ds9 rewatch melsays

Episode 5.9 - The Ascent (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Forced to crash-land on a desolate planet, Odo and Quark learn they lost their communications system, replicator and most rations in an explosion.

No.

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“The Ascent” is one of a handful of episodes that I put on when I just want to watch an episode of Deep Space Nine and enjoy myself. This episode is fun to watch, but I would never show it to someone who had never seen the show before (unlike, say, “Trials and Tribble-ations”), as the humor heavily relies on characterization. You really have to know the history of Odo and Quark and of Jake and Nog to fully appreciate everything in the story.

Both the A and B plots of this episode are enjoyable, but the main plot with Quark and Odo is the standout. Sometimes Quark and Odo’s bickering is the best part of DS9 episodes, so I guess the producers finally caught on and decided to make an entire episode of it. I’m not complaining. In any show I watch, I always enjoy characters and character moments more than plot most of the time. Therefore, things like Quark discovering that Odo is reading a pirate romance novel, or Odo purposely smacking his lips to annoy Quark are pure gold to me. I could watch episodes that had no plot and only contained moments between characters. 

None of the Quark and Odo interaction would work without the acting talents and chemistry of Armin Shimerman and Rene Auberjonois, of course. I don’t think it’s easy to play this type of relationship; they have to come across as enemies that maybe, somewhere deep down, actually might care about one another (though they would never admit it). These two do that perfectly every time. The final scene between Quark and Odo, in which they tell each other they care about one another by saying they hate each other, is a perfect example of this.

Other thoughts:

  • One of my favorite little moments is Odo smacking Quark’s hand away from the console when they’re both desperately trying to do something to fix the situation while the runabout is crashing. 
  • Another small detail I love in this episode? Jake emerging from his room in the morning, wrapped in a blanket. Jake Sisko is not a morning person, and I love it. 
  • How the hell did Jake manage to make such a huge mess in only nine hours? It’s hard to tell from the screencap, but it looks every article of clothing he owns has been strewn around the common area of their quarters. This is especially baffling considering he’s apparently been writing or playing handheld dom-jot all day. 
  • Speaking of writing, the story Jake is working on is called Past Prologue. This is also the title of the first episode of DS9 in which Garak appears. Is Jake really just writing Garak/Bashir fanfic?
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. 

  • 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]

Episode 4.7 - Little Green Men (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Quark is excited to receive a shuttle his cousin Gaila has owed him for 10 years, and decides to use it to fly Nog to Starfleet Academy on Earth.

This one falls into the “way too descriptive without actually describing the episode” category.

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I’m not too big on most of the Ferengi episodes, but this one and the season 6 episode “The Magnificent Ferengi” are probably my two favorites. I usually enjoy a good time travel episode on Star Trek, and doing it with all non-human characters makes it even more fun. Even though I like this one I don’t have much to say about it; I was just enjoying it and didn’t take very many notes. So, it’s time for a list!

Other thoughts:

  • At the beginning of the episode when Nog is selling his possessions as part of Ferengi custom, I love that Sisko tells all of the senior staff that they’d better buy something. If Ben Sisko asks me to do something, I’m going to do it!
  • Speaking of Nog’s possessions, Rom buys a pair of his pajamas, which appear to have a tie-dye look to them. They look a lot like a shirt that Jake would wear. No wonder those two are friends.

    [Image from Trek Core]
  • I actually teared up a bit at Jake and Nog saying goodbye. I really love their friendship.
  • The callback to “Past Tense” and Gabriel Bell was a fun little addition, especially in an episode that also involves time travel.
  • Nog making the nurse give him oo-mox without her knowing what that does is super gross. Just…no.
  • “I’ve always been smart, brother. I’ve just lacked self confidence.” - Rom <3
  • I know I always say this, but Ferengi screaming is the best and will never not be funny to me. 
  • Quark calling Odo his hero is just beautiful.
Episode 4.15 - Bar Association (Mel's review)

Netflix description: After suffering for weeks with an ear infection without a day off, Rom finally collapses in Quark’s bar and is taken to the infirmary.

And it’s yet another description of the cold open. Of course, this is the same service that can’t even get the episode title right (it’s listed as “Bar Associate”).

