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AeC
Tue, Jun 24, 2008, 1:23am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Wasn't it established that Dukat ran Terok Nor during the last 10 years of the occupation? Yet here we have him acting as prefect practically since the station's inception.
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AeC
Thu, Jun 19, 2008, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

Paul,

Then you probably don't want to know that Dukat is actually Sisko's father and Kira's his twin sister. Or that Kukalaka is in fact not Bashir's teddy bear, but his sled.

(If it's any consolation, it wasn't much of a surprise during the series' initial run, either - it was pretty common knowledge that Terry Farrell wasn't returning for the seventh season.)

I agree with pretty much everything you say here, Jammer, save for the fact that I'd rate it higher. Not that I'm taking issue; it just illustrates how subjectively people are going to react to a story such as this. Quite simply, I was moved. There was nothing terribly original in the story, but it was performed and directed well enough that the sentiments, however well-worn, felt genuine, and for a story as simple as this, that's probably the best thing it can have going for it.
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AeC
Tue, Jun 17, 2008, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

Just seeing Iggy Pop in Vorta makeup is worth several laughs. He's probably the least convincing actor ever to play a Vorta, but even that works in the episode's favor, in kind of a so-bad-it's-good way.
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AeC
Sun, Jun 15, 2008, 12:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

There's an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I'm pretty sure; it may have been Angel) where the character Drusilla, after being chastised, starts whimpering like a whipped dog. The first time I saw it, my initial reaction was a painfully unwelcome reminder of Leeta's scene with Rom in this episode. Almost immediately afterward, though, I realized that somehow or other Juliet Landau made it WORK for the character and didn't make me involuntarily grit my teeth and clench my fists the way Leeta's display invariably does.

As I've been rewatching the series over the last few months, I've come to the conclusion that Chase Masterson, to be blunt, is far and away the worst thing to happen to the show. She's brought nothing to the (admittedly thin) character either dramatically or comedically, and what physical appeal she might have held when I was in my 20s has long since vanished in the face of how gratingly annoying she is in every other regard.

And now that I've revealed once and for all that I have nothing more fulfilling in my life than ranting on a stranger's review of a decade-old TV show, I'm going to bed.
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AeC
Fri, Jun 13, 2008, 10:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

There's an even subtler psychological element to Remata'Klan's unwavering and ultimately fatal obedience. At the start of the episode, he speaks of how he questioned the Vorta's orders and how it was not his place to do so. Whether his resultant feelings were guilt at what seemed a very mild disobedience or just a reminder/reinforcement of the Dominion's rules on the all-important Order of Things, I wonder if he would have been so willing to walk proudly into his doom had that incident not taken place. The seeds of dissent that he clearly had buried somewhere in him might have sprouted at a more opportune time and saved his and his men's skins.

On another note, this past Wednesday was the 45th anniversary of Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation. Having this somewhat fresh in my mind made Vedek Yassim's suicide hit all the harder upon re-watching the episode this evening.
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AeC
Sat, Jun 7, 2008, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Business as Usual

DS9's writers really do like to mine classic cinema for inspiration. They've adapted Casablanca for "Profit and Loss," The Searchers for "Indiscretion," and here they basically crib Harry Lime's speech in The Third Man about "one of those little dots" for Gaila's speech to Quark about "one of those lights." Not necessarily a criticism. Just some (usually) interesting homages.
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AeC
Tue, Jun 3, 2008, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Given the soul searching Kira did in season one's "Duet," it was a little surprising to hear her rather simplistic "There were no innocent Cardassians" speech (although, she WAS under the gun and Marritza, after all, hadn't taken her prisoner and recently killed five of her friends, so I suppose it would have been hard to muster much in the way of good will in this situation).
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AeC
Sun, Jun 1, 2008, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

Honestly, the thing I liked least about this episode was Smith's score. Way too in-your-face and a little too heavy on the suspense movie clich├ęs. Beyond that, though, I thought it worked a lot better than I'd remembered it from the last time I saw it however many years ago. Maybe not exceptional, but a strong "Put O'Brien through the wringer" show.
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AeC
Thu, May 22, 2008, 9:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

I almost never hear any kudos for Craig Wasson's performance as Ee'char in this episode. Yes, it was a Colm Meaney vehicle and he gave us a tour de force, but Wasson's performance, though more understated, may have been its equal. It's not easy to play a serene character without making him a complete cypher, but Wasson did it, imbuing Ee-char with humor, patience, and, in the "real life" scenes on the station, an overwhelming concern and compassion, often with nothing more than his eyes, that was as wrenching as watching O'Brien slowly eating himself from the inside out. The character was almost a Bodhisattva, and Wasson played him as such perfectly.
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AeC
Wed, May 21, 2008, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

I'd long given up on usenet by the time of this episode, but I'd imagine that Sisko's vision of Kai Opaka repeatedly asking, "Who are you?" must have had the B5 fans on R.A.S. up in arms when this episode aired.

