Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Dogs of War"

***

Air date: 5/24/1999
Teleplay by Ronald D. Moore & Rene Echevarria
Story by Peter Allan Fields
Directed by Avery Brooks

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Interesting, isn't it? The Federation claims to abhor Section 31's tactics, but when they need the dirtywork done, they look the other way. It's a tidy little arrangement, wouldn't you say?" — Odo to Sisko

Nutshell: Uneven, but it does well for setting us up for the grand finish while bringing closure to Quark's character arc.

There's a moment in "The Dogs of War" when Quark has had enough. He has watched as Ferengi society around him has become, in his view, a travesty. And he realizes he hasn't been immune from the changes over the years; he sees that he has gone "soft." He launches into a histrionic tirade that continues to build in amusement as Quark's disgust is unleashed. Then he yells: "The line has to be drawn here! This far, and no further!"

I couldn't stop laughing.

It perhaps helps to know that the line was lifted almost directly from the speech Picard made in First Contact, and that First Contact co-writer Ron Moore probably had it in mind when he co-wrote "Dogs of War." It's refreshing to see an inside joke taken to such a blatantly over-the-top, self-referential, take-us-none-seriously extreme. But despite the fact the jokes aren't meant to be taken seriously, there's something about the character undercurrent that can be. Quark's story—undoubtedly DS9's last visit to Ferengi society—is without a doubt comedy, but behind it is a bizarre ring of truth.

I've never been a big fan of Ferengi episodes. More often than not, I haven't enjoyed them. ("The Emperor's New Cloak," "Profit and Lace," "Ferengi Love Songs," "Prophet Motive," the list goes on.) The biggest problem is that Ferengi shows simply aren't funny, and they prove too obvious and overplayed. Some of the common Ferengi episode problems find their way into this episode. But the difference here is that we see now where Ferengi society has gone, and where Quark is standing when the music stops.

Quark's tale revolves around Zek's announcement of retirement and the fact Zek intends to name Quark the next Nagus. Quark is of course overjoyed. He looks forward to a new life of unending wealth, avarice, and indulgence. His mischievous planning begins. About this time, Brunt shows up. I must admit I laughed when Brunt instantly recited Rule of Acquisition number whatever: "It's never too early to suck up to the boss." Subsequently, Quark comes to realize how out of touch he has become with Ferengi society the past couple years. The entire social structure has changed under Zek and Ishka's new initiatives, and now we have a Ferenginar replete with social services, taxes ("Did you say the T-word?"), and regulated trade. None of this is remotely groundbreaking drama, but I was surprised at how unannoying it was compared to the average Ferengi episode. Perhaps the jokes were a little lower-key than most Ferengi shows—and I'm sure the limited screen time for Zek and Ishka helped matters as well. This storyline was actually relatively pleasant.

What makes this hold up is the character undercurrent. Even though developments in Ferengi culture in the past have been so badly handled that they cross into offensiveness ("Profit in Lace" especially), I think I finally see a payoff here to all the changes made, never mind their previous implausibility. That payoff is simple: Ferengi society has changed ... and Quark hasn't.

The full extent of the changes are what causes Quark to go on his tirade, and it's in Quark's comic fury where the storyline works best. It's almost as if the writers have finally figured out a usable joke for the Ferengi—the fact that the joke is really all on Quark. What he upholds as "what made Ferengi society great" has been erased and replaced with a new era of budding socialism. True, it's hopelessly oversimplified and unlikely any of this would happen within a two-year period, but that's not the point. What we have is Quark, a product of his time unwilling to go boldly into the future with the rest of Ferenginar. And, dammit, his bar will be the last standing representation of what made Ferenginar great—a society that is now being turned into a travesty.

Is this a great joke? Maybe not (and it probably doesn't make up for years of bad Ferengi shows), but it is a good joke that sends the Ferengi out with some dignity. As closure for Quark, it seems very appropriate. He's always been the type who sticks by his guns, and if it means being the last Ferengi to hold onto a dying system he believes in, so be it. Armin Shimerman pulls off this role with great adeptness, walking the line separating comedy and genuine dramatic urgency in a way that proves both amusing and sincere.

Of course, the joke upon the joke is that the whole notion of Quark becoming Nagus was a misunderstanding; it's Rom who Zek planned to make Nagus—which seems somewhat fitting under the notion that "a new Ferenginar needs a new type of Nagus." And besides, Mom always liked Rom best. (Well, maybe not overall, but in certain ways.)

There's plenty more to talk about in "Dogs of War," so I'll move on. The other pieces are in tune with the "Final Chapter" structure, paving the last mile heading to next week's series finale. The Kira/Damar/Garak plot takes a turn for the worse as the three narrowly escape capture when their ship is destroyed and a resistance force on Cardassia is betrayed and eliminated. With nowhere to turn, the three seek refuge in the cellar of Mila (Julianna McCarthy), Enabran Tain's confidant from years ago, and Garak's only remaining trustable contact on Cardassia. Subsequently, Weyoun delivers news over planet-wide viewscreens that all the resistance cells have been eliminated by Dominion forces, and Kira & Co. suddenly realize they may be spending the rest of the war in Mila's basement.

I enjoyed the Orwellian atmosphere in these scenes of a totalitarian state spreading the wonderful news ("This is a great day for the Dominion," Weyoun says with an impassioned sincerity) to the citizens of Cardassia. I also enjoyed the notion that rumors persist Damar is alive, even though Weyoun has assured the population he was killed when his ship was destroyed.

The ongoing Cardassia/Bajor parallels are proving incredibly interesting. Sisko once told Li Nalas, "Bajor doesn't need a hero; it needs a symbol." And now Cardassia needs just that from Damar, such that with the organized resistance destroyed, perhaps the civilian population will revolt. A key act of sabotage might help provide a spark; when Kira & Co. blow up a Jem'Hadar facility, Damar attempts to feed the legend by making a speech to the Cardassian people in the streets. Though the sequence itself was a tiny bit stilted (there's got to be a list somewhere of all the film characters who have shouted "Freedom!"), the idea is powerful. The Cardassia storyline is easily among the best things about these final episodes.

