Keiko O'Brien is conducting class when Vedek Winn shows up and confronts her about her non-religious teachings. Using this as a platform Winn then calls for a boycott of the school and foments fervor against the Federation. Tensions between the Bajorans and Starfleet rise further, and a bomb destroys the classroom. In the meantime O'Brien is investigating the disappearance of his staff member Aquino, only to discover that he has been murdered by someone whom must have caught tampering with a runabout. O'Brien finds evidence that Neela, a Bajoran member of his staff, is the culprit. Vedek Bareil, Winn's rival in the election of the new Bajoran Kai, appears on the station, and Neela's attempt to kill him and escape with a runabout is foiled in the last moment. She was acting on behalf of Kai Winn, whose activities lured her opponent to the station. Yet, her involvement in the scheme remains unproven.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. The preview of this episode has the following narration: “A religious extremist sets oft a wave of terror—a holy war that could divide the station and bring the Federation to its knees)’ A bit "over the top," don't you think? (Of course, I may not be one to talk!) Was there ever any chance that this picayune conflict would ‘bring the Federation to its knees”? Any escalation of the dispute could have resulted in the Bajoran Provisional government ordering the Federation to leave, which may have prompted some member races to respond by withdrawing from the Federation, in order to preserve their own cultural heritage. CdnTim 1127 EST 4 Feb 2021 - Is this really a nit? Episode promos are "out of universe", I believe they're normally created by a different team from the usual production staff.
  2. This isn‘t so much a nit as it is an ‘I wish they would have." After refusing Winn's demand that she teach the Bajoran belief about the wormhole to the Baioran children in her school, Keiko changes her lesson plan to review the events of Galileo and his trial by the Roman Catholic Church. Fresh from this experience, Jake comes to talk with Sisko, convinced that this whole problem with the Bajoran belief about the wormhole is "stupid" and “dumb.” Sisko defuses his son's newfound intolerance by stating that the aliens who built the wormhole see the past and the future with equal ease. He asks why they couldn't be considered “Prophets.” He explains that it’s a matter of interpretation; that it may not be what Jake believes, but that doesn't make it wrong; that it Jake begins to think that way, then he'll be acting just like Vedek Winn, only on the other side. I agree! But “I wish they would have" had Sisko go one extra step during this discussion. He already has someone on the station who is acting iust like Vedek Winn, only on the other side, and I wish he would have identified her- namely..Keiko! Now, I understand that she's mad and hurt over the way Vedek Winn has handled this issue. I also understand Keiko couldn‘t say anything that would make any difference in this situation. Winn’s agenda really isn't about teaching Bajoran beliefs in school, it's about getting Bareil to the station. Keeping these facts in mind, let's backtrack iust a bit. In A Man Alone, Keiko decides she wants to start a school. She talks with Sisko about it. and he outlines the difficulties she may encounter. He says he cannot force the children to come. He says that even it they do come, everyone will have a different culture, a different philosophy. Awash in optimism for her new project, Keiko excitedly agrees that she knows she will have to be innovative. By the time of this episode, Keiko seems to have lost her “innovativeness." What‘s wrong with saying something like this: “This is an artificially created worm-hole. Our scientific studies have shown that race of aliens who live a non-linear existence used vertiron particles to construct it. These aliens are revered by Bajorans as the Prophets, and Bajorans believe that their Celestial Temple exists inside the wormhole."? Winn may not be willing to accept that! CdnTim 1133 EST 4 Feb 2021 - In other words she should "teach the controversy"? Keiko runs a school, her science glasses teach science. When she teaches economics, she's not going to talk about the Great Material Continuum.
    And then—in addition to being less than innovative—Keiko steps over the line by pulling out one of the worst examples of conflict between science and religion. (Misguided application of belief on the part of the Roman Catholic Church, I might add. They were off-base when it came to Galileo, and they did admit it centuries later.) What is Keiko‘s purpose in pulling out this example? To convince the students to see things her way-—which, of course, she does! After all, she is the teacher. Personally, I think Sisko needs to have a small talk with Mrs. O'Brien. That could lead to accusations of him taking sides. CdnTim 1135 EST 4 Feb 2021 - I think that was her point with Gallileo, that the Catholic Church was wrong.
  3. I take it all back. Everything I have ever said questioning anything to do with the competence of Federation medicine. I take it...aII..,back! Bashir pulls off the most amazing analysis in this episode that I have ever seen in all my years of watching Star Trek. As the episode unlolds we learn that Neela intended to use a runabout to effect her escape after killing Bareil. Evidently Neela took O'Brien's “E-J- 7 interlock‘ to access the Security seal on Runabout Pad C. Unfortunately, Ensign Aquino discovered her in the process, and she killed him with a phaser. (Note: She didn't vaporize him, she just killed him.) Neela then dumped the guy and the interlock in a plasma conduit, turned on the power, and reduced both to one medium-sized, burned blob ol ash. She thought she had covered her tracks and made it look like an accident. but she didn't account for the intrepid Dr. Bashir and his magical, mystery autopsy skills. After analyzing the residue, Bashir reports to Sisko. He states that the re-constructed DNA definitely belongs to Aquino, but the power flow in the conduit didn't kill him. Then he says, “You see the plasma disruption in his cellular membranes indicates that he was exposed to a directed energy discharged before he was placed in the conduit." You may recall that Aquino’s burned goo was not found in some Jefferies tube look-alike, it was a plasma conduit. For hours it had hot plasma running though it-cooking Aquino to a crisp. Yet Bashir can determine that a plasma disruption from a phaser killed the guy after his body has been reduced to ashes by the plasma in the conduit. This is truly a stellar piece of work! (Sort of like determining that a man was burned to death after his body has been cremated.) Examination of the plasma disruption present in the DNA fragments could conclusively demonstrate it was caused by phaser fire, which may noticeably differ from the plasma disruption caused by a plasma conduit.

