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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 04 E 17 Accession

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What; don't you recognize the Emissary?

Quark: Did you hear? Keiko's gonna have another baby!
Worf: ...Now?!

A 200 year old Bajoran flies through the wormhole, claiming to be the chosen Emissary. Meanwhile, O'Brien finds out Keiko's pregnant again.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Book-Ends: The episode begins with Sisko uncomfortably performing a Bajoran marriage blessing. It ends with him happy to attend a Bajoran girl's birthday party.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Quark tells Worf that Keiko's going to have a baby, Worf exclaims "Now?!?". In the Next Gen episode "Disaster", Worf delivered the O'Briens' first child Molly during an emergency.
    • The four-shift rotation first proposed in "Starship Down" is made permanent.
  • Character Development: This is when Sisko starts to accept his role as Emissary, as well as when the Prophets start being depicted as Benevolent Precursors rather than Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Georgia Brown, who played Worf's adoptive human mother Helena Rozhenko on TNG, died suddenly in 1992, only months after her last appearance in the season 5 episode "New Ground". In this episode, 4 years afterward, Worf says he'll visit his parents on Earth, suggesting that Helena is still alive in-universe.
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  • The Chosen One: This episode is all about Sisko finally stepping up and owning his distinction as Emissary of The Prophets. Before, he was uneasy about being a religious icon to the Bajorans and feels relieved when Akorem Laan takes up the mantle, but after he witnesses Akorem's reactionary intentions and their logical progression (namely the event detailed in the Dark Shepherd trope below), he steps up.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Kira wasn't kidding about her lack of artistic talents, as demonstrated when she tries her hand at sculpting.
      Kira: I have a flock of flightless birds in my quarters.
    • Back in the pilot, Kira was clearing out some debris when she said to Sisko "In the refugee camps, we learned to do whatever needed to be done. Didn't matter who you were." The reveal that Bajor used to have a strict caste system that they abandoned during the Occupation gives this statement a lot more meaning.
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    • When speaking about Bajorans abandoning their proper roles, Akorem mentions farmers becoming politicians, referring indirectly to Shakaar being First Minister.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Quark clearly had a great time when Nog was a baby.
  • Cutting the Knot: When the tensions finally reach a breaking point after Akorem tries to bring back the d'jarras, Sisko decides to settle the matter by just having the Prophets tell them which one is meant to be the Emissary.
  • Dark Shepherd: Vedek Porta turns out to be this when he kills another vedek for having an unclean d'jarra.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The d'jarra system is a direct reference to the Indian caste system, down to the lowest class having the least honorable jobs such as preparing the dead.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Akorem can sense the strength of Sisko's pagh by grabbing his ear.
    Akorem: Your pagh is strong. I see now why Opaka thought you were the Emissary, and why Winn fears you.
  • Heel Realization: The Prophets make Akorem realize that he was wrong in calling himself the Emissary.
    • It would be more accurate to say they make Sisko realise he's been dodging his responsibilities as Emissary.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Porta feels perfectly justified in killing a fellow vedek whose d'jarra is unclean. Sisko doesn't buy it at all.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Pre-emptive variation. Worf makes it known to Bashir that he plans to be far away from the station (on Earth, visiting his parents) when Keiko's second child is due.
  • Irony: Sisko sums it up to Kira—Starfleet doesn't like the idea of one of its officers being the Emissary, but when Sisko steps down from the role, Starfleet doesn't like the results.
  • Literal Genie: When Akorem realizes he's been a false Emissary and caused harm, he says the Prophets should have just left him to die 200 years ago. The Prophets immediately tell him that can be arranged and seem just about to do so until Sisko stops them. Their intentions don't seem callous or malevolent; rather, in his grief Akorem said he'd be better off dead so the Prophets take him literally and offer to arrange it (communication has never been one of their strengths).
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: While no Bajoran is going to be leaping at the opportunity to thank the Cardassians (nor should they), none of the reasonable Bajorans are exactly eager to return to the caste system just for the sake of restoring something the Occupation destroyed.
  • Oh, Crap!: Worf learns that Keiko is having another baby. His reaction is priceless.
  • Prophetic Fallacy: Akorem stakes his claim to being the Emissary on the assumption that being the first to find the wormhole makes him the one the Prophets chose. But for beings that exist outside of linear time, he is only first by the perception of mortals. As the Prophets see it, they found Sisko then grabbed Akorem later to teach Sisko a lesson.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Turns out an acclaimed figure from 200 years ago is quite the regressive by modern standards. Quite a few Bajorans who are used to the modern egalitarian system aren't too keen on returning to the old ways.
    • Additionally, despite earlier being depicted as idyllic, Bajor was far from a great society even prior to the Occupation, with a strict caste system enforced by jailtime or deportation.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Nana Visitor had become pregnant, thus, the writers started a plotline about a Keiko O'Brien pregnancy. Then, once Nana became visibly pregnant, the in-universe child was implanted into Kira later this season in "Body Parts".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Worf makes some preemptive plans to be far away from DS9 when the O'Briens' baby #2 is due, remembering how he got entangled in the birth of their first child.
    Worf: Seven months? Unfortunately, I will be away from the station at that time. Far away. Visiting my parents. On Earth.
  • Shout-Out: The book Quark used to read to Nog: "See Brak acquire. Acquire, Brak, acquire."
  • Society Marches On: In-universe; the Bajorans abandoned the d'jarras because of the Cardassian Occupation, and never returned to them because of the length of said occupation. The Prophets even say that the caste system is "of the past".
  • Sucksessor: Akorem turns out to be this, forcing Sisko to reclaim the role of Emissary.
  • Take a Third Option: When Sisko and Akorem finish their conversation with the Prophets, the matter of what to do with Akorem is raised. He can't stay in the present, and the Prophets decide they can to send him back to die. Sisko quickly points out that they can still heal his injury, but not bring him to the future, so Akorem can return home and live out his life.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Bashir and O'Brien never finish any of the beers they order.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Kira has no idea how she can remember Akorem's poem as being unfinished when it's actually completed. Sisko's response: "The Prophets work in mysterious ways."
  • Type Caste: This episode reveals that Bajor had one of these before the Cardassian Occupation. Akorem tries to bring it back, but the results are less than pleasant until Sisko puts a stop to it. You can see the schism it would cause to Bajoran society immediately: Some Bajorans are enraptured by their new Emissary's mission, while others are disconcerted (like Kira). It's also revealed that having caste-based discrimination disqualifies a planet for Federation membership.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: To the Bajorans who didn't care for the return to the D'jarra castes, Akorem as Emissary could be construed as this.
  • Values Dissonance: In-Universe with Akorem trying to reinstate the d'jarra system, only to find that Bajor has moved on from this.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Sisko's worthiness to be the Emissary is confirmed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Akorem isn't evil, but trying to bring castes back to Bajor is rather like having a man from the 1800's show up in a modern society, somehow manage to become President, and insist women's rights be rescinded, or slavery reinstituted.
  • What Year Is This?: Sisko asks this of Akorem to determine how long he's been out of linear time.

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