Deep Space Nine: s06 e13 – Far Beyond The Stars

Who’s Who?

Well, I guess I must be suffering some sort of burn out on Deep Space Nine because I just couldn’t get into this episode at all, and it’s one of those episodes that’s not just a fan-favourite but a favourite of so many members of the team that made it, including many of the actors themselves. Clearly, it’s me, then.

‘Far Beyond the Stars’ is another of those get-the-cast-out-of-character episodes, as Sisko undergoes a practically episode-long hallucination in which he’s a staff writer on a 1953 SF magazine, facing racial prejudice. It involves every member of the cast and a bunch of recurring characters out of costume and, in several cases, out of make-up.

Basically,the peg is that Sisko is approaching burn out. The Dominion War is still ticking over in the background, with wins and losses, but the latest loss – the Cortez and it’s 400 strong crew, especially its Captain, Quentin Swofford, an old friend of Sisko – has him talking of stepping down.

Immediately he suggests that, he starts seeing people in 1953 clothes walking around where they aren’t. Bashir diagnoses strange synaptic potentials akin to those in the season 5 episode, ‘Rapture’ when he was having visions sent by the Prophets (not so much a hint as a crowbar to the back of the neck) and, presto changeo, he’s in 1953 New York where he’s Benny Russell, employed by Incredible Tales magazine.

Everyone’s there, so it’s spot-the-unmake-upped- actor time (I didn’t get Aron Eisenberg, Jeffrey Combs or J. G. Hertzler and I was incredibly slow about Rene Auberjonois and Michael Dorn) whilst the story hammers on its theme of racial prejudice. The hammering is relentless, but then again so was the racism. I don’t doubt there’s a social faction that would kick-off against snowflakes and SJWs, but just because the present day isn’t as relentlessly open and universal as the world depicted here doesn’t mean it no longer needs saying.

To be honest, I found the unrelieved nature of the depiction to be dramatically unbalanced: over and over and over again. In another context, where you could focus on this story without havingĀ Deep Space Nine looking over your shoulder constantly, it would have worked far better. Instead, it was never possible to escape the awareness that this set-up was doubly unreal, a fiction within a fiction.

Anyway, Benny Russell is inspired by a drawing of a space station very much like DS9 to write a powerful, engrossing story. About DS9, and it’s captain, Benjamin Sisko. Everybody loves and admires it, but it won’t get published. Because the Captain is a negro.

To jump briskly forward, after a tour of Benny’s world and constant reminders of the restrictions inherent on black people (Marc Alaimo and Jeffrey Combs as two violently prejudiced cops,who beat the living shit out of Benny at one point), he gets his editor to accept the story (and possibly the six sequels he’s already written), in return for his altering it slightly, to make the whole thing a dream. Whatever gets it into print. But the owner orders the whole print run pulped, the magazine’s going to skip a month and Benny’s fired. We all know why.

Throughout the hallucination, Sisko Senior keeps popping up as a Minister, preaching about the way ahead and insisting Sisko keep on his path, that he writes the words. He keeps mentioning the prophets (there’s that crowbar again). Benny has become fixated on his Captain Sisko, his DS9, this future he’s imagined. This latest setback unhinges him.He cracks up, onscreen, as if this block on publication of the story is an attempt to stop this entire future, the world of DS9, in which black and white and every other shade are equals, from ever happening.

Sad to say, I found it unconvincing, even when supported by Sisko’s musings in the close, which attempts to tip the show into metafiction, by wondering if Deep Space Nine is actually nothing more than the fiction it is, created by Benny Russell?

It’s Jorge Luis Borges’ paradox writ large: who is dreaming who? Is Sisko dreaming Benny, or vice versa? For me, it completely flops. Firstly, because when Benny goes into his meltdown, talking about ‘creating’ DS9, in the sense of a Creator creating Reality, he’s doing so as a character we know to be at a lower level of existence, the centre of a story-within-a-story. The same goes for Sisko’s musings: in an isolated story, you can play this angle for all it’s worth, and leave the reader genuinely uncertain, but after 136 previous episodes of Deep Space Nine, you’re pushing credibility to suggest that might be a fiction. A Tommy Westphall ending doesn’t work unless it is the end.