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I’ve heard many people say they don’t like the Ferengi episodes of DS9, and I used to be one of those people. However, this is my second rewatch in the past year (I just ~really love~ DS9, okay?) and I’ve found that it’s no longer true for me. Sure, there are still some that are pretty bad (I’m not looking forward to “Profit and Lace”), but most of them flesh out Ferengi culture in a way that TNG never bothered to. Some of them, like this one, give more characterization and character growth to the main DS9 Ferengi family.

In the case of “Bar Association,” it’s Rom who gets more character growth. Many of the character arcs on this show are phenomenal, but Rom’s is definitely one of the best and most drastic. Remember in the first season how he didn’t want Nog hanging out with Jake Sisko and going to school? He’s since proudly watched his son go into Starfleet, and here in this episode is trying to unionize the workers of Quark’s bar. It doesn’t work out quite as he planned, but by the end of the episode the workers get raises and Rom has a new job as a diagnostic repair technician on the station. It’s hard to believe that this is the same character we saw in the first season of the show.

Other thoughts:

  • This episode has a masturbation joke, probably the most blatant one in Trek history. So, uh, congrats on that, DS9!
  • I need to talk about the Dabo girls. We see them more in this episode than probably in any other episode of the show. To be honest, I wish there was a whole episode about them/from their perspective. Leeta is the only one we really get to know–not that she isn’t incredible! I just wish we could have met more of them. Like everyone else, I’m intrigued by this one:

    But I also found myself wanting to know about this woman as well: 

    [x]

    She has cute hair and she seems really into the union and the strike. What’s her story???

  • As much as I enjoyed the main plot in this episode, I don’t think anything gave me greater pleasure than Odo detailing to Worf all the security breach incidents from the Enterprise after Worf claimed that they never had security breaches.
  • I kind of wish we could have seen the brawl on the Promenade between Worf, O'Brien, and Bashir.
  • Jeffrey Combs is back as Brunt! I’m not a huge fan of Brunt, but I am a huge fan of Jeffrey Combs. He just creates these characters that are so distinctly different from one another. He changes his body language and alters his voice slightly to better fit the character. It’s so fascinating to watch.
  • Speaking of Brunt, at one point he says “Ironic, isn’t it?” I cannot hear anyone on DS9 utter that line, because any mention of irony on DS9 has been forever ruined for me by this video. Go ahead and watch it (it’s pretty funny), but be warned that you will never be able to take that phrase–or any other line about irony–seriously again.
  • I can already see Leeta starting to fall for Rom in this episode, even though she’s currently dating Bashir. I always figured her relationship with Julian was pretty casual, as it’s barely mentioned on the show. They seem like they’re just having some fun. Obviously, she was far more serious about Rom.
Episode 5.3 - Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places (Mel's review)

Netflix description: While having a drink with Dax, Worf is taken by the sight of Grilka, a Klingon woman, as she enters the station with Tumek and her guard, Thopok.

Strangely specific bad description.

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I’ve mentioned before that Quark seems to have an attraction to strong women, as evidenced by his relationships with Grilka and Natima Lang. The truth is, when he’s not being a total creep–when he genuinely has affection for someone–he has pretty good taste. In fact, when Quark has a romantic interest in someone, he’s actually kind of adorable. I think a lot of my enjoyment of this episode comes from Quark being a total dork because he’s in love with Grilka.

The parts with Quark are my favorite, but I don’t mind the B-plot of the episode. Everything happening between Kira and Miles is a bit awkward to watch, but it doesn’t feel false or unnatural to me. She’s carrying the O'Briens’ baby–of course they would get close. I feel like this plot was handled fairly well, though in all honesty, I do sort of wish it had gone the full polyamory route. I mean, Keiko almost seemed to be encouraging the Chief and Kira to spend time together.

Other thoughts:

  • Quark wearing that Klingon-style fur outfit just reminded me of the goofy first Ferengi that we saw on TNG (one of which was played by Armin Shimerman). I wonder if Worf ever asked Quark what the deal was with those weirdo Ferengi he first met?
  • I’d like to think that those Klingons went home and space Googled the Ferengi Right of Proclamation and discovered that it wasn’t a thing.
  • Odo was a complete dick to Kira in this episode. Not cool, man. I think this is about the time that Odo’s feelings for Kira starts to get a bit annoying. And yet we still have over a season to go before anything actually happens with it. Sigh.
  • Worf laughing at the end was pretty strange. It was like one of those awkward 80s sitcom endings where everyone laughs and there’s a freeze frame.
Episode 4.25 - Broken Link (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Odo is rushed to the infirmary when he suddenly collapses. After an exam, Bashir determines that Odo is losing the ability to maintain his solid form.

