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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    It's hard for me to tell how many people are upset by the ending because it is a "deus ex machina" (which arguably the show foreshadowed from the pilot), and how many people are upset because they were hoping for more shoot-em-up action...but...how was that even going to work?

    Put another way, for the people dissatisfied with this solution, I'd like to hear less "it sucks" and more about what they would have done differently.

    I agree that given the premise of the show, that it would ultimately be the Prophets who intervened makes perfect sense.

    You've made me curious as to how matters may have played out in the "original" timeline. It seems as though those Dominion reinforcements would have effectively marked the end of any hope for Our Heroes, but, as a wise man once noted, "There are always possibilities."
     
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  2. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or do they simply not accept the religious dimensions of the series, haing the Prophets wholesale? I don't know if there is a direct correspondence between those who dislike Bajoran religion and who think this is an egrigious use of Deus Ex machina. However, the use of the Prophets often elicits comments on how religion should have no (positive) role in Star Trek.
     
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  3. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    @ananta: Superb review, for a great episode.Something that's rarely if ever before achieved a conclusion that's better than the arc that led to it! That being said the prophets are certainly entertaining but they are the opposite of consistent. We of course know that there won't any follow through to their threat to Sisko, the ending certainly doesn't qualify as it is simply "Sisko fulfilling his destiny" and they're not keeping him with them after that to punish him but because "he has a lot to learn"...

    Anyway, the moment the minefield exploded we knew that something would happen to stop the dominion troops from getting through that wormhole since it would have been the end for the federation. So what were the possibilities? Q? Some unknown third party? Of course, it had to be the prophets! Either on their own or after an appeal by Sisko. I for one wasn't surprised by the denouement.

    The baseball changing hands is a funny detail. And Dukat is a damn liar! He said that he forgave Sisko and we know that it's not true. The only one he's forgiven is... ironically enough... the one that caused him the most pain... IE Damar...
     
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  4. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Excellent review!

    I am with you about the Prophets' intervention. Some have said the writers put them themselves in a corner at this point, but I don't think they are giving enough credit to them. On the surface, it certainly looks that way, but as you've pointed out, the Prophets and their living outside time has been part of the show since day one. And it has been something largely ignored for the last couple seasons, so it was good to remind the audience of them that they are a big part of the show. And what better way than to be the one to stop the Dominion from getting their final victory.

    This also has the interesting effect of actually limiting the Prophets' powers. Until now, we only had one instance of their directly doing something that does make an impact outside the wormhole... Akoram. (One could argue two, but Zek did not make any lasting changes.) And here, the fleet was taken away. To where, or when, we have no idea... something tells me it's far in the future. But this proves that the Prophets power is limited to inside the wormhole. (Sarah was a single being inhabited by a Prophet. If the Prophets, as a whole, could do anything outside their realm, they would do it. In this case, it was a single being doing one minor thing, universally speaking... assuring Ben was born.)

    And it's telling that Sisko had to pay a pennance for their help. The 'game' was a nice callback to Sisko's own convincing to the Prophets of life by comparing it to a baseball game. Just because we didn't see the consequences immediately doesn't mean it wasn't going to happen later. Unfair to call it deus ex machina unless the series ended and we didn't see Sisko suffer a price, which we did.

    Dukat... I think his breakdown because of Ziyal is due to a couple factors. One, I think he did love her, but that seemed like a provisional love. What I mean by that is she was half Bajoran... by her loving him, that was a signal to him that a Bajoran does look at him with adulation and awe. It fed into his megalomania. Of course he loves one who loves so deeply. When she was killed, it shattered the illusion of forgiveness and love by a Bajoran, and it broke him. He's never had that kind of splash of cold water before, which is why it was so shattering. Second, it was done by Damar... his most trusted friend. But Damar did it for exactly why Dukat claimed he went rogue with a Klingon ship in the first place... he was being a patriot and a true Cardassian. Essentially, Damar was a representation of Dukat's other self... the duty bound, military officer. And seeing that side kill off his illusion was the breaking point. (It's ultimately why Dukat didn't just kill Damar when he saw him again... a part of him felt like Damar did him a favor by shattering the illusion.)

