Star Trek 427: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

427. Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

FORMULA: Things Past + The Collaborator + Dark Page + Indiscretion

WHY WE LIKE IT: At least Ira Behr didn't get his wish and the affair wasn't between Dukat and Kira.

WHY WE DON'T: The retcon blues.

REVIEW: On Kira's mother's birthday, Dukat makes an appearance revealing he was her mother's lover for 7 years and Kira uses the Orb of Time to go check it out. Where do I start explaining why that premise is so wrong? Well, for one thing, there's never been any indication that Dukat was attracted to Kira because of that prior relationship. This is pure retcon, which might have been hinted in A Time to Stand, but certainly not before. The chronology given here also contradicts the date given as early as Babel for the station's construction, if you really want to be pedantic about it. I'm also not keen on Dukat making his return this way after the evens of Waltz. It seems like small, petty potatoes compared to what he's threatened to do.

The other half of it is that the Orb of Time doesn't work like it it did the last time we saw it. When Sisko is concerned about damage to the timeline, Kira says the Prophets will decide if her quest is worthy, but they can't have signed off on Arne Darvin's trip, can they? Sending Kira to the proper time with the proper clothes and hair is also a different take. The best way to look at such an Orb experience would be if the Prophets only gave you access to a simulacrum of history so that you could explore the past, with no change possible, but that's not what it's been before so not worth really discussing even here.

What makes the episode palatable despite the premise is Kira. She's really good in this whether she's being crabby on the station (note the first mention of the Alamo that she rudely interrupts) or manipulating her Cardassian "John" back in the past. The very personal time travel story gives us a chance to look at the atrocities of the Occupation again, this time the taking of Bajoran women as "comfort". Kira's hero worship of her mother is brought asunder when Meru turns out to have been a little too willing to be Dukat's woman. In her anger, she tries to change history and assassinate them both, but eventually does the right thing, guided by the Prophets, perhaps.

Kira is always excellent when verbally sparring with Dukat, or for that matter, other Cardassians. How she deals with her situation as a slave prostitute never compromises the character and is actually pretty spunky. I love her confident insolence. She doesn't get a chance to fight with Dukat in the past, though he is shown to be manipulating events so that he appears to be, as ever, the benevolent tyrant, putting on charms meant to contrast with his lackeys' rehearsed harshness.

LESSON: Just because you're an orphan doesn't mean you can't have a dysfunctional relationship with your parents.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: I like Kira in this episode, and what it has to say about Dukat's womanizing. However, it's hard to get behind the story because the plot comes out of nowhere and doesn't respect what has gone before.


De said...

Here's what I don't get: In "Emissary", it's clear that the Prophets have no concept of linear time. If they don't understand this concept, then how could they build a device around it? In "Trials and Tribble-ations", it was established that the Orb of Time was one of the orbs taken by the Cardassians during the Occupation.

And that opens yet another can of worms. If Arne Darvin can just casually use it to go back in time and murder Kirk, couldn't the Cardassians have used it to ensure the liberation of Bajor never happened?

Siskoid said...

I've been known to have the ability to explain the Prophet Paradox adequately, and I should really make that a whole post, right after I finish DS9 (which sadly will be all too soon).

That said, the use of the Orb by Arne is the real abheration here. Why was his quest worthy to the Prophets? The answer can only be, because Sisko wanted to meet Kirk, it was part of "The Sisko"'s arc. But I promise I'll explain my theory more in less than 2 months.


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