Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
No...I quit following Treklit awhile back, so I hadn't read it.
Spoiler: Rise like lions
In the MU, the klingon/cardassian alliance kept as slaves all the peoples of the prime universe federation; the vulcans were prized house slaves in these two empires.
Trek lit introduced Memory Omega, an organisation representing Emperor Spock's long-term plan.
'Rise like lions' showed this plan coming to fruition.
During the course of the book, the vulcan slaves dealt a heavy blow to the cardassians by using their telepathy:
Elite cardassian families started killing each other (parents killing their children, spouse killing spouse).
On the cardassian warships, the crews started killing each other, self-destructing the ships or simply setting in collision courses; entire fleets were lost.
In at least one case, a high-level obsidian order scientist killed all her colleagues, sent metagenic bio-weapons to ~a dozen cardassian worlds, then killed herself; of course, in days, the targeted cardasssian worlds were dead.
Damar, previously established as a loyal subordiante of Dukat's, blew Dukat's brain out in plain view of everyone.
All due to vulcan telepathic control.
Explorers is a brilliant episode! It's not as politically far-reaching as the previous two episodes, but it's an excellent exploration story nevertheless. It's good for the Ben/Jake relationship, good for Sisko in general again to be having more devlopment, and of course it's good that his goatee has finally joined the rewatch thread! Our pagh is stronger for this.
It's not perfect by any means, but it's a joy to watch. And I love that fireworks scene, even though it's just a tad random. It was the perfect end to the journey.
With this episode I have to show this video from Statnertage's which someone posted (it might have been TheGodBen himself, I can't remember)....
Explorers is a good episode. I'm glad they finally gave Jake some kind of character direction. The O'Brien/Bashir story cracks me up - especially when drunken O'Brien wonders aloud if Lense simply can't stand Bashir. It gives us the goatee and our introduction to Leeta. Finally, Leeta's intro. gives me another reason to dislike Jadzia.
However, I don't see how it exemplifies the Trek tradition of exploration. It doesn't have the captain punching an alien, radically redefining an entire culture or pontificating to someone he just met.
Yup, I'm the one that posted that video. What I liked about it was that the punchline was so obvious but I still didn't see it coming when I first watched it. It was a case of being unable to see the forest due to all the trees.
Family Business (***)
I generally prefer Ferengi episodes when they dial back the humour and treat the subject a bit more seriously. They're a weird culture and it's far too easy to play that up in an attempt to get cheap laughs, and that makes it very hard to respect them as a culture even though that's what Trek is supposed to be about. Giving Ishka droopy knees, having Rom stick a drill in his ear, making the characters talk in funny voices... if the show wants us to respect these characters it has a funny way of going about it. Sure, the writers could be going for some sort of meta-commentary about how the viewers are prejudiced against an alien race because of their disgusting habits, but I can't get past the feeling that they only do these things for yuks.
So this episode is a bit hit and miss for me. I like that it's more serious than a typical Ferengi episode, touching upon Ferengi sexism as well as the family problems of Quark and Rom. But at the same time it still does the old Ferengi jokes that we all know and know. They're in shorter supply than normal because the episode tries to be a bit more serious, which does make them more tolerable. And the serious story isn't the finest example of family drama I've ever seen, but it does okay.
Meanwhile, Sisko is pressured by everyone into meeting Kassidy Yates. This plot is... after checking a thesaurus I can find no word that fits as well as "pleasant". It's light, it's grounded, it doesn't make me want to vomit like other Trek romance plots... it's pleasant. Sisko meets the woman that will become his significant other, there's no melodrama, he doesn't instantly fall in love with her, they hit it off over a shared interest signalling potential for the future. For such a simple little story it's surprisingly mature for Star Trek.
This episode is alright, as far as Ferengi episodes go. I think I preferred Andrea Martin in the role of Ishka - I'm not sure how that opinion holds in these waters!
It's basically a continuation of some of the themes brought up in Rules of Acquisition, with a look at a female (gasp!) making profit. What an interesting take on culture. But the silliness isn't as bad as things often got with Zek in the mix in later episodes.
And I'm agreed with the nice side story of Sisko going out with Kassidy. It was more interesting than the A plot, and probably could have made a more interesting episode. Though of course romance of the week could have then struck and given us another doozy.
One thing I will say about Ferengi plots or subplots in general is that they do a good job with Quark, in my opinion. Quark is basically the default villain in all his interactions with family members, because he's the one trying to reign in their desires (desires we in the audience are supportive of). Rom, once he finally starts standing up for himself, wants to be "nice" to people and cooperate or compete on his own terms rather than subordinate himself to a business model he has no talent with. Nog wants to find a path that won't make him turn out like Rom, and bucks Ferengi tradition by joining a foreign military and becoming (a bit too eagerly) a disciplined soldier. Ishka wants to have the same opportunities for profit and cultural participation as the males. All of these are goals we support, and Quark is always the hand and voice of tradition trying to stop it. The great thing, in my opinion, is that Quark is still nonetheless treated with sympathy. He's just trying to be a good Ferengi and live by the rules and customs of his people, and ensure things work as they "should". Okay, to be fair that's easy to do when your culture says that as the eldest adult male you're basically Supreme Unquestioned Ruler of the Family, so that negates to some extent any nobility (or at least might make us question it...). Still, Quark is often treated as a surprisingly sympathetic figure while still being shown as "in the wrong", which makes for very interesting viewing. He tries to live his life by the rules, only none of his family will play along. They have to buck the rules all the time. We viewers usually cheer them on when they do, but we can also see and understand the strain it causes Quark. That's a surprisingly complex situation that does, to me, redeem somewhat the general...Ferenginess...of Ferengi plots.
