chronotrek

558. [DS9] Let He Who is Without Sin...

SCORE: (1/5 stars)

I can’t believe I’m saying this about any piece of televised fiction ever, but I think this episode would have been better with a laugh track. Worf and Dax are having arguments in their relationship (mostly about him being overly jealous and controlling) so the obvious thing to do is take Mr. Sunshine on a trip to Risa. And let’s have Bashir, Leeta and Quark tag along too, because otherwise we’d have to write more scenes to take place on DS9!

Worf walks around the place with a bat'leth up his ass because Jadzia dares to talk with people she used to date, including the Risian responsible for Curzon’s death by snoo-snoo. (The references to jamaharon get a little overdone by the end of the episode, but for a legend like Curzon, what better way to go?) When Worf and Jadzia catch Leeta and Bashir making time with the locals instead of each other, Worf is highly incensed at their disrespect for each other, while Jadzia tells him to mind his own effin’ business. Bashir and Leeta are more than happy to explain that they’re going through the Bajoran break-up ritual which involves lots of sex with each other and other people. Worf’s all “But muh Klingon honor applies to non-Klingon cultures!” and Jadzia’s all “oh Christ I’m stuck dating this guy until they kill me off.”

A group of Tea Party Patriots show up to tell everyone that they’re going to hell and they need to stop endulging in such hedonistic pleasures because any sign of weakness means the Al Qaeda will win. Worf starts listening to them and saying “Gosh, Jadzia, Mike Huckabee has some good points!” He comes up with an idea to piss everyone off enough to leave Risa. Since the planet is weather-controlled, he’ll just hack into the weather system and disable it, causing a rainy vacation for all. I keep waiting for Jadzia to go “omg dude you can’t just go creating jobs for meteorologists, we’re donezo” but it never happens.

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chronotrek asked:

Lower Decks was a great episode. If you want to see more of that Vulcan, he has a recurring role on Voyager, although in TNG he's called Taurik and on Voyager he's called Vorik. It's been suggested they're twin brothers. Another thing you might not have noticed is the Bajoran Sito Jaxa was the very same cadet in Wesley Crusher's flight group when "not Tom Paris" made them cover up that flight accident.

Awesome! Yeah I really really loved the episode. And I did notice that she was the same cadet that was in Wesley’s flight group.

I can’t wait to get to Voyager and see him again! I was a hardcore TOS fan for the longest time in high school, and committed to the fact that there was no way any other series could compare. (A Star Trek hipster if you will.) I’ve only just started exploring the new series and I love them!

564. [DS9] The Darkness and the Light

SCORE: (5/5 stars)

Someone is methodically killing members of the former Shakaar resistance cell and sending messages to Kira as each one dies. The first is a man who was very violent in his time but found peace and reformation as a Vedek, but is killed by a hidden disruptor when entering a group meditation. The next is a woman who nobody knew was part of the Shakaar resistance besides Kira and the other members, because she secretly passed information to them. She calls Kira in a panic asking for protection, but when Worf and Dax take a runabout to pick her up from Bajor, a device hidden on her scrambles her transporter pattern and she dies on the pad. The third one, Kira gets the message “that’s three” before anyone is even aware that he’s died and it takes several hours for search parties to find the victim.

Odo increases security on the station and assigns a personal escort for Kira, who wants to be out there investigating the murders herself but feels useless as she has to be mindful of the child she’s carrying. Two of her resistance cell members that we met in a previous episode beam directly into her quarters, almost causing a shootout as they assume the Bajoran security guard posted in there is an intruder and knock him down. Of course, they aren’t safe on DS9 either, as an explosive attaches to the hull of the station and blows out the window in the quarters when O'Brien and Kira aren’t there. Kira attempts to rescue them even though it’s futile, and in her efforts to fight past security, suffers a placental tear. (She’s okay, the baby’s okay, but she does get laid out in the infirmary for a bit.)

Analyzing the scrambled voice of the messages saying “that’s one,” “that’s two,” “that’s three,” they’re able to extrapolate and restore it to a less scrambled version. The words are pasted together from different recordings, but the voice is obvious. It’s Kira’s herself. Odo tells Kira that he’s narrowed the list of suspects to 25 people. She asks to see the list to assist in the investigation by eliminating possibilities, but Odo worries that she’ll just go off and seek vigilante justice. Not an unfounded worry; as soon as nobody’s watching Kira, she activates a site-to-site transport into Odo’s office where she obtains the list and deletes it from Odo’s files, then beams to a runabout to seek her own brand of justice.

