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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    I imagine the writers discussed it amongst themselves and didn't feel there was a way to deliver on it in a way that would do it justice and be satisfying.
     
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  2. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great review!

    It was one of the most pure fun episodes of the franchise. And the typical tropes were inverted, which was nice.

    I think it perfectly suited the show starting off the arc with a light hearted episode like "IN THE CARDS" and ending right here. I look at these 8 episodes as a single arc because they dovetail nicely. (And Ronald D. Moore starting and ending it.)

    Nog's cat dance... one of the funniest things in the franchise. I confess... I've done that myself. :)

    Regarding Odo and Kira's talk... I think the writers decided it woukd never be done justice, so just let them go off on their own and hammer out things privately. Actually, I think this is realistic... in real life, we are never actually privy to deep conversations like that unless we are there. I think, as an audience, we get spoiled sometimes by seeing too much... some things should just be kept private. This scene never bothered me, and I think it's the best way it could have been handled.

    And the Enterprise crew not being there... besides the real world reason of being too expensive to get them all in a cameo, we should remember that a war is on. Plus, this was very last minute. I don't find it unreasonable, given those points, that we didn't see Picard, Riker, Data, Geordi, Troi, or Crusher there.

    I personally given this one a 9. It was an excellent way to celebrate retaking the castle.
     
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  3. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think this episode is an instance that demonstrates how ratings systems can often fail. Grading something out of 10 suggests that what brings down the score is what makes the episode less than perfect. I would argue that You are Cordially Invited has a surplus of postives and contributions to the franchise that, when evaluated along with the deficits, makes it a stronger episode than most 9s. Humor is just pouring out of this episode. The bachelorette party is filled with energy; there is something to see and enjoy in the background as well as the foreground. Every second is put to good use, like when Leeta checks out the Polenysian dancer, to which Rom is oblivious. If we don't get the content of the conversation between Kira and Odo, I find there is a certain realism in how it is treated. I assume we've all had those experiences in which we've spent an entirety of a party talking to someone, along in a room, about feelings. I hit me with a sense of deja vu. Cultural misunderstanding is often a feature of Star Trek episodes, but here it feels a lot fresher, with some resisting, others embracing other cultures. I love how Bashir and O'Brien try to get Alexander to take the fall for wanting to dial down the intensity of the ceremony, only to have that reversed through some guilt-filled words from Worf and Martok: " I want to travel the entire path to Kal'Hyah. Stoke the fire again!" Details everywhere, not one wasted. The episode gives so much; why should it be judged in terms of its perfection.
     
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  4. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    “RESURRECTION”

    [​IMG]
    Be yourself, they say! Whenever I try to be myself, people end up dead...because I bore them to death!”

    Oh dear, the transition back to standard episodic fare was always going to be tough, and one of the dangers of peaking so early in the season is that...well, pretty everything else will tend to feel a let down. However, I still expected and demand better than this misconceived waste of forty-five minutes; an episode that surely no one wanted to see other than Philip Anglim and his presumably first-rate agent.

    Let’s start off with the positives. “Resurrection” actually starts off fairly well, as we’re treated to some fun and zesty girl talk between Kira and Jadzia. One of the things that bugged me was the writers’ unwillingness to focus on female relationships. While Miles and Julian make a great double act, I’d happily have seen their screen time pared back for more focus on Kira and Jadzia’s friendship, because they’re every bit as fun to watch. One thing that did bug me, however, was Dax’s cavalier attitude to Kira and Mirror Bareil dating. It’s a wonder anyone could MOVE for the red flags here, and you’d think that Dax, having lifetimes of experience, would have the sense to warn Kira that she’s making a terrible mistake hooking up with a man who happens to look exactly like her ex, who began the episode by taking her hostage and who clearly has some mighty unsavoury character qualities. Unfortunately, far from being a friend looking out for Kira’s best interests, Jadzia degenerates into something resembling the high school gossip. It’s astounding that, aside from Sisko, who offers his own heartfelt experience on the matter (which amounts to “STAY AWAY”), Quark is about the only person in this episode who seems to have his head screwed on, and I loved the fact that he not only felt able to share his concerns with Kira, but that she gave him the courtesy of actually listening. That alone is a nice evolution of their relationship.

    If you read some of my earlier episode reviews you’d know I was never a great fan of Vedek Bareil, and specifically Philip Anglim’s highly wooden performance (indeed, Bareil has the sad distinction of being a character who behaved lobotomised even before he literally was lobotomised). Credit where credit is due, Anglim is much better in this episode as the Mirror Bareil. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a good performance, but it was a decent one. Unfortunately, one of the episode’s mistakes is to put the primary focus on Bareil, who simply isn’t interesting or compelling enough to carry an episode, when it should have focused predominantly on Kira and the conflict going on with her. Although the initial scenes between Kira and Bareil are decent, thanks in no small part to the ever reliable Nana Visitor, things got stale very quickly.

