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

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Old March 1 2012, 08:53 PM   #1096
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I think this episode shows an interesting and subtle commentary on attitudes to homosexuality, and also uses the Trill symbiosis concept to good effect.

The thing is, I think the episode does a rather clever thing by reminding us that what comes naturally in sexuality isn't as straightforward as some people like to think. For the Joined Trill, the symbiont and its bank of past lives are part of the host (and vice versa), and their acting on and influencing the current host is an outgrowth of how a Joined Trill naturally works. And we see from Jadzia's friendship with Curzon's friend Sisko, and later Ezri's friendship with Jadzia's friends, that in most circumstances the past lives aren't suppressed or denied but integrated healthily into the current life. So past life informing present is natural for Joined Trills. As I'm sure we're all aware, one of the more common lines from those who are anti-homosexuality is the idea that homosexual acts "aren't natural", which seems to assume that the purpose of sexuality is straight-forward reproduction, and that any sex not geared towards that end is without purpose and so without justification. That of course overlooks the fact that intelligent species are drawn to have sex for a variety of different purposes - dolphins have sex for pleasure, bonobos have sex to reaffirm social ties and forge close relationships. Humans (a particularly social and intelligent species) do both; they have sex to affirm or forge close bonds of affection, and to enjoy themselves, among other reasons. So there's a lot more to "natural" than simple reproduction - and some humans have their sexuality focused on non-reproductive partners.

It seems to me that this epsiode cleverly reproduces this model in an interesting way. We know Jadzia is apparently heterosexual, so when we see her going after a woman we think "that's not normal" (meaning, not normal for her). But then we remember the key point: she's also a Joined Trill, and it seems that it is natural and normal for the symbiont part of the joined consciousness to seek out old partners (despite Trill society’s efforts to suppress it). Or, in other words, the question of what's a "natural" and normal aspect of Jadzia's sexuality is a more complicated subject than might first appear. Is it normal for a baseline-heterosexual Trill to be drawn sexually to another member of their sex? Well, if they’re both Joined, then yes. We're reminded that there's more going on in Jadzia Dax's sexuality than her host's heterosexual nature, if that makes sense. Taking it as an analogy for more general sexuality, we're reminded that in wider human nature there's more to the subject than simple reproduction. Jadzia's Joined Trill sexuality isn't one-note, and nor is real sexuality. Is it normal for a human to sexually desire members of the same sex? If they're a certain type of person, then yes.

On a note only loosely related, this episode does have (sadly) a bad case of "As You Know Bob" at the beginning, regarding how Trills work. Excusable, perhaps, because of how important it is that the audience understands the Trill set up - and naturally that reinforces the point that the symbiosis angle is integral to the episode.
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Old March 1 2012, 09:48 PM   #1097
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
We're reminded that there's more going on in Jadzia Dax's sexuality than her host's heterosexual nature, if that makes sense. Taking it as an analogy for more general sexuality, we're reminded that in wider human nature there's more to the subject than simple reproduction. Jadzia's Joined Trill sexuality isn't one-note, and nor is real sexuality. Is it normal for a human to sexually desire members of the same sex? If they're a certain type of person, then yes.
That's what I love about this episode. This ain't love between lesbians, this is love between two symbionts, and both Dax and Lenara feel sexually attracted to each other because of the memories they have of their former hosts being married. It's clever stuff...
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Old March 1 2012, 10:32 PM   #1098
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

To be fair, I don't think it's ever explicltly stated that Jadzia and Lenara aren't as attracted to each other as Dax and Kahn are, albeit with less of a prior relationship.
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Old March 2 2012, 02:58 AM   #1099
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

And while the episode is centred around two women it doesn't feel sensationalist or weird, it just tells the story straight,
And that's what I love about it. The episode doesn't say "oooh look, hot lesbians!" it says, "Look at this beautiful, tragic love story between two people who just happen to both be women." Contrast this with the portrayal of homosexuality in the mirror universe and ... yeah. I'll take "Rejoined" any day.
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Old March 2 2012, 05:34 AM   #1100
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I really liked Rejoined, probably Jadzia's Dax's strongest episode (which, I know, isn't saying much). Though one has to notice that this is now the second time Jadzia is willing to throw away the life of the symbiont cause she's in love. This seems odd for someone who essentially worked harder than any other joined Trill to get a symbiont in the first place.

