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

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Old April 22 2012, 04:23 PM   #1216
TheGodBen
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

The Muse (*)

There's an a-plot and b-plot to this episode and they both get equal screen-time, so let's deal with them individually.

Jake and the brain vampire: This plot sucks. It's just awful. There's nothing redeeming about it whatsoever, everyone involved in it should be forced to shower in acid to remove any trace of this plot that stuck to them somehow.

Odo and Lwaxana: This plot is pretty meh. There are some nice scenes for these two characters, but the plot itself is contrived. Why must Odo and Lwaxana get married in order to annul the previous marriage? Isn't Lwaxana's unborn child a citizen of the Federation and as such entitled to its protection? Why can't Lwaxana just go back to Betazed and tell her husband to screw himself? I don't know, maybe I'd be more forgiving of this plot if it didn't keep cutting back to the brain vampire stuff every couple of minutes.

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Old April 23 2012, 05:56 PM   #1217
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

For the Cause (****)

This is one of the better Sisko-centric episodes in the show, possibly the best so far. He has to balance his personal feelings, his duty, his family, and his sense of justice. And he fails. His personal dilemma distracts him from the real plot that was right in front of him, the Maquis steal some expensive equipment that the Cardassians desperately need and all Sisko gets in return is a freighter-captain that was smuggling medical supplies, not to mention the anguish of arresting his own girlfriend. Looking back on this turn of events, that will be an interesting conversation that Kassidy will one day have with her child. "Did I ever tell you about the time that your father arrested me and sent me to a penal colony for a year?"

Then there's the matter of Eddington's speech. Yes, comparing the Federation to the Borg does go too far, seeking peaceful coexistence with alien races to further scientific and cultural advancement isn't nearly as villainous a plot as forcibly transforming people into robot zombies. But I am interested in Eddington's statement that worlds aren't allowed to leave the Federation, because I've seen similar sentiments among people on this site in regards to states seceding from the US. The argument is that since the US is a liberal democracy, seeking to leave it for whatever reasons would be morally unconscionable. I don't buy that argument at all, so it would have been interesting if DS9 had investigated it further, but that never happened, sadly.

Meanwhile, Garak and Ziyal promise not to kill one another. I was never comfortable with the Garak/Ziyal thing, she's a teenage girl and he's an unrepentant murderer, but he's also middle-aged and that's icky. I know that it was left vague, and there wasn't much of an indication that Garak reciprocated whatever feelings Ziyal had for him, but it was still a bit weird. Still, I can't help but look back at this plot knowing that their friendship will end in the infirmary, and that adds an interesting layer to the story.
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Old April 24 2012, 04:56 PM   #1218
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

To the Death (***)

It's not often in Star Trek that you get to say that a character is "everyone's favourite <species>", but I think it's safe to say that Weyoun is everyone's favourite Vorta. Sure, Kilana had some great cleavage going on, and Iggy Pop was fun, but Weyoun is Weyoun, he's a part of the fabric of the show. He's so good that the writers retconned an entire species to bring him back, because they had senselessly killed him off. He's fully-formed too, he's not a personality-less goon like Damar was when he was introduced, there's no awkward gazelle-like stumbling like with Garak's omnisexuality back in Past Prologue, Weyoun is Weyoun from the moment he first appears, and Jeffrey Combs deserves a lot of credit for that. So this episode earns major points for introducing one of the series' best characters.

The rest of the episode is pretty good too, we get to see more of the Jem'Hadar and learn about them while still maintaining their position as dangerous adversaries. There are some missteps, I don't like how this is the second episode this season where we encounter a group of rebel Jem'Hadar, and killing off Weyoun was a weird move. I like that the episode featured an Iconian gateway, little bits of continuity like that are rewarding for long-time fans while not being off-putting for newcomers, I wish that Star Trek had more throwbacks like that but things like that tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

All that being said, I'm deducting a whole star from this episode for blowing up one of DS9's pylons like it's no big deal. When I first saw this episode, that shot of the station was jaw-dropping. The problem is that if you pull off a big moment like that and then pretend it didn't happen in the next episode, it loses its power and you become desensitised to epic moments like that. DS9 is usually pretty good with continuity and having the big moments matter in later episodes, but that doesn't happen here and that's disappointing.

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Old April 24 2012, 05:04 PM   #1219
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Weyound is awesome, enough said. I loved the first time we see him too: these six massive Jem'Hadars standing in the transporter part and there's this bleak little guy in their middle who is obviously in charge. Gave me quite a chuckle.
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Old April 24 2012, 05:13 PM   #1220
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Presumably, the pylon was reattached somehow. There wouldn't have been time to build an entirely new one.
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Old April 24 2012, 09:36 PM   #1221
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Lindley wrote: View Post
Presumably, the pylon was reattached somehow. There wouldn't have been time to build an entirely new one.
It was blown to pieces! Ain't no way it would be reattached when it is in a few thousand pieces!

