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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old January 25 2012, 02:41 PM   #736
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Seven of Five wrote: View Post
It was a missed opportunity not having Jadzia struggle to contain these murderous thoughts in future episodes, it could have added more strength to her character. She had her Zhian'tara and that was pretty much it! Ezri spoke to Joran too, but that was two episodes altogether?
Your post made me think of the character Zhaan from Farscape, who was a very strong character, in part because of the dark impulses and murderous rage she had to contend with despite being a wise and compassionate being with a great body of experience to draw on. In a sense, Zhaan makes me think of the full potential of the Trill in a way DS9 never captured. I love the concept of the Trill (and the novels make the most of them in my opinion), but I do agree that sadly they weren't explored onscreen with quite the effort and thought they might have been. It's not too great a flaw, given the sheer number of subplots and focuses the show had, but it must be said.

If Jadzia had been a Zhaan-like figure, remaining calm and balanced on the outside with genuine wisdom and insight gained from her various lives, while occasionally her dark side pops up in a rather frightening way, would she have worked better? I like Jadzia, I always did, but I do acknowledge the problems other viewers have with her character. I mentioned before that I always appreciated the Kira-Jadzia scenes; maybe that might be enhanced if Jadzia were Kira's inverted mirror - one aggressive and angry on the outside but spiritually balanced within, the other reversed?
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Old January 25 2012, 02:45 PM   #737
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Maybe I actually could have liked the character of Jadzia if they spent some time fleshing out Trill culture and society.

Maybe.
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Old January 25 2012, 11:39 PM   #738
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Seven of Five wrote: View Post
I love little curiosities like that, just to show how far we've come since the episode was made.
My favourite was B5's Passing Through Gethsemane where the computer said it would take something like 6 hours to perform a simple Google search. Also, I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and it's about the same size as a Starfleet PADD, so now when I see a PADD in the shows I realise just how hopelessly outdated they look. It's not the show's fault, Star Trek was actually quite prescient about the existence of these devices, but it can take me out of a scene for a moment, especially when we see a character carrying multiple PADDs as though each one can only contain a single book.


Second Skin (****½)

I can't be certain, but I imagine that the story break session for this episode went something like this...

BEHR: Okay kiddos, I've got to leave soon to buy some weird coloured dye for my beard. Let's get this done quickly.
WOLFE: I've been thinking, episodes about Kira confronting her prejudices are good, right? We could do another.
ECHEVARRIA: Yeah with some deep emotional stuff.
BEHR: It needs something more. Could we somehow add Quark undergoing a sex change?
MOORE: How about we add Garak doing some super-cool spy shit?
WOLFE: Yeah, people love Garak!
BEHR: That's a great idea Ron! You should be my new protégé and grow a beard and stuff.
MOORE: Thanks Ira. How about ending the episode with Kira randomly disappearing in the middle of a conversation?
BEHR: ...
WOLFE: ...
ECHEVARRIA: ...
BEHR: ...what?
PILLER: Hey guys, do I still work here or am I too busy with Voyager? I'm confused.
You take one part Kira undergoing some sort of emotional ride, you take one part Garak doing his thing, you mix them together and you get this this gem of an episode. It begins with a premise that's hard to buy into, that Kira may really be a Cardassian spy and now she's brought home to Cardassia. This is Star Trek and we all know the formula here, Kira's not going to be revealed to be a Cardassian and she'll escape back to DS9 by the end of the episode. But that's part of the reason why this episode works, the Obsidian Order's plan wasn't to trick Kira into thinking she was a Cardassian, their plan was to make people think that was their plan while they executed their real plan. It just so happens that during the execution of this plan that they are able to conjure up enough false evidence to make Kira, and perhaps even the audience, doubt who she really is. And that's enough to break her.

So, there's the emotional stuff, there's the shocking twists at the end, and then there's Garak exercising his super-spy skills. If this episode was a pizza then those would be the toppings I'd order. The episode ends with an ominous warning that Garak is not to be trusted, which is needed because Garak has slowly been earning a reputation with the audience as something of an unlikely hero, so it's good to bring back some doubt about him. The fact that he'll be torturing Odo before this season is out means that this warning was justified. In fact, I wonder if the Obsidian Order were already preparing for their adventure into the Gamma Quadrant and if their attempt to extract info from Kira about the station's combat-readiness was a precaution in case they should need to fight their way through the wormhole... maybe.

