TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    That's a bold statement.

    Playing God is probably a 2 or 2½ star episode for me. Arjin is a character I kind of like, even though he is a little bland. The scene where he confronts Jadzia about her being so woefully below her own strict standards for joining is pure gold, IMHO. But, then again, it's no secret that I don't like Jadzia. ;)
     
  2. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    He was ALWAYS hunched over, I think that may have had something to do with the fact Lofton was tall compared to Nog/Quark/Kira.

    Regarding "Playing God", I thought it was pretty interesting seeing the interaction between Jadzia and the other Trill, but the sideplot was a borefest.

    I definitely agree they didn't bring enough Trill culture into the show. I assume it is much like earth, the Trill seemed to be at a similar stage of technological development as earth at least.
    But it was mostly focused on the whole symbiont side of things, it wouldn't have hurt to introduce a couple of basic Trill things - maybe seeing Jadzia celebrate a Trill holiday or mention something of Trill history
     
  3. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Is it really? "Meridian" is awful, but so is "Playing God." Neither episode really has any redeeming qualities, IMO. And besides, I only said 'sometimes'. :p
     
  4. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always thought it would have been great to see Jadzia without Dax, I had an idea for an episode a while back when I was posting my story ideas in the fanfic section where Jadzia is basically mentally separated from Dax due to some kind of alien sickness. Jadzia begins to realize she enjoys life more without Dax. Without 300 years of memories, she is able to have more new experiences and life holds more surprises and excitement for her, as well as get along better with her family back on Trill. That would have been a really interesting angle on her character. Not to blow my own trumpet, but if I hadn't been a kid and got a chance to pitch to TNG/VOY/DS9 back in the 90s, I woulda blown them away ;-)
     
  5. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Hmmm... I'll have to look for that next time I watch a Jake-centric episode. Never noticed it before.

    Meridian isn't awful - it's crap. Calling it awful is too generous. At least Playing God has a scene I actually enjoy every time I see it.
     
  6. JWD75

    JWD75 Commander Red Shirt

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    I thought that 'Playing God' was about 50% good and 50% bad. I enjoyed the Trill storyline and thought that Arjin was an interesting character. The B-story concerning the micro-universe was abysmal however - which frustrates me because I like high concept sci-fi and I think that the idea of a micro-universe could be the basis of a great episode. This episode also has one of the worst uses of the transporter in the entire franchise. The idea that the transporter could de-materialize then re-materialize something as unimaginably complex as a universe is beyond ridiculous.
     
  7. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a weird show. The stupid Universe story was silly and should go away, as DS9 just wasn't really like TNG or VOY in that way. Well, when it was being good. We have been revisiting seasons one and two after all!

    I guess I give the episode a bit more credit (not much, mind - 2-2.5 stars?) with the Arjin storyline, as I found it relatively interesting. Jadzia keeps knocking him back and taking him down a peg, as she struggles with how Curzon rejected her from the Initiate Program. It was a decent enough hook, but I think that in the end, it just didn't play out properly.

    And shoving a sci-fi gimmick into the mix didn't help the problem, it just made it larger. :wtf:

    I always loved the Trill though. I enjoyed the idea of the symbiant continuing to live after the host died, as their memories would go on and be re-lived in a way not possible with us. Relationships with friends and other races could potentially for a long while, and I just feel that a race wielding this much presence could have had more of a role in the proceedings somehow.

    I find it amusing how having a symbiant inside a host is a bit gross and parasitic in nature, yet their is a great importance and honour in having one.
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How did the Trill realise that if they cut open their stomachs and put a disgusting worm that lives in ponds of goo underground into their body that they'd develop a symbiotic relationship? I can appreciate that people sometimes do weird things with their bodies while bored, but that seems to be several steps beyond dripping hot wax onto your arm.


    Profit and Loss (**)

    What is love? Baby don't hurt me. Don't hurt me no more.

    [​IMG]

    I like this joke, I think I'll keep it and run it into the ground.

    Quark, the galaxy's ultimate materialist, is in love and is willing to sacrifice all his possessions to be with the object of his affections. Yeah, I don't buy it. At least this romance-of-the-week story is a bit more grounded than Melora or Second Sight as Quark and Natima have a history together, but it just rings false to me. If Quark had been lovesick all this time then there would have been signs, but there was no indication that he was so in love with someone that he'd be willing to throw away everything to be with her, nor will he even mention her again in the future. All the scenes where Quark was begging and pleading for her to stay felt very out of character for him and that harmed much of the episode. It shouldn't be surprising though considering this episode started out as a homage to Casablanca, which meant that Quark's motivations were copied over from Rick Blaine rather than having them grow naturally from his character.

    Even beyond the romance angle, this episode struggles. It's like watching a car driving down an icy road, heading in a direction that you want it to go in, but swerving all over the road and occasionally hitting things. What it does right is introduce the Cardassian dissident movement, something that plays a big role in later story arcs. It also has Garak, a character that every show should include. Even shows that strive for grounded realism, like The Wire, would be improved by including a Cardassian super-spy. But even Garak can't help himself from being flung around in the metaphorical car, doing whatever acts the episode needs him to do. For a guy that usually plans three steps ahead of everyone else, he falls for a very simple lie from Gul Toran and then switches sides seemingly out of spite. Does Garak really support the dissident movement? Does he aid their escape so that they can be a thorn in the side of the Cardassian leadership? I don't know, and I'd be fine with not knowing if I didn't feel that even Garak doesn't know why he did what he did, he just did it because the plot demanded it of him.
     
