Deep Space Nine (DS9) Season 5 Guest Reviews
Stardate 50049.3: Synopsis in main DS9 listing
The "Alamo in the Gamma Quadrant" story wasn't too bad. While on a scouting mission in the Gamma Quadrant for a certain mineral to mine, Sisko, Worf, Miles and a couple of other gold-shirts, doomed not to see the end of the episode observe a Jem'Hadar warship crash. However just as they think they've hit the tactical jackpot, their runabout in orbit is attacked and destroyed by another warship sent to retrieve a mysterious and highly valued chunk of booty inside.
Sisko and Co. take refuge, and whilst having to search for this mystery object, they also have to deal with their wounded crewman, Muniz. I'm not quite sure how long Muniz was hanging around in terms of the series, but his death certainly makes an impression. Nothing so sterile as a cortical implant sounding a long high pitched "beeeeeeeeep" to denote a lack of pulse, with either the EMH or Crusher grimly state "s/he's dead". It's much more brutal AND real than that.
Anyway, so the crew hold up in the ship whilst Sisko attempts to negotiate with the Vorta liaison Kilana, who's surprisingly not a conventional villainess here. You'd expect any other antagonist in her position to send in the troops, massacre the Starfleet crew and take what's found to be a Changeling without a moment's hesitation. However she seeks a peaceful resolution with compromises, which are, surprisingly, acceptable. However Sisko's not convinced, and following the death of the Changeling, the Jem'Hadar, Muniz, the runabout crew and another random Starfleet officer, quite resoundingly states as only Sisko can: "This! Never would have happened! If we only Trusted each! Other!!" ...or something along those lines. The point being that mistrust can blind even the most hardened people and that unwillingness to compromise can cost lives that never should've been taken in the first place (though try telling a Jem'Hadar that!).
The message aside it's not a bad episode, there's some decent action sequences and the claustrophobic atmosphere of the upside-down Jem'Hadar ship is tense. Miles and Worf clash on their views about Muniz's impending death, and while I understand the Klingon view on dishonourable deaths, I'd have expected Worf to be a little more compassionate. He's lived and served with humans long enough and has seen death many times, it almost seems like they just decided to turn him into a jerk to fulfill the stereotypical role of the 'angry, bloodthirsty' Klingon purely to provide the alternate view on how to handle Muniz dying. Dax like always cracks a wise one about the precious cargo being sought by the Jem'Hadar is Kilana's lost earring, I lol'd. And Sisko's pretty good like you can expect. Of course, there's the argument he was too eager to trust Kilana when she wanted to meet with him, but I don't think he had much choice otherwise.
All in all, a well constructed episode, but it all feels a bit drawn out for the message that was being sent (mistrust, compromise, etc.).
- Nitpicking: While I'm not expert on this particular Trek series I'm still at a bit of a loss as to why Starfleet must insist on these ever so dangerous missions into the Gamma Quadrant with so few personnel. Very well, the planet the episode takes place on was 3 weeks from Dominion territory, but sending a lone Runabout seemed a bit reckless. Maybe they could've pulled an old Oberth class ship (and model) out of mothballs to have one orbiting that got attacked and destroyed.
- Remarkable scene: Sisko musing over the casualty list from the incident on the planet. Never was anything of a similar nature seen on its contemporary and predecessor series TNG and Voyager respectively. Miles and Worf watching over Muniz's coffin to keep predators away according to a Klingon tradition.
- Remarkable costume: Kilana's outfit, sexiest Vorta ever :P
- Remarkable set: Less said about the exterior the better but the interior of the upside down Jem'Hadar ship, complete with hanging corpses!
- Remarkable fact: Jem'Hadar weapons employ some form of anti-coagulant to ensure that once wounded, the victim never stops bleeding.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)
Trials and Tribble-ations
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main DS9 listing
Obviously "Trials and Tribble-ations" deserves a high rating just because it is so much fun to watch. The special effects used are outstanding and it is nice to see a higher quality model of the original Enterprise for the first time. I appreciate how the old corny "technology" of the time period was treated. I also appreciate how the writers decided to handle the Klingon forehead problem by only recognizing it but not explaining it- "We do not discuss it with outsiders." Of course, Enterprise will later explain the problem rather well without causing any problems with Worf's statement here.
I only wish the writers took the opportunity they had here to explain or show some things about the old Enterprise that are still a mystery. Perhaps they could have shown the warp core so we could finally see what it looks like and where it is located exactly. Is it directly under the engineering deck that is commonly shown throughout TOS? I would also like to know why we never see any windows on the interior of this ship, yet they are clearly visible on the outside.
