TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sanctuary (**½)

    I've never understood the level of hate this episode gets. There are problems at the beginning and the end, but I liked the middle of the story. This is a genuine refugee crisis which is something that hasn't been shown on Trek before, and the scale of it (3 million people in tens of thousands of ships) adds to the feeling that DS9 is larger in scope than TNG. In fact, this is the first time that we see an actual fleet around DS9, something that becomes more familiar as the show progresses. I also liked the depiction of the Skrreeans as a matriarchal society. It's way, way better than the attempt in TNG's Angel One, where the women were muscular and domineering while the men were meek and wore perfume. At least here the women act like women and not men with boobs.

    The start of the episode is pointless, it's like as if the episode was running 5 minutes short so they added some scenes where the universal translator wasn't working to pad things out. It doesn't really add to the story, it's a needless complication that gets in the way of what the episode is about. The bigger problem is the ending where the Skrreeans decide that they want to live on Bajor and set up farms and stuff. By itself, that's not such a big deal, it's the way that Haneek and the other Skrreeans act as if living on Bajor was their birthright because of some prophesy about a world called Kentanna. What sort of people expect to have the right to live on someone else's land because of prophesy? You know, other than the Israelis? Once again, this plot point feels needless and tacked on, but this time it's to create drama rather than to fill time. And it doesn't really work to create drama as one side (the Bajorans) sound reasonable and the other side (the Skrreeans) sound like spoiled children. As a result, the supposedly tragic ending doesn't work as it comes across as that kid's own damned fault.

    Another reference to the Dominion here, but that's all it is, a reference. They're not a part of the story as they were in Rules of Acquisition, they could have called the conquering aliens the Bellendites and it would have been the same story. Still, it's a nice reference for those that are rewatching the show.
     
  2. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually really like this episode in retrospect.

    I liked the reference to the Dominion here. For starters, the reference was a bit ominous when you think about what was said. The Skreeans were invaded and conquered by another alien race. That race was in turn destroyed by the Dominion. It tells you something right there about the Dominion in that not only were they willing to destroy another civilization, but that the Skreeans felt no sense of relief in having their tormentors destroyed.

    In some ways both sides of the discussion between the Bajorans and the Skreeans have a point. The Skreeans were farmers and may have been able to help the Bajorans. On the other side the Bajorans really do have their own problems to think of. What was missing in the discussion was what role the Federation would be willing to play one way or another. It was rather clear that the Federation was going to help the Skreean resettlement effort one way or another. Its a good bet that the world that they settled on was in Federation space and that Starfleet was going to provide some material assistance. Therefore it seemed like the concerns of the Provisional Government could have been addressed by gaining some assurances from the Federation (of course, as I pointed out in my own thread on this topic, the Federation is on shaky ground here sense they should be doing more to help Bajor ANYWAY).
     
  3. defiantfan

    defiantfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    One aspect I really like about the episode is the musical connection. Showing how much healing Bajor still needs. It is an interesting thought-provoking episode to be sure.
     
  4. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The musical connection wanted to make me slash my wrists! Who is this Bajoran guy? And what is so important about him? As secondary (or fill-in or even tertiary as I like to call them) characters go, what was his point? It was so painful having to listen to that naff music, perhaps if he played the Lord of the Rings theme (you know that Hobbit theme) it would have been awesome (and if you must know bring a genuine tear from my eye)...

    Sanctuary is just about good as an episode, and there are rough patches and a few forced moments (Bajoran flute player...:mad:) I like the ending because it isn't all happy clappy. The Skreeans did have a point about their farming, they perhaps could have cultivated that continent. But the Bajorans were also right as well; they couldn't risk three million Skreeans starving to death because Bajor could barely feed itself let alone the Skreeans.

    I like how the Skreean leader became very... lukewarm (like a sort of cold disappointment) towards Kira, and though the Skreeans were brushed away by the episodic brush, at least the ending was bittersweet and botched in a good way. TNG wouldn't have done that, but DS9 did, so this further bolsters the episode's goodness.

    God, if TheGodBen doesn't give the next episode, Rivals, a rating of 0 then strike me down like the ending of Macbeth!
     
  5. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I don't like Sanctuary. It's probably better than Melora and Second Sight, but that's damning with faint praise.

    I think the universal translator is one of those things that shouldn't be drawn attention to, as essentially is magic. If you're going to make a successful story in the vein of Darmok, then fair enough, but I don't know why the plotline was tacked onto this episode. It just added to the mess, really.

