Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"The Sound of Her Voice"
Air date: 6/8/1998
Teleplay by Ronald D. Moore
Story by Pam Pietroforte
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"Lisa Cusak was my friend. But you are also my friends, and I want my friends in my life ... because someday we're going to wake up and we're gonna find that someone is missing from this circle." — O'Brien, foreshadowing next week's loss all too well
Nutshell: A reasonable story, but surprisingly unaffecting and unmemorable.
As the season winds to a close, it seems that DS9 is saving all its cards for the last episode. The most recent stretch of shows has been variable, and I've been aching to get back into the main flow of the drama. Well, I guess I'll just have to wait one more week; "The Sound of Her Voice" is okay, but hardly anything worth getting excited about, especially in a war-torn quadrant as chaotic as the DS9 universe (or, more specifically, the mostly off-screen DS9 universe).
"The Sound of Her Voice" is a primarily gimmick-free drama about characters. Specifically, the Defiant crew receives a distress call from a Starfleet captain who is stranded on a desolate planet. They must race to her rescue before she runs out of survival medication, which counteracts the effects of carbon dioxide poisoning. In the meantime (the journey takes several days), the crew keeps her company by taking shifts talking to her over the audio-only communications link. They slowly get to know all about her through, as the title says, the sound of her voice. She's a captain whose ship crashed after it was caught by a planet's bizarre energy fields. Her name is Lisa Cusak (Debra Wilson is the actress behind the voice).
I honestly don't have a whole lot to say about this episode (this is probably one of the shorter reviews I've written in the past year). It's pleasant and benefits from good intentions and the general acknowledgment that its characters are people rather than plot pieces. On the other hand, as a dialog-heavy episode, the discussions simply aren't incredibly compelling. The episode also has a B-story that, although pleasant, is about as transparent as they come. Upon seeing how both plots unfold, a big part of me wants to say "so what?"
Lest the "so what?" gets the better of me, let me point out that there is some palatable character work here. It's just that little of it, if any, is deep or challenging.
Bashir's conversations with Lisa weren't much to speak of, though Lisa pretending to be eaten shows a sadistic sense of humor.
The idea of Sisko discussing with Lisa ("captain to captain") his apprehension of having Kasidy on board the Defiant (as a liaison to other freighter captains) is a little more discussion worthy, but still rather neutral fare. (Kasidy's limited appearances this season have had very little character-building impact. Penny Johnson's only other appearance was in "Far Beyond the Stars" where most of the time she wasn't even playing Kasidy.)
The most interesting and believable aspect of the episode was O'Brien's theme, in which he realizes he can bear his soul and problems to Lisa better than he can to his own friends. Sometimes neutral strangers can be good listeners, but the point here (as emphasized at the end of the episode) is that the war has taken its toll on these people, and that they have grown apart as a result. It's a respectably subtle aspect of the war's effect, and I liked it.
As for the Odo/Quark B-story: It's amiable, but pretty darn thin. In the past I've called their relationship "camaraderie in code," but here it's more like a grudging mutual acceptance. While there's nothing here that we haven't seen before, it's okay as fluff considering that the humanization of Odo still makes for pleasant viewing (reinforced here by his ultimate decision to cut Quark some slack for a change). Still, the fact that Quark's Master Money-Making Plan™ falls apart as easily as it does is so short-sighted on Quark's part that it comes across as contrived. Or maybe Quark is just getting rusty.
The main story's plot twist at the end—in which it's revealed that Lisa has actually been dead on the planet for three years, having communicated with the Defiant crew through a time-shift anomaly that sent communications signals three years back and forth through time—struck me as a bit of a reach. It's not the sci-fi aspect that I found to be implausible per se; it's that no one on the Defiant looked up a record on Lisa's ship, where they would've discovered her deep-space mission started 11 years ago rather than eight, as she had told them. Not to nitpick or anything, it's just that the twist didn't really serve much purpose; it struck me as a convenient way to get the writers out of the catch-22 created by the fact that neither succeeding In the Nick of Time nor failing By the Slimmest of Margins would be a particularly fresh or satisfying approach to the story's ending. I guess that takes us back to the story's bigger problem, which is that I didn't much care if Lisa Cusak survived or not. The twist seems more like a distraction to lure us away from the fact that there isn't enough at stake for us as viewers.
