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Old January 22 2012, 05:56 PM   #709
TheGodBen
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Just to give you an impression of how nerdy my dreams get...

I was at a parade being thrown by members of the traveller community in celebration of the Chinese New Year (which is amazing as I had no idea it was Chinese New Year's Eve until I woke up) which, for those of you unaware of the Irish traveller community, is an incredibly unlikely thing to happen. Taking part in this parade for some unexplained reason was JJ Abrams. Some friends go over to him and tell him that I don't like Star Trek 09 and that kicks off a good-natured slagging match between us. We walk with him as he goes to work, and when he gets in an elevator we say our goodbyes and that's that.

A friend says something like "Wow, I can't believe we met JJ Abrams" to which I reply "Eh, it's not like as if he's Ron Moore." Then Ron Moore walks into the room. I let out a high-pitched squee and shouted "Ron Moore! I just said your name and now you're here! That's amazing!" Ron is a little freaked out by the presence of this crazed fan, so I quickly try to explain that I'm a big fan of his work on TNG and DS9, and BSG of course. He desperately, yet politely, tries to get away from me.

I'm not sure what happened next in the dream, but I do remember being at a Chinese New Year's Eve party where four women were coming on to me. I'm not sure if that negates or reinforces the nerdiness.


The Search, Part 2 (**)

The ending. Yes. Bad idea, that. Actually, it's not just the ending, the entire fictional DS9-based plot feels a little off. Odo and Kira are missing, possibly dead, and none of the characters are worried or even talk about it? No, that whole plot is awkward, even Garak doesn't feel like Garak, which is understandable as he's not Garak. Besides, Garak would never be shot down and die in a corridor, that's not his way. If Garak ever dies then it will be in a The Third Man style ending where we don't actually see his death and you're left wondering if he's really dead at all. The Jem'Hadar feel off, the Federation feel off, the plan to destroy the wormhole feels off, almost everything in that plot feels off. It still manages to be mildly entertaining, but it's not quite right.

But there's also Odo's story, and that pretty much saved the episode for me. I missed this episode when it first aired and saw it after I had seen a good bulk of the series, so it's hard for me to judge the impact of how shocking it was that Odo actually met his own kind. Star Trek always seemed to favour the status quo, so if I had seen the cliffhanger at the end of part 1 I would have assumed that it would end up being some sort of trick and that those weren't really Odo's people. But they were, and this is an important episode in Odo's growth. When the female Changeling tells Odo that he must learn how to be a rock, she's really telling him how to be a shape-shifter. Up until now Odo has been reluctant in accepting his nature, he doesn't like morphing into other objects for people's amusement and he can't stand reverting to his liquid state in front of others. When he does change shape he only does so because it has a purpose for his work, he doesn't do it for the sake of fun. Odo's attitude toward shape-shifting changes because of this encounter with his own kind.

Then there's the big twist, the Changelings are not only bad guys, they're the biggest threat to the Federation since the Borg. Once again, I'm not sure how effective this twist was at the time, but in hindsight I think it was a masterful combination of two seemingly unrelated plots. It not only adds to Odo's angst and sets him up for some divided loyalties down the line, it also helps to humanise the Dominion in some way. We've seen authoritarian regimes in Star Trek before so there was a chance that the Dominion would just be a more powerful version of the Romulans or Cardassians. But by making the Changelings the founders of the Dominion the empire became more complex, they are a reaction to racial hatred and fear and not just evil for evil's sake. The episode earns major props for that revelation.

Form of... an Arbazon vulture: 13
Wormhole in Peril: 2
(kinda)


There, I got through these episodes without mentioning Jadzia's hair. I think I'm the first internet reviewer in history to manage that.
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