Tuesday, June 29, 2021

3 in Battle Lines (Deep Space Nine S01-E13)

But it is a glimpse into the Cardassian mind.

It seems that Kira Nerys has more things in common with Tahna Los than what was revealed in Past Prologue. She only mentions broad strokes here in Battle Lines. How hard and dirty the fighting was against the Cardassians, and how she’s feels the utmost shame for it.

Major Kira is as tied as Tahna Los is to the past, albeit only inwardly at this point, and it still burns her. Here are the 3 things that stand out in the episode.


Kira Nerys is a Terrorist

There's a file on you, but you might find it disappointing

I love this design decision. 

There’s no desire to run or turn their heads away; no rationalization that the Cardassians are an evil race through and through, therefore the Bajorans – the good guys – deserve a more honorable term of Rebel. 

It is often forgotten that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter but not Benjamin Sisko. I was half expecting a line similar to 'Starfleet does not deal with terrorists'.

Commander Sisko attached no moral significance to the term only that it pertains to the Cardassian point of view. It is also worth noting that in retrospect, in the documentary What We Left Behind, cast and show runners admit doubt they could get away with the story line, the character, had the series came after the September 11 attacks.


Major Kira Nerys is a terrorist and she is Deep Space Nine’s First Officer.


Immortality takes the Fun out of War

What do you hope to gain by continuing?

Literaryterms.net defines romance as:

In the strictest academic terms, a romance is a narrative genre in literature that involves a mysterious, adventurous, or spiritual story line where the focus is on a quest that involves bravery and strong values, not always a love interest.

War is romantic. We all love it. Some of the top grossing movies of all time have a war-centric theme.

Box office leader Avatar has paraplegic war veteran Jake Sully jump into the fight again and box office rival Avengers Endgame saw all the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe assemble against the massive army of Thanos. Star Wars doesn’t even hide the theme in its title.

We love seeing good guys versus the bad guys, sometimes the good guy needs to be a bit on the weaker side to make it interesting. Death and suffering ironically come off like incentives to a gambler, the more people die the more delicious the bad guy’s punishment is going to be.


In this episode, the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis bring an interesting angle. What if it’s a war between immortals and nobody dies? If so then it is war for what truly is: death, suffering, and hatred and not a mission from the high heavens to kill the bad guy or regaining honor.  

The tragedy in the episode is that despite having lost the promise of the emotionally satisfying kill, both sides just won’t stop. Now the question is, can this happen in real life but obviously without the immortality angle?

Israel versus Palestine? War on Drugs? War against the Communists? Asian hate? Any situation where the thought is if they could just kill one more, if we could kill them all, it’ll all be over. Is it so farfetched? 

Kai Opaka

I don't want you to have a wrong impression of me, Opaka

Religion is big on Bajor and the Kai is the equivalent of a pope. Battle Lines adds on The Emissary, where Opaka’s introduction showed her authority and clout. Although Sisko had gained the respect of the Prophets himself, he wouldn’t have been accepted so quickly by Bajor as the Emissary nor cooled the factions of Bajor to an atmosphere of discussion without the Kai.

Battle Lines tells us who Kai Opaka is to the regular Bajoran and the shot best describing this was Major Kira beside herself in grief. Opaka had just died. 

Watching her you would think she lost a mother. Kira’s torrent of emotions is a big deal considering how guarded she is in the episodes so far. It’s a fare argument that she is hiding behind her anger.She was only too happy when Opaka resurrected like the Ennis and Nol-Ennis. 

When the Kira was in the Resistance Kai Opaka gave her meaning. Now alive and in close proximity her, Kira seemed worried that Opaka would disapprove of her especially in relation to the Resistance. It was as if she had somehow failed a teaching during that dark period and Kai Opaka had been in the trenches with her.

This reveal is not my favorite aspect of Bajoran life. I frown at people expressing extreme emotional connection to strangers especially if they are leaders of society in politics and especially religion. 


Sure they’re great leaders but you don’t know them personally. Public life is all about the image. We all wear masks like Odo, especially a public figure. You don’t know the shit they put up, the compromises they had to make for the public good.

The Kai was a symbol, a guiding light, but not a fighter and neither did she order for the deaths of others. It’s good that Major Kira opened up I don’t see why the Kai should be in a position to judge her. On judgement, a few 'if you haven't walked in my shoes' quote comes to mind. 

I don’t see why we should treat them as deeply as family or worse a god.

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