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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old August 10 2010, 03:10 AM   #1
pharBeyond
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"The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

I'm a newbie to this board, so If this has been asked before, just ignore me.

I have been going through the episodes season by season... and this episde, well I have some questions.

First, I have to say I really liked it. I thought Nana Visitor did a great job...it really pulled you in.

However, I have one problem with it.

The part where Kira goes off alone in the runabout to find the person responsible for the killings- it just seemed to me like Kira wouldn't do this, that is, she wouldn't jeopardize the baby!

I think Kira should have "gotten" the guy- she should save herself, but I thought maybe the writers should have brought Silaron (sic) to the station somehow...?

am I right, or am I missing something?
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Old August 10 2010, 03:12 AM   #2
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

That totally ticked me off that Kira jeopardized the O'Briens' baby that way. Jeopardizing her own child that way would've been completely horrible as well. Luring Silaran to the station would've made a hell of a lot more sense.

Kira's attitude was also repugnant in that episode at the end, too. It's like she was PROUD of maiming a civilian.
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Old August 10 2010, 03:35 AM   #3
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

Hm. I'm doing a rewatch currently but only in S2. I'll have to look that one over.

I don't recall being particularly fond of Kira towards the end of the episode though.
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Old August 10 2010, 03:47 AM   #4
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

Ron Moore, the writer, said he wrote the ending specifically like that, because he thought it would be too cliche, and untrue to Kira, to have her repent everything she did. He said that "both people were right, and both people were wrong" (Kira and Silaron).

He also said that Kira's reaction was the stance of "a terrorist"...

( I think it's interesting: that word meant one thing in the late 90's when the show aired- and maybe now, something different- it's not an abstraction for some of us, sadly).

I like the fact that this episode didn't take the easy way out...

As a result, the audience is made to think- and maybe as Nerys Ghemor did, disagree with Kira, and maybe dislike her.
But that was her character, at least to me.
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Old August 10 2010, 03:52 AM   #5
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

I think that Kira didn't have to necessarily apologize to Silaran on HIS terms. But even to say, "I don't regret the attack but I regret that you were in the way" would've been SOMETHING. Even a suggestion at the end that she worried about her standing before the Prophets, some kind of atonement ritual done in private (not even in front of Silaran) would've helped. There would've been a sense of too much pride to budge in front of Silaran, a refusal to break in the face of what he was doing to her, but there would've been a sense of SOME kind of "Bajoranity" in her.

While it helps later on, that she had to REALLY face her ugly attitude in "Ties of Blood and Water," where her hatred (as well as her fears from her past) nearly led to her abandoning a Cardassian that she actually loved, I think Kira's callous attitude was just disgusting.
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Old August 10 2010, 04:03 AM   #6
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

The O'Briens' baby was already in danger, as the assassin had proven capable of hitting targets on Bajor and on Deep Space Nine. It had already become clear that once the killer had "made his point" to Kira, she would then be eliminated, so it was more a question of either taking action or sitting around helplessly waiting for herself, the baby and/or more of her friends to get killed.

I wouldn't call it a prudent choice, but it was definitely in character (and not necessarily any more dangerous for the child than remaining on the station). We find out later that the killer might have tried to find a way to save the child, but there was no way of foreseeing that at the time.

Kira's attitude at the end was also in character in the sense that she was speaking as a resistance fighter: all Cardassians on Bajor were members of the occupying force in their minds and therefore legitimate targets. That doesn't mean what the resistance did wasn't horrible. Millions had died and an entire planet had been enslaved. If you are fighting back against that you are not going to come away with your hands clean.

But by the same token, the Cardassian in this episode had deluded himself into thinking that any Cardassian on Bajor not directly involved with the military was therefore somehow perfectly innocent, which is nonsense. You might be a bureaucrat or you might be a mechanic or a cook, but if you are contributing to a crime on the scale of the occupation, even in a small way, you are implicated and partly responsible.

The bottom line is: none of the Cardassians had any right to be there. If you mercilessly conquer a world in an unprovoked act of aggression, then start living there with your family, don't expect the people you have enslaved to be careful not to hurt that family you care about so much. Your family wouldn't be in danger if you weren't living off the spoils of empire. Yet murder is still murder.

Hence the idea that "you can't separate the darkness from the light" which closes the episode: there is no easy way to clearly distinguish between the guilty and the innocent in that type of situation.

Kira is a character with a ruthless side, which is understandable considering her past. Her lack of repentance and unapologetic attitude is one of the things that makes this an excellent episode: she is not sorry, because in her mind she did what she had to do to drive out an occupying power. Obviously, as a viewer, when I am confronted with that attitude, especially in a character that I am able to sympathize with in a number of ways, that makes me a bit uncomfortable. But that is exactly the kind of thing that drama should spend its time doing.
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Old August 10 2010, 04:26 AM   #7
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

There are SO many ways, with the technology that was available in the Trekiverse, to trick Silaran into thinking Kira was off-station and out of the system (heck, they might even be able to fake her death), or any number of other scenarios they might want him to believe. "Sitting around helpless" would not have been in the slightest bit necessary.