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532. [DS9] The Muse

SCORE: (1/5 stars)

It’s the episode nobody asked for, where Jake Sisko hooks up with a MILF who gets off on watching him write, while Odo tries to save a pregnant Lwaxana from her controlling husband who wants to raise their unborn son away from all those filthy feeeeemales. An older woman named Onaya spots Jake in the replimat and is instantly able to recognize him as being a writer. She brags about how she’s been an inspiration to others, such as the famed Cardassian architect Kell. (Since when are architects so famous that even Jake knows who that is?) She invites him to her place that night so she can “show him her technique.”

Odo finds Lwaxana crying in his office and she explains that her miracle baby is being endangered by her new husband, Jeyal, who comes from a species that strictly segregates boys and girls. She came to DS9 instead of Betazed because she knows that’s the first place he’ll look, but of course, it doesn’t take long for him to find her on the station anyway. (Poor Michael Ansara. He deserves to be in a better episode than this.)

Odo looks through all the Tavnian law to find a way out for Lwaxana, and discovers that the law specifies that custody of male children goes to the husband of the mother, not the father of the child. It appears as though the only method of divorce under Tavnian law is for another marriage to happen, so Odo volunteers to marry Lwaxana to relinquish Jeyal’s claim.

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573. [DS9] In Purgatory's Shadow

SCORE: (5/5 stars)

Now that Odo is able to change shape again, Kira helps him move his old furniture back in. He laments that he will miss sleeping in a bed as it was kind of nice. Kira suggests he keep the bed anyway but he points out that he reverts to liquid while sleeping now and would just slide off onto the floor. Kira picks up Odo’s Kindle and finds he’s been reading a book about finding a mate. Odo becomes very defensive and embarrassed and explains that he thought he’d be a solid forever and ought to learn something about humanoid mating. Kira encourages him to finish the book anyway.

DS9 picks up a coded Cardassian transmission from the Gamma Quadrant and Sisko asks Garak to decode it for them. He lies and says it’s simply a five-year-old planetary survey report, but Bashir suspects otherwise and catches Garak attempting to steal a shuttle. Garak explains to Sisko that the transmisson came from Enabran Tain, head of the Obsidian Order and his father. It appears he survived the Battle of the Omarian Nebula, and Garak points out that if the Dominion kept him alive, there may be other survivors from the Cardassian-Romulan fleet, settlers from New Bajor, Starfleet officers of destroyed ships in the Gamma Quadrant. Sisko agrees to let Garak go, but has Worf go with him.

Just before leaving the station, Garak is saying his goodbyes to Ziyal, who has grown very fond of him. Of course, at that very moment, Dukat has returned to the station, sees Ziyal flirting with his sworn enemy, and threatens to throw Garak over the balcony. Quark defuses the situation by pointing out Odo would be more than happy to let Dukat rot in a holding cell, but Dukat is furious that this has happened. He confronts Kira about this betrayal, that she would let Ziyal fraternize with Garak, and Kira points out that A. Ziyal is a grown woman, and B. she doesn’t owe Dukat a damn thing.

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562. [VOY] The Q and the Grey

SCORE: (5/5 stars)

After Voyager becomes the third Starfleet vessel to observe a supernova up close, everyone feels like celebrating… including Q, who’s all “ayy gurl lemme put a baby inside you” to Janeway. She’s not having any of it, which makes no sense to Q as he’s spent months reading pick-up artist and Red Pill forums, and whatever, she’s just playing hard to get and if she didn’t want it she’s a lesbian too I bet. Janeway alerts the crew to a sexual predator aboard the ship, and they all step up their game in not taking Q seriously.

Well, despite Q’s insistence that he’s been single for billions of years, we meet the deliciously sassy ex, also named Q and played by one of my favorites, Suzie Plakson, who you may know as K'Ehleyr, Worf’s first mate and the mother of Alexander. She’s all “stay away from my man” and Janeway says “How do I issue a restraining order in Q court?” but then another couple supernovas happen and suddenly she suspects that Q has something to do with it. Voyager can’t go to warp to escape the shockwave, and when Janeway asks Q to get them out of harm’s way, he takes it to mean just him and her, leaving the crew of Voyager to take the shockwave.

