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

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Old February 6 2013, 10:11 PM   #1831
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Worf'sParmach wrote: View Post
Sykonee's Counter: 36

According to MA, Praetor Neral previously appeared as a Proconsul in TNG, which is something I hadn't realised before. So there you go, Sykonee, your counter is back in the lead.
Been following this thread since the beginning and I must have missed something because I have never known what this meant
Characters who originally appeared in other Trek.
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Old February 6 2013, 11:14 PM   #1832
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
In some cases, awarding an episode five stars is a no-brainer, such as Duet and In the Pale Moonlight, but sometimes it requires some humming and hawing. Inter Arma is a case of the latter.

Yeah, I'd probably give Inter Arma 4 or 4.5 stars, tbh. I love the episode, but, like Seige earlier in the season, it's highly derivative in certain respects. In this case, derivative of Cold War espionage stories, rather than war movies.

Like Seige, it's still an important episode, though, and, as you say, it's firmly rooted in the tradition of ItPM.

It's less innovative than that episode, though. I would say the same when comparing it to Chimera.

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Old February 11 2013, 05:29 PM   #1833
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Penumbra (**½)

Did you ever notice that all Worf's relationships start out with the woman involved attempting to pummel him? He had sex with Kheyler, Jadzia, and now Ezri after they attempted to hit him. The obvious exception here is Troi, but their relationship was so lacking in sexuality that it was officially endorsed by the Catholic church. Anyway, making the leap from physical assault to sex makes sense for a Klingon, but it's clichéd. Another cliché is when a man and woman are trapped together and constantly bicker until they suddenly find themselves bumping uglies. Jungle sex is also a bit of a cliché, but this episode gets around that by adding the WTFness of having them keep their clothes on, which I suppose is a sensible precaution in an environment where strange alien bees are trying to climb into your anus.



The weirdness between Ezri and Worf was something that the show needed to address before it finished, but did they really need to hook up? Is it too much to ask that they talk out their remaining problems without further complicating it? It feels like we've wasted part of DS9's final chapter on a detour into territory that the show would have been best to avoid.

Meanwhile, Sisko has finally started making plans for his house on Bajor, which is a nice throwback to his little speech to Admiral Ross in Favor the Bold. While playing with his doll house late one night, he proposes to Kasidy in a sweet little scene that's refreshingly free of melodrama, presumably because Worf/Ezri used that week's quota. Sisko and Kasidy's relationship has been a rather down to Earth one.

Boy meets girl. Girl invites boy to baseball game. Boy shaves head. Girl is sent to prison for transporting supplies to terrorists. Boy seemingly forgets about girl. Girl comes back during boy's mental breakdown brought about by visions of the future. Girl disappears for a year. Girl shows up again during boy's second mental breakdown where he has visions of the past. Girl convinces boy that historically inaccurate holosuite programs are okay. Boy proposes to girl.

Okay, when you type it all out it doesn't seem all that down to Earth, but for Star Trek their relationship has been surprisingly ordinary.

Sadly for Sisko, his mother shows up and tells him he can't get married or there'll be "nothing but sorrow", which is Sarah's way of saying that she doesn't like Kasidy. That's when I realised something; the Prophets didn't try to prevent Sisko from marrying Jennifer, and Jennifer's death played a huge part in Sisko meeting the Prophets. Wouldn't it have been a kicker if the Prophets had somehow been responsible for her death? The revelation about Sarah Sisko fell a little flat as we had never met her nor Sisko's supposed mother before, but Jennifer's death was the starting point of the whole show, it has huge significance for the series, and to tie that beginning back into the end would have been great storytelling.

Maybe it would have been too dark. Maybe it would have been too villainous. (Kidnapping a woman and forcing her to have a baby against her will is perfectly fine, of course.) Maybe it would have been one sin that Sisko wouldn't have been able to forgive. But it might have been a more interesting way to take the Prophet storyline than the way it turned out.

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Old February 11 2013, 05:39 PM   #1834
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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That's when I realised something; the Prophets didn't try to prevent Sisko from marrying Jennifer, and Jennifer's death played a huge part in Sisko meeting the Prophets. Wouldn't it have been a kicker if the Prophets had somehow been responsible for her death? The revelation about Sarah Sisko fell a little flat as we had never met her nor Sisko's supposed mother before, but Jennifer's death was the starting point of the whole show, it has huge significance for the series, and to tie that beginning back into the end would have been great storytelling.

