Jul 9 2013 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “The Homecoming”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming“The Homecoming”
Written by Jeri Taylor & Ira Steven Behr
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 2, Episode 1
Production episode 40512-421
Original air date: September 26, 1993
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Quark meets with a Boslic freighter captain who was given a Bajoran earring by a maintenance worker on Cardassia IV, and was told that any Bajoran would understand its significance. She’s not making it to Bajor this trip, so Quark takes it to Kira, who recognizes it as belonging to Li Nalas, one of the heroes of the Bajoran resistance.

Kira goes to Sisko for a runabout. Sisko has heard the stories of Li’s great victories, but also thought he was reported killed; Kira says his body was never found. She’s already scanned the dermal residue on the earring, which matches Li’s DNA, and she’s already gone to the provisional government, and they’re not willing to go to war with Cardassia over an earring. But Bajor needs a leader—since Opaka was lost, the factionalizing of Bajor has deteriorated, there are religious riots and an extremist group calling themselves “the Alliance for Global Unity,” or, simply, the Circle, causing problems (O’Brien finds graffiti of theirs on the station), and the provisional government is filled with political opportunists. Kira insists that Li can be the leader Bajor desperately needs.

Sisko promises to think it over. He talks to Dax, who thinks he should give Kira the runabout if for no other reason than to expose the fact that there are still Bajoran prisoners in Cardassian space—they claimed to have released them all. Sisko agrees, and authorizes the trip, once O’Brien has refitted the runabout so that it’ll come up on Cardassian sensors as a Lisseppian transport. (O’Brien had already given this considerable thought, to Sisko’s annoyance, realizing that Kira had talked to most of the senior staff about this.) Sisko also wants O’Brien to accompany Kira, who refuses the help at first, but Sisko insists. Kira makes it clear that they’re coming back with Li or not at all, and to Kira’s obvious surprise, O’Brien agrees readily.

Kira bluffs her way past a navigation control post, and then they make it to Cardassia IV—but they’re reading a dozen Bajorans down there. Plan A—to beam Li up—just became impossible, as they can’t tell which of the twelve is Li, and Kira wants to rescue all of them. So they land outside the force field (which apparently only covers the ground, since beaming from orbit was an option), and approach. Kira claims to be a comfort woman, with O’Brien as her pimp—she’s got an appointment with the prefect. The overseer wants to know how much it would cost him for an appointment, and lets Kira (but not O’Brien) inside the force field so he can inspect the merchandise. Once he gets close enough, Kira decks him. She and O’Brien take down the other two nearby guards with their phasers, but there are plenty more, and they get pinned down behind a ridge. Four of the prisoners offer to stay behind and hold them off so Li can get back to Bajor safely. Li himself, who’s wounded, refuses to allow that, but everyone insists. Kira leaves them her phaser and the remaining prisoners all go back to the runabout.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

They try to wait long enough for the other four to make it back, but there are two warships in orbit, they have to go now. They make it safely back to DS9, and the prisoners are brought to the infirmary, where Li is far more concerned with the well being of the others than with his own wound.

When Kira reports to Sisko, she finds him on subspace with Dukat, who informs them both that Cardassia formally apologizes to Bajor for the labor camp on Cardassia IV; the prisoners Kira and O’Brien were forced to leave behind are en route to Bajor as well. After Dukat signs off, Sisko congratulates Kira on a successful mission.

In the infirmary, Li cuts off Bashir’s attempts to discuss his history with the resistance, including his victory in hand-to-hand combat against Gul Zarale. After he cleans up, Sisko and Kira take him on a tour of the station. Lots of Bajorans openly gape at Li, who is obviously uncomfortable with the attention.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

Minister Jaro arrives on the station, greeted by Kira. Jaro tells Kira that she made some enemies in the chamber of ministers, and he also officially chastises her for disobeying orders. But as a private citizen, he thanks her for bringing Li home.

