Episode 2.10: Sanctuary

There really isn’t anything new under the sun.  I find it poignant that I come to this episode when there is a massive refugee crisis in Europe that is even larger than the one portrayed in the episode.  As of the time of this writing, Turkey alone is host to nearly 3 million Syrian refugees, which is the same number of Skrreeans requesting asylum in this episode.  It gives some perspective; what the Skrreeans needed to resettle would have been a rather small inconvenience to a full planet.

I think the number of Skrreean refugees was kept to a small number on purpose; since it was small, their needs were not overly inconvenient.  However throughout the episode, the Skrreeans are portrayed as unkempt, unpleasant, and overwhelming.  Quark acts as the voice for what everyone is thinking (because actually saying it would be rude).  The Skrreeans would be nothing but trouble, nothing but a burden.  Isn’t that all a refugee would be?  They come with nothing and need everything, right?  The commentary of this episode seeks to break the idea that refugees are only burdens.  They are more than just drains on society.  They are people who want the same sort of things we all want: opportunities to contribute, security for our families, and a place to live.  Refugees are worth investing in because they desire the same core attributes of society that we all would want.

In fact, the Bajorans are more refugees than the Skrreeans are.  The scars of the Occupation run deep, leaving them (as Haneek points out) frightened and suspicious.  Is not the stereotypical refugee one who is trembling and hungry, frightened of the uncertain future, suspicious of others?  The Skrreeans are none of these things; the Bajorans fit them far more so.  The Skrreeans are broken, but proud; they stand ready to offer their best asset (ability to farm) to Kentanna, Planet of Sorrow.  I personally believe that the prophecy that the Skrreeans have of Kentanna came from the Bajoran Prophets.  The pairing of a world in famine with a farming culture is engineered enough to be from the Prophets.

A quick nod to Jake and Nog.  In this situation, Nog is more the boy than Jake is.  Nog reacts to the Skrreeans in boyish ways, whereas Jake is more mature, seeks to find common ground, and offers the olive branch.  But when push comes to shove (literally), Jake stands firmly by his friend, going to blows for Nog.  I like how Jake and Nog trade back and forth the role of “boy” and “man” throughout the series.  Nog is more mature in the realms of business and girls.  Jake is more mature in situations of diplomacy and introspection.  Also, Jake has his first date with a Daboo girl!  And he tells Nog before he tells his father.  Boys becoming men!

Random Thoughts:  1) Key continuity point:  Odo does not shapeshift.  In the rare event that a Skrreean would know the Founders, Odo’s origins are not revealed.  2) Key difference on a station over a starship:  The promenade is completely uncontrolled for the Skrreeans to get to the Infirmiry.  3) Bashir again shows his immense confidence in his medical prowess.  4) Second direct Dominion reference.  This is a slow build.  5) To a Ferengi, entomology is a culinary art!  6) There’s a bit of love/hate between Quark and Odo over Nog’s actions.  7) Jake and Nog chat in The Spot.

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~ by Joshua Black on May 1, 2016.

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