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Easter
Tue, Nov 24, 2015, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

I kind of feel it was implied from the lead in scene that the Worf thing was a case of Worf not caring about the strike one way or the other and O'Brien getting up in his face about it. something like
*Worf Goes in*
*O'Brien and Bashir follow*
O'Brien: What the hell do you think you're doing?
Worf: I am getting a drink. I am thirsty.
O'Brien: There is a strike going on! You can't eat here.
Worf: That is none of my concern, and you can not tell me where I can and cannot eat.
O'Brien: Stop being such an asshole *grabs Worf's sleeve and starts trying to lead him away*
And then the fight starts.

I never got the sense that the fight was because Worf passionately SUPPORTED the strike so much as he opposed whatever O'Brien said or did to try to shame him out of getting a drink there.
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Easter
Tue, Nov 10, 2015, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@William B
As a pair of fresh eyes: I found the Nog subplot interesting enough. It was clearly going to tie into something bigger and I wanted to see what that was and also I just found it an interesting little check in on how Nog is doing.

I suspected Joseph might be a changeling, but less for any sort of overt thing he did and more because well, it made sense narratively, similar to why i assumed Yates was one. He had to be serving some narrative purpose and this was, at this point in the two parter, still a story about secret changelings being routed out. The question in my mind was always "who is the changeling"? And I was just as paranoid and suspicious as the Starfleet Brass. I found it was set up put me in the right mindset very well and make the development of the twist coming up work great.
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Easter
Fri, Oct 9, 2015, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

@William B

I think one of this episodes big failings is that it assumes we know a lot (as it was at this point in the series) and therefore feels it can leave a lot unsaid and just assume we'll fill in the blanks with stuff that honestly shouldn't be left to that. Like, the show never really says or even properly implies that Winn used underhanded dealings to get the First Minister position and be in a situation where nobody is running against her, but since every time we've seen her thus far she's been using underhanded tactics to get power we're supposed to assume that this was no different and just treat her ascension to first minister as the result of illegal maneuvering and duplicity and her lack of competition is from the same kind of stuff she pulled to get Bareil out of the runnig for Kai. We never see her actively lie to the people of Bajor but again based on who she is I think we're supposed to just infer that she didn't tell them the whole story which is something Shakkar can leverage and most importantly, we never actually see or learn the specifics of the contract Shakaar has with the government, we never know if it says "You have use of this equipment for X time" or if it says "you have provisional use of this equipment for X time unless we ask for it back" but since Kira believes Shakaar is justified we're supposed to assume it's in his favour since we're on her side rather than Winn's and Winn is OBVIOUSLY acting inappropriately, because that's what she does. We also never see Shakaar act reluctant about being first minister but since he was, up to this point, a farmer with no interest in politics and we have a definite Li Nalaas parallel I think we're supposed to assume he's doing it for the good of Bajor even though all he really wants to do is farm some space-rutabaga or whatever.

These are all really important plot/character points that the show just kinda assumes we'll infer from past behaviour and how the character's we're supposed to like act. Which is a major failing of the episode and how those blanks get instinctively filled or not filled by our respective brains probably plays a huge part in how we initially react to the episode.

I actually just went back and read the script and I was misremembering the scene in the valley. I thought shakaar initially gave up. Having reread it I take it more as him accepting that this situation is out of control. Even if he gets arrested and the Kai "Win"s, even if his entire cell gets taken down, it won't stop the civil war from coming. The fuse is too close to lit. Once one side fires at the other it's over. The government will have their justification and/or the resistance will have their martyr. The only way to end this is to find a way to have both sides "Win" which is by making Shakaar, the face of the resistance, and Winn, the face of those opposing them, publicly making good together and getting on equal footing. The solution then is to make Shakaar the First Minister and official head of Bajor and leave Winn the Kai and spiritual head of Bajor so that the people can feel like this has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

I get the feeling this episode was planned as a two parter and then when it didn't get it had to try to cut details everywhere it could and hope we would fill in the blanks. So yeah, as much as it's visceraly enjoyable for me to watch I'm gonna have to agree that this was a pretty poorly written episode which requires almost fanfic levels of headcannon from implied scenes to work.
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Easter
Fri, Oct 9, 2015, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

@Grumpy

I think they made a point that it isn't a proper override and can be fought against by the host so you couldn't use it to possess enemy soldiers and convert them. Also, yes, you could split a trill with dozens of soldiers' memories among a dozen newly enlisted privates. But the main host now lacks the combined force of all that experience so you're trading one supersoldier for a dozen normal ones and if any of those privates dies in battle you lose the memory with them so you're giving up 80 or so years of experience each time making it of limited tactical value AND requiring one Symbiont to have been a soldier for centuries to use even once.