Yet "The Sound of Her Voice" isn't really a bad episode. There's some interesting stuff here that directly affects the regular characters. The O'Brien theme worked well, the Sisko issue was agreeable if thin, and I liked seeing Jake in a position where he could've potentially gotten his hands a little dirty.
The wake for Lisa Cusak at the episode's end pulls everything together into a halfway relevant context of sorts, though I can't really say I was moved by it. Sure, I believe the Defiant crew would honor Captain Cusak as a fellow officer, and even that they would consider her a "friend"; I just don't feel that I knew her well enough to really be much more than an guest observer at a funeral for someone I had never met.
Also, there's one other thing about the final scene that's perhaps too obvious: O'Brien's lengthy speech where he says, "Someday we're going to wake up and we're gonna find that someone is missing from this circle." Now, knowing that a certain member of Sisko's crew is going to die in the season finale next week (I of course won't reveal who that is, although many if not most people who are reading this review have probably known for months who that person is), O'Brien's speech is nothing short of prophetic. Does that make it manipulative? Prudent? A good way of foreshadowing? I'm not sure; as with most of this episode, I'm just mostly indifferent.
Next week: A return to the war storyline in the long-awaited season finale, in which a Federation victory will cost Sisko one of his crew.
Previous episode: Time's Orphan
Next episode: Tears of the Prophets
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59 comments on this post
Thu, Nov 13, 2008, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 11, 2008, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
Then the B story wasn't as good as the A but still entertaining. I found my self feeling sorry for Quark because criminal or not he did deserve a win. Also Odo showing a softer side was a nice change.
Sat, Mar 7, 2009, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
I thought the episode would actually have been better served without the tech angle. The way I would have written it, Sisko should have chosen to violate orders (some important but abstract war-related mission, like convoy protection) to go off the rescue, because his damaged and burdened soul needed saving as much as Captain Cusack. He justifies his actions to himself, because she is a living, breathing person that he can save, a mission that he knows he can complete (as opposed to the grim specter of the war and its mounting casualties). For him, the tangible good of the one outweighs the abstract good of the many.
Unfortunately, they don't make it in time, leaving Sisko to ponder what he has wrought. Captain Cusack is dead, and the mission he decided to ignore results in another Federation setback, a different lesson from the one in ITPM (where he concluded that the ends definitely justified the means). He gets dressed down by Admiral Ross and told in no unclear terms that there is no room for individual sentiment when billions of lives are at stake, which reminds him of a similar lecture he gave Worf for his actions in "Change of Heart." Sisko realizes it is not easy to practice what one preaches when the heart is involved.
Or something. I'm not a writer, but I play one on TV :-)!
Sat, Nov 28, 2009, 8:30am (UTC -5)
Of course, now I know someone's going to die.
This is also why "The Sixth Sense" in not that big a deal for me.
Sun, Dec 6, 2009, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Jul 28, 2010, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Mon, Nov 21, 2011, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 3, 2012, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
I also liked the Jake/Quark combination. I always felt that Jake should take over the bar from Quark.
I do not see the point of the time shift/barrier.
Sat, Jun 2, 2012, 2:12am (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 3, 2012, 11:36pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Sep 16, 2012, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
(Needless to say, I am not a fan of this episode.)
Sat, Aug 3, 2013, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Lately DS9 has either been depressing or inane. I think I might take a little break from it after I finish this season on Netflix. In burned out on watching people suffer. I get enough of that in "real life."
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 11:41pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Nov 10, 2013, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Methinks if "Sound of Her Voice" had aired in 1995 and "Eye of the Needle" in 1998, Jammer would've pounced on the latter for ripping off the former with the same glee Odo took in citing Quark for violating regulations governing bar stools.
I liked this episode and found it moving, but I agree with the criticisms against it. It would've helped if we would have at least seen a picture of Captain Cusak at the end, or seen some of her friends and family at the memorial service. The absence of both, and the fact that we never learned any of the personal details of her life, (unlike the Romulan played by Vaughn Armstrong in "Eye of the Needle," whom we come to care about deeply) left her character feeling like nothing more than a shallow device to help the DS9 characters express their feelings.
Sun, Nov 10, 2013, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Of course, while "Eye of the Needle" was a solid entry for Voyager's uneven first season, "The Sound of Her Voice" represents one of the lulls in DS9's 6th season and is a pretty forgettable episode.
