Paper Moon wrote:
The Emperor's New Cloak (*)
Well, when you put it like all that...
You make great points. I personally disagree about Zek; I like him. I find him funny (of course, YMMV), but I also find him compelling. Zek began the show as you describe: representing the worst excesses of Ferengi society. But he also presided over the greatest set of reforms in Ferengi history since the publication of the Rules of Acquisition. And he supports it, too. It's crazy, but it happens in real life, too (and it's crazy then, too). I find those stories compelling, partly because they give me hope that, someday, older generations will not be such opponents of basic, common-sense progressivism.
What you say is true, but I can't help thinking of Lyndon Johnson. He pushed through civil rights, expanded social programs, and funded the Apollo Program, but he was still a lout that peed on one of his Secret Service agents just because he could. Neither he nor Zek are people I would particularly want to spend time with.
(which I probably won't have to do for a while since I'm enjoying it vicariously through Godben's thread and the A.V. Club's retrospective
Are the AV club reviews back? He took a break at the end of season 2 and I never bothered to check if he restarted.
Field of Fire (**½)
Joran Dax is a character that seems to have gotten away from the writers. Originally, he was a reasonably normal guy that developed violent impulses after the joining with the symbiont and killed a doctor who advocated removing the Dax symbiont from him. Such a murder would actually have been in self defence as removing the symbiont would have killed the host, so he wasn't exactly an evil character, just unstable. But then Facets
happened, and suddenly Joran was a deranged psychopath that had a random desire to kill people. Avery Brooks' performance in that scene was excellent, but that retcon didn't sit right with me. Now it's revealed that Joran isn't just a psychopath, he's a calculating serial killer that killed two other people. This is very far away from my original understanding of the character of Joran.
Somebody on the station is murdering random officers, and Ezri is drafted in as a forensic psychologist because she needed yet another episode to stick it to her haters. To help understand the mind of a killer, Ezri performs a magic spell with a cauldron and summons up the third incarnation of Joran Dax. Joran spends the next few days prodding Ezri towards killing some people because he's a bit of a prick, and things go south when Ezri almost stabs a guy with a butter-knife. But in the end Joran plays a key role in solving the case by encouraging Ezri to use racial profiling and illegally spy on a guy that she just doesn't like the look of. Thankfully for Ezri, he was the murderer she was looking for, because if he wasn't then she would have lost her job.
As a standalone crime story, this episode is okay. The weapon used to commit the murders is ingenious, the perfect assassination device. That being said, the visor that allows you to see into any room on the station seems a bit much, the idea that such technology is available in the future is pretty frightening. Although, it does explain why people don't have TVs in the future, when they want entertainment they just put on their visors and watch what other people on the station are doing. I also liked the revelation that the killer was a Vulcan, it was a neat twist. I don't see any reason why a Vulcan can't go insane like every other race in the galaxy, and when they go insane they become a pretty big threat.