Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
Was the music the only thing that kept Trials from a five-star rating?
This episode is at least three stars, but I thought the nostalgia wore off towards the end and Dax's lines were a little forced with her saying 'she knows these people' but the 'he had the hands of a surgeon' was good though. Once you get over the 'WOW! The DS9 crew are on the original Enterprise interacting with the original characters!' thing this episode starts to feel a little flat.
But it is better than VOY's tribute (where they chucked in Sulu for one crazy mental episode) to TOS. Brannon Braga did indeed mess it up...
This was loads better than Voyager's offering. It was a loving tribute from start to finish, and the story itself was really good. Very funny and touching overall.
In the same vein the only slight-but-not-at-all-important issue I have with this episode is that they changed the sound effect of Kirk's chair intercom. In the original Tribbles episode it just goes 'click' when he calls sickbay. In the DS9 episode it goes "BLALALALALALALA!", and couldn't be more noticeable if it tried...
I love Bashir's comment, "those are Klingons!?" Also the X-Files nod with agents Lucsly and Dulmer. This episode has lots of fun scenes to love beyond just the old Kirk-era stuff!
I'd say it would probably have been 4.5 stars either way. The episode is a lot of fun and a lot of work went into it, but at the end of the day it's still a lovingly-made fluff-piece.
Yeah, that sure escalated quickly.
Let He Who Is Without Sin... (0)
I watched this episode on Sunday night and I've had a headache for the last few days. I believe there may be a connection between those two facts.
Do you suppose an officer in the US navy that's serving on an aircraft carrier would be allowed to take one of the planes to go on holiday? I don't imagine they're allowed to do that. Why are Worf and Jadzia allowed to take a runabout to Risa when it's going to spend most of its time unmanned in orbit of the planet? Do you suppose Ensign Ricky would be allowed to take a runabout when he goes on holiday, or is this is privilege reserved for senior officers? I know that this is actually a problem with a number of episodes throughout Star Trek, but I'm calling it out here because it allows me to avoid thinking about this episode.
I hate everyone in this episode, which is weird as I normally like most of the characters in this show. But in this particular episode everyone is insufferable, especially Worf. He is just an absolute wanker. I can understand the pain he suffers from being on Risa, the whole audience shares that pain, but the stick up his arse must have grown thorns for this episode, it's the only way to explain the way his character acted throughout. They try to explain it all by revealing a deep, dark secret from his past, but it's a hollow retcon thrown in to try and salvage a character they spent the last 40 minutes assassinating.
Then there's the Essentialists. There's a core of an interesting idea with these guys, but they're so stupid that watching them is like watching someone slowly drool into a cup. They decide to protest against people relaxing and having fun on a planet specifically designed for people to relax and have fun. That's like going to a beach and complaining that there's sand there. If there's sand in an office-building and it gets into people's shoes, that's something to be legitimately annoyed at, but leaving the office and going to the beach to complain about the sand in the office? That makes you a loon.
May I suggest that Starfleet implement General Order 8?
I agree with you that this episode is one of DS9's most pitiful and poorly executed attempts. But I do actually think that this revelation about Worf is important. It ties back to Guinan's conversation with him on TNG about why he doesn't laugh. As ill-conceived as the episode is, I do think that the anecdote from his childhood is an important detail in Worf's story.
And this episode does shatter (in a somewhat literal sense) the (imho) bizarre relationship between Leeta and Bashir. (I mean, really, it felt like it was TPTB saying, "Hmm, let's get our most physically attractive male character and put him with a good-looking dabo girl! Ratings!".) And I, personally, like the storyline that comes out of that development.
But I definitely agree that this episode is really not so good as an overall package.
Related, if one has never read MA's Behind-the-Scenes, or better yet, the DS9 Companion's, entry on this episode, you really should. It's kind of morbidly fascinating how many Murphy's Laws happened during the making of this episode. Sad too, 'cause they had some good ideas.