Another issue involves Odo learning Section 31 infected him with the disease. Odo is not happy. And when he calls Sisko on the Federation's willingness to look the other way, we see a difficult situation emerging that is bound to play into the finale. Starfleet now has the cure, but they aren't offering it up to the Founders. And they'd probably be foolish to do so. But the convenience of the situation certainly is interesting, and Odo unhappily points it out. Now what? Odo and this cure will obviously be a factor in the final equation, but how? Will Odo keep his word of not taking matters into his own hands? (I'm glad to see the issue hasn't been dismissed following "Extreme Measures," which failed to raise the important questions.)

Sisko also has some good moments, like his introduction to his new starship, the USS Sao Paulo, a Defiant-class ship that, naturally, Starfleet allows him to rename Defiant. While the addition of a new Defiant might seem to lessen the impact of the previous Defiant's death, the evident awe of Sisko settling into his new ship (including the nice, simple line, "Hello, ship") really makes the scene work.

Of a more foreboding nature for Sisko is the announcement that Kasidy is pregnant, and her understandable worry about the Prophets' warning. The pregnancy wasn't planned (which itself has me wondering about ominous prophecies), but Ben and Kasidy are both very excited about it, which makes me fear for the happiness and well-being of both of them. Does tragedy await? With the large-scale attack against the Dominion being planned by the end of the episode, anything is possible. Tune in next week, as they say.

Given all that's right with this episode, I almost hate to mention what's wrong. The biggest problem with "Dogs of War" is the sometimes-awkward, uneven structure. It's a bit jarring to move back and forth between the Ferengi comedy scenes and the starkly darker themes on Cardassia. And while it would've been wrong to forego closure for Quark, it's still pretty hard to look at the Ferengi story as a necessary part of this arc. Although it was successful, it pales in comparison to the other rich material we've seen the past two months, and when there are two stories as there are here, with such different priorities and tones, they tend to get in each other's way. I hope I'm not overstating the case. "Dogs of War" is good work—but it's disparate in its thought process, perhaps by definition, considering its various subplots.

Which reminds me (I nearly forgot, there's so much going on), we also get some resolution to the ongoing Bashir/Ezri soap operatics. While the mutual pursuit game was amiably portrayed here, it's simply not that interesting—unless you are one who has been anxiously awaiting the pairing of Dax and Bashir for the sake of itself. Unlike with Worf/Ezri earlier in the arc, Bashir/Ezri doesn't have dialog that offers anything new about the characters. It is what it is and nothing more. (At least we'll no longer have to wait around for this payoff.)

But never mind. We've got two hours of this series left, and this episode works as primer on some fronts and closure on others. It's a winner—even as a Ferengi show.

Next week: All good things must come to an end.

Previous episode: Extreme Measures
Next episode: What You Leave Behind

Season Index

50 comments on this review

Rob in Michigan - Sun, Sep 21, 2008 - 3:04pm (USA Central)
I'd be interested in folk's opinion on an idea that had been bouncing in my head all through S7... that the Ferengi could have really used a "serious" episode to show that they were more than (bad) comedy relief. And what better way to flesh out their entire 'arc' (especially as to the impact on Quark and Rom) then to have the Dominion attack Ferenginar (perhaps as punishment for their supplying weaponry to the Federation and its allies)?
What the Ferengi really needed desperately was some cultural depth, and having a true tragedy could have made up for a lot of the pain we viewers had to suffer previously. Ah, well... water under the bridge, now.
Rob in Michigan - Sun, Sep 21, 2008 - 3:08pm (USA Central)
Argh... I just thought of something else I've been wanting to bring up while reading your reviews: I was always just a bit disappointed that the rest of the various alien cultures in ST were ignored during the Dominion War. They could have had a "there's more going on than what we're seeing on screen" if there had just been throw away lines regarding the Tamarians, or something like "We've gotten unconfirmed reports that the Acamar system has been blockaded."
ST has a really bad habit of introducing alien characters for one episode and never mentioning them again. This was the perfect place to use a single line of dialog to acknowledge that the wider galactic community is being impacted by the war.
Straha - Tue, Dec 23, 2008 - 11:22am (USA Central)
This episode severely suffered from the comedy part not fitting in with the other story strands. I could have done without seeing Zek, Brunt and Moogie one more time. Or at least (Rob is right about that) they should have been given a more serious storyline for ending Quark's character arc.
EP - Thu, Mar 12, 2009 - 4:00pm (USA Central)
Quark is my favorite regular character on DS9. He might be a stiff caricature of a 19th-century Dickensian taskmaster, but he's always true to himself.

I suppose the episode is a not-so-sly nod at what the writers think the future of civilization ought to be - steady socialism vice unbridled capitalism, but hey, fictional socialism can be entertaining. Although I still maintain that nothing is funnier than the Rules Of Acquisition.
Jay - Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - 4:14pm (USA Central)
Quark says he's going to replace the gold-pressed latinum fixtures with solid latinum, but didn't "Who Mourns For Mourn?" claim that latinum is actually a clear liquid?

One of the few areas where DS9 fails the continuity test.
Destructor - Thu, Jan 14, 2010 - 7:06pm (USA Central)
@Rob- agreed completely. 'The 34th Rule' would have been perfect for this, and I believe it was indeed pitched.
@Straha- I think it was important to give Quark a role in the final stretch, and it's just like DS9 to put that where we least expect it.
@Jay- I believe Quark said that the Nagus' fixtures were 'coated' with gold-pressed latinum, and Quark was going to replace them with fixtures that were completely made of gold-pressed latinum. A toilet made ENTIRELY out of undiluted latinum would be worth more than all the wealth in the alpha quadrant- impossible even for a Nagus.
Marco P. - Mon, Aug 30, 2010 - 10:47am (USA Central)
"Uneven" is quite right.

