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Sean - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 11:36pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

The only redeeming factor in this entire shitty episode is:

Sisko: "A Dominion invasion of Ferenginar?"

Rom: "Think of the repercussions for the Alpha Quadrant!"

Worf:"I can not think of any."

That made me laugh so hard. Oh, don't tease me DS9. That would be the best thing to happen to this show. Just lay waste to the entire planet, Death Star style.
NCC-1701-Z - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 10:43pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

One plausibility question: Wouldn't this sort of raid fall under the jurisdiction of the 24th century equivalent of a SWAT team or MACOs, instead of risking a starship captain and their top officers however much their expertise?

However, what we get once Picard has been captured makes it all worthwhile. The ends clearly justify the plot stretching necessary to set it up. Classic Trek, and very ahead of its time. "THERE! ARE! FOUR! LIGHTS!" Come on, you can't beat that.

I also loved the moment when Riker told Jellico just what he thought of him. A great release of tension.
Sean - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 10:10pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

It's particularly bad when you watch this episode after you've seen all of DS9. Seeing all the amazing dark episodes of the later show, seeing all the amazing morally dubious things these characters have done. And then you see Sisko skipping and saying a rhyme. Lol wut. It's like the show is trolling.
Elliott - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 8:40pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Q-Less

Teaser : **.5, 5%

Check out O'Brien's expression in the opening shot as Bashir prattles on like a twat; I've been accused of holding that same look myself, and I'm glad for it as it's the perfect combination of pity, nausea, disbelief and disappointment. Kind of like this episode. Forgive me, you straight folks, is this really how men get into women's pants?

The second scene : my god, yes Kira, shoot the door that leads into space! ...and Miles finds Vash. Why do I feel like the discovery of her in the Gamma Quadrant would be more interesting than this scene? Close us out with the reveal of Q. Well, it's a little desperate, but I'll bite. What great lesson are we going to learn this week? Let's find out.

Act 1 : *.5, 17%

Gosh, Vash sure sounds interested in those million-year-old civilisations. Okay, so Sisko and Dax don't know how Vash got to the Gamma Quadrant. Makes sense, but was Sisko asleep when O'Brien recognised her on the Ganges? Why not just ask him?

I think the Assay Office is really just this officer shoving every item up his ass. Can't be more secure than that. So Vash locks up her valuable store, including a mysterious glowing beehive. So here's the first problem : we all know who Vash is and what her history is like. But, we have to wait while the DS9 characters slowly figure it out. Again, O'Brien is right there. Sure, he may not know all of Vash's sordid details like one of Picard's close friends would, but he would at least know whom to ask.

"Given the choice between science and profit, I'll choose profit every time." Back in "Captain's Holiday" I could overlook this blatant inconsistency with Federation economics since it was not made clear that Vash was human. In fact, Sovak always refers to Picard as the humaaaaan even when he and Vash are together. I figured she was just one of the bargain-basement look-just-like-us aliens. Thus, her need for profit could be easily explained as being a member of a non-Federation world. Of course, by "Qpid", Roddenberry had stepped further away and Ira Behr was free to make it clear she was human (Worf: "Nice legs. For a human.") . And here we are again, with a Federation citizen having no justifiable need for money, and yet pursuing it voraciously. What is she going to buy? Where? What is it she lacks as a Federation citizen whose every need is met. She has a genuine interest in archeology and would be free to pursue it. Hell, she could have been Dr Galen's right-hand man.

So, Sisko FINALLY asks O'Brien about Vash's history and comments "doesn't seem like [Picard's] type." How the hell would you know? Your only interaction with him would tell you exactly nothing about his "type." Ass.

Okay, so the Ganges picked up a mysterious woman in the Gamma Quadrant and experienced a mysterious power-loss. Then they bring the mysterious woman aboard the station and the station begins to suffer a mysterious power-loss. I'm stumped, guys. It's a real head-scratcher.