I think I’ve given up hope of these ever being a description of anything other than the first few minutes.

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Dave wrote most of the things I was going to write about Odo in his post, so I guess I’ll just mainly discuss the Garak portion of this episode. You know someone is your favorite character when they attempt to commit genocide and your reaction is “Oh, you. I definitely think it’s awful, but I also understand his motivations, especially after his run in with the female Founder. Speaking of that interaction, she told Garak, “Thev’re dead, you’re dead, Cardassia is dead. Your people were doomed the moment they attacked us." This is scarily prescient. I highly doubt the writers had the series finale planned at this time, so it’s even more impressive. 

Also, regarding Garak’s actions in this episode, I need to say that I agree with Odo that Sisko let him off lightly. Six months in a holding cell on DS9 is practically nothing (though I am curious how Garak’s claustrophobia was during this time) for attempted genocide. I think I need to reiterate that: Garak attempted genocide, which also would have included the deaths of two Starfleet officers (Sisko and Bashir), and likely more, as well as himself. He got six months in a holding cell for that. Sisko must secretly find him as charming as viewers do to give him that light of a sentence. He could have turned him over to Starfleet or the Federation, but he didn’t. He must not have had anything in his reports about Garak’s actions, because I don’t believe for a second that Starfleet wouldn’t have tried to come after him at least for trying to sabotage the ship.

I’m a huge Garak fan, and a Garak/Bashir shipper, but sometimes I think I need to be reminded that this is Garak, too. He’s not just the guy trying to play matchmaker to Odo or the person suggesting Starfleet officers add scarves as an accessory to their uniforms, as seen in the earlier portions of the episode. I’ve read so much Garak/Bashir fanfic that I often forget that. There’s nothing wrong with that fanfic, and I’m not saying that Garak is written out of character all the time, but sometimes I think Garak fans forget that he was willing to let many people–including Bashir–die in order to get revenge and save Cardassia. Sure, he said it was to save the Alpha Quadrant–and I guess I can believe that to a certain extent–but I do believe it was mostly about saving Cardassia and getting revenge for what happened with the Obsidian Order and Tain.

Other thoughts:

  • Quark so clearly cares about Odo (in his own, Quark-y way), and it’s adorable.
  • I love that Garak asks both Julian and Odo how he looks before meeting with the female Founder.
  • In my notes I wrote, "Of course Odo has to face his trial. Because himself/justice is his OTP.”
  • Do I really need to say that Rene Auberjonois is wonderful? I feel like that is my constant refrain in these reviews, but I also feel like one can never praise him enough.
Episode 3.13 - Life Support (Mel's review)

Netflix description: When a serious accident nearly destroys a Bajoran transport arriving at the space station, Vedek Bareil is critically injured.

Again, fairly accurate for once!

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I don’t have a lot to say about this episode, probably because it mainly involves a character I hate (Kai Winn) and a really bland character (Vedek Bareil). That being said, much as I dislike the Kai, she is a fascinating character, and this episode is probably the most interesting Bareil has ever been. One thing I can say for Kai Winn is at least she knows her limitations. She’s well aware that she’s not a very good diplomat, so she wants Bareil kept alive by any means necessary so she can consult with him on negotiating with the Cardassians.

As far as the main plot goes, I think my personal favorite thing about it is Dr. Bashir. He not only fearlessly stands up to Winn and tells her that he’s going to do what he thinks is best for Bareil, but he’s also completely unafraid to tell her what he thinks of her. In these earlier years, I can’t tell if Bashir is just naive or if he’s really just this fearless (maybe both?). He stands up to Enabran Tain in “The Wire,” and then calls Winn a coward in this episode. Both of these things take a lot of courage.

Other thoughts:

  • Nog, about getting ready for his double date: “Maybe I’ll even wash my lobes.” Um, ew.
  • Actually, on the subject of Nog, I’m not sure why he’s so into traditional Ferengi ways in this episode, when he completely throws those out the window in the next one.
  • Quark named a really gross sounding dish (chocolate souffle with Haligian tongue sauce) after Kai Winn. I really hope he was trolling her.
  • In my notes I wrote that Nog and Jake are “BF BFFs” and it took me forever to figure out what I’d meant by that: bad fashion BFFs.

