TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's far out man! Firstly the Cardassians could give the Federation a bit of a bloody nose in war, the Iranians can't even do that. Secondly Iraq is not all like Bajor, because most of the in-fighting is religious based, Sunni vs Shia, at least the Bajorans are united through their faith. Plus the USA ain't no Federation either... It's a very dodgy anology...

    Anyway I thought Invasive Procedures was average, but after the circle/Bajor trilogy such let down was inevitable... The funny thing is that there is a one in two chance that Verad was compatible without having to go through any of that Trill symbiosis commission BS about finding the correct host for a symbiont. So Verad was right to be pissed (as he was biologically compatible), and would be even more so if he knew the commission's dirty little secret...
     
  2. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I'd say intent does play a part in it. True, he let them gain access to the station and for that he possibly deserves some time in a holding cell (if we ignore the mitigating circumstances). Throwing the book at him, or throwing him off the station seems a little harsh to me. But, YMMV.
     
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Are the Bajorans united in their faith? They may have the same overarching faith in the Prophets, but it is incredibly clear that they are not; apparently you missed that little fact, Ln X, along with the little fact that Iran can cripple the US at will--currently by indirect means. Look up the Straits of Hormuz and what control of them means. I also suggest you do some research into Iran's nuclear weapons programs and how close they are to completion. But anyway--I am done arguing with you as I am sure TheGodBen would prefer to have his thread back.
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Cardassians (****½)

    I don't really get the title of this episode. This isn't the introduction of the Cardassians, they make semi-frequent appearances on the show (and TNG) so titling an episode Cardassians wouldn't excite me if I saw it in a TV guide. It would be like having a TNG episode called Klingons, or a Voyager episode called Tom Paris, or an Enterprise episode called Jolene Blalock's Nipples. You half-expect to see these things whenever you tune into their respective shows.

    I suppose what this episode does in a way that no episode before it did was focus on Cardassian society and politics. We're used to seeing them as aggressors that are out to get the Federation or the Bajorans, we're not used to focusing on the divisions in their internal politics and their family relationships. We get the first mention of the Detapa Council (even though it's not named in this episode) and how the Cardassian military attempts to exert their dominance over them. We get to see how important families are in Cardassian society, they're given such weight that being seen to fail your family, even when it's not your fault, is a scandal worthy of resignation from government. They're a complex people, these Cardassians, it's about time that we got to explore them.

    This episode starts with an assault, which becomes a wider social issue, which then focuses on a custody battle, and which ends with a conspiracy involving Dukat and Garak. It's like somebody made a pizza with most of my favourite toppings, all that's missing is Jolene Blalock's nipples. And even though the episode contains all these disparate elements, it still remains coherent. What's more, it ties in a little bit with the events of the Circle trilogy as Dukat was using Rugal to undermine an investigation into Cardassian involvement in those events. But what really makes this episode a classic is Garak. While Garak had a minor role in Past Prologue, in this episode he is a driving force of the plot and this allows his humour and his audaciousness to come to the fore. This is the Garak I know and love, and you can see why he started to recur more and more after this episode.
     
  5. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Cardassians is a very good, very underrated episode. Again, that episode does what most of the episodes do this season, adds to the canvas of the further digging into the deep of the Star Trek universe in a way TNG could never do. I think you nailed it as to why this episode was called Cardassians. I mean until now we've always seen them as those who can't be trusted, the aggressor type. Here, we see Cardassian society in a whole new light, and maybe even get a clearer picture as to the lasting impact of the Occupation from the Cardassian point of view. How everything fit into place, from the custody battle to Dukat and Garek going at it, made this episode really really good, and one of the little known gems of the Second season.
     
  6. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, it's a pretty lame title for an otherwise solid episode. I'm always surprised when I come about dull titles like this in DS9, where a lot of episode titles were more poetic (especially compared to those in VOY and ENT). And not only was this the episode in which Garak started to make more appearances, it was also when Garak's history with Dukat first started to be revealed.
     
