Hear Ye! Since 1998.
Please note: This post is at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the post may no longer be held.
Oct 99

Star Trek: Rapture (Ep 5.10)

I just realised I forgot to do a gobbet on this week’s episode. Well, you don’t get off so easy – here it is. Most reviewers found this a highly refined and impressive episode of Trek, generally one of the season’s best. I, on the other hand could not share the high level of appreciation they displayed. The episode is based upon Sisko (Starfleet officer and Bajoran religious figure) being zapped by a faulty wiring and henceforth being gifted with rapturous visions which have the unfortunate side effect of gradually killing him. The visions must be rapturous, for Sisko is willing to die for them. This episode was filled (intentionally) with character about-turns and contradictions.

The episode was one regarding strength of faith – how it is everything to those who have it, and to those who do not have it, cannot understand it (and that statement it from a previous Trek episode). What was intriguing was that Sisko, a strong father figure and one who accepted the role of the emissary reluctantly, was not himself this episode. Understandably, Sisko may grow into the role of the emissary, but to neglect so much for visions? To have a smirk on his face while confronted by his son who is close to tears at the thought of losing his father? You could almost apply the term “spoilt child” to Sisko in this episode. Then there’s Kai Winn’s 180 degree change in viewing Sisko. However, she has been so embroiled in politics that I associate her not with the Bajoran religion, but politico-spirituality. It is hard to trust her, even though her retorting statements to Kira were very well said. Does she know something regarding Sisko’s visions we don’t? Am I missing the point completely?

Another aspect that was offputting was how Trek is so scientific. Not necesarily saying science will explain everything, or that science is everything, but even episodes that are based around faith and religion are normally weighted with science as the flipside. This episode has no science to it. Something I was not used to. On closer inspection, could this parallel the conversion of atheists to having a religion? I guess the Trek writers were handing us this episode, and were trusting the viewer to accept things as they were, with faith, as it were.