Also, thing I don't like about this episode: Curzon's "death by jama'haron". Hate it. Stupid. Uncalled for and bizarre. Really, Dax goes back to Risa for a good time after Curzon dies there? Without ever mentioning it? Meh. Also, we see Curzon dying, but still alive, in "Emissary" when the symbiont is transferred. Death by jama'haron sounds a lot like a heart attack to me, which doesn't really fit. (Unless it was an infection, of course, but that doesn't sound like a pleasant way to go, unlike what was implied in the episode.)
That's a very good point, and when you put it that way it reveals how little thought went into the New Essentialists. The writers seem to think that Risa would make the perfect target for a group concerned with Federation decadence, but you've just neatly explained why in fact it's a very poor choice of target for any group whose concerns are credible. We might say that the New Essentialists are supposed to be viewed as having the wrong idea - that's clearly the intention - but I don't think they're supposed to be morons. Sadly, there's nothing interesting for the audience in a setup where the philosophical opponent for the heroes comes across as stupid. Again, we might question whether there was actually supposed to be any philosophical depth to the episode, but if there wasn't, why bring in the Fullerton character and give him a political motivation?
I agree that there's an interesting concept buried in there somewhere; characters from the main protagonist nation who view their society as decadent and weak, playing on the beach as warfleets mass beyond its borders. An antagonistic group who aren't presented as an external enemy but who instead offer a different sort of "insider's view". If the writers insisted on creating him, Fullerton should have been a provocative character.
Combined with your runabout comment, it makes me wonder what could have been if the writers had tried making a provocative Risa episode. As regards the runabout issue, what if the New Essentialists had made that very point? What if we spent half an episode mucking about on Risa only for Fullerton, in his interactions with Dax and co, to explain his own view on what we've just been seeing - and point out, for example, that a military outpost heavily involved in an ongoing political crisis involving two well-armed and aggressive nations, and which is the gateway to the realm of a third aggressive nation that they know is a mounting threat, just lent one of its military-issue vessels to two off-duty officers so they could go to the beach. Now that would have been well-played, because we, as the audience, are, as you say, used to this sort of thing as one of Trek's little quirks, and to have the writers sit up and take notice, to challenge and question how they present the protagonists to us, might make us sit up and take notice. We might well be thinking "this guy's got a good point there; how will Dax and co respond?"
And then we have a potentially interesting episode.
Yeah, Let he Who is Without Sin is without a doubt the second-worst DS9 episode. At least Meridian and The Muse, while their A-plots were definitely as bad, had okay B-plots. Let he who is without sin has no such saving graces... Worf was an awful caricature of himself, Risa was vile and tacky (It's the very last planet in Star Trek I would like to take a vacation on, Ceti Alpha Five and its ooie-gooie ear crawl worms included), the New Essentialists idiotic (protesting by tearing down curtains, really threatening, guys), Curzon didn't die that way as seen in Emissary, and somehow even the many women in bathing suits weren't that attractive.
It's bizarre how such an awful episode is right next to such greatness... The laws of electromagnetics must apply to Star Trek episodes too, making powerful positive and powerful negative charges attracted to each other.
Because the Enterprise and K7 were models newly built for DS9's use, rather than reused TOS footage.
I'd give the episode a **1/2. It's flawed but not too terrible. Worf is a real asshole (a lot more than usual) but there's so much booty and eyecandy (Jadzia's swimsuit, Leeta's boobs and those Risian chicks) that it kind of makes up for it. Plus it had some really funny moments like Worf going all mushy seeing Jadzia in her swimsuit, Quark with those (forget what they're called) two wooden sexual idols...
The Essentialists; myah. Really the episode was dragged down by Worf behaving too much like an asshole. But I thought that scene with him telling that childhood story to Jadzia was quite touching. Another thing people don't quite get is that Worf is a man of extremes. He is a Klingon, a bit out of place everywhere he goes (though in later seasons of TNG he seemed to fit in), so his emotional reactions reflect his core Klingon attitude. Maybe Worf was simply really pissed off and he couldn't do any Klingon rituals or traditions to resolve the situation so he resorted to petty jealousy and irritation.
