If you want to truly fall in love with Deep Space Nine, this is the episode for you. Within this episode, we find out that Captain Sisko had taken his son Jake to observe an inversion of the Bajoran wormhole. Yet the inversion causes a malfunction in the USS Defiant’s warp drive. Suddenly a bolt of energy strikes the Captain, causing him to vanish into subspace. Jake refuses to believe his father is really gone, especially after seeing him randomly throughout his life. Jake eventually goes on to get into his writing career and both marries and settles down. Next time his father appears, Jake shows off his books and family.
When his father disappears again, Jake leaves this all behind to go to school to study subspace mechanics to save his father. Decades pass and another inversion comes. Jake believes sacrificing his own life will allow them both to return before the warp incident and injects himself with a lethal hypospray. Jake dies in his father’s arms and both he and Jake end up back on the Defiant. This time, Sisko knows an energy discharge is coming and dodges it. Jake is back to being a teenager again and asks his father what happened. Sisko, with tears in his eyes, responds: “I guess we got lucky this time.”
Lt. Commander Data is an android, something he’ll happily tell you. However, the Enterprise crew does not see him like this and calls him both a friend and ally. This episode hits heavily today, far more than it did during the 1980s and 90s. The episode revolves around a visiting Starbase 174 cyberneticist named Bruce Maddox. He wishes to study Data to understand his positronic brain. It is made clear that Maddox wants this exact Data on every starship, everywhere within Starfleet.
To do this, Maddox has to disassemble Data to learn how to recreate his tech. But Data does not want to be disassembled and Captain Picard refuses to allow this. Maddox believes they are humanizing Data, resulting in a trial taking place. Picard defends Data while Will Riker has to argue for Maddox’s case, in spite of disagreeing heavily with him. The episode heavily connects with slavery and what makes one a person. At the same time, gives us a peek into the future regarding potential AI issues. To us, this is one of the best Star Trek episodes ever written.
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