On a side note, this episode was the first that had a score by David Bell, and he would later do the scores for iconic episodes like Sacrifice of Angels and In the Pale Moonlight, so it's nice to hear some early versions of the musical motifs that become a part of the show.

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Old January 25 2012, 11:59 PM   #739
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Why people slag off Equilibrium I have no idea, it is one of the more stronger Jadzia episodes and (I admit) a bit TNGish in terms of something shocking being discovered in a main character, but at least DS9 explored Joran a bit... At the very least Equilibrium should be 3 stars, anyways...

Glad you liked Second Skin TheGodBen (in my darker moments I thought you would assign an average or good rating to what is an excellant episode). I dig this episode not for Kira being a Cardassian, but how she is steadily broken down as a person, and the scene where she looks in the mirror, then smashes it, and then sobs into Tekeny Ghemor's chest moves me everytime.

This episode also humanises the Cardassians, and for once we see a Cardassian (not forgetting that one in Lower Decks in TNG) who is a decent person, and not like Dukat or Garak or your average Cardassian soldier/officer. Ultimately this episode reminds us that Cardassians are people and why we should feel sorry for them in What You Leave Behind with the near-total destruction of Cardassia. Without episodes like this one, we would not really feel for the Cardassians at the end of this series.

Also this episode makes Kira further reexamine her prejudice towards Cardassians, and I like her final conversation with Ghemor and all that 'you're a good and honest man', that was another moving scene and really pulled on my heartstrings...
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Old January 26 2012, 01:46 AM   #740
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I'm curious, what holds Second Skin back from being a 5 star episode?

Not that I'm complaining, it's definitely deserving of at least a 9/10 rating.

I agree with everything Ln X said - especially about the skin where Kira breaks down crying in front of the smashed mirror. I also like the subtle humor it offers - like this....

ENTEK: What were your duties as first officer of Deep Space Nine?
KIRA: I told you, the Federation runs the station. I wasn't even allowed into Ops.
ENTEK: How many Starfleet personnel are stationed on Deep Space Nine?
KIRA: Thirty, forty thousand. Don't tell them I told you.
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Old January 26 2012, 03:46 AM   #741
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Seven of Five wrote: View Post
I love little curiosities like that, just to show how far we've come since the episode was made.
My favourite was B5's Passing Through Gethsemane where the computer said it would take something like 6 hours to perform a simple Google search. Also, I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and it's about the same size as a Starfleet PADD, so now when I see a PADD in the shows I realise just how hopelessly outdated they look. It's not the show's fault, Star Trek was actually quite prescient about the existence of these devices, but it can take me out of a scene for a moment, especially when we see a character carrying multiple PADDs as though each one can only contain a single book.
I think I at least have a "fanwank" explanation for that.

I figure people finally got tired of the "cloud" crashing, being sabotaged, etc. and taking all their crap with it (or compromising its security), so the reliance on physical media and separate discs increased to combat that in Starfleet settings especially. (That and the whole, "Durrrr, we can't help you or do anything because we don't keep paper backups of anything" thing that I hate.)

(Which should be an explanation kind of reminiscent of what we see on nuBSG with the "no networking" response to the Cylon threat.)
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Old January 26 2012, 03:53 AM   #742
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Oh, Second Skin. A great Kira episode, a great Garak episode, a great Cardassian episode, and a beginning of a beautiful friendship (really). Kira/Ghemor is one of the most touching relationships on DS9.

And of course, it has Garak's great line from my signature.

The fake premise of Kira being a Cardassian was quite interesting to me, and I wondered what it would be like if a main character was really a sleeper agent who just believed she was someone else. It wouldn't have worked for DS9 at all and it would've undermined Kira's entire character journey, but years later I thought of this while watching season 1 of BSG.

Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
I'm curious, what holds Second Skin back from being a 5 star episode?
It's probably just TheGodBen trying to avoid the wrath of VOY fans by giving good grades to DS9.
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Old January 26 2012, 03:59 AM   #743
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Oh...and one thing I didn't see TGB mention that I'm a bit surprised by: I think Nana Visitor and Lawrence Pressman deserve credit for working SO well together. I think the "chemistry" between them (if you can apply that to a non-romantic sort of love) really made the episode work and took it from average to excellent.
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Old January 26 2012, 04:35 AM   #744
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
I'm curious, what holds Second Skin back from being a 5 star episode?
It's probably just TheGodBen trying to avoid the wrath of VOY fans by giving good grades to DS9.
Damn VOY fans!

