Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Storyteller"

3 stars

Air date: 5/3/1993
Teleplay by Kurt Michael Bensmiller and Ira Steven Behr
Story by Kurt Michael Bensmiller
Directed by David Livingston

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"The Storyteller" is one of those lightweight shows that shouldn't really work as well as it does, but it manages to get past the part of your brain looking for probing drama and simply leaves you with a silly grin on your face. The two plot lines are fairly mundane, in which (a) O'Brien and Bashir travel to a Bajoran village to aid a dying leader, only to get caught up in a Bajoran ritual; and (b) Sisko moderates a negotiation for two feuding Bajoran areas on the brink of a civil war, only to find out that the leader of one of the sides is a young girl named Varis (Gina Philips) who looks to be about 15 years old.

The familiar A/B-story structure is nothing compelling, and the plot is hardly one of the season's more important. Yet this show works very well, because it's so well characterized, and it knows better than to take its plots too seriously. On one hand we have O'Brien and Bashir, who, paired for the first time, promise to be one of the series' most reliable comic combinations. Bashir is young, naive, and annoying, whereas O'Brien is an experienced, serious personality who isn't big on wasting time. Dropping O'Brien unwittingly and unwillingly into the middle of a Bajoran ritual situation is successfully milked for all the low-key comedy it's worth. Meaney plays the role straight—flabbergasted over being mistaken as the successor to the village's dying Sirah—which proves to be one of the show's best ideas. What doesn't quite work here is the idea of the Dal'Rok, a fantasy-like cloud of darkness that feeds off negative emotions to threaten the village—an idea rooted in Bajoran mysticism that really strains the boundaries of believability.

Meanwhile, the B-story, involving Jake and Nog's adolescent mayhem and the way they come to know Varis, is surprisingly palatable and very entertaining. One amusing scene features the three of them breaking into Odo's office to steal his bucket—a humorously appropriate notion. There's not much depth in this episode, but the execution definitely makes it good for some genuine smiles.

Previous episode: Battle Lines
Next episode: Progress

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62 comments on this post

Sun, Jul 1, 2012, 2:12am (UTC -6)
O'Brien's lame pep-talk was pretty funny... "Ok, let's really try to focus..."

But this is a pretty ordinary and corny episode really; the O'Brien/Bashir partnership being the only thing that works.

The 'child' actors are all very flat and DS9's first season had far too many annoyingly dumb mobs.
Wed, Jul 25, 2012, 8:07pm (UTC -6)
I pretty much agree with your analysis (Thank you again for these. I'm enjoying them).

I liked the B-plot better. And we got yet more Ferengi redemption -- this time Nog unwittingly helps two Bajoran factions avoid bloodshed. I kind of liked Nog and Jake have a much more mature friend who carries adult concerns and responsibilities.

The other plot was OK. I wanted to like it more -- I wanted to like a lot of the Bajoran plots in Season 1 more, because there was so much potential there. They just always seemed to find lightweight actors and unmemorable storylines.

The good news is they do find their Bajoran stride in time.
Cail Corishev
Wed, Sep 12, 2012, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
I've been going back and forth between early DS9 and early Voyager lately, and got to wondering why I enjoy an episode like this so much better than when Voyager did the equivalent. There's nothing special about either story here. The A story is a typical Monster of the Week with a fairly obvious conclusion, that could have been done on any Trek. The B story is about a kid who needs to grow up and learn to compromise -- not exactly anything new.

I think it's because the rapport between people -- O'Brien and Bashir, Jake and Nog, Odo and Quark -- was already so strong that it's a pleasure to watch them even when the stories are fairly banal. (That may also explain why I find Dax stories so tedious -- she never clicked with any of the other characters that way.) I don't know whether that's due to great acting, great casting, or dumb luck, but it turns a lot of so-so stories into solid episodes for me.
Thu, Nov 1, 2012, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
I can recall my first exposure to DS9 back in the mists of 1995 when the show first aired onbBritish network television, on Thursday nights. Due to my then job requiring me to work till 9pm in the evening, I would set up the VCR to record the episodes. One misstep saw the recording cut off the last three minutes of 'Babel' whilst a power outage caused me to miss 'The Storyteller' completely so I didn't watch this episode until about 3 years later, and it remains probably the episode in Season 1 I have seen the fewest times.

I agree with Jammer, much to my surprise this episode worked far better than on paper it should. I groaned outwardly upon seeing Varis (Gina Phillips) but her scenes with Nog and Jake worked surprisingly well. Although not the focus of the episode, the ever reliable Rene Auberjonois ( does he ever strike a wrong note?) is as good as ever.

The main highlight of the episode was that it marks the first real interaction between O'Brien and Bashir, a theme that would recur throughout the series run. Those scenes, from the opening in the runabout strike me as wholly on the money. I can well believe that O'Brien, being the enlisted, experienced engineer and all round 'fixer' would find Bashir's naïveté and enthusiasm intensely irritating, and although the story is extremely lightweight, Imfound my self enjoying it far more than I expected. As Carl Corishev points out, I think had the Voyager ensemble done this in season 1(I'd need to consult Memory Alpha to see if there is an equivalent, unless any Voyager stalwarts can help me out?), it'd have been rated a Turkey but the cast chemistry lifts this one into an unexpectedly strong 3 stars for me.
Wed, Apr 17, 2013, 8:36am (UTC -6)
I am SEETHING! Unlike Jammer, I thought both stories could have been brilliant and I was enjoying both of them until the idiocies started to pile up.

First, the story of the Tetrarch, which had so much potential. A young girl of immense poise and strength has had to take over her father's role and is finding it difficult. The other negotiator obviously thinks of her as a child and she has to not only represent her people, but earn his respect. A good setup with lots of potential.

She finds good advice for the situation in the oddest of places--from a Ferengi. When Nog suggested that her situation might be an opportunity, I thought that was very well-done. She has an idea for something that she could want from the opposing side, and in return will concede the land "stolen" by the Cardassians.

And then it derails into her search for a parental figure. Instead of learning and growing through the influence of kids her own age, she has to be soothed by Sisko. I was really disappointed--either exploration ("knowledge from the young" or "guiding mentor") would have worked by itself, but to conflate the two took away the strength of either effort. And then we don't even get to see the payoff of the negotiation!

