The Good: Important event
The Bad: Obvious plot, Horrible character work, Tired acting, Just plain silly
The Basics: A crappy little episode with bad acting and a heinously predictable plot, "Destiny" is the true failure of this series.
Up until the very last season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when the show did a baseball episode, I firmly believed that "Destiny" was the worst this series could do. I still have a spot in me that believes this might be the worst episode Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ever did, despite how much I dislike that other episode.
"Destiny" harkens the arrival of Vedek Yarka who arrives to the station with dire news from the sacred texts involving a scientific mission currently going on. It seems a pair of Cardassian scientists are coming to the station to help the Bajorans get a subspace relay established through the wormhole. The idea here is that for the first time, there will be a permanent communications filament through the wormhole which will allow ships in the Gamma Quadrant to communicate with the Alpha Quadrant. Yarka insists that the prophecies he has discovered will kill the Prophets and destroy Bajor.
This is a dumb, obvious episode. Why? Anyone with a modicum of sense who has ever seen a television show knows from the very beginning that the prophecy that Yarka brings to the station will come to pass. And we also know it will come to pass in a way that is different from how we first suspect it will. "Destiny" does nothing more than what it promises in the first few moments of the episode and it insults our intelligence as viewers and fans of this amazing series.
So, perhaps "Destiny" is about the journey, as opposed to the destination. Unfortunately, it does not even live up to that. None of the characters make a lot of sense or are even remotely interesting. Sisko seems more belligerent than anything else, Kira is simply a religious fanatic (which doesn't make sense in this circumstance, especially when we consider how very out of place she was in "Move Along Home" back in the first season), and the visiting Cardassians are barely watchable.
The real character inconsistency is Miles O'Brien. When one of the Cardassian scientists begins to hit on him, he seems far more uncertain, actually tempted by her. This makes no sense whatsoever. While I applaud character development, this bit is utterly senseless when taken in context. Only a few episodes back, "Fascination," O'Brien expresses his complete overwhelming love for Keiko in a way that is very organic in a circumstance where such things were generally contrived. Here, he feels contrived paying attention to Gilora Rijal (the Cardassian scientist) when he is such an honest loving husband.
I suspect the actors here felt the same way about this episode. Colm Meany is completely listless in delivering his lines and they feel like lines as opposed to him being O'Brien. Sisko never seems to convincingly object to Yarka, nor does his buying into the fanatic at the end make complete sense. Similarly, Eric Avari who plays Yarka never sells us completely as a fanatic or even a scholar. Instead, he feels like a man who is playing a religious person.
All "Destiny" does is progress the essential story of Deep Space Nine forward with the invention and execution of the subspace relay. It comes up again and again in references, but how it gets there is certainly easy enough to miss given the quality of this episode.
Fans of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will be disappointed by how obvious this piece is. People who watch television in general will find nothing special to enjoy in this episode: it's listless and disappointing and no one gives their best performance here. There's nothing to apply to our lives from this one either. It is its own little world. And this is possibly the most rotten little corner of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series. Well, at least, in the final analysis, it's still better than the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "The Royale."
[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Third Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the breakout season by clicking here!
For other works with Erick Avari, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Charlie Wilson's War
Heroes - Season 1
"Unification, Part 1"
For other Star Trek reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2007, 2003 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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