The idea in your second post is an awesome one that I wish they'd explored. I really wanted to get to know the other Dax's better and that would have been a great way to let us do that and make the Dax character more than just a relatively normal person with a disproportionately long backstory.
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Easter
Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Also. SO, Eddington makes this big speech about how "we've never done anything to you. you just hate us cuz we left" which is well said and all, but falls slightly flat considering that him, just him, acting for the maquis within this episode did ALL of the following things

-Betrayed his post and superior officer
-Aided and abetted a smuggler in federation space
-Assaulted a Bajoran Liaison working with the federation
-Stole a huge amount of goods from the federation

Which I feel completely undermines every thing he has to say here.
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Easter
Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

@Robert
oh absolutely. she's an amazing actor in that role with amazing material to work with. Kudos to her.
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Easter
Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 9:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

So I do have to agree that given the way the show likes to push its own morality Kira and Shakaar are not properly criticized since my main reason for being on their side is, much like Kira and Sisko, "Fuck Winn". However, much like with the Cardassians and Ferengi I find my social science education taking over and viewing this as whether what happens makes sense in the context of the society in which it occurs rather than how it works as a cohesive narrative that functions thematically.

(I would also like to mention at this point, because I seem to end up arguing with you about this stuff a lot, that I do love your reviews. I am on this site at this point as much for what you have to say as what Jammer does and you do make your points very well and enjoyably and I enjoy these back and forths immensely)

Which is why the Rapture point is important. Because besides the narrative/sociology view the other main difference between the two of us is that I'm watching this show for the first time. I have no benefit of retrospect about where this is all going. I know only what the people who watched this show as it came out knew. So from where I'm standing the scenario is basically that Kai Winn's big failing in this episode is that she doesn't understand the political climate she is trying to control. She's been off in her church this whole time where structure and order have always been a common and positive force even during the occupation and is trying to impose that same order on a people who have been conditioned through ~3 generations of fighting against oppression to react as badly as possible to an attempt by a new power to impose those things. There's a heavy implication to me that Winn is losing this one because for once she doesn't understand the rules of the game she is attempting to carefully manipulate because she was in the church the whole time. If they retcon that later, that's the fault of the later episode.

Are Shakaar and Kira's choices right given the values and climates our society hold them to? Probably not. Are they understandable given the climate on Bajor? Absolutely. Does the people throwing their weight behind a plucky known freedom fighter even though they don't have the most legitimate beef make sense on Bajor? Given that anyone over the age of 3 spent most of their life viewing themselves as an oppressed underdog: Absolutely. Especially given Shakaar's repuations. Does the army backing Shakaar make sense? This one's iffyer but I'd say yes. Shakaar is not a nobody. It's pretty established that the heads of various cells are well known. They semiregualary mention "oh yeah, so and so was in this cell and now he's a minister. I met so and so who was in that cell etc" so Kira's cell which has been described as "infamous" or "famous" by Cardassians and Bajorans respectively probably has some weight behind it and he LED that cell. We know Bajor has a bit of a hero worship problem, as we saw with Li Nalas, and holds its ex-freedom fighters up as saviors. This episode is basically the Pope deciding to pick a fight with William Wallace 3 years after William Wallace was instrumental in freeing Scottland and expecting people to just kinda go with it. I know you already discounted the William Wallace analogy but remember, he doesn't need to become William Wallace in two weeks with no killing. He already was William Wallace with a hefty body count before this episode even started. This episode was just him playing 80s action hero and coming out of retirement for one last job.

I feel this episode is ultimately about two people in new situations (Kai Winn in legitimate political power and Shakaar in a post occupation Bajor) trying to keep doing things the way they always have and having to come to terms with the fact that they can't. Shakaar ultimately wins because he backs down first. He was perfectly willing to be arrested by Rawls if the only alternative was a shootout and when Rawls saw that was when he decided to back Shakaar.
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Easter
Thu, Oct 1, 2015, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

So. I am going to admit that the main reason I enjoy this episode so much is because I hate Winn's stupid fucking face and I needed her to lose to be able to keep watching this show without grinding my teeth to dust. She had gotten away with EVERYTHING up to this point and become the Kai and the fact that her being relegated to "only" the SPIRITUAL leader of a hugely religious planet instead of the spiritual and political leader counts as a major loss against her is kind of telling of how well she's done up to this point.

