, here for your bi-annual visit, I see.
Ln X wrote:
Hey TheGodBen are you sober enough to start reviewing again?
I've eased myself off the alcohol by going back on the meth. Does that count as sober?
Things Past (***½)
Garak, bored of hemming trousers in his prison cell, decides to take a day off to attend a conference and Sisko, Dax, and Odo decide to go with him because, hey, who doesn't want to spend time with Garak? On the way back, from the conference, the crew meet the ghost of Christmas past and it decides to send them on a mind-bending trip into the guilt-centre of Odo's brain.
Here's the thing, the writers wanted to do a story about Odo's dark past, but didn't want to do a flashback episode because they're clichéd, and they didn't want to do a time-travel episode because they're also clichéd, so they came up with some complicated magic in order to do the episode the way they wanted to do it. This both hurts and helps the episode, it hurts it because the set-up is so crazy that it's hard to buy into, and the early parts of the episode, which should have been full of mystery and intrigue, are undercut by the fact that all of this is explained by Dr Bashir. We also get the added added complication that injuries sustained by the characters in Odo's brain are replicated by their bodies in the real world due to the awesome power of imagination, which leaves us with the cliché that they. Might. Die
! (But almost certainly wont.) The episode didn't need that, it's just a cheap way of adding tension to the crazy situation.
But the craziness does help the episode later as events get more surreal, and we get some weird twists and unusual imagery. Overall, the story isn't bad, perhaps a bit slow to start but it picks up later, and the revelation that Odo isn't as perfect as he wants everyone to think he is an interesting extra layer to his character. It ends with a callback to Necessary Evil
, which just served to remind me of how that was a better episode, in part because the set-up wasn't as convoluted.