‘THE COLLABORATOR’ (DS9)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘The Collaborator’ is quite a significant episode in the ‘DS9’ series. I wouldn’t call it a favourite of mine, but it sets a change in terms of certain characters and how they’ll progress later for the series.
The episode has the Bajoran people about to select a new Kai, the supreme religious leader of all Bajor. Two candidates are for this – Philip Anglim as Vedek Bareil and Louise Fletcher as Vedek Winn.
Major Kira is hoping for Vedek Bareil, whom she’s having a relationship with, to be chosen as the next new Kai. This is all following the loss of the popular and well-respected Kai of Bajor – Kai Opaka.
Unfortunately, Bareil is up against opposition with the formidable Vedek Winn. Kira doesn’t like Winn very much. It’s hardly surprising considering what happened in ‘In The Hands of the Prophets’.
Whilst this is happening, an old Bajoran man gets arrested by Odo. This happens to be Bert Remsen as Kubus Oak, who was exiled for collaborating with the Cardassians during the occupation of Bajor.
This episode establishes the hatred by Bajorans to the Bajoran collaborators with Cardassians. Kira is no exception here as she clearly refuses Kubus’ request to return to Bajor once he’s been locked up.
I do wonder why Kubus would try to return to Bajor if he’d been exiled. Maybe it’s because he was a broken man and wanted to return to Bajor, being apologetic for his actions despite other’s opinions.
It then develops when Vedek Winn offers Kubus sanctuary. Kira is shocked at this but Winn offered him sanctuary in exchange for information about the Kendra Valley Massacre that occurred on Bajor.
Apparently, this massacre claimed the lives of 43 Bajoran rebels. This included Kai Opaka’s son. When Kira confronts Winn about this, she is told that the man responsible for this was Vedek Bareil.
This of course Kira doesn’t believe as it was assumed Tom Villard as Prylar Bek was responsible for tipping off to the Cardassians for the Bajoran rebels’ location. Kira does some investigating over this.
It isn’t easy for Kira, especially when she loves Bareil and Winn is being manipulative and eager to find prove that Bareil was responsible. Kira’s investigations in this aren’t without any consequences.
Kira has help from Odo and the DS9 crew in order to analyse some records. She and Odo even go to Quark to find some information. Kira confronts Bareil via subspace as to whether he’s responsible. 😐
As the episode progresses towards its conclusion, it seems very likely that Bareil was responsible for the massacre. It seems to be confirmed via a retinal scan. This is something Kira is really upset about.
She confronts Bareil in the Bajoran temple on DS9 and he shares more about having provided the Cardassians with the location of the rebels. It was to stop Cardassians destroying village after village.
By the way, Bareil has sequences where he looks into the Orb at the Bajoran temple on DS9. Some of these sequences feature Camille Saviola as Kai Opaka, who has far more significance to this episode.
After Kira is devastated by Bareil’s involvement with the massacre, she’s convinced there’s more to this matter. This is especially after she hears from Winn that Bareil’s withdrawn candidacy to be Kai.
Kira investigates further before she finds that Bareil was covering up for somebody else. It turns out Bareil wasn’t the collaborator. It was Kai Opaka. Bareil covered her for the Bajorans to believe in her.
By the time Kira learns this however, it’s too late. Winn has become the new Kai for the Bajoran people. This is something Kira’s not happy about and Bareil shouldn’t have withdrawn his candidacy.
I do think the episode could’ve benefited with more flashback scenes to clarify Kai Opaka being the collaborator for this massacre. Maybe due to time, it wasn’t possible and it’s explained in exposition.
Whilst Kira is unhappy about Winn being the new Kai for Bajor, Bareil says it’ll be up to them to influence her to achieving something positive. Just how that will be possible is still to be determined.
‘The Collaborator’ is an insightful episode in the ‘DS9’ series. It’s not really a favourite of mine, but I appreciate it showcased Kira’s relationship with Bareil despite Winn becoming the next Kai for Bajor.
‘The Collaborator’ (DS9) rating – 7/10
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