TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think I at least have a "fanwank" explanation for that. ;)

    I figure people finally got tired of the "cloud" crashing, being sabotaged, etc. and taking all their crap with it (or compromising its security), so the reliance on physical media and separate discs increased to combat that in Starfleet settings especially. (That and the whole, "Durrrr, we can't help you or do anything because we don't keep paper backups of anything" thing that I hate.)

    (Which should be an explanation kind of reminiscent of what we see on nuBSG with the "no networking" response to the Cylon threat.)
     
  2. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, Second Skin. A great Kira episode, a great Garak episode, a great Cardassian episode, and a beginning of a beautiful friendship (really). Kira/Ghemor is one of the most touching relationships on DS9.

    And of course, it has Garak's great line from my signature.

    The fake premise of Kira being a Cardassian was quite interesting to me, and I wondered what it would be like if a main character was really a sleeper agent who just believed she was someone else. It wouldn't have worked for DS9 at all and it would've undermined Kira's entire character journey, but years later I thought of this while watching season 1 of BSG.

    It's probably just TheGodBen trying to avoid the wrath of VOY fans by giving good grades to DS9. ;)
     
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh...and one thing I didn't see TGB mention that I'm a bit surprised by: I think Nana Visitor and Lawrence Pressman deserve credit for working SO well together. I think the "chemistry" between them (if you can apply that to a non-romantic sort of love) really made the episode work and took it from average to excellent.
     
  4. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Damn VOY fans! :p

    Then again, he's probably already incurred their wrath by rating ENT better than VOY.
     
  5. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    But ENT is better than VOY. :p
     
  6. Satyrquaze

    Satyrquaze Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Can't argue with facts.
     
  7. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Well, Babylon 5 actually went through with it.
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know, I just didn't "feel" it. :shrug:

    I have mathematically proven it using my subjective opinions. :shifty:


    The Abandoned (***½)

    I feel like this episode was written mainly because the staff had come up with a number of traits for the Jem'Hadar during the break between seasons 2 and 3 and they wanted to relay them to the audience, so they did an episode to do so. There's a plus and a minus to this, the plus being that they avoided an unnecessary exposition dump in an episode like The Search, the minus being that this episode feels a bit artificial in some ways. The story works and it includes some nice character stuff for Odo, but it still feels like the story was shaped in some way by what they were trying to teach us about the Jem'Hadar rather than letting the story progress naturally.

    This episode reminds me a bit of I Borg now that I think about it. Both episodes were the first attempt to explore a new enemy by focusing on an individual from that species and both ended with that individual returning to their race, the difference being in why they return. I Borg was a better story overall, but it had the unfortunate impact of beginning a sequence of events that lessened the Borg threat in many peoples' opinion. The Abandoned's story is weaker, but it intentionally drives home the fact that the Jem'Hadar are beyond reasoning with even on an individual basis, thus it strengthens the Jem'Hadar as a threat. It's also interesting to note that in I Borg the idealism of Geordi and Crusher win out against the prejudices held by Picard and Guinan while in The Abandoned it is Kira's prejudice that wins out over Odo's idealism. For those reasons this episode could be labelled as anti-Trek which may be why the story doesn't feel natural to me, but it's necessary in order to maintain the Jem'Hadar as effective villains for the rest of the show. (Although there are some episodes in season 4 that undermine the point of this episode, but that's a discussion for another day.)

    Meanwhile, we finally get to meet Mardah. I don't care that Wesley Crusher got to pilot the Federation's flagship, Jake is the luckiest teenage boy in the galaxy. This is a fairly standard domestic story which I once again have to label as being pleasant. Sisko must learn to overcome his preconceptions, we get some insights into Jake, and we get to see Mardah almost overflowing out of her top. What's not to like?
     
  9. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ENT is better than VOY, but for some reason I find VOY more rewatchable. I think the difference is that I grew up with VOY, so I look back on it more nostalgically, even though I know deep down that it's very flawed.

    Anyway, I loved Second Skin. I thought it was a brilliant way of making Kira question things enough that she began to doubt who she was. And Garak is Garak - his presence usually makes an episode more worthwhile. I liked that the relationship between Kira and Gehmor would be revisited lated in the series.

    The Abandoned is a solid one, if not spectacular. I'm glad you brought up I, Borg as the episode always reminded me of something, and now I can put my finger on it! Of course if DS9 is the evil anti-Trek then this episode's natural progression is a reverse of I, Borg. ;)

    I enjoyed the Sisko/Jake storyline too. I always liked those station-life sideplots, they were always fun and added a bit of depth to the universe.
     
  10. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I much prefer ENT to VOY, ENT at least had two rather strong seasons while VOY rarely got to be anything but average.

    Haven't seen it yet. But I hope to do it relatively soon, before I get even more spoiled. :rommie:
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    That's the problem with shows that ended over a decade ago, it's long past the spoiler threshold. Which reminds of another show "Threshold" bo not the VOY episode but the show. It showed promise before it was cancelled as did Odyssey 5. Jeez is it any wonder why shows fail these days with audiances skeptical about tuning into a show for fear of cancellation so it ends up getting cancelled. A vicious circle if you will.
     
