TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Aww, I used to think that was such a badass scene, but now whenever I see it I'll be thinking about the tragic death of O'Brien's tamagotchi. :(


    Change of Heart (***½)

    When DS9 first aired over here, I already had it spoiled for me that Jadzia was going to die in the sixth season, but I didn't know how. So as I was watching this episode I genuinely thought that this was it, this was the episode where she was going to die, so when the episode ended semi-safely and Jadzia lived it felt like a major cop-out. My appreciation for the episode grew when I rewatched it on DVD, but I still feel that this would have been a better way to kill off Jadzia than red-eye Dukat randomly shooting her with his magical fire-beam. Even Terry Farrell felt this would have been the perfect way to exit the show. What's more, killing Jadzia now would have allowed them to introduce Ezri earlier and prevented her from dominating the first half of season 7.

    This is easily the best episode about the Jadzia/Worf relationship, and it has some good banter between them. I'm not such a big fan of Worf's speech at the end though, he attempts to explain a very standard, very understandable decision in a Klingon way, because people in the audience may not have realised over the last 11 years that he's a Klingon. "The Klingon heart beats because it's forged with blood and stuff." It's just love, Worf, stop try to put a macho spin on it. :luvlove:

    This episode also has half a b-story because Ron Moore didn't want to mix inconsequential fluff with a heavy a-story. He probably should have just dropped the b-story together, but I suppose there's only so much you can write about two characters trekking through the Star Trek jungle set. I'm not a fan of Bashir and Quark being in love with Jadzia as well, I don't know what the point of that was. Frankly, Bashir's obsession for Jadzia in the first season seemed to be driven primarily by his penis and not an emotional attachment to her (not to mention how creepy he was), so bringing that back and claiming that he was in love with her all along doesn't work. As for Quark, his attraction to Jadzia was always played as a joke, and he was intentionally creepy. That wasn't love, that was desire for oo-mox.
     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    It could be worse. My tamagotchi was lost when I dropped it down the toilet. :(
     
  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Also, it would have made the war arc even more engaging, if one of the major characters died mid-season on a mission. Puncturing the bubble of safety around main characters is always a good way to up the stakes. :)

    One of the problems I have with the way Jadzia dies is that while it wins points from me for acknowledging the often casual brutality of death, it just feels rather contrived. That sense of contrivance doesn't sit easily with the admirable decision to have her death be sudden and pointless, and that weakens the impact. "One day, you too might be visiting a temple when your best friend's arch-nemesis suddenly appears, possessed by the devil, and randomly kills you because you were in the way" just doesn't have any real emotional power. It can't offer much implicit commentary on death and risk and loss because it's too fantastical. "If you're in a dangerous profession you might not come back from a mission" has a genuine punch that is relatable and so would have added gravitas to Jadzia's death without detracting from the sense of shock or waste.
     
  4. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My personal suggestion regarding Jadzia's death was that the Dominion should have invaded Trill instead of Betazed, that that's what would have driven Sisko to bring the Romulans into the war, and that the season ending arc would have been Starfleet's attempts to free Trill. That would have brought the Trill into the core story of the series in a way they never were, and given Jadzia an excellent opportunity to die in battle. The ultimate direction of the series would have barely been changed at all, but Dax's role in the whole thing would have been greatly improved.

    .
     
  5. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Problem is Trill is so underdeveloped (plotwise) as a planet that it would have no real significance and the only point of interest would be Jadzia's reaction to all this. But if she died in battle that would have messed up how Worf's character developed in season 7, and how Worf and Ezri interacted.

    Besides by season 6 Jadzia sort of faded into the background so when they bumped her off it kind of paid dividends for the rest of the main characters, and gave the first several episodes of season 7 something meaty to portray.
     
  6. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Exactly my point. Doing that would have given Trill the significance it never otherwise had, and as a planet it's certainly tied a lot closer to the characters of this show than Betazed ever was.

    .
     
  7. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    Totally agree. Heck, they could have even moved the episode later in the season like right after "Time's Orphan" and added some planning for baby discussions. It also would have made for a nice sub plot of Worf dealing with the fact that her death was his fault, which could have also added an extra layer of tension between him and Ezri.
     
  8. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, you present a great point. While I agree that it is a weak point, I don't think it's as weak as you present. I had a good friend for four years, a while back. Life took us our separate ways and we haven't seen each other in person since. We've kept in touch sporadically over the years. Many people close to me nowadays haven't heard much, if anything, about this old friend.

