TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The great part about this episode is that its part of a larger tapestry about the gradual demoralizing and decay of the Cardassian Union. The Cardassians might have been provoking the colonists, but even their typical shift toward brutality fails to quell the rebellion within their border. As much as the Federation dislikes the Maquis and distrusts the Cardassians...the Maqui do serve the purpose of undermining Cardassian authority rather publicly. When you factor in the Cardassians forced with withdrawals from Bajor and what we learn about the poor conditions on Cardassia Prime under military rule...what we are shown is a society that is in deep decline. Its not surprising that the military government would be overthrown...and that would lead to even more instability. The eventual invasion by the Klingons was essentially the final straw. It makes their eventual absorption into the Dominion seem logical.

    All that said...while all of this is good stuff, its ironic that all this was set up for the sole purpose of creating the Maquis...and thus providing a hostile element for Voyager. Its sad that all this work would be for nothing since Voyager would ditch the whole concept by the end of its pilot. So DS9 would reap the benefits of a storyline created for Voyager simply because DS9 had writers that were committed to the concept.
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wasn't just speaking in terms of economic value. I don't get emotionally attached to a calculator partly because I know I can easily get another one if I have to. In the Federation, homes aren't at a premium (not as I understand the Federation, anyhow).

    As someone who lives fairly close to an airport, I wonder whether the settlers may have been implicitly or explicitly there under any sort of eminent domain agreement.

    In any case, it makes about as much sense to me personally as choosing to live in Iraq and then being upset when violence happens. If you're going to choose to live on the frontier, you may have to face the consequences of it. And as far as we know, nobody was there involuntarily...heck, Journey's End was all about settler relocation...and some other minor plot point I can't recall...
     
  3. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always think of admiral Nechayav has admiral Bitchayav, she seemed so... unlikeable.
     
  4. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is all true. It's sad that VOY completely abandoned the concept of the Starfleet vs. the Maquis by the end of its first season (you can see the seeds already in the pilot when Chuckles shows up on the bridge in a Starfleet uniform).

    It really blows my mind that all this trouble was went through just to create something for VOY (setting it up on TNG, properly introducing it here on DS9, revisiting it in the penultimate TNG episode, revisiting it again in the penultimate episode of DS9 Season Two) just so that they wouldn't have to burden VOY with massive amounts of exposition and then to have DS9 do so much more with it when DS9's showrunners wanted nothing to do with in the first place.

    So, are you saying that you wouldn't take offense if you lived in Poland in 1938 and the government came to you and said "We've decided to give your home, your land and all your family's possessions to the Nazis so they won't invade us and you have no say in it. But don't worry, we're going to relocate you to somewhere else. And, if you resist, we'll help the Nazis hunt you down and throw you in prison."?
     
  5. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wow, Godwin is spinning...

    If they said, "Either you can move to a place that's at least as nice as where you're living now, and we'll cover all your expenses, and pay you a hefty fee for the inconvenience of you having to give up your home, or you can stay here with the understanding that you're no longer under our jurisdiction and we can't guarantee your safety, though we'll try? Oh and by the way, you're helping to avert a war and saving a whole lotta lives either way?"

    Yeah, I think I could live with that.

    The end of your quote is particularly facetious given that the settlers were (or should have been) allowed to continue living peacefully as long as they didn't mind being under Cardassian rule. While the normal settlers might have had to deal with some attacks (and let's not pretend this didn't occur on both sides), the Federation and Cardassians were not teaming up to attack people who just wanted to live in peace, they were teaming up to attack people who were actively engaging in terrorism and threatening a peace that was, at least in theory, saving many more lives.

    It may not be reasonable to ask people to give up their homes for "the greater good", but how reasonable is it to demand that your country go to war with a foreign power that -will cost many lives- just because you won't give up your home?

    And, since it always seems to get lost in the shuffle (no bias I'm sure...) I'll reiterate that it wasn't just Federation settlers who "lost" their planets.
     
  6. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    You're finally doing the DS9 review thread? Well, I'll be following it from now on! Let me just put my manly purple hat on to celebrate.
     
  7. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Hi there apenpaap; I haven't seen you around for a while. Been busy? :)
     
  8. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Yeah, it's been a while. I haven't really been into Trek much lately (the past two years, I guess), though this thread has rekindled my interest into rewatching DS9 soon.
     
  9. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to agree with this sentiment.

