‘The Homecoming’/’The Circle’/’The Siege’ (DS9) (TV)

     

‘THE HOMECOMING’/’THE CIRCLE’/’THE SIEGE’ (DS9)

Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘THE HOMECOMING’ (Part 1)

It’s time for Season 2 of ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’. This is where things become more interesting in the ‘DS9’ series and where it finds its own feet with it becoming less ‘TNG’ as it had been in Season 1.

The season begins with a three-part story in three linked episodes including ‘The Homecoming’, ‘The Circle’ and ‘The Siege’. The DS9 series would have more multi-parters in future seasons of the TV show.

In the first episode of the three-part story, ‘The Homecoming’, Quark gives Major Kira a Bajoran earring. She recognises it. It happens to belong to Li Nalas, a Bajoran war hero who was assumed dead.

Major Kira sees Commander Sisko about borrowing a Starfleet runabout to rescue Li Nalas from the desert planet Cardassia IV. Sisko is hesitant about giving the runabout to Kira considering the dangers.

Meanwhile, Sisko, Odo and O’Brien find graffiti on a station corridor, sprayed there by a Bajoran extremist faction called the Circle. They believe in ‘Bajor for the Bajorans’. Non-Bajorans aren’t welcome.

This stirs trouble between Federation and Bajoran citizens aboard DS9 when the Circle is trying to split them apart. Sisko needs help to stop this trouble happening and he believes Li Nalas might provide it.

He eventually agrees to let Kira take the runabout. But he recommends O’Brien to accompany her. With O’Brien’s experience of fighting Cardassians long ago, Kira agrees for the Chief to come along. 🙂

Eventually, Kira and O’Brien reach Cardassia IV where they find Li Nalas and more than a dozen Bajorans in a labour camp. They bluff their way through the Cardassians and rescue the Bajoran slaves.

This three-part story features special guest star Richard Beymer as Li Nalas. Li is a rather reluctant hero; yet praised by his Bajoran people and considered a legend for killing a Cardassian Gul in defence.

The first episode of this three-parter features Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat who contacts Sisko to inform him that the Cardassian government issues a formal apology about the Bajoran prisoners. Likely story!

Sisko and Kira take advantage of the Cardassians issuing the apology as the remaining prisoners are returned to Bajor. But Kira’s actions over this mission are criticised by Bajor’s provisional government.

The three-part story also features Frank Langella as Minister Jaro of Bajor. I’ve heard Frank Langella voice Archer the Gorgonite in the film ‘Small Soldiers’ and he was Perry White for ‘Superman Returns’.

I’m quite surprised Frank Langella was uncredited for his appearances as Minister Jaro in this ‘DS9’ three-parter. I wonder why that is. Was his appearance in this three-parter meant to be a surprise? 😀

Li Nalas is persuaded to speak to the people of Bajor as well as help bring stability to his homeworld. But Li Nalas tries to stow away on a departing freighter, afraid of carrying that burden of responsibility.

I liked it when he shares to Sisko how he was made a hero by killing an unarmed Cardassians out of necessity in a purely chance encounter. Sisko persuades him to stay as Bajor needs a ‘symbol’ like him.

Max Grodénchik also appears as Rom, Quark’s brother in the first and third episodes of this three-part story. I did find Quark to be very mean to his brother when he’s taking the larger share of their profits.

Quark gets attacked by masked members of the Circle when they break into his bar and stamp their symbol onto his head. These Circle members are so toxic in their hatred towards DS9’s non-Bajoran members.

Jake Sisko also becomes a victim of the Circle’s influence on Bajor. He planned a date with a Bajoran girl, but she didn’t turn up to meet as her father forbade his daughter seeing someone who isn’t a Bajoran.

That scene between Benjamin and his son Jake is very touching. There’s clearly a good father-and-son relationship between the Siskos, played out so well between Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton here.

The first episode concludes with Li Nalas now given a new title of Navarch. But Li Nalas isn’t to remain on Bajor. He has now been made the liaison officer for DS9. Sisko protests since Kira is her liaison officer.

Minister Jaro tells Sisko that Kira has been reassigned to Bajor. I found it shocking that the Bajorans ‘promoted’ Kira without consulting Sisko. I wondered how Kira would return to the DS9 team eventually.

