TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Rapture (***½)

    This episode contains a very, very subtle condemnation of the Cardassian justice system. See, when a crime is committed on Cardassia, the Cardassian police do a quick search before moving on to "interrogating" potential witnesses, and if those witnesses don't admit to seeing anything then they're charged with the crime and found guilty. But on Earth, we send in teams of attractive, wise-cracking detectives to thoroughly investigate crime scenes and uncover the most minute pieces of evidence imaginable. Then we make very accurate police-procedural shows based on the work of real detectives. That's how Sisko knew to look for the reflection of the obelisk in the waterfall, then pull the old zoom/flip/enhance trick, because he saw it on an episode of CSI: Tycho City. That's why the Cardassians failed to find B'hala during the occupation of Bajor, their cop shows just aren't up to our standard.

    This episode is something of a mixed bag. As a mythology episode it's pretty great, this is the strongest foreshadowing that DS9 has ever done and all of it matters. We get references to an upcoming war with the Dominion, a "swarm of locusts" heading to Cardassia, and a revelation that Bajor must stand alone to survive a coming calamity. All of this material comes to pass before the season ends, the locusts represent the Dominion, the conflict between the Federation and the Dominion will soon appear inevitable, and Bajor's independence allows them to survive the war unscathed. For DS9, this level of foreshadowing is damn impressive, and it's arguably the best use of the Prophet's non-linearity in the show, they manipulated events from a distance without taking control of anybody and shooting beams of light from their chest.

    As a standalone episode, there are a number of things "off" about the story. The episode begins with Sisko being P for Picarded, and suddenly he's having visions of the future. Compared to some other plots on Star Trek it's not so outlandish, especially considering Sisko is the Emissary, it just comes across as rather convenient. The Federation's decision to allow Bajor to join their exclusive club comes completely out of the blue. You can't just drop such a major plot-point into an episode like this, it has to be built up to in previous episodes and it just wasn't. Where's First Minister Shakaar during all this? One of the biggest moments in Bajoran history and their political leader is absent?

    It's a pretty good episode, it's an important episode, but there are too many issues with the plot for me to consider it a great one.
     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    That whole scene is rather odd. Let's see. The Bajorans aren't too bad; representing Bajor we have Kai Winn, a vedek wearing the orange robes, one of those purple-robed ranjens (given that it's an elderly male and Winn's in the room I like to think it's Solbor), two Bajorans in civilian outfits in the standard Bajoran earth-tones (ministers, I guess), a Bajoran aide who doesn't get a chair, and a Bajoran wearing a Betazoid outfit, which is odd since Bajoran clothing must be the single most common alien fashion line the wardrobe department has. No Militia officers, which makes sense - just civilian members of government (no doubt from the Chamber) and representatives from the clergy alongside them, which makes sense given Bajor's strongly theocratic culture.

    The Federation, though, has seemingly sent one token civilian (a human male in a suit that looks almost Trill only lacks an open "V" neck), his aide, and five starfleet admirals (including the Token Vulcan and Token Bolian). Did Leyton launch another coup?

    We can only assume that Shakaar is in another room at the time, meeting with actual members of the Federation government before they join the party....
     
  3. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Yeah, that scene is rather suspicious and casts some big doubts over just what Bajor and the Federation mean when they use the word democracy. But aside from that, it was a fun, pretty good episode. I liked it quite a lot, though the knowledge that its success allowed the writers to have the Prophets play a much larger role in the series, leading to some rather questionable developments later on does lower its standing a little in my eyes, much like The Assignment.
     
  4. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    What the...

    That TNG Recut thing demands to be watched in full. I will begin this immediately. That was glorious.
     
  5. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Oh yeah, TNG Recut is good times. :lol:
     
  6. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TNG Recut is excellent, the best thing is that it has continuity and story arcs that get more and more intricate (and insane) as it develops. That episode was part of an arc that started when Picard insulted Spot.
     
  7. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh boy, just what I need, another time-sink on the 'net.:rofl:

    Actually, I've recently been going back through your older review threads (because that's the sort of thing someone does when stuck at their computer listening to music, I guess) and noticed that this current one doesn't seem to quite 'pop' the way your other ones did. Granted, part of that's probably due to longer breaks, but there's a little more to it methinks:

    VOY Thread:
    GodBen constantly bickering with rabid VOY fans about his opinions. Entertainment for all!

    ENT Thread:
    GodBen occasionally bickering with reasonable ENT fans about his opinions. Amusement for all.

    B5 Thread:
    Niners bickering with each other in endless Spoiler Tags. Entertainment for all but GodBen.

    DS9 Threads:
    Reasonable discussions with all involved. But is it entertainment?


    So, here's something I can justifiably bicker about: you forgot Gul Evek for the Me Counter way back in The Maquis, Part 1. Well, okay, I guess he did technically first appear as an unnamed Cardassian in Playing God, but he was properly established as a character in TNG's Journey's End. That counts, right?:techman:
     
  8. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The uniforms changed in "Rapture" due to the film Star Trek: First Contact, which came out in theaters between the last episode and this one. In fact, the show had to change to the new uniforms so fast, that initially Ben Sisko's uniform doesn't fit quite right. You can really tell based on the placement of the combadge. But they will fix that by the next episode. And I really like this style of uniform, much more militaristic and dark, very in keeping with Star Trek: First Contact and DS9.

    I've always thought there was an unseen ambassador down on Bajor during the middle seasons of DS9. And it was that ambassador that had been busy to make Bajor now (seemingly suddenly) ready for admittance into the Federation. And it's really interesting that THAT (Bajor's admittance to the Federation) is the thing Sisko has to challenge as the Emissary. It really elevated Sisko as a character, that he would make these unilateral decisions even against Starfleet and Federation backing.

