Continuing on from yesterday’s post, in Act Four we are introduced to Odo, Quark, Nog, Jadzia, Dr Julian Bashir, Miles O’Brian (who we know from TNG) and the Cardassians.
In my original blog, Dr Bashir sometimes represented my eldest son, Jadzia my daughter. I can’t remember if I had a use for the others at the time. I suppose the Cardassians could represent anybody who might be my enemy. I think that, because they’re imperfect metaphors in that they don’t perfectly match specific characters in my real life, they will not always represent the same people.
Quark rather suits my middle son as he is absolute chock-full of cheek, and is always working on some scheme or other. I’m not sure who my youngest son was represented by but right now I am thinking along the lines of Quark’s brother Rom. O’Brien represented different aspects of Sisko’s character.
In the story, the crew of DS9 (and specifically Kira and O’Brien) move the space-station to the Wormhole to stake a claim on it before the Cardassians do. In my story, it was Sisko’s idea, and the move was designed to protect us from the Cardassians and give us all a better quality of life. I think it was a good plan in theory, but the reality has been far more complicated.
“The Provisional Government and I disagree on a lot of things, that’s
probably why they sent me to this god-forsaken place.” – Kira
We have actually had to move several times, and although we are close to the Wormhole, I am not sure we have reached our final destination.
Meanwhile, Dax and Sisko are meeting with the Wormhole Aliens, the ‘Prophets’ as the Bajorans see them, and Sisko tries to explain to these aliens who live outside of time the nature of linear existence, but they show to him how – due to the intensity of his grief in losing Jennifer – the existence that he experiences in his mind isn’t linear at all, but he “exists here”.
I love this sequence, and I think it is so profound. Until Sisko faces this fact, he is unable to properly grieve and move on. There are supposed to be stages of grief (5 or 7, depending on which scale you use) which takes you through anger and denial and so on, but in reality grieving doesn’t follow a linear progression at all. You might go from stage one to stage two to stage three and then back to stage one and back again before the next stage you’re ‘supposed’ to reach, and contrary to the lists of ‘stages’, you never get to a point of ‘done’ grieving, as even years later, grief still hits you in waves and you’re right back there at the beginning of the scale again. Perhaps not as raw as it once was, but no less real.
As I have already mentioned, my Sisko isn’t like this, he doesn’t like emotion and he doesn’t (as far as I can tell anyway) experience grief in the same way that I do. But Sisko in this sequence is me. I experienced grief, first in 2010 when I had a personal loss (which I probably won’t go into here) and then again in 2011 when my Dad died, and it has changed me profoundly.
I exist there.
It has become the pivotal moment of my life, and what defines the rest of it.
“And I have never figured out a way to live without her.” – Sisko
By the way, before you object, my ‘Acts’ don’t perfectly match with the content of the divisions of the episode. I haven’t fully covered Sisko’s meeting with Kai Opaka or Sisko and Dax’ orb experiences, so I will try and do a ‘part 3’ next.
I will love and leave you with another Metallica track from the most excellent Ride the Lightning album: Fade to Black. It won’t all be Metallica in future, I promise, but this is such an appropriately sad and melancholy tune, I thought it fit nicely with the theme.