#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 17, “Accession”

May 25, 2014 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Deep Space Nine, "Accession"

Juxtaposition in progress. DS9, Season Four, Ep. 17, “Accession”

Since this Bajoran-related episode is in large part based on their religion, I think it’s appropriate to begin with a confession. I’m writing this review at 10:51 PM on a Sunday night leading into Memorial Day, but I’m profoundly distracted because I am both tired and we’re expecting my second child in just a few short days. I have other things on my mind, and as such, I’m going to skip assigning this episode my usual star rating. It just wouldn’t be fair.

Sometimes the arrival of an unexpected event–or even an expected event whose ramifications one hadn’t time to fully consider–can derail the order and structure of our carefully arranged lives, and leave us to consider how we’ll react to our newfound role. “Accession” is razor-focused on this theme, but it deftly avoids being ham-fisted about it.

Sisko is exhausted, he says, of being viewed as the Bajorans’ “Emissary”, and it’s suggested that he hasn’t truly understood how important the title is. A brief relinquishment of his responsibilities begets several tough choices. Kira is deeply religious, but events in “Accession” are going to force her to take a difficult look at her beliefs. And O’Brien is just humming along, satisfied with his life on Deep Space Nine, when Keiko drops the bombshell of a surprise pregnancy in his lap.

It’s an episode of transition, of tests, of moments that force these three characters to step back and consider where they are, who they are, and not only what they hold sacred, but what they don’t, and maybe what they should. That this is all compressed into a 45-minute episode of syndicated, mid-90’s TV is something to applaud. No one can accuse this script of having a signal to noise problem.

I really relate to all these quandaries and internal challenges.

In just a few days I turn thirty five. That’s five years from forty. Four decades aren’t so far away. When the hell did that happen? Just yesterday I was twenty, and my greatest concern was passing discrete mathematics.

I’ll have a second child by the time most of you read this–this from a guy that never saw himself as having children. Some friends I thought I’d always have have slipped from my life; others that I thought I’d never see again have stayed within reach. Like Kira, I’ve lately dealt with doubts and questions about my faith, even if I have decided to stay the course. I’ve also become aware–really aware–that my parents are aging, and that one day they won’t be around anymore, and my goodness these remaining years with them are precious.

The train is moving right along, and in this moment, I feel a bit like I’ve been allowed the luxury of stopping at a station while it offloads passengers, and brings new ones on, and I’ve been given this chance to really consider how many miles of track I’ve traveled upon. I wouldn’t call it a midlife crisis. I’d call it a midlife reflection.

“Halfway from seventy,” an in-law cheerfully elbowed me. What does that mean for me? What does a new child mean? What do I do with all these questions that remain unanswered?

What do I do with all this existential stuff?

The answer, of course, is to board the train once again and see where it takes me, and see which stops are more important to me than others. It’s an accession of my own, only not that of a rank or title–rather a seizing of my remaining years on this rock, my time before I rejoin my God.

Life moves so quickly you can get motion sickness. This episode speaks to that, and struck a chord with me, so much so I could scarcely care as much about its plot as opposed to what it says about this wonderful, at time frantic experience we call living.

I pray that, like Sisko, I will always know the most important things are those I’ve sometimes taken so granted. May we all be speakers for that which matters most. May our focus never stray.

Rating: Not this time (but a good episode).

See the rest of the review series here.

"Beacon" Part IA young couple’s miracle at the last star left in the Universe will lead to a specter from the past returning to confront mankind…and the end will become the beginning. Try Part I of the Beacon Saga Serial, for your choice of ebook platforms.