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Sean - Wed, Jul 30, 2014, 1:18am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Elliott, not all Starfleet officers are scientists. There are engineers, doctors, tactical officers, and yes, security officers whose sole job is to keep people safe with military training. The Starfleet officers in this battle are mostly of those later variety, security officers. That is why they joined Starfleet, what they are trained to do. To fight and defend. However, we do see other officers: engineers who are scared and ineffectual at fighting. They aren't trained as well in combat and so aren't prepared for it when it happens. As you say they should be.

Starfleet is a sort of NASA/Military hybrid. It is primarily a scientific exploration organization, but it also functions as a military. Notice that this is not the first time Starfleet has fought a war. And this is not the last. They've fought Romulans in the 22nd century, Klingons on and off for hundreds of years, and the Borg several times including the infamous Wolf 359. Starfleet is not ineffectual in its military duties. Yes, it is more of a science organization, but that doesn't mean it's a slouch on military.
Elliott - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 11:58pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Repression

@Sean: plots don't make a show good. Any story can be great or terrible, it's about the execution. The writers were under no obligation to play fan service and please the base.
Sean - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 11:49pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

This is one of the best bad episodes of all of Star Trek. It's pretty awesome. It ranks up there with Threshold, Profit and Lace, Genesis, and of course the original bad Star Trek episode: Spock's Brain.
Sean - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 11:42pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Repression

This episode is trolling. I swear. It's trolling people who actually wanted Voyager to be good. It had so much promise. But it settled for mediocrity.

This episode not only has the long wanted mutiny that would have been fantastic near the beginning of the show, but it also has a line by one of the Maquis that would have made a good story in its own right: Starfleet telling Janeway to arrest the Maquis. It's basically just saying "Hey look at the plot threads we could have done to make Voyager a good show! Are you happy now?" Ugh.

I wonder if Voyager's writers actually had a long leash they could have made something good like DS9. Although the way Berman and Braga write, I highly doubt that. Perhaps if Moore and Piller had been in charge.
Sonya - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 8:09pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

During the scene where Geordi and Data have a conversation about suicide, Data observes Geordi sigh, lean back, and cross his arms to prepare for discussing a heavy topic. Data crosses his arms in the same way while checking Geordi's form to make sure he gets the gesture correct. It's like you can see the wheels turning in his positronic brain. Brent Spiner really did make small scenes a joy to watch.

Elliott - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 6:44pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

"What was the alternative? Have the report say "Well we had a security breach but I decided to ignore it?""

Yes. Own your choices, commander. Explain why you thought it was the better choice. Starfleet (at least until Necheyev was introduced) is not hard-headed and unreasonable.

Your example from TNG is actually a good point--I dislike the way that episode ended more than the way it botches the message it was trying to deliver. It is, however, not the way Picard normally acted; your example from "Reunion" is more typical.
SkepticalMI - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 6:21pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

Heh, I thought Madbaggins and Elliot's comments from a couple years ago were pretty funny. Because DS9 DID do this episode. And Jammer did give it 3 stars...

I'm referring to the Season 6 outing "One Little Ship". It's got the same basic plot. Some of the cast members undergo a Very Silly Transformation. Meanwhile, the bad guys take over the ship. Fortunately, they don't notice the transformed crew, and so these crewmembers use their Very Silly Transformation to their advantage to save the day via Wacky Hijinks.

So which one was better? I think we can all agree that DS9 outshone TNG by a parsec in the "ship getting hijacked" section; the Jem'Hadar make much better villains than the Ferengi. This was so embarrassingly bad that Worf and Riker ought to be demoted to latrine duty for losing the ship. As should every other member of the crew. 8-10 Ferengi boarding a ship with 1000 people (probably 300 or so of which are Starfleet) and taking it over? Worf missing the Ferengi with his phaser from 10 ft away? Data not snapping them in half within 5 seconds? How did the Enterprise crew not all die of shame after losing this badly? If the Drumhead happened after this episode, I would consider this to be perfect evidence that every member of the crew is guilty of treason...

OK, so that's a very, very difficult bite in the "willing suspension of disbelief" pie. Probably even a more difficult bite than the de-aging spatial anomaly and the ribo-viloxic-nucleic acids or whatever. Once again, rather than making up random physics for their technobabble, they just make up random biology. At least in Genesis, if you turned off your brain then the introns causing de-evolution thing might kinda sorta totally work by magic, if only because introns actually exist. But RVN? Where the heck did that come from? They should have said that the spatial anomaly affected the telomeres or stem cells or something, anything but making up new molecules that we know don't exist.

