Episode #44: The Collaborator

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Episode #44: The Collaborator

Post  BoG on Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:29 pm

THE COLLABORATOR (prod. #444; episode #24 of 2nd season)
written by Gary Holland, Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Ira Steven Behr; Directed by Cliff Bole

This episode hinges on who will be the new Kai, the Bajoran spiritual leader; the previous Kai was last seen in the middle of the first season, in the episode Battle Lines, in which she was left stranded on some godforsaken planet - for all time, I suppose. This is left vague and awkward; I guess most Bajorans just assume the old Kai is dead. The selection of a new Kai is very similar to how things are done in the Vatican, in selecting a new Pope, though it's even more of a simple election. Also simple, it boils down to two choices - Vedek Bareil (Phillip Anglim) and Vedek Winn (Louise Fletcher).  Bareil is Kira's lover and easily seems the front-runner (Bajoran priests have no restrictions in regard to carnal pleasures, unlike Catholic bishops). However, the arrival of a Bajoran traitor (Bert Remsen) on DS9 soon opens up a can of worms: in exchange for being allowed to go home, the traitor divulges information about a long-sought hidden traitor, someone who gave up a Bajoran resistance unit resulting in 43 killed, and it all points to Bareil. Kira is placed in the position of investigating and she doesn't like what she finds.

This episode transpires to be mostly a Kira story and all the other DS9 regulars are either missing or in very minor roles. It also functions as a follow-up to the first season-ender, sort of reintroducing Winn as a semi-regular character as she pays the station a return visit and again has confrontations with Kira and Sisko. The episode isn't very subtle about hinting how Winn - from then on known as Kai Winn - will be an unpleasant and irritating distraction to most of the DS9 regulars in future episodes, especially for Kira, who cannot stand her. Winn is more of a political creature than a spiritual one, so the episode suggests that this bodes ill for the future of Bajor. As in our reality, those of noble and pure intentions are pushed aside by the opportunists, who reap the rewards - life isn't fair here or on Bajor in the political arena. The episode also functions as a mystery as we wait for Kira to finish her investigation and uncover the truth, but it's largely tedious.  BoG's Score: 5.5 out of 10
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