My DS9 Rewatch Odyssey

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by ananta, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Good points about Jake.

    I'm less persuaded by your arguments about Odo...he may not have felt especially attached to the colonists, but he was certainly aware of their existence and knew what his actions would mean for them. I wonder whether he could have pleaded mental incompetence if he ever went to trial for his actions.

    While it's probably not fair to take FutureOdo's actions as an indicator of how PresentOdo will turn out, I'm still left feeling that this episode does indicate what he might be capable of, and it's neither the first nor last time we'll see Odo commit morally ambiguous acts. He may believe in justice overall...but he's also willing to make the occasional exception.
     
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  2. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Doesn't this make future Odo like Laas?
     
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  3. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On the surface, that comparison makes sense. But Laas and Odo had very different circumstances that shaped and molded (pun intended) who they became. A lot of the things Odo went through by this point in his life would still have made him a different person than Laas. His sense of justice, for instance. Laas never really cared about that concept.
     
  4. FanST

    FanST Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Another amazing review!
     
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  5. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    That's because they didn't want to make Quark part f the crew. Imagine how he would have reacted in such a situation. Besides, I don't think the galaxy is ready for part-Ferengi people!!! How would they look like?
     
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  6. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Glad the biggest concern is what they'd look like...
     
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  7. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Did anyone have both Klingon ridges and Trill spots?
     
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  8. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Every one of them should unless Jadzia cheated on Worf... Or Worf on Jadzia...
     
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  9. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Keep in mind some of the people who followed Worf's teachings did so by choice, bot by being born into it. They said so themselves. We even see a hint of that with the young boy who expresses awe at seeing them.
     
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  10. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or they needed medical assistance or surrogacy to reproduce ... Worf and Jadzia's children might not have been genetically related.
     
  11. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Well, anything's possible. Maybe they made clones for a time like in that awful TNG episode.
     
  12. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Heck, under the circumstances the tech to enable them to have children at all might not have been available.
     
  13. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    “BLAZE OF GLORY”

    [​IMG]
    “What do you mean I’m stuck with this asshole for the whole damn episode?!”

    And so, we come to the end of the Eddington/Maquis trilogy that began with season four’s “For the Cause” and continued with this season’s “For the Uniform.” More than anything, I’m just sad the writers didn’t keep with the naming trend and call this episode “For the Glory”!

    While “For the Uniform” was an unexpected season highlight for me and a thoroughly gripping action-thriller, “Blaze of Glory” lacks the same punch and, while pretty good, does feel like a not-entirely-necessary addendum to the arc. We learn that the Maquis have met their demise in events that happen off-screen prior to the start of this episode. It certainly stands to reason that, the Cardassians, now allied with the formidable might of the Dominion, would no longer be taking shit from ANYONE. It’s certainly a tragic and brutal end for this ragtag band of wannabe-terrorists. Although, as the old saying goes: if you live by the sword you die by the sword.

    While it was a morally ambiguous and complicated predicament, the Maquis basically took up arms and waged war against the Cardassians—and, as Sisko notes at one point, possibly helped drive the Cardassians into the arms of the Dominion. They basically bit off more than they could chew and suffered the consequences. Now, while I can certainly understand the fallout from the concessions the Federation made with regards to Cardassian territory, I rarely found the Maquis particularly sympathetic and I certainly don’t view terrorism as a legitimate way of affecting change in the world (I might add that the Bajoran situation simply doesn’t equate to the Maquis predicament, in my book—in that instance the Cardassians were bona fide invaders).

    Now it’s over, I’m left feeling that the Maquis storyline hasn’t aged very well. It’s also sadly ironic (and telling) that so much effort was put into setting up the Maquis storyline to be used in VOYAGER, only for that series to basically ditch it by the end of of its frickin’ pilot episode. It was up to DS9 to do anything meaningful with the concept, and while we certainly got a couple of great episodes out of it, overall, I don’t look upon the Maquis arc as a particularly successful one.

    Of course, the heart of the episode is all about getting Sisko and Eddington back together and the inevitable fireworks make for some decent drama. What lets this episode down, however, is the simple fact that Eddington has become utterly... INSUFFERABLE. I mean, he was admittedly a complete dick in the previous two outings, but his screen time was limited in each. Here, we get endless scenes of him pontificating and I almost wanted to throw something at the television at one point. He’s obnoxious, sanctimonious, unspeakably arrogant and, my Prophets, surely has the dictionary definition of a “punchable face”.

