TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with your theory, I mean with Sisko living in the Celestial Temple, I bet the Prophets will have a whole bunch of stuff to teach him. He would probably only return with the Prophet's blessing or if they send him out on another Emissary mission...
     
  2. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Resurrection (**)

    When I said in the previous review that I'm glad this family of characters is back together again, what I meant is that I'm glad they're back together so they can work on kicking the Dominion's ass back to the Gamma Quadrant, not that I'm glad they're back together so that we can get a season 3 episode. Because that's what Resurrection should have been, a late season 3/early season 4 episode. An episode dealing with Kira's feelings of loss over Bareil doesn't work in season 6, and it especially doesn't work as the first non-arc episode of the season. Poor timing all around.

    I really liked Crossover, largely because of the Kira/μKira dynamic, as well as the fact that the episode had a fantastically eerie atmosphere. I was considerably less enthralled by Through the Looking Glass and Shattered Mirror because of their focus on comic-book action and not the more interesting consequences of travelling to a mirror universe. To Resurrection's credit, it actually does focus on the latter, μBareil's existential crisis from learning about the life of Vedek Bareil is something that I can easily imagining happening to a lot of us if we learned about our mirror selves, especially if they happened to be a better person than we are. The episode also finally brings Kira and μKira back together, although their interactions here are not nearly as interesting as those in Crossover were.

    The main problem with this episode is that it has no soul to it and the result is a very predicable episode. From the moment μBareil showed up, it was almost inevitable that he and Kira would end up in bed together, and it was pretty obvious from the moment that μKira showed up that μBareil would betray her because of his growing conscience. Nothing truly unexpected happened, it's a very by-the-numbers story about redemption that ends without any consequences and can be easily forgotten. After the excitement and the daring of the occupation arc, this comes across as an extremely safe episode. It's not a bad episode, but it's unbecoming of the new DS9.
     
  3. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They weren't playing safe, they simply ran out of ideas!
     
  4. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Resurrection is very boring, and I was a fan of Bareil. I agree that it might have worked better sooner after our Bareil died, but there are only so many ways to polish a turd.
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Resurrection is definatly one of the weaker MU stories.
     
  6. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah those episodes really had diminishing returns as the series went on. Emporer's New Cloak was terrible.
     
  7. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    I really liked Resurrection, and I thought it was one of the better MU episodes, placing and all. Crossover was the one I couldn't take and like the least. Just goes to show that opinions vary.
     
  8. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh...NO, the accepted opinion is that the First Mirror episode was the best, and they steadily got worse, each outing, you are not allowed to hold a nerd card, and have a different opinion ;) I think I do like Crossover best, but, I don't go in "proper" order for the rest of them :guffaw:

    Yea, I posted the other day, that my friend who loves TOS, would be savaged on that Forum, because he has the "Wrong opinion" on a lot of episodes. Hates fan Favorites, and loves some of the bashed episodes the best.
     
  9. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Well, at least I wasn't looking to be given a nerd card. I'll just march to the beat of my own drum, and if it's sometimes in sync with the majority of fans and sometimes not, then that's fine with me. :)

    I think my favorite MU episode was the one where Jake's "mother" dies to save him.
     
  10. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I consider "Crossover" the best of the DS9 MU episodes, but consider "Looking Glass" and "Shattered Mirror" quite good as well.

    After that things get a bit dicey.
     
  11. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd put Through the Looking Glass lower than other people, but otherwise I go along with the consensus. That's my strategy, I rock the boat just a little bit, but agree with everyone most of the time so that people like me. :p


    Statistical Probabilities (***½)

    A large part of whether or not you're going to enjoy this episode comes down to whether you like the Jack Pack or find them insufferable. Personally, I like them. They're something different, they're pretty much insane and unable to operate in the real world (or what passes for the real world in Star Trek) but they're still clearly people with wants and needs. I can relate to them because, when they are combined, they make up a perfect nerd. Jack represents a nerd's megalomania and resentment towards the world for not accepting nerds, Sarina represents the quiet, non-social side of nerds, Patrick represents nerds' stunted maturity, and Lauren represents the fact that nerds are sex-starved. Yes, there's a little Jack Pack in all of us. Or possibly just me. :alienblush:

    My main issue with the episode is that Bashir loses touch with reality so quickly that it doesn't translate well in the episode. I think the idea is sound, Bashir has always been an arrogant character so the fact that spending so much time around around genetically engineered super-geniuses causes him to become obsessed with the correctness of their statistical analyses makes sense for him. The problem is that we don't see enough of Bashir with the Jack Pack to fully understand how Bashir has become so engrossed in their work that he can no longer see the wood from the trees. We hear him discussing it with O'Brien, but that's not the same. The result is that when Bashir starts to passionately argue that the Federation must surrender it doesn't feel natural. The concept is good, the execution just needed to be better.

