Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Through the Looking Glass   Rewatch 
December 2, 2015 1:34 AM - Season 3, Episode 19 - Subscribe

A second visit to the twisted, brutal Mirror Universe, this time with pirates, Sisko's dead wife and freedom fighters.

Trivia
* Nana Visitor hated the Intendant's rubber figure-hugging outfit. "It didn't breathe at all" claims Visitor, and between takes she had to stand in front of a large fan to prevent her from sweating, as sweat tended to discolor the outfit.

* Ira Steven Behr: "We certainly had enough stuff that could have kept that show going another hour. I thought the Sisko/Jennifer relationship was interesting. It was a nice way to bring Jennifer back, and I think we'll meet her again. Jake is going to have to see her at some point. The action stuff was pretty cool. I thought that the look of the show was good. My only complaint is that we had to cram so much into too little time."

* Avery Brooks was especially happy when he read the teleplay for this episode, because in it, Sisko has sex for the first time since the show began. And not once, but twice; first with Dax and then with The Intendant.

Quotes
Odo: [to Sisko] "I found 27 voles in his storeroom."
Quark: "Vole infestations are not uncommon on this station. If you don't believe me, ask Chief O'Brien."
Odo: "When I came in, he and Morn were painting numbers on the voles' backs."
Quark: "We were just... counting them, to see how many we'd caught."
Sisko: "You were getting ready to stage a vole fight."
Quark: "A vole fight? I'm appalled. ... Do you really think that was what Morn was up to?"
Sisko: "Constable, I want the voles confiscated and removed from the station."
Quark: "You can't confiscate Morn's voles, they're like his pets!"
Sisko: "I'll see if I can get him some... goldfish."
--

Tuvok: "What do you propose we do?"
Captain Bashir: "We smuggle explosives aboard the station, plant them in her quarters... and detonate them."
Tuvok: "You realize it is highly unlikely that anyone assigned to such a mission would survive."
Bashir: "I say it's worth the risk."
Sisko: [from the background] "Does that mean you're volunteering for the job?"
--

[Sisko has activated the station's self-destruct sequence]
Intendant Kira: "Computer, disengage self-destruct sequence. Authorization Kira, Alpha 9175 Blue."
Computer: "Authorization denied."
Sisko: "I changed it!"
--

Kira: "All in good time. But first, whatever shall we do about O'Brien? I remember the first time I saw you, Tinkerer. You were fixing something. You were always fixing things, making things better. And everyone loved you for it. Even me. But that just wasn't enough for you, was it. You couldn't be happy, staying here, being loved. You had to lash out and betray everyone who was ever good to you. Why?"
O'Brien: "I wanted to be free."
Kira: "Free? You're a Terran. You were born a slave and you'll die a slave. Take him to ore processing. Remind him where he belongs."
posted by zarq (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
They should've done way more with Tuvok. He's far and away my favorite thing about Voyager.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:34 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are so many neat things about this episode, one of them being that it's a surprisingly strong Sisko episode, because it gets to one of the subtexts that made TOS' "Mirror, Mirror" so compelling: the idea that the central character (Kirk in that one) would do very well in the position of his supposed opposite number, and that there were strong temptations to stay there and do that very thing. Sisko just jumps into the role and has some fun with it (although I wonder if he felt awkward around regular-universe Kira and Jadzia after he got back). Sisko's always had an edge to him, has never quite been Joe Starfleet, and even though he knows his duty back in his own universe, it's got to still be tempting for him.

But then there's Jennifer, right there, and it seems to hurt him that she thinks he's really the person that he's pretending to be. It's worth going back to "Emissary" and rewatching the scene where the Prophets bring him back to the time when he and Jennifer met. Sisko isn't just remembering the meeting, he's reliving it from the perspective of someone who saw his wife die and had to leave her body on the Saratoga while he got Jake to the shuttle, and you could see that yearning in him as he's reliving the beginning of their relationship with the knowledge of how it would end. And in this episode, he wants to be the better man for her, but things will get screwed up unless he's the worse man.

