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Star Trek DS9 - Season 5 - Episode 10

Star Trek DS9 - 5x10 - Rapture

Originally Aired: 1996-12-30

Sisko has a vision and recommends that Bajor not join the Federation at this time. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.37

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 29 1 4 5 8 11 14 6 18 18 15

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Pay close attention to the events of this episode and in particular Sisko's purported visions. This episode features a rare impressive amount of foreshadowing about future episodes.

- Why hadn't the admiral who contacted Sisko converted to the new uniform code? Or his underling? Why was his underling wearing an old style TNG uniform?

- This is the first DS9 episode to feature the uniforms debuted in Star Trek VIII: First Contact.

Remarkable Scenes
- Sisko's instructions to Kira regarding what to tell her concerning why he can't meet with Kai Winn: "Make something up."
- Kassidy's appearance.
- Sisko discovering the lost city.
- Winn: "I was in a Cardassian prison camp for five years. And I can remember each and very beating I suffered. And while you had your weapons to protect you, all I had was my faith and my courage."
- Sisko walking around predicting things.
- Sisko pleading that Bajor not join the Federation.
- Morn Appearances; 1. Quark's bar during the celebration ceremony.

My Review
Sisko has really, truly converted and finally believes he is the Emissary. Sisko turns into quite the prophet in this episode. Most interestingly, he has a vision of locusts swarming over the lost city of Bajor, but they move on. They head towards Cardassia, representing hard times for Cardassia. Bajor would be all right so long as it stood alone, meaning, according to Sisko, so long as it didn't join the Federation yet. Another interesting detail about this episode is Kai Winn as an ally. She was her usual self-serving self, of course, but it was a rare instance when her motives coincided with those of the main cast. This kind of episode has been building up a while. Sisko as the Emissary had to either mean something or not mean something. And there you have it. It meant something.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-07-06 at 2:45pm:
    These are the damned UGLIEST uniforms ever made on star trek. Why in the HELL would the producers decide to do away with the colors that have defined Star Trek for years, and go to these drab, hideous excuses for uniforms??? I absolutely hate them as I hated Picard's overcoat in the later seasons of TNG. I just can never get why the producers switch the uniforms so much. The armed forces of most nations rarely change their uniforms, but apparently Starfleet changes theirs every 4 years.
  • From JTL on 2008-08-12 at 6:15pm:
    Absolutely hideous episode. This is a science fiction show about the future, and the subplot of the 'emissary' is both damned annoying and almost entirely illogical. The philosophy of Star Trek on religion has, up until Deep Space Nine, been to be as open-minded as possible while still holding true to the principle that God is improbable. No scientifically explainable method of action exists for these idiotic visions Sisko experiences, except for the extremely tenuous hypothesis that the Prophets imparted this information to him subconsciously.

    I liked this show about as much as I liked TNG up until this point. Maybe I'll enjoy it again once the Dominion War begins in earnest, but this is the point where Star Trek stops being science fiction and begins being fantasy. I give it a 0/10.
  • From JRPoole on 2009-06-17 at 2:23pm:
    JTL's comment nails my concern about DS9 on the head. I think that it's a better show than TNG overall, but this religious mumbo jumbo gets old and it doesn't seem in keeping with the theme of Trek. It seems to me that Trek got a little new-agey and lost its ant-religion stance somehow after Gene Roddenberry's death.

    Up until now, it's been possible to rationalize away the religious aspects of DS9. The Prophets are really just non-corporeal entities living in the wormhole, not really gods at all. The Orbs have scientific properties that expand the mind, etc. This episode makes that rationalization difficult, and all but verifies the Bajoran religion as fact. Still, it's a nicely constructed episode, and the Cassidy's return is handled well, if a little too quickly.
  • From Phillip Watson on 2009-08-06 at 3:12pm:
    A problem I have in this episode is that due to the change in Uniforms(Bashir wears the old one later in the series) then Sisko was operated on by the Changeling. Why didn't he take the oppurtunity to have him die on the operating table
  • From ZeuS on 2011-07-15 at 10:35pm:
    Absolutely hideous and completely out of place for a Star Trek series religious nonsense.

    0/10 simply because there is no negative score that I could give.
  • From Bernard on 2011-07-17 at 7:43pm:
    Okay, the time has come to comment here!