Act 2 : .5 stars, 17%

So, we get about 45 seconds of Vash putting her pants away before Q finally shows up. Note de Lancie's suggestive pronunciation of "Vash". Heh. And since when does Q consider Picard a "self-righteous do-gooder?"

Have Q and Vash been fucking? For 2 years? "Joined at the hip"? Anyone who cites "The Q and the Grey" as sexualising Q obviously forgot this episode (not that I blame them). Bless, de Lancie tries his best with this crap, but it's a loss.

Does it say something that Quark and Bashir seem to have the same taste in women? So, Vash starts giving Quark a handjob in exchange for his arranging the auction of her trinkets. Nice... Not hard to see why Picard was into her. He really dug the sluts.

So Q continues spending his time playing games with Bashir out of JEALOUSY. Yeah, that's Q alright.

O'Brien : "Sherwood Forest. It was one of the little tricks Q played on the Enterprise crew." And that, folks, is the second (eightieth?) problem here. Q's appearances on the Enterprise were always to teach Picard a lesson about the Universe and/or teach Q a lesson about humanity, the only exception being the awful "Qpid", where Q tries to teach Picard a lesson about *love* and ends up being usurped by Vash anyway. That's the lamest use of Q this side of "Q2" and exactly the problem of using him this way. Do we use Q as a bridge between humanity and the Wormhole Aliens? To teach a main character something about the complexities of the occupation (à la "Things Past" or "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night")? Or how about a simple morality tale (à la "Past Tense"?). Nah, leave those to technobabble.

Okay, back to the episode. GAH! Kira just about bites my head off "You know if we had one of these power outages during a docking procedure...!" in that shrill, accusatory tone of hers. Geez.

Not to beat a dead horse, but how is Vash, a human, able to out-swindle the Ferengi?

So, we finally get the confrontation between Sisko and Q. Q is appropriately condescending and we get a fade on Sisko's irritated reaction.

Act 3 : 0 stars, 17%

You know those guys at the gym who insist upon grunting as loudly as possible so you know they're just "maxing out hardcore."? You know, because they're so big and strong and definitely don't have small penises? Meet, Ben Sisko, the man who tries to physically threaten an omnipotent being. Is anyone impressed by this stupidity? But, instead of letting Q properly demonstrate how fucking futile this gesture is, Q PLAYS ALONG and runs some goofy fisticuffs routine. And Sisko knocks him on his ass... this is cheap, self-aggrandising lunacy, writers.

Oh, what now. Random hull breeches and power outages, blah blah.

"Playing with the lights and punching holes in the hull doesn't strike me as [Q's] style." Thanks, Ben. I suppose allowing himself to lose boxing matches and chasing tail is?

So, Q is willing to display that deadly coldness in the pursuit of Vash's, erm, vash [can I say that?], but not when dealing with Sisko's obstinacy. When Picard was arrogant towards Q, he was hurled thousands of lightyears away and introduced to the Borg. What a joke.

Act 4 : **, 17%

Only good lines in the episode are the famous dig at Sisko's crew's ineptitude with technobabble [and Sisko again gets in Q's face like he's going to hurt him], and the line about Federation ethics.

I reach my wits' end during the following conversation between Vash and Quark; it's the same "we are loveable scoundrels" drivel from before. Harrison Ford could pull this off in one, tiny scene in a feature film; this tedium is self-congratulatory, simplistic and pandering.

Cue : technobabble. I did appreciate that they're reusing the thruster trick from "Emissary." It's good they haven't forgotten they can do that. However, it kind of takes the novel idea of a space station in Star Trek and reduces it to irrelevant as the station is now *moving* due to sci-fi anomaly. If you're going to borrow a character from TNG, best not to make the jeopardy premise exactly the kind of threat a starship would face.

Act 5 : *, 17%

Wait a minute, didn't we just have the crisis commercial break? How can Vash's and Quark's auction still be taking place. Aren't they hurling through space--on a station which does not, presumably, have inertial dampers? Eh, the lights are dim. I guess that's ominous.