But then again, DS9's was pretty hokey too. So let's call that a wash.

The other big big difference between the two episodes is what they did with it. From what I remember, DS9 just ran with the concept without using it for any drama or character development. Yet here, it was actually a key part of the episode. On the one hand, I can easily see the DS9 argument: it's already a very silly episode, why would you try to treat it otherwise? The Adam West Batman era would look silly with any of the Christian Bale-era melodrama, so why would you want to add it in?

But on the other hand, it actually worked with TNG! OK, so Keiko's bit was, while reasonably well done, rather boring. It's perfectly understandable that she would have the most negative reaction to the whole situation, since as a wife and mother she has the most to lose. But since it's a Very Silly Transformation anyway, what relevance does it actually have? And do we really want to ponder the implications of Miles being married to a 12 year old girl?

But Ro's character arc made perfect sense, and was good to see (regardless of the acting quality of these two kids). Unfortunately, Guinan was being very annoying here. Touting how wonderful childhood can be may be fine, but the way she did it was rather presumptuous. Saying Ro must have had some happy times? To someone who lived through the Occupation? Saw her father murdered? And no compassion at all from the famous Listener? It could have been much better, with Guinan teaching Ro that this childhood COULD turn out differently, and there's no reason not to enjoy it when it's there for the taking. Even still, seeing Ro drawing at the end was a nice touch.

And kidPicard's scene with Troi was very good. One of the best supporting scenes Troi has had in the series! Picard's introspection was very well done here, contrasting his obvious frustration with the open-mindedness that he is famous for. He clearly objects to being treated like a child, and yet clearly understands why others would do that. And while he understandably is dismissive of his career options as being less than ideal (the crack about being Wesley's roommate was pretty funny), he is at least open to them. I liked the little introspective line about how he always looked forward rather than looking back, and he's afraid that this is now he is forced to look back.

In the end, I consider both episodes to be mediocre. DS9's was better executed, perhaps, but didn't take any real risks. It was just a silly and forgettable episode. TNG's was much shakier in execution, but took the risk of trying to say something meaningful. Even there it was hit and miss, but the few hits at least meant they tried. Neither are very good, and perhaps neither should have been made. But at least they weren't complete losses. But both were signs that the shows were starting to run out of ideas.

(Hope nobody interprets this as trying to start another DS9/TNG flame war, or criticizing Jammer's opinions. I just saw a huge similarity in these episodes, saw no one else commented on it, and decided to run with it.)

Also as an aside, this is the second season in a row that completely failed in terms of episode alignments in the first half of the season. Last season, we had the kid-centric New Ground and Hero Worship back to back, and this season we have the Very Silly Rascals and Fistful of Datas back to back. Sigh...

Out of curiosity, if Picard went back to being 12, did he get his real heart back? If so, then what happened to his artificial one?
Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 5:05pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

@ Robert - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - 1:54pm (USA Central)

Sorry, I got ahead of myself. :-) I was using Jammer's comment browser and didn't see your first response.

I'm not sure I understand the "it's not linear" thing. Whether they understand it or not, it was linear for us.

But, that said, I suppose we are talking about something that is as foreign to us as linear is to them. So being confused is authorized! :-)

So... how does this "Orb Shadow" play? hmmm... this is sounding like maybe a test? Is this a method of communication to Sisko from the prophets?

Loved seeing Opaka once again. I forgot to mention that.

It was nice to see her "shadow" tell Sisko "You are of Bajor". Stuff like this always meant more to me coming from her. I guess we are right to assume this is coming from the prophets.

Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 4:47pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

@ Robert.

Ah, thanks. That makes sense.
Elliott - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 4:15pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Dax

Teaser : *** , 5%

So, Bashir is still hitting on Dax, anxious to cure her of all the exotic STI's he's picked up out here on the frontier. On the other hand, she's a damned cock-tease. Stop eating with him if you're just stringing him along!

Dax is grabbed by the cloaked fellows, Bashir turns the corner and sees her...10 seconds later..."Dax!" It's a small thing, but if you're going to do an action scene, don't pace it so laughably. Since we aren't getting any tension from the music, it's on you Mr Director.

The scene may look silly, but conceptualised, it's a good teaser: to the point, with an upward dramatic curve and looming questions.