Janeway finds herself in an 1860s era home, wearing period dress as Q shows up in Union garb attempting to seduce a Southern belle. She’s still not having it, but is intrigued when he explains that she’s not in some simulation, but has been taken to the Q Continuum. Just like the last time they went there, Q has tailored it to appear in a context that Janeway can understand. As explosions go off outside the window, it becomes pretty clear. The Continuum is engaged in a civil war, and its fallout has been causing the supernovas.

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510. [DS9] Our Man Bashir

SCORE: (4/5 stars)

Bashir is running a James Bond-style holonovel, and he’s just knocked out the bad guy with a champagne cork and made out with a lady who doesn’t even know his name when Garak intrudes on Bashir’s private time with an overly long applause. Bashir’s rightly pissed at the intrusion of privacy, but Garak’s able to weasel his way into watching Bashir indulge his fantasies. Oh Garak, you just violated the first rule of the holodeck. Don’t ever say “What could possibly go wrong?” I’ve seen every holodeck episode, and the answer is “everything.”

The runabout Orinoco arrives at DS9 carrying Sisko, Kira, Dax, O'Brien and Worf, but it appears the craft has been sabotaged and is about to explode. Eddington is able to beam them off just as the craft explodes, but begins losing their pattern and is forced to store them in the buffer. But their brain scans are more information than can be safely retained in the transporter—it simply doesn’t have the storage space. They’re forced to order the main station computer to clear enough hard drive space to store their memory patterns, which results in most station systems failing.

What doesn’t fail? The holodeck. And since it’s specifically designed to hold complex patterns, the characters in Bashir’s holonovel begin to take on the appearance of the five officers. Bashir calls ops to find out what’s going on, and they tell him that he has to keep the program running and not to let any of the characters die, or else they will lose the patterns of the officers. While Odo and Eddington (and Quark and Rom) try to track down where the neural patterns of the crew are in all various ship systems, Bashir and Garak must play out the holonovel. Garak marvels at the lavish life of a fictional spy in 20th century Cold War Earth, contrasting it to his rather bleak career.

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568. [DS9] The Begotten

SCORE: (4/5 stars)

Quark manages to obtain a baby changeling found adrift and sells it to Odo. Sisko is concerned about security issues, but Odo insists that this changeling has no knoledge of what it is, of the Founders, of anything. It’s exactly like Odo was when he was first discovered. He’s going to take it upon himself to teach this changeling what it is and how it can use its abilities. Sisko recommends contacting Dr. Mora Pel, the Bajoran scientist who effectively raised Odo, but Odo rejects the suggestion as he’s still bitter over how Mora “raised him.”

Of course, Mora hears about the infant anyway and comes straight to the station to see it. Odo insists that Mora stay out of it and let Odo do his thing, and so Mora resigns himself to simply observing and advising as Odo tries to communicate with this blob of goo in a jar and get it to learn to take some basic shapes. Despite his resistance to Mora’s suggestions, he ultimately falls back on some of his experience in getting the changeling to respond. It’s almost like this whole episode is a metaphor for how a new parent has to find their own way while still relying on advice from their own parents.

The changeling had been sick when Quark sold it to Odo, but Bashir was able to mostly cure it. Still, there is an imbalance in the creature, and despite all that Odo and Mora did to teach the changeling about itself and how to change forms, their new child was destined to be short-lived. As Odo holds it dying in his hands, mourning the things he’ll never get to teach it, it uses its final act to link with Odo, which is able to restore his ability to shapeshift and revert to liquid form.

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Welcome to ChronoTrek

What is ChronoTrek?

ChronoTrek is my project to review every episode of every series and every film of Star Trek, in the universe’s chronological order. We’ll be kicking off with the prequel series Enterprise (ENT), then jumping into The Original Series (TOS), taking a warmup lap through The Animated Series (TAS), before diving headfirst into the 24th century series of The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9), and Voyager (VOY).

How will it work?

I’ll post three reviews a week (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday). In each review I’ll give a critique of the story as well as some behind the scenes information, and pointing out events that will become grossly significant later on in the series. Those who are afraid of spoilers, tread lightly.

But isn’t the Star Trek Chronology Project doing the same thing?

Not quite. While that blog is similar in that he’s watching the entire series in chronological order, he’s not doing an episode-by-episode synopsis/review, and he’s also taking a very different view in how he talks about the experience, with his main thesis being “What if there had never been Star Trek before this?” Mine, on the other hand, will be very much a critical look at every episode, with plenty of nitpicking and nerdy points in between.

