Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Air date: 2/8/1993
Teleplay by Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Story by Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by Paul Lynch
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
When a Runabout crew finds Q's former traveling companion Vash (Jennifer Hetrick) in the Gamma Quadrant, Q (John de Lancie) comes to the station in an attempt to convince her to rejoin him. In a related subplot, Vash and Quark plan an auction for rare Gamma Quadrant artifacts Vash has collected during her two years on the other side of the wormhole. In a less than interesting plot turn, one of the artifacts turns out to be an embryonic lifeform trying to return to the Gamma Quadrant, placing the station in some rather uninspired danger.
There's very little meat here. Most of the story exists as an excuse to hang the Q dialog scenes on. The rest of it is mired in that evil stuff known as Trekkian technobabble, used to explain why the station is catapulting to its doom. It's unfortunate to use Q in a show featuring such banality, considering he's the embodiment of omnipotence. Then again, Q has usually been the source of comedy rather than insight in most cases ("Q Who?" notwithstanding), and the show's comic attempts are fairly successful. Quark and Vash make an engaging scheming pair, Bashir's inept attempts at womanizing are fittingly annoying, and Q's acerbic lines poking fun at the DS9 crew are amusing. At one point he actually says "Picard and his lackeys would've solved all this technobabble hours ago." The show features superficial fun and a good performance from de Lancie, but don't look for much depth in the plot.
Previous episode: Captive Pursuit
Next episode: Dax
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95 comments on this post
Tue, Dec 11, 2007, 3:07am (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 21, 2011, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Vash: You're arrogant, and you think you know everything.
Q: But I do know everything.
It's funny, because it's true.
I also love Kira's strident behavior on Move Along Home:
Kira: I'm sure you starfleet types love this kind of exploration, but I have a station to run. This is not what I signed up for!
And also Sisko in Dramatis Personae:
Sisko: Never! Get me a phaser! I'll get rid of Kira!
Duet is simply one of the finest hours of Trek ever written and filmed.
I really appreciate the Ferengi episodes. DS9 fixed them, after many failed TNG episodes.
Ira Behr really managed to create three dimensional characters out of these caricatures. Not enough praise can be given to Grodenchik, Eisneberg and Shimmerman in bringing them to life. Terrific actors, and memorable characters.
Tue, Jul 3, 2012, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 24, 2012, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
They were starting to seem a little desperate, after the Duras sisters, to cram in as many characters from Next Gen as possible. Of course, they came to stand on their own just as well -- or better, really -- but at this time, it wasn't looking promising.
Mon, Aug 6, 2012, 8:24am (UTC -5)
The plot is thus perfunctory, and thinking about it this is a sequel to the episodes 'Captain's Holiday' ( arguably amongst the low points of TNG Season 3, if not the nadir ) and 'Qpid', probably the weakest Q related story in the TNG canon. I can only think they'd have been better to try and use either 'True Q' or 'Deja Q' perhaps as source material, but have to agree with William in any case, that mining TNG for Guest starship the 6the episode smacks of a degree of early desperation.
The dialogue is very weak, and whilst I normally like John De Lancie, the performance is phoned in, with the auction scenes, especially looking terrible now. The episode moves at a sloth's pace and the jeopardy premise is wholly unconvincing. For me one of, if not the weakest episode of the season. 1.5 stars for this one.
Tue, Sep 11, 2012, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
I reckon you probably regard any professional jargon, whether that of doctors or engineers, or of any other professional, as "evil stuff". I don't understand why people who watch science fiction consider technical and technology-related stuff a nuisance. It's science fiction! And, in addition to that, it's Star Trek (distant future, 24th century, advanced technology, etc.). Naturally, there has to be a certain amount of technicality. It would be strange indeed and out of place if such tech jargon occurred in a soap opera, but not in Star Trek.
Regarding the episode... Well, it's always nice to see Q. Although it seems a bit out of character for him to drool over a woman. But overall, a funny episode, and Q has one of the funniest lines in this one. :)
Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Will someone please tell me that DS 9 never invites that infantile asshole back ever again?
Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Gene Roddenberry created the character of "Q". He's dead and ashes. So no catharsis there.
Also, Q is one of the greatest characters of Trekdom.
"Q-Less" and "Dr. Bashir, I Presume" (with Robert Picardo as Doc Zimmerman) are two of my favorite episodes of DS9, just because some familiar characters from other shows livened up this series without idiotic Ferengi antics.
Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
DS9 was a great series and didn't need cameos from other series to make it great. I don't disagree that the Ferengi episodes were pointless (they almost always were) but "Q-Less" and "Dr. Bashir, I Presume" aren't even in the top 20 episodes of DS9.
Without even thinking too hard, "The Visitor", "In the Pale Moonlight", "Call to Arms", "By Inferno's Light" and "Necessary Evil" were all great DS9 episodes.
Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
I have often thought that Q was the perfect example of what a truly omnipotent being would act like--totally obnoxious and rude, not caring for the woes of humanoids. Sort of like the Judeo-Christian God acts in the holy texts.
I imagine Gene created him to illustrate this concept. Q acts little different from the Bible God ("You won't do what I want so I am going to kill you all in a flood. WAAAhaaaa. Only the ones who suck up to me get to live!")
That kind of makes the Q character a bit more tolerable if Gene created him. I will try and tolerate him.
@Paul--thanks--I plan to look forward to those, lol!
Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
I never said "Q-Less" or "Dr. Bashir, I Presume" were the best episodes. I just said they were *my* favorites. Also I love "Statistical Probabilities" and "Chrysalis" for the exact same reason--it was cool to see The Jack Pack (along with Q and Doc Zimmerman) show up the Ferengi when it came to Trekkian humor.
Q was truly the only character that had an *overt* character arc. He starts out as a moustache-twirler in the early episodes, and then in "Deja Q" the TNG crew save his ass, and he becomes a more complex wildcard character to the one who helps Picard save the universe in "All Good Things...". He was TNG's answer to Garak.
Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
DS9's top 20 episodes on GEOS (ranked by fans) :
3. Children of Time
4. Trias and Tribbleations
5. Die is Cast
6. Hard Time
7. Improbable Cause
8. Necessary Evil
9. The Wire
10. Call to Arms
12. The Quickening
14. Time to Stand
16. Rocks & Shoals
17. Our Man Bashir
18. Doctor Bashir, I Presume?
19. Purgatory's Shadow
For the record
"The Visitor" : #30
"ITPML" : #57
"Inferno's Light" : #21 (close call)
"Q-Less" : #150 (not even close)
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Top 10 from the other series:
1. City on the edge
3. Mirror, Mirror
5. Undiscovered country
6. Amok Time
7. Voyage Home
8. Balance of Terror
9. Doomsday Machine
10. Space Seed
1. Bobw 1
2. Inner Light
3. All Good Things
4. Measure of a Man
5. Bobw 2
6. Chain of Command 2
8. Q Who?
1. Scorpion 1
2. Scorpion 2
4. Year of Hell 1
5. Living Witness
6. Tinker, Tenor
9. Blink of an Eye
1. The Forge
3. The Council
5. Dear Doctor
7. Mirror 1
9. Mirror 2
10. Azati Prime
I dunno. Seems fairly accurate to me. Except for ENT, most episodes have fan votes between 300-700 individuals from at least 15 countries. My lists are somewhat different, but they seem fair.
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
For me, the four lists (not counting ENT, of which I've only seen s1) seem pretty reasonable. I wouldn't put ST6 on a top ten list for TOS (or even top 20, I think, though I might rethink that). The TNG list is close to my top 10 -- I think all of those from GEOS would be in my top 20, with the *possible* exception of Sarek which would be top 30 if nothing else. All of the DS9s would be in my top 20, though I think both the mentioned episodes (The Visitor and ITPM) would be in my top 10. I think all the VOYs would be in my top 20 except maybe Scorpion 2 and probably Workforce (but I haven't seen either in a long while).
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
Jammer likes to keep comments focused on particular episodes, so I wrote my answer over there in TNG land. :-)
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
Looking at the scores I submitted on GEOS (admittedly, not as thoroughly scaled as they could be), my lists would be thus:
1. City on the Edge
4. Tomorrow is Yesterday
5. Mirror, Mirror
6. Amok Time
7. Galileo 7
8. Balance of Terror
9. Undiscovered Country
10. Doomsday Machine
1. BOBW 1
2. Inner Light
4. Measure of a Man
6. All Good Things
7. Who Watches the Watchers
9. The Survivors
10. The Offspring
3. Hard Time
4. The Wire
5. Improbable Cause
6. Rocks and Shoals
7. The Quickening
9. Children of Time
1. Year of Hell
2. Scorpion 1
4. Latent Image
5. Dark Frontier
6. Distant Origin
8. Someone to Watch Over Me
10. The Thaw
I can't muster enough energy to care about Enterprise. I think their Vulcan Trilogy was their best.
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 10:49pm (UTC -5)
TNG season 3 is divine. You're in for a treat.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 1:26am (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
I'd definitely grant you that it's TNG's best season and better than anything Voyager or Enterprise came out with. Season 1 of TOS was pretty solid, but it did have some laughers.
So, is TNG 3 better than DS9 5 or DS9 2?
I'd say yes and no. Season 5 of DS9 is so strong and cohesive. "Let He Who Is Without Sin" is awful and "Ferengi Love Songs" was very bad. But otherwise, the season was amazingly good (I think Jammer is overly harsh on "Doctor Bashir, I Presume", "Empok Nor" and "The Ship", for the record).
TNG 3 had "The Vengeance Factor" and "The Bonding" both of which were pretty stupid. "The Price" wasn't awful, but it was boring and a missed opportunity. I actually liked "Captain's Holiday" more than Jammer did, but it's not a good episode.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
Season 3, in addition to simply having the most concentration of great episodes (The Survivors, WWTW, YE, The Offspring, Sins of the Father, The Most Toys, Sarek and of course BOBB (the better part of the 2 parts)), episodes like "Ensigns of Command," "The Enemy," "The Defector," "The Hunted," "The High Ground", "Déjà Q", "Matter of Perspective," "Tin Man," and "Hollow Pursuits" are very solid B+ to A- shows in my book. The only mediocre episodes are "Evolution," "The Enemy," "The Price," "Allegiance," "Captain's Holiday," and "Transfigurations." Those remaining (The Bonding, Booby Trap, Vengeance Factor and Menage à Troi) aren't great, but are not anywhere near the bottom of the barrel like "Code of Honour," "Shades of Grey," "Suddenly Human," "Imaginary Friend," "Aquiel," or "Sub Rosa."
But it's more than a matter of statistics; those great and even mediocre episodes of S3 define the show in its best guise; philosophical, a little adventurous, artful and a bit whimsical with a balanced and strongly counterpoised cast. Every season has its moments and S4 is pretty strong, but none can really match.
