TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    So no love for Captains Holiday - Vash and Picard on Risa, the manipulations, the chemistry and flirting, the intrigue...

    Or does it not count because of Qpid
     
  2. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Fascination (**½)

    Yes, I know, some of you are probably very angry with me for that score. I completely understand. This and the two stars I gave to Move Along Home probably have some of you questioning my sanity, some of you may have lost respect for me and decided to give up on this thread, and some of you are no doubt searching for a hitman in my local area to exact a fitting punishment. But what else can I say other than that I don't hate this episode? It's by no means a good episode, but it has things that I like and dislike. Those of you that can still read through the rage-filled tears that are streaming down your face may wish to read on...

    I like the tone of the episode. I like seeing some alien version of a celebratory holiday. Star Trek doesn't do holidays and never has, there's no Space Christmas, there's no Space Halloween, and there's no St Space Patrick's Day. I understand that this is because Star Trek doesn't want to push western/Christian culture as being the dominant one in the future and that's all well and good, but as a secularist I can't say that I look forward to a future where cultural and religious holidays disappear entirely. What holidays have we seen in Trek? There was Captain Picard Day, but that was only observed on the Enterprise and Mintaka III. Voyager mentioned a First Contact Day, but that was just an excuse for Neelix to be more obnoxious than normal. So this Bajoran Gratitude Festival is the only time that we really get to see characters in the Trek universe taking the day off, kicking back and enjoying themselves. The episode uses this to try out interesting and complex cinematography, there's more energy than normal on the sets, even the colours seem more vibrant than normal.

    There's also the b-plot where O'Brien's marriage is falling apart. It's not the most compelling drama, but as someone who has been in a long-distance relationship and experienced the jealousy and suspicion that goes along with it, I identified strongly with O'Brien. So I liked that part of the story. Your mileage may vary.

    As for the a-plot, that's where the problems are. It's a farce, but good farces still need effective punchlines and this episode doesn't have any. Take the Frasier episode The Two Mrs Cranes, one of that show's premier farce episodes. (I watched it earlier today, that's why it has come to mind.) All the main characters in that episode are forced to lie in some way to a guest, and as the evening goes on the lies become more intricate and absurd. The farce provides the episode with the energy it needs to knock you down with the punchlines, and it provides one of my favourite comedic lines from anything:

    One of the problems with Fascination is that it builds up a lot of energy and doesn't really do anything with it. Kira and Bashir making out, Jadzia knocking Bareil to the floor, and Quark falling in love with Keiko aren't really funny by themselves, they're just awkward and somewhat disturbing. Well, that's my take on things.

    Now that you've heard what I have to say, please feel free to attack me and my diminished credibility. But please, leave my family out of it, they don't deserve to be punished for my mistakes.
     
  3. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I like "Lessons" and "Captain's Holiday" quite well myself. And I got not particular beef with "Fascination" - it's not great by any means, but it's got some fun moments and isn't painfully awful.
     
  4. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    I know I'm a bit late with this, but I've just rewatched Playing God, and have to wonder why they thought dumping the proto-universe into the gamma quadrant was going to help. After all, it was going to expand to destroy the entire universe, so what difference does it make whether it starts doing dso right here or on the other side of the galaxy? The only explanation of why it didn't destroy the universe anyway I can think of, is that it was found by the Dominion, who probably had no qualms about destroying it to preserve themselves.
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Actually, I don't mind Fascination. :) It's not a good episode by any means, but as you say, it's vibrant, colourful, has a genuine atmosphere of cultural festivity that's otherwise non-existant in Trek, and it's light-heartedly silly rather than unintentionally silly. Other than the O'Brien plot which is actually serious and effective enough (and it's nice to see realistic mundane character problems once in a while), this is a deliberately foolish episode, and it's okay overall. Rather "meh", but enjoyable enough, different enough to be memorable without overstaying its welcome by pretending to be meaningful when it isn't.