After the break I’ll provide a chronological list of the episodes (courtesy of the Chronology Project, who has the same list here), which will be the order in which my reviews will be posted. As the blog is updated, I will edit these to have links to each episode/film’s review.

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386. [DS9] Duet

SCORE:  (5/5 stars)

A transport stops by DS9 and offloads a passenger who requires medical attention for Kalla-Nohra syndrome, an ailment that could only have been gotten at the Gallitep labor camp (basically Space Auschwitz) during the occupation. Kira rushes to the infirmary to meet a survivor of Gallitep… only to find that the man is a Cardassian. She immediately calls security and has them apprehend the man she is convinced is a war criminal.

The man says he’s Aamon Marritza, a retired military filing clerk who has no idea what Kira is on about. He’s never been to Bajor, so he claims, and he says his condition is not Kalla-Nohra, but Pottrik syndrome, a disease so similar it takes the same medication. Sisko is about ready to let him go because they have no reason to detain him, despite pressure from the Bajoran government and Kira’s zealous desire to prosecute who she believes is a war criminal, but Bashir determines that Marritza does indeed have Kalla-Nohra, not Pottrik’s, and the only possible way he could have gotten it was to be at Gallitep during the mining accident.

Sisko wants to put Odo in charge of the investigation to see if Marritza is indeed guilty of any war crimes, but Kira begs him, despite her lack of objectivity (she had helped liberate Gallitep and saw the atrocities firsthand), to let a Bajoran seek justice for the crimes against them. So she confronts Marritza, revealing that they know for a fact that he was at Gallitep and he does indeed have Kalla-Nohra. Marritza concedes the fact, but denies that there were any atrocities at the labor camp, and that all he did there was design an efficient filing system.

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553. [DS9] ...Nor the Battle to the Strong

SCORE: (4/5 stars)

Jake is tagging along with Bashir on a runabout as he attempts his first journalistic article, a profile of Bashir. He’s finding it problematic because all Bashir wants to talk about is medical technobabble that nobody outside of a medical journal is giong to be interested in. He finds himself wishing for some medical crisis to arise so he can tell a story of life and death… and the Klingons oblige by attacking a Federation colony on Ajilon Prime, in violation of the cease fire. Bashir is hesitant to take Jake into a war zone, but Jake insists.

He’s clearly not prepared for what awaits him, though. This isn’t like the heavily fortified DS9 that’s been able to repel attacks before. This invasion is brutal and bloody and he’s right in the middle of a triage center as people are screaming and bleeding and dying all around him. He’s quickly enlisted as an orderly so as to be helpful, but is troubled by everything he sees. He watches in disgust at a security officer who shot himself with a phaser in order to get out of the combat zone, wondering how a Starfleet officer could do such a cowardly thing.

When the Klingons knock out main power, Jake and Bashir head outside to get a generator from the runabout, but they fall under attack on the way there, and amidst all the explosions, Jake panics and runs away from Bashir. He runs until he finds a dying security officer, who wants to make sure when he dies he’s facing the sky, not face-down in the dirt. Jake tries to comfort him as best as he is able, but when he reveals he’s only there because he got scared and ran away from Bashir, the officer’s dying words mock him as a coward.

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569. [DS9] For the Uniform

SCORE: (3/5 stars)

After appearing to have done nothing about the problem for months up until now, apparently Sisko has been spending every free moment he has hunting down Michael Eddington, the former Starfleet security officer who served as an undercover Maquis infiltrator for a year and a half on DS9. I definitely understand Sisko’s zeal, but what I don’t understand is why we’ve forgotten about him for so long and are expected to believe Sisko’s hot on the trail of an eight month case.

After being ambushed by Eddington while trying to meet with a contact who would supposedly lead him to the fugitive, Eddington begins a dialogue that will last the rest of the episode about how Sisko could stop this at any time, but he’s made it personal and can’t stop being Javert to his Val Jean. (I’d enjoy the Les Mis references in this episode a lot more if they didn’t feel the need to explain the entire plot, but I get that not everyone has read the book/seen the musical.)

