This is one of those rare episodes where the B story is more interesting to me than the A story. In fact, the “Storyteller” story is so silly that I’m not going to comment on it, other than to say: keep in mind how annoyed the chief is by Dr. Bashir. This will seem funny in hindsight as you progress through the series.

Now back to the B story… I really like the idea of a young, inexperienced leader showing up on the station to represent her people in a conflict that is about to explode with violence. She really feels the pressure to do the right thing not only for her people, but for the legacy of her father, their former ruler. She’s fiercely proud, and she’s not about to let anyone take advantage of her. She’s so proud in fact that she would lead her people into bloody conflict rather than accept any compromise that would make her, or her people, appear weak.

Enter Nog: “Maybe this isn’t a problem. Maybe… it’s an opportunity!” Varis learns from Nog that opportunities also often include risks, an idea repeated later by Commander Sisko. It’s unexpected that Varis would find the solution to her problem in something Nog says, and I like that. I also like the insight that it takes a teenager to talk to a teenager. If any adult had given Varis the advice that Nog had given, Varis may not have been as receptive to it. Of course, the writers were careful not to make Varis or the resolution of her problems that simplistic. She herself says that it was Jake’s insight that allowed her to come to trust Sisko. She never loses sight of the importance of her role and her mission, or of the role that Sisko will play in helping her negotiate a settlement.

This whole storyline is crafted so well, from inception to resolution. The story of the chief and the doctor fighting pyrotechnics down on Bajor just seems silly in comparison.