Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang"


Air date: 2/22/1999
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Mike Vejar

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Vic Fontaine's hotel has just been bought by gangsters."
"I see. When are you planning on going back to work?"

— Bashir and Sisko, an appropriate notion for the series

Nutshell: A weird mix of entertaining and patience-straining moments.

There's a moment in "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" that took me by complete surprise. Kasidy is talking to Ben about a problem the others are having with the Vic Fontaine holosuite program. Ben isn't very receptive; he doesn't care much about Vic's program, or even like it, really. Then, after some more conversation, Ben airs his true feelings: He does not like the historic lie that exists inside Vic's program, which erases all traces of racism from its 1962 Las Vegas setting, in the interests of safe entertainment for all. This is actually something that had crossed my mind in a scene prior to this one, where Kasidy plays the slot machines while talking to a white security guard. (Dare I broach the subject of race in a review of an episode that's not really about race? It appears so.)

This is, I believe, the first time Sisko, or any Star Trek character, has identified himself in dialog as "black." Even last year's "Far Beyond the Stars," about racism in the 1950s, left the racial issues in the 1950s. In that episode's coda, when Sisko reflected upon those visions, his comments were about the nature of Benny Russell's existence, not Benny Russell's struggles as a black man.

So now, after decades of Gene Roddenberry "color blindness," the producers of DS9 have tapped into something that could analyze race in an interesting way from a historic perspective without abandoning anything in the 24th century as we know it. This issue is worthy of serious screen time. But you won't be finding it here: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" raises the issue and then promptly steamrollers through it. With a few heartfelt words, Kasidy is able to change Sisko's mind with a sentiment that isn't unreasonable, but in a way that strikes me as too quick given Sisko's adamancy on such matters of history. Then it quickly becomes a non-issue for the rest of the episode.

What's up with that? Did the writers simply want to cover that base so we wouldn't think it went forgotten, and then bypass it as quickly as possible?

That sets the tone for my mixed feelings on "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang," an episode that exists simply to be entertaining, and not probing, challenging, vital, or necessary. For what it sets out to do, it delivers. Does it deliver it well?

Q&A time: Since it sets out not to do much else but be entertaining filler, is that worth a good review? Maybe I need to ask more questions. Was I bored? Not really. Was I caught up in the plot? At times. Was I thinking the whole episode was gratuitous? No, because I was distracted by feelings of enjoyment and whimsy. Were there stretches where I stared at the screen in disinterest? Certainly.

"Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang," with an abundance of period sets and costumes, is a luxuriously produced episode that aims for pure style. At times it succeeds. At other times it feels simply gratuitous. It sometimes reminded me of Voyager's "Bride of Chaotica!" Both shows are set in fantasy settings and go out of their way to do something their respective series do not usually do. Yet neither can quite cut itself loose from the jeopardy baggage of their premises. Correction: "Badda-Bing" almost works because of the jeopardy, since it features an interesting response to that jeopardy in the form of the crew's careful planning. Even so, there were stretches in the show's first three acts that I had a general feeling of "C'mon, get on with it already!"

Perhaps my patience with DS9 fluff pieces is simply wearing thin. Perhaps, nothing; definitely. With all that's (allegedly) going on in the DS9 universe, do we really need a story about Vic Fontaine being threatened by mobsters? Now, from what Ron Moore has said in his online postings, "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" marks the end of DS9 fluff and from here on out it's all meaty stuff (and there's still 11 hours' worth of screen time left, which is plenty of time to say what needs to be said), but the entertainment value to be found in "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" is not enough to overcome the cumulative effect of stand-alone irrelevance to the big picture ("Paper Moon" and "Chimera" notwithstanding) we've had since the New Year.

The plot is simple: In Vic's program, holographic mobsters led by the vengeful Franky Eyes (Robert Miano) take over Vic's lounge and turn it into a noisy casino. They beat up Vic and tell him to get out of town. The rest of the episode is about the crew's plan for getting rid of the mobsters and restoring Vic's lounge to the way it was. They come up with the idea of robbing the casino safe so that when Big Mob Boss Mr. Zeemo (Marc Lawrence) comes into town, Franky Eyes will be accused of stealing Zeemo's cut, thereby all but assuring an instant end to Franky.

A few words on holosuite plotting. Contrived? Yes, albeit it's not as annoying as it could've been. Turns out Vic's holo-program had been equipped by its programming designer, some guy named Felix, with a "jack-in-the-box" surprise, intended to randomly spice up the program before it could get boring, I guess. In other words, "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

Fine and good, but this still permits the existence of plenty of holosuite rules that lie outside the users' control and make me a little leery. Characters can't be deleted, the program can't be paused, and the game can't be reset without also resetting Vic Fontaine's memory to day one. How convenient. Naturally, no one wants to do that, including Vic himself. Another rule in the game: If Vic "dies," his presence in the program will be "deleted from the matrix permanently."

I'm probably a fool for even thinking about the implications of holosuite nonsense. Suffice it to say the mobsters must be dealt with by using the game's rules rather than having the real people controlling the program. I'm glad, however, that the only person in jeopardy here is Vic, rather than the whole crew in another silly holodeck-gone-awry paradigm.

Enjoyment of this episode might very well depend upon whether you like Vic's lounge setting or not. I happen to like James Darren's presence on the series quite a bit, so I found most of this episode watchable, even if not compelling. And the largeness of the music brought out an energy and a style that I often found hard to resist. In critical terms, I must stress that an episode like "It's Only a Paper Moon" supplies the benefit of atmosphere and relevance, whereas "Badda-Bing" is atmosphere without much of any relevance.

Overall, "Badda-Bing" is an episode that is variable for its first three acts and then solid for its last two. That is to say, I found the episode a lot more interesting when it was playing out its caper rather than just supplying its setting for the sake of atmosphere alone. In the opening acts, the characters realize the nature of Vic's dilemma and think of ways to overcome it. Sisko's dilemma over Vic's historical inaccuracy is acknowledged and then dropped. Impatience for me began to set in.

The closing two acts were much more entertaining, because that's where we see the caper unfold. All of this is style, timing, and direction. Fortunately, we have director Mike Vejar, who is very solid when it comes to execution. I enjoyed the way every stage of the plan was calculated and shown to the audience in advance. This made the real execution of the plan, where things inevitably go wrong, more exciting to watch.

Every character gets their own special role in the plan (except Worf, who doesn't engage in this sort of fantasy triviality), from rolling dice at the craps table to playing poker, etc., though I must admit that not all the roles were necessary. Why, for example, do Sisko and Vic both have to stand at the dice table? Because we need to get every major character into the setting, that's why.

Perhaps the most annoying aspect of this story apart from the all-too-quickly abandoned Sisko issue is the way it handles Kira. In short, I do not need to see Kira as the cliched sexy distraction, and certainly not at the length we see it here. It's boring and generally insulting to the character's usual strength. Plus there's the fact that she's trying to distract Franky Eyes, who just isn't interesting enough as the villain. Sure, he looks the part, but the part gives him a slew of typical lines that don't make his villain fun to hate, but instead just kind of annoying.

Mike Starr is a little more fun as Cicci, a big guy who can be very cruel at times (shoving a sandwich down a guy's throat and telling him to go back to the kitchen and get another one), yet can turn on a dime to being klutzily charismatic (his bashful hiring of Ezri).

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that the master plan works out in the end and Vic's lounge is restored to its normal state. But I liked the ending featuring the singing duet of James Darren and Avery Brooks. Is it in line with Sisko's character to be up on stage singing with Vic, in light of his previous feelings? I dunno; Sisko has never struck me as the type to release his serious feelings so quickly. But it's also obvious that this was more a moment that the producers and actors wanted to do because they could—and with time running out, realized that now, if ever, was the time to do it. On that level, I very much liked the sentiment.

Beyond that there's not much to say about "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang." It's not a particularly fresh hour, but it's not annoying either. And although it's not as funny a holosuite show as "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," it's more stylish. It's whimsically gratuitous fun with enough goodwill and good execution to earn a "pass." It also serves as a big patience-strainer for those of us desperately wanting to get back into the series' focus.

This middle stretch of the season has proven extremely limiting in getting us to where the series needs to go. I'm ready to get back into the real core of the series. Fortunately, it appears the series will be heading that direction immediately.

Next week: Bashir goes undercover with Section 31. At last, a plot that matters.

Previous episode: Chimera
Next episode: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

◄ Season Index

112 comments on this review

Jakob M. Mokoru
Mon, Nov 26, 2007, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Well, it may sound childish - or "adolescent", if you wish - but Ezri made this episode watchable enough for me...
Tue, May 6, 2008, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
"cliched sexy distraction" she might have been, but Kira was smoking hawt! How's that for "adolescent"? Question: why wasn't Jake Sisko in this episode??
Wed, Jul 23, 2008, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
I don't think you understand DS9, and based on your reviews, I'm not even sure if you really like it or not...
Sun, Sep 14, 2008, 6:50am (UTC -5)
Sisko and Vic singing "The Best is Yet to Come". Breaking the fourth wall with a wink and a nudge about "The Final Chapter"?
Sun, Dec 21, 2008, 4:13pm (UTC -5)
I absolutely love this episode.
Sat, Feb 21, 2009, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Say what you want about the rest of the episode, but that song at the end made the whole thing watchable. I couldn't help but break out into a huge grin seeing and hearing Sisko sing up on that stage.
Thu, Mar 12, 2009, 3:57am (UTC -5)
I suppose it wouldn't be Trek without a Holodeck-malfunction episode. The premise is as bombastically-stupid as TNG's "A Fistful of Datas," but at least everybody looks like they're having fun. Which means that we the audience get to have fun with them.

And yet, that's such a huge problem. I thought there was a war going on. The WAR TO END ALL WARS. The WAR where Ira Steven Behr tells us just how ugly it is in the future as it is in the present, Gene Roddenberry be damned. I thought Sisko spent every waking moment ponderously and pedantically looking over his casualty lists. I thought 500 Federation ships were getting blown up every other day. I guess I missed the part where writers get to ignore the very wars they've plotted when they're in the mood for something else. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with them establishing and exploring this structure, but if you're going to dramatically portray something like war, you've got to commit 100 percent. Is a little consistency too much to ask?

