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 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 3.18 - 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 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 4.16 - 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!

Keep reading

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.”
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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Keep reading

Episode 4.21 - For the Cause (Mel's review)

Netflix description: With the conflict between the Klingons and Cardassians taking a toll, a shipment of replicators destined for Cardassia passes through Deep Space Nine.

No.

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I think Dave covered the Maquis portion of this episode pretty well in his review, so I am going to focus more on the Garak and Ziyal subplot (with a bit of Ben & Kasidy thrown in).

Like a lot of others, I’m not a big fan of the decision to throw Garak and Ziyal together in a romantic way. I like the idea of them being friends, and I tend to personally read their relationship as a friendship, with Ziyal having a crush on Garak, which he is baffled by. Thank goodness for Andy Robinson not being a fan of Garak/Ziyal, because he usually plays it exactly this way. Garak always seems very confused (but probably a bit flattered) by Ziyal’s feelings for him. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen them build their friendship and eventually have Ziyal get over he crush on Garak and have her fall for Jake Sisko, who is much closer to her age. 

While I don’t think Garak is interested in Ziyal in a romantic way, I do think that in this episode his initial interest in her comes mainly from the fact that she’s Dukat’s daughter, and the only other person of Cardassian heritage on the station. I find it quite lovely that she reached out to him and invited him to share the holosuite program because they’re both Cardassian exiles and she thought he might be lonely. It’s really a sweet friendship, and one that Garak eventually no doubt reveled in because it annoyed Ziyal’s father.

With regard to the Sisko/Kasidy Yates part of this plot: I like this story, and I think it adds some nice drama, but I can’t believe that Starfleet would allow Sisko to go on that mission to follow her ship. In fact, the moment that Kasidy was suspected to be helping the Maquis, someone else should have been put in charge of that investigation and Sisko should not have been allowed to know any further details about it. It just seems really irresponsible of Starfleet to allow someone who is emotionally involved with a suspect to be in charge of an investigation and mission such as that one. Sure, Sisko did the right thing, but what if he hadn’t? What if he had warned Kasidy? As it is, he tried to get her to change her plans.

Other thoughts:

  • Garak to Ziyal: “And you, my dear, have nothing to fear from me.” I don’t find that particularly reassuring coming out of Garak’s mouth.
  • Ziyal’s lucky that the holosuite program really was just a Cardassian sauna. I’d be suspicious of any program obtained from Quark.
Episode 5.1 - Apocalypse Rising (Mel's review)

Netflix description: When Sisko approaches Starfleet Command with Odo’s suspicion that Klingon Gowron is really one of Odo’s people, he is told to expose the Changeling.

Yep, it’s a description of only the beginning of the episode

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This episode heavily features the Klingons, who are never my favorite thing to watch, but I don’t mind this one so much. In some ways this feels a bit strange for a season opener, but it’s fun and has action and revelations, so I suppose it works.

I have to say that I think my favorite part of this episode is Klingon!Sisko. Sisko (and Avery Brooks) is clearly having a ball cosplaying a Klingon. He’s far more into it than O'Brien or Odo, and I kind of feel like Sisko roughhousing with other Klingons is just a way for him to get his aggressions out, in the guise of staying in character.

Other thoughts:

  • Odo trying to deal with being human is kind of heartbreaking. He was never a character like Data, who wanted to be human; he liked being a changeling.
  • Dukat’s face is priceless when he learns O'Brien is the father of the baby Kira is carrying.
  • Speaking of Kira, she and Bashir seem almost flirty here. Possibly offscreen stuff bleeding into their performances?
  • Jake is wearing a decent outfit for once! I think we’re finally starting to see the beginnings of his change into better clothing. The vest is made out of a strange material, but we’re a long way from bus seats here.

  • At one point Odo said “A pawn of the Founders,” which I misheard as “A porn of the Founders.” Thank goodness for subtitles. I’m pretty sure Founder porn is just video footage of the Great Link.
  • I like that Worf could have killed Gowron here if he’d wanted to; it makes it believable when he actually does it in the final season.
  • I usually skip past the opening credits just to hurry things along, but since this was a season opener I let it play. At some point I gushed to Dave and my other friend who was watching with us, “Guys, I just love these characters so much!” So, maybe the real reason I skip past the opening is because it causes me to have an emotional reaction.
Episode 4.8 - "The Sword of Kahless" (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Worf accompanies Dax and legendary Klingon warrior Kor on a mission to recover a mythical, millennium-old weapon of the Klingon Empire’s first leader.

This is a really good plot description. Someone who actually watched the episode must have written it.