Jake and Nog were great in this episode--it was disappointing to see their contributions made secondary to Sisko. The bucket trick was funny too--I actually gasped when I though Nog had dumped Odo all over Jake's shirt! I think Odo thought it was funny, too--he had a little grin when he sent the kids to clean up the oatmeal.

The writers should have focused on ONE idea for the growth of the Tetrarch--trying to do two made both of them weak. But that was just disappointing--the other story is the one that got my knickers in a twist.

The setup for Julian and Chief's adventure was great! Their interactions were terrific and that Bajoran village was a beautiful set--made me want to live there. But then we met the Sirah. I can't remember the TNG episode--wasn't he the actor who played the floating head who transported the Enterprise far out into space to meet them? A little distracting. And the leader of the village was another very familiar character actor--this is getting a bit much! So far, every episode has had very recognizable guests.

But back to the story itself--I was actually a little tense. Apparently a scary thing shows up and the Sirah has to fight it off with the help of the village--cool. And the situation with Chief trying to be the new Sirah was good.

Then when the Sirah's apprentice tried to kill the Chief, it all went to hell. First, Chief forgets his homicidal attack right away? But that's a small thing compared to the bullshit that follows.

The Dal'Rok was CREATED by the first Sirah to unite the village. Okay, I can buy that as a solution to prevent conflict. But once the village has gotten used to working together, wouldn't it have been time to reveal it wasn't "real?" As a lesson to teach them they didn't need to be fighting?

And apparently this whole situation with the Chief was orchestrated by the dying Sirah so they would accept his apprentice. How about, instead, you false-prophecy-perpetuating selfish old bastard, you take the opportunity of your upcoming death to dismantle the myth of the demonic entity? The apprentice knew the truth--they could have worked together to show the people the truth.

But NOOOOO, it is better to continue a lie for the sake of harmony instead of pursuing truth. I am so sick of people being treated as children who can't handle truth. That's what made me give up on BSG.

I'm so mad I could just spit.
Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 3:51pm (UTC -6)
While not outstanding it is in the tradition of Star Trek moralising...

O'Brien as the Sirah was hilarious "once upon a time...", and then there's the evolving friendship between him and Bashir.

The kids weren't as annoying as they could have been, and did actually serve a purpose here.
Tue, Sep 10, 2013, 10:45am (UTC -6)
i would say this is the beginning of the "bro-mance." i did like this one better than harry and tom from voyager.

hmm...i might even like it better than data and geordi on TNG.

i liked that Chief thought Bashir was annoying at first. bashir really did grow up during the series.

oatmeal scene was great.

as for grump otter. i think they continued the myth...because it ALWAYS made sure they had unity. look at the B story. almost civil war. i doubt civil war would happen here...
Mon, Oct 14, 2013, 6:26pm (UTC -6)
This new age mumbo jumbo episode with the children leader illogical subplot made me quit watching DS-9 in its original run. It can't be good. The apprentice tries to murder O'Brien and what, nothing. Overall total crap in my book, 1/2 a star.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 1:59pm (UTC -6)
The main plot is just not good.

Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 10:10am (UTC -6)
I just don't get it...

I've come to DS9 after watching Enterprise (big fan of TNG when I was a kid though), and I'm reading these reviews as I go along. But what is beginning to annoy me is that there were plenty of episodes of ENT as least or more entertaining than this that you give lower scores to. Now I read your reviews for ENT carefully and I'd say that a lot of your scores and reviews were fair judgements, but it just seems that you apply a completely different scoring system when it comes to DS9. I mean ultimately it makes no difference to my enjoyment of the shows, but it just seems like ENT has been cast in a much more negative light than I think it deserves.

Anyway, I do DS9's heavy handedness with its life and morality lessons a little jarring at times, and Sisko is painful to watch, but the show is growing on me I admit!
Mon, Dec 2, 2013, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
I really mean it, if I were religious, I would be extremely angry with the DS9 writers for portraying the Bajorans as such a pathetically credulous and weak-minded race who excuse ALL of their incompetences with "belief". What a disaster.
Mon, Jun 23, 2014, 11:03am (UTC -6)
I'm not sure where to start. Just watched this episode recently (usually a skipper for me) and I echo many of the complaints I've read here.

Here's one that I haven't read yet. This bracelet was made from a hunk of an orb? ... (slaps forehead) ... really? Did someone just go up with a hammer and pic the orb that creates the lightning bolt zapping stay-puff marshmallow man and chisel off a chunk? lol

How realistic is this approach to uniting a village? Let’s create a bad guy that's purprose is to unite the villagers, but let’s just have him show up 5 times in a row once a year after the harvest is complete regardless of the mood of the village? (slaps forehead again)

This is just another "religion is stupid" Star Trek episode. For GODS sake, the village folks LINED UP THEIR VIRGINS for Obrien!! (no wonder the old Sirah kept his job for so long) The Sirah apprentice tried to KILL Obrien because he HAD to be THE ONE (hearing BAB5's Zathras here).

On a lighter note, I enjoyed the "B" story. I did find it odd that this girl didn't have any security at her cabin and that Jake and Nog just barged right in without an invite. I do think Sisko should have shown this young girl what real war is somehow as she was so eager to go there...

1/2 out of 4 stars because I like Jake and Nog and the Odo bucket joke was pretty darn funny.

(oh, aren't there any Bajoran adults that can represent and negotiate for group of people? Would they really have gone to war because she was stupid and incompetent?)
Fri, Aug 8, 2014, 1:38am (UTC -6)
The Dal'roch story verges on ridiculous, especially the awkward apprentice who tried to stab O'Brien and Bashir (and he's a protagonist!). I didn't think the acting was very good either. But the B-story with Jake, Nog, and the Bajoran girl was okay. I wish it got more time so we could actually see her land, her people, and the resolution of their conflict. I'd give this one 1 1/2 stars, no more.
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 11:26pm (UTC -6)
Teaser : ***, 5%

Let's start out with the implications of the Station Log : a land dispute between two rival “factions” of Bajorans could trigger a civil war. So, presumably these factions have armies to wage this war. Armies which sure as hell would have been useful, what, a year ago when Bajor was still occupied by the Cardassians. Or are we talking about some sort of Tennessee feud?

Anyway, O'Brien tries to get out of his away mission with Bashir, and who can blame him? But Sisko's kind of a sadist, so he sends him packing.

