Dal Rassak wrote:
The allegations came from that one odd-looking alien playing dabo in Quark's bar and we never learn his motivations. Rugal's adoptive father vehemently denied them and before anyone says, "well, he would if they're true" , Rugal's behaviour showed where the truth lay very eloquently - he ran to Proka embracing him and was visibly distressed when it looked as though they were going to be seperated. That's not how you react to someone who's mistreated you.
Actually there are a ton of children in abusive families who would probably have a hard time ever leaving them, just because it's all they know, and because they've come to think of the abuse as "normal" or "deserved." It's possible Rugal was in one of those (and I have to admit his Bajoran father didn't exactly seem like the nicest
Still, on the face of it I have to agree Sisko's decision seems to be the wrong one. Without any actual proof of abuse
, I would think you'd have to err on the side of letting the kid stay where he wants.
Although to be fair... we've also seen real world cases where a kid was stolen from their mother at a young age and then returned years later. Regardless of how attached the kid becomes to this other family, the parent STILL deserves to have their kid back.
Well, I think that he was abused. There are different types of abuse, and these "parents," loving as they seemed, raised that boy to hate himself, and to practically carry around a hugely heavy guilt pretty much just for being born Cardassian.
I felt so sorry for that child. What they did to him was wrong. They should have taught him what his people did, and that it was very wrong and that it should never happen again, BUT raising the child to despise his people and therefore himself was wrong on their part. Perhaps their hearts were in the right place, but it was clear that their hearts hadn't healed form what had been done to Bajorans (perhaps they couldn't heal), but that wasn't this child's fault...
I think Sisko was right to give him back to the family, and father, that wanted him and that could teach him to have some self esteem in spite of the poorer aspects of his people's history.
I was always mindful of Sisko's and Picard's differing decisions.
Here, Sisko has a Cardassian child raised by the enemy and ultimately returns the Cardassian to his home.
Picard has a human child raised by the enemy in "Suddenly Human" and tries to return the child to his home... but then stops and lets the child remain with the only family he's ever known.
I wonder if Sisko may have sympathized with the biological father because, unlike Picard, he was a father himself.
I too thought the boy should have been allowed to remain with his adopted family.
I don't think he should have stayed with them for reasons stated above, but I do agree that Sisko probably did make his decision in part because he was a father too. He knew how unhealthy that boy's upbringing had been and also how damaging it was to him. Just because his people did something very horrible didn't mean that he needed to suffer psychological abuse under the guise of loving intentions.
Sisko was right.