"In the Pale Moonlight'

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by James T Kirk, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    I was never much of a DS9 fan, or a Voyager or Enterprise fan, I'm kind of a TOS TNG type of guy. I think I've maybe seen 20% at most of the DS9 episodes.

    In any case I know that DS9 has some good episodes but I just haven't watched the whole series. Perusing through TrekBBS for threads to read I clicked on this one and just decided on the spot I'd just watch this episode because it's free with Amazon Prime.

    Damn, if you guys aren't right. That was one hell of a good episode. My reaction to this first time viewing is that episode is one of the better acted episodes of Star Trek. It was just absolutely excellent.
     
  2. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    DS9 has some very good stuff, and I think it achieved a better balance in terms of being political more gritty than the evolved "perfect" humans that were conceived for the earlier seasons of TNG. I believe that's one reason the series works, and one could easily argue that ITPM is the ultimate expression of that - Sisko has to go into some morally dubious territory out of desperation to win the war, and do things he'd never do otherwise. Garak doesn't interact with Sisko nearly as often as with other characters, but here the two really fit together. Also, I've always rather liked the scene where Garak tells Sisko that all of his contacts were killed off within a day or so. :lol:
     
  3. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    I think it's amazing that the producers got stuff like this out of Avery Brooks, because he is friggin crazy. Apparently the stars aligned, and this is definitely one of the best-written, well-produced, convincing portrayals of intragalactic politics in Trek.
     
  4. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Costuming as visual joke...it took me this long to have it pointed out to me.

    Amazing.
     
  5. K'retok

    K'retok Cadet Newbie

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    Have to agree with everyone here, fantastic episode. In fact, it's one of my favorite episodes in all of ST. I love the end where Sisko says, "I lied; I cheated! But the most damning thing of all...I think I can live with it."

    An extremely beautiful 45 minutes of story telling.
     
  6. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Location? What is this?
    So now that you have a taste of the good stuff, you should go ahead and watch the 80% you haven't seen! In fact, just go back to the beginning and watch the whole series. :techman:
     
  7. desfem79

    desfem79 Lieutenant Commander

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    When this ep came out I was horrified in honesty. But now I reckon Sisko did the right thing, if I were in his place, and thought defeat was inevitable, then i'd do what it took to stop that.

    I always wondered what Sloan/Section 31 thought of this. You never know, maybe they were the guys Garak approached for the biomemetic gel lol..
     
  8. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a great episode, but I've never bought into the "ethical dilemma" aspect. What's the dilemma? If Sisko doesn't bring the Romulans into the war, then the Federation loses and the Dominion conquers the Alpha Quadrant.
     
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because to protect the ideals of The Federation he has to break the ideals of The Federation.
     
  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    right, but if there is no Federation left because they lose the war, protecting their ideals would be a moot point. A dilemma only qualifies if there's a relative balance of potential outcomes. In the episode, the "dilemma" was "violate your personal ideals vs. watch the Federation lose the war and be conquered, possibly enslaved."

    That's an easy choice, not a dilemma.
     
  11. desfem79

    desfem79 Lieutenant Commander

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    I guess it's deceiving the Romulans which is the point, but then even though two wrongs dont' make a right, if the Romulans were fighting the Founders and were losing after a few bad defeats, they'd most likely stage the killing of some Starfleet Admiral to get the UFP to declare war. hell, Garak himself said the same thing. lol.
     
  12. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    @sonak: Especially since he believed, and with good reason, that the Rommies would be forced to fight the Dominion eventually, and would indeed be better off in the long run if they joined the UFP's coalition. It's technically a dillema, yes, but it's also a pretty easy one. As I said in a previous thread on this, I gotta agree with Michelle Erica Green on this one:
    I must say that I think the flashback-via-diary structure for this episode was a mistake, because I had a really hard time not laughing at Avery Brooks' earnest, emotional monologues in Sisko's personal logs.