Babble, babble, babble...I hate it when the best they can come up with is "it's just not clear enough." It's the tech equivalent of Troi's "...something...vague...it's just bad, okay!" It's always cheating when they do the babble routine, but I would like to point out that minutes and minutes of the last act is them slowly getting through this totally tension-less, passionless, rote exercise. So it's technobabble, padding and the resolution all in one.

I got to laugh again! Kira, Sisko and Dax step off the turbolift onto the promenade looking for the tridium gas leak or whatever, tricorders beeping, their brows furrowed, "desperate" to save the station, while the extras casually stroll about the corridors. Was there no red alert? No announcement? Did the senior officers panicking and racing around not tip them off? And this from the director of "11001001" and "The First Duty". What a disaster.

And they're STILL holding the auction! Is this funny? I'll take your word for it guys!

Oohhhh, it was a Space Manta Ray, eh "embryonic lifeform." That makes sense. It can go back to the Space Aquarium with the Jellyfishes from "Encounter at Farpoint."

Q : "Seeing the Universe through your eyes, I was able to experience...wonder..." Right, Q never experienced wonder before, not when Riker refused his offer of becoming Q, not when Picard begged for his help, not when Data saved his life. Nope, it was staring at dust with Vash. This is up there with that line from ST IX when Picard reveals that the one time in his life when he experienced a perfect moment, where time seemed to stand still...and it's "seeing my home planet for the first time from space," an incident which had never been documented or even discussed and is blatantly paltry next to at least a dozen experiences we have seen Picard endure. It's just flipping writers' arrogance; this is great because we SAY SO!

And our final shot is....Dax. Was she in this episode? What happened? Oh thank god it's over.

Episode as Functionary : .5 stars, 10%

What's to say? Q is a mess, Sisko's a mess, Vash is a mess. The humour is mostly unfunny. The presumption from the writers is on full display, the danger is perfunctory and shallow, the "mystery" is given half a sentence in Sisko's log for a resolution. Absolutely dreadful. Worst of the season so far.

Final Score : *
NCC-1701-Z - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 6:57pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

This is probably my favorite Voyager two-parter, even though it was ultimately reset by the next ep and we never saw the Equinox survivors again (too bad, I would have liked to see Marla Gilmore and/or Noah Lessing redeem herself a la TNG's "Lower Decks"). To me, what happened to the Equinox symbolizes what Voyager's first season could have been.

I loved watching Janeway become obsessed and watching conditions on Voyager gradually deteriorate to match those of the Equinox, kind of symbolizing Janeway's descent into darker territories.

The technobabble got too much for me after a while - I agree with Jammer, it could have been simplified immensely without affecting the plot.

Fun fact: Max Burke was played by Titus Welliver, who played the Man in Black on Lost. I knew he looked and sounded familiar but didn't realize why until I re-watched this episode and saw his name in the credits - he looked completely different without the beard. And Rick Worthy, of course, played the Cylon Simon on BSG.
MP - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 6:43pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Blood Fever

Addendum: I meant
"To Leaf AND kapages"
MP - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 6:42pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Blood Fever

To "Leaf" above:

The questions/thoughts you mentioned are the result of Voyager (and most of Trek) bringing up questions and situations with little explanation or resolution. With decades of hindsight, this seems to have been more lazy writing than anything else.

For example, all the Trek's which included holographic characters highlight their seemingly-sentience. Yet only Voyager even began to tackle the issue; and only with the Doctor. Yet we see evidence that many random holographic characters are fully aware yet blatantly killed at the simplest command. And that doesn't even begin to talk about the ethical issues of creating sentient, aware "people" with memories and lives for entertainment.

Something that no-one has mentioned yet about the Tom/Belanna issue are the extreme conditions Voyager faces of being far from home with limited supplies and resources. This was played up in the first two seasons, then completely dropped as the show became more episodic and "monster-of-the-week."