After getting away from Sisko, he leads the ship on a chase only to double back and activate a virus he’d implanted on Defiant months ago, disabling virtually every ship system (except conveniently, the holographic communication system specifically installed for this episode so Eddington can taunt Sisko face to face). They have to be towed back to Deep Space Nine by another ship, whose captain is forced to inform Sisko that he’s being taken off the taskforce to hunt down Eddington.

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538. [DS9] Body Parts

SCORE: (3/5 stars)

Quark has returned from his trip to Ferenginar with his annual physical for insurance purposes. He’s just received news that he has a rare and fatal illness and he’ll be dead within the week. He begins to fret about his life’s earnings and how he’ll die a debtor, a loser, and he’ll never enter the Divine Treasury. Rom suggests he sell his dessicated remains on the futures exchange to get his assets in the black, which Quark reluctantly does… only to find that an anonymous bidder has offered 500 bars of gold-pressed latinum for the entire collection. Quark takes the offer. “It took me all my life, but I’m going to die a winner!”

Meanwhile, a damaged runabout comes through the wormhole and the two aboard (Kira and Keiko) are beamed to the Infirmary. Due to injuries Keiko sustained when an asteroid hit the Volga runabout, Bashir has to perform an emergency pregnancy-swap, meaning Kira is now the surrogate mother of Miles and Keiko’s new child. (Handy way to explain that Nana Visitor is pregnant during filming.) Keiko feels strange to not have the baby inside her anymore, but they keep making plans to spend time with Kira so they can be close to their child. After an episode’s worth of having to schedule time to be with their child, they come up with a solution and invite Kira to move into their quarters and be Aunt Nerys to Molly.

Bashir delivers news to Quark that he received a call from his doctor on Ferenginar that he made a mistake, and Quark does not have the fatal Dorek Syndrome after all. Quark is elated that he’s not going to die (and that he gets to sue his doctor for malpractice) but this is short-lived (ha!) as Liquidator Brunt comes to the station, revealing himself as the bidder for Quark’s remains. He doesn’t much care that Quark isn’t dying anymore; they have a contract, and he’s come to collect.

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552. [DS9] Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places

SCORE: (5/5 stars)

Quark’s ex-wife Grilka has returned to the station, to “not ask” Quark for help with her house’s finances in the aftermath of the Federation-Klingon conflict. Worf sees Grilka and is immediately infatuated with her, but quickly learns that there’s no chance in hell he could end up with her because his house is dishonored. So instead, he comes up with a plan: he’ll pull a vicarious Cyrano and help Quark woo this Klingon goddess.

Dax decides to help as well, and keeps pointing out to Worf that he’s pining after the unattainable to the detriment of what’s right in front of him the whole time. (He doesn’t understand subtlety. Don’t worry, she will literally beat the message into him later.) After Grilka is woo’d by Quark engaging in a holosuite program with her where they reenact a famous erotic battle of Kahless and his mate Lukara, Grilka’s bodyguard can’t take it any more and challenges Quark to a duel to the death.

Quark can either give up on his pursuit of Grilka or die horribly as there’s no chance in hell he can beat this Klingon, but a third option is come upon by Jadzia, who rigs up a device that connects to Quark’s nervous system and allows him to duplicate movements Worf makes. While Quark engages in the duel in one holosuite, Worf will be in the next one, performing the movements he needs to make to win the duel. Quark wins the duel, but doesn’t kill his challenger, simply disarms him and gives his weapon to Grilka. She dismisses the bodyguard from her house, and gets freaky with the Ferengi.

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572. [MOV] First Contact

SCORE: (5/5 stars)

It has been six years since Picard was assimilated by the Borg and turned into Locutus. Years later, he still carries the scars, both mental and physical, from that experience. When he begins having nightmares about the Borg, he already knows what Admiral Hayes calls him to confirm: the Borg have returned.

With the destrution of the Enterprise-D in the last film, we are treated to the gorgeous Sovereign-class Enterprise-E. Despite its impressive design and heavy armament, Starfleet has decided to bench their flagship for this mission. Owing to Picard’s history with the Borg, they fear he’d be an unstable element in any confrontation, so the Enterprise is sent off to patrol the Neutral Zone while every other ship in the sector converges to confront the Borg in orbit of Earth.