In a way this almost feels like a fluff episode, because even though we have the Cardassia storyline, and the succession of the Grand Nagus is of direct importance to Ferengi and their homeworld society, it is treated with too much of a "light" tone I thought. Then again, Ferengi usually *are* the comic relief in DS9, so that was to be expected.

Then we have the Ezri/Bashir relationship, which somehow the writers have managed to drag on for several episodes, and which finally reaches its resolution. But is it just me, or did anyone else NOT care about this one? I thought in the long run, it just came out of nowhere! To me, it looked as if one second Ezri and Bashir are going about their business, Ezri still somewhat struggling about what it all means to be a joined Trill and Julian going about his genetically-enhanced life, trying to find a cure for Odo's disease and battling against Section 31 and whatnot. And then all of a sudden, the two characters realize they are in love with each other! I'm not saying this isn't what happens day-to-day in everyday life, but within the DS9 context... is it important? Are we supposed to *care* (for reasons other than our affection for the Bashir and Ezri characters)?

See, if we compare this to the way Jadzia/Worf get romantically involved, I felt the latter got handled with a bit more grace, that's all.

In any case, I'm curious to see what the final two episodes have in store for us.
Elliott - Fri, Jan 14, 2011 - 8:50pm (USA Central)
AGHHH

I f**king hate the demonisation of the Federation! The fact that they would choose to withhold the cure from the founders is some writer's contrivance. It has no basis in the established doctrine of Federation procedures. At all. Odo's snide comment to Sisko is just too much to tolerate. Here's a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the idealism which defines Star Trek. The Federation offers the cure to the founders. No exchange, no cease fire, nothing. That kind of compassion (though I doubt the founders would care themselves enough to end the war) would be a gesture recognised by Breen and perhaps even the Vorta and would potentially weaken the Dominion's position. But no, take the pessimistic, genocidal option. F••k this show.
jon - Thu, Jan 27, 2011 - 5:32pm (USA Central)
Sorry the Founders have shown little or no compassion towards the federation and there at war a war which they started so the answer is no
Elliott - Thu, Jan 27, 2011 - 5:58pm (USA Central)
The rules which govern today's warfare do not govern the future's (as those of the past do not govern today's). One of the central features of the Federation is the moral high-ground, especially when it becomes difficult. It may be frightful and certainly risky to offer the Founders the cure, but it's still the right thing to do. Otherwise, what's left of the Federation after the war would not have been worth saving.
jon - Fri, Jan 28, 2011 - 8:33am (USA Central)
Would this be the same moral high ground where they can't interfere in a situation even when they can save thier lives and the lives of their crews read Janeway and the Kazon who was perfectly happy to sacrifice her crew in order to retain the moral high ground and guess what the genocide of the founders is condemmed and what makes you think the founders wouldn't reason this action as a trick since they have no reason to trust them and the federation would be seen as weak by the Vorta and the Breen. Also the Vorta and Jemhader have with notable exception shown themselves to be completely obeident to the founders.

Also Roddenberry's rules should not govern how Star Trek should be run. Guess what it was Coon, Fontana and others who made Trek great. You know when he had full control of the Franchise it sucked TMP and TNG season 1 were awful why becuase of Gene Roddenberry.

Your problem is you treat Roddenberry's opinions and thoughts as dogma not his views all DS9 was dare to question this and you can't stand that
Elliott - Thu, Feb 3, 2011 - 3:47pm (USA Central)
@Jon

It has taken considerable effort to mill through the dribble you posted at me but I've garnered these points:

1) You think Janeway's decision to destroy the Caretaker's array was a case when adhering to principals was the wrong choice given the outcome.

2) You think that, strategically, it would be foolish for Starfleet to give the Founders the cure given the political structure of The Dominion as we've seen it.

3) At Roddenberry's direction ("full control of the franchise"), Trek "sucked."

4) You see me as treating Roddenberry's views as dogma and DS9 as courageous for "questioning" them.

Okay, well, let's dive in:

1) I'd rather not delve to deeply into a VOY issue on this page as it is a DS9 review, but Janeway's decision and its ramifications both ethical and circumstantial were adressed throughout its seven-year run right up unto the last episode. It was never laid to rest but discussed intelligently over time.

2) You seemed to have missed the point here. If these events were real, it is certainly possible that the Founders would have been completely cruel and made no offers for peace and certainly possible that neither the Breen nor the Vorta would respond in a positive way to the gesture either. If that were to be the case, 1) it wouldn't have mattered down the line except for Odo's final character development and 2) it STILL would have been the right thing to do. Machiavellian strategies have rarely been contested for their immediate effectiveness but for their moral contortions. What would be left of the Federation after this war? What kind of society could simply ignore the atrocious abandon of values it employed to win?

3) Gene Roddenberry was not a good cinematographist. His sense of television dynamics was dated and lacked the depth of his sci-fi vision. His "rules" never governed how a show could be developed, just how the Universe the characters inhabited could function. He defined reality for the franchise. Seasons 3 and 4 of TNG, which were excellent and some of the best television in history, still followed his "dogma."

4) I welcome an intelligent dissection of his or anyone's theories on screen, but DS9 rarely offered one. It CHANGED established realities about the Trek universe and never explained it. It then took the changed chess pieces and played them spouting the same rhetoric as in the Roddenberry days. The result? It sounds like those who follow his views are ignorant, foolish or hypocritical. But this sound is achieved by a deception, not an honest analysis of the views. Is Gene's world perfect? No, not at all. Is Earth paradise? Of course not, how stupid. But people on this series say things of this nature without provocation and set themselves up to be righted by more reasonable people. If the Federation really had been a bunch of brain-dead, doe-eyed optimists it never would have survived for so long.

