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

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Old October 21 2012, 03:27 PM   #1546
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
Part of what's so great about this episode is that it humanises the Jem'Hadar in a way that past episodes focusing on them failed to do. It did so not by having the Jem'Hadar rebel, as in Hippocratic Oath or To the Death, but by having them strictly adhere to the order of things. They die not because they dared to believe in freedom, but because they dared not to. They rejected the choice to have a choice, and consequently marched stoically toward their own suicide. Just like the Kira story, there's some really meaty material here to chew over, and this is probably the best Jem'Hadar episode of the entire series.
Agreed. I think the writers realized here that we needed to get a sense of who the Jem'Hadar are when they accept their role in the Dominion's plan, as the majority clearly do. More than simply humanizing the Jem'Hadar, it also helps cement our understanding of the Dominion and the threat they pose during this war. We might sympathize with the Jem'Hadar, but if previous episodes like the two you mention gave the impression that "freeing the Jem'Hadar from exploitation" would be a possible solution, this episode shoots the idea down, in a way makes the Jemmies less able to relate to the heroes even as it makes them more relatable. That's pretty complex writing, and serves to up the stakes as well as let us invest in the Dominion emotionally. Pointing out that Jem'Hadar are exploited gets you nowhere - they already know it, and accept it as their purpose. We're in the uncomfortable position of seeing them find dignity in it, preferring the comfort of their intended purpose to any attempt at freeing themselves. That's what makes this plot work so effectively; the regret that the most relatable and honourable traits in the Jem'Hadar are those that make them harder to reach out to, rather than easier. It's really a tragic situation, and it's impressive how much more three dimensional this single episode makes the Dominion.

I suppose the Kira plot also works very well alongside it, showing how Kira herself almost slips into an arguably similar mindset. Her purpose is to keep Bajor safe, keep the peace under their treaty with the Dominion...and she finds that she's been led into working within the Dominion's plan with the best of intentions, almost, as you say, becoming the sort of person she always fought against, almost justifying that mindset to herself. Overall, I think the episode works because it makes the Dominion a more complex threat; not just a force of military ships and soldiers but the sort of power that can eclipse freedoms in other, more subtle ways. We begin to truly get a sense that the Dominion is a functional empire that truly could subsume the alpha quadrant.
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Old October 21 2012, 03:54 PM   #1547
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Keep up the great reviews, was around a year ago I was at the point your at now, and loved every second of it. Season 6 starts off brilliantly dark, and as you said, I was looking forward too (and thought) that there would be a huge show down between Dukat and Weyoun at some point, although can understand how Dukats arc went the way it did.
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Old October 21 2012, 08:30 PM   #1548
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
Rocks and Shoals (*****)
Meanwhile, Sisko and co coincidentally crash-land on a planet within only a few kilometers of a Dominion ship that crashed a few days earlier. I know that all of you are aware of just how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big space is, and how unlikely is is for this to happen, but it leads to a great story so I can't be bothered to give a damn.
One of the things my writing course taught was, as fiction writers, you're in the business of telling the fantastic and coincidental. It's often a necessary evil to have situations 'just happen' in order to set up the problem because real life usually doesn't work that way (and when it does, that's where non-fictional works like biographies or historicals come into play). In fact, some of the best fiction comes from characters realistically reacting to circumstances created by the fantastic.

So yeah, huge coincidence how this episode sets itself up, but the resulting drama from it makes it all the worth while.
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Old October 22 2012, 01:04 PM   #1549
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Sons and Daughters (**½)

Sons and Daughters isn't a bad episode, but it has the misfortune to follow on from four of the best episodes of the series, perhaps the best run of episodes in the franchise, and fail to live up to their standard. It also has some niggling continuity issues.

Alexander has reached the ripe old age of 8, and now he's ready to become a warrior on a Klingon ship. Fair enough, Klingons are a rather dumb species, maybe they reach maturity faster than humans because they historically didn't spend as much time having to learn things. Learn to talk, learn to walk, learn to throw rocks at things: congratulations, you're now a mature Klingon! However, Alexander seems to have lost track of time and thinks that Worf abandoned him five years ago when I only count three years, but maybe that's because Alexander left school when he was 8 and didn't learn to count properly. Admittedly, it has been a long time since I've rewatched TNG, and during my most recent rewatch I skipped most of the Alexander episodes because they're shite, but I don't remember Worf being as bad a dad as Alexander makes him out to be. He was never going to win the title of galaxy's best dad, but he did try to relate to Alexander, he did learn as the series progressed, and he did come to accept that Alexander didn't want to become a warrior. But now Alexander does want to become a warrior for some reason that's never explained. Go figure.