    [image from Trekcore]
  • Jake Sisko went on a date with Lisa Turtle and that is really weird to me. I watched an ungodly amount of Saved by the Bell when I was younger.
  • While I wasn’t a fan of Bareil, I do ultimately feel bad for Kira. Bareil essentially dies twice in this episode, and that’s a terrible thing to go through.
Episode 5.5 - The Assignment (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Meeting Keiko on her return from Bajor, O'Brien is shocked when his wife says that she is really an entity that has taken possession of Keiko’s body.

As usual, it’s just a description of the cold open. At least it sort of captures what’s happening in the episode?

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Not much to say about this, so it’s time for a list:

  • Rom was probably my favorite thing about this episode. He was so adorable, wanting to eat the same food as O'Brien or the other people on his work shift. I loved the fact that he figured out what he and O'Brien were constructing (on the instructions of Pah-Wraith!Keiko), whereas the Chief hadn’t.
  • This isn’t the first mention of the Bajoran fire caves (they were first mentioned way back in season 1!), but it is the first time the show links them to the Pah-Wraiths. I don’t think anyone should go there, because it seems like nothing good ever happens in the fire caves.
  • Jake said he always wanted to meet a Pah-Wraith. Well, just wait…
  • So, Keiko was gone for five days and Miles and Julian killed her plants in that amount of time? I know the Chief said too much water rots their roots, but five days doesn’t seem long enough to kill a plant.
  • At one point O'Brien asks the computer what it would take to render Keiko unconscious. I’m surprised that queries like that aren’t red flagged. I mean, it’s one thing to do a search on poisons or murder methods, but he’s specifically asking about his wife, not making a general query.
Episode 4.1 - The Way of the Warrior (Mel's review)

Netflix description: The Promenade swarms with Klingons. However, the warriors aren’t their antagonistic selves. Martok tells Sisko they’ve come to fight the Dominion.

This is one of the worst descriptions I’ve seen. The first two sentences are hilarious.

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This is a great start to a season, and a bit of a new era for DS9. Many people agree that the fourth season is where DS9 really hit its stride, and it really comes out swinging with a double length episode.

I suppose one of the biggest things in this episode is the introduction of Worf as a regular DS9 cast member. As a character, he really does fit in with this group of people, many of whom have no real homes and have made one on DS9. I’ve never been super into Worf, but I don’t dislike him. I’ve also never been a Klingon fan, and we got a lot of Klingon episodes after his introduction, but I’m fine with the addition of his character to the show.

Keep reading

Episode 3.10 - Fascination (Mel's Review)

Netflix description: The Bajoran Gratitude Festival, an annual celebration, is about to get underway, and both Kira and O'Brien await the arrival of their loves.

This description is sort of silly. I think it’s the use of the phrase “their loves,” which is kind of awkward wording.

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Funny thing about this episode: I remembered it as not very good. Granted, it’s not especially great, but it’s really funny (I was genuinely laughing at some parts), and it’s enjoyable to watch many of the main cast act out of character. I always imagine that these type of episodes must be fun to film.

I could do a write up on this, but I think I’d rather be superficial and talk about how amazing everyone looks in this episode. Kira and Jadzia both look stunning. That purple is Terry Farrell/Jadzia Dax’s color.

Bashir’s shirt has a weird neckline and is bordering on Jake Sisko bus seat fashion but I have a thing for collarbones, so I sort of like that it’s doing a strange peek-a-boo thing with exposing one collarbone. (Headcanon: Garak made this for him and made it this way on purpose, because collarbones.) Also, these colors look lovely on him:

I even sort of dig Sisko’s turtleneck/vest combo. Keiko looks amazing in the red dress that Miles loves so much. The only one completely failing in this episode is Jake, who is wearing one of his aforementioned bus seat-chic shirts:

[all images from Trekcore]

Other thoughts:

  • The argument that the O'Briens have in their quarters is such a ‘couple’ argument. I think that speaks well of the writing on the show.
  • It makes me really uncomfortable to watch Alexander Siddig and Nana Visitor kiss, since they were a real couple at this time. I just feel like I’m invading their privacy or something.
  • There was one scene with Bareil and Kira in which I thought Bareil was drooling, but it was just the combination of his earring and the angle of the shot. Oops.
  • Apparently Odo stops by Quark’s a few times a day just to let him know he’s thinking about him. Look, I don’t ship these two, but I can see it.
  • We got to hear Sisko’s official logs on this incident, but I want to hear his personal logs, which probably detail how awkward as hell most of the events of this episode were.
Episode 3.18 - Distant Voices (Mel's review)

Netflix description: An alien named Altovar approaches Bashir to obtain a restricted substance. The doctor refuses, prompting Altovar to later break into the infirmary.