Act 1 : ***.5, 17%

We get a decent and functional chase scene (held back only by Ferrel's confusing "injured" with "sleepy." Also what's with that smile when she steps off the airlock? While it seems like this whole chase is just a gimmick (Action Insert) since the Clytemnestra or whatever they're called were trying to *extradite* Dax, it is later revealed to be part of trying to circumvent a legal technicality.

Act 2 : ****, 17%

The next several scenes are good for the following reasons: the characterisation elements are *revealed* by the plot. Yes, we get from point A to point B (Sisko and Kira force the Clytemnestra into an extradition hearing), but everyone's actions say something about who they are; Odo is diligent and skeptical, with no particular attachment to Dax; Sisko is loyal to his friend, pursuing every avenue of aid at his disposal, even when she asks him not to; Kira is self-righteous and temperamental; Dax displays a conflict between Kurzon's and Jadzia's feelings; and the Clytron (or whatever) subtly reveals his anxiety over needing to capture Dax. None of these ideas is stated outright, it's DEMONSTRATED.

RIshon Uxbridge returns from the dead with a new crinkly nose! So, we get opening arguments, and the premise is revealed; much like "The Measure of a Man," the trial will examine the nature life, individuality and sentience via sci-fi twist (Trill joining). This is classic Trek and presents a very absorbing draw. There's also the hinting of a deeper tragedy here in Dax's unwillingness to comment or return Sisko's smile. As we saw in "Emissary," so long as Ferrel doesn't have to talk, she can be counted upon to deliver.

Act 3 : ***, 17%

For the first time, Sisko's slippery brand of morality finds a fitting venue; he isn't breaking laws or violating ethics, but he is brushing aside all objectivity in his quest to save Dax. In this instance, it's okay, however. It would have been a little braver of the writers not to have the Clytemnestra practise capital punishment. Sisko is desperate because he wants to save Dax' life; this blurs the argument slightly as the Trills' nature is a relevant topic to pursue without this looming threat.

There's a bit of legal griping to get out of the way: so Trill is a Federation world now (I don't think Odan was considered a citizen). This is why Sisko has Kira and Bashir look for Federation precedents on the legal status of Trills' antecedent selves' actions. So, shouldn't Dax get a Federation lawyer? In MoaM, the excuse for having Picard defend Data had to do with the JAG office's lack of personnel. What's the excuse here? Wait a minute, even if Dax is a Federation citizen, the basis on which they're holding the hearing at all is that the Clytemnestra are extraditing from *Bajor* and NOT the Federation, so shouldn't the legal precedent for Dax' status be determined by Bajoran law? It seems like they invoke the Bajor/Federation division of authority when it's convenient and ignore it when it's not (just like in "A Man Alone").

Odo checks in to deliver news that adds a mystery element to the story and introduce us to Data's mother...I mean the Clytemnestra's mother. There's a bit of goofy block in this scene, with the widow walking sideways and backwards while fixing her gaze on Odo. Good thing she didn't trip and break her prosthetics. And, oh....widow wants to know about Kurzon. Well yep, looks like they were banging. There's a wrinkle.

The Trill Peers gives his testimony. I guess the budget ran out on decent guest actors as we get the Mitt Romney-tron delivery. The arguments that follow are high on substance, low on style. Which is a good thing. Court room drama has to do a lot of exposition in order to cinch the closing arguments. I only wish they'd found a better actor for Peers.

Act 4 : ***, 17%

I like the arbiter's acerbic irritation with this whole affair.

Bashir's beaming pride and moderate arrogance with his work is sort of charming here.

Sisko : "[Kurzon Dax] probably wasn't the ideal Trill. He drank a little too much. He could be more interested in women than maybe he should have been...he was not at all like the young woman in this courtroom." Can't help but revel in the irony of Worf-era Dax (drinking, partying, gambling, lesbian-ing...)

Sisko lays his little trap for Clytemnestra and, unfortunately, he walks into it a little too easily. He eagerly points out that Kurzon's culpability implicates Dax, thus proving Sisko's argument about the individual nature of each host-symbiont pairing. It's just a bit pat, especially against the rest of the episode. Brooks' portrayal is predictably distracting--smiling wide-eyed and over-enunciating. How about a little nuance there, Avery? Let me see; he's.....happy! Got it.

Odo checks in to reveal what we already knew, that the widow and Kurzon were shtupping during the war.

