Episode 2.23: Crossover

As a someone who thinks DS9 is the best Star Trek, I’m already in a minority among Trekkies.  Amongst DS9 fans, I’m in a further minority in that I actually really enjoy the crossover episodes.  From those I’ve talked to and some casual reading online, the general consensus is that these episodes are over-the-top and cheesy.  I liked them because I get to see the characters (and actors) in very different roles.  Usually roles that are opposite of their normal universe archetype.  DS9 has 5 Mirror Universe episodes, with one in each of the remaining seasons except Season 5.  For me, these episodes are fun episodes meant to bring smiles to the viewer and contain little social commentary.

In this first DS9 mirror episode, they set up where Kira and Bashir are, and they set up how the Mirror Universe has evolved thanks to Kirk’s intervention; TNG did not have Mirror Universe episodes.  The Terran Empire is destroyed resulting from Spock’s peaceful agenda, and the quadrant is ruled by The Alliance, primarily Cardassians and Klingons, but the Bajorans are major players as well.  Nana Visitor apparently loved playing Mirror-Kira.  I’m not sure exactly what the actor enjoyed, but I felt it was an interesting take on Kira had she not experienced the horror of the Occupation.  Kira’s compassion, which is being forged throughout the show, is shaped by the tragedy she experienced during the Occupation and the moral crimes she committed as a freedom fighter.  In contrast, Andrew Robinson despised Mirror-Garak.  Where Garak is mysterious, complex, and intriguing, Mirror-Garak is a one-dimensional lapdog who is only greedy for power.  Which, I guess, fits the mirror universe motif.

One point of potentially intriguing commentary is how Mirror-Kira and the Bajorans are enforcing Occupation-like conditions on the Terrans; they act no different than Cardassians in the normal universe.  This should be utterly chilling for Kira.  She could have explored this contrast with herself, particularly given her counterpart was as cruel and deluded as Gul Dukat.  Another would have been how the peaceful actions of Spock had long-term, detrimental effects on the quality of life of the Terrans.  But these were mostly left untouched.  I don’t think the show intended to really explore anything deep here.  Instead of focusing on social commentaries, they shot the Mirror Universe episodes more as fun episodes.  I’m very fine with this, as fun episodes are an excellent component of a well rounded show.

The opening scene shows a bit of insight into Bashir and Kira.  Bashir continues to realize his own annoying nature.  In this case though, he pushes through to try to connect with Kira; in true Bashir style, his advances are incredibly awkward and rejected.  The romantic angle aside, it is quite admirable for Bashir to immerse himself in Bajoran culture; he’s come a long way from his offensive comments to Kira in Emissary (Ep. 1.1).  For Kira, we hear she meditates daily; this kind of daily dedication is a sign of a very personal faith.

Random Thoughts:  1) Really disappointed no one had a goatee.  2) Mirror-Kira is as cruel and deluded as Gul Dukat.  She thinks she is being respectful and compassionate to the Terrans when she absolutely subjugates them.  3) New Bajor is mentioned as the first Bajoran colony in the Gamma Quadrant.  This will be destroyed in the coming conflict with the Dominion.  4) Rare Bashir & Kira episode.  5) Bashir has fierce loyalty to idealism and truth.  He won’t let Mirror-Odo rule over him.  6) Mirror-Quark is in a very drab suit, indicating he isn’t rich like his counterpart.  7) Mirror-Quark is as compassionate to Terrans as Quark is to Bajorans.  Even across Universes, Quark is noble.  8) Terrans have flair on their chest in the shape of Earth.  Drawing similarities between the Occupation and the Holocaust.  9) Mirror-Kira is both narcissistic and bisexual.  10) In her quarters, the two Kiras are differentially lit.  Kira is in light; Mirror-Kira is in shadow.  Literary device to enforce the Mirror motif.  In the same moment, Mirror-Kira blithely orders Mirror-Quark’s death, then talks of fashion.  11) Garak admires a well-tailored gown, but hates euphemisms.  He is painfully straightforward when talking of killing Mirror-Kira.  Completely unlike his counterpart.  12) Kira expertly manipulates Mirror-Sisko into helping her; she knows precisely what oppression is.  Excellent exchange: Mirror-Sisko, “Why do you care about Terrans’ freedom?”  Kira, “I care about freedom!”  13) The name of the next Mirror Universe episode is said as a line by Kira, “Through the Looking Glass, Commander.”  Ep. 3.19.  14) No appearance of Mirror-Dax.  Mirror-Jake doesn’t exist.  15) Dead: Mirror-Quark and Mirror-Odo.

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~ by Joshua Black on October 23, 2016.

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