    What's interesting is that Sisko is choosing to follow the Prophets as their Emissary not only above his Starfleet and Federation considerations, but also above his own life and his own FAMILY. Sisko may be a great family man, but he also understands that some things are more important even than family.

    Some of Sisko's character flaws, if you can call them that, is his need for control and his propensity to take thing personal. He actually seems pretty drawn to the idea of being able to see the future, to know what's coming and how to control it. But he's also a good guy, because he's not just thinking of himself; he looks at how he can make it better for all.

    Still, I think Jake made the right decision to have Bashir do the surgery to stop the visions and save Ben's life. By that point Ben probably wasn't going to be able to make many more visions anyway before he died, and what good would that do? I think Ben was maybe too close to the issue. He does let things get too personal for him.

    Of course, we have to remember that this is not really Bashir doing this surgery. It's the undercover Founder who did detailed brain surgery on Ben Sisko, saving his life but also stopping his prophetic visions.

    Perhaps the changeling wanted to stop Sisko's visions of the impending Dominion fleet (locusts). In fact, he might have pushed Jake into it (at least off screen).

    It is remarkable, though, that a random undercover Founder would have the medical know-how to perform detailed brain surgery on a human. I guess they really know their enemy.
    And he decided to actually use that knowledge vice just letting Sisko die. Wonder what the motivation was there? Do the Dominion secretly like Sisko. Or at least want him to stay in charge of DS9 (versus a new Starfleet officer having to be sent out to replace a dead Sisko). The enemy you know, and all that. Heck, maybe the Dominion actually think they can control Sisko a little better than another Starfleet captain. He does seem to have more faults than your general Starfleet captain. In fact, the Dominion apparently thought they could eventually convince him to betray the Alpha Quadrant for personal reasons and motivations.

    Remember Weyoun in "To the Death" tried to offer Sisko power in exchange for the Alpha Quadrant. It seems that the Dominion's psychological profile showed that Sisko's principles could be overcame in the right situations. Well, I think that's certainly true. Just look at Sisko's actions just a few episodes down the road in "For the Uniform". I would say that Sisko violated good Starfleet principles in that episode. But what the Dominion got wrong is that it wasn't personal power that Sisko craves, or that motivates him to betray his principles. But he will "betray" them (or change them or go beyond them) if he feels he's been personally wronged or he feels the ends will justify the means.

    We can talk more about Sisko's actions in "For the Uniform" once this review gets there. But I will mention one aspect, since it relates to my thought above. Maybe the undercover Founder somehow caused Sisko's bad decision in that episode. Like maybe he gave Sisko bad info about the probable effects of the poison Sisko used and that made Sisko believe it was a good idea when it really wasn't. And maybe the Founder did try and get Sisko fired after his actions in that episode, just off screen. (This idea doesn't really work because the Founder probably would have revealed himself too much or gotten his "Bashir" self in trouble too. Plus, Bashir wasn't aboard the Defiant in that episode.)
     
  9. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I decided that the Gul in Playing God was probably Evek because it was the same actor in the same position around the same time. Sure, he was named on TNG, but he appeared on DS9 first. Besides, didn't Trials and Tribble-ations give you a big enough thrill when you saw all those numbers next to your name? :p

    Yeah, this thread isn't as good as the Voyager one. That thread was just a perfect storm, you had a bunch of Voyager haters and Voyager fans arguing over minutia such as Janeway fiddling with her commbadge. When a cold front and a warm front meet, interesting things happen. The problem with this thread is that pretty much everyone here agrees that DS9 was great, so when someone else writes their opinions the only thing I can think to say is "I agree". That's not to say that I'm not enjoying the thread, I just don't have as much to say. :shrug:

    I guess if I do another thread then it should be a show that I love to hate. The Big Bang Theory, perhaps... :devil:
     
  10. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah that could work I really like that show! Or used to anyway, this season hasn't really pulled me in.

    I would rate Rapture higher myself as I just love the mythology in it. 4.5 for me. So there! :p

    (Trying to start an argument for us but not doing very well.)
     
  11. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    4.5 seems reasonable. :)
     
  12. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Well, there may come some good discussions as the Prophets/Pagh Wraiths storyline and Dukat going mad happen, as well as Vic appearing.
     
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I remember the ENT thread being more reasonable than the VOY thread turned out. IIRC a lot of us in the ENT thread agreed with many of GodBen's criticisms, even though we still enjoy the show as a whole.

    This thread's been entirely too polite and well-behaved. :p
     
  14. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was going to come in and try and start something, but my sister's just had a baby today and I'm far too happy. :techman:

    I'm an uncle for the first time!
     
  15. defiantfan

    defiantfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Congratulations!!! Babies are awesome!:)
     
  16. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Gods, don't remind me. My sister is pregnant too and people keep on making rice jokes. :( I was literally told about it by being handed a packet of Uncle Ben's microwavable rice.

    Congratulations though. Not that you did anything. :vulcan:
     
  17. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, it did, even more so when it overtook every other DS9 counter. But I want to have it built ever larger, more grand than any other counter you've done.

    To be more bloodied than Archer Abuse.
    To be more vaporized than Captain Redshirt.
    To be more inexhaustible than VOY torpedoes.
    To be more Bakula than Scott Bakula!
     
  18. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :lol:

    Sorry I know you don't really want me laughing at your emotional torment but there you go! :p

    And to be fair I can totally understand it getting annoying.

    Thanks. Although I haven't dropped him yet, which is definitely something. ;)
     
  19. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    Damn, this is glorious. I'm up to 50 now. No plans to stop.

    ...

    Ever.
     
  20. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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