The gaping has turned into a crowd-control issue, and Li finds himself all but trapped in the replimat with Sisko, who tells him that they’re not going to leave without him saying a few words. “If that’s what it takes,” Li says reluctantly, and addresses the crowd haltingly, then is saved by Jaro, who welcomes him home and asks if he can speak to the crowd. (“You can’t expect a politician to give up an opportunity like this.”) Li eagerly tells him to go right ahead.

Sisko escorts Li to his quarters, saying he hopes they’re sufficient. For the first time, Li smiles—he just spent a decade in a Cardassian labor camp. The guest quarters on DS9 is luxury beyond his wildest dreams. He’s also surprised that people even still remember him. He’s gone from slave to hero in less than a day—what’s more, he has learned that Bajor is free (a fact obviously kept from the prisoners on Cardassia IV). He asks Sisko what the newly freed Bajor is like, and Sisko then tells him about the planet’s lack of strong leadership, and why Li is needed.

Quark is assaulted by the Circle, and branded with their symbol on his forehead. When Kira explains to Li what the Circle is about—that they want all non-Bajorans gone from Bajor—he’s appalled. So appalled, in fact, that he tries to run away to the Gamma Quadrant by stowing away on a vessel headed there. He’s caught and brought to Sisko.

Li at last tells his story. He was part of a minor resistance cell, all but three of whom were wiped out by the Cardassians. He and the other two survivors fled to the hills. Lack of food or water led them to venture into a valley; Li, as the only one who was armed, scouted ahead, where he literally stumbled on a Cardassian bathing in the lake. Li managed to shoot him before he shot Li, and the Cardassian fell on him. His cohorts found him with a naked, dead Cardassian on top of him, recognizing the victim as Gul Zarale, who’d killed many a Bajoran. They immediately spread the story of his glorious victory over Zarale. Li kept trying to demur, but no one would let him, and his legend grew. He was just a guy who was lucky enough to survive a massacre and who then became the hero of the resistance because he shot a Cardassian in his underwear. He’s done being a slave to his reputation, and he wants out.

Sisko, though, won’t let him off that easy. Bajor needs a symbol right now, not a man. Nobody’s going to ask him to lead troops into battle or kill a hundred Cardassians with his bare hands. But the Bajoran people look at him and see the best in themselves. Li returns to Bajor with Jaro, where the chamber of ministers unanimously elect him to be given the title of navarch—an existing title was deemed insufficient, so they made one up. Jaro and Li then return to the station, as Navarch Li is the new Bajoran Liaison Officer to Deep Space 9. When Sisko points out that he already has one, Jaro says that Kira’s no longer assigned to this post and has been recalled to Bajor.

To be continued...

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

The Sisko is of Bajor: In contrast to a year ago, Sisko is very invested in Bajor and its ongoing stability. His reasons for agreeing to give Kira the runabout are as much for his own mission, as given to him by Picard in “Emissary,” as they are to help Bajor, though both goals are similar.

Don’t ask my opinion next time: Kira marshals support from Dax and O’Brien to bolster her argument to Sisko, with the former helping convince Sisko to agree and the latter working out the engineering details on how to do it. She and O’Brien then do a superlative job with the rescue, with Kira playing the role of comfort woman with gusto.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

Rules of Acquisition: Quark tips Odo off to a Subytt freighter that was selling defective isolinear chips to the Bajorans. Odo is annoyed and confused by Quark suddenly being helpful, more so by Quark’s insistence that he and Odo are going to be friends from now on. After Odo leaves, Quark explains to Rom that he’s following the 76th Rule: “Every once in a while, declare peace—it confuses the hell out of your enemies.”

The slug in your belly: Dax doesn’t enjoy talking baseball with Sisko, and she reveals that Curzon didn’t like talking baseball with Sisko nearly as much as he let on.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

For Cardassia! Cardassian Supreme Directive 2645 declared that all Bajoran prisoners would be released. Cardassia IV is in violation of it, and Kira’s exposure of it leads to Cardassia apologizing to Bajor and not censuring her for her invasion of Cardassian space and attack on Cardassian military personnel.

