Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
No, I had never heard of either before.
I'm almost caught up, I watched Defiant through Past Tense last night, so, I'm only 1 Disc behind.
Defiant, I really liked, the Obsidian Order has some big teeth, and Dukhat is really starting to get his panties into a bunch, something big is obviously coming.
Fascination, not nearly as good as last Lwaxana episode. Her going through Mentalpause could've been really cool, but, the campy lusting by all the characters just really ruined the episode for me
Past Tense, I enjoy this one. A little heavy handed, but, well worht the time it takes to watch it
A few years ago I made an off-hand comment about Visionary being an average episode and a bunch of people jumped on me proclaiming this to be a great episode, and as I hadn't seen the episode for a while I deferred to their judgement. So I sat down last night expecting a good episode and I came away more convinced than ever that this is an average episode.
As I've said before, the casual use of time travel in Trek bothers me, I'm half-surprised that getting struck by lightening doesn't send people through time because everything else seems to. In episodes like Past Tense and Trials and Tribble-ations I'm willing to give it a pass because the time travel angle is used as a means to an end, but in this episode the time travel is both the means and the end. This is undeniably a time-travel episode, which I'm not so hot for, but it's also a torture O'Brien episode, which I am. When O'Brien sees himself get shot, or laying dead on a hospital bed, I can forgive the use of time travel.
But the finale where DS9 gets blowed up real good and the wormhole collapses? That didn't work for me because preventing it relied almost entirely on luck. If O'Brien hadn't been knocked out by radiation and randomly started time travelling when the Romulans showed up then the station would have been destroyed and the series would be over. Frankly, it makes the command staff seem somewhat incompetent that this situation would have been allowed to develop at all. Also, what's to stop the Romulans from trying to destroy the wormhole again next week once everyone forgets that this even happened? The stakes should have remained small and focused on O'Brien's life, making the stakes too big caused the episode to deviate away too much from the torture O'Brien angle.
Ultimately, I can't help feeling that this was a TNG episode. It doesn't lose a point because the Romulan angle was DS9-centric, and that was always enough to save Voyager from losing a point. But still, the tone of this episode felt very TNG-ish, even the music reminded me more of something from TNG or Voyager than from DS9. Overall, the episode had good moments and bad moments, but I didn't find anything special about it. It wasn't skippable, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again.
Wormhole in Peril: 4
The biggest problem I have with the episode actually stems from something that on the face of it I applaud - good use of continuity. The fact that Romulan warbirds have quantum singularity engine cores is an important plot point carried over from TNG, but it raises the question - why did none of the central staff suspect a Romulan ship? Given all the TNG plots about them, surely Starfleet officers should be proclaiming "Romulans!" if their socks go missing at the laundrette, yet alone if a quantum singularity is mysteriously orbiting a Federation outpost while Romulans are actually onboard.
Still, at least it was nice to see the Romulans, as a follow up to their deal over the cloaking device. And given that I share the Odo/Kira love love, so to speak, it's amusing that the Romulans have guessed how he feels.
This is another episode I liked more when I was younger because of the time travel. A bit like Civil Defense for me, this episode is nowadays merely alright, with one or two highlights. I got all riled up seeing DS9 destroyed when younger, but it's all just reset away in a typical Trek time travel travesty. I knew that they would need DS9 in future episodes, and time travel was being used heavily in the episode, so it just seemed a waste to show it blowing up in the first place.
I enjoyed seeing the Romulans here, and I also liked the continuing torture of O'Brien.
The episode had Darts which is cool and Romulans making Kira mad.
I agree that Visionary is an average episode. It has it's good moments (O'Brien seeing himself die, the introduction of the dart board and the Romulans figuring out that Odo has feelings for Kira - not to mention Odo's reaction to that), but overall it really does feel like a TNG episode.
The problem is that it's a tech heavy, high concept sci-fi story. That simply isn't what DS9 is all about. TNG and VOY are more about the high concept sci-fi stuff while DS9 is more of character based show - which is why the good parts of this one revolve around the character interactions.