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Considering that I wrote “Zzzz” in my notes several times, I obviously wasn’t into this episode. I’ve stated before that I’m not a Klingon fan, or a fan of episodes featuring them. Of all the Klingon men, Martok is my favorite, and he’s probably the least Klingon-y of all of them. I specified “Klingon men” because I actually don’t mind Klingon women, for the most part. They tend to be a little more interesting. In any case, (the real) Martok isn’t showing up for a while, so I was fairly bored.

Although we’ve seen Jadzia interact with Klingons before this episode and she’s demonstrated her knowledge of Klingon culture in the past, I think of this episode as the beginning of the Klingonization of her character. “Rejoined” is pretty much the last episode where Jadzia has any major connection with Trill society. Once Worf came on board the station, the writers made some odd decision to stop writing Jadzia Dax and basically start writing Jadzia-as-Curzon Dax instead. The writing of the Jadzia Dax character is one of the most disappointing things to me about DS9, because they never seemed to know what to do with her. Personality-wise I think she’s great and that’s why her storyline and story arc are particularly disappointing to me.

Other thoughts:

  • Interesting tidbit: I always turn the subtitles on, partially because it helps with spelling character names, but also because I pay more attention when the subtitles are on. Anyway, every time someone said the name of the runabout Jadzia, Worf, and Kor took, the subtitles said “Mekong” while the characters clearly said “Rio Grande.” My theory was that the script was written with Mekong in it, but the runabout was destroyed in some earlier episode and the writer didn’t remember/realize it, so later, on the set, the continuity person realized the mistake and it was corrected at the last minute. I later looked up the Mekong, and it was the runabout that Odo and Garak took in the season 3 two-parter “Improbable Cause”/“The Die is Cast,” and it was abandoned. So, my theory was actually pretty close. I find this sort of stuff fascinating, so I wanted to include it here.
  • I’m really glad I recently did a re-watch of TNG, otherwise I would have no idea what the deal was with Toral and Worf.
  • The Sword of Kahless is basically the one ring, except they throw it into space instead of a volcano.
Episode 1.3 - Past Prologue

Mel says:

Okay, let’s get this out of the way, because it’s going to become abundantly clear soon enough: I’m a Garak/Bashir shipper. I’m also a huge Garak fan, so any time he shows up I’m going to fangirl.

For me, this episode is all about the introduction of Garak. His first scene is certainly intriguing, whether you interpret it as Garak trying to hit on Bashir or see it a little more innocently. Either way, there is no denying the chemistry between Andrew Robinson and Siddig El Fadil/Alexander Siddig. 

Anyway, this is an excellent introduction to the character of “plain, simple Garak.” He’s immediately secretive with Bashir, speaking only in riddles (talking about Lursa and B'Etor: “Those two outfits are worth studying closely”; telling Bashir that he needs to come to his shop to try on a new suit). Bashir is both intrigued and intimidated by him (and rightly so). I cannot wait to get to later episodes, because badass Garak is my favorite Garak. Oh, and we get the first appearance of the watermelon outfit:

Oh, you say something else happened in this episode? Something about a Bajoran named Tahna Los? Maybe Dave will talk about that in his review. He’s the writer, after all. I’m just here to squee over Garak and make fun of Jake’s outfits.

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.

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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 3.25 - Facets (Mel's review)

Netflix description: Jadzia Dax prepares for her zhian'tara, the Trill Rite of Closure. During the ritual, Jadzia will meet Dax’s previous hosts.

This is one of those Netflix descriptions that’s actually pretty accurate.

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In terms of plot, this episode isn’t really that great, but I think I like it because most of the actors get a chance to (briefly) play a different character. As Curzon!Odo, Rene Auberjonois gets the most screen time as another character, but that’s a good thing.

I’ve criticized a lot of the Trill-centric episodes, and though I mostly like this one, it’s still pretty flawed. I have very little understanding of how joined Trills work. I don’t think the show knows, either. So, Curzon had Jadzia washed out of the program because he was attracted to her, but she never knew why he had her kicked out and didn’t protest when she was allowed back in. What I don’t understand about this is why she didn’t know that. The show seems to like to pick and choose what Jadzia remembers from the previous Dax hosts. The Joran thing at least had an explanation. They don’t bother giving one here. Also, don’t get me started on how the memory transfer from the Dax symbiont to another person works. In my notes I wrote, “Magic!”

Another thing that from “Facets” that I think is worth noting is that Odo wanted to stay joined with Curzon. It’s mentioned at the end that Odo liked the experience of learning firsthand why humanoids enjoy certain things. However, I feel that this bit of the story is slightly dark and yet it’s just sort of glossed over. Odo wanted to remain joined with Curzon, rather than be himself again. That’s really sad to me.

