(written from a Production point of view)
|DS9, Episode 2x01|
Production number: 40512-421
First aired: 26 September 1993
|←||20th of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||20th of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||280th of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
Ira Steven Behr
Jeri Taylor & Ira Steven Behr
|Arc: Bajoran coup (1 of 3)||→|
Kira rescues a Bajoran Resistance hero from a Cardassian labor camp; an extremist group calls for all non-Bajorans to leave Bajor. (Part 1 of 3) (Season Premiere)
On Deep Space 9, Odo stops Quark in his bar but the Ferengi is much too busy to speak with him. Odo persists and asks Quark if he remembers a tip the barkeep gave him that a freighter was carrying smuggled goods. Much to Odo's surprise, when he investigated the ship he found Quark was telling the truth and had some of the crew arrested. Odo thinks he has a hidden agenda but Quark insists he has changed and wants to call a truce. As Quark and his brother watch the Constable leave Rom can't understand Quark's objective either so Quark quotes the seventy-sixth Rule of Acquisition, "Every once in a while, declare peace – it confuses the hell out of your enemies."
Quark is visited by an old friend, Rionoj, a female Boslic freighter captain. She asks him when the next transport to Bajor is to leave, as she has a delivery to make, a Bajoran earring. It was given to her by a Cardassian maintenance worker on Cardassia IV. Quark agrees to deliver the earring himself. The captain gives it to him, and Quark leaves her with a kiss.
In her quarters, Kira Nerys is meditating. She is interrupted by the chime of the door; it is Quark . She almost refuses him entry but finally relents and gives him five seconds. He tries to flirt as she counts down the time till she's ready to throw him out. He finally comes to the point of his visit and presents her with the earring. She recognizes it immediately, snatches it from his hand, and leaves, with him still standing there. "Consider it a gift", he tells her.
On the Promenade, Jake Sisko races to catch up to his father. He tells his father that he has a date with Laira, a young Bajoran girl. Benjamin thinks his son is looking for some relationship counseling but Jake says he's looking for some ideas where he can take her. Jake suggests the holosuites but Ben nixes that idea. As another option the boy wants to take her to their quarters to talk. No, no, no, his father asserts. Take her to the Promenade balcony if you want to talk. Jake complains, "But that's boring!"
Just then Kira approaches Benjamin Sisko and asks him if she can borrow a runabout. Bajor is in trouble; the Alliance for Global Unity, a pro-Bajoran group, is gaining influence on the planet. She wants to go to Cardassia IV to rescue a Bajoran prisoner of war. She shows him the earring Quark gave her, telling him it shows the insignia of Li Nalas, one of the leaders of the Bajoran Resistance who is the greatest hero of the Occupation. Li has been missing and presumed dead, but the earring indicates that he's alive, and Kira believes the earring was smuggled out as a cry for help. She tells Sisko that Li is exactly the sort of man the increasingly factionalized Bajoran people need to lead them out the aftermath of the Occupation. It will be a dangerous mission and Sisko can only promise that he'll think about it.
Benjamin Sisko agrees that Bajor needs a man like Li to lead them in the aftermath of the Occupation. He decides to give Kira the runabout to improve Bajor's stability.
Over the intercom Miles calls Ben to one of the habitat rings. Sisko approaches Odo and O'Brien who point out another problem. Someone has sprayed the station walls with graffiti bearing the insignia of "The Circle." The extremist group wants to rid Bajor of all non-Bajorans. A troubled Sisko is worried that matters on Bajor will soon get out of hand so he orders Odo to step up security on the station.
With Kira's request in mind, Sisko seeks advice from Dax. He tells her that everything is starting to unravel and Bajor needs a hero. Dax advises him to let Kira have the Runabout. Surprised that Dax knows the story he then wonders what they will say to the Cardassians if Kira succeeds. Dax counters with a better question, what will the Cardassians say if prisoners of war are still being held there after they promised all were freed? Sisko then seeks out O'Brien with an offer to take a little joy ride.
When Sisko goes to Kira's quarters with his decision, Miles accompanies him. He tells Kira that he is willing to allow her use of a runabout on one condition – Miles O'Brien must accompany her on her mission into Cardassian territory. At first, Kira objects, worried that the presence of a Federation officer will only put Sisko in a bad light if they're caught. Sisko, however, is unwilling to bend, claiming he's taking a precautionary measure to get his runabout back in one piece. Kira reluctantly agrees saying she can use the company. Sisko and O'Brien rig a runabout to appear Lissepian on long-range scanners. As the Major and the Chief embark Kira tells Miles she wants something understood; if they don't return with Li Nalas they're not coming back at all. Miles still agrees to go.