    I didn't like how the Skreeans got their noses bent out of shape about not being allowed to settle on Bajor. Sure it's disappointing, but geez guys move on, it's not your land. Just because the Bajorans don't want you living with them as they're only just getting over sixty years of occupation, doesn't make them wrong. I'd totally lost sympathy with them by the end of the episode, so didn't feel anything at all for the forced drama at the end with the dead son. :rolleyes:

    I also hated the Skreeans makeup, which is a very strange thing to hate. I think it's just something that stuck from when I was watching it when I was younger. :confused:
     
  6. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I'll give them credit for not just slapping something on the Skreeans foreheads, but it's still pretty.... distracting.

    Like others have said, my biggest problem with Sanctuary is that the Skreeans act like spoiled children. And why are they so convinced that Bajor is Kentanna anyway? For all they know, Draylon II could be it. After all, isn't it also on the "other side of the Eye of the Universe"? I mean, jeez, even Bajoran prophecies are more open to interpretation.

    Another problem I have is the Bajoran flute player. In that little side-plot he and Kira act like spoiled children (seems to be a theme for this episode). Apparently, asking such a great artist like him to play music appropriate to the surroundings is a travesty in Kira's mind. Lady, he's playing in a bar, what do you expect?! Yes, it's sad that he's not playing in a music hall, but be happy that he can play anywhere. Get over yourself.

    Now, the episode does do some good things. For example, the Jake/Nog storyline is reasonably enjoyable. The scene where Quark breaks up the fight between Nog and the Skreean boy is very nice. And I like the reference to the Dominion. Rules of Acquisition showed us that they are an economic power to reckon with and Sanctuary shows us that they're a military power to reckon with. It's just a small reference, but it does add to the fabric of who they are.

    I'd say two or two-and-a-half stars is about right.
     
  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Rivals (*½)

    Never before on DS9, and never again, has an episode relied so much on a prop that fails to deliver. I'm not much of a gambler, but can I understand the thrill of a game of blackjack, or roulette, or horse-racing. I can understand why people bet money on those games knowing that the odds are stacked against them. I cannot understand the thrill of pressing a button a a weird-looking sphere that either lights up or doesn't based on its own internal logic that nobody understands. Why would anyone bet money on such a thing? Why would people do so in such numbers that they would be willing to abandon Quark's bar and his much more entertaining dabo table? For this episode to have any hope of working it required those gambling devices to look and act in an interesting way, which they don't (at least not on the surface) and that exposes all the flaws in the episode.

    I don't like the concept of a device that alters luck by spinning neutrinos in a certain way (let's just leave aside the fact that neutrinos can only ever spin one way anyway), but if you're going to address such a concept then don't do it in an episode that's not really about anything. Starfleet has just made one of the most important scientific discoveries of the age, the fact that luck can be altered using an easily replicated device that fits in the hand. With some more studying of the devices they may be able to control luck, which would have been highly useful during the war. Just put those devices on every ship in the fleet and give the crew some good luck before sending them into battle, all the enemy weapon's will miss and the war will be over without that messy business with the Romulans. Job done.

    All that being said, I do have a soft-spot for episodes like this that aren't really about anything. If this had just been an episode about Quark and a business rival while O'Brien and Bashir play space-racquetball, it would have been better off. In fact, it's the O'Brien/Bashir stuff that rescues the episode a little for me, it's another step on the road to them becoming BFFs. It's not their best outing together, and I'm not sure why any punter would be interested in the outcome of a game between the two, but it's light, inoffensive fun. Also, we get to see O'Brien's flabby moobs, and what heterosexual man wouldn't be tempted by such a treat? :drool:
     
  8. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Is it time to bring out the graph? You know the one...
     
  9. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Credit to NCC-1701 for this piece of brilliance:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, O'Brien's moobs are so sexy that viewers turn off the TV in significant numbers in order to engage in sexual acts.
     
  10. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    :techman: to NCC-1701.

