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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    That's a good explanation, but I guess I wanted something like that in the episode itself. Certain things in stories are meant to be ambiguous and debated by fans, but in this case I feel like as if they rushed the conclusion in order to make Winn the Kai without bothering to explain it properly.

    I didn't know that the Americans invented the English alphabet. :p


    Tribunal (****)

    O'Brien hasn't had the best year, has he? First he nearly died from that toxic combine harvester, then he was kidnapped and had his personality transferred into a murderous replicant, and worst of all is that he became friends with Dr Bashir. He finally decided to take a holiday, his first in five years, and he ended up abducted by a foreign government, stripped naked, had his tooth pulled out, and was then sentenced to execution. He must have done something really bad in a past life to deserve all this.

    I enjoyed this episode for the pageantry of the Cardassian legal system, which is fitting as that's all that the Cardassian legal system is, a pageant. This isn't a trial, it's a show aimed at the Cardassians people, rather like Judge Judy or Mock Trial with J Reinhold. Justice doesn't matter, at no point do any of the Cardassians involved in the trial appeal to O'Brien's sense of justice, all they care about is obedience and service to the state, an emotional appeal that was hardly going to work on O'Brien. No, the trial doesn't matter, O'Brien is guilty, and nothing he or Odo can say will change anything. I especially liked Conservator Kovat. At the beginning you feel that he may be an honest lawyer that has been broken by the system but will stand up for justice in the end, sort of like that Klingon lawyer in Enterprise, but I liked that he didn't really give a crap and was perfectly happy working within the system he believed in.

    The plot of the episode doesn't really matter, we always knew that O'Brien was innocent and would end up being freed by the end of the episode. It's nice that the Maquis have come back into play once again, and the resolution to the trial was rushed and something of a deus ex machina, but those things don't really impact my enjoyment of the episode. When you get down to it, the core of this episode isn't even the trial but the Cardassian mindset, with everything from the language used at the trial down to the gloomy lighting in the courtroom reflecting their personalities. It's a strange form of style over substance that works because of how intriguing the Cardassians are and how the episode continues to develop their race.

    And let's not forget the best part of this episode; another delicious peek at O'Brien's flabby moobs. :drool:
     
  2. BlueStuff

    BlueStuff Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's just the one thing missing from The Next Generation.
     
  3. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin%27s_phonetic_alphabet

    :p


    Tribunal is indeed very much style over substance, but I agree that it's style that works very well. It clearly shows just what the Cardassian mindset truly is - something that has been hinted at over and over up until now. However, if I'm not mistaken, this is the first time it's explicitly thrown in our faces like this.

    It's also important that this episode really sets the stage, psychologically speaking, for all future episodes showcasing the Cardassians. For example, their blind obedience to the state shows why they would be so likely to join sides with the Dominion.
     
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Isn't this also the first time we get to see the surface of Cardassia with its ever-present monitors?

    The tooth-pulling makes me wince every time.
     
  5. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Oh my. I've missed Crossover, The Collaborator and Tribunal, which are some of my favourite episodes of the season. Crossover was an excellent episode, and it's easy to see why the writers decided to keep on doing Mirror Universe episodes. Shattered Mirror is about where they should have stopped though. :wtf: Intendent Kira is a very intriguing character!

    I really enjoyed watching The Collaborator. It was fun seeing Kai Opaka again, even if only as a Prophet. Winn and Bareil duking it out on the political stage was very interesting to me, and I probably liked it more than you did.

    Tribunal is another very good episode, and is yet another torture O'Brien episode. One of DS9's greatest missed opportunites was not having his moobs pulled until he cried! :o Colm Meany is brilliant as always, and seeing the Cardassian judicial system as its 'best' is fun to watch.

    I've had such a busy week at work, I missed this thread. Off for drinkies now tonight to start off the Christmas celebrations! :techman:
     
  6. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It also came out of that one line of Dukat's in The Maquis, about how the verdict was always the same.

    Although it's been a while since I've seen it, I love Tribunal. Our mindset is so focused on the idea of 'fair trial,' 'jury of peers,' 'innocent until proven guilty...' And all of that is thrown out the window in an alien trial.