Act 5 : ***.5, 17%

So it turns out the General was an asshole, but a national hero and both the widow and Dax are sacrificing themselves for the reputation of another. The question in Dax' case is, is this the same sense of honour of which Sisko spoke in his testimony a product of Dax, passed on from the man he knew, or is it the new host, Jadzia, applying her own flavour of morality to her inherited memories?

My pondering this interesting question is painfully interrupted by Sisko raising his *fist* to Jadzia's face and lamenting that she is a woman now, and thus he can't punch her. Okay... then we get a story about how SIsko almost killed a man for throwing a drink in his face. Uhuh... Based on this and the events of "Tapestry," I'm starting to wonder if Starfleet isn't feeding their cadets crazy pills. Why is this man so damned angry?

Anyway, Jadzia reveals that she is indeed struggling with her memories via the metaphor of Kurzon's scar-producing ring.

So we get to the closing arguments. The question..."is not the new host responsible for the actions of its previous incarnations?" is interrupted by the revelation that Kurzon was ploughing the widow during the alleged betrayal. And we never really get an answer (which is okay, by the way).

I'm a little tired of these conversations on the promenade while two people slowly walk to no place in particular. How often do people converse like this? Trying to see where they're going will walking *next* to someone so they can be seen by the camera? It reminds me of all those dialogue scenes in the Star Wars prequels. Just lazy blocking. In any event, the widow tells Jadzia to stop living other peoples' lives, which is an appropriate way to close the episode.

Episode as Functionary : ***.5, 10%

As an allegory, the Trill make a good soapbox for the issues of familial inheritance. Just like Odan was thought to be his previous host's *son* the question of living in the shadow of one's progenitors is magnified for closer inspection by the sci-fi conceit. Most of the character work with Jadzia is done vicariously, with other people examining her on her behalf. In this way, it's weaker than "Measure of a Man," where Data did a lot of his own heavy-lifting. That said, it was very good work. Sisko's character is softened a bit (anger issues aside) and we get some good characterisations all around as well as a strong guest cast, with the exception of Peers.

Final Score : ***.5
Kahryl - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 3:42pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

How did the aliens get the antimatter to run their silver-Voyager??
Kahryl - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 3:00pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

I don't understand this ending. It's presented as the end to the Dominion threat - but the only thing the Alpha powers did was recapture the Alpha quadrent. In the process almost every Alpha power has been devestated, while the Dominion territory is *completely* untouched. Sure, it'll be tricky to get a foothold again with the wormhole as a bottleneck, but they did it the first time.. and now the Alpha quadrent is exhausted.
Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 2:11pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

Sisko (Avery) making the drama feel just a tad overly theatrical.

Really, just a "tad"? Ya think? Just like every other time he is required to show emotion...

While I'm on the Avery acting thing, it was just HORRIBLE, when Sisko is crossing Ch'Pok, he seemingly has the breath in every 3 words or so to get a frakin sentence out. Jesus, does anyone direct these things? Is this the best he can produce?

But back to the trial.

Loved the flashback actor talking to the "judge" presentation. Very well done.

I LOVED Ron Canada in this one. Loved the "Klingon approach" to trying to get Worf. .... and he DID!! If it wasn't for Odo digging up the truth here, Worf was TOAST!

Also loved it when Sisko asked Ch'Pok "Care to step onto my battlefield?" You just knew he couldn't turn down this challenge.

Great personal drama in this one.

Now to Sisko and Worf in Worf's cabin. This line was pretty funny from Worf:

"...I did not realize it until I stood there looking down at him, blood trickling from his mouth..."

Just loved the delivery on that one. You know, that guy I just planted on the floor :-)

I think Sisko goes from the proper ass chewing - to making Commander someday too quickly. Worf screwed the pooch here, he didn't identify the target before he fired, in an environment rich with civilians. That's no minor transgression folks; that might even be ground for demotion. If I'm Sisko, I make Worf prove to me that his tactical judgment and the ability to set aside his Klingon urges have improved before all but telling him he's going to make commander.

Great statement here from Sisko:
"Worf. We don't put civilians at risk or even potentially at risk to save ourselves. Sometimes that means we lose the battle and sometimes our lives. But if you can't make that choice, then you can't wear that uniform."

Wipes tear from face.

Was there even a "B" story?