Maybe it would have been too dark. Maybe it would have been too villainous. (Kidnapping a woman and forcing her to have a baby against her will is perfectly fine, of course.) Maybe it would have been one sin that Sisko wouldn't have been able to forgive. But it might have been a more interesting way to take the Prophet storyline than the way it turned out.
That's an...excellent idea, and I'm ashamed I've never idly considered the possibility myself. That would indeed have been a good way to keep the Sisko-Prophets relationship grounded in what the pilot established, while also giving it a twist. From the Prophets' viewpoint it would make sense. The encounter with Sisko is their initial point of contact with our space-time, which provokes their interest in Bajor and the universe outside over the planet's history; Jennifer's death is thus essential to the stability of Bajor's past. if Sisko discovered that not only had they killed Jennifer to ensure he'd be their emissary, but that he unwittingly caused her death by mourning her so greatly after she died (headache ahoy...) and using the incident to jump-start Prophet-Humanoid mutual understanding...

That would have been great drama.
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Old February 11 2013, 07:14 PM   #1835
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
(*****)
Another one of DS9's masterpieces and my favourite episode of the show, I also reckon it has the hardest plot to follow (though after a couple of viewings it all makes sense) which is an oddity because usually trek episodes make you think about the higher moral concepts and not the actual plot itself.

What I love is how the episode jacks you around with who's doing what, who's plotting what and what is the desired outcome to all this intrigue. Finally the pay-off (and an episode like this needed one after all the complicated shenanigans) NOT only makes sense but is very VERY satisfying and I think portrays Starfleet Command in a very different light. The common perception (in the Trek universe) is that Starfleet is all about exploring the unknown and protecting civilians through honourable means.

But really that's an illusion -- something which this episode and others (Paradise Lost) have hinted at, but this episode suggests this far more strongly -- someone has to do the dirty, disreputable and sometimes immoral work to ensure the Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians and other races out there don't bury the Federation six feet under. Section 31 is the dark side of the Federation to ensure the Federation remains this peaceful utopia. The fact Section 31 was shrouded in such secrecy suggests to me a lot of blue pill (the Matrix reference to sticking ones head in the sand, ignorance is bliss, etc...) thinking amongst Starfleet's top brass, High Council and so forth- something which first the two Borg incursions and then the Dominion war made them completely re-evaluate such blue sky thinking (in which I think Ross was like that until the Dominion war came in).

But man this episode is tight; it all rested on that last conversation between Ross and Bashir and that scene nailed it! If anything that was the climax, whilst Sloan popping up to visit Bashir in his quarters as merely the icing in the cake.

It's a pity this is the last episode of Star Trek to really evaluate how the Federation works and to do so in an unbiased way. VOY never came close to touching this; it didn't have the balls to do so, as for ENT... I've only seen the first two seasons and part of season 3 so I wouldn't know. But Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges marked the last of the thinking man's Star Trek; you know episodes which really made you think about this made-up universe.
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Old February 11 2013, 07:57 PM   #1836
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Well, there was no Federation in Enterprise to explore the dark side of; but they definitely did some poking around in humanity's dark side in seasons 3 and 4. With the crew themselves in season 3, and then with Earth in season 4. It wasn't to the same extent as DS9 did it, but there certainly was a strong theme of it in the last two seasons.
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Old February 12 2013, 05:41 PM   #1837
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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That's an...excellent idea, and I'm ashamed I've never idly considered the possibility myself. That would indeed have been a good way to keep the Sisko-Prophets relationship grounded in what the pilot established, while also giving it a twist. From the Prophets' viewpoint it would make sense. The encounter with Sisko is their initial point of contact with our space-time, which provokes their interest in Bajor and the universe outside over the planet's history; Jennifer's death is thus essential to the stability of Bajor's past. if Sisko discovered that not only had they killed Jennifer to ensure he'd be their emissary, but that he unwittingly caused her death by mourning her so greatly after she died (headache ahoy...) and using the incident to jump-start Prophet-Humanoid mutual understanding...

That would have been great drama.
It would have been nice if the Pah-wraith/Prophet conflict was somehow caused by Sisko's discovery of the wormhole as well. The Prophets chose to kill Jennifer so Sisko could become their Emissary and help Bajor recover, the Pah-wraiths attempt to prevent the intervention because they fear corporeal life, and thus end up being banished. It's a rough idea that I wouldn't be skilled enough to work out entirely, but it contains the sort of moral complexity and deep questions that the confrontation in the Fire Caves sorely lacked.