    I've always loved Odo's 'You won' line, and the reaction of the Cardassian lawyer.
     
  7. DS9 Gal AZ

    DS9 Gal AZ Captain Captain

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    I do love the exchange between Odo and Kovat at the end:

    Wh- -wh- what happened?!"
    "... you won."
    "...they'll kill me."

    Hee!
     
  8. BennyRussel

    BennyRussel Commander Red Shirt

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    The thing about "Tribunal" is that it's really funny. It's a tribute to the writers and the director that they can extract humor from such a serious subject.

    The flummoxed Cardassian officials honestly had no idea how to deal with these "unreasonable humans" (Miles would not plead guilty and Keiko would not cry) and the shapeshifter who wouldn't give up.
     
  9. desultoryd

    desultoryd Ensign Newbie

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    I'm a new poster here so I'll keep this brief - (I just spent a marathon day and a half reading this whole thread - and could write volumes on what I've read). I'm a long time trek fan who never got around to watching DS9, so about a month ago I decided to watch all the seasons back to back, for the first time.

    I was thrilled to find this site and even more excited to read opinions on the episodes I've watched so far (I'm currently on season4)

    thank you to everyone for the insights and comments - I'm loving this series and can't believe it took me so long to try it out.

    One request - I realize that I'm an anomaly, I don't want to impede your discussions - and I'd rather risk spoiling what happens than not continuing to read the reviews... but I had no idea that the cardassians side with the dominion until I read it here... maybe a shout out to avert my gaze next time something like that comes up?
     
  10. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I think we've all been operating under the impression that all the readers have seen all the episodes. I'll try to watch what I say from now on.
     
  11. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Desultory--you might do better with Shatnertage's thread, then, which is more aimed at first-time viewers. TGB typically aims for those who are familiar with the series already.
     
  12. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I dunno why but Tribunal always seems like a filler episode to me. The Collaborator was great, and then we have The Jem'Hadar and then the whole tone of DS9 changes. It's like DS9 loses a lot of that TNG innocence. Don't get me wrong, Tribunal was good, but in the face of the next episode, it (Tribunal) lacks a certain punch and drive to it.

    One problem with this episode is the plot ending; the Cardassians have been caught redhanded trying to scupper the treaty between them and the Federation. The Federation could use that as leverage against those spoonheads, and make alterations to the treaty. Hell they could even ask for the Volon colonies back, and threaten the Cardassians that war is not to the Cardassian Union's advantage. If that had happened, then the Maquis would have disbanded.

    But the Federation seem to be rather lazy buggers, and they passed up an opportunity to do what they do best; talk and bluster for diplomatic advantage...
     
  13. desultoryd

    desultoryd Ensign Newbie

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    no - if there is another thread for us neophytes then fair enough, I'll take the risk to keep enjoying this thread :)
     
  14. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I think that goes along with something SFDebris said in his reviews of The Maquis - the Federation seems intent on preserving the peace with the Cardassians at any cost, even when it means they deliberately shoot themselves in the foot. I agree, however, that it makes no sense from an in-universe perspective.
     
  15. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, we can't really know what might have happened in the larger Trekverse as a result of the episode...it's not as though we got a window into the Federation council at this point.

    "The Never-Ending Sacrifice" doesn't deal with the events of this episode in particular, but does do a great job of illuminating how some of the events of DS9 felt from a Cardassian perspective.
     
  16. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Which is something that has always been a huge pet peeve for me - we never see the high level political/diplomatic dealings of any of the Trek shows. I would have loved to see some scenes set in the Federation Council Chamber or the Bajoran Chamber of Ministers.

    Of course, the reason is that our main heroes tend to be "low" ranking members of the military and not politicians who have access to those power corridors. So, we would have to focus on new characters to carry those scenes. So, it's understandable why we never saw things like that.

    But DS9 was the one show were they could have showed some scenes like that. I mean, Sisko is the Emissary of the Prophets, a man who regularly deals with the highest levels of the Bajoran government. They could have worked something in.
     
