Deranged Nasat wrote:
That the Federation is implicitly presented as having such serious flaws seems a misstep - this isn't one of the deliberate moves to apply a more cynical eye to the UFP the way DS9's finer episodes often do, this seems like a mass character derailment for the sake of a story.
Well, I don't know that it's a misstep, really, in the sense of "unintended." Part of what would explain Red Squad's behavior is a misguided sort of "Captain worship" that young people in starfleet might plausibly tend to suffer from. Of course, generally in Trek, "Captain worship" is seen as a good thing.
So, I tend to see this episode more as one of those cases on DS9 where there is intentionally a more cynical take on some of the core Trek tendencies, such as "being bold," "glorifying/deifying the Captain," "daring to attempt the impossible," etc.
I don't think it's a great episode, though. Some of it is just a little too obvious and overdone. And, while there is some attempt to salvage a little ambiguity at the end, I actually think Red Squad, and their captain especially, needed to be more sympathetic for this to really work. Or their failure needed to be a little less obvious/complete.
It's also hard to build an episode around the death of a bunch of throwaway characters.
So, it has its merits, but I don't really like it.
Yeah, this. The central idea of the episode, the dangers of hero worship and mindlessly following orders, even during war, is good, and is something that I definitely think should be explored in the arc of the Dominion War overall. Jellico's words about the need not to have orders questioned during times of crisis spring to mind as a state of mind that was probably prevalent during the war, and yet this episode (would have) shows (shown) how dangerous that can be.
But as it's done, they really beat us over the head with it, and it just becomes painful to watch.
Jake does help the episode quite a bit. It's such a shame they never could figure out what to do with him. In hindsight, the possibilities seem endless.
And while it's sad to see Nog get caught up in this collective fantasy of Red Squad's, it's also sadly believable given the character.