TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

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

  1. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Kind of wish I followed this thread a lot closer. I've been rewatching DS9 (Finished the Circle Trilogy tonight) and I skimmed through this entire thread thinking I could add some comments but figuring that because it's been more than a year why bother.

    To keep it current, I will say I loved Tacking into the Wind, and this was the episode I grew to like Ezri Dax.
     
  2. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    I wouldn't mind hearing your comments. I mean, I don't know how much discussion they'd generate, being a year removed, but I'd still enjoy reading them. :)
     
  3. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, there's not all that much to say other than I think from Duet to the end of the Circle Trilogy is probably my favorite long stretch episodes of the series. The more I watch DS9, the more I love the relations between Bajor and Cardassia and the politics of everything and all 5 of these episodes brought that to the forefront and were all written really really well. Also, The Siege has my favorite Jadzia Dax scene:

    Dax: Great, seat of your pants technology
    Kira: With your eyes Lieutenant, Not your pants.

    Hell, that entire plot in the episode was my favorite of the entire trilogy. I know they tried to get Kira and Dax into a friend relationship (Way of the Warrior anyone?) but it didn't get much better than them in that tiny ship in The Siege.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  4. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Ha, see, that all made me smile. :) Thank you.

    I agree, that's a great scene between the two of them. And it's a good reminder of how far the series has come since then. Kira-Dax was a bit of a parallel to Bashir-O'Brien for a while, but that dynamic got tossed into the wind once Worf came along. (Although you do see it changing a bit as Kira-Odo began to develop.) But while the Bashir-O'Brien friendship grew and solidified, Kira-Dax was much less consistent. (Though we do still see Dax attempting "girl-talk" with Kira regarding Odo after the Dominion Occupation.) And now? Jadzia is dead and Kira and Ezri don't have much of a relationship. Bashir-O'Brien has a bit more of a brothers-in-arms vibe to it now, that we haven't seen in Kira-Dax since, well, "The Siege."

    Also, I'd never thought of "Duet" through "The Siege" of an arc before, but I like it! (I know it's not exactly what you meant, but it planted the idea.)
     
  5. Dover

    Dover Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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  6. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I think one of the reasons it fell apart was because Kira looked so out of place doing things that Dax wanted to do. I mean that scene in Way of the Warrior where they were in the holodeck and then first meet Worf, that was close to an embarrassing scene for Kira. Then you had Worf and Dax pair up and the rest is history. It is a shame we didn't see more of Kira and Dax though. I do know they both looked for each other in terms of advice, but that was pretty much it as the series went on.
     
  7. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    I think it touches, indirectly, on an issue that was present in all of the modern Trek series: imbalance of the sexes. Each series had no more than two female leads at a time (except for the first 20 episodes or so of TNG). In fact, not once, but twice, when a female character left the show, another female came in to replace her. [EDIT: Forgot about B'Elanna, so my argument isn't as strong as I first thought.] Logistically, that kind of arrangement will make it more likely that the writers will try to pair up two otherwise not-very-compatible female characters.

    I mean, it makes senes from a 20th-century real-world perspective: two women in a primarily-male group will probably gravitate towards each other as friends, just as two men in a primarily-female group will probably do the same. But, just like in the real-world, a friendship born out of circumstance is less likely to thrive than one born out of compatibility.

    We see it a bit in Troi and Crusher, as well. (I'm thinking of their "girl-talk" in "The Host," when they're at the spa [!!] together.) Generally speaking, we don't see much of a friendship between the two of them, except when it's expedient to the plot. (Of course, that could be said of many relationships in TNG, but I digress.)

    In any case, I'm not trying to impugn the writers' motives here. In their position, I probably would've created the exact same cast. But I think it does play into the Kira-Jadzia relationship, its rise and demise.

    "Tacking Into The Wind" is f'bleeping epic. Love that episode. Along with "The Dogs of War," best two episodes of the Final Chapter (including WYLB).

    I've said before how I think by the end of season 7, the war had sorta tumbled out of everyone's hands (in-universe). At the beginning of S6, there's a bit of a problem-of-the-week attitude about the war. No one's really thinking about what it'll be like after the war (partly because no one knew if there was going to be anything after the war). But now? Now people have realized that there's a good chance they'll come out of this alive, one way or another, and they'll have to deal with the consequences, whoever wins the war. Like any trauma, it's actually two-fold: there's the trauma itself, and then there's the trauma of realizing for the first time the lifelong ramifications of that trauma.

    Killing Gowron was a manifestation of one of those life-long ramifications of the war. I think Worf and Sisko knew the war would end within the year, one way or the other, but they also knew that killing Gowron would have consequences for years or decades to come. There's a particular weightiness to it that I don't think we see earlier in the war. (Like, "dying is easy; living is hard.")

    In that way, "Tacking Into The Wind" captures very well, I think, just how tired everyone has gotten of the war. (Not unlike "Paper Moon" captured how Nog's eagerness had been blown away.)
     