A final note, please stop telling me to do things like "guess what" in your responses. I welcome debate, but you're just trying to rattle me.
jon - Fri, Feb 4, 2011 - 10:54am (USA Central)
Elliot if you think i want to rattle you then to quote Nemesis "don't be so vain"

1) My reason for pointing Voyager was because you seem to like it so much and I was pointing out how stupid that was. Watching Voyager again it seems to me that they played it safe all the time whereas DS9 didn't and that's what I like about DS9 in some voyager should have done what DS9 did.

2) As you said if these events were real well Elliot it's a story and not real so why would it have been the right thing to do either way. The intention with the dominion war was to draw parralells with WW2 watch a nmuber of war episodes like benhind the lines or read the DS9 companion and you'll see my point so it could be argued that the virus is an allegory for the A-bomb.

3) My problem with Roddenberry is that many of the problems with TNG's first season were down to him he helped shoot down Blood and fire which could have been a fascinating story if filmed.

4) DS9 did not completely change Roddenberry's vision as Behr says in the compaanion which is a good read BTW that to have paradise you have to wrok your ass for it.

5) Coming from someone who said the mythos of trel should be treated as sacred like a coveneant and meant this literally talk dribble least i don't talk talk complete BOLLOCKS
Elliott - Tue, Feb 8, 2011 - 7:41pm (USA Central)
See, this is what always happens in these DS9/VOY debates: Someone (in this case Jammer) who is either familiar (as in this case) with TOS and TNG and has a valid if biased literary critique judges the architectural devices employed in DS9 against the dated episodic format of VOY. I won't pretend that I didn't hope as much as anyone for the long story arcs and multi-episode developments of DS9 in my Voyager...but this is a WAY to tell a story. It is a style. Style cannot account for content. DS9 syphoned the mythology out of Trek. There have always been two schools of literary thought which oppose one another (Metastasio v. Bel Canto, Greek satyr v. mediæval palinode, etc.) and Trek was of the Romantic ideal of the mythic archetype. That means that the characters are larger than life and exist outside of the context of time. By that virtue, their actions speak to us as though from all directions. DS9 had human-scale characters. It is impossible to create these level characters in a society which is completely fictional (the Federation), so its characters are really just people from the 1990s who have starships and replicators. For me, this take ruined what was special about Star Trek and turned into any other show. In that context, the show had some definite positives, but it relied heavily on "biting commentary" about the Trek Universe to make its impact (you call it "playing it safe"). I'll say it again though, this commentary is a farce: if one changes the rules of the game it is an entirely new game. I think that maybe Trek should have died after TNG (seasons 6 and 7 were pretty bad overall), but since DS9 came along to muddy and confuse the situation deceptively, the relevance and staying power of Voyager became quite justified and necessary. Enterprise is another story...

I don't think you really know what you're saying in most of your responses to me, but I do believe you're implying that dropping the A-bomb was undoubtedly the right thing to do in WW2. I refuse to debate that with you, but it certainly proves my point: this is not the 24th century Federation, it's 1945 America.
Weiss - Wed, Feb 9, 2011 - 1:35pm (USA Central)
the show was entertaining and scifi has changed since next gen, society has changed and tv shows need to adapt to the reality of the day and comment on that... to each their own, if one feels TNG was the best that is opinion, and other DS9.

although from my recollection, next gen picard was all about the Prime Directive, we cant interfere. But every episode involved him interfering in a roundabout clever way (Data setting up the mine field to show the Romulan interference was a good example), not violating the PD words but definitely violating the spirit of the law.
DS9 took it a step furhter and stopped trying to be clever in their hippocricy and proceeded to just violate the PD openly.

Elliott - Wed, Feb 9, 2011 - 1:47pm (USA Central)
The Prime Directive is not really what I was talking about, but if you want to bring it up; the PD is a law. The best laws can and should be followed to the letter MOST of the time in most situations. A wise society however trains its citizens and especially its military leaders (Starfleet captains) to think critically about the application of the law and there are definitely cases in which a violation of the law is the right thing to do. Picard wasn't hypocritical in his violations. They are documented (see "The Drumhead") and explained on a case by case basis. DS9 didn't have too many dealings with the PD as it encountered mostly cultures which were allies or enemies. When Sisko did violate the PD it was not openly ("In the Pale Moonlight").

It was not a violation of the PD's spirit to expose Romulan involvement in the Klingon CW; it was simply extending the spirit of the law to a culture which was threatening the Federation's ally.
Weiss - Wed, Feb 23, 2011 - 11:29am (USA Central)
to each their own, rationalization works to create grey,black,white areas where you want to see it


--
thinking about the whole Klingon CW, technically isnt the Federation responsible for it... Sela was born of future Yar, a federations officers choice to go to the past, and Sela's birth eventually lead to the the CW... too bad we didnt see much of Sela after the few episodes she was in. then again I doubt Romulans would take kindly to repead failures.
Nic - Thu, Feb 24, 2011 - 11:35am (USA Central)
"Blood and Fire" (the original story idea about homosexuals) was not shot down by Gene Roddenberry. Early in the fifth season he announced that there would be homosexual characters in an episode of TNG. Then he died, and the script was shot down by Rick Berman & others.

Anyway, getting back to "The Dogs of War", I agree that the shifting between the two otherwise great stories was a little jarring, but I don't see how it could have been otherwise. Quark's story arc needed closure, but a 100% Ferengi-centric episode at this point would have been too distracting from the main plot. It was better to 'get it out of the way' here rather than cram it into an already jam-packed finale.
Shane - Sat, Mar 12, 2011 - 8:54pm (USA Central)
CLOSURE? WHAT CLOSURE? Is it me or did Quark end the show that exact same way he began it? Only thing that was different was that he was a little nicer. That's about it. In some ways too damn nice. In the 7th Season he all but abandoned his greedy ways. Did he find someone to love, did he become rich, did anything he did have any affect on his life whatsoever. Hell no!!!!!! He went from being a nice greedy ferengi to being a nicer greedy ferengi. The writers dropped the ball royally with his character. Rom wasn't even a main character(he wasn't even a favorite back up like Nog or Martok) but he got more character progression then Quark.