    Everything else you wrote, nailed it. I give it a 10, also, because it really tied up this arc wonderfully.
     
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  5. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dukat likely understands Damar's killing of Ziyal because it affirms the importance of the loyalty/betrayal foundation in Cardassian culture. It seems that there is a running commentary about family within Cardassian culture, a valuation of familial bonds that is wrapped up in service to the state. The central idea of the repetitive epiic that Garak described is one of constant sacrifice to the state by successive generations of one's family reflects how the two are bound together, although the state takes precedence. In the episode Defiant, Dukat regrets not taking his son out on an outing, but it is with regard to his own duty. Indeed, Dukat was willing to sacrfice his own daughter when the Dominion conspired to destroy the Bajoran star.

    His willingness to forgive Ziyal is interesting because it seems to show him preferencing family over state, but it is still an act that takes place within the loyalty/betrayal foundation. He is not switching to other moral foundations that would show him aligning more with the Federation. Dukat may forgive Ziyal because of his loyalty to family, but Damar effectively executes her because of her betrayal of the state. Dukat only ever changes slightly in the context of the values of his culture. When Damar is confronted with the death of his family, it forces him to rethink his values in a way that Dukat never did.

    Dukat's forgiveness to Sisko was utterly selfish. Dukat does not have any moral authority over Sisko and the Federation, and certainly Sisko never offers him that authority by apologizing. It is simply his means of affirming his own identity, his own sense of superiority, by claiming that he has the ability to offer grace. It underlines the extent to which he has become a tragic figure who never understands his condition.
     
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  6. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Somewhat peripherally, Casey Biggs tells a story that when he was reading the pages for the script to be shot that day while receiving makeup, he blurted out, "I kill ___ " (he doesn't say who the character is. The actress was also getting makeup, but then ran out of the trailor, crying. I can only think this would be about the killing of Ziyal.
     
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  7. FanST

    FanST Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Great review of another DS9 classic. That space battle was epic, probably the best battle in Star Trek history!
     
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  8. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    If they didn't have any, I'm sure Quark would have been happy to rent them a holosuite... ;)
     
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  9. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    I am afraid that the only way we could see one of these holosuite programs "for real" is in a triple X movie.:lol:

    Something called: D-sex-nine maybe.:D
     
  10. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    I like the idea that most humans and other Federation members have moved past such silliness, but I'm fine with this level of "religion" in Star Trek. I see Bajorans worshipping the Prophets/wormhole aliens as no different than the Edo worshiping their "god", or the aliens who worshipped Vaal, or the ones who consider Q a trickster god...

    I have no more issue with them helping here than I do Q snapping the Enterprise back home from the clutches of the Borg in Q Who.
     
  11. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    “YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED”

    [​IMG]
    Till season finale do us part...:wah:

    In many respects, this was the perfect episode to follow the season’s opening arc. It certainly offers a breath of fresh air following the darkness, intensity and grit of the preceding half-dozen episodes and also serves as a nice bookend, given that Dax and Worf got engaged in the episode that precipitated it all (“Call to Arms”). It marks something of a milestone, too. Though we’ve seen characters get married before—O’Brien and Keiko, of course, and...well, the odd background character (I’m thinking of the ill-fated junior officers in TOS’s “Balance of Terror”), this is the first time two Trek regulars have ever tied the knot. That’s something that deserves a little celebration, and this episode, silly though it is, is gloriously celebratory. In keeping with DS9’s Ferengi episodes, you really need to approach it with the right mindset in order to enjoy it: specifically, by shifting the brain into neutral and accepting that it’s not meant to be taken too seriously.