They’re all feeling quite useless as they listen to the Starfleet broadcast of the battle as it begins, but everything they hear sounds like it’s shaping up to be a reprise of the Battle of Wolf 359. Picard decides to disobey Starfleet orders and go help the fleet in battle. They arrive just in time to save the crew of the Defiant (yay Worf!) and Picard tells the fleet to hit the Borg cube’s weak spot for massive damage. As the cube explodes, a sphere ejects from it heading straight for Earth. It opens up a time portal, and the Enterprise pursues it. They get a brief glimpse of the change to the timeline as the temporal wake shields them from its changes, but the Earth is now completely assimilated by the Borg. They follow through the collapsing time portal to prevent this alternate history.

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394. [DS9] The Circle

SCORE: (4/5 stars)

As Sisko tries to negotiate with Minister Jaro to keep Kira posted on DS9, she’s running a sitcom scene in her quarters as everyone comes in one at a time while she’s busy packing. Eventually half the cast is in there when she’s visited by Vedek Bareil. Since her next assignment has not been, well, assigned, he offers her a retreat at his monastery for reflection and (implied by me and by her fuck-me eyes) future consensual intercourse.

At the monastery, Kira has a hard time fitting in. With nothing to do, she tries “fixing” a stone in a stream that is too oddly shaped to sit in any way to satisfy her OCD. She explains that she’s always tried to be useful wherever she goes, but Bareil thinks she could take a lesson from being useless for a change. He invites her to gaze into the Orb of Prophecy and Change. When she doesn’t know how to work it, he tells her to “be useless.”

Her vision depicts the assembly of Vedeks, with Minister Jaro there proclaiming that he’s being called to, with Bareil appearing and telling Kira that she is the one being called to. Vedek Winn shows up, proclaiming blasphemy. And then things get kinky as Bareil shows up naked. But like most of my sex dreams, it ends just as things are about to get good.

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440. [DS9] The Collaborator

SCORE: (4/5 stars)

[Before I begin, allow me to give a shout-out to the Travelcast! Thanks for the subscribe, guys! You should check them out if you like Minecraft streams.]

Bareil is on DS9 for a romantic liaison with Kira, but also he’s been troubled by visions he’s received when consulting the Orbs, haunted by imagery of a Bajoran collaborator who had hung himself on the Promenade during the Occupation. (Opaka also shows up! Yay Opaka! I missed her.) The vision, like most Orb visions, turns out to be quite prophetic. Another collaborator, who has been living on Cardassia for years, is found on DS9 and promptly arrested for violating his exile.

However, Vedek Winn has come aboard the station to yet again make everyone want to strangle her. She arranges for the collaborator to receive asylum at her monastery, but it will be a cold day in hell before Kira lets that man onto Bajor. Obviously, she can’t directly deny a Vedek’s order, but she CAN use her position on the station to demand stringent security measures that would delay Winn’s departure by days, if not weeks… and the election for the next Kai is in two days. Winn is able to negotiate with Kira: she was going to offer the collaborator asylum in exchange for knowledge about who revealed the location of some freedom fighters (including Kai Opaka’s son) that the Cardassians slaughtered. The man she claims did it? Bareil.

Such a serious accusation deserves to be looked into, and Kira agrees that she will thoroughly investigate. Of course, she doesn’t believe Bareil would do this and lets him know that the investigation is going on. She attempts to get information about an observed meeting with him and Prylar Bek, the Bajoran collaborator who hung himself, but Bareil cannot answer because what was said to him was said under a Vedek’s confidence.

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544. [DS9] Apocalypse Rising

SCORE: (4/5 stars)

In response to the news of Gowron being a changeling, Starfleet has ordered Sisko to conduct a covert operation to expose Gowron for what he is. He’ll be taking Worf, O'Brien and Odo into Klingon space at an Order of the Bat'leth ceremony. Kira is able to convince Dukat to swing by with his commandeered Bird-of-Prey to provide them safe transport to Ty'Gokor for the ceremony while Worf briefs the surgically altered officers (including Odo, who if you remember, is a solid now and all mopey about it) on how to be convincing Klingons. The only one who convincingly takes to it in any real degree is Sisko, which is no surprise, as you need to be a very hammy actor to pull off a Klingon, and Avery Brooks is just one Shatner away from an Easter dinner overdose.

