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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

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

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Old July 25 2012, 05:31 PM   #1411
Jeff O'Connor
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I really dig "The Darkness and the Light". Above all else, when I think of the episode I think of its cinematography. That happens much more often with DS9 than the other shows; DS9 had some extraordinary directors and cinematographers.

The use of light and shadow, the sometimes-mystifying closeups, the whole package. Its mise-en-scene is terrific.
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Old July 30 2012, 11:07 AM   #1412
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I enjoyed seeing Kira's old friends again, even if it ended badly for them. It was more solid continuity from the writers, and it made Kira's upset all the more real as we already knew her history with them.

It's an episode I can really get behind, as it's the first time since Nana Visitor's pregnancy that Kira had a meaty story.
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Old July 31 2012, 02:53 AM   #1413
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Bringing back those two actors -- Kira's friends -- was a masterstroke I'm hesitant to believe the creators of the other series would have seen as much point behind. Of course, it could have just been a matter of convenience, as these things often are.

"Hey, we need to cast for this character, Kira's friend."

"She already has friends."

"Well, yeah."

"Just get one of them."

"We'd need contact info for that. An audition would be easier."

"No. I have the numbers for those two actors from a previous episode right here."

"Well, hell. That saves time. We'll make it two of them, then, and we'll make it them."

Regardless of what happened, it helps tremendously in selling the story. The casual viewer is given enough information to feel something. The regular viewer will go, "oh hell, it's them. They wouldn't... oh, snap, they did."
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Old July 31 2012, 05:49 PM   #1414
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Ln X wrote: View Post
Not all the time they were deviants. I think it was recut 61 where Picard first expressed human emotions blubbering away over the fate of this robot character while watching some video! It is totally OTT!
Picard was watching the movie Short Circuit, which I believe was a reference to this episode of gazorra's TNG edits. GeneralGrin's Recut series was heavily influenced by gazorra; Picard's singing causing fights to break out, Data's obscene unicorn paintings, and the insane amount of gay sex taking place on the Enterprise all came from gazorra.


Anyway, sorry about the delay, I keep finding myself in arguments in other areas of the board.

The Begotten (***)

Once again, another difficult episode to rate here. On the one hand, it's a great character-piece for Odo, a chance for him to revisit his past and his feelings about Dr Mora. On the other hand, Odo regaining his shape-shifting ability closes the door on a chapter for his character that wasn't nearly explored enough. That aspect of the story had a sub-plot in Apocalypse Rising, played a big role in The Ascent, had a handful of other scenes throughout the season, and that's it. It seems to me that so much more could have been done there, that there was still more to explore, but it's dropped so that the show can return to the original status quo. The sad thing is that it wasn't necessary, Odo didn't need to regain his powers at this point in the series, and there were better opportunities for that later.

Otherwise, this is a great episode for Odo. In some ways it is going over old ground that was already addressed back in The Alternate, but where that episode skimmed the subject and focused instead on a monster-of-the-week story, The Begotten delves into the subject in a much more satisfying way. It's a little disappointing that the episode ends with the baby Changeling dying in something of a reset button, but it makes for a nice bittersweet ending. And in some ways, that Changeling lives on inside Odo... even though it doesn't change him in the slightest and he never mentions it again.

Then there's the b-plot where Kira gives birth. I suppose this is a necessary evil of sorts, Kira has to give birth to end that story-arc, and it would be a cop-out to not do it on-screen, but the whole thing is a little goofy and gets in the way of the much more interesting a-plot. Once again, it has a nice bittersweet ending, and it's a pity that the show didn't explore the loss Kira feels as a surrogate mother in later episodes, but it gives us a nice moment where Odo and Kira get to reflect on their experiences of losing a child that wasn't really theirs.

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Old July 31 2012, 06:06 PM   #1415
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
And in some ways, that Changeling lives on inside Odo... even though it doesn't change him in the slightest and he never mentions it again.
Well, from this moment on Odo lets his emotions dictate his actions a lot more, which you can consider the baby changeling's influence, if you feel inclined to do such things. A Simple Investigation is not long after this, and after that there's the Occupation Arc and then his romance with Kira.

