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