One major objection (see below) drags down what is otherwise a good set of episodes.
Image in the Sand is summarized here.
Shadows and Symbols is summarized here.
(Hat tip to Memory Alpha.)
Naturally, what I like best about this two-parter is the fact that
In other news, the storyline aboard Martok's ship not only gives Jadzia the proper send-off she deserves, but also provides yet more evidence for one of my Key DS9 Rules of Thumb: Quark is a good - even a great - character so long as you keep him away from the Ferengi Ghetto. Quark goes way, way outside of his comfort zone here. He certainly doesn't believe in Sto'Vo'Kor; in fact, he thinks the Klingons' thirst for battle is ridiculous. But he still comes along because he sincerely loved Jadzia Dax and wants everyone else to know it. That's marvelous -- and oddly adorable.
But now to the main plot. SABR Matt and I both dislike the Sisko plot, but I think our criticisms are slightly different. As SABR Matt noted in a recent email, it seems to stretch the bounds of credibility to propose that the release of one Prophet - just one! - would completely shift the tide of the war inside the wormhole and lead to the Prophets' victory. He also asks the following question: "Why does it have to be Sisko who opens the box?" Well, duh -- because it's the orb of the Emissary! Because this is a space fantasy, I personally have no problem accepting the idea that Sisko has always been destined to locate the orb in question. What bothers me is the revelation regarding the circumstances of Sisko's birth.
According to Memory Alpha, the writers had originally planned to make Sisko's mother wholly a Prophet -- and in my opinion, they should've stuck to that idea. If we are to accept that the Prophets are the good-guys in the great spiritual battle to come, then they can't act like the Pah-Wraiths and possess people without their consent. They just can't. I'm sorry, but inhabiting Sarah's body and forcing her to marry and give birth is a reprehensible violation of her free will -- certainly not something a god worthy of worship would perpetrate. Bear in mind, folks, that the real God did nothing until Mary said, "Let it be done to me according to your word." So if the writers were trying to make Sisko a quasi-Jesus here, they failed.
And as for Ezri's introduction? Well, I think SABR Matt is more qualified to comment there. I'm indifferent when it comes to Ezri - I neither love her nor despise her - but Matt thinks she's the Cutest. Thing. Evar!!!!!!!!!!11!!!eleventy-one!! As they all say, your mileage may vary.
Two-thirds of this two-parter is solid, but I have to ding the other third pretty hard for the problems outlined above.
A few moments of scenery-chewing from Avery Brooks keep this score out of the feature range.
Holy moral dissonance, Batman! I like the whole spiritual warfare idea, but it'd be nice if the good gods would actually act like good gods.