TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. callea

    callea Ensign Red Shirt

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    I haven't watched DS9 since it originally aired. A lot of the plots I don't fully remember, because it was so long ago. And I missed more than a few episodes, because I used to live in the middle of nowhere where TV reception sucked.

    So I wasn't sure if I had already seen In The Pale Moonlight until Sisko gave the Romulan the data rod and said "All I could do was wait." Then "It's a faaaaaake." popped into my head.

    I didn't remember a single thing about the episode but that line.

    Toward the beginning of the ep, I was worried the big moral dilema was going to be that the data rod ruse worked, which would have been really lame. Yeah, it's wrong to lie, but that kind of thing wouldn't be worth all the gravity Sisko was bringing to the situation.

    I was impressed at the end that the dilema turned out to more than weighty enough to warrant Sisko's guilt dump.
     
  2. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My father, who never warmed up to DS9 much, happened to watch this episode recently, as it was included in the Captain's Collection. He was so impressed by it that he actually 'fanboy gushed' to me about it! :beer:
     
  3. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You got me with the "fake" review, I'll confess! :p

    I was fully ready to tell you how full of it you were, until I just felt silly once I read a bit more!
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I had completely forgotten about The Coming of Shadows review and had to reread it to figure out what you were talking about. I probably shouldn't laugh at my own jokes as much as I did rereading that. :alienblush:

    I think my favourite fake review was the time I gave Voyager's Survival Instinct six stars purely because it was written by Ron Moore.

    That's something I considered, but it didn't bother me too much because the inquisition into Bashir by "Starfleet" was still real and led up to a killer revelation. If it had been revealed to have been a ploy by the Dominion instead then it wouldn't have held up nearly as well.


    His Way (*½)

    Okay, I have a lot of respect for Ira Behr, but reading that quote on MA left me with the feeling that he doesn't quite get the complaints against this episode. Structurally, the episode is fine, it's a good romantic-comedy that's well-made and you're not going to see me complain about that stuff. There's two main problems. Firstly, the Odo/Kira relationship doesn't lend itself well to the romantic-comedy genre, and having the two characters hook up in such a story is an unsatisfying climax to that arc. It worked well for Worf and Jadzia because that's the sort of characters they are. Kira and Odo are different, overwrought melodrama suits them better for whatever reason.

    The second problem is that the episode is overindulgent. 60s lounge singers aren't my thing, they're well before my time. I have nothing against that sort of music, it's just that it's niche genre to my generation. Frankly, just like I don't want to sit through an episode of Star Trek focusing on speed metal, I don't want to sit through an episode of Star Trek focusing on 60s lounge singers. One musical number? I'm okay with that. Two musical numbers? I start checking my watch. This episode has four musical numbers, and that's entirely too much for me. If you're a fan of 60s lounge singers, this episode was meant for you, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. But this episode wasn't written to suit my tastes.

    So a being that doesn't need to breath advises another being that doesn't need to breath that the key to relaxing is simulating an unnatural process for both of them. Okay.

    I'm pretty sure it's illegal to use someone's image without consent for use in a dating sim. And if it's not, it should be. :vulcan:

    Why is Kira meditating in a holosuite? We've seen her meditate in her quarters and in the temple, but never before in the holosuite. Does she not realise that a half-hour ago there was a Benzite in that same room getting a blow-job from a holographic Vulcan princess? I can hardly imagine a less appropriate place to meditate.

    Odo, you're a policeman with a hard-on for justice, surely you know how wrong it is to secretly date a hologram of your best friend.

    Form of... a penguin suit: 32
     
  5. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, Chimera is the Kira/Odo romance episode that really works, and it works on a completely different level. I'm not sure it's "melodrama" exactly, but the identity crisis and existential issues are taken seriously.