You are absolutely right TheGodBen about Weyoun, the character's greatest strength was that he remained so consistent, from beginning to end. Of course Jeffrey Combs is amazing with his acting range; going from stately to deferent to arrogant to smug to curious and it flows so naturally. Jeffrey Combs is definitely in the top five actors of Star Trek. The other four being Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Marc Alaimo and Andrew Robinson.
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Old April 24 2012, 09:48 PM   #1222
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
All that being said, I'm deducting a whole star from this episode for blowing up one of DS9's pylons like it's no big deal. When I first saw this episode, that shot of the station was jaw-dropping. The problem is that if you pull off a big moment like that and then pretend it didn't happen in the next episode, it loses its power and you become desensitised to epic moments like that. DS9 is usually pretty good with continuity and having the big moments matter in later episodes, but that doesn't happen here and that's disappointing.
Huh? What are you talking about? They've been foreshadowing that in the credits since the beginning of the season, and clearly it's had to have maintenance done on it ever since, as every episode you see those workers still repairing it in the credits. That's incredible continuity!
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Old April 24 2012, 10:11 PM   #1223
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

It would've been cool if they had kept the station looking like that (well, with all structural damage closed off, but the pylon still missing), or at least for a few episodes. But I guess they must've found a spare pylon somehwere on Cardassian ebay, presumably from another Nor-type station that had been deconstructed.
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Old April 24 2012, 10:57 PM   #1224
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Maybe the next time they visited Empok Nor, it could have it missing a pylon...
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Old April 25 2012, 12:09 AM   #1225
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

apenpaap wrote: View Post
It would've been cool if they had kept the station looking like that (well, with all structural damage closed off, but the pylon still missing), or at least for a few episodes.
Indeed. Or at least mention in dialogue something about finishing repairs on the pylon.

There's another example of "magic restoration" coming up before the season's done, and while in both cases I understand not wanting to alter your sets or visuals - both from a costs point of view and from the view of not alienating viewers by changing iconic designs - it does distract a little from the emotional power of the events. I suppose it's another reminder that DS9, for all its impressive continuity and arc-based plots, still wasn't quite ready to discard the episodic format. It's nowhere near the level of "Hard Time", of course, but the next episode definitely loses a point or two in my mind for not reinforcing the initial impact of seeing DS9 with major damage. As TheGodBen says, it's a jaw-dropping moment, but ultimately it means nothing.
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Old April 25 2012, 12:10 AM   #1226
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Lindley wrote: View Post
Presumably, the pylon was reattached somehow. There wouldn't have been time to build an entirely new one.
That's about the only way to explain it, the pylon must have floated away by the time the Defiant got there.

Sykonee wrote: View Post
Huh? What are you talking about? They've been foreshadowing that in the credits since the beginning of the season, and clearly it's had to have maintenance done on it ever since, as every episode you see those workers still repairing it in the credits. That's incredible continuity!
Actually, I would have been okay with that. I'm reminded of the season 2 finale of B5 when a section of that station was blown off, and the first shot of season 3 was a work-crew reattaching it. All DS9 had to do would be to not show the station at the start of The Quickening, several weeks go by with Bashir on that planet, and at the end show a shot of some guys in EVA suits welding the pylon back on.

apenpaap wrote: View Post
It would've been cool if they had kept the station looking like that (well, with all structural damage closed off, but the pylon still missing), or at least for a few episodes. But I guess they must've found a spare pylon somehwere on Cardassian ebay, presumably from another Nor-type station that had been deconstructed.
I think it would have been cool if the new pylon had been built using Starfleet technology so that it looked different from the Cardassian architecture, sort of like a Franken-station. But I can understand why they didn't do it.
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Old April 25 2012, 05:17 PM   #1227
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

The Quickening (****)

This week on Dr Bashir, Medicine Woman, the good doctor causes so much suffering that his victims beg to be euthanised. You know, it didn't seem that bleak when I was watching the show, but when I write it down I realise just how fucked up this episode is, in a good way. And it's not just that one scene either, there's a whole species of people for whom death is the best part of their lives, they live to enjoy the comfort that death will bring. We get a glimpse at a post-apocalyptic society, and while the production for this episode was excellent, it's the customs and changed attitudes of these people that really drives that home.

I like that this episode ties itself back into the Dominion arc, even if just in a minor way. It would have been easy for this to be just some random planet with a random disease, but the simple change to the story gives us another little insight into how brutal the Dominion can be. These people had nothing that the Dominion wanted, but they opposed them and the Dominion wouldn't let that stand, so they destroyed their entire civilisation without firing a single shot. This does beg the question why the Dominion are never seen to use biological warfare again, and the uplifting ending is marred by the thought that the Jem'Hadar could lob a few torpedoes at the planet and finish this species off whenever they want, but those issues are really minor.

But the core of this episode is the Bashir story, and it really is the Bashir story, it's like a condensed version of his own arc throughout the show. He starts out an arrogant young doctor, he thinks he's the bee's knees and relishes in the opportunity to be a hero, things go south, he realises he's in over his head, he comes to a half-way decent solution, then he relaxes in the holosuite with O'Brien (probably). It's a good story, perhaps a little too obvious at times, but it works.
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Old April 25 2012, 05:24 PM   #1228
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I liked the part where dax confronts bashir over his arrogance, that a cure cannot be found just because bashir cannot find it.
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Old April 25 2012, 05:43 PM   #1229
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Ah, the Physician Assisted Suicide episode. I studied up on this recently, and the death scenes in the episode are very much the way PAS advocates describe them.
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Old April 25 2012, 09:15 PM   #1230
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I like this episode because it didn't get that preachy (both sides arguments were balanced out), besides I barely really felt like I was being hit over the head with the euthanasia thing. It was good to see Bashir really stumped and for the ending to not be all TNGish.
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