  7. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I always thought the point of the title was to play on the strong reactions Rugal and O'Brien have when the very subject is brought up. The word "Cardassians" should be innocuous, and used as an episode title it is, but it brings instantly troubling connotations for both these characters. It's an emotionally loaded word for them, so there's a bit of a deliberate dissonance. And playing against the personal problems characters have with the C-word is the fact that the episode delves into Cardassian family life, civilian politics and social morality for the first time. In other words, it shows us that "Cardassian" is just another word for "person". Yet at the same time the episode highlights what's troubling about Cardassian culture in particular - the political games, the use of family members as pawns, the attitude towards orphans, Bajorans and other riff-raff, etc. So there's actually a lot loaded into the word, for us as viewers as well as for Rugal and O'Brien. We're starting to see what makes Cardassians tick; they're not just gray-skinned aggressors, they're a complex culture, and a troubled one. I think the episode is having us as viewers ask the question: "Cardassians. How do we relate to that word?" It was just a name for one of the alien races, nothing more. But after this it's a word worth dwelling on; although it's also still far more innocuous than Rugal might find it. So I thought there was quite a bit going on with that title.

    Of course, it's equally likely that I'm over-thinking it and it was just thrown in there as a dull title because the episode fleshes out Cardassians....
     
  8. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    And that was a good thing. :techman:;)

    So, you like this version of Garak more than the more flamboyant one of Past Prologue?
     
  9. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My half-baked theory (or maybe not) is that it was called Cardassians because of the way O'Brien would refer to them, and Rugal in particular.

    I absolutely love the episode though - it's the strongest of the season so far for me. The presence of Garak helps, and his role is far more memorable than from way back in Past Prologue. I also love that it's O'Brien that has to live with Rugal, as his hatred for the Cardies was established way back on TNG. It was good to see him overcoming his prejudices and realising that he has more in common with them than he realised.

    This is Dukat's first episode since the pilot, so the episode is well blessed with good character. It's so much better than the silliness of the last episode. :techman:
     
  10. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's funny, because I thought this episode was good, but nothing great or spectacular. The scenes with the Cardassian child were alright (a little cringy and somewhat... forced, they just didn't quite gel), but what really saved this episode was Garak. I also thought the Garak in this episode and the one in Past Prologue was about the same.

    Some real gems which are coming up (in my opinion) are Rules of Acquisition and Necessary Evil. Those two are episodes just as good as the circle/Bajor trilology.
     
  11. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    A few things I'll say about this episode are - 1.) Keiko is an idiot and 2.) Sisko made the wrong decision.

    I've never understood the hatred for Keiko that some fans feel. Overall, I think she's a good character. But in this episode, she's really out-there. Like Shatnertage said in his review thread - here she is, making dinner for two guys with clear and known problems with Cardassians and she makes them Cardassian food. Good grief lady! And it's pretty odd that right after she (rightly) calls Miles on his latent racism against Cardassians, she shows some herself. She thinks Rugal will like Cardassian food simply because he is Cardassian. That's almost as bad as her saying "Here you go, I thought you'd enjoy some fried chicken and watermelon since you're black." :rolleyes: If she wanted to make him feel at home, how about some Bajoran food for crying out loud.

    As for Sisko - his decision to send Rugal back to Cardassia was wrong. What he should have done was have Rugal remain with his Bajoran parents and have his biological father slowly get to know him and become part of his life. That way all the parties are happy. Simply ripping him away from everything he's ever known, forcing him to live with someone he resents and essentially saying "here you go, deal with this, bye" isn't going to make him love that man.
     
  12. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wouldn't know if I'd call Keiko an idiot. I suppose some idiocy (;)) was shown, as she could have actually asked poor Rugal about what food he actually liked, but it was all well intentioned, welcoming him into the O'Brien home and all.