  8. Dover

    Dover Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Yeah, that was awful. DS9 started out as a Trek series that seemed to want to break away from the double standard with female characters. Dax is a woman who is also kind of a man, and Kira is the butchest butch ever to be butch in the galaxy. I was like, "This is so cool! I can't believe a studio went for this." In the first couple seasons I felt like they were always given equal treatment to the male characters.

    And then Dax went from being "one of the guys" to "Worf's girlfriend who spends her spare time at the bar and talking about boys," and after years someone woke up and decided it needed to be clarified that Kira is, in fact, a woman (I'm not sure why the Intendant wasn't enough proof), and suddenly she had heels and a skin-tight uniform, which by season 7 was no less insulting than Troi's or 7 of 9.

    The early episodes with Dax and Kira going on missions together were a great step forward in Trek's depiction of women. It's frustrating that they were doing so well and then lost sight of it.
     
  9. heavy lids

    heavy lids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Tacking Into the Wind is such a great episode. I'm currently at the end of DS9 and this episode is coming up very soon.
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Extreme Measures (*½)

    Since whittling down the various arcs to just two stories worked out so well for the previous episode, going even further and just focusing on one story should be awesome, right?

    No. Extreme Measures is a mess. There are a lot of reasons for this. According to Memory Alpha, the original plan for this arc was that Kira and Odo would head to Section 31's headquarters to discover the cure, but then the decision was made to send those two characters to help Damar's rebellion and the idea was adapted for Bashir and O'Brien. Then the budget for the episode was cut considerably and the story had to be adapted to take place entirely on existing sets, so Section 31 had to come to DS9. In the desire to do one final O'Brien/Bashir adventure, and with the need to pad the episode out for an hour, the writers came up with the idea of the story taking place inside Sloan's brain.

    In my opinion, the core problem was the desire to turn this plot into an O'Brien/Bashir adventure. Section 31 is a conflict of ideologies, it's at its most interesting when it's just two characters in a room arguing with one another so that us wannabe intellectuals can fawn over the show's brilliant moral complexities. It's not the right venue to attempt a buddy comedy. This is an organisation that has attempted to commit genocide and murder a member of DS9's crew, so as amusing as it is to watch O'Brien awkwardly refuse to admit his platonic love for Bashir, it's out of step with the gravity of the situation they're in.

    Making things even more disappointing, the first 15 minutes of the episode are really strong. There's a touching scene between Kira and Odo, there's a neat scene where O'Brien and Bashir have to explain their plan to Sisko, and there's several good scenes between Bashir and Sloan. Things only go downhill once Bashir gets the bright idea to go into Sloan's head to find the cure, at that point it becomes a generic sci-fi mind-screw adventure.

    It could have been so different. All they needed to do is take that first 15 minutes and pad it out a little bit with a few more scenes between Sloan and Bashir, then fill out the rest of the episode by pushing ahead with the rest of the final chapter arcs. Show Kira and Garak returning to the Cardassian rebels and set up the following episode's mission to Cardassia. Show some scenes of Martok adjusting to his new role as Chancellor. Maybe add a scene or two of Rom and Nog working to decipher the Breen weapon before Rom becomes Nagus in the next episode. There could be a scene between Sisko and Ross about Sloan and Section 31, and the dirty deals those two characters have done in the past. At this point, DS9 is an exciting playground of stories and characters, so the decision to focus this entire episode on just one of those stories and two of those characters was bizarre. Maybe the version of the episode I outlined would have been two expensive because of all the actors involved, but it would have fit a lot better in the final chapter than the episode we got.
     
  11. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    Agreed. And as a woman I was a little annoyed with Kira's uniform change. Especially because it happened at about the time 7 of 9 showed up on VOY, it was such an obvious ploy to sex her up.
     
  12. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    After watching the final 10 episodes of DS9 where I had only passively watched them in 1999, I found your commentary relevant and incredibly witty. I was either nodding my head in agreement or laughing out loud.
     
  13. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I totally agree. The catsuit was a bit much for Kira, and I have to say that Trek's excessive use of them was pretty embarrassing. It was just pathetically obvious pandering to casual viewers, and of course the poor Trekkies who are so desperate for sex they'll go gaga over these poor women and watch, even if they're reading the dictionary.

    And on the subject of embarrassing things, we have Extreme Measures. :eek:

    What a waste of an interesting story. I never knew that they planned to have Kira and Odo go find the cure together; that really would have been a fascinating confrontation. I can understand budget cuts scaling down on big ideas, but how much money would it take to just have our characters talk to Sloan, rather than jump about in his head
     
  14. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah. The idea seems to have been that these two characters needed some quiet time with each other and a last adventure together. But... I don't think it needed to be in isolation at all. Even if they needed to use the main DS9 set, I think a more straight-forward story would have worked much better.

    Just a misfire.

    I agree about the first 15 minutes being very strong, in passing. They made a mistake by resorting to such a gimmick when it wasn't necessary at this point at all.

    It seems to be a tendency that Trek writers have. I guess because the standard Trek episode has historically involved a tech gimmick of some kind fairly often.
     
  15. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    Exactly! That's a major pet peeve of mine. The tech gimmick in order to make the story seem more "scifi", I guess. Most of the times it just gets in the way I think. Just do the story straightforward, we can handle it!
     