The b-plot of this episode is about Nog taking tests to get into Starfleet Academy, and Quark still being unhappy with this. For me, the best part of this plot is Rom standing up to Quark. When he finds out that Quark sabotaged one of Nog’s tests, he tells Quark he would burn the bar to the ground for Nog. Rom has come so far in just a couple of seasons!

Other notes:

  • Apparently, writing porn is profitable, as Quark encourages Jake to write “intimate” holosuite programs.
  • Can we talk about the fact that in order to get Quark to agree to participate in her zhian'tara, Jadzia essentially gives Quark a hand job in front of the senior staff? That scene is really weird.
  • Rom had Garak make Nog a Starfleet cadet uniform. I’m sure Garak loved that. I really wish we could have had that scene.
  • How many fanfics were born from the scene where Curzon!Odo kisses Quark on the forehead?
  • “I was just oozing around the room.”- Curzon!Odo. This might be one of my favorite bits of DS9 dialogue, ever.
Episode 3.9 - Defiant (Mel's Review)

Netflix description: When Cmdr. William Riker from the Enterprise visits the station, an intrigued Kira takes him on a tour, particularly of the Defiant.

At least this doesn’t spoil that it’s not Will, but Tom Riker. I do like the “particularly of the Defiant” wording, though.

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I really don’t care about any of the Tom Riker stuff in this episode, but I like the Cardassian portions (surprise, surprise). Also, Kira is pretty awesome in “Defiant,” so there’s that. 

However, I think that this episode is at its best when Sisko and Dukat are interacting. This is unsurprising, as that’s true of just about any episode in which Sisko and Dukat interact for a lengthy amount of time. The two nearly bond over the difficulties of parenting. This in particular is funny to me because Sisko is one of the best fathers to ever be portrayed on television, while Dukat is, well…he’s Dukat. We’ll see some of his parenting later with Ziyal, and while he clearly loves her very much, he is by no means Ben Sisko when it comes to being a father.

I loved the parts of the episode that took place on Cardassia, particularly with the usual bickering between the Obsidian Order and Central Command. I could watch an entire show about how these two organizations hate one another. Particularly wonderful is Korinas complimenting Sisko and completely burning Dukat by doing so.

Other thoughts:

  • Dukat mentions that he had planned on taking his son to an amusement center for his birthday. I am very curious as to what sort of things are in a Cardassian amusement center.
  • Kira telling Tom that he’s not a very good terrorist and that he was acting more like a Starfleet officer was another of my favorite parts of “Defiant.”
  • I was a little grossed out by Tom Riker kissing Kira. I guess it’s okay if she wanted it, too, but that’s not really made clear? I don’t know, it was a little icky to me.
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.
Episode 4.22 - To the Death (Mel's review)

Netflix description: When a Jem'Hadar strike force attacks the station, Sisko takes Worf, Dax, Odo and O'Brien in the Defiant and pursues them into the Gamma Quadrant.

This isn’t really what happens…

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Seeing as how Dave nicely covered the plot in his review, I feel free to just talk about Weyoun, since that’s where I derive most of my enjoyment from in this episode. Anyway–it’s Weyoun! Finally!

I’ve written before about how much I love Jeffrey Combs, and Weyoun is my favorite DS9 Jeffrey Combs character. As I mentioned in a previous review, he gives such a different performance as each character–so much so that I probably wouldn’t guess right away that it’s the same actor. Weyoun is sort of regal; Combs carries himself in a dignified manner, and he softens his voice. Weyoun’s body language and voice are totally different from that of Brunt, or even Enterprise’s Shran (my personal favorite Combs Star Trek character). The more I watch episodes with any of his characters, the more I appreciate his performances.

In this episode, we get our first Weyoun, Weyoun 4. I’m glad they devised a way to have Weyoun return, because Weyoun 5 is probably my favorite antagonist on the show. The episode with Weyoun 6 is both wonderful and heartbreaking, and probably Combs’ best Trek performance, but I should save that for when we get there.

Other thoughts:

  • The reveal of Weyoun in the episode is fantastic. He and the Jem'Hadar are beamed aboard the Defiant, but he isn’t seen right away because he’s standing behind the huge Jem'Hadar and he’s so tiny and adorable. He just sort of steps out from behind them and it’s great.
  • I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I was sad that Weyoun was eating alone in the mess hall. I doubt Weyoun cared (well, he probably would have loved for Odo to join him).
  • I love that Sisko halted the turbolift when Omet'iklan dropped the bombshell to Weyoun that he and the other Jem'Hadar knew the true nature of the mission. I half expected Sisko to leave the turbolift and run to the nearest replicator to make some popcorn.