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

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Old February 1 2013, 08:52 PM   #1801
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
flemm wrote: View Post
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.
It's the execution more than anything though.
I think it's a little of both. Especially with Jadzia, it was difficult to care about her past lives as we never saw them, and the only one in the cast who knew Curzon was Sisko, and he had no baggage from the transition. To properly explore Dax's past lives, they had to bring in outside characters, which made things less meaningful to us in the audience.

With Ezri, it's a little better because all the cast had some sort of relationship with Jadzia, and there was a lot of baggage leftover from her death. Prodigal Daughter was one of the few episodes where exploring the consequences of Ezri's joining meant they had to bring in new characters, and the results were predictably meh.
That's a good point, yeah. I was thinking more about the Trill in general I guess than Jadzia or Ezri specifically - they were never gonna get Bajoran or Cardassian level development, but a little more of it, or better than the examples we got, would've helped.
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Old February 1 2013, 10:06 PM   #1802
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Are the AV club reviews back? He took a break at the end of season 2 and I never bothered to check if he restarted.
Up to the middle of S4 now. Check it!

Edit: If anything, for the latest contribution from Rappin_Jake_Sisko in the comments.
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Old February 1 2013, 10:48 PM   #1803
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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With Ezri, it's a little better because all the cast had some sort of relationship with Jadzia, and there was a lot of baggage leftover from her death.
A little better, maybe, but still pretty shallow for the most part, and then mostly silly in the final arc.

Rejoined was the one episode where I thought some justice was done to the basic concept, which is pretty amazing, really. It should be a great sci-fi concept because it should allow the writers to explore issues of identity and transhumanism ("storing" memories and so on, though not by technological means in the case of the Trill).

By comparison, Rene Echevarria especially was able to develop the concept of the changelings in a way that never really happened with the Trill. Increasingly, it's not about Odo disguising himself as a barrel or whatever, but about his struggles with his own identity, individuality, place in the universe, etc.
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Old February 1 2013, 11:41 PM   #1804
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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Field of Fire (**½)
Somebody on the station is murdering random officers, and Ezri is drafted in as a forensic psychologist because she needed yet another episode to stick it to her haters.



Yeah I wasn't thrilled with yet more Ezri, but this episode was a bit better than the last two. It's a solid mystery, and I liked that a Vulcan had been pushed into doing bad things.

I'm not sure I buy Joran's secret murderous streak either. I preferred him in Equilibrium when he was a bit unstable, but managed to cast doubt over the symbiont selection process.
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Old February 2 2013, 01:15 AM   #1805
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Sykonee wrote: View Post
Edit: If anything, for the latest contribution from Rappin_Jake_Sisko in the comments.
By the Prophets, that's some good shit.

The best one by far though, is this thread here, which develops into a Star Trek rap battle between Rappin Jake Sisko and Tumak the Skreean (or 2Mak, as he goes by).

It might possibly be the best thing ever on the internet (second only to Dramatic Chipmunk).

.
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Old February 2 2013, 03:34 AM   #1806
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I rather like Field of Fire. It actually features some detective work, albeit by the counselor instead of the security officer.

I wonder if a Star Trek: NCIS would be a ratings winner these days.
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Old February 2 2013, 10:04 AM   #1807
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
Sykonee wrote: View Post
Edit: If anything, for the latest contribution from Rappin_Jake_Sisko in the comments.
By the Prophets, that's some good shit.

The best one by far though, is this thread here, which develops into a Star Trek rap battle between Rappin Jake Sisko and Tumak the Skreean (or 2Mak, as he goes by).

It might possibly be the best thing ever on the internet (second only to Dramatic Chipmunk).

.


That's fantastic.

I also like the discussion regarding Zek, the rambling Section 31 revisionist historian, and the Minbari cross-over sex ed content.

EDIT: On the serious side of things, these are fantastic reviews. I'm annoyed I didn't know of them sooner.
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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; February 2 2013 at 10:33 AM.
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Old February 2 2013, 04:18 PM   #1808
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

heavy lids wrote: View Post
Thank you, TheGodBen for writing these reviews.
Thank you for inflating my ego.