I have some replies for some of the problems you saw in this episode but first I want to address your Rapture point. Rapture didn't exist when this episode came out. It wouldn't exist for 2 more years. If Rapture says that Winn was in a prison camp that's fine, but when this episode came out our best information was that the church did pretty ok during the occupation. The Kai did her Kai thing (regular references were made to her being an inspiration to her people during the occupation). Hell, Bariel was on a RETREAT during the massacre (remember, that's why he couldn't have been the one to sell out Opaca's kid) which means they were still able to take vacations and then he got called back from his retreat to preach to the priest who took the fall, presumably not is secret because he had to retroactively delete official records saying he was doing that to frame himself. So at this point in the series any claim that the Vedick Winn suffered in a camp for preaching her beliefs is nonsense and I believe the writers of this episode were operating under that assumption. Rapture sounds retcony to me but I'll find out when I see it. At this point in the series though there is little indication that Winn has that sympathy trump card up her sleeve.

So with that out of the way, let's look at the political landscape of Bajor. Winn, who is NOT, as you said, a minister gets mysteriously appointed to the position of First Minister with no opposition. Which is suspicious, especially for Winn who is a known (to us) liar, political opportunist by any means necessary and criminal who has already supported one civil war to get what she wants. On the other hand let's look at Shakaar and co. These are people who have spent the last 20+ years fighting an oppressive tyranny who unfairly ousted their government. So the idea that an atypically appointed leader breaking preexisting agreements in a way that shows a lack of concern for their wellbeing, an unwillingness to compromise and a willingness to overtly lie to her people about what she is doing and why. The fact that Shakaar and Kira fell back into the life they led for most of his... well.. life isn't that surprising. Nor is the fact that the people are still primed to support a plucky underdog. Kira may have had the "you're the man now kid" realization when she had to kick the old man off the moon, but the rest of the planet wasn't there. The Bajorans were ready to start a civil war over the Federation being... around? just 2 years earlier and in that time they have lost both their political and spiritual leader and had both replaced on a very short timeline with Kai Winn. Tensions are likely high. They led those Bajorans into the canyon because those are the tactics they used for decades. That's what they automatically revert to and yeah, it took them a second to go "wait a second. these aren't the cardassians. These are jsut bajoran's doing their job." And it's not like they haven't killed Bajorans before either. Kira killed at least one Bajoran sympathizer.

As for whether the police were militia or not? Doesn't matter. Kai Winn said "I will negotiate with Shakaar" and then tried to arrest him instead. She has shown herself to be duplicitous and underhanded. And the Bajorans DO still torture people. The circle did it to Kira. I mean, maybe not publicly but who the hell is going to trust Kai Winn to follow the publicly written rules after the underhanded stunt she was literally in the middle of pulling to pull off the underhanded stunt she was trying to get Kira to help her pull. And that's what they're going to "tell everyone" Kai Winn didn't tell the people "I agreed to negotiate with Shakaar about holding onto the equipment he has a contract saying he's allowed to hold on to and then arrested him instead" she was all "He stole farm equipment and then attacked the police"

As for Sisko's bit. I don't think he really cared if it was fair. As far as he's concerned she blew up a school on his space station and attempted murder. Their entire relationship up to this point is based on her making political overtures in his direction and him showing the most barely covered contempt for her that he needs to in order to fulfill his starfleet duty and now she's asking him to help her capture and arrest someone under his command he cares deeply about that he knows she has actively antagonised several times. He doesn't give a shit about the prime directive. He's just telling her to go fuck herself in more diplomatic terms.

Again, my opinion on this is probably slightly biased because I just hate Winn so fucking much and want her to die and I admit this episode could do with some better exposition and B Plotting but all in all I feel that as someone who hasn't seen how any of this ends, I really needed a win here against Winn.
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Easter
Mon, Sep 28, 2015, 1:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

huh. I was SURE Kassidy was gonna be a changeling
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Easter
Mon, Sep 28, 2015, 12:36am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Shattered Mirror