I can understand why DS9 chose not to include Alexander when Worf joined the show (because Alexander episodes were shite, and that bears repeating), so Alexander does have a bit of a point when he says that Worf abandoned him, and I'm glad that DS9 finally got around to addressing that Worf is a father. But this was not the time nor best way to address these issues. And the solution is rather lame; Alexander becomes a made man in the Martok family. Yay?

The Kira story is a better, but also poorly placed in the arc. Following on from her reawakening in the previous episode, she dozes off again, and her work in forming a resistance cell is put on hold so that she can hang out with Ziyal. Bringing Ziyal back to the station is important set-up for her death, and the episode puts the pieces in place well enough that you barely even notice what's really going on. Dukat's sleazy charm is also entertaining to watch, and Kira's bluntness in rejecting him displays some of the qualities that make her character so great. The episode could have done with a bit more of Kira and Odo organising their resistance in the background to keep the arc moving, but it's okay without that.

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Old October 22 2012, 11:50 PM   #1550
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

God I hate Alexander. He was in so many sucky episodes of TNG, and then sudddenly here he is, stinking up DS9's amazing run. I'd have preferred it if they'd just left him forgotten, a I rally didn't like the direction that him and Worf supposedly took after TNG.

I also hate the dumb trope of children aging much more quicker than usual on TV, purely for the sake of 'interesting' stories. Feh.

The other half of the episode was better.
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Old October 23 2012, 12:24 AM   #1551
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Yeah, Sons and Daughters is sadly pretty bad compared to the rest of the occupation arc. According to Memory Alpha a quite funny sounding scene involving Dukat imitating Damar was cut from it too.

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
Alexander episodes were shite
You can't prove that's your opinion until you do a TNG rewatch thread so you can put their ratings in a graph.
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Old October 23 2012, 01:05 PM   #1552
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I don't need to rewatch TNG to make a shiteograph about Alexander episodes.

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Old October 23 2012, 03:41 PM   #1553
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

What's the scale on that graph?
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Old October 23 2012, 08:00 PM   #1554
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
I don't need to rewatch TNG to make a shiteograph about Alexander episodes.

According to Paul Ryan, you have to include The Emissary in that as well.
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Old October 24 2012, 01:23 AM   #1555
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
Alexander has reached the ripe old age of 8, and now he's ready to become a warrior on a Klingon ship.
Ok, I literally LOL'ed at that.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about the whole Alexander/Worf thing is that it completely contradicts the way TNG left the two. As annoying as Alexander could be, there was a progression in his relationship with Worf on TNG, culminating in "Firstborn" where Worf refused to be separated from him. Worf wasn't winning any father of the year awards yet, but he was trying.

So it was a little annoying that they just disregarded all that when Worf got the job on DS9. I get why the writers didn't have him bring Alexander to DS9- there was already a single father on the station, another one would be redundant. But the way they handled it was just bad, and "Sons and Daughters" is the pinnacle of that. It had already been addressed that Worf's parents were too old to take care of Alexander. Maybe if Worf had decided to send him to military school as he'd contemplated in "Firstborn" then him showing up on a Klingon ship would have been more believable.

And I can't believe that Worf's parents wouldn't have told him that Alexander ran off to join the military.
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Old October 24 2012, 03:23 AM   #1556
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Yeah, DS9 Alexander just struck me as a bumbling Klingon teen with daddy issues. As for the age 8 thing? Maybe Klingons grow up more quickly, and I don't find it hard at all to believe the Klingons would take fully matured people in the middle of a war no matter their age. It is a warrior culture.
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Old October 24 2012, 04:49 AM   #1557
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Yeah, DS9 Alexander just struck me as a bumbling Klingon teen with daddy issues. As for the age 8 thing? Maybe Klingons grow up more quickly, and I don't find it hard at all to believe the Klingons would take fully matured people in the middle of a war no matter their age. It is a warrior culture.
I think the Doc in VOY actually mentioned Klingon's aging quickly, sort of as a throwaway continuity bone to explain Wildman's rapid age jump.
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Old October 24 2012, 04:04 PM   #1558
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

DonIago wrote: View Post
What's the scale on that graph?
I don't think it has one, it's a really shite graph.


