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

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Old January 25 2013, 06:27 PM   #1771
Melakon
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I always liked James Darren. I first saw him in The Time Tunnel (one of the best stage sets ever), but I knew of his singing career and Moondoggie days, though I didn't watch beach movies. He did well on T.J. Hooker too. And I have both his film death scenes (The Guns of Navarone and "The Emperor's New Cloak").

Not sure why some seem to genuinely hate Vic. Maybe they felt DS9 was turning into a musical variety show. I thought Darren did well with him, though the whole Vegas lounge thing did seem a bit odd.
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Old January 25 2013, 06:36 PM   #1772
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Two of the most boring episodes of S7. Which was pretty dull anyway.
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Old January 25 2013, 06:54 PM   #1773
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Before, Vic was unnecessary fluff added to a show that already contained a lot of fluff. This episode finally proves Vic's worth as a member of the ensemble, not just because of his role aiding Nog through his trauma, but also because this is the first time Vic actually gets to act like a real person.

I have to say the DS9 writers were really, really good with this type of thing: taking a new element and adding it to the overall tapestry of the show in ways that you don't necessarily expect.

I'll never be a huge fan of Vic, but I can't just write him off either, the way I might like to, because of episodes like this. That's impressive stuff, and good writing.

It's especially obvious, I think, in the case of Vic, who is such a blatantly self-indulgent and somewhat silly addition to the show.
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Old January 26 2013, 12:20 AM   #1774
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Jesus slow down a bit will you? I checked every frickin day I was on holiday for more updates, but now I'm back at work you're back pumping them out like easy Scott Bakula jokes.

Why GodBen, WHY?

Ahem.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
  • Lennier is a Ranger, but after an incident involving President Sheridan he ran away and joined Starfleet.
Yay!

AR-588 is a very grim story, but I agree that the use of Quark as a commentator on all the craziness going on was a brilliant move. He's far more interesting than the Quark that pines after Ezri, or is trying to sort out the latest Ferengi shenanigans.

And of course blowing Nog's leg off at the end was ultimately a very good move by the writers. The episode does very well at showing how shitty war is, and I appreciated it very much.

Then we have to pause for Covenant, which is another boring one for me. On the one hand, Kira and Dukat sizzle on the screen together, and I find myself gripped to whatever they're talking about.

That particular week they were reading from Introduction to Cult Writing apparently, as the rest of the episode was plodding and predictable, which is a shame really.

Luckily, things are back on track with It's Only a Paper Moon, which is excellent. Nog has certainly earned the right to an episode to himself, and it's fascinating watch him retreat away from his real life into Vic's world.
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Old January 26 2013, 07:01 AM   #1775
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post

It's Only a Paper Moon (****)

I'm going to say something utterly unsurprising and say that Nog is the best Ferengi character in Star Trek. It's not because he's the least Ferengi-like Ferengi, it's because he's the Ferengi that most closely matches the spirit of 20th century humans, which is what it's claimed the Ferengi are all about. Modern humans care about profit and accumulating things, sure. But that's not all we care about. Nog wants to be rich in the same way that the rest of us do, but it's not the driving force behind his whole life. He has other things he wants to do, he wants to be a better person, and if he makes some money along the way then that would be swell.

This is part of the reason why Paper Moon works so well,


…for Nog it's a huge deal, just like it would be for any of us.



I have my problems with the idea of Nog living in a holosuite for several weeks, and the fact that Vic's program is left to run permanently from here on out, but it makes for a nice story, so whatever.
So I feel I should chime in here. As one might gather from my user name, It's Only A Paper Moon is an episode very close to my heart.

First, on a "ur-level" (as opposed to a "meta-level"), I love the story. I think TheGodBen nails it: using Nog is a great way for the writers to deal with the trauma of war and the trauma of recovery. Vic is used masterfully, in depicting both his unique skills and his unique limitations, in a way that keeps him from becoming a Mary Sue, but at the same time injects some very different material into the story.

Ezri's counseling background comes in handy here, allowing further differentiation of her from Jadzia, and is a nice continuity nod to her established position. (As opposed to Worf and his position as Strategic Operations Officer; not much is done with that.) Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of the Incompetent-Psychotherapist trope; even though it makes for easier story-telling, the reality is that psychotherapy is extremely helpful for many people and is a critical component of recovery for many trauma victims. On the other hand, Ezri is still a very young counselor, one who actually hasn't even finished her training. So, in-universe, her limited success with Nog makes some sense. And, as Ben said, we get a (imo) great story out of it, so I'm fine with overlooking it.

Now, on a more "meta-level": to me, this is a respectful story about Star Trek fans like me.