    Compared to many other things, this old friend isn't of huge emotional significance. But, in absolute terms, he is of huge significance. (It's just that, in absolute terms, the people who are present in my life today are of yet larger significance.) So if I found out that this friend had died in a war, it would have a profound effect on me. I could see the same thing happening to Sisko.

    So, personally, all I need is Sisko's word that Swafford's death is affecting for him. But I certainly agree that it's a weakness in the storytelling of the episode, and that it's always better to show than tell.

    This. Very well put. This is one of my go-to episodes when I want to have a good DS9 on while I'm doing something else (but not good enough that I'll be totally distracted by it).

    Jadzia dying for real in this episode is an interesting idea, but we'd lose a really great character development moment for Worf. Compare his attitude in TNG's "Homeward"; duty this, duty that. And here, he's finally grown beyond that. This is really a pivotal moment for Worf, and removing it would mean that his reaction to Jadzia's eventual death would not be as meaningful. Going back to stoic-Worf after being willing-to-forsake-duty-Worf is more interesting than going back to stoic-Worf after being not-quite-willing-to-forsake-duty-Worf, which is less interesting and less compelling.
     
  9. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But would there be enough time to retrieve the Dax symbiont before it then snuffed it if Worf had left Jadzia to die?
     
  10. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh, they could have stretched out a dramatic death that would allow Jadzia to die on DS9 rather than him simply finding her dead. Worf gets her back to the shuttle, gets her in stasis on the runabout and then back to DS9 but alas it is all for naught, the Good Doctor can't save Jadzia, only the Dax symbiont. That last scene between Worf and Jadzia becomes their goodbye scene. Then we get to watch Worf slowly lose his mind knowing her death was his fault.
     
  11. callea

    callea Ensign Red Shirt

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    I agree it would have probably worked better to have Jadzia die here and introduce Ezri mid-season instead of the first half of season 7.

    I've never found Worf interesting, especially on DS9. The only times I don't want to fast forward through his scenes are when Bashir and O'Brien were also involved. I found his issues with Jadzia's death pretty boring, but if he had to deal with it being his fault, that might have been less of a snooze fest for me.

    Taking your idea a step further... what if Worf made the same choice he did -- Jadzia over duty -- but by the time he brought her back to DS9, it was too late and only the symbiont could be saved. (Which would probably require her to have a different type of injury -- one that couldn't be treated with the medical equipment on the runabout.)

    What if both Jadzia and the guy they were supposed to save died?

    You still get Worf choosing to forsake duty. But he has more to deal with than just Jadzia's death. He has the lose-lose situation where his sacrifice of duty was unrewarded and he has guilt over not protecting Jadzia. And the Dax symbiont survives.

    Or is that too dark?
     
  12. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    That's pretty dark but it would have been good. Better than her death by Dukat anyway. Actually I think anything would have been better than what we did get. Perhaps she could have gone to spend her life with that guy from Meridian?

    I really like Change of Heart, but got to agree with the consensus that says it would have been better for Jadzia to die at this point, rather than her ultimate, less interesting fate.
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Drowning is a terrible way to go. :(

    Agreed. Randomly dying in a car crash is tragic and says something about the frailty of life. Randomly dying to a demonically-possessed madman is just weird and doesn't say anything.

    That's an excellent idea. The Trill are an extremely generic species that are very hard to care about even though two main cast members are Trill. Making Trill a focal point of the war, and witnessing Dax's response to that, would have given them more character and added weight to previous episodes that focused on the Trill.

    Too risky, the mere mention of the name of that planet would have driven a substantial portion of the audience to suicide. And that would have been bad for season 7's ratings.


    Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night (*½)

    I don't like retcons, but if they add something worthwhile to the show, if they explain some previous uncertainty, or if they introduce something which is built upon meaningfully later, I can be at peace with them. Sadly, the revelation that Kira's mother was shacked up with Dukat several decades ago doesn't do any of these things, and I actually feel it hurts the show overall. The Kira/Dukat dynamic was perfect the way it was, and it felt as real as a relationship between a former alien terrorist and a former alien dictator could feel. It was complex, it was layered, it was multi-faceted, and a whole bunch of other clichés. But this episode tried to add more complexity to their relationship that it really didn't need, and the end-result actually made things simpler and less interesting. It's like a Jenga tower that has grown into a wonderfully chaotic shape, but then someone has the bright idea of putting a cement brick on top of it and in the aftermath all you're left with is the bottom layers of the tower and the brick.