Anyway, I like The Begotten more than you and would probably have given it four stars. Both Odo's relationship with dr. Mora and the baby changeling were very well done and touching, and René Auberjonois' acting really sold the fact that he wasn't just talking to a glass of drink. The Kira story was okay, I guess, just a few silly gags and Shakaar being nothing but Kira's shallow love interest, I guess. The scene at the end was a nice touch.
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Old July 31 2012, 07:31 PM   #1416
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Then there's the b-plot where Kira gives birth. I suppose this is a necessary evil of sorts, Kira has to give birth to end that story-arc, and it would be a cop-out to not do it on-screen, but the whole thing is a little goofy and gets in the way of the much more interesting a-plot. Once again, it has a nice bittersweet ending, and it's a pity that the show didn't explore the loss Kira feels as a surrogate mother in later episodes, but it gives us a nice moment where Odo and Kira get to reflect on their experiences of losing a child that wasn't really theirs.
I give this plot more credit than you. We got to see an interesting alternate take on childbirth than what is typical in mainstream America. We got to see Keiko react with aplomb to the situation while Miles fidgets again, we get to see an interesting dynamic between Miles and Shakaar (whom I really disliked in this episode; really, what business does he have being there?), and it parallels nicely with the Odo plot. It's also nice to see Bajoran tradition(-al medicine?) working harmoniously with modern Federation medicine.
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Old July 31 2012, 07:35 PM   #1417
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

They finally put Shakaar on the screen again and there's really not a whole lot going on with him. Irks me a little, as does the obviousness of how much more could have been done with the Odo-as-a-solid story.

Despite all that, I'd have probably gone with three-and-a-half stars for this one. As apenpaap has mentioned, Auberjonois' acting is spectacular here, and his relationship with Dr. Mora is also more interesting, I think, than with the second-season outing.
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Old July 31 2012, 07:55 PM   #1418
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

apenpaap wrote: View Post
Anyway, I like The Begotten more than you and would probably have given it four stars.
Actually, that's the score I was going to go with, but I deducted a star for Odo regaining his powers so early. I probably should have made that clear in the review.
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Old July 31 2012, 10:56 PM   #1419
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Ah, okay.

I agree with you in that more could have been done with Odo not having his mad skillz. However, this episode (or at least his story) was well done, and I loved the moment where the he finds out he's normal again. It's hard not to feel happy for him.

Having Dr. Mora back was, again, good for continuity. A bit like seeing Kira's resistence friends in the last episode. Seeing Odo deal with the issues he'd had as Mora's test subject was far more satisfying than the weird episode where he becomes a monster.

The part where Odo and Kira share their feelings was very poignant, and helped to make up for the silly birthing scenes.
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Old August 1 2012, 12:34 AM   #1420
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Jeff O'Connor wrote: View Post
They finally put Shakaar on the screen again and there's really not a whole lot going on with him. Irks me a little, as does the obviousness of how much more could have been done with the Odo-as-a-solid story.

Despite all that, I'd have probably gone with three-and-a-half stars for this one. As apenpaap has mentioned, Auberjonois' acting is spectacular here, and his relationship with Dr. Mora is also more interesting, I think, than with the second-season outing.
Shakaar did have the great line of "Next time you have a baby leave my girlfriend out of it."

Where else can you say that with a straight face?
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Old August 1 2012, 02:11 AM   #1421
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

True, true...
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Old August 1 2012, 02:19 AM   #1422
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

R. Star wrote: View Post
Jeff O'Connor wrote: View Post
They finally put Shakaar on the screen again and there's really not a whole lot going on with him. Irks me a little, as does the obviousness of how much more could have been done with the Odo-as-a-solid story.

Despite all that, I'd have probably gone with three-and-a-half stars for this one. As apenpaap has mentioned, Auberjonois' acting is spectacular here, and his relationship with Dr. Mora is also more interesting, I think, than with the second-season outing.
Shakaar did have the great line of "Next time you have a baby leave my girlfriend out of it."

Where else can you say that with a straight face?
I think "leave it out of my girlfriend" would have been more appropriate.
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Old August 2 2012, 02:59 PM   #1423
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I really loved the A-story in "The Begotten". Odo dealing with "daddy issues" while becoming a father figure himself. Obviously some parallels to the episode back when Odo raised a Jem'Hadar.

