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Old February 18 2012, 06:16 PM   #1000
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
And I guess Sisko's nervous system might be having trouble too, and only certain facets of the personality pattern are getting through - maybe Sisko subconsciously rejects hosting the remorseless killer parts, and so in turn "projects" them outward?
Now that deserves a commendation for original thinking.

The Adversary (****)

This was an unusual choice for a season finale, but I guess when the writers' original idea for the season finale (essentially Homefront) was nixed by Paramount they had to come up with something quick, and having a Changeling run rampant on the Defiant was as good an idea as any. Besides, they could use the season's leftover budget to finally add some new sets to the ship. In fact, this has been my favourite episode featuring the Defiant yet because it finally gives a real sense of the ship as a ship and not just a bridge set with adjacent bunk beds. We get to see engineering, the mess hall, larger corridors, and even our beloved Jefferies tubes.

I like that this episode knows what the audience is thinking then double bluffs us. When we learn that there's a saboteur onboard the Defiant the first person we're going to suspect is the guest actor, but it pretends that it's trying to trick us into believing Julian is the chief suspect so that when the obvious thing happens and the ambassador guy is the guilty party, we're surprised by the real revelation that he's a Changeling. Well, we would be if it didn't reveal that fact on the DVD description for the episode. The next most likely suspect for the Changeling to replace is Eddington because he's just a minor recurring character that has always been a bit shifty, so we get the scene where he's revealed as a Changeling only to be shocked to learn that he's not, Bashir was the Changeling. It's clever, I liked it. What's interesting is that this very first attempt at blood screenings for Changelings was an absolute failure and yet Starfleet insists on using it as a security measure in the future. Add to this the fact that "Martok" passed the test in the next episode and you have a perhaps unintended commentary about how excessive security against an insideous threat is a waste of time and resources. DS9 really was prescient.

What I don't like about the episode is the Tzenkethi. Who the hell are they? They don't even qualify as an alien of the week because they never even show up. If I was a Changeling infiltrator and I was tasked with stirring up trouble between the Alpha Quadrant races the last race I'd even think of starting a war with would be the bloody Tzenkethi. Why not use a race we had actually seen before like the Gorn, Tholians, or Talarians? It's hard to care about the potential for war between the Federation and a name. The Federation would probably steamroll them anyway. Other than that, the episode is well done. It's tense, it has a few good tricks up its sleeve, and it has a good final line to end the season.
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