The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Second Sight

It’s four years since his wife died, and Sisko finds himself attracted to another woman for the first time – the charming yet mysterious Fenna. When Fenna keeps disappearing after their dates, Sisko becomes determined to find out more about her. Meanwhile, the senior crew are helping renowned terraformer Gideon Seyetik with his most ambitious project yet – to revitalise a dead star.

This episode doesn’t really work for me. It feels very slow and meandering to start, to the point where you’re not sure where it’s going, or if random scenes like Odo telling his security team to surveil a telepath have any bearing on a later plot. Finally, about halfway through, the two disparate stories come together, as Sisko discovers his mystery woman looks identical to Seyetik’s wife. What unfolds is what should be a sad tale about a woman so unhappy that she’s started telepathically projecting a new personality as an escape from her marriage, but ultimately, it doesn’t work. Seyetik is the classic Star Trek egotistical scientist that we’ve loved to hate since TOS, and the excuse that his wife’s species mates for life just seems a little silly. Sisko getting to loosen up and be happy for once is nice, but otherwise the whole thing just doesn’t have the emotional impact it needs.

Science!

  • Seyetik’s project uses protomatter, which was previously used in the Genesis Device in Star Trek II and III. Back then, it was unstable and led to the project’s ultimate failure, but perhaps in the intervening decades, Federation scientists have found a way to harness protomatter successfully.
  • If Fenna was a psychic projection of pure energy, how was she able to touch Sisko?
  • Do Halanans mate for life because it’s a biological imperative that cannot be overcome with free will, or is it a cultural restriction that they would find unthinkable to break? If Seyetik knew this, he should have never taken Nidell as his wife, although perhaps once she fell in love with him it was already too late for her.
  • One from the previous episode – I was surprised that Odo resented being asked to make logs. As a champion of justice, surely he can appreciate the advantages of keeping records. Does he never present evidence for convictions?

Summary – Second Sight: Feels like a TNG story ported over to DS9.

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