As the pair nears Cardassia IV, they are hailed by a Cardassian navigational control post, the runabout's disguised power signature having appeared as engine trouble on the post's long range sensors. Miles tells Kira that they are out of visual range and suggests they bluff their way out. Kira opens a channel and talks to the outpost, giving the name of a Cardassian Gul that is waiting for her shipment. The ruse works, and the post even offers repair assistance, but Kira insists that she's in a hurry and that they can fix the problem themselves. The post finally relents and closes the channel. When O'Brien inquires about the Gul she mentioned, Kira confesses she'd just made up the name at random.
As they fly over the camp, O'Brien has the transporter scan for Bajoran life signs. They are both surprised when they pick up about a dozen. Since the runabout can only beam up two people at a time, once the first two dematerialize, the Cardassians will be alerted. In order to make sure they retrieve Li, they need to get inside the prison camp, where Bajorans are breaking rocks in the hot sun.
Kira and Miles approach the overseer at the entrance, who demands to know what they want. Miles tells him he "brought the woman to offer comfort to the Prefect." The overseer is uneasy about giving them entrance, so O'Brien offers him Kira's services while she flirts with him. Finally, the overseer accepts and shuts down the force field, with Miles warning that "there will be no sampling." As Kira walks past the gate, the overseer snaps the force field back on and leaves Miles outside. He then asks to see what Kira has to offer. She starts to unbutton her blouse, then suddenly hits the Cardassian under his chin while he's distracted, knocking him out with a few more quick blows. Pulling a phaser hidden behind her back and taking the force field controller from the unconscious Cardassian, Kira lets O'Brien in and they quickly make their way to the prisoners.
Li Nalas is unsure why these strangers are there. His friend Borum admits that he smuggled the earring out in order to get Li rescued. Kira and O'Brien usher the group of Bajorans out as Cardassian guards come at them with phasers blazing. Li is hit, and they take cover. The group has the grim realization that they cannot escape with all of the prisoners. Borum orders Kira to take Li back to Bajor and insists that he and three other prisoners will hold off the Cardassian troops. Reluctantly, Kira allows Borum and the others to sacrifice themselves in order to save Li and the rest of the group.
Back on the station, Bashir is there as they dock. Li is in need of immediate medical attention and Julian has them beamed directly to the Infirmary. Kira meanwhile seeks Sisko out in his office and inadvertently steps in on a message from Gul Dukat. She is shocked to hear Dukat apologize for the existence of the prison camp, and assure them he will chastise the Prefect accordingly. Ben and Nerys are skeptical when he announces that all of the remaining prisoners will be released. Sisko encourages Kira to be pleased with what has been achieved.
Li is amazed at the tremendous commotion he has caused on the station, as Bajorans openly stare at him in awe. Uncomfortable with the attention he admits he used to work there. An announcement is then heard of Minister Jaro's ship approaching. Kira greets the Minister as he complains that her adventure has made enemies. She has declared war on Cardassia, and they have thankfully declined it. He is adamant that the next time she disobeys orders will be the end of her military career. Then, the consummate politician soothes troubled waters by personally offering her his thanks.
The Bajorans on the station crave a few words from Li and Sisko talks him into responding. After he utters a few words about a Bajor that is now free, Jaro asks to speak. Li politely stands by while the Minister asks his fellow Bajorans to never forget this day because they can tell their children and their grandchildren that this is the day Li Nalas returned to Bajor. When Sisko finally escorts Li to his quarters he tells the Commander that all he wants is a moment of privacy. This morning he was a slave and tonight he is a hero. He asks Ben what Bajor is like with the Cardassians gone. Ben tells him it is doing well for the most part. He tells Li that both he and Bajor could use his help in bringing stability to the planet. He then tells him to get some sleep and Li remarks that it sounds like he is going to need it.
Meanwhile, inside his closed bar, Quark counts bars of latinum with Rom. Rom complains that the division is unfair because he only gets one bar to every six Quark gets. Quark agrees with his brother that it is very unfair then proceeds to count out one more bar for Rom and seven for himself. A frustrated Rom leaves the bar and Quark continues counting latinum when a group of strangers come in. Quark says the bar is closed but all of a sudden he is attacked by three masked figures in robes, who force him to the floor and burn the flesh on his forehead with what looks like a small branding iron.
When Quark gets to sickbay, Dr. Bashir heals his scar with a dermal regenerator. When the good doctor is done Quark asks Kira how he looks. She offers a polite non-answer by saying he's as handsome as always and he grins contentedly.