Now, with DS9, I don't hold that show in nearly as high a regard as many on here do (including Jammer), but I'd say the part of the show that accomplished for it what S3 did for TNG is the first half of Season 6. With the exception of the last 10 minutes of "Sacrifice of Angels," and the clunker "Magnificent Ferengi," it's a solid 14-16 episode run which shows of the series in its best light; heavily serialised, calculated and primarily satisfying plot machinations with a strong supporting cast and thoughtful action. The second half of that season has too much flop (His Way, The Reckoning, Valiant, Profit and Lace, Time's Orphan) to hold the entire season as being "great". Season 6 also has the greatest episode of the series whether you're a Roddenberrian Trekker ("Far Beyond the Stars") or a Behr/Moore fan ("In the Pale Moonlight.")
Season 5 has Children of Time and Tribbleations, which are very good one-off stories, but the one-offs are not DS9's strength or intention. There's some pretty good arc building in the middle of the season and Bashir? and Darkness and the Light are pretty good, but then you've got "Sin", "Rapture," "The Assignment", "In the Cards," "Par'Mach" and the goddamned Eddington business with "Blaze".
Season 2 is a lot like 5; there's good stuff (Necessary Evil, THe Wire) decent arc-building (The Circle Trilogy and the Maquis story [only decent there]) and a bunch of crap on the bottom (Profit & Loss, Paradise, Rivals, Melora, Sanctuary, Second Sight, Rules of Acquisition, Invasive Procedures, Armageddon Game, Shadowplay...).
Statistically, S4 is DS9's strongest, but I think in fairness to the series, S6, part 1 is the best "season." At any rate, there's no comparing it with TNG's S3.
For the record, TOS' S1 is its "quintessential season" as is VOY's S5 and ENT's S4.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
I actually think early s6 of DS9 is a bit weaker -- Sons and Daughters, Resurrection early on, and before you get to In the Pale Moonlight (which I agree is the quintessential Moore/Behr DS9 ep) you have to get through Wrongs Darker than Death or Night as well as middling fare like Who Mourns for Morn.
Still, the highs are *very* high in this run, and I think I agree that the "season" from A Time to Stand through In the Pale Moonlight is DS9 near its strongest. There are also no episodes in s6 post-ITPM that I think are particularly good (possible exception Tears of the Prophets, but I don't even really like that one).
Actually, if we treat a "season" as a 26-ep streak, we could extend back into the end of s5 to bring in Call to Arms and Children of Time -- though that means taking on Empok Nor and Ferengi Love Songs, so...maybe we shouldn't. We could adjust the "26-episode window" forward by dropping Ferengi Love Songs and taking on His Way. That said, while I think His Way is not as bad as Ferengi Love Songs, Ferengi Love Songs is more crap for the running Ferengi arc, which is almost all bad (despite Shimmerman's considerable charm); His Way is not as bad an ep but does damage to Odo's character arc and the Odo/Kira relationship which are *good* otherwise, so I'm almost tempted to say that it's better to keep that out.
I mean, this "26-episode window" idea is madness anyway.
I think that TOS s2 has (for me) the most peak episodes rather than s1 -- no episodes on the level of City on the Edge of Forever, but The Doomsday Machine, Mirror Mirror, Amok Time, The Trouble with Tribbles, A Piece of the Action for comedy. But its lows are more frequent and lower and it has fewer episodes in the solid-good range.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
TOS: season 1
TNG: season 3
DS9: season 5
VGR: season 1 (I mean it)
ENT: season 4 (slam dunk)
Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 11:16pm (UTC -5)
Could you possibly give your criteria for judging best seasons? There are many ways; statistical averages, favourite episodes, production...
Thu, Apr 11, 2013, 12:03am (UTC -5)
You're right! haha I think that's telling of about where that episode sits though, on the low end of very good (isn't that silly). Somewhere between mediocre and excellent.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013, 12:43am (UTC -5)
My memory of The Enemy is shaky, but I think I feel the same way. I think aspects of it (the Worf/Crusher plot) were exceptional. The central Geordi & Romulan learn to get along plot seems like both an ideal Star Trek and Next Gen story, and a fairly cookie-cutter 'enemies work things out' with a so-so plot. I can't think of anything about the episode that requires it to be a Geordi show, except for the fact that Geordi gets so few shows overall (whereas the Worf/Crusher conflict is baked into the definitions of those characters).
But it's been more than a decade since I've watched it, and I will see it again within a few weeks! So no fear.
Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
When exactly does this show get any good???
Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 5:11am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 5:34am (UTC -5)
Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 11:45am (UTC -5)
i too liked the duffel bag gag. and the picard and his lackeys gag.
still rather have this than a ferengi episode.
Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
1 1/2 Stars
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 12, 2013, 2:56am (UTC -5)
Q acts like an idiot and I winced with embarrassment during the boxing scene. This is a supreme being prancing around making a fool of himself, although we get the admittedly excellent "Picard never hit me!" "I'm not Picard" exchange.
I love crossovers in Trek and regret that there aren't more of them, or at least the existing ones could have been of better quality. Stargate SG-1, SG-A and SG-U managed it (to the point where SG-A season 3 is more like SG-1 season 11), Buffy and Angel managed it, why not Trek? Maybe episodes like this are to blame.
Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 3:24am (UTC -5)
Tue, Jun 24, 2014, 8:59am (UTC -5)
Maybe Jammer can start a tread for that.
