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

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Old November 1 2012, 03:03 PM   #1591
TheGodBen
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Sindatur wrote: View Post
I think I do like Crossover best, but, I don't go in "proper" order for the rest of them
I'd put Through the Looking Glass lower than other people, but otherwise I go along with the consensus. That's my strategy, I rock the boat just a little bit, but agree with everyone most of the time so that people like me.


Statistical Probabilities (***½)

A large part of whether or not you're going to enjoy this episode comes down to whether you like the Jack Pack or find them insufferable. Personally, I like them. They're something different, they're pretty much insane and unable to operate in the real world (or what passes for the real world in Star Trek) but they're still clearly people with wants and needs. I can relate to them because, when they are combined, they make up a perfect nerd. Jack represents a nerd's megalomania and resentment towards the world for not accepting nerds, Sarina represents the quiet, non-social side of nerds, Patrick represents nerds' stunted maturity, and Lauren represents the fact that nerds are sex-starved. Yes, there's a little Jack Pack in all of us. Or possibly just me.

My main issue with the episode is that Bashir loses touch with reality so quickly that it doesn't translate well in the episode. I think the idea is sound, Bashir has always been an arrogant character so the fact that spending so much time around around genetically engineered super-geniuses causes him to become obsessed with the correctness of their statistical analyses makes sense for him. The problem is that we don't see enough of Bashir with the Jack Pack to fully understand how Bashir has become so engrossed in their work that he can no longer see the wood from the trees. We hear him discussing it with O'Brien, but that's not the same. The result is that when Bashir starts to passionately argue that the Federation must surrender it doesn't feel natural. The concept is good, the execution just needed to be better.

A plus for this episode is that it returns to the Dominion situation and reveals that Damar is the new leader of Cardassia, although on far less even terms than those Dukat had. The episode kinda sets the course for the rest of the war; it indicates that the Dominion are currently in the dominant position, that the Romulans will enter the war on the side of the Federation, and that the Cardassians will eventually revolt against Dominion rule. It's interesting that the writers laid out the broad strokes of the war in this episode for us all to see, but they still had those events play out in unexpected and exciting ways.
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Old November 1 2012, 05:54 PM   #1592
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
The episode kinda sets the course for the rest of the war; it indicates that the Dominion are currently in the dominant position, that the Romulans will enter the war on the side of the Federation, and that the Cardassians will eventually revolt against Dominion rule. It's interesting that the writers laid out the broad strokes of the war in this episode for us all to see, but they still had those events play out in unexpected and exciting ways.
In hindsight, it also helps make the Jack Pack more convincing. While they were wrong on the "having to surrender" front, the fact that their predictions regarding the war are generally accurate helps, on second viewing, convince me that they must have been genuinely good at what they do. So I'm more able to buy the idea that Bashir accepts their recommendation, now that I know they're generally on the right track.

Oh, and I like the Jack Pack, too. I'm glad they returned in season 7.
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Old November 2 2012, 06:34 PM   #1593
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
In hindsight, it also helps make the Jack Pack more convincing. While they were wrong on the "having to surrender" front, the fact that their predictions regarding the war are generally accurate helps, on second viewing, convince me that they must have been genuinely good at what they do. So I'm more able to buy the idea that Bashir accepts their recommendation, now that I know they're generally on the right track.
And to add to that, future events also reinforce the message of this episode which is that individuals can affect the future. The Romulans did enter the war as was predicted, but they did so sooner than expected because of the actions of Sisko and Garak, thus striking before too much damage was done to Starfleet. The Cardassians did rebel, but they didn't predict that the instigator that rebellion would be the leader of Cardassia who would have important strategic knowledge and connections.


The Magnificent Ferengi (****)

This is my favourite Ferengi comedy episode, which isn't all that difficult an accomplishment if I'm being honest, but it's still a pretty damn good episode. My usual complaint about Ferengi comedies is that they rely too much on the same tired old jokes about greed and mysogyny, and why The Magnificent Ferengi works for me is that it doesn't rely on those jokes too much. This episode is about a group of Ferengi that are genuinely trying to do something heroic, the jokes are more about how they're not good at a new thing rather than how they obsess over their usual stuff.