- Remarkable ship: The Enterprise!
- Nitpicking: If time travel is so easy to accomplish by the late 24th century, one would think that someone would have already intentionally screwed up the time line in their favor. I could see some Ferengi taking advantage of an underdeveloped planet like what Quark intended to do in DS9 "Little Green Men" or what the two Ferengi did in VOY "False Profits".
Rating: 9 (Chris)
Let He Who Is Without Sin
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main DS9 listing
When I saw this episode first time around, I walked out of the room.
Sorry, the sight of Leela, Jadzia, and loads of hot ladies in swimsuits maybe a 'feast for the eye' of many sad case fan boys, but I like my science fiction to be about err, science fiction. If I want to see stuff like that, I watch something more dedicated - porn, lad magazine videos, or Baywatch for example. In fact this episode felt more like Baywatch...
This time around - just to review.
Basically, Jadzia, Leela, Julian, and comedy relief duo Rom and Quark, head off to the Brothel of the Federation Risa (same planet featured in the TNG's atrocity "Captain's Holiday") for a bit of R&R - if that is what one wants to call it. Not to make is so bias, Worf is dragged along too.
Of course grumpy draws Worf is not happy that his hot girlfriend Jadzia is enjoying herself, getting attention, and meeting other friends who - surprise, surprise - are just as hot and fit, so as a result he falls into the camp of one Pascal (French?) Fullerton, head of the New Essentialists who stand against everything Risa represents - and represents everything he believes - honour, values, tradition.
I see a point in what Bernd said about the factors of this episode in the aftermath of 9/11, with Fullerton (apt name if you think about it) playing on the fears and the blind gullibility's of those too enthralled with the wow of the now and ignoring the dangers out there, and the New Essentialists coming to pass - Think moral superiority in the US and you get an idea.
To be honest, the closest there is to this movement is the up and coming "Tea Party" in the US - Sort of ultra-right wing people who believe in traditional values, and gaining strength in light of post 9/11 paranoia and the failures of Barack Obama. Dangerous people who must never get into power. A fact illustrated when the New Essentialists sabotage the weather controls of Risa and want to go further.
The problem is its delivered in the way of a Carry On film - all the hot girls and guys are in sexy clothes or saucy situations, be it main cast or not; numerous sexual innuendo and 'embarrassing situations'; the men are either grumpy sods, or gormless-but-fun-loving-idiots, and Fullerton almost bordered on a pompous prude - the kind of comedy vicar that tutts at any lewd conduct and ends up with a custard pie in the face. In this case in the form of Worf's fist.
The greatest flaw was that since it was suppose to be about sex, debauchery(!!!) and the price of it, and reading the back story how this was based on the controversial Eugene O'Neill's 1947 play "A Moon for the Misbegotten" where the characters of said play died due to their pursuit of sexual want and drinking lust.
Due to Star Trek's nature and viewing time however, it had none. The net result is an utterly lame, dire, and farcical episode with injected humour that feels like an illness, and crap silliness trying to be suggestive. Like I said, it came across like Baywatch.
Hell even the writers condemn it.
As the old saying goes - if you cannot do it right, don't do it at all.
One episode I always avoid. 0/10
Rating: 0 (Chris S)
Stardate not given: Odo and Quark find themselves stranded on a forbidding planet, forced to rely on their determination to survive and escape, while Jake Sisko and Nog have a personality conflict to resolve back on DS9.
For some reason that escapes me, this episode has received very poor ratings on this site. However, I liked it. For me, this is an episode of courage, perseverance and determination to survive against all odds. Quark is an unlikely hero of this story, surpassing his own limitations and managing to rescue both of them. I was impressed by his drive and incredible determination, in actually reaching the top of the mountain with the transmitter, all the more so since it IS Quark, and such an amazing display of endurance is about the last thing I would have expected from him. Odo, on the other hand, has proven quite disappointing, being more of a burden to Quark than any real help, almost constantly berating Quark with his superior attitude. After he broke his leg, he became nothing more than excess cargo. I was surprised by Quark's decision to actually drag Odo up the mountain afterwards, even after Odo himself suggested he be left behind (the only smart suggestion of his in this entire episode). Had I been in Quark's place, I would have left the arrogant condescending cretin (Quark was absolutely right when he called Odo a fascist), and continued on alone. Without his shapeshifting ability, Odo has proven quite useless, and this episode is no exception. As for the secondary plot of a disagreement between Jake and Nog, it didn't touch me a great deal, except to illustrate how radically can people change, and how such a change can be detrimental to a friendship. Personally, I find this "new" Nog a little too stuck-up for his own good.