I always saw this episode as Sisko's "I'm not Picard" episode. (or maybe more aptly, DS9 isn't TNG)
Loved Quark's expression when Q zaps him inside the door to Vash's room. :-)
Some good humor here, but the whole artifact thing was blah.
2 out of 4 stars for me.
Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Check out O'Brien's expression in the opening shot as Bashir prattles on like a twat; I've been accused of holding that same look myself, and I'm glad for it as it's the perfect combination of pity, nausea, disbelief and disappointment. Kind of like this episode. Forgive me, you straight folks, is this really how men get into women's pants?
The second scene : my god, yes Kira, shoot the door that leads into space! ...and Miles finds Vash. Why do I feel like the discovery of her in the Gamma Quadrant would be more interesting than this scene? Close us out with the reveal of Q. Well, it's a little desperate, but I'll bite. What great lesson are we going to learn this week? Let's find out.
Act 1 : *.5, 17%
Gosh, Vash sure sounds interested in those million-year-old civilisations. Okay, so Sisko and Dax don't know how Vash got to the Gamma Quadrant. Makes sense, but was Sisko asleep when O'Brien recognised her on the Ganges? Why not just ask him?
I think the Assay Office is really just this officer shoving every item up his ass. Can't be more secure than that. So Vash locks up her valuable store, including a mysterious glowing beehive. So here's the first problem : we all know who Vash is and what her history is like. But, we have to wait while the DS9 characters slowly figure it out. Again, O'Brien is right there. Sure, he may not know all of Vash's sordid details like one of Picard's close friends would, but he would at least know whom to ask.
"Given the choice between science and profit, I'll choose profit every time." Back in "Captain's Holiday" I could overlook this blatant inconsistency with Federation economics since it was not made clear that Vash was human. In fact, Sovak always refers to Picard as the humaaaaan even when he and Vash are together. I figured she was just one of the bargain-basement look-just-like-us aliens. Thus, her need for profit could be easily explained as being a member of a non-Federation world. Of course, by "Qpid", Roddenberry had stepped further away and Ira Behr was free to make it clear she was human (Worf: "Nice legs. For a human.") . And here we are again, with a Federation citizen having no justifiable need for money, and yet pursuing it voraciously. What is she going to buy? Where? What is it she lacks as a Federation citizen whose every need is met. She has a genuine interest in archeology and would be free to pursue it. Hell, she could have been Dr Galen's right-hand man.
So, Sisko FINALLY asks O'Brien about Vash's history and comments "doesn't seem like [Picard's] type." How the hell would you know? Your only interaction with him would tell you exactly nothing about his "type." Ass.
Okay, so the Ganges picked up a mysterious woman in the Gamma Quadrant and experienced a mysterious power-loss. Then they bring the mysterious woman aboard the station and the station begins to suffer a mysterious power-loss. I'm stumped, guys. It's a real head-scratcher.
Act 2 : .5 stars, 17%
So, we get about 45 seconds of Vash putting her pants away before Q finally shows up. Note de Lancie's suggestive pronunciation of "Vash". Heh. And since when does Q consider Picard a "self-righteous do-gooder?"
Have Q and Vash been fucking? For 2 years? "Joined at the hip"? Anyone who cites "The Q and the Grey" as sexualising Q obviously forgot this episode (not that I blame them). Bless, de Lancie tries his best with this crap, but it's a loss.
Does it say something that Quark and Bashir seem to have the same taste in women? So, Vash starts giving Quark a handjob in exchange for his arranging the auction of her trinkets. Nice... Not hard to see why Picard was into her. He really dug the sluts.
So Q continues spending his time playing games with Bashir out of JEALOUSY. Yeah, that's Q alright.
O'Brien : "Sherwood Forest. It was one of the little tricks Q played on the Enterprise crew." And that, folks, is the second (eightieth?) problem here. Q's appearances on the Enterprise were always to teach Picard a lesson about the Universe and/or teach Q a lesson about humanity, the only exception being the awful "Qpid", where Q tries to teach Picard a lesson about *love* and ends up being usurped by Vash anyway. That's the lamest use of Q this side of "Q2" and exactly the problem of using him this way. Do we use Q as a bridge between humanity and the Wormhole Aliens? To teach a main character something about the complexities of the occupation (à la "Things Past" or "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night")? Or how about a simple morality tale (à la "Past Tense"?). Nah, leave those to technobabble.
Okay, back to the episode. GAH! Kira just about bites my head off "You know if we had one of these power outages during a docking procedure...!" in that shrill, accusatory tone of hers. Geez.
Not to beat a dead horse, but how is Vash, a human, able to out-swindle the Ferengi?
So, we finally get the confrontation between Sisko and Q. Q is appropriately condescending and we get a fade on Sisko's irritated reaction.
Act 3 : 0 stars, 17%
You know those guys at the gym who insist upon grunting as loudly as possible so you know they're just "maxing out hardcore."? You know, because they're so big and strong and definitely don't have small penises? Meet, Ben Sisko, the man who tries to physically threaten an omnipotent being. Is anyone impressed by this stupidity? But, instead of letting Q properly demonstrate how fucking futile this gesture is, Q PLAYS ALONG and runs some goofy fisticuffs routine. And Sisko knocks him on his ass... this is cheap, self-aggrandising lunacy, writers.
Oh, what now. Random hull breeches and power outages, blah blah.