    I hope at least someone out there understands what that metaphor is supposed to mean. :confused:

    Then there's the time-travel aspect of the story. Oh boy. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't like the casual use of time-travel, and this is about as casual as things get. Kira wants to know whether her mother was romantically involved with Dukat, so rather than continue her investigation in the present by checking the records or interviewing Bajorans that worked on the station at that time, SHE TRAVELS BACK IN TIME! She decides to do one of the most reckless things a person can do, to mess around with causality itself, and not only does Sisko consider this a reasonable request, the Gods do too. I'm beginning to sympathise with the Dominion, they wouldn't stand for this kind of shit.

    The episode isn't all bad, any chance to see Terok Nor again is welcome, although it's not nearly as visually interesting this time because it's too bright. When we saw Terok Nor in previous episodes it was moody and dark, but in this episode the station seems to be even brighter than it is when the Federation is in charge, which makes no sense considering the Cardassians don't like things too bright. Another plus for the episode is that Nana Visitor has gotten to be really good at playing a tormented soul dealing with morally complex issues, and she almost makes the episode work. Almost.
     
  14. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, at this point in the show, they have a lot of faith in just letting Visitor carry a bottle episode where she's tormented by her past in some way. It's never a bad idea, but this isn't one of their more successful attempts.

    I'm willing to accept the time travel portion as basically a sort of "vision," so the "tampering with the timestream" complaint doesn't really bother me. And meeting Kira's mother is interesting, after meeting her father in Ties of Blood and Water (?), I think it was.

    Having said that, I agree that Terok Nor doesn't have the right atmosphere this time around. Doesn't feel distinct at all.

    I will say this in the episode's favor: even when they aren't great individual episodes, these stories that probe Kira's past and force her to deal with all manner of pain and agony really add up over time and contribute to her being such a complete character by the end of the show.
     
  15. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Eep, I thought the episode was more average than one and a half territory. I agree that Dukat sleeping with Kira's mother is one of those coincidences that seems to do more harm than good though, as it's quite unbelievable that she wouldn't already know.

    Nana Visitor is really good though, which tends to go without saying.
     
  16. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Did they already know that Terry Farrell would be leaving the show?

    If so, I suppose they wanted to establish how much Jadzia meant to everyone prior to her death. It ends up playing a role in the two-parter that opens season 7.

    I would probably have rated it a little higher, for what it's worth. Probably two or two-and-a-half stars.

    My feelings about the episode waver a bit depending on how much I'm annoyed by the implausibility of Dukat's involvement. But, in reality, except for Visitor doing a really good job, and Kira being a really deep character at this point, the episode doesn't really have much going for it.

    I can't recall if there's some explanation for the ambiance of Terok Nor not being depicted in the previous "Noir" style, but I find that aspect of the episode wierd and a little off-putting.
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently so. Memory Alpha quotes Farrell on a DVD feature claiming that she requested to be killed off in "Change of Heart" if the writers were intent on killing her character, since contract negotiations had already collapsed.
     
  18. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    I would've rated it a lot higher myself, probably 3 stars. As for why Terok Nor looks less dark, well, both previous episodes we were there were actually memories, this is the first time we've actually been there. Maybe the moral darkness of the place imposed itself on Odo's memories, making him remember the place physically darker than it really was?
     
  19. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    That's a shame. Just a waste of a good chance that was presented to them. I loved how Tears Of The Prophets ended, but Jadzia's death was pathetically done.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It is a low score, but I have a great deal of trouble getting past the way this episode undermines one of the best character dynamics on the show. Dukat's desire to get romantically involved with Kira was about ego, self-delusion, and a desire to be loved by the person that hated him most. Now Dukat just seems like a creep that wanted to get with the daughter of his former lover. It also interferes with Dukat's relationship with Tora Naprem.

    If Kira's mother had hooked up with some Cardassian other than Dukat, perhaps the Prefect that ruled Bajor before him, I would be more forgiving about the episode's other problems.

    That's the way I tried to see the episode when it first aired, and that would certainly make the most sense. But considering the way the Orb of Time worked in Trials and Tribble-ations, and the fact that Kira got the old "Don't interfere with the timeline" speech at the beginning of the episode, it seems like she really did go back in time.

    Here's a thing I just realised, Kira claimed at the beginning of the episode that you can only use the Orb of Time if the Prophets consider your quest worthy. Does that mean that the Prophets approved of Darvin's plan to kill Kirk?
     

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