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Andre Rhine-Davis
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

I really don't get Worf's and Jadzia's relationship. They are just... so so incompatible. They have such different values and lifestyles, such different desires and expectations in a relationship, and they're just constantly annoyed with each other. We as an audience are *told* that they are in love, but to me they never *look* or *act* like they're genuinely in love.

I've seen some people complain that Worf is overly controlling and possessive of Jadzia, and I've seen some people complain that Jadzia doesn't take the relationship seriously, is overly "promiscuous" despite Worf's discomfort and dislike of such behaviour, and is in general apathetic towards Worf's feelings. I think both of these complaints are valid. There's nothing inherently wrong with the way Worf wants to have a relationship or the way Jadzia wants to have a relationship, I'm sure Worf could be perfectly happy with a traditional yet open-minded Klingon woman who shares his values and accepts him, and Jadzia would probably be very happy in a playful open relationship with someone who jives with her and jokes with her and whose company she actually enjoys, and who doesn't mind her general flirtatious attitude.

But Worf and Jadzia don't *respect* each other. They don't *care* about each other and what each other want. They refuse to make any compromises in their relationship. Despite their vastly different values and desires and expectations in a relationship, they each just behave as if their idea of a relationship is right and the other person is being selfish if they want anything different.
Worf wants the relationship to be exactly a certain way, he wants Jadzia to act exactly a certain way, and he doesn't respect Jadzia's own desires and freedom and the fact that she may want to act another way or want the relationship to be a different way.
Conversely, Jadzia expects Worf to put up with all sorts of things she does that he's not comfortable with (e.g. teasing him, playing tongo with Quark, flirting with other guys) to satisfy her whims, but then she ignores and doesn't care about all the things which are very very important to Worf.

tbh, this quote from the episode pretty much sums it up for me:
"She says it's because he's a pigheaded, stubborn man who puts tradition before everything else. He says it's because she's a frivolous, emotional woman who refuses to take him or his culture seriously. You can see the problem."
"They're both right."

They're both mature adults, Worf and Jadzia *know* each other and what they value and how they want to live. They never should have gotten together if they're so incompatible. tbh, their relationship was a mess from the beginning. In "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places", Jadzia was just horny for Worf, while Worf was all like "we have had sex, therefore we must be in love and must get married". You couldn't have two more opposite extremes.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

@Springy @Iceman
"They want to prove to the Alpha Quadrant two things: 1)-They're a peaceful power who means the Alpha Quadrant powers no harm and 2)-They're a great power of their word. "

Also, Odo has an affinity with Bajor, and the Dominion want to get on Odo's good side.
In season 6, we see Weyoun telling Odo that he's doing everything he can to help Bajor and the Bajorans, clearly in an attempt to impress/appease Odo. Maybe the Dominion thinks that if they invade Bajor, Odo will be very angry with them.

On the other hand, this doesn't really match up with Odo's other interactions with the female changeling, where she doesn't care about Odo's affinity with the solids at all, and has no problem telling him she's going to execute Major Kira. It could well be though that the whole "peace treaty with Bajor for the sake of appeasing Odo (at least in part)" is the brainchild of Weyoun and/or the other Vorta. After all, Weyoun genuinely tries to appease Odo and make him happy and do what he wants, whereas the female changeling doesn't really care what Odo himself wants.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

A lot of good points have been made by everyone so far, especially at how jarring it is for Odo to go back immediately to being the trusted head-of-security welcoming Sisko back to the station after his serious betrayal. It should take far far more than just one "redemptive act" for him to earn back the trust of the "good guys".

Also good points at how bizarre Weyoun and the Founder seem to act after the ships disappear. Nobody seems to question why or how or "wtf?!?!" except Dukat. Didn't Weyoun or the Founder wonder what the hell was going on? I mean, I get that they realised they were in serious trouble and had to get out of there fast and there wasn't really time to sit around and ponder, but they just seem to... *accept* it, without any shock or confusion.

My biggest issue with this episode which just really took me out of it though is how the "defense fleet" makes no sense. After the Defiant makes it through the defense fleet, it then goes *maximum warp* to DS9. The defense fleet is not guarding DS9 directly, it's lightyears away. My question is, why not go maximum warp straight to DS9 from the beginning? Why stop in front of this defense fleet in the first place? We are never given any reason to think that this fleet can stop ships moving at warp from just warping right past it. If this were a land army or naval army, you can send tanks/ships away from the location you're defending, in order to stop other tanks/ships en route. But this just makes no sense given the Star Trek universe where ships can just move at warp usually completely unhindered, and we weren't told that this fleet could somehow stop ships at warp. Also, I know that they were trying to get to DS9 as fast as possible, but if the fleet *could* somehow intercept ships moving at warp, wouldn't it have been possible to just go slightly around them? Space is huge and empty, and the fleet occupies such a tiny tiny tiny portion of space.

