Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In The Hands Of The Prophets   Rewatch 
June 29, 2015 1:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Tensions rise when Keiko O'Brien teaches something against Bajoran religious orthodoxy. Vedek Winn enters, stage left.

Let the hissing and booing commence!
posted by Solomon (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Perhaps this episode was a little on the nose with the science-vs-faith stuff, but Louise Fletcher was oily perfection as Winn.

Just the other night I found out about a DS9 video game from 1996, featuring the full cast doing the voices of their characters. The animation is so stiff and awkward it's kind of hard to look at, but for fans at least it's fun to hear those characters live again. 2000's DS9: The Fallen looked much better, but they didn't get Avery Brooks to voice Sisko and the lack is keenly felt.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:08 PM on June 29, 2015


But I think the faith vs science debate feels on the nose because Winn is so obvious about using it for political gain.

Winn always struck me as having learned a lot from the Cardassians.
posted by dry white toast at 9:07 PM on June 29, 2015


I had forgotten until the rewatch how evil Winn was right out of the gate. She's complicit in the murder of a Federation officer and is the mastermind in the attempted murder of one of her religious/political rivals. And she's never held accountable for it. And the DS9 folks have to work with her for years afterwards. It fits with the general messiness of the show, even if I am often yelling at the TV when she's doing something awful.

What I remembered was the stuff from middle seasons, where she's given some complexity before the bitter end.

Random thought: did someone tell Winn what Keiko's lesson plans were going to be? Or did she have the astounding good fortune to happen to walk in when Keiko was teaching a lesson about the wormhole?

I like the Bareil we see here, who's a bit calculating (thinking about how his actions might affect his election chances) and who was once a youthful trouble-maker. I wish they'd kept that bit of texture instead of the bland serenity we got from him in the rest of his appearances.
posted by creepygirl at 9:19 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


But I think the faith vs science debate feels on the nose because Winn is so obvious about using it for political gain.

I didn't mean it was a bad episode! I love Keiko and love hating Winn, and it does my secular humanist heart good to see small-minded fundamentalism portrayed as a force for evil. But Keiko is so clearly on the side of good here, and Winn is so sinister (in her smiley, maternal way) that there is zero ambiguity who is right. Usually the show makes the science vs. faith conflict more ambiguous, and you could argue that in the end it kind of comes down on the side of the Prophets being real gods of some kind. (Or at least that they are aliens who are so powerful that they may as well be gods! All the Bajoran myths and prophecies turn out to be real things.)

For those participating in the rewatch, pay special attention to the displays in Keiko's classroom. There are fun nerdy jokes things to be seen, such as this chart depicting the biology of such creatures as Hortas and Tribbles!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:03 PM on June 29, 2015


I would like to see a condescend-off between Vedek Winn and Delores umbridge.

I feel angry just thinking about it.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:26 AM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


My money's on Winn, assuming Umbridge couldn't use her wand. Umbridge is truly evil but she's a bit of a comic goon at the same time. She's sinister with a sprinkling of silly. But Winn is smart and slithery, and there's nothing funny about the woman.

Umbridge is just bad through and through, while Winn has a tiny heart beating somewhere inside those robes. She's capable of some remorse, but it doesn't make her any more merciful in the end. If anything her latent conscience just twists her up and makes her more frightening. If you're in her way, she will take your ass down and then t'sk about how you were a poor lost soul who strayed from the will of the Prophets. Nobody actually likes Umbridge, IIRC, her allies tolerate her at best. But Winn knows how to schmooze and she makes powerful allies. As long as there's no magic involved, I think Winn is more fleshed out, complicated and scheming, and therefore more dangerous.

I think this should be the next Epic Rap Battle of History.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:53 AM on June 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's a great injustice that Kai Winn never got trampled by centaurs.
posted by chaiminda at 1:20 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


She's complicit in the murder of a Federation officer and is the mastermind in the attempted murder of one of her religious/political rivals. And she's never held accountable for it.

Neela's line to Winn after learning that her escape route had been compromised intrigued me. She said "I'll be executed". Does Bajor have the death penalty then? Did they always have it, or did Bajoran law become harsher in reaction to the Cardassian occupation?
posted by oh yeah! at 6:21 PM on June 30, 2015


Does Bajor have the death penalty then?

Part of Odo's conversation with Dukat in Duet seems to suggest that Bajor does have a death penalty:

ODO: That innocent citizen has admitted he is Gul Darhe'el.
DUKAT [on monitor]: What are you saying?
ODO: He says his name is Gul Darhe'el.
DUKAT [on monitor]: Then he's lying!
ODO: Well if he is, it's the most foolish lie he could have invented. It's likely to get him executed. Why would anyone do such a thing?

I do wonder if they abolished it later when they were close to joining the Federation. It seems like the kind of thing the Federation would demand of its new entries.
posted by creepygirl at 10:11 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would like to see a condescend-off between Vedek Winn and Delores umbridge..

Eh? This is no time or place for Joanie-come-latelies!

Don't you mean between Vedek Winn and Big Nurse?
 
posted by Herodios at 12:27 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quark: You were looking for me? Don't tell me - there's a Bajoran convention on the station I didn't know about? Thanks, Odo! I need to call in more Dabo girls.
Odo: It's not a convention, they're from an orthodox spiritual order coming to support Vedic Winn's efforts to keep Bajoran children out of school.
Quark: Oh, orthodox. In that case I'll need twice as many Dabo girls.
posted by bunderful at 3:58 PM on December 31, 2015


For those participating in the rewatch, pay special attention to the displays in Keiko's classroom. There are fun nerdy jokes things to be seen, such as this chart depicting the biology of such creatures as Hortas and Tribbles!

(Hurrah for comment threads that don't close!) UH, one of the things that I love about that chart is that it seems to be derived from the Starfleet Medical Manual [PDF], a non-canon (and highly speculative) tie-in book that was published in the seventies. I think that the fact that whomever did this diagram (probably Michael Okuda, who did most of them for the spinoff series) referenced a book that probably not even most fans remembered is further proof as to how much the people who worked on Trek were major league fans themselves.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:34 AM on December 6, 2016


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