And I wish someone would kill Kasidy Yates already. She hasn't had anything to do with anything since she got caught smuggling for the Maquis. Now she just consumes lines and camera space.
Sat, Jun 20, 2009, 4:21am (UTC -5)
Kasidy Yates is indeed a big flaw.Micheal Edington was wrong,after all she betrayed Benjamin more then anyone else but he simply could not care less.

Maybe love conquers all,but for sure that did not stop her betraying the man she love,oposing him and becoming a terrorist aid without any reason.

If she did have a reason she sure forgot about it the minute the road got rocky.

Btw In the paper moon episode Vic owned the casino,at least he and Nog acted like they did while rebuilding it.

"This is, I believe, the first time Sisko, or any Star Trek character, has identified himself in dialog as "black." Even last year's "Far Beyond the Stars," about racism in the 1950s, left the racial issues in the 1950s. In that episode's coda, when Sisko reflected upon those visions, his comments were about the nature of Benny Russell's existence, not Benny Russell's struggles as a black man."

This whole section shows how much you missed.Try watching it again,and not focus on any color this time.Ds9 is filled with racism,Changelings,Cardasians,Humanoids,Ferengi's,Romulans,Vulcans,Mutants, Pah-wraith followers,Klingons and pretty much everybody else sure got their deal of discriminating remarks,actions and hints of eachother.

And All Ben thinks about over a plate of creol food are black people in the 50's and 60's.Darnit Avery get over it already,2400ad is 400 years away and you dont hear any of us talking bout the 1500's either.
Thu, Aug 20, 2009, 3:27am (UTC -5)
I'm completely with Bligo. That whole scene with Sisko and Kasidy discussing the status of blacks in 1960s Las Vegas strikes me as something written to appease Avery Brooks' concerns with the glamorization of the Rat Pack era in the show. While I'm sure he'd argue the issue was very relevant in 1998 it seems completely incongruous that a 24th century human in the Star Trek universe would refer to the struggle of "our people" unless he was referring to humanity as a whole. Granted Chakotay veered into this territory with Native Americans but in that case it was a group that had deliberately kept itself somewhat distinct from the rest of Earth's culture. To me having Sisko make such divisions does much more to undermine the Roddenberry vision than any of the flexible morality the Federation displays during the Dominion War. It's always spoiled the episode for me a little bit.
Mon, Jan 11, 2010, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Regarding the above comments, perhaps Sisko was slightly more sensitive to the historical racism because of his experiences in 'Far Beyond the Stars'? Just a thought.

As for the episode itself- what a snoozer.
Fri, Mar 19, 2010, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
I have to agree with Yakko and Bligo. The whole Avery Brooks/Sisko concern about the way Blacks or in the words of Sisko, "our people" were treated back in the 1960s is just annoying. I find it really distracting being that at the point in time in the show, as was stated above, racial issues for humanity are a thing of the past. It seems all too forced in this instance and makes the episode really lose on the sell of believability.
Mon, May 31, 2010, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
This was pretty harmless fluff that I could take either way. I could misremembering things since I haven't seen it since the 90s, but my take on Sisko's annoyance with Vic's program was based around the idea of promoting a false history in renditions of past events for "modern audiences" (whether that's 21st or 24th century) to make it more palatable. Like changing the outcome of what happened to characters to give them a happy ending or make them more violent or cowardly etc, or when you have a modern filmmaker emphasising one nation's role in a war to the expense of others that might have participated. And since Sisko has constantly been shown to have a fondness for history (benny russell, baseball, bell riots, bajoran solar sail ship) i feel it jives with a desire to see it play out as it happened. Yeah it then becomes a non-issue anyway but that's how I approached it.
Marco P.
Fri, Aug 27, 2010, 4:22am (UTC -5)
Some thoughts (in no particular order);
• Nicole deBoer with long hair is absolutely gorgeous.
• Sisko the "holo-civil rights activist" smelled a little too much like Benny Russell.
• Thinking of "Cheech & Stretchy" (Odo) made fall out of my chair laughing.
• I had dreaded for this to turn into another "stuck in the holodeck with the safeties off" episode (or holodeck-gone-awry as Jammer calls it). Thankfully the writers somewhat avoided

that trap. It seems awfully convenient though, for the purposes of the plot, that the two antagonists cannot be deleted. Sure, the

programmer included them to "spice things up", but did he also make them read-only? Or that the main program cannot be altered?
• When Nog can't open the safe, what's preventing Odo from shape-shifting through the crack in the door and then somehow opening it

from inside the lock mechanism? Maybe I'm nitpicking too much.
• The set-up of showing us the heist "as it should happen" (the plan) first, and then following through with a repeat of the events plus or minus a few "unpredictables" (the action, where things go wrong)... well that was a little too cliché for my taste.

All in all when you think about it, this episode could be retitled "Vic Fontaine's Eleven" (minus George Clooney).

And I completely agree with EP on the war topic. Surely there were more important things for the DS9 staff to do, than fight to get an a holodeck program back to normal, albeit it being one that contained Vic the "sentient" hologram.
Fri, Nov 12, 2010, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Actually people do still get upset about stuff that happened 400 years ago - in Ireland, Cromwell and Drogheda are still remembered, for instance. Sometimes (this might just be a European thing, but it's certainly true where I'm from) the further back in history you go the more upset people get!

It felt especially right, though, considering that the Prophets gave Sisko the vision of life in 1950s America only a year before - so even if he had spent his life unconcerned with what had happened back in the 20th century up till then. We know from his evolving attitude to Bajoran religion that Sisko's spiritual experiences stay with him; so it's in character that having had that experience, he'd be more sensitive to it now.
Tue, Dec 14, 2010, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
This one was...weird. I might have had a little more goodwill for it had it come in a season where filler episodes didn't feel like needless distractions from the main issue.

Oh, and the whole "blacks" thing? I can understand it in Sisko's case as memories from the Benny Russell episode, but why is Kasidy so quick to understand what he's going on about? You'd expect more of a "skin color? What difference is that supposed to make, exactly?" reaction from her - she wasn't exposed to anything like racism directly (or at least, nothing related to her being black, as opposed to a human).
Sat, Jan 8, 2011, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Avery Brooks' singing made the whole episode worthwhile for me. Though I did watch the episodes in production order (that is, I saw "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" before this one) so maybe for that reason I didn't mind one last 'filler' episode before going into the final arc.
Sun, Feb 6, 2011, 12:31am (UTC -5)
I think the remarks Kasidy were made were satisfactory (and surprisingly poignant for their brevity) in dealing with the race issue. This is the 24th century, so that eras injustices were not something Sisko himself, or even any recent ancestors would have experienced this timeframe it is, quite literally, ancient history.
Sat, Feb 19, 2011, 6:03am (UTC -5)
I agree with everyone that the race issue seemed sudden and out of place. That being said, my favorite moments of this episode were the entire cast walking (striding) past Quark's to the holosuite in costume and Sisko singing at the end. I think people would have thought higher of this episode if the baseball episode wasn't in the same season. While Sisko's love of the game certainly warranted a baseball episode, having two fluff shows in the final season was too much.
Sat, Mar 5, 2011, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Strange that Quark was uninterested in helping because "he considers VIc the competeition". Even if that's so, this ridiculous "malfunction" is gobbling up tons of time in one of his precious holosuites, so presumably Quark would be eager to help get it back in rotation so he can start charging for its usage again.
Sat, Mar 5, 2011, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Jay, there was an episode mid season where Quark stopped by Vic's and commented that he liked the place and said he'd stop by from time to time.
Mon, Apr 11, 2011, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
Fluff, yes. But this episode's two saving graces are 1) James Darren, who I just can't get enough of (Time Tunnel withdrawal as a kid maybe?), and 2) the fact that the cast looked like they had a blast filming it. For me, that goes a long way toward forgiving the numerous flaws and distractions.
Wed, Oct 5, 2011, 2:23am (UTC -5)
Erm...okay, 2 comments :

1) Yates/Sisko debate about racism. I'm of two minds about it--I feel that the idea of being limited only by one's self-imposed restrictions is a healthy one for any person of any colour or creed--but, I'm quite disturbed by the reference to "our people." In the Star Trek Universe, the entire human species hardly sees itself as separate from any other species in the Federation--in fact, most of the time "species" and "race" are interchangeable terms. That black humans in the 24th century would be concerned about preserving the integrity (this is not a moral term, but a scientific one: integrity as in keeping it separate) of their race, which science has shown us barely registers in our genetic makeup, strikes me the wrong way. It's borderline xenophobic. I think the reason race of this kind is never mentioned in Star Trek is because it really has been forgot. Obviously, the actors are from the 20th/21st centuries, so a modicum of suspension of disbelief must be extended. In TOS, it was almost too radical for its time to have white Russian men interacting with white American men, but by the TNG era, these notions should have been obsolete. I was always a bit disturbed by Picard's english--er I mean, French-ness, and I'm really glad they dropped the Chinese angle with Harry Kim on VOY early on. Couched in a story about self-discovery like "Far Beyond the Stars" it works and is poignant. Here it is an unwelcome deviation from an enlightened universe.

2) Vic's "death." Now, it took years--years for the Voyager crew to think of the Doctor as a sentient lifeform with rights and privileges, and he spent his time SAVING THEIR LIVES. VIc has known the DS9 crew a fraction of that time and all he does is sing songs (to the chagrin of many like myself) and wax poetic about his interpretation of them. At any rate, if they care about him and want him to continue to exist, why not try and reprogram the damned holodeck--sorry suite. With everything we've seen O'Brien do, are we really expected to believe that this nonsense is beyond him?

A gratuitous mess of an episode with some thoughtful, but ultimately empty ideas. If "Take me out" deserved at best 1 star, this one deserves at best 2.
Peter Cordes
Mon, Oct 10, 2011, 6:21am (UTC -5)
It would have been interesting to cut to Benny Russell free of the asylum and writing his stories again as Sisko delivered that outburst about "our people" and racism. I'm going to choose to believe that most 24th century humans wouldn't use such terms, and that he's channeling Benny Russell somehow. Good point someone made earlier how that's a bigger blow to Roddenberry than the war, unless you can find an explanation like this.