Changed Premises

  1. Meeting with Sisko for the first time, Winn tells the commander that the Prophets have spoken to her through the “orbs.” She must be speaking “evangelasticatly"—-a term sometimes applied to a television preacher who stretches the truth. According to Emissary, the Bajorans only have one orb. The Cardassians have the rest, and I can't imagine they gave any of them back! They may have been pursuaded by Sisko's 'retrieval' of Dukat's ship at the end of Emissary. CdnTim 1136 EST 4 Feb 2021 - They must have given at least some back, or perhaps they found their way back through third parties (see the history of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were bought by Israel through intermediaries).

Equipment Oddities

  1. After a bomb detonates on the promenade, a Bajoran officer runs up with a hose and starts to put out the fire. No sprinkler system? No fire suppression system? Not even any protective gear tor the poor, hapless fireman? Just a hose? (lf you think about it, I think you'll agree with me that fire is a bad problem on a space station. One would think that the designers would have lots of safety features built in to put a fire out quickly!) The explosion could have disabled the auto fire suppression system – if it was operational in the first place! (Of course, Neela could have disabled it as part of the plan, to ensure the school was destroyed, or at least severely damaged.)
  2. Someone needs to send a note of acknowledgement to the company that manufactured the flooring for DS9. At the end of the episode, Sisko tackles Neela. In the process, her phaser dips down, and the beam hits the floor. The energy discharge - strong enough to kill a humanoid - doesn‘t even singe the carpet! The carpet could be designed to safely absorb and disperse energy discharges. (Don’t ask me how – I’m a nitpicker, not an engineer!)

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. When a bomb goes of in the school, O‘Brien believes that Keiko may be in side. He runs to the location, and Odo must restrain him from charging inside. In one shot we see Odo extend his arm completely around O‘Brien’s chest. Then the shot changes and Odo is suddenly holding O'Brien‘s arms. O’Brien could have partly forced his way out of Odo’s grip!
  2. For some reason the Bajorans have begun buying their ships from the Wadi! The footage used for the arrival of Bareil on the station comes from Move Along Home Perhaps the Bajorans are using Wadi ships on loan, until they have finished building enough ships of their own.
  3. The graphic showing Neela‘s program to establish an escape route from the promenade to Runabout Pad C comes from Dramatis Personae. Hey, if it works…!