So, Kira fills Sisko in on some of the details of the rivalry and, again, a lot doesn't make sense. “The Paqu don't like contact with outsiders”? How could they avoid it when Bajor was being raped and pillaged? How could an enslaved people have any say in such a custom? Sisko tells Kira that he's conducted similar mediations before. When? As a first officer? With Kurzon maybe? I thought this was a captains prerogative. These are little nits, but they're kind of aggravating when most of the issues could have been side-stepped by having the dispute be from a hitherfore unknown race, rather than the heavily historied Bajorans.

So, the Paqu Tetrarch is revealed to be an adolescent girl, and I'm having flashbacks to “The Daupin” already.

Act 1 : **, 17%

“Do I annoy you?” Well, there's a great way to start a conversation. I always feel for actors who have to purposefully play irritating characters. Majel Barret, Ethan Phillips, and you Mr Siddig, all have my sympathy. For Miles' part, I think he does a good job of conveying his irritation while not going overboard into full-blown sarcasm.

The arrive at the “jeopardised” village to find an old Bajoran man on the verge of death whose continued existence is apparently crucial to the village's survival.

Meanwhile in the B plot, Sisko tries to find some common ground between these factions. The Navot representative is of course and old, gluttonous fat dude.

What is it about Bajoran women? Ro, Kira and this Tetrarch are all so emotionally volatile, throwing tantrums and getting self-righteous at the drop of a hat. At least this girl can use her youth as an excuse. So, apparently, the Cardassians diverted a river which demarcates the separation of the two's territories. Thus leaving a larger plot of land to the Tetrarch's side (the Paqu) than would naturally have been there. While I can understand that the Paqu would want to hold on to this new land, there is absolutely no moral justification for her position. The Paqu's territory was artificially increased by an *occupying* force. To hold on to that land not only constitutes robbery, but is rather insulting to the Paqu and Navot who died under Cardassian rule, possibly being forced to divert the river themselves.

On to the C Plot (that's not usually a good sign). Nog and Jake are hanging around as they do (don't these kids have homework, or something else to do with their time?). Nog spots the Tetrarch bitching her way through the promenade and declares her to be “the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.”

Back to the A plot; The Balrog? Wait a minute, I know who you are old Bajoran, man! You're Gandalf, aren't you! You can't fool me with that crinkly nose. Were you dreaming about eagles? So, because every other Bajoran in season 1 is portrayed like a Jedi, Gandalf declares O'Brien to be “sent from the Prophets” based on touching his ear—I mean his hands. Heh.

“Only the Syrah is strong enough to defeat it.” Have you tried a Pinot? Maybe a white wine would work better. So far this whole plot has just seemed rather silly.

Act 2 : .5 stars, 17%

Jake and Nog invite themselves into the Tetrarch's quarters and they invite her to see the wormhole, which is pretty much the pick-up line of choice for everyone on DS9.

So Gandalf the Rosé treks outside with difficulty to confront a storm. Miles says the tricorder isn't registering an atmospheric disturbance. Um, maybe this disturbance isn't being caused by natural weather patterns, but the wind is so high you can barely open your eyes, I think the atmosphere is unquestionable disturbed at the moment there, smart guy.

“YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” And a space marshmallow appears while Gandalf recites bad poetry. So, and I can't believe I have to write this, the village's good vibes start emanating from their foreheads to repel the Balrog.

And just as I was trying to decide if the story's maturity had descended more to Captain Planet levels or Sailor Moon, Gandalf dies in as cheesy a manner as possible, clutching his chest and falling dramatically. I had to pause the episode while I laughed at this stupidity. So, Balrog the marshmallow goes all Old Testament on the village and starts hurling thunderbolts at the buildings.

Act 3 : *.5, 17%

Oh he's not dead—“YOU SHALL NOT PA—“ oh we did that. Um, “THE VILLAGE SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED!”

Dear god, I had to pause again. So, in order for the villagers to focus their good vibes, Gandalf just has to whisper Miles his lines so he can shout them at the people. I just—I'm so fucking confused. It seems like, for whatever reason, the villagers can let their powers combine unless they hear a specific script. So why must only this one dude say the lines? Is no one else in the village able to retain trite pseudo-incantation speak? So the marshmallow Balrog retreats and Gandalf finally dies. The magistrate names O'Brien the new King of Cheese to protect the village.

Let me digress briefly; as someone who applauds the exploration of myth-making in Star Trek, the optimistic part of my brain believes that the intentions behind this story were genuinely good. The fact that the magistrate puts it as “someone new to *tell the story*” is key. This village is living out a legend, and they need this ritual to survive. The problem is that the allegorical power of such a story is buried under first of all an obtuse exaggeration of the allegory (even by Trek standards); the Balrog is a physical threat to the village. Second of all, the execution is so unforgivably horrendous in just about every way as to wipe away any potential subtlety in, ironically, the story-telling.

Back in the B Plot, Sisko confronts Dauphin 2.0 and calls her out on her obstinacy, but she's hearing none of it. Well, with 40 seconds expended on most interesting of the 3 plots, we run back in to the C Plot, the boys find the Tetrarch and the three of them bond a little. It's refreshing to have the young people be able to discuss some darker themes—all three of them lost their mothers, and the Dauphin her father as well.

So, Bashir is doing his best Chris Pine, pompously eating his apple while remarking on the “fascinating” event he and Miles witnessed. O'Brien is understandably frustrated and exasperated at the situation, while the villagers continue to impress us in just how moronic they all are, including offering the Chief his choice of three young girls to use as prostitutes. Well, that's just great. What a noble and enlightened people the Bajorans are! Rather than reacting with warranted disgust at this notion, Bashir just laughs and O'Brien stomps around complaining.

So, O'Brien *finally* has the first good idea in the episode, namely doing some science to figure out what exactly Marshmallow Balrog is and how to destroy it.

Act 4 : **, 17%

C Plot : Opportunity + Instinct = Profit. Maybe the Underwear Gnomes wrote the Rules of Acquisition. So the little rascals break into Odo's office to steal his bucket. Nog fills the bucket with oatmeal so he can embarrass Jake I guess, because there couldn't be any Ferengi that is sticky and slimy, no that's not their style. Odo and Sisko find them, at which point it becomes painfully obvious that the Dauphin here shouldn't be leading negotiations that could result in war.

