Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 01 E 15 Progress
While playing cards in the corner of Quarks, Nog overhears Quark flipping his lid over being stuck with 5000 wrappages of Yamok sauce; a seasoning only Cardassians can stomach. While Quark is peeved at having to write these off as a loss, Nog spies an opportunity.
Meanwhile, the Bajoran moon of Jeraddo is about to have its core tapped, turning it into a moon-sized power plant that will provide power to several hundred thousand homes on Bajor. The relatively few residents of the moon have been evacuated because the process will render the moon uninhabitable. But when Dax and Kira take a runabout on a routine check, they discover three lifeforms still present on the surface.
Beaming down to the surface, Kira is confronted by two mute Bajorans brandishing farm tools at her. They are called off by a third Bajoran, a cranky old farmer named Mullibok.
Back on DS9, Nog and Jake attempt to sell their stock of Yamok sauce to an alien freighter captain who deals with Cardassians. He turns down the purchase, but offers an exchange: 14400 self-sealing stem bolts which were set to be purchased by a Bajoran who was short on cash. Nog isn't too thrilled about not getting any latinum, but Jake convinces him to agree. He promptly acquires Quark's allegedly worthless supply of Yamok sauce for the trade, Quark being content that someone else is doing the legwork disposing of it for him.
Back on Jeraddo, Mullibok is doing all he can to stall Kira, making a dinner that will take several hours to prepare and trying to alienate Kira badly enough that she'll leave. This has the opposite effect: Kira finds herself taking a shine to the old man. Mullibok knows Jeraddo's core is set to be tapped, but he doesn't care. He's staying on his farm to the bitter end.
Mullibok starts telling tall tales about how he came to start farming on Jeraddo. Such as digging with his bare hands, and crushing mineralized dirt with his teeth. Kira decides to share her stories of the resistance with in turn. When Mullibok makes light of the occupation, Kira is indignant, explaining that the only reason they weren't wiped out was that they were "hanging on like fanatics." Much to her dismay, she realizes her resistance cell's attitude is much like Mulllibok's; and he's still not moving.
Nog and Jake inspect their supply of self-sealing stem bolts, only to realize they have no idea what they do. Even O'Brien
has never heard of these things before. Stuck with a huge crate of mysterious parts, Jake and Nog (Under the alias of the "Noh-Jay Consortium") contact the intended recipient.
He still doesn't have the cash, but offers yet another exchange: seven tessipates of land on Bajor. Nog isn't thrilled about getting dirt and no money, but Jake once again convinces him the land is a worthwhile acquisition.
Returning to DS9, Kira tries convincing the Government to stall or use slower methods, but they're having none of it. Three people aren't worth depriving several hundred thousands of power. Kira is informed that the project is happening, whether or not Mullibok leaves.
Returning to his cottage with security, Kira again tries convincing him to leave. But the situation goes FUBAR when Mullibok's mute associates attack the security team. Mullibok loses it and tries strangling the security member, forcing the other to shoot him.
He survives, but still
won't move. After Bashir treats his injuries, Kira stays behind to look after him and talk him into leaving.
Sisko visits her on Jerrado, and manages to uncover why Kira is so adamant about helping him: She's been in his position before: a much-trampled underdog at the mercy of powerful government forces. He assures her she's on the right side, that Bajor needs her, and leaves her to come up with a solution to the impasse.
While brooding in their usual corner, Jake and Nog overhear their big break: The Bajoran Government is trying to build on a strip of land owned by four different interests. They've been able to close the deal with three of the owners, but the mysterious "Noh-Jay Consortium" is impossible to reach. Nog reveals he and Jake are said consortium, and offers his uncle a very lucrative business opportunity; for a mere 5 bars of gold-pressed latinum, of course.
Returning again to Mullibok, Kira helps him finish a kiln he's been working on... and promptly blasts it with her phaser. Driven by necessity, she's issuing her ultimatum: Mullibok is coming with her, whether he likes it or not.
The old man tells her that as long as his home is there, that's where he's staying. In response, Kira likewise phasers his house, leaving him nowhere to return. Persuaded at last, he has no choice but to agree with her that it's time to move on, and the episode ends with her preparing to beam Mullibok and herself off the moon.
- Broken Aesop: Subverted. At first it seems the Aesop of the story is that Mullibok's rebellion against the Bajoran government is just as valid as Kira's rebellion against the Cardassian occupation was, even though she was fighting against genocidal tyrants, while he is fighting against something that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Bajorans. However, in the end the real Aesop is that Kira has to learn, against her instincts as a former freedom fighter, that sometimes the right thing to do is to side with the authority against the rebel.
- Chain of Deals: Jake and Nog's subplot.
- Cool Old Guy: Mullibok is a nice, if supernaturally stubborn, old man.
- Death Seeker: Mullibok asks Kira to kill him at the end of the episodes, saying he will die if he leaves his home. Kira refuses to kill him.
- The Needs of the Many: In full effect here. Three stubborn farmers aren't going to stop progress. Unfortunately the social commentary on eminent domain is turned into a Broken Aesop because of massive scale issues.
- Not Me This Time: Odo is slightly taken aback when Quark says that he's completely ignorant of what this "Noh-Jay Consortium" is, despite having knowledge of, and often a hand in, every shady deal on the station.
- Plot Hole/Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: As observed by StarDestroyer.net here. Hmm, Bajor's got an electrical power shortage calculated at a few hundred thousand households. Should the Federation just build them a fusion reactor? No, let's wreck a life-bearing moon and kick all the inhabitants off. This would be a fine story in a modern-day Earth setting, but not for an entire planet of billions of inhabitants with abundant clean power.
- The Federation would probably consider this an internal matter and plenty of Bajorans distrust them at this point anyway. Furthermore, it's very probable the energy generated by the matter is for more than just the ones which are desperately counting on it now. Bajor is rebuilding and has a need for the power it'll provide many more houses until then.
- Running Gag: The crew's epic quest to discover what the hell self-sealing stem bolts are begins.
- Series Continuity Error: Only four episodes ago, in "The Nagus", it was stated that Bajor has three moons, but in this episode they are drilling one of its five moons.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Though he wasn't in the military, Mullibok has some pretty obvious PTSD from his time in Cardassian imprisonment.
- The Voiceless: Mullibok's two farmer friends. All we know is "The Cardassians saw to that."