A good ep, but the depiction of the Bajorans as, frankly, sheep willing to go wherever the Emissary tells them is a little troubling to me. Kira's comments about faith were valid, and I appreciated seeing some concerned looks on her face and on the faces of other Bajorans when Akorem decreed the reintroduction of the caste system, but I would have liked to have seen more resistance to the idea. I don't know how it could have been worked in dramatically within the episode's 45 minutes, but the blanket depiction of all Bajorans humbly and blindly following this radical path just felt wrong, even taking the strength of the culture's spiritual beliefs into account.
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AeC
Tue, May 20, 2008, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Sons of Mogh

"Is there really honor in abandoning one's identity? How is this different from killing oneself?"

What I found interesting upon rewatching this was that it seemed as if Kurn wasn't given the option to abandon his identity. He passes out, Dax suggests a third option, and the next thing we see him, he's unconscious on the operating table. Given the time it must have taken for Worf to contact his father's friend and for the friend to arrive, it seems unlikely that Kurn was unconscious for the entire time, as presented, one wonders.

The only other thing to stick out to me was the shot of Kurn toward the end, taking a swig from his bottle and then clumsily pointing a disruptor at his head. It didn't work; no doubt it was intended to be a poignant look at how far Kurn had fallen, but it felt almost comic, as if to say, "Whoops, here's Kurn about to botch another suicide." The way I envision the shot is a tighter close-up, starting with the bottle, slowly panning left to Kurn's face, then having the disruptor come shakily into frame.
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AeC
Sat, May 17, 2008, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Starship Down

Not much to add except Cromwell's delivery of the line, "Perhaps I should give them a refund," is nothing short of masterful, one of the biggest laugh lines in the entire series.
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AeC
Thu, May 15, 2008, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

I don't know how many times I've watched this episode. The original airing, countless times on the tape I made from that airing, possibly when they first reran it, and now on DVD, and not once has it failed to bring me to tears. As you say, it could have been maudlin or melodramatic, and most times I go in with the mind set that now that I'm X months/years older and more jaded than the last time, maudlin is exactly how it will seem. And time and again I'm proven wrong. This may not be the best Star Trek episode, but it's probably the best episode of television to come out of the Star Trek franchise.
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AeC
Tue, May 13, 2008, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

While I still think Winn was painted a little too one-dimensionally in this one, events of the previous seven years have made her depiction as a leader more concerned with power than effective leadership and the drive to attain her goals "by any means necessary" a bit unnerving and almost prescient. Were this episode shot today, Winn would almost certainly have said something to the effect of, "You're with us or you're against us," instead of (somewhat inappropriately) co-opting Malcolm X.

Beyond that, it was just strange to see Commissioner Rawls in a Bajoran uniform.
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AeC
Sun, May 11, 2008, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Distant Voices

One thing that caught my interest here on re-watching was the faux-Lethean's accusation to Bashir of subtly sabotaging his future, purposely "mistaking" the pre-ganglionic fiber for the post-ganglionic nerve and so forth. It's an interesting comment given the later revelation of Bashir's genetic engineering and his purposely dumbing himself down so as not to attract undue attention. Of course, you would think that the faux-Lethean would make specific mention of that genetic engineering, but obviously, it wasn't a plot point that the writers had yet come up with. Still, while it's been a while since I've seen "Dr. Bashir, I Presume," I wonder if this was an episode they referenced when writing that ep.
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AeC
Thu, May 8, 2008, 10:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

I've always liked this episode. It's inconsequential, but I always thought it worked as farce, and Brooks gets in some gorgeous camerawork during the Renewal Festival, including some complex, sweeping crane shots that tie several of the storylines (such as they are) together. I wouldn't want a full series of this, but for a one-off, it made me grin.
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AeC
Thu, Apr 3, 2008, 12:18am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I can't believe it's been ten years since this aired. I remember upon first seeing the preview, my reaction was not dissimilar to Stef's: Trek to that point had always worked by way of allegory, yet here it looked as though it was going to remove all subtlety and give us a brick-to-the-head hour of didacticism that basically said, "Racism bad!"

I was overjoyed to find that I was wrong. True, it took away the allegorical element, but put in its place a nuanced, lyrical story. Several elements of racism were put on display, from the two detectives' overt menacing of Benny to Douglas' subtler attitude of, "It's not me; it's just what IS." I've seen both subtle and gross expressions of racism, both personal and institutional, and it felt right for each to be depicted, even if the cops' came up short characterization-wise as a result.

I don't know that I can add much that hasn't already been said here and elsewhere. I will say that I was surprised that in all the reviews I read, no one brought up what for me was one of the biggest belly laughs of the episode, namely, Herb's being accused of being a Communist. Sure, it was an illustration of the attitude of the times, but, given that other character Armin Shimerman plays on the show, it was also a hilarious bit of meta-irony.
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AeC
Fri, Mar 21, 2008, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

["Despite her early dialog, which establishes that she likes Data because he's polite, a great listener, etc., it's clear to her from the outset that he is completely emotionally unavailable. Love and romance by definition require someone who can return your feelings, and Data obviously can't do that. So I'm not sure what to make of Jenna's pursuit here, unless she, like Data, is also running an experiment in non-emotionally-based romantic relationships between humans and androids."]

Dude, all I can say is kudos on having at least a semi-healthy relationship history. You'd be amazed how easy it is to fall for the same type of exactly wrong person over and over, even recognizing the same set of faults that keep cropping up.
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