Episode 4.2 - The Visitor (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Aspiring writer Melanie wants to know why Jake Sisko stopped writing at 40. Jake explains how his father died in an accident and then reappeared.

After the terrible description for the season opener, Netflix bounces back with this accurate summary.

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What can I say about this episode? It’s difficult to talk about an episode as emotional as this one. The thing about “The Visitor” is that while it’s a tearjerker the first time through, it really just feels like a punch to the gut when re-watching the show, given the events of “What You Leave Behind.” Jake does eventually end up losing his father at a young age, and we see in this episode what kind of damage that does to him. Also, one of the scenes in “The Visitor” is of Jake and Kira dealing with the loss of Benjamin Sisko and looking out a window on the station. This is, of course, the way the series actually ends. Wow, fuck you, DS9 writers!

I’ve never gotten really personal in these reviews, but it seems necessary to do so with this one, because I understand older Jake’s motivations on a deeply personal level. Both of my parents died at fairly young ages. I lost my mom when I was 19, and my dad seven years later. Like Jake, I’m an only child. Losing a parent at any age is awful (particularly if you were close), but losing one at a somewhat young age is really terrible. Losing both is devastating. I’m not going to lie; it can really mess you up. In Jake’s case it ends up manifesting itself as obsession with bringing his father back, since he isn’t dead, just stuck in subspace. Believe me, if I felt there was any way to bring one of my parents back, I, too, would devote my life to figuring out how to do so (but, you know, not in some creepy, Herbert West/Re-Animator way). I would do it for “the girl that I was,” to paraphrase old!Jake.

Other thoughts:

  • Even Quark is nice to Jake after his father is gone. You know it’s bad when Quark is feeling generous toward you.
  • Old!Jake has a DS9 model on one of his shelves. He also has his dad’s baseball. Excuse me while I sob about this forever.
  • I love that Jake married a Bajoran woman. Something about that just feels right to me. (I’m told he also married a Bajoran woman in the novels, so that’s cool.)
  • Adult Jake dresses a lot like Jake in later seasons of DS9. I doubt that was intentional (since this was the height of Jake’s bus seat fashion), but it turns out to be a nice touch. 

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  • Every time I re-watch this, I just stare at Rachel Robinson’s (Melanie) face. She definitely bears a resemblance to her father, Andy Robinson. They have very similar eyes. Then I start thinking about what she would look like in Cardassian makeup. Would she look like a young Garak?

[All images from Trek Core]

six screencaps; deep space nine 2x03, the siege. the dax and kira are space girlfriends edition!

KIRA: You have to leave me. That’s an order, Lieutenant.
DAX: The Federation officially left Bajor yesterday. You’re no longer my commanding officer.
KIRA: I can’t walk.
DAX: Yes you can.
KIRA: You’re being a fool, Dax!
DAX: Don’t talk to your elders that way.

Gems of Memory Alpha, an irregular series:

While in full Cardassian makeup, actress Tracy Scoggins (Gilora Rejal) took the opportunity to walk around the Paramount lot, “scaring schoolchildren on buses" before security called the DS9 set, saying, "Could y’all do something about keeping your aliens contained over there?

[x]

Episode 4.9 - Our Man Bashir (Dave's Review)

One of the first films I remember seeing as a kid was Never Say Never Again, the weird James Bond film from the ’80s where Sean Connery returned to the role, and it was almost a remake of Thunderball. This of course cemented a love of super spy stories. When I got older I discovered that there’s also a darker, noirish aspect of espionage fiction that you can find in the works of authors like John le Carre, and I enjoyed those types of spy stories just as much.

So watching those two sides of spy fiction manifest (in the forms of Bashir and Garak) and conflict in this episode was a lot of fun. It’s clear that the holoprogram is escapist to Bashir. He’s taking a break from life on the station—which is often morally complex—and visiting a much simpler setting of dashing good versus nefarious evil. Garak, having lived the life of a le Carre-style protagonist, is clearly a little concerned about the type of fantasy his friend is immersing himself in. His experience of espionage work is far from glamorous; I suspect it was dirty, nasty work that haunts him to this day. Therefore, he doesn’t realize the program Bashir is using is meant to be fun. Bashir and Garak adventuring together and bickering means this episode is also an homage to another genre that I love: mismatched buddy action. it was great seeing their different methods and styles clash while they were on their “mission.” 

This episode has stakes in that the personalities of the main station crew have become entangled with the holograms, but I would have enjoyed the episode without that. The creators of the show understood what makes ’60s era super spy stories so engaging: the fact that they’re over the top and fun. This episode had those trappings and more: dashing heroes, fast paced action, and over the top villains. And what an over the top villain we got!  Dr. Noah Hippocrates is another example of Avery Brooks demonstrating his flair and love for portraying the occasional scene chewing, crazy villain.

Other thoughts:

  • The Chief as Falcon has the eyepatch, but to me Worf’s Duchamps feels like Largo, the SPECTRE second-in-command and main villain fromThunderball, and I love that.
  • I also love Garak saying that the ’60s era of the holosuite program had a distinct lack of taste. It cracked me up and felt like something he would say.
  • It was probably just the fact that he was wearing a brown overcoat at one point and walking through a period era setting, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of Andrew Robinson’s great performance as Scorpio, the villain in Dirty Harry, at points in this episode.
  • It felt like everybody was smoking cigars in this episode.
  • The musical cues and background score music captured the feel of ’60s super spy music perfectly.
  • Going back to what I said earlier, I love the scene where Bashir shoots Garak to get him to back down. It felt like that was a moment of understanding and respect, and was nicely played.
  • Also like the best buddy action stories, the two friends learn a little bit from each other at the end of the story. Bashir learns that being a hero means making difficult and often morally murky choices, and Garak learns about the value of creative play.

Final thoughts; A nice, light, and really fun episode that celebrates two of my favorite genres, espionage and buddy action.

in this episode of star trek deep space 9 they travel back in time to the year 2024 where the poor, homeless and mentally ill are locked up into large sections of major cities and left to fend for themselves while rich people use advanced computers that are connected to a world-wide network and constantly belch out ads also the economy is terrible and cops are violent and too powerful.

how bizarre and completely fictional.

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this may seem like sort of an odd thing to put up,  but I’m watching this scene (and it’s before Odo’s feelings are made known to the viewer [and himself, if I remember correctly]), but just look at them. The whole scene is about her doing her best to comfort him after he’s found and essentially lost his people. I love how their eventual romantic relationship grew out of an incredibly strong friendship that weathered several MAJOR arguments and events.
And I mean just LOOK at them! Odo’s holding up his bucket-vase and just has the cutest expression like “omg best idea ever amirite?!” and Kira’s smile oh my god it just conveys so much compassion and friendship and I think I’m going to start sobbing from how beautiful this is ACTORS SHOULDN’T BE THIS CUTE AND AMAZING YOU JERKS

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