Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
Yeah, Star Trek IV, that's the one I'm thinking of. Here's a pic.
Not to get too off-topic here, but how explicitly are we told that that particular group is, in fact, the whole Federation Council? I think I once heard it suggested that it might be some sub-committee (or something like a Security Council) and/or may include Starfleet observers, in which case the oddly high ratio of uniforms to civilians wouldn't be quite so out-of-place.
Was this the one with (the actor who played) Deputy Rawls? If so, shouldn't alone that bump it up a star or two?
Hee. This made me giggle. Space pope ... hee. I'm silly like that.
I have trouble recalling Shakaar freely. I think that goes for his character for most of his time on DS9, as well as this episode. I appreciated what the writers were trying to do with him, but I just never found him particularly inspiring. I was glad when he disappeared again.
BRING BACK BARIEL!
I love a bit of Winn usually but the use of her here isn't thought out properly. She's just the obstacle in the way of getting Shakaar into power, and it's all a bit contrived.
I loved Kira's old friends though. They were far more interesting, and I loved that they later reappear in The Darkness and The Light.
And O'Brien's story, while funny, is symptomatic of a few of Trek's B or C stories where other members of the cast are occupied with something frivalous whilst their friends are caught up in all kinds of danger. Live together, die alone perhaps?
There's also the episode Rapture, where Bajor's admittance to the Federation is presided over by a Starfleet admiral, not someone from the civilian government of the U.F.P. Not to mention that the scene where the ceremony is to officially take place (until Sisko ends it with his visionary warning), where almost 75% of the people representing the Federation are from Starfleet.
As for Shakaar, here's my problem with it - it's shallow. Neither Shakaar nor Winn is allowed to argue their case convincingly - it's all too rushed, as TheGodBen points out, and all this important information is jettisoned. Now given that I'm a libertarian, I'm inclined to take Shakaar's side, most especially when the shock troops are sent in. But he just comes off as too stubborn. If they had taken the time to outline why the situation in the province was so bad, it would have helped. "Feeding our people" just isn't enough of a justification. Are we dealing with a famine? Are we dealing with massive numbers of children suffering from malnutrition? You got to give me something more concrete to argue against Winn's desire to spur the entire Bajoran economy.
Then, of course, there's the problem of Duncan Regehr having absolutely zero chemistry with Nana Visitor. And I have a hard time believing this guy had the force of personality to hold together a struggling resistance cell, just saying.
Overall though, I do think it's an above average episode - maybe three stars, as it's definitely libertarian in theme. We have a government that fails to keep its promises, a local leader facing a hopeless situation who is sick of said government and an villain who is willing to bring about the "collective good" at the point of a gun. Good stuff. It's a shame it's harmed by a mediocre script and acting.
Facets is a weird episode because its main story is barely a story at all, it's a collection of seven conversations between Jadzia and Dax's former hosts. What makes it weirder is that it rushes through the first five hosts so that it can get to the interesting two, and the second half of the story focuses on Curzon. It kinda makes you wonder what the point of Dax having so many past lives is if only one of them is really worth a damn. I suppose Joran is worth half a damn. Avery Brooks as Joran sure is memorable, he finally has a legitimate output for all that crazy, but I must confess that I'm not a big fan of the scene due to the writing. Joran is just too crazy. In Equilibrium he seemed like a mostly normal guy that had violent impulses that he couldn't control and one day he broke and murdered someone. In this episode he's completely psychotic and that's the core of his entire being. How did a guy like that ever pass any sort of psychological evaluation? It just doesn't make sense and it's not as interesting as my previous understanding of the character as a normal guy that's a bit unhinged.
Then Curzon shows up. The episode claims that this isn't Curzon but a joining of Curzon and Odo, but I see very little Odo in the character beyond his memories. Curzon also suffers from the same problem as Joran, it's just too much crazy and not enough normal. This guy is supposed to be a great ambassador, but it appears that he went to the same school of diplomacy as the Wadi from Move Along Home. The episode plays up the revelation that Curzon was secretly in love with Jadzia, but that just begs the question of how the host/symbiont relationship works. If Jadzia has Curzon's memories, how does she not know all this stuff already? Does the host have the ability to encrypt memories so future hosts can't access them? I suppose they must otherwise this whole magic ritual would be pointless. In the end Odo and Jadzia have a talk where they both express that they have new treasured memories and they've learned a lot from this experience, but neither of them does and the show goes on as normal.
