The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Rapture

Whilst using Quark’s holosuite to research the lost Bajoran city of B’hala, Sisko suffers an electric shock that alters something in his brain. Now gifted with visions of past, present and future, it almost seems as if Sisko has absorbed the power of the Prophets themselves – and even though this power might kill him, he is determined to understand everything the visions might reveal. Meanwhile, Bajor’s entry into the Federation has finally been accepted.

When I was a teen, I wrote one line descriptions of every episode of Star Trek that I’d seen. As far as I recall, the one for this episode was “Sisko has visions”. Those three words indicate just how little I rate this episode, which ultimately feels like a very drawn out way to stop Bajor entering the Federation.

Sisko’s initial obsessive search for B’hala does feel in character with his penchant for projects like the solar ship, but after that, it all goes downhill. He gets a direct line to the writers, and suddenly knows everything about the Star Trek universe past and present, including why Bajor shouldn’t join the Federation just yet – which will allow them to sign a non-aggression pact with the Dominion. Why set up their entry into the Federation only to tear it all down at the end? Bajor’s application has been lost in the bureaucratic machine for five years – I’m sure we wouldn’t have complained too much if it had taken another two years to be sorted out.

Other points

  • This episode sees the return of Kasidy Yates after her six months in prison for helping the Maquis. Sisko seems keen to pick up where they left off. During her ‘six months’ away, Garak has already had time to serve and be released from a six month sentence of his own (maybe he got let out early for good behaviour).
  • Despite the importance of Bajor’s entry into the Federation, First Minister Shakaar does not attend the signing ceremony.
  • This episode sees a switch in Starfleet uniform to the style introduced in Star Trek First Contact.

Summary – Rapture: Why does this episode even exist?

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