3.5 stars. (4 had Avery been able to act… Jesus)
Robert - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 1:57pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

"But if the prophets don't understand linear time, how do they put him back at the right time in history? "

I'm not convinced this is true. They DIDN'T understand linear time before they met the Sisko, at which point they have always understood it. Well enough, in fact, to send Jennifer Sisko to his father (yes, I think they did that after they met Sisko for a famous Trek paradox).
Robert - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 1:54pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

"Also, I remain a little confused about the 200+ year thing. Just why did they keep this fella for so long if it wasn't to satisfy the scripture? Why didn't they ask him the same questions they did "The Sisko"? I'm OK with him stumbling upon the wormhole, and them helping him, but why keep him? Quite the premonition if this was a test for Sisko."

It's not linear. Sisko discovered the wormhole first, Sisko made first contact with the wormhole aliens (even first is too linear of a word, but it's tough to explain things otherwise). Just because Akorem got there 200 years before Sisko by our understand doesn't mean they kept him for 200 years or that he didn't get there second by their understanding.

Because they don't understand linear time before they meet the Sisko it's my best guess that their contact with our realm happens in a non linear fashion. I believe that when they open the wormhole they can decide when to let you out the same way that you can tell an elevator what floor you'd like to get off on.

If I want to look for a file on my computer and I can't figure out what folder I put it in or what I named it I might think "when did I work on it" and search for a date range. For them these things are all the same, when is as tangible for them as where and what are to us.

I think from their perspective time doesn't move. They simply exist. They encountered the Sisko and thus had always been aware of him. They encountered Akorem and thought he might be useful to the Sisko so they changed the exist point (in time) of the wormhole and sent him out elsewhen.
Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 1:38pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Just watched this one last night.

Before this ep I didn't realize that any society that employed a cast system could not get into the Federation. Interesting.

This episode is an interesting one that bring up all kinds of issues, questions, etc.

"I pushed him" Wow, didn't see that one coming. The Crusades anyone?

Then Kira letting Sisko know just how much power/influence he had over the Bajoran's, whether he accepted it or not:

"KIRA: Maybe you never realized this, Captain, but we would've tried to do whatever you asked of us when you were Emissary, no matter how difficult it seemed. I'd better get to Ops."

Kira just chokes me up seemingly all the time. What an emotional scene here. Much more of a punch here than when she was reassigned in 'The Homecoming'

"SISKO: I don't doubt I can find someone to fill your post. But to replace you?"

I've seen this ep probably 6 times and I tear up every time. Kira's silent response, that look in her tearing eyes.... (snif) A REAL bond between these two and Kira comes off as so damn genuine. I love her for that.

A-hem... (clears throat)....

Sorry, Yanks swallows...

Onto this episode.

I don't see this as one of those "reset button" episodes. What did you want, to be drug through the D'jarras crap for 4 or 5 episodes? Sisko saw things were not working out, that this was a step backward for Bajor, that in Star Fleet's eyes he had failed so did something about it!

My problem with the solution is this exchange inside the "temple". This catches my ear every time I watch it.

"KIRA: The Sisko taught us that for you, what was, can never be again."

Now this was fine in 'Emissary' when they were talking about Jennifer's death, but just how does it apply here?

Also, I remain a little confused about the 200+ year thing. Just why did they keep this fella for so long if it wasn't to satisfy the scripture? Why didn't they ask him the same questions they did "The Sisko"? I'm OK with him stumbling upon the wormhole, and them helping him, but why keep him? Quite the premonition if this was a test for Sisko.

But it was nice to see Akorem realize these circumstances were not as he saw them and not to fight the emissary thing. But if the prophets don't understand linear time, how do they put him back at the right time in history?

Puzzling... I'm open to answers it anyone has them.

I LOVED the whole Worf, Keiko pregnant thing. I had forgotten that Work delivered Molly on the Enterprise. Very funny there when Work says he's scheduled to be off the station 7 months from now :-)

I didn't want to kill Keiko this episode. I thought it was nice that she saw Miles had developed a relationship with Julian. Miles' initial reaction to her being pregnant was a little “WTF” though.

2.5 for me. Probably a 3.0 or even 3.5 if I understood the whole exchange at the end in the wormhole.
Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 12:00pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause


Poor Kira, she gets stunned when Tom stole the Defiant and then she gets stunned again here!