A Plot : We get another entry into the Almanac of all the Reasons these Villagers are Idiots as some repressed woman asks O'Brien to bless her child because a few hours ago, Gandalf anointed him as his successor. All I could think of as Bashir smilingly encourages this behaviour is Picard's speech from “Who Watches the Watchers.” How far we've sunk.

So the Sommelier apprentice tries to assassination the poor chief in a scene that is so confused as to the tone it's nearly nauseating. The dialogue suggests it's supposed to be funny (and really, that's the only successful way you could play such a goofy scene), but the music and editing seem to want to play it serious. Anyway, the would-be assassin claims that he's the real Captain Planet.

Act 5 : **, 17%

At this point, my suspicions about the origins of this story's mythical potential are confirmed as the apprentice explains that the marshmallow is a purposefully-designed entity meant to teach the village a lesson about unity. Again, huge potential, totally wasted. I mean, this whole process depends on this crux of the “story” which the Syrah must relate, but what the hell was the story Gandalf told? It was like 4 lines of bland nothing. You can't write a story about a story and fail to tell a good story!!

B Plot : The Dauphin lets us know that the only real reason she's refusing to do the right thing and give the Nevot back their land is because she doesn't want to look weak. Classic inferiority complex, but it makes sense given her history and how young she is. Anyway, it seems she as a CLEVER PLAN.

A Plot : Twist – O'Brien was chosen by Gandalf in order to set him up as a false Syrah so the apprentice could step in and toast the marshmallow. The scene is just as as stupid and trite as in the third act, but now, it's lost the comic shock value and is just boring. Of course, the villagers just as quickly accept the new guy as their saviour as they had both accepted and rejected O'Brien. These villagers are so DAMNED STUPID.

B & C Plots : So her CLEVER PLAN is to propose free trade for the Paqu in exchange for giving the Navot back their land. That sure was worth sitting through this drivel wasn't it?

Cue some corny closing material, and we're done.

Episode as Functionary : *.5, 10%

Not good, folks. The main plots mythical elements are so overshadowed by cornball execution and laughably idiotic motivations and reactions that it's basically a totally lost cause. Bashir's comments don't seem to stem from his character; it's like he was trying to be as irritating as possible. I mean, why encourage the villagers to treat O'Brien like a religious figure? I can understand a little bit of mild taunting, but shouldn't he be concerned at all? The other two plots are a little better. The Dauphin's plight is reasonable enough and her interactions with the boys are thankfully more understated than I was worried they would be, but the young actress' performance is quite wooden and underwhelming. It's a skipper.

Final Score : *.5
Sun, Aug 31, 2014, 8:44pm (UTC -6)
I'm gonna stick up for Bashir here. Now I will admit he comes off forward in the early seasons when he's hitting on women. And I also understand that most trek fans think Obrien can do no wrong. If I have to hear how obrien is the perfect "Everyman" one more time....... Anyways, Bashir has been nothing but nice to obrien the entire series. Even in the early seasons all he wanted was to be friends with obrien. Obrien played it like Bashir was annoying but he really wasn't. Obrien just came off as rude for some reason. He wouldn't have acted that way against anyone on the enterprise. Eventually obrien lightened up and they became friends. I just don't think Bashir ever did anything to make obrien act so rude to him
Sat, Jan 3, 2015, 12:25am (UTC -6)
The Storyteller: B-

I’m going to tackle this episode one storyline at a time.

First, the A-plot. On the one hand, we had grumpy, flustered O’Brien for most of the episode which was a lot of fun. I think that this was one of the first times Bashir has worked somewhat well for me; he’s an excruciatingly irritating nit, but “The Storyteller” was able to get a few good comedic beats out of his and O’Brien’s relationship – I like how smug the doctor was about O’Brien’s predicament.

On the other hand, the main plot didn’t work for me at all (other than maybe O’Brien’s humorously botched telling of the story near the end). It involved A) metaphysical mumbo jumbo B) mass stupidity on the part of the villagers and C) investment in a last-minute and very unsympathetic character (who tried to kill O’Brien – Chief is all “It’s okay bro, I’mma help you anyway”). I’m very confused by Bajor’s level of technological sophistication: They’re clearly space-capable and have regular interactions with the Federation, but the planet is obviously still populated by idiot villages who are governed by goofy local legends.

HOWEVER. I enjoyed the material on DS9 a lot! The Tetrarch wasn’t necessarily played by a very good young actress, but Jake/Nog continues to be enjoyable, and I enjoy that Nog was able to display his own special brand of wisdom. Most interesting of all is what’s revealed about their relationships with their respective fathers: Jake and Ben’s is warm and nurturing, Nog and Rom’s is…not. Sisko was good with the young lady here.

Good character interactions (largely), bad plotting. Par for the course so far.

The Good:
- Return of the Odo-smile!

The Bad:
- Sisko and Kira exchange an obvious surprised glance when they learn how young the Tetrarch is – pretty bad diplomacy right off the bat, it seems to me.
Sat, Feb 7, 2015, 11:42am (UTC -6)
*** If 16 years after the last season aired you're still worried about spoilers, than don't read this ***

There's a line in this where Bashir says to O'Brien something like "for all we know maybe you really were sent by the prophets", to which O'Brien replies "I was sent by Commander Sisko". Considering the outcome of the series, with Sisko's prophet mother, I thought this was an interesting coincidence / plot point when rewatching the series just now.
Wed, Feb 18, 2015, 12:19am (UTC -6)
Scubabadger, you are so right. There couldn't possibly be a spoiler, the show is too old. Also, I get your point about the coincidence.
Mon, Mar 9, 2015, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
@Elliot: I am religious (or maybe "a religionist" is a better way to say it) and I am not offended by this episode's portrayal. Indeed, if I were to be offended by Star Trek's shallow and ignorant portayals of religion I would be endlessly and incurably offended, and wouldn't watch the shows.

Furthermore, this episode portrays provincial, simple-minded Bajorans who only obliquely use their religion as an excuse for their superstitions. The driving force behind this ritual charade is political unity, not a matter of their faith in the Prophets.

So, we have superstitious people playing into the illusions and deceptions of their political leaders... this is hardly groundbreaking or insightful commentary! Certainly not offensive. Why didn't O'Brian and Bashier try to expose the trickery? Instead they just chuckled a bit and played along.