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Jake has asked a Bajoran girl named Laira out on a date, and asks his father for advice on where to go. Sisko puts the kibosh on a holosuite or in taking her to their quarters, and makes suggestions Jake deems “boring.” Finally, Jake hilariously declares, “I can see you’re not ready to have this conversation” to his father and walks off.

Later, Laira winds up cancelling the date because her father won’t let her go out with a non-Bajoran.

Keep your ears open: “I’ll never forget the look on his face when he died. He was so… embarrassed.”

Li’s conclusion to his description of his “epic” battle against Zarale.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

Welcome aboard: Guest stars galore in this one, from established recurring characters Rom (Max Grodenchik) and Dukat (Marc Alaimo) to uncredited appearances by longtime Trek character actor John Fleck as the Cardassian overseer and (most impressively) the great Frank Langella as Jaro (Langella did the three-episode appearance for his children, and so worked for scale with no credit). Leslie Bevis makes the first of three appearances as Rionoj, the Boslic freighter captain (she’ll be back in “The Abandoned” and “Broken Link”), and Michael Bell plays the Bajoran prisoner who smuggled Li’s earring out.

But the other big guest (besides Langella) is Richard Beymer, best known for his roles on West Side Story in 1961 and Twin Peaks from 1990-1991, as Li. He’ll be back for the next two parts, as will Langella.

Trivial matters: This is the first three-part storyline ever done on Star Trek. DS9 will have many two-parters, and also a couple of multi-episode storylines in its last two seasons, but this is the only three-parter; there won’t be another one on Trek until Enterprise’s final season.

Li’s time in the resistance, and capture by Cardassians, was chronicled in the Terok Nor novel Dawn of the Eagles by S.D. Perry & Britta Dennison. The post-finale DS9 novels also established that a Bajoran Militia ship was named after him.

In the Mirror Universe, Li was the First Minister of Bajor, seen in the MU short novel Saturn’s Children by Sarah Shaw (a pseudonym for David Mack, in the collection Obsidian Alliances) and in the DS9 novel The Soul Key by Olivia Woods.

This is one of three writing credits for Jeri Taylor on DS9. Taylor helped Michael Piller run the writers room of TNG, and was the co-creator of Voyager and also its show-runner for its first few seasons. (Her other two credits will be the two-part “The Maquis,” a story that helped to set things up for Voyager.) This story was based on a pitch she had for TNG where the Enterprise would encounter a Bajoran woman trying to rescue a former Bajoran resistance leader who no longer wanted to be a leader. However, Michael Piller thought the story better suited to DS9, so Ira Steven Behr reworked it into the first part of a season-opening trilogy.

Walk with the Prophets: “All I had done was shoot an unarmed Cardassian in his underwear.” What a great start to the new season. Keeping the momentum going from the strong end to the first season, we have an episode that truly gets to the heart of what the show’s about: the recovery of Bajor from the Cardassian occupation. By expanding the story to three parts, the epic scope of the storyline gets a serious chance to breathe. Rewatching it, I was surprised to see that neither Winn nor Bareil—two essential characters in the Circle storyline—were even in the episode (they’ll be in “The Circle” and “The Siege”).

Ultimately, this episode is about symbolism and legends and leadership. Everyone, from Kira to Bashir to Jaro, speaks of Li Nalas in reverent terms, yet the man himself seems so—so unassuming. Yet we think of that as the modesty of the true hero, thinking of others before himself, unwilling to gloat over past accomplishments. Richard Beymer plays it beautifully here, keeping the role low-key, yet the growing frustration with his being fawned over becomes more and more etched on his face, culminating in out-and-out disgust with the Circle’s attack on Quark.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

His confession of the true source of his legend is a tour de force, as he tells the tale matter-of-factly, yet with that subtle undertone of frustration.