There is one aspect to this episode that bugs me, though technically it's a problem I have with S7's "Afterimage" and not so much this one. Here, Sisko tells Jadzia to take some vacation time while Lenara is on the station just so she doesn't tempt herself and end up in a compromising situation with someone she hasn't been married to in decades. Fast-forward three years and Sisko's asking Ezri to come and live on DS9 where she can work closely with the man she was married to just months before on a daily basis. Worf even mentions reassociation to Ezri after they have their fun and she just blows it off like it's no big deal.
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Old March 2 2012, 05:48 PM   #1101
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Little Green Men (***½)

Few episodes of Star Trek are as absurd as this one. On the surface it's absurd because the idea of Quark, Rom, and Nog being the aliens at the centre of the Roswell incident is pretty damn crazy. But under the surface it's an episode where a species that are supposed to be a commentary on 20th century humans do their own commentary on actual 20th century humans, and that's a whole other level of absurdity.

My problem with most of the Ferengi episodes so far is that they have been all Ferengi all the time and that gets pretty tiresome. My favourite Ferengi episodes are the ones where they interact with other species, be it the Klingons as in The House of Quark or the Vorta as in The Magnificent Ferengi. For similar reasons, I like this episode because they're interacting with humans from the 1940s. Just like the The House of Quark poked fun at the crazy aspects of Klingon culture that had usually been played straight in the past, Little Green Men pokes fun at the absurdity of our own culture. The ironic thing is that it's more effective at doing so than the Ferengi ever were in their original incarnation.

Once again Trek falls prey to the casual use of time travel, but this time it's not much of a problem for me because the episode isn't supposed to be taken seriously. Past Tense and Visionary conveyed time travel as serious business and tried to wring drama out of convoluted, magical temporalbabble. This episode doesn't care about preserving the timeline, there's no message that it's trying to convey (except, perhaps, that smoking is bad), it's just trying to have fun with a silly concept and it threw in a few good gags along the way. That's enough for me this time.

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Old March 2 2012, 07:47 PM   #1102
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I have to admit that I had a good old chuckle at the Ferengi attempts to communicate with the 'Australians'.
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Old March 2 2012, 08:01 PM   #1103
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
I have to admit that I had a good old chuckle at the Ferengi attempts to communicate with the 'Australians'.
The funniest bit for me is Quark's attempt to demonstrate his in-depth knowledge of human culture:

"Baseball...root beer...darts...atom bombs".
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Old March 3 2012, 01:47 AM   #1104
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post

Is this episode perfect? Of course not, there are minor continuity quibbles and I'm not pleased with the episode's lack of a coda. But I feel that it's strong enough in most areas in order to deserve the full five stars. What also strikes me about the episode is the number of callbacks made to it in the series finale; Sisko in a temporal plane of pure light, Jake and Kira staring out the window together, and Jake watching as the station disappears into the distance. It's not quite foreshadowing, but this episode was clearly on the writers' minds when working on the finale and that gives this episode even more power in retrospect.
I know I'm a bit late, but I've never really made the connection between The Visitor and the finale before. I can understand what you're saying though, but it would have been nice to get one more final scene between Ben and Jake in the finale. Actually, thinking about this episode while watching the finale, I get upset that there wasn't that final scene between father and son because that dynamic worked so well in the series as a whole.
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Old March 3 2012, 10:25 AM   #1105
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Little Green Men is one of the better Ferengi romps, and I still find it funny today. I think just having Quark, Rom and Nog is a good start, as well as having them challenging the 'strange' 20th century they find themselves in, even though that's whom they were based on!

It's all good fun.
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Old March 3 2012, 03:30 PM   #1106
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

LGM is one of the best fish-out-of water Trek episodes that I can recall. It was certainly absurd, but pitched in a way that it's absurdity was a given rather than a flaw in concept or execution. Shimmerman was typically great, if I recall, and I liked the use of the Universal Translators" I'm a sucker for stories that take an aspect of a show's mythology and then play along with them logically for a little while to further the plot. I'd say four stars, a really strong episode.
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Old March 3 2012, 07:02 PM   #1107
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

tomalak301 wrote: View Post
Actually, thinking about this episode while watching the finale, I get upset that there wasn't that final scene between father and son because that dynamic worked so well in the series as a whole.
Yeah, that's one of my issues about the finale. I don't so much care about the reused battle footage of the lack of Terry Farrell in the montage, those were production issues, but Jake not being involved in that scene between Sisko and Kasidy was a missed opportunity.