    So you get a stay of execution this time, TGB. We are amused.
     
  6. MrBorg

    MrBorg Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    They put it back in the "subspace pocket" where they found it. The only reason it got pulled out was due to some technobabble reason, if I remember correctly.

    I didn't mind Fascination. It wasn't the best episode, but it was still kind of good.

    Next up is one of my favorite two parters, Past Tense.
     
  7. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    That's a good observation. I think when there is some history it makes it more believable. When you go from just meeting someone to being willing to throw away your entire life away for them by the next act (cough, "Meridian," cough) it seems very disingenuous.

    Totally agree with this. I think it's what makes me (somewhat) like this episode as well. It makes like seem more real and relatable. Who wants to never celebrate anything or never have a reason for a 3 day weekend?
     
  8. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Fascination is alright. It's another one of those episodes I liked back when I was younger, and don't like so much now. Aside from the decent O'Brien story, it's just a bit silly, even for a silly person like me.

    And bringing up that Frasier episode just makes me miss Frasier more and wish that Star Trek had taken a leaf out of Frasier's book when doing farce. :D

    As for Captain's Holiday, it was okay. I'm not sure I'm that keen on Vash, and I was definitely fed up of her by the time she showed up on DS9. I couldn't buy why Picard would fall for her. Well, besides Patrick Stewart requesting more sex and shooting. ;)
     
  9. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I also somewhat like Fascination. It definitely has it's groan inducing parts (Bashir/Kira and Dax attacking Bareil) but it also has some good silly moments as well. Quark falling for Keiko and O'Brien's reaction are hilarious IMHO.

    Gene Roddenberry, apparently. ;)
     
  10. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Fascination is essentially DS9 doing A Midsummer Night's Dream. As that's one of my favorites of Shakespeare, yeah, it's a guilty pleasure of mine. Yes, it's silly and essentially kind of throwawayable (it's a word shut up), but it's FUN. Sometimes that's all I need. And, like TheGodBen, I like that we get to see a genuinely non-Earth holiday. We can draw parallels to ones that we have, but the Festival of Gratitude is an entirely Bajoran event, and I love that. Much like the Bajoran backhanded clap, it's a little thing that reminds us that, despite the only visible difference being the bumps on their noses, the Bajorans are not human.
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I believe Thanksgiving was mentioned in an episode of TOS, "Charlie X"?

    Perhaps after the post atomic horror when Earth rebuilt itself they decded that some things were best left in the past. Perspective can can views.
     
  12. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Not quite sure what you mean. After a post atomic horror, people decided they should stop enjoying themselves?
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Christmas leads to family squabbling, family squabbling leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to war, war...leads to nuclear apocalypse.

    Christmas leads to nuclear apocalypse. :devil:
     
  14. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was....

    ....leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.

    :devil:
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Yes but what if the cause of it was a difference over say religion.

    So for example what would American Independance day mean to the billions of people for whom it had no meaning what so ever?

    It might be more of a case we don't see them being observed rather than they are not observed. If you show a particulr holiday you run the risk of ailenating a part of your audiance if you don't show theirs.
     
  16. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with you, what saved Fascination was all that kissing, and O'Brien grovelling to Keiko. I can also safely say that this episode is where Alexander Siddig and Nana Visitor began their relationship. They seemed to enjoy the kissing rather a lot... Good stuff... But yeah this episode had a weird feel to it.

    It was like the episode was on drugs and all I distinctly remember was Lwaxana spinning Odo around, and Kira in that nice looking dress in front of that fire thingy to burn your bad memories or karma (or was it burn stuff to wish more similar stuff to come back?). Every one of those writers must have been blottoed, blottoed and blottoed when this weird farce/romp of an episode came about.

    Who said free-flowing camera shots started in Star Trek with JJ Abrams? This episode was chock full of them, and they messed around with the colours, just like JJ messes around with his lense flares...
     