When Sisko recovers from the hallucination, his synaptic potentials have cleared up, even without a take-two-of-these-and-see-me-in-the-morning (crowbar time…) and he’s decided to soldier on. Phew, I was worried there…

The whole thing was a vision from the Prophets, to show Sisko that some fights have to be fought even in the face of frustration, defeat and loss. But really the episode was about the cast dressing down and playing outside their characters, with the framing story a loose-fitting McGuffin. That the story chosen was an important issue is impressive, but paradoxically it was weakened by being played in the context of Deep Space Nine, where it could have n serious impact by virtue of our knowledge that by the end it would all be reset, nothing gained, nothing lost, all that anger, frustration and heartache meaningless.

Or is it all just me?


Saturday SkandiThriller: Below the Surface episodes 3 & 4

Louise Falck, negotiator

We have now advanced rapidly to the halfway point of this extremely well-made series, and what has continued to be a taut, and highly engrossing thriller is starting to develop elements branching out from a mere plot. In a way, this is something of a limited series in comparison to the best of Denmark’s previous TV efforts, but I’m enjoying it far more than anything else from that part of the world since at least 1864.

Two more days have passed in the hostage crisis, and TTF (or maybe that should be CTF as I seem to be working off a different set of sub-titles this week) are inching nearer to the hostage-takers, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, after a false move in episode 3.

That saw the elderly, unshaven Leon (played by the only actor I’ve seen before, Tommy Kenter, who was in Follow the Money 2) collapse into a diabetic coma. Alpha agreed to allow a medic down to treat him, but TTF used this as an opportunity to get one of their own into the underground lair, to be eyes and ears for a raid. This back-fired badly: a trip-wire set off explosions, which set off shooting. TTF had to back out with four men shot, not fatally at any rate, but Silas of the hostages copped a bullet in the side.

This became a proving moment for Marie, the nurse. We found out from her flashback that she’d be blown out for indecision (peculiarly apt in Denmark…) and she was out of her depth and failing in trying to save Silas, until she finally pulled herself together and set-up a makeshift blood transfusion which kept him alive long enough to be got out.

Leon got his insulin shots and was restored, and he flashbacked in episode 4, to life in Thailand with a not-so-young Thai prostitute who he planned to bring back to Denmark, but who wouldn’t go with him, destroying his dreams. That spurred him to break out the cage when flirty Denise pushed her luck too far with the psycho hostage-taker and was in the process of being raped. Leon averted the rape at the cost of a rifle-butt to the ribs and consequences to be seen. I anticipate a Denise flashback in episode 5: let’s see how right I am.

The story-line twisted at the end of episode 3. After last week’s shooting of Adel, Naja Toft had lost her nerve. She couldn’t believe they wanted another interview, which would have been with Leon, but at the last moment, she bottled it, switched off her phone.

This carried over into episode 4, with Naja withdrawing entirely, apologising to the families, leaving. But in a move I thought suspicious, one guy – rugged, self-sufficient, reasonably hamdsome or at least personable, followed her out. He said he was Leon’s son, he said he wanted to take over the fundraiser, he quite clearly fancied her. They spent the day together, talking, exchanging stories, meal, wine, and as could be seen coming, they spent the night together. Naja got an evidently enjoyable shag out of it, and her confidence back. And he walked away, pausing only for a quick mobile phone call to reassure Alpha that she’ll take his next call…

See, I was right.

It’s about the only cliched thing so far, and it does serve to deepen the waters as to just what Alpha wants, where this is heading and a large dose of What Is This All About?

I’ve avoided mention thus far of the traumatised Philip and the lovely Louise. After the error in authorising Cramer’s ill-fated raid in episode 3, Philip has kept a little in the background in episode 4, leaving S.P. and Claasen to trace back weapons equipping and get closer to the background, though he plays a brief blinder, empathising with a PTSD veteran in such a way as to have the lovely Louise fearing it wasn’t an act. He insists it was. Mind you, he’s using a back channel to check up on whether his torturer Ahmad really is dead, and when the word comes back that he really is, Philip is forced to open up the way she’s been wanting him too, confessing as to his experiences with Ahmad, and his fears that in believing Ahmad is Alpha, he is cracking up.

It adds a depth to what is going on that has previously to this been more hinted than actual, but which tees things up very nicely for the second half of the series.