Wed, Nov 27, 2013, 1:04am (UTC -5)
Anyway, I think V has a point. It is fair to criticise inconstancies in reviews that might undermine their relative impartiality. It must be conceded that Jammer's criticisms of many a VOY episode dwelled on their similarities to TNG ideas. To someone drunk on the DS9 koolaid, I can see it as unnecessary to hold DS9 to the same standard, but there it is.
As for this episode. Eh...I like the idea of revealing the cast to be made of generally lonely, vulnerable people, accentuated by the war condition, but the topics of conversation between crewman X and Captain Cusak crossed the line from "intimate" to "pedestrian" (a systemic flaw of the series I might add) which basically read like the appendices of obscure biographies.
It would probably get 2 - 2.5* from me, too.
Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 27, 2014, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
What forgetable safe boring predicatble drivel, with yet more unnecessary galactic sized plot holes, that serve no purpose, which reeks of lazy writing and possibly a rush job from the cutting room floor back onto the final tapes? Even the final scene is clumsily written but saves it from zero stars. One star for me.
Thu, May 8, 2014, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
I always thought of this as a quietly poignant episode that was a little too romantic with itself over its own sense of tragedy.
The sub-plot was a nice touch if a bit trite. But Quark was right in this one which is nice to see. Even if he is wrong for the reasons pertaining to the specificity of the moment.
I really like this episode. It's not a huge winner to be sure, but it's not a tosser either. Well-realized character moments from beginning to end is the sole episodes' strength and, as it is on its own terms, works for me.
Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
I'm not sure why I enjoy this one, it could be that I really enjoyed the sound of Debra Wilson's voice (no pun intended), or how our heroes opened up to a complete stranger, or the fact that they cared for her ... or that maybe I did as the episode unveiled.
I agree, it would have been nice if they found a picture of Lisa so we could have seen her at the funeral.
I thought the funeral was a nice touch and O'brien's speech quite foreshadowing. I'm guessing that was done on purpose by the writers.
A filler episode, many times those are quite enjoyable.
3 stars for me.
Tue, Oct 14, 2014, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
For "The Sound of Her Voice" I'll be going against the crowd again, as I quite liked it quite a bit. This one is a lot like "In the Cards" in that it's light enough to be forgotten but does a nice job reflecting on the anxieties the characters have been going through up to this point. Nothing here is groundbreaking at all, but I really like that the show slowed down to do this episode. I don't think it's a waste like some may; the real wastes were the two preceding episodes.
Does the time-displacement gimmick work? I think it works. Lisa gives our heroes a bit of brightness during a very dark time - this much is obvious. The camaraderie, of course, works both ways, since Lisa gets that same companionship in what was (unknowingly to everyone) a hopeless situation. The gimmick also holds Lisa at a much-needed distance and keeps her death from being the result of an immediate plot contrivance (her medication being tainted, Defiant can't go fast enough, etc.). It all works for me, and I'm the guy who's always first to call an episode out for using a sci-fi gimmick when the story could have been told without one ("Things Past" I'm looking at you).
A strong 3 stars for me. A hidden DS9 gem, and my favourite S6 hour that isn't "Far Beyond the Stars", "In the Pale Moonlight", "Waltz" or part of the occupation arc.
Mon, Feb 16, 2015, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 19, 2015, 10:55am (UTC -5)
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 8:21am (UTC -5)
The B-story - Odo has a heart of gold! - is amiable enough. 2.5 stars.
