Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 6 – « Hear All, Trust Nothing »There was sadly no mention of Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) or Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton) in Star Trek: Lower Decks’ heartwarming visit to Deep Space Nine, which is an unfortunate disappointment after 23 years of waiting. To be fair, bringing back Sisko in any shape or form wasn’t the show’s agenda. In Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3, episode 6, « Hear All, Trust Nothing, » the USS Cerritos docks at DS9 after Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) is assigned to negotiate with the Karemma from the Gamma Quadrant. This allowed the Lower Deckers (and the audience) to tour the station for the first time since Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ended in 1999.
Star Trek: Lower Decks’ romp in Deep Space Nine was a sight for sore eyes. Ensigns Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells), and Samanthan Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) were proxies for DS9’s fans as they toured the Promenade, drank next to Morn at Quark’s (Armin Shimerman) Bar, and Boimler won a mountain of latium at the Dabo tables. Meanwhile, Captain Freeman, Commander Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), and Lt. Shax (Fred Tatasciore) met up with station commander Colonel Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) to deal with the Karemma. Of course, both stories dovetailed when they discovered Quark stole Karemman technology. The Ferengi was arrested by the Karemma and had to be rescued by the Lower Deckers. Naturally, all’s well that ended well with more drinking at Quark’s Bar.
As joyous as it was to see Kira and Quark, and hear Nana Visitor and Armin Shimerman voice their iconic characters again, Star Trek: Lower Decks’ DS9 episode had no mention of Captain Sisko and it even lacked any type of update on Jake’s whereabouts. There were certainly subtle but poignant nods to Sisko becoming one with the Prophets, such as Kira gazing out the window at the Wormhole AKA the Celestial Temple, and Ben’s beloved baseball still has a place of honor on the station commander’s desk. But if there was an ideal way to bring back Captain Sisko just as he was when he vanished in 2375, it would have been via Lower Decks’ animation, yet it was a missed opportunity. Unfortunately, Lower Decks provided no satisfaction when it came to learning anything about Captain Sisko’s status.
Avery Brooks remains estranged from the Star Trek franchise, which keeps Benjamin Sisko in perpetual limbo even as Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew have returned as Jean-Luc Picard and Kathryn Janeway. The new IDW Star Trek #1 comic brings Captain Sisko back to life in a new adventure, but this is a poor substitute for what Deep Space Nine fans truly crave: a rea, canonical reunion with their favorite Captain. Sisko’s DS9 ending where he ascended to become a non-linear being coupled with Brooks being finished with Star Trek tragically seems to mean the book is permanently closed on Ben making a live-action or animated comeback.
Although Star Trek: Lower Decks didn’t mention Sisko in the DS9 episode, the Captain has delightfully been name-dropped throughout season 3. The Lower Deckers all dined at Sisko’s Creole Kitchen in Lower Decks’ season 3 premiere and, in episode 5, « Reflections, » Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) hilariously rebuffed a conspiracy theory about Captain Sisko’s disappearance by insisting he’s « working hard in a celestial temple. » Inexplicably, Star Trek: Lower Decks hasn’t capitalized on bringing Cirroc Lofton aboard as Jake Sisko, who Star Trek Deep Space Nine fans would also love to see and hear again. Captain Sisko is perpetually missed, but maybe Jake can finally appear in Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4 to one-up Ensign Rutherford aping his distinctive fashion sense.
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.