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do try and avoid specific spoilers about future events and refer to them in general terms because I know that Shatnertage reads this thread and don't want to give away too much for his mostly first-viewing. It sucks that you were spoiled about the Cardassia thing though, that was probably my favourite twist in the show because it was unexpected but made a lot of sense when you thought about it.


    The Jem'Hadar (****½)

    I don't think that anyone watching the show when this episode first aired understood just how true that statement was. Hell, I don't even think the writers knew. The Dominion caused interstellar wars involving five Alpha Quadrant powers, they caused the near-destruction of one of those powers, friends became foes and foes became friends, attacks were launched on Earth and other important Federation worlds, and there was a re-examination of the principles that the Federation was founded on. Star Trek had tried to introduce new villains in the past, from the successful introduction of the Borg to the failed introduction of the Ferengi, but none of them had the same long-term impact of the Dominion. The Borg may be more famous, but the Dominion managed to provide more of a sustained threat than the Borg ever did.

    How well does this episode work as an introduction for the Dominion? I honestly can't say because I missed it when it first aired and by the time I saw it I already knew a whole bunch about the Dominion. But I like the basic concept of it, I like that a comical family camping trip turns into one of the biggest interstellar incidents of the age. I liked the mixture of comic elements with serious drama, such as Jake and Nog trying to fly a runabout while larger events are unfolding around them. The episode also has it's thoughtful moments, such as Quark's little speech about the barbarity of humans. It's a fun adventure with established characters that play off of one another's traits. There is that anachronism about the Vorta's telekinetic powers, but I suppose it's not out of the question that the Dominion were using smoke and mirrors to make themselves seem more impressive and confuse their new enemy.

    On it's own, the episode might be in the 7 or 8 out of 10 range, but that score is inflated by how the episode made me feel. I've been rewatching DS9 for over two months now and I've been enjoying it for the most part, but this episode made me realise that a number of elements have been missing all along. I'm not just talking about the Dominion but other things such as the Defiant, and even small things such as DS9's wardroom. I know that those two things weren't in this episode, but they'll be showing up soon and that makes me feel good. This episode isn't just a finale for the second season, this is a finale for the first stage of DS9, the pre-Dominion era. I think it does very well in that regard.
     
  18. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There isn't much I can say about this episode that you haven't already said. I love how the beginning of the episode misleads us into thinking it will be a bit of a romp, and I love how swiftly the episode turns into something much different.

    When the big fight begins and Odyssey is taking a pounding I really thought the ship might be destroyed and thought, "Holy crap, they're going to blow up a Galaxy-class." Then the ship starts turning to retreat (a great sequence by the way...I'm not sure the sheer mass of the ship has ever been portrayed better) and I thought, "Oh, so they'll escape, but having learned not to screw around with the Jem'hadar." And then...well, we all know what happens next, and I don't think we'd ever seen such a display of naked petty aggression to that point in Trek history.

    Yeah, you can imagine what it was like knowing we wouldn't get any new DS9 for several months.

    I don't think it would be at all inappropriate to call this the Q Who? of DS9.
     
  19. DS9 Gal AZ

    DS9 Gal AZ Captain Captain

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    Ah, Eris. Shame we never saw her again. Yes, her telekinetic powers don't make much sense given what we've seen of other Vorta (not to mention the fact that she did nothing to acknowledge Odo as a Founder), but you can always fanwank that kind of stuff away. Definitely a great episode, and the end of DS9's pre-Dominion era. I really loved the build-up to the full Dominion reveal. We get whispers about them here and there - the first mention being in a relatively insignificant Ferengi-centric episode (I always loved that) - and then an episode like this, which reveals much more, but how much of what we learn is true? We'll find out next season! At the time, I could hardly wait.
     
  20. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Damn, this season really did end with a strong stretch, didn't it?

    The Jem'Hadar
    is a very good introduction to the Dominion proper. I love that we don't get the full story of what the Dominion is and how all the races play off each other here. That stuff won't come until later - in the case of Vorta, much later. This episode merely gives us our introduction to the Dominion, much like Q Who gave us our introduction to the Borg only to have more information on them revealed later.

    And Quark's little speech about Humans and Ferengis is definitely the high point of the episode for me. He glosses over many of his society's flaws, but he does make some damn good points.