And it’s one of a bunch of fine performances. Frank Langella and Marc Alaimo have an insincerity-off, as both spew impressive amounts of fecal matter. Both Terry Farrell and Siddig El-Fadil are noticeably more comfortable (and in the latter case, less annoying) in the roles of Dax and Bashir, presaging both characters’ improvement over the course of the season and series, and the episode opens with reassurance that Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman’s magnificent double-act will continue apace.

But this episode is owned by Colm Meaney and especially Nana Visitor. The pair of them together are superb during the rescue, with Kira in particular showing the skills that got her through fighting a guerilla war: faking being first a Lissepian captain, then a comfort woman. As the two characters with the most experience fighting Cardassians, Kira and O’Brien are a natural pairing, which we got a hint of in “Emissary” while Sisko was communing with wormhole aliens, and which works beautifully here, Kira’s passion and drive a good match with O’Brien’s nigh-overwhelming competence.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Homecoming

And throughout it all, we have Sisko once again being the rock at the center of everything. One of the things I like about Sisko is that he can bring order to chaos when it’s required of him, but can also be pretty damned chaotic when it’s called for. For this storyline, it’s the former that’s needed, and Avery Brooks is magnificent, navigating the treacherous waters of Kira’s provocative mission, Bajoran politics, Cardassian politics, Li’s reluctance, and even his son’s burgeoning love life. (As always, the scenes between the two Siskos sparkle.) Also, I just love the fact that he doesn’t drop everything to talk to Kira, but takes the time to finish his conversation with Jake, gets his breakfast, sits down and starts eating, and then asks Kira what she wants.

An excellent start to a new season.


Warp factor rating: 9

Keith R.A. DeCandido has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a graphic novel based on the universe of his novel Dragon Precinct and its sequels. Art will be by JK Woodward, (the artist on the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comic book). Please check it out and spread the word!

Raymond Seavey
1. RaySea
I love Kira's comfort woman act in this episode. You strongly get the feeling that this isn't the first time she's used "feminine wiles" to get the better of a Cardassian, which of course makes perfect sense. I always liked it when we got those little reminders that Kira really was a good resistance fighter, and that that kind of fighting involves a lot more than guns and bombs.

I also liked what they did with Li. In the real world, there's more than one war hero with a story like his, and starting to tell that kind of nuanced story was very much a sign of things to come for DS9.
Michael Burstein
2. mabfan
Great write-up. Now I want to re-watch it myself.

-- Michael A. Burstein
Matt Stoumbaugh
3. LazerWulf
I watched the entire 3-parter right after the rewatch post for the Season 1 Finale went live, forgetting that there was a season recap post and then there no post on the 4th of July weekend, so it's been a over week since I've seen any DS9, and since I'm trying no to get too far ahead of this rewatch, it'll be another week before I can watch the next episode!