Then again, he's probably already incurred their wrath by rating ENT better than VOY.
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Old January 26 2012, 06:01 PM   #745
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

But ENT is better than VOY.
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Old January 26 2012, 06:03 PM   #746
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

^Can't argue with facts.
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Old January 26 2012, 06:42 PM   #747
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
I wondered what it would be like if a main character was really a sleeper agent who just believed she was someone else.
Well, Babylon 5 actually went through with it.
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Old January 26 2012, 07:02 PM   #748
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
I'm curious, what holds Second Skin back from being a 5 star episode?
I don't know, I just didn't "feel" it.

Skywalker wrote: View Post
But ENT is better than VOY.
I have mathematically proven it using my subjective opinions.


The Abandoned (***½)

I feel like this episode was written mainly because the staff had come up with a number of traits for the Jem'Hadar during the break between seasons 2 and 3 and they wanted to relay them to the audience, so they did an episode to do so. There's a plus and a minus to this, the plus being that they avoided an unnecessary exposition dump in an episode like The Search, the minus being that this episode feels a bit artificial in some ways. The story works and it includes some nice character stuff for Odo, but it still feels like the story was shaped in some way by what they were trying to teach us about the Jem'Hadar rather than letting the story progress naturally.

This episode reminds me a bit of I Borg now that I think about it. Both episodes were the first attempt to explore a new enemy by focusing on an individual from that species and both ended with that individual returning to their race, the difference being in why they return. I Borg was a better story overall, but it had the unfortunate impact of beginning a sequence of events that lessened the Borg threat in many peoples' opinion. The Abandoned's story is weaker, but it intentionally drives home the fact that the Jem'Hadar are beyond reasoning with even on an individual basis, thus it strengthens the Jem'Hadar as a threat. It's also interesting to note that in I Borg the idealism of Geordi and Crusher win out against the prejudices held by Picard and Guinan while in The Abandoned it is Kira's prejudice that wins out over Odo's idealism. For those reasons this episode could be labelled as anti-Trek which may be why the story doesn't feel natural to me, but it's necessary in order to maintain the Jem'Hadar as effective villains for the rest of the show. (Although there are some episodes in season 4 that undermine the point of this episode, but that's a discussion for another day.)

Meanwhile, we finally get to meet Mardah. I don't care that Wesley Crusher got to pilot the Federation's flagship, Jake is the luckiest teenage boy in the galaxy. This is a fairly standard domestic story which I once again have to label as being pleasant. Sisko must learn to overcome his preconceptions, we get some insights into Jake, and we get to see Mardah almost overflowing out of her top. What's not to like?
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Old January 26 2012, 09:33 PM   #749
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

ENT is better than VOY, but for some reason I find VOY more rewatchable. I think the difference is that I grew up with VOY, so I look back on it more nostalgically, even though I know deep down that it's very flawed.

Anyway, I loved Second Skin. I thought it was a brilliant way of making Kira question things enough that she began to doubt who she was. And Garak is Garak - his presence usually makes an episode more worthwhile. I liked that the relationship between Kira and Gehmor would be revisited lated in the series.

The Abandoned is a solid one, if not spectacular. I'm glad you brought up I, Borg as the episode always reminded me of something, and now I can put my finger on it! Of course if DS9 is the evil anti-Trek then this episode's natural progression is a reverse of I, Borg.

I enjoyed the Sisko/Jake storyline too. I always liked those station-life sideplots, they were always fun and added a bit of depth to the universe.
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Old January 27 2012, 12:16 AM   #750
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I much prefer ENT to VOY, ENT at least had two rather strong seasons while VOY rarely got to be anything but average.

Lindley wrote: View Post
DevilEyes wrote: View Post
I wondered what it would be like if a main character was really a sleeper agent who just believed she was someone else.
Well, Babylon 5 actually went through with it.
Haven't seen it yet. But I hope to do it relatively soon, before I get even more spoiled.
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