|Winn and Jaro, scheming.|
Sisko finds himself faced with an edict from The Circle to leave Deep Space 9 within 7 hours. The Federation response is that the instability on Bajor is an internal matter, and that any direct interference is forbidden by the Prime Directive. This leaves Sisko with only one option: To delay the takeover of the station for as long as possible, and hope that Major Kira can bring The Circle's unwitting ties to the Cardassians to light.
Commander Sisko: After making sure that all the non-Bajoran civilians are evacuated, along with many Bajorans, Sisko spearheads a guerrilla campaign against The Circle's forces. He proves very effective in this role, and he and the Bajoran general are evenly-matched tactical adversaries.
Major Kira: She seems to almost enjoy returning to a combat role. She is perfectly comfortable at the controls of an outdated, only half-functional Bajoran ship, and uses techniques that are probably very similar to those she used against the Cardassians to evade the more modern ships of The Circle.
Quark: "It's all that I am!" Quark cries when Dr. Bashir urges him to leave his heavy case behind. Quark goes on to embroider that by crediting the case as holding family heirlooms, before Bashir cuts him off by noting that it's filled with gold-pressed latinum. But in a way, Quark is right. He's spent his entire life in pursuit of profit, and to abandon his profit would be like abandoning an irreplaceable heirloom. It will be interesting to see if any attempt is made to have Quark search for something more.
Vedek Winn: Remains an absolute opportunist. When Kira bursts into the Chamber of Ministers, her first impulse is to back up Minister Jaro in dismissing her as an enemy. But when she produces evidence of Cardassian ties to The Circle, Winn does not hesitate for one moment to abandon Jaro, even taking the lead in pursuing an investigation. The Circle may be broken, but Winn still comes out a winner here. There is little doubt that she will use the investigation of this incident to further promote herself.
When Sisko speaks to his staff, and offers any of them the usual chance to "leave now, while you still can," I really wish at least one or two people would take that opportunity. It would enhance the feeling of realism, and it would still be a vote of confidence in Sisko if most of his crew stays.
The Siege ends the three-episode "Circle" arc. After the tightly-packed look at Bajor's background and religious and political strife of the previous two episodes, this installment basically functions as the arc's "action climax." It isn't as compelling as The Circle, in particular, proved to be. But it's still very good, a highly serviceable climax to these three episodes.
The episode is particularly strong in showing Sisko's tactical campaign against the Bajoran general. Every move made by both Sisko and the general is conveyed in a way that makes us understand why each action is taken, and how the other man can respond. It's good to see two adversaries who are both portrayed as highly intelligent, and I appreciated that the Bajoran general is not painted as a villain.
I am slightly disappointed that The Siege reduces the focus on Minister Jaro, who was so prominent in the previous two episodes. Jaro is only glimpsed in a couple of scenes here, and doesn't really get a chance to display the cunning of his previous appearances. I do, at least, hold out hopes for return appearances by some of the players in this arc. At this point, it's clear enough that Winn and Bareil are going to be recurring characters for a while. I would also hope for future appearances by Jaro or the general from this arc, and hopefully future mentions of Li Nalas.
Most of all, I hope that there will be some consequences seen as a result of the attempted coup. This should not be an incident that's easily forgotten, and the provisional government should be even less stable than it was before. It would be interesting to actually have that government fall, though I'm still not certain the show is willing to really push itself out that far.
Rating for The Siege: 7/10
Overall Rating for The Circle Arc: 9/10
Previous Episode: The Circle
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