Obviously Kasidy understands what he's talking about because Sisko has told her about his experiences in Far Beyond the Stars. Maybe most humans are unaware of color-based discrimination, unless they are students of history.
Tue, Oct 25, 2011, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
"When Nog can't open the safe, what's preventing Odo from shape-shifting through the crack in the door and then somehow opening it from inside the lock mechanism? Maybe I'm nitpicking too much."

I came here to say the same thing. Odo would make a hell of a lock picker.
Sun, Apr 29, 2012, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
awful episode
Mon, Apr 30, 2012, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
"Strange that Quark was uninterested in helping because "he considers VIc the competeition". Even if that's so, this ridiculous "malfunction" is gobbling up tons of time in one of his precious holosuites, so presumably Quark would be eager to help get it back in rotation so he can start charging for its usage again."

Vic's program has been running 24/7 in that holosuite since Paper Moon and wasn't going to be shut off any time soon.

"At any rate, if they care about him and want him to continue to exist, why not try and reprogram the damned holodeck--sorry suite. With everything we've seen O'Brien do, are we really expected to believe that this nonsense is beyond him?"

Joke answer: Copywrite infringement?

Real answer: While I admit the stakes were higher in this case, in a way that's kind of like saying 'why play a video game you can just hack it to make it show you the ending?' This wasn't an error, the programmer did it on purpose and took pains to protect it from tampering. He wanted them to 'win,' the scenario, not to hack around all his hard work.

And for people complaining about doing this in the middle of a war, I add my two cents: These people need distractions on their off time to keep them sane more now than ever. It may be one reason why Vic became so important to them so fast in the first place, as opposed to the Doctor. That and the fact that Vic is way more charismatic and likeable. (As much as I like the Doctor, he wasn't portrayed as winning any personality contests.)
Captain Pike
Tue, May 1, 2012, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Terrible. The writers in season 7 they spent two episodes in the holosuite, they do a mirror episode, they spent another three or four episodes on Ezri doing nothing but whining and then they complain that they needed 5 more episodes to properly end the series. Ok.
Mon, May 7, 2012, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Boring. I don't watch a sci-fi series to see a remake of ocean's eleven. Definitely not in the last season when there are so many loose ends. I agree with captain pike, the writers knew this was the last season and they had all the time to plan it right. If they have so many fillers in season 7 that means that they never knew how to finish the series and not that they didn't have the time.
Tue, May 15, 2012, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
This ep was super cute! Now I know its 7th season and all that and theres been a few fluff pieces plus a clunker in the middle few eps but rewatching this again I don't have that apprehension of "getting back into the swing of things".

I really thought it was highly entertaining especially compared to most holodeck eps. Had a grin through most of it even if I agree a few scenes were stretched a bit thin.

It seems it mostly accomplished what it set out to do despite its unfortunate placement among other lightweight outings in the final stretch. Three stars from me.

And oh yeah Ezri holy hell she was smoking hot.
Wed, May 16, 2012, 12:18am (UTC -5)
Now reading some more of the comments and I agree that more time should have spent expanding the final chapter of the series. But if they had docked only one ep in favor of said expansion...would anyone really miss Emporers New Cloak over Badda Bing? I know I wouldn't. Though I did find the former a little more entertaing than Jammer but not by much. It was pretty mindless and ill-conceived. Maybe one and half stars.

As for expanding the war arc wasn't DS9 supposed to run for 8 seasons? I know that TNG was supposed to run for 8 but was cut short at 7 because the studio wanted TNG movies. DS9 could have not only expanded the arc but also dealt with the aftermath. Like rogue Dominion, rebuilding of Cardassia, keeping shaky wartime alliances intact, Bajors admittance into UFP...etc.
Wed, Jul 4, 2012, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this, both at the time (not realising the it was an Ocean's remake due to the fact it hadn't been remade at that point and the original Sinatra one was a bit obscure then for a 20 year old) and on re-watching now. Sure, it's fluff and not up to previous season standards (something that's really jumping out at me with all S7 episodes having watched all seasons back to back over the last few weeks) but it's enjoyable fluff.

Who knows, maybe this influenced the Clooney version? ;)
Fri, Aug 3, 2012, 3:33am (UTC -5)
1. It is 26 hours, not 24
2. Avery Brooks obvious obssession with race is really annoying to say the least. It is somone LIKE HIM who continues to perpetuate conflict.
3. It is also absurd that a 24th century human, as the are presented in Trek, would really whine about a make bvelieve fantasy.
4. Ezri is cuter with short hair.
5. Holograms have been taken to an absurd extreme in Trek.

Wed, Nov 7, 2012, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Captain Pike sums up my thoughts on this episode perfectly. What a waste.
Simon Tarses
Tue, Nov 20, 2012, 9:51am (UTC -5)
Everybody here going on about Sisko feeling they way he did about Las Vegas should read this: ace-nines-ben-sisko/

After you do, please take time to read the other articles about race featured on the site; it will open a lot of eyes that need to be opened.

Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 2:20am (UTC -5)
" I don't watch a sci-fi series to see a remake of ocean's eleven."

lol, karl. Ocean's Eleven remake.

Ocean's Eleven homages are now all too common in TV, but that movie was made in 2001. This episode was made in 1999.

If anything, Ocean's Eleven is a remake of this episode.
Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 2:25am (UTC -5)
My bad. I guess there was a 1960's version of Eleven. Which probably still makes DS9 the first TV show to do an Ocean's Eleven homage, which multiple comedies have done these days.
Sun, Dec 9, 2012, 1:54am (UTC -5)

Avery Brooks-shut. up. about. race.

DS9 hasc a Middle Eastern/British guy and an Irish guy hanging out 24/7, but all you can care about is American Black/White relations because 'of course', that's the only issue that matters.

Me and my friend have a giant RP game that goes something like "dragons, vampires, werewolves, Cardassians, Borg, and 'let's annoy Picard'. ^ ^

Today's adventure ended with Gul Dukat winning, the Pah-Wraiths getting their own universe, and Sisko dead--mostly because Avery Brooks is so damn annoying!
Wed, Jan 23, 2013, 7:18pm (UTC -5)
I skipped it. I don't like mob stories. I don't like holodeck stories. I liked Vic Fontaine in the Nog episode, but I couldn't take more of him.

Mon, Feb 4, 2013, 1:50am (UTC -5)
I'll admit that the conversation between Sisko/Yates put me off at first. It felt out of place; however, I've found myself thinking the same thing that Sisko brings up to Kassidy.

I think it makes sense considering Sisko's earlier experience as Benny Russell.

While I do kind of like that they made a small acknowledgement to it (It's always felt weird when black characters were participating in time periods where they would not have been welcome. Mark Twain's "dark fellow" comment when referring to Geordi in Time's Arrow comes to mind), the whole "our people" comment was a bit off-putting.

In my opinion, phrases like "our people"' creates an us vs. them mentality that would only serve to create a larger divide between people of different skin colors. That's the last thing we need. Other than that, it was...sensible, I suppose. I can definitely understand where Brooks is coming from. I'd be lying if I haven't had the same thoughts myself.

Race issues aside, I liked the episode overall. It was a fun outing. And the duet at the end was pretty awesome. I say this as someone who usually hate cheesy musical numbers. The whole "Do-Re-Mi" scene in "Chrysalis" made me want to throw up.

3/4 stars for me.
Sun, Feb 10, 2013, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
For all of you going on and on blaming Avery Brooks for Sisko talking about race in this episode, read the companion or Memory Alpha some time. Behr makes it pretty clear it was him who came up with it. By this point Behr had figured out Vic was somewhat 'controversial' and unliked in part of the fandom, so he came up with the idea of having Sisko as someone who didn't care for Vic, but would be won over by him (much like the reluctant fan) over the course of the epsiode. In the process, he used social conscientiousness as a reason for Sisko to be skeptical / hostile to Vic. He explains:

"We didn't want the audience, especially the younger audience, to think that 1962 Las Vegas was a place where you had a lot of black people sitting in the audience as nightclubs, or enjoying themselves at hotels and casinos. That just didn't happen. So by having someone of Sisko's historical understanding questioning that fact, we could clarify before we got him to Vic's that he's well aware that Vegas was very, very, very white."

To me, the assumption people make that it's Brooks on a soapbox here says alot about race in and of itself.
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 9:52am (UTC -5)
So-so episode, both script and direction lacked something, in my opinion.

But Ezri... UNnngh, baby!
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
So many responses I have!

1) I completely agree with everything ian said (and a number of other people have said). The race thing was a big issue with this episode.

2) Simon Tarses: I tried you link. It did not work. I have no idea what is behind your opinion, so I shall dismiss it. I tried though!

3) EliHawk: Behr only states that he didn't want "young kids" to think that 60's Vegas was anything but all white. That doesn't detract from the fact that it probably came a great deal from Brooks, who is a little "extreme" in that department.

I almost don't want to blame Brooks for his attitude because (if you watch a lot of his stuff, including "The Captains) you'll see that the poor guy has clearly lost his mind and was on the path to it even in his Star Trek days. He clearly does not recognize the world as it truly exists, and its really very sad.

My problem with the shot, no matter who was trying to send what message, is that 150 years before Uhura was 1,000 times more enlightened when she met Lincoln. Even during the half/half face episode of TOS (don't remember the name off hand), the whole crew very clearly shows that any differences they might have are not recognized in any racial way. Stuff like this and the Benny episodes, where they have to "go back in time" to shove messages down our throat, is moving completely against what Roddenberry and TOS was trying to do.

So whether or not you like the episode, it's still bad Star Trek
Mon, Jul 1, 2013, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
Sisko's response makes sense to me, given that one of his many passions is that he is a historian. This, coupled with his experiences as Benny Russel makes him more acutely aware of 20th century racism than your average Starfleet officer.

Regardless of Roddenberry's intentions, it's absurd to think that all injustice is forgotten four centuries hence. I'm sure some people would react negatively to a Medieval Spanish theme park that completely airbrushed out the inquisition.