    A plus for this episode is that it returns to the Dominion situation and reveals that Damar is the new leader of Cardassia, although on far less even terms than those Dukat had. The episode kinda sets the course for the rest of the war; it indicates that the Dominion are currently in the dominant position, that the Romulans will enter the war on the side of the Federation, and that the Cardassians will eventually revolt against Dominion rule. It's interesting that the writers laid out the broad strokes of the war in this episode for us all to see, but they still had those events play out in unexpected and exciting ways.
     
  12. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    In hindsight, it also helps make the Jack Pack more convincing. While they were wrong on the "having to surrender" front, the fact that their predictions regarding the war are generally accurate helps, on second viewing, convince me that they must have been genuinely good at what they do. So I'm more able to buy the idea that Bashir accepts their recommendation, now that I know they're generally on the right track.

    Oh, and I like the Jack Pack, too. I'm glad they returned in season 7.
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And to add to that, future events also reinforce the message of this episode which is that individuals can affect the future. The Romulans did enter the war as was predicted, but they did so sooner than expected because of the actions of Sisko and Garak, thus striking before too much damage was done to Starfleet. The Cardassians did rebel, but they didn't predict that the instigator that rebellion would be the leader of Cardassia who would have important strategic knowledge and connections.


    The Magnificent Ferengi (****)

    This is my favourite Ferengi comedy episode, which isn't all that difficult an accomplishment if I'm being honest, but it's still a pretty damn good episode. My usual complaint about Ferengi comedies is that they rely too much on the same tired old jokes about greed and mysogyny, and why The Magnificent Ferengi works for me is that it doesn't rely on those jokes too much. This episode is about a group of Ferengi that are genuinely trying to do something heroic, the jokes are more about how they're not good at a new thing rather than how they obsess over their usual stuff.

    The story is kinda dumb, but that's forgiveable in a comic episode like this. Why the Ferengi would kidnap Ishka is a question that can never truly be answered to anyone's satisfaction in-universe, so we just have to go with the real-world answer which is that Wallace Shawn wasn't available. Honestly, I think that works a little better, I have my gripes about Ishka but I'd rather see her bashing Nog over the head than Zek. Iggy Vorta is also a terrible negotiator and conceded way too much to Quark, thus allowing the Ferengi to out-smart him, but I suppose it's possible that he underestimated what Ferengi are capable of. And I've got to give Iggy props for wearing a shirt, that fact alone is worth a star.

    One other issue is that a large part of Quark's motivation in this episode is his desire to be a hero, but he already got to be a hero in Sacrifice of Angels, and those heroics were actually mentioned i this episode, so I don't know why he feels a need to prove himself when he already has. Rom too, he risked his life twice during the occupation and was nearly executed for it. But those are minor issues, and you're not supposed to take this episode too seriously.
     
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Waltz (****)

    Waltz is yet another controversial episode. Many hate it because it strips away the fascinating shades of grey from Dukat's character and leaves him as a stereotypical villain. That's a view I'm somewhat sympathetic to. Others love the episode because it's a well-written psychological piece about a man's descent into madness. I'm also sympathetic to that view.

    I don't believe in the concept of pure evil, even the worst human in history has committed some small act of good at some point. But I do believe in approximate evil, at some point a person can do so many bad things that they can be considered a bad, even evil, person. I consider Dukat to be such a person, he does have some positive aspects to his personality, yet he is driven largely by his own ego and not enough by his conscience. This episode doesn't present anything new to make Dukat seem evil, it just puts together all the pieces already on the table and allows Dukat to see what he really is. The episode goes a bit overboard towards the end with Dukat's insane ranting and Sisko's denouncement that Dukat is "truly evil", but if someone had just beaten me with a pipe I would probably say the same thing.

