TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Ugh, I really hated this episode.

    My patience with Ezri was wearing thin after this boring tosh. They should have let it be an O'Brien episode if they wanted to follow up on Honor Amongst Thieves, being as he didn't have his own episode in the final season.

    While it was good to see how Ezri's family see her after she's joined, and essentially a new person, I think the actual family scenes wallowed in banality.

    Feh!
     
  2. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    When people say they wish there were fewer Ezri episodes in S7, I think they're mainly thinking of this one.

    It feels like a S4 episode. The connection to "Honor Among Thieves" is nice enough, although I would have done different things with it than they did.

    I thought the commentary about how extraordinary acts of violence can result from ordinary life experiences was interesting, though perhaps a bit ham-handed and forced. It was also nice to see an aspect of the Federation that wasn't squeaky-clean.

    One other small detail I liked: Morica Bilby. Though we don't see her, what we are told about her makes her, well, a lot less likable than her husband was. It would've been very easy for the writers to make her a sympathetic figure, but the way she's portrayed make her seem unreasonable and greedy. That's a nice, little realistic twist.

    Of course, objectively, we only have anecdotal evidence about her, but still, they don't go to great lengths to give us reason to question that evidence.

    Still, overall, I rewatch this episode rather infrequently.
     
  3. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I also think of Field of Fire, and even mirror-Ezri in The Emperor's New Cloak. Though to be fair, that's an awful episode.

    I was also a bit bored of all the romance stuff in the Final Chapter.
     
  4. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Prodigal Daughter is one of the very few DS9 episodes that I remembering having basically no reaction to at all. Certainly not a point in its favor.

    Ultimately, one odd thing about Dax as a character, overall, is how un-interesting, really, the whole concept of the Trill ended up being.

    On paper, it seems like it should be fascinating. But... it never really was.
     
  5. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Good points. I discounted Field of Fire because a) I think it's actually good and b) it's an Ezri episode, yeah, but it fits within the overall Dominion War arc, and doesn't feel as forced. But I'll save that discussion until we get to it.

    TENC... you know, I understand the dislike of this episode, I guess, but I never really shared it. And I think Ezri's involvement in the story is sorta mandated by the in-universe circumstances, though I can understand why someone would disagree. But I'll save that, too.

    Holy crap, I just looked up the episode order on MA; I hadn't realized that we got these 3 Ezri-heavy episodes in a row. Wow. Not what I would've done.

    Totally agree about the romance in the Final Chapter, at least the
    Ezri-Worf romances,
    not so much about the
    Ezri-Bashir, Sisko-Kasidy, or Kira-Odo romances (holy crap, that's a lotta romance, but somehow it doesn't bother me...)...
     
  6. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly. It was overkill by this point.

    I just looked at my previous post and saw how vague my comment was. But yeah, Ezri and Worf's thing was a bit much. The rest I didn't have a problem with at all. Sisko/Kasidy and Odo/Kira are two of the best romances in Trek.
     
  7. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's the execution more than anything though.
     
  8. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    (This is a re-watch thread, do we need to spoiler tag? If that's the case then beware, my post is one big spoiler)

    I never thought about the fact the the final arc was romance heavy, but it really was.

    I think Ezri-Worf needed to be addressed. They probably stretched it out longer than was necessary in the arc, but the two of them needed to get the "weirdness" of their situation out of their system so they could move on.

    I gotta say, I am not at all a fan of the Sisko kid. The marriage thing made sense, it showed how he'd have to choose between being his own person or being "Of Bajor." But throwing the baby in there too? No thanks. A little too much melodrama for my taste.

    Kira and Odo needed resolution as well. I was never a fan of that pairing anyway, I thought their relationship was much more interesting when it was unrequited love, Odo pining for a solid from a far. I think his final episode departure would have been more powerful if that was the moment he told her that he loved her all along, but that he had to go be with his people.

    I liked Ezri and Bashir. Not too overdone, just enough for you to feel like she was moving on with her life as Dax and that Julian was finally getting the girl.

    And the whole Winn-Dukat thing... I don't even know what to say about that :eek:
     
  9. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it's a little of both. Especially with Jadzia, it was difficult to care about her past lives as we never saw them, and the only one in the cast who knew Curzon was Sisko, and he had no baggage from the transition. To properly explore Dax's past lives, they had to bring in outside characters, which made things less meaningful to us in the audience.

    With Ezri, it's a little better because all the cast had some sort of relationship with Jadzia, and there was a lot of baggage leftover from her death. Prodigal Daughter was one of the few episodes where exploring the consequences of Ezri's joining meant they had to bring in new characters, and the results were predictably meh.