Specifically, with what Voyager faces, is it right to hurt the ship's chances of survival by depriving it of all the experience and expertise of its Chief Engineer in order to respect sexual morality in a highly alien situation? At what point does the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one?

To be fair, Trek has never been one to delve deeply into such dark issues. It is no BSG. And true, its ridiculous that Belanna is so critical and has no second who could take her place easily.

But that's the problem with Trek, especially in the later shows. It raises, intentionally or not, deep and often disturbing questions that are barely if even explored. We're given contrived or techno babble conclusions and told to shut up and forget about what happened.

I don't want to see Star Trek: Supreme Court; but I would have loved to have at least frank discussions about this stuff. Sexual morality, holographic rights for ALL holograms, the limits of human morality in contrast to survival, and more.
Grumpy - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 3:57pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

Ah, a Doylist among Watsonians.

As Harry Plinkett said at the end of his ST Nemesis review, "Wait, none of this really happened!" And he should know, being fictitious himself.
dlpb - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 2:30pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

To Daniel.... did it not occur to you that Janeway realized


Janeway didn't realize anything, because she isn't real. She is a mouthpiece for whatever the writers want her to say. Are you that stupid?
Dave in NC - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 1:26pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care


Are you sure you're a Star Trek fan? It sounds like you've learned very little from the shows.
Dave in NC - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 1:20pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

And that wasn't directed completely at you, by the way. This is more a general observation than anything directly said by anyone.

I've noticed a undercurrent of misogyny in some of the reviews, both by Jammer and others. Yes, some female characters are written badly, but that's because the writers didn't understand women well and they were being forced by higher-ups to ramp up the sexual titillation.

There are some reviewers here that seem to revert to a "Ain't that just like a woman" kind of thinking rather than placing the blame where it belongs: at the feet of the writers/producers (and in the cases of Troi and Ezri, the ability of each actress to emote believably).

Then again, the flip side of this is that writers DO understand the male mind pretty well, which may be the reason why some reviewers react the way they do.

Of course Keiko is portrayed as bitchy, of course the female characters cry or scream at least three times a season, of course the women are either strangely prudish or super-promiscuous. This is how a lot of men see women, so of course this is going to resonate with many male viewers.

Well, that and the lingering shots of Deanna's ample boobage.
Dave in NC - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 12:54pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

I'm going to save my review for another day (this is one of those squandered potential episodes), but to reply to "Karaokejoe"...

I guess only the female crewmembers are capable of "nagging"? Not to be Mr. Thought-Police, I'm just pointing out that it is kind of sexist to only use this word in relation to the women on the crew. (Unless we are discussing Keiko, hehe).
Elliott - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 9:59am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

Okay, dlpb, you've just turned in your sanity card. Please show up on time for your straight-jacket fitting.
dlpb - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 9:17am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

More loading of the dice here, I'm afraid (despite being a good episode). The kid who is being refused care just happens to be a promising talent. Come on. The vast majority of people in the US that can't afford care are useless, lazy bums.
larmih - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 4:52am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

Opinions differ. But I found two episodes of DS9 season six I got intrested in Statistical Probabilities and Sound of Her Voice wore done on stories by Pam Pietroforte, which brought me to this site. No other information. Perhaps it was a brief participation of the writer in the franchise, but psychologically they were the most effective, so the author had great potential.
Joseph B - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 3:10am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

Just finished viewing the first season of "Arrow" which is a new super hero series based on the "Green Arrow" comics series. The show utilizes the tone of "The Dark Knight" movie to good effect and is reasonably entertaining as a result.

While viewing the eps it seemed to me that there was something hauntingly familiar about the actress playing Oliver Green's mother. Sure enough, it’s the same actress that played Lenara Kahn in this groundbreaking (at the time) DS9 ep. It seems incredible that this episode aired almost twenty years ago. And Susanna Thompson is still a very capable and attractive actress even after all this time.
Entilzha - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 2:07am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Datalore

Another point to add to all those already mentioned:

The solution was to just beam Lore off the Enterprise and leave him floating in space?