Distant Voices (**½)
The story credit for this episode goes to Joe Menosky and, no offence to the man, I just don't get why DS9 bought it. Menosky is the master of the high-concept sci-fi plot, which means that his episodes can be very hit and miss, and while he came out with a positive score from my Voyager review thread, his style just doesn't suit DS9. DS9 tried high-concept sci-fi several times in the first two seasons and it rarely ever worked, the show works best when it addresses characters, politics, and moral ambiguities. The writers of DS9 seem to have figured this out and that's where their attention has been drawn lately, so I don't understand why they decided to make an episode about Bashir entering a telepathic coma and walking around his own mind. It feels like this episode would have been more at home on TNG or Voyager. In fact, Voyager's Projections had a similar premise involving that show's doctor (Shmully) and it pulled it off far more successfully, in my opinion.
I'm clearly not sold on the concept of this episode. This isn't helped by the fact that Behr and Wolfe didn't appear to know quite what to do with it. There's half-ideas scattered around the episode that seem like they should be significant but ultimately are not. For example, the rest of the cast represent elements of Bashir's personality, but does that really mean anything? When the Lethean kills them all off one-by-one, does that have an impact on the "core" Bashir? Not that I can see. It doesn't help that they're killed off randomly, such as Sisko being pulled into a wall, Odo and Kira being killed off-screen, and O'Brien suddenly being a corpse. It felt like an exercise in wasting time so that the 44 minute running time could be filled.
The episode eventually gets to the core of the story about ten minutes from the end, when the Lethean confronts Bashir with all his doubts that have been haunting him for years (allegedly). This part of the story works because it's character-related and that's what DS9's writers are good at. We get to see that this cocky, young, hot-shot doctor has regrets just like everyone else, and he overcomes them by accepting that he's pretty happy with where he is in his life right now. Or something like that. These snippets into Bashir's mind don't quite fit with Bashir's big secret that gets revealed later on, but that's hardly the fault of this episode.
While not a particularly good episode, it was okay. I liked the surreal visuals, such as tennis on the promenade, Odo melting in a corridor, and ops decked out with balloons. Also, the actors get to have some fun by playing distorted versions of their regular roles. And Garak was in this one, that bumps the episode up a point or three.
If he had tried any harder he would have ended up in court on a sexual assault charge. Hell, he was probably already on the bad side of a sexual harassment case if Jadzia had chosen to go that way.
Doesn't Garak use almost this exact line later to Nog? It's a good line so it's understandable, but it sticks out.
Yeah, another tech based episode that's saved somewhat by some character stuff. I don't quite know how it doesn't fit in with Bashir's big secret though.
As for Dax, the Lethean is just going off what Bashir thinks about the situation. Sure, in reality if he had tried any harder, he would have ended up in trouble. But in his mind, it's his own fault for not giving it his all.
I'm not sure "trying harder" would've necessarily gotten Bashir a sexual harassment charge... you could also interpret "trying harder" as meaning "trying harder to be more mature and more appealing to Dax," essentially trying harder to change himself, not trying harder to change Dax's feelings.
Admiral Shran, do you mean that you don't see how this episode doesn't fit in with Bashir's Big Secret
Spoiler: the Big Secret
(his genetic enhancements)
that's revealed in Season 5? I think TheGodBenfigures that the Lethean surely would have come across the Big Secret About Julian Bashir pretty quickly, and we, the audience, would've found out about it too.
On the other hand, we could retcon it by saying that the Lethean recognized that Julian's feelings of inadequacy are more deep-seated than his anxieties about his secret, since it's made clear in Season 5 that Bashir did indeed feel "behind"
Spoiler: the Big Secret
before the enhancements were done.
. And, therefore, those feelings were stronger "ammo".
Yeah, that's what I was referring to.
The Lethean was clearly trying to mess with him as deeply as possible. So, his use of those anxieties would have been better ammunition.
Now, I grant that it is odd that Bashir's secret isn't exposed for the audience here - of course, the reason is that TPTB hadn't thought of it yet. But, I don't see how what we learn later contradicts what we see here.
I mean, I definitely see what (I assume) TheGodBen means; it is a little bit odd that we get a look at the inside of Bashir's head and there is nothing overt about his enhancements. But as TheGodBen said, we can hardly fault the episode for that.
I agree that it's a little odd. But even this episode, IMO, points to something that Bashir is hiding....
It's revealed here that he deliberately messed up his final exam, thereby ensuring that he wouldn't graduate at the top of his class. That goes along with what we later then about him....
Spoiler: the Big Secret
That he was always consciously trying to downplay his abilities so as not to draw attention to his genetic enhancements.