The better story of this episode is Nog's attempt to pass some of Starfleet's strict entrance exams. Once again the word I will use to describe this plot is "pleasant". Nog gets to show his determination, Rom gets to stand up for his son, and Quark gets to complain about the evils of root beer.
Form of... a Curzon: 15
I acknowledge that this might be more fodder for the "Trill symbiosis is poorly explained" complaint, but I have a possible theory for that. Perhaps it's because we're not seeing Joran as his truly realized self in an objective manner, but rather the Joran that Jadzia must confront to achieve full equilibrium? Which would be in keeping with the supposed point of the rite. So while it is indeed the "true" Joran it's also a distorted reflection of him as well, with certain of his traits ascendant and others suppressed. Same guy, but different arrangement? I mean, even if we accept the premise that the hosts' personality is indeed "stored" accurately along with memory and experience (which of course we must for this episode to make sense), that "pattern" is operating as filtered through, or interacting with, two or three wholly different brains, nervous systems and personalities. Physiologically and spiritually, Jadzia isn't Joran and nor is Sisko. Seeing as his memories are new to her, Jadzia presumably has less experience in incorporating Joran into herself compared to other hosts, and those aspects of him which are most disturbing and difficult would be the remorseless killer. So perhaps the Joran she projects is a Joran whose personal aspects are weighted towards what she still needs to confront? So Sisko has Joran, but only parts of him, and the true balance and ratios of the character aren't in evidence. Is the zhian'tara a full transplant, or just a transfer of those aspects the current host could do with understanding better? And I guess Sisko's nervous system might be having trouble too, and only certain facets of the personality pattern are getting through - maybe Sisko subconsciously rejects hosting the remorseless killer parts, and so in turn "projects" them outward?
Personally I really liked Facets overall, but I do wish we got to see more of the first five hosts and I agree with the criticism of Joran's portrayal (though it was fun seeing Avery Brooks go nutty). I liked Joran's appearance later on to Ezri better, more of a balance.
Yeah I quite like Facets. I agree that the rush through the start was a bit much, though. It sort of felt like they were obligated to give them a bit of screen time, as opposed to wanting to devlop them in a meaningful way. Especially since the revelation at the end about Curzon loving Jadzia being a bit odd since surely Jadzia would have his memories.
I loved seeing unhinged Sisko/Joran, even though that didn't jibe with his earlier appearance. It was fun seeing Avery letting loose, and would be a hint of some of the range he would hit later in the series.
I always find it a bit strange that Leeta was asked to be one of the temporary hosts. Hadn't she been in like one episode before this? Although I suppose that the station is on the edge of the known frontier, so it's entirely plausible that there's plenty of time for Jadzia and Leeta to become gal pals!
I do remember reading that the writers acknowledged that was something they pulled out of their behinds, but they needed another woman and the female characters are outnumbered, so they just went with it.
I vaguely remember something like that now that they mention it. I was just thinking about why they didn't use Keiko for that matter, but I suppose she was on Bajor at this point.
Lwaxana Troi? Don't hit me!
I wonder what would happen if an elder Betazoid was present when a Joined Trill performed zhian'tara? There'd be personalities flying everywhere! No one would have a clue who they were
Those of you who dislike Fascination and dislike Dax episodes...I present to you your nightmare. An episode of 'hilarity' in which underdeveloped Trill hosts bounce from person to person and everyone acts amusingly but dully out of character for 45 minutes!
I would have liked an episode where an old host accidentally takes control of Jadzia for the day.
With sexy results!
That's every day after "Blood Oath," and it's Curzon. Don't like the results, though.
Avery Brooks was freakin' EPIC as Joran. So, so creepy. I heard he was even creepier on the dailies, and they had to ask him to tone it done, so one can only wonder what the first few takes were like! But for all those of you who were curious as to what Hannibal Lecter would sound like when crossed with a Catholic priest ... well, now you know ...
Other than that, I was kind of "meh" on the episode. It was fun to see the other actors get to play different roles. Quark playing a female was of course milked for humor, and the others did a serviceable job as well. I really liked Kira as the first host, he mannerisms were great, letting you know this was a completely different person without being hammy. I do think Leeta being part of it was kind of out of left field. I remember reading on Memory Alpha that the writers had planned before this to establish that there was a friendship between Jadzia and Leeta, but they never wrote those scenes, so we just had to sort of accept that they were appparently close enough for Jadzia to ask her to do this.