As for the prophets, I wouldn't exactly call it a Deus Ex Machina, since as has been said already, they were introduced from the very beginning of the series as very powerful beings that resided in the wormhole. I think the bigger problem is just the inconsistency in how they are presented. I feel like we as an audience never really got a good feel for what the extent of the prophets' power is, and what their goals/motivations are, and what they are/aren't willing to do. Sometimes they don't seem to understand linear time or things in general, sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't seem to care or even be aware of Bajor and the corporeal world, sometimes they do. I get that they're meant to be a mystery, but the audience is just left wondering why they decided to help this time. If they are so powerful and they seem to care about Sisko, why doesn't Sisko go to them more often with requests or questions? They're not so much a Deus Ex Machina as much as a plothole; the fact that Sisko can just go to the prophets and get them to destroy thousands of ships makes one wonder why he hasn't done something like that before or why doesn't he do it again in the future. The prophets aren't well enough understood or explained for it to feel like there's a solid reason why Sisko *can't* interact with them more and use their overpowered abilities.

More generally, the way the Federation and the Cardassians and the Dominion and pretty much everyone (including the Bajorans themselves!) treats the Bajoran religion and the Prophets/Wormhole aliens makes no sense. From the moment the wormhole and the wormhole aliens were discovered; they should have been treated as a powerful alien race. The Bajoran religion should have been reanalysed as the cultural and social interpretation by the Bajorans of *contact* between them and the wormhole aliens. The Federation should be trying to make further contact with the wormhole aliens, better understand them. They should be studying the Bajoran prophecies and the Bajoran religion in an attempt to reconstruct to what extent it's true, to reconstruct how the wormhole aliens have been communicating with the Bajorans, to learn more about the wormhole aliens. Bajoran religion itself should be turned on its head now that you can *literally visit and talk to the gods*. The Federation and other cultures may not believe that the wormhole aliens are "gods" in a spiritual or theological sense, but they have to ascribe them power and powerful extradimensional beings, and accept that the religion on Bajor is highly influenced by them, and has some truth inasmuch as its "prophets" do exist.

Instead, everyone just treats the Bajoran religion like any other religion, making vague spiritual claims about souls and gods that cannot be tested, despite the fact that you certainly can test them because you literally just discovered the celestial temple!!!!!!! The Bajorans themselves still treat the prophets as these vague gods that one has to believe in with faith, and whose motives and desires can only be interpreted through prophecies and scripture, despite the fact that you can now literally go and visit them! When Sisko starts having these prophesies and finds B'hala, the Federation shouldn't be like "this crazy religion stuff makes us uncomfortable", they should be like "oh wow, it seems like those wormhole aliens are communicating with you telepathically somehow!". Why are they still treating the wormhole aliens as the made-up gods of the Bajoran religion when they've actually been physically discovered and their powers have been directly seen?!?!

It seems like Grand Nagus Zek was the only one intelligent enough to treat the wormhole aliens like... well... aliens, that one could communicate with and interact with and trade with. Everyone else seems to totally forget about them, treating them at best as some weird space anomaly that just is, and at worse as just the made-up invention of the Bajoran religion. Everyone just treats the wormhole like a natural phenomenon that one can fly through, forgetting that it was made by the wormhole aliens and is being maintained by them. And everyone keeps treating the Bajoran religion as no different to any other Earth religion. Including the Bajorans, mind you.

"Can anyone explain why shape-shifters feel it necessary to gain political and military power in the galaxy? They have "paradise" on their planet already -- why the powerlust?" - Paul York
"According to their own propaganda at least, they are paranoid about the solids reïnflicting their prejudiced persecution upon them (the irony is apparently, totally lost upon the entire link)." - Elliott
Odo has an inbuilt sense of justice. He feels it's his duty to enforce that justice, to punish the wicked. The Founders explain to him that what he feels is not a desire for justice, but *order*. The Founders also feel this desire for order, this desire to control the universe and bring it into order.
There could certainly be truth in the whole "we must control the solids to protect ourselves from them" motive, but from what we have seen of Odo and the rest of the founders, it seems they are very much control-freaks and just feel a need to control everything around them so the universe is nice and orderly and to their liking.
As for the irony of protecting themselves from persecution by persecuting the solids, it's clear that the Founders don't see solids as people. Only changelings are *people*; solids are just... animals more or less. Creatures to just use and exploit for the benefit of the Great Link.