I’m torn between wanting Alpha to be Ahmad, because so much is being built into this that I’m worried about how they’ll pull this off if it is someone unrelated, and being intrigued at the prospect of being blindsided and the ingenuity of how they’ll pull it off. With only four episodes left, some very clever plotting is going to be needed to draw everything into a satisfactory conclusion, but you know when you’re in good hands as readily as you know when you’re in bad ones, and I’m expecting to be kept in edge to the final edge.

Two more weeks. It’s hardly fair.

American Gothic e20: Strangler

This episode is the last of the lost, the four episodes unaired in America on American Gothic‘s original run, though shown on Channel 4. It’s almost the last of the few memories of that initial viewing in the mid-Nineties, and it is, for the most part, what I remembered it to be, something awkward and contrived. Given that it features the infamous Boston Strangler, the real Boston Strangler, raised from the dead, I can understand why it would have been kept from the airwaves, though the episode also contained a major development that would have governed everything else to follow.

Basically: Merly is trying to get Caleb to forgive his father, but he can only say the words, not mean them. Their little meeting in the graveyard is interrupted by Lucas Buck, who wants rid of Merly once and for all. When he tries to seize her, she uses her powers to blast him back a dozen feet. So, after she and Caleb have gone, Lucas summons up a figure from the dead to do the job for him: Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler.

Gareth Williams, playing DeSalvo, does a massive job, aided by the fact that Gary Cole is absent for over half the episode, leaving the show to concentrate on the Strangler. He plays DeSalvo as a quiet, content man, secure in himself, self-aware, popular and empathetic, but nevertheless struck with an insane compulsion, of which he is, if anything, proud. Never at any time does he try to justify or explain himself.

Now Lucas is off to a Convention, leaving Ben Healy in charge. DeSalvo is only supposed to murder Merly – and when the dead kill the dead, they go into oblivion – but his obsession is too powerful. He attacks and kills the pretty, short-skirted nurse Sara (Amy Parrish), he attacks Gail Emory after seeing her briefly in a short skirt but is prevented by her resistance and Ben’s arrival, and he kills another nurse in the hospital itself.

In the meantime, posing as a refrigerator repairman, he befriends Caleb, nudging him towards calling on his sister.

With Lucas out of town, and Deputy Floyd imploring him to just wrap it all up until Buck gets back, Ben starts hesitant, but gradually grows in authority and intelligence, to the point that, by episode’s end, he has a hard-working, thrumming Sheriff’s office, operating thoroughly. The man has authority and respect. Naturally, Lucas shuts it all down: back to normal.

But that’s merely a stinger. The climax comes at the boarding house. DeSalvo has dropped all pretences: unless Caleb calls Merly, DeSalvo will use his knife. Merly comes, ready to defend her brother and, when her powers prove ineffectual against the Strangler, ready to forfeit her soul for him. DeSalvo has his hands round her throat, Caleb is trying to drag him off, she’s fading out, and then comes the moment that changes everything.Caleb screams ‘Noooo!!!!’, and his powers hurl DeSalvo across the room, against the wall, and burn him up from the inside, leaving only smoke-shadows against the wallpaper.

Merly has only sadness. Caleb has saved her soul, but at the cost of using powers that will destroy his soul. She touches Caleb’s face. They can now touch one another. She says “Goodbye.”

Effective as it is in that game-changing ending, and in showing Ben as both competent and a viable point of opposition to Lucas Buck, twenty years later ‘Strangler’ still feels like an awkward contrivance. The Boston Strangler is the Boston Strangler: Boston, Massachusetts, up North, Yankee country. He has nothing to do with Trinity, South Carolina. By dragging in a real-life, and extremely notorious figure, reality in Trinity is warped out of shape. It feels more like an episode done because someone wanted an episode starring Albert DeSalvo than anything organically part of American Gothic‘s true arc. For all that he’s actually a ghost here, the Boston Strangler is too real for everybody else beside him, and it ultimately damages the episode.

But it sets up the final two episodes, as we shall see.

Deep Space Nine: s06 e12 – Who Mourns For Morn?

What did I like about this episode? Hmm…

Oh God, it’s Quark again.

Not just that but the idea is that Morn, you know, the silent, big-mouthed background character, the one who’s always in the bar drinking, who’s supposed to be a non-stop talker when he’s not on camera, that Morn has been killed and made Quark his heir. And he owns 1,000 bricks of gold-pressed latinum, which brings four people out of thin air, all telling wild stories about Morn’s unrevealed past, all after the latinum for themselves. Whilst Quark schemes to keep it for himself.

