The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Crossover

On the way back from the Gamma Quadrant, an accident inside the wormhole sends Kira and Bashir to a very different Alpha Quadrant. They have strayed into the mirror universe last visited by Kirk and his landing party over a hundred years ago. Kirk’s actions radically changed the course of history of the mirror universe, and they do not look kindly on visitors from the other side. Will Kira and Bashir ever be allowed to make it home?

As a teenager, I lapped this kind of fan-pleasing up. A return to the mirror universe? Obvious links with TOS? Lay it on me! These days, I’m not so easily pleased, but I still enjoyed this episode. The jury’s still out on whether DS9 and Enterprise between them overdid the mirror universe, but taken by itself, this episode is both a nice homage to TOS and a reminder that our captains’ meddlings can have unforeseen consequences. Back in the day, Kirk thought he was doing the right thing by letting Spock see that the Terran Empire didn’t have to be so brutal and bearded, but in fact all he did was trigger the creation of a pacifist state so weak that it was easily conquered by the Cardassian-Klingon Alliance. Now, Terrans are an abused underclass in a quadrant that’s arguably even more brutal, and, thanks to the Klingons, a lot more bearded than ever before. Nice going, Kirk.

Alternate roles

  • Sisko is a Terran privateer with his own ship and crew, a position he enjoys because Intendant Kira is quite taken with him. At first, he is content with his lot and reluctant to do anything to endanger it, but he is inspired to rebel by prime universe Kira.
  • Kira is Intendant of Terok Nor, where she considers herself a benevolent leader. In fact, she is dangerous and whimsical, and so self-obsessed that she immediately becomes taken with prime Kira. The New Trek Program Guide described her as a “bisexual dominatrix”.
  • Odo is the supervisor at Terok Nor’s ore processing, where he keeps Terrans in line with harsh rules of obedience. He is killed by prime Bashir during the latter’s escape.
  • O’Brien is a Terran slave with some engineering expertise. He decided to help Bashir after hearing about the better lives humans – and his prime self – have in the other universe.
  • Quark is still a barkeep. He is caught helping Terrans try to escape the station, and is tortured and executed by Garak.
  • Garak is second-in-command on Terok Nor, and has spent years trying to assassinate Kira so that he can take her place.

I spent the entire episode waiting for the sexy mirror Dax to show up, but she doesn’t appear until the next mirror universe episode.

Other points

  • One from the last couple of episodes – Odo seems to have reverted to being a rigid enforcer of the rules rather than someone interested in real justice. In The Maquis, he says that the station was safer under Cardassian rule, and in The Wire he becomes determined to interview Garak about old murder cases possibly connected to the Obsidian Order. Since these are old cases, one would think Garak’s health would be the priority, but not for Odo.
  • Bashir is back to being the annoying jerk he was in season one, with his pre-credits interactions with Kira.
  • Molly is now referred to as being five years old. She’s growing up fast!
  • After the initial crossover by Kirk, the mirror universe redesigned their transporters to prevent such a thing from happening again.
  • Presumably, the Star Trek prime and mirror universes are just part of a vast multiverse. What makes those two so special?
  • Kirk’s exploits are studied at Starfleet Academy.
  • In the mirror universe, it was the Alliance who rescued the Bajorans from Terran occupation. Bajor has since joined the Alliance, but they have yet to join the Federation in the prime universe.
  • In the prime universe, Terok Nor’s role as an ore processing station was to rape Bajor of all its resources. In the mirror universe, Bajor is a favoured power, and it’s still getting stripped of its resources. Maybe they’re processing ore responsibly.
  • Gold-pressed latinum doesn’t appear to exist in the mirror universe.

Summary – Crossover: Quark gets killed for being a good guy, and Bashir murders Odo without a hint of regret.

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