Joseph Newton
4. crzydroid
I think this kind of episode is suited to DS9. I don't just mean a PoW rescue kind of thing, but something that is less extraordinary. With TNG, I feel it was more acceptable for the Enterprise to always encounter very strange things, because they were travelling around in the unknown parts of space (well, that was the initial intention, anyway). Here, the station is stationary. With all the commerce coming through, I would think freighter captains wouldn't want to dock there if they never knew when they might get an aphasia virus, or when the crew was being overtaken by telepathic aliens, etc. So I think episodes like this, "Progress", "Duet", etc. work really well because they're in the rhealm of day-to-day operation for a station that's in the middle of a political and military hotbed. It's exciting enough that it makes good television, but it's mundane enough to be acceptable as part of the ordinary missions of the station.
Matt Hamilton
5. MattHamilton
This was good and I love Frank Langella. Did it for his kids, huh? His kids big into the Trek I take it. Anywhoo, I love stories like these because I've always found the Galactic Politics to be interesting. Don't get me wrong, I like blow 'em up and space battle as much as the next nerd, but I love the politics of what is going on everyday in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Parts of your books, KRAD, I found to be excellent simply because of this, so you can imagine my liking of Articles of the Federation. Aright, enough pandering. But like my grandfather, who alway said I'm no hero, I just did my job. The heroes never came home; Li is memorable and realistic to me. I admire him at the same time as I feel for him, and for all of Bajor. The breakdown of the government after sixty years of occupation and then losing their religious leader, extremist and xenophobics running around everywhere, it all makes for interesting television
David Levinson
6. DemetriosX
A very, very good episode. It's probably also the best of the 3 stories in the arc, maybe because it gets all the action stuff out of the way early and focuses on character right on through the climax. It also stands almost alone as a story. Stop it before we're told Kira is being reassigned and you could build the whole season around the Circle and the instability that Bajor faces. That might have made for a stronger season, but there's no way they could have gotten Frank Langella to keep coming back.
Matt Hamilton
7. MattHamilton
That being said, I find one thing to be very scary. I can see all members of Starfleet having their fingerprints and DNA on file for various reasons. Hell, I would think it would be weird if they didn't considering the myriad ways in which one can meet their ends in space, having your DNA on file is the best option. But does EVERYONE have it on file? We constantly see this with the, "Oh, hey, this matches his DNA." Where did you get that? Especially on Bajor having been under occupation for so long, I don't think they had time to build up a database (without warrents apparently) unless the Cardassians had this and the Bajorans just took it over, which is equally as frightening. Or, just maybe, I'm reading WAY too much into this as I do.
Alan Courchene
8. Majicou
I never knew "Sarah Shaw" was really David Mack. Why the pseudonym?
Keith DeCandido
9. krad
Majicou: Due to a miscommunication between two editors. Dave tells the story on the Trek BBS here.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Jeremy Marr
10. Jeremy Marr
@1. RaySea: You just reminded me of a line from one of Cote DePablo's earliest episodes as Ziva David on NCIS...
Ziva: "Well, the lawyer seemed to react pretty strongly to DiNozzo...why doesn't Tony just sleep with her?"
(Stunned silence and looks of utter shock on Tony and McGee's faces. Crickets chirping in the background )
Ziva: "What? Sex is a perfectly viable interrogation technique!"
Gibbs: (shrugs) "I've done it."
Ziva: "Me, too."
@7. MattHamilton: If the Cardies didn't take thorough medical readings of Li Nalas after he was captured (and BEFORE he was taken off-world), I'm sure one or two of the other resistance cells took a DNA sample of him, in case the worst should happen to their greatest hero and they needed absolute confirmation of the remains.
Christopher Bennett
11. ChristopherLBennett
Correction: Borum was the character name of the Bajoran prisoner who helped Li's escape. The actor was Michael Bell, who was Groppler Zorn in TNG's "Encounter at Farpoint" and would return as Drofo Awa in "The Maquis, Part II." Bell has also been an accomplished voice actor for decades,with roles such as Duke on G.I. Joe, Lance on Voltron, Lex Luthor in the '88 Superman cartoon, and various Trek video game characters.

This is a good one, the beginning of a good arc. But it was possibly the least science-fictiony Trek episode ever made up to this point. It was pretty much pure politics and character, without any SF elements beyond the everyday aspects of the series setting. Which I suppose is an improvement over the random sci-fi weirdness that so often felt tacked on in season 1.

I always liked Rionoj, the Boslic captain. She was hot, and the makeup design really flattered her. That's why I introduced a Boslic female security guard in my Star Trek: SCE installment (and eventually incorporated her into the Titan crew so I could write her again).

I liked the costume design for Kira's civilian outfit here. Interesting use of layered textures.

