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.



“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 5.8 - Things Past (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Sisko, Odo, Dax and Garak are found unconscious. While Bashir attempts to revive their bodies they wake up during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.


I find I don’t have a lot to say about “Things Past.” I can say that I like the episode, particularly Rene Auberjonois’ performance. However, it’s an episode that I tend to forget the existence of, so interpret that how you will. 

DS9 is really great at making its main characters flawed, something TNG didn’t really do. I like that we learn that Odo’s desire for justice led him to do the wrong thing (possibly more than once, Odo says he’s not sure), and that he feels guilty. As the viewer, we’re allowed to still like Odo, while acknowledging that what he did wasn’t okay. The end scene between Odo and Kira in this episode kind of mirrors the final scene between the two of them in the second season episode “Necessary Evil,” except this time they’re in opposite positions.

Other thoughts:

  • Garak was really racist about Bajorans in this episode. I know he’s a Cardassian and he’s said a few negative things about Bajorans in the past, but there was a lot of it in this episode and it just felt a little over the top for his character.
  • I swear that DS9 just made Dukat increasingly gross as the show went on. “The Bajorans are like my children.” Ick.
  • I find it really fascinating that Odo somehow linked with Sisko, Dax, and Garak. I wish this ability of Odo’s had been explored a bit more in other episodes.
  • At one point Sisko turns over a vase in order to request a meeting with the Bajoran resistance. I’m sure this sort of subtle sign is a common thing, but it made me think of the dog bowl used as a dead drop by the resistance on Battlestar Galactica, which of course Ronald D. Moore executive produced.  
Episode 5.10 - Rapture (Mel’s review)

Sisko really has become the Emissary. Over the last couple of seasons, we have seen him not only come to accept this role, but he now fully embraces it. This episode is proof of that. He loved having the powers he was given, even though it scared many others. Whether you want to view the Prophets as gods or as wormhole aliens, it’s easy to see how they would be able to give Sisko these psychic powers, as they do not experience time in a linear fashion. 

I have to praise the writer of this episode, because they managed to make Kai Winn the most sympathetic she has ever been. She is actually almost downright likable in this episode, and that seems like a nearly impossible task to pull off. However, due to a good script and excellent acting from Louise Fletcher (though she always gives a great performance), I found myself understanding and almost liking Winn in this episode. Though she likely had her own ulterior motives, I actually think she had a point about Bajor. She was opposed to joining the Federation because Bajor hasn’t been free that long. From what we’ve seen on the show up to this point, it does seem like they’re still putting things back together from the occupation. Maybe it’s a good thing that Sisko told them not to join, as they probably should have a bit longer to get themselves together before joining the Federation. (I can’t believe I actually agree with Kai Winn on something!)

Other thoughts:

  • New uniforms!
  • Touched by the Prophets–the new inspirational show coming to CBS this fall! Maybe Greg the demon will make an appearance (one of these days I’ll talk about Greg the demon and some of the worst secondhand embarrassment I’ve ever experienced in my life).
  • At the celebration for Bajor (possibly) joining the Federation, Dax was drinking from a glass with the Federation logo on it. I’m certain that Quark had these made up with the intention of selling them at the celebration.
  • I just feel the need to say that Ben, Kasidy, and Jake are adorable together. 
  • In just a few episodes we’ll learn that the Bashir in this episode is actually Founder!Bashir. I don’t think the writers were thinking ahead, because this makes little sense. In order to accept that this Bashir is a Founder, then you have to assume that this Founder has apparently studied human (and other alien) medicine, as well as Julian Bashir’s mannerisms, etc. I suppose it’s possible, but this Founder would have only have a couple of years to do so. It’s not an entirely impossible thing, I suppose, but it does stretch belief a bit.