Starship Down (**½)

Star Trek decides to do a submarine episode and this is the result. It's like the battle of the Mutara Nebula from TWOK but it lasts for 40 minutes and doesn't have any consequences. Saving the crew of a minor race to secure a trade agreement created off-screen doesn't have quite the impact of creating a magical new planet and the death of Spock. Still, the submarine battle stuff works well enough and it's an interesting change of pace from the fast-paced action the Defiant is usually involved in. Production-wise, there's plenty to admire about this episode from the visual effects to the set-design.

The story is a bit convoluted, there's four main threads and none of them have much to do with the other. Firstly, there's the story where Kira looks after Sisko while he's slowly dying. It's a bit annoying how the show brings up Kira's belief in Sisko as the Emissary whenever it needs it and then drops it the rest of the time. It made some sort of sense in Destiny, but here it feels a bit forced. Meanwhile, Worf learns how to deal with non-commissioned engineers. It makes sense that engineers prefer being given problems to solve rather than obediently following orders like a security officer, it makes you wonder how O'Brien made that transition in the past. Meanwhile meanwhile, Bashir and Jadzia are trapped in a lift and forced to cuddle for warmth. Oh the humanity! On the one hand, this minor plot shows that Bashir has grown over time, but the claim that Jadzia secretly liked Bashir's stalker phase is a bit questionable. It cuts a little too close to what creepy men like to think in order to justify their unhealthy attitude towards women. Meanwhile meanwhile meanwhile, Quark teaches James Cromwell about the value of gambling. Yes, that's what people need to learn, that investing your money into a venture where the odds are stacked against you in the hope that luck will be on your side is preferable to sound financial investments. I'm personally blaming this episode for the current financial crisis.

Overall, the episode is okay, it's a mildly entertaining action episode with some interesting character material. It's far from the series' best episode but it's not bad.
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Old March 3 2012, 07:35 PM   #1108
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I like Starship Down, it's an entertaining episode, but it doesn't really succeed in being more than the sum of its moderately interesting parts.

In the early going, the writers seem to have had two main ideas that they wanted to explore with Worf, one being the idea that he didn't really "fit in" on DS9, and the other being his need to adjust to a command role (the one we see in this episode).

I don't think either really pans out, and both are basically dropped before too long, in favor of Worf becoming more true to his "Klingon heart," and less a Starfleet officer with identity issues due to his heritage. That ends up working much better.

In this episode, the Worf subplot is ok, but I don't find the basic problem very convincing. Surely Starfleet engineers can take a problem-solving approach without being prompted to do so? And, in a life-or-death situation like this, nothing Worf does or says prior to the Chief intervening really seems out of line.

As for the Kira/Sisko interactions, I think prior episodes, like Destiny, as well as future ones, such as Rapture, do a better job of handling the question of Kira's faith in the Emissary. The situation here is just too contrived to have much of an impact. It's not a total loss or anything, though, and it does seem to move the characters' relationship forward a bit, toward actual friendship.

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Old March 3 2012, 10:24 PM   #1109
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Meanwhile meanwhile, Bashir and Jadzia are trapped in a lift and forced to cuddle for warmth. Oh the humanity! On the one hand, this minor plot shows that Bashir has grown over time, but the claim that Jadzia secretly liked Bashir's stalker phase is a bit questionable. It cuts a little too close to what creepy men like to think in order to justify their unhealthy attitude towards women.
One question...who made that claim, Jadzia or Bashir?
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Old March 3 2012, 10:29 PM   #1110
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

One minor point in the episode's favour is its use of the Karemma instead of aliens-of-the-week. Even though it isn't being overt with it or placing such matters in the foreground, having the show's arc format reinforced even in largely stand-alone plots is a welcome move. The Ferengi's efforts to open the Gamma Quadrant to commercial exploitation through courting Dominion member races is an established thread in the ongoing story, and it's to the episode's credit that it makes use of such threads even if the episode isn't actually focused on advancing the arch-plot.
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