TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You know in that scene, the one where Bashir first meets Garak, I never got the impression that Garak was gay. I think Garak had an elegant, but also sinister way, of being polite. Also I think Garak, knowing how naive Bashir was, wanted to scare Bashir a little, because Bashir was definitely on edge with Garak.

    But all of this has been horribly misinterpreted by the 'is Garak gay' bunch of people, as Garak trying to 'coming on' to Bashir. Listen if Garak was really gay, then he would have done the standard Cardassian thing for making ones feelings known; been hostile and argumentative towards Bashir.

    But that didn't happen because either a) Garak knows a lot more about human culture and traditions then he lets on, or b) Garak was never 'attracted' to Bashir in the first place. Besides with Cardassian society, and their obsession with family, I think a gay Cardassian, if discovered to be gay by his(or her) peers, would be heavily stigmatised.
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given that Garak was in the Obsidian Order, it wouldn't be that surprising if he had an above-average knowledge of human society. As for Garak being stigmatized...he was already in exile, I don't think he could get much more stigmatized than that.

    I'm not saying he's gay...I really don't think there's very strong evidence either way, especially given that he is an alien and any attempts to interpret his sexuality from a human standpoint seem likely to run into some pitfalls.
     
  3. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Count me in the group that never thought Garak was gay. I just didn't see it.

    That has always bugged me about this episode as well. Emissary makes it clear that the Bajorans consider the Wormhole to be where their gods live. I could more easily accept that Tahna is willing to destroy it if they had just stated that he doesn't care about the Celestial Temple or that he just doesn't believe in the Prophets. For Kira to say nothing about it, is shocking.

    Most definitely. One of the worst offenders in that camp is Homeward - where they literally sit back and watch as an entire civilization is extinguished and then treat the guest (who's even a Human) like he's scum for saving a few of the people. All of it is done under the justification that interference would have changed their culture. So, in other words, if it's a choice between a different culture and death, the lofty Federation will choose death for you and don't you dare question that wisdom.

    :wtf:

    Thank God they were willing to explore issues more fully on DS9.
     
  4. Eyes

    Eyes Commodore Commodore

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    I saw what people were talking about with Garak's sexuality when rewatching it, but I never saw it the first time.

    I don't care. The man's great as it is, no need to flesh out everything.

    (And btw, loving the review thread TGB. Been waiting for this for like.. ever!)
     
  5. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A Man Alone (**½)

    This episode was a missed opportunity because there's a good story buried in here that gets lost in the crazy sci-fi gimmick. The Bajoran protesters have a valid point; why is Odo still the security chief on the station when he used to work for the Cardassians? Surely, he had arrested a number of resistance members during the occupation and that would create some tension among the Bajoran population now that the Cardassians are gone. But rather than address that issue head-on, this episode skirts around it by having Odo framed for a murder and then revealing the shocking sci-fi twist that the murder victim was just a clone.

    But the bigger missed opportunity was this line from Sisko that almost felt out of place in this plot:

    I heard that line and realised that this episode missed the perfect chance to explore the prejudice and fear that solids have towards Changelings. We know that the Dominion were founded out of the resentment the Changelings felt about the persecution they suffered from solids, and this episode presented the perfect opportunity for Odo to face the same sort of persecution that they faced. It would have fleshed out the Founders and helped us to understand where they are coming from, instead we only get a little bit of anti-shapeshifter talk before it's all brushed under the rug with the Scooby-Doo ending.

    What rescues this episode are all the various character interactions. We see the beginnings of Jake and Nog's friendship, Bashir's lusting after Jadzia, O'Brien struggling to assuage Keiko, Sisko adapting to the new Dax, and Odo and Quark trying their hardest not to like one another. My favourite moment was when Sisko accidentally invited Bashir to lunch and gets a look of mild horror on his face when he realises he now has to spend time alone with this obnoxious young guy. Some people criticise these moments as being soap-operaesque, but the little moments like these make DS9 feel more real to me.

    Form of... a Chair: 3
    Sykonee's Counter: 6
    (Keiko, Molly)
     
  6. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, another average episode. The main plot sort of meanders along before becoming interesting with the clone part, though by then we've all had our nytol and called it a day.

    I agree with what you say regarding station life - it's fun to see people adjusting to their new environment. I like Keiko for some strange reason. Seeing her open the school to help give the kids a bit of purpose is nicely played. Jake and Nog having fun together is also good.

    I always wonder where people are coming from when they compare DS9 to a soap opera. Have they never seen one? Soap operas are usually terrible, with plotlines that repeat themselves and horrible characters having affairs and backstabbing each other. :confused:
     
  7. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You know TheGodBen, every episode you review I'm watching!
     
  8. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    Odo knows zero about the Founders at this point.
     
  9. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My theory is that some people are unable to understand the difference between a soap opera and a serial. That or they are unwilling to commit to a show that actually requires you to watch most of the episodes.
     
  10. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Though DS9 is more soaplike than over Trek series, it's no soap opera. Soap opera's have continuous dramatic storylines whereas DS9 had dozens of small character stories, which were subtle, and for a true fan of the series, gave the whole thing flavour.

    In short, once you added all the character stories together, and watched the episodes, the better episodes in the later seasons become more gratifying to watch because the whole thing had steadily built up to that point. That's the magic of DS9.
     
  11. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I think the obvious answer to this problem is that TPTB didn't have any plans or conception of the Founders or the Dominion at this early point. However, when the show is taken as a whole, it can be a problem.

    This is a rather lackluster or average episode that is indeed saved by the characters, especially the scene of Odo standing stoically in his defaced office.