I felt that Mora was a well-developed and interesting character. And James Sloyan is a great actor. I wish we had gotten to see even more of him (like the original plot of "Extreme Measures" before it was re-written).

Odo's back as shape-shifter! And all he had to do to get there was "eat" a baby. Certain Odo regrets that some. Wonder what the Founders think of it?

I loved seeing Odo smile. This fatherhood thing was one of the few thing (other than Kira) that really gives him joy. And that's cool to see. Too bad Kira was busy, or she and Odo could have shared the moment a little more and been like a little family.

Speaking of Kira's story, the Bajoran way of giving birth seems a little weird. Shouldn't birth be something that just happens when it's time? Not that you have to be calm to do so. Wouldn't that mean that a pregnant Bajoran woman that are in stressful situations (like being imprisoned in an Occupation) would never be able to give birth? Seems a little weird. I give them props for trying to make alien birth different, but the way they did it seemed a little illogical to me. But, hey, at least the kid isn't born from the back like the Ocampa in Star Trek: Voyager.

So, since we know that Bashir has been replaced by a Founder by this point that means that the undercover Bashir Changeling (UBC). helped give birth to the O'Brien kid when Kira was in labor.
And it let a baby changeling die on the station versus saving him. (You have to think that Founder medical science for their own kind is better than what Mora Pol and a humanoid Odo could provide.)

Certainly UBC would have used ALL his knowledge of changelings to try and save the baby alongside Odo and Mora Pol, and not just the "limited" knowledge that the real Bashir would have had in that situation. (UBC would have just kept it a secret what he was doing.) Remember how frustrated Odo was that he couldn't just link with the baby and "talk" to him? Well UBC could have done that. And, I think, certainly did. Maybe that's the real reason the baby changeling learned how to shape-shift so much faster than Odo. It had nothing to do with Odo or Mora's teaching methods.

And even with all UBC's [likely] detailed knowledge and skills with dealing with sick changelings, the changeling baby died anyway. Sad. But it also merged with Odo somehow and turned him back into a shape shifter. Seems pretty lucky, doesn't it, that that dying baby changeling had exactly what Odo needed in order to overcome whatever changes the Founders had done to him that made him a solid? Well, maybe it wasn't as lucky as we think. Maybe UBC did something to MAKE it that way. That would, of course, imply that at least one Founder (and by extension probably all of them) were OK with Odo becoming a shape shifter again. So much so that they went out of their way to make it happen. Hey, maybe the Founders thought he'd had enough punishment. Or maybe it was just this one undercover Founder, who had to see the humanoid Odo suffer through back pains and the like (because he was acting as Doctor Bashir), and felt sorry for him enough to intervene.

Here's yet another idea about the baby changeling in "The Begotten": maybe there was no baby changeling at all. Perhaps older, more mature changelings, like UBC, are able to separate part of their body and still be able to control it. (Yeah, that would pretty much invalidate the "blood test", which are probably useless anyway.) So maybe that "baby changeling" was just part of UBC, who sent it to test Odo, or to allow him to turn back into a changeling or whatever.
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Old August 2 2012, 03:16 PM   #1424
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

^ I think you've given more thought to the UBC than the writers did. Honestly, I think the whole thing with the UBC was written in at the last minute. I sincerely doubt either the actor or the writers knew at the time of the episode that this wasn't the "real" Bashir.
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Old August 2 2012, 03:28 PM   #1425
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

^^ I agree, but that doesn't mean we can't ignore that and discuss things totally "in-universe" for fun. (Although, I feel like there are a couple of "cues" in UBC's appearances; he seems just a touch colder. But that's probably just reading into stuff too much.)

I like your second idea, about mature changelings, datalogan. It explains how Martok-changeling was able to avoid detection for so long. It also add an element of hubris to the Federation's assumption that Odo is indicative of all changelings.

And I suspect that the "baby" changeling getting reabsorbed may very well be part of the changeling "life cycle." (The novels sorta kinda suggest this. Sorta.) And so UBC might have felt that there was no need to intervene and just happened to allow the "baby" (which may, in fact, have been very old; remember what Shakespeare said about "second childhood"?) to merge with Odo, reactivating his metamorphic abilities.
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