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Old November 25 2012, 11:31 PM   #1628
Paper Moon
Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote:
Paper Moon wrote: View Post
I actually don't see a need to attribute his changed attitude to a psychological condition. During Operation Return, Sisko was high on adrenaline. Now he's comparatively low and he's dealing with the consequences of a massively destructive war, without being able to do anything about it. He's experiencing huge levels of stress, and he even admits that everyone might have been expecting a let-up in the conflict after DS9 was retaken, which would then add disappointment on top of the stress.
You make some interesting points and I agree with a lot of what you say, but the core of my problem is right here. Like with Bashir's ego taking over in Statistical Probabilities, I don't have a problem with Sisko feeling depressed and considering leaving Starfleet, it's just presented poorly. Some friend that we've never heard of before, but who is apparently of huge emotional significance to Sisko, dies off-screen and suddenly sends Sisko off the deep end. It comes across as incredibly artificial, and since that's the foundation of the entire episode it weakens the whole story.

When Jadzia dies and Sisko is isolated from the Prophets, it makes sense to me at that point for Sisko to lose faith and leave Starfleet behind, those are two elements of his life that have been established as being important to him. If the Benny Russell visions had come to Sisko following those events, that would have been much, much more satisfying to me as a viewer because it would have meant something. The framing story for Far Beyond the Stars lacks that meaning that it really needs for me to get fully invested in it.
Yeah, you present a great point. While I agree that it is a weak point, I don't think it's as weak as you present. I had a good friend for four years, a while back. Life took us our separate ways and we haven't seen each other in person since. We've kept in touch sporadically over the years. Many people close to me nowadays haven't heard much, if anything, about this old friend.

Compared to many other things, this old friend isn't of huge emotional significance. But, in absolute terms, he is of huge significance. (It's just that, in absolute terms, the people who are present in my life today are of yet larger significance.) So if I found out that this friend had died in a war, it would have a profound effect on me. I could see the same thing happening to Sisko.

So, personally, all I need is Sisko's word that Swafford's death is affecting for him. But I certainly agree that it's a weakness in the storytelling of the episode, and that it's always better to show than tell.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post

Honor Among Thieves (***)

Honor Among Thieves doesn't have a terribly original story, the tale of the police officer/spy/space station engineer that works undercover with the mob/street gangs/an interstellar criminal consortium and becomes emotionally involved with its members is one as old as film-making itself. But what this episode lacks in originality, it makes up for with some interesting character material and a tragic ending. It's an entertaining drama that doesn't reach greatness, but it's not a bad way to spend an hour.
This. Very well put. This is one of my go-to episodes when I want to have a good DS9 on while I'm doing something else (but not good enough that I'll be totally distracted by it).

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
TheGodBen wrote: View Post
My appreciation for the episode grew when I rewatched it on DVD, but I still feel that this would have been a better way to kill off Jadzia than red-eye Dukat randomly shooting her with his magical fire-beam. Even Terry Farrell felt this would have been the perfect way to exit the show.
Also, it would have made the war arc even more engaging, if one of the major characters died mid-season on a mission. Puncturing the bubble of safety around main characters is always a good way to up the stakes.

One of the problems I have with the way Jadzia dies is that while it wins points from me for acknowledging the often casual brutality of death, it just feels rather contrived. That sense of contrivance doesn't sit easily with the admirable decision to have her death be sudden and pointless, and that weakens the impact. "One day, you too might be visiting a temple when your best friend's arch-nemesis suddenly appears, possessed by the devil, and randomly kills you because you were in the way" just doesn't have any real emotional power. It can't offer much implicit commentary on death and risk and loss because it's too fantastical. "If you're in a dangerous profession you might not come back from a mission" has a genuine punch that is relatable and so would have added gravitas to Jadzia's death without detracting from the sense of shock or waste.
Jadzia dying for real in this episode is an interesting idea, but we'd lose a really great character development moment for Worf. Compare his attitude in TNG's "Homeward"; duty this, duty that. And here, he's finally grown beyond that. This is really a pivotal moment for Worf, and removing it would mean that his reaction to Jadzia's eventual death would not be as meaningful. Going back to stoic-Worf after being willing-to-forsake-duty-Worf is more interesting than going back to stoic-Worf after being not-quite-willing-to-forsake-duty-Worf, which is less interesting and less compelling.
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