Wed, Feb 24, 2016, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
In practice, the episode lives or dies on the strength of the character dialogue scenes, since there is very little else to this story. (This is one of the thinnest plots I can recall on the series.) To me, they are so-so. Cusak herself comes across as a bit of a plot device -- I get that it helps her to talk to others and help them with their problems, but it is also a little hard to believe that she is *so* willing to devote all her mental resources to helping the people on the ship when she is not only herself dying but also thinks she just lost her ship with all hands aboard. And as for the insights into the main cast, all somewhat plausible but a little contradictory to what we have seen, all a little too shallow. I can see the case that the crew has drifted apart over the last few months, and from O'Brien's perspective in particular Bashir wasn't that empathetic in "Honour Among Thieves" and he and Keiko mostly had to go through the "Time's Orphan" experience alone-ish, though neither are really "because of the war" as he claims. Still, most other episodes have Bashir and O'Brien being best friends as ever, darts and tongo and Alamo planning and passing holosuite time, without much seeming to have changed since s5. Along similar lines, the season has at times portrayed Bashir as being notably more distant, robotic, unemotional, especially in "A Time to Stand" (one of the eps that Siddig complained about as being basically written like Data), but we also have Bashir's very public emotional downward spiral in "Statistical Probabilities" and Quark's lulling him into a lovelorn state in "Change of Heart." The common theme of these two stories is alienation, and in both cases I'm not sure how much I believe that alienation has been shown with any consistency this season. And to the extent I buy it (which I do to some extent), the episode doesn't dig deeper into why this is happening -- why is it hard for O'Brien to talk to his friends? Why is it hard for Bashir to express his feelings, and why does he want to hide in his intellect?
The Sisko-Kasidy story strikes me as a bit of a misstep -- with everything that Sisko has done and gone through this year, that his Issue of the Week is that it's awkward having his girlfriend on board his ship seems really like the least of his problems. I get that it would be hard to have Sisko talk about "In the Pale Moonlight," even in code, but this really is an opportunity to talk about the war and the Prophets situations with someone who didn't see the buildup. (And yes, he talked about the war, but it seems as if he talked about the war in dry terms, rather than in terms of the personal toll it has taken on him -- and now would be a great time to go through that.) Having Sisko's Issue of the Week be about Kasidy is not in itself a bad idea, but I wish that the problem was more specific to SIsko's particular situation rather than the generic "weirdness of being a captain and having your girlfriend there" situation presented, which is much more easily solved. Does Sisko wonder what Kasidy would think of him if she knew what he had done in secret for the war effort? Does he wonder if she will get killed, as Jennifer did? Does he wonder how she will be impacted by his "penance"? Will she, like Jake, come in the crossfire of the Prophets-Pah Wraith struggle that crops up around Sisko? (This last one would be especially great to have him talk about -- since it would set up the shock of who actually does get caught in the crossfire next week.) Can she even understand him at all, when his mental space is so full of war strategies and Bajoran religion which she is staying out of at least to some extent? These are bigger questions, harder ones to resolve, and I think more interesting. And given how much every Sisko episode this season emphasizes how TORTURED he is, how much he feels the weight of the quadrant on his shoulders, etc., I really don't believe that none of *this* would have an impact on his relationship, or wouldn't come up in conversation regarding him and Kasidy.
The subplot feels interestingly late-series to me. For Quark to state out loud that he feels Odo *owes him* something for Quark's having helped him, and that Odo would more or less accept that and completely suspend his duties as lawman as a personal favour to Quark, is about as far as Odo-Quark can go, with both parties more or less at the point of open acknowledgment of their bond, even if not open acknowledgment to each other. And for Odo especially, his putting his happiness with Kira and Quark's role in bringing that forth above the law pays off/completes a story from "Necessary Evil," where Odo acknowledged that justice could no longer be blind for him where Kira is concerned. There is, as it turns out, more Odo story in season seven, having to do with Odo/Kira vs. Odo & his role as Founder/changeling (c.f. "Treachery, Faith and the Great River," "Chimera," final arc). But this is something of a signal that there isn't too much of Odo's story left. It does make it seem as if much of Odo's conception of Justice! was always, in addition to his species' predilection for order, a sublimation for a desire for emotional closeness which seemed always out of his reach, so that now that he has a girlfriend he can stop being a hardass, at least some of the time. The rest of the time -- well, the man still has to maintain his job, and some of the Wile E./Road Runner never-ending chase dynamic of Odo and Quark has to be maintained because it is a type of pleasure in and of itself. It is nice to see Jake, but it is a shame that there are so few stories which make use of Jake in any particularly meaningful way -- here he really is *just* there to hear Quark. To some degree the same could be said of Kira (who is mostly there just to hear Odo), but at least Odo/Kira is an important relationship.
While a little straightforward, I like the subplot okay. So the episode is probably 2-2.5; overall, I find the main plot thin and unconvincing enough that I'll say 2, though I think that the episode is not *bad* by any means, just a little empty.
