Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Forsaken"


Air date: 5/22/1993
Teleplay by Don Carlos Dunaway and Michael Piller
Story by Jim Trombetta
Directed by Les Landau

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"The Forsaken," much like "The Storyteller" and "The Passenger," highlights how DS9 can deliver with character insight and development almost every time, even when the plotline fails to be remotely compelling. In this case, a computerized "entity" invades the computer system and causes problems throughout the station. Included in these problems is Odo and Lwaxana Troi being stuck in a turbolift—an unlikely character combination that provides a surprising amount of well-realized characterization.

Lwaxana's lusting after the understandably frightened Odo is initially annoying, but it slowly mellows into reasonable dialog that's unexpectedly affecting. The episode opens the door to some of Odo's mysterious backstory, and shows the constable in a moment of weakened personal pride. Lwaxana's reaction to the situation is nicely handled.

Also entertaining is the always-reliable Meaney as an O'Brien frustrated with a hopeless computer system, as well the notion of Sisko passing off the duty of entertaining visiting ambassadors to an unfortunate Doctor Bashir. What doesn't work here is the completely routine computer-induced mania and its predictable wrap-up, and the unnecessary imperilment of Bashir and the ambassadors in the lackluster finale. The characters work, but the story lacks originality.

Previous episode: If Wishes Were Horses
Next episode: Dramatis Personae

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11 comments on this review

Cail Corishev - Wed, Sep 12, 2012 - 9:16pm (USA Central)
Lwaxana is really charming here, and compared to some of her later appearances, almost understated. Her scenes with Odo in the elevator are excellent.

Good thing, too, because the rest is completely forgettable. I wince every time I hear someone talk about "uploading" data as if it destroys the old copy (Voyager was very bad about this with the doctor). No, uploading the data back to the probe wasn't going to make the virus go along, and even in 1993 we should have known better.
Chris - Sun, Apr 7, 2013 - 10:57pm (USA Central)
Yes, there's a lot of talk about the physics of Star Trek (even a book). But the worst kind of science in Star Trek is computer science.
Van_Patten - Wed, May 15, 2013 - 4:16pm (USA Central)
The First appearance of Lwaxana Troi on Deep Space 9 - hardly one of fandom's most well-recalled characters, although I have to confess whilst she had her fair share of total clunkers:(Anyone want to watch 'Manhunt' or 'Cost of Living' - thought not!) - she could be at least tolerable, 'Haven' or 'Half a Life' whilst not series high points were at least watchable. This, whilst not a must -see episode actually holds up quite well.

The basic plot is two fold - a computer anomaly invades the station and various mechanical and computer problems ensue. Leaving aside the weakness of the technical issues, this really does betray a lack of imagination on the part of the writer - I appreciate the Static setting makes the kind of adventures TNG had difficult to replicate (And part of the brief was to make this a different show from its forebear) but it really didn't work, and comes across as more than a little tedious.

The secondary plot involves the visit to the station of four Alien ambassadors, amongst whom is Lwaxana Troi - these are assigned to Bashir by Sisko who then delights in the Doctor's obvious discomfiture. As mentioned by Jammer, unarguably the highlights are the scenes involving Barrett and Auberjonois which really work, giving us a good insight into Lwaxana's character. It almost seems superfluous to praise Rene Auberjonois but his performance is consistently amongst the highlights of the First Season. The opening scene:

'When did you join Starfleet?'
'Dopterians are distant cousins of the Ferengi. Since you couldn't read Quark, it made sense you couldn't read this charming fellow either'

are dialogue highlights from what is an otherwise inoffensive but largely forgettable episode. Agree with the 2.5 star rating. Some good character points but ultimately not one to linger in the memory.
grumpy_otter - Thu, May 30, 2013 - 7:43pm (USA Central)
Odod continues to impress, but it is hard for me to watch Lwaxana episodes anymore--it just makes me miss Majel. This episode is a perfect example of how her character, when properly handled, was one of the most wonderful to ever come out of TNG.

I think if more people were like Lwaxana, as Majel portrayed her, the world would be a better place. It would have more joy, more fun, more vivacity, and more sex.

What could be wrong with that?
T'Paul - Sun, Jun 30, 2013 - 6:05pm (USA Central)
Yes, this is perhaps one of the most sympathetic portrayals of Lwaxana, the person behind the bubbliness, and perhaps an insight as to why she is the way she is... it's a shame her romance with Odo didn't grow, I think they make a lovely couple, much more so than Odo's later love interest (whom I won't name for those who don't know!)

And it is a shame she's no longer with us...
ZurielSeven - Fri, Aug 2, 2013 - 2:52pm (USA Central)
This episode marks one of the few times we get to see a Vulcan really put his foot in his mouth. :-)
azcats - Tue, Sep 10, 2013 - 3:40pm (USA Central)
best lwaxana show there is. she is usually so annoying.

speaking of computer science..

someone should tell her she sounds like a "computer...."
Snitch - Mon, Oct 14, 2013 - 8:46pm (USA Central)
I always liked Lwaxana on TNG, never got all the dislike from some fans. This episode works in the parts with her and Odo. Most of the other stuff is just filler.

2 Stars
Kotas - Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - 2:06pm (USA Central)

Considering the appearance of Lwaxana, it could have been a lot worse. A "meh" episode overall. Watchable but not good.

Paul - Thu, Feb 13, 2014 - 10:40am (USA Central)
I think this is a good example of why some ST fans never warmed up to DS9. The first season was really uneven and episodes like this were just dull and bad.

The worst part of this episode is the overacting/overwriting in the Bashir subplot. Until the very end, Bashir just looks like an idiot and the ambassadors look like assholes. Also, I don't really buy Sisko completely ignoring the ambassadors. The way the episode plays, it's as if they visited the station with no set agenda (even before the emergency).

The O'Brien stuff is also fairly boring as far as O'Brien stuff goes. I guess the "pup" is an interesting sci-fi concept, but watching O'Brien and Dax jockey for ways to fix the problem in this episode is really dull.

The Odo/Lwaxana stuff is actually the best part of the episode, though Odo's discomfort is over the top initially. Lwaxana never bothered me the way she bothered some fans. She can be funny in the right situations and interesting in others.

This is clearly an example of DS9 still getting it's footing, something I don't think it really did until "The Maquis" in the second season.
Yanks - Mon, Jul 7, 2014 - 1:44pm (USA Central)
This is one of those stupid episodes that I really like.

Forget the whole computer thing; forget Bashir and Sisko overacting, etc, blah-blah…

The whole episode is watchable for me because of the Lwaxana/Odo moments. So well done. The light comedy before the elevator failure was fantastic. The two play great off each other so well and their moments were genuinely touching heartfelt. Odo is understanding and comforts her when she states she needs to talk and she undresses herself when Odo is falling apart. I almost cried when she took off her wig.

LWAXANA: It looks ordinary. I've never cared to be ordinary. So you see, Odo, even us non-shape-shifters have to change who we are once in a while.
ODO: You are not at all what I expected.
LWAXANA: No one's ever paid me a greater compliment.

Both reveal themselves to each other.

At this point in the series I’m wonder just how good of an actor is Rene Auberjonois? It seems that whomever he is paired up with during a scene is fantastic.

3.0 stars for me.

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