I totally agree with you; I read through the summary on Memory Alpha to refresh my memory, and even the ending,
Spoiler: relating to the Secret
when he "contains" the Lethean, makes much more sense given his enhancements, especially in the light of "Extreme Measures".
Tangentially, am I being overcautious with the spoiler tags? I can't remember what was decided upthread...
Haha, just had a crazy thought...
Spoiler: crazy thought
what if the tennis balls that fall out of the storage bays represent his enhancements? Secrets that could fall out of storage at any moment, knocking him down to the floor... tennis might even have been something that Bashir was really quite passionate about, but that he realized he could never do... Oh the joys of retconned subtext!
Alright, I definitely need some sleep now...
Better safe than sorry, I say.
I had never thought about that before, but it does make sense.
I forgot that Distant Voices was aired right after Visionary. It's a bit weird for DS9 to have two techy episodes in a row - it's almost like watching TNG again.
I probably like this episode about as much as Visonary, which was alright too. There was some good character stuff here for Bashir though amongst some of the other other stuff that didn't work as well. I would personally say that this episode easily slots into what we later learn about him. We find out that he intentionally didn't answer that question correctly when at medical school, so it's already hinted in this episode (through the magic of hindsight ) that something was afoot.
(Why aren't we talking out loud about it the secret? Is it forbidden! )
I don't think that Distant Voices works with the later revelation of Bashir's genetic engineering because that's his BIG secret and it doesn't come up during his greatest moment of introspection? I find that very unlikely. And while Bashir throwing the exam question does fit with what comes later, I don't see it as a sign that something shifty was going on, I've intentionally sabotaged myself in the past because I didn't want the pressure and I don't have a big secret that I'm hiding. Except the fact that I'm a lesbian, of course.
Through the Looking Glass (**)
If only this episode had aired after the upcoming two-parter they would have had the perfect explanation for Sisko growing a goatee. Sadly, another opportunity missed.
Crossover was over the top and more than a bit camp, but it was also dark, sinister, and perverse. The Intendant was an interesting villain, and the plotting and scheming felt like it mattered because it all played in to how Kira and Bashir managed to escape back to their own universe. I felt like I had a reason to care while watching Crossover, but I can't say I felt the same way watching Through the Looking Glass. Partly it's because I know how this storyline develops and how it will ultimately end, so I know that it ends up being a major clusterfuck and I can't be bothered getting invested in it. Does it matter if the Alliance wipe out the Terran rebels? Not to me because this universe ultimately doesn't matter. In Crossover I felt for the Terrans as a repressed people, and this was aided by Smiley's little speech about how he wants to live a better life free from oppression. In this episode? He says he wants to be free and that's it. It doesn't help that the other rebel characters are unlikeable, and I fear that if these guys ever did manage to defeat the Alliance then they'd just resurrect the Terran Empire (with Vulcans, Trills, and Ferengi) and oppress the Klingons and Cardassians again.
For the most part, it's a competent action-adventure that gets the job done and doesn't bore too much. It also puts Sisko in some difficult situations, first by having him sex up Jadzia and the Intendant, then by putting him face to face with the spitting image of his dead wife. The scenes with Jennifer aren't exactly memorable and don't bring as much drama as you might hope, but this is a campy adventure story so having Sisko reopen old wounds in the middle of that might have been a mistake. It's competent. There's not much else I can say about it.
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks DS9 did a horrible job with the MU. Because it was horrible.
This episode was worth it just for the return of Intendant Kira. YUM!
It certainly does have it's horrible moments (Shattered Mirror and most of The Emperor's New Cloak) but, IMO, it does have it's good/decent episodes (Crossover - for the reasons TheGodBen noted - and Resurrection). Through the Looking Glass falls somewhere in between those two extremes for me.
Now, I know that many people have a lot of problems with the Mirror Universe here on DS9 - most notably the fact that it's only in an "evil" universe that homosexuality can be shown. But, for my money, the worst part of it is that (and TheGodBen again already noted this) the "good guys" are so unlikeable. Nowhere is this more clear than with Mirror Bashir. Seriously, this guy simply gets on my nerves. There is no subtlety to him at all. It's as if Alexander Siddig just decided to play him as constantly pissed off for no apparent reason. And the rest of them aren't much better. How are we supposed to root for them if we don't like them to start with?
And, as for this particular episode - Mirror Tuvok. Really? Was it really necessary to have him appear here? I mean come on, VOY had only aired ten episodes at this point. Most meaningless character crossover ever!
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