Obviously a resistance fighter will not have clean hands. And I can see why during the Occupation, feelings of compassion would be put aside. But once there is no longer an Occupation, the right thing is to recognize the tragedy that some who didn't want to be there and didn't support the Occupation also became victims of it. The Cardassian government is ultimately responsible for the fact that noncombatant Cardassians died--but this should be recognized as a tragedy and a further atrocity by Central Command, rather than celebrated as Kira did.

And let's not forget how hypocritical this is of Kira: when Aamin Marritza decided he was ready to die to make a point about the wrongness of the Occupation, she didn't want to let him do it once she realized who he was and what he was really trying to do. She even said outright that he was NOT responsible for the atrocities of Gallitep, that just being there, and being Cardassian wasn't enough. She was ready to excuse him...I mean outright EXCUSE him.

Prin's choices, of course, were awful and wrong, when he started going after Kira's friends and then trying to kill her. But like I said, even some sort of private mourning or atonement, something that Prin couldn't see and would never be a "victory" for him, would've helped. But there was NOTHING, and that was disgusting.

Later on--after a very nasty and abusive reaction that I'm sure Dukat intended to provoke from her--she finally decided she LOVED Tekeny Ghemor, even to the point of burying him alongside her father, even though HE WAS A SOLDIER and he FOUGHT at Kiessa Monastery, and he may have KILLED. Yet she excused him too, in the end. Maybe she finally came to realize how her own bitterness was destroying her, and that it had nearly destroyed the spirit of someone who genuinely loved her, while he was on his deathbed.

Maybe in some ways "Ties" helps a little to make up for what happened in this episode. But I still find "The Darkness and the Light" inexcusable in that there wasn't even private atonement.
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Old August 10 2010, 05:18 AM   #8
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
There are SO many ways, with the technology that was available in the Trekiverse, to trick Silaran into thinking Kira was off-station and out of the system (heck, they might even be able to fake her death), or any number of other scenarios they might want him to believe. "Sitting around helpless" would not have been in the slightest bit necessary.
Once the members of the Shakaar resistance cell started getting killed, it is reasonable to assume that all possible security measures had been taken to protect Kira and the baby (we see security guards being posted outside her quarters, etc.) Then Furel and Lupaza are killed in Kira's own quarters, where she and the baby had been a short while ago.

What if, at that point, Odo and Sisko started inventing various technical solutions to hide Kira and the baby? Well, then it becomes a story about Kira running and hiding from her attacker. And then you invent some technical counter-attack that allows Silaran to pierce whatever defense has been created. This would basically just be a game of technobabble rock versus technobabble scissors.

The crux of the story is: run or not run. Kira's choice is to not run, which is entirely in character.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
The Cardassian government is ultimately responsible for the fact that noncombatant Cardassians died--but this should be recognized as a tragedy and a further atrocity by Central Command, rather than celebrated as Kira did.
Kira does not celebrate what she did. She refuses to apologize to a man that has just killed two of her closest friends and is threatening to kill her. It is perfectly in character for her to remain defiant in those circumstances.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And let's not forget how hypocritical this is of Kira: when Aamin Marritza decided he was ready to die to make a point about the wrongness of the Occupation, she didn't want to let him do it once she realized who he was and what he was really trying to do. She even said outright that he was NOT responsible for the atrocities of Gallitep, that just being there, and being Cardassian wasn't enough. She was ready to excuse him...I mean outright EXCUSE him.
There is nothing hypocritical about it. Kira would doubtless have considered Marritza a legitimate target during the Occupation. After the Occupation, killing him because he was a Cardassian was unjustifiable. He had sought to atone for the crimes of the occupation and Kira was able to see the nobility in that. There is no comparison with Prin, who sought to teach Kira a lesson with a series of killings.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
But like I said, even some sort of private mourning or atonement, something that Prin couldn't see and would never be a "victory" for him, would've helped. But there was NOTHING, and that was disgusting.
Showing Kira repenting afterwards in prayer might have worked ok as well, but I think I prefer that the episode leaves us with a more troubling vision of Kira, since its goal was to explore a darker side of her character.

I agree, though, that Ties complements this episode quite nicely in a number of ways.
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Old August 10 2010, 06:00 AM   #9
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

Kira going gung-ho after Prin would've been totally A-OK if not for the fact that she was carrying a child. Frankly, I think "running and hiding", however much that would drive Kira insane, would be the appropriate and even noble response to that situation: yes, it means sacrificing pride, but it would take real character to do that--more so, if you ask me, than going charging in. Whatever reckless thing she wants to do with her own life, I could understand that even if I still wouldn't like her attitude. What she decides to do with another life that can't have any say in it--that I have no tolerance for whatsoever.

