Recap: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 01 E 20 In The Hands Of The Prophets

It's Magic Versus Science time on Deep Space 9.

While giving a lecture on the wormhole, Keiko receives a rather obtrusive visitor: Vedek Winn, a Bajoran religious bigshot, and potential candidate to take Opaka's recently vacated position of Kai. Vedek Winn is there with a complaint: She wants the religious teachings of the Prophets taught in Keiko's class. And she's not at all polite about it.

Keiko is understandably peeved about Winn trying to run rough-shot over what she can and can't teach. Kira on the other hands supports Winn, noting this is a Bajoran station. Sisko is stuck in the middle, trying to keep a lid on the situation.

Miles meanwhile has been feeling off lately. One of his tools has gone missing, and his assistant Neela seems to be doing all the work. And to top it off, Ensign Aquino has failed to report for duty. Well, Miles and Neela find a gray bit of sludge in a plasma conduit. All signs point to an accident. But O'Brien isn't convinced.

Winn's message meanwhile has been spreading throughout the station. Bajoran vendors refuse to sell to Starfleet members, and Winn has gotten all the parents to pull their children out of school. With the threat of her classroom being emptied of all but five students, Winn suggests a "Concession". Keiko doesn't have to teach their spiritual beliefs...she just has to stop teaching about the Wormhole altogether. Keiko naturally tells her to stuff it. And so, the parents take their kids away.

Sisko seeks some advice on Bajor by visiting Vedek Bareil, the Vedek challenging Winn for Kai. And winning from the sound of it. Bareil wants to help, but he knows politics. He knows supporting Sisko at this time could sink his chances for Kai. And tells Sisko he'd love to help...if he makes Kai.

Back on the station, Aquino's "Accidental" death isn't holding water. He was incinerated at 4:00 AM. And Bashir poking around reveals he wasn't killed in the conduit. He was already dead when incinerated. By a Phaser set on kill.

Meanwhile, Odo observes the growing presence of Bajoran fundamentalists coming onto the station. After questioning Quark on his knowledge of the incident, Miles presents him with new evidence: Evidence of tampering was discovered at Runabout Pad A. The issue being Aquino's body was discovered on Pad C. The murderer was trying to procure a Runabout, was discovered by the unfortunate Aquino, and killed him. As they discuss it, a massive explosion rocks the promenade.

The (thankfully empty)school has gone up in flames. With the incident, Vedek Winn tries rallying the Bajoran residents against Sisko. But Sisko shuts her down hard.

O'Brien meanwhile is closing in on the killer of Aquino. Doing a bit of digging, he finds the weapons sensors on the promenade have been deactivated, but fiddled with to appear active. Just in time for Vedek Bareil to arrive on the station after hearing news of the bombing. And there's only one person with the skill to do this: Neela.

Indeed, Neela is among the crowd there to greet Vedek Bareil when he arrives. O'Brien manages to get word to Sisko in time, and foils Neela when she tries shooting Vedek Bareil. Neela was working for Vedek Winn, intending to assassinate him and eliminate her competition for Kai.

Unfortunately, Neela claims she worked alone. And Winn gets away with attempted murder. Afterwards, Kira is sulking on the bridge. She's distraught that Winn is nothing but a power-hungry crook. But she finds a bright side. Noting how at this time a year ago, she was a freedom fighter with no real direction. Now, she's working with Sisko on a space station protecting her home. Progress is a blessing in and of itself.

Kira: "I don't think that you're the devil."

Sisko: "Maybe we have made some progress after all."

And with that, season one ends.


  • Big "NO!": Sisko while stopping Neela from killing Bareil.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Neela, who was introduced as a helpful and eager junior engineer. Too bad about that whole "fanatic assassin" thing.
  • Curse Cut Short: Keiko stopping Miles from telling a rude Bajoran salesman where he can stick one of his jumja sticks.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The debate between Keiko and Winn parallels the debate between evolution and creationism in America.
    • And the reaction to Galileo's heliocentric views, which Sisko mentions.
  • Don't Call Me Sir: Sisko's reaction to Vedek Winn calling him "Emissary":
    Sisko: I wish you wouldn't call me that. I'm "Commander Sisko." Or "Benjamin," if you'd prefer.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Vedek Winn walks into Keiko's classroom and quickly accuses her of blasphemy.
    • Vedek Bareil dispenses with the practice of cupping Sisko's ear when they first meet on Bajor, a traditional greeting by Bajoran holy figures. This act impresses Sisko, who confesses it makes him uncomfortable, to which Bareil wholeheartedly agrees (which helps establish Bareil's moderate position compared to the much more fanatical Winn). Notably, when Vedek Winn tries to greet Bareil in this manner after his arrival on DS9, Bareil can be seen intercepting her and clasping her hand.
  • Heel Realization: Early in the episode, Kira supports Winn and her orthodox views. After the assassination attempt on Bariel, she gives it a serious rethink.
  • The Informant: Quark would gladly sell out any of the killers he knows if he could, but he knows that none of them were responsible for Aquino's death.
  • Karma Houdini: Vedek Winn gets away with planning to murder Vedek Bareil, due to Neela claiming she acted alone. Though her chances for Kai appear to be shot.
  • Madness Mantra: "The Prophets spoke! I answered their call!"
  • Picard Speech: Mixed in with a good dose of "The Reason You Suck" Speech, when Sisko verbally bitch-smacks Winn.
    Sisko:"The Bajorans who have lived with us on the station, who have worked with us for months, who helped us move this station to protect the wormhole, who joined us to explore the Gamma Quadrant, who have begun to build the future of Bajor with us, these people know that we are neither the enemy nor the devil. We don't always agree. We have some damned good fights in fact, but we always come away from them with a little better understanding and appreciation of each other."
    Winn: We will see.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Threatened by Sisko when several Bajorans fail to show up for duty claiming "illness". He says they better have a miraculous recovery, or they can get better on their way to their next post.
  • Red Shirt: Poor Ensign Aquino. Never even got to be alive onscreen.