    Alas, it does succumb to many of the usual cliches associated with sitcom-esque “wedding shows”, including conflict with the in-laws, a problematic bachelor party and the inevitable moment where tempers flare and the wedding gets cancelled. Of course, no one actually expects for a second that it will ACTUALLY be cancelled, but it’s one of those twists you just have to indulge (because there seems to be an unwritten law that you can’t have a TV wedding without last-minute cold feet or a breakup).

    Fortunately, Ron Moore again demonstrates his aptitude for comedy and delivers an otherwise sparkling script with a great, irreverent sense of fun and some genuine laugh out loud moments. While much used to be made of the claim the DS9 cast weren’t as close as the TNG cast, they nevertheless work so beautifully together and, perhaps more than any other Star Trek, actually feel like a genuine family. That family feel is very much on display here and it’s surprisingly joyous seeing everyone let their hair down following the grim toll the war episodes took on everyone.

    Particular mention must go to Dax’s party, which is, hands down, the most lively and FUN party I’ve ever seen on Trek. When I rewatched TNG last year, I couldn’t get over how dull and dreary the crew could often be. I recall an episode where we saw Riker spending his time off sitting in his quarters watching two holographic women play harps, while the rest of the time celebrations involved sedate gatherings in Ten Forward, a bar that is sanitised and sterile in the extreme. Everyone seemed far too stoic and repressed to me; almost a little inhuman. That’s why it’s so wonderful to see the characters let loose and genuinely seem to have fun here. It’s a raucous, lively, sexy affair, with fire dancers, loud music, dancing, and people getting drunk on what surely wasn’t synthehol. It reminded me a little of my wild party days, although things never got QUITE as crazy as Nog’s, um, unique dancing and a brawling Lurian butting chests with people.

    It’s fun seeing a Klingon bachelor party which, far from being a drunken, hedonistic brawl, is actually a hellish test of endurance that leads to Bashir and O’Brien plotting Worf’s murder. Incidentally, it’s a realm shame that we didn’t manage to get at least a cameo from some of TNG’s crew. While that would have undoubtedly overshadowed the episode, it still seems wrong that Worf doesn’t consider at least Picard and Riker among his closest friends. Alexander makes his final appearance, which I can’t say I’m sad about, although—while I’m not crazy about his descent into total buffoonery—he isn’t nearly as grating as he was in “Sons and Daughters”. I can only hope he soon left his ill-advised foray into Klingon military service and grew up to live a life more suited to him.

    I have to say that, hands down, the radiant bride owns this episode. Terry Farrell is an absolute delight as the vivacious, fun-loving, wry and rebellious Trill and this is definitely one of Jadzia’s most enjoyable episodes. How I would miss her when she left the series, although you can see here why Farrell ended up cast on sitcom BECKER, because she really has a knack for comedy and has brilliant timing. Jadzia’s interactions with the formidable Sirella (including her delightfully passive aggressive takedown of Sirella’s family history) are genuinely funny, and while there are definitely a number of cliches at work, it’s not often you get to see the bride actually punch her mother-in-law to be.

    A real highlight of the episode for me is the scene between Jadzia and Sisko. It’s marvellously written and beautifully played by Farrell and Brooks, who really had such a great chemistry through the series. It’s hard to even label their relationship. The best description is perhaps Guinan’s description of her friendship with Picard: “beyond friendship, beyond family.” While Dax is in some ways like a father/mother, mentor and confidante to Sisko, at the same time Sisko has a parental and mentoring relationship toward Jadzia. They seem to shift back and forth, often in the same scene, and it makes for a wonderful relationship that sparkles with richness and genuine emotion.

