TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season 2 is very underrated, it is the season when the show gets good and it's better than season 3, but so many people just lump it with season 1 as "bad early seasons" because it was before the Dominion (although it actually introduced the Dominion). It has some really great episodes, but the show doesn't get consistently good before season 4, both seasons 2 and 3 have great episodes regularly interspersed with clunkers.

    Your ratings are really harsh. I think Necessary Evil deserves a 5. It is one of the best episodes of the show IMO. I'm a sucker for occupation stories, and this one was really well-done and might be the first successful (and non-parodic) Trek noir episode. (Terok Nor = Trek Noir, clever!).

    This reminds me this forum's great pitch from a few years ago (damn, time flies fast!) for an HBO or Showtime series "Terok Nor". :)
     
  2. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I said 80s sitcoms, dammit! :klingon:

    Actually I was very happy when I loaded the lappy up today, it perked up my crappy day at work. Glad to see you (and your charts) back Benny. :)

    I really like season two, as it has a lot of good episodes in the mix. Sure, there's a lot of fluff in there too, but you can look past it all adds up to something greater.

    I agree with DevilEyes - the season isn't fondly remembered by a lot of people, which is a real shame. I agree that the consistency won't be there until the Klingons show up, but there is so much good to be found along the way.

    And I said it before back when you reviewed it, but Necessary Evil is one of the most essential DS9 episodes evah! :p
     
  3. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But he gets no points for those because of my arbitrary rules on who gets points for which episode.

    Can you at least review 80s sitcoms that I've watched, like Cheers or... hmm, it appears that I've only seen Cheers. :alienblush:

    Well, SOPA's gone now, isn't it? Me stopping this thread was clearly the straw that broke the camel's back. My review threads are very popular among members of the American congress.

    Sometimes I fear they're not harsh enough. I worry that crazed Voyager fans will show up one day and accuse me of the dreaded double standard. :scream:


    The Search, Part 1 (***½)

    There's lots of new additions to DS9 in this episode; the Defiant, the wardroom, Eddington, Odo's belt, and a couple of other things. But here's a thing, all of those are introduced within the first 10 minutes or so, leaving the rest of the episode to feel a bit pedestrian. This episode is like the aftermath of Christmas, by which I mean you get lots of cool new things to play with, but then you enter into January and you still have the cool things but they're not exciting or new anymore. Does that analogy make any sense? Probably not, but I'm a bit rusty and that's the best I could do.

    The introduction of the Defiant is a bit disappointing. Now don't get me wrong, I love the Defiant as much as a man can love a fictional kickass warship, but right now it only has two sets and both of them are a step down from the other permanent sets on the show. Ops and the promenade have a grandeur about them, they're bustling hubs of activity with multiple levels and intriguing alien architecture. The two sets seen in this episode, the bridge and the crew quarters, are both compact and flat. I understand that that's the way it should be what with the Defiant being a scaled-back warship with little to no creature comforts, but it's still a little boring going from such interesting sets to such basic ones. It doesn't help that the Defiant gets the crap beaten out of it at the end of the episode, the first of many times that's going to happen.

    There's a sub-plot about Odo and how he's considering resigning because Starfleet is trying to force him out. This is actually a nice little nod back to the end of season two and the Maquis-related security breaches such as the kidnapping of Gul Dukat. Well, that's the way I choose to see it at any rate. This sub-plot is a little too convenient given how Odo is about to find his homeworld, but it works well enough. It's a bit weird that Odo suddenly has an urge to go to the Omarion nebula considering he's been in the GQ a few times and never had that urge before, but I suppose it's possible that he never saw it on a map during those previous trips and that triggered something in his magical Changeling DNA.

    So, a strong start to this episode but the rest of it is pretty average.
     
  4. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Bah I just had a big reply written out and hit refresh. KHAN! :o

    The biggest thing I noticed in the episode when I first saw it, was how bad Dax's hair was. :wtf: Sure, a small thing in the long run, and a particularly shallow criticism, but what were they thinking? Perhaps that was one new shiny thing too far?