'Til Death Do Us Part (***)

This title is all wrong. Apparently people that get married in the 24th century use the phrase "until death separates us". They presumably updated the phrase after that period in the 23rd century when standard 5-year marriage contracts were all the rage, similar to how they replaced love instructors with holograms. But let's get back to the actual canon, shall we?

Sisko and Kasidy are getting married. Except now they aren't. And now they are again. Godsdamnit, is this a part of the marriage ritual in the 24th century, or something? First Keiko did it, then Jadzia, now Sisko. I have it on good authority (i.e. I made it up) that the opening sequence of Nemesis was supposed to be Diana calling off her wedding to Riker because he grew that beard back, but they cut it to add more shots of dune-buggies. Back on topic, Sisko decides not to marry Kasidy because beings that can see the future warned him that it would be a painful mistake, but after realising that the ring he bought was non-refundable he decides it's best to endure the horrible suffering. Thus proving that De Beers has distorted all rational perceptions of value in our society.

Actually, the real reason why Sisko called off the wedding is because Kai Winn insisted on performing the ceremony. While on the station, Winn receives a vision from those sneaky, sneaky Pah-wraiths who tell her to do whatever Dukat says. I actually quite like this decision to bring Winn and Dukat together like a villainous Voltron. It may get quite cheesy in later episodes, but in this episode I feel it works quite effectively to up the stakes to bring two of the show's main antagonists together. Speaking of bringing together antagonists...

WEYOUN: You're witnessing an historic moment, the birth of the alliance between the Dominion and the Breen. Changes everything doesn't it?
Does it? The only time the Breen actually played a proper role on DS9 is when they were shown to operate a low-yield slave mine on Tatooine. They've never been portrayed as a major galactic force, so having them join the war is about as shocking as announcing that the Talarians have joined in. That being said, the Breen siding with the Dominion does make some sense considering that there was a captured Breen in the Dominion internment camp Bashir and co were kept in, so it's more than possible that a Changeling somehow wormed its way into the Breen government until it finally had enough power to join them with the Dominion. Not that that's ever stated in the show, nor is any proper motivation provided for the Breen, they're just walking puppets that make a funny sound. They work as a means to move the plot in an interesting direction, but they're hardly worth analysing.
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Old February 12 2013, 07:59 PM   #1838
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Oops, I've missed a bit here.

Inter Arma is a brilliant episode, It's just a shame that the Section 31 arc that followed eventually fizzled in Extreme Measures. It's good to see Bashir put through the wringer in a similar way Sisko was in In The Pale Moonlight, and to watch how differently he handles things. He's grown so much from the first season, and it was a pleasure to watch.

Penumbra is a solid episode, but it's more or less just a lot of putting things into motion, which has played out more interestingly on other series. And of course, my favourite character has her own arc about getting it on with Worf. Why oh why? I understand them needing to confront their feelings, but just not in this icky way.

'Til Death Do Us Part is a better one. I really loved the Breen when I was younger, but purely on a superficial level. Not enough to get it on with them or anything mind. As a result I was a lot more wrapped up in their shenanigans then than I am these days. They're only there to advance the coming plot about Damar and the Cardassians.

Sisko and Kasidy unfortunately fall into the trappings of cliche Wedding stories, but I grew to like them so much as a couple of the course of the series that it didn't bother me so much.
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Old February 12 2013, 08:49 PM   #1839
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Your reviews get funnier as we go

I like your Prophets-Jennifer Sisko idea. That might have been too dark even for DS9. If DS9 was a cable series airing today, it would totally work.

I agree with your assessment of Penumbra. There was definite weirdness between Worf and Ezri that had to be confronted, and I can even see Worf feeling like they should be together because he's so literal and duty bound. I just thought they dragged it out too long during the arc. I think her speech to him about the Klingon Empire later does a much better job of showing the progression of their relationship than Jungle Sex did.

I have never been a fan of the whole Sarah Sisko Prophet thing. Thought it was stupid back in 1998-99 and I still do. Sisko is already tied to Bajor by the events of the last 7 years, they didn't need to add the mom factor. They could have still played the "you can't get married, you're the Emissary" card without that. Major Fail, IMO.