    I think it's because as a *couple* from the standard perspective, Kira/Odo doesn't work at all and makes no sense, but if you make it about something deeper, like the two characters' changing identity, then it really works and can become almost profound at times. For Odo, it's about being loved for who he really is (which His Way runs away from, but Chimera doesn't), and for Kira it's about accepting and loving that which is most alien (when originally she was a bit close-minded and even xenophobic).

    The writers really had to go in that direction to justify the decision to finally get these two together and, thankfully, that does happen in season 7.

    As for His Way, there's an idea in this episode that isn't bad at all, and that's Odo trying to "shapeshift" in a different way than usual, i.e. become something he's not. Some of the scenes where Odo is talking to the real Kira without realizing it are actually pretty effective, I think. Kind of painful to watch. Anyway, the whole tactic doesn't really work, but it's still the catalyst for the two of them getting together.

    On the one hand, I can actually see why Ira Behr likes the episode: it's different from what Trek usually does, and I think it does work, if you like this sort of thing. For the most part, I don't.

    I agree with the over-indulgent complaint. Late DS9 has some problems with that overall.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  6. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm likely to have tomatoes thrown at me for saying this, but I'd argue His Way is just as daring of an episode as the one that preceded it in challenging Trek conventions. Only... the other way.

    They really should not have been back-to-back tho'.
     
  7. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    His Way, I just can't make myself rewatch that often. I have nothing against the Vic character, in fact he adds a fun bit of flavor to DS9, and Darren can sing pretty good, but sitting through half the episode of him singing is just boring in my opinion. I'm glad they restrained him to single pieces for the most part in future episodes. I just found myself waiting for a small morsel of the main course after an episode full of fluff.

    It's good that Odo and Kira finally got together though. After six seasons of Odo angst. :p
     
  8. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think that's probably true in a sense. Just not in a way that I enjoy as much.

    But... I can see what Behr means when he says the episode is a bit under-appreciated. Still, I think the over-indulgent complaint really has weight. It's just too much of an overdose on something that I guess he or some other people who work on the show really like (the whole Vegas lounge singer thing), and not enough thought about what the audience's tastes might be.

    I just... don't like that whole vibe all that much. I don't really like Vic, or think he's cool. But it's basically assumed that it's all 100% awesome and I should like it.
     
  9. callea

    callea Ensign Red Shirt

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    On occasion, I've listened to that genre of music. I was given tickets once to a concert for a big band singer. Basically an hour and a half performance similar to Vic Fontaine's. I really enjoyed it.

    But that's what I went to the concert expecting to see. I don't tune into any TV show, much less a scifi show, to see the performances of a lounge singer. I completely agree with you. It was too much.

    Watching the episodes back to back, even the single numbers in the future episodes start to wear thin. I don't dislike the Vic character, but I can't bring myself to LIKE him. I enjoyed him in the second half of Nog's rehabilitation episode and would have liked him in Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang if that had been a season 1-3 episode. James Darren has a great voice and is a good actor. But Vic seems a bit too much like a Marty Stu to me. He was introduced out of nowhere, immediately everybody adores him, and he almost always knows better than the rest of the established characters. I think the character Vic detracted more than he brought to the show.

    About the romcom aspect of the story. As a female, I've seen plenty of romcoms. This was bottom of the barrel. The majority of it felt either contrived or slightly creepy. Which is a shame, because the few good romantic comedy movies have a bit of angst and provide enough history between the characters to to make the plot feel genuine. Kira and Odo have enough history and depth to their relationship that it shouldn't have felt corny and didn't need a matchmaker we've never seen or heard of before to come solve all their relationship woes.
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree, there's an opportunity with Kira and Odo to explore something deeper about love in general because of what Odo is. How does a being like Odo, a being so different than the humanoid races, a being with no understanding of gender, sexuality or reproduction, why does he experience love? I'm not saying that love is purely about those things, but they are a major component and quite possibly the origins of those emotions. What does Odo get out of being with Kira? Why her and not somebody else?

    I guess what I'm asking is this: What is love? Baby, don't hurt me. Don't hurt me, no more.