I thought the whole Kurzon was in love with Jadzia thing was kind of wierd. As others have pointed out, how would she not know that already, since she carries his memories? And how does that work once he's reintigrated into her pysche or whatever? I did enjoy the conversation between her and Odo at the end, although they didn't really revisit how the experience seemed to have bonded them after this.
Which might have been another lost opportunity, really. It would be nice if Quark learnt something from that. It wouldn't have to change his attitude overall, but they could have shown him being a little thoughtful or uncertain over the experience, rather than skipping over the implications. We all know the Ferengi sexism is played for laughs, as in "look how ridiculousy over-the-top sexist they are!" but they're also a serious culture and Quark is a serious character who's at his best when his desire to be "the best Ferengi he can be" conflicts with the fact that Ferengi aren't a very enlightened culture.
But I suppose the episode has other things to focus on.
I agree about Joran's portrayal. I think Brooks just used it as a reason to play nutso, and from the MU episodes he seems to really enjoy doing that. It did seem a little left field from the Joran we were introduced to in Equillibrium.
Though I thought the concept of the episode was cool, I didn't like the "I'm in love with you" twist at the end. I'm started to think that the writers/producers were certain that everyone who meets her must be head over heels in love with Jadzia.
I do not care for this episode. Rene Auberjonois saves it a little, but the rest of it I can do without.
There's really no reason for it other than for us to learn that Curzon was in love with Jadzia. The problems with that are numerous. As has been said, how the hell did she not know about this already if she carries all of Curzon's memories? And it really does seem like the writers want the audience to believe that every male Jadiza encounters instantly falls madly in love with her.
And, of course, there's the fact that Dax, just for the fun of it, uses Quark's well-known attraction to her to manipulate him into doing something she knows will humiliate him.
But, what I remember most about this episode is that it was here that my dislike for Jadiza finally came into focus for me. In short, I find her pompous, self-absorbed and not really sympathetic to other people's feelings. The fact that she now carries Curzon's love for her as part of her own personality explains why she's like that - she is, in effect, romantically in love with herself.
Okay, I promise not to bad mouth Dax for a while now.
Now that deserves a commendation for original thinking.
The Adversary (****)
This was an unusual choice for a season finale, but I guess when the writers' original idea for the season finale (essentially Homefront) was nixed by Paramount they had to come up with something quick, and having a Changeling run rampant on the Defiant was as good an idea as any. Besides, they could use the season's leftover budget to finally add some new sets to the ship. In fact, this has been my favourite episode featuring the Defiant yet because it finally gives a real sense of the ship as a ship and not just a bridge set with adjacent bunk beds. We get to see engineering, the mess hall, larger corridors, and even our beloved Jefferies tubes.
I like that this episode knows what the audience is thinking then double bluffs us. When we learn that there's a saboteur onboard the Defiant the first person we're going to suspect is the guest actor, but it pretends that it's trying to trick us into believing Julian is the chief suspect so that when the obvious thing happens and the ambassador guy is the guilty party, we're surprised by the real revelation that he's a Changeling. Well, we would be if it didn't reveal that fact on the DVD description for the episode. The next most likely suspect for the Changeling to replace is Eddington because he's just a minor recurring character that has always been a bit shifty, so we get the scene where he's revealed as a Changeling only to be shocked to learn that he's not, Bashir was the Changeling. It's clever, I liked it. What's interesting is that this very first attempt at blood screenings for Changelings was an absolute failure and yet Starfleet insists on using it as a security measure in the future. Add to this the fact that "Martok" passed the test in the next episode and you have a perhaps unintended commentary about how excessive security against an insideous threat is a waste of time and resources. DS9 really was prescient.
What I don't like about the episode is the Tzenkethi. Who the hell are they? They don't even qualify as an alien of the week because they never even show up. If I was a Changeling infiltrator and I was tasked with stirring up trouble between the Alpha Quadrant races the last race I'd even think of starting a war with would be the bloody Tzenkethi. Why not use a race we had actually seen before like the Gorn, Tholians, or Talarians? It's hard to care about the potential for war between the Federation and a name. The Federation would probably steamroll them anyway. Other than that, the episode is well done. It's tense, it has a few good tricks up its sleeve, and it has a good final line to end the season.
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