TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TheGodBen; you missed an opportunity to knock off half a star: that Starfleet guy who shot himself in the foot. That first scene with him was the worst case of overacting I've ever seen! Bad cast or bad directing; take your pick.

    Other than that ...Nor the Battle to the Strong was a great episode, and it's nice to see a threat other than the Dominion being so effectively utilized.

    Oh yeah another reason to knock off half a star: that scene with Dax and Sisko in the Defiant's engine room. It felt forced and a bit TNGish with Dax's insufferable optimism (geez I sound like Garak!).

    I also think later on the writers missed a trick with Jake, because when they really thought about it (and worked hard; lazy buggers [Meridian, Rivals cough cough]) they came up with some of DS9s best episodes centering around Jake (Explorers, The Visitor and ...Nor the Battle to the Strong). They could have had more great episodes in the making if they made Jake into this private investigative journalist. Think about: Jake would interact with Quark more and the senior staff, Jake would get around, bring up the dirt on command decisions and important events and happenings (through 'sources'). Hell you could really push it and somehow get Section 31 involved with Jake discovering something top secret.

    All those possibilities. This episode though is probably the last great episode with Jake taking center point, after that Jake gets left behind in the dust...

    RIP Jake's character development, it never quite caught up with his physical development...

    Ahem...
     
  2. BennyRussel

    BennyRussel Commander Red Shirt

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    That was one of the early story ideas behind In The Pale Moonlight. It would have been Jake narrating how he discovered Benjamin's misdeeds in his role as a reporter. But it was changed to Benjamin recording a log entry.
     
  3. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I once speculated on another story that could have happened with Jake in season 7. In fact it was spread over three episodes. Somewhere around mid-season, he could have been trying to do stories for the FNS but locked out of major command decisions for security reasons, so he would turn to non-combatant cultures for their perspectives - the Ferengi and the Bajorans. With the Ferengi he could have stumbled upon

    Zek's resignation and plans to make Rom the new Nagus

    and with Bajor we could have had an episode focusing more on

    the pagh-Wraith cult and Jake's feelings about his father's place in Bajoran religion
    .

    And then towards the end of the season, in the Final Chapter arc...

    On a tip from the contacts he made in the earlier episode, he could have investigated the mysterious disappearance of the kai's aide Solbor, the suddenness with which the Kai has cloistered herself away with a strange man, and rumours about some wacky ancient magic book. And in the course of following his leads, he could have ended up in the Fire Caves and witnessed his father's final confrontation with Winn and Dukat.

    Just a few thoughts.

    .
     
  4. gazomg

    gazomg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The idea for this episode was great but for me i just did not like it....bad acting too cliched and over done too much at times.
     
  5. Ezri D

    Ezri D Lieutenant

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    I thought they could have gone into more seasons. It would have been interesting to see what the aftermath of the war would be like. And, I think there was a great deal to talk about Ezri Dax and maybe add new characters to give a more updated feel to the show.

    Have thought of a story, that one of Kursans lost son or daughter came to the station to talk to Ezri. Not to tell her she or he was the child of Kursan Dax. They get along and the person dies of a natural death that everyone understood was goingto happen. Right after the death, Ezri finds out the person was the child of Kurson.
     
  6. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I'm afraid I'm in the "not-so-crazy about this episode" camp. It's good, but no more than 4 stars in my book, probably closer to 3 and 1/2.

    Provoked by the review, I rewatched the episode. It's a good examination of the intersection of courage and cowardice, but I do feel that the execution was somewhat lackluster. Ln X and gazomg are right about the instances of over-acting, in my books, at least. And I feel like there was a lack of focus in the story; yes, it's mainly about Jake, but there's a little bit in there with Bashir interacting with the doctor whose spouse is serving on the Tecumseh, and more than a little bit with Sisko needing to keep busy, but not enough to give it real punch.

    I think the episode would have worked better if it all had been from Jake's perspective, with us not knowing whether or not his dad is on the way, emphasizing both the isolation of the situation and the overstimulation Jake was facing.

    Also, tangentially, Jake rarely seems to act as one would expect a young man who lost his mother traumatically at a young age to. That sort of experience messes with people of any age, and particularly if you're young. To be honest, I would have thought that this kind of traumatic experience for Jake might have brought back memories of the loss of his mother.

    Jake Sisko, DS9's most secondary primary character.
     
  7. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with your last sentence - Jake was really underused in the last few years of the show, and it was a real shame becuase episodes that focussed on him were usually dynamite.