He's not deactivated and I'm sure he can send some kind of signal that can be picked up, or just be noticed, by a space vessel flying close by. Not only would it enable Lore to resume his hostile activities, but if picked up by enemies of the Federation, his tech and knowledge can be used - imagine him in the hands of the Cardassians or the Romulans. It's very naive and sloppy solution by a crew who already behaved stupidly through most of this episode. I'm guessing not the smartest of writers were on board for this one.
Michael - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 1:39am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

They looked like warbirds but they were heavy battle cruisers.
Why the Enterprise did not use photon torpedoes after the first spread?
Perhaps the rift in space....they did not want to destabilize it?
They knew the Klingons were on the way. No other Federation vessel could assist? Yes it is a time of war but this was an unusual event to put it mildly!!
Comments welcome
D. Albert - Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 9:20pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2


I agree. The lack of planning cost the series dearly. Some stuff just doesn't add up. You mentioned the big two.

Some thoughts:

For me, Cavil's character arc flopped. He HATED humanity and thus himself. And Fate. And then, poof! He agrees to a a truce. And it was a truce, which is why he just blew his brains out when it broke apart. It just doesn't fit with his incredible bile.

At least the writers in part resolved the conflict between fate and free will in the character(s) of 8. Boomer and Athena show, as you point out, that Cylon biology/fate still depends on individual choice. I like that.
213karaokejoe - Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 8:23pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

The incident with metaphysic shielding is a little confusing. The Borg ships stop and wait and the Enterprise stops, not taking advantage of the opportunity to put some distance between them.

Didn't like the "Innocent girl-mean man" dynamic at play with the junior officers.
213karaokejoe - Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 7:58pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

I read a lot of comments in I Borg that the next Federation death would be on Picard's shoulders for letting Hugh go. Well, Franklin was killed and they took a Borg prisoner. Picard is certainly culpable for Franklin, but so is Crusher. When Picard wants to interrogate the prisoner Crusher gets all judgemental with him. I could have slapped her. Did she learn nothing? Her nagging helped cause the Hugh debacle.
D. Albert - Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 5:13pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Islanded in a Stream of Stars

I really like that Boomer is so messed up. It shows how human she is.
D. Albert - Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 4:18pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Someone to Watch Over Me

"How much individuality does Athena lose by having copies out there who know her well enough to undermine her like this? It's disturbing."

I see it differently. Athena would never act like Boomer. That shows how individual they are. Free will, and all.

Are we any different? I think not.
Elliott - Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 4:05pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

Teaser : ***.5 , 5%

Something's coming through the wormhole! Finally!
Dax : "It doesn't match anything in Starfleet files." Really? How odd that a vessel from 70K lightyears away would not be in your files. The NSA must have stolen them. The score's a little better than usual during this scene, it helps add to the feeling of discovery and urgency, two desperately needed feelings on the series so far. I realise that Sisko thinks O'Brien would be less intimidating to Tosk than a formal greeting party, but what if he were dangerous? No security for poor Miles? So far, this is the best teaser since the pilot.

Act 1 : ***.5, 17%

Seems like Meaney gets all the scenes where he's talking to thin air. Hooray for good actors! There's a classic sci-fi trick of nominal ambiguity in Tosk's self-designation. It's an interesting little insight into his psychology. The majority of this act is just O'Brien and Tosk chatting. Thankfully they're both portrayed amiably and with an understated thoughtfulness. No forced smiles, not awkward laughs, no wasted steps. It feels more natural and artful than nearly any other dialogue we've seen on the series. Unfortunately, it seems like Tosk is up to no good, however, as he searches the station's plans for weapons storage, thus making the ominous music cue justified for once.