Li is told that Quark's assailants are members of an extremist group from Bajor who call themselves The Circle. Li is appropriately shocked that Bajorans have done such a thing. Sisko explains that many Bajorans are turning to The Circle because they have grown impatient with their floundering government. Kira adds that the circle is more organized than the government so the Bajorans look there for a leader. She adds that they need someone who will speak out against reactionaries, causing all eyes to zero in on Li.
With the troubles of the station abating Ben heads for the comfort of his quarters only to find Jake still awake. When Ben asks what's wrong the dejected youth tells his father that his Bajoran girlfriend couldn't make their date. Her dad refused to let the girl see Jake because he is not a Bajoran. Sisko tries to console his son by telling him about some of the problems Bajor is having and that he's sorry Jake has become a victim of the unrest. Nobody deserves it.
Sisko then gets interrupted by a Com message, a freighter captain found a Bajoran stowaway aboard his vessel. As the captain moves aside Li Nalas steps into view. When Sisko retrieves him a short while afterward, the Bajoran hero is forced to explain he was secretly headed for the faraway Gamma Quadrant. Li painfully reveals that he was hardly a hero – the bravery he is so famous for is based entirely on rumors.
Li tells Sisko his story. When all but three of the members of his cell were killed he was the only one with a phaser so he became the point. He came to an embankment by a lake. Li says, "I was halfway down the embankment, I slipped and went sprawling on my back, down to the edge of the lake, just as a huge Cardassian emerged from the water. He must have just finished bathing. He stood there frozen in surprise, dressed only in his underwear, shivering from the cold. I lay there, looking up at him, too stunned to even move. It was only when he reached for a phaser rifle that was lying across his clothes on a nearby rock, that I realized I was still holding my own phaser. And I shot him - his body fell on top of me, and that's how my companions found us a moment later... I'll never forget that look on his face when he died. He was so... embarrassed!" When the Bajorans learned that this dead Cardassian was a great fighter, Li's encounter with him grew to reach mythic proportions.
Li continues, "Soon every victory won by the resistance was attributed to my leadership. Stories of my brilliance, my daring, my courage, grew more and more unbelievable - yet the people insisted on believing them. My reputation even followed me into the labor camp - where my mere presence seemed to inspire my fellow prisoners – and I had done nothing... but shoot an unarmed Cardassian in his underwear." The stories made him a legend. Li allowed the stories but he feels unworthy of leading the Bajorans. Sisko tells him that his people still need him. They're not asking him to lead men into battle. When they see him they see what is best in themselves. Bajor needs a legend. It needs him.
Realizing that Sisko is right, Li agrees to assume whatever role is necessary. When Li returns from a trip to Bajor he is accompanied by Minister Jaro. Jaro announces that by a unanimous vote Li has been named Navarch. It is a new title because there were no suitable titles available. Jaro also mentions in passing that the Navarch is now the Bajoran liaison officer to Deep Space Nine – the position currently held by Kira. "I already have a liaison officer," Sisko complains. Jaro states, "Not anymore, you don't. Major Kira is no longer assigned to this post. She's been recalled to Bajor."
"I can see you're not ready to have this conversation."
- - Jake Sisko to Benjamin, regarding a discussion of what to do about his first date
"I can't loan you a Starfleet runabout without knowing where you plan on taking it."
"To Cardassia IV, to rescue a Bajoran prisoner of war."
- - Benjamin Sisko and Kira Nerys
"Would you mind if I addressed the crowd? You can't expect a politician to give up an opportunity like this."
- - Minister Jaro Essa to Li Nalas
"You and I are going to be friends."
"You are up to something."
"Why would you say that?"
"Because you are always up to something."
- - Quark and Odo
"If we don't leave now, Major, we never will!"
- - Miles O'Brien
"What you did today, Major, was declare war on Cardassia. Thankfully, they declined the invitation."
- - Minister Jaro Essa to Major Kira Nerys
"The government better get organized, because I intend to sue them for financial compensation!"
"Not now, Quark!"
- - Quark and Benjamin Sisko
"Tell me, Major. Who is this Gul Marayn?"
"Don't ask me, I just made him up!"
- - O'Brien and Kira, on Kira's cover story
"One for you and six for me..."
- - Quark, to Rom
"The Navarch has returned to assume his new post. He's been made the Bajoran liaison officer to Deep Space 9."
"I already have a liaison officer."
"Not anymore, you don't. Major Kira is no longer assigned to this post. She's been recalled to Bajor."
