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Star trek: Deep Space Nine 7.05a - Covenant

Stardate around 52210
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Vedek Fala (Norman Parker), a Bajoran monk and Kira's former teacher, pays her an unexpected visit. He gives Kira (Nana Visitor) a crystal which transports her to Empok Nor, where, to her horror, she is met by her old enemy Dukat (Marc Alaimo) - a Cardassian who oversaw the occupation of Bajor. He is now the leader of a Bajoran religious faction which worships the Pah-Wraiths - the non-corporeal enemies of Bajor's Prophets. Dukat wants Kira to join his followers on the abandoned Cardassian space station Empok Nor.

Persons of interest

  • Avery Brooks .... Commander Benjamin Lafayette Sisko
  • René Auberjonois .... Constable Odo
  • Michael Dorn .... Lieutenant Worf
  • Nicole de Boer .... Lieutenant Ezri Dax
  • Cirroc Lofton .... Jake Sisko
  • Colm Meaney .... Chief O'Brien
  • Armin Shimerman .... Quark
  • Alexander Siddig .... Doctor Julian Bashir
  • Nana Visitor .... Colonel Kira Nerys
  • Majel Barrett .... Starfleet computer voice
  • Marc Alaimo .... Dukat
  • Norman Parker .... Vedek Fala
  • Jason Leland Adams .... Benyan
  • Maureen Flannigan .... Mika
  • Miriam Flynn .... midwife
  • Mark Piatelli .... Brin
  • René Echevarria .... Screenwriter
  • John Kretchmer .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Oo-er. Cults. Pah-Wraiths. Brainwashing. Branch Dukatians. Where's the FBI when you want them?

This episode is only about the Bajoran religions, yes, religions with an s. There is the majority faith in the Prophets as mysterious guides of the fate of Bajor (today's timely lesson is on forgiveness), and the Cult of the Pah-Wraiths as worshippers of Prophets who were expelled from the Celestial Temple for trying to take direct action in the affairs of Bajor. (Sound a little bit familiar? Where's Beelzebub when you want him?)

As you all remember, Dukat was once host to a Pah-Wraith which tried to destroy the Prophets. That little mystical experience sent him even further off-beam than he was already. After scuttling about the Alpha Quadrant for a few episodes, he has now created a personal cult, gathering the gullible to him in a way that makes the Reverend Moon seem like an amateur. The cultists are disarmingly normal Bajorans whose faith is as strong as any (albeit in a different direction than most) and who are more than ready to go the full monty. Er... they are more than ready to kill themselves, although at least one has already made the xenobiological life form with multiple vertebral systems.

Naturally, Kira, who has had her own hosting of a prophet, is the one to meet up with the new Emissary of the Pah-Wraiths. Not only does she have a towering faith but she loathes Dukat on so many levels that they're too hard to count.

Oh, yes... Covenant: it's what would normally be called a character episode, and dismissed as such, but since this is the final season of Deep Space Nine I have the feeling that there is more to this than meets the eye. For what is a relatively minor plot line in the series (anyone notice that there's a war on?) a lot of attention has been paid lately to the state of Bajoran religion. This is a diverting but fascinating thing, and also a return to the show's roots as all along it has been about the UFP and their inability to cope with Bajoran religion.

In this episode, Odo makes a great foil for Kira's faith. Not only is he her beloved but he doesn't share her faith or religion, and is even considered a god by certain others. In Judaeo-Christian terms he is God's advocate where Dukat is the devil's.

Before telling anyone anything else that happens (because I hate to spoil the surprise), Nana Visitor is great as Kira (she's one of the most intensely talented actors in Trek) and this is a nicely nasty episode that everyone can enjoy. So do.

Further reading: Dukat had a relationship with Kira's mother during the occupation and cultists once attacked Sisko as a false Emissary.

Security censorship classification

PG (Low level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 5 May 1999

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