Furthermore, Trek-era humans haven't forgotten non-racial dark points in human history - the acknowledge the Eugenics Wars, the controlling of soldiers with drugs, the Bell riots and a variety of other post-current historical events - why is it somehow bizarre for people to acknowledge racism in the context that it happened in the past?

It would be very odd to me for the Federation to move beyond the wisdom that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Sat, Nov 9, 2013, 1:16pm (UTC -5)

Very fun episode.

Mon, Nov 25, 2013, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Daniel. Sisko is an enigmatic character, and at this point in the series, he has been made acutely aware of how bad racism was in the 20th century when he exists as Benny. This made him the perfect agent to allow the writers to directly compare attitudes from our time to the ones of DS9's crew.
Mon, Jan 13, 2014, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
I can see his point: rewriting the past whitewashes it. Many people understand the past from fictional representations of it, and whitewashing the past hinders understanding of the present. Disney's "Song of the South" was controversial when it was released in 1946, and remains controversial today. On the other hand, people attend Renaissance Festivals, which are highly anachronistic. People have a problem with some anachronisms, but not with others. If something is still an issue today, people will have a problem with anachronistic portrayals.

Is a holodeck simulation of a Vegas bar from 1962 meant to be an accurate depiction of Vegas life in 1962, or is it meant to be a fun way of spending some time? Sisko might not have been welcomed at this bar in 1962, but imagine if Worf or Nog had walked into a real 1962 Vegas lounge. We should not forget the past, but that doesn't mean the past will be a living issue forever. You could make the simulation so accurate that blacks could not use it, but that would be appalling. If we reject a "whites only" holodeck simulation, then what do we do? One solution is to not have it at all, but that is unsatisfying. Have the simulation, and let everyone use it - but acknowledge that it is anachronistic - seems like the best option.

What might have been a good way to address the issue is have the crew time travel to Vegas in 1962, perhaps to the actual Vic's. It would be interesting to contrast the anachronism of the simulation to the real 1962.
Tue, Jan 14, 2014, 6:48am (UTC -5)
I just rewatched it tonight. The comments about how it doesn't represent the racial reality of 1962 was only a few lines in the script, and not a major theme of the episode. Actually, the casinos began to integrate in 1960. There was one casino that was integrated in 1955, the Moulin Rouge, but it wasn't open long.

Quark doesn't have to think of Vic as the competition, Vic can be an added attraction: Quark can sell the drinks and food - and use holographic waiters.
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
More left wing interference and propaganda in this episode. As usual, black guy can't help but mention racism and "his people".
Sun, Feb 23, 2014, 11:28pm (UTC -5)
Fun episode, but with a plot's premise that is among the most ridiculous in all Trek history. I mean, the explanation we are given for why the holosuite is malfunctioning is shameful.

About Sisko's position about race, I don't get why this departures from Trek's original viewing of the future. Granted, I usually criticize DS9 for doing so. But I think picking on Sisko's scene in this episode is overreacting.

My gosh, even if nobody thinks in ethnic or racial terms anymore in 24th century, a guy does not have the right to dislike that holosuites show a too-happy-version of history? Ok, I agree that Sisko being so picky on this was also childish. True. But all the fuzz change because of this is also way too much. There is nothing abysmal in a 24th Trek character that likes history being unhappy to see history to sweetened in the holosuites.

I would not think like Sisko, for sure. But those (like me) that do not like how DS9 has been dealing in the last seasons with Roddenberry’s universe have also to remember that in 24th people are different, diverse and can have different degrees of sensibility to each issue.

PS: DLPB's comment above is laughable. Although I think Sisko's line about racism was not organically included in the show, saying that any mention to racism is "left wing interference and propaganda" chocks me.
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
I can almost forgive this episode, but it's just too difficult to believe that the entire senior staff (sans Worf) can take all this time in the middle of a war to help Vic (especially after they did the same thing in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite").

It certainly seems like the entire crew spends a couple days prepping for the heist. I could buy that in the earlier seasons -- when the senior staff seemed to hang out and drink coffee much of the time -- but not in season 7.

Also, it's really weird that Jake isn't in this episode. I'm not sure where they would have worked him in, but it's interesting that he's not even mentioned when the team is wondering about finding a "high roller" (you figure Jake would have been a better choice than Quark or Worf). I actually think Jake's presence in the conversations Sisko has with Kasidy would have been interesting.

I think the Vic Fontaine character worked well in some episodes and mostly in this one. But the singing scene with Sisko at the end was a little much -- even if it was a final-season conceit.
Mon, Mar 24, 2014, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
The only thing I really have an issue with is how Sisko's only motivation not to go to the holodeck was because it's not realistic and doesn't reflect how black people were treated back then. Really, what kind of reason is that? It also has no place here, because the episode only focuses on getting Vic out of trouble.

The rest of the episode was pretty enjoyable. Most movies nowadays don't even build suspense like this episode does (when Nog tries to crack the safe). I also didn't find Sisko's decision to sing with Vic that odd, I mean, Vic asked him to, and when somebody asks Sisko, he usually obliges because he's a good guy and isn't exactly afraid of anything. He's not there as the captain anyway, so it makes sense.
Thu, Mar 27, 2014, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Absolutely fantastic episode. Very nicely done. Thoroughly enjoyed it!!!
Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
I found the story mentioned above (O Captain, My Captain: A Look Back At Deep Space Nine’s Ben Sisko) below is a better link: ace-nines-ben-sisko/#more-21072

I thought it was a great article. I'm disappointed at the attitude people have over that small scene. I think for the most part if you are a person of color you're more apt to have thought of the scene as necessary.
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Nog: If they mess with Vic, they'll have to answer to me.

Oh geez, we better watch out guys, Nog might be mad at us!

Real tough guy, fighting against a hologram. Dear Nog. Die.
Fri, Jun 6, 2014, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
DS9 does Oceans Eleven, and turns out a surprisingly annoying yet boring derivative vanity piece that veers strangely off course into some sort soapbox before returning to a good natured but ultimately predictable caper. I have really had enough of the holosuite, nog and Vic Fontaine for now - they have definately overstayed their welcome.
Sat, Jun 7, 2014, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
On the matter of race I do agree that it seems strange to dwell on it in the Trek universe. Clearly racial tensions and racism are still an issue in our 21st century world, but Trek has always painted 24th century Earth as a haven of peace and tolerance. I find this episode betrays that vision. DS9 had quite a few race-centric episodes and on the whole many of them were very moving or interesting to watch. They never thought to tackle gender-inequality in the same way, which seems strange to me. Why pick one ethical issue and target it several times; if they had a point to make, why not include all issues of prejudice and bigotry? At a time when women are continuing to be valued as second-class citizens in many parts of the world and treated brutally, this seems to be an important issue that would be on par with racism, but was never tackled with equal fervour in this show.

I don't mean any of the above as a criticism by the way, as DS9 was my favourite of all the Trek shows and Sisko my favourite of all the captains. Merely, I intend it as an observation. I loved the characters in this show and rewatching all the episodes again now, I am reminded of how much I loved how this show veered from the established Trek norms of the time. I really enjoyed this episode, as you could see how much the cast had grown to care for each other. They seemed to have so much fun filming it. The scene where they all walk onto the promenade dressed for the heist made me smile and well up (I remember all the things that are to come for this crew). This really was an amazing show.
Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 10:44am (UTC -5)
Ah, an episode that puts on display Avery's true talent.

SINGING!! (not acting)
Thu, Jul 17, 2014, 12:12am (UTC -5)
Odos eleven
Sat, Aug 23, 2014, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
It seems we aren't allowed to get on with the war... more fluff than war it seems.

But it is what it is.

Leeta marries Rom
Obrien marries Keiko
Jadzia marries Worf
Odo is dating Kira
Quark married a Klingon (albeit briefly)

...and we have to listen to an "our people" rant because we have a black Captain?

I call bullshit.

This diminishes what otherwise was entirely enjoyable fluff.

The plan, then the execution made this predictable outcome fun.

Ezri is hot with long or short hair.

Kira was even hotter.

The big entrance was fantastic.

Odo picked a lock when he met the Founders, but I guess that one didn't have a "auto-relock tumbler" :-)

Sisko joining Vic and singing 'The Best is Yet to Come' with the camera panning our heroes is one of my favorite moments in the the series.

3 stars. 3.5 had Sisko hot had his rant.
Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 9:11am (UTC -5)
I found Sisko's comments about race surprising at first, mostly because it had never been mentioned in such a direct way before in Star Trek. But, I think it's understandable considering that Sisko is shown to have a keen interest in history and the progression of social and racial equality and historical revisionism would bother him. As for the rest of the episode... At this point holodeck cheese and pedestrian fluff/comedy prices had been done to death and DS9's remaining run time could have been much better spent in this final season. I don't find any novelty or entertainment in seeing Star Trek characters clown around in low budget recreations of the past. If I want a good period piece I'll watch Masterpiece Theater.
Wed, Oct 29, 2014, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
I found Sisko's objection interesting and I think it would have made a pretty good episode all on its own. (That is, period-piece entertainment and whether or not the entertainment can be divorced from problematic inspirations). The episode doesn't go anywhere with it, really. But I also think not having Sisko say anything would have been out of character. Not only is Sisko a history buff, but he personally visited a rough period in the 21st century ("Past Tense") AND experienced first-hand the pre-civil rights prejudice through Benny Russell.

Anyway, I still think this is a fun episode. A lot of people tend not to like this one, but I don't know why. Its closest sibling episode is "Our Man Bashir", which everyone drools over, even though "Badda-Bing" is way, WAY better. The plot doesn't needlessly threaten anyone (except Vic) and plays out creatively, showing off the plan beforehand so that each setback has stakes and purpose when it DOES play out. "Our Man Bashir" basically just used each character for the sake of seeing the actors in cliched roles, which got old for me.

You know what might have made this episode a bit cooler? If the mob takeover of Vic's was foreshadowed beforehand instead of just popping up in the programming. Since Nog made it so Vic can live a "real", uninterrupted existence it would have been neat to see Vic deal with inevitable problems raised by that. Of course, that would be giving way too much screentime to Vic, really for the only purpose of paying off a holosuite heist episode. Ah well.