    I love ...Nor the Battle very much. It's a very visceral, traumatic experience for Jake to go through, and I thought it was portrayed very well. I think it's done slightly better in season seven with AR-558 and It's Only A Paper Moon, but by then the writers were taking more risks with open-ended episodes. It's a shame that Jake couldn't have a leg blown off or something. Anything, really, to help with his lack of development.
     
  8. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    I liked Nor the Battle a great deal. Aside from everything that has been mentioned, I also liked the interactions between Bashir and Jake a lot. I think they could've ended up good friends in the last few seasons, and it's quite a shame the writers never did anything with that idea (or with Odo and Worf, who I think barely interacted after season four).
     
  9. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What's special about this episode is that it pushes the boundaries of Star Trek into something more darker and real. This is DS9 experimenting and ascending far beyond its TNGish roots. The casting (aside from the guy who shot himself in the foot) is perfect and I love that grizzled old veteran stuck in the trench talking to Jake. What a face!

    Ironically I think season 5 is the darkest of all seasons because there is still some mystery to Dominion motives, and episodes like this one leave a lasting impression upon the viewer.

    After all that rambling Curzon had a child? :wtf:
     
  10. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    That is a very good point (about pushing the boundaries), and one that is easy to forget. Still, something in the execution just doesn't cut it for me.

    Maybe it's that I find Jake only somewhat sympathetic in this episode. His cowardice doesn't bother me, it's his, well, stupidity. I'm not talking about his running away during the shelling, that's understandable. I'm talking about stuff like his internal monologue at the beginning of the episode, where he's like "Surgery under fire, aw yeah!" I don't care how caught up in enthusiasm he is, he's 18 years old, he should have enough sense to realize that that's not the way it's gonna be.

    Or when he volunteered to go with Bashir to get the generators. He (and Bashir for that matter) should have realized the potential for Bad Things to happen out there, and should have suggested that someone with training for these situations should go.

    Or at the end, when everyone else is evacuating. Does Jake evacuate or try to help? No, he goes and hides underneath a table that's not even big enough to cover him. I know he was shell-shocked, but still...

    My point is that, Starfleet officer or not, Jake should have some more sense than he showed in this episode. And that makes me sympathize for him less. :shrug:

    Still, the point about the episode pushing the boundaries more and giving a more nuanced look at 24th century humanity is well taken. I could definitely be convinced that, within the context of the overall series, the episode merits TheGodBen's 5 stars.
     
  11. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Assignment (***½)

    Is this the beginning of the Pah-wraith arc? I suppose it is, even though this is clearly just a one-off episode and there's not even a hint that the Pah-wraiths are going to return, and Sisko barely does anything, but this episode does introduce their conflict with the Prophets and bodily possession and their love of overacting their evilness. Actually, they're not too bad in this one, at least their evilness is limited to wanting to kill the Prophets and there's nothing about being so filled with hate that they want to destroy the entire universe. Even though Evil Keiko (not to be mistaken with μKeiko, who is a lesbian) is about as subtle in her motivations as a kick to the groinal region, she's still more understated than the red-eyed, fire-breathing Pah-wraiths that we'll meet later.

    As an O'Brien Must Suffer™ episode, it's pretty good. He's a man working under pressure, in constant fear for his wife and child, and unable to reveal the truth to anyone. He's willing to break the rules, he's willing to sabotage the station, he's willing to involve an innocent, clueless man in his misdeeds, and he's willing to implicate him in his place. He's even willing to use his famous back-hand-of-doom on Odo. He's willing to cross all sorts of moral boundaries because he doesn't want to risk the alternative. Except at the end where he decides that killing the Prophets would be too much so he risks killing Keiko instead in an overly-cheesy lightning-fest in a runabout. Then O'Brien explains everything off-screen and everything is forgiven. The end.

    Oh, and Rom gets some stuff to do in this episode. He starts out knee-deep in shit (literally), he plays dumb and commits some treasonous crimes, and then he gets promoted. It's a good thing too, if the Pah-wraith hadn't possessed Keiko then this whole thing would never have happened, O'Brien would never have worked out that Rom's a genius, Rom wouldn't have come up with the idea of self-replicating mines, and the Dominion would have overwhelmed the Alpha Quadrant. Everyone owes Evil Keiko a debt of gratitude for that.

