The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: The Darkness and the Light

When a former member of the Shakaar resistance cell is murdered, it turns out to be only the first in a series of killings centred on those who were once close to Major Kira. Kira and Odo start working to track down the culprit, but will they get there in time?

Stories like this always come with a bit of a sad inevitability. We’ve already met and grown to like some members of the Shakaar resistance cell, but as soon as they appear in this episode, we know that they are doomed – that’s just how this kind of story goes. In fact, regular crime drama viewers will know exactly how this kind of story goes, so much so that it’s unlikely that there will be anything in the way of surprises. What results is a decent enough episode, but not one that really ranks as one of my favourites – in fact, the run of episodes since Trials and Tribble-ations has been a bit disappointing. Am I getting fed up with DS9? Will I look disdainfully on the upcoming episodes that I enjoyed first time around? The only way to find out is to keep forging ahead.

The Good

  • Even a few scant weeks away from giving birth, Kira is able to kick ass and defend herself, without needing the cavalry to rescue her.
  • Even after being confronted with her crimes, Kira remains resolute that fighting back was the right thing to do. Prin may have been an innocent servant, but he was guilty by association just for being on Bajor in the first place. I’m not saying the situation should be as black and white as “all Cardassians are evil, all Bajorans are righteous”, but I think it’s good that Kira stuck to her beliefs, where most narratives would have had her apologise.

The Bad

  • The main villain is not only some random minor Cardassian we’ve never heard of before, but he talks in poetical rhetoric. Cheesy stuff.
  • We lose the likeable Furel and Lupaza.
  • Yet again, Shakaar is nowhere to be seen, even though you might rightly expect him to be involved.
  • Of course Kira was angry and upset after Furel and Luapaza’s deaths, but going off on her own to resolve things was still a pretty stupid move. And yes, she’s the first officer of the station and has all the access codes, but Odo’s security still sucks.

Other points

  • Now that they’re a couple, Worf and Dax seem to go on every mission together. Yes, it makes for good dialogue, but professionally speaking it’s not a great idea (as we will indeed see next season). If, as I do, you work in the same organisation as your significant other, make sure that at the very least you’re in different offices.
  • Is it safe for an unborn child to go through the transporter? Could pattern buffers be used to revert that child to an earlier stage of development, as per Lonely Among Us, where Picard is reverted to past-Picard?

Summary – The Darkness and The Light: A reasonable stab at a standard plotline.

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