Sanctuary (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 10) Many refugees from the other side of the wormhole seek a new home

Rewatching ST:DS9

Sisko mildly brings up the fact that Kira has spent all day shouting at a Bajoran minister instead of finishing a report. He’s not upset, but he clearly means “Don’t ever let that happen again.”

A Bajoran musician charms a crowd with a tragically beautiful cover of the DS9 theme song, but Quark is annoyed because entranced customers spend less.

A distressed ship comes through the wormhole. Sisko beams the new arrivals to Ops. A woman with a tall hairdo and three cowering men can’t understand Sisko’s welcome, because for plot reasons the computer has trouble translating their language.

One of the young men has a burned hand, but on the way to the infirmary the party takes a little detour through a shop, where Haneek, the party leader, comments (in her language) to Kira about a dress.

Eventually the computer learns to translate her speech, and we learn that three million of her people are seeking refuge on the other side of the wormhole. Later, she apologizes for being a bit uncomfortable at the conference table in Ops.

Haneek: Skrreean men don’t involve themselves in situations like this.
Dax : Are all your leaders women?
Haneek: Yes.
Bashir: All of them?
Dax: You heard her, Julian.

It’s a good comic bit, but from this point on, the gender dynamics are only important insofar as establishing that Skrreean males are emotional and prone to fights, and providing Sisko with a reason to let Kira take a more active role dealing with the newcomers. 

Haneek’s people had been conquered centuries ago by a race that has just been defeated by members of “The Dominion.” Three million refugees have been searching for “the Eye of the Universe” (the wormhole), through which her sacred texts say is “a planet of sorrow where the Skrreeans will sow seeds of joy.” 

Later Kira presents Haneek with the dress that had attracted her attention earlier, but it turns out her untranslated comment was that the dress was hideous. Kira agrees, and they have a bonding moment.

An exterior shot shows hundreds of Skrreean ships. A convincingly large crowd of extras pours out of airlocks onto the promenade deck. (It’s not the millions the dialog mentions, but the promenade deck certainly looks full.)

Nog mocks the Skrreean youth Tumak, whom Jake tries to befriend. Later we see Nog running from Skrreean boys who say he sprayed them with something foul smelling. Odo hauls Nog to the security office, and releases Nog to Quark, who is only annoyed Nog was caught. 

Jake tries to patch things up between Nog and the Skrreeans, but Nog is not sincere about apologizing, and Tumak attacks him. Quark breaks up the fight, making it clear that he doesn’t welcome the Skrreeans on the station. 

Sisko reports to the Skrreean leaders that he has found an uninhabited planet where they can relocate, but Haneek delivers a shocker — she has decided her people should settle on Bajor.

After the commercial break, Bajoran minister and a vedek arrive on the station with a reasoned, diplomatically phrased “no.” Haneek is convinced that, because her people are farmers, they would be able to help Bajor through the famine they are currently experiencing. She’s shocked that Kira won’t argue on her behalf.

A cheerful Jake again tries to befriend Tumak, and is again rebuffed. The boy takes a ship and heads for Bajor, where he’s intercepted by planetary defense craft.

The resulting action sequence plays out via budget-friendly screen readouts, voice-overs, and talking heads. The upshot is that Haneek realizes the Bajorans won’t welcome her people, and has the last word in the episode, saying she feels sorry for the Bajorans, whose experience under Cardassian rule has made them suspicious.

A good world-building episode, notable for the scolding Kira receives (on behalf of Bajor) from the refugees.

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