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Old September 29 2012, 09:27 AM   #3
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Retro Review: Civil Defense

I'm a sucker for escalating suspense plots, and "Civil Defense" is an excellent example, on par with the early "Enemy Within". Alas, a fundamental problem with such plots is that afterwards, the audience can claim that simple and sensible steps would have prevented the whole thing from happening, and thus the characters are all morons...

Of course, that's the very point of escalating suspense: there's absolutely no reason to take the simple and sensible steps originally. Unless you are a paranoid Cardassian, that is - and it's delightful to find out that Garak actually comes prepared, effortlessly "walking through walls" when everybody else is caught in a deadly trap. All the more enjoyable, then, to see Garak realize he hasn't been paranoid enough...

Like a well-structured Mozart comedic opera, the episode even escalates the cast, adding first Garak and then Dukat into the mix until finally everybody is singing septetto for their lives. DS9 seldom manages to do something this involved without resorting to B or C plots. The very integrity of this episode is its biggest strength.

Timo Saloniemi
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