    Mention must be made of the “closet talk” between Odo and Kira, which is a disappointing way to reset their relationship and sidestep any consequences from Odo’s recent act of betrayal. I don’t actually mind that we don’t hear the conversation, because it really wouldn’t have fit the tone of the rest of the episode; an episode that, as it is, already had more than enough going on. But I wish we’d seen a more gradual resolution to this conflict, perhaps seeing their relationship continue to be strained for a while longer before they slowly rebuilt their trust and closeness. But, it is what it is, and sometimes in life a good conversation actually can clear the air quite quickly.

    The final wedding scene is fairly brief but fun, with some neat Klingon flourishes and an interesting tale about two hearts coming together to slay the gods themselves; a narrative that we will come back to in “Change of Heart” later in the season. All in all, I enjoyed this one a lot. It’s fun, celebratory and really rather uplifting. Rating: 8
     
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  12. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The greatest moment in Star Trek history: Nog's hop dance.

     
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  13. Vash

    Vash Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As always, an excellent review.....nice of you to put up with all of us tagging along for the ride!

    Ronald Moore said he wrote this to show that Klingon women had their own authority…Sirella certainly accomplished that. I liked how the plot subverts the gender expectations --that the bride is the one who insists on conventional rituals….and that the bachelor party is all about drinking and debauchery. Many fun moments-- Martok’s ‘Shakespearean’ diction with his wife. His curiosity about Sisko’s baseball. Leeta checking out the beefcake entertainment. Morn’s chest bumping! Nog dancing! (great YouTube) The wedding costumes were spectacular. Glad they didn’t show Jadzia groveling for Sirella…apparently Terry accidentally really punched Shannon. Yay!
     
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  14. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    @ananta: Great review! The episode is nice but I was a little disappointed; They've basically aped American wedding traditions.

    I mean take the Shinto wedding, for example, it's human yet completely different!!!
    Isn't it a bit ironic that Japanese weddings seem more ALIEN than so-called ALIEN ones?


    So I am sorry but I found this a bit of a letdown. Like ironically Quark said in this episode: USE YOUR IMAGINATION. I wish the writers had taken their own advice.
     
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  15. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    Great clip! I love the way Aron tells the story, I’d never seen him speak live and he seems like he was a great guy.

    I love reading your comments and thoughts, even if I don’t always manage to reply. I love the background info you fill in too, I always learn something new.

    They were a little bit lazy, I guess (the bride still walks down the aisle, the “I now pronounce you husband and wife” bit). I get the feeling they maybe put so much work on the buildup that they didn’t have time to think over the actual ceremony too much.
     
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  16. Vash

    Vash Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The ceremony seemed very Klingon to me...the drumming, the braziers, Worf and Jadzia in flaming red outfits, crossing Bat'leths...Sirella reciting the two-hearts myth. The final scene with O'Brien and Bashir lunging at them with their Ma'Stakes.
     
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  17. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Except that it was the traditional "I do"s except with different words. Not every marriage ceremony in THIS world follows that rule. I would expect an ALIEN ceremony to be completely different.

    The drumming, the braziers are nothing. A friend of mine had pop-rock during the ceremony, that seemed just as "exotic" as the drums.

    To say nothing about weddings... naked (naturist), underwater, in parachutes (that one you need to hurry)... and others in the woods or someplace else. They're also a gay wedding where both groms wear a suit and another a gay wedding where one of the grooms puts on a dress... (I've been to both) Plus others... There is more originality on Earth than is dreamt of in your Sci-Fi.
     
  18. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Personalized ceremonies will always seem more creative than rituals.
     
  19. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One thing I'll say about the closet-talk between Odo and Kira...yes, it's a bit of a cheat, but I feel like it was probably the best option available....to do that kind of conversation justice you would have needed to devote essentially an entire episode to them discussing it in real-time, and while Babylon Five did that on one notable occasion, I can't see DS9 going that far with it.
     
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  20. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    But that could be an interesting episode as long as they make it a show don't tell affair. Kira would start to say something and we'd see the scene she's talking about... and then Odo... and I don't mean a clip show, I mean something like Rules Of Engagement, except better because that one stank.
     
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