I love DS9, but the writers deserve a boot in the ass for that screw up.
Nic - Sat, Mar 12, 2011 - 11:11pm (USA Central)
Although like Jammer I'm not a fan of most Ferengi episodes, I don't think the writers dropped the ball on Quark's character. In real life, some people change, and some people always stay the same. Quark is an example of the latter, and I think it's very appropriate that he ended the series pretty much where he started it.
Ron Mouse - Wed, Mar 16, 2011 - 12:22pm (USA Central)
I can't believe no one has said this yet but the Ferengis first ever episode on TNG was called "The Last Outpost" which guest starred "Armin Shimmerman" and now Quarks Bar is "The Last Outpost" of the Ferengi Alliance - brilliant.
Jay - Sat, Nov 19, 2011 - 10:43am (USA Central)
Rom's fortune sure has increased dramatically since he was bidding for Quark's dessicated remains to his offer for the bar here...who knew Starfleet paid its technicians so well?
Justin - Mon, May 7, 2012 - 10:19am (USA Central)
After reading this entire thread, the only thing I took out of jon's incoherent babbling and Elliot's usual, boring rejoinders was...

"The Mythos of Trel"

Is that a forgotten episode of TOS?
Elliott - Tue, May 8, 2012 - 5:07pm (USA Central)
@Justin :

www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/darmok.php

See my quote from Majel B.

Sorry I bore you, but if you have something relevant to say about this episode, please do. Your post is unnecessarily mean-spirited.
Laroquod - Sun, Jun 24, 2012 - 7:56am (USA Central)
I'm 100% behind all of the things Eliott has said above. Well done, Eliott, you did a bang-up job with this one.

Regarding this episode, Ezri and Julian's endless pussyfooting is ridiculous and not funny. Despite being described by Worf as an overgrown child, I haven't been buying that description of his character since season 2 and he is definitely too old for this. With Ezri it's even less believable because she has something like 300-odd years of memories of courting rituals.

As for Quark, his story made even less sense. Didn't the Quark already get appointed Grand Nagus by Zek, like wasn't that one of the first if not the very first did thing Zek did to him back when they first met? And it all turned out to be a big ruse to trap Quark, right? So why would he just blindly believe Zek, this time? He just walks right into it -- even to the point of selling his bar. This is not the same character as the Quark from season 1. This Quark is not even from the same universe as season 1.

Come to think of it, none of the Starfleet people are from the same universe either, nor is the Federation itself. Did we get permanently stuck in DS9's ridiculous mirror universe? Or did the DS9 writers get so infected with not caring (by not caring about the mirror universe characters) that they started to not care about the main universe characters, too? I mean why not, right? Apparently DS9 fans just eat that stuff up, regardless.
Ian - Wed, Jul 25, 2012 - 9:15pm (USA Central)
In the meantime the best part of the episode was the quick shot of the dedication plaque.
It was almost certainly done on purpose as you can see (especially on freeze frame) the names of the creative staff behind the show. This and the final scene in Quarks when many of the creative staff were in the audience is a nice tribute to the show.

As to the episode itself and the conclusion that follows. DS9 remians the second best, behind TOS, of the franchise.
Latex Zebra - Wed, Oct 24, 2012 - 7:07am (USA Central)
This Federation that is not giving the cure to the Founders is the same that got very angry with Picard for not wiping out the Borg (iBorg) when they had the chance.
A Federation that in Star Trek 6 had large sections that opposed peace with an enemy and instead wanted to bring them to their knees.
A Federation that, if you want to take this program seriously), went to go and destroy the Xindi after they attacked Earth.

Seems to me that the Federation may be a lovely place to live but if you threaten their existence they turn nasty.
Nothing inconsistent with previously established conventions IMO.
Arachnea - Wed, Dec 5, 2012 - 4:14am (USA Central)
What I'm about to rant about is not a way to destroy the show, but to give my perspective on things. DS9 was mostly a good show, for its story arcs and developements, for its incredibly well written and well acted guest characters and some of its humour.

But, and there's a big but, it wasn't true to what Star Trek stood for. Through my enjoyment of it, I often was angry at the same time.

In the last episode, seeing the two regulars who were very Starfleet resolve to use the "end justifies the means" plot was terrible. Here we have one of the "greyish" characters of the show tell a (not very) Starfleet captain that Starfleet is dirty ? I can't accept that in the Trek Universe. It's wrong in so many ways not to give a cure... (I won't be talking about the cloudy take on religion, but if my language was english, I surely would, in length :p). I just believe this show should have been produced outside of Trek: it could have been even better under other premisces.

Just a note to Latex Zebra: What happened in Enterprise was before the Federation existed.
Caleb - Sat, Aug 31, 2013 - 1:11pm (USA Central)
DS9 is about DS9. It went in different directions and certainly toyed about with the Star Trek universe... good! Or at least, so what? It's fiction. It's an alternate view of the federation, and one that strikes a lot closer to the reality of what civilization and technology actually offers the human race and has done so throughout history. Sometimes it's dumb and mixed up, sometimes it's pretty smart and interesting. Same can be said for most Trek. The difference for me is that the "utopian" Star Trek of Roddenberry, while I appreciate it, is far too entrenched in the myth of progress and the false promises of modernity for me to take much of it seriously as social criticism. Civilization, government, technology, so-called "progress" - if we take history as a pattern, these things do more to destroy humanity than to uplift or enhance human life.

I like that DS9 is at least sometimes informed (seemingly) by alternate non-utopian and non-conformist views of these things. Whereas Roddenberry's Star Trek more often preaches the religion of statism, and continually reinforces the notion of state power as the savior of humanity.
Spencer - Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - 10:18am (USA Central)
Amen Elliot. DS9 isnt scifi or particularly deep, it's just the usual xenophobic boogeyman villain stuff, relying on bad guy dialogue and super weapons. The first few seasons, when the Bajoran storylines were going on, were actually more complex and original than the dominian tales.
Nathaniel - Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - 8:16pm (USA Central)
"DS9 isn't scifi"

DS9. Isn't. Scifi.