A little background: I found Star Trek at a young age in the midst of the greatest trauma of my life. It is possible, of course, that there are worse things yet to come for me; however, I believe that they will not surpass this episode in my life, because I will have emotional coping skills and maturity to help me deal with those traumas, in a way that I could not as a child.

Star Trek became something for me to hold on to, as my life was turned on its head. Over the course of a summer, I became a die-hard Trekkie. I watched every episode of every series that I could find on TV, then convinced my parents to buy me the (then quite new) DS9 DVD box sets, since it was the only series not available on the air at that time. I plumbed the depths of EAS, DITL, startrek.com, the list went on and on. Lucky enough to have an extremely good memory, I memorized detail after detail, quickly developing a core of knowledge about Star Trek that allowed me not only to enjoy the episodes themselves but also to synthesize, on my own, new stories, theories and observations consistent with the established canon.

Star Trek, as a universe, became an escape in which I could totally immerse myself.

I have been fortunate. Unlike Nog, Star Trek has never become an unhealthy escape, a way for me to avoid dealing with real life. In many ways, Star Trek gave me additional tools to deal with real life.

But there is always this voice in the back of my head, a reminder to be mindful to not lose myself in this, my favorite pastime.

Paper Moon, I think, speaks to the real healing power that escapes can have when someone has had "too much reality." It acknowledges and respects the healthy ways they can be used, and does not portray Nog as being foolish or weak for seeking refuge in the holosuite. In some ways, he is shown to be very wise and self-aware, enough so that he goes of his own free-will to the place where he can begin to heal.

But Paper Moon also speaks honestly about the way such an escape can be overused. And it confronts, in a very cathartic way, the reality that you eventually need to go back to living your life. If you don't, you'll die; not all at once, but little by little.

David Mack, John Ordover and Ronald Moore take us on an emotional journey that is extremely effective, at least, for me. The result is an episode that tells a great story, one of the few of its kind, in the great epic that is DS9, and to a lesser extent, Star Trek, but also a story that transcends its context and becomes relevant in a wide range of circumstances.

Obviously, Ben, I understand why this episode does not get 5 stars under your rating system. But, for me, it's a 10 out of 10, and one of Trek's finest hours.
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Old January 26 2013, 01:57 PM   #1776
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Worf'sParmach wrote: View Post
Logistically, promising Vic that his program will run all the time seems a little problematic, but it's the last season so whatever. (Doesn't Quark own the holosuites? Why would be be cool with losing profit on renting that one out?)
I suppose it's possible that they set up a majigger like the one they fooled Moriarty with in Ship in a Bottle so that Vic's program is constantly running, but not being projected in the holosuite unless someone pays to visit. That's probably the best way it interpret it, although it does open the possibility of Bashir wanting to visit Vic late at night and discovering that Vic's sleeping.

Seven of Five wrote: View Post
Jesus slow down a bit will you? I checked every frickin day I was on holiday for more updates, but now I'm back at work you're back pumping them out like easy Scott Bakula jokes.

Why GodBen, WHY?
Okay then, just for you I'll take another month-long break.


Paper Moon wrote: View Post
Obviously, Ben, I understand why this episode does not get 5 stars under your rating system. But, for me, it's a 10 out of 10, and one of Trek's finest hours.
I was close to giving it 9/10, but settled on 8 at the end. There was a moment in the episode when Vic and Nog were talking when I realised that a weird-looking alien was talking to a holographic 60s lounge singer, and I felt a little embarrassed by the silliness of it. It was only a moment, but it was enough to convince me to keep the rating at four stars.
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Old January 26 2013, 08:37 PM   #1777
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
There was a moment in the episode when Vic and Nog were talking when I realised that a weird-looking alien was talking to a holographic 60s lounge singer, and I felt a little embarrassed by the silliness of it.

You know, it's surprising, in a way, that we don't have that reaction more often when watching these episodes. It shows you, I guess, how much our perceptions of things are determined by conventions and what we expect to see.

For example, I watched Call to Arms not too long ago. And there's a moment where it's like: the lizard guy is annoyed with the sickly pale/strange ears/weird hair guy, and they are both wearing some sort of elaborate monocle thing that they are staring into. LoL

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Old January 27 2013, 03:28 PM   #1778
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Funnily enough, I was thinking of Call to Arms when I wrote that yesterday, and how the outbreak of war between silly looking aliens was treated with absolute seriousness, but it didn't come across as weird there. It probably has something to do with the mixing of genres; humans and aliens fighting wars in the future makes sense for a sci-fi show, but the inclusion of a 60s lounge singer causes the mind to wobble and realise just how weird the show really is.
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Old January 27 2013, 06:26 PM   #1779
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I would say Star Trek on the whole is pretty weird. Isn't a lot of sci-fi?