    I welcomed Odo finding out about his people. It was a good hook to have had him not knowing anything for 2 years, but he was ready to take the next step on the character development ladder. If there is such a thing?

    I sort of enjoyed the Defiant when I first saw it; eventually I grew to love it. At the time though, I was worried that the show would lose its focus and become more like TNG. I was glad that I was proved wrong in the end.

    And that cloaking device was much ado about nothing. Sure it seemed like a big deal at the time, but wasn't this the first time the Romulans popped up on DS9? No big storyline ever came from having it, so it just seemed shoehorned in to make things seem more ominous. Look! The Federation and the Romulans are working together! The Dominion must be mean! :eek:

    Of course they would come together in war, and The Dominion did turn out to be mean, but it was all done so much better later on.
     
  5. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I could do The Dukes of Hazzard. ;)

    I got to disagree, though not on Dax's hair - WTF were they thinking with that. :wtf:

    I genuinely liked T'Rul and wish they would have kept her on as another recurring character. And, the Federation-Romulan connection here wasn't just abandoned, it does have bearing on episodes before Season Six.
     
  6. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah there is *that* episode, and of course the excellent Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast. Aside from this though, I just don't think that the Romulans had much of a presence throughout DS9's run. I welcomed the stories in season seven, but even in the final arc they were just sort of there.
     
  7. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TheGodBen is right about The Search, part 1 feeling a bit pedestrian. A lot of new things were introduced, but this episode is solid and ultimately is just the link in the chain between The Jem'Hadar and The Search, part 2. Ultimately this episode will always be for infilling the plot, and it does it well, but episodes like these are nearly always good but nothing really special.

    My only real gripe is what the f*** they did with Jadzia's hair, it detracts from her beauty, and was attempt at flare that miserably failed.

    Regarding the Romulans they always seemed to be in the background in this series, but then I like it this way. They play their part in developing the whole story, unlike in TNG where we saw standoff after lame standoff which did not really amount to anything (and this is why the episodic format fails because writers have to wrap to many things up when they should have explored the plot more thoroughly). DS9 did roughly show the Romulan's agenda, first it was trying to cripple the Dominion with one blow, that it was an uneasy peace, and then finally all-out war (thanks to Sisko and Garak).

    The Romulans remained in the background because the Jem'Hadar/Vorta/Founders, Klingons, Cardassians and various Federation races were the ones that a) really drove the plot and b) comprised most of the main and secondary characters.

    I also felt Odo travelling on the Defiant was a little to convenient, very TNGish having main character(s) come along simply for the sake of it (and some lame reason for them being there), but it was for the plot's sake so I can overlook it. I also like the Defiant's sets simply because they were made to be bland and if you take TNG's sets (with the Enterprise) they looked rather bland as well. In fact the Defiant's sets were better because of the lighting and darker colours.
     
  8. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. They're a force within the series, but one that doesn't need to be in the limelight all the time. I like that.
     
  9. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just to give you an impression of how nerdy my dreams get...

    I was at a parade being thrown by members of the traveller community in celebration of the Chinese New Year (which is amazing as I had no idea it was Chinese New Year's Eve until I woke up) which, for those of you unaware of the Irish traveller community, is an incredibly unlikely thing to happen. Taking part in this parade for some unexplained reason was JJ Abrams. Some friends go over to him and tell him that I don't like Star Trek 09 and that kicks off a good-natured slagging match between us. We walk with him as he goes to work, and when he gets in an elevator we say our goodbyes and that's that.

    A friend says something like "Wow, I can't believe we met JJ Abrams" to which I reply "Eh, it's not like as if he's Ron Moore." Then Ron Moore walks into the room. I let out a high-pitched squee and shouted "Ron Moore! I just said your name and now you're here! That's amazing!" Ron is a little freaked out by the presence of this crazed fan, so I quickly try to explain that I'm a big fan of his work on TNG and DS9, and BSG of course. He desperately, yet politely, tries to get away from me.