The plan is not to kill Gowron, but instead to set up a radiation field that’s been shown to force a changeling to revert to liquid form when exposed. The radiation is quite harmful, though, and anyone exposed to more than one pulse will likely die, so they’ll only get one shot at setting up the four emitters and setting them off. As they mingle in the hall and attempt to be Klingons to varying degrees of success (O'Brien looks uncomfortable and Odo looks mopey still), a potential problem arises as General Martok shows up hours before Gowron is to be there. If Martok recognizes them under that makeup (or just, y'know, recognizes Worf), they’re done. They have a bit of trouble getting the devices set up but as Gowron shows up, they prepare to unleash the radiation…

But Martok reveals he knows who they are, and they are thrown in a cell and interrogated. They attempt to convince Martok that Gowron is a Changeling and must be exposed, and after pointing out Gowron’s erratic behavior, Martok seems to think it’s a real possibility, and helps break them out of the cell in order to confront Gowron directly. Worf wants to challenge Gowron to honorable combat, but Martok just wants a straight-up assassination-style murderfest. And of course he would, because as Odo (and strangely not Worf) realizes, Gowron has been all about the honor, while Martok is the one who cares nothing for it and wants Gowron shot in the back.

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388. [DS9] In the Hands of the Prophets

SCORE:  (5/5 stars)

It’s Keiko versus Winn, the battle of the most unlikable characters on DS9! Who will win? For those of you watching DS9 for the first time, Louise Fletcher makes her first appearance as the most hated person on camera since she played Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Vedek Winn Adami has arrived on DS9 to start protesting Keiko’s classroom teaching about the wormhole without making her lesson plan about the religious beliefs of the Bajorans and their Celestial Temple. Keiko refuses to let her classroom be hijacked by religious fanaticism, leading to a two-and-a-half hour televised debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye.

Sisko feels stuck in the middle, being the Emissary to the Prophets, yet being an “atheist” Starfleet officer not in a position to take sides. He wants to find some common ground between Keiko’s school and the Bajoran religious interests, but fears that Winn has no desire for compromise on the matter. She’s a strong contender as a replacement for Kai Opaka, and this looks to be a political move on her part. He travels to Bajor to meet with one of the more liberal Vedeks, a man named Bareil, but because Bareil is also in the running for Kai and because much of the Assembly fears Sisko for one reason or another, it wouldn’t be politically savvy for him to side with the Emissary before clinching the coveted Space Pope Hat.

Tensions between Starfleet and the Bajorans come to a head when Keiko’s classroom is firebombed. Fortunately, nobody was inside, but this act of terrorism cannot be overlooked, and Sisko outright blames Winn for inciting people to violence over religious beliefs. Bareil sees an opportunity to win some political points in the wake of the bombing, and comes to DS9 to speak in favor of peace. But the murder of a Starfleet officer in the B-plot leads to evidence that someone was planning to steal a runabout and had disabled the weapon detection system in the Promenade.

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563. [DS9] Rapture

SCORE: (5/5 stars)

The gray uniforms have arrived! This means one thing: Bashir has been replaced by a changeling. (Oops! Spoilers for a later episode! But I think it’s interesting to watch him these next few episodes knowing he’s not Bashir.) The Cardassians have returned a 20,000 year old painting of B'hala, an ancient lost city on Bajor and a major religious site. It’s said that only one “touched by the prophets” would be able to find its location again, but the painting includes an obelisk with two sides visible containing symbols that supposedly provide coordinates to its location.

After scanning the painting before having it returned to Bajor, Sisko spends hours obsessing over it and recreates the obelisk in the holosuite, even using reflections in the painting to reconstruct the other two sides of it. When Quark lets him know he’s been in there for hours, he goes to save the program and pull his flash drive, when an energy discharge from the console knocks him out. Waking up in the infirmary, Bashir tells him that he’s got post-neural shock syndrome, which causes all his senses to be pronounced. Colors seem more vivid, etc. Sisko immediately returns to the obelisk to study it further. He’s in there when he gets a call from Starfleet headquarters: the Bajoran application for Federation membership has been accepted.

Despite this being the culmination of five years of work, Sisko still obsesses over the obelisk, trying to decipher the runes. When eating dinner with Jake, he begins putting his food together in shapes reminiscent of the runes. (This means something! This is important!) He’s even shirking his duties and avoiding visits from important functionaries, including Kai Winn (although he can hardly be blamed for avoiding her). Kasidy Yates returns to the station from her six month stint in prison and interrupts Sisko in a trance in the holosuite. He had a vision, and wants to go on a trip with her to Bajor immediately. They beam into some caves and Sisko manages to find the lost city of B'hala.

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