The politics of the warring Bajoran factions was far more engaging than the superstitious villagers. It's nice to see the Bajorans portrayed with a healthy amount of diversity of lifestyles and opinions, and not another Planet of Hats.
Mon, Mar 9, 2015, 2:25pm (UTC -6)
I should add to my comment above that, as a scientist, I am far more likely to be offended by Star Trek's shallow and ignorant portrayal of science than anything a Paramount-employed screenwriter could ever offer as a jab against religion!

Fun With DNA, anyone? Send that proto-universe back safely to the Gamma Quadrant? Travel through time on a gravity assist? The holodeck is made of hammerspace and the safeties are off again? Warp particles, of course!!

Mon, Mar 9, 2015, 5:04pm (UTC -6)

Agree with the "science" thing. That's why when folks jump all over the science in ST09 I just scratch my head.

As if replicators, warp drive or transporters are realistic... Trek staples from day one.

Don't forget the neutrinos :-)
Tue, Mar 10, 2015, 11:23am (UTC -6)
@Yanks: It's hard to draw a line in the sand regarding the plausibility of fictional technology. Star Trek is full of implausible technology, but my point was less about actually being upset with plot contrivances based on difficult suspensions of disbelief, and more about taking offense, or not, at the writer's treatment of religion or people of faith.

I was trying to illustrate that the portrayal of superstitious characters as gullible, naive, or otherwise intellectually underdeveloped is not necessarily offensive to me as a religious believer, especially when I agree with that analysis. These Bajoran villagers are accepting a superstitious lie, albeit for their common good. My religion condemns the affront to truth perpetuated by the Sirah as well as the willful ignorance and superstitious behavior of the townspeople. The fact that the subjective good of the town, their political unity, is achieved by these evil acts (lies and superstitious belief), does not excuse any of them in the least. This is also a moral indictment against our heroes O'Brian and Brashier for not only failing to defend and spread the truth, even participating in and perpetuating falsehoods and superstitions.

The writers show less subtlety and insight regarding science, and that is only relevant in response Elliot, whom I perceive to be commenting from the paradigm that religion and science are somehow in perpetual opposition, or else mutually exclusive.

I simply find it amusing (or ironic) to note that, being at once a believer and a scientist, my scientific sensibilities are annoyed by Star Trek far more than my religious sensibilities, even though the franchise's admitted philosophy is antagonistic towards institutionalized, human religion.
Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 3:48pm (UTC -6)
I got ya Eddington.

I just thought it hilarious that they took it to "lining up their virgins" for Obrien.
Gul Sengosts
Sat, Mar 14, 2015, 8:28am (UTC -6)
I don't see how this episode can get three stars, to me it's Season 1's definite low point. Both plots are stupid nonsense, one a poorly executed story about people who tell a cloud with a rocket launcher to go away by saying what a silly prophet tells them to, the other some awful teenagers-playing-around non-story.

I hate to admit it as a TNG and Picard fan, but this is the one episode in DS9's first season that unpleasantly reminded me of TNG's numerous bullshit episodes.
William B
Wed, Jul 1, 2015, 11:51am (UTC -6)
On tablet so briefer than usual:

Both plots share a story structure, where our burgeoning best friends end up helping a Bajoran guest character self-actualize and live up to the auhthority role left for them by their father or mentor: the second Sirrah for Bashir and O'Brien, and the princess (effectively) for Nog and Jake. The station plot is not great, but I like the idea of Nog and Jake getting interested in girls together and have Freaks and Geeks lite adventures. The Odo's bucket thing is amusing as a joke played by Nog to shock Jake, though I wonder if Nog having nearly been permanently locked up as a felon in the pilot might make hi warier than he is here. The depiction of the advantages to Ferengi philosophy, helping the princess come to a compromise, is worthwhile, and the princess character is okay. It is lighthearted, not so earnest as to be difficult (ala The Dauphin), fluff and not well acted, but okay.

The Bajor plot is mostly awful, characterized mainly by Bashir and O'Brien not giving a crap about their situation and seemingly viewing the situation entirely in terms of how to get these villagers to stop annoying them -- which I sympathize with to a degree. But really, what exactly makes Bashir think that the guy who tries to murder O'Brien in plain sight of a witness has either the moral fibre or even the common sense to be a spiritual leader, rather than say in jail. I do not understand why Bashir and O'Brien do not consider at all telling the villagers about this deception, especially given that Bajor's situation has changed since the Cardsssians have left; but even if we assume they are bound by some sort of Prime Directive restriction, should they not at least appeal to murderous Sirrah apprentice to send the orb fragment away so that no one will be killed by a cloud monster? At least there is some moral conflict in what should be done, given that the Sirrah himself put O'Brien in charge, and while Bashir and O'Brien are MAYBE not all that prepared to make these Do We Tell These Villagers They Have Been Lied To calls, they have subspace radio and command officers to call, including a Bajoran national who should have no ethical conflicts I can see about exposing the spiritual deception involving using secret Bajoran artifacts to create life-risking shows to maintain authority.

As a story about the power of myth in shaping and maintaining society, it is of a piece with this series in theme, but that the Sirrah is essentially Dukat in Covenant without the charisma (and the apprentice is even worse at covering up his attempted murders) is kind of a big deal to avoid talking about at all.

The Bashir/O'Brien friendship is eventually effective, especially in e.g. Hard Time, but is just annoying here. Why does Bashir tell O'Brien to stop calling him Julian at the end? If it is because he hears the contempt in Miles' voice, he otherwise does not seem to indicate he gets it.

2 stars for the fluffy but somewhat enjoyable Jake-Nog-Princess plot.
Thu, Sep 10, 2015, 9:34am (UTC -6)
Three stars???

The menacing-cloud-plot is ridiculous. Yes, O'Brien and Bashir make a good first outing and it's nice to see their beginnings here, but the idea is stupid. Some mysterious entity with completely implausible characteristic terrorizes a village and their solution is to listen to a story to release some mind magic. WTF!

The other story has more potential, but uses NONE of it. It could have been a coming-of-age story for the Tetrarch, if given more time. But it's just a stupid setup for an otherwise unimportant and inconsequential plot.

Second weakest episode of Season 1. Easy.
Thu, Oct 1, 2015, 11:46am (UTC -6)
One of my least favorite episodes of the entire series. Yes the cloud monster really was ridiculous, and just how stupid are these villagers? They reminded me of little children the way they acted during the "stories". It doesn't look like they are fighting each other anymore in any case so maybe it is time to end the whole cloud monster thing.