    From my understanding of the peace treaty between the Cardassian Union and the UFP. Several planets on both sides would swap. So some former worlds under Cardassian jurisdiction would swith to UFP and vice versa.

    As evidence from TNG "Joureny's End", the Federation view at the end is 'we won't force you to relocte, but you give up your Federation Citizenship. Any request have to come through the Cardassians. Gul Evek seemed to imply that the Cardassian viewpoint was so long as you don't bother us we don't care.

    To those that think the treaty was wrong. I have a question.

    How do you justify to the hundreds of billions if not close to a Trillion citizens of the Federation that sorry citizens a few million people who might be incovenianced by it so we won't sign the treaty. Yes it might cost millions of lifes, hundreds of starships lost, planetry devesation to numerous worlds but the needs of the few out weigh the needs of the many.

    Yes the treaty might not be perfect, but like any negotation it's a little bit o give and take. No doubt there were aspects of the traty that the Cardassians didn't like.
     
  10. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But that's not what is going on. The Central Command is actively arming and assisting the Cardassian settlers in the DMZ. Is the Federation actively doing the same for the Federation colonists? No. The Maquis were living peacefully until they were attacked by the Cardassians. In response, they began to defend themselves and Starfleet/the Federation basically came in and said "Oh, no you don't!" If the UFP was really willing to let them live in the DMZ with the understanding that they would receive no assistance from Starfleet, then they shouldn't act against them when they defend themselves against Cardassian aggression. The best course of action for the Federation would have to been to leave the Maquis and the Cardassians to their own devices.

    Yet there was no need for the "lost" Cardassian planets to rise up and engage in terrorism. They were protected by the Federation, which had no intent to harm them, unlike how the Cardassian government felt about the Federation's "lost" planets.
     
  11. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Isn't the whole point of "The Maquis" supposed to be that at the end of the two-parter the Cardassian government is forced to stop arming their settlers because they've been exposed?
     
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Welcome back. I'd put on my purple hat to celebrate, but it would clash with my yellow skin and people would think I'm from Wexford. :ack:



    SANTA: Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!
    ME: Screw off, Santa.
    SANTA: Oh dear, it sounds like you need some Christmas cheer, Ben.
    ME: Go annoy someone else, Claus. And my name is Godfrey!
    SANTA: How about a gift to get you into the spirit of the season?
    ME: Okay, I want you to take everything relating to Christmas and burn it in a big fire.
    SANTA: Oh my, is something the matter?
    ME: I just have some bad memories of this time of year and it tends to get me down.
    SANTA: Well I have just the gift to cheer you up, an episode of DS9 that focuses almost entirely on Garak!
    ME: A new episode or a rerun?
    SANTA: ...a rerun.
    ME: Okay, I'll take it.
    SANTA: Ho ho ho! I knew that would give you the Christmas spirit.
    ME: Bugger off, fatso.
    SANTA: Oh, stop feeling sorry for yourself and go get laid or something, you miserable git.


    The Wire (****½)

    This was the last episode of DS9 I watched. The series had been over for a few years and Sky One was repeating it weekdays at 5pm. I missed the first 15-20 minutes of it because I was at a music lesson so I missed much of the setup, and I remember thinking how weird it was that there was an episode focusing on a secondary character like Garak so early in the series. Not that I considered it a bad thing, on the contrary this was the episode that made me realise that Garak was my favourite character on the show. That final exchange ("Especially the lies") is one of my favourite scenes in the show because of how well it encapsulates the Garak character.

    There's not much story here, Garak is addicted to the effects of some chip in his head and Bashir tries to save him, there's not much else to it. But the presence of Garak turns what would be an otherwise routine medical story into something special. The episode may be focused on Bashir, but the core of this episode is Garak, his loss of composure, and the conflicting stories he tells about his past. If you love Garak then you can't help but love this episode, and if you don't love Garak then you don't qualify as a lifeform by my definition. This episode tells us so much about Garak without telling us a damn thing about him, which makes it one of the most impressive feats of writing on the whole show.

    One thing I noticed for the first time while watching this last night, and I'm surprised it took me this long to notice it, was that Garak, in his third revision of history, mentioned that Enabran Tain retired to the Arawath colony, then Bashir goes there to find Tain. Did Garak slip that little fact into his story hoping that Dr Bashir would go there to find Tain and seek a solution? Probably. Even when he's on his deathbed, Garak is still capable of manipulating people to his will while letting them think that they came up with a plan all on their own.