    Wormhole in Peril: 5
     
  12. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    I loved The Assignment. It was by far the best acting Rosalind Chao ever displayed on Star Trek. Possessed Keiko was terrifying, especially while pretending nothing was wrong. I can certainly understand why they wanted to bring the Pagh-Wraits back after this episode, but why they felt the need to do it in such an idiotic, cliché manner I have no idea. The Pah-Wraith here is subtle (not about her intentions, perhaps, but very much in how she's acting, with no-one but the Chief ever realising something's wrong with Keiko) and cunning. Imagine if Keiko had come off that transport with red eyes and a stupid voice, how long do you think it would've taken anyone to clue in?
     
  13. gazomg

    gazomg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    enjoyed this a lot.Rosalind chao played the bitch superbly, it was like it was second nature.
    Meany was solid as always, and the performance by rom was class and it really did so much for the character.The story itseft was not brilliant by any means but overall an excellent show
     
  14. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Aye men to that brother! Which is why DS9 is so awesome; its a series of events like that which give its depth and...
     
  15. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: Pah-wraith: Hero of the Federation.
     
  16. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sisko mentioned the Fire Caves way back in season 1 ("The Nagus"). I like long-term story continuity like that.

    It does make you wonder why the Prophets would have put their enemies in some caves on Bajor. I mean, apparently these pah-wraiths can get out pretty easy, if one took over Keiko. Makes you wonder how many others have escaped over the years and reeked havoc on Bajor. I thought the Prophets cared about the Bajorans. Why would they put their enemies on Bajor? Maybe they had nowhere else to put them? The Prophets' influence does seem to be limited to the Bajoran system. (We only see their influence anywhere else when Sisko discovers the Orb of the Emissary on Tyree.) But you'd think there's a random moon or something they could have used.

    Apparently Odo's humanoid body has a glass jaw. I mean, he got knocked out by a single punch from an engineer.

    I like it when we seen birthdays mentioned on Star Trek. It makes the characters seem more real.
     
  17. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe having incidents involving the Wraiths was always part of the Prophets' plan...
     
  18. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can't help but think that Jake would have been a much more interesting character if he had been played by a better actor. Cirroc Lofton just never did it for me. His Uncle was a damn good baseball player, though.
     
  19. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always liked Lofton - all the way through the show.

    The Assignment is good, and is a brilliant example of why Keiko needed to be on the show for that Keiko thread that's floating around. Unfortunately for later-DS9, the Pah-Wraiths seem at their most formidable here. It's a shame that the writers never got a proper handle with them later on in the show - The Reckoning was dumb, and Dukat was sort of shoe-horned into their plot to keep him valid to the show; as character damaging as that was.

    O'Brien is properly tortured here - as is tradition. Colm Meany and Rosalind Chao are very good in this episode.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Trials and Tribble-ations (****½)

    Imagine trying to write a story that straddles the line between being a loving tribute and also a parody, a story that's fuelled by nostalgia yet doesn't rely on it, and a story which is confined to be told within the confines of another story. Yes, Brannon Braga had quite a difficult task in front of him when he wrote Flashback and he fucked it right up. DS9's team confronted the same problem with Trials and Tribble-ations and they managed to create a classic episode beloved by those that don't even like DS9 all that much. Echevarria and Moore did one hell of a job on this script. There's a plot that's just strong enough to drive the action without taking itself so seriously that it gets in the way of the nostalgia. The jokes manage to draw humour from TOS without ever feeling like they're insulting it. The plot works pretty much perfectly within the framework of The Trouble With Tribbles, so much so that it enriches what is already considered a classic episode of TOS. For all the praise that DS9's writers get for their story and character arcs, we shouldn't forget the great work they put into standalone episodes like this.

    The first time I saw Trials and Tribble-ations, The Trouble with Tribbles was shown directly before it, and so I recreated that experience the other night by watching them one after another. As I said, the episodes are pretty much seamless. There are some extremely minor errors, such as Sisko and Jadzia working at a panel that wasn't there on the original show, or Kirk's conversation over the intercom being several seconds longer than it should be, but I honestly can't say that I give a damn about such things. I had watched the remastered version of TTWT so the TOS footage used in T&T was grainier than I had just seen, but the exterior shots of the Enterprise and DSK-7 looked better than the CGI used in TTWT.

    If there's one thing I'm going to criticise the episode for, it's the music. In every other way the episode finds the right tone, but the music is just standard DS9 music that barely tried to get into the spirit of TOS. The place where this is most noticeable is in the bar-fight scene where the music is fairly generic action music, which is completely at odds with the music in the original scene. That whole sequence was a comic tribute to a classic comedic scene, I don't understand why the music was played straight.

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