Ln X wrote:
I don't think it takes anything away from the Dukat/Kira story arc. In fact it clarifies things, I mean before this episode when you really think about it, why did Dukat set his eyes on Kira? Why her? Dukat bonking Meru certainly explains a lot.
I disagree, this episode explains nothing. Dukat was attempting to win Kira over because he has a psychological need to be loved by the Bajorans (or at least he did before Waltz
), and since Kira is the Bajoran he spends the most time with that's where he focused his attention. There was an added bonus in that Kira absolutely hated Dukat with every bone in her body, so winning her over was the ultimate challenge and would prove he could get any Bajoran to love him. I consider that to be a far, far superior explanation to Dukat's interest in Kira than him having been involved with her mother and being a bit of a creep.
For the first half of the episode, Inquisition plays like a redux of TNG's The Drumhead
, and that's no bad thing, but it ends in a way that's the antithesis to that episode, which is also no bad thing. Both plots appear to be the same on the surface, a Starfleet investigator shows up and is driven by personal reasons to uncover a conspiracy where there likely isn't one. The divergence begins at around the half-way point, because while Satie began to use fanciful arguments to pursue her investigation, Sloan's arguments start to seem plausible and the audience begins to wonder if he may be correct, especially once Bashir is abducted by Weyoun. The major difference is that while The Drumhead
ended with Picard giving a speech about the importance of due process, Inquisition
ends with Sloan pooh-poohing that notion in his own little speech and arguing that such a position is naive.
To make things clear, I do not agree with Sloan's position, I definitely identify more closely with Picard's speech than Sloan's. But it is an interesting and entertaining moral argument and I feel it deserves to be had. The problem with Roddenberry's vision of a perfect future is that to depict it you have to brush a lot of problems under the rug and pretend they don't exist, and if Star Trek really is supposed to be a series that explores these moral themes then the Roddenberry Box is counter-productive to the supposed goal of the franchise. Right now in the real world there are organisations working for supposedly enlightened democracies that act in ways which are less than enlightened. How are we supposed to move past the need for these dark agents if we're not allowed to have a mature conversation about them?
Yes, Section 31 does not fit with Roddenberry's vision of the future. But I don't care.
One of the minor flaws I have with this episode is that it's a bit late in the series to be introducing a group like Section 31. With less than a season and a half to go, there's a sudden, shocking revelation that has been retconned into the entire franchise. It's not that big of a problem considering part of the point of Section 31 is that nobody is supposed to know of them, so the fact that they emerge from nowhere isn't that unreasonable. But being a late addition does limit what can be done with them in the future. However, as a plus, the great thing about the investigation into Bashir is that it's based entirely on events that we've seen happen on the show. This episode manages to twist things we thought we knew to support a position we can almost believe, and it manages to poke some fun at the absurdity of some of the things that came before as well.