I’m not sure why, but this is really making me laugh. I think it’s because it’s not a very good description, but also because it sounds like a legit plot about an alien trying to steal a restricted substance. 

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I don’t think that this episode is particularly good, but I like it. If you cut out all the Garak scenes, then I don’t think I would enjoy this as much (though that’s probably true of any episode he’s in). I’m not sure I can properly write a review, as all of my notes are mostly about Garak or Garak and Bashir. Oops.

So, here instead are some thoughts/observations:

  • Bashir is turning 30 in this episode. I was much younger than that when this episode initially aired, and now I am older than Julian Bashir in this episode. That’s scary to think about.
  • I love that Garak truly doesn’t understand Bashir’s feelings about turning 30, because Cardassian society feels so differently about aging. He looks so baffled when Bashir is trying to explain.
  • I really like thinking about Garak tying this ribbon on his gift for Dr. Bashir:

  • When Quark approaches and tells Bashir what Altovar wants, he drops his voice and kind of mumbles “bio-memetic gel.” I just really liked this acting choice from Armin Shimerman.
  • As a Garak/Bashir shipper, I would like the point out that Garak threw Bashir against a wall, and that it was part of Bashir’s hallucination.
  • In my notes I wrote, “Doctor in a coma, I know, I know it’s really serious.”
  • During the part of Bashir’s hallucination where the woman sings “Happy Birthday” to him and Garak joins in, Garak sings “Happy birthday, dear Julian…” which is so strange to me, as he never call him by his first name on the show (and since this isn’t real and is part of a song, it doesn’t count).
  • A car horn honked outside during the part where Bashir tells fake!Garak he knows who he is and for a second I thought it was part of the episode and I was really confused.
  • Bashir admits he likes Dax but his friendship with her means a lot. Ah, if only the writing had been more consistent with regard to this. 
  • The very end of this episode is too cute.
Episode 4.16 - Accession (Mel's review)

Netflix description: A centuries-old Bajoran vessel mysteriously exits the wormhole, and its passenger, a legendary Bajoran poet, is immediately beamed to the infirmary.

Terrible description.

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This episode is one of those that is frustrating for me to watch, due to the fact that I get infuriated over the actions of a character. In this case, that character is Akorem Laan, a Bajoran poet who was believed to have died two hundred years ago. He claims to be the Emissary, which of course challenges Sisko’s role. Akorem is worse than Kai Winn, which is where my frustration comes from. At least Winn never suggested they return to the D'jarra caste system (but of course she supports Akorem’s plan to do so). Also, his actions lead to a Vedek killing a man. Akorem Laan is awful.

Even though I find Kai Winn irritating, I think this episode would have benefited from her presence. We hear that she supports Akorem’s ideas, but imagine this episode with her in it. Sure, I would probably be doubly frustrated and angry, but we could have also seen how she dealt with Sisko being reinstated as the true Emissary.

Speaking of Sisko being the true Emissary, I feel like this episode is the turning point for Sisko as the Emissary. As a Starfleet officer, he’s never been very comfortable with that role. However, by the end of this episode, I think he’s finally coming to embrace it a little. I believe that the Prophets sent Akorem Laan to strengthen Sisko’s faith in his role as the Emissary. I need to address the fact that we learn in this episode that, according to the Bajoran prophecies, the Prophets will call the Emissary to them, and then give that person back their life. Wow, DS9 writers. At this time, I’m sure they were probably referring to when Sisko initially found and entered the wormhole, and how the station has given him new life after being sort of dead inside since the death of his wife. However, it also perfectly aligns with the end of the show. I’m impressed.

