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Old 10-14-2023, 06:49 PM
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October 4th, 1993, "The Circle"

My biggest problem is that this episode basically consists of setting up stuff for the third part, without any consideration to being a satisfying episode by itself, because it's not. The sheer amount of exposition on display here is a disgrace.
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Fiver by Derek

The Episode

JARO: But I expected you to be celebrating. I was under the impression that Major Kira has been nothing but trouble to you since
SISKO: Who gave you that impression?
JARO: Common knowledge.

While I have no doubt that there'd be gossip about this on Bajor, I would hope that it would stay current. Kira's character arc has developed past contacting admirals behind Sisko's back.

SISKO: Major Kira has my complete respect. She's been invaluable in establishing this command post. And now she's been dismissed without anyone consulting me and I don't appreciate it.
JARO: Commander, Starfleet doesn't consult us when they wish to promote one of their officers.

Because there aren't any Starfleet officers who serve under Bajoran officers. At least in the way they're talking about.

ODO: Have you asked Sisko for help?
KIRA: I'm sure he'll do whatever he thinks is best for the station.
ODO: You haven't even gone to him?
KIRA: Well what do you want me to do, Odo?
ODO: Fight for what you want. It's what you do best.

I find myself questioning Odo's exact position with the Bajoran Militia. He should know better than most about how military hierarchies work.

Furthermore, how exactly is Kira supposed to "fight for what she wants"? She has enough enemies in the Provincional Government as it is, trying to rally her supporters for an official objection would cause nothing but bad blood.

For that matter, the balance between the pro- and anti-Federation factions in the Council of Ministers is precarious enough as it is, the scandal caused by Kira's objection would tip the balance enough to cause the very civil war that Kira is fighting to prevent. She's too smart to want that, she knows that her career isn't worth the fallout.

ODO: Now I suppose they'll expect me to break in a new man.
KIRA: A great man. Li Nalas can handle the job, believe me.

How is Odo supposed to train Nalas?

DAX: Do you have any idea where you'll be stationed?
KIRA: Come in. Not yet. They say that after I've taken some leave time, I've earned a desk at the foreign affairs building somewhere.

Well, that sounds absolutely awful. Why aren't they giving her command of a patrol ship in the DMZ? In fact, she'd be happier retiring as a farmer, wouldn't she?

DAX: This is Kira's decision to make. Unless of course you want me to talk to Sisko.
KIRA: I knew what I was doing. I knew the risk.
ODO: That's not what she asked.

A good point.

BAREIL: I hope I'm not interrupting.
KIRA: No. Please come in. These are my (pause) These are my friends.

That pause of realization is very important.

(Then she sees it.)
KIRA: Oh, Bareil. All my life I've dreamed of this.
(Bareil opens the orb case.)

This is her first Orb experience? She hasn't had the opportunity in all this time? This demands further explanation.

ODO: Where would the Circle be getting so many weapons?
QUARK: The Kressari.
ODO: The Kressari? That doesn't make sense. The Kressari don't even have a military.

The Kressari make a number of background appearances in DS9, but they were never that important. My biggest problem is Odo's disconnect between weapons and military. Why can't a race without a military still make and sell weapons? The Orions seem to be doing just fine with this business strategy.

ODO: Quark. I hate to do this, but I guess I'll have to.
QUARK: That's not fair.
ODO: I haven't done anything yet.
QUARK: Whatever you're going to do, it's not fair.
ODO: You're a deputy.
QUARK: It's not. What?
ODO: You're a deputy.

Great scene. I'm reminded of when Garak made the offer to be deputized in "The Way of the Warrior."

LI: No problem. What about the station while you're gone?
SISKO: Dax and Mister O'Brien can handle things in Ops. If you need any other help

"Handing things in Ops" is not quite the same as "acting station commander." Kira has been trained to do this, Nalas hasn't. Frankly, this goes back to the "everyone should be training a replacement for themselves" thing that I've mentioned before. Kira in particular should have a second-in-command that Nalas could use as a backup.

WINN: We've met before, haven't we? Major? Major?
KIRA: Kira Nerys.
WINN: That's right. Major Kira. From the space station.

Ugh. This whole "I'm too important for little people" thing is used way too much to indicate "this person is a jerk".

WINN: A worthy endeavour for someone who has led such a life of violence, child. And I'm sure the Assembly would have had no objection to your encounter with an orb had Vedek Bareil consulted us.
BAREIL: No one has ever been held to that formality.
WINN: You're right, of course. But I've always consulted with the Assembly in advance.

Having to ask the Vedek Assembly for permission for every Orb encounter seems like something that's just asking for trouble. Especially if DS9 is supposed to have an Orb at their Temple. For that matter, why isn't there a Vedek stationed on DS9? It would seem like an obvious addition, a religious leader to compliment the military leader.

SISKO: There is concern in some quarters that the military is unwilling to confront the forces of the Circle.
KRIM: I don't know with whom you've been speaking, Commander.
SISKO: I've been observing troop movements. Every time there is a potential confrontation, the military withdraws to a safer position.
KRIM: You can't possibly appreciate that this is Bajoran against Bajoran.

And? Kira's been warning Sisko of a Bajoran Civil War for a year! Furthermore, if the idea of Bajorans not fighting themselves is supposed to be that important, it raises important questions regarding the Maquis and the DMZ colonists.

KRIM: Commander Sisko, you told me about the Kressari before you asked the favour regarding Kira. You could've tried to trade that information for the favour.
SISKO: I wouldn't do that.
KRIM: I'll remember that about you.

It's a shame this won't lead anywhere.

LI: I am First Officer Li Nalas. Can I help you?

Does Kira ever introduce herself like this? You'd think Li Nalas would be given the honorary rank of Major to use in situations like this.

(The Kressari appear to be spiky cousins of the Narn from Babylon 5)

I don't see it. Both races have vaguely reptilian appearances, but Kressari are closer to lizards and Narn are closer to turtles.
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