    There’s definitely potential in the premise of falling for an alternate universe version of a deceased lover, but the problem is we’ve already seen that very story BEFORE—twice, in fact—with the Sisko and Jennifer Mirror universe episodes, which renders this episode redundant and ultimately pointless. Alas, the writing is hollow and strictly by the numbers. The episode not only plods along lethargically, but is undone by its blatant predictability, for it’s abundantly clear all along that Bareil is somehow using Kira.

    When the Intendant soon shows up (rather inexplicably given that the crew were always previously aware when Mirror Universe characters beamed over) I kind of expected things to get better, but, alas, the episode begins spiralling into almost unwatchable dreck. I praised Visitor highly for her initial performances as the Intendant and I actually genuinely enjoyed our first visit to the Mirror Universe in “Crossover”. But, man, that well has truly run dry and what was once an enjoyable novelty has become utter tedium. The Intendant’s part is horribly written here; overwrought, one-dimensional, full of hypothetical moustache-twirling and the usual hyper-sexual gags that just grate. It seems we can get away with the outrageous scenery chewing when we’re in the Mirror Universe, which is cartoonish by its very nature, but it’s tonally jarring, to say the least, when the action is set in the Prime universe. It wasn’t funny watching the Intendant strut about pretending to be her counterpart; just annoying, frankly.

    Things culminate in one of the weakest and most limp climaxes DS9 has ever had. Basically, both Kiras and Bareil end up in the Bajoran shrine, with the Intendant set on stealing an orb to exploit the Bajorans in her universe. To be honest, by this point, I wasn’t even fully paying attention. It’s a talky, utterly flat conclusion that lacks any sense of urgency, tension or drama. The directing isn’t particularly impressive this week and I don’t know why they used red filters for the shrine scenes because it looks horrible; everything is washed out in an orange monotone. The music isn’t great, either; sounding like a lot of Jay Chattaway’s latter day TNG work, in which he lazily tried to convey romance and emotion with lame-ass panpipes.

    Ultimately, I don’t know why Kira didn’t just arrest the Intendant and Bareil. In fact, I don’t know why Bareil was allowed to freely move about the station without security watching him like a hawk—given that his first act upon arriving as to kidnap and hold a crew member at gunpoint. When Bareil confesses that he is a criminal and liar, Kira tells him, “well you should go back then” and he basically says “alright, then” (why he actually wants to go back to Mirror Universe makes no sense at all). We immediately cut to an exterior shot of the station and the episode abruptly ends; a rushed, tepid and somewhat depressing ending that left me feeling the entire episode was pointless.

    I can pinpoint this as the point where the Mirror Universe episodes really became unbearable. Final annoyance: how come whenever one of the Bajoran Vedeks gropes someone’s ear, the staple statement is always “your pah is strong.” Are they just being polite? Doesn’t anyone have a weak or middling pah? This is admittedly one of my least watched episodes of DS9 as it’s one of only a couple that I tend to skip. I can’t see myself reevaluating that decision. Rating: 3.5
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  5. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    I agree about rating systems, I kind of wish I hadn’t started with numeric scores because, man, it can be tough. I try to be fair and objective, but that doesn’t always work.
    I enjoyed reading your comments about this one. I don’t recall this one, or “Sacrifice of Angels” being very well received back in the day, even though I loved them to varying degrees. I’m glad to see others do, too.
     
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  6. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    Apparently the producers considered having the TNG crew appear. From IMDB:

    The producers had considered having the Enterprise crew from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) appear in non-speaking cameos as guests at Worf's wedding. Only Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton were available at the time, since they had offices on the Paramount lot. Since the entire crew were unavailable, the idea was dropped.

    Too bad, it would have been a nice touch even with just Frakes and Burton. It would be easy to justify: The Enterprise has be somewhere - there is still a war going on! - so they couldn't spare Picard or too many officers. But they decided they could send a shuttlecraft with Riker and LaForge.
     
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  7. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    That would have been awesome, even if it just took the form of a cameo. Would have been great for ratings no doubt, too.
     
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  8. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    A shame they didn't do it, I would love to see them in DS9
     
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  9. freethinker

    freethinker Lieutenant Commander Newbie

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    I am new here and only read a minuscule fraction of the thread so far (it will take me ages to catch up with current events) but so far I love what I see. You should have your own blog, you'd reach a much larger audience that way.
     
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  10. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know...I could have seen there being a lot of blowback over having anyone from the Big E appear but then not even say anything, or have virtually nothing to do.

    Granted without it having happened it's hard to say how well it would have been received.
     
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  11. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "RESURRECTION"... great review, as always.

    I actually find it believable that Dax wouldn't be against Kira and mirror Bareil. She has a history of fancying 'off normal' people, for lack of a better term. And remember, she never experienced a love interest from a parallel universe, and the edict of Trill hosts is to give the symbiote as wide an array of experiences, so I can see her going along with it just from a Trill host perspective.

    Quark... he comes from a background of shady and can spot frauds a mile away, so this also makes sense he would warn Kira. Sisko is obviously speaking from experience with what he went through, too.

    Honestly, this is the second worst clunker of the season, and strangely enough it's only partly the fault of the episode itself.