In any case Let He Who Is Without Sin... deserves something above 0 and the only episode in DS9 worth a 0 is Rivals or perhaps Meridian.
I'm sure I remember reading/hearing that with DSN's 30th Anniversary tribute, everyone wanted to be invovled with it. With VOY's not so much so.
Comparing the two it really seems that the entire production team of "Trials and Tribble-ations" really wanted to pay respect to TOS.
While "Let He . . . Without Sin . . ." is a pretty ridiculous episode, with Worf and Dax acting pretty out of character, I did really enjoy the moment where Worf finally opens up and talks about the accidental death from his youth and how it shaped him into the man he is today. Good defining character moment.
It was nice to see more of Dax's spots, but unfortunately that was kept to a minimum (at least the bright out-door scenes) because of Terry Farrell's skin condition.
Alexander Siddig has stated that this wasn't his best work because he was pretty distracted by the birth of his son, who Nana Visitor gave birth to during the episode (which also explains why Kira is not in the episode).
The thing that really annoyed me about the "death by jamaharon" tid-bit is not just that it's hard to reconcile with the Orb flashback that Jadzia Dax had in "Emissary", but I am reminded that yet again we are learning about Curzon's past, but not any of the other prior Dax hosts.
This originally started out in the writers' minds as an episode about 24th century liberal attitudes toward sexual freedom and exploration. It makes sense after all, in their society with medical advances that certainly have eliminated almost all STDs and made birth control very convenient and reliable, that sex would happen more freely. The episode takes place on the planet of free love. "What happens on Risa, stays on Risa" kind of thing. But ultimately, the sexual freedom seen in the episode is not significantly more than seen in other episodes. Another clear chance for a gay or lesbian encounter (if not long-term relationship), but they failed once again to go there. Ultimately, while the writers might have been interested in going a little deeper into 24th century sexual freedom, the producers and audience weren't. So some other stupid plot had to be made (where Worf acts way out of character). Worf and Dax usually get along much better.
I was glad Julian and Leeta ended their relationship amicably. They weren't right for each other. (And just when did they officially get together in the first place? It wasn't shown on screen.) But it's also nice to have a friendly parting-of-ways versus a fight or something. Also, it reminds us that the Bajorans are aliens. More importantly, Julian had to get rid of any steady girlfriend before he could more easily be taken over by the changeling spy in soon-to-be episodes.
It would have been interesting if Bashir came back from the asteroid prison and started making out with Leeta...
You know, I always wondered whether perhaps Risa used to be a normal pre-warp world, until Harry Mudd escaped from the rehabilitation he was put in and landed there, introducing both warp technology and general bad taste to it. It's a shame Enterprise's Risa episode (which was better than Let... Sin, but still awful) blew that hypothesis out of the water.
Skin condition? You mean she burnt up out in the bright sunlight?
I'm not sure what to say about LHWIWS that hasn't been said a million times before. It's just a total bodge of an episode.
Worf is my favorite ST character and I think that's why I hate this episode sooo much. It sucks sweaty, hairy Ferengii balls. I can't imagine the actors were even able to take themselves seriously as they were filming it. After every scene I would have walked away shaking my head saying "that was seriously some bullshit"
The only redeeming thing, was, as you mentioned, the last scene with Worf and Jadzia. Great character defining moment. It's worth maybe an eighth of a star.
My [mind's] eyes, my [mind's] eyes!
On a side note... maybe obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander provides you with certain benefits (no pun intended)? Such as discretionary use of auxiliary craft, assuming feasibility and CO approval? I mean, there can't be that many LTCDRs on the station, and I would think it requires a serious amount of work to obtain that rank. Shouldn't there be some perks?
I feel like we see stuff like this elsewhere in Trek; the only one springing to mind is (then-Lieutenant) Worf taking the shuttle to the bat'leth tournament in TNG's "Parallels."
Still, I agree that it is a flimsy aspect of the story.
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