Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
I wonder how many of us lean towards the Chief's or the Doctor's point of view.
This episode actually comes right after WotW in production order and I prefer to watch it that way whenever I do a rewatch, since this Worf struggling to fit in B-plot is the logical follow-up to his joining the crew in the previous episode. Same reason I prefer to watch "A Man Alone" in production order (right after "Emissary") since a lot of B-material feels like stuff that there wasn't enough room for in the pilot (introduction of Rom, Keiko establishing the school, Sisko and Dax catching up, etc.) Oh, plus it makes for better Kira hairstyle continuity, since it's sort of transitioning from the longer "Emissary" style to the shorter season 1 style here.
"The Visitor" was so great. Who knew the guy from the Candyman movies could make you tear up like that? I've always loved the father-son relationship between the Siskos. I believe Avery Brooks has been interviewed and said a lot of what you see on the screeb between the characters is the very real bond between him and Cirroc Lofton because he does consider Cirroc a surrogate son.
Regarding the most recent episode, I do like Odo schooling Worf. I was never a huge Worf fan but I like (mostly) what DS9 did with him. Worf and Odo are very similar in some ways, but they are also different enough to make their interactions interesting. I think later on in one episode there's a really great scene between them where they basically discuss how to be anti-social and discourage visitors. Always amuses me.
Just watched Hyppocratic Oath and it was alright, one of those myeh episodes... But at least we learnt more about the Jem'Hadar...
I think in this episode the Jem'Hadar were not so much humanized and more fleshed out. In other words they are more than the killing machines they portrayed to be. They are still killing machines but between each other they interact in an almost human way; they talk of trusting each other and serving the collective good of the unit. I would not say they have friendships but there is a repetoire to them that goes beyond mindless automatons. Episodes like this only serve to highlight the evil of the Dominion, since it is not the invincible organization/state it was first portrayed to be but one that is very ruthless and as inherent flaws.
It just shows how cold and ruthless the Founders are and tells you that if that is the way they treat their own soldiers, imagine being a subject to them (Founders). This episode was let down by a somewhat stupid main plot and dialogue. O'Brien going from hating and distrusting the Jem'Hadar with his guts to sympathising with the First as he sets off to kill his unit is a bit odd. If anything the First's actions show how crazy and brutal the Jem'Hadar are and how it validates O'Brien's point that they cannot change.
Giving how extreme the Jem'Hadar are, I don't think either Bashir's or O'Brien's viewpoints were extreme. An extreme race will spawn some extreme opinions in my view.
I'm going to take the lame way out and say that they both raise valid points.
That's an abbreviated version of the second half of this episode, the actual episode is just longer and more repetitious. That's my problem with this episode, the first half goes by well enough and promises to be a great adventure where two characters that hate each other must spend time together, but the second half focuses on a plot point that we all know is only going to end up one way. As dark as DS9 is compared to the other Trek series, the show still isn't going to let a father kill his own child for his own selfish reasons, that's just not Star Trek. They may allow his protégé to kill his daughter in front of his eyes as a sick twist on his absolutist sense of justice, but they'd never allow him to kill her with his own hands. Hell, even Tony Soprano wouldn't be capable of such a heartless act and he once considered smothering his mother with a pillow. This episode was always going to end with Dukat developing a conscience and letting his daughter live, which is why it's more than a little grating that the second half of the episode focused so much on that non-conflict.
But I did like the first half of the episode, especially the scenes on the runabout. I think Kira says it exactly right, Bajor and Cardassia may become friends in the future, but she will never be friends with Dukat. I wish the episode had focused more on that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, Sisko has relationship problems. Some say that DS9 is like a soap opera in space and I guess it's plots like this that give that impression. Personally, I like plots like this because it reminds us that these are supposed to be real people with lives outside of their jobs. It's interesting seeing Sisko experiencing a complicated moment with his girlfriend and then watching him walk through Ops, you realise there's more important things going on in his mind than Cardassians, Klingons, and looming interstellar war. Avery does act a bit crazy in this one though, which is a bit understandable as I also play up my crazy side when I'm in uncomfortable situations. Actually, watching DS9 when I was young might be the reason why. Dear lord, is it possible that my weirdness stems from having Sisko as something of a role model? Suddenly my life makes so much sense...
Good review, but I can't believe you didn't mention Dukat getting the thorn in his butt! Like Kira, I couldn't stop laughing.
Though my recall of the episode is a little fuzzier than I'd like, my feeling is that Bashir was generally right, that people like him should work to free the Jem'Hadar from the white because that would likely make them more like Goran'Agar. I would imagine that the white probably enhances the Jem'Hadar's already aggressive disposition. (It's what I would do in the Founders' position.)
However, in the context of their situation, O'Brien was definitely right. Bashir and O'Brien needed to work to escape. It was their duty to Starfleet to do so and it was their obligation to those back on the station to do so. Bashir was out of line and O'Brien was right to disobey his orders.
