Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Shattered Mirror   Rewatch 
March 10, 2016 6:13 AM - Season 4, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Once more, with Klingon! Through the looking glass we go again, as Professor Jennifer Sisko uses Jake to lure Captain Sisko to the "mirror universe" to help the rebels build another starship Defiant.


"You remember Captain Bashir."


"Captain Bashir, Captain O'Brien, Captain Sisko. We may not have enough weapons or troops or ships but we have plenty of captains."
- Mirror O'Brien and Sisko

"That Cruiser has us in weapons range. Do we make a run for it?"

"We run alright, right at it!"

"Ahh! Pattern suicide."
- Mirror O'Brien and Captain Sisko

"Terok Nor will soon be ours again! Then you can spend the rest of your life contemplating your failure as you labor alongside the other slaves in the ore processing center!"

"It's nice to have something to look forward to."
- Mirror Worf and Mirror Garak


* Director James L. Conway says of the mirror universe, "It's dark and sexy, and there's no subtlety over there." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

* Each of the actors who portray their mirror universe counterparts in this episode had their own distinct interpretations of the differences between the usual character and the mirror character. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion lists some of them:
  • Nana Visitor says of The Intendant, "she and Kira are exactly the same person. But the Intendant's ego has been warped, so that everything that Kira would do for her people, The Intendant does for herself. She's self-serving with a capital S!"
  • Alexander Siddig says of his mirror universe counterpart, "I want him to be the inverse of Dr. Bashir, like a doppelgänger, the animus to his anima. Bashir wouldn't hurt a fly, but this guy is unstable, difficult, and stupid."
  • Colm Meaney says of Smiley, "I picture him as being a bit dirty and scuzzier than the regular O'Brien, just because of what he's had to go through. He's a trickster, and there's something sort of seedy about him. Miles, on the other hand, is straight as an arrow."
  • Aron Eisenberg says of Nog, "He was obnoxious and rude, so I played him like an edgy Quark."
* Aron Eisenberg, a trained martial artist, did all of his own stunts for this episode.

* Nog is the third Ferengi to die in the mirror universe. Quark was killed by Garak in "Crossover" and Rom was killed by The Intendant in "Through the Looking Glass".

* This episode marks the last on-screen appearance of any incarnation of Jennifer Sisko, and thereby actress Felecia M. Bell.
posted by Slothrop (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Return to Mirror Universe: Now it Gets Kink...ier.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:21 AM on March 10, 2016

This episode wasn't bad, but it felt a little... pointless? Like the writers needed an episode, didn't have a compelling idea, but they knew the mirror universe is dripping with fun so they just tossed us over there for 45 minutes and gave us ridiculous, pointless fun.

The battle scene was amazing. And finally the Defiant feels like the battleship it is! (Too bad it's the mirror universe Defiant.)

I think the key to a great space battle is to give it a good backdrop. Maybe it gives it perspective? Any battle that takes place around the space station is automatically better. It also helps that the Defiant is a smaller ship, so we aren't just seeing two behemoths firing pot shots at one another. It can weave in and out of the station, get close to other ships, and use its size to its advantage.

Also, I couldn't help but wonder about Federation policy with regards to alternate universes. Does the Prime Directive apply? If some group over there asks for Federation assistance do they send it?
posted by 2ht at 1:23 PM on March 10, 2016

I'd love to hear Andrew Robinson's opinion of mirror-Garak. Anyone know if that exists?
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:09 PM on March 10, 2016

"The Intendant was bad enough! She was irrational, accusatory, unappreciative but at least..."
"At least what?"
"At least I was able to please her now and then."
(Worf yanks Garak closer on his chain.)
"You are not my type."
"I never said I was."

Way to make the subtext text there, guys! Worf keeping Garak on a chain is about as kinky as Trek ever got. This exchange really reads as Garak basically saying, Look, maybe we'd get along better if we just banged, and when Worf rejects the offer Garak seems to be saying, Wait, what? You thought I was talking about banging? Heavens no!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:20 PM on March 10, 2016 [9 favorites]

I'd love to hear Andrew Robinson's opinion of mirror-Garak.