- Nitpicking: Why should a subspace transmitter require less atmospheric interference to function properly? If it were a radio transmitter relying on analog signals, it would certainly make sense, but a subspace transmitter capable of sending data across hundreds of light-years should not be affected by a few kilometer difference in altitude. Even digital signals today are marginally affected by environmental conditions.
- Remarkable scenes:
- Quark, prone against a wind-swept rockface, a fanatical determination in his eyes as he relentlessly pushed the transmitter upslope! One of the most powerful scenes I have seen in Star Trek, the incredible soundtrack only adding to the surrealism of the scene...
- Immediately afterwards, when Odo remarks that Quark's remains are "not worth much"!!! My dear arrogant scum Odo, Quark is worth more than you can EVER hope to be!
Rating: 7 (Darko)
The Darkness and the Light
Stardate not given: A mysterious and sophisticated Cardassian assassin with a vendetta against Kira Nerys is systematically eliminating her comrades from the Shakaar resistance cell.
Kira Nerys: My ABSOLUTELY least favourite character in DS9, an insufferable irritating arrogant b**ch with an attitude, whom I want to kill every SINGLE time I see her on the screen. Silaran Prinn: An innocent Cardassian civilian who was disfigured in one of Kira's terrorist attacks, doubtlessly one of many Kira's "collateral" victims, finally deciding to take his long-overdue revenge on Kira for what she did to him. This is a dark episode of unresolved past finally catching up with the present, and of natural justice taking its rightful course. While many would consider Silaran's actions to be simply "evil", in my view he was doing the ONLY right thing for someone who has lived with the consequences of someone else's actions, and has done nothing to deserve those consequences, AND actually has courage to DO something about it! As I stated before, I can only imagine how many innocent others were affected by Kira's actions (and the actions of all the other members of the Shakaar cell) as a terrorist, and I find it incredible that someone else had not tried to punish her before now. Revenge is the ONLY type of true justice that exists, and has the capability of truly PUNISHING the guilty party. Silaran's determination is demonstrated in the fact that he had gone from a simple Cardassian manservant in Gul Pirak's household to an expert in engineering and security systems, employing sophisticated remote devices such as hunter-killer drones, Romulan re'mat detonators, and proximity-sweep disruptor pulse emitters to SELECTIVELY destroy the guilty (a point which he made to Kira during their final showdown, and completely correct). Revenge is a powerful motivator, and this episode demonstrates that fact perfectly. Still, the most remarkable thing about Silaran was that, even as driven by revenge as he was, he still did not neglect to protect the innocent, as was demonstrated when the hunter-killer probe decompressed O'Brien's quarters at the time when only Furrel and Lupaza were in them, and neither Miles nor anyone else from the O'Brien family was inside (EXQUISITELY perfect timing, in my opinion), and especially at the end, when he tried to protect the O'Briens' unborn child by removing him from Kira and placing him in an incubator before disposing of her.
However, in the end, Silaran is an incredibly tragic character, all of his efforts and his righteous quest for vengeance futile since, OF COURSE, a simple Insignificant Worthless Cardassian could never hope to defeat the Great And Glorious Larger Than Life Kira "the invincible" Nerys. She predictably prevails due to an extremely contrived notion that the Mak'ara herbs she used would counteract a large dose of a potent and sophisticated neuro-sedative, which is simply ridiculous! That is the sole reason why am I giving this episode a rating of 3, because if Silaran had actually accomplished his revenge and KILLED Kira, it would be a pure 10! Well, that and the four following flaws.
- Remarkable errors:
- Kira Nerys manages to override DS9's internal security systems, site-to-site transport to a runabout, and fly off without ANY interference. What about tractor beams? What about a precisely targetted shot to the runabout's warp engines? What about simply sealing the launch bay doors when the station's internal sensors detected an unauthorized power-up of the runabout's engines? And as for her even having the opportunity to leave the station, surely Odo, an acute observer of humanoid nature and a supposedly skilled investigator, would have at least suspected that she might try to take matters into her hands, and left a guard with her in sickbay?
- Kira, in her determination to reach the decompressed O'Briens' quarters, effortlessly knocks out three trained security officers, the first two with blows I would have barely even FELT? Riiiiiight. Once again Kira Nerys The Unstoppable is beyond any mere mortal's ability to subdue! Oh, please.
