Chief O’Brien, along with Dr. Bashir, visits a community on Bajor that is plagued by a dangerous weather phenomenon which can only be dealt with by the village Storyteller. The Storyteller, the Sirah, dies and nominates O’Brien in his place, provoking the apprentice Sirah, who should have been nominated, to murderous jealousy. The day is saved when O’Brien, who has no wish to become the village Storyteller, fails to tame the beast and has to call on the apprentice who only really needed the confidence to believe he could do it.
Meanwhile on the station, two Bajoran tribes – the Paqu and the Navot come to Sisko for mediation of their territorial dispute. The leader of the Paqu is a pretty young thing who has inherited her position and feels she must prove herself. She violently objects to Quark calling her a ‘little lady’ and throws her drink over him (kind of confirming that she is an immature girl). Sisko tries to impress on her that this land dispute is not worth going to war over, but it is really Jake and Nog’s efforts to charm and befriend her that win her over.
Ah! These early episodes are just so random. They obviously hadn’t decided what Bajor or the Bajoran people would be like at this point, so they’re trying things out to see what fits and they have made these country bumpkin Bajorans ignorant and superstitious. This episode doesn’t really fit in with the overall thrust of the DS9 mythology, and when we do occasionally re-visit Bajor, the people seem to be quite different – always spiritual but not unscientific, and when they have later disputes they seem more mature and thoughtful (although they do seem to indulge in petty squabbles and they’re quite feisty and argumentative. I have always thought of Bajorans as being based on New Yorkers).
The great thing about this episode is the beginning of the huge, series-long, arc of O’Brien and Dr Bashir’s relationship. At this point, they are not even friends, at all. O’Brien just can’t stand Julian who seems pompous and sickeningly full-of-himself, and completely oblivious to what other people think or feel. I would venture to say that Bashir’s character development over the entire series is the most interesting of any of them. He’s obviously not a particularly likeable character at this stage, and it’s hard to imagine that he could be the genius doctor he’s supposed to be when he’s so socially challenged.
Um, well. I’m the Storyteller, obviously, and nobody can dispute that I am the rightful Sirah (well you can, but I may not approve your comments! lol!). I think I’m also the ‘little lady’, trying desperately to prove that I’m not, always going to ‘war’ over things that don’t matter, and taking offence where none is meant. I haven’t done that so much lately though so hopefully I really have grown out of it. I think I can sometimes be Bashir as well, not noticing other people’s feelings (I may be a wee bit self-obsessed on occasion as well…)
The true hero of this story in my opinion is Jake, who finds humour in a ridiculous situation, brings laughter and lightness to the table and that wins the day. In real life, that would be my Sisko. It used to infuriate me because – being the furious redhead Kira character that I am – I really wanted a fight, but he would never give me one. When he’s nervous or threatened or reprimanded, he laughs. And now, instead of smacking him one, I have learned to laugh with him. 😀