    I alluded to this episode when commenting on season four episode 'Ascension'. 'Ascension' was the last episode about the wormhole aliens and also the first glimpse of the prophets. 'Rapture' to me is where the wheels come off this particular story arc and we are fed superstitious nonsense instead of science fiction.

    Early on in the series the Bajorans religious beliefs are portrayed realistically. The reasons behind those beliefs are realistic and clever (i.e. they believe in prophets that are actually just non-corporeal aliens living inside a wormhole adjacent to Bajor. These aliens had, up until this point, no idea about corporeal matters least of all the Bajorans). That is clever and you can make clever stories to illustrate the differences between religious fanatics and pure science/scientists just like in the episode 'In the Hands of the Prophets' between Vedek Winn and Keiko. What happens in this episode and hereafter flies completely in the face of all of that and tells us that actually the wormhole aliens DO take an interest in Bajor and they ARE in fact the Prophets. Gene would truly be rolling in his grave. Oh, and I'm not exactly a total lover of Roddenberry philosophy by the way. In fact I think many aspects of the various series' were allowed to become far more realistic and less idealistic and preachy once the great man had passed away.

    Sisko loses respect too as a result of all this nonsense, although Avery Brooks is acting his behind off throughout so tip of the hat there. Kai Winn is excellent in this episode as always too. Ultimately it is all an act of futility because I agree with the last commentator, this episode can only ever receive zero from me.


  • From MJ on 2011-07-23 at 1:17pm:
    I agree with other comments here, for the most part. I've never been a fan of DS9's Prophet/Wormhole story arc, and I think it goes against the Star Trek tradition. But one thing I did like about this episode was its portrayal of Kai Wynn. Throughout the series, she's incredibly manipulative, calculating and arrogant. For this episode, though, we get something a little more complicated. Wynn's remarks to Kira about courage and faith as means to resist Cardassian occupation made for a very nice moment, and her efforts to help Sisko with his visions actually seemed genuine instead of obviously selfish. Her conversation with Kira at the end about not having certainly anymore was also solidly done. It was probably the only episode where I didn't cringe when Wynn had something to say. And Brooks did a great job acting here...not overly dramatic.

    Still, the episode retreated into the New Age mysticism that is DS9's trademark and worst contribution to the Star Trek series. Fortunately, we get enough great episodes dealing with other story arcs like the Maquis, the Dominion Wars, and relationships between characters to more than compensate for this.
  • From RodimusBen on 2011-10-30 at 11:48am:
    The reason this episode is a favorite of mine is precisely the reason others seem to hate it-- it brings the spiritual aspect of Deep Space Nine to the forefront. Spiritualism is one of the reasons that DS9 is the best Trek series. It doesn't ignore this essential part of the human experience, but embraces it and shows how science and religion can coexist in the same worldview.

    Everything that happens in this episode can be explained through the information we've been given (or will be given in later seasons) about Sisko and the Prophets. If you choose to see it from a scientific perspective, that's fine. If you see it as an allegory for human spirituality and our own religious faith, then you can do that too. The most poignant moment of the episode is in ops, when all the regulars are talking about Sisko's situation. Worf and Kira, people of faith, "get it." Dax and O'Brien don't. And that dichotomy between the faithful and the faithless is about as close to a universal truism as Star Trek gets.
  • From Wes on 2012-04-03 at 9:49am:
    My absolute favorite Star Trek uniforms!

    I also like this episode quite a bit. The symbolic prophecy is pretty awesome and chilling when we get to the end of this season and beginning of next season.

    DS9's spirituality has validated the spirituality of any Star Trek character who was spiritual. Before DS9, they were almost depicted as silly for their beliefs.
  • From Lee on 2012-04-08 at 7:28am:
    I neither hate nor love this episode. I don't think it "violates" the true spirit of Star Trek, since it IS Star Trek, and as such it has rewritten this spirit, at least in DS9. (I hope this sentence makes sense)

    TNG was anti-religious, VOY was anti-religious too, but didn't make such a huge "foofaraw" around it and DS9 was spiritual and religious. I don't have a problem with that.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't like the prophets, pah-wraiths and the Bajorans either. But I accept it as part of the storyline and as long as it creates suspense I like it. I don't rate this episode bad, because it's an exciting and moving episode.

