Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
Well, there were a few that were reoccurring even through S1: Rom, Nog, Keiko... um, Molly... Morn?
Past Prologue (***½)
From what I can tell, this episode was produced third but aired second, which was a good move for two reasons. Firstly, exploring the political realities of Bajor makes for a more satisfying follow-up to Emissary than a story about murdering a clone. Secondly, it gives us an opportunity to explore the most important character on the show after Sisko, Morn... I mean, Kira! Kira has to be the first main character on Star Trek that actively dislikes the Federation, and what a wonderful decision that was, because questioning the actions of the Federation is healthy and that was previously a viewpoint reserved for the villains. This episode does exactly what needs to be done in showing her conflicting loyalties, and how she comes to realise that some Bajorans are a bigger threat to Bajor than the big bad Federation.
The big problem with this episode is the complete lack of fallout from Sisko discovering the Celestial Temple. I'm pretty sure that if we found Allah hiding out in the Kuiper belt it would be an Earth-shaking event that people would be talking about months later, but there's not a whiff of that in this episode. And it's not just that the writers ignore the issue, it's that they address the wormhole frequently without any emphasis on the religious element of it. I can understand Tahna Los' reasoning for trying to collapse the entrance to the wormhole, and perhaps he doesn't care about the religious implications because he's not a religious guy, but it's absolute craziness that Kira doesn't address that issue once Tahna reveals his plan.
The thing this episode is probably most remembered for is the introduction of Garak. I wonder whether the writers had plans for him to actually be a spy working for the Cardassians or if it was always their intention that he was in exile (or, most likely, they had no idea themselves). I also wonder why Garak decided to spark up a friendship with Bashir. Did he think that Julian was young and naive enough to serve as a contact within the command staff? Did he see something special in Julian that he wanted to nurture and guide? Or did he just think that Julian might make an interesting dining companion? Was he really coming on to Bashir, or was he just playing games and trying to freak him out? I still don't know the answers to those questions, which is part of what makes Garak so awesome.
Form of... a rat: 2
Wormhole in Peril: 1
Sykonee's Counter: 4
Yep he's in the first writer's bible as a recurring character. But then so is Kai Opaka.
I'm going with spy because Peter Allan Fields had written for Man From UNCLE where a tailor's shop was a front for the spy agency.
Andrew Robinson said (from an interview by Liz Sourbut):
I never really saw Garak as coming onto Bashir, which is odd because I'm gay and I always see homosexual subtext when there was never intended to be any. But my perception of him was impaired again because I saw season one after I'd seen 2-4. Or maybe more, I have trouble remembering a decade ago. I can barely remember yesterday.
Whether he is or not, he's Garak, and he's pretty amazing. I agree that this episode isn't the best showcase for him, but it was a pretty decent follow-up to Emissary.
I agree about how important this was. I think part of the preachiness of TNG, and where so many of its episodes failed (even good ones like "The Wounded") was the it was always Federation views and behaviors being treated as perfect (even when blatantly wrong) and anything an alien said to contradict that meant they just couldn't understand those lofty humans and needed a lesson in the moral of the week.
Damn... your good TheGodBen, really good. You considering issues I never even thought about in Past Prologue, I tip my hat to you sir in awed respect.
I never saw that or even thought about it. My wife usually picks up on those things big time and she never did either. I never thought of Garak coming on to Bashir, I always thought Bashir an idealistic young man, fantasizing about being a spy, and Garak taking a liking to him and also fucking with him. It seemed like Garak liked messing with Bashir's mind at times.
Perhaps a rather unfortunate choice of words, there.
Past Prologue is a really strong episode. There are times in season one where I don't really feel like I'm watching DS9 yet, but not here.
This despite a basically gratuitous cameo from TNG characters.
You're right. Garak liked messing with Bashir's mind what I meant.
Don't worry, that was quite clear. I just found it amusing. Probably just being a little immature.
Ugh, I hated Lursa and B'Etor in this episode. They just didn't need to be there at all. DS9 grew stronger the more it relied on what made it unique (Bajoran politics, interesting characters), instead of turning to old TNG crutches such as anomoly/forehead of the week, and random TNG guest stars.
Every time I watch it, I am surprised on how good Past Prologue is.
They didn't do a whole lot though, so I liked the in and out reference.
I'm immature as hell. My wife says I act like a 2 year old...
I'm in the same boat as you, I only saw this episode after watching the rest of the series so I never saw the gay subtext, although I did feel that something was off about the performance. I didn't get that Garak was coming on to Bashir until I read that snippet from Andrew Robinson. But just look at the comments on this clip, a lot of people out there clearly picked up on it.
My personal explanation for it is that Garak assumed that Bashir was gay and hit on him in order to have a way in with the command staff, and when he realised that Bashir wasn't gay he cut it out. I don't think that Garak was gay, straight, bi, or pan, but that he was willing to swing whatever way he needed to in order to achieve his aims.
Speaking of "Andrew Robinson". I now have a funny image of Garak staring at an upside down sign in Manchester and thinking that Cardassians would never make such a mistake.
That scene is priceless if you look at it like that.
Personally, I looked at it from several angles at first watch. I couldn't decide if Garak was a spy, a homicidal psychopath looking for a victim, hitting on Bashir, or all three at the same time. And then I had cycles of theories going by the end of the first season.
Such an awesome character.
While we're on the topic of 'Garak Revelations', I honestly couldn't tell if he was a dude or a gal for a while there - I'm talking at least 3 or 4 episodes worth. Robinson played him so asexually, plus some of his outfits didn't do his 'moobs' any favors.
I mean, I was pretty sure he was a guy, but sometimes...
I think that Garak was likely gay or bisexual. However, I am not sure what his degree of interest in Bashir really was, in that way--whether he used behavior that could be taken as sexual advances as a means of throwing Bashir off balance, or if there was anything there.
As for Bashir, I see nothing that suggests any interest in men. One would expect that someone as observant as an Obsidian Order agent would notice that. Which leads me back to the deliberately unsettling/manipulation theory, a ploy to keep Bashir guessing about Garak's objectives.
Yeah I can get on board with that. Spies would do anything to get closer to confidential information, so Garak would be totally willing to do whatever was necessary.
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