Words fail me.
Elliott - Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - 11:36pm (USA Central)
In fairness, to say DS9 wasn't sci-fi is just silly, but I'm willing to assume that it was one of those emotional hyperboles...

I would foray to assume the sentiment stems from the fact that DS9's sci-fi features weren't usually very impressive and tended to have little to do with what the show did do well. Sci-fi doesn't have to be "deep," as Spencer lamented, but we Trekkers tend to like it deep, I believe.
Kotas - Sun, Nov 10, 2013 - 5:34pm (USA Central)

Predictable episode.

4/10
Galaktikhonk - Wed, Dec 18, 2013 - 11:19pm (USA Central)
Well, despite the uneveness of the plot threads, I don't really understand why the Federation covers the act of genozide without even considering to at least offer the dominion the cure **in exchange for their complete withdrawl from the Alpha quadrant.** The Founders might take that or not, but *then* it really is not anymore the Federation's problem. *Then* the Founders had the choice between what's more important for them: conquering the Alpha Quadrant or having the chance to survive.

However one might think about Roddenberry's legacy of the peacekeeping federation, of humanity that has overcome hunger, greed etc and evolved in a moral sense to another level - not even considering the opportunity described above was simply unnecessary since it questions *everything* 24th century-humanity stands for.

While that might work for DS9, it does not for Star Trek itself. And again, since it was completely unnecessary it leaves a sour taste, at least for me.

You're right Jammer, 'Extreme Measures' almost completely misses to point out - not to speak of discuss - the implications around the genozide (as just one of many disappointments of this episode). But putting Odo's - btw uncommented but very pointed - critizism aside, there's barely more moral struggle in this episode. I would call that a missed chance either.

Jack - Sat, Jan 4, 2014 - 7:20pm (USA Central)
So was this episode the third time they had Julian and Ezri collide in a corridor, or the 103rd? It seems like the latter.
K'Elvis - Mon, Jan 20, 2014 - 8:34am (USA Central)
Where did Rom get 5000 bars of latinum? He didn't have even a small fraction of that much money when he got married. 5000 bars for the bar, but only 50 for a Nagus' ransom? Brunt seems to be the ideal Ferengi, Quark has seemed, by Ferengi standards, a bit soft.

I agree the changes in Ferengi society would not have happened so quickly, but the show only has a short amount of time. The changes would probably have taken place over decades, but they could not have happened at all if there hadn't been pent up demand for these changes.

We have a reduction in the power of the Nagus, with decisions requiring ratification, and this reminds me of the Magna Carta. Previously, the Nagus could be deposed, but if he wasn't deposed, his decree was law. The Ferengi Commerce Authority had been used to bully dissenters, and with the changes on Ferenginar, presumably they won't have this power. The FCA will have a still have a job to do, but it will be different.
Nissa - Tue, Jan 28, 2014 - 12:28am (USA Central)
What irritates me about the Ferengi nonsense is that I've actually read books. They portray capitalism as something that makes people greedy and selfish, but when you look at it historically, the most equal and fair nations have become so in the capitalist periods. In some nations, equality means women logging just as many trees as men in the frozen tundra.

The Ferengi in this series feel like an outlet for very bad propaganda, or else clumsily handled political drivel.
Paul M. - Tue, Jan 28, 2014 - 6:48am (USA Central)
@Nissa: "They portray capitalism as something that makes people greedy and selfish, but when you look at it historically, the most equal and fair nations have become so in the capitalist periods."

While it's certainly true that the world advanced the most and achieved the greatest standard of living during capitalism, it should be noted that the greatest social equality is achieved in the European-style social-democratic capitalism.

Now I'll shut up as I have no intention of steering the thread into a political argument.
Daniel - Mon, Feb 10, 2014 - 4:15am (USA Central)
Unfortunately, Paul, as I've seen it, sometimes the political arguments seem to find their way into the show, whether we like it or not.

To me, it always seemed like at least a few of the writers despised what Quark and the Ferengi stood for- the greed, the capitalism, etc. To these writers, the best way of them to express their politics against capitalism was to make Quark suffer.

So we got episodes and dialogue that, quite honestly, had characters treating Quark very, VERY rudely. This despite the fact that he actually showed traits of kindness, courtesy, bravery and self-sacrifice at times. Would purely self-interested profit monger bend his knee, ready to die at the hands of a Klingon, to help save the house of Grilka? I don't think so. And who was the one who organized the rescue of Ishka, while Rom basically ran around crying? Quark.

I guess what I see as the problem is that Quark isn't just "the greedy capitalist" or whatnot- Armin and (a few) of the writers gave him a depth and nuance that went beyond the shallow one-dimensional stereotype, and the rest of the writers then proceeded to shove him into episodes that made every other Ferengi around him look like a ridiculous idiot. It might have been "funny" for some, but it was just sigh inducing on many occasions.
DLPB - Sun, Feb 23, 2014 - 8:09pm (USA Central)
Here's a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the idealism which defines Star Trek. The Federation offers the cure to the founders. No exchange, no cease fire, nothing. That kind of compassion (though I doubt the founders would care themselves enough to end the war) would be a gesture recognised by Breen and perhaps even the Vorta and would potentially weaken the Dominion's position.
======

Are you serious? On what planet are you living?
Corey - Mon, Feb 24, 2014 - 6:47pm (USA Central)
"While it's certainly true that the world advanced the most and achieved the greatest standard of living during capitalism"

Capitalism has more blood on its hands than any other epoc, with the US alone waging 3.4 overt and covert wars a year. And remember, the world "advanced" under slavery too (there are more slaves under capitalism then at the height of chattel slavery, not to mention 80 percent of the planet on less than ten dollars a day). Indeed, the "civil rights" fought for under the epoch of capitalism (which is over 400 years old and encompasses some of the most brutal and bloody periods of history) tend to be opposed by the ruling/capitalist class and fought for by those outside the system.