    But seriously, I think Kira would like an answer to those questions before hooking up with Odo and not after. I think she would have been more impressed by Odo answering those questions in a meaningful way than by learning he can sing and dance.


    I agree completely. Everyone acts like Vic is the coolest cat in town, but the problem is that nobody says things like "cool cat" any more unless they're being ironic. Admittedly, nobody is going to mistake me with the arbiter of coolness, I do watch Star Trek after all. But Vic is just a guy that's literally stuck in the past and, from my perspective, most of the things he says are cringe-worthy, not cool. But that's largely a generational thing that can't be helped.
     
  11. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, I think Chimera really makes this episode look better in retrospect, because the implication there is: Kira and Odo have been doing what the writers had previously been doing, i.e. basically dodging the issue, playing the role of a normal couple when they really aren't, etc. Never really addressing the *reason* they are together, how different they are beneath the surface, what the relationship means to them.

    It does make sense, I guess, that Kira would want to know these things prior to starting a relationship, but that doesn't really bother me because that happens all the time: you get involved with someone, and you don't really deal with the difficult stuff until much later.

    So, His Way is like the bad, but understandable reflex that Odo would have to pretend he's something he isn't, in order to attract Kira, and Chimera is about Odo finally not needing to pretend anymore.
     
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's certainly an interesting way of looking at things. It still doesn't improve His Way much, though.


    The Reckoning (**)

    Who are the Pah-wraiths? Over six years we've slowly learned about the Prophets and what they represent, and they appear to be a relatively neutral force that have some sort of connection to Bajor and kinda care about it in their own way, but they're not exactly a force for good. So who are the Pah-wraiths? All we really know is that they were banished from the Celestial Temple for some reason and want to return. We're never told why, we're never told whether it's a philosophical difference or some other such thing, we're never told why they want to return to the Celestial Temple, nor why it's so important to keep them out. There's an awful lot of ambiguity here and plenty of interesting angles that could be explored. Reducing this conflict to a battle between good an evil was certainly not the direction that they should have gone down.

    The Reckoning will always be remembered as the episode that brought the conflict between these two entities to the fore, and many people will write it off completely for that reason. That's perfectly understandable, but the truth is that it's not all bad. The first half of the episode is decent enough and contains plenty of nods to past continuity that rewards long-time viewers, and the promise of a follow-up to the ending of Sacrifice of Angels is appealing. The episode also has a peculiar tone in that it feels like a season 2 episode and not a season 6 episode. There's Bajoran politics, weird shit happening, the wormhole is going all wibbly, and the station ends up being evacuated. These things all make me feel nostalgic for season 2 for whatever reason, and I consider that a plus for this episode.

    But then Sisko breaks a stone tablet and a Prophet and Pah-wraith escape. Why did Sisko need to break the tablet, why were they incapable of escaping themselves? Nobody has a damn clue, it's just something that the writers chose to do for some reason. Then Kira and Jake get possessed and fire beams of magical light at one another. Why did the Prophets and Pah-wraits need to possess organic beings to fire beams of light at one another? Nobody has a damn clue, it's just something that the writers chose to do for some reason. It's certainly not an ability I possess, I can tell you that much. Then Kai Winn goes rogue and decides to stop the Reckoning from happening. Why does she decide to stop the Reckoning? Nobody has a damn clue, it's just yet another thing that the writers chose to do for some reason.

    In summary, in this episode some important stuff happens, but it's all so random and simplistic that it lacks meaning and looks incredibly silly.

    Wormhole in Peril: 8
     
  13. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    His Way is one of those episodes were either the fans love it or hate it. By definition it shouldn't work: it's a hologram/holosuite episode, it has a lot of singing, it places Odo in uncharted territory and lastly a holo-Kira sings Fever which still makes me cringe. It is totally overindulgent and perhaps more so if Nana Visitor had got her way and some kind of dance/ballet scene was introduced.