Other thoughts:

  • This is the episode where we learn Keiko is pregnant again. Meanwhile, her husband is basically a whiny baby. People (and let’s be real, it’s mostly men) who say they don’t like Keiko and complain that all she does is nag Miles really need to pay attention to this episode. She hasn’t seen her husband in weeks, she’s just come back after being away for most of a year, and she’s pregnant. She has every reason to want Miles to be around right now, and yet she craftily arranges a playdate for her husband and Julian. Yeah, what a terrible wife.
  • We learn that Jake Sisko apparently gave Molly O'Brien a book at some point. That is super adorable and I want that story immediately.
  • I also want to hear more about Ferengi children’s books. “Acquire, Brak, acquire!”
  • I was happy to see Kai Opaka again, even it was only as part of Sisko’s encounter with the Prophets.
Episode 5.4 - ...Nor the Battle to the Strong (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Jake Sisko’s writing a profile of Dr. Bashir, and as they travel in a Runabout they get a distress call from a Federation colony under Klingon attack.

And that’s the whole episode. Yep. (Okay, seriously though, why is runabout capitalized?) 

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Just before we began watching this episode, I informed Dave and the other person watching with us that some people don’t like Jake Sisko, and in fact think he’s ‘annoying’ and gets more annoying as he gets older. Both of them were rather surprised by this information. Personally, I don’t get it, either. 

I’ve always liked Jake Sisko. I think it’s obvious that the writers went out of their way to make the anti-Wesley Crusher (though I’ll admit that I don’t hate Wesley, either). I think that after all the fan hatred of that character, they felt they had to try really hard to not make Wesley, part 2. This is a good thing, as not all kids are the same, even if they are children of Starfleet officers. Jake was especially different, as he had no interest in going into Starfleet.

In this episode, Jake is meant to be the audience’s surrogate–at least for those of us who have never served in the military or been involved in any kind of battle. Jake is just a civilian, he hasn’t been trained for the sort of situation he finds himself in. When he panics and runs away instead of sticking with Bashir, he lies about what happened. He’s upset about the way he reacted, but personally I am really sympathetic because I’m sure I would react similarly. In fact, I think Jake held it together much better than I would. Anyway, this is all to say I don’t understand where dislike of Jake Sisko comes from. People are entitled to their opinions, of course. I just don’t understand it and don’t agree at all.

Other thoughts:

  • I can’t help but think about how far Bashir has come as a character and how much he has matured. Can you imagine season 1 Julian in this situation?
  • At the beginning when Julian was yammering away, there was a brief moment when I thought Jake was going to look at the camera, Office-style.
  • Wow, Quark, Worf, and O'Brien are absolutely disgusting about Kira’s pregnancy. I expect this misogynistic nonsense from Quark, but it’s super gross coming from Worf (I’m pretty sure a Klingon woman would kick his ass for saying these kind of things) and particularly disappointing from O'Brien. 
  • I actually liked the interaction between Julian and Jake. I’m disappointed we didn’t get more of that in the show (according to Memory Alpha, Alexander Siddig felt the same way).
Episode 3.22 - Explorers (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Sisko returns from a trip to Bajor with the blueprint for an ancient space vessel that operates like a sailboat, using solar pressure for propulsion.

Thank you, Netflix description, for that explanation of how ancient Bajoran spacecrafts worked!

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I like this episode, despite the fact that (or maybe because?) it’s quiet. Nothing of great importance or consequence happens in it, and yet it’s fun to watch. There is some nice father/son bonding between the Siskos, and Bashir is nervous and awkward about meeting up with an old classmate. 

However, I don’t have anything too deep to say about it, so it’s list time under the cut!

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Episode 3.7 - Civil Defense (Mel's review)

Netflix description: While working in the station’s ore-processing unit, O'Brien and Jake accidentally activate an automated Cardassian security program.

Good enough.

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Because I must always analyze why I do certain things and why I like the things I like, I spent some time ruminating on why I love this episode so much. It’s a good episode, but why do I personally get so much enjoyment from watching it? The answer, I think, is because it combines some of my favorite things from DS9 all in one episode: There’s Ben and Jake Sisko doing some father-son bonding, Odo and Quark being best space frenemies, and Cardassians (more specifically, Garak and Dukat).

For me, it doesn’t get much better than Dukat beaming onto the station, amused and smug as hell that he’s the only one that can save them, only to find that his superiors didn’t trust him and put their own mechanism into place. The interaction between Garak and Dukat in this episode is probably the best of the entire series. They have other scenes together in later episodes, but this one is just so well done and give a little background as to why they dislike on another.

I don’t even know how to comment on the Odo and Quark interactions in this episode, other than to say Odo and Quark in a locked room. That is as amazing as it sounds.