Nit Central

  1. Phillip Culley on Saturday, January 16, 1999 - 9:29 am: Is it me, or does the 'fire alarm' on DS9 sound like the red alert siren on Voyager? Chris George (Cgeorge) on Thursday, January 28, 1999 - 11:15 am: It's possible, Phillip. I mean, a fire alarm could trigger a localized red-alert situation on the station, or something. If I recall this ep., this was the one with the school exploding, which is what you are referring to. Chances are, the computer detected an explosive compression wave, calculated it was a bomb or an attack on the station, and triggered a red alert.
  2. norman on Friday, March 12, 1999 - 10:04 am: Vedek Winn really arrived on the perfect day. How did she know Keiko was going to talk about the Worm Hole the day she arrives? If she's running for Kai and if the odds are against her, she'd be very busy on the planet's surface. If she didn't know, what a grand coincidence! Perhaps Neela overheard Keiko talking to O'Brien about her lesson plans, maybe? Charles Cabe (Ccabe) on Friday, March 12, 1999 - 4:55 pm: Maybe she has a spy in the class, and was waiting for Keiko to make a false move. Spockania on Friday, March 12, 1999 - 5:02 pm: Keiko probably has a syllabus in the computer. Or maybe someone from the Kai's office called Keiko and asked? Chris Thomas on Saturday, March 13, 1999 - 6:14 am: Keiko probably has told the class what they will be working on during the next few days. The Bajoran children told their parents and a Winn sympathiser probably got in contact with her to let her know.
  3. Omer on Saturday, March 13, 1999 - 9:33 am: Why did she drop it? wouldn't it make her seem suspicious? She probably decided it wasn’t worth the hassle!
  4. Chris Booton (Cbooton) on Wednesday, September 08, 1999 - 10:40 pm: In this one Winn says that the profits have told her about what she must do. yet in season 7 she says the profits have NEVER spoken to her. So either she is lying and using the profits as an excuse to commit her crimes or she lied to Dukat. I vote for explanation number one as it fits better. George Dent on Thursday, September 09, 1999 - 7:13 am: Would they be Quark's profits you're referring to? Or perhaps you mean the *prophets*, otherwise known as the aliens in the wormhole? Chris Booton (Cbooton) on Thursday, September 09, 1999 - 12:36 pm: That's what I meant but couldn't remember the spelling, but then again with all of Quark’s murderous friends (as revealed to Odo in this very same episode), which may bring him profits it wouldn't be surprising if one of them would conspire with Winn to kill Bariel. Actually that would fit her personality even better, considering all she really cared about was her own personal gain and not that of her people. CdnTim 1139 EST 4 Feb 2021 - This isn't really a nit. Brace yourself, but Winn was LYING about the Prophets telling her what to do, as she must have done throughout her whole career. Was the idea that she'd been Bajoran cleric her whole life without mentioning the will of the Prophets?
  5. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Sunday, September 10, 2000 - 1:49 am: Odo uses the Turbolift logs to track Ensign Aquino's movements. The Turbolifts record who goes where and when??? That certainly would have helped Odo solve the murder in Necessary Evil. KevinS on Sunday, September 10, 2000 - 6:39 pm: I wouldn't put it past the Cardassians to keep turbo lift logs or Star Fleet to get rid of them. KAM on Monday, September 11, 2000 - 12:26 am: uh, Kevin, the episode Necessary Evil features Odo remembering when he was made the Chief of Station Security under the Cardassians. If the Cardassians had kept turbolift records the crime he originally investigated would have been solved very quickly. (Possibly by his predecessor.) SeniramThat murder took place during the Cardassian occupation, before Starfleet took over the station, so either this capability was not in place at that time, or Odo didn’t get to see the turbolift records.
  6. Teral on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 4:01 pm: In her conversation with Winn, Neela mentions that if she is caught after assasinating Bareil she would be executed. At this point in the series one of Sisko's main objectives is to prepare Bajor for Federation-membership. Somehow I don't think that Bajor’s use of the death penalty would further this task. Remember the Federation only sentenced Paris to 2 years in a penal colony for treason. And this penal colony was in New Zealand, with plenty of fresh air, round-the-clock activities and warm sunny days, Sounds like a holiday resort. On this background I think that death penalties would result in instant disqualification of Bajor, the caste system in Accession resulted in this. Anonymous on Wednesday, June 13, 2001 - 1:13 pm: Sounds right to me. As of today you can't join the european union if you support the death penalty.