I found the B-Plot much more entertaining.
Diamond Dave
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 4:23pm (UTC -6)
Very reminiscent in style of an early TNG episode, with a split A- and B-story, neither of which are strong enough to support a full hour.

Ironically the B-story is the stronger. As others have noted, Jake and Nog bring a surprisingly endearing quality to the proceedings - Jake's "Odo?" as he's covered in oatmeal is a nice line.

The A-story however is just crazy. While we see a foretaste of the later O'Brien/Bashir friendship this doesn't actually progress here. Possibly the only saving grace is O'Brien's spectacularly ham-fisted attempt to tell the story. But this bit is something of a mess. 2 stars for the B-story.
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 9:33am (UTC -6)
I'm going to paraphrase a review I saw over on TheTrekBBS a while back....

"Following the loss of Kai Opaka, old tensions on Bajor re-emerge, threatening to throw that world into civil war.

Nah, just kidding, they're just randomly about to enter a civil war because the Cardassians moved a river, or something. The key to this dispute is a 15 year-old girl who took control of her region after her father died. It's good to know that hereditary rule is alive and well in the 24th century, it was under a real threat from democracy for a while there. She's very dour and serious and fails to understand the concept of negotiation, but she's lucky because Jake and Nog are on hand to teach her how to have fun, and how to trade one thing for another thing. Yay!

Meanwhile, O'Brien and Bashir go to a village of children that look curiously like adults, and they demand to be told a bedtime story every night because they're scared that if they don't hear the story a monster will eat them. It sounds like a joke, but it's the actual premise of the episode. I'd compliment the episode for being so subversive in having the child act like an adult and all the adults in the village act like children, but I don't think the episode was that clever. Story this, story that, bless my child, please give me attention and, oh by the way, these women want to suck your dick... As if all that stuff didn't make the townsfolk look bad enough, one of them throws a temper-tantrum and tries to stab O'Brien because he wants to be the Sirah. Then we learn that the Dal'Rok is an artificial construct that was created by the original Sirah because the villagers couldn't get along and kept fighting one another. It's amazing that for decades they needed an artificial enemy to unite them, instead of the Cardassians. It's a village of feeble-minded people, but then they're religious so they have to be. UGH!! If I was O'Brien I would have fucked off back to the station and allowed the Dal'Rok to kill them all. Hell, I would have torpedoed the village from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

I'm not a fan of this episode, as you might have been able to gather. This literally is a TNG episode that was adapted to work on DS9, and it shows since none of this fits with the Bajor from the rest of the series, even the Bajor established by the series at this point.Someone need to grab all the guest characters by the shoulders, shake them vigorously, and shout "STOP BEING MORONS" at the top of their lungs."

The only salvageable parts of "The Storyteller" are the interactions between O'Brien and Bashir (it's no wonder these two would work so well together throughout the series) and between Nog and Varis (I'll admit, it was really enjoyable watching Nog get all flustered around a cute girl).

William B
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 10:21am (UTC -6)
LOL, thanks for that Luke. (Did I say 2 stars up there? What? I do think the princess/Jake Nog scenes are okay, but the main plot sure is dire. Consider my rating 1.5* officially, and only just because I do find the B plot cute.)
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 2:49am (UTC -6)
Agreed with Luke, totally. I watched this a while back and found it painful - but went to rewatch it earlier and had to turn it off. It's so ridiculous.
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 10:41am (UTC -6)
What, you guys didn't like the giant space shaving cream and O'Brien as a shaman??

Sun, Aug 28, 2016, 6:36am (UTC -6)
Once again, a fantastic review from Luke. I can't fault this guy, he says everything I would want to say, far better than I can!

I'm watching DS9 for the first time on Netflix and I always look forward to reading Luke's reviews in particular, after each episode.

Jammer - I admire you for setting up this review site, but I really do not agree with a large percentage of your review ratings. Each to their own though.
Sun, Aug 28, 2016, 11:56am (UTC -6)
Luke's reviews are decent, but his heavy Quark-bias reaches levels of absurdity at times. He's also too preachy with his Libertarian views. Like really Luke, the Maquis are just misunderstood? Shouldn't they take responsibility for agreeing to live under Cardassian rule instead of blaming the Federation for not giving them special treatment?

But I digress. William B is probably the most fair reviewer here aside from Jammer himself.
William B
Sun, Aug 28, 2016, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
"But I digress. William B is probably the most fair reviewer here aside from Jammer himself."

!!! Thanks, Chrome :)

Anyway, Luke is a good reviewer and that Rob (and possibly others) views him as representing the closest to their own opinion is worthwhile in and of itself. I think "fairness" is...good, but hard to evaluate exactly and dependent on worldview etc. I mean, I also diverge from Luke on the Maquis (and to a lesser extent Quark) for reasons related to his Libertarian worldview (my politics are a little in flux) but his take is valuable to read in general and it's cool that it's the closest to a lot of other people's views.

I think it might also be worth noting that Jammer's s1 DS9 reviews in particular are good but a little too sunny and kind, some of which I think is because of the way they were written (capsule between seasons). No offense meant to Jammer of course, JMHO and all that -- but really, Move Along Home is average? (It's not unique to Jammer -- I think Tim Lynch gave it a middling rating, too.) He's more willing to dole out bad ratings in later DS9 seasons when appropriate.
Sun, Aug 28, 2016, 1:47pm (UTC -6)
Yeah, I am kind of a Mr. Sunshine for parts of DS9 S1. I expect if I were writing them today, I would be a little tougher on some. "Move Along Home" and "The Storyteller" are probably good examples. But the reviews are what they are and represent a snapshot of the moment they were written.
Peter G.
Sun, Aug 28, 2016, 6:05pm (UTC -6)
DS9 S1 is very peculiar, though. When it first aired I believed, as I still do, that the actual plots were quite weak at times while the characterization was leaps and bounds beyond the stories in which they figured. Especially impressive to me is that S1 established an *atmosphere* quite quickly and which served to create a kind of serial tone in and of itself even though the stories were often adventures of the week. Both TNG and Voyager lacked this undercurrent of atmosphere, and therefore leaned heavily on the scripts and the actors to portray the story. A weak script would result in a loser, and an episode featuring a weak actor similarly. In DS9 S1, though, despite the weakness of many of the scripts in terms of plotting, the undercurrents are quite powerful and still make 'irrelevant' episodes feel like the world is being built up, so that when the better scripts come along there is already a solid foundation for them to stand on. It's this world-building aspect of early DS9 that I find so impressive, and that can only come from a sort of unity from the writing team. I more or less credit Ira Behr with everything good about DS9 in this sense, because a show consisting of random various visions will result in great unevenness like we see in Voyager. Some of them will be great, and others almost seemingly contradictory.
Fri, Sep 1, 2017, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Thank God for Elliott's review on this one because Jammer is way too mild for these episodes. The casual display of virgin whores is already a 2 star deduction. Bad performance is minus 0.5 stars leaving you with 1.5 stars for Jake, Nog and the girl which was okay.
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 9:30pm (UTC -6)
2 inane subplots make up this waste of an hour. Talk about bland, contrived, somewhat cliche, and definitely not funny. Actually a pretty boring hour of DS9.