Other thoughts:

  • At one point, Sisko and O'Brien tear part of the sleeves off of their uniforms. This made me realize that Starfleet uniform material hasn’t improved at all since the days of James T. Kirk, who was constantly ripping his uniform. Then I imagined Garak on board Kirk’s Enterprise, getting increasingly annoyed at always having to repair Kirk’s uniform. It was a good mental picture.
  • Can you imagine being a Bajoran on the station and seeing those alerts from Dukat come up on the monitors? That must have been utterly terrifying.
  • When Garak is trying to fool the computer into thinking he’s Dukat, he says, “I always suspected that Gul Dukat was a little paranoid… he left quite a large number of interrogative subroutines imbedded in his access code.” A friend recently pointed out to me that this basically means the computer was asking security questions like “What is your mother’s maiden name?” and “What was the name of your first pet?”
  • Warning, shippy G/B stuff ahead: Bashir smiling while watching Garak try to break Dukat’s codes is adorable. They need to stop being so cute. Also, conversation I had with aforementioned friend regarding this episode: Friend (quoting Garak talking to Bashir): “’…And that reminds me, those pants you left for mending are ready to be picked up.’” Me: “I bet they are! He really means ‘those pants you left in my quarters.’” Friend: “They needed mending…Garak got all grabby.”
Episodes 4.10-11 "Homefront" & "Paradise Lost" (Mel's review)

Netflix description (Homefront): An explosion at a Federation/Romulan diplomatic conference on Earth has killed 27 people, and there’s evidence that the bomb was set by a Changeling.

(Paradise Lost): When Dominion sabotage is blamed for a planetwide power outage, Starfleet stations troops all over Earth to prepare for an invasion.

Hey, these are actually pretty good for once!

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I’m going to let Dave handle the big stuff in his review. I told him I was having a hard time with this one, and he pointed out that I usually have a lot more to say about character-driven episodes and these two were more about plot. I think that’s a pretty fair assessment, and probably the reason why I was having difficulty writing this review even though I enjoyed this two-parter. Instead of a proper review, I present a long list of thoughts:

  • Because I am very much like Odo at times, I would also be annoyed by someone moving my things, as Dax had been doing to Odo. I think I would be even more annoyed with someone breaking into my private space, though. I’m a really private person and don’t like any types of invasion upon that. So, I’m siding with Odo here, as curmudgeonly as that might sound.
  • I really love watching the Sisko men interact. They all have a great relationship with one another. Avery Brooks, Cirroc Lofton, and Brock Peters work so well together that I completely believe them as a family.
  • Jake called his grandfather “Grandpa Joe,” so now all I can picture is some weird Willy Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory AU. This might sound odd, but I’m picturing Weyoun as Willy Wonka. He’s a bit childlike, but also has the potential to be kind of menacing which is pretty much the way I view WIlly Wonka.
  • I’ve always thought Julian looked particularly fetching in that pilot outfit:

    [x]
  • I’m pretty sure the Federation president nearly shit himself when Odo was revealed. I found this immensely funny because that guy is kind of an ass.
  • Sisko making the Starfleet officers eat at his dad’s restaurant was so, so great.
  • Joseph Sisko presents a way that the Founders could get past the blood screenings: He says a shapeshifter could, “…grab some poor soul off the street, absorb every ounce of his blood, then let it out on cue…” It’s been pointed out that this is possibly what the Founder posing as Martok did. I’m not arguing against this, because it seems plausible, but do we know that the Founders have the ability to absorb things? Is that a thing we’ve seen them do? I don’t remember if we ever saw them do anything like that. Can someone point me to an episode/instance where they were shown to have that ability?
  • Sisko is pretty good at getting information out of people. He totally played that Red Squad cadet to get the info he wanted. I think Garak would have been impressed.
  • Colm Meaney did an excellent job at portraying Founder!O'Brien. It was immediately obvious that it wasn’t O'Brien, not just because the Chief couldn’t have gotten to Earth that quickly, but because he acted nothing like him.
Episode 4.5 - Rejoined (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Sisko summons Dax to his office with serious news: A group of Trill scientists, led by Dr. Lenara Kahn, will use the Defiant to conduct experiments.

I like that Netflix acknowledges that this is “serious news,” but doesn’t say why it’s serious news for Dax. Not putting in that piece of info makes this description sound silly.