And I love the "SAD SISKO IS SAD" screencap illustrating the item about Dax not enjoying his talk about baseball. Good one, photo selection guy!
George Salt
12. GeorgeSalt
@7: It isn't surprising that Starfleet would maintain a database of DNA samples of its personnel. The US military has been doing that since the mid-90s. As for civilians and Bajor, one could speculate that DNA-based methods have become so fundamental to 24th century medicine that DNA sampling is routine and simply accepted. Keep in mind that the Bajorans have been technologically advanced for a much longer time than humans, so it is not hard to imagine that DNA sampling is well established in that society.

I can understanding your discomfort: years ago I was creeped out when a bank in California wanted my fingerprints for a routine transaction. In some Asian societies, fingerprints -- preserved in wax -- have been used a means of identification for centuries. Expectations of privacy vary from society to society, and vary within societies over time.

I don't have much to say about this one. It's utterly devoid of sci-fi and the political storyline is uninspired and rather predictable. In other words, its more space drama.
Alan Courchene
13. Majicou
Hey, and Leslie Bevis was Commanderette Zircon in Spaceballs. "Shall I have Snotty beam you down, sir?"
Jeremy Marr
14. James Parr
To Christopher's point about the episode not being SF, that's kind of what I like the most about DS9. I loved that it was a space setting but so many of the stories could just be character pieces and political tales. The more hard science tales can be fun, but when DS9 came along it was nice to have stories like this.
I think this episode is where I started to love the series, especially when you compare it to what TNG was doing at the time.
Keith DeCandido
15. krad
Thanks for the catch, Christopher. :) It's fixed.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Jeremy Marr
16. TK1123
I'm not sure about that "no more three parters" business. I'm pretty sure the end of season 7 is really just a nine-parter- and naturally, it's wonderful.
Christopher Bennett
17. ChristopherLBennett
@15: I've always been a fan of animation voice work, so it always stood out for me when I saw a voice actor's name, like Michael Bell or Alan Oppenheimer, in the credits of a live-action show. And Bell's a performer whose voice I've always rather liked. So I had reason to notice his presence in this episode the first time around and to remember it now.
Charles Olney
18. CharlesO
I love that this is a three-parter. If it had been forced into two, they would have had to cover a lot more territory in this one. As it is, you really just get a chance to dwell on things.

I noticed going through that the standard expectations for pacing in a TV show were being held back. It was obvious that *something* was amiss, but they really let it play out slowly - because they didn't need to save space at the end for a genuine resolution.

I do think that Sisko's speech is just a little bit schlocky, but I'll forgive it for being necessary.
Chris Nash
19. CNash
An excellent episode, and a sign of things to come in terms of structure, as more emphasis would be placed on ongoing character and situation development going forward. I particularly enjoyed the action sequence at the Cardassian labour camp - shot on location, rather than on a soundstage, and all the better for it. O'Brien and Kira really are a natural pairing (much more so than O'Brien and Dax), and they'll be paired up like this a few more times in future episodes.