Tue, Jul 12, 2016, 9:49am (UTC -5)
Same impression after so long since first seeing it. I don't know if it was the actress or the lines, but it was unaffecting to me because I frankly found this Cusack character both annoying and uncaptainlike. The reveal of her body should've been horrifying but instead I was thinking "And here lies an annoying person no longer being annoying." Considering how sympathetic she should've been in her situation, that's not good, hahah. I didn't think she was charismatic like she was supposed to be. The substance was still essentially good, so I get the review being fair. I don't disagree that it's solid. Just, personally, never liked the main story.
B story: Nothing against the actor, but having Jake bumbling around is almost never of even vague interest to me, even in the B story. It normally seems forced to give the actor some airtime and not anymore meaty than Rom and Leeta, better than half the time. I never thought his character was at all interesting beyond two episodes (where he was played by a different actor as an old man and where he confronted cowardice on the battlefield) I liked Odo letting Quark off the hook in the end though. It's a fitting sign of their unspoken frenemy status getting to the both of them over the years.
The overlooked highlight of the show:
It's weird, but the standout to me is a very tiny sliver of the show. The only thing that really got me that was affecting and interesting and corroborated something I always thought about Sisko/Bashir, maybe never realized about the episode before. It's at the beginning, I think. Kasidy remarks about Julian's sullen unconversational change in personality. I think Jammer's mentioned him getting like this since the Dominion war already. Sisko tells Kasidy he likes Julian better this way. She says Sisko is being mean, and you can tell it's seriously off-putting to her. He tries to play it off like he was kidding. She knows he wasn't. She's no dummy. Avery Brooks is great in that little conversation. He smiles, the big Sisko smile, but his eyes are not smiling at all. His eyes betray nothing but darkness. He doesn't like her being there. He doesn't like that he can't charm her with a smile and that she knows he's not kidding when he thinks he's acted well.
He never really liked the doctor in any personal way. I feel like you can normally tell he likes and respects Worf, Dax, Odo, Kira, O'Brien, even when he's putting the authority down. He doesn't relate much to the doctor. Never did. Meanwhile, he always seemed to relate to the others in one way or another. He stuck up for Bashir before, only because he was his captain. If the doctor's miserable, he's still more tolerable to him, and he prefers it that way. That was an ugly truth said in jest that reflected poorly on him. It's maybe the most interesting minute of the whole damn show. That they wrote it in or the way it was acted, very interesting. I recommend anyone who looked past it who's interested to just go back to the beginning if they can and check that one bit out. It seems to say so much with so little. Perfectly done. A sign of how good Brooks can be when he goes understated too.
Fri, Dec 30, 2016, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 21, 2017, 4:34am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 9, 2017, 4:03am (UTC -5)
I never saw the Sisko/Bashir relationship in that light, but now that you mention it I do see a connection between the dots. Bashir often questions the captain's decisions and makes his opposition abundantly clear. Theirs is a relationship that's not been given much attention, but come to think of it Sisko seems far more distant from his officers than other captains. In fact I would suggest that the only officer he genuinely likes on his own terms is Jadzia.
The episode was entertaining, for what it was worth. I liked how the ST deus ex machina way of saving people in the nick of time is subverted here for once. Are we ever given an explanation for Julian's sullen behaviour? He seemed pretty off in this episode.
Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
The relationship between Quark and Odo makes little sense given everything they have now been through together. Why does the series consistently overlook that Quark is a hero from when the dominion was occupying DS9? Odo does not want Quark to go to jail, and it's weird that Quark thinks that he does.
In all these years Quark has never managed to smuggle anything onto DS9 on Odo's watch. I had kind of assumed that he was actually getting away with a lot, or he would have stopped trying, but this episode confirms that this was the first time he has ever succeeded. Which begs the question -- why does he keep trying? Why not put his efforts into opening a satellite bar on Bajor or something? It seems like that would be a lot more profitable.
As for the A plot: It fell flat because no one addressed anything real. I assumed that Sisko was planning on dumping the rarely seen girlfriend, but no, he just doesn't want her on the bridge.
O'Brien doesn't feel as close to his friends as he did because of the war, but we've never seen that. To the contrary, we have seen him speaking to Julian about very personal things, such as after his undercover operation.
Julian's speech at the end had little to do with his conversations with the woman.
I also didn't buy Lisa as a character. For one thing, she's just lost her entire crew but seems not too upset about it.