- As stated before, Bajoran "magical" neuro-sedative counteracting herbs. I don't think so!
- Nitpicking: Furrel and Lupaza beaming aboard DS9 without activating an "Intruder Alert", and the flimsy explanation that "no security system was invented that Lupaza couldn't break".
Rating: 3 (Darko)
Children of Time
Stardate not given: Sisko and the crew of Defiant crash on a planet and meet their inbred relatives. They learn if they take off, they will crash back through time and become the settlers. They work out how to escape but change their mind at the last minute and decide to deliberately crash again but they accidentally escape erasing the settlement from time as an old Odo decided to free them so his old self can love Kira.
Every series you get episodes that are very ethical, I mean what do you do in these situations? I mean, TNG: "Ethics" springs to mind as do various others but this one stands out. It so moral and is has a question only Star Trek could ask - if as a result of your travel to the past 8,000 people are created do you deliberately go back in time or do you not killing 8,000 people?
This episode so works. The civilization is well shown and I like the idea of there own relatives. It shows it so simply. I like how at the start of the episode both the viewers and the characters are inclined to say "fuck them, escape the planet." Yet you feel for them and by the end of the episode you just will it to work. The two most significant characters are Worf and O'Brien. O'Brien's change by the end is so perfectly set up yet is never feels forced. Worf meanwhile has an easier time and his refusal to kill the Klingons but instead help the rest of the settlers is so simply effective. It's so well written. I don't usually care of Star Trek writers (except dicks like B&B) but whoever wrote this is a genius. The idea of sacrificing themselves is not only poignant but slightly convincing.
Now for a couple more things. The time travel is different and rather ingenious, rather then the typical clichés already used by Star Trek but why the past? Up until the late 1990s Star Trek never went forward 9/10 times (then they had VOY: "Relativity" and tonnes of Enterprise eps). They never went to the future. Why the hell not? It's a lot more interesting yet this episode has a compromise which I'm happy with, with future relatives and a past time travel.
The idea of the fake Defiant and the trickery was rather lame. It had no purpose except to give the story a slightly more darker and cunning side. Not only was it slightly implausible it seemed a bit misplaced in such a simple episode. There wasn't much need for it. However I concede that the motives were original and it was Dax. I'm glad it wasn't some unknown enemy but someone we're familiar with making this part of the episode part of the story and overall not too bad. On a side-note, it's a different Dax which makes a change, for example in DS9: "The Visitor" - they still had Jadzia Dax, why? Change is original, you idiots which is another plus point for this episode.
The Odo plot, oh boy. I hated it and found it irrelevant but I've had a deep thought and realized a few things. At some point they had to have Kira find out and if it wasn't for this episode it would involve either Odo telling her in a rather nervous embarrassing moment or Quark telling her (even worse!) or she finding out herself. All of these options are bad choices so thinking bad I'm glad they used this genius technique of an older Odo. The other thing was if they didn't how would the ship escape. Using Odo is a pretty genius idea and although I feel it was pointless and was a distraction it was crucial and I'm glad it showed up.
Overall they episode is very strong in both messages, themes and story and lends itself to not only one of the most emotional scenes in Deep Space Nine and probably the story with the best ending in season 5. There may have been bits that were flawed or that I didn't like but 95% was televisual perfection. I do also feel the episode would have benefited if they memories were erased as it would have been a much more emotional and poignant ending.
- Nitpicking: Why was all of the senior staff of Deep Space Nine on the Defiant? What if the Dominion had attacked?
- Remarkable dialogue: "You said there was an enemy to fight?" - "Yes, time. These people are attempting to plant these planets before nightfall. Time is their enemy and we will help them defeat it." -Klingon and Worf
- Remarkable quote: "Dying because my parents ceased to exist is not a death worthy of sto-vo-kor." -Klingon
Rating: 9 (Darren Carver-Balsiger)
In the Cards
Stardate 50929.4: "The One with the Cellular Regeneration and Entertainment Chamber"
I'm not going to lie, I love this episode. Jake and Nog as the over-reactant action takers is silly, but I find the episode fun. I will, however, try to rate this episode more on the standards set by the rest of the series and less on my personal preferences.