  9. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There was one good thing about Profit and Loss; Natima Lang, she was the prettiest Cardassian woman I've ever seen. I always thought this episode was a bit of fun, not exactly fluff. I personally thought the whole idea of Quark rediscovering his feelings for Natima was plausible.

    Whatever you said TheGodBen about their being signs, you're forgetting that Ferengi pursue profit first, love comes later. And if they can't find a woman, that's where (as Quark says) holosuites come in. So you can make out with all the (imaginary) women you want to... The scene with Natima shooting Quark and then fretting over him was a little mushy, nice little 180 degrees change of heart. I would say this episode is exactly average.
     
  10. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm, good point. Maybe several millenia ago the symbiant took over a host of its own accord, and the host felt very privileged and went around recommending it to people? Perhaps they started pimping out other hosts to symbiants? :p

    Maybe there was an average episode about it, and Garak had something to do with it all, but no one really knows? That's the answer.

    Profit and Loss is pretty average, on the whole. Garak makes me go yay! And then also, why did they even bother? Waste of his time, really.
     
  11. Satyrquaze

    Satyrquaze Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently not. :(
     
  12. BruntFCA

    BruntFCA Commander Red Shirt

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    Profit and loss is one of my top ten personal favorites but I can see why others don't like it. As for Garak the way I saw it was that he planned to kill Gul Toran the entire time which is why he had a second phaser.
     
  13. Son of Quark

    Son of Quark Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Profit and Loss is also one of my favorite episodes. Quark and Natima would have made an interesting couple. I wonder what they would have done with that if they had her back in some later episodes?
     
  14. JWD75

    JWD75 Commander Red Shirt

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    I've always considered Profit and Loss to be a fun above average episode. I kinda wish that the writers would have brought Natima back later in the series.
     
  15. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I kind of like Profit and Loss. Yes, it's another romance-of-the-week, but it does help define Quark's character rather significantly. It shows that he's not, in fact, the universe's ultimate materialist. He is willing to look beyond profit in some situations, an aspect of him that later episodes really develop. And, the romance doesn't feel like it comes out of left field.

    As for Garak, I could take or leave this appearance. Robinson does the best with what he's given and makes it slightly above average, but it's not up to his usual greatness.
     
  16. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I liked "Profit and Loss," too, though I think it would have held up better if Natima had returned at some point.
     
  17. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Indeed, she was a good character - not to mention very attractive. But, i don't think she was the most attractive female Cardassian on the show (like Ln X said).
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The second phaser was the one that he took from Quark. Sure, he could have planned on Quark having the phaser and taking it from him before Toran showed up, but I didn't get that impression.

    But that's the thing, Quark takes three steps forward in this episode and then takes three steps back in the next, then he spends the rest of the series slowly taking two steps forward again. It's like as if the Quark in this episode is at the end of his character arc, not somewhere near the beginning of it. The same applies to Garak's actions in this episode. I think it was a symptom of the show's episodic nature and that they weren't planning ahead much for future episodes, so they ended the episode by having both of them be heroic even though neither of them were heroes yet.


    Blood Oath (***½)


    This is my first time seeing this episode since watching TOS, so I finally know who the Klingon guys are. Kor was the first Klingon, he likes talking and executing innocent people. Koloth likes shore-leave and poisoning people. Kang enjoys sword-fights and laughing. I wouldn't say that seeing TOS increased my sentimentality towards this episode or these characters, but I do appreciate that these guys aren't your typical loud, boorish Klingons that became far too common in the post-TOS era. Sure, they shout and act gruff sometimes, but they don't act like as if they're constantly overcompensating for their small members. And that's because they're not, they don't have to act tough because they are tough, they're Dahar Masters which is something so impressive that even Odo displays some reverence towards them. It feels a little weird having a DS9 Klingon episode without Worf, but I suppose he was doing better things with his time, like awkwardly failing to ask Troi out on a date.

    After spending a whole episode in season 1 explaining that Jadzia Dax is a different person from Curzon Dax and not bound by his actions, now we get an episode where Jadzia decides that she is and spends 20 minutes trying to prove it. In truth Jadzia's motivation here isn't logical at all, seeing her old friends again causes her old desire for revenge to resurface and she throws protocol out the window so that she can get her bloodlust on. It isn't what one would consider a commendable line of thinking for a Starfleet officer, but I guess that's part of the point of the episode. On the surface this episode shows the character's strengths, both physically and mentally as she is absolutely determined to go on this adventure and refuses to let herself be left behind. But it could also be argued that this episode displays the weakness of Jadzia in that she can't control this desire for vengeance from a previous life like a Trill is supposed to do. It's an interesting duality, and something that doesn't go away as Curzon's interest in Klingon culture becomes part of Jadzia's character.

    The episode itself is good, but I wouldn't consider it great. The Klingon characters come across well in tone, but they still succumb to that old-fashioned Klingon stupidity and it's down to Jadzia to devise a plan better than rushing through the front gate and get themselves killed. The climactic battle where they fight off a small army of androids (which they clearly were as they didn't leave any blood on the bat'leths) was bigger than any action scene on the show so far. The final scene of the episode is great in concept, but the impact this has on Jadzia's friendships is never explored later and that hurts the episode a little.

    Sykonee's Counter: 12
     
  19. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect the episode fares much more poorly if you aren't familiar with these particular Klingons to begin with...as it is I regrettably have trouble taking it -too- seriously just because there are, unfortunately, no consequences. I do like seeing Kang, Kor and Koloth together though. :)
     
  20. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    I always loved this exchange from the episode:

    Odo: How did you get in here?
    Koloth: I am Koloth.
    Odo: That doesn't answer my question.
    Koloth: Yes it does

    Something about understated egotism/confidence borne from decades of experience on the part of the Klingon makes me smile.