    I agree with Nerys - most people seem to think that any story that is continuous is a soap opera. This, I think, is especially true for people familiar with TOS and TNG, which had only minor serialization. They expect Trek to be a string of standalone episodes and aren't prepared for something else. Given that VOY and the first two seasons of ENT continued with the standalone format, I can see how people might be a little surprised by DS9.
     
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I apologise in advance for reviewing If Wishes Were Horses. ;)

    I know, and I know that the writers hadn't come up with the idea of the Dominion at this point, I just think it would have been fortuitous if they had done an episode about the persecution of a Changeling before they had the brilliant idea of having that be the basis of the Dominion. It would have made this episode relevant to DS9's larger themes, as it is it's just a forgettable standalone episode.

    I think that's at the crux of it. Some people think that focusing on the relationships of the characters somehow makes a show a soap opera, but if that were true then shows like The Sopranos and Mad Men would also be considered soap operas, which they are certainly not.

    The only thing that comes close to being soap opera-ish about DS9 is the Kira/Odo will they/wont they arc, which is only one of dozens of plot elements in the show.
     
  13. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Making Ln X watch If Wishes Were Horses isn't as horrible as the time you made me watch Soul Hunter and Infection. ;)

    Another show I've heard described as a "soap opera for men" because it focuses on relationships and has continuing storylines is HBO's Oz. That show is clearly NOT a soap opera! Unless you think daytime television does things like show full frontal male nudity, graphic depictions of prison rape, homosexual intercourse and massive amounts of violence (to name a few things). Just goes to show that most people think serial = soap opera.
     
  14. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think that is a Don't Drop the Soap Opera. :cardie: YIKES!
     
  15. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Seconded. Or thirded, or whatever it is at this point :)

    I had an occasion to watch Homeward recently, and it's almost shocking really, the extent to which the characters (and, apparently, the writers) are dominated by dogmatic thinking in that episode. It's really awkward and embarrassing.

    A Man Alone is ok in parts. Like a lot of season 1, there's some good character material, but the show has no mojo yet. There's no real direction after Past Prologue until the writers get back to Kira and the Bajoran material late in the season.
     
  16. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've been doing a re-watch of episodes from the 1st thru 4th seasons. The main reason is because my wife hasn't seen many eps from that period, though she enjoyed the other 3 seasons. It's been slow going...most of the episodes I remembered fondly haven't been as interesting or dynamic as I remembered, and she seems a little dis-interested. The pilot is still as good as I remembered, if not better. Past Prologue is a great, perfectly timed episode...it immediately dealt with with Kira's terrorist past when she was portrayed as a strong dissenter with current gov't policies. Captive Pursuit is still one of my top 10 episodes.
     
  17. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Two thoughts come to mind: DS9 spent a lot of episodes dealing with the ramifications of the wormhole aliens and the religion sprouted and encouraged around them. Idon't feel slighted that this isn't focused on, I found the Kira storyline much more satisfying.

    It's not uncommon for leaders of zealous religious organizations in politcal power, or fighting political power to be non-religious...Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden come to mind as two example at the opposite end of the spectrum using religious fervor in their favor despite being secular leaders.
     
  18. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nah don't apologise, it's given me reason to watch the DS9 episodes again, all of them. I'm watching them in chronological order so it doesn't matter.
     
  19. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just wanted to chime in and say YAY! :mallory:
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not saying that the episode needed to focus on the discovery of the Celestial Temple, but the fact that the wormhole is mentioned several times in the episode by Bajoran characters, but they don't mention the religious significance of it is very strange. The fact that a Bajoran came up with a plan that involved putting a massive bomb in the wormhole, and another Bajoran that's trying to stop him (and who we find out later is deeply spiritual) doesn't bring it up is beyond weird.

    Take In Purgatory's Shadow as a counter-example. When Sisko plans to close of the wormhole, Kira immediately questions what would happen to the Prophets and Sisko assures her that the procedure would do them no harm. That's the way to do it, not to ignore it like Past Prologue did.


    Babel (*½)

    It appears that the novelty of watching DS9 again has worn off.

    The episode begins with a sequence showing that O'Brien is overworked and under-appreciated, so he hatches a diabolical scheme to poison everyone on the station as a means of revenge. The episode claims it was an accident, but I have my suspicions. Soon, he starts speaking gibberish, which is par for the course for a Starfleet engineer, but this is apparently a different form of gibberish from normal and he's taken to Dr Bashir who finds out that O'Brien has a special aphasia virus, or something. Turns out that it was planted by a Bajoran doctor (proving that Hippocrates never visited Bajor) as a way of killing Cardassians during the occupation, thus allowing this episode to dodge the TNG-lite penalty.

    If this was 1993 and I was watching DS9 for the first time, this episode would have fed into my fears as to the sort of episodes a station-based show would produce. Disease-of-the-week episodes have already been done by TOS and TNG, the only thing new about this story is that the disease makes people talk funny. At least the drunk disease in The Naked Time/Now had some sexy results, watching people speak gibberish for 45 minutes isn't that exciting, as several episode of TNG already proved. Making the disease fatal and adding a countdown timer to when people start dying doesn't make things more interesting, it actually makes things more conventional and boring. The sub-plot about the freighter captain trying to get away and accidentally overloading his engines was a much better way of putting the characters in peril.

    There's not as much of the character stuff in this episode either. There's a nice moment where Sisko tries to comfort Jake even though Jake can't understand him. Kira does things in her own style, by kidnapping a guy and infecting him with a deadly illness. The stand-out moments were those between Quark and Odo, which may just be the saving grace of a number of season 1 episodes.

    Form of... a Dining Cart: 4
    (How did Odo rotate those wheels? :confused:)