    His grief over the destruction of his cause and comrades ought to have elicited at least a little sympathy (and there is a very effective, poignant scene of him wandering amid a sea of Maquis bodies), but just about every single word that came out of his mouth was smug and contemptuous. His comments about wanting to kill Sisko reveal him for what he is: a low-life savage who used the Maquis cause to bolster his grandiose self-image. His death scene, frankly, was less heroic than it was cliched. While introducing his wife was a clear attempt to show a softer side, the brief scenes between the two fell a little flat to me. I just wasn’t feeling the necessary passion and conviction, and their parting scene is a key point. Rebecca insists that she’s staying with him. He says something to the effect of, “no, you gotta go, babe.” She immediately concedes, gives him a little kiss and saunters off, “k, right, bye!” Even when Sisko tells her that Eddington isn’t coming, she doesn’t exactly put up much of a struggle to go find him. Maybe she was secretly pleased to be rid of him too? Maybe he had a good insurance policy? One can but hope.

    One of the things I cannot praise enough about the second half of this season is that we’re seeing such a radical shakeup following Cardassia’s joining the Dominion. Consequences, consequences abound—and I’m loving it. Things really do feel like they’re building up to an inevitable war as conveyed by lots of effective little touches, including the hilarious Infirmary scene where we learn that Quark caused Morn to run about stark naked in terror (there’s a mental image you never really wanted!).

    Again, I didn’t find this episode as engaging and well executed as “For the Uniform”; it somehow lacks the dramatic punch and the directing, though fine itself, isn’t quite the high standard I’d come to expect from Kim Friedman. There’s just something about “Blaze of Glory” doesn’t quite come together for me and, overall, the story didn’t feel like a particularly necessary one. We learn that the Maquis are kaput, certainly, but that happened off-screen and, by the end of the episode, not a heck of a lot changes bar Eddington’s demise and the rescue of his missus and a few others. What should have felt like a dramatic end to a story arc that had run for three years and spanned three different Trek shows ends up feeling just a little underwhelming. Still, it is a decent outing on the whole, even if Eddington was an unbearable asshole for most of the hour. While Kenneth Marshall gave it his all, and it allowed for a few great exchanges between he and Sisko (who is a little more restrained this time around thankfully), I was not sad saying goodbye to this particular character. There’s an apt saying from my part of the world: the back of yer head is a treat (or, in other words, good riddance!). Rating: 7
     
  14. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    @ananta: Great review, forgettable episode. I hear you're a Frasier buff, do you also like Cheers? because there is a line. You remember Diane Chambers? Her mother who used to be rich becomes broke (long story) but she ends up marrying her chauffer and she tells him: "Have I ever told you that I find the back of your head very attractive?" ;)
     
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  15. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great review.

    Eddington was insufferable here. The scenes with him and Sisko didn't have the impact they did in "FOR THE UNIFORM". I think it's because we got too much Eddington here.

    I feel an important B story was neglected here in your review... Nog. I think it was a nice bit of growth for him. It reminds me of "Coming Of Age" where Wesley had that unscheduled test with that gut he bumped into. Learning to deal with other cultures on their terms is a key part of being a Starfleet officer. To Wesley's credit, he knew how to deal with that situation from the jump. Here, Nog had to learn through trial and error... and possibly Nog has to face racism due to him being a Ferengi. Klingons definitely don't like Ferengi, so that might have colored Martok's perception of Nog... until he stood up to Martok. Nog earned respect from Martok, which is a nice bit of growth for him, and a good character touch for Martok.

    Frankly, I found that story more rewatchable than Eddington's. It's the reason I give this a 6 and not a 5.
     
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  16. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    “EMPOK NOR”

    [​IMG]
    Gold is the New Red... (dun-dun-DUUUUUN!)

    First up, a confession, because it no doubt affected how I feel about this episode. I don’t like horror films or action films. While many people find them utterly thrilling, I find them anything but. I generally see horror as cheap manipulation designed to provoke a visceral physiological reaction rather than tell a satisfying and well told story (although, I know, there will doubtless be exceptions—I just don’t care enough to watch them). I see action films pretty much the same way, and they actually tend to bore me more than anything. The moment big action sequences begin I often find myself tuning out and getting impatient and bored, just waiting for them to finish. Given that “Empok Nor” is little more than a catalogue of horror and action movie cliches strung together for shits and giggles, I was predisposed not to enjoy this episode, and I didn’t.

