The Ascent (***½)
I enjoy this episode, always have, but this is the episode that denied us what could have been one of the most unusual episodes of DS9 ever, the one where Odo and Quark are stuck in a room together and don't do anything. I like those kinds of episodes, it's the reason why I liked Enterprise's Shuttlepod One
even with all its flaws. My favourite part of this episode was the banter between Odo and Quark early in the episode, before they crashed on the planet, it's just enjoyable to watch those two characters interact and how much they intentionally and unintentionally annoy one another. Once the explosion happens and they crash on the mountain planet, the show loses its light-hearted charm, and even though we still get some good banter between the two characters the nature of their situation is more serious.
As a survival story, it's okay. A bit predicable, nothing unexpected really happens, even the fight where Odo breaks his leg and Quark must save the day comes right out of Drama Writing 101. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it works because Odo and Quark have a dynamic that make it work. It's a perfectly serviceable story that is made good by two great characters. It's also one of the few episodes this season that actually explores Odo's temporary solidity, which is something that most episodes since the season opener have glossed over or completely ignored altogether.
The b-story isn't up to the same standard as the a-story, mainly because the resolution is rushed to the point of almost being inexplicable. Jake and Nog have grown apart and have such wildly differing priorities now that they can't stand to live together, until the very end when the two characters go from barely being able to tolerate one another to being best friends again in a very brief scene. The resolution implies that all the previous scenes either didn't happen or didn't matter, it's a very lazy reset-button ending. It's nice to have Nog back on the station though.
Ln X wrote:
Yeah I to thought Civ V was a little underwhelming, the hex tiles are great but I think the one unit per tile (or two if you have both a combat and non-combat unit together) becomes a bit impeding when you have a whole continent full of units! This has happened to me in the later stages of the game.
Then you've been wasting production and gold that you should have been using to further develop your civilization but which you instead used to support a massive standing army that you'll never need. You must have been playing as America.
You need to get out of the Civ IV mindset that you require a massive army, because in Civ V you don't. A relatively small, modern, well-balanced army that you use tactically will be enough to conquer a rival civ.
But yes, they should make an Alpha Centauri II, if only EA didn't hold the rights to that franchise.