As for SecMan's posts, I agree with most of their points, they articulated a lot of things I wanted to say, but I do disagree with their complain about Dukat. I think showing Dukat's descent into madness starting when victory was snatched away from him is fine. He was so so convinced the Dominion would win, victory was practically certain. He was fantasizing about how he would rule the alpha quadrant. This is a man who had lost everything, and who was finally finally about to get it all back, and more. To suddenly have that disappear with no rhyme or reason came as such a huge unprocessable shock. He had once again lost so much, but at least he still had Ziyal. He was a bit unhinged, but not completely insane. Once he lost Ziyal though, he had nothing, and he went completely insane.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 6:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

I kept feeling like Odo was presenting his case to the Female Changeling really badly. She was like "Come join the Link" and he was like "umm... I can't" and she was like "because of Kira?"
I just wanted Odo to say something like "I do want to be part of our people and join the Great Link, but I cannot condone the behaviour of the Dominion and the way it treats solids. Unless you change your values and behaviours and start treating solids with respect and stop waging this war against the Alpha Quadrant, I'm afraid I must reject your offer".

But after reading all these comments here, I'm starting to think that maybe Odo *doesn't* actually care about the values and behaviour of the other changelings. Maybe Kira *is* the only reason why he doesn't join them! That's really kind of sad, tbh.

"I think this episode, rather than The Begotten, should have been where Odo is turned from being a solid back into being a changeling again." - Andrew
Yes, I totally agree with this! That would have made both this episode even better, and the whole "Odo as a human" arc much much better. His betrayal would have made much more sense, and then this whole change in Odo's personality would have been reflected in "Odo as a human" vs "Odo as a changeling", and he would have had to learn how to "come back to the good side" and find his old values again as a changeling.

"I like how the PADDs can't seem to hold more than one document or file at time. Gotta hand over thee PADDs?" - Tanner
Yeah, that's one part of Star Trek's technology that has not aged well. PADDs seem to just be "futuristic" versions of written reports/documents/books, but still with 1) each PADD being representing a single report/document/book, and 2) having to physically give a PADD to another person, rather than just sending the data wirelessly from one to another. Nowadays, only a decade or two later, this seems pathetically retrofuturistic. It reminds me of how in TOS when they show spaceships controls displaying numbers on an analog dial-based readout :P
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Sat, Oct 6, 2018, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

I liked this episode, but I didn't like the way Jake treated Nog here.
Jake pressured Nog into giving up all his latinum, which he had been saving up his whole life! And you know how much latinum means to Nog as a Ferengi. Would you like it if your friend pressured you to give up all the money you had saved for them? In the end they didn't win the auction, so Nog didn't even up actually losing any of it, but still... not cool Jake.

But yeah, this episode really does explicitly raise the question about humans and money. A good real world analogy is kibbutzim. Kibbutzim are small communistic communes/farms in Israel. A couple of hundred people live together in each kibbutz, where everyone works for the benefit of the whole kibbutz. There is no money and no individual ownership, everything is shared. Communism seems to actually work relatively well with these populations of a few hundred where everyone knows each other well and it's like one big family.
However, while kibbutzim are internally communistic, they are externally capitalistic. People living inside a kibbutz live a communistic life, but each kibbutz as a whole has money, it buys things and sells things with other kibbutzim and with businesses in general. If someone from the kibbutz needs to interact outside the kibbutz for some reason, say to go to a doctor or something, the kibbutz will supply them with the appropriate money from the kibbutz' fund.

I imagine this to be sort of how Earth (or the whole federation?????) works in Star Trek.
On Earth, there doesn't need to be money, because there is so much supply of everything that everyone just does what they want and gets what they want and there is no scarcity. In reality, I am not sure to what extent this could work, since individual people might still *want* to do personal projects, or might want the efforts of other people. If you want 100 other people to perform a play you have written, and nobody volunteers.... how can you get them to do it? What can you offer them in return? But whatever, I can suspend my disbelief and assume that the Earth does work without money.

But the way the Earth and/or the Federation interact with the Klingons or the Ferengi or the Bajorans or anyone else really has to be capitalistic. The Earth and/or the Federation must buy and sell things (well, "import" and "export" things) with other planets, and it needs latinum or some galactic currency to do so. I would imagine that when Earth citizens go to other planets or whatever, they would apply to the Earth government for some latinum to have for their trip. Similarly, I imagine that Starfleet Officers have access to Earth's latinum supply, or they can just charge the things they buy at Quark's or whatever with a "Starfleet" or "Earth" debit card which just uses the Earth's huge supply of latinum. Whatever they do, humans away from Earth (such as at DS9) should definitely get a latinum allowance from Earth *somehow*, or else how are they supposed to do anything or buy anything outside of Earth or the federation?

How does Jake buy food from Quark's? How does Jake buy anything from anywhere on DS9? I find it hard to believe he'd have to ask his father to use *his* "debit card", after all Jake is 18 now, he should have his own "debit card", even if it doesn't have unlimited access to Earth's latinum account since Jake isn't like a Starfleet Captain or anything. Jake should definitely have access to *some* latinum... his life on DS9 wouldn't make sense if he doesn't. So he really shouldn't need to ask Nog for his.

I mean, this also raises the question of "Why do people need to pay Quark at all, if he just gets stuff out of a replicator, and there are replicators all over the station?". But that's a whole nother issue.
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