Deranged Nasat wrote:
An effective villain needs to challenge the hero, and Sloan is permitted to do that; not only directly but by rebutting Bashir's idealized worldview for the audience. Sloan is the villain who offers temptation, who speaks what sounds reasonable, and that's the sort of danger we need in the antagonist if we're going to be addressing the issues Section 31 is concerned with.
One of the things that I like about Sloan is that I don't quite see him as a villain even though I disagree with everything he stands for. All things considered, Sloan is no more a villain than Garak, both are willing to do unconscionable things for the preservation and enhancement of their peoples. But we've grown so used to Garak that we no longer consider him a villain, and because he's a Cardassian so we can disassociate him from his actions. But because Sloan is a human we find it more distasteful, because he's one of us
. How could one of our kind possibly do such things?
It's a pity that the two characters never met, it would have made for a fascinating conversation.
In the Pale Moonlight (0)
This episode represents the low-point of DS9, the episode which proved that DS9 isn't real Star Trek. Murdering people is wrong, Gene Roddenberry taught us that back in the 60s, and now DS9 is ruining his legacy and shitting on his... urn. Also, Avery Brooks is a hammy actor and ruined the episode by staring at the camera. That's such a basic mistake that anyone would think the fool had never acted on television before. Finally, Garak is a terrible character. There's no depth to him, and he's a bit gay.
Sorry, I had to.
In the Pale Moonlight (*****)
This was probably the most predicable score I've ever awarded considering how many times in the past I've proclaimed this as my favourite episode of Star Trek. What makes this episode so fantastic is that it's a perfect combination of a vital arc episode, an honest moral dilemma, and a powerful character piece. You're lucky to find an episode of Star Trek that manages to focus on one of those elements and knocks it out of the park, maybe two. But all three? All of which work together perfectly and build to a sequence of twists that leave you glued to your seat? To a final monologue that has come to encapsulate the whole show for fans and haters alike? This episode manages all that, and that's why it is something really special.
One other great thing about this episode is that it does flashbacks right. Sometimes with Trek, flashbacks are just used as a cheap way of grabbing the audience's attention at the start of the episode. But in this episode the flashback and Sisko's monologues are a major part in what makes the episode so memorable. They set the tone from the very first scene, you know that something bad is about to happen but you don't know what. For a time you even begin to worry that Sisko's plan backfired and the Romulans declared war on the Federation. That whole sequence is wonderfully done.
The revelation of Garak's true plot is just so wonderfully Garak, and reveals that the character hasn't been softened at all by his time spent around humans. Garak is a magnificent bastard, he's always thinking several steps ahead, and now he's the saviour of the the Star Trek universe as we know it. Even Gene would begrudgingly respect Garak's plan, once he gets through with spinning in his... urn.
If there is one flaw with this episode it is that Sisko actually did
live with it. This dark act that weighs so heavily upon his soul is lost with the record of Sisko's log. But I suppose there's not much more Sisko can do about the matter, he can't tell anyone what he did and he already explained the incident to the wall of his quarters. One of the sad things about this episode is that its contents can't really be addressed again.