    The Emperor's New Cloak (*)

    That's like threatening someone with a lifetime supply of chocolate. (I suppose that might be torturous if you were diabetic, but that's pedantry.) I can see why Quark may be affected by such a threat, but as a viewer, that is a terrible hook. Before this DS9 rewatch, I was neutral on Zek, I neither liked nor disliked him. But I can no longer deny the truth; I dislike Zek. Zek is annoying, shallow, and represents the worst excesses of Ferengi culture. But the most damning thing of all is that he's not funny. If it were up to me, I'd let Zek die in the μniverse as a victim of his own greed and stupidity.

    Sadly, Quark thinks differently and decides to rescue him. To do so, he must steal a Klingon cloaking device, which is no simple task considering all the armed Klingon guards, and the increased security during wartime... oh wait, stealing the cloaking device is apparently a trivial issue which is played as a joke. Seriously, how in the name of holy hell are the Dominion losing the war against these nincompoops?!

    Anyway, Quark and Rom travel to the μniverse with μEzri, who is all edgy and shit. You can tell she's edgy because she's wearing a leather outfit and has spiky hair, and is wearing enough eye-shadow to supply the entire state of Belgium for three months. Oh, and she's a lesbian, because Star Trek is progressive like that. There's nothing more progressive than watching a woman in a leather outfit kiss a woman in a latex outfit in an alternate universe where everything is supposed to be twisted and evil. And let's not forget μLeeta, who is also a lesbian. Actually, let's forget about her, it's silly.

    Not quite as silly as μVic Fontaine, who is a real boy. I can understand what happened here, the writers realised that this would be the last μniverse adventure and decided to throw as much crazy stuff that they could come up with into the story in the hope that the zaniness would distract us from the glaring plot-hole that underpins the whole episode; the fact that the Alliance already have bloody cloaking devices!

    The μniverse has had a sad journey on DS9. It started out as a genuinely twisted and sinister take on DS9, with characters that served as an interesting parallel to those in the prime universe. But it soon became a place to have comic-book adventures without fear of serious repercussions, and the attempt to salvage the concept into something meaningful in Resurrection resulted in a somewhat dull distraction to DS9's more interesting storylines. Now the μniverse must suffer the ultimate indignity, relegated to being the setting for a Ferengi comedy episode. What an inglorious way to go.
     
  10. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    You gave The Emperor's New Cloak six stars too many, if you ask me. I consider it the absolute worst episode of DS9, and it was the only episode I just couldn't bear to rewatch on my rewatch a while ago. I rewatched LEt he Who is Without Sin..., Meridian, The Muse, Prodigal Daughter, If Wishes Were Horses, Melora, Second Sight, The Reckoning, Valiant, and Time's Orphan, but I couldn't bring myself to watch The Emperor's New Cloak again, and I'd rather watch a marathon of all those other episodes I mentioned than watch The Emperor's New Cloak once.

    However, it has one saving grace: it's the last bad episode of the show. (Extreme Measures isn't too bad as an episode, it just stands out like a sore thumb in the Final Chapter)
     
  11. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    That's the best analysis of the MU I have ever read. I actually never made it all the way through this episode, as soon as Vic appeared I was done.
     
  12. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, when you put it like all that... :p

    You make great points. I personally disagree about Zek; I like him. I find him funny (of course, YMMV), but I also find him compelling. Zek began the show as you describe: representing the worst excesses of Ferengi society. But he also presided over the greatest set of reforms in Ferengi history since the publication of the Rules of Acquisition. And he supports it, too. It's crazy, but it happens in real life, too (and it's crazy then, too). I find those stories compelling, partly because they give me hope that, someday, older generations will not be such opponents of basic, common-sense progressivism.

    The points about sexuality in the μniverse are certainly valid. I give them credit for making the characters flinch only at the weirdness of seeing people they know so well be so different, and not at their sexuality itself. That actually is progressive. But the issues remain about evil gay characters. (Though, to be fair: Kira is evil, Ezri is ambiguous, but eventually redeems herself [so, not evil], and Leeta is, by the evidence we have, good. So it could've been worse.) And it's unclear to me how much having the gay characters was for shock-value and how much was for legitimate story-telling. So that's problematic.

    Brief side note: what's the biggest difference between Ezri prime and μEzri? The presence of Dax. In all seriousness, is it possible that Ezri Tigan prime generally preferred the company of women and that Ezri Dax prime generally preferred the company of men, presumably due in some way to the joining/presence of Dax? I know the novels establish that Ezri was in some sort of relationship with a male before joining, but I don't think anything's been established in canon. We've been told that joining can change your handedness; why couldn't it have an effect on sexuality?