"Playing with the lights and punching holes in the hull doesn't strike me as [Q's] style." Thanks, Ben. I suppose allowing himself to lose boxing matches and chasing tail is?
So, Q is willing to display that deadly coldness in the pursuit of Vash's, erm, vash [can I say that?], but not when dealing with Sisko's obstinacy. When Picard was arrogant towards Q, he was hurled thousands of lightyears away and introduced to the Borg. What a joke.
Act 4 : **, 17%
Only good lines in the episode are the famous dig at Sisko's crew's ineptitude with technobabble [and Sisko again gets in Q's face like he's going to hurt him], and the line about Federation ethics.
I reach my wits' end during the following conversation between Vash and Quark; it's the same "we are loveable scoundrels" drivel from before. Harrison Ford could pull this off in one, tiny scene in a feature film; this tedium is self-congratulatory, simplistic and pandering.
Cue : technobabble. I did appreciate that they're reusing the thruster trick from "Emissary." It's good they haven't forgotten they can do that. However, it kind of takes the novel idea of a space station in Star Trek and reduces it to irrelevant as the station is now *moving* due to sci-fi anomaly. If you're going to borrow a character from TNG, best not to make the jeopardy premise exactly the kind of threat a starship would face.
Act 5 : *, 17%
Wait a minute, didn't we just have the crisis commercial break? How can Vash's and Quark's auction still be taking place. Aren't they hurling through space--on a station which does not, presumably, have inertial dampers? Eh, the lights are dim. I guess that's ominous.
Babble, babble, babble...I hate it when the best they can come up with is "it's just not clear enough." It's the tech equivalent of Troi's "...something...vague...it's just bad, okay!" It's always cheating when they do the babble routine, but I would like to point out that minutes and minutes of the last act is them slowly getting through this totally tension-less, passionless, rote exercise. So it's technobabble, padding and the resolution all in one.
I got to laugh again! Kira, Sisko and Dax step off the turbolift onto the promenade looking for the tridium gas leak or whatever, tricorders beeping, their brows furrowed, "desperate" to save the station, while the extras casually stroll about the corridors. Was there no red alert? No announcement? Did the senior officers panicking and racing around not tip them off? And this from the director of "11001001" and "The First Duty". What a disaster.
And they're STILL holding the auction! Is this funny? I'll take your word for it guys!
Oohhhh, it was a Space Manta Ray, eh "embryonic lifeform." That makes sense. It can go back to the Space Aquarium with the Jellyfishes from "Encounter at Farpoint."
Q : "Seeing the Universe through your eyes, I was able to experience...wonder..." Right, Q never experienced wonder before, not when Riker refused his offer of becoming Q, not when Picard begged for his help, not when Data saved his life. Nope, it was staring at dust with Vash. This is up there with that line from ST IX when Picard reveals that the one time in his life when he experienced a perfect moment, where time seemed to stand still...and it's "seeing my home planet for the first time from space," an incident which had never been documented or even discussed and is blatantly paltry next to at least a dozen experiences we have seen Picard endure. It's just flipping writers' arrogance; this is great because we SAY SO!
And our final shot is....Dax. Was she in this episode? What happened? Oh thank god it's over.
Episode as Functionary : .5 stars, 10%
What's to say? Q is a mess, Sisko's a mess, Vash is a mess. The humour is mostly unfunny. The presumption from the writers is on full display, the danger is perfunctory and shallow, the "mystery" is given half a sentence in Sisko's log for a resolution. Absolutely dreadful. Worst of the season so far.
Final Score : *
Mon, Jul 28, 2014, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Jul 28, 2014, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
I'm doing little reviews of each episode (a bit of fun I started a couple years ago). I started at the beginning of this season and am giving each episode the same treatment. I will hopefully do the same for the other series. You'll note that good episodes (and good moments) will get positive reviews from me.
Fri, Aug 15, 2014, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 2, 2014, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 2, 2014, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 2, 2014, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 3, 2014, 3:18am (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 3, 2014, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 3, 2014, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
I know this may come as a shock considering my long-windedness over the years, but that's unfortunately the state of life now, at least for me. I found that my own reviews of TNG's final seasons finally hit a moderate length that I wonder whether that should've been my goal all along.
But then I realize maybe my new attitudes are just a side effect of the binge-content-consumption culture that is now the norm.
I'm torn here.
Wed, Sep 3, 2014, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Personally, I really enjoy some of the lengthier commentaries, such as from William B or SkepticalMI, but I too find exhaustive re-reviews of entire episodes, well, exhausting. The structure of each episode has generally been pretty well stated by the time we get well into each comment thread; I've *got* it in mind. So I *will* scroll past anything that looks like a structural rehash without a compelling thesis up front.
Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
That said, I recommend people skip to the "episode as functionary" paragraph if they (understandably) don't want to read the act-by-act breakdown. That generally states the overall perspective on the episode and gives some sense of the meaning as a whole.
I've actually been meaning to ask Elliott about that -- how do you see the "functionary" element of the episodes? Is it purely how the episode functions within the whole of the series' fabric, or can "true standalone" episodes work well as functionaries as well? Can you think of episodes (from other series, including BSG, if no DS9 ones come to mind) in which the episode's success or failure as functionary is *radically* different from the overall success or failure of the episode on an act-by-act basis?
Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Though, some of that might be that I think TOS might just be harder to review, since there's not really any character development or long-term plot effort, and there's even very little characterization of those besides the Big Three, with the exception of a couple of the great ensemble pieces (like "Mirror, Mirror," "The Doomsday Machine," "The Trouble with Tribbles") which use Scotty/Uhura/etc. effectively.
Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
First of all, thanks as always for your kind words. I've been enjoying your TOS reviews quite a bit, but I agree it can be difficult to really break apart that series whose sensibilities have by and large died away with the passing of the previous generation.
In answer to your question about the "Episode as Functionary," I consider the "function" of an episode to be at the writers' discretion--why did this get written, what purpose does it serve the series? --and grade it based on my assessment of how well it lived up to that purpose. An episode like BSG's "No Exit," for example, functions primarily as a piece of exposition, so I wouldn't fault it for its somewhat rushed characterisation or flimsy plot. "Living Witness" is a Trekkian allegory and so I would judge it on those terms, "The Visitor" is a character study, "The Trouble with Tribbles" Is a comedy, etc. An episode's "function" can, in my view, exist along any point in the spectrum of continuity/series building. Stand-alones can have crucial functions in introducing us to characters or providing tonal shifts or ingratiating us to the cast with amiable adventures.
Your recommendation about reading the last paragraph is one I would also give; I think the act-by-acts work well if you read them *while* watching the show, kind of like a read-along commentary track, or if, like me, you've seen the episodes so many times that you almost know them by heart :)
Jammer's original reviews of DS9, Voyager, Enterprise and BSG are wonderful in that they offer the perspective of the analytical viewer *live* on a release-by-release basis. The TNG/TOS reviews also try to capture that same spirit, but obviously there's a discrepancy in that the shows were long off the air when the reviews were written. I consider my own contributions here to evaluate the shows on the basis of one who is watching them as a modern viewer tends to--binging on Netflix or DVDs. There's no market to consider or network-imposed wait-time and I think that affects how we enjoy (or don't) these shows.
Fri, Sep 5, 2014, 12:38am (UTC -5)
Fri, Sep 5, 2014, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Not sure if I've told this story before, or at least for quite a while:
The TOS reviews were very much a product of the specific circumstances under which they were written. It was the fall of 1998, which was my last semester of college before graduating that December. The Sci-Fi Channel (later SciFi; now Syfy) aired all of TOS in order five days a week, along with special interviews with the writers and cast. For me, it was a good opportunity to expand the coverage of this site -- and I didn't know when I might have another chance. (Keep in mind that there were no binge-watching options like TV DVD box sets or Netflix yet.)
I settled on capsule reviews as a matter of that or nothing. Not only was I finishing school, I was reviewing both DS9 and Voyager weekly (in full-length mode) and working about 25 hours a week at the student newspaper. It's kind of amazing that the TOS reviews happened at all.
So, yes, brevity and a lack of depth were imposed upon the enterprise. Of everything on this site, it's probably hardest for me to go back and read those.
The first two seasons of DS9 were a similar story. I went back and reviewed them during one summer break in the mid-90s.
Sat, Sep 6, 2014, 4:27am (UTC -5)
Wait, wait, wait! Did you just say that you watched DS9 so many times you know it by heart? ;)
Sun, Sep 7, 2014, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
I think I started reading your reviews after DS9 ended and before Voyager's sixth season started. So I wasn't reading when you posted the TOS reviews, and they were already on the site. It's pretty amazing to think of that amount of writing in a short time while also doing college while also working. I can write long comments on TOS episodes because I have lots of free time right now -- as you say, to put them out under those circumstances is pretty amazing.
Sun, Oct 26, 2014, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: THe extras strolling around in an apparent crisis. I'd say that's because DS9 isn't a starship full of mostly officers, and there's little reason to stir up the entire civilian population of the station with a red alert when the vast majority of the population would be much more likely to get in the way of people dealing with the crisis than assisting in its resoltuion.
Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
This is a perfectly charming episode in a lot of ways, including the enjoyable performances from John de Lancie and Jennifer Hetrick. It’s also a perfectly filler episode, especially for someone like me, who has never seen TNG and thus has no reason to care about Vash or Q. This early in a series’ run, it may have been a mistake to center an episode so heavily on guest stars, since it left our regular cast (i.e. the people we’ll be spending the next 170 episodes with) somewhat marginalized. Still, this was inoffensive. While an episode like “Babel” (which I scored the same) had more of interest to me, its sticking points were more extreme.
- Angry Sisko might be best Sisko. Avery Brooks is still very stiff, but I like that he has qualities which differentiate him from Picard; he’s willing to be a bit rougher and a bit less diplomatic. For that reason, the boxing scene, while undeniably goofy, was kind of fun for me.
- Q and Vash did have some good moments, although I stand by not really caring about either one of them.
- It must be said: this episode was ridiculously full of technobabble. Probably the worst yet. I understand that it’s sci-fi and certain plot points have to occur, but I hope the writers realize eventually that hearing all that stuff is boring.
- Another episode where everyone on the station almost dies. Again, I understand the need for drama, but there’s a certain laziness to it.
- I liked the brief Odo/Quark scene, but it seems a little out of character that Odo would be at all tempted by the bucket.
- Eh, horny Bashir isn’t terrible but there are other aspects of that character I’d rather be explored first.
- Um. Giant…space…stingray? K.
Tue, Feb 17, 2015, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Will someone please tell me that DS 9 never invites that infantile asshole back ever again?
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Total agreement.