What we have here is the elevation of an in-joke into the basis for an episode and even if it weren’t hung on Quark, it would have to be a lot more substantial – and not feature Morn walking in at the end, still alive – to be worth doing, and this isn’t.

It’s archaic, it’s out of place in the midst of the Dominion Wars, it’s silly and it reveals its awkwardness at the end where there’s a dialogue between Quark and Morn explaining the plot in which Quark has to supply both halves of the dialogue because Morn never speaks on camera.

And it’s bloody Quark for the second time in three weeks.

Guest stars include the slimy Gregory Itzin who I will forever associate with the slimy President Charles Logan in 24 and Bridget Ann White, a former gymnast who I will forever associate with the bare midriff, long legs and long red hair of her character Larell. I will try to disassociate that memory from the memory of this episode so I can enjoy it.

This is a fan-favourite episode. Ultimately, I suppose you will have to accept I am not a fan.

Saturday SkandiDrama: Below the Surface episodes 1 & 2

Okay, you got me for the next month.

Below the Surface is a 2017 eight-part Danish thriller series, which came to BBC4 on Saturday evening in the usual two-episode format. It’s a simple, straightforward series, or so it presents itself in the opening salvo. Three seemingly Muslim terrorists stop a Danish Metro train underground, lead 15 passengers at gunpoint through the system into an area being constructed, near Copenhagen’s picturesque Marble Church, where a well-prepared site is waiting. They demand a ransom of 4M euros (30M kroner) for their release.

The Government calls in its newly created TTF (Terror Task Force), under the command of ex-Army Philip Norgaard (Johannes Lassen), to contain and resolve the situation. However, the Terrorists refuse to communicate with TTF’s negotiators, who include the lovely Louise Falck (Sara Hjort Divletson), Philip’s very very recently (as in, this morning) ex-lover, choosing TV presenter journalist Naja Toft (Paprika Steen).

Naja is offered a live interview with one of the hostages, Marie Bendix (Alba August), a student nurse, which she puts on air without authority, and which gets her fired. But the terrorists, under their leader Alpha (Jakob Oftebro), maintain the relationship: Naja, who has now started a fundraiser to raise the ransom, is offered a second hostage interview, this time with karate teacher Adel (Dar Salim).

But Adel refuses to play ball, tells his audience he’d rather die, not to pay anything. He continues in the face of a threat to shoot fellow-hostage Denise (Sus Wilkins), an attractive young woman. At episode 2’s end, the terrorists release a hostage: it is Adel, and he is dead.

So far, so slick, professional and absorbing. It may not seem like more than an action story on a sadly-contemporary theme, but there are a couple of aspects that look like taking it into a higher plane.

These centre mainly on Philio. The series opened with a lengthy underground scene of Philip, a hostage himself, being brutalised by Ahmad, a burly figure in camouflage gear, with a big, black beard. Ahmad plays with Philip, teasing him almost, in between savage blows. It is an impossible situation. Yet Philip escapes, returns home, goes back to work as the operational commander of the new TTF.

How did he get away? That’s being kept in the dark so far. Philip won’t talk about it, either with his Dad, the former Defence Chief, nor the lovely Louise, who’s splitting up with him because he’s lying to her about the ‘bad dreams’ that wake him up whenever she stays over. Philip’s been fully debriefed, seen all the shrinks, got a clean bill of health, but obviously whatever he told them is not going to be the truth, and he is still having flashbacks.

Is it going to be that he’s another Manchurian Candidate? Or, to be more up-to-date, first season Nicholas Brody? I dunno. It’s got Louise concerned about his fitness to do the job.

And there’s one major question mark over Philip from another source already, and as this is the current Defence Chief, I’m already betting Philip gets relieved of his command no later than episode 5. Because Philip is convinced he has recognised the heavily balaclava-masked Alpha as Ahmad, because Alpha ends episode 1 by quoting Peter Sellars’ catch-phrase from that old, old film, The Party. Ahmad uses it during Philip’s captivity, Alpha uses it now: “Howdy, partner.”