And yeah, what Ira Steven Behr said about there being enough in there for two episodes. I also liked seeing Tuvok, and thought briefly that he might be a double agent, which is what he was in the Maquis during the pilot of Voyager. I'm also a bit disappointed that they didn't also sprinkle some of Voyager's other people in future mirror universe episodes: Janeway, Chakotay, B'Elanna, especially Tom Paris. Heck, they could have had an unassimilated Annika Hansen in there. As I mentioned in a comment on the last episode, I also think that the Bashir that we're seeing here may be the non-genetically-enhanced Bashir, which would be interesting because, even though Bashir and his parents describe the pre-modified Jules as developmentally disabled, he seems relatively average here, if a bit belligerent, which puts a different spin on their motivations for modifying him.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:09 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm really disappointed with the show's treatment of consent issues re: Sisko having sex with MU Dax and the Intendant while impersonating MU Sisko.

On a Watsonian level, I'd expect a Federation citizen to have some conflicts or qualms about the situation, even if he felt he needed to do it for the sake of the mission. Having no reaction from Sisko about this at all feels like crap world-building. (I am aware that MU Dax slaps him for this in a future episode. This does not address my complaint that Sisko should have some reaction to it.)

On a Doylist level, they didn't have to go there. They could have MU Dax tell Sisko that she knows he's not MU Sisko, but she wants to sleep with him anyway. Or have the Intendant distracted by a crisis before she and Sisko have sex. They chose to go with the sex-while-impersonating-someone else route twice in this episode instead.
posted by creepygirl at 11:55 AM on December 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm really disappointed with the show's treatment of consent issues re: Sisko having sex with MU Dax and the Intendant while impersonating MU Sisko.

This didn't occur to me at the time, but discussions like this are why I'm glad that I peek in on this rewatch periodically. I forget who pointed out that DS9 was really good at race issues, but really bad on gender ones, but that was definitely true. (And it's sort of shocking to see how true, sometimes.)
posted by mordax at 1:27 PM on December 2, 2015


I'm really disappointed with the show's treatment of consent issues re: Sisko having sex with MU Dax and the Intendant while impersonating MU Sisko.

This had not occurred to me. Thanks for pointing it out.

I dig that the two people who seem most adaptable to the Mirror Universe are the ones in command of the station in the Prime Universe.
posted by dry white toast at 2:09 PM on December 2, 2015


Intendant Kira! Yaaassssss.

ALL THE SCENERY! ALL OF IT!

Shame that mirror-universe Garak is so boring, though.


Also, isn't it odd that the Intendant seems to have a taste for Terrans the way Gul Dukat has a taste for Bajorans?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:17 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shame that mirror-universe Garak is so boring, though.

Yeah, he's shockingly dull until mirror-universe Worf turns up with his dog collar, anyway.

I've never been able to work out the mirror logic. Sometimes you get eviler, beardier, kinkier; some stuff follows logically from an alternate timeline but others is bonkers. The mirror DS9 episodes are never my favorites and I have to push through them a bit like TNG holodeck episodes. BUT my partner pointed out when we watched last time that Nana Visitor seems to be doing a deranged Liza Minnelli impression and that has greatly enhanced my enjoyment.
posted by thetortoise at 5:25 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


What I really want are more Terok Nor episodes! Like, the real Terok Nor.

I didn't remember the consent stuff at all (thanks for bringing that up, creepygirl) and am going to give the episode a rewatch tonight.
posted by thetortoise at 5:34 PM on December 2, 2015


Well, now I have an image in my head of Intendant Kira performing a version of "Don't Tell Mama," so...thanks?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:38 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


They could have MU Dax tell Sisko that she knows he's not MU Sisko, but she wants to sleep with him anyway. Or have the Intendant distracted by a crisis before she and Sisko have sex. They chose to go with the sex-while-impersonating-someone else route twice in this episode instead

It's a pretty striking contrast -- I know we've got some more Mirror Universe episode(s?) coming, but I'm 99% sure that if regular Kira or Dax end up in MU in a sexual situation, it will be played for jeopardy, the danger of them being revealed as non-MU when they try to avoid the sex their MU counterpart would be having, or being menaced by the Intendant or other baddie. I can't imagine the writers creating a situation where they'd actually go ahead and have "oh well, what can I do? guess I'm going to go ahead and sleep with this guy {wink to camera}" sex like Sisko did here. Twice.

The Tor.com recap mentioned the idea that they could have written MU Jadzia as not carrying the Dax symbiont. So far every Jadzia-loses-the-symbiont episode has been not great for the character, so, I don't know that they would have done it any better in the MU, but it might have been ok. Or, hell, making MU Bashir/Dax a thing would have been fine, and payoff for whoever it was that launched that ship originally.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:12 PM on December 3, 2015


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