Wouldn't the characters be aware that everything they are saying to Lisa is being recorded, and self-censor quite a bit more than they did?
Wed, Apr 5, 2017, 7:17pm (UTC -5)
Sun, May 21, 2017, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Sisko: What's her name?
Crewman: Lisa Cusak
Sisko: Let's look her up and confirm her identity before we 1) delay our mission by 12 days running after her, and 2) telling her all our personal and military secrets
Crewman [2 seconds later]: Wikipedia says she died years ago when her ship went missing.
Sisko: Captain Cusak, what's the star date?
Cusak: [some number]
Sisko: Honey, I've got some bad news for you.
Sisko [to Crewman]: Resume course.
Mon, May 22, 2017, 6:47am (UTC -5)
Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Simple. They are both about conversing with someone unknowingly in a different time and ultimately their attempts are hopeless, with the time difference in a big reveal at the end.
On seeing this I immediately thought this has been done before and a bit obvious. But they are done differently. This one I feel is better as there's more of an emotional element and sadness.
As for some saying why the time element at all, well if they'd just got there late it would mean they failed in their mission and let her down (although that would have made for a nicer darker ending). This ending means it wasn't really their fault. At least if we ignore that they could have easily worked out she's out of time up front, but then the same could be said of "Eye of the Needle".
Anyway, nothing amazing. A gentle episode, with bit of Trek scifi, bit of humour in the B story, bit of emotion in both.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
"What does this episode have to do with "Eye of the Needle", "
"Simple. They are both about conversing with someone unknowingly in a different time and ultimately their attempts are hopeless, with the time difference in a big reveal at the end."
And... "The Sound..." and "Eye..." are both directed by Winrich Kolbe ;).
By the way: there is also third temporal story of that kind - AND "The Banks of the Lethe".
Tue, Jul 18, 2017, 8:59am (UTC -5)
I have no idea how Jammer can give Profit and Lace zero stars yet give this over 2 stars.
The whole episode is like a counselling session with Deanna Troi with a side plot of Odo planning for a one month anniversary.
W T F ?
At least Profit and Lace discussed an important topic - female consumerism and how the rise of feminism and female suffrage wasn't "moral" choices humanity made because they felt bad but rather a calculated piece of social engineering to tax the majority of the population and create new job opportunities (know how many day care centres there were in the 50s? You could count them on one hand).
This episode was simply boring and honestly Sisko in this one was a worse captain that young Captain Watters of the USS Valiant.
6 day mission off a one way distress signal? Maybe I can agree with that.
Using the phaser reserves to possibly save one life during wartime? OMG, lucky the Defiant is a Federation ship, had Martok tried to do that on a Bird of Prey Worf would have challenged him for captaincy and rightly so.
I struggle to think of a worse DS9 episode than this one, heck, it makes the alien jellyfish lovers at the end of TNG's Encounter at Farpoint look masterful (Blergh!)
Half a star (purely for Worf insisting they don't using phaser reserve power)
Tue, Jul 18, 2017, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
You are cobbling together a lot of different things. Lemme separate them out for you.
"Feminism" is an ideology. In the west it has existed since maybe the late 18thC. It has been almost entirely driven by women themselves, calling for redress of sex-based injustices. It has nothing to do with consumerism... though companies certainly hitched themselves to it for profit (Virginia Slims cigarettes, for example).
Women's suffrage is the pursuit of voting rights for women. This datas to 1900-1920. Again the marches, demands, etc, were nearly all female-driven. Even when women got the vote in England and the US they largely did not have money to burn. (The rich women did - but the vote didn't create that: they already had money and sometimes the freedom to spend it. And after suffrage, working-class women continued to work, as they always had/have - but they were unlikely to buy much beyond the essentials.). So the suffrage movement didn't do anything to benefit salespeople.
You cite the 1950s: as a time of no daycare workers. The 50s did offer other crap jobs to women though: nurse, secretary, teacher. (This was well after women got the vote, so please don't mix up the 50s with suffrage!).
Ads pitched to middle class women were out in force in the 50s and 60s, in magazines and on the new medium of TV. They were ads for cleaning products and glamor/beauty products, and enforced the UN-feminist status quo: "Clean your husband's shirts as well as your pretty neighbor does, so your husband won't wander!" Or, "Wear this face cream and look like Jackie!". Consumerism, yes...feminism, no.