- - Minister Jaro Essa and Benjamin Sisko
- At the end of season one, Michael Piller directed the writing staff to concentrate on the show's uniqueness for season two and to let go of the links to the universe of The Next Generation. As such, for the season's first episode, the writers chose to do a show which couldn't be done on TNG, a show which was completely unique to the world of DS9. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The origin of this episode is to be found in a story pitched by Jeri Taylor to the producers of The Next Generation. Michael Piller, upon hearing the story however, felt it would better suit Deep Space Nine. Taylor's original story focused upon a Bajoran woman who is picked up by the USS Enterprise-D on a mission to rescue a leader of the Bajoran resistance. She would soon discover however that that leader didn't want to be a leader any more, he had become fed up with leading. When the story was brought over to DS9, Ira Steven Behr altered the leader figure from a reluctant hero to a mistaken one. He did this based upon the 1962 John Ford movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which deals with the notion that a legend can be more important than the facts upon which it is based. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Referenced Rules of Acquisition: #76 ("Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies").
- "The Homecoming", along with "The Circle" and "The Siege", comprises the first Star Trek episodic three-parter. The next one wouldn't be until ENT: "Borderland," which aired almost eleven years later.
- Leslie Bevis makes her first appearance as Rionoj, the Boslic freighter captain, in this episode. She later appears in the season three episode "The Abandoned" and the season 4 finale "Broken Link", where her character is named.
- Bashir is revealed to be keen on military strategy.
- Frank Langella's performances in this episode, in "The Circle" and in "The Siege" are uncredited at the actor's own request as he did the show for his children, not for exposure or money. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The scenes in the labor camp on Cardassia IV were shot in Soledad Canyon, north of Los Angeles. The area was known as somewhat inhospitable, and on the call sheet for the first day's shoot was a warning to be on the look-out for bees, snakes and various unspecified bugs. The services people were even told to bring plenty of 'Sea Breeze', which takes the sting out of bug bites. The biggest problem with shooting there however was the extreme heat. According to Nana Visitor, "Colm and I were sick to our stomachs. We were seriously wondering if we were going into heat prostration. It was the perfect Cardassia IV, because it was like hell." Unfortunately, the producers liked the look of the canyon, and the fourth season episode "Indiscretion", the fifth season episode "The Ship" and the sixth season episode "Rocks and Shoals" would all be shot there. In the case of "The Ship" and "Rocks and Shoals" however, the heat would prove to be even worse than during the shoot for "The Homecoming". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Filming began on July 7th 1993 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- A jacket worn by Richard Beymer in this episode was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 11, 7 March 1994.
- As part of the DS9 Season 2 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- Richard Beymer as Li Nalas
- Max Grodénchik as Rom
- Michael Bell as Borum
- Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat
- Frank Langella as Minister Jaro Essa
- Ivor Bartels as an operations division officer
- Tom Burt as Markalian
- Tracee Cocco as Kobheerian
- George Colucci as a Bajoran prisoner
- John Fleck as a Cardassian overseer
- Loretta Gordon as a Bajoran prisoner
- Mark Lentry as a command division officer
- Dennis Madalone as a Cardassian guard
- Robin Morselli as a Bajoran officer
- Tammy Rodriguez as the yellow-skinned dabo girl
- Unknown performers as
algebra; Alliance for Global Unity; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran earring; Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran Resistance; Bajoran transport; Bajoran wormhole; baseball; bioscan; bluff; Boslics; Boslic freighter; Captain; Cardassia; Cardassia IV; Cardassians; Cardassian High Command; Navigational control post (Post 24); Cardassian repair ship; Chamber of Ministers; crossover bridge; dabo; dabo girl; Dax, Curzon; deflector shield grid; dermal regenerator; DNA; fastball; Federation; field buffer; Template:ShipClass; Gamma Quadrant; Gibson, Bob; gold-pressed latinum; Gul; holosuite; Hutet labor camp; Icoberry torte (icoberry); insignia; jacarine; Kai; killed in action; Labor camp; Laira; Lamenda Prime; liaison officer; Lissepian transport; Marayn; Martuk; minister; Nanut; Navarch; navigational control post; Occupation of Bajor; Opaka; phase modulator; power signature; Prefect; prisoner of war; Promenade; Prophets; Quark's; raktajino; Cardassian repair ship; Replimat; Rionoj's freighter; rulot; runabout; Sahving Valley; Southern islands of Bajor; subspace emitter coil; subspace field emitter; Subytt; Subytt freighter; Supreme Directive 2645;; Tygarians; Tygarian freighter; Xenophobia; Yelikans; Yelikan transport; Zarale
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