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So, here we are, the most overtly queer episode Star Trek has ever done. It’s certainly not perfect; in the end, Lenara gives into societal pressures. However, those of us who are queer DS9 fans will take any representation we can get. I love that no one questions Dax wanting to be with a woman, but it also bothers that everyone accepts this without question and yet we never see any other queer folks on the show (though bless Andy Robinson for headcanoning and playing Garak as omnisexual). There’s also the fact that Kahn and Dax were previously married as a female-male couple, and I would have preferred it if she was actually just Jadzia’s ex. All that aside, the same sex kiss was a landmark for Star Trek and I remember hearing somewhere that Avery Brooks (who directed the episode) purposely filmed it in such a way that it couldn’t be cut. Another thing I love in this episode is that Jadzia saves Lenara. How often do we see a man rushing in to save the woman he loves? Doing this trope with two women is a welcome change.

My possibly(?) unpopular opinion is that Dax and Lenara have way more chemistry than Dax and Worf. I don’t hate them as a couple or anything, but I’ve always been rather indifferent to Dax/Worf. To be honest, I never understood Jadzia’s attraction to Worf.

Once again I must say that Trill society seems pretty awful. Also, Jadzia does not seem like a very typical Trill. She doesn’t seem like someone who likes to follow rules, and all we’ve seen of Trill culture on DS9 makes it seem really rigid and strict. It’s no wonder Jadzia joined Starfleet and didn’t stay on Trill.

Other thoughts:

  • This episode is somewhat unique in that there is really no B-plot. Right now I can think of one other DS9 episode like that (and it’s not a very good one).
  • The artificial wormhole project sounds dangerous and like it could be used for nefarious purposes. Who started this project, Scorpius from Farscape?
  • I adore Lenara’s outfit at the reception:

  • I really love bored Julian Bashir during his dinner with Jadzia and Lenara. I’m convinced he had someone from the infirmary call him just to get him out of there. 

    [images from Trek Core]
Episode 3.26 - The Adversary (Mel's review)

Netflix description: During a party celebrating Sisko’s promotion to captain, Adm. Krajensky takes him aside and quietly reveals that there has been a coup.

Someone watched the cold opening and nothing else.

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I like the finale to the third season. It sets up further seasons (changeling infiltrators!), but isn’t a cliffhanger. I recently completed a TNG re-watch (I hadn’t seen some of those episodes in 20 years!) and after “The Best of Both Worlds” they decided every season should end on a cliffhanger, with diminishing returns. So, I’m in favor of this type of ending, where the set up for the next season is there, but the viewer isn’t waiting around to see how the storyline is resolved.

Since this episode has a lot of emphasis on the Founders, I want to talk about them a little bit. I think they have the weirdest ideas of how to take out the Federation. Honestly, if the Founder who had infiltrated them had just been Odo from the beginning, I think it would have been a lot harder to capture. However, the Founder was the admiral first, so then everyone did blood screenings and it only later decided to be Odo. Not a great plan.

Also, why do Founders like to be Bashir so much? Wait, scratch that. I suppose if I had the ability to shapeshift, I would want to be as pretty as Bashir, too. Seriously, though, Founder!Bashir happens at least twice in DS9. I do like that the Founder knew that Bashir would be awkward enough to be crawling through Jeffries tubes with a spanner in his mouth.

Other thoughts:

  • Am I the only one that finds it super weird whenever people start singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and yelling “hip hip hooray!”? Because never in my life have I ever witnessed this actually happening except on television. Why are they even doing this in the 24th century?
  • Aww, Jake drinking alcohol at his dad’s promotion ceremony. I like that Ben let him have a couple sips.
  • Man, everyone is up in Sisko’s business about Kasidy. Then again, workplaces tend to be full of gossip. I can’t imagine what it’s like to both work and live in the same place. The gossip must be at least 10x worse.
  • Oh, Odo. :(   (I don’t know what else to say about Odo in this episode)
Episodes 3.20 & 3.21 - Improbable Cause & The Die is Cast (Mel's review)

Netflix description (Improbable Cause): A peaceful afternoon is shattered when Garak’s shop is destroyed by an explosion.

Netflix description (The Die is Cast): After rejoining his former Cardassian mentor, Enabran Tain, Garak helps him in a joint mission with the Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar.

The second one is okay, but the description for “Improbable Cause” is kind of hilarious. A peaceful afternoon? On DS9?! Also, I doubt anyone except Garak (and maybe Bashir) found their “peaceful afternoon” shattered by Garak’s shop blowing up.

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