As always, the acting of, and the interplay between Cirroc Lofton and Aron Eisenberg was more than noteworthy. They were serious and yet, at the same time, funny. You really, without hesitation or doubt, believed that these people are as close as brothers. This episode has some close similarities with the later Season 7 episode "Treachery, Faith and the Great River", except that in the latter it is Nog alone making all of the deals, and that this was the main plot here, and a B-plot in the later episode. Even though this type of story is generally better served as a B-plot, I think maybe it was necessary between the exceedingly dark "Empok Nor" and the series-changing "Call to Arms". It gave us just the right amount of down time, as well as allowing Jake to be a main focus again. I liked the accusations and the alliance with the mad scientist, even though they called Jake's presence of mind into question. Yes, he was trying to help his depressed father, but honestly, how far would you go? Not as far as Jake I would hope.
Additionally, I like that we finally see the crew truly foreboding about the coming Dominion conflict, though maybe the crew's crushing depression came about a bit too quickly. More impressively, I liked that we finally see the reason behind Sisko's claims that if Bajor had entered the Federation they would have perished in "Rapture", for here, and more prominently in "Call to Arms", it becomes clear that if Bajor had entered the Federation in the earlier episode it would have been ravaged by the coming Dominion threat.
I want to note Jeffery Combs's portrayal of Weyoun again. He is always entertaining. But I'll admit that as fun as this episode was, it lacked a bit in both seriousness and excitement.
- Nitpicking: Two things. One: we see once again a fascination with a period close to the present, instead of something of the future time period between now and TOS that we have yet to see. Two: why were so many people interested in buying a bunch of junk from Quark? People are barely willing to buy anything of quality from Quark.
- Remarkable technobabble: Everything said about Giger's Cellular Regeneration and Entertainment Chamber. The remark-ability of it is make even greater by the fact that it sound both slightly credible and completely ridiculous at the same time.
Rating: 4 (legendhiro)
Call to Arms
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main DS9 listing
I really don't have much to say and I didn't make notes but this episode is extremely thrilling.
The beginning served it so well, it started off well and the immediate introduction of Rom and Leeta choosing clothes for the wedding for a hilarious and a simple start. I feel the mines were awesome but I didn't like how it was Rom's suggestion. It just lacked character that it was him. It shows that he's changed, I concede but it still fails to give the feeling it would if Dax and O'Brien had come up with it. The plot was so intense. I liked the fights although I thought they dominated the overall story but looking back, just look what they crammed in:
Sisko, Dax, Worf, Bashir, Nog and O'Brien along with the Starfleet abandon the station for the war. Bajor signs the non-aggression treaty. Kira, Odo, Quark, Rom and Jake stay behind. Rom and Leeta get married. Leeta leaves for Bashir. The station is trashed up. Jake stays behind as a reporter. Dax and Worf agree to get married. Dukat, Damar and Weyoun land on "Terok Nor" and are in charge. Ziyal and Garak have a touching moment. Garak joins the Defiant. Ziyal goes to Bajor to stay with the Major's friends. The wormhole is blocked by a minefield. The Klingons declare war. General Martok and the crew of the Rotarran do something decent in attacking the Dominion.
Talk about cram packed. This episode doesn't disappoint in terms of enough and every decision is justified and every character is so well thought of and placed with such dignity and each of them is set up perfectly for the next season. Weyoun and Sisko's conversation was the episodes highlight and I love the baseball left behind at the end. Talk about a well hidden message.
I find Jake's staying a disappointment and only a lame distraction so he can do something different next season.
I found the station abandonment both awesome and nicely placed as probably an immense season cliffhanger only bettered by "The Best of Both Worlds" (obviously). Although first time I saw it (aged 8 and 3/4) I didn't understand, I didn't realise it was war being declared and thought it was a 2 parter and as we didn't have series 6 it took me ages to find out and that's one slight criticism. The actual declaration of war isn't announced that much and actually isn't really stated.
Although I love it, I feel it had too much crammed in yet it works. For some reason I just doesn't want to give it an 8+. Whenever I watch it I never get that "oh wow" or "OMG" or even "that's so emotional". It doesn't quite reach that level of awesomeness set so high by most Deep Space Nine episodes featuring the Dominion until the last five minutes so no higher then 7 I'm afraid.
- Remarkable quote: "Captain, will you marry me? ... I mean us ... I mean will you conduct our wedding ceremony." -Rom to Captain Sisko
- Remarkable scene: Dukat, Weyoun and the Jem'Hadar on Deep Space Nine or "Terok Nor" as Dukat states as well as Dukat finding the baseball, just class.
Rating: 7 (Darren Carver-Balsiger)