The story is kinda dumb, but that's forgiveable in a comic episode like this. Why the Ferengi would kidnap Ishka is a question that can never truly be answered to anyone's satisfaction in-universe, so we just have to go with the real-world answer which is that Wallace Shawn wasn't available. Honestly, I think that works a little better, I have my gripes about Ishka but I'd rather see her bashing Nog over the head than Zek. Iggy Vorta is also a terrible negotiator and conceded way too much to Quark, thus allowing the Ferengi to out-smart him, but I suppose it's possible that he underestimated what Ferengi are capable of. And I've got to give Iggy props for wearing a shirt, that fact alone is worth a star.

One other issue is that a large part of Quark's motivation in this episode is his desire to be a hero, but he already got to be a hero in Sacrifice of Angels, and those heroics were actually mentioned i this episode, so I don't know why he feels a need to prove himself when he already has. Rom too, he risked his life twice during the occupation and was nearly executed for it. But those are minor issues, and you're not supposed to take this episode too seriously.
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Old November 4 2012, 03:14 PM   #1594
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Waltz (****)

Waltz is yet another controversial episode. Many hate it because it strips away the fascinating shades of grey from Dukat's character and leaves him as a stereotypical villain. That's a view I'm somewhat sympathetic to. Others love the episode because it's a well-written psychological piece about a man's descent into madness. I'm also sympathetic to that view.

I don't believe in the concept of pure evil, even the worst human in history has committed some small act of good at some point. But I do believe in approximate evil, at some point a person can do so many bad things that they can be considered a bad, even evil, person. I consider Dukat to be such a person, he does have some positive aspects to his personality, yet he is driven largely by his own ego and not enough by his conscience. This episode doesn't present anything new to make Dukat seem evil, it just puts together all the pieces already on the table and allows Dukat to see what he really is. The episode goes a bit overboard towards the end with Dukat's insane ranting and Sisko's denouncement that Dukat is "truly evil", but if someone had just beaten me with a pipe I would probably say the same thing.

Another minor issue with the episode is that the set-up is rather unbelievable, Dukat and Sisko being on the same ship, travelling on its own near the Cardassian border, then they escape together to a habitable planet as two of only a handful of survivors? It's a bit outlandish. I'm willing to accept because it leads to some great interactions between the two characters, but in the early scenes it's difficult to get past just how convenient the situation is. Also, the b-story on the Defiant added nothing but a distraction, we didn't need a ticking clock to add suspense to the episode, there was plenty of drama going on in the cave set.
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Old November 4 2012, 08:52 PM   #1595
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Oh my god. I work a couple of late shifts, go to a halloween party, and then suddenly there are three reviews? How long was I asleep for last night?

I really like Statistical Probablities and The Magnificent Ferengi, but I really, really love Waltz. It did pretty much destroy the interesting balance Dukat had before this, but I can't blame this particular episode for that. Sure the setup was somewhat (okay, ridiculously) coincidental, but luckily that just gets Sisko and Dukat to the meat of the story. It's brilliantly portrayed too.
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Old November 16 2012, 09:01 PM   #1596
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
In hindsight, it also helps make the Jack Pack more convincing. While they were wrong on the "having to surrender" front, the fact that their predictions regarding the war are generally accurate helps, on second viewing, convince me that they must have been genuinely good at what they do. So I'm more able to buy the idea that Bashir accepts their recommendation, now that I know they're generally on the right track.
And to add to that, future events also reinforce the message of this episode which is that individuals can affect the future. The Romulans did enter the war as was predicted, but they did so sooner than expected because of the actions of Sisko and Garak, thus striking before too much damage was done to Starfleet. The Cardassians did rebel, but they didn't predict that the instigator that rebellion would be the leader of Cardassia who would have important strategic knowledge and connections.
The points made here really elevate the episode in my view.

Also, Sisko gets to be awesome in it

It's true that Bashir seems to go "all in" on the idea of the Federation's surrender very quickly. But, on the other hand, he has compelling arguments.

It's not an episode that really comes to mind when I think of my favorite DS9 episodes, but I find that it holds up really well when I rewatch it.
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Old November 18 2012, 03:14 PM   #1597
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Sorry for the unintentional break. I stayed up until 7am a few weeks back to watch the election in the US and that upset my sleep-cycle. Since I watch DS9 late at night, I was usually too tired to watch it and therefore had no impetus to get back to reviewing.


Who Mourns for Morn? (***)

Deep Space Nine is filmed before a live studio audience.