"Are you serious? On what planet are you living?"

I thought Elliot's A-bomb comment answered this stuff succiently.


, it should be noted that the greatest social equality is achieved in the European-style social-democratic capitalism.

Ric - Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - 2:48am (USA Central)
"Are you serious? On what planet are you living?"

There is no better proof that Elliott is right than this misplaced question. Why? Well, this question is sort of demanding Elliott and others to see DS9 precisely with more 20-21st century realism in mind. This question makes it clear how DS9 at this point was just extrapolating 20th reality to the Trek universe to the point of making this question above to be possible. It would have been a non-sense question from a TOS or TNG viewer.

That is exactly why Elliott has said that DS9 was (for me it became at some point) just 1990 men with phasers and replicators. More 1945 America than 24th future society. People have to stop confusing things: if one thinks that the direction DS9 took Trek was for the better, this is fine and is a right anyone has of feeling as they please. Another thing less idiosyncratic is to say that DS9 did not change Trek's universe. Federation was idealistic, utopian-like, romantic, during decades of show, films, cartoons and so on. Now, it is so pragmatic that accepts to pursue genocide and leads people to ask here "on what planet are you living?". If this turn from utopia to realism is not a change, well, I don't know what is the definition of change for DS9 fans.

Oh, and do not get me wrong: I really liked DS9 for many seasons. Was also quite a fan. Even noticing its flaws, I welcomed its different approach to the Trek universe. But limits have to exist and DS9 forgot it and crossed the line miserably.

Lastly, it strikes me as chocking that people really think that "being at war" justifies everything. Or remembering that "they were at war" should make them, who say this, seem more realist, pragmatic, less naïve, and so on. Even in 20th century and now, committing a complete genocide - i.e. killing even all civilians of another country during a war - is not exactly common stuff. If people really wanna follow this line of argument presently realistic, let’s go full steam. The genocide friendly Federation is not realistic with what most countries have done the last 100 years. It is then more like 17th century, or at the most closer to the common sense imagination of the 20th century nazi. Realism hurts, right?
Dan - Fri, Mar 7, 2014 - 8:19am (USA Central)
Corey - "Capitalism has more blood on its hands than any other epoc"

Ah, the wonderful sound of today's public education dogma. Open your books students, today we will study America the Evil Empire.

Frankly, the Ferengi-going-socialist arc was rather embarrassing. The Ferengi were first introduced as clownish villains who represented the evils of capitalism in TNG. They were laughable villains but it goes beyond the initial bad makeup, their "evil ways" were never believable to the viewer. Capitalism is simply the ability for free people to interact freely. Try as you might, the only way to make liberty scary is to lie about it. The best Quark episodes were the ones where he stood up for Ferengi capitalism and stated that Ferengi might not be nice but they were honest businessmen. OF course, left leaning writers never could leave it at that and so the Ferengi hardly ever behaved honestly. On the other hand the Federation is well documented as being some form of socialist utopia which doesn't use money and is an impossibility of human nature.

Corey uses some of the hilariously ludicrous "factoids" that socialists love to toss around against capitalism. We all know that the planet was a peaceful dreamland of equality and bounty, where no war was ever waged through the thousands of years of its history; that is until the one day that capitalism reared its hideous head, then we had wars galore! Oh no, look out, capitalistic rulers will force you to do their bidding by "paying" you to work for them! I remember my first experience with capitalist oppression like it was yesterday. I was 16 and minding my own business, when the manager of a 7-11 accosted me off the sidewalk and forced me to work in his store at gunpoint!

Now, if we just listen to Corey there and surrender all our liberty then life would be so much more fair for everyone.
Andy's Friend - Fri, Mar 7, 2014 - 9:53am (USA Central)
@Dan:

You’re missing the point. Mentalities change. Societies change. And people change with them.

My great-grandfather, who was an Army officer and fought in the Great War, would look at most men today and call them women.

Any factory owner in the Western world in late 19th century would look at any factory owner today and call him a Socialist:

― ’What’s wrong with having twelve year old children working in the factory?!’
― ’What’s wrong with repeating the same motions twelve hours a day six days a week?!’
― ’What’s wrong with expecting a woman to be back at work two days after childbirth?!’
― ’Breaks every hour?! Give me a break, what’s wrong with you?!’

Any Scandinavian government in the late 19th century would look at any of their governments today and call them Socialist.

Any Southern European government in the late 19th century would look at any of their governments today and call them Socialist.

Any American administration in the late 19th century would look at Obama’s administration today and call it Socialist. And it’s still a long way from the Scandinavians today.

Was Scandinavia overall a better place to live in the late 19th century that the United States? I don’t think so. Is Scandinavia overall a better place to live today than the United States? I think there can be little doubt about it.

Think about it.

The highly scientifically advanced ― for their age ― Romans delighted in watching men butcher each other to death in the arena. They even enjoyed watching humans being killed by beasts.

Don’t tell me that people don’t change. That mentalities don’t change. That societies don’t change.

Read about the past. Look at the present. Imagine the future. That’s what Star Trek does.
Ric - Fri, Mar 7, 2014 - 1:32pm (USA Central)
"Ah, the wonderful sound of today's public education dogma. Open your books students, today we will study America the Evil Empire".

Ah, the wonderful smell of Cold-War thinking, which cannot deal with basic critics and even sees a phantom where it was not... This reply is the paradaigm of missing the point.

"Capitalism is simply the ability for free people to interact freely".

Really? Really? Gesus, god bless the educational books that deliver more nuanced and critical understandings about anything - Capitalism, Socialism, whatever - than this.

Let's hope for a better future in the 24th century.
Corey - Fri, Mar 7, 2014 - 6:31pm (USA Central)
"Open your books students, today we will study America the Evil Empire."

