Enlightenment > Star Trek > DS9
DS9 1-13

DS9 1x13
"Battle Lines"

Original airdate: 4/25/1993
Rewatch date: 6/10/2013


Sisko, Kira, Bashir, and Kai Opaka crash on a prison colony in the Gamma Quandrant where a war is underway between two groups of bitter enemies that can never die.

Spoiler-free notes:

It seems odd that, given all the traffic through the wormhole, nobody has noticed the inhabited moon surrounded by artificial satellites less than half a light year from the exit.

I love the Mad Max outfits.

So these guys are fighting an eternal battle to serve as an example for their homeworld, but how can they serve as an example if nobody's watching? Maybe all those satellites could be watching and broadcasting it like a huge reality show, like the Gamma Quadrant Hunger Games, but according to O'Brien, the satellites are blocking virtually all transmissions to and from the moon.

With the introduction of the technology that brings people back from the dead, this is the first episode since "Emissary" to include any meaty science-fiction, and like "Emissary," it's more about the philosophical implications of technology than about the technology itself.

This episode has a good TOS feel to it.

Kira's breakthrough with Opaka is a really good scene and the first indication that her character has someplace to go.

The technobabble stuff with O'Brien and Dax is a bit silly, but I like seeing O'Brien improvise on the fly.

I like this episode a lot, but the science is a little too neat. The microbial cure for death is a pretty big technological leap, and the fact that the microbes are "tied to the ecosystem" doesn't prevent anyone from studying them. It's also obviously telegraphed ahead of time that nobody who dies can leave, but this bit of narrative convenience actually isn't necessary. Without it, there are still enough reasons to keep the prisoners on the moon--the Prime Directive, each side's unwillingness to let the other escape, etc.--and to allow Kai Opaka to stay behind.



Spoiler section:

Dukat probably underplayed Kira's importance as a terrorist because he likes her.





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