Category: Major Kira

S01E15: Progress

Kira’s loyalties are tested again! She has spent her whole life fighting the oppressive Cardassian occupation in order to help people who were too weak or powerless to help themselves. And now she finds herself on the other side of that equation. Now it’s the Bajoran government, which she represents, that seems to be the oppressor, and a lone farmer and his mute farmhands who are the oppressed.

As Mr. Spock would say, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” Clearly the rest of Bajor will benefit when the moon’s core is tapped to provide energy to Bajor. Surely a handful of farmers can be inconvenienced for the better good. But Mullibok, the Bajoran farmer who won’t leave his home on the doomed moon, has other plans.

The casting here is inspired. Brian Keith, whose four-decade-long career includes memorable roles in Disney’s The Parent Trap as well as the beloved ’60s sitcom Family Affair, plays the farmer Mullibok. He lays the crusty-old-farmer-with-a-heart-of-gold act on pretty thick with Major Kira, who is sent to remove him from the moon. Kira eventually warms to his charms and even nurses him back to health after a run-in with a couple of Bajoran security officers who try to forcibly remove him.

Despite Kira’s genuine affection for Mullibok, she knows her duty and acts accordingly. One of the most touching moments is when she says to Mullibok, “I could use a friend on Bajor; I’d like it to be you.” She cares about Mullibok while remaining resolute in her duty.

I like how we, as the audience, are not let off the hook with a happy ending. Perhaps Mullibok eventually forgives Kira. I don’t think he will be answering her calls or inviting her over for a raktajino anytime soon though!

The B story here is good too. It provides some comic relief from the emotional A story. Plus we get to learn more than we ever wanted about yamok sauce and self-sealing stem bolts! I’m glad the writers avoided the temptation to have Nog and Jake’s newly-acquired land on Bajor be the solution to Millibok’s problem. That would have been a cute and convenient way to wrap up the episode’s conflicts in 45 minutes, but it would not have had the emotional truth that the episode has now.

Major Kira consoles her friend Mullibok

Brian Keith and Nana Visitor


S01E03: Past Prologue

“Doctor, you’re not… intimating… that I’m some sort of SPY, are you?!”

The opening scenes of this episode fill me with joy! One of my absolute favorite characters in this series is Andrew Robinson‘s Cardassian tailor Garak, the only Cardassian who stayed behind on the station when the Cardassians left. Often suspected of being a spy, Garak’s true nature and purpose remain a mystery throughout the seven seasons of this show. Despite Garak’s dark nature, or perhaps because of it, Garak’s scenes are often imbued with humor. The opening scenes of this episode are a perfect example. Even though we don’t know Garak at this point and only barely know Dr. Bashir, one can’t help but think that Garak is pulling the doctor’s leg, deliberately playing into Bashir’s romantic notions of spies and skulduggery. I love how the animated Bashir later runs into Ops to tell of his contact with this Cardassian “spy”, and no one is interested. Poor doctor!

But this episode is really about Major Kira. Where do her loyalties lie? She doesn’t want the Federation there, even if they are ostensibly there to help, and she is even suspicious of the provisional government on Bajor. But is she willing to act against either of them?

One theme that I will probably return to over and over in discussing this show is how it’s all about shades of gray. Nothing is black and white. There’s a great scene early in this episode between Sisko and Kira. They are arguing about what to do with a Bajoran terrorist who has requested asylum on the station. Both Sisko and Kira explain their positions to each other, and you know what? They are both right! It’s great.

I’m also impressed by how relevant this episode is to us today.¬†Josh pointed out that one interpretation of this series has the Cardassians representing the Soviets, with Bajor representing Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. But this episode deals with terrorism and our attitudes toward it. It asks the question that Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica would ask over 20 years later: how do we feel about terrorism when it’s committed in our interests? How do we feel about a terrorist when he’s on our side? Kira has to decide whether to help a supposedly former Bajoran terrorist or turn to the Federation and even the Cardassians to stop whatever he might be planning.

You may be thinking, “wow, this episode has a lot going on!” But wait, there’s more. We have the added bonus of a visit by the Klingon Duras sisters, Lursa and B’Etor!

Finally, I was tickled when Major¬†Kira makes a classic mistake. I don’t think any news travels faster than when you attempt to go over your boss’s head. I love it when that admiral calls up Sisko at the station: “That Bajoran woman you have working for you interrupted a STAFF MEETING…” Delicious!