Its tough in the Voyager forum at the moment, there's this thread where people are saying season 3 was so awesome and I'm the only dissenting voice
Its like trying to convince the people the world is round but they won't believe you. I've come in here for refuge -.-
Part of me wants to join you in enlightening those poor souls about their dangerously mistaken views, but another part of me really can't be arsed.
Vedek Birdseye shows up in Ops one day so that Sisko can do his Prophet magic on a young newly-wed couple (spoiler alert: They broke up six months later after the husband revealed his illegal targ-porn collection) and Sisko privately expresses his discomfort about the whole Emissary thing. Which is convenient as at that moment some guy randomly shows up and reveals that he's the true Emissary. Lazy writing or are the Prophets trying to send a message to the Sisko? Both! Anyway, this new Emissary guy is shocked to find out that Bajor abandoned its caste system, and I'm shocked by that too because I never even knew that Bajor had such a system just 50 years ago. Some of the Starfleet characters also appear unaware of this fact. Isn't it a little weird that everyone seems to talk about human history, or Trill history, or Klingon history, but nobody ever mentioned Bajoran recent history even though they've been on a Bajoran space station for almost 4 years? That's a major weakness of this episode, it retcons one of the major races really late in the show's run.
The other weakness is that the Bajorans look really silly. The Bajorans think that some guy is the messiah, then some new guy shows up and they decide that he's the messiah instead, then they undergo a radical social overhaul that threatens their future security because the new messiah gives a speech. Vedek Birdseye, a seemingly honourable man before the new guy shows up, becomes a remorseless murderer within the space of a week. Even Kira, one of the strongest, most forceful characters in the franchise, just goes along with all these injustices because some guy said so. This is one of the best anti-religion episodes Star Trek has ever done, but I don't think that was its intention. We needed to see more division among the Bajorans, some sense that this caste system nonsense was heading toward a civil war. As is, they hardly seem like they're worth saving.
All that being said, this was a good Sisko episode. I really liked Avery Brooks' performance here as a man whose whole world is falling apart because of his short-sightedness. He's so eager to free himself from the position of Emissary that he hands it over without bothering to check what the new guy plans to do with his new position of influence. This destroys Sisko's career, his friendships, and his belief in himself. There's also an interesting bit of foreshadowing thrown in at the end with the first mention that The Sisko is of Bajor.
Meanwhile, Keiko returns to the station and reveals that she's pregnant. Did anyone else think for a moment that this was going to be a very special episode where Keiko reveals that she cheated on Miles? If I were him the first thing I'd check after the baby was born is whether there are any wrinkles on its nose, but I am the deeply distrustful type. Anyway, with new baby on the way O'Brien must choose between spending with with the love of his life of his wife. This plot isn't great and the ending is a bit too corny for me, but it's not so bad.