I guess she's better ask for a raise, pretty dangerous being the #2.

langtonian - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 11:37am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

I've always thought I would have liked to see a bit more of the back story to this episode. The Federation must surely have been in a very weak position to agree to such an unbalanced treaty: the Romulans having cloaks, without the Federation having the same, puts the Federation at a HUGE disadvantage. So what happened? We never really hear about it.

I've also always thought that it was a bit unrealistic how shocked Picard was at the disclosure. I mean, he might not have approved, but it seems pretty naïve not to assume that the Federation would be secretly continuing cloaking research, at least to some extent.
Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 11:18am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

@ Robert.


We never got this or any indication of this from the Jem'Hadar "child".

"PICARD: You will assist us to assimilate this vessel. You are Borg. You will assist us.
BORG: I will not.
PICARD: What did you say?
BORG: I will not assist you.
BORG: Geordi must not be assimilated.
PICARD: But you are Borg.
BORG: No. I am Hugh."

It's easy to make these episode comparisons (folks do it incorrectly with 'Children of Time’ and ‘E2’ all the time (pun intended :-)), but this episode is really in no way like 'I Borg'.

The fact is, had Hugh not said "I", his Borg butt was getting injected and going on to unknowingly perform genocide.

Sisko was not ever going to do something like that, he was simply ordered by Star Fleet to provide a sample for observation and testing to help prepare for the inevitable. Hell, Star Fleet would never have killed the Jem'Hadar unless he got out and was killing other folks...

We saw nothing from this Jem'Hadar that would indicate anything other than what he was "programmed" for. A vicious killing machine that was designed (programmed) to kill anyone but the Founders. Hell, the only reason they don’t kill the Vorta is they provide the white.

It wasn't for lack of trying, Odo gave the effort, but to no avail.
Markus - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 11:15am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Why the hell did they not take down a shuttle to rescue the away team? It is again so obvious.
Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 10:40am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Maybe Sisko was so pissed at Eddington because he was starting to feel like Chakotay on voyager.

"CHAKOTAY: You were working for her. Seska was working for them. Was anyone on board that ship working for me?"

Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 10:36am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Just watched this episode last night.

I'll have to stray from Jammer's opinion on this one.

I thought this was an OUTSTANDING episode.

The best part about it WAS we didn't see it coming. Damn, does everything have to be thrown in your face?

I too prefer Cyia Batten. So damn sexy and her face is so expressive. I don't hate the replacement (Tracy Middendorf), she was fine (although I think I could look like a good actor alongside of Andrew Robinson :-)), but I don't know why the change had to be made. I kind of felt the same way I did with Ezri here. (Then they did it AGAIN! grrr....)

This episode has so much going on. Let's start with the "B" story. I really felt that Garak was afraid Ziyal was going to kill him! :-) I also loved how Quark put that back in his head in the tailor shop (lol). I also love the little exchange in the turbo-lift.

"GARAK: You're not going to hurt me, are you? Normally I would simply make a strategic withdrawal at the first sign of trouble, but there doesn't seem to be a way out of here.
ZIYAL: You could always call security.
GARAK: Oh, true. But it would take them a few minutes to arrive, and by then it might be too late.
ZIYAL: I don't think I'll hurt you.
GARAK: I'm gratified to hear that.
ZIYAL: In fact I think it's safe to say you have nothing to fear from me.
(They arrive at the Promenade.)
GARAK: And you, my dear, have nothing to fear from me."

:-) That scene was just perfect.

As was the last scene in the holosuite.

"GARAK: Why am I here? Am I to believe that you've invited the sworn enemy of your father simply to enjoy the heat?
ZIYAL: You really think I asked you here to kill you? Well, it did occur to me. Kira and my father both told me that you used to be an agent of the Obsidian Order. That you had my grandfather tortured and killed, and that you could easily kill me without a second thought.
GARAK: Although I seldom credit the Major or your father with being entirely trustworthy, in this case they're both telling the truth."

That's so Garak... he just doesn't ever have a bad scene.

OK, on with the main story...

MAJOR screw up for Sisko here, perfectly set up by Eddington. (hook, line and sinker)

"EDDINGTON: Sir, if the Maquis put up a fight the Xhosa might get caught in the crossfire. If that happens, I can't guarantee the safety of Kasidy Yates. And to be blunt, I don't want that responsibility.
SISKO: I can't say I blame you. The security of the CFI replicators is your priority. I'll take command of the Defiant.
EDDINGTON: Thank you, Captain."

Eddington set the stage and Sisko became a willing actor in his play. He probably recruited Yates months ago once he knew she was snuggling up with the Captain.

