Mark Watches ‘Deep Space Nine’: S02E09 – Second Sight

In the ninth episode of the second season of Deep Space Nine, Sisko meets a strange woman on the anniversary of his wife’s death. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek. 

Well, that was surprisingly good, y’all. I know that I’m getting repetitive here when I speak about Star Trek and romance, but seriously. These shows have rarely had a good history when it comes to love and relationships. In one sense, “Second Sight” had to end with Fenna/Nidell leaving because there wasn’t really another way to keep her around. Despite that Deep Space Nine is willing to do serialized stories more than the other two shows in this series, there’s still a reset button of sorts that gets hit at the end of non-mythology episodes.

And yet, I found this episode emotionally engrossing and surprising, despite that this same method is employed at the end of “Second Sight.” I think that’s because there’s a willingness here to explore why Sisko would fall for Fenna and what that means to him. The opening scene of this episode is both empowering and totally crushing because of this kind of depth! We get to see just how much his wife’s death affects him, first of all, and how that death manifests in Jake’s heart, too. I am thrilled that we get to see a black father and son comfort one another and show affection because IT IS HONESTLY SO RARE ON TELEVISION. But these scenes exist to set the tone for the episode and to put us in the right frame of mind. Jake dreams about losing stability, and in this case, that’s his father.

It’s all just a dream, though. Right?

When Sisko runs meets Fenna in the middle of the night on the promenade, I should have realized how the show positioned her in a dreamlike state. From her flowing dress to her perfect words, she is a dream in every sense of the word. Well, except for the literal one, and I appreciated that the writers avoided that ridiculous trope. No, what happened here was real, and that makes it all the more upsetting. Sisko feels renewed by the prospect of a romance with Fenna after having spent four years single and uninterested in anyone. She’s a breath of fresh air for him, and you can see it in his behavior around the station the following morning. So much so that KIRA IS ACTUALLY CONCERNED SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ANGRY SPACE DAD.

Meanwhile, we’re introduced to Gideon Seyetik. (Holy shit, it’s Richard Kiley!!!) He is pretty much a slightly more charming version of Gilderoy Lockhart, at least until we find out how that charming arrogance has made his wife unhappy. I guessed his connection to Sisko’s story just a mere sixty seconds before it was officially revealed, but I’m not patting myself on the back here, like Seyetik would do. No, I was still totally shocked by the reveal that Fenna was Nidell, and then further messed up when NIDELL CLAIMED TO HAVE NEVER MET SISKO IN THE FIRST PLACE. Was she uncomfortable speaking to Sisko while in the presence of her husband? Would she explain it all once she met with Sisko privately on DS9?

NOPE. SHE WOULD NOT. Because then Fenna claimed to not know Nidell either, and Sisko’s brain exploded along with mine. Bravo to this show for coming up for something so surreal and frustrating, because it kept my attention. Thankfully, I didn’t find the resolution of this mystery to be disappointing, either. I was super worried that Seyetik would cast himself as the victim in this arrangement, but… holy shit, y’all. Not only does he admit that Nidell can’t control her psychoprojections when she’s emotionally distraught, he confesses to being the cause of her distress. Seriously, I had a moment there where I thought that perhaps he was going to make some horrific statement about how all women are too emotional. Which isn’t exactly out of the realm of possibility for a character like him, you know? He’s so self-centered! However, he demonstrates an awareness of himself in that vulnerable moment that was just as shocking as many of the plot twists. He knew he was difficult. He knew that he had charmed many women over the years and that he had driven them all away because he’s an asshole.

I do wish that there was more of an exploration of the psychoprojection itself. Is that a manifestation of her identity? Is it a part of Nidell that she wishes to express? And how did she feel after her husband sacrificed himself so that she would no longer have to be married to him? You get a brief sense of her sadness during that final scene, but she didn’t seem all that upset. You know, if there’s a flaw in this episode, it’s in that. The episode focused on how this affected Seyetik more than anyone else. Hell, we focused more on Sisko, too, and I think this would have been a truly fantastic episode had we been given more insight to Nidell’s life.

The video for “Second Sight” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Deep Space Nine, Star Trek and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.