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Past Tense, Part 1 (***½)

    In this week's very special episode of Blossom, Captain Sisko and friends travel back in time and take on the complicated issue of homelessness and rising poverty that resulted from the 2008 financial crash and the eventual implosion of the euro. Well, that's the way this episode is portrayed these days, as yet another sign of the prescience of DS9 or whatever. And I suppose it's a fair point, these are issue that we are struggling to deal with right now. Unemployment is high, the middle class is being squeezed, and income inequality is rising. It's a timely episode, which appears to be one of the problems some people have with it. Some criticise the episode for being too simplistic and not providing any solutions to the problems. Okay, yes, it is too simplistic, and it doesn't provide any answers, but it's not the place of a sci-fi show to provide answers to complex economic and social problems, but it can make us think about an issue. Whatever about this episode's failings, it does try to spark a debate.

    The fundamental problem from the episode's point of view is that ordinary people can't be bothered to care about the disadvantaged. But there is a grain of truth to that. It's not so much that we don't care, but that we care about other things more. We might donate money to charity if we have some available, but the majority of us are more interested in spending our time discussing sci-fi shows from the 90s that dealt with issues like homelessness on the internet than we are spending that time trying to sort out the actual problem. Not all of us, some of us may volunteer our time helping the poor whenever we can, but a lot of us (including myself, I must admit) look at the problem, occasionally throw money at it and then go back to watching Minecraft videos on Youtube. And when they threatened to take away our Youtube? By gods did people act then.

    So yes, the episode is simplistic, but it's not entirely untrue, it just needed to be more subtle about what it was trying to say.

    Other issues with the episode? Well, I'm not a fan of the casual use of time travel, and this one has such a random use of it. The cloaking device emits chroniton particles which got stuck in the ablative armour and there was a micro-singularity which passed through the Sol system, then it exploded releasing temporal energy at the precise moment of the transport and boom... time travel. That's another issue, the amount of technobable O'Brien is forced to say goes beyond the norm, and the norm is high enough as it is.
     
  18. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The only real problem I had with this episode is how preachy it got with Bashir being ridicuously naive. Plus there is disparity in that Sisko says the Bell Riots will bring about much needed welfare and socio-economic reforms (perhaps from the crash of 08'; bleeding banksters and squid...), and then only thirty years later comes world war 3 and mankind takes many steps backwards.

    It seemed things got worse before they got better, though maybe Sisko was refering to laws passed after the Bell Riots that were the precursor for global government laws designed to eliminate poverty, hunger, want, oppression and inequality. I dunno... But the episode was spot on when Europe said it was in shambles...

    Hell Europe is already halfway there with the Euro debt crisis, so does that mean all EU leaders are not big fans of this episode? Perhaps Prophet Benny did really forsee the future...

    This episode was good, and it brought up some good morale points, but it had to hit you on the head with a sledge hammer just to drive the message home... So a good call TheGodBen.
     
  19. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I think I agree with you on Past Tense. I enjoy the episodes - they're well done and effective enough. They don't quite have the clout as some of the other two-parters DS9 did though. (I'm thinking The Maquistwo-parter; Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast; Homefront/Paradise Lost; and In Purgatory's Shadow/By Inferno's Light.)

    It was a random use of time travel, but I like how it just sort of happened. And I also enjoyed Kira and O'Brien beaming down to the different time zones in part two.

    I also really like Sisko in these episodes. It's season three where Sisko has been dealt with in a more interesting way than what we had before, and Past Tense gives him another chance to operate outside the box. It was good development for him.
     
  20. Evil Twin

    Evil Twin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Minor point, but it's kind of interesting that Kira's hairstyle permanently changes mid-episode here. When she's in uniform at the beginning, she's got that swept up look she's been sporting for all of season 3 up to this point, but then when she changes into civvies with O'Brien she's got that parted style she keeps for the rest of the season. Just thought I'd bring it up since it's my favorite Kira hairstyle. :)