Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
Bah, the Scots and the Irish are practically the same anyway, right?
Eh, I don't mind being linked with the Scots, just don't try and compare us with the English.
I wonder how they crafted this episode. Did they start with the idea of the Maquis stealing the Defiant and added Tom Riker in later, did they start with the idea of doing a story with Tom Riker, did they start with the idea of doing an episode with Will Riker and it slowly evolved to be about Tom? To me, it feels like the first one, they had the idea of doing a story where Sisko had to help Dukat track down the Defiant and they chose to have Tom Riker leading the Maquis crew because that would allow them to put Jonathan Frakes on the promos. Perhaps that's a cynical take on it, but that's what happens sometimes in Hollywoodland. At least the writers are skilled enough to make it work, although the early scenes where the DS9 crew treat Riker like a celebrity don't feel completely natural. I just can't see Sisko thinking "Hey, the first officer of the Enterprise is onboard for some R&R, I should invite him to my office for a chat and pretend like we're buddies for no reason."
There's one thing this episode does better than any episode so far this season, it shows the Defiant to be the badass warship that it really is. In The Search it got beat up real bad, in Equilibrium it was a medical transport, in Second Skin it snuck about all quiet-like, and in Meridian it was engulfed in shit. But in this episode the Defiant is stolen and suddenly a whole empire is forced to go on alert because of the threat it poses. Riker's about to go up against three of Cardassia's most powerful ships and he's all like "Eh, we can take them." This is the Defiant that I remember.
This episode is both elevated and diminished by what came later. It's elevated by the fact that the fleet the Obsidian Order is building isn't just used as a convenient out for this episode (although it may have been when this episode was written), that fleet plays an important role later in the season and in an unexpected way. In this episode you get the impression that the Obsidian Order may be planning to seize complete control from the Central Command, that is the obvious thing to do, but that's not what DS9 eventually does. That being said, the lack of any follow-up to Tom Riker's story feels like a loose thread because Kira specifically promises to rescue him. But nope, he was probably executed during the war. The end. (I don't care if the novels followed up on his story, I don't read the novels because of my illiteracy.)
The best scene of the episode is the one between Dukat and Sisko as they talk about their kids' birthdays. When Dukat first mentions it, you can see that Sisko sees this as an opportunity to establish a dialogue with Dukat and show him that humans and Cardassians aren't all that different, just like the Starfleet training taught him to do. But Dukat's not interested and he shoves Sisko's offer of friendship back in his face because he loathes Sisko, he just wants Sisko to like and respect him to satisfy his own ego. Damn, those two are great together.
Sykonee's Counter: 16
It was the second one according to the DS9 companion. Moore came up with the idea of Tom Riker leading the Maquis; Behr then wanted him to come to the station; and then Moore thought of a reason for him to show up - the Defiant.
It looks we going to avoid the usual question that comes up with this episode this time?
I always thought that in the wake of TNG ending and "Generations" that it was just a ploy to lure TNG fans over to DS9.
I just looked it up... this episode was released for syndication on 11/21/94 and Generations hit theaters 11/18/94. So to me Tom Riker = Find a way to put a TNG star on DS9.
Oh, and I totally agree about the weird hero worship vibe. It's as if everyone on DS9 had just gone to the movies and is startruck or something.
I'm curious as to which episode is a good romance of the week?
IMO there are a few good romance of the week episodes. Lessons is great; and so is Odo's romance of the week episode. Voyager's Counterpoint and the one with The Doctor falling in love with a Vidiian are good as well. IIRC the single episode in which Natima Lang appeared in the tv shows was a pretty good romance of the week with her and Quark too. Most of them are awful, though, but those five stand to my memory as good ones.
That's because the answer is obvious.
A Simple Investigation.
I like Defiant, even if it has a touch of TNG worship thrown into it. I only wish they had reused the set where Dukat and Sisko coordinate the hunt later in the series for Dominion Headquarters during the war.
I agree; that's DS9's notable exception to the rule when it comes to "romance of the week"...
Meridian, of course, is the bottom of the barrel.
^ Absolutely, Profit and Loss has some good elements to to it (mostly because Quark and Natima have a history - they don't meet for the first time in the episode and instantly fall in love), but ultimately not as good. VOY's Counterpoint also has some good elements, in that actually allows Janeway to have some romance. But again, it's not that good.
Yes, I'm quite fond of Counterpoint, too. Of course, the revelations that Kashyk was using her and that Janeway never truly fell for it probably help sell it; it's not truly a lightning romance but a sad dream for Janeway that she was too smart to really buy...
To complete the 24th Century trilogy, were there any TNG episodes of the type that truly worked? Apenpaap mentioned "Lessons", but I don't remember it too well...
Lessons was the one where Picard fell for Lt. Commander Nella Daren. I suppose it's okay, but not one I would consider all that great.
If I were to pick a TNG episode that comes closest to being a good romance-of-the-week, it would be In Theory (the one where Data has a girlfriend).
I think "Profit and Loss" would be remembered more fondly if Natima had returned at some point. Maybe during the Dominion's rule over Cardassia.
^ I think that would be true of any romance-of-the-week.
You're right, In Theory was a good episode as well.
I enjoyed In Theory, though I'm not sure why that woman who had had relationship trouble in the past would want to date an android? I enjoyed Lessons much more - Neela is a very strong woman who challenges Picard, and we even have an Inner Light reference thrown in for measure. It was a very touching episode.
I also enjoyed Rejoined, A Simple Investigation, Lifesigns and Counterpoint. These types of episodes can work when done well, but the writers have obviously have trouble avoiding the pitfalls of having a main character falling in love so quickly for a character we don't know or care about.
I love Defiant. I remember when I rewatched this for the first time, a few years after I first saw it. I remembered Jonathon Frakes popping up in it and just though it was a silly publicity stunt, which is probably true to some extent. I was suprised at how good an episode it was though. Dukat and Sisko had some good scenes together, and I loved that the Obsidian Order fleet plot point would later be revisited.
It also was fun seeing the Riker charm working on Kira, even if it wasn't Will Riker! I would have liked some sort of follow-up on him, even if it was in a Cal Hudson kind of offscreen way.
^Ah, forgot Rejoined. It's another good one. Wow, that brings me to seven romance of the week episodes I like already.
Of these seven episodes (A Simple Investigation, Profit and Loss, Counterpoint, Lessons, In Theory, Rejoined and Lifesigns) I'm noticing a theme - the "good" ones tend to involve either a relationship that already has history or one that doesn't really end in "love."
Profit and Loss - Quark and Natima have history.
Rejoined - Dax and Kahn have history.
Counterpoint - Janeway and Kashyk don't actually care for each other.
In Theory - Data isn't in love, he's just experimenting.
Lessons - Picard and Daren fall in love immediately.
Lifesigns - The Doctor and Denara fall in love immediately.
A Simple Investigation is the only one that bucks this trend. Odo and Arrisa have no history yet the episode still somehow manages to rise above it and be good.
I consider the two you cite as "Bad" to be rather decent myself. Conversely, "A Simple Investigation" didn't really do much for me.
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