    I'm not sure what happened next in the dream, but I do remember being at a Chinese New Year's Eve party where four women were coming on to me. I'm not sure if that negates or reinforces the nerdiness. :alienblush:


    The Search, Part 2 (**½)

    The ending. Yes. Bad idea, that. Actually, it's not just the ending, the entire fictional DS9-based plot feels a little off. Odo and Kira are missing, possibly dead, and none of the characters are worried or even talk about it? No, that whole plot is awkward, even Garak doesn't feel like Garak, which is understandable as he's not Garak. Besides, Garak would never be shot down and die in a corridor, that's not his way. If Garak ever dies then it will be in a The Third Man style ending where we don't actually see his death and you're left wondering if he's really dead at all. The Jem'Hadar feel off, the Federation feel off, the plan to destroy the wormhole feels off, almost everything in that plot feels off. It still manages to be mildly entertaining, but it's not quite right.

    But there's also Odo's story, and that pretty much saved the episode for me. I missed this episode when it first aired and saw it after I had seen a good bulk of the series, so it's hard for me to judge the impact of how shocking it was that Odo actually met his own kind. Star Trek always seemed to favour the status quo, so if I had seen the cliffhanger at the end of part 1 I would have assumed that it would end up being some sort of trick and that those weren't really Odo's people. But they were, and this is an important episode in Odo's growth. When the female Changeling tells Odo that he must learn how to be a rock, she's really telling him how to be a shape-shifter. Up until now Odo has been reluctant in accepting his nature, he doesn't like morphing into other objects for people's amusement and he can't stand reverting to his liquid state in front of others. When he does change shape he only does so because it has a purpose for his work, he doesn't do it for the sake of fun. Odo's attitude toward shape-shifting changes because of this encounter with his own kind.

    Then there's the big twist, the Changelings are not only bad guys, they're the biggest threat to the Federation since the Borg. Once again, I'm not sure how effective this twist was at the time, but in hindsight I think it was a masterful combination of two seemingly unrelated plots. It not only adds to Odo's angst and sets him up for some divided loyalties down the line, it also helps to humanise the Dominion in some way. We've seen authoritarian regimes in Star Trek before so there was a chance that the Dominion would just be a more powerful version of the Romulans or Cardassians. But by making the Changelings the founders of the Dominion the empire became more complex, they are a reaction to racial hatred and fear and not just evil for evil's sake. The episode earns major props for that revelation.

    Form of... an Arbazon vulture: 13
    Wormhole in Peril: 2
    (kinda)


    There, I got through these episodes without mentioning Jadzia's hair. I think I'm the first internet reviewer in history to manage that. ;)
     
  10. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    My memory may be mistaken... But I remember thinking how great Jadzia's hair looked when I watched The Search. But I'll see when I get my rewatching of The Search (I'm now in early season two).
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    "The Search, Part II" was yet another exampe if Trek's strong first part, weaker second part. Fortunatly DSN does improve in this respect.
     
  12. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, this was a very weak follow-up. I appreciated the continuation of Odo's story, because it developed his character by making his yearning to be back home more poignant. Seeing him learn to use his abilities rather than hide from them is a good thing, too.

    Everything that happens on faux-DS9 is just silly, and then the end is a total balls-up. I think it knocked down some of the carefully laid work done since season two. Luckily, this was just a misstep.

    I wonder what the character reason was for Jadzia doing her hair like she did. Did no one dare tell her how she looked? :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    "The Search," to me anyway, felt like one of those two-parters that really didn't need to be a two-parter.
     
  14. InklingStar

    InklingStar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Major, the Changelings are the Dominion."

    I still feel chills at that line.
     
  15. DS9 Gal AZ

    DS9 Gal AZ Captain Captain

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    :techman: I know, what a freakin' cool reveal that was, and a great follow-up to Eris' line at the end of season 2: "You have no idea what's begun here." Well, now we do Eris, and it will have reprecussions all the way to the end of the show.
     