But Ahmad is dead, three months after Philip escaped, killed in an American drone attack. Or is he? Is Alpha Ahmad, or is Philip cracking up? I’ve already laid my bet. Ahmad doesn’t appear in the credits in imdb for Gidseltagningen (the Danish title) after all.

Even if Below the Surface turns out to be no more than a thriller, it’s at least a well-made one in which no-one’s done anything stupid so far. Which, given things like Modus, Follow the Money, and that legend of legends, Salamander, is all manner of plus points already.

American Gothic e19: Triangle

Imagine this in your womb…

There’s not much time left and with so few steps remaining, American Gothic comes up with the closest to a dud episode yet, primarily composed to two opposing but related strands, one of which not even having any kind of recognisable conclusion, even temporarily.

The episode title applies to both halves of the story, but in different ways, and both halves involve a triangle of two men and a woman, the shared point and fulcrum being Sheriff Lucas Buck.

On one side, the woman is Gail Emory. Gail’s quitting, puling out, leaving Trinity and taking Caleb with her. It’s been too much for her, she’s in over her head, she’s spitting defiance but she’s definitely surrendering and running away. Until the stomach cramps hit her, because she’s pregnant. With Lucas Buck’s child, another son.

Lucas is laying up insurance. Caleb’s his, but could go either way, but Luke Jr is his entirely, a little monster, pre-formed and grimacing and pointing to Gail on the ultrasound. She’s freaking out, she’s trying to abort via an overdose of vodka, she’s going to throw herself off the roof of a building, except that Caleb’s desperate pleas hold her back. She goes to church, and Merlyn appears to her, sympathising, but in the end offering no practical solution except hope and faith: look at Caleb.

And that’s all we get, a status quo of stored-up trouble, weighted in Sheriff Buck’s favour, a theme to be explored in, yes, you guessed it, season 2.

The other woman is Selena Combs, making Billy Peale the third apex. This is the more conventional triangle. Selena is slipping more and more out of Lucas’s grasp, and that’s not something he’s prepared to allow. Billy won’t play ball, under no circumstances. But his job in Trinity is done, there’s an epidemic in Uganda, and he wants Selena to come with him: Paris, Rome, Africa, where they need good teachers. But she stands him up at the airport.

Billy gets good and drunk but he comes back to her. She’s sliding towards him, they make love, but out of the blue, or rather the black, Selena’s hit with a raging fever that’s going to burn her out, kill her. Billy recognises magic, tries to beat Lucas into relinquishing his hold, but the Sheriff will only do it if Billy recognises his authority. Kiss my ring, says Buck, proffering a signet ring, though we all know that it’s asking for the good old osculam infamous, which Billy promptly and defiantly concretises with a retorted “Kiss my ass!”

The spell is lifted. Selena recovers. Billy thinks it’s love. Selena knows it is. And she knows who she really has to thank.

Neither half of the story is really satisfactory. A rare miss. And I have no great recollections of the following episode either, the last ‘lost’ episode. A week.

Deep Space Nine: s06 e11 – Waltz

Who will love Aladdin Sane?

By and large, I’ve been pretty successful at avoiding spoilers, considering I’m watching a series from twenty years ago. I should distinguish that as being specific spoilers, however: there is one about Odo I’d really rather not know given its circumstances, but that’s not bad after nearly two and a half years of doing this.

However, it is much harder to avoid more generalised spoilers, especially when it comes too my post-watch research: Memory Alpha is invaluable to me in one sense, but when it considers how a specific episode relates to a character in the round of their overall arc, it can give away more than I’d like to know.

I’ve long since been aware of the controversy among DS9 fans over the degeneration of Gul Dukat’s character over the last two seasons. Dukat is, I am led to believe, reduced to a one-dimensional, mad, wholly evil character, with none of the multi-level facets he’s displayed thus far, to the benefit of the series as a whole. This is where it starts.

I’ll return to that aspect in due course. The episode is structured as a two-hander, much the most effective approach, with minimal use of other characters. Dukat, officially recovered from his post-Ziyal’s death breakdown, is being transported to a Federation prison to await trial as a war criminal: Sisko is there to give evidence. Dukat is already visibly disturbed at being considered in such a light, though he minimises this.