QUARK: Something bothering you, Morgan?
CAPT BATESON: Oh, nothing really, Quark. Lanel and I just had another fight.
QUARK: Oh, what about?
BATESON: Well, the other night she caught me in bed with Saavik.
ROM: You know, back in Hanover we don't take kindly to men cheating on their wife with another woman. Or horses.
BATESON: ...People cheated on their wives with horses, Rom?
ROM: No, we just didn't take kindly to horses.
*Morn enters*
EVERYONE: Morn!
LEETA: Mornan.
ROM: How's life treating you, Mr Sertopen?
MORN: ...
QUARK: That bad, huh? Well, what would you say to a beer?
MORN: ...
QUARK: Okay, a cold one it is.
I'm a bit reluctant about episodes like this, writing an entire episode about a one-joke character is a pit-fall that a lot of shows fall into when they reach their later seasons. This episode mostly works, but at the expense of completely overextending the Morn joke. He was just an ordinary guy living an ordinary life in exceptional circumstances, and his main joy in life was hanging out at the bar with his friends. And he did all that without ever saying a word. But now he's a daring thief with brilliant schemes who dates beautiful women and is an expert bat'leth fighter, and now he's rich too. To enjoy the Morn joke, you kinda have to pretend this episode doesn't exist.

The episode itself was reasonably enjoyable, but fairly predicable all the same. It's one of those fluff episodes that you can enjoy if you're willing to turn off your brain, and I guess I was in the mood to do that the other night. That being said, this is the second Quark-centric comedy episode in the last three episodes, which is poor episode placement while there's a war going on. Not every episode of DS9 from this point on should be about the war, but episodes like this should be spaced out a little more.
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Old November 18 2012, 04:02 PM   #1598
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Yeah that bugged me in season six. Gradually, the further we got from the opening arc, the more random things became. Episodes can still be enjoyed individually, but the season's structure is made wobbly by doing things like Who Mourns For Morn. It kind of continues into season seven too.

I still enjoy the episode though.
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Old November 19 2012, 01:39 PM   #1599
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Seven of Five wrote: View Post
Yeah that bugged me in season six. Gradually, the further we got from the opening arc, the more random things became. Episodes can still be enjoyed individually, but the season's structure is made wobbly by doing things like Who Mourns For Morn. It kind of continues into season seven too.
I think the problem is that if they focused too much on the war episodes (without some interesting twists or turns, character deaths or truly ballsy plots) those too would have become a bit... myah. Here's a list of what DS9 main characters got up to as the war was 'raging' all around them:

1. O'Brien and Bashir played darts and went galavanting around the holosuites.
2. The senior staff couldn't get enough off Vic Fontaine.
3. Sisko encourages his colleagues to take up baseball to beat his Vulcan adversary.
4. They pull of an imaginary heist to help an imaginary friend.
5. Quark undergoes a sex change.
6. Bashir dates a genetically engineered woman.

There's probably more fluff, but I'd reckon about 33 of the 52 episodes of seasons 6 and 7 combined were of the meaty sort; action-orientated, dark, and thoroughly non-fluffy. So that's a lot of light-hearted episodes in a time period where the Alpha Quadrant was undergoing the worst war in centuries.

Plus DS9 was virtually right next to the Cardassian border. Why didn't the Dominion carry out an offensive (even if it were a futile one) to retake lost territory and work out a way of safely going through the wormhole (freeing the Pah Wraiths for instance?).

There should have been at least a three-part story arc where the Dominion lays siege to DS9 and Bajor, and DS9 gets totally trashed in the process ala VOY 'Year of Hell' style (without the temporal reboot and all is well again). Plus a main character died to; say O'Brien or something. That would have been really awesome plot wise!
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Old November 19 2012, 08:05 PM   #1600
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Ln X wrote: View Post
There should have been at least a three-part story arc where the Dominion lays siege to DS9 and Bajor, and DS9 gets totally trashed in the process ala VOY 'Year of Hell' style (without the temporal reboot and all is well again). Plus a main character died to; say O'Brien or something. That would have been really awesome plot wise!
That sort of happened. Tears Of The Prophets through Shadows & Symbols was a 3-episode arc, plus a main character died. There was even a siege, though it was the Alliance doing it on the Chin'toka System.
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Old November 19 2012, 08:47 PM   #1601
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Sykonee wrote: View Post
That sort of happened. Tears Of The Prophets through Shadows & Symbols was a 3-episode arc, plus a main character died. There was even a siege, though it was the Alliance doing it on the Chin'toka System.
Those things did happen but the Bajoran rebel siege of DS9 lacked the emotional oomph that a (proposed) Dominion siege would have had in season 6. Combine really developed characters (DS9 characters) with a Year of Hell style plot (without the temporal shenanigans) and it would be probably be of the same level awesomeness as the first Dominion war arc.
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Old November 19 2012, 10:55 PM   #1602
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Hey, everybody. Been reading this thread for a month or two as I rewatch the series and finally almost caught up to it.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Statistical Probabilities (***½)

