In the eighth episode of the sixth season of Deep Space Nine, I tried. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.
Trigger Warning: For talk of consent and manipulation.
At the core of “Resurrection” are a ton of great ideas. Is it best for Major Kira to stay single at this time in her life? Can true love be found in the Mirror counterpart of someone you once loved? Can a Mirror Universe resident find life in our world? Unfortunately, not only are these ideas poorly developed here, but I’m pretty sure we’ve seen them pulled off by the writers in much better ways before.
It sucks because I wanted this to be SO MUCH BETTER THAN IT WAS. It wasn’t awful, just a tad boring, and so incredibly safe. To me, that’s the most glaring part of this episode. Why wouldn’t they be more risky with this story? It’s so self-contained, you know? Aside from one scene with Sisko and a couple scenes with Worf, Jadzia, and Julian, Kira doesn’t even interact with anyone. The absence of Odo the entire time is baffling to me. There is so much good angst to be explored there! What is this show doing?
Yet there’s a massive, massive flaw sitting in the final third of “Resurrection” that I can’t ignore at all. I don’t mind slow storytelling, and I actually found the drifting plot of the first two acts of this episode to be utterly fascinating. I truly got a sense for how out of place Bareil was in this universe, how he didn’t know how to go about his days anymore, how lost he was without the universe he’d grown up in. There were so many brilliant details included here. His hunger, for example, was a great way of demonstrating that he was not used to having food readily available to him, you know? His reaction to Bajoran spirituality was intriguing, too, since that’s something that he had no use for in his old life. It’s a surreal thing for the audience, too, since it is inescapable to us: the Bajoran religion is an intricate part of their culture. To see a Bajoran espouse his atheism is just weird. Refreshing and interest, most definitely, but it’s also jarring for the viewer.
That’s probably the most arresting part of this episode: contrasts. Indeed, the Mirror Universe provides us with SO MANY examples of this. However, once the Intendant shows up, I was left feeling like the air had been blown out of the sails of “Resurrection.” I adore watching Nana Visitor play this character, but her appearance here mostly undoes the first two thirds of the story. First of all, seducing someone in order to deceive them is universally gross, and I was shocked that of all characters, the writers chose Kira to react passively and unbothered by what Bareil did to her. That’s not to suggest there is any set or defined way that a person should react to being manipulated and deceived; it’s just that… y’all, it’s Kira. She doesn’t take betrayal very well, and yet she never seems all that phased by what happens. I blame that solely on the writers because it’s so common for shows to not understand informed consent, and oh lord, was this EVER a scenario where Kira needed to know the whole truth.
Then, when Bareil is at a crossroads, he’s taken out of the story. Yes, he betrays the Intendant and decides not to steal the Orb (which, for the record, is one of the most confusing plans in the whole show, I DID NOT UNDERSTAND HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO WORK), but then… he decides to go back to the other universe? What the flying fuck, THAT MAKES NO SENSE. He is miserable there! He is nothing but a thief there! The Intendant will MOST CERTAINLY EXECUTE HIM. And if the show wanted to make this about Bareil not having a great sense of self worth, well, they barely touched on it, and it’s not enough to explain a monumentally bad decision like this.
I really wanted to like this. I DID.
The video for “Resurrection” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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