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.
- 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?