#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 20, “Shattered Mirror”

January 28, 2015 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Once again we descend into the mirror universe in “Shattered Mirror”, a place where–as my wife puts it–“everyone becomes a worse actor”.

I don’t know if I completely agree with that, though this might be because I always focus my ire on the logical issues inherent in mirror universe episodes. Lest you think I’m being unfair, let me tell you that I believe in an old adage about fiction: “Everybody gets one pass”. The problem with “Shattered Mirror”, and other mirror universe episodes, is that they’ve by definition already been given a pass. Namely, you have to believe there exists a place where nearly every prime universe character has a counterpart, despite the mirror universe’s millennia of radically different factions, wars, and historical events. You have to imagine that, somehow, most people had the same parents, and their parents had the same parents, all the way back to prehistory.

“Shattered Mirror” starts off with a premise so ridiculous I have a hard time writing about it without reverting back to the expletive-throwing days of my youth. Mirror Jennifer Sisko has apparently booked a tourist visa to the prime universe and comes across for a casual visit. Nervous smiles from both Sisko men follow.

This all makes perfect sense! See, you can cross over whenever you want, clearly. Sisko must have hopped over to grab Jennifer, or she beamed over onto the promenade for a visit, and everyone’s completely cool with this, because an organization like Starfleet, which has a freakin’ temporal protocol clearly has nothing to say about interfering with the affairs of another dimension. And hey, since that mirror universe is so great, clearly the prime universe wouldn’t see an influx of refugees, or anything like that, because it’s not like crossing over is so simple that mirror universe characters can do it in the name of having dinner.

This episode foolishly exposes one of the main lures people would have for pulling residents from either universe over to the other–the recovery of lost family members. This is foolish, mind you, not so much because everything about the mirror universe spits in the face of believably. That starship has sailed around the sun already.

It’s foolish because it hints at what could have been a much better episode, where someone–maybe even Jake or Ben–cross over to retrieve replacement Mom despite Starfleet’s opinion on the matter. You want to take it a step further? Let’s have Jennifer come over and claim asylum, then be slain by a kill team that follows her. Break out the hankies and Emmys, folks.

Instead, here we go into all sorts of dark corners. Apparently you can build the Defiant–which we’ve been told is a highly-advanced, sophisticated warship–at a backwater space station that’s traded hands more than Kim Kardashian. You can compress a two week work schedule into four days and have enough time for scenes of faux intimacy that don’t go anywhere. You can abduct a kid that serves as a guarantee for cooperation by his prominent father, then let him run loose all over, without so much as a single guard watching him. As a prime universe Starfleet Captain, you can engage in a fleet action against mirror universe baddies because it sounds fun.

That brought us to the only redeemable element of this episode: the Defiant‘s close action with the Klingon Negh’Var battlecruiser.

Would that this excused the rest of this mistake.

Rating: 1.5/5 stars.

Wife Says: “Enjoy the episode. I’m tapping out.”

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.