    I don't necessarily disagree, but I always thought the Skreean characterization was quite clever, for a given value of "clever", and that they were supposed to be rather unreasonable. If we look at how the male Skreean act - stubborn, difficult to control, bickering over petty matters - I think you can carry some of it over to the females, who are after all the same species and culture, only more level-headed and self-controlled, presumably due to their lacking whatever hormonal mix causes the males to be so troublesome. That and they have greater responsibilities, and clearly take them seriously. The females are quite stubborn and petty too, only in a different (more elevated?) way. Once they've gotten an idea or a desire, they seem dedicated to keeping it, and rather belligerant and abrasive when someone then tells them they can't have it. Similar to the males grabbing at shop displays and trinkets and refusing to put them down again. Only the females do it with matters of actual importance given their more expansive worldview, greater responsibilities, and heightened levels of self-control. They do it with homelands and prophecies rather than with ornaments and shop displays. I liked that because it seemed convincing that the two sexes were the same species, the same society, with similar cultural and psychological traits, only expressed in different ways due to their differing biologies and social roles.

    While the episode isn't too popular, I'd have liked it if the Skreea turned up again, in minor roles - as advisors on the Dominion, perhaps? (though I'm not sure how much they really know; at the very least they might offer some pointers on where to find out more?)
     
  11. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Personally I'd give it another star just for that. I may perhaps love Elisa Maza a little too much. :alienblush:

    And an elephant, don't forget the elephant. :p
     
  12. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't have anything to say about Rivals, the worst episode of DS9 I've ever watched (and I'm watching it tonight to keep up with TheGodBen). Question are moobs, manboobs? If so then I dig that graph, it moobified me!
     
  13. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    That hits the nail right on the head concerning Rivals. What was so wrong with a story about Quark facing some competition on the Promenade mixed in with some building of the O'Brien-Bashir friendship that they felt it needed all the nonsense thrown in?

    Now granted, a story like that probably wouldn't have been great, but it probably would have been in the two-and-a-half star range for me. I most likely could have appreciated it the same way I did ENT: Precious Cargo - as an enjoyable little fluff episode.
     
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There was an elephant in Moulin Rouge? :wtf: Wow, I really wasn't paying attention.

    Yup, manboobs. And O'Brien had the finest pair or moobs in Star Trek, not too saggy and with just the right amount of fur.
     
  15. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Okay then. :lol:
     
  16. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    :wtf: :lol:

    Just makes him more realistic really!

    And what of Bashir in his skin tight thingy? Sure it was ugly, but it didn't leave much to the imagination. :D

    The rest of the episode is just another meh, which were getting used to now. Come on season two, wake up! *shakes it vigorously*
     
  17. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Given some of the remaining episodes to come before the season picks back up in quality, I'm not so sure you want to shake that too hard. ;)
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Alternate (***)

    I'd like to be generous to this episode and say that it served as a subtle hint of what is to come, just like all the Dominion references that are being thrown about recently, but it doesn't really. In fact, one of the problems with this episode is that it tantalisingly suggests early on that it may reveal information about Odo's background, but it abandons that element halfway through the episode so that it can do a monster story. I know that the writers had nothing planned for Odo's people at this point in the show, and they had originally planned not to show them at all, but it still feels like a bait-and-switch to seem to offer new information about Changelings and tell a different story instead. And what about that lifeform they found that was similar to Odo? Once it dies they just forget about it. Why can't they go back to that planet and look for another one? Vortex did a better job hinting at Odo's people and the guy in that episode was pretty much lying.

    What the episode does provide is an insight into Odo's past and how he came to interact with humanoids, and the resentment he harbours for Dr Mora Pol. Firstly, I don't get why everyone thinks that Odo views Mora as a father figure, unless they're basing that on their shared hairstyle, which seems like an odd thing to decide parenthood on. ("I'm sorry Captain Sisko, but ever since you shaved your head it has become clear that you're not Jake's real father. We're taking him away now.") Anyway, some toxic gas causes Odo to develop multiple personality disorder, which makes about as much sense as everything else about Odo's "biology". Odo's Hyde personality is acting out against the Jekyll personality's resentment of Dr Mora and tries to kill him, which leads to a scene where Odo melts and is eventually caught in a forcefield so that the gas can be removed, or something like that. Honestly, I was pretty tired while watching the episode and the second half began to lose my attention.

    In summary, I liked the Odo/Mora stuff, I wasn't so fond of the monster stuff, and the episode gets a bonus point for having Admiral Jarok in it.

    Form of... something: 11
     
  19. MrBorg

    MrBorg Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The Alternate always confused me.

    At first, I thought it was that Odo-like creature that somehow caused Odo to become a monster.

    But apparently it was just gas. WTF.

    I wish they would have done something with that ancient colony place in the future. Maybe establish it as the original homeworld of the Changelings or something.
     
  20. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm trying SO hard to avoid an immature joke about Odo having gas...

    :rolleyes: