I never really connected with this episode. I remember watching it, but it didn't have much of an effect on me, and I rarely, if ever, rewatch it.
A lot of people love it, so I think it's a case where I just missed something, or wasn't in the mood, or whatever.
Is it possible that you're a ghost and don't experience emotions? No wait, even ghosts have emotions, or so the movie Ghost has led me to believe.
Perhaps you're just weird?
^^Heh. Conversely I'm willing to give "Inner Light" some additional points precisely because its events were brought up again on a show where repercussions normally didn't extend beyond a single episode.
And I intend to knock a few points off Hard Time
for doing exactly the opposite.
Hippocratic Oath (**½)
Star Trek has a problem. On the one hand it wants iconic, threatening villains that provide our heroes with a real challenge, on the other hand it wants to humanise those villains so that we can better understand them, and possibly leave the door open for peaceful coexistence in the future. It's a noble goal but a tricky balancing act to pull off. It's not impossible, there are a number of races in Trek that have managed it, but there's also some that have been royally screwed over by this policy. I'm thinking of Species 8472 now. Possibly the most powerful belligerent race in the franchise, capable of destroying entire planets with only a handful of ships, but they end up being won over by Chakotay's charm (ha!) and are led by a kindly old man that gives Janeway a flower.
I understand the intent, but by gods did they handle that badly.
So far the Jem'Hadar haven't really been humanised, there was an attempt to explore them The Abandoned
, but that ended by telling us that they're so violent that it's impossible to relate with them in a meaningful way. This episode attempts to fix that relatability problem but I feel it goes too far in trying to humanise them. Goran'Agar is too "human", at times it seems like he has more in common with Bashir than he does with the other Jem'Hadar in his unit. His desire to be free and his willingness to question the Founders as gods also somewhat undermine the Jem'Hadar as an enemy. I prefer the Jem'Hadar as willing slaves rather than unwilling ones, I find that angle of their nature more interesting. In my opinion, Rocks and Shoals
does a far better job at getting me to relate with the Jem'Hadar than this episode and it's precisely because they stick with the order of things even when they know it will lead to a pointless death. Thankfully, other than the death of Weyoun IV, the Jem'Hadar stick to that formula from here on out.
The other element of this plot I have a problem with is the falling out between O'Brien and Bashir. Once again, I admire the intent but I don't quite buy it. They both take extremist positions and don't even bother trying to understand one another and it comes off feeling a little forced. While watching the episode I felt that the writers started out with the idea of having the two characters falling out and then based a story around that rather than coming up with the story first and letting the characters naturally react to the situation. I wasn't at all surprised when reading the MA article today that that's exactly what happened here.
There's a b-plot on the station where Worf interferes in Odo's investigation into something or other and in this case my thesaurus has provided the word "agreeable" as an acceptable alternative to "pleasant". Sisko's little speech at the end felt a little too much like a mission statement for the show, but overall it was a nice story about Worf struggling to fit in.
Form of... a bag: 19