April 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Shattered Mirror”

The Jennifer Sisko from the Mirror Universe returns, taking Jake back with her to get Ben to follow along.

Huh, must be that point in the season where that Mirror Universe causes more trouble.  That, among other things, means the return of Intendent Kira and her ridiculous headband.

But this time around, it may be that Jake is the problem.

It does seem as if the series is intent to allow most if not all of the main cast to, at some point, cross over to the Mirror Universe and meet if not their evil double than at least people they only sort of know.  While Ben Sisko very unwillingly has been there already, Jake Sisko is another story, so when the Jennifer Sisko from that side comes for a visit and meets Jake, it isn’t exactly difficult to convince him to come back with her to the Mirror Universe.

His father won’t stand for that, but the Mirror side people were smart enough to rig the teleportation device so Ben would come alone despite trying to bring Kira and O’Brien as back-up.  The whole thing was more or less a trick to bring Ben over.  The people there managed to get some schematics on the Defiant during a previous visit, but they can’t quite get it to work right.  They did take the station, locking Intendent Kira up in the brig, but her chief of security, Garek, got away back to the Regent of the Alliance, AKA Worf.

I strongly suspect that the cast generally liked these episodes, if for no other reason than to play different characters even if they had the same name and face.  That means Bashir is a sniveling jerk, Dax is seductive, and O’Brien is gloomy.  Considering how Ben pretended to be his own Mirror counterpart last time, something only Smiley O’Brien initially realized, it also means he gets punched or slapped by Bashir and Dax for that very reason.  But it also means seeing different aspects of familiar characters, and not just how that version of Kira is a bit more of a libertine than the more tough-talking, religious version of the character normally seen on the show.

So, hey, is Garek a sniveling toady doing his best to appease the Regent and stay alive?  Sure.

Is Worf about ready to kill everyone in sight in a big, glorious battle?  Oh yeah.

Is Nog more of a typical Ferengi, uninterested in friendship with Jake but very glad his father and uncle are both dead because now he owns the bar?  Yup.

Does that get him killed when he releases Kira from the brig?  Yeah.  Ferengi don’t do well in the Mirror Universe.

But for all the Mirror Universe was initially set up as “everyone is evil,” that isn’t often the case.  Their methods may be more brutal, but Smiley O’Brien is not a completely terrible person.  He’s pessimistic, sure, but he also listens and will uphold his end of the bargain to return the Siskos to their original universe when the Defiant is finally running correctly, and Sisko will not ditch the fledgling rebellion when that work is finished, even taking the helm of the new Defiant during a crucial battle if for no other reasons than his personal sense of duty and he actually knows how more than the others, even having to alter directions to Smiley on the fly because he just doesn’t know what stuff like “starboard” and “portside” are.

However, what stuck out to me the most here was Jake.  There is no Mirror Universe version of Jake.  The Siskos there never had any children, and even though Jake intellectually knows this Jennifer is not his mother, she is so much like the woman he knows, that he follows her around all the same.  Mirror Jennifer even says she feels a bit bad about it, unsure how much Jake understands deep down that she isn’t the same woman and how she largely wishes for the youth’s sake that they’d never met.  Tricking Jake into going to the Mirror Universe sure sounds like something they’d do over there, but this Jennifer seems like too decent a human being to have come from that reality.

And then she sacrifices her own life to save Jake from a blast from the Intendent’s gun.

Now, this show is still episodic enough that this isn’t going to be remembered much in the next episode (I strongly suspect anyway), but to end on Ben and Jake holding each other after a second Jennifer died on them…well, this just was a strong way to go out, even if the threat of the Regent is still out there.  There are, I suspect, some unresolved feelings Jake has over his mother’s death, feelings the series has often largely ignored in favor of discussing how his father felt about her death.  Maybe the show would do well to do something there, though I suspect there probably won’t be much along those lines in the end.