And like I said, Kira didn't even have to repent for what she did, in Silaran's presence. Even something after the fact would've made it more understandable.
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Old August 10 2010, 06:17 AM   #10
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Kira going gung-ho after Prin would've been totally A-OK if not for the fact that she was carrying a child. Frankly, I think "running and hiding", however much that would drive Kira insane, would be the appropriate and even noble response to that situation: yes, it means sacrificing pride, but it would take real character to do that--more so, if you ask me, than going charging in. Whatever reckless thing she wants to do with her own life, I could understand that even if I still wouldn't like her attitude. What she decides to do with another life that can't have any say in it--that I have no tolerance for whatsoever.
There is simply no guarantee, based on what we saw in the episode, that remaining on the station would have been safer. Kira felt she had to take action to protect her comrades, herself and thereby the baby. Her quarters had just been blown up despite all the security measures that were in place. Prin had already bypassed Starfleet transporter protocols. She decided not to sit around and wait for herself and the baby to be blown up. It's not about pride, but a matter of fighting for survival, or not fighting.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And like I said, Kira didn't even have to repent for what she did, in Silaran's presence. Even something after the fact would've made it more understandable.
However, the whole point of the episode was to cast Kira in a problematic light, morally speaking. In that sense, it would have been counter productive to show Kira as repentant. Good characters have real flaws, that is to say traits that can cause them to do unsettling and problematic things in certain circumstances. Kira is one of the few examples in Trek of a fully-realized character largely because of episodes like this where her convictions and past history cause her to do things that are troubling for the audience but justifiable to her. This is a good thing.
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Old August 10 2010, 02:01 PM   #11
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

flemm wrote: View Post
There is simply no guarantee, based on what we saw in the episode, that remaining on the station would have been safer. Kira felt she had to take action to protect her comrades, herself and thereby the baby. Her quarters had just been blown up despite all the security measures that were in place. Prin had already bypassed Starfleet transporter protocols. She decided not to sit around and wait for herself and the baby to be blown up. It's not about pride, but a matter of fighting for survival, or not fighting.
It would've probably taken something major--something, like I said, possibly even on the order of faking her death--but still, I think everything she did in that episode: going there, going there alone, going there while pregnant and endangering someone else's child, was reprehensible. Like I said, had it been her own life, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but she owes it to the O'Briens' child not to subject THEIR son to a risk even more extreme than the one Prin was subjecting her to on-station. And even if there was NO alternative to her going, then she should not have gone alone; at the very least, Odo should've gone, because of all the crewmembers, he could avoid detection and make Prin THINK she was coming alone.
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Old August 10 2010, 03:46 PM   #12
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

Hm. I'll grant that there was no reason to believe at that point that Kira was any safer on-station than she was off it. But hunting Prin down on her own was blatantly irresponsible, whether or not she was pregnant at the time.

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Old August 10 2010, 03:49 PM   #13
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

FLemm- I think I agree with your first post, though you all bring up great points! It was totally in character, and I agree, it's one of the things that made this episode great. Your insights will help me enjoy it more!
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Old August 10 2010, 03:54 PM   #14
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

"Kira is one of the few examples in Trek of a fully-realized character largely because of episodes like this where her convictions and past history cause her to do things that are troubling for the audience but justifiable to her. This is a good thing."

I couldn't agree more- I think this is why her character is one of my favorite in all Trek,and why DS9 is my favorite show.
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Old August 10 2010, 06:55 PM   #15
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Re: "The Darkness and the Light"- was it true to character?

Just because Kira was able to forgive other Cardassians for their mere presence on Bajor (Tekeny Ghemor, the Cardassian from "Duet,"), does not mean that, at the time of the occupation, she would have hesitated to blow their asses up. None of the Cardassians should have been there. They raped her planet and decimated her people. Just because Prin wasn't actively murdering Bajorans doesn't mean he wasn't responsible. He passively endorsed the Occupation just by his presence on Bajor. Hey, I'd want to off they guy that hemmed pants for the Nazi soldiers too, you know (or whatever menial job Prinn did). Also take into account that Prinn had just killed her friends, and I can understand why she wasn't in a very forgiving mood.

As for endangering the O'Brien's baby, the argument could be made that the baby was already in danger, and Kira waiting around like a sitting duck would only make her and baby an easy target. How was she to know Prinn would spare the child?

The whole theme of this episode is: can you really separate the darkness from the light? Is any Cardassian who lived on Bajor totally innocent, or are they "darkened" by the occupation? Are Kira's actions, and the actions of her comrades, completely justified, or are they "darkened" by the taking of lives? Maybe it's not as simple as night and day, black and white. Maybe there's some gray.
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