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Daemon
Sat, Sep 11, 2021, 11:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

I guess humour truly is subjective, because I found myself more confused as to where this was going than anything regarding Quarks monologue; it was obviously too ridiculous to be taken seriously, but it seemed too serious to be taken as a joke either.

More broadly, this episode didn’t really do much for me; it set up some things, resolved others, but overall contained nothing of real note; the only part that came close was the predicament Kira, Damar and Garak found themselves in, but even then, there’s little to justify it’s existence (the idea of sparking a revolution could’ve happened regardless of whether the resistance movement was around or not).
As the penultimate episode, there really should be a feeling that all the threads are converging for one final conflict, but if I didn’t know better I’d guess that was still a few episodes away (and unlike TNG the writers didn’t have to contend with the show getting cancelled and having to deliver a finale while leaving things open for the replacement films) given how ‘everyday’ the tone seems to be. Sure, there’s mention of an assault on Dominion forces, but who knows how long that could take? Same with the Cardassian revolution: it’s started, but there’s nothing to indicate it’ll turn the tide, or how long it’ll take. Overall, it feels like we’re just now starting to set groundwork for the final battle, but at this point we should be on the verge of it playing out.

Still, the fact that the final episode is double-length likely means the first half will do what this episode was supposed to do, so maybe calling this the penultimate episode is the error. And at the very least it wrapped up the Ferengi ‘arc’, as well as Ezri’s romance woes (both of which I’m glad are gone) so there’s something.
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Daemon
Sat, Mar 20, 2021, 6:13am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

A standard episode on the follies of youth, amplified by it being a group of so called 'elite cadets' (in other words, a group with an unhealthy amount of pressure and expectations heaped onto them, both by others and themselves) who are suddenly thrust into a situation far beyond their capabilities, that turns into a related theme of blind loyalty and the consequences of following a leader off of a cliff.
Personally, I feel they should've stuck with the idea of the crew, as a group, trying to push themselves beyond their limits, and the consequences of doing so, rather than put all that on the acting captain and having him be the only one who was interested in the idea (as the de-briefing scene makes clear) but that aside, the episode was decent enough, one that, while mostly filler-y, could (don't know if it does, as this is my first time watching the series) potentially lead to some character development for Nog further down the line.
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Daemon
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 8:16am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

So, having just seen the episode, and thinking on it for a bit, I feel like, while a decent episode, with some nice character work, it wasn't quite the 'Top 10 Star Trek episode' that others have described it.
The premise seems very much like your basic 'person becomes desperate, and makes a deal with the devil to try and fix it' scenario, with Garak being the devil in this instance, and Sisko as the desperate individual who's tricked by the Devil to performing various dark deeds, both directly and indirectly*. The difference here is that, being Star Trek, the dark deeds are limited to: Forging evidence (of something that was likely to happen anyway), Murder (of a death row criminal), and Blowing up a shuttle with a senator on board (one who was going to make the war that much harder to fight)**
It being Star Trek is also the thing that makes that work, because from the perspective of an advanced society like The Federation, actions like this *would* still be concerning (and in fact, it's something that the show acknowledged in the previous episode). That said, two things that keep the episode from being great for me are:
1 - As others have pointed out, the actions shown here aren't that much worse than others taken in prior episodes in this show (the changeling's on Earth two-parter is a good example, where Sisko actively defends his actions by saying "It's easy to be a saint in Paradise", a stark contrast to his response here).
2 - Sisko is for the most part not very pro-active. Most of his actions in this episode are basically him agreeing to Garak's ideas, and/or generally playing along to Garak's tune, out of desperation, with the final act being conducted almost entirely by Garak, with Sisko as an unwitting accomplice at best. This, to me, undermines the theme of an individual performing dubious actions in service of the greater good, by essentially offloading most of the work to Garak. Had he started out this way, but then gradually began to make decisions of his own accord (somewhat like what he did with Quark, but worse) I feel the idea could've worked, but it instead seems to do the opposite.
Overall, in isolation, the idea is an interesting one for Star Trek, and is still a decent enough episode overall, but it has some caveats that to me, keep it from being the all-time great that it's often described as.

*Then again, Breaking Bad built an entire Emmy-winning show entirely on this very premise, so maybe originality in premise doesn't matter much if it's well-done?
**Another factor is that the 'devil' in this instance is Garak, who is a series regular and someone (somewhat) sympathetic to Sisko's goals (that's also why each action comes with some sort of 'mitigating circumstance').
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