Sykonee wrote: View Post
TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Are the AV club reviews back? He took a break at the end of season 2 and I never bothered to check if he restarted.
Up to the middle of S4 now. Check it!

Edit: If anything, for the latest contribution from Rappin_Jake_Sisko in the comments.
I'll have to make some time to read through the backlog then. They were really good reviews, and what made them better was that Zack was almost entirely unspoiled. He didn't know any of the big twists, such as Odo's origins or Cardassia joining the Dominion, and that was really refreshing.
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Old February 4 2013, 04:46 PM   #1809
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Chimera (****½)

The Changeling that impersonated Martok somehow miraculously survived, and he cooked up a convoluted revenge plot on Odo. By pretending to be one of the 100 baby Changelings the Founders cruelly sent out into the galaxy, Laas hopes to turn Odo against his humanoid friends and trick him into leaving DS9.

Or not.

Chimera is a great episode that explores a great deal of what has gone unsaid on DS9 so far. The most unsettling truth is that the Founders are kinda right, the humanoid races are a bit racist towards them, and their ability to take any form does cause suspicion to be cast towards them. At the same time, Changelings like Laas are smug pricks. They view themselves as higher lifeforms and look down on us as limited beings that are destructive and dangerous. In time, Laas's disturbed form of Changeling pride would lead humanoids to hate his kind, and Laas would set out to kill them in his belief that he's protecting himself. Laas allows us to see the beginning of the Dominion without actually seeing it. Near the end, we get a vision of how it all started.

For Odo, this is an eye-opening experience. He has always been aware that he's treated as an outsider, Laas just forces him to contemplate it. He has become so accustomed to fitting in with humanoids that he doesn't realise all that he's missing by not shape-shifting all the time. His friends like and trust him, but maybe that's because Odo only relates with them in a humanoid shape. How would the likes of O'Brien or Worf react if Odo decided to have a conversation with them in the shape of a luminescent octopus, or a ball of flame? They may not be opposed to Odo acting in such a way, but it would make them feel weird and understandably uncomfortable, so Odo chooses not to do these things.

This is where my love of counting things comes in handy, because we can actually chart Odo's decline as a shape-shifter through the seasons.

Season 1: 6
Season 2: 6
Season 3: 3
Season 4: 13
Season 5: 3
Season 6: 2
Season 7 (so far): 1

As you can see, other than the random spike in shape-shifting in season 4 (which is inflated due to Odo taking part in Changeling drills), Odo's shape-shifting has been declining throughout the seasons. He has only changed shape on screen once this season, and that was a joke about his umpire outfit. (Also note that one of the shape-shifting occurrences in season 6 was when he "wore" a tux, and two of the occurrences in season 5 were jokes about his sexual anatomy and the appearance of Old Odo in Children of Time.) Odo doesn't shape-shift much publicly any more. The real reason for this probably has something to do with shape-shifting being Odo's gimmick back in the early seasons and as he developed as a character the writers didn't need to rely on it any more, but Laas' claims do make a compelling case in-universe.

Anyway, the rest of this episode is about love and how it conquers all, especially the city of Troy. See, Kira loves Odo so much that she decides to let him go. That's not really my style of love, I come from the clingy if-you-leave-me-I'll-make-your-life-a-living-hell school of romance, but I appreciate the sentiment. Odo is so moved by this gesture that he realises not all humanoids are bad and that Kira is one person that he can truly be himself with. In a final romantic moment, Odo attempts to reveal his true nature to Kira, but he ends up smothering her with toxic fumes that make her imagine a magnificent light-show.

Form of... pure love: 35
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Old February 4 2013, 05:26 PM   #1810
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I love the tone you adopted for this review.
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Old February 4 2013, 05:40 PM   #1811
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I never noticed it before, but you're right, Odo doesn't do much shape-shifting as the show goes on. I bet it was a budget thing that just eneded up fitting his character arc, as he got more comfortable with this group of solids, he no longer felt the need to or felt comfortable changing shape. But as Laas point out, he's missing out.

