Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"Move Along Home"
Air date: 3/15/1993
Teleplay by Frederick Rappaport and Lisa Rich & Jeanne Carrigan-Fauci
Story by Michael Piller
Directed by David Carson
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
Quark cheats the first visitors from the Gamma Quadrant in a game of Dabo, so the aliens decide to give Quark a lesson in fair play with a game that places Sisko, Kira, Dax, and Bashir in the middle of a surreal fantasy situation as the players. In order to see the DS9 officers to safety, Quark must play the game through—gambling with lives instead of money.
There is one big problem with "Move Along Home," and it's that the premise is very, very far-fetched. It just doesn't make much sense. The technology—something that allows the senior officers to become players in a game that Quark and the aliens are able to manipulate on a playing board—is never explained (which might be a good thing considering the alternative of technobabble). And it seems awfully convenient that the four players in this game would happen to be the senior officers. The alien "game" sets are impressive, and Carson's overhead camera angles and surreal imagery earn full marks for atmospherics.
Rene Auberjonois turns in another strong performance as an urgent Odo, and some scenes early on between Sisko and his son work well. But Quark's overwrought "groveling scene" falls flat, as does the constant repetition by alien game master Falow (Joel Brooks), who says "Choose their path" and "Move along home!" way too many times in the course of the episode. The motivation for placing the four main characters in such apparent peril strains credulity, assuming it exists at all. A very handsomely produced and often entertaining show, but it bears little scrutiny.