    Coming off the arc and the wedding, ANY episode is going to feel like a letdown. I actually suspect the writers knew this going in, and took whatever concept they figured didn't need full focus on, which is likely part of the reason why it was written by someone not on staff. (Though Michael Taylor would eventually go to VOYAGER the following year.)

    This episode is one of the best examples of being a victim of production order timing. Even LeVar Burton directing isn't enough to help this along.

    My rating? A hard 3.

    (By the way, the rating may seem archaic, but it IS just a gauge on someone's opinion. For example, on tor.com, STAR TREK author Keith DeCandido has been rewatches of the whole franchise. Some of his ratings are... odd. Some well regarded and beloved episodes will get a 5, while some overall bad ones he'll give an 8. It just illustrates that there is a vast difference of opinion, and he likely views the episodes as someone who actually writes books on the shows. Nevertheless, he does give good perspectives... but sometimed, I have to question his sanity in some ratings.)
     
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  12. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll try to avoid a philippic on anchoring and rating system, but I just think that this is an excellent case for how grading something for how perfectly executed it is gets in the way of appreciating how much is given and received. @ananta pointed out that this, as well as SOA, were not initially well loved. Much of that reflected the perception that there are peculiar flaws in the story. Comically, no one has mentioned one of the most oft deployed criticisms of this episode: we never see how Dax convinces Sirella to agree to the marriage. Personally, I don't think it matters, Not knowing the whole truth--accepting myth--is a recurring theme in DS9, from the heroism of Li Nalas to the death of Kor. Of course, I can accept that this is a flaw. On the other hand, the flaw doesn't detract from the numerous things the episode gives. You are Cordially Invited is very memorable and very quotable. Subjectively, I would say that the improving evaluation of the episode reflects that the quality of the episode is not entirely in its perfection. Heart of Stone is another episode in which the impression has improved over time. The more that people have come to cherish Nog's story, both in this episode and overall, the more people appreciate the overall story.
     
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  13. freethinker

    freethinker Lieutenant Commander Newbie

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    I've decided to alternate old and new reviews, so I can participate in the communal experience of evaluating these episodes. So I read your review of "Resurrection" and I must say I am in full agreement with your analysis. The guy who plays Bareil is way too stiff, I remember in the episode where he dies, he had some of his brain replaced with positronic parts and while I am sure the director must have told him to act like someone who's partly transformed into an automaton, he could barely pull that off as it's all ready the way he plays the character under normal circumstances.
    It's hard to understand how a seething ball of fire like Kira could fall madly in love with a guy like that. Opposites attract? Well, that could be it...I guess.

    Anyway, just like you, I wasn't thrilled to see him again in that episode where he is almost as lifeless as in the previous ones.
     
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  14. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, those of us who watched the series in its original run ("as God intended!") generally thought Bareil was awesome in his first episode, only to have the returns diminish over time.
     
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  15. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still maintain that while it comes off as wooden and uninteresting, to a "seething ball of fire" like Kira who'd rarely if ever been at peace with herself, that level of serenity and inner peace could be very appealing in a partner.
     
  16. freethinker

    freethinker Lieutenant Commander Newbie

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    But then Kira will be in love with Odo and he's practically the opposite of Bareil, moody, easily angered, grumpy...harumphy.:D
     
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  17. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    Thanks Freethinker, glad you’re enjoying them and glad to have you on board. I don’t have any intentions to create a blog currently. I don’t have much energy due to health issues and that would probably be too much extra work. At the moment it’s enough just getting them written. But, heck, if anyone wants to do something with them, I’d be open to that. When I started I wasn’t sure anyone would even read them.

    haha, it would probably be received like just about anything else in the Trek franchise: one faction would be delighted, the other would be up in arms and decrying it as an “abomination” :lol: Trek fans are just too much sometimes.

    Yeah, I sometimes have a look around at other reviews before writing mine,and Keith DC has written some good ones...although sometimes he will ruthlessly undercut an episode for a minor infraction or something I didn’t consider to be a significant flaw at all. That said, I recall back in the day, reviewers were even harsher. The big hitter was a guy called Tim Lynch and I often wondered if he even liked the show given how ruthlessly he’d review and rate it.

    It’s interesting how opinion of an episode can change over time, either favourably or unfavourably. On the whole,I think people are much more positive about DS9 than they were during its first run. There was a huge amount of hate even once the show hit its peak, although it did lessen as time went on.
     
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  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Other than the fairly-tired Worf-Dax will-they-or-won't-they "drama" in the episode, I love "You Are Cordially Invited", especially if I watch it right after the heavy episodes that precede it.

    Dax and Sirella butting heads...(shudder)
     
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  19. freethinker

    freethinker Lieutenant Commander Newbie

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    Thanks to that we learned that the Klingons experimented briefly in Democracy.
     
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  20. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just to demonstrate changing opinions with regard to Heart of Stone:

    Jammer's review, just after airdate: "Forget the B-story; I won't mention it again."

    TOR re-watch, 2013: "But it’s the ostensible B story that has real weight here."
     
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