Dr. Bashir must use extraordinary measures to prolong Vedek Bareil's life long enough to allow Bareil to complete sensitive peace negotiations between the Bajorans and the Cardassians.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Julian Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Legate Turrel
Eva Loseth ...


A Bajoran transport with Vedek Bareil and Kai Winn aboard has an accident, and arrive at the station with Bareil critically injured. While Bashir tries do everything he can to save him, Kai Winn tells Sisko she and Bareil are involved in advanced peace talks with the Cardassians. The Cardassians are willing to pay reparations and even might be issuing a formal apology. Winn stresses the negotiations would have never come this far if it wasn't for Bareil and she'd be unable to complete them without Bareil's peesence. Meanwhile Jake tries to cancel a game of dom-jot with Nog to go out with Leanne. Nog thinks Jake also found a girl for him, and Jake agrees to make it a double date. But things don't go as Jake has planned. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

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Release Date:

30 January 1995 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode "Shakaar" is a sequel of sorts to this episode. See more »


Vedek Bareil: I'm beginning to dislike seeing that look on your face, Doctor.
See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
See more »

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User Reviews

Performance Driven and Thought Provoking
28 May 2016 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

In the Star Trek tradition, this episode attempts to wrestle with, in this case, the weighty philosophical issue of vitalism -- the dualistic notion that their exists both a physical process as well as an additional "spark of life" (as Bashir called it in this ep) separate from the physical processes of chemistry and biology, that somehow is needed to essentially provide that ineffable and vital quality that makes a living being, especially a human being, fundamentally different from the more rote processes described in science texts. For the Trek vision of reality, at least, this "spark" cannot be simulated with any kind of advanced technology. Roddenberry, despite his nontheistic personal beliefs, always seems to embrace this notion of vitalism in the Trek universe, which always manifested as the human spirit being triumphal over the highly advanced thinking machines of his future; a world in which machine intelligence is never quite capable of achieving a level comparable to that of human beings no matter how advanced technology becomes. Whether or not one appreciates Roddenberry's original notion of mind vs machine is another matter altogether, but this episode stays consistent with the canonical vision of vitalism and spiritual duality long established in prior Trek story lines and, in that way, provides a good foundation upon which to build this episode's story.

As to the story, this is definitely a performance driven episode, namely for Nana Visitor and Alexander Siddig with some good support work from Louise Fletcher (Kai Winn) and Philip Anglim (Bareil). While Siddig's performance was strong as the compassionate doctor the writers did not challenge Siddig in this episode much; his role was very straight forward. Visitor, on the other hand, who plays the head-strong reactionary "Che Guevara" role very well, was given a chance to portray her character's more tender and emotional side. Unfortunately Visitor continues to struggle in her portrayal of this side of her character, a feature of her acting style that is apparent throughout this series.

The secondary story in this episode between Nog and Jake, too, is overshadowed by the gravity of the primary one, making it an odd story pairing, as well as a fairly forgettable one too. Also, given the earlier episodes where Odo's affections for Kira were firmly established, this rather blatant "write out" of the Bareil character from the story was a transparent and simplistic choice. An opportunity for exploring the far more interesting and realistic complexity found in love triangles, for example, was lost by this choice.

Criticisms aside, however, this was still a fairly enjoyable episode. It goes a long way in further establishing the psychopathic character of Kai Winn, whose wonderfully ambiguous portrayal by a grandmotherly and overly polite Louise Fletcher is both an acting and writing highlight throughout the DS9 run and no less of a joy to watch in this episode.

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