(Side note: as a physics teacher, Odo's constant violation of the Law of Conservation of Mass has always bugged me)

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Chimera (****½)

The Changeling that impersonated Martok somehow miraculously survived, and he cooked up a convoluted revenge plot on Odo.
As I watched that episode I kept thinking, "Why does this guy seem to familiar. It wasn't until years later, and Memory Alpha, that I figured it out.

See, Kira loves Odo so much that she decides to let him go. That's not really my style of love, I come from the clingy if-you-leave-me-I'll-make-your-life-a-living-hell school of romance, but I appreciate the sentiment.
I'm with you on that one.
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Old February 4 2013, 08:47 PM   #1812
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

For some reason I found this episode really poor when I first watched it. Then when I rewatched it a few months ago I wondered how drunk I'd been the first time around. I did think O'Brien's "Well, it's not us who can change our shape at will" thing as a reply to Laas claiming solids were untrustworthy (I think), was a little out of the blue, and Quark rambling about genetics was a little unlike him. (It would be more like him to talk about stuff he sees in his bar, but these lines were actually from Sisko in the original version of the script, were the ending was instead basically Sisko saying: "Yep, we're all racist bastards." and Odo going "Oh well, you're honest about it so I'll stick around." )
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Old February 4 2013, 11:10 PM   #1813
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Form of... pure love: 35
LoL

This is one of DS9's best imo. It's unusual in that a lot of DS9's finest hours go against the grain of Trek's main themes of embracing difference, cooperation between species, and a sort of optimistic vision of humanity's ability to overcome prejudice, and so on.

This episode, on the other hand, is 100% Trek in that regard, but it does it in a way that is very simple, understated, and ultimately more profound than Trek usually is when it tries to do this type of thing.

It also manages to do it via what is basically a love story, something Trek is historically bad at.

If I were Echevarria, I think I would be very proud of it.

It also has a lasting impact on the rest of the season because the emotional depth established here for Kira and Odo provides some of the strongest material in the final arc (much better than the Ezri/Worf/Bashir hijinks).
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Old February 4 2013, 11:13 PM   #1814
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Worf'sParmach wrote: View Post
(Side note: as a physics teacher, Odo's constant violation of the Law of Conservation of Mass has always bugged me)
In their great trilogy, Millennium, Judith and Garfield Reeves–Stevens propose that Odo shunts some of his mass into/from subspace as he changes form. A bit of a handwave, yeah, but it has the benefit of making sense in-universe.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Chimera (****½)
Chimera is a great episode that explores a great deal of what has gone unsaid on DS9 so far. The most unsettling truth is that the Founders are kinda right, the humanoid races are a bit racist towards them, and their ability to take any form does cause suspicion to be cast towards them. At the same time, Changelings like Laas are smug pricks. They view themselves as higher lifeforms and look down on us as limited beings that are destructive and dangerous. In time, Laas's disturbed form of Changeling pride would lead humanoids to hate his kind, and Laas would set out to kill them in his belief that he's protecting himself. Laas allows us to see the beginning of the Dominion without actually seeing it. Near the end, we get a vision of how it all started.

For Odo, this is an eye-opening experience. He has always been aware that he's treated as an outsider, Laas just forces him to contemplate it. He has become so accustomed to fitting in with humanoids that he doesn't realise all that he's missing by not shape-shifting all the time. His friends like and trust him, but maybe that's because Odo only relates with them in a humanoid shape. How would the likes of O'Brien or Worf react if Odo decided to have a conversation with them in the shape of a luminescent octopus, or a ball of flame? They may not be opposed to Odo acting in such a way, but it would make them feel weird and understandably uncomfortable, so Odo chooses not to do these things.
It's interesting, I think the episode does indeed say this, but I think it also presents a strong case for Laas being unreasonable in his conclusions and the Starfleeters (somewhat less so the Klingons) behaving appropriately.