    .... I have to believe Sisko was upset because Garak was a cleverer saboteur than he was himself, not because he played nasty. If he was really feeling guilty about the dead enemy agent and the man the Klingons were going to execute anyway, his skin isn't nearly tough enough for him to be a captain during wartime. Garak wasn't even amoral in this episode as he so often is - his decisions were quite effective as he plotted to get the maximum Federation protection with the fewest lives lost. I thought the twist at the end was going to be that he was up to something far more personal and nefarious, not that he was trying to shoulder the responsibility for something he thought Sisko might not want to do himself.
     
  13. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    ^I feel that this is another moment in which Ms. Greene misses the mark: the more that Garak's independent actions became both surprising and nefarious, the more leeway Sisko would have to see them not as something for which he was responsible. He would have passed it off as being double-crossed by Garak. No, Garak's actions were of the right dimension so that Sisko should have legitimately felt responsible.
     
  14. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    thanks for including that. I agree with the author 100%.
     
  15. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Anytime. :bolian:

    But Sisko would still have been responsible for enabling Garak's misdeeds in such a scenario.

    Anyway, Green's main point, IMO, is the choice is an easy one. For good or for ill, a wartime ship/station CO shouldn't hesitate to potentially sacrifice three or four foreign civilians to save millions of his own. In light of Sisko's histrionic agonizing, "ItPM" isn't nearly as mature as many make it out to be. One could very well argue that it's in fact far more naive about humanity than just about any non-DS9 ep.
     
  16. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    historically, you could argue that during major wars just about every democracy has done far worse things than what Sisko did in ITPM.

    Just to give U.S. examples: suspension of habeas corpus, jailing those who spoke out against a war or sought to avoid conscription, conscription itself, jailing American citizens of Japanese dissent, etc. etc.
     
  17. Xzpezer

    Xzpezer Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    One of the best and darkest star trek episodes ever made/
     
  18. Marc Voorhees

    Marc Voorhees Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    A bit of a question, regarding the ease at which the Holo-recording was identified as a fake.

    Damar was made Legate in or around "Statistical Probabilities" roughly 6 episodes before this one. However, when making the holo-recording. Damar, who was the first legate to follow Dukat as the leader of the Cardassian Union, was not wearing the badge of his office and rather the Officer sitting behind him at the table was. This has always been something that bothered me about the plan they tried to pull off.

    [​IMG]


    Thanks for a great forum all!
     
  19. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    The episode does not address raison d'état in and of itself: the Federation's involvement in the fabrication is not really explored, and indeed, we are told that Starfleet approved of the plan in general. What the episode deals with is the relationship between raison d'état and civil ethics. This is a particularly messy topic when dealing with democratic societies, and even though a list of antidemocratic policies can be made, it can equally be said that the public could react negatively to them. Over the last thirteen years, things like the invasion of Iraq, the use of drones, and surveillance of personal communications have been questioned by the public in terms of whether the imperatives of war justifies them. There is potential for the pendulum to swing both ways, accepting something because of war one moment, criticizing the behavior of the government in another.

    Ms. Green greatly mischaracterizes Garak. Is he amoral? That's an exaggeration. Whereas he would complete the assignments given to him--to do his duty--he is not generally violent, nor does he relish in inflicting violence, nor does he find opportunities to take advantage of people. He is professional: he is precise, and he is proud of being able to produce a specific effect. He never kills or tortures out of pleasure. Indeed, the one time he would seem to step outside his professionalism, when he interrogates Odo, he takes no pleasure. It is impossible to believe that he would not carefully measure his actions and their potential results. How far would he go to bring the Romulans into the war? Green doesn't give a counterexample of something believable. Would he poison a Romulan colony and plant evidence? That would be unbelievable. He is not that random or messy in his work. Moreover, his "betrayal" is really only effective because, as Garak puts it, it is something Sisko would have wanted to do. Sisko does not contradict what he says here: he was disarmed by it. If Garak had done something more outrageous, he could not in that moment implicate Sisko in the same way.
     
  20. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, I think that "amoral" describes Garak pretty well. "Amoral" doesn't mean that he has to enjoy cruelty or deliberately inflict pain for his own amusement. It means that he acts out of an agenda(either self-interest or in what he defines as the interests of Cardassia) without regard to ethics and right and wrong.