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Old November 26 2011, 09:03 PM   #367
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I always thought the point of the title was to play on the strong reactions Rugal and O'Brien have when the very subject is brought up. The word "Cardassians" should be innocuous, and used as an episode title it is, but it brings instantly troubling connotations for both these characters. It's an emotionally loaded word for them, so there's a bit of a deliberate dissonance. And playing against the personal problems characters have with the C-word is the fact that the episode delves into Cardassian family life, civilian politics and social morality for the first time. In other words, it shows us that "Cardassian" is just another word for "person". Yet at the same time the episode highlights what's troubling about Cardassian culture in particular - the political games, the use of family members as pawns, the attitude towards orphans, Bajorans and other riff-raff, etc. So there's actually a lot loaded into the word, for us as viewers as well as for Rugal and O'Brien. We're starting to see what makes Cardassians tick; they're not just gray-skinned aggressors, they're a complex culture, and a troubled one. I think the episode is having us as viewers ask the question: "Cardassians. How do we relate to that word?" It was just a name for one of the alien races, nothing more. But after this it's a word worth dwelling on; although it's also still far more innocuous than Rugal might find it. So I thought there was quite a bit going on with that title.

Of course, it's equally likely that I'm over-thinking it and it was just thrown in there as a dull title because the episode fleshes out Cardassians....
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