    I don't hate Keiko as much as some do either, maybe I'm blind to her silliness? :D I thought that her and O'Brien were a good couple, and thought it was realistic when they bickered and argued. Behind it all they were very close. As well as that, I admired how she went about sorting her career out despite living at the arse-end of space, making the most of doting-hubby's posting.

    I agree that Sisko made the wrong decision morally, and that it's purely for drama's sake that he's told to go with the Cardassians. Unfortunately, it makes the end blatently manipulative.

    And yes I realise a drama is supposed to manipulate the audience into a reaction. I just meant that it was all a bit obvious.

    But yeah, aside from this, I'm very happy with the episode.
     
  13. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Anyone who had particularly strong feelings about "Cardassians" should check out The Never-Ending Sacrifice, which picks up Rugal's story and provides another perspective on events in the DS9 universe and Cardassian culture. I thought it was rather a good read.
     
  14. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I especially love how Sisko says at the end that "it's time for the healing to begin." All I can think is "well, you've pretty much guaranteed that that won't happen."

    Now aside from these two problems I have, this is a very good episode. Everything else really jells together well - Garak, Dukat, Bashir, even Sisko and Keiko (for the rest of the episode) really hit the right balance.

    Two scenes I truly love are when Garak is forced to tell the Cardassian orphan girl that he can't take them back home (Robinson plays that scene tremendously well) and the scene at the end where Dukat glowers at Garak after he has been exposed (you can tell there is a lot going on between them in that one look).
     
  15. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I get where you're coming from about taking Rugal from Proka's custody, I don't think the episode ever properly dealt with the child abuse allegations other than seeming to dismiss the idea of physical injury. There had to be psychological damage because a child his age does not bite unless something is severely wrong, and I am not convinced that Proka wasn't abusive.

    Taking Rugal away from Bajor and knowingly sending him to a totalitarian world is something I have a problem with. You don't take people who are free and send them into oppression.

    That said, I found myself thinking very seriously that if Pa'Dar had no children and no living wife, which is what the episode suggests, he would have given up everything for Rugal, up to and including his political position and even his home. It is entirely possible that he would have accepted terms that required him to remain in Bajoran space in order to have custody. Since Bajor would likely be hostile to him (not recognizing the enormity of a Cardassian giving up everything for his child), a possible solution would have been Deep Space Nine, where Rugal could grow up in a multi-ethnic environment that would include the Bajoran culture he is familiar with but at the same time there is that Federation mentality that racism will not be tolerated.
     
  16. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    That's a good point. The question of abuse seems to get brought up and then immediately dismissed. I've always taken it to be that the man making the allegation may have been working with Dukat, but, of course, there's no evidence for that.
     
  17. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I assumed that the allegations, while possibly exaggerated in terms of physical abuse, were true. Rugal's biting reaction suggests to me that something very, very bad DID happen, and given that, I think the more unconditionally-loving father would be Pa'Dar. That still doesn't make it right to ship the kid off to Cardassia, but I do think there was something very wrong in the Proka home.
     
  18. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Well, something is obviously wrong - they're teaching their son to be prejudiced against his own race. I doubt there was ever any physical abuse. I doubt they ever even intended any psychological abuse. But, the unintended consequence of their racism against Cardassians was harm done to the boy they actually did love.
     
  19. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I'm still not convinced that abuse wasn't intended.
     
  20. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sorry, but no matter how I was raised (as a Jew), if someone I'd been raised to believe was basically a Nazi laid a hand on me, I might bite them with little provocation as well if I was young enough. Abuse isn't even a factor, unless you consider it abusive to raise people with possibly unfounded ideas about others.

    Sisko's actions were perhaps not the best possible outcome, but I think there's something to be said that, for better or worse, Rugal basically had been raised to, if not hate himself because of his race, at least hate others of his race by default, and I don't think that's something that more time on Bajor would help...at least not at the time.

    DISCLAIMER - I'm semi-conscious while writing this.