I seem to recall Bashir saying that O'Brien condemned the Jem'Hadar on the planet to die. I disagree. Bashir was not likely to achieve his extremely lofty goal in the time frame available. Bashir's messiah complex simply got in the way of his sense (which we see later on
Spoiler: Bashir's messiah complex
at the end of "Extreme Measures"; luckily, O'Brien saves him then as well.
). It's a definite character flaw for him, and it was interesting to see it explored.
I wonder what side Captain Sisko falls on. The episode doesn't say, right?
And TheGodBen, I totally agree with your review of "Indiscretion." Definitely a lot of unused potential in that second half.
When I was younger I think I leant more towards Bashir's blind optimism. I was also a bit naive in thinking that I wanted him to find the cure by the end of the episode, which would have robbed it of any emotional resonance. Nowadays I totally see where O'Brien was coming from, but I only think he was right because of the messy situation they were in. I would still lean towards supporting Bashir finding a cure after he returned to the station, although mostly because it would have been an interesting development for the Jem'Hadar not be dependent on the Ketrecel White.
I quite liked Indiscrtion, but I probably agree that it lost its way as it went on. I just love that natural enemies Kira and Dukat have to work together - it provided a brilliant opportunity for the two to discuss things, which was pretty riveting. And Dukat getting a thorn up his arse was hilarious!
That's exactly how I feel about this episode. The way I see it Dukat not killing Ziyal makes things more interesting. Alright in the short-term it would have been good seeing Ziyal be killed by her father (not that Dukat would have lived long afterwards, what with the avengeful Kira) but this episode generates longer term rewards.
Seriously Dukat sparing Ziyal's life shows how even more twisted he is, as there are some things which even he loves (or he thinks he loves), and yet he would kill virtually anyone to move up in the universe. I always think Dukat confuses his loyalties to others with what he thinks is the right thing to do. I dunno... Dukat is one crazily complicated person...
Agreed as well. To me the problem, which TheGodBen alludes to above, is that the real meat of the episode (or what should be the main focus with these characters working together) is dispensed with early on in favor of showing that Dukat is "not so bad after all" in a somewhat clumsy and superficial manner.
He is that bad after all, of course. Also not that bad, but, either way, having him sit on a spike doesn't really tell us much. Yes, it is mildy amusing, but so what? It's disappointing that the writers don't try to dig deeper, given the opportunity this episode provides.
This could have been a great episode about the complexities of the Occupation and what the future of Bajoran/Cardassian relations might be like, whereas it ends up being a mediocre episode that sort of tries to rehabilitate Dukat, but doesn't delve deeply enough into the psychology and ideology of the Occupation (or, more to the point, any comparable event from actual human history) to accomplish that with any credibility at all.
This episode is the turning point in Dukat's character arc. It explains why he becomes so unpleasant later: the dermal regenerator accidentally sealed the wrong hole.
Well, that explains a lot
What is love? Baby don't hurt me. Don't hurt me no more.
Is this a romance of the week episode? I think so. "But Ben," you say "these two characters were married in a past life so it's not really a romance of the week type scenario." To which I'd respond "My name is Godfrey, godsdamnit!" Structurally, it's a romance of the week episode. A love interest that we've never met arrives on the station, a main character falls in love with them (again), the love interest goes away leaving the main character heartbroken, and none of these events are ever mentioned again. The previous relationship between these two characters makes this a more believable love story than any of the others on the series, but it's still a romance of the week by my definition. And yes, I do mark the episode down because of that, and in this case it's a bigger problem than normal as I'm expected to believe that this is a love that spans multiple lifetimes yet Jadzia forgets about it next week. And within a month she'll be wanting to jump Worf's bone.
The writers sure have a thing about exile, don't they? Garak is exiled, Worf has been exiled twice, Odo is in self-imposed exile, Quark will be exiled before the season is out, and in this episode Jadzia is threatened with exile. Exile and the death penalty, Star Trek's go-to punishments when they need to generate false drama. Wasn't the taboo against reassociation enough of a punishment? Wouldn't the episode have been a more appropriate allegory about homosexuality without the exile thing? Your average, everyday homophobe doesn't want to exile or execute homosexuals (at least not in western societies), they just want them to stop doing homosexual acts. And that taboo, that expectation of heterosexuality by friends and family, is bad enough that some homosexuals try to hide their true nature. And that's real tragedy right there. Wouldn't it have been more tragic if Lenara chose to leave because she couldn't live with the taboo rather than making a somewhat reasonable decision in order to protect the symbiont? Congratulations Star Trek, you managed to do a gay allegory where my sympathies lay with the conservative characters. That's quite an accomplishment.
Problems aside, this is definitely one of the better romance of the week episodes. I actually buy into the romance that's happening for once. And while the episode is centred around two women it doesn't feel sensationalist or weird, it just tells the story straight, Lenara could have been a man and the episode would have been exactly the same. Even the infamous kiss scene didn't titillate me, and a part of me is usually very sensitive to displays of lesbianism (I'm talking about my penis). So it's a nice love story overall, but it's not without its problems.