In any social situation, one must suppress their individuality to some degree or another. Without that, no one would every listen to anyone else, no one would ever comply with simple requests, society would grind to a halt.

So the question becomes one of degree: how much individual expression does a society permit? Even the most free societies put some limits on individual expression (fire in a crowded theater, etc).

Then there's the issue of cross-cultural interaction. No one likes Loud American Tourists. When you're a visitor in another culture (which Laas certainly was), you have to be respectful, to the extent you are able, of that society's laws and customs. Laas does not do this, and, in fact, goes out of his way to be rude.

Laas proclaims his dislike/mistrust for/of monoforms loudly. What is his justification? Enough monoforms treated him badly over a long enough period that he has concluded that all monoforms are bad. And then he gets ticked at O'Brien, for expressing his dislike for/mistrust of changelings, even though O'Brien's justification is virtually identical to Laas's. (And is somewhat more convincing, since there is much more variety among monoforms than among changelings.) While I'm sympathetic to both views, and at the same time do not fully agree with either, Laas doesn't have a leg to stand on. He's being a hypocrite.

The episode reminds me of this hypothetical situation: a white (American) man starts going to a church which is comprised totally of African-Americans, and which worships in a traditional Black Protestant style. Thing is, he's rather insensitive to the traditions, behaves rather arrogantly and selfishly, and is just generally pretty unlikable. Some members approach him after service, a few Sundays later, and inform him politely but firmly that his behavior needs to change if he wants to continue worshipping there. The man overreacts and accuses them of hating him because he's white.

Umm, no. They don't like you because you're being, as GodBen says, a prick. That's the biggest reason.

It's the same thing with Laas. He intentionally provokes ill-will from the station residents and then acts all wounded when they don't like him.

Yeah, the Starfleeters could have been better. But Laas should be expected to meet them half-way. And he doesn't.

This is where my love of counting things comes in handy, because we can actually chart Odo's decline as a shape-shifter through the seasons.

Season 1: 6
Season 2: 6
Season 3: 3
Season 4: 13
Season 5: 3
Season 6: 2
Season 7 (so far): 1

As you can see, other than the random spike in shape-shifting in season 4 (which is inflated due to Odo taking part in Changeling drills), Odo's shape-shifting has been declining throughout the seasons. He has only changed shape on screen once this season, and that was a joke about his umpire outfit. (Also note that one of the shape-shifting occurrences in season 6 was when he "wore" a tux, and two of the occurrences in season 5 were jokes about his sexual anatomy and the appearance of Old Odo in Children of Time.) Odo doesn't shape-shift much publicly any more. The real reason for this probably has something to do with shape-shifting being Odo's gimmick back in the early seasons and as he developed as a character the writers didn't need to rely on it any more, but Laas' claims do make a compelling case in-universe.
I never thought of this before, but I really like it! I am sure it was not intentional on the parts of the writers (I think you're right in that his character developed away from the gimmicks, and that Worf'sParmach is right in that it was a budget thing too), but it sure makes a great connection!
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Old February 4 2013, 11:27 PM   #1815
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Paper Moon wrote: View Post
I never thought of this before, but I really like it! I am sure it was not intentional on the parts of the writers (I think you're right in that his character developed away from the gimmicks, and that Worf'sParmach is right in that it was a budget thing too), but it sure makes a great connection!

Along the same lines, the writing for Laas makes good use of the Trek tendency toward having endless varieties of forehead aliens. They're not really all that alien, but Odo and the changelings are.

There are a lot of really good subtle touches like that in this episode. For example, the fact that the Klingons are willing to resort to legal measures. With another Trek race, you might expect that, but the fact that it's the Klingons underscores the prejudice involved. You can tell it makes Worf uncomfortable in that scene.

Also the way the Bajoran security guard doesn't hesitate to let Kira talk to Laas in spite of her relationship with Odo.
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