Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DS9: The Visitor

Ok so I should've watched "The Visitor" yesterday but after "The Way Of The Warrior" I just couldn't do it. It was TOO MUCH. My emotions couldn't handle it. And here's why...

As much as I love "The Inner Light" and I have very personal memories tied to it, I sort of think "The Visitor" is better. It's intense. Like "The Inner Light" this one involves an alternate timeline that follows an entire lifetime of a main character but this one just really rips my heart out. Every. Single. Time.

Basically, Jake and Benjamin are growing apart a bit. Jake's becoming an adult and he's absorbed in his own life but he goes along with his dad to view a rare wormhole inversion. Things quickly go awry. In an effort to save the day, Benjamin ends up disappearing in a puff of vapor right before Jake's eyes.

Jake goes along with his life and tries his best to recover after the death of his father. Then, one night, Benjamin appears to him. Jake assumes it's a dream. But then it happens again. It continues to happen throughout Jake's lifetime. Benjamin appears for seconds or minutes, never experiencing the passage of time while Jake spends many long years trying to help him return to regular spacetime and this quest becomes an obsession.

So much of what I love about this episode is what I already love about DS9--the Jake/Benjamin relationship. Where TNG didn't really know what to do with Wesley, DS9 rarely missed and opportunity with Jake. (What can you do though? Wesley was the first child or practice kid.) Not only is Jake a great character but his relationship with Benjamin is believable and sweet. Commander Sisko is an exceptional father who truly cares about his son and he often shows his affection. In "The Visitor" Benjamin's attitude toward Jake, his compassion, his pride in his son, his doting, his sweet fatherlyness (I made that word up) never changes--no matter how much Jake might. Even when Jake is an old man, the way Benjamin watches him sleep is beautiful. The love shown in this episode is that between a parent and child. It's an everlasting, raw, precious kind of love.  And it's beautifully portrayed here.  "The Visitor" is wonderfully written, performed, and directed. I think it's a perfect episode of DS9 and Star Trek in general. Go watch it! Get your own heart ripped out. And then come back here when you're done crying.

4 comments:

  1. I've never seen this episode, but I don't think I can watch it. It sounds like they're are too many feels involved.

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  2. Just reading this got me all teary. (But you calling Wesley the first child/practice kid made me lol.)

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  3. It really is one of the best episodes of any Trek series ever. Heart-strings symphony.

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  4. Funny, I got teary reading this synopsis too. This is one of my all-time favs of the WHOLE Trek canon. I had forgotten how much it pulls at me. I'll have to rewatch it again soon. And Amanda, you need to see it too. It's a "can't miss."

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