I'm not sure I agree with your point about everyday homophobes in the West not wanting to execute or exile gay people. While of course most don't want execution, and not really exile per se, I think most homophobes in America want gay people to go away/disappear from their (the homophobes') world. Which is kinda exile, when you think about it. And I think while some would find the cessation of gay sex sufficient, I think many homophobes want gay people to stop being gay, in the way that being gay is more than just your sexual activity.
Getting sick of this laptop eating my posts.
I love Rejoined. It's one of the better ROTW yarns, and I would have it more as a four star episode myself. I was just so into Jadzia and Lenara's plight, especially since I was still in the closet when I first saw it. I was happy that Trek took a stab at a same sex couple, and was even more happy when it was about the most irrelevant part of the episode.
The Emporer's New Cloak comes across as a bit cynical on the matter though; or perhaps it's me after all these years. The mirror universe is so strange and dangerous, so is that why the only other example of a same sex relationship in Trek is in that evil place?
To be fair, that episode was just badly written all round. And it's also way away in season seven.
I think this episode shows an interesting and subtle commentary on attitudes to homosexuality, and also uses the Trill symbiosis concept to good effect.
The thing is, I think the episode does a rather clever thing by reminding us that what comes naturally in sexuality isn't as straightforward as some people like to think. For the Joined Trill, the symbiont and its bank of past lives are part of the host (and vice versa), and their acting on and influencing the current host is an outgrowth of how a Joined Trill naturally works. And we see from Jadzia's friendship with Curzon's friend Sisko, and later Ezri's friendship with Jadzia's friends, that in most circumstances the past lives aren't suppressed or denied but integrated healthily into the current life. So past life informing present is natural for Joined Trills. As I'm sure we're all aware, one of the more common lines from those who are anti-homosexuality is the idea that homosexual acts "aren't natural", which seems to assume that the purpose of sexuality is straight-forward reproduction, and that any sex not geared towards that end is without purpose and so without justification. That of course overlooks the fact that intelligent species are drawn to have sex for a variety of different purposes - dolphins have sex for pleasure, bonobos have sex to reaffirm social ties and forge close relationships. Humans (a particularly social and intelligent species) do both; they have sex to affirm or forge close bonds of affection, and to enjoy themselves, among other reasons. So there's a lot more to "natural" than simple reproduction - and some humans have their sexuality focused on non-reproductive partners.
It seems to me that this epsiode cleverly reproduces this model in an interesting way. We know Jadzia is apparently heterosexual, so when we see her going after a woman we think "that's not normal" (meaning, not normal for her). But then we remember the key point: she's also a Joined Trill, and it seems that it is natural and normal for the symbiont part of the joined consciousness to seek out old partners (despite Trill society’s efforts to suppress it). Or, in other words, the question of what's a "natural" and normal aspect of Jadzia's sexuality is a more complicated subject than might first appear. Is it normal for a baseline-heterosexual Trill to be drawn sexually to another member of their sex? Well, if they’re both Joined, then yes. We're reminded that there's more going on in Jadzia Dax's sexuality than her host's heterosexual nature, if that makes sense. Taking it as an analogy for more general sexuality, we're reminded that in wider human nature there's more to the subject than simple reproduction. Jadzia's Joined Trill sexuality isn't one-note, and nor is real sexuality. Is it normal for a human to sexually desire members of the same sex? If they're a certain type of person, then yes.
On a note only loosely related, this episode does have (sadly) a bad case of "As You Know Bob" at the beginning, regarding how Trills work. Excusable, perhaps, because of how important it is that the audience understands the Trill set up - and naturally that reinforces the point that the symbiosis angle is integral to the episode.
That's what I love about this episode. This ain't love between lesbians, this is love between two symbionts, and both Dax and Lenara feel sexually attracted to each other because of the memories they have of their former hosts being married. It's clever stuff...
To be fair, I don't think it's ever explicltly stated that Jadzia and Lenara aren't as attracted to each other as Dax and Kahn are, albeit with less of a prior relationship.
And that's what I love about it. The episode doesn't say "oooh look, hot lesbians!" it says, "Look at this beautiful, tragic love story between two people who just happen to both be women." Contrast this with the portrayal of homosexuality in the mirror universe and ... yeah. I'll take "Rejoined" any day.
I really liked Rejoined, probably Jadzia's Dax's strongest episode (which, I know, isn't saying much). Though one has to notice that this is now the second time Jadzia is willing to throw away the life of the symbiont cause she's in love. This seems odd for someone who essentially worked harder than any other joined Trill to get a symbiont in the first place.
There is one aspect to this episode that bugs me, though technically it's a problem I have with S7's "Afterimage" and not so much this one. Here, Sisko tells Jadzia to take some vacation time while Lenara is on the station just so she doesn't tempt herself and end up in a compromising situation with someone she hasn't been married to in decades. Fast-forward three years and Sisko's asking Ezri to come and live on DS9 where she can work closely with the man she was married to just months before on a daily basis. Worf even mentions reassociation to Ezri after they have their fun and she just blows it off like it's no big deal.
Separate names with a comma.