. But now, I don’t know what to think. Their nature is so inconsistent and unclearly defined that they have become completely inconceivable to me. When a story includes such opacity, it strikes me as carelessly written. Even the most bizarre circumstances in the previous series could always be explained in general scientific terms within the rules of the Star Trek universe as it had been defined. But in the DS9 universe, literally anything can happen and no explanation is required. DS9 definitely took Star Trek from science fiction to space fantasy, which is a bit of a downer for me since I greatly preferred Star Trek being science fiction. If I wanted space fantasy, I could always turn to Star Wars.

    This is not to say that I dislike DS9. I generally like it. But, as I read someone else comment, it’s not really Star Trek. I just wish that it would have remained consistent within its unique universe, but it idn’t.
  • From Hugo on 2013-02-13 at 2:56am:
    I was a bit disappointed with the events on the Rotarran - I was expecting there to be some point where Bashir and Quark would be useful for the completion of the mission - now they were just passangers. The Chief, on the other hand, got to contribute...
  • From James on 2014-06-05 at 7:45pm:
    Seems like someone is sabotaging your rating system. All of seas 7 episodes have an inconsistent amount of zero votes. I really doubt that seas 7 is so hated that the majority of people would give all the episodes a zero. So, for this season I think I'll depend on YOUR ratings for my guide. Someone obviously has a lot of time on their hands. Too bad they are using it to skew the results on, IMHO, the best Star Trek review site on the Web.
  • From Axel on 2015-05-11 at 12:46am:
    Maybe it's just me, but the Romulan decision to defend their hospital with torpedoes seems perfectly justified. If I were in their place, I wouldn't trust the defense of a crucial hospital facility to the antiquated ships the Bajoran militias use. Maybe they were a bit too secretive about the whole thing, but it's not exactly an act of war. Kira and the Bajorans come across as unreasonable by demanding outright that the Romulans remove the weapons rather than work something out. I guess you could explain it as the Bajorans having deja vu about an outside power starting a military occupation in their space, but that part of the story didn't really work IMO.

    Still not sure what to make of this whole Prophet/Pah-Wraith thing. I agree it gets a little carried away in Season 7, although in this particular episode I think it made for a good plot.
  • From McCoy on 2017-03-05 at 9:06am:
    I really liked return of Ben Russell. Seems like the writers know that their idea of Sisko being Prophet is silly. After all Russell is insane during writing this story:)
    I'm probalby in minority but I regret they didn't kill Jadzia earlier. Never liked her irritating behaviour. In this one episode Ezri is better written, performed and more interesting character than Jadzia in previous six seasons alltogether.

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