I must put myself in the "I don't think Move Along Home is so bad" camp; I like what Nerys Ghemor
said about the episode not taking itself too seriously. Which is, in some ways, what Sisko et al. do vis à vis first contact with the Wadi. Sisko is openly disparaging (well, openly with certain people at least) of the Wadi's thing for games, and then is unhappy when he is "honored" (presumably in the Wadi's eyes) by getting to participate in one. Yeah, I know I'm oversimplifying, but I think the episode does make a good comment about "what's childish to your culture may be sacred to another's."
I also admit that I don't quite get the dislike for Meridian, other than it just not being a stellar episode. It's not embarrassing, like some things that TNG put out (*cough* Code of Honor *cough*), nor does it make me actively dis
like it. It just doesn't really attract me. So I guess that makes it one of my "least favorite" DS9 episodes, but not one of the "worst."
The Muse. Okay, this one I will grant. This may be the DS9 that I have waited the longest to rewatch; I remember being reeeeeeaaaally turned off by Onaya (or whatever her name was).
The Storyteller is an episode that, if you're in the wrong mood, can be kinda offensive in my opinion. The way the Bajoran villagers being made to look pretty ridiculous sticks out to me. But on showing this episode to my girlfriend (who has very little prior Star Trek experience), she rather liked it, noting all the elements of farce therein, and how poor O'Brien is just not cut out for this at all
. (And the village is in the middle of nowhere, and there are rather incredible elements at play, so I suppose you can explain away the villagers' depictions.) And I do love the Noh-Jay Consortium storyline.
I've never had a problem with Profit and Lace; I think it has some really nice Quark-Ishka moments, and it does have a few good comments about how we construct gender (Rom showing Quark how to walk, for example). But I've heard some convincing arguments about how the episode is rather inappropriate with regards to transgender issues. And I can definitely see where they're coming from.
Melora... yeah; as someone who is close to people with disabilities, I find this episode problematic in several ways. (Honestly, not the least of which is plausibility: I find it very hard to believe that the Federation cannot come up with a better physical support system for Melora.) But I also dislike Melora as a character. Having a disability does not give you the right to be rude to your colleagues or your commanding officer. This episode does have great zero-G scenes, but that is it for me.
I disagree with the OP's assessment of Fascination. I think it's a lot of fun and is very well executed. So many great moments in that episode (Dax freaking out Sisko, Jake going nuts over Kira [and Ben's reaction to that], Bareil being so out-of-character, O'Brien's tender apology to his wife).
I love If Wishes Were Horses. I think it's an excellent science fiction story that is well executed with lots of great moments. I love the ending: "No
shockwaves, Major." And the shockwaves cease. I love Sisko's conversations with Buck Bokai. And, of course, this is the origin of the all-important baseball on Sisko's desk. (I also love "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," though I could understand someone not caring for it.)
Hmm, I didn't mean for this post to be exhaustive, but while I'm at it, "Let He Who Is Without Sin..." always struck me as poorly-executed. I understand that they wanted to show a lot more sex, but couldn't because of what time of day the episode would air in most markets (5 PM); I think that would've helped, though not saved, the episode. On the other hand, we do actually finally get a plausible (if a bit too simple) explanation for why Worf is always so damned restrained.