  12. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    That's all the proof I need. ;)

    The Abandoned is a pretty solid episode, even if it's mostly a huge exposition dump for the Jem'Hadar.

    Of course, I think it's better than I Borg because the idealism of Geordi and Crusher seems a little forced in my opinion, at least until Hugh becomes an full individual.

    And, of course....

    Indeed! :techman: :p
     
  13. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As Bajorans go, Mardah was really cute.

    As for the main part of the episode I think of this episode a bit like this:
    So the writers were asking themselves how they could write another story about the Dominion. So which aspect of the Dominion do they pick? Can't be Founders because they have already covered it recently, the Vorta seem a bit too dull (and this is before Weyoun arrived), so what about the Jem'Hadar?

    So they picked the Jem'Hadar and Odo of course had to be involved, and placed in a situation where he has such Founder-like power and control over this young Jem'Hadar, but does not want to be a Founder or raise the Jem'Hadar as a killing machine.

    It's a good premise, and this episode is enjoyable to watch (or as Admiral Shran said a 'huge exposition dump'). I also like that Odo fails miserably in his attempts in raising the Jem'Hadar, and this is another indication of how this series branches off from TNG; sometimes a good outcome is not reached, and if anything the outcome can be worse than before.

    Besides combine the Jem'Hadar's violence with this young ones puberty (DO Jem'Hadar have puberty; like a really painful, moody, growing up phase?) and what chance do Odo have? Kira sceptism was definitely warranted...
     
  14. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    True, I can't help but feel that on TNG the outcome would have been that the Jem'Hadar learns the lesson they want to teach him. Or, at the bare minimum, he would return to the Dominion with an entirely new outlook.
     
  15. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Civil Defence (***)

    Every Trek does an episode like this, the one where there's an accident of some sort that threatens to blow up the ship/station and kill everyone unless someone can [tech] the [tech] with 1 second to spare. Well, not every Trek has done it, but TNG and Voyager have. In fact, these episodes can serve as a window into each show. TNG's Disaster was caused by a random space anomaly and it used the premise to tell numerous character stories. Civil Defence's problem is the result of a legacy issue from the Bajoran occupation, it's an ensemble piece where foes are forced to work together to survive and it contains some humour. Voyager's The Haunting of Deck Twelve was caused by a funky alien and was framed by having Neelix tell a ghost story, but it was really about generic action and how awesome a captain Janeway is.

    So, how is this episode? It's entertaining enough, it's heightened by some great character interactions yet let down by some superfluous elements and masses of technobabble. The best parts of the episode were Garak and Dukat's interactions with the regulars, and particularly their interactions with one another. Strangely enough, even though Odo and Quark's scenes together are often a highlight of an average episode, putting the two characters together here felt gratuitous. I'd have been fine if the show decided to do an experimental episode about these two characters forced to sit in a room and talk to one another (the original concept for The Ascent, if I remember correctly) but in this episode involving a countdown timer that's going to kill 2,000 people having these two characters talking and doing nothing felt out of place. Finally, there's the technobabble. This episode is almost commendable for the fact that every technobabble solution they come up with makes the situation worse somehow, which could have been an interesting comment on how this show isn't TNG, but the final solution to the problems ends up being a technobabble mess involving Sisko rapidly switching rods around, which isn't all that exciting.

    This episode would have worked best back in season 1. Not only would the counterinsurgency program and Dukat's role in this episode have been more fitting back then, the entire structure of this episode feels like something from season 1 rather than season 3. It's hard to describe, but this episode feels more like a typical TNG episode rather than the kind of stories that DS9 has been doing lately. Also, the idea of characters that don't know or trust one another forced to work together to save their own skins on an old Cardassian monstrosity would have fit in perfectly back then.
     
  16. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember loving this episode back when it aired! Whatever the crew did made things worse, and seeing Dukat fail after his smugness when he first beamed abaord was hilarious. Of course back then I wasn't that exposed to how often this type of episode happened during Trek's run, or other similarly themed just-in-the-nick-of-time shows - 24 I'm looking at you. :D

    Looking back on it, it's an okay episode, but I don't like it as much as TNG's Disaster, which had more interesting fish-out-of-water scenarios for the cast. It developed Picard and Troi in particular quite nicely.
     
  17. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still find this episode highly rewatchable. Love the Garak-Dukat interactions, love Dukat getting the rug pulled out from under him by "his" own program...

    ...and I very definitely love it when the Ops replicator produces a weapon...and moreso when Dukat interrupts it to get a cup of tea. :)
     
  18. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :lol:

    Yeah, Dukat was on form in this one.
     
  19. defiantfan

    defiantfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In "Civil Defense" I actually enjoyed the Sisko/Jake/O'Brien scenes. We see Jake and Dad working together and O'Brien doing his thing, also more about the mines.
     
  20. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    You could say that the first two seasons of ENT were basically seasons 8-9 of VOY in terms of quality.

    Imagine if the shows were reversed... ENT was the flagship for the brand new UPN network and getting seven seasons no matter what. Seven bland seasons of ENT, two bland seasons of VOY, two good seasons of VOY, plug is pulled on Star Trek TV.