The one redeeming quality is Bahir/O'Brien's friendship getting started in earnest. But the premise for it getting started is dumb.

Some Bajor nonsense about the Dal'Rok -- no idea what the phenomenon is as it doesn't register on O'Brien's tricorder -- some Bajoran legend or whatever straining the bounds of believability as the Bajoran's thoughts against it are supposed to ward it off when conducted by the Sirah. And then there's this story about the understudy of the Sirah who rises to the occasion after screwing up his first chance (he nearly kills O'Brien -- no accusations of attempted murder though). This whole subplot is too lightweight, basic, and insulting to a true Trek fan.

And then there's Jake/Nog trying to impress a teenage Bajoran who has the weight of her people on her shoulders. It's just too simplistic -- basically the girl coming to see Jake's respect for Ben Sisko and then she can accept his advice. We don't even find out how her new tack goes over in the negotiations.

1.5 stars for "The Storyteller" -- not sure how Jammer gets to 3 stars for this one. I just kept hoping one of the storylines would come up with something insightful, suspenseful, exciting, interesting, etc. But it didn't happen. 2 completely unrelated and disappointing storylines here.
Mon, Jun 11, 2018, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
It is so refreshing to see Colm Meany play this part rather than the sanctimonious Stewart or pompus Shatner.
Mon, Jul 23, 2018, 4:02am (UTC -6)
The Dal’rok is plausible enough, if one remembers the Id Monster from “Forbidden Planet”. What takes rather more swallowing is the appearance of the Dal’rok - it resembles a cross between the Michelin Man and a scrambled egg. Its appearance was about as unthreatening as could well be imagined.

2 stars, I think. The B plot with Jake, Nog and Varis was much better handled. The inclusion of Odo was a nice touch.
Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 6:39pm (UTC -6)
I think Jammer severely overrates "The Storyteller". The Jake/Nog and O'Brien/Bashir stuff was fine as usual, but the A-plot was simply awful. Nothing about it really works.

1.5 stars.
Cody B
Wed, Nov 21, 2018, 8:16am (UTC -6)
Odo and Quark bromance > O’Brien and Bashir bromance

Just look how Quark screams “BASHIR! BASHIR!” in the beginning of episode 18 when Odo passes out. If Bashir passed out O’Brien would nudge him with his foot and say “Uhh Julian?”

Side note I agree with the consensus of the B plot being better than the a-plot in this one. Not a 3 Star episode. We’ve seen this kind of thing over and over again throughout trek
Fri, Nov 23, 2018, 9:25pm (UTC -6)
Watching and commenting:

What's Eating Chief O'Brien? I guess we'll find out why he doesn't want to travel to Bajor with Bashir.

Surprise! The leader of the Paqu is a little girl!

Lots of people getting annoyed, lots of eye rolling. What gives here?

Sort of aimless.

I like the O'Brien story better, Meany is very good, he makes a ho-hum, awkward story better. The thematic connection between the two seems to be the need for unity.

Mirrors though. We see mirrors. Learning about others, knowing yourself, what's reflected back at you. They think O'Brien is the Sirah, but he's not. They think Varis is weak, but she's not.

So the Chief and the Doctor find some common ground at the end as well, though the good natured O'Brien's initial disdain for Julian is never really explained. Seems very artificial, just meant to add one more conflict to resolve, to fit the theme.

Was surprised to get no explanation for the Dal Roc. What was it?
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 2:55am (UTC -6)
Pretty dumb episode. But obnoxiously dumb, not harmlessly dumb like "Move Along Home."

Dauphin 2.0 was I guess the best(?) part of the episode, but mostly it just shows why actual world leaders are not 15 years old. Also, what happened to Bajor having a *unified* provisional government? Seems like a rejected TNG script for aliens of the week.

Presenting O'Brien with whores is definitely a sour note. But where is everyone getting the idea that they are supposed to be virgins, other than that the storyline is religious and so they must be? Because that is way worse than them just being ordinary prostitutes. Which is itself a bad choice, but more in the "jokes that aren't funny" category than the "Wow that's really offensive" category.

One star for Jake, Nog, and Colm Meaney's acting, unless the virgins thing is real, then zero stars.
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 2:59am (UTC -6)
After reflection, I'll toss in an extra half a star for the bucket of oatmeal. 1.5/0.5 depending on virgins.
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 6:36am (UTC -6)
I guessed that the menace was artificial but I thought it was about the Cardassians. All the stuff in the speech about resisting. And then it's hidden from the Cardassians under this veneer of "stupid Bajoran peasants and their stupid superstitions", so that they could get away with it. But it wasn't a veneer. Why would the storyteller not have noticed at any point in history that this wasn't necessary any more and was just injuring people for no reason? (There is no evidence of the division any more, or even that the people remember being once divided). Why is the apprentice willing to kill over full on nonsense? And why are the villagers so awful and pathetic when they've gotten through the occupation of Bajor? They don't care enough about this monster to fight it unless they're coached step by step?

Why is neither of these plots, about preventing civil wars on Bajor and about the unity and safety of the Bajorans, related to Kai Opaka's fate? Kira said near the beginning of the season that she's the glue holding Bajor together, which makes her "death" even worse, but there's no evidence.

Voyager S1 had more of an overarching plot than this, so I don't understand the comparisons made that it had a "reset button" but DS9 has a real story. Also, they had an excuse for crewmembers having to follow the whims of weirdo superstitious aliens, because they'd be stuck on a crashed shuttle that was lightyears from Voyager which was the only ally around. Why at no point does O'Brien or Bashir contact DS9, the Federation, or the Bajoran government about this problem? They're not stuck on the other side of the galaxy and they don't even make up a technobabble reason they can't contact anyone.