There's lots of logistical problems with this setup. Bajor was never mirror occupied so the rebels are on a base orbitting a planet that is the homeworld of part of the alliance. Why is it taking them so long to get attacked? How did they build the fucking defiant with a crew of mine workers? but whatever. It's mirror world. Comic book rules. I don't really care and can hapily suspend my disbelief for some popcorn action if instead of Sisko they stole Julian. Him I can buy staying behind and helping people who kidnapped him. He's done it before. But Sisko is way too chill that these people used a duplicate of his dead wife to KIDNAP HIS SON. THEY KIDNAPPED HIS SON AND FORCED HIM TO HELP THEM UNDER THREAT OF HIM AND HIS ONLY CHILD DYING. And he's just like "Yeah, ok. I respect you plucky little guys fightin' the big bad alliance." I needed Sisko to be far more begrudging in his willingness to help and unpleasant towards the people who kidnapped him and held him hostage to buy into this story. Hell, they could have just done a mirror universe episode with nobody from the "main" universe and I'd have watched it. It would be fun. Mirror Bashir (Bashirror?) is an absolute blast and Alexander Siddig is clearly having an absolute blast playing him and with it being mirror world there was legitimate risk he might die on his glory run. Terrok Knor (biggest missed opportunity by the way was NOT renaming the station Terran Knor) as the gloomy mirror version of DS9 is visually enjoyable... I could sit down and watch a full episode of that. But Sisko just sitting there all friendly with the people who kidnapped him and his son just ruined the whole thing for me.
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Easter
Sun, Sep 27, 2015, 8:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Kira: "we would have done anything you asked when we thought you were the emissary" No? you wouldn't? You went against his orders and requests literally all the time? There was constant tension on DS9 between bajorans and starfleet which you clearly opposed?

Also the Wormhole Aliens care about Bajor now? What?

This episode was a retcony mess
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Easter
Sun, Sep 27, 2015, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Prophet Motive

@William B

I completely understand that frustration. The orbs are kind of just written off as "foreshadowing plot device X" pretty early despite the fact that they realistically should be a HUGE avenue of study. There is a joke floating around the internet that goes "If you ever feel lazy, just remember that the Ancient Greeks believed their gods lived at the top of a completely scalable mountain but never bothered to go check" and I suppose this may be a similar line of reasoning.

Maybe the idea is that the Bajorans won't because they're too religious and the church (which we've seen have considerable legitimate political power at times) forbids it and starfleet doesn't out of respect to the Bajorans and everyone else doesn't because the wormhole is being held by starfleet and the Bajorans.

A cult of Bajorans deciding to go visit would probably make a pretty cool episode/story arc though. A shame they never followed up on that opportunity.

Ultimately I think the real reason is that the writers didn't want to have to actually explain how the orbs/WA work since they frankly don't know. It's one of the problems with mortals writing a being beyond mortal comprehension, it's creators can't properly comprehend it.
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Easter
Sun, Sep 27, 2015, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Prophet Motive

@William B
I think the show is trying to say that contacting the aliens is a terrible idea. The Bajorans won't do it because they see it as disrespectful. Sisko won't do it because last time he barely made it out alive and then only by arguing for his right to exist and they made it pretty clear they don't like or want visitors. A message he probably relayed to Starfleet. The prophesies are not from the wormhole aliens directly as much as from the orbs which are some sort of nonlinear time message system realted to/created by the WA but not controlled or monitored by them directly. I imagine if you went and asked the WA "hey, are the serpents from this one prophesy the cardassians?" they'd be all "What's a cardassian? also what's a prophesy? also what's a serpent? also how dare you speak to me?"
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Easter
Sun, Sep 27, 2015, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Family Business

@methane: my exact problem as well.

So the reason this one doesn't work for me is that A) they fail to cast Ishka as a sympathetic character B) they act like "Rules of Acquisition" never happened and C) there's no real character driven actions in the resolution. Like, we have a what should be a woman, being oppressed and denied agency by her species going under the oppressive and corrupt government's nose and someone make her the bad guy. Quark is all "Hey. You're going to completely ruin our entire family financially and doom us all to a life slavery and destitution" and she's like "I don't give a shit. I want my money." like, if they had made her part of some feminist movement intentionally flaunting her profits to make a point then I could get behind her. If they ever once implied she was torn about the fact she was going to screw Quark and Rom in doing this I could get behind her. But they don't. Also, the fact that Quark never once shows that he learned from Pel and is like "Yes. I know women can earn profit and all that. I dealt with one a few years ago. But here's the thing..." *points at arrest warrant showing they clearly already caught her and the jig is up*

And then in the end... something happens? I guess? They bond as a family and Ishka agrees to play along with the government (completely undermining her stance for the entire episode) Quark does nothing to accomplish any goals (making him an unsatisfying protagonist) Rom never really had anything to lose and doesn't really clearly have a plan for anything besides bringing his family together which he only kinda does? somehow? (making him also a failure as a potential protagonist even though he clearly isn't cast as one)

The ferengi episodes all have such potential (well, some of them have potential) and if the writers would just have the characters in universe take the culture seriously I could enjoy it, but they seem content to make everyone but Quark see the Ferengi the way the viewers do and it just doesn't work.
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Easter
Sun, Sep 27, 2015, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

I feel my problem with this episode (along with Family Business) is that's it's predicated on me not liking Quark or sympathizing with the Ferengi nearly as much as I do. I don't agree with Klingon values either but when a klingon episode shows up I accept that their values matter to them and look at the characters as part of that culture. And the writers do the same. When a Ferengi episode comes up I still try to understand their point of view but the writers don't.