Brilliant!! (as Odo concedes). The question is, why not let Worf command the Defiant? Oh, he didn't show very good tactical judgment before I guess :-) Don’t want that freighter to get schwacked :-)

Thank you to all above that KNOW what the REAL Maquis’ dilemma is. Damn, if you're going to complain about something at least know WTF you’re complaining about.

They AREN'T Federation Citizens!

Not siding with the almighty Federation here either. This "treaty" is and has been a steaming pile bull from the start.

The Kassidy Yates angle is an interesting one. She so sided with the Maquis that she helped them KNOWING that her boyfriend Star Fleet Captain would have a duty to perform someday. Wow. Wonder if she had family down there? Did she really think she was good enough not to get caught, ever? Does she really care about Sisko?

I will also agree that Eddington had one of the best rants ever heard on Star Trek. His blurb on the "Federation" was SPOT ON!. Right up there with Quark's "root beer" line to Garak in 'Way of the Warrior' :-)

I'm not sure I completely agree with Sisko and his response to Eddington though. He did a whole bunch of pleading and talking with his old bud Hudson, but Hudson didn't embarrass him by stealing 12 Class-4 replicators, eh? Hudson didn't lure him off the station, eh? Nope, Eddington is going to jail if it's the last thing Sisko does. No discussion necessary. No uniform left for him to come back before Sisko has to inform Star Fleet. Lesson learned, don’t embarrass the Sisko.

Couple more notes. Ken Marshall is outstanding as Eddington and as I watched this episode I still was thinking how much I wished Felecia M. Bell could have played Kassidy Yates. What a beauty.

This episode has Ron Moore written all over it.

3.5 star for me. Outstanding episode on many levels!
Robert - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 9:40am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

"So I'm not sure I see any ability to limit that built in urge aside from the military obedience that's programmed in."

If they can make even a single decision against their programming, I'd still say that implies sentience. Star Trek has supported this in the past with AIs, I don't know why it'd be different with biologically programmed things.

"EMH: While I was aboard that ship I poisoned a man.
SEVEN: Deliberately?
EMH: Yes. I was trying to force him to let me treat patients who were dying.
SEVEN: You were prepared to sacrifice an individual to benefit a collective.
EMH: No offence, Seven, but I don't exactly aspire to Borg ideals.
SEVEN: You were hoping your behaviour was the result of a malfunction. I'm sorry Doctor, but I must give you a clean bill of health. "

There was also the scene where Data was shooting Fajo and then lied to Riker about it. Both things truly hint that when an AI can override key aspects of their own program like that, that they are truly sentient.
Robert - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 9:31am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

This was clearly meant to be DS9's "I, Borg". Is it right to use a sentient being as a weapon to destroy their people against their will? In Hugh's episode the individual was a little more of an individual, the race a little less and the weapon was a little more high stakes (obviously Starfleet wants to develop tactics against the Jem'Hadar using this guy, but the TNG crew were talking about wiping out the Borg entirely... though I am skeptical that it would have worked, it seemed too powerful). But it's still largely the same episode. In both cases the Captain made the same choice (although Sisko's hands ended up a bit more tied) and in both cases Starfleet disagreed. I don't know that I personally have an opinion as to what I'd do in their shoes, but it's still an interesting episode, no matter which show it's on.
Yanks - Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 9:10am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

@ Robert.

Agree, but at this time in the series all we know that the Jem'Hadar are genetically bread to kill, and willfully "comply" if you will. Here, we get to see one from "birth" and those urges can't even be controlled by a Founder (Odo). He was obedient, but the "fire" just kept burning hotter and hotter. We learn more as the series progresses, but we also learn that "victory is life" is their motto.

I can think of 2 episodes where we see "dissention". One where the #1 doesn't require the white and led his troops to strive for the same. This doesn't happen if the #1 requires it. The other is where a band of Jem'Hadar break free to search for and acquire Iconian technology, and it wasn't to ensure peace throughout the galaxy either. I think the inability to control the urge to kill would put them in a classification like an animal. A dog is obedient, but we don’t treat them like a sentient human being.

So I'm not sure I see any ability to limit that built in urge aside from the military obedience that's programmed in.

Remember, in "The Search PII" the head Founder states that the Alpha Quadrant could use some order. That can mean only one thing from a Founder.

I still say Sisko was wrong here and Star Fleet was right in this case.
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