Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by david g, Apr 6, 2013.
I feel bad now read title as shippable episodes abound.
And yes, many skippable episodes also.
During our last rewatch, we skipped a few alright. The ones that come to mind are Tribunal, Paradise and Valiant.
I agree--early Cardassians are just about being the bad guys. The acting in this regard, is horrible. They were always meant to be the bad guys. I think they did do some background on what life was like on the station in episodes like "Necessary Evil."
You seem to be missing the connective tissue, however, to the Dominion War. This is a show about oppression. The Bajorans are the peaceful race that laid down their weapons after taking them up to be assertive enough to defend themselves. They are what is supposed to happen when you find yourself oppressed.
The Dominion, the Founders in particular, are a human reaction--control what can hurt you--and therefore, have no respect for the enemy. They are a cautionary tale.
Take a side-Trek episode like "Captive Pursuit" about the Tosk and the hunters. This is what Bajor would be like if they never formed a resistance or had a belief in themselves as spiritual beings. Worth. "I am Tosk." That is an O'Brien episode where he uses his Starfleet training to show the Tosk that he should not be hunted. That's Starfleet's role in the universe before they face an existential threat in the Dominion.
And then lines like "Take a look at this people. It says something about this ship. It says we will fight, and we will keep on fighting, till we can't fight anymore!" come alive. It's about forming a Starfleet resistance to the Dominion. It says how we would handle being enslaved in the 24th Century.
The Ferengi are funny depictions of the same theme. They are there for comic relief, but it talks about oppression of women, workers rights, what the stakes are for a race in the Alpha Quadrant that isn't a power, and what commerce does to the ordinary decisions we would make more morally without it. For instance, Brunt hating Quark's whole family, demanding the Quark break a contract or kill himself in "Body Parts" and then three seasons later, after Quark is about to become Nagus, he shows Quark all the respect he can give him, even groveling. Or showing Quark's reaction to the continued threat to Deep Space Nine: "First it was the Cardassians, then it was the Dominion, now it's the Klingons! How is a Ferengi supposed to make an honest living in a place like this!" (The Way of the Warrior). And the overall arc of the Ferengi is that they are corrupted by the "sniveling hu-mans." Nog joining Starfleet Academy, Quark's affection for Odo, Bashir and O'Brien inspiring a Union, Rom joining the Bajorans, and Ishka softening Zek, Rom becoming Nagus. They are all moving, evolving, to a more Federation-like place. It's the effect that we can have on one another in a multicultural society. And there is always the old guard that never want to go into the more progressive era. Studies of multiculturalism have shown this. The home culture is seen as "in threat" by the "new ways."
If you have the theme down, you can see a little more of what they were trying to do with the show.
When I call an episode 'Skippable' I mean the second time around.
Except Threshold, Fair Haven, and Code of Honor.
Thanks for your post, Haventgotalife. I see what you mean, although I can never get past my aversion to Ferengi episodes!
Yeah, I don't like them all that much, either. It's nice that I can conceptualize what they are about, however. It's easier to stomach, I mean, after seeing that. It's really a love, me and Deep Space Nine. I think the show was way before its time and it dealt with post-Cold War issues before they showed up in our headlines, American headlines. It seems to me that Star Trek is supposed to age well. Episodes of TNG and TOS still resonate today. DS9 does the same. When I get done watching a show, I just wish there were more episodes. I would've loved to see the show come back to center, forge a peace with the Dominion. That is what we had to do after World War II, the Cold War, every war. That's just as interesting to me as the war was. And it would've made it a better show, I think.
As a huge VOY and TOS fan, I wish I could feel the DS9 love. What I do feel is admiration for it.
I just started re-watching DS9. I'm still in the first season at the moment, and I'm wishing I had skipped "Move Along Home". YIKES. As much as I love DS9, that episode was ridonkulous. That game was absolute nonsense. And was I the only one who wanted to kick those aliens in the shins? How do they get away with torturing the senior staff with absolutely no consequences? Urgh.
Also having similar feelings toward "If Wishes Were Horses". But I believe these are the only DS9 episodes I truly dislike. That I can remember, anyway.
I love both "Move Along Home" and "If Wishes Were Horses". Sure, they're part of the first season TNG-lite shtick, but I love those characters and seeing them in those situations is really fun. I guess it's more fun after you've seen the whole series, though.
I love the idea behind Move Along Home but the actual obstacles in the game weren't written very well. If they were more creative with the puzzles and hazards the group faced it could have been a great episode.
And they got away without consequences because they have diplomatic immunity.
I honestly don't get how anyone can actually complain about there being too much "character stuff"!! To me that's the strong point of the entire series, that's what makes it stand above so much standard sci-fi fare. I love a bit of serious depth in my characters. I like a good battle as much as the next guy but I'm not five and I don't need stuff being blown up in space every ten minutes in order to find things interesting.
For my money, pretty much the outstanding episode of the entire run of the series (though there were a great number of excellent contenders) was the Season 1 episode "Duet". You could have taken the whole thing and minus the costumes and make-up it wouldn't have been out of place in a straight film dealing with the horrors of Nazism. It's the episode that convinced me that this was a cut above.
Throughout I found the most captivating episodes those that were built around two strong characters confronting one another in close-up. "Duet" as mentioned. Bashir and Garak in "The Wire". Dukat and Sisko in "Waltz". To me those were always the most powerful tales, and the most involving, and I can watch those any number of times. They fly on the strength of the writing and most of all, the acting.
It's unfortunately rare to see some real dialogue and "proper" acting in TV these days. They're too afraid people will get bored and switch channels if something doesn't go "bang!" every other second. I loved DS9 for bucking the trend.
The few "skippable" episodes for me were the ones like "Meridian" which just seemed contrived and pointless, or the likes of "Move Along Home" which seemed silly without being really amusing. But every show has a few glitches like that. I'd watch the vast majority over again.
A big chunk of the last season is skippable, sadly.
Move Along Home, and If Wishes were Horses are instant skips for me for Season 1. Move Along Home is just...bad, and If Wishes Were Horses would have been much better if, say, Jennifer, and not some random ballplayer, came into existence for Sisko and Jake. For the most part, Season 1 isn't all that bad, although there are some that are certainly "Meh."
I think DS9 would seem to have more "skippable" episodes than the other series because of the overarching story of the series. The other series, with the exceptions of the last couple of seasons of Enterprise, don't have a clear-cut long-form story being told, and thus, all episodes are equal in perceived importance.
Eh, the short version is... don't let people tell you what is and isn't good. Opinions vary and I'm sure you can form your own without someone feeding it to you. If it's your first time watching the series, watch it all. If it's a rewatch... then I'm sure you don't need anyone to tell you what you did and didn't like.
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