I hope you come back to this site and read this post. lol
Mon, Jun 8, 2015, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
This episode really needed one more story in it. The station-in-danger-from-artifact should have been a 'B' plot. The scenes with Q trying to get Vash to continue traveling with him should have been a 'C plot' (neither of these 2 characters are regulars on the show, and neither of them would become regulars, so it's not really relevant to us).
I would have thought a good 'A' story for this episode would have involved Q commenting on the "Wormhole aliens"; he could have needled Sisko about his experiences in the wormhole, or challenged Kira about her beliefs. He's right in the neighborhood of another group of seemingly-omnimpotent beings; surely he has opinions on them!
Thu, Jun 25, 2015, 11:44am (UTC -5)
The episode is sort of a rundown on human(oid) failings -- greed especially, in that it's Quark's and Vash's that endangers the station by their carelessness about investigating what that glowy thing is, which is especially bad for archaeologist Vash -- but also lust, with Quark and Bashir in particular, and pride & wrath in Sisko's physical aggression against Q (really?), all of which get in the way of solving the mystery.
Mostly I find this episode boring and pointless, taking the long way around to make everyone look foolish. Q's presence as commenter on Our Heroes' failings is amusing at times, but the big problem is that it's hard to tell exactly why he is so interested in Vash that he's acting like a stalker, giving potential romantic rivals two-day sedatives or making them disappear entirely and the like. Q going off with Vash as an experiment is one thing, especially since "QPid" made a point of emphasizing that Q feels particularly interested in humanity as a result of his "Deja Q" experiences, but it's hard to imagine anyone keeping his interest for two years to the point where he pulls out one or two of his bags of tricks again and again. We know at least that Q did do other things during this time ("True-Q") so that I can imagine that Q was multitasking, but really.
Boring and pointless -- 1 star.
Sun, Oct 18, 2015, 6:35am (UTC -5)
I am also late to the length of reviews and comments discussion, but whatever.
I liked the length and depth of Jammer's Voyager reviews. The TNG reviews were a bit too short for my taste.
I also LOVE when others post their own reviews of episodes. I was doing it for DS9 when I finally started watching it, then I stopped because stupid life intervened with my Star Trek watching! Maybe I'll get back to it someday. :-)
Tue, Oct 20, 2015, 3:59pm (UTC -5)
So, what's good here. Well, again it is the characterisation. Vash and Quark work extremely well together, and Sisko's more visceral and less cerebral approach to Q is validated in the boxing match.
But overall, as O'Brien says, "Bloody hell". 2 stars.
Sun, Jan 31, 2016, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
"Um, why is Q being reduced to a skirt-chaser?"
"Dear Lord, Bashir's naivety is starting to get annoying."
"Why is this so boring?!"
"Oh wow, it's a life-form; why should I care?"
And you have it - "Q-Less" summed up in just five sentences.
"Babel" was the show's first below-average episode, but this one is clearly it's first full-out fumble. What exactly were they trying to do here? They make Bashir look insufferable in the opening teaser (even having O'Brien there to showcase it). They bring on yet another TNG character to draw in TNG fans and then completely misuse him. They make Odo look like a total fascist by having him spy on Quark even when Quark isn't doing anything illegal. They have Vash say she only cares about profit but when the time comes for the auction she suddenly wants to be a scholar. They threw in the fact that the crystal was a life-form for no apparent reason. They include a techno-babble heavy sub-plot (I don't hate techno-babble like some do, but it was REALLY out of place here). They have the characters complain about "base commerce" and "acquiring wealth" when it's just a bunch of people minding their own business. And then they cap the episode with Dax acting snooty to Bashir again for absolutely no discernible reason.
The only thing that remotely works is some of the comedy with Q - the boxing scene and his line to O'Brien - "weren't you one of the little people?". Other than that, this is a train-wreck.
Sun, Jan 31, 2016, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
WTF HAIR - 2
Mon, Feb 1, 2016, 8:55am (UTC -5)
The show gets MUCH better when it's left to its own standout crew. I'm so glad they never brought the borg over to DS9, they should have never left TNG. The last truly great Borg episode IMO was the one with Hugh.
And of course Voyager watered them down to a ridiculous level, which is a whole thread by itself :)
Mon, Feb 1, 2016, 11:43am (UTC -5)
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 2:18am (UTC -5)
Vash has things she wants to auction. They're causing problems. Crew figures out why. Q is annoying. Quark wants a profit. That crazy Vash!
Now read the above paragraph again, but take 45 minutes to do it.
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 5:26am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 22, 2016, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2017, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 19, 2017, 5:28am (UTC -5)
I also enjoy Jammer's longer reviews, which make for a very wholesome reading experience. Needless to say, thank you for providing this web space and venue to share your thoughts, confirm suspicions we have on various plots/characters, and of course allow the ST community to discuss the series, even after 20 years.
I found this particular episode to be an enjoyable hour of fluff. Sure it's not the best episode of DS9, not by a long shot, but it was harmless fun. The space jellyfish alien finding its way back to the Gamma Quarant was reminiscent of Encounter at Farpoint. It didnt pretend to be anything more than it was: a crossover from TNG to DS9. Q says as much when he looks at O'Brien with condescending distaste and says something to the effect of, 'Oh, one of the little people,' after O'Brien tells him that he used to serve on the Enterprise under Picard's command.
Sat, Jul 8, 2017, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 8, 2017, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
You're right, it's a good thing DS9 ditched that stuff and focused on pure science. Now let me consult in Orb of Time to see what Discovery will do...