3 stars for me. This is a legitimately enjoyable episode. Weird that S7 has more holosuite episodes than the rest of the series combined (I think). Weirder is that I think they're all successful!
Mon, Nov 17, 2014, 4:23am (UTC -5)
Remember a couple episodes back When Nog was the subject of concern from his family and coworkers because they thought he couldn't distinguish reality from fantasy? Writers?
Fri, Dec 26, 2014, 5:07am (UTC -5)
I was about to skip this one after the premise. A holosuite episode, with Vic, and a program that goes haywire. A bunch of engineers and whatnot unable to solve the issue from outside is still fine, they just wanted to play after all. But why isn't anyone worried that the holo rooms are a major security threat, what with their acting out on their own?

In the end it didn't matter, I had fun. I seem to be the only one though who had more of an issue with Kira's wilting cleavage than Sisko's strop. He was deeply involved with 20th century racism through Benny Russel so yes, he did live it on his skin.
Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 10:29am (UTC -5)
I'm surprised at all the anti-Avery Brooks sentiment here. I suspect that the majority of the commentators who thought that Sisko was "being overboard with his black sentiments" probably aren't people of colour.

In DS9 context, if you have a problem with Sisko bringing up the black issue, why don't you have a problem with the Bajorans bringing up the Cardassian occupation at every opportunity they could get?

Sorry if this post was a bit more emotional than they usually are. I am just flabbergasted - and very, very disappointed - at the ignorance of some of the commentators here.
Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 3:27pm (UTC -5)

"In DS9 context, if you have a problem with Sisko bringing up the black issue, why don't you have a problem with the Bajorans bringing up the Cardassian occupation at every opportunity they could get?"

First of all Bajorans DO bring up the Occupation all the time, which is irritating, but at least we are talking about people who actively lived through the Occupation less than a decade ago. Sisko (not Brooks, mind) is a human who lives in a society which is CENTURIES past the racism of 1950s Las Vegas.

Second of all, Brooks plays baseball on the holodeck all the time, recreating historic games which were rife with racism--but presumably, he skirts historical accuracy a bit so as not to be called racial slurs by the umpire, you know, because he's there to have fun. Just like Vic's is supposed to be a place to have fun? It seems like Sisko only cares about the historical accuracy of the treatment of black people when it's in other people's programmes, which is a pretty petty and egocentric attitude for one supposedly up in arms over the plight of the repressed.

Finally, as I've said, the fact that the actors who play the Siskos, Kassidy and Worf, etc. are black is because the show was produced in the 20th century. By the 24th it's highly unlikely that anyone would be so racially pure anymore as to differentiate something as genetically minute as skin colour--especially enough to distinguish themselves as separate: "our people" as he said.
Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 3:30pm (UTC -5)

The Cardassians just left Bajor and Sisko's problem with slavery etc is over 400 years old.

We only got the reference because Avery is black, not that is was required for the story. Not needed, nor desired. The only part of this episode that wasn't fun.
Thu, May 7, 2015, 11:40am (UTC -5)
"The Best is Yet to Come" at the end and hey here happens to come our last 10 episode story arc starting next week!

I thought that was an awesome nod. Not a bad hour, not really super great but O'Brien's "Don't ask!" at the end was hilarious.
Thu, May 7, 2015, 11:48am (UTC -5)
"• When Nog can't open the safe, what's preventing Odo from shape-shifting through the crack in the door and then somehow opening it "

That's what we were saying too! Why doesn't Odo just bash in the safe door? He's got more than enough strength to do it I'd say. Also it sure took a VERY long time to open that safe, didn't it? Nog failed like 6 times haha.
Tue, May 12, 2015, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Star Trek has always had racial issues, not counting the time Abe Lincoln called Ahura a nigress, but what about "You green blood hobgoblin" and more. Klingons were a race that was hated. How about you "bloody cardies" a racial slur and just recently on Chimera, the Klingons kept calling Laas a founder, this was to justify them wanting to pick on him. I know Laas was a pain, but it was pure bigotry.

Someone said Sisko's problem with slavery is over 400 years old, whether it was slavery or as he put it, the Civil Rights movement was in its infancy, it mattered to him. To say it didn't belong in the episode is ludicrous, Star Trek has always dealt with racial issues in its own way.

Now, if any of you had been enslaved like the Bajorans you wouldn't dismiss the issue so easily especially after only a few years, it takes a lot longer to heal from long term brutality. As for black people in this country, were not allowed to forget about slavery because they were only being treated slightly better in the 1960's. Most black people that I know are still sensitive to both subjects, no, no one will riot or get bent out of shape about it, but would take notice about some of the ignorant statements made by some ignorant people. Why do you think there are so many different movements going on today, Black, Gays, Women, etc. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly regardless of their race, creed, color, sexual orientation, etc. I will shut up for now but I can go on on this subject for days.
Wed, May 13, 2015, 4:30am (UTC -5)
C'mon, you can't tell me whenever somebody says "Bloody Spoonheads!" you don't crack a smile lol.
Wed, May 13, 2015, 10:43am (UTC -5)
@Del_Duio: C'mon, you can't tell me whenever somebody says "Bloody Spoonheads!" you don't crack a smile lol.

I thought most of it was funny, except the Odo situation. It was meant to be serious.
Sat, May 23, 2015, 1:45am (UTC -5)
been a star trek fan for almost forty years.deep space nine and the original series are my favorites.and i can say that this is certainly not a fluff episode even though it may appear that way on the surface.fiction,if it is done well and is believable and consistent over a long period of time creates its own reality for people.we see this with the entire senior staff of the station in this episode.fontaine and his lounge have become more than just a holoprogram to has taken on a life of its own and they all step in to save it.kind of like what star trek fans did themselves back in the'60's.its why we as fans discuss the finer nuances of this universe.for me,thats the underlying premise of this show even if it seems frivolous at times.
Sun, May 24, 2015, 4:32am (UTC -5)
@ Elliot: Finally, as I've said, the fact that the actors who play the Siskos, Kassidy and Worf, etc. are black is because the show was produced in the 20th century. By the 24th it's highly unlikely that anyone would be so racially pure anymore as to differentiate something as genetically minute as skin colour--especially enough to distinguish themselves as separate: "our people" as he said.

If only this would be true, but with the recent events in this country I would bet it wont change very much. You might say, its a serious problem with law enforcement, but that's just a small piece of a larger problem. If allowed, history will repeat itself. None of us will be around in the next 400 years but I would bet it wont be much different than it is now, some races like for things to stay as it is. They tend to believe differences are to be embraced and accepted. There are some races that want to pretend they are superior and there are others who couldn't care less.

I guess I just didn't like that ugly racist statement about "as usual, black guy can't help but mention racism and "his people".
Tue, Jun 30, 2015, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
So there's a "Jack in the box" in the program but that doesn't explain why they couldn't stop the program. The program is supposedly still functioning normally.
Tue, Aug 4, 2015, 6:23am (UTC -5)
Thoroughly enjoyed this episode, unlike a lot of other really boring ones. Why is there so much discussion about the race comment? Why does it bother people like that? It's almost like you don't want to hear the fact that YES it was and continues to remain extremely painful. It isn't particularly relevant to the plot, but neither are a ton of other side-comments that go on all the time. This one actually has a very legitimate and raw emotion behind it.

I haven't seen ocean's 11, but might check it out after the comparisons. I absolutely loved the whole stealing thing - had me on the edge of my seat. I was egging Nog (Egging Nog??) on the whole time!
Tue, Aug 4, 2015, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Why would something 400 years old remain "extremely painful" while not being relevant to the plot? I'm sure it had nothing to do with Avery's race...

Watch TOS: 'The Savage Curtain' for the appropriate context that is in line with Gene's vision.
Sun, Aug 16, 2015, 8:47pm (UTC -5)
For me, this episode, while rather a bit whimsical and kind of superfluous at this point in this series, provides a bit of a breather in this particular season. Maybe there wasn't a need for two holodeck episodes, but it does kind of hit me right in my heart that mostly everyone jumped immediately on board to help Vic despite the fact that Vic was a hologram. Yet at the same time I understood Worf's reaction ("Uh... he's a HOLOGRAM.") and Sisko's reaction.

But in reviewing the series, I do remember enjoying this episode, feeling it was a kind of ending for Vic (despite his later appearances) and even feeling glad for the crew that most of them felt that they could take some time out from the war to deal with something completely trivial like this.

Add in James Darren's portrayal of Vic Fontaine and the backstory there (Odo/Kira, Bashir, Nog, etc.) and it FEELS somewhat real that many of these people would drop everything for an evening in the absence of a clear and present threat for this hologram.

I'd give this three and a half stars, honestly, over a decade later. It was FUN.
My salute to Cpt. Pike
Mon, Oct 19, 2015, 5:22am (UTC -5)
The user Captain Pike said this:

"Terrible. The writers in season 7 they spent two episodes in the holosuite, they do a mirror episode, they spent another three or four episodes on Ezri doing nothing but whining and then they complain that they needed 5 more episodes to properly end the series. Ok."

I just wanted to repeat it for truth.

DS9 dropped the ball after the furious first six episodes of season 6. Once SF had retaken the station, the writers seemed to be out of ideas. Perhaps the powers that be told them to not get so arc-obsessed.

I actually became annoyed that they still used the war as a "backdrop". They talk about it all the time, but the episodes don't feature it anymore. Dominion ships and Jem'Hadar degenerate into convenient plot devices that put Sisko & co. in a specific spot when need be. They essentially replace spacial anomalies.
Mon, Nov 2, 2015, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Did anyone else notice that the first scene of the episode established that Vic could be taken out of his program, and taken to the Alamo program? And that the final scene where Vic said he'd definitely come to the Alamo next time reiterated that this was possible?

So they could have just copied Vic into the Alamo, then reset his program or whatever, made the changes, and then put him back without having to worry about wiping his memory or whatever. It's a plot hole that was especially invented IN this episode; not the inheritance of some long-forgotten offhand remark in season 1, or something.

Just wanted to note that.
Mon, Nov 2, 2015, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
@Ascii - Eh, I just assumed that maybe the jack in the box locks Vic into his program until the danger has passed. You're right that it's an odd choice of initial scene, but you can spin an explanation fairly easily.

