Mark Watches ‘Deep Space Nine’: S07E01 – Image in the Sand

In the first episode of the seventh season of Deep Space Nine, everything hurts, but there’s some hope. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek. 

Trigger Warning: For discussion of grief/death, depression.

Well, A LOT HAPPENED. What a season opener! We’ve got lots to discuss, so let’s just jump into it.


I clearly had a lot of things I needed to be addressed by this show, and I’m pleased that “Image in the Sand” doesn’t waste time. I’d forgotten (or didn’t know) that Klingons have relatively short mourning periods compared to humans, so Worf’s grief didn’t feel out of character to me. That crucial information, though, changes how I view this episode. I’m still weirded out by the writers fulling adopting Vic Fontaine as the ship’s counselor because… it is just so strange. The man’s a great singer, but how can his style be helpful to so many people, especially after he screwed over Kira and Odo? Of course, people don’t actually know that’s what happened to them, but still. That scene in Vic’s bar wasn’t interesting until Worf reacted violently, and even then, couldn’t we have had the same thing in Quark’s bar? Wouldn’t it have had a bigger affect?

At the very least, it was satisfying to see the show address what a huge deal it was that Jadzia died in the previous episode. I’m not gonna feel great about her death, but there’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll just accept it. Once I do, I care about what sort of stories they tell now that she’s gone. Worf’s depression is rooted in his fear that Jadzia cannot ascend to Sto-Vo-Kor, which is basically Klingon heaven. That is an interesting story, and while it’s clear that it’ll be continued in the next episode, I definitely want to see it. Plus, it allows the show to give Julian and Miles the most ADORABLE plot for them so far. THEY JUST WANT TO HELP THEIR FRIEND AND HONOR JADZIA. YES! YES.

Colonel Kira

Oh my god, she got a promotion. How did I not predict that? It makes a ton of sense! Seeing her in command of DS9 is actually really fulfilling to me because it feels so natural. It’s where she belongs. Which isn’t to say that I’ve wanted her to replace Sisko at all! But seeing a Bajoran commander of that station is like the ultimate middle finger to the Cardassians, you know?

And then Deep Space Nine has to go and surprise me AGAIN. The introduction of Senator Cretak injected an entertaining dynamic into life on the station, specifically since I never would expect Kira to get along with a Romulan. But Cretak truly is different from the vast majority of Romulans that we’ve met, and every scene she was in, I was flabbergasted. I was also deeply suspicious. Nice things don’t just happen! They don’t! I wish I had more to comment on, but “Image in the Sand” is not a complete story by itself; it’s clearly part of a longer arc. The introduction of the conflict between Kira and Cretak doesn’t happen until the end of this episode, but it’s one hell of a problem. Within a matter of a day, the Romulan/Federation alliance is threatened. And look, I get why. Casually not revealing that you’ve stuck THOUSANDS OF MISSILES UNDER YOUR HOSPITAL ON A BAJORAN MOON IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE THING. Like… did Cretak honestly think it wouldn’t matter? Look, Federation aside, just think how that’d look to the Bajorans, who just overcame Cardassian occupation. Another group moves onto their move, which they grant out of kindness and trust, and they establish a hospital SITTING ON TONS OF WEAPONS. Like… no??? What are you doing?

I really hope this doesn’t undo the alliance, y’all.

The Siskos

I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THEM AND I’M SO GLAD BROCK PETERS IS BACK AND THIS SEASON IS TURNING INTO A SISKO FAMILY ROAD TRIP, AND EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT IS PERFECT. PERFECT. It’s a tough journey to that point, though, one punctuated with Sisko’s dejected silence. Three months, y’all. He didn’t leave his father’s restaurant for three months, uncertain of how he’d ever contact the Prophets or navigate a world without Jadzia Dax. I’m still unsure how the Prophets got a vision to Sisko, and the confusion left in the wake of the destruction of the wormhole isn’t helping me. The cult that worships path-wraiths is more active than they’ve ever been, sowing “fear and hatred” on Bajor, enough so that one of them TRIES TO MURDER BENJAMIN.

All this hangs on a new orb, one we’ve never heard of, but apparently, people in that cult have? And they knew Sisko was seeking it out? And were willing to kill him to stop him from getting to it? The reasoning is selfish, of course; the cult of the path-wraiths is enjoying the power they have. The mythology here is a little shaky, but a part of me thinks it’s supposed to be. Indeed, the idea of the Sisko family seeking out the “answer” to Benjamin’s vision together is all the more interesting if they know practically nothing about it. It also fits well with the story that comes about in order to direct Benjamin to Tyree: the woman in his vision is his mother.

HIS ACTUAL MOTHER. HE GREW UP WITH A STEP-MOTHER AND NEVER KNEW IT. Like, what a fucking revelation. What a thing to learn that late in your life! I was told I was adopted when I was super young, though my parents had to. It’s not like you could have hid it from my brother and I; we knew we were different. But Joseph Sisko kept this a secret for a long time, and if Benjamin hadn’t seen Sarah Sisko’s face in his vision, I bet Joseph never would have told his son his truth. After all that time, how could he?

I have no idea how this somehow leads Sisko to the Prophets, but I am very intrigued. Especially since SISKO FAMILY ROAD TRIP.



The video for “Image in the Sand” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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