Mon, Jul 17, 2017, 1:44am (UTC -5)
Not a big fan of Q or Vash and the plot with the alien life form was uninspired and tired
Sun, Aug 27, 2017, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Q is hilarious with his vicious tongue when used against the DS9 cast, but that can only go so far in an episode with a very basic plot. Waste of his talents here.
Quark and Vash scheming together -- seemed more comical than anything with potential. The auction was dumb -- a bunch of random aliens acting like morons.
The only bit of wisdom in this episode was Odo sort of dressing down Quark for accumulating artifacts/wealth, then dying and having his relatives deal with the issues.
1.5 stars for "Q-Less" -- waste of a Q appearance on DS9 -- he didn't use his omnipotence for anything other than stupid tricks. And what is so special about Vash that he desires her? So far, Bashir's character is probably most well established for chasing after women. Sub-standard stuff here with some comedic moments but mostly silliness.
Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Sep 24, 2018, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Plus, there's a problem: Why didn't Sisko evacuate the station when it started to be pulled to the wormhole? Earlier in the episode he said they might have to if the power fluctuations continue. I guess the writers needed the scene in Quarks to keep going.
Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Funny beginning, with Bashir bragging on his salutatorian status. Colm Meany is just excellent.
We're seeing things (treasures, people, energy, clothes) locked up, locked away, contained, accessed, worry about access, here in the beginning. Hmmm.
Ugh on this Ferenghi sex-business deal with Vash.
Julian is really very adolescent in all ways. I'm hoping for rapid character growth.
Yuh oh, breaches all over DS9. Talk about containment issues.
Q seriously abusing Vash, what's this about?
"Quark, you obsequious toad!" Shades of "Jane, you ignorant slut!"
Kind of tedious. Not really holding my interest.
18 minutes to oblivion - that's one calm crew. Well trained, I guess.
That the twinkling rock was the trouble was broadcast from the very beginning, a very "meh" mystery.
Ah, an egg. Another container.
"Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Watergate."
And a final release from containment, of Vash, by Q. Yay!
Ok ep, containers, inner desires.
Q's abuse of Vash, insisting the relationship would be over when he said and not before, was disturbing - is it being played for laughs? Just ugh.
Ep did help me get to know the bunch a little better, so there's that.
Wed, Jan 23, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 2, 2019, 9:42pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 28, 2019, 7:19pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 8:51am (UTC -5)
Things don't get off to a good start when Vash mysteriously appears in the gamma quadrant to barely a blink from the DS9 crew. And somehow not only does O'Brien fail to mention the fact that she's linked to Q (something he later recalls) but there's nothing on record about this despite the fact that Cisco has even attended a symposium on Q's past appearances.
But the worst thing - apart from some stinging repartee from Q - is the fact that this doesn't feel like a Q episode. For all that Q plays his usual joker-God role, something which is conspicuous by its absence is the moral aspect which was usually present in the TNG episodes.
Instead, what we get is Q behaving as a malicious and actively abusive stalker. Pretty much every bad trick in the book is played - he reappears after abandoning her as if nothing had happened and insists she rejoin him. He then attacks people who are interested in her and even subjects her to physical attacks while smiling and promising that everything will be fine if she just gives up and goes back to him.
There's no attempt by any character to call Q out for this behaviour - instead it's all conveniently hand-waved away at the end of the episode with a nod and a wave.
This perhaps highlights the issue DS9 had - where Picard could act as a representative for the Federation's high moral ideals, the murkier backdrop for DS9 means that there are fewer opportunities to condemn behaviour or produce definitive moral judgments.
And it's perhaps telling that Q never reappeared on DS9...
Tue, May 5, 2020, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Sat, May 16, 2020, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
It's odd how a being as powerful as Q is treated like an annoyance vs. a major threat. I guess by now, Starfleet realizes he isn't going to wipe out his playthings.
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
May be they should have had him interact with the Wormhole Aliens or otherwise put Q to better use. Perhaps the worm hole should have been at risk of closing.
In my notes for this episode I observed @30:32 that O'Brien shows his racism by saying "Why don't you do something constructive for a change, like torment Cardassians". I guess it's no worse than Worf's casual racism against Romulans.
Sat, Jul 31, 2021, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
However, it's comical to think that Sisko punched Q and Q NEVER RETURNED to DS9. Considering Sisko's ... connections to the Prophets, maybe he was scared of him?
Sun, Aug 1, 2021, 5:05am (UTC -5)
In-universe, you could argue that Sisko handled him far better than Picard - his impatience with Q and lack of respect or intrigue may have made Q decide he wasn't going to have much fun with Sisko and never come back.
Mon, Aug 16, 2021, 6:18am (UTC -5)
Q liked to keep moving around too, I thought.
DS9 is always in the same place.
The real reason is probably just the writers never found a good story to base around Q character after this one. He popped up a couple of times on Voyager while DS9 was still airing and De-Lancie was always busy doing his thing so hardly was that demanding of appearances on Star Trek. Q was a big TNG thing just as the Borg were and both those 'adversaries' were steered well clear of on DS9 after S1. Q-Less was not that good, not terrible, but good. It was clear that Q didn't really click in this setting with these characters like he did with TNG or even VOY.
Thu, Dec 16, 2021, 2:19am (UTC -5)
A grudging 2 stars.
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jun 28, 2022, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
This says more about you than it does to condemn Trek. I take it that you are not a very scientific person?
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