Behind the Lines (***½)

Behind the Lines is the beginning of the end of the occupation arc, the pieces are being put in place for the two-part finale. With the minefield being brought down and Rom arrested, things have to come to a head soon. For the most part this episode is very successful at moving the plot forward and addressing relevant characterisation. The problem with the episode is, of course, the ending. I don't mind that they sent Odo off into a completely other place, but I know that this change for him will begin to change back in the next episode and be resolved in a closet in a few episodes. The lack of follow-through on this change in Odo cheapens the ending of this episode and undermines his arc here with the female Changeling. That's really unfortunate, because exploring that a little deeper would have been fascinating, but the writers apparently weren't prepared to do that. The result is messy, and the ending of this episode goes too far in making Odo seem aloof and uncaring about his friends. I know that it can be explained away as Odo experiencing some sort of post-orgasmic high from the link which soon wore off, but if that's all it is then don't present it as a bit of a cliffhanger.

Meanwhile, Sisko gets a bit of a promotion and is given a desk job away from the Defiant. This is a pleasant enough tale, but it is kinda pointless considering he's on the brink of retaking DS9 and this change for his position will be undone. As I said, it's a nice tale, and I actually somewhat appreciated that the story kept its focus on Sisko and didn't show us the actual battle Sisko sent the Defiant into. Jadzia isn't quite as convincing as Sisko during the ceremony of the used power-cell, you need a certain amount of craziness to make such a thing not seem cheesy and nobody on the show does crazy quite as well as Sisko.
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Old October 24 2012, 04:43 PM   #1559
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Memory Alpha wrote:
Neither Nana Visitor nor Rene Auberjonois were happy with how the resolution between Kira and Odo was presented, i.e. off-screen. Ira Steven Behr was also unhappy with it and he has admitted, "that was a bad mistake." The reason the scene was written that way was because of a last minute rewrite and no time to come up with anything else. As Ronald D. Moore explains, "We had originally planned that in this episode we were going to start having Odo lock himself away, refusing to mingle with anyone else on the station. The events of "Behind the Lines" and "Favor the Bold" had really shaken him and made him wonder, 'What am I doing, where do I belong, look at what I almost did.' So he was going to show up at the wedding and make an unexpected announcement. He would say, 'I've decided I can't be friends with any of you anymore, because clearly you can't trust me, so I need to go my own way. I'll do my job but that's it and that's all that's ever going to be.' And then he would walk out again. And the people there were going to go 'Whoa, what does this mean?' Then we were going to play Odo completely different for the rest of the season." At the last minute however, Behr, Hans Beimler and Auberjonois came to Moore to inquire where the character was ultimately going to end up. Auberjonois in particular felt strongly about this new development, feeling that Odo was being alienated, and they wondered what Moore's ultimate plan was, how was he going to get Odo back into the fold. Unfortunately, he didn't have one, he hadn't thought that far ahead, so the plan was dropped at the last minute. As Moore says, "It felt wrong to take him out of the mix and alienate him from everybody without a clear idea in our heads about why we were doing it." This change in plans however, left no time for Moore to write a deep scene of resolution between Odo and Kira. He does acknowledge however, that his off-screen solution wasn't entirely successful; "I know Nana and Rene don't like it, and some of the fans don't like it, and I don't like it. It's just one of those things that we had to do because we were out of time, and I felt that I had to do something so that it didn't seem as if we hadn't even touched on it."
So that's apparently why Odo's actions in the arc get brushed away so quickly and offscreenly. I agree that it was a bad decision.

Also, this episode does indeed seem very much like Sisko got promoted, which is why I decided to consider him a Commodore for the rest of the series on my latest rewatch.
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Old October 24 2012, 10:19 PM   #1560
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Memory Alpha wrote:
So he was going to show up at the wedding and make an unexpected announcement. He would say, 'I've decided I can't be friends with any of you anymore, because clearly you can't trust me, so I need to go my own way. I'll do my job but that's it and that's all that's ever going to be.' And then he would walk out again. And the people there were going to go 'Whoa, what does this mean?' Then we were going to play Odo completely different for the rest of the season."
Though not 100% satisfied with the way it was handled, I'm glad they didn't do that. First off, weddings being interrupted by whatever is such a played out TV cliche. Secondly, it just seems way too drama-queen for Odo.
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