Act 2 : *** , 17%

Things continue to be paced better and more naturally, but I am curious if Sisko has even advised Starfleet that they just met a new race. I mean, first contact is a big deal isn't it? It brings up the question as to whether anyone on DS9 or in Starfleet is trying to contact the Wormhole Aliens. We could have had a DS9-Cmdr Maddox whose curiosity about these new creatures led to a conflict with Sisko. Are they really just like, "okay, so our only means of accessing this remote part of space requires travelling through the territory of non-linear beings who can enter our thoughts and physically control the wormhole. I'm sure that doesn't need a followup."?

DS9's setting requires a lot of extras doing group-acting ("Dabbo!"). For budgetary reasons, this often leads to distracting little bits in the background. Ostensibly, all these extra people are supposed to differentiate DS9 from a starship, with its function-centric corridors and clean rooms, but the fact that so many of these extras perform so poorly ends up making the environment feel *more* artificial sometimes. Just a note. The same thing happened in Ten Forward.

Next good choice, adding Quark into the mix. Horray for good actors! I do think drinking beer out of coffee mugs is kind of idiotic, however. Was this a censor issue? Next good choice, cutting Bashir off mid-sentence!

One gripe is that Sisko still hasn't bothered to introduce himself to this new alien species. I realise he was trying to earn Tosk's trust by letting O'Brien deal with him, but doesn't Sisko have an obligation as a Federation commander to make a legitimate first contact? And now it seems he'd be willing to let Tosk leave without even meeting him!

Tosk is caught meddling with Station security and taken to Odo's office for questioning. Here's another good choice; O'Brien earlier remarked that he found Tosk's naïveté charming and disarming, and here we see that in action (this is in contrast to just telling us he's naïve, or worse, showing us and THEN telling us he's naïve).

Act 3 : **.5, 17%

Well, good job putting off meeting this guy, Sisko, because now first contact is happening in prison. And now you want to "hold him till someone shows up looking for him"? You should get a promotion!

"Allow me to die with honour." Oh no, he's a Klingon in disguise!

Unfortunately, the plot starts to take a dive here. The other Gamma Quadrant ship emerges and starts shooting the station. The results are identical to what goes on on Starships, things shake, no one fires weapons, shields down, "I've never seen this before." It's a gigantic space station against a tiny vessel. Anyone who claims DS9 didn't pull Trek clichés is delusional.

Act 4 : ****, 17%

So, we get this goofy little fire fight (also, why would hitting a Changeling injure him?) between the crew and Tron. And it turns out Tosk is designated prey in a "noble and honourable hunt." It's a little predictable, but a worthwhile bit of Trekkiness. It reminds me of a cross between TNG's "Suddenly Human" and "The Perfect Mate"; Tosk is bound by his conditioning (conditioning which, by any human standards is nothing less than barbaric), but to deny him the fulfilment of his conditioned purpose would be to rob him of everything he has ever cared about.

We get a moving little scene where Tosk refuses to request asylum from the Federation. Whatever injustice was done to Tosk is impossible to rectify. He's already bound to his fate. Either he dies unjustly with his socially-conditioned honour in tact, or not. Those are his only options. He cannot be saved. O'Brien doesn't plead with him, but silently walks away.

Act 5 : *.5, 17%

....So O'Brien tricks Odo by playing on his Starfleet resentment. Okay, good. Then Odo just leaves Tosk, his hunter and O'Brien alone with no other security monitoring. Wow. So O'Brien breaks Tosk free (violating orders and getting at least one of the aliens killed).

And here we go off the rails...we were doing so well, too. SIsko tells Odo not to hurry, other SF officers watch O'Brien go by and say nothing. No security alert. I realise that Sisko doesn't approve of the Hunt (nor should he), but you can't have it both ways. Either you're sticking to your oath or your principals. True, there are times when regulations need to be broken (see "The Drumhead"), but you don't get to hide behind a presumed morality like the Q. So what is Sisko's report to Starfleet going to say? "I tried to stop him, really." That's just a lie. He's a liar.