    Another minor issue with the episode is that the set-up is rather unbelievable, Dukat and Sisko being on the same ship, travelling on its own near the Cardassian border, then they escape together to a habitable planet as two of only a handful of survivors? It's a bit outlandish. I'm willing to accept because it leads to some great interactions between the two characters, but in the early scenes it's difficult to get past just how convenient the situation is. Also, the b-story on the Defiant added nothing but a distraction, we didn't need a ticking clock to add suspense to the episode, there was plenty of drama going on in the cave set.
     
  15. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Oh my god. I work a couple of late shifts, go to a halloween party, and then suddenly there are three reviews? How long was I asleep for last night? :wtf:

    I really like Statistical Probablities and The Magnificent Ferengi, but I really, really love Waltz. It did pretty much destroy the interesting balance Dukat had before this, but I can't blame this particular episode for that. Sure the setup was somewhat (okay, ridiculously) coincidental, but luckily that just gets Sisko and Dukat to the meat of the story. It's brilliantly portrayed too.
     
  16. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The points made here really elevate the episode in my view.

    Also, Sisko gets to be awesome in it :)

    It's true that Bashir seems to go "all in" on the idea of the Federation's surrender very quickly. But, on the other hand, he has compelling arguments.

    It's not an episode that really comes to mind when I think of my favorite DS9 episodes, but I find that it holds up really well when I rewatch it.
     
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry for the unintentional break. I stayed up until 7am a few weeks back to watch the election in the US and that upset my sleep-cycle. Since I watch DS9 late at night, I was usually too tired to watch it and therefore had no impetus to get back to reviewing.


    Who Mourns for Morn? (***)

    I'm a bit reluctant about episodes like this, writing an entire episode about a one-joke character is a pit-fall that a lot of shows fall into when they reach their later seasons. This episode mostly works, but at the expense of completely overextending the Morn joke. He was just an ordinary guy living an ordinary life in exceptional circumstances, and his main joy in life was hanging out at the bar with his friends. And he did all that without ever saying a word. But now he's a daring thief with brilliant schemes who dates beautiful women and is an expert bat'leth fighter, and now he's rich too. To enjoy the Morn joke, you kinda have to pretend this episode doesn't exist.

    The episode itself was reasonably enjoyable, but fairly predicable all the same. It's one of those fluff episodes that you can enjoy if you're willing to turn off your brain, and I guess I was in the mood to do that the other night. That being said, this is the second Quark-centric comedy episode in the last three episodes, which is poor episode placement while there's a war going on. Not every episode of DS9 from this point on should be about the war, but episodes like this should be spaced out a little more.
     
  18. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah that bugged me in season six. Gradually, the further we got from the opening arc, the more random things became. Episodes can still be enjoyed individually, but the season's structure is made wobbly by doing things like Who Mourns For Morn. It kind of continues into season seven too.

    I still enjoy the episode though.
     
  19. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the problem is that if they focused too much on the war episodes (without some interesting twists or turns, character deaths or truly ballsy plots) those too would have become a bit... myah. Here's a list of what DS9 main characters got up to as the war was 'raging' all around them:

    1. O'Brien and Bashir played darts and went galavanting around the holosuites.
    2. The senior staff couldn't get enough off Vic Fontaine.
    3. Sisko encourages his colleagues to take up baseball to beat his Vulcan adversary.
    4. They pull of an imaginary heist to help an imaginary friend.
    5. Quark undergoes a sex change.
    6. Bashir dates a genetically engineered woman.

    There's probably more fluff, but I'd reckon about 33 of the 52 episodes of seasons 6 and 7 combined were of the meaty sort; action-orientated, dark, and thoroughly non-fluffy. So that's a lot of light-hearted episodes in a time period where the Alpha Quadrant was undergoing the worst war in centuries.

    Plus DS9 was virtually right next to the Cardassian border. Why didn't the Dominion carry out an offensive (even if it were a futile one) to retake lost territory and work out a way of safely going through the wormhole (freeing the Pah Wraiths for instance?).

    There should have been at least a three-part story arc where the Dominion lays siege to DS9 and Bajor, and DS9 gets totally trashed in the process ala VOY 'Year of Hell' style (without the temporal reboot and all is well again). Plus a main character died to; say O'Brien or something. That would have been really awesome plot wise!
     
  20. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That sort of happened. Tears Of The Prophets through Shadows & Symbols was a 3-episode arc, plus a main character died. There was even a siege, though it was the Alliance doing it on the Chin'toka System.