I'd call it a plot pin-hole at best.
Nathan B.
Sun, Nov 8, 2015, 1:18am (UTC -5)
I *LOVED* this episode. It was light-hearted--what fun it was to see our heroes strolling past Quark's to loud jazz music! It was also serious--and here I am thinking of Sisko's reservations about the historical portrayal of a period that saw grave injustices perpetrated against Black Americans.

But ultimately, this was to me a kind of virtuoso performance on the nature of Trekkian fantasy. Remember all those TNG holodeck episodes with the safeties off? DS9 does holodeck episodes far better: we care so much more about Vic than we ever did about Moriarty or any holodeck character in TNG. The jeopardy of the show--the danger Vic and the characters' love for him--make the episode worth watching.

TNG tried to produce a meditation on the whole of the Star Trek franchise in "Emergence." It was corny as hell, but touching in a way because of the fact that the whole show was obviously meta-talk about the afterlife of the TNG franchise.

I see "Badda Bing, Badda Bang" as DS9's answer both to "Emergence" and to "The Royale": it's a casino story, but instead of just being stupid (like "The Royale") it's funny. And instead of being rather too silly, like "Emergence," it's stylish and well-done.

The actors had a blast with this one, and I enjoyed watching it and listening to it. Just as our characters care for Vic and find joy in his presence, DS9 fans like me love Sisko, Kassidy, Nerys, and the rest, and find joy in keeping up with them. And if nothing else, the show serves up a beautiful portrayal of Black people by Black people. In a world in which white politicians still have trouble acknowledging that "Black lives matter," in a world in which white police officers gun down unarmed black children, women, and men, positive and authentic portrayals of African-Americans on the screen are still necessary, enriching, and of vital importance.
Bashir's steampunk brain
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 7:35am (UTC -5)
My, my, so many people butthurt about the realities of racism in America! The mere mention of it for a few seconds sent so many of you into a tizzy. It is really funny to read all these complaints about "of course the black guy brings up racism" in a tone that sounds very much like something they probably think about saying in everyday life but cannot without sounding like a racist. "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression". Interesting to see how many cryptoracists like DS9. Wow.
Diamond Dave
Mon, Feb 22, 2016, 10:37am (UTC -5)
I guess this is the sorbet to clear the palate before we get into the meatier courses ahead. And if you're going to throw yourself into a Vegas caper story you might as well go all in. So this matters not a jot in the greater story but makes for a fun enough hour's entertainment. There are some nice little details in there - clumsy real life waitress Ezri compared to fantasy Ezri being a highlight.

Which reminds me, I will just say that I will applaud forever the choice of whoever came up with cocktail waitress Ezri. Badda bing indeed. 2.5 stars.
Fri, Feb 26, 2016, 10:24am (UTC -5)
I think my problem with the Sisko racism lines was that it was very uncharacteristic of Humans in this time period. I think that it could've been broached more tactfully by the writers (with respect to how future humans have always been portrayed), where instead of a controversial self-identification by Sisko with, "our people," it could've been made more general without losing any content. At this point, all humans are just human. I doubt that Bashir and O'Brien think of Sisko as a black man, or each other as an Irish man and an Arab/British man, rather than just human men. I definitely think that it was a point that needed to be said, but a 24th century human drawing specific racial lines within 24th century humanity was completely out of character for a Trek show, and shattered my suspension of disbelief. Star Trek is one of those shows that I can watch and everyone is just who they are, separated from any racial or gender baggage that a show set in a more contemporary time period would package with their characters. Trek is a show where you can forget that race is still an issue, where you never think of the human characters as anything other than human (as opposed to the African comm officer, the Japanese science officer, the Scottish engineer, etc.) That's what rubbed me the wrong way about the whole thing. Sisko and Cassidy became black for that scene, a racial adjective that has never applied to 24th century humans sitting in the 24th century, instead of being humans free from any racial identifiers.
david g
Wed, Apr 6, 2016, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
I think it's incredible that so many commenters, who I'm sure are white, have a problem with Sisko's questioning of the airbrushing of history going on in Vic's holodeck program.
If, for some reason, there was a program set in a Berlin bar circa 1940, would you expect a jewish character to not have a problem with it?
Wed, Apr 6, 2016, 1:49pm (UTC -5)

I'm pretty sure you can't compare 60s lounge in Las Vegas to the Holocaust, but it's nice to know internet arguments still play that card.
Wed, Apr 6, 2016, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Look pallie, the big difference here is intent. Las Vegas in the 60s was supposed to be fun. Non-whites just weren't allowed to participate in said fun because they weren't allowed to participate in many things during that era.

The program is about "Vegas Baby!" not about racial tensions in the era. That said, I imagine a Jew might not have any problem playing a spy holonovel set in a 1940s bar in Berlin. I can't imagine anyone thinking that would be a swinging place to hang out in a vacuum though. Those SS officers make a nice back drop to have a pint, yanno? And without the SS officers why bother setting it there to begin with?

I don't personally have a problem with Sisko's objections mind you, but I think he's being a bit of a Harvey. Sure we could NOT white wash the program, but that'd seem weirder I think. It's supposed to be fun, not a history lesson. Would we have a problem with Dax joining the guys for a bit of Battle of Britain? Women weren't allowed to serve after all. Isn't that white washing?

It's all about intent. The intent of the program creator probably wasn't to marginalize the troubles of historical black people. It was just fun.

Come fly with me, let's fly away.....
Wed, Apr 6, 2016, 7:18pm (UTC -5)
Great points, Robert. I also don't mind racism being brought up; it's an important issue. Though Sisko is giving Las Vegas a hard time here. Sisko's a big fan of baseball, right? He must be aware it too had a good deal of racism and even segregated leagues in its early years. Yet he can look past all that because he recognizes that it was a good sport that once upon a time had ignorant leadership. Its gone beyond that.

Cassidy should have brought that up. 60s Las Vegas didn't *create* racism, it was just operating under a bad system of the times. Why Sisko can't see that immediately like he does with baseball is a bit jarring for a show about enlightened humans. I think it's fair to debate the writers' choice here.
Thu, Apr 7, 2016, 8:55am (UTC -5)
@Chrome - If he just watched old games for the most part then maybe he takes pains to make them historically accurate. But if he ever actually played alongside Babe Ruth in the 20s, then ya... his argument goes to hell.
Thu, Apr 7, 2016, 9:31am (UTC -5)
@ Bashir's steampunk brain
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 7:35am (UTC -5)

"My, my, so many people butthurt about the realities of racism in America! The mere mention of it for a few seconds sent so many of you into a tizzy. It is really funny to read all these complaints about "of course the black guy brings up racism" in a tone that sounds very much like something they probably think about saying in everyday life but cannot without sounding like a racist. "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression". Interesting to see how many cryptoracists like DS9. Wow."

So you unilaterally identify everyone, excuse me every "white" one, that has an issue with this stupid leftist 4th wall racism injection as racist?

Wow is right.

I happen to know folks of color that that I've met through our love of trek that have issues with Sisko's comments in this episode. Hmmmm..... maybe I'm black, maybe I'm Asian... etc...

See E.'s post.

See my post above.

See Robert's post above.

See Chrome's post above.

Basically, read anything other than victim mentality crap...

Watch 'The Savage Curtain'

I'm sure you're fine with Benny as well while ignoring women oppression in the same time period. Benny didn't fit the story either.

@ E.
Fri, Feb 26, 2016, 10:24am (UTC -5)

"I think my problem with the Sisko racism lines was that it was very uncharacteristic of Humans in this time period."


Great post E.!
Thu, Apr 7, 2016, 10:00am (UTC -5)
@Yanks - Well said. The big issue is that the future (let's say at least since Archer's time) is supposedly 100% free of racism. That's how Gene would have wanted it, so that is the way it is in Trek.

So Sisko is 200 years removed from the racism but he's upset that nobody in a Holodeck program about 60s Vegas is going to throw him and Cassidy out? Really?

Would Avery Brook complain about the black guy at the forge at the Renn Faire?


Like I said, Sisko's comment didn't bother me that much (especially given that he actually DID experience racism from a similar era in a vision), but I felt it was a little out of character and a bad example of being unable to see the forest for the trees.

"SISKO: You want to know? You really want to know what my problem is? I'll tell you. Las Vegas nineteen sixty two, that's my problem. In nineteen sixty two, black people weren't very welcome there. Oh, sure they could be performers or janitors, but customers? Never. "

So his problem is that him and Kas don't belong in there. And pretending they do is somehow insulting to the people who lived through a tough time. It's true they don't belong there.... but I don't see how it's insulting. As I said... can the girls never join the boys for the Battle of Britain? Or the Alamo? Should Troi not have been allowed to be a deputy in the old west? Isn't that insulting to women for her to pretend that such a thing would have been ok? Or Troi and Crusher serving on that 18th century boat in Generations?

The reason it's odd is because nobody has ever before remarked about how the holodecks are unrealistic in their lack of oppression.
Thu, Apr 7, 2016, 9:58pm (UTC -5)

"If he just watched old games for the most part then maybe he takes pains to make them historically accurate. But if he ever actually played alongside Babe Ruth in the 20s, then ya... his argument goes to hell."

Well, the baseball scenes when Sisko's talking to the Prophets in Emissary are definitely pre-Jackie Robinson (early 1920s would be my guess based on the uniforms). And since the Prophets get all their visions from Sisko, that means Sisko himself was simulating very old games that likely included racists. No word if those were just games that he watched or if he joined in, but I don't think it matters that much. So kinda hypocritical of him that he can enjoy his hobbies from pre-1960 but no one else can. So I think FBTS is the whole reason for this.