Then the starship is attacked and destroyed. Sisko is injured, with a broken left arm and plasma burns down all that side of his body. He wakes to find that he and Dukat are marooned on an inhospitable planet, their shuttle damaged, a distress beacon going (these last two points are lies on Dukat’s part). They are stranded until someone arrives to rescue them, when they will once again be hero and prisoner (villain). Which is which will depend on who gets there first.

But that’s not the point. The point is to isolate Sisko and Dukat, Emissary and Adversary, and let them unravel. Or rather, let Dukat unravel, for Sisko is only weakened by physical issues and Dukat is mentally unstable. He hallucinates, holds conversations with Weyoun, Dumar, even Major Kira. Dukat fully intends to kill Sisko, but not until Sisko admits that he respects Dukat.

Plainly and simply, Dukat is going mad, or actually is mad. The hallucinations, the gradually increasing degree of mania in his talk, amplified by the gradually increasing submissiveness of his imaginary debaters, feeding his monstrous ego, and his overriding delusion that he is and always has been The Good Guy, are overt manifestations, but the most powerful sign that Dukat’s grasp on reality is no longer of this earth is that he seriously believes that he will get Sisko to admit that he secretly does respect Dukat.

Which Sisko will never do, not in a million years.

Beaten, battered, bruised, a visibly weakening Sisko finally stops temporising in the knowledge that he’s going to be killed soon and directly confronts Dukat. The Gul believes himself to be innocent, to have been the victim of misunderstandings all along, the Bajorans were responsible for everything he had to do whilst Prefect under the Occupation. If onlythey’d accepted he was their friend, was trying to assist them. That Cardassians were their superiors and the Bajorans an inferior race, fit only for subjection. Dukat was the Good Guy.

It’s a testament to Marc Alaimo’s abilities as Dukat that he can sell this so powerfully and convincingly. It’s self-deluding twaddle, and it’s in a sense overly-simplistic. The episode is gearing itself towards its pay-off, in Sisko declaring Dukat simply and purely evil, in a child-like sense. Alaimo’s intensity and range enables us to believe this.

In a way, Sisko’s actions do lead to what follows for the remainder of DS9. It’s that familiar old tactic of getting the mad villain onto a roll and feeding him until he blurts out the truth, which is that Dukat basically hates all Bajorans and wishes he had killed themĀ  all. This is the moment when Dukat steps over the line that brooks no retreat. It’s consciously done: after all, Gul Dukat is supposed to be the Villain, the Big Bad, Deep Space Nine‘s Public Enemy No. 1, and here were fans loving the character, even to the extent of defending his crimes.

So this is a reset, a firm exercise in button-pushing, in pushing the character into a position from where he becomes indefensible, strait-jacketed into what the Plot demands he be. Dukat’s been lying. The distress beacon isn’t working. The shuttle isn’t damaged. Now he’s faced the truth within himself,that he’s been avoiding acknowledging all this time, Dukat has embraced his true nature fully. Now, once and for always, he is Bajor’s enemy, and will destroy them all (when the villain’s motivation reduces to a Chris Claremont X-Men schtick, you know there’s something wrong).

But when Dukat escapes, he sends a signal to the rescue ship that enables them to rescue Sisko. After all, there’s no point in winning if your beaten enemy isn’t there to show off to. Even Sisko now admits it’s personal.

To go back to the overall character arc, I will wait to see how things develop. On the one hand, I can see the dramatic necessity of this move, but on the other I can easily understand the lack of subtlety involved in reducing a character to a single characteristic. Psychologically, it is plausible: a person who has been denying an essential facet of their character will frequently absorb it to the point of obsession once they are forced to confront it. It’s still a cliched move, especially in how it’s brought out. And it is far better to have a multi-faceted villain, one whose actions may not be unrelievedly evil, and whose degree of villainy can be debated. On the other hand, when the fans start justifying the villain as Supreme Dictator of a Subjugated Planet, then it is time to do a bit of drastic course correction.

We’ll see. As for the rest of the cast, they have minimal roles to play in a rescue give artificial time-limits in order to crank up a degree of melodrama, but that’s artificial bullshit and is so underplayed it can be ignored.

None of this would work at all without Marc Alaimo ‘being’ Gul Dukat to the fullest extent, and all praise to him. For all this episode’s pre-fabricated aspects, he made it work, made it tense and gripping, and made this the best episode to date since the return to Deep Space Nine. I just wish I didn’t know when he and Sisko have their next, and final meeting…