    This episode also adds to the tapestry of DS9, first by referencing the Obsidian Order, then by introducing Enabran Tain. So what starts out as a great Garak episode becomes a little more important when rewatching the show.
     
  13. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Well, then you won't be looking very manly :cardie: ... Anyway, The Wire is indeed an amazing episode, with Garak at one of his best performances.
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Out of interest, TGB, what keeps it from the full five stars? What in particular holds it back from your highest score?
     
  15. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What would keep it from my highest score is that so much of the primary cast gets shoved to the side. It is quite a good episode, but I can't give full props to an episode with such a narrow focus.
     
  16. DS9 Gal AZ

    DS9 Gal AZ Captain Captain

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    Amen! Preach it!

    Honestly, sometimes I think this would be my favorite episode of DS9, if it weren't for "Duet." Garak is awesome, and Garak/Bashir is even awesomer (yeah, I know that's not a word, but this episode gets me so giddy that I use improper grammar!). As you say, Garak is really the focus of the episode, but I love that Bashir is there for him, completely compassionate and determined and not caring about the sins of Garak's past, whatever those sins may be. This is the episode that cements their unlikely friendship, and shows how far they've come, back from the time Garak introduced himself and seemed to just enjoy freaking the young, naive doctor out. The scene where Bashir takes Garak's hand and forgives him for "whatever it is you did," is really quite touching in its own way. And of course "...especially the lies." A perfect closing line to a Garak-centric episode. :D
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That role was badly miscast. As written, it should have been much better.
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    That's probably why they never brought Hudson back.

    I liked Eddington better anyway.
     
  19. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Wire is indeed a very good episode. I would also like to know what held it back from 5 stars - I thought it would have been a sure-fire 5 star episode from TheGodBen.

    I like to think all the stories Garak spins here contain at least one truth in them, tangled in with all the lies. That way, it's almost as if Garak is, in fact, telling us about himself but leaving us to do the dirty work of connecting the dots.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What holds The Wire back is that the story itself isn't very good, you could sum it up glibly by saying that Garak gets sick and Bashir cures him. What makes the episode great are the characters and the performances. Compare that to Duet and you'll see that that episode also had great characters and great performances, but it also had a great story with great twists that left you guessing right to the very end.


    Crossover (****)

    (To avoid confusion, all mirror characters will have a µ in front of their name because µ -> mu -> MU -> Mirror Universe. Got that? No? Oh well, on with the review!)

    It's impossible to discuss this episode without bringing up all the baggage that comes with being a Mirror Universe episode. To me, the Mirror Universe is an example of diminishing returns, with each episode being less interesting and more cartoonish than the last. But there's a reason why they decided to visit that well so often, and it's because this first MU episode was so engaging, and the reason why it's so engaging is because it's played mostly straight. µKira is more interesting as a reflection of Kira than she is as the cartoon villain she becomes. µQuark is a genuinely heroic character that's trying to help the Terran slaves, he's not just the first victim of a recurring joke about µFerengi deaths. µO'Brien gets to give a little heartfelt speech about how he wants a better life, which is something that just wouldn't fit in with the later episodes in this arc. This universe may be a twisted joke but it's real to the people that live in it, and that's why I prefer this episode to the ones that come later.

    The best thing about the episode is µKira, because she's Gul Dukat in a more pleasing form. She claims to be kind but she's more brutal than she needs to be, she expects the Terran slaves to love her even though she sees them as beneath her, she enjoys her sexy-times with her subjects, and she's narcissistic beyond belief. She is a Bajoran Gul Dukat, she is everything that Kira hates and she's wearing her own body. And the worst thing for Kira is realising that this could well have been her if the circumstances of her life had been different. Unfortunately, this is the only time that the two characters have substantial interaction with one another, and we never get to meet µDukat, but once again I must point out that that's a fault of later episodes and not this one. I really liked the uncomfortable attraction that µKira has for Kira, and I'm right there with Nana Visitor in preferring to imagine that that stemmed purely from narcissism and not from the bisexualism-leaning-towards-lesbianism that comes about in later episodes.

    Being an alternate universe story, we get to see the actors having some fun playing the alternate versions of themselves. µGarak is just as scheming as Garak, but his ambition overshadows his abilities. µOdo gets to live out the fascist dreams of Odo. µO'Brien... well, he gets treated like crap no matter what universe he lives in. The standout character is µSisko, whom Avery Brooks plays with just the right amount of ham.
     

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