Of course, that doesn't put Sisko in much of a better light. Doesn't that mean, essentially, Sisko is not intellectually honest enough to understand something unless he experiences it? I mean, sure, he may not fully understand it, but he should at least know enough to decide whether or not he can participate in an activity on moral grounds? Things are only bad if he personally experiences it?
William B
Mon, Apr 18, 2016, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
I'm only halfway through this, and probably won't get to the second half for a few days. My problem though (with this and other fluff episodes) is the same as EP's way up there. I actually don't want a series of all-war-all-the-time grimdark episodes, don't get me wrong, but episodes like this totally undermine the notion that the war is so overwhelming that it's necessary to start assassinating foreign dignitaries and the like. DS9 wants to do the WAR TESTS HUMANITY DOWN WITH RODDENBERRY'S NAIVE IDEALISM thing and it also wants to do fluff episodes starring the same characters. All Julian and Miles ever do is talk about the Alamo, when Miles isn't leaving for weeks to go do a private murder investigation without telling anyone. I think the idea is that times are stressful so they need to blow off steam, etc., but no one even talks about the adventures in an episode like this as blowing off steam -- the primary focus, repeated over and over again, is that Vic is their FRIEND, hologram or no.

That makes the episode read as pretty dubious to me, too. If Vic is really their friend, they should go tell Felix to fix the damn program. If Vic is treated as semi-sapient, it is pretty cruel for Felix to throw these roadblocks in and for everyone to go along with it. If they want to figure out how to save Vic's from the mob because they don't want to use cheat codes on their video game, then the episode's tone should change to reflect that -- that they care about Vic a similar amount to how fannish people care about their favourite characters, especially in video games, which is to say that they can get a real attachment to them, but that it is not ultimately that serious if they suffer (and, in some senses, it's good if they do, because we usually want fiction to be challenging). The episode keeps underlining how Vic is important enough to everyone for them to make saving him their primary emotional focus for a while but also not important enough that they look for outside-the-(jack-in-the-)box solutions to a holo-problem. And I think that comes down to a fluff episode which also needs to keep insisting why it is worth the time spent on it at this juncture. And this also goes back to the weirdness of the way they (the characters, the writers) treat Vic as somewhere between character and non-character, and Vic's being apparently sapient enough to be totally cool with not being a person. "Why would Felix do this to me?" indeed.
William B
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 2:21am (UTC -5)
As far as Sisko's concerns about race and Vic's program -- I am open to the idea that it's important to acknowledge this in an out-of-universe way, as a show made in the 1990s. But it really does feel weird to me too in universe. First, his tone suggests that there is much more sense of racial identity than we have ever seen in humans in Trek, the occasional bit of national nostalgia from Picard or O'Brien aside. Second, people have pointed out that he has never talked about racism in baseball. And moreover, let's look at this in-universe: remember how Quark's Bar and Holosuite was opened to serve Cardassians and not Bajorans during the Occupation, and Sisko hasn't, to my memory, once talked about that as a reason not to use the Holosuites to watch baseball games now? 1960's Vegas is 400 years in the rear-view mirror, and Quark is serving Bajorans when he had been serving their oppressors less than a decade before, and for Sisko to become passionate about the Vegas one feels very strange. I recognize that there are differences in the situations, and that Sisko is angry about the lie that Vegas was a great place for black people, so maybe one could say that it's not a lie that a neutral figure like Quark can serve springwine in stead of canar. Still, it's similar enough for me to feel that it's very strange. Kasidy's response, that Vic's shows how things SHOULD HAVE BEEN, is I suppose a reasonable attempt for the writers to justify their revisionism which is more "problematic" a few decades afterward than a few centuries, but it's also undermined when you realize that based on this episode, "how things should have been" is "clubs should have been taken over at random by potentially murderous mobsters." Kasidy saying that the only limitations are those imposed on themselves, and Sisko's taking that on to decide that he should come participate in the Vic's scheme, feel silly to me because it really suggests that Sisko is missing out on *so much* by not going to the Holosuite, that Vic is so fantastic. I guess the social cost of not getting involved in their caper is pretty high, as we see.
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
I find it very troubling that people seem to really believe that Roddenberry's view was antiracist. I'm sorry but the PoC in TOS were not doing that much and let\s talk about that Black Planet in TNG shall we? Or why are most people of every race White?
I love Star Trek, but it is clearly written by people of our times. There is racism, antisemitism (c'mon Ferengi=space jews), queerphobia, sexism etc. It's all there in plain sight.
As someone who is Black and Queer I wouldn't have played this episode without some acknowledgement that it's not true to the actual time period. I still wonder why the hell Whoopi Goldberg thought it was ok to hang out somewhere end 19th/begin 20th century and pretend like she could just be some noble woman in the US. Please, no that was NEVER going to happen.
It can't be that people only respond to the fact when race is explicitely being mentioned, but then when the whole universe has a lot of White Supremacist triats people turn away? Eh no
William B
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Saw the last bit of this episode. The caper was fun, sort of. It is stylish and has some energy. Sisko throwing money in the air is a neat distraction, but most of the other "improvised" behaviours didn't exactly wow me -- e.g. Ezri uses reverse psychology (evidence that she knows some form of psychology! I kid), Kira unsuccessfully tries to flirt more, Nog just tries harder to do the combination lock, Kasidy cries like Vic had said earlier.... It's not that original or exciting seeing the way the gang react to the changes in the program. Compare, for example, Bashir's END THE WORLD ploy in "Our Man Bashir," which was great subversion while playing to the specifics of their situation, or Picard, Data and Barclay's trick on Moriarty in "Ship in a Bottle." But I digress.

I still mostly feel weird that this situation happened at all with Vic, and the main point really is just leading to having fun with the cast, most of whom don't get to do all that much. I also really don't get the argument for why Quark won't get involved -- Quark thinks that Vic is his competition? Quark who owns the holosuite that people attend? Or is Quark feeling the *social* cost of Vic's being more popular than his place among his friends? Or is it maybe possible that Nog got Quark to agree to put Vic's on all day every day without charging people to enter the holodeck? I bring this up because the conspicuous absence of Quark, Worf and Jake make this in some senses less enjoyable than "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," which I didn't even like, as an *ensemble piece*, of fun for the whole cast. But it is fun to see them all in the period outfits, and I like the slow-mo walk both of the gang toward the holosuite and Frankie Eyes and his gang out of Vic's.... It's a fun little digression/palate cleanser, ending with "The Best is Yet to Come," it's just that it wasn't quite fun or diverting enough for me, with some weirdness thrown in (see earlier posts). Probably 2 stars.
William B
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
For what it's worth, I agree with Ramona about the extent to which Star Trek *fails* to live up to its stated ideals (acceptance, tolerance, we-are-all-one etc.) when it comes to race and queerness, that the Guinan-in-19th-century material is especially bizarre, that Code of Honour is terrible, etc. I think that for the most part Trek producers and writers *wanted* to be progressive and imagine a post-racial society, but generally had a lot of blind spots as well as some limitations from studios etc. To some degree, it is an interesting question how to deal with the inherent contradictions between Trek's premise that humans have evolved beyond discrimination on the basis of gender or race or sexual orientation and the limitations of Trek's depictions of humans in the future. For someone to point out instances of human racism/sexism/etc. which have seeped into the narrative would require acknowledging that the premise is false, whereas I think the usual effort made in the shows is to suspend disbelief. And maybe that is the wrong approach.

I still find Sisko's material in this episode out of step with the usual attitude the characters have toward fiction set centuries in the past, as well as out of step with Sisko's own pragmatism about reworking the narrative around a Cardassian tool-of-oppression station which is being repurposed to heal Bajor, while still keeping on board some of the same establishments (Quark's especially) from when it was Cardassian-owned. If he can accept that Quark can go from serving canar to being a Community Leader under Bajoran rule, and if he expects Bajorans to be okay with Quark's Bar having continuity of service (and, indeed, in all these years the show has never suggested that any Bajorans would have a problem with going to Quark's, with the possible exception of Kira), I don't quite understand his objection to the fictionalized, simplistic Vegas from centuries ago, which also obviously didn't serve Bajorans, Klingons, Trill or Ferengi. I also find it out of step with his attitude about major league baseball. But it's mostly that it doesn't quite click with my take on the character. It does not really match the way people have treated period hologram fiction throughout the three TNG-era shows (which is to say, without much genuine concern for verisimilitude or much moral concern for what stories are appropriate). As I said in a previous post, I can see the point that it's important to acknowledge this point to a 20th century audience. And I could simply be wrong in my take on Sisko's character and about period fiction in the future. It doesn't bother me really, but it still does not feel organic to the characters/setting. Conversely, I do think that some complaints about this scene are overblown -- I think it's a misstep and doesn't jibe with the characters, but not more than that.

This brings me to another point, which is more of a general observation and not specific to this episode: I think part of what makes the scene read weird to me is that the Sisko/Kasidy scene is essentially the first time since "The Siege of AR-558" where Sisko is given weighty material -- he has basically been an authority figure who drifts in and out of other people's stories all season. I should look into how much this is because of the writers/producers losing interest in Sisko and how much is Brooks drifting away, but while Sisko was never my favourite character, I really do feel some loss at his absence. The show is lacking its centre. Season six ended with Sisko apparently having a total breakdown, brought on by a season's worth of difficult choices piled onto him which nearly broke him before Jadzia's death really *does* do so. And then season seven apparently resolves this in the opening two-parter, then he pushes Ezri to stay on the station in "Afterimage," has his Vulcan rivalry thing in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," and then really does very little for the rest of the first half-season. Again, it's only really "AR-558" where he has an important role, and to some extent this one, before the final arc, which even then mostly backgrounds Sisko. Sisko basically was broken by season six, then hastily stitched together in the opening two-parter, given a little material for a while and then sent far into the background. It's actually pretty sad. And I suspect that may be *some* of why having some of Sisko's only dramatic scenes be indicating his disapproval of a holosuite program puts a lot of people off. While 20th century racism is a real problem, his crew's/girlfriend's choice of centuries-removed period fiction really doesn't seem like it is important enough to bother him. But of course, even then, Kasidy forces the issue, which is part of the problem -- Sisko not having any interest in this particular fiction should be enough to end the discussion, given the show's emphasis that the Dominion War in which they are embroiled is an existential conflict which might end everything.
Peter G.
Fri, May 13, 2016, 11:35am (UTC -5)
I have little to say about the plot of Badda Bing other than to note that the objections people have to how plausible this crisis is are...weird. Did you people ever watch TOS? Half the crises there were preposterous. The writers want to have a caper episode and that is what they did. Period. TOS has Spectre of the Gun because they wanted the Wild West (same with Fistful of Datas). They had episodes with Nazis, gangsters, hippies, you name it. Don't question the premise, but instead ask whether anything it told through the premise. Here, I think something is told. First of all, that this crew are very close with each other in a way that no other Trek crew has been (and even Voyager's wasn't). Second, I think a major theme here is that Sisko isn't the aloof Captain that Picard and Janeway are, but is more like the patriarch of the DS9 family. And finally I think it's a good nod to the fact that DS9 has always flirted with alternate versions of the crew, whether through Julian's holosuite programs or the alternate universe. The producers want to show the cast having fun sometimes, and that too is a series theme.