The fact is, the hunters are as socially-conditioned as Tosk himself. They may not deserve as much sympathy as the prey, but they aren't "bad guys," they're following their conditioning. They deserve pity just like Tosk.

So Sisko throws the riot act at O'Brien because of course he realised he fucked up royally in his Starfleet duty. Then has the audacity to smile, pleased with himself for helping O'Brien along. But I guess these guys just know that they're right. No moral ambiguity. Helping Tosk escape, violating their own laws and potentially igniting contact with a new species--all okay. But I'm sure there will be consequences...

Episode as Functionary : **.5, 10%

It's a good character piece for O'Brien. I'm not against his having a personal ethical code which overrides his duty, but there should be consequences to this behaviour right? Sisko dubious moral code is further flushed out. When Kirk, Picard or Janeway violated the letter of the law, they OWNED it. They decided to face the music and live with their choices because they thought they were right. Sisko plays this little game where he pretends to try and stop O'Brien so he can falsify his report to Starfleet. What a coward. And talk about a reset button! In spite of these issues, it's a more engaging watch than any of the previous episodes. Credit to better pacing, acting and dialogue along with a score that's at least an interesting shade of wallpaper instead of the usual beige.

Final Score : ***
Elliott - Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 2:31pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

Teaser : ***, 5%

"You look like you could use some sleep!" Thanks, Kira. Maybe he'd have time if you didn't stand around bitching about everything. O'Brien's Bad Day is actually a decent bit of work, but dear god, how about some music [even some crappy music]? Or some snappy editing? So many seconds go by wasted where we watch O'Briend tap a console or replace a hatch. Anyway, there's a mysterious device in the bowels of the replicator system. Uh-oh.

Act 1 : **, 17%

And a repeat of the flaw in the Odo/Quark rapport from "A Man Alone"; they're sitting together casually shooting the breeze and are literally telling each other what could amount to character bios. This is not natural dialogue, it's ham-fisted character exposition. What is there for me, the viewer, to infer about their relationship? Nothing, they've just told me everything! Thanks for letting me turn my brain off, guys. On the other hand, it's kind of hilarious how easily Quark gains security access when Odo just left his presence.

So, O'Brien's fatigue starts to bleed into his manifesting odd symptoms until he finally starts babbling nonsense at Kira. This must have been fun to memorise...

TNG's S6 was an unfortunate period to air a new show. The bland, slow, padded style which characterised the direction of the series of that time was a poor vehicle for introducing us to this new series and these new characters. I found myself equally disenchanted by this style on TNG, but at least I already knew and cared about the crew and their mission. DS9 did not yet have that advantage. To me, this is a much bigger culprit in DS9's perceived lack of direction than its stationary setting.

Act 2 : **, 17%

Hmm...Star Trek : Gertrude Stein? It would have been nice if the crew's goofy dialogue were perceived as funny by the cast rather than "deadly serious." Yes, it's a serious problem, but come on, how about some realistic emotional responses, at least at first, before it becomes clear there's an epidemic.

Clunky exposition returns as the alien with the stew makes a second appearance just to give Odo his clue about Quark's security breech.

Others have pointed out the ret-con of Rom being a brilliant engineer despite his "being an idiot," but didn't we see him in the last episode being, well, not an idiot? He seemed like a normal Ferengi. So the writers later chose to take a normal character and make him both incredibly stupid and incredible brilliant. Let's keep this in mind, shall we? I am not certain that Rom was the only victim of this strategy.

So, it turns out Quark is inadvertently responsible for spreading a deadly virus to the entire station's population, including all his customers. I'm sure we'll see consequences to this.

Again, the story plods along at a snail's pace with the most lethargic attempts at character interplay sprinkled about.