The two scenes between Ben and Jake are wonderful, the best that I've seen so far. It helps that for once Ben isn't chiding Jake for a perceived mistake or mischief. Finally, Frank Langella gives a performance similar to Louise Fletcher's in the previous episode - although Jaro is less of a firebrand than Winn, they're both experts in political doublespeak, and their response to being challenged is always a veiled threat to bring their political power to bear on whoever crosses them. No wonder they get on so well...
Kit Case
20. wiredog
ChristopherLBennett @11
But it was possibly the least science-fictiony Trek episode ever made up to this point. It was pretty much pure politics and character, without any SF elements beyond the everyday aspects of the series setting.
I dunno, that makes it seem even more SFnal for me. The SF is just part of the world. Rather like "Lower Decks" was for TNG.
Christopher Bennett
21. ChristopherLBennett
@20: To me, a real science fiction story isn't just a conventional story with futuristic/conjectural elements as part of its setting, but a story that couldn't exist without the conjectural elements. For instance, "The Enemy Within" and "Tuvix" both allow exploring questions of identity and personality in ways that would be impossible in a conventional, non-genre story because there's no real-world way to split one person into two or combine two into one.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
22. Lisamarie
Definitely as strong start to Season 2, although I did have to wonder, even before you realize the 'truth' about who Li is, why they think somebody who is a hero during a war/occupation would be suitable for leading Bajor in peacetime. The two aren't necessarily interchangeable - so it was interesting to see him try to adjust to this.
Jeremy Marr
23. bookworm1398
I felt sorry for Quark here. He doesn't get anything for bringing the earing to Kira, no money because she doesn't have to pay and no appreciation/future favor because he makes it clear he is looking for money. This happens with Quark in other episodes as well, probably a moral lesson of some sort though I can't articulate it.
Jeremy Marr
24. CounsellorDeannaTroi#1Fan
@23: the lesson is you should do the right thing and return lost items even if there is no monetary reward! I enjoyed this episode as well. I think it shows how much the Star Trek writers learned over the course of 7 years of TNG. The first season of DS9 is light years better than the first season of TNG.
Jeremy Marr
25. tortillarat
"this is the only three-parter; there won’t be another one on Trek until Enterprise’s final season"

The Season 2 finale "The Jem'Hadar" and the Season 3 opener "The Search" (parts 1 and 2) are basically another three-parter.
Jeremy Marr
26. tortillarat
Actually the Season 6 finale and first 2 episodes of 7 are another 3-part arc.
Christopher Bennett
27. ChristopherLBennett
@25/26: By that logic, "The Homecoming" is actually part 2 of a 4-parter that began with "In the Hands of the Prophets."
Chris Nash
28. CNash
@24 - Li's earring wasn't lost, exactly. Rionoj (the Boslic captain) was asked to courier it to Bajor (or otherwise ensure that it reached Bajoran hands), and she gave it to Quark as she couldn't get to Bajor itself and knew he would have connections. I wouldn't say Quark is entitled to any kind of payment, though, as he didn't pay anything for the earring in the first place; his conversation with Rionoj seemed to me more like he was doing it as a favour to her.
Mike Kelmachter
29. MikeKelm
Just a little nitpick...

Kira and O'Brien take a Starfleet runabout to Cardassia IV where they bluff a navigation control station into letting them land. That's fine, but given that by the 24th Century we can focus the viewer on objects light years away traveling FASTER THAN LIGHT and get an image of them (usually because they are gaining on the Enterprise or the Defiant) yet somehow Chief O'Brien explains that they are "Out of Visual Range" so they bluff their way through it. Yes they've disguised their engine signature so they look like a damaged freighter and somehow they are out of visual range, so they just get cleared through? Why does the control station not order them somewhere they can be visually inspected. I have to imagine that Starfleet wouldn't let an unidentified, unexpected ship with an unusual sensor platform approach Jupiter Station without somone taking a look, yet the supposedly paranoid Cardassians just let them land two planets over from Cardassia Prime essentially no questions asked. They're still in a Starfleet Runabout that looks like a starfleet runabout.

I know that models are expensive but I can't imagine that Kira can't get access to an impounded freighter or something that doesn't scream "STARFLEET RESCUE PARTY" to anyone who looks at it. Don't show it on screen if you don't want to make the model or reuse some stock footage from TNG of a freighter in space, but it seems a little implausable that you can penetrate the home system of the Cardassian Union in a Runabout.
Joseph Newton
30. crzydroid
@29: As far as making the model, TNG (and DS9) frequently reused and redressed models that had been made for earlier episodes of TNG. So in your scenario, they might have opted to do that, provided they had the time and money to film it.
Christopher Bennett
31. ChristopherLBennett
@30: Except then they would've needed interior sets for the alien ship too, and that would've probably been something they'd have to build. It was cheaper to use the standing runabout set.

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