I also had the same reaction regarding the Breen. "Um, ok, if you say so"
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Old February 12 2013, 09:06 PM   #1840
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Sisko and Kasidy are getting married. Except now they aren't. And now they are again. Godsdamnit, is this a part of the marriage ritual in the 24th century, or something? First Keiko did it, then Jadzia, now Sisko. I have it on good authority (i.e. I made it up) that the opening sequence of Nemesis was supposed to be Deana calling off her wedding to Riker because he grew that beard back, but they cut it to add more shots of dune-buggies.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RunawayBride

I don't think there has been any TV show to actually have a wedding where the bride and/or groom doesn't try to back out at the last minute.
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Old February 14 2013, 04:27 PM   #1841
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Strange Bedfellows (****)

This episode is an interesting one as both the a and b plots of the episode are centred on secondary characters. The main plot, and certainly the most enjoyable, is Damar's realisation that Cardassia means nothing to the Dominion, the Cardassian people are just pawns being sacrificed for the good of the Founders. With the inclusion of the Breen into the Dominion, Damar can no longer ignore that he has become a collaborator in a regime that is exploiting his people and he finally decides to take action. The way that this has been bubbling away under the surface for the last few seasons is quite impressive, and it makes the way events spill over in this episode extremely satisfying. First, there's the scene where Worf snaps Weyoun-7's neck and Damar can't help but laugh, then there's the scene where Damar remembers Worf snapping Weyoun-7's neck and can't help but laugh, then there's the scene where Weyoun-8 fears that Dead Fish will snap his neck and Damar can't help but laugh. Funny stuff.

On the station, Kai Winn is screwing Dukat, which raises all sorts of interesting questions. The most pressing being whether Dukat had a full-body conversion into a Bajoran, because that would be dedication right there. This plot works quite well for the most part. Once Winn realises she has been duped by the Pah-wraiths there's a refreshing sequence where she actually comes across quite sympathetic, which is a side of her character I quite like seeing. But it all comes crashing down in a wonderful scene with Kira where Winn reveals that she just isn't willing to make the sacrifices that sometimes go along with being a moral person. As a result, Winn refuses to resign her position as Kai, thus officially marking her as more evil than Pope Rapenazinger. Sadly, the final scene is completely devoid of all the nuance the episode had shown in her character, but I suppose it's not completely out of place with what we saw of Winn in the early seasons.

I guess there's a c plot centring on Ezri and Worf in their cell and the various arguments they have. By the end of the episode, they realise that the clothed jungle sex they enjoyed was a mistake made by two fallible people in a complicated emotional situation. Boy, I wish they had figured that out before they boinked.
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Old February 14 2013, 11:51 PM   #1842
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Ha. Definitely.

The rest of the episode is very good. Damar's resentment of the Dominion has been brewing for a long time by now, so the payoff is very satisfying. Who knew killing Weyoun could be so hilarious?

And then there's the match-up of Kai Winn and Dukat, which is a pretty inspired choice. It's a tiny bit disgusting, but very compelling. Winn realises she's working with the Pah-Wraiths, and is so very close to doing the right thing for a change.

But of course, she remembers she's the same old power-hungry know-it-all bitch she's been all these years.
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Old February 15 2013, 06:49 AM   #1843
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Reading these reviews reminds me that I haven't actually watched the whole final arc in a while. There are a couple of episodes I tend to rewatch quite a bit, but some of these "build-up" episodes I tend to neglect.

On the Breen joining the war... yeah, it's a twist for the sake of a twist. The idea is to raise the stakes, or to give the audience the feeling that the stakes are being raised. But I don't think that was really needed since the stakes are already pretty high, and the Breen really don't add anything of substance.

It actually makes sense that the Dominion would be looking for allies in the quadrant, a bit like Sisko trying to bring the Romulans into the war on the Federation's side, so the idea is good. It's just the choice of the Breen that seems a little odd.
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Old February 15 2013, 09:59 AM   #1844
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Well, the only Alpha Quadrant power that isn't in the war yet that has appeared a lot are the Ferengi. And I don't think them joining would be all that impressive. So it had to be a species close to aliens of the week in any case.

This is one of the times, I think, when DS9's unplanned nature hurt it. If the writers had planned the Breen joining from the beginning, they would've done the occasional episode with them
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Old February 15 2013, 07:39 PM   #1845
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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Well, the only Alpha Quadrant power that isn't in the war yet that has appeared a lot are the Ferengi. And I don't think them joining would be all that impressive. So it had to be a species close to aliens of the week in any case.
That's certainly true. There's no real obvious choice. I guess that's why we ended up with the Breen. It's too bad, in a way, that there wasn't an equivalent to the Romulans available.


Edit: Regarding Sisko's mother being a Prophet, I've always been ok with the choice because it brings the non-linearity of the Prophets' existence into tighter focus than really anything did previously. I think that's especially important leading into the finale. Also, it gives the Prophets a tighter connection with Sisko, so his interaction with them can have an emotional element.

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