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Old March 2 2012, 05:48 PM   #1101
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Little Green Men (***)

Few episodes of Star Trek are as absurd as this one. On the surface it's absurd because the idea of Quark, Rom, and Nog being the aliens at the centre of the Roswell incident is pretty damn crazy. But under the surface it's an episode where a species that are supposed to be a commentary on 20th century humans do their own commentary on actual 20th century humans, and that's a whole other level of absurdity.

My problem with most of the Ferengi episodes so far is that they have been all Ferengi all the time and that gets pretty tiresome. My favourite Ferengi episodes are the ones where they interact with other species, be it the Klingons as in The House of Quark or the Vorta as in The Magnificent Ferengi. For similar reasons, I like this episode because they're interacting with humans from the 1940s. Just like the The House of Quark poked fun at the crazy aspects of Klingon culture that had usually been played straight in the past, Little Green Men pokes fun at the absurdity of our own culture. The ironic thing is that it's more effective at doing so than the Ferengi ever were in their original incarnation.

Once again Trek falls prey to the casual use of time travel, but this time it's not much of a problem for me because the episode isn't supposed to be taken seriously. Past Tense and Visionary conveyed time travel as serious business and tried to wring drama out of convoluted, magical temporalbabble. This episode doesn't care about preserving the timeline, there's no message that it's trying to convey (except, perhaps, that smoking is bad), it's just trying to have fun with a silly concept and it threw in a few good gags along the way. That's enough for me this time.

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