Or maybe I'm watching the wrong stuff.
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Old January 28 2013, 03:06 PM   #1780
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Prodigal Daughter (**)

On this week's very special episode of Deep Space Blossom, Ezri deals with the emotional impact of discovering that her brother is a murderer. In the beginning, the episode seems to be setting itself up as a sequel to Honor Among Thieves, which wasn't an episode that particularly needed a sequel, but I wouldn't say no to such an episode either. Sadly, it's probably this element of the episode that weakens it the most and drags Ezri's story into something of a melodrama.

The best bits of the episode are towards the beginning as Ezri attempts to make sense of her family life from the new perspective of being joined. It's strange that we're actually meeting Ezri's family considering we never met Jadzia's. Truth be told, I don't remember Jadzia even mentioning any members of her family, all her stories about family life involved previous hosts of the Dax symbiont. (A quick check on Memory Alpha reveals that Jadzia had one sister who sent her glassware at some point.) While it is a little odd that we're meeting Ezri's family, it is one aspect of Trill society we haven't seen before; how families cope when one member of the family essentially becomes a different person. Ezri's relationship with her mother is particularly usual considering Ezri now has more experience in all walks of life than her domineering mother ever will.

But then O'Brien shows up and we learn that the woman O'Brien was searching for was somehow connected to Ezri's family. This would be a big coincidence on a planet of 7 billion people, in a galaxy of untold trillions it's downright amazing. It turns out that Ezri's brother killed her because nobody ever took him seriously, and it's all the mother's fault. Okay, Ezri's mother isn't the galaxy's best parent, she isn't even worthy of a mug declaring her so, but blaming the murder on her seems a bit harsh. Norvo apparently had psychopathic tendencies and his mother may have exacerbated those, so maybe she deserves some of the blame for that, but Ezri choosing not to console her mother during this crisis seems cruel, and unbecoming of a therapist.
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Old January 29 2013, 12:32 AM   #1781
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Ugh, I really hated this episode.

My patience with Ezri was wearing thin after this boring tosh. They should have let it be an O'Brien episode if they wanted to follow up on Honor Amongst Thieves, being as he didn't have his own episode in the final season.

While it was good to see how Ezri's family see her after she's joined, and essentially a new person, I think the actual family scenes wallowed in banality.

Feh!
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Old January 29 2013, 12:53 AM   #1782
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

When people say they wish there were fewer Ezri episodes in S7, I think they're mainly thinking of this one.

It feels like a S4 episode. The connection to "Honor Among Thieves" is nice enough, although I would have done different things with it than they did.

I thought the commentary about how extraordinary acts of violence can result from ordinary life experiences was interesting, though perhaps a bit ham-handed and forced. It was also nice to see an aspect of the Federation that wasn't squeaky-clean.

One other small detail I liked: Morica Bilby. Though we don't see her, what we are told about her makes her, well, a lot less likable than her husband was. It would've been very easy for the writers to make her a sympathetic figure, but the way she's portrayed make her seem unreasonable and greedy. That's a nice, little realistic twist.

Of course, objectively, we only have anecdotal evidence about her, but still, they don't go to great lengths to give us reason to question that evidence.

Still, overall, I rewatch this episode rather infrequently.
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Old January 30 2013, 12:15 AM   #1783
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I also think of Field of Fire, and even mirror-Ezri in The Emperor's New Cloak. Though to be fair, that's an awful episode.

I was also a bit bored of all the romance stuff in the Final Chapter.
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Old January 30 2013, 05:18 PM   #1784
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Prodigal Daughter is one of the very few DS9 episodes that I remembering having basically no reaction to at all. Certainly not a point in its favor.

Ultimately, one odd thing about Dax as a character, overall, is how un-interesting, really, the whole concept of the Trill ended up being.

On paper, it seems like it should be fascinating. But... it never really was.
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Old January 30 2013, 05:38 PM   #1785
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I also think of Field of Fire, and even mirror-Ezri in The Emperor's New Cloak. Though to be fair, that's an awful episode.

I was also a bit bored of all the romance stuff in the Final Chapter.
Good points. I discounted Field of Fire because a) I think it's actually good and b) it's an Ezri episode, yeah, but it fits within the overall Dominion War arc, and doesn't feel as forced. But I'll save that discussion until we get to it.

TENC... you know, I understand the dislike of this episode, I guess, but I never really shared it. And I think Ezri's involvement in the story is sorta mandated by the in-universe circumstances, though I can understand why someone would disagree. But I'll save that, too.

Holy crap, I just looked up the episode order on MA; I hadn't realized that we got these 3 Ezri-heavy episodes in a row. Wow. Not what I would've done.

Totally agree about the romance in the Final Chapter, at least the

not so much about the
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