‘THE CIRCLE’ (Part 2)

The second episode of this three-parter begins with Sisko confronting Minister Jaro about relieving Kira from DS9. He’s later called by Jake who shows him the Circle’s graffiti on the door to their quarters.

I like the scene where Kira gets visited by her friends one by one including Odo, Jadzia, Bashir, O’Brien and even Quark (though it’s debatable calling him a friend). Odo is angry and upset about Kira leaving.

Most of Kira’s friends have come to say farewell. Kira also gets a surprise visit from Philip Anglim as Vedek Bareil. This is his second ‘DS9’ TV appearance following his first – ‘In The Hands of the Prophets’.

Bareil has come to invite Kira to stay at his monastery on Bajor following her relieving of duty from DS9. Kira accepts the invitation, though she’s rather surprised as to why Bareil would come to see her.

Kira has one last look around the space station before she goes. She meets up with Li Nalas who tells her he didn’t want her job. Kira shares with Li that she now cherishes that job compared to a year ago.

Once Sisko comes in, Kira makes her goodbyes to him and Li Nalas. Sisko reassures Kira that he’ll find a way to get her back to DS9. Even Li Nalas knows himself that no one can ever replace Major Kira. 😀

Eventually on Bajor, Kira and Bareil form a close bond with each other. It was interesting to see how Kira and Bareil started in terms of their relationship. Bareil is a pretty patient man when Kira’s around.

Bareil eventually takes Kira to see one of the Bajoran orbs for guidance. This happens to be the third Bajoran orb called the Orb of Prophecy and Change. Kira soon has a vision when looking into that orb!

The vision involves Kira seeing Jadiza in Vedek apparel before she changes into Kai Winn. Kira is also fighting against Winn and Minister Jaro before Bareil turns up and soon she and Bareil becomes lovers.

Yes! Louise Fletcher returns for her second appearance as Vedek Winn in the ‘DS9’ series following ‘In The Hands of the Prophets’. My Mum doesn’t like Vedek Winn. I don’t like her either. She is unlikeable!

She’s very easy to imitate in terms of voice when calling Major Kira ‘child’ and such. 😀 This is especially when Kira and Bareil are walking together in the monastery gardens until they meet Winn on the way.

Winn also happens to be in cahoots with Minister Jaro, who turns out to be the leader of the Circle extremist group. Kira learns of this when she gets captured by the Circle and she’s taken underground.

Jaro makes assumptions about Sisko not liking Kira as well as Kira’s opposition to the Bajoran provisional government. Once Sisko and Kira are opposed against his viewpoint, Jaro takes no chances.

Back on DS9, our heroes are trying to uncover more about the Circle. Odo learns from Quark that the alien race called the Kressari are arming the Circle with weapons. But who’s giving the Kressari weapons?

Odo blackmails Quark to be his deputy and find out more information about the Kressari, otherwise he’ll end up in a brig cell. Quark grudgingly takes on the post and he becomes helpful to the DS9 team.

Eventually, after searching the Kressari freighter, Odo stows away and disguises himself as a rat once the freighter’s taken off. Odo as a rat seems the Kressari captain make a transaction with a Cardassian.

It seems the Cardassians have been supplying weapons to the Kressari to give to the Circle on Bajor. But the Circle doesn’t know the Cardassians are giving them weapons. And Jaro hates the Cardassians.

Thankfully, Major Kira gets rescued by Sisko, Li Nalas, Dr. Bashir and some security men when they infiltrate the Circle’s hideout. Sadly, it jeopardises the DS9 team’s chance to stop the Circle’s activities.

The second episode of this story features the debut of Stephen Macht as General Krim. Sisko meets up with Krim on Bajor as he suspects the Bajoran militia aren’t going to end the Circle’s coup occurring.

As DS9 is unable to make contact with Bajor, several Bajoran assault vessels make their way towards the space station, ordering all non-Bajorans to evacuate. The Federation members are in trouble here.

Sisko tries to get help from Starfleet, but his superiors order him to abide by the Prime Directive and not oppose this evacuation order. But Sisko is determined not to give up without a fight in this matter.