Now, regarding this racial business. I find it hard to believe that anyone really thinks that because Federation citizens have moved beyond racial prejudice that means they have FORGOTTEN race. That is not only ludicrous but racist as well in its own way. Star Trek always acknowledged differences between people (hello, Chekov the Russian? Spock the Vulcan?) but showed that the differences are embraced. NOT forgotten. You think there will be no black pride in the 24th century, EVEN in Gene's vision of the future? That would be deplorable. For any TOS fans it is not only clear that cultural differences exist among the crew but in fact most of them are *defined* by those differences. Uhura's nature language is Swahili, i.e. she's African. Scotty is...Scottish. And proud of it. Did you miss the scotch references?

Someone above laughably asked whether anyone in the DS9 crew identifies based on cultural lineage other than Sisko. Because, of course, there's no sign that O'Brien identified strongly as Irish. No sir. Not between his constant references to whisky, Irish breakfast, and his actual accent. Or how about Worf's constant struggle with having been a Klingon raised on Earth and the difficulties that brought with it?

Now let's talk Sisko. Defenders of his "our people" line have mentioned that he's a "history buff." Are even you blanking out repeated motifs from the DS9 series? He is not just a history buff, but an AFRICAN history buff. His quarters are full of African art, his civilian clothes are typically of African style (especially the tan vest he often wears and the colored vest I think we once see), and he even has that African hat thing. That being said he's also interested in history from the perspective of oppressed people in general, judging from his intimate knowledge of the Bell Riots. So it's not just a black thing, but about oppressed peoples in general. Is it such a surprise that he was a perfect match to help Bajor heal, being someone who both as an individual needed to heal (from Wolf 359) but also as a black man with trauma in his past like the Bajorans experienced? So, no, "our people" is not about racial divisions, it's about racial pride just like every other culture on Star Trek is celebrated like the Irish, the Scottish, the Vulcan, the Trill, etc. Do people think that the Federation magically became enlightened just like that? Or did it take generations of hard work and some catastrophes as well? It makes no sense to think that anyone would be "beyond" the subject of race when in fact it's probably a very dear subject to Federation citizens. If they care at all about their utopia then they'd care about how they got there. Do Americans still celebrate their independence? YES OR NOT. But it's "ancient history", aren't you beyond it yet? Give me a break. People who celebrate their freedom will invariably remember how they got it and wouldn't appreciate history being whitewashed.

They didn't make a big deal about the racism thing in this episode, but it was brought up and rightfully so. In TOS they were never afraid to show how bad things were in the past, and here we have a "past" environment that is really cleaned up. It would have been a disgrace *not to* mention that, at least briefly. Cassidy's reply is indeed a good one, and is meant to more or less close the matter and let the story move on. Too bad the viewers can't.
Fri, May 13, 2016, 11:56am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

And then Sisko goes ahead and maintains Quark's despite the establishment not serving to Bajorans during the Occupation. He also ignores historic problems with his own hobbies, while chastising others. He may have a moral highground from his historic insights, but that doesn't make his present actions immune to similar criticism.
Peter G.
Fri, May 13, 2016, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome, I'm not sure what the connection is with Quark's. He needed a community leader and to an extent he got one. He needed to bring people together who has previously been at odds. It's not as if Quark made the rules under the Occupation.

I'm not sure that I said that Sisko had any moral high ground per se. I think some people probably cared about racial history and others didn't so much. Sisko valuing that as an area of study is his choice, not some moral imperative. I was responding to comments that implied no one in Gene's future would be thinking of race, which I think is both ridiculous and also demonstrably wrong from every Trek series. Sisko just happens to care about that aspect of history and I doubt he privately condemns others who don't. In fact, he doesn't even come out and criticize Vic's until his whole crew gets obsessed with it and his distaste becomes obvious. But he obviously didn't believe that the others should be criticized for enjoying it since he tried his best to keep his feelings to himself, so he can hardly be called out for hypocritical criticism when he deliberately avoided issuing said criticism.
Fri, May 13, 2016, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

The whole basis for his argument in this episode is "I don't like 1960s Las Vegas as represented on the holodeck because it whitewashes past discrimination night clubs had." Quark's also had past discrimination, some which Occupation-surviving Bajorans *still alive and on the station* remember. Nonetheless, Quark is somewhat randomly picked as a community leader, Occupation history be damned.

And I agree about your second point. Sisko shouldn't forget his cultural identity any more than Picard should forget about being French. I think people felt the racial-issue to be a bit heavy-handed or late in the day. I suppose this couples with the problem of 24th century people having 20th century problems.

Personally, I think it's not the racial issues that are the problem, it's trying to bring ANY 20th century issues into future Sci-Fi. It's the same reason I dislike TNG's "Force of Nature". I believe in climate change, but I don't appreciate the issue being shoehorned into a genre where it's not relevant. It's anachronistic. It tears people out of the show's premise.
Peter G.
Fri, May 13, 2016, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

I agree with you that more attention could have been given to how people dealt with Quark's having been both a haven to the Cardassians and later to the Bajorans. We certainly see the residual effects in Kira's attitude towards Quark, which cannot entirely be personal but I suspect also has to do with Quark's past. But it's true that the series deals very little with the fact that Quark essentially entertained the Nazis like they were his buddies, albeit just as way to make money. That being said I think what Sisko was looking for was some sense of continuity for DS9 for the people who already lived there and didn't want to feel like their home was being demolished. This can be hard to relate to since we don't actually meet or see those people. It does take a while, though, for Bajoran citizens to accept DS9 as being an ok place to live. Still, I don't think this makes Sisko in any way a hypocrite. What was he supposed to do, banish anyone 'evil'? That's not the Federation way.

I also agree with you about Force of Nature; that had no place in Trek. However I disagree that it's wrong to bring contemporary issues into sci-fi. I am a believer that doing so is one of the main purposes, if anything, of sci-fi. What I think has no place being set in the future is politicized current events, where it would be both anachronistic and also self-congratulatory to assume that they will still be issues in the future. Race, on the other hand, is an issue that I do not think is *essentially* a political one (although it can be made into one), and I think that since it's been an issue for as long as humanity has been around it's reasonable enough to write it into the future as well.
Mon, May 30, 2016, 4:57am (UTC -5)
Loved this episode! Good entertainment, although I wonder how the station gets by with all or most of its senior staff spending a significant amount of time in the holosuite.

As a musician, I found the music in this episode genious - The usual DS9 theme transformed into big band feelgood-jazz. Nice!
William H
Mon, May 30, 2016, 5:26am (UTC -5)
Doesn't O'Brien mostly go on about Scotch? Which... isn't very Irish?
Peter G.
Mon, May 30, 2016, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Maybe in the future Scotland and Ireland unified? Or maybe the writers don't know the difference between Scotch and Irish whiskey... Actually I don't know of a difference except in name, since they're produced the same way.
Alex (in the UK)
Mon, May 30, 2016, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
Perhaps O'Brien simply preferred Scotch. :)
Sat, Jun 11, 2016, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
My, my. Star Trek fans who smugly believe they are intellectually superior and tolerant reveal they are really as squeamish about black people mentioning racism as a white person perhaps watching "Gilligan's Island".

i seem to recall an episode of TNG where Picard was told to move a settlement of American Indians off a planet that would now be a Cardassian world. That episode showed that American Indians even in the 24th century still held onto 19th century grievances. Most of reviews didn't show any resentment of that "our people" premise. What is it that makes "you people" squirm so much if a black character spends 30 seconds remembering racism as a historical fact but an American Indian can dwell on it for a hour?
Sat, Jun 11, 2016, 11:54pm (UTC -5)

Have you even read the comments for "Journey's End"? This show is much better received than that trash heap.
Mon, Jun 13, 2016, 1:14am (UTC -5)
yes, I read some of them. Journey's End got 2 and half stars just like Badda Bing but it wasn't much faulted for harping on "the race thing" for Native Americans. imagine "Badda Bing" being about blacks as much as "Journey's End" was about Native Americans. you'd have never heard the end of the moaning.
Mon, Jun 13, 2016, 9:26am (UTC -5)

Not the review, I said the comments since it sounds like that's what you have issue with here. Also, an episode about African Americans is "Far Beyond the Stars". It gets it's fair share of detractors, but it's generally very well received among Trek fans.

And to bring in this episode, I'm going to repeat that I don't mind the message because indeed there was terrible racism in the 1960s against blacks and some of that lingers today. Nevertheless, it still seems odd for Sisko to be brooding over inadequacies in a simulated program (especially because Sisko loves the holodeck). It doesn't fit the tone of the episode either.

I could see Sisko's dad, Joseph, complaining about a holodeck program. I mean he's somewhat of a luddite to begin with.
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
Hated this episode with one exception! Listening to Avery Brooks beautiful voice when singing at the end!
Sun, Oct 9, 2016, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
I liked the debate Sisko had with Kasidy. It helped to acknowledge that the civil rights movement was still rather new in the '90s and allow the creators to be self aware that their audience is primarily composed of 20th century Americans. It also allowed Sisko to be a mouthpiece for those who have made comparable criticisms about the idealism of race relations in Star Trek in general.

However, I do not believe Sisko would actually feel this way, even after his experience as Benny Russel. It has been more than three centuries since First Contact with the Vulcans occurred; racism of human against human is at least that far removed from these characters. Sisko says "our people," but his people are indeed not merely all of humanity, but the other citizens of the UFP. So, not a realistic opinion for Sisko to hold, but entirely for our benefit as the audience.

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