Act 3 : *.5, 17%

Here's ANOTHER unnecessary scene--Kira is about to tell Sisko that she found the mysterious device (nice resolution to that mystery, by the way, if only O'Brien had thought to use his tricorder during his repairs), yet we have to actually be shown a 15-second clip of her finding it. Talk about padding.

Okay, what would be different, dramatically speaking, in making the "aphasia virus" just a damned virus, ie a disease which weakens and kills you? Is there a reason to make the sufferers aphasic? Do we get some metaphor, plot twist or even a little pathos from this gimmick? Nope! It's just a way to make the virus more science-fiction-y. Take Sisko's finding Jake sick--if Jake had been, say coughing or wheezing, feverish, sick in bed, would Sisko's reaction be less warranted? Instead, we are asked to feel the same based on Jake's random word-generator speak. So, we have to overcome a strange layer of suspension of disbelief for absolutely no reason. The consequences, resolution and empathy of the plot would not be hindered by making the virus act like a virus and not an internet meme-speak. Another unintentional result is we have to rely on the actors communicating their real feelings without the aide of coherent dialogue. Colm Meany could pull this off, but Terry Ferrel and Cirroc Lofton definitely cannot. Poor kid is just flailing his eyebrows about in an attempt to convey desperation. Without knowing this particular child-actor's strengths and weaknesses, it should have been an obvious bad move for the writers to demand something so subtle and strange from a kid.

Um, the Bajorans developed a complex virus (with this unexplained goofy aphasic side-effect) during the resistance? How, when?

Oof, Kira's friend whom she contacts over subspace gets the shitty acting prize on this one.

Act 4 : *, 17%

"This virus is a work of genius." My ass.

So, Kira has 12 hours to find the Bajoran genius or people start dying. Okay. So, Sisko, maybe you want to assign more than ONE person to work on this! Maybe help yourself instead of interrupting Kira to let her know she needs to hurry up. Geez.

Then, we get the scene where Kira tells Sisko she's leaving to find a cure, but fails to mention she won't leave the Runabout, just so Sisko can berate her for breaking quarantine. People are yelling! Drama must be happening! RARG!

Well, just in case the virus wasn't riveting enough, we've got the other contrived disaster, the exploding ship. That's right, trying to break away from the station doesn't cause his hull damage or impair his docking clamps, but triggers and EXPLOSION. That's some well-designed technology there.

Act 5 : *, 17%

Kira stealing Surmak from his office was hilarious. Total Janeway move.

Why is it that every time someone goes aphasic, it's always met with "what, what was that?" followed by awkward babbling.

Did Kira just sentence this man to death? Well, I'm sure there will be consequences.

Did Kira fly past the burning vessel about to blow up half the station and do nothing? No hail, no offer to use the Runabout's transporters or tractor beam? Huh.

30 SECONDS 20 SECONDS 10 SECONDS!!!!!! 'splosion!

I did like Quark's little comment about "hazard pay." Do Bajorans earn a salary working Federation jobs?

The bookending was really painful--all that was missing was one of those early TNG "that was cute and funny" music cues followed by Sitcom credits.

Episode as Functionary : *, 10%

What's to say? The plot is ludicrous, the danger at the end obviously manufactured and the titular "Babel" aspect is just a gimmick. We could have had an interesting subtext about the original meaning of the Babel myth--the dispersion of peoples, the multiplying of tongues allegorising the divergence of cultures. Instead we get generic danger and inexplicable justifications. I'm not sure if this underwent a rewrite, but it had, in this way, a similar feel to "Masks," where a potentially intriguing idea is dumbed down to pointless drivel. Much like "The Naked Now," it's also a really bad idea to air an episode which requires the actors to be weird so early in the series. It leads to a lot of uncomfortable scenes with darting eyes and confused expressions. The Odo/Quark stuff was okay in places, but nothing about it really added to their dynamic. Sisko's concern for his son does not inflect his actions in any way except during the designated "character scene." It felt cheap. Overall, it's a cheesy, contrived mess that needs no repeat viewings.

Final Score : *.5
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