Like the last Ferengi episode with his mother, Quark is a model (Ferengi) citizen stuck between a ruthless government he CANNOT win against and someone going against that government and completely willing to throw him under the bus to get what they want and then he gets thrown under the bus despite being, narratively speaking, the protagonist of the story. Rom fills the role previously played by his mom and just decides "oh hey. I don't care about my entire species' ethos and culture anymore for some reason" which causes Quark to stare down the barrel of the government's gun. Rom/Mom continues to spit in the face of their own government, Quark get's in more trouble and then Rom/Mom wins despite facing no actual adversity. This is what I mean by Quark is the protagonist. He's the one with a problem to overcome who faces obstacles. Rom's story is "Rom decides he wants to strike. Rom strikes. Rom's brother gets beaten up very badly and almost dies and then, fearing for his life at the hands of his oppressive government, gives Rom what he wants. Rom quits his job." That's not a protagonist arc, Quarks story is "Quark's staff go on strike. Quark tries to run his bar without a staff and eventually Sisko comes in and strongarms him (yet again) into settling the dispute (Side note here: DS9 has been letting Quark operate rent free this whole time? Why? How? There's no way Quark has been going 4 years without a contract and Sisko has been failing to enforce payments from him. He hates Quark. I don't accept that premise) so Quark tries to bribe Rom and fails. The FCA show up and threaten Quark's brother so, fearing for his brother's safety, he tries to get him to listen to reason but his brother refuses. Quark goes back to the FCA and they almost kill him." now, if this was an episode about literally any other character this is the part where they would come up with some solution to get out of this problem but the show doesn't like Quark so instead he just capitulates to Rom's demands and loses. That's our protagonist right there.

Sorry, I don't suscribe to this Merchant of Venice, Shylock is the villain because he's greedy, crap. You can't cast Quark as the protagonist and as the antagonist and expect me to enjoy your narrative. You can't have Rom and Moogie being randomly Federation valued for no reason and just get away with it with no explanation or consequence and expect me to room for them. If you want a character to be part of an alien culture, they need to show appropriate respect for their own culture or an appropriate arc towards change or appropriate consequences for violating their culture.
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Easter
Sun, Sep 27, 2015, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

This episode is really disappointing to me. It started out VERY strong for me. I was excited to see Kor and Dax back together, it seemed a good way to tell an interesting Worf story (something that's proven challenging for the writers in the past) and actually pulled continuity in properly with the emporer (something DS9 often fails to do despite that being something of their USP in the Trek series') All of it up to the point where they get the sword is wonderfully done and had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see where this great adventure would go next... and then they wandered around in a bad cave set doing a bad LOTR LARP for 2 acts and threw the sword into space.

The idea that Kor would get power hungry and want to rule the empire? Sure. He's a former military commander who somewhat pines for the old days of the empire and knows his time has come and gone (as we saw in Blood Oath) It's an interesting heel turn that makes for an interesting story for Dax (His old friend whos loyalty is torn and now has to face killing the last of her old Klingon friends who she fought beside in Blood Oath) and Worf (the outsider who holds Klingon culture so close to his heart and looks up to Kor with such reverence, believing himself unworthy of his presence) now having to work together to stop him and get the sword back leading to a chase to a new fantastic location and... waitwhat? that DIDN'T happen? Worf became power hungry and evil instead and Jadzia just had to act like a chiding mother to both of the silly klingons? We learn nothing about Dax in this, we either have to believe the sword had magic powers like the one ring or accept that Worf would trick someone into falling to their death (let alone someone he holds in such high esteem) which completely shatters his character we've seen so far... and then they just like... throw the sword away?

The episode would have been much better if they toned done the Worf being evil, toned up the Kor being evil, spent money on a third set and made it a proper Indiana Jones style chase across the galaxy like The Chase. Possibly ending with Worf standing over Kor once again with the chance to murder him or spare him as he did Duras and Kor egging him to do it and be a proper Klingon and Dax telling him not to be and be a proper Starfleet Officer making the whole story a metaphor for his internal discord between these halfs of himself.

