“Shadows and Symbols” is the second episode of the seventh season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 152nd overall.
The episode returns to the scenario of the earlier “Far Beyond the Stars“, in which Benjamin Sisko imagines himself as Benny Russell, a science fiction writer during the mid-twentieth century.
Sisko meets Ezri, the new host of the Dax symbiont, before departing Earth for the planet Tyree with his father, Joseph, and son Jake. Ezri wishes to accompany them on their search for Bajor’s mythical Orb of the Emissary, which Sisko has been led to believe exists. Back at the station, Kira prepares a blockade to stop the Romulans from arming the weapons they have placed on the Bajoran moon of Derna. On General Martok’s Klingon ship, Worf, O’Brien, Bashir, and Quark embark on a mission of their own: to destroy a Dominion shipyard, thus securing a place for the spirit of Worf’s dead wife Jadzia in the sacred Klingon afterlife of Sto-Vo-Kor.
Sisko and his crew arrive on Tyree. Guided by his visions, they begin a long trek across the vast desert terrain. Eventually, Sisko stops and digs on a seeming whim, while his father, son, and Ezri can only watch.
Kira sets her blockade with old Bajoran ships, and fourteen Romulan warbirds arrive early. Neither Kira nor the Romulans appear willing to back down.
Back on the Klingon ship, Worf, having reached the star system where the shipyard is located, masterminds a plan in which his vessel will fly dangerously close to the sun and trigger a plasma ejection that will destroy the Dominion facility and illuminate the gates of Sto-vo-kor for Jadzia. The plan seems to fail when they are unable to trigger the plasma ejection.
On Tyree, Sisko’s digging uncovers an Orb ark, but dangerous visions of Benny Russell cause him to hesitate from exposing the Orb within. Sisko’s visions cause him to question his faith, and hastily bury the ark containing the Orb without opening it. Sisko defeats his doubts in his vision, and Ezri forces Sisko to open the ark. But when he does, an energy vortex is unleashed which opens the wormhole and expels from it the Pah-wraiths – the enemies of the Prophets – who sealed the anomaly. His mission successful, Sisko encounters what appears to be his dead mother Sarah. After commending him, she reveals that she is one of the wormhole aliens (the Bajoran Prophets), who merged with the woman’s body years ago to ensure Sisko’s birth and the fulfilment of his destiny.
With the Prophets freed and the wormhole open, the course of the war shifts. Worf and his comrades manage to execute their plan and demolish the shipyard – a victory that finally allows for Jadzia’s entrance into Sto-vo-kor. At the same time, Kira successfully causes the Romulans to back down.
When the Tyree team return to Deep Space Nine, the Bajoran people praise Sisko for his reopening the wormhole – their Temple of the Prophets. His crew welcome him back, and are perplexed at the arrival of Ezri Dax.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Allan Kroeker.
- Writer(s): Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler.
- Release Date: 07 October 1998.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.