America is pretty much an evil Empire. It's usually only Americans who are unaware of how much of a neo-Colonialist Empire the "land of the free" really is. I've lived through 3 of its coups in Greece, one of its coups in Guyana and watched it wipe out all the opposition governments after Trinidad became independent (how dare you nationalise your oil!). The past 100 years is basically the 4 major Empires, and their economic arms (the World Bank, IMF and BIS), slaughtering governments, sponsering proxy militias and reordering nations to benefit them.

"Frankly, the Ferengi-going-socialist arc was rather embarrassing."

Yeah, but Quark keeps the faith and it's Quark who the audience loves watching precisely because he's an uber capitalist.

"Capitalism is simply the ability for free people to interact freely."

There's a reason three of the major physicists of their time (Einstein, Soddy, Edison) were hardcore anti-capitalists (Einstein outright called capitalism "the source of evil"): it is a totally nuts system.

The sheer level of "freedom rhetoric" ascribed to "capitalism" pretty much tells you the truth is precisely the opposite. As I said earlier, 80 percent of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there are more slaves under capitalism then under the epoch of slavery, there are more black men in prison in the US than were anybody in Stalin's gulags (and more blacks in US prisons than there were black slaves in the US in 1850) and our global debt clock is so high that we'd need 15 planet earths worth of resources to pay it back. A middle class lifestyle for everyone would itself take 5 planet earths worth of resources.

Not to mention the totally immoral means in which money is created (as debt, at interest, randomly by banks whenever you ask for a loan). The economist Georgescu-Roegen summed up the result of this succintly: "There is never enough money "in capitalism" to pay back the money owed "to capitalism"."

If you've played the game Monopoly, you see how capitalism always ends up: the wealth pools in one direction and cash has to be loaned out to the "loser players" to keep the Ponzi running. AI simulations by economists like Peter Victor also show us how the system must exponentially create unpayable debts, that anyone X out of debt puts another in a correponding X level of debt (and so poverty is inescapable), and that the system exponentially increases (by expanding markets and relying on new births to push debt onto) in order to stop from collapsing. And of course capitalism must expand or die and must continually go through cycles of booms and busts, in which wealth is pooled further with each crash.

What's interesting about this expansion is that it necessitates a 3 percent annual increase in global energy (and so heat). It's been expanding at this rate like clockwork for hundreds of years.

"OF course, left leaning writers never could leave it at that and so the Ferengi hardly ever behaved honestly."

Strictly speaking, most "left leaning people" are firmly right wing. Indeed, the contemporary left exists only to support capitalism by creating checks, balances and "humane" policies to cater for the system's more ruthless excesses (for example capitalism is inherently unable to provide full employment). The mainstream left basically keeps the con running. Unsurprisingly, things like the New Deal and American welfare systems were supported by huge banks and insurance firms - throw the people a bone or they revolt entirely.

"We all know that the planet was a peaceful dreamland of equality and bounty, where no war was ever waged through the thousands of years of its history; that is until the one day that capitalism reared its hideous head"

Merchantile capitalism started in the Middle Ages. Immanuel Wallerstein wrote a series of books basically explaining that feudalism was itself capitalism (or rather that feudalism never quite existed as we think of it, as most social scientists now believe)


"I remember my first experience with capitalist oppression like it was yesterday. I was 16 and minding my own business, when the manager of a 7-11 accosted me off the sidewalk and forced me to work in his store at gunpoint!"

Where did the person whom your manager bought his land from, get the land? How did the money in this market originate? Who has the monopoly on money creation? Who makes the products in the shops? As worker are never paid enough to buy all the products they produce, what do you think HAS TO HAPPEN to the manager's shop? Capitalism is not some silly 2 party game where one person sells and one person buys.

"Now, if we just listen to Corey there and surrender all our liberty then life would be so much more fair for everyone."

Echelon, Prism and Muscular say hello.

"Ah, the wonderful smell of Cold-War thinking, which cannot deal with basic critics and even sees a phantom where it was not... This reply is the paradaigm of missing the point"

The irony is, most of the education systems in Europe are governed by both the nation's Ministry of Education and Ministry of Economics/Finance. Public education is geared toward serving "capitalism", and even economics courses and business schools focus only on micro and not macro economics. The result is millions of kids who never realy learn about how their entire social landscape operates.
Matrix - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 - 6:42pm (USA Central)
@Rob in Michigan. Love, love, loooooove those ideas. I remember when I first watched 'Valiant' and how Jake and Nog talk about how Starfleet sending Nog on some mission to Ferenginar or somewhere might lead to the Ferengi helping out in the war. I was really just hoping to see some of those big Ferengi ships we saw on TNG turn up on DS9. That second point, man I remember thinking up strategies where the Tholians and Gorn would make some kind of appearance, or at least just their ships. Plus, anyone remember in Voyager's 'Scorpion' where they talk about the Breen having organic ships? I always hoped those guys would show up with a Vorlon-type ship, but on the good guys side. Around about this same time Babylon 5 had the end of it's 4th season and they have that combined fleet of all the major races heading to liberate Earth. I would have loved something like that!
DLPB - Sat, May 3, 2014 - 8:38pm (USA Central)
Dan is spot on the money, but arguing with left wing types is a waste of time. They live in la-la land.
Spencer - Mon, May 5, 2014 - 6:50pm (USA Central)
Those damn lefties and their fighting for worker rights, democracy, civil rights, human rights, fighting against imperialism, colonialism, racism, exploitation, fighting for fair pay, for weekends, fighting against slavery, fighting for actual pay, holiday, shorter work hours (the 21 hour week wasn't so bad. Damn you lefties!), fighting for the environment etc.

Why can't the left be more like the right and fund terrorists, put dictators in power, oppose independent movements, oppose democratic elections and side with kings, queens and fascists. Damn lefties.
Markus - Wed, May 21, 2014 - 3:51am (USA Central)
I agree with the review's beginning: I couldn't help but scream out loud and repeat Quark's "line has to be drawn here and no fuuuuthaaaa" over and over again. Awesome delivery!

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