    The basic premise always struck me as a little bit silly, and the decision to introduce Empok Nor, an abandoned replica of DS9 was clearly done for budgetary reasons and would be utilised (more effectively) in at least another two episodes. Given that budget was clearly very limited for 90’s Trek, that’s an understandable concession. The episode actually starts off decently enough, and it works up to a point, as long as you’re not looking for anything remotely substantial. The moment I saw a group of “red shirts” being introduced I stifled an eye roll. Even though “The Ship” at the very start of the season went some way to addressing the horribly disposable way Trek has always treated its expendable junior officers, we’re right back to a trope that was already a cliche back in the 60’s. Their mere presence here pretty much gave away the entire rest of the episode and I knew that, one by one, the redshirts would be killed, while our regular and semi-regulars would doubtlessly survive. To the episode’s credit, however, it does succeed in giving them their own personalities and character quirks, which did succeed in creating the most marginal of bonds with them.

    Sure enough, the rest of the episode played out as predictably as I expected. I will say that, as uninterested as I am in protracted action and horror scenes, which is really all that “Empok Nor” brings to the table, Mike Vejar’s directing is excellent throughout and the sets and lighting are effectively utilised to create a sense of atmosphere. There are some nice moments of tension and I can understand why some will have found this enjoyable because it is a change of pace. However, it would be a mistake to expect anything but the most rudimentary of plots and superficial characterisation. Indeed, the wafer thin plot doesn’t stretch very far at all, which is why, I guess, the writers decided to dispense with the Cardassian soldiers quite early on and incorporate a late twist by having Garak turn into Hannibal Lecter. Unfortunately, as eminently watchable as Garak usually is, this did nothing to improve an already weak episode.

    While writer Hans Beimler desperately tries to give the character interplay between Garak and O’Brien some depth by recalling O’Brien’s days on Setlik III and his prejudice against Cardassians, it still feels lame and superficial. While Colm Meaney likely never imagined he’d get to play an action hero lead and seems to be enjoying his Bruce Willis moment, the fact of the matter is he has absolutely no chemistry with Andrew Robinson. Robinson, if I recall, was throughly unimpressed by the script and seems to be pretty much going through the motions—not that I blame him. It turns out that Garak as a one-dimensional, moustache-twirling psychotic killer just is NOT interesting in the slightest and this definitely ranks as the show’s weakest Garak episode (at least until the seventh season’s “Afterimage”, anyway). His dialogue is fairly hammy and he keeps prattling on, until things culminate in a thoroughly anticlimactic fight on the Promenade.

    There more I think about it, the worse I feel about this one. High points for the directing, lighting and atmospherics on the “haunted” space station. But, alas, it’s a case of style over substance and many points deducted for the achingly predictable and cheap slaughter of redshirts, the barely existent plot and a surprisingly weak, ineffective turn for Garak as a crazed lunatic. I guess if you go in expecting very little and if you’re in the mood for some action and “horror” then you’ll find it watchable. But not an episode I’d race to rewatch in a hurry. Rating: 5 ...a weak 5.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  17. Vash

    Vash Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Witty take on “Empok Nor” - I've never liked horror movies either. It worked okay as a 'Lower Decks' suspense episode, the music and lighting (or lack of) intensify the atmosphere of paranoia.
    So, after the “Civil Defense” experience, they wander around an abandoned Cardassian space station - what could go wrong?!.
    Apparently Robinson was not too keen on playing another psychokiller, after his villain role in Dirty Harry and other films.

    I hope you’re planning to gather these reviews together in some form….a tour de force, really.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great review.

    I love horror. So I may be biased in my view... this is a fun diversion episode.

    Ironically, I can see why Garak became that way when infected with that stuff. (Which I can only assume was left out on purpose so intruders can be infected.) He said Cardassians are rather xenophobic by nature, so this would heighten his base instincts. Plus, Garak's intelligence wouldn't allow a simple hunt and kill... he would relish more in the game of the hunt.

    I understand why Robinson was not keen on this... he played the DIRTY HARRY villain so well that he was typecast A LOT for a long time. But he is effective as a villain.

    The directing, as you said, is excellent. As is the attempt to bring life and dimension to characters we know will die.

    Truthfully, I rate this a 7. Like I said... my love of horror helps elevate. This episode, though, is not nearly as bad as some have stated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  19. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    @ananta: Great review! We witness all kinds of stupid in this episode. O'Brien tells them to keep scavenging in spite of the killers trying to get them! That's like picking berries in a wood infested with worlves. You have to take care of the wolves first. The "red shirts" are stupid, arrogant, and seemingly unaware of the danger and the security "red shirts" are woefully incompetent. Garak has no reason to spare the life of Nog if he was trying to get O'Brien riled up when Nog's death would accomplish that. Plus it was clché all the time. I think you were too generous with your 5.
     
  20. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    Chiming in on Children of time, I definitely consider future Odo a murderer, but very much a different person than present Odo. We can't blame characters for their alternate versions actions: not with the mirror universe existing, and transporter accidents capable of splitting you into good and evil halves or giving you a Maquis joining twin.
     
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