Sisko narrates a personal log about almost forgetting the fourth anniversary of his wife Jennifer’s death. Jake shares a dream about being lost and wanting to find his father. (The young actor, Cirroc Lofton does a good job portraying vulnerability.)
Later, Sisko is looking out the window on the Promenade deck when a beautiful woman appears. They talk about the stars, she introduces herself as Fenna, he offers to show her the station — and she vanishes.
Kira notices that Sisko has walked into Ops cheerfully, instead of needing to wake up with raktajino (Klingon coffee).
Visiting the station is the larger-than life terraformer Seyetik (a brilliant and cheerful egotist). He’s on his way to reignite a star. Dax says the job doesn’t require humility or common sense.
In Quark’s, Dax notices that Sisko seems to be looking for someone.
A bit later, Sisko is again looking out the window when Fenna appears. They continue their smooth flirting.
SISKO: Do you always do that?
FENNA: Do what?
SISKO: Say exactly the right thing.
FENNA: No one’s ever told me that before.
SISKO: There you go again.
But as soon as he asks her to tell her about herself, she apologizes and runs away.
In their quarters, Jake is telling his dad a story about a friend who threw up at lunch, but Sisko isn’t listening. Jake deduces his father is in love, and assures his father that’s okay with him.
Sisko asks Odo for help tracking down this mysterious woman. He frames it as a personal request, but does add that he thinks she might be in some kind of trouble. Odo scoffs at how little information he’s been given, but promises to do what he can.
Sisko resists Dax’s offer of a man-to-man talk (something he frequently had with Curzon), but insists it’s nothing to do with Jadzia, it’s just that he has nothing to tell about Fenna.
Seyetik is holdings court in his quarters (he’s a civilian but for this mission is based on a big starship with the meaningful name Prometheus). We learn he paints huge paintings, has written a nine-volume autobiography, and is currently married to his ninth wife Nidell — who looks exactly like Fenna.
Odo tells Sisko that nobody but Seyetik has left the Prometheus (which seems unlikely, but OK Constable).
Quark finds Sisko standing sadly by the window and tries to comfort Sisko, offering a drink, a listening ear, and a visit to the holosuite. (Is Quark just trying to make a sale? Is he really sympathetic? Would Quark see any difference? It’s a very brief scene that emphasizes Sisko’s isolation.
Fenna soon appears mysteriously, denies that she’s married to Seyetik, says she knows she “came here” not because she was looking for a place, but looking for a person… and she found him. They kiss — and this being a science fiction show, she fades away.
Because the plot requires it, Sisko invites himself onto Seyetik’s ship. Seyetik monologues about meeting Nidell, and brings up an epic Klingon poem from which Sisko quotes: “Pity the warrior who slays all his foes.”
Fenna appears in Sisko’s quarters. Dax waves her tricorder and announces, “I’m not reading any cellular structure. No DNA patterns. Just pure energy.”
The infodump happens. We are given to understand that Nidell is a “psychoprojective telepath,” and Fenna is a projection of her subconscious mind, presumably related to the fact that Nidell realizes she no longer loves Seyetik, which is a problem because, as we learn, members of Nidell’s species “mate for life.”
Sisko tells a tearfully Fenna that she’s not real, and that Nidell will die unless she disappears as she has done before. But its time for some spectacle. Seyetik has launched aboard the shuttle he was supposed to remote-pilot, and is heading toward the dead star he intends to technobabble back to life.
This should be Sisko’s episode, but he isn’t in command of the Prometheus, so he kind of stands there while someone (presumably not the Prometheus captain, since he’s wearing a lieutenant’s uniform pips) looks surprised in the captain’s chair.
If we had gotten to know Nidell as a separate person whose personality would be erased if Sisko accepted Fenna’s love, then the climax would hinge on Sisko’s moral choice, rather than turning the star of our series into a spectator on someone else’s bridge, watching what the guest star Seyetik does.