1 star.
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Easter
Wed, Sep 23, 2015, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part II

So... a couple things with this 2 parter which I had mixed feelings about but mostly liked. First off: Did Bashir and Sisko fuck those dudes in part one? I don't... I don't understand. The guys are like "you can't come in." then one whispers in the other's ear and they're all "maybe you CAN do something for us" and the next scene they're inside, putting on clothing which is not their own with no explanation of where the original clothes went and never mentioning what they did for the clothing. Did they sell their bodies for building access and a change of clothing? The American people want to know DS9 writers. The American people DESERVE to know.

On a more serious note: Thing 2. Why didn't business guy know why the wall was there? Actually, follow up: why WAS the wall there? I mean, it didn't just appear. And it's not some ancient awful tradition that nobody thinks about because "it's always been that way." like the lottery from the short story The Lottery. At some point, in the last 20 years, they had to make a decision to build a giant fucking wall around a section of the city and then lock the doors and throw everyone who didn't have ID or a job inside. The American People had to KNOW about this right? They had to put forward a bill to allow this to happen, and pass it and then build the giant wall. Like... at least one reporter had to have been like "hey. what's with the wall?" I mean, I guess that maybe it's kind of acting as a metaphor for how once society puts you in certain conditions like homelessness and unemployment it traps you and without services to help you out you're stuck in that hell forever and it's the system's fault? Maybe? But in non-metaphorical terms. Why is there a wall that they can legally lock people behind for just being unemployed? How did that happen?

Thing 3. I was really expecting BC to end up being Bell. The ending I pictured was that instead of getting some weird psuedo character development as "maybe not ALL bad because he gave a kid a hat" they would just double down on making him an absolute piece of shit. Have him kill some of the gimmes. Maybe even kill Webb. Just clearly be the worst in humanity who is making this problem worse and deserves to suffer for it. Then the swat team breaks in and everyone's all "OK, we surrender" and BC is like "Fuck that." and opens fire, and a whole mess of sanctuary people (including him) get killed. THEN after all is said and done. the ID gets planted on BC and his face goes down in history as the face of Bell and there's statues of him and he's honored forever. And Sisko and Bashir are just looking at that padd at the end like "that fucking guy." That's what I think would have been a better ending. I mean, I kinda like the idea that this is a paradox and Sisko was always Bell and this is how it always happened, but the starfleet disappearing thing kind of negates that.
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Easter
Sat, Sep 19, 2015, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

@William B and others talking about how the Cardassian people would see through the fact this trial was a farce
I've been thinking about about this episode and alien ethic/legal systems and I think you might be missing something about this episode. You're assuming that Cardassians assume trials should work the way ours do, which they don't.

In our society a trial is the place where the defense and the prosecution present evidence which is then considered by the judge/jury and a verdict is reached. And if you assume that that is what a trial is supposed to be then yes, this system is obviously a giant joke. BUT THAT'S NOT HOW THE CARDASSIAN SYSTEM WORKS. The Cardassian system works much more like a cop/detective show. The officials go out, gather evidence, determine who is guilty and then arrest them at which point the show is over. We never wonder, after Columbo or the CSI guys arrest someone whether or not they're going to go to jail/the gallow. Of course they are. They were caught and are clearly guilty. And we're comfortable with this despite none of these people getting an (on screen) trial. The "Trial" is just the final scene where the cops lay out all their smoking gun evidence and the perp either confesses and looks sad or gets dragged off loudly yelling and establishes how awful of a person they still are.

In the Cardassian system the trial does not exist to DETERMINE who is guilty; it exists to DEMONSTRATE to the populace who was found guilty what evidence they used to determine this as well as to give the guilty party a chance to repent and let everyone know that they can sleep easy at night because justice was done and the system is fair. The criminal was caught and they will be punished. They know the system is fair because the gov't shows them all the evidence and explained ("within reason") how they got it.

Yes, the trial exists purely as a show for the people's benefit, but that's all the Cardassians think it's supposed to be so there's no reason they would see it as a farce or joke because they don't have the hang ups about how trials work in our society which are painting OUR idea of whether or not this trial is "Fair". I mean, yes, this SPECIFIC trial is a farce because they government fabricated evidence and set it all up, but the entire system is not one. It just serves a different purpose than the trials of the federation. So sure, let Odo babble on and interrupt. He's a strange foreigner who clearly doesn't understand this system and seems to think he can submit new evidence and complain a system never meant to be about determining guilt should have a chance for a defense LIKE THE FEDERATION FOOL HE IS. LOOK HOW STUPID THE FEDERATION IS AND HOW BENEVOLENT WE ARE TO TOLERATE THEIR FOOLISH INTERRUPTIONS AND NONSENSICAL IDEA OF HOW A TRIAL SHOULD WORK. Odo only looks good to us, the viewers, because we know and like him and he's upholding the ideal of a trial WE believe in. To the Cardassians he's not convincing anyone of anything.