‘THE SIEGE’ (Part 3)

The third episode of this three-parter begins with Sisko offering to his Starfleet officers to evacuate if they wish to instead of staying behind to sort out the Circle. But all Starfleet officers want to help him.

We’re soon shown many well-known ‘DS9’ members evacuating from the station. Jake and Aron Eisenberg as Nog say goodbye to each other while Quark’s brother Rom leaves him behind on DS9. 😀

Rosalind Chao as Keiko O’Brien is upset about her husband Miles staying behind on DS9 to assist Sisko whilst she and their daughter Molly are being evacuated. Miles reassures his wife he’ll join them soon.

Li Nalas also manages to have a calming effect on the Bajorans who want to leave as he persuades them to stay behind, inspiring courage to oppose the Circle. Very amazing how Li Nalas has that effect.

Eventually, the Bajoran militia arrives led by General Krim who is accompanied by Steven Weber as Colonel Day. They find no Federation presence aboard DS9. Krim is suspicious that Sisko is still aboard.

The members aboard DS9 opposed to the Circle’s efforts include Sisko, Li Nalas, O’Brien, Bashir, Odo and an unwilling Quark. They hide in ventilation shafts while the Bajoran militia are trying to find them.

Meanwhile, Kira and Dax try to find a way to get to Bajor to alert the Chamber of Ministers that the Cardassians are backing the Circle’s activities. They use this small starfighter on a moon to reach Bajor.

I enjoyed the banter between Kira and Jadzia Dax in the episode. Both are strong women, but Kira has more military experience than Jadzia does. Jadzia seems more pessimistic than Kira during the mission.

It doesn’t help that the starfighter they’re flying in is a cranky old bucket that doesn’t work properly. Jadzia is annoyed that the sensors don’t work and has to use her eyes in order to shoot down a fighter.

Back on DS9, Sisko and his crew manage to trap a group of Bajoran militia led by Colonel Day in a holosuite. Sisko informs the soldiers about the Cardassians’ weapons involvement with the Circle here.

But once Day’s been released to pass on the information to Krim, the colonel lies to his superior that the Federation is attempting to wrest control. Day is clearly a prejudiced man towards the Federation.

I felt like wanting to punch Colonel Day in the face for lying to General Krim about the important information Sisko gave him. If he starred in another ‘DS9’ episode, he’d be leading a racist rebel group.

Meanwhile, Kira and Dax’s starfighter crash-lands to Bajor after getting hit by a fighter. Kira gets injured, but she’s brought safely to Vedek Bareil’s monastery where he assists to give their vital proof.

Kira and Dax go undercover as Vedeks (how Dax got her Bajoran nose is not explained) to get into the Chamber of Ministers. They reveal the proof with the Cardassian involvement in the Circle’s activities.

Vedek Winn, wishing to avoid being in cahoots with Jaro of course, sees this proof for herself. Jaro is in denial at first but says he’s willing to listen afterwards. That’s the last we hear of him in this episode.

I was disappointed we had no satisfactory pay off to Jaro’s character and how he manages to get away with it being the leader of the Circle. His character as well as the Circle never return to the ‘DS9’ series!

Back on DS9, Sisko and Li Nalas manage to capture General Krim as they attempt to reason with him. Krim is angry with Colonel Day about reframing to tell him vital information regarding the Cardassians.

Colonel Day still abides that the Federation’s lying but a communication from Bajor after Kira and Dax give their proof to the Chamber of Ministers says otherwise. Krim returns control of DS9 back to Sisko.

But it ends in tears when Colonel Day tries to kill Sisko for revenge but Li Nalas steps in his way and gets killed. It’s sad that even after all the proof given to Bajor, Colonel Day is still pretty prejudiced. 😦

It’s also sad that Li Nalas died in the story. He could’ve been a potential recurring character. Kira is saddened by Li Nalas’ death while Sisko tells O’Brien that he’ll always remember him being a war hero.

‘The Homecoming’/’The Circle’/’The Siege’ is a great three-part story to open Season 2 of ‘DS9’. It’s sad about Li Nalas’ death at the end, but it was a very gripping, engaging, action-packed drama of a tale.

‘The Homecoming’/’The Circle’/’The Siege’ rating – 8/10


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