I like Through the Looking Glass. To me, the µ-verse started great on DS9 and lost quality with each episode. Crossover was great, TtLG was good, Shattered Mirror was okay, Resurrection was poor and The Emperor's New Cloak was unbelievably awful.
Damnit, I forgot the µ symbol.
I used to agree that the µ-verse was a case of diminishing returns, but now I'm not so sure. What I perceive to be the scale in the drop of quality between Crossover
and Through the Looking Glass
was more than I was expecting. I'm really annoyed by what they did with µ-Kira's character, she had the potential to be an interesting villain in a similar way as Dukat, but she went from perverse version of Kira in Crossover to a comic-book villain far too quickly. At least Dukat had a few good seasons of development before he went bad.
Improbable Cause (*****)
I love this episode. I just love it. I've been waiting for this episode ever since the season began and the recent run of mediocre episodes has just made that wait harder. Because I love this episode. Have I made my opinion on this episode clear yet?
I love the characters, and Garak and Odo are absolutely in their element here. I love the brilliant dialogue, especially during the classic "Boy Who Cried Wolf" scene. ("Clever Lad! Charming story
) But what I really love about this episode is how an episode about an attempt on Garak's life could have turned out rather pedestrian, but that didn't happen. It could have been a simple case of the Obsidian Order attempting to kill Garak for whatever crime he commited in order to be exiled, or it could have been about a hate crime commited by a Bajoran terrorist. But no, these characters demand a better story than that, so we get numerous twists that build up to a final revelation of galactic significance.
Garak blowing up his own shop is one of those brilliant concepts that is not only a great plot device, it's also so very Garak
. Is it possible for a human being not to love that character? Pairing him up with Odo was also a great idea, these two characters just click right off the bat, they almost have as much chemistry together as Quark and Odo do. Take the scene in the runabout where Garak posits that there's nobody in the galaxy that Odo actually cares for. There's so much going on there between the two of them underneath the surface. It's almost as if Garak knows the truth about Odo's love for Kira (which doesn't seem possible, but this is Garak we're talking about), but he says completely the opposite, and he does it all to distract Odo to stop him enquiring into his past. At the same time, it's possible that Garak wanted Odo to think that he looked up to Tain as a mentor so that Odo is satisfied enough not to pursue the truth that Tain is his father. Even though that element of Garak's past probably hadn't been dreamt up yet, it still fits well here. Also, while not expressly said in this episode, or the series as a whole, the short scene where Garak talks to Mila does give the impression that she's his mother, or at least a very close bond between them.
I love the conspiracy angle of the episode. I love how the episode slowly goes from an investigation of an assassination attempt on a former spy to a plot involving two major empires and a secret fleet of warships. Take the scene where Odo meets his Cardassian informant, on paper it could have been a boring expository scene designed to move the plot along in the old Star Trek cave set, but the way it's framed, the use of lighting, the ominous music, all these things add up to create a truly memorable scene. It doesn't matter that the Cardassian informant is little more than a plot device because it's written and directed so well. That guy gets more character development than Ensign Mayweather, and we don't even see his face!
Overall, I'm rather fond of this episode.