As for whether or not the trial would work to embarrass the federation: They DID catch a man known for his public dislike of the Cardassians with WMDs he denied having near Maquis space which he appears to have stolen and has no good explanation for why he's carrying. If the voice print trick hadn't been figured out and we didn't know O'Brien was a morally upstanding main character then this would be a pretty good scam. That said, this episode still doesn't work for me. The whole "They took him out of Federation space" REALLY ruins this whole thing for me and the ending really stretched credibility, it should have been Sisko walking in with Boone and an embarrassed looking Gul or Legate who would tell the judge that O'Brien was being let go because "mercy/political deal/other reason" to show that someone who reasonably would know about Boone was there and really the whole trial had no tension because we knew from the start that O'Brien was innocent as well as who was actually guilty so it was just waiting for the rest of the cast to stumble around and grab the guy. Also, the Federation didn't leave it to "just Sisko" there's mention in the episode that The Enterprise and 2 other Galaxy Class ships were on their way to the Cardassian border as a show of how big of a deal they considered this but were still all over a week away so O'Brien would be dead by the time they got there requiring Sisko to act alone because he was the only one close enough.
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Easter
Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

@William B

Quark's implication that the way they treat women doesn't count as slavery may or may not be incorrect but when we think of slavery and women's rights we generally think of them as two separate issues, the former of which being more extreme despite the fact that our own culture basically treated women exactly the same way as Ferengi society besides the clothes thing so we're generally just as guilty as they are of not conflating the two ideas. I mean, even today in western culture we clearly still have gender roles which, while less extreme than the ones from pre-suffrage are insidious and oppressive in their own quiet ways. And these also exist in the federation. While the job situation seems to be dealt with more or less, women in Starfleet do their hair and makeup while men do not. Implying women are still held to standards of beauty and presentation that men aren't. There are conversations between characters in DS9 and TNG that show that the characters still have a very 90s idea of gender and sexuality. So Human's are one again not actually as noble as their high horses might suggest. I have no actual evidence for this next statement (and the show may go on to prove me wrong. Jem Hadar is as far as I've gotten in star trek. I'm watching DS9 for the first time now and don't know who the founders are though I've generally pieced together from people's comments in these threads that they're Odo's species. But I suspect it will neither confirm or deny this headcannon of mine) but I would suspect that Ferengi are less likely to beat, kill and otherwise violently abuse their wives because they're just not that violent or murderous until you reach stakes like becoming the Grand Nagus of the entire species. Which means Ferengi females have less of a NEED for a revolution (if just as much right to one) than human females did. They are kept, to some degree, in a gilded cage (and Ferengi are all about gold) so returning to my general thesis of "in star trek species progress morally only as much as they NEED to" with Vulcans being the most noble because they're innately the most barbaric and Ferengi being the opposite. Their women are the more oppressed because they lack the do or die pressure to rise up that the women of more violent species would have when reduced to the status of objects and second class citizens. None of this is meant to JUSTIFY anything the Ferengi do. I just think it's a fascinating take on the historical and sociological reasoning that led these three cultures (Human, Vulcan, Ferengi) to be where they currently are as a result of where they started from and what they had to do to advance.
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Easter
Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

Something I found extremely interesting about this episode, moreso than any of the Dominion stuff, was Quark's point that the Ferengi have no history for committing atrocities. Which I feel does a lot more than it seems to on the surface. First off it establishes that the Ferengi do have a degree of morality that many other species do not. While it's easy to remember that while the Klingon's may be bloodthirsty barbarians in many respects, they have a strict code of honor. It's harder to keep that in mind with a species as classibly underhanded as the Ferengi. We tend to see them as having no scruples but this points out that they do in fact have many scruples, they have a listed set of rules that Quark has pretty much memorized. They're just different from ours.

This also helps explain a lot of the behaviour the Ferengi exhibit. Their seemingly contradictory willingness to push for deals with extremely dangerous parties and their tendency to drop down groveling for mercy at the first sign of violence makes a lot more sense when you realize that in their culture there would be almost no chance of that kind of violent reaction ever happening so of course they push beyond what other people would consider reasonable as they have little framework of repercussions and are unaccustomed to those levels of violence so it makes sense that they freak out the second it shows up. It also shows how they can be so savvy and so stupid at the same time. Quark lets the guys on the ship who want to kill Dax because the idea that they might screw HIM on this deal is always in his head, but an elaborate MURDER plot? How would that be profitable? Like he says "you wouldn't come all this way to NOT buy the merchandise". Same with gun running. Sure Quark'll sell the Maquis weapons. To him weapons are just a product that yes, he's AWARE are used for murder and war but people in wars are soldiers who signed up for that shit. The idea that they would be used for gross violence against civilian targets isn't' something he really considers They're prone to naivete in many respects until the barrel of the gun is actually staring them down. And besides, if Quark doesn't get them those weapons, he assumes someone else will so if there's profit to be had why shouldn't it be his?

