I wanted to keep the title free of spoilers, but I am talking in particular of Deep Space Nine S2 E24, "The Collaborator." In the episode, the Vedeks Winn and Bareil are running for the office of Kai with Bareil being the clear favorite. Then Kira, acting at Winn's behest, conducts an investigation that ultimately reveals Bareil to have ratted out the location of a resistance cell to the Cardassian occupation forces, resulting in the Kendra Valley Massacre. Bareil admits to this and withdraws his candidacy, leaving Winn to be the Kai. Later, Kira learns that instead of Bareil, the informant was Opaka, the previous Kai, and Bareil took the fall to protect her legacy and that of the office of Kai.

I understand Bareil's motivation to take the fall in the former Kai's sake, especially as she was acting in good faith in revealing the location of the cell. However, people associated with the massacre are generally viewed as some of the most contemptible collaborators in Bajoran society. Given that Bareil supposedly is a collaborator, and Winn knows this, and doesn't know Kira can disprove Bareil's involvement, why does she permit Bareil to remain in office? Evil as she is, we know she loathed the occupiers too, and cleaning house in this matter would also conveniently remove a popular figure opposed to her hardline stances.

Is there a canon explanation to why Bareil never seems to face any sort of reprisal for his supposed involvement in the massacre?


2 Answers 2


Bareil is extremely well liked and considered to be a man of great honour. Even if Winn believed that he was the one that collaborated with the enemy then 'outing' him decades later (on the basis of flimsy evidence) isn't going to be a smart move on her part as it would undermine the authority of the Vedek Assembly with the Bajoran people.

That's yet to be determined. But if he is chosen, and then turns out to be guilty... the ramifications for Bajor would be catastrophic. It would shatter faith in the authority of the Kai. And without a strong Kai, Bajor can't survive.

I strongly suspect that Winn knew (or at least suspected) that Opaka was the leak and hoped that Bareil would take the fall for her. That being the case, purging Bareil might lead to Winn's involvement in this debacle becoming public.

Even if she did genuinely think that he's the collaborator, it would be politically wise for her to leave him where he is, unable to openly act against her for fear that she might suddenly reveal his sordid past.

  • Is there any in-universe evidence that Winn would have weighed the considerations you list in the way you've weighed them? Does Winn display any concern about the authority of the Vedek assembly? Or of Opaka's legacy?
    – user152192
    May 29, 2022 at 13:59
  • @user133469 - in-universe she displays no concern for anything other than herself and her own authority
    – Valorum
    May 29, 2022 at 14:13
  • While I would've preferred a canon answer I think your analysis holds enough water to be accepted
    – kviiri
    Jun 16, 2022 at 11:01

There is no in-universe evidence for what motivated Winn in this specific decision or what considerations she was weighing. I cannot prove a negative, but I have watched this and related episodes multiple times with this specific question in mind, and I have also examined the transcript of this episode and any potentially relevant episode I can think of. I found no canon information about Winn's motivation in this decision.

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