  16. Dover

    Dover Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I never knew that either. It would have been a very different Section 31 story, sending two non-Starfleet people. I'm not sure how that would have turned out, but it definitely changes the dynamic since Section 31 couldn't use the usual excuse of "we're all Starfleet here, just let us do our work."

    Storytelling aside, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to send Bajoran Militia to Section 31 headquarters in search of assistance, rather than sending Starfleet officers. Unless the idea was that they're actually breaking in, which would have been awesome.
     
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The strange thing about the show's budget problems is that The Dogs of War contains a completely unnecessary visual effect of an extra transporting into ops. It's a cool shot, but considering the fact that the previous episode had been scaled back, and the finale was going to have to use stock footage for some of the battle sequences, where did the money for that unnecessary effect come from? :confused:


    The Dogs of War (***½)

    After the mess of Extreme Measures, the show only has one episode left with which to set up the finale. The first bit of set up is the introduction of the new Defiant and its terrible carpet. Who decided that purple was a good colour for the interior of a starship? What is this, the freakin' Andromeda?

    On Cardassia, Kira, Garak, and Damar somehow escape a Dominion ambush. Thankfully, we don't see their exciting escape or their daring journey to the capital, we get to see them hang out in a dark basement. Seriously though, bringing back Mila was a wonderful bit of continuity, and she's instantly memorable even though she only appeared in one scene back in season 3. Unfortunately for Damar, his entire band of merry men are wiped out by a Dominion attack. How did this happen after Kira reorganised the rebels so that precisely this sort of thing couldn't possibly happen? We don't know, and Kira seems to think it doesn't matter, probably because she's embarrassed her plan didn't work. On the plus side, Kira manages to convince Damar to turn the rebellion into a full-scale revolution, and Damar gives an inspiring speech about FREEDOM!! while Kira watches from the shadows. Kira has finally achieved what she has always wanted, she's blowing up shit on Cardassia real good.

    So that the Section 31 arc isn't a total loss, Odo has a few great scenes in this episode that get to the core of what the previous episode should have been about. He's none too happy that Section 31 attempted to commit genocide against his people, and is further aggravated by Starfleet's refusal to hand over the cure to the Founders. It's an understandable decision for Starfleet to make given the circumstances, but Odo makes the wry observation that the Federation clearly isn't motivated to do anything to stop Section 31 while they serve the Federation's interests.

    In order to get it over with at long last, Bashir and Ezri finally hook up. Hardly the best story DS9 has ever produced, but an interesting parallel to Bashir's introduction on the show where he was leering at Jadzia.

    Quark has been sadly forgotten during most of this final arc, and this episode does its best to complete his character arc with a certain amount of dignity. Not much dignity, mind you, but he gets about as much dignity as a Ferengi ever gets. I don't completely buy that Ferengi society underwent such rapid reforms in the space of a couple of years, or that Quark has been so busy thinking about Ezri that he didn't pay attention to what amounts to a revolution for Ferengi society back home. But these things are just a means for Quark to give one final bombastic speech about the marvels of greed. I also struggle to imagine that Rom would be accepted as Nagus by the majority of Ferengi, and I fear he will end up dead within 2 years, but since there's only 1 episode left the show wont have to deal with the sad consequences of this decision.

    The Federation have developed a countermeasure to the Breen weapon, so Dead Fish has decided to withdraw all Dominion forces back to their space. Sisko decides that now is the best moment to go on the offensive, and because he's such a badass the leaders of three massive empires decide to do as he tells them. The final battle awaits...

    Oh, and Sisko forgot to take his pill and accidentally knocked up Kasidy. They're doomed! :eek:
     
  18. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    It's been a long time since I've seen Dogs of War, but I do remember it being interesting how Rom was named the new Grand Negus. I haven't read the relaunch, but was this plot ever brought up in the books and the consequences of such decision. I do wonder if Rom being the new Negus was something that should have been done before the Final Chapter began.
     
  19. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Pretty much, yeah. This episode does an ok job of closing off this storyline, and Quark's speech is fairly memorable, partly as a send-up of Picard's tirade about the Borg in First Contact, as I recall.

    Having said that, the decision to try to flesh out Ferengi society as a kind of farcical sideshow to the rest of DS9 was probably the show's biggest mistake.

    It's especially unfortunate that Quark gets so caught up in it. Great character anyway, but... he deserved better material in the later seasons.
     
  20. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, Quark deserved better than his annual Ferengi hijinks. He was better man than that. Better than any of us.

    As far as Ferengi escapades go, this episode is not too bad. It helps that they don't dominate the whole episode, as their jokes quickly wear pretty thin. But at least they had some token development along the way, even if it meant their society changed overnight. Too little, too late really, but meh.

    The latest part of Ezri's romantic comedy is alright. Bashir finally getting the Dax he pined for in the early part of the series is a fun idea, even if the actual lead-up to it was dullsville.

    The announcement of Kasidy's pregnancy was a nice moment, only to be shat on by the 'great sorrow' saga.

    Far and away the best part is with Damar, Kira, Garak and Mila, which should have been a spinoff; never mind that ENT hooey.