DS9 Rewatch: “Rapture”, Etc.
"Ratpure" is a vehicle for Avery Brooks, and watching him play Sisko in the grips of religious ecstasy is remarkable and thrilling. His emotional gesturing is grand but rarely theatrical in this episode, and the fervor he infuses into the portrayal is viscerally powerful.
I admire “The Darkness and the Light” more than I enjoy it. It positions Kira squarely in the center of its moral universe, but at the end suddenly reveals her complicity in the violence surrounding her, all while letting the consequences roil the edges until we don’t know where she is in its ethical scheme — all subtly drawn out that I nearly missed it.
"A Simple Investigation": almost entirely boring, except for when O’Brien briefly breaks his Falcon character to say hello to Odo.
"Children of TIme": another one for admiration, this time complicating both Trek and American/Western European narratives about technology as a savior. But anyway: this episode undermines the Trekian-utopian notion that enterprising(!) Starfleet officers can technobabble their way through an impossible ethical-philosophical quandary — the “solution” that preserves the settlement of 8,000 and returns the Defiant crew back to their normal lives is a lie meant to assuage both the crew and viewers who’d seen Data, Wesley, or Spock call upon the deus ex machina, except this time it’s mentioned far too early in the episode and thus its fiction is revealed. Then, the appeal to sentiment — the crew spend an afternoon planting crops with children — pulls them to the inexplicable decision to sacrifice their lives as they’d known them (which is a hard if not impossible sell — one I never bought into, not in 1997, not now), only to have the old Odo (complete with his more humanoid face and his infinitely more human capacity for feeling) throw the plans literally off course.
And even if Yedrin’s plan to double the Defiant hadn’t been a lie, if it had been possible in the space of the series, the episode never considers that no matter what happens, one crew was going to be permanently shipwrecked on an alien world. What kind of resentment would you have against your double if you were the stranded one?
But the way that Yedrin confirms that he is indeed a Dax host and the way that Sisko cuts him off is played with genius by everyone involved. Also Sisko’s having the best time ever with that babby was too adorable. (Did I ever mention how much I love Avery Brooks?)