Wow. Definitely glad I skipped that one.
I got that book for Christmas. That made me quite irritated. I like Cardassians (even the MU ones, who are arguably even more badass). Then again, its written by David Mack, the guy who wrote Star Trek Destiny (it was a good book, but the plot sucked) and killed off the Borg (and turned them into angels or some crazy shit like that), so I suppose I should have expected some plot like that.
So glad Trek books aren't canon.
I can definitely see, Nerys Ghemor, how you, as a fan of the Cardassians, would not care for their treatment in Rise Like Lions. However, I found the book itself to be highly redemptive of the MU arc as a whole.
There is not one sex scene in the entire book (at least from what I remember). The plot moves along at a good clip and keeps you interested. And the ending is one of the most awesome endings I have ever read, in several different ways.
So, I mean, it may still not be your cup of tea, but if someone enjoyed "Crossover," then I bet they would enjoy Rise Like Lions.
(Sorry, Nerys Ghemor, to address this specifically to you; I remember someone, a few pages back, remarking on how DS9 MU stories went downhill, and I wanted to comment how, in my opinion, RLL brings them back up. )
As someone who read 'Rise like lions' - and is no fan of the cardassian empire -, I disagree, Paper Moon.
I found the book one of the weaker outings of recent trek lit.
To put it succintly, it read like military science fiction; it was almost exclusively about military strategies/tactics/battles and tying up mirror universe loose ends. I don't open a star trek book in order to read military science fiction.
The character moments were few, far between and rushed; the book had a few WTF moments - not the good kind of WTF, that is.
PS - The ending was a standard 'happy ending' for the MU.
Family Business gives us the introduction of my second least favorite character in DS9 - Ishka.
Now, I applaud her desire to want to rise above Ferengi tradition and show that she's just as good as any male. Who in their right mind wouldn't support that part of her character? But the way in which she goes about it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Essentially, her way of doing things is to treat Quark like shit.
She runs him down at every opportunity, uses and emotionally abuses him whenever possible and clearly favors/loves Rom in every conceivable way. Is it any wonder that Quark has such a low opinion of her?! A parent acting this way toward his or her own child really undermines the lesson this episode tries to teach - that everyone should be treated as equals.
And it only gets worse from here.
Not wanting to jump the gun AS, and sorry if you've told us already, but out of curiosity, who's the character you hate more?
D'oh! Sorry, AS, that should have been obvious by now.
It's all good.
Of course, if you want, I could go into a long diatribe about why I don't like Jadzia again.
One of DS9's problems is that as the show develops it loses focus on one of the few things that made the first two seasons interesting; Bajoran politics. With the Cardassians playing a greater role, the introduction of the Maquis and the Dominion, and the upcoming re-emergence of the Klingons, Bajor stories falls by the wayside. Shakaar is an episode that attempts to rectify that, so it's a pity that it ends up coming off so awkward. The story is rushed, the rise and fall of Winn as First Minister isn't well thought out. Firstly, I'm shocked that it was even allowed to happen. The position of Kai seems to be a combination of the role of space pope and head of state, so the idea that the Bajoran constitution doesn't enforce a separation of powers to prevent the Kai from leading the government is odd to say the least. Weirder still that she's able to be appointed First Minister without first being elected to the Chamber of Ministers. I know that constitutional politics has never been a strong point for Trek (Why were so many members of the Federation Council admirals in Starfleet?) but what kind of bastardised version of democracy are the Bajorans running here?
Anyway, Kai Winn is made First Minister and she's so incompetent at it that her first initiative blows up in her face spectacularly, costing her the job. Part of the problem here is that I don't know why. As I said, the episode is rushed, and at one point the episode jumps two weeks ahead where everything is different and I don't know why that's the case. At the start of the episode Winn has the support of the majority of Bajorans, two weeks later her support completely collapses, enough for civilian riots to break out and for the military to turn on her. She, as head of government, completely failed to explain her point of view to the Bajoran people while some people cut off from civilization in the mountains somewhere utterly rout her in the PR war. Just how incompetent can she possibly be? This episode needed to be at least a two-parter, we needed to see why the people turned on Winn, and Kira deciding to rebel needed to be a bigger deal than just another part of the plot.
Overall, the episode is okay. It has a lot of the right ideas it just doesn't capitalise on them effectively. It's like a spiritual successor to season 1's Progress but without the emotional conflict that made that episode interesting. Kira reuniting with her old friends from the resistance is good to watch. The episode also has John Doman from The Wire, who is sadly forced to cut back on his magnificent swearing.
Meanwhile, O'Brien is in the zone. This plot is okay, it's just fluff that feels a bit out of place. Kira is off rebelling on Bajor and all her friends care about is O'Brien's ability to throw darts.
The episode almost qualifies for a Stupid French Thing, but not quite.
Where are you getting the idea that a lot of admirals are also members of the Federation Council? I haven't seen any recent'ish novels or anything in canon indicate that, but maybe I missed something?
The Kai was going after a National (World) hero of the Resistance with deadly force, trying to take away the Reclamators they had every right too. The people wouldn't stand for that, that's why Shakaar won the PR War and the Kai had it all blow up her. She was too agressive
He's referring to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. During that film's scenes in the Federation Council Chambers, many of the council members are wearing uniform.
For my part, I like to assume that former serving officers are permitted to wear ceremonial uniform after leaving the service to enter politics, but that's just my fannish means of avoiding the problems TheGodBen refers to.
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