My main issue with the episode is that Bashir loses touch with reality so quickly that it doesn't translate well in the episode. I think the idea is sound, Bashir has always been an arrogant character so the fact that spending so much time around around genetically engineered super-geniuses causes him to become obsessed with the correctness of their statistical analyses makes sense for him. The problem is that we don't see enough of Bashir with the Jack Pack to fully understand how Bashir has become so engrossed in their work that he can no longer see the wood from the trees. We hear him discussing it with O'Brien, but that's not the same. The result is that when Bashir starts to passionately argue that the Federation must surrender it doesn't feel natural. The concept is good, the execution just needed to be better.
A few weeks ago, this very topic was front and center in the US media -- statistical analysis vs gut feelings. Only it wasn't about determining the chance of winning a war. It was about something much dirtier, politics. On one side were the math and statistics people claiming it was a highly likely victory for Obama. On the other were pundits, especially the conservative pundits who claimed it would be a landslide for Romney, because of all the heart and excitement they'd seen for him on the campaign trail.

The statisticians turned out to be overwhelmingly correct. Two separate analyses got it dead on. One got everything but one state.

Of course, it might be harder to predict the winner of a interstellar battle than something that's essentially a popularity contest. But with that fresh in my mind, it wasn't too hard to see why Bashir would support the statistical analysis.

My gripe wouldn't be that Bashir believed in the work of the Jack Pack. It's that the episode doesn't give enough credit to statistical analysis.
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Old November 20 2012, 05:27 AM   #1603
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Except that the Jack Pack's analysis couldn't possibly account for numerous variables that actually transpired, such as the events of ITPM.

I'm all for forecasts, but the reality is that the further ahead you forecast the greater the possibility that the end result being forecast is inaccurate.
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Old November 20 2012, 07:48 PM   #1604
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

That's part of the point I mean about not giving enough credit to analysis. These people are supposed to be super geniuses who are impressing everyone with their work. But those super geniuses missed some pretty basic concepts.

I don't know a lot about statistics, but what I do know is that it can't predict the future. It can only accurately predict the probability of something happening. I good prediction model does take into account the miraculous and unusual and assigns a percentage chance of them happening.

When they went beyond the end of the war to multiple generations down the line revolting, that was pretty absurd. And it makes statistical analysis itself look like some sort of useless voodoo.

I don't find it a problem that Bashir could get behind properly done statistical analysis, but the way it's presented here doesn't seem properly done. And credibility of the characters presenting it doesn't help either.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Waltz (****)

Another minor issue with the episode is that the set-up is rather unbelievable, Dukat and Sisko being on the same ship, travelling on its own near the Cardassian border, then they escape together to a habitable planet as two of only a handful of survivors? It's a bit outlandish.
As Dukat recounted the events that lead him and Sisko to be conveniently marooned together, I kept thinking of Zap Brannigan tricking Leela into thinking they were crash landed on another planet and he had saved her. After getting past my amusement at the thought of Dukat attempting to woo Sisko, I realized that's pretty much what he's doing. He's not trying to woo Sisko romantically, but his main goal is to get Sisko to like him.

Since the situation is so disbelievable, I also wonder whether Dukat was telling the truth about how he and Sisko go there. What if the 3rd guy wasn't accidentally killed? What if Dukat killed him or just left him behind?

I kind of wish the Defiant scenes had been used to give a sense of believability to the situation by doing something like showing the rest of the crew had survived and implying Dukat had purposely taken his escape pod as far from the others as he could or purposely found a place sensors wouldn't detect them on the same planet as some of the others. Even so, I can still get past it.
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Old November 20 2012, 08:03 PM   #1605
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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