The Visitor (*****)
It's difficult being a man. We have to get rid of spiders, we're not allowed to ask for directions while driving, we even have to pee while standing up. Not following this strict code of manhood can lead to the revocation of your status as a real
man. But the most important rule that real men must follow is not to cry, because crying is for women and babies. If you're caught crying, or even admitting to crying, you're not a real man anymore. Your eyes are allowed to tear up only in exceptional circumstances, such as the birth of your child or someone being cruel to a dog, but that's the limit. Male trekkies are dangerously close to losing our status as real men anyway and we can only maintain it by claiming to watch the shows for the explosions and cat-suited women.
is the ultimate test for us. Not only is it a terribly emotional story, it also lulls us into false sense of security by showing us other men, even badasses like The Sisko, crying. In fact, about 75% of the episode is men crying. Did I pass the test? Of course I did, I'm a real man. And even if I didn't you wouldn't expect me to admit it online, would you? How stupid do you think I am? Although I will admit that there were times during this episode where I struggled to keep my manhood in check... and I'm not talking about Kira's tighter new uniform! (See, I'm a real man, I made an erection joke.)
Is this episode perfect? Of course not, there are minor continuity quibbles and I'm not pleased with the episode's lack of a coda. But I feel that it's strong enough in most areas in order to deserve the full five stars. What also strikes me about the episode is the number of callbacks made to it in the series finale; Sisko in a temporal plane of pure light, Jake and Kira staring out the window together, and Jake watching as the station disappears into the distance. It's not quite foreshadowing, but this episode was clearly on the writers' minds when working on the finale and that gives this episode even more power in retrospect.