    I guess the biggest thing for me about this episode is that I don't mind my Trek being a bit comic book-ish, at times. (For example, most people hate Peter David's novel, Before Dishonor, for this same reason, but I think it's great, one of my favorite Trek novels, actually.) Okay, so the plot falls apart if you look too closely. So you have two choices: a) have fun filling in details that make it work, or b) have fun and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

    So the writers decide to go play in the sandbox of the μniverse. Okay. Works for me.

    (Also, as noted on MA and in the Companion, Ira Steven Behr is on record as saying,
    So the whole thing may've been a bit tongue-in-cheek. I'm fine with that, too.)

    With all that said, I am sympathetic to the view expressed here:

    I'm not as harsh on Ferengi comedies as you are, but I agree that there were real story opportunities missed here.

    Good heavens, I'd watch TENC multiple times before re-watching The Muse, Meridian or Melora! Wow... :)
     
  13. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    The only thing I really dislike is the premise. I could see the humans wanting a cloak for their ships, and I guess hopping to another universe full of naive suckers would be easier than stealing it from folks that will kill you on sight. But we know the evil empire has cloaks. That's just dumb.

    I don't find the rest too bad. It was a decent Ferengi episode, and a stupid-fun romp in the mirror universe. I never really liked the μniverse in DS9 anyways, but the silly Ferengi stuff made it bearable.
     
  14. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Terrible episode. We're a million miles away from Crossover here. The plot with the cloaking device is dumb, and the use of Ferengi just eye-rolling.

    What bugs me the most is the use of sexuality to show how strange and edgy the mirror universe is. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: just doesn't do it justice really. How forward thinking!

    To think this is the same writing team that brought us Rejoined.
     
  15. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Gotta agree here. TENC is dumb, but once I accept its shallowness, I just gorge myself on the eye-candy and forget about it later. Still, it's an episode I'd only make time for if I'm doing a dedicated series re-watch (which I probably won't have to do for a while since I'm enjoying it vicariously through Godben's thread and the A.V. Club's retrospective :bolian: ).
     
  16. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, we've made it through the final cowpat on the lush green field that is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. On to the final stretch!
     
  17. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Very true. It went so far downhill that it's easy to forget what a great episode Crossover actually is.
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What you say is true, but I can't help thinking of Lyndon Johnson. He pushed through civil rights, expanded social programs, and funded the Apollo Program, but he was still a lout that peed on one of his Secret Service agents just because he could. Neither he nor Zek are people I would particularly want to spend time with. ;)

    Are the AV club reviews back? He took a break at the end of season 2 and I never bothered to check if he restarted.


    Field of Fire (**½)

    Joran Dax is a character that seems to have gotten away from the writers. Originally, he was a reasonably normal guy that developed violent impulses after the joining with the symbiont and killed a doctor who advocated removing the Dax symbiont from him. Such a murder would actually have been in self defence as removing the symbiont would have killed the host, so he wasn't exactly an evil character, just unstable. But then Facets happened, and suddenly Joran was a deranged psychopath that had a random desire to kill people. Avery Brooks' performance in that scene was excellent, but that retcon didn't sit right with me. Now it's revealed that Joran isn't just a psychopath, he's a calculating serial killer that killed two other people. This is very far away from my original understanding of the character of Joran.

    Somebody on the station is murdering random officers, and Ezri is drafted in as a forensic psychologist because she needed yet another episode to stick it to her haters. To help understand the mind of a killer, Ezri performs a magic spell with a cauldron and summons up the third incarnation of Joran Dax. Joran spends the next few days prodding Ezri towards killing some people because he's a bit of a prick, and things go south when Ezri almost stabs a guy with a butter-knife. But in the end Joran plays a key role in solving the case by encouraging Ezri to use racial profiling and illegally spy on a guy that she just doesn't like the look of. Thankfully for Ezri, he was the murderer she was looking for, because if he wasn't then she would have lost her job.

    As a standalone crime story, this episode is okay. The weapon used to commit the murders is ingenious, the perfect assassination device. That being said, the visor that allows you to see into any room on the station seems a bit much, the idea that such technology is available in the future is pretty frightening. Although, it does explain why people don't have TVs in the future, when they want entertainment they just put on their visors and watch what other people on the station are doing. I also liked the revelation that the killer was a Vulcan, it was a neat twist. I don't see any reason why a Vulcan can't go insane like every other race in the galaxy, and when they go insane they become a pretty big threat.
     
  19. heavy lids

    heavy lids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd agree with your rating of Field of Fire. It was a forced "Ezri" episode, but for good reasons. It's usually an episode I'll skip over in season 7, but I've seen every DS9 episode AT LEAST four-five times.
     
  20. heavy lids

    heavy lids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you, TheGodBen for writing these reviews.