  16. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    (sighs) That was the whole point, and even with foreknowledge of this episode (watching it again), I think it rather masterfully conveyed the feeling that something just isn't right here...

    I dunno why but I always have weird feelings for this episode but in a good way. You know the writers/producers could have taken a different path but it wouldn't have been as good. Question is why is this episode so good?

    1. Conveys a very nice sense of wrongness and urgency; it makes the viewer (your obsessed Trekkie that is) wonder what the hell is going on here? There have been many Star Trek episodes where things go strange but The Search, part 2 pulls this off masterfully with the high stakes (both real and imaginary) and interlinked plots at the end.

    2. Deux-es machina ending. Really the ending is very clever, and the tie-in between Odo's exploration of himself and Sisko and the others finding out what is really going on, is the perfect way to reveal who the Founders really are. The ending shows just how clever and devious the Founders are, but also makes them out to be not just any old threat. The feeling that the Founders get to places, subvert things and manipulate things to their own advantage is a very powerful one.

    3. The Founders. Nice little twist, at first the Founders were thought to be the Vorta, but Odo's people were, and the scene where Odo discovers the truth is very powerful. In fact it is probably the most defining moment of Odo's character, where he really follows his principles. Plus Odo is one of the stronger characters, so this episode worked wonders on him.

    To sum up I would say the second part is a bit stronger than the first part simply for a) discovering more about Odo's people, b) a clever plot and c) a few character defining moments (take for instance Sisko coming to the realization that peace is not the answer and more drastic measures are necessary). Not only that this episode is very un-TNGish because all that stuff about peace and what Picard so loves isn't really the solution here (I mean would Picard have agreed to the Dominion terms for a peace treaty? I get the feeling he would because he would be fooled by the Dominion's premise for peace when really it is domination. Whereas Sisko is a lot more pragmatic about all of this and prefers to see the bigger strategic picture).

    This episode gives a lot of food for thought and I still feel that episodes that make you really think are either good or very good episodes. So personally I think this episode should have been given a four star rating. Every time I've watched this episode I never felt the ending was cheap or convenient. Besides the reason for the Founders to subject Sisko and the others to this false reality seemed quite plausible to me, and was just another way for the Founders to test their opponents strength and will without revealing any of their (Founders/Dominion) strength and advantages.

    Seriously guys, this episode is a good one because it really explores the Founder's mindset when you start to really think about it.
     
  17. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Us regular followers of your reviews know all about what your dreams may bring. ;)

    That sense of unease or offness is definitely what they were going for, but IMO they went a little too far. By the end of the episode, just about everyone had to know it wasn't real (what with stuff like Garak's death and the destruction of the Wormhole with Odo and Kira still in the Gamma Quadrant).
     
  18. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You're not the only one, I've had dreams where I've interacted with the main cast of DS9 (although not on DS9 itself). Can't remember much except one time when I was in a battle and myself and the main characters all died (and these creatures ate their dead bodies), and I floated away...

    Seriously, that was one disturbing dream...
     
  19. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I had a dream once of Guinan in Quark's bar in the midst of a musical number about why she doesn't get drinks from Risa. Still haven't figured that one out.

    Honestly, when it comes to The Search Part 2, it's an interesting idea, in the twist turning the b-plot into the a-plot, but since it requires foreknowledge, it falls a little flat. Granted, yes, it does establish some nice facts about the characters that further emphasize 'We are not TNG' like Ln X said, specifically Sisko taking an act that would, had it been real, been career-ending and arrest worthy. But it seems to work better when you know the twist and are considering the Kira and Odo scenes as being the episode's a-plot, not the major happenings on the 'station.'
     
  20. defiantfan

    defiantfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Should our beloved TheGodBen be called away to fight the forces of evil, let me be first to volunteer review 90's sitcom "NewsRadio".

    Second, I love that this season opener involves elements that follow the entire series to the end. I too agree with others that even though they gave Sisko an awesome ship, the "Sisko is NOT Picard" message came shining through.

    I totally agree Garak is too cool to die that way, and his last words would certainly not be about lunch!