I suspect he might say, "Oh, I played him in exactly the same way."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:08 PM on March 10, 2016 [6 favorites]

One of the things that I like about the Mirror Universe episodes of DS9 is how they switch focus to different members of the crew. The first one had Kira and Bashir, mostly Kira; the next one Sisko; future MU eps will have Kira again, then Quark (and Rom). This one was also nominally a Sisko episode, but it felt almost more like a Jake episode, even though the next one is more Jake-centric. I can identify with the delight that Jake takes in hanging out with Jennifer, since I lost my own mother at an early age. Would I do the same, even if it was an "alternate" version of my mom with her own agenda? You bet. And it would just crush me if she died in front of me, even if she wasn't my "real" mom. Sisko is also affected by her death, but much less, I think, than he would have been without the Founders' intervention in the pilot. (Speaking of which, we should remember, WRT Jake's attitude toward Jennifer, that the very first time we saw him, his mom had just died--we don't know if he was conscious when she died, but his dad probably told him about the circumstances of her death at some point.) Yes, Sisko grieves for her, but the real reason he stays (besides the obvious regard that his son holds for Jennifer) is the mirror-Defiant, the twin of the ship that he worked on at Utopia Planitia while his psychic wounds from Wolf 359 were still fresh. He doesn't seem to have the same attitude toward it (or the "real" one) as all that "the ship is a lady" stuff from TOS, but he takes obvious pride in working on and flying it.

As far as the other stuff goes, it's fun to watch Michael Dorn have fun with the Regent, every bit as obsessed with glory as the regular Worf is with honor, and literally jerking Garak's chain. And I tend to think that the Federation, if it has a specific policy or a specific application of the Prime Directive regarding the mirror universe, is probably of the "fuck no" opinion regarding interference, if for no other reason that that door can swing both ways. (In fact, in the Mirror Universe books that Shatner wrote--or had ghost-written for him by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens--the Mirror Universe infiltrates ours.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:55 PM on March 10, 2016

I think the key to a great space battle is to give it a good backdrop. Maybe it gives it perspective?

You know, I think you're right. My mental list of all the truly great space battles is:
- the end of Return of the Jedi
- the Mutara Nebula battle in Wrath of Khan
- the beginning of Revenge of the Sith
...and they all have that in common.

I'd love to hear Andrew Robinson's opinion of mirror-Garak. Anyone know if that exists?

I read somewhere (probably on Memory Alpha) that he found the character less fun to play because he's a one-note brute.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:15 AM on March 12, 2016

The mirror universe is one of my favorite bits of Star Trek canon/continuity. Mirror universe Spock might just be my favorite sci-fi character outside of Iain M. Banks.

Anecdotally, every time I drive into Wisconsin, I make sure to say "We are now entering the Mutara Nebula"
posted by Sphinx at 5:13 PM on March 13, 2016

Interesting how, in the mirror universe, the main players are all the same as the main players in our universe. I know, I know, they all had contracts and had to be in so many episodes, but still, it would have been nice to have a bit of variety. Worfs brother as the regent, for example, or Admiral Necheyev as a pilot on the defiant. Even just random people who had been in Trek would have opened up the universe a bit; as it is, it suffers from the small universe problem that besets a lot of Trek.
posted by marienbad at 2:55 PM on March 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'd love to hear Andrew Robinson's opinion of mirror-Garak. Anyone know if that exists?

From The Deep Space Nine Companion:

"I was really, really, really happy about Garak's death. I never liked those alternate universe shows because that Garak was just a stupid bad guy. The thing that's great about our Garak is that he has subtext. There's a lot going on beneath the surface, and if you don't pay attention, then you're in trouble because he's got you. But the mirror Garak had no subtext. He was just a toady opportunist."
posted by EarBucket at 9:41 PM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

I was watching this with a group of people, some of whom hadn't seen other mirror universe DS9 episodes, and when those of us who had seem them tried to explain just what was going on.... a whole lot of explaining who had had sex with who, to being with. Suggestions on who should have a goatee. Maybe Bashir's terrible wig was evil? Every time someone walked on or off scene we'd say "slink slink slink slink," so much slinking! And dang, we cheered for Evil Worf. We'd just finished the previous, very grim episode, and this was a great palate cleanser.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:24 AM on February 4

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