Accession (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
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|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|Directed by||Les Landau|
|Written by||Jane Espenson|
|Featured music||Dennis McCarthy|
|Cinematography by||Jonathan West|
|Original air date||February 26, 1996|
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. In the episode, Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) is given a much-appreciated opportunity to relinquish the title of Emissary, but soon comes to regret it.
A subplot in this show is that Keiko and Molly return to the station after her botanical mission to Bajor, and a topic of this part of the show is re-adapting to life after partner's absence. For example, O'Brien reduces his time hanging out with Bashir to spend more time with his family now that they are back.
An ancient Bajoran ship emerges from the wormhole. Its passenger, Akorem Laan, is a revered Bajoran poet who disappeared 200 years ago. Akorem claims to have been chosen by the Prophets, who are worshiped by the Bajorans as gods, as their Emissary—a role thought to belong to Captain Sisko. Sisko, being a human and a Starfleet officer, never felt comfortable being the Bajorans' messiah figure and cedes the title without resistance.
Akorem believes the Prophets brought him back to restore Bajor's traditional caste system, which the Bajoran people abandoned during the 50-year Cardassian occupation so that they could effectively organize a resistance. Akorem tells Major Kira that she must resign her military commission and become an artist, which was her family's traditional profession under the old caste system. Akorem hopes to have the caste system legally enforced by punishments such as deportation. Sisko warns Akorem that caste based discrimination is banned by the Federation Charter and thus would disqualify Bajor from Federation membership, but Akorem trusts in the will of the Prophets.
Sisko has a dream where Kai Opaka, a former spiritual leader of Bajor and an old friend of Sisko's, tells him that he has lost sight of who he is. Doctor Bashir believes that Sisko has experienced an "orb shadow", a hallucination that is known to happen to people who have been exposed to an Orb of the Prophets. Bajorans believe orb shadows are reminders from the Prophets to people who ignore what they've been told in a previous vision.
A Bajoran priest, Porta, murders a fellow priest whose ancestors were morticians and thus would be considered spiritually unclean. Sisko realizes that Akorem's influence will be bad for Bajor's future and challenges him for the role of Emissary. They decide that the only way to settle the matter is to go to the wormhole and ask the Prophets themselves what they want. Akorem and Sisko enter the wormhole and are received by the Prophets. The Prophets tell them that Sisko is in fact their Emissary and that they brought Akorem to the present to help Sisko appreciate the importance of his role. Akorem repents and asks for death, but Sisko pleads to have him sent back to his own time unharmed. Akorem is sent back to his own era with no memory of what happened to him in the future.
Sisko is once again recognized as the Emissary by the Bajorans, who are happy that they will not have to return to the caste system. This time, he accepts the role happily, now that he appreciates the positive influence he has on the Bajorans. Major Kira, however, notices that Akorem's epic poem The Call of the Prophets (which she remembers as being incomplete) now exists in its entirety, suggesting that Akorem was able to complete his masterwork after returning to the past.
- "Disaster" - the fifth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) is forced to deliver the O'Brien's first baby, Molly, in the Enterprise's Ten-Forward lounge (an event mentioned in this episode).
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