  7. LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 1:44 am: O’Brien tells Neela in the beginning of Act 2 that with the EJ7 interlock missing from his toolbox, someone could open every critical system on the station. Is this right? Shouldn’t critical systems be restricted by security access codes that only authorized users have? If an EJ7 interlock alone can open every critical system, then what’s to stop someone from simply replicating it? Stealing it would be unnecessary. ScottN on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 9:35 am: Luigi, that could be O'Brien's personal EJ7, programmed with his security code. LUIGI NOVI on Friday, June 15, 2001 - 1:42 am: Scott, shouldn't critical areas be secured by access codes and voice interfaces? Why bother creating devices that can do this at all? Why not just limit access to voice/retinal scans, which the theft of a tool kept in a toolbox wouldn't compromise? Seniram It may not be possible to use voice/retinal scans in critical areas, due to the combination of Cardassian and Federation computer equipment.
  8. When O’Brien discovers Neela’s plot at the end of the episode, he contacts Sisko over the comm system, and Sisko, in a tensely shot sequence, disarms her before she can murder Bareil. Why didn’t O’Brien and Dax simply beam Neela into the brig? Either Neela disabled the transporters in Ops and the runabouts, or they were unable to acquire a transporter lock.
  9. John A. Lang on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 6:46 pm: Why wasn't Winn arrested for her role for all that went on? Or was she arrested? Did I miss something? Dan Gunther on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 7:04 pm: John, I'd imagine that no one could prove that she had anything at all to do with the events on the station. All Kira had were suspicions (even though she was right), and I doubt that Neela ever gave Winn up (she seemed firmly entrenched under Winn's thumb). There is simply no direct evidence leading back to Winn (unfortunately). Chris Marks on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 7:49 am: Kira went off at her, but chances are Neela took full responsibility for the attempted assassination of Bariel, leaving nothing to trace back to Winn. Her shouting about the prophets when she was arrested may have been an attempt at gaining clemency through not being responsible for her actions.
  10. John A. Lang on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 7:45 am: I can't understand why Keiko just doesn't ask a Bajoran minister to teach a Bajoran religion class at the school. She can leave after the person arrives. Even in secular schools on Earth, there's some study in mythology. If someone doesn't want their child to learn that stuff, they should be allowed to leave. I mean, nobody should be forced to take a class they don't want to. (Unless its mandatory) John A. Lang on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 8:09 pm: In Parochial schools they teach both religion and science. So...what's wrong with DS9 teaching both? LUIGI NOVI on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 10:04 pm: Depends on who you ask. Ask me or Sisko, and the answer is "nothing" (provided that Keiko's curriculum with regard to science is descriptive instead of prescriptive, and that an prescriptive curriculum would be taught by Bajoran religion teachers and attended by children of that religion). Ask Winn, and she'll probably say, "A lot." Brian Fitzgerald on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 2:29 pm: Also the school was for funded by the federation for everyone on the station. I'd imagine that the federation has rules like we do here in the USA about the government taking sides for or against any religion. Same reason we don't learn about Genisis (the bible book, not the thing from STII) in public school. Mike Nuss on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 11:56 am: That's not true. I went to public school, and we studied the Old Testament in my 9th grade English class. Of course, learning it as literature and learning it as religious belief are two different things. John-Boy on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 1:33 pm: There are some people in the USA that would disagree with that. And I must admit that I don't really see how those are two differant things either, but I really don't care if they are taught in school or not so I'll shut up now. Chris Marks on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 7:49 am: Considering the age ranges of the children in the school (Jake and Nog are in their low teens at this point, but there's some children who appear to be no more than about 5 or 6), Keiko's probably having enough difficulty pitching at a level where they're all being educated suitably - unless she's got the computer to tailor each students homework to their age and abilities. And considering the normal federation view on religion - which can pretty much be described as "believe what you want, but we've grown past such things and we'll wait here for you to catch up to us" - she probably feels her students religious and spiritual well-being is their parents responsibility, her's is simply to educate them. LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 1:38 am: Chris, Winn didn't want her to teach any non-religious views of the wormhole, as she plainly stated to Keiko. So even if a religion teacher taught a class about the Prophets, Winn would still object to Keiko teaching that the wormhole was a wormhole.

Deep Space Nine Season 1
Emissary I Past Prologue I A Man Alone I Babel I Captive Pursuit I Q-Less I Dax I The Passenger I Move Along Home I The Nagus I Vortex I Battle Lines I The Storyteller I Progress I If Wishes Were Horses I The Forsaken I Dramatis Personae I Duet I In the Hands of the Prophets
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.