DS9: S3E24: “Shakaar”

In which Winn gets some power, a challenge, and uncomfortably allegorical. 

Okay, so look at the Bajoan insignia on this traditional prayer lamp and ask yourself what that insignia actually means.

Okay, so look at the Bajoan insignia on this traditional prayer lamp and ask yourself what that insignia actually means.

Sisko is playing darts at Quark’s, and is not quite as good as he thinks.  Even O’Brien isn’t getting his usual rooting by the universe, but Sisko gets called away before his loss can be formalized. The Bajoran Provisional Government is having Goings-On important enough to interrupt Kira, who’s praying for Berial. The First Minister of the provisional government is dead in his sleep from heart failure, and Kai Winn has been appointed to replace him. We are not happy about this.

Kira is distracted during Odo’s security briefing by the thought of Kai Winn being in control of the government for six years to enact whatever horrible things she’ll do with the power. Like that time she goaded Berial to kill himself and took all the credit for his diplomatic victory. Kai Winn… might be rubbing it in a little when she comes to chat with Kira before getting down to brass tacks. Rekantha Province had been poisoned by the Cardassians, and a reclamation project is in effect. The Kai couches this in terms of enhancing Bajor’s status as a Federation candidate, but the hammer drops shortly thereafter – former Bajoran resistance members are holding on to the vital equipment and not giving it back, led by Kira’s old cell leader. As always, Winn’s rhetoric is good, it even seems reasonable to me, although Winn is always a bit greasy.

Kira’s been in this sort of situation before, though. She beams down to Shakaar’s shed, which is nice and rustic, and the two of them immediately start catching up on old times. Kira refuses to lead him on and brings up the unpleasant business as soon as possible, but such decisions cannot be rushed.

O’Brien is on a darts streak, and Quark is quick to try to capitalize on the situation. His next win will make 47 in a row, and Quark is really sold on hustling his customers using O’Brien’s streak. Always out for a profit.

Kira’s kicking back moonshine with the former resistance members. Farel got his arm hurt in the war and has chosen not to have it replaced with Federation technology, but he thinks of it as a sacrifice he made to the Prophets in exchange for the safety of his compatriots. The buried lead here is that the Federation can regrow lost limbs in a week. Dr. Toby Russel has been a busy doctor indeed, it seems.

Even the windows are Bajoran-Insignia shaped. Start thinking of them as crosses or american flags and see how gaudy it starts reading.

Even the windows are Bajoran-Insignia shaped. Start thinking of them as crosses or american flags and see how gaudy it starts reading.

Shakaar explains the realities of the situation – by demanding the reclamators back, Winn is going back on the deal that these people were supposed to have the reclamators for long enough to actually be useful. There’s a tension between the Good of Bajor and the good of the actual Bajoran people. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but the comparison between Cardassian Statism is apparent. Oh, also Shakaar is totally hitting on Nerys.

Winn is not happy with the pushback, and is barely willing to treat with Shakaar. And she dismisses Kira immediately afterwards. Oh, by ‘treat with’ I mean arrest. Kira’s still there and helps him resist arrest. But while it’s clearly very easy to paint Shakaar as the villain here, he and his friends are also very good at hiding from patrols. The Bajoran authorities have started to arrest former members of the Resistance cell for questioning.

O’Brien breaks his streak when he dislocates his shoulder reaching for a drink. This is in no way him blatantly throwing the game to cash in on Quark’s generous betting terms.

Winn Adami's triggers include 'people talking back to her' and 'being told the universe doesn't revolve around her.'

Winn Adami’s triggers include ‘people talking back to her’ and ‘being told the universe doesn’t revolve around her.’

Kai Winn has called in Sisko to ‘make Kira see reason’ after two weeks of Shakaar’s Resistance Reunion Tour. I’m sure Sisko enjoyed comparing Winn to the Cardassians, since she’s declared martial law. She’s even asking Sisko to bring in Federation thugs, but he can’t. Federation law prevents ‘interference in internal affairs’ and Winn threatens to withdraw Bajor’s application, and Sisko gets to point out that this is way more important to Bajor than to the Federation. Also, put Winn Adami behind a desk and she goes mad with power and gets lots of creepy camera angles.

The New Shakaar Resistance is on the run and using all their old tricks, but Shakaar is hesitate this time to use force against Bajorans. Not very hesitant, though, and they set up an ambush in Serenity Valley Tanner’s Canyon. Now the question is whether any of those weapons even have a stun setting. Given the hesitance to fire, I think not. Shakaar, Kira, and the resistance have their pursuit dead to rights, and make themselves known instead.

Every unit's got that one guy...

Every unit’s got that one guy…

The two legendary resistance leaders meet, exchange tense pleasantries until some idiot opens fire against explicit orders, because everything was going somewhat well for a change. The leaders on the field are not all about a civil war, no matter what the Kai and First Minister wants.

Good lord, Winn couldn’t be a more villainous telegraph if she’d woken up and found ‘be evil’ written on her agenda. It’s nice to watch the grin fall off her face when she’s informed that Shakaar – a man with a lot of support among the people, is not arrested and is instead entering the election. I just wish I could feel better about a Strongman from out of nowhere emerging as a dark horse candidate against an established political manipulator.


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