    I don't get it when people try to impose their view of "true Star Trek" on some episodes. I also like the much-hated series Enterprise so far, although it wasted a lot of potential. But it's a part of Star Trek, whether you like it or not.
  • From Selador on 2013-06-03 at 6:37pm:
    That's a pretty big spoiler right there Phillip Watson, cheers for that.

    The problem with this episode is similar to the one with BSG. I'm not giving it a 0 since it was exciting and had some really good scenes, Sisko's descriptions were at times pretty poetic, but mainly because I choose to believe that a rational explanation for Sisko's visions can be found within the episode. They're not gods that are revealing these things to him, they're wormhole aliens: surely gods wouldn't need to mess with brain polarity or whatever.

    I reckon that Winn is not as evil as she seems, she's misunderstood.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-11-17 at 12:39pm:
    Did anyone else wish they could move Sisko's communicator? He seems to be the only one who can't figure out where it goes on the new uniform.

    I have a lot of thoughts about this episode, but before I get into them, I want to express my extreme disappointment in this site right now re: spoilers. I'm watching DS9 for the first time, and for the most part I've enjoyed coming on this site after each episode to read other people's reactions and share my own if I have any I feel are worth sharing. I've come across the occasional spoiler and just soldiered on, but I think the comments on this episode are the last straw. Specifically, the comment by Phillip Watson, which seems to casually give away what I can only assume is a major spoiler (based on the downthread reaction by Selador) to make some minor observation about the new uniforms. What annoys me most is that this spoiler has been sitting there in the comments since 2009 and the site administrator hasn't done anything about it. There are all kinds of things that can be done to hide spoilers while preserving the original comment, and I think those sorts of things need to be done if this site is going to be a place where all fans--new and old alike--can come together to discuss the episode. Fans who are rewatching the series need to respect the experience of those viewing it for the first time, and the site administrator should do whatever he can to make this site usable for first time viewers. After this I'm probably going to stop coming here after each DS9 episode, which I'm a little sad about.

    That said, I'm a bit surprised about the negative reactions to this episode. Sure, it dealt with religion and spirituality, but that has been a theme of this series from the very beginning: it's not like DS9 is suddenly betraying it's core principles or something. DS9 had to put up or shut up about the emissary, and after it seemed on the verge of shutting up last season with Accession, I was very happy to see them put up in a big way here. I obviously haven't seen this whole series so I don't know how the prophets/WHAs act in future episodes, but I don't think Sisko's prophesies necessarily mean the WHAs have suddenly taken an interest in Bajor, just that they're aware of them and what happens to them. Sisko, who obviously does care about Bajor, can act on that awareness which has apparently been bestowed upon him as well.

    And the new uniforms are better than the old uniforms, in my opinion. The old uniforms just looked like pajamas to me.
  • From Mike on 2016-11-01 at 10:01pm:
    A lot of reviews here have already discussed the religious/spiritual side of DS9. My comment is geared more toward the "spoiler" issue.

    DS9 had been around about 10 years when reviews started popping up here, and by now, it's been almost 20. I understand a new generation of fans is watching the show for the first time. But given that the show is reviewed and analyzed in every corner of the internet dealing with Star Trek, it's reasonable for long-time fans to discuss details about the entire show without having to worry about "spoilers".

    The Bashir changeling/uniform problem that Philip Watson mentions is also mentioned on many other sites and is one of the things fans discuss whenever the DS9 timeline comes up. Rather than expect people to tiptoe around these potential spoilers, a first-time viewer should just watch the show and then browse the internet for reviews and forums later on.
  • From ST on 2017-04-22 at 3:17am:
    I kind of liked how the religious experiences weren't just Sisko being granted special powers. Whatever alien technology was affecting him, it didn't discriminate. The process would have killed him, even when the believers thought he would have lived. So though others here think the episode was mindlessly accepting about religion, it was actually kind of critical at the same time without rubbing it in your face. What if your religion did revolve around alien technology so that it actually appeared to work? Wouldn't that have its ups and its downsides?
    That's kind of what I like about DS9 in particular--the clash of cultures and beliefs is so much richer in DS9 than it is in other Trek series. There's no naivete about culture: no finding the secret supercomputer, destroying it, then having the residents up and abandon thousands of years worth of culture as if it were nothing.
  • From Armsauce on 2017-05-30 at 6:07pm:
    I find it really hard to rationalize Sisko's behavior in this one. He seems really out of character even taking the visions into account.

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