    But for me it all works. At least Vic is an interesting holosuite character and the music is decent, the episode is zainy and some of the humour is really good. Towards the end I feel its becomes rather engaging and tense as first we have Odo's and Kira's disastrous date, then that final confrontation at the end.

    The last scene will either having you raising your fist in the air in triumph or merely make you shrug your shoulders wondering where the last 45 minutes of your life have gone to.

    It always brings a smile to my face seeing Odo and Kira kiss and it's probably ones of DS9's most endearing feel-good episodes. So I can see why Ira Behr enthuses about it so much, I do agree that this episode is a 'triumph' of sorts in how finally Odo sheds his doubts and nerves, sees the light so to speak, and gets it off with Kira (and starting my favourite pairing). But I think it's only Chimera which really starts to define this relationship and pushes beyond a mere pairing for the plot's sake.

    Talking about self-indulgence, Trek episodes and anything arty which is self-indulgent either tends to be great or shunned by critics and fans. A case in point is the progressive rock band Yes and their 1973 album Tales From Topographic Oceans. It has literally cleft Yes' fan base in two over that album, I personally love the album for Yes go over the edge so to speak;). So I guess self-indulgence sometimes pays off plus some brilliant ideas come of it...

    Finally you cannot begin to imagine my dread when my family first saw this episode. For weeks I did not see how I could survive the potential embarrassment for it was an episode which contained everything that my family (in particular my dad) don't like about Star Trek: singing, fluff and lovey-dovey stuff. I even went to the lengths of warning them beforehand but it still didn't make it any easier viewing. When it came to holo-Kira singing Fever I have never felt so embarrassed in my life. Thank God I watched that episode beforehand so I knew what was coming.

    Thankfully though my family liked it so my predictions of eternal shame turned out to be false...
     
  14. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I preferred it when Yes went Close To The Edge.:o

    :bolian:
     
  15. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or better yet when they were Going For The One!

    Awaken!!! = Close to the Edge perfected!
     
  16. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, not much. Maybe a little, from the perspective of Odo's character arc overall, though.

    I think this one can be answered: it's because she is jealous that Kira was chosen by the Prophet instead of her.

    For the rest: it's a bit like someone was nervous that DS9 had lost or was going to lose its moral compass, so, alongside episodes like ITPM, there are ones like The Reckoning and the end of Waltz, where there is an effort to have a simplistic light/dark, good/evil conflict happening amid the murkier war stories.

    It's not necessarily a horrible idea, I don't think, but the writers never hit the right note with the Pah-Wraith, so it never really works.

    One way to look at this episode is to see it as a sketch for how the Emissary/Prophets storyline might have ended if the show had not gone on to a seventh season (as I recall, there was some doubt about that), i.e. there was supposed to be a "Reckoning" at this point, but instead it was averted and now the ending is uncertain.

    The two-parter at the beginning of season 7 also picks up on this, with the Pah-Wraith trying to prevent Benny from "finishing the story," etc.
     
  17. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    I like His Way a lot, and would probably rate it 3 or 3.5. The Reckoning on the other hand is probably the fifth worst episode of DS9 to me, barely above the four episodes (or plots, in the case of Meridian and The Muse) I consider completely unwatchable. I might give it a 0.5 if I was in a generous mood because as you said, it started off reasonably okay.
     
  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I find "The Reckoning" more interesting for what it reveals about Kai Winn's character than anything else. IIRC this is the first episode to start delving into her relationship with the Prophets.
     
  19. callea

    callea Ensign Red Shirt

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    It came across to me like they were trying to imply Winn did it because of her jealousy of the Emissary's faith in the prophets and his willingness to trust them with his son's life. Which doesn't quite make sense.

    Winn being jealous the prophets chose Kira makes more sense, but I didn't see any suggestion of that motivation in the episode itself.
     
  20. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I suppose. Sadly, the only lasting Big Generator of discussion from that album was the naked dude on the cover.

    [​IMG]