I did like the plot about the girl leader but I don't understand why her fabulous father (or anyone on the other side truly concerned about war) never came up with "you keep the land, but we still need access to the river through parts of it" before today. I can see why a 14 year old girl with few to advise her and very focussed on not looking weak struggled to come up with this, but this is a problem from before her grandfather's time, not a new one that's only affecting her!
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
I think it's amazing how high Jammer rated these early episodes. By this point, the only episodes I found worth watching were Past Prologue, Capitive Pursuit, Babel, Q-Less, and Vortex. The rest was on the level of TNG's first season. It's been 25 years since I've first watched DS9, and I don't remember most of it, so I'm curious how the next seasons will improve upon the show.
Tue, Dec 17, 2019, 10:05am (UTC -6)
This is a good episode to take less seriously, I feel. Oatmeal Odo and O'Brien's "storytelling" were definitely the best moments. Strong character dynamics here -- I'm growing to really rather like the Nog and Jake double act, and I know the Bashir/O'Brien relationship grows to something far stronger over the years, so I'm enjoying watching the foundations laid for it here.
Mon, Jan 13, 2020, 8:21pm (UTC -6)
It's obvious this episode was cobbled together with rejected TNG plots. Both stories treat Bajor as a random planet of the week. You could swap Geordi, Worf and/or Data to play the Bashir/O'Brien parts. And having Picard try to negotiate a land deal with a moody preteen would have been interesting as well.
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 9:22am (UTC -6)
My problem with this story is, that the bajoran villagers, appear as so backwards and stupid, i can't really suspend my disbelief that much.

They seem to assume that O'Brien, even when he just appeared in their village some days ago, has some deep knowledge or power. And as every religious fanatic they are immune to reasonable arguments.

They even send him some girls....well...

This Episode is everything i hate about the bajoran people and their "religion".
Tue, Nov 3, 2020, 8:38pm (UTC -6)
This is one of those early episodes that are very very well, in some respects.

Mainly, this one lays the origin of the great O’brien/Bashir friendship. It’s also a great early “let’s torture O’brien” story. And if DS9 did anything spectacular, it was torturing O’Brien!

The main problem with this whole episode, which I think it’s clear Paramount understood, it made no sense that Bajor had an isolated village like this, considering the occupation, the Feds, etc etc.
Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 11:09am (UTC -6)
It's lightweight, and does an okay job building the Jake-Nog and the O'Brien-Bashir friendships. In hindsight, it would have been awful anywhere other than season 1. The only trouble I have is the same old story - how were the Bajorans able to mount an insurgency when they consistently show how they are so easily swayed and quick to change their minds about anything? I always wish the writers would have made them stronger and more capable.
Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
Buckbart said: "The only trouble I have is the same old story - how were the Bajorans able to mount an insurgency when they consistently show how they are so easily swayed and quick to change their minds about anything?"

Because the Cardassians provided a common foe for all the factions and casts to rally against.
Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 1:32pm (UTC -6)
Wed, Aug 18, 2021, 2:22am (UTC -6)
THESE are the people who defeated the Cardassians? No, these villagers are not Bajorans. This was a primitive middle ages era civilization on some random planet; someone must have got the scripts mixed up with a random TNG episode.
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 9:59pm (UTC -6)
This one isn't very good. The whole thing with O'Brien on the planet is ridiculous, and I really don't care for the B story line at all. However, as other's have mentioned, the Jake/Nog interactions are enjoyable. I would only give it 1 star though.
Old Mate
Fri, Apr 8, 2022, 9:17am (UTC -6)
Mate, I’m sorry. But this episode is truly dreadful. It’s making me question my commitment to DS9 rather then just skipping onto voyager. I just found it exceptionally dumb.

Love ya, Jammer. Long time reader. First time whiner.
Fri, Apr 8, 2022, 10:41am (UTC -6)
Stick with it @Old Mate, lots of one-and-done storylines in season 1 and 2 are subpar but they help to build character development and by the end of season 2, the show really hots up. I used to love Voyager which I watched before DS9 but now I think this show is much more enjoyable, especially when the long story arcs kick in.
Old Mate
Sat, Apr 9, 2022, 6:57pm (UTC -6)
Thanks @DanielW. I will do :)
Tue, Jun 7, 2022, 9:03pm (UTC -6)
I still get a laugh out of the Bucket Full of Odo joke Nog pulled. It was fun watching as the tetrarch and then finally Jake as well saw the humor in it and began laughing. Of course, Odo was less amused, but who would be happy to find oatmeal in their bed?
Wed, Jul 13, 2022, 11:34am (UTC -6)
OMG, are you KIDDING me!?!?!

I thought Troi's "Follow that brick!" line from one of the S7 T.N.G. episodes was the most asinine, imbecilic, moronic depth Star Trek could ever plumb, even worse than Voyager's Threshold, but, boy, did this ep. prove me wrong!

A senile old clown in some retrograde Podunk Co(s)mic yelling at the sky and the villagers, too, like total IDIOTS, and then getting O'Brien to do the same... Whaaaaaaaaa...?????

WHO, HOW, and most of all WHYYYYYYYYYYY thought that utter shit should EVER be written into a Star Trek script!?!?!?! So, incredibly, stupendously, stupefyingly STUPID! I'm just speechless...

Sorry I can't proffer a high-brow, constructive comment, but this is truly beyond the pale.

* * *

Well, actually, I do have a perhaps more insightful apercu.

The kid leader, obstinate and cocksure of herself... - ah, we've all been there. It was me in high school and college: I had all the wisdom of the world in my little pinky finger. Of course, I still do...hehehe...but now my wisdom consists mainly of the realization that there is far more that I do not know than that which I do. My point though is that for much of history that's how it used to work: If papa king snuffed it a bit too early, he'd be succeeded by a baby king who could well be still wearing diapers, or maybe equivalent to being in grade 5 elementary. That kid would be calling the shots and deciding the lives and destinies of thousands of his subjects.


Thank the lords we've had enough sense to move away from at least that system of governance...

...not that the slimy, unaccountable globalist elites and their shills ruling us now is something a whole lot better!

* * *

The oatmeal/Otto bucket was funny! The kids' interaction was infinitely more engaging than the "A" (really Z) story.

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