One thing we often miss as humans is that the Federation initially treats everyone else like they're going to react in the way humans would and we think that's fine but we don't consider that other species will do the same thing and it should therefore also be fine. Ferengi are out to screw everyone else out of their cash because they assume everyone else is out to screw them out of theirs. Using those underhanded tricks is totally fine to them because they've codified those tricks into a series of rules that everyone is supposed to know in their culture. Lying is not a sin in their ethos. it's a tactic they are always watching out for, the same way "little white lies" aren't sins in our culture because we value compassion the way they value entrepreneurial spirit.

Humans are like low level Vulcans. We're so innately violent and duplicitous that they need firm levels of compassion and self control to keep our society stable. The Vulcans have to keep their emotions completely in check at all times to keep themselves from descending into utter warfare and they've become noble for it because they HAVE TO BE. But Ferengi don't have that problem. They don't descend to those levels of depravity so instead of saying "everyone needs to act at this high standard of behaviour to make sure everyone plays fair and society works" they can instead say "OK. We've all agreed we're going to spell out all the ways we know to be shitty to one another and agree we're all going to be ok with them so that everyone knows exactly what they're getting in every interaction and nobody is going to be shocked by it and that way we'll make sure that everyone is playing fair no matter what and society works." and that's honestly one of the most interesting takes on the way alien ethics work that I think I've ever seen in Sci Fi.

They're still awful misogynists though.
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Easter
Tue, Aug 25, 2015, 2:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

@Andy's Friend - Interesting. I similarly hadn't considered that viewpoint. Most of my experience (I'm Canadian and mostly work for smaller teams with larger client bases btw) with managing things tends to put me in a position where I'm find myself having to create systems in order to make sure everyone is treated fairly and the loudest person can't just get everything they want and where resources are limited enough that straight up snatching other people's without asking is incredibly rude so for me a person who is overtly ignoring protocols for their own benefits, ignoring the needs of their peers and trying to take their rightfully allocated resources is a huge problem and immediately makes me dislike that person.

I have no actual experience with working in a multi-faculty setting or one with an excessive budget and the idea that this was relatively normal (if exaggerated) behaviour was one that hadn't even occurred to me. Thanks for the insight on how that might work.

I still PERSONALLY can't get into this episode because I actively dislike Darren and even understanding her motivations doesn't change the fact that she comes across as a type of person I automatically dislike and root against even when justified so *I* can't emotionally invest in the character and by extension, the episode, but I can better understand how other people can see her as more of a motivated go getter type fighting for her department and connect with her.
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Easter
Mon, Aug 24, 2015, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

@Robert - Oh absolutely. I'm not saying she's an unrealistic character I'm saying that she's not a likable character I can emotionally connect to or one who should have gotten away with it because the question is directly asked to Riker "Were her actions appropriate?" after he had just finished explaining to her that they in fact were not. Riker was the one I had trouble accepting as realistically written in this scenario. The problem with her character was that they then tried to cast her in a sympathetic light as a likable romantic lead when the only meaningful characterization she had received so far was negative and it just doesn't work for me because I can't get positively emotionally invested in a romance with a side character I dislike.
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Easter
Sat, Aug 22, 2015, 12:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

My issue with this episode was that Darren is AWFUL as a member of the crew. We see her do basically three things in this episode before the crisis starts. Fist she shuts down replication, communications and the library for 7 hours and feels no need to inform the captain. Second she comes to get more time on the deflector dish and is told "No" by Riker because another department booked it (something she clearly should have been aware of) and then tries to argue that her department deserves it more after being told that "hey, engineering is also kind of important Darren". And third she goes to Riker about a personnel change, is flat out told she failed to follow appropriate procedure and basically writes it off as "well I didn't. So don't worry about it and besides, that department's overstaffed anyways" and when Picard asks Riker if she acted appropriately I was completely expecting him to say "No. She's not" because oh my god she wasn't.

She seems to not understand that other people besides her department are on this ship and need it's resources and she isn't the most important person there.

Anything else about this episode is basically lost on me because I can't get over the fact that this woman should not be a department head and doesn't have any understanding of how this ship works and her dating the captain is such a huge issue because of it because she DOES make unreasonable requests and ask for special treatment constantly.
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