As for the 70s and the opening of work opportunities to half the population: errr yes, I suppose day care jobs were created , Daycare work is all low-paid, and not a great source of taxes! Nor are daycare workers likely to buy much luxury stuff as they scrape by on min wage.
And again, the push for work opportunities was largely driven by women themselves. TV shows and ads lagged behind the demands of feminists, upholding the status quo before wising up and smelling a new opportunity to market themselves to women of the new era. It was and is feminists who protested - still today - at the retro portrayals of themselves in ads and print media. The ads still said "Buy Mr Clean and have a perfect home!" while feminists were saying "Screw that."
Basically, anyone with means (or married to someone of means) is targeted by those with something to sell. It has always been that way. All that's changed is the products pitched to both sexes and the way those products are presented.
So I am puzzled - but interested - by your assessment .
Mon, Aug 21, 2017, 9:33am (UTC -5)
Fri, Sep 8, 2017, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Highlight for me was Colm Meaney's acting: I thought he really sold it.
About two thirds through I realised someone was missing: where was Dax this week? I know she showed up at the end but her absence felt odd.
I actually liked what they did with Jake here. I seem to recall he's underused in season 7 - might have been nice if they'd had him teaming up with Quark a little more, which could have been an even neater inversion of the expected Jake=Starfleet, Nog=Ferengi businessman setup.
Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 7:00am (UTC -5)
And running off on a 12-day detour (12 days at max warp, they could always throw in engine failure if they needed to pad the script) based on a 1-way distress call? I was half-expecting it to be a Dominion trap.
And all that endless blather from Lisa..."Help, I can't breathe, I'm suffocating...but I'll keep yapping non-stop 24 hours a day for 6 days."
Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 2:52am (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 23, 2018, 2:57pm (UTC -5)
I get that they were using the stranded captain as a device for our protagonists to verbalize their feelings for the audience and to do some introspection, but unfortunately the dialogues were so pedestrian that I didn't give them a second thought after the credits.
The twist raised up some new elements that were never adressed by the episode, such as how did no one realize from the conversations alone that they didn't share the same time period, but Trek rarely addresses such "minor" plot issues anyway. What makes it so apparent here is that this was by no means a bad episode, but something I find to be even worse - an average hour of wasted potential that with just some really minor tweaks could've worked way better.
Thu, Sep 13, 2018, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
It was BS with Lisa being dead for 3 years given the liveliness of the communication -- why did that need to be thrown in? It would have been perfectly fine if, for once, the rescue team didn't get there in time and found her dead. They could still get on with the eulogies and talking about what she made them realize about themselves. No need to introduce the time-shift in the communications because of some nonsense with the planet's atmosphere or whatever -- needless sci-fi suspension of disbelief required.
The B-plot was mediocre -- another example of Odo lightening up although he should really be nailing Quark. But Quark was helping him out with his romance with Kira since Odo is clueless. Seems like the writers are just trying to give Jake something to do -- he has really been neglected of late. This was just filler material although it was almost more interesting early in the episode than listening to Lisa talking/badgering Sisko etc.
Interesting how Sisko and Kasidy have some issues and this comes out in the conversation with Lisa, then it starts to click with O'Brien who opens up to Lisa. Ridiculous how Lisa pretends to be eaten to get Bashir to listen to her.
Barely 2.5 stars for "The Sound of Her Voice" -- clever tool to psychoanalyze Sisko/O'Brien although the episode was dull for long stretches. Hard to care for some distant voice, who was annoying at times with her probing into the personal lives of Sisko/O'Brien. But the episode does a good job portraying how tough things are on Sisko/O'Brien -- the captain does seem miserable around Kasidy.
Sun, Sep 23, 2018, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
WASTE OF FILM
WASTE OF TALENT
THAT 'RADIO' WOULD NOT HAVE LASTED FOR YEARS.
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
I was expecting them to find a female Vorta on a radio set.
That would have been great.
Then the crew would be so confused in confiding to an enemy
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
--Jake is job shadowing nefarious Quark.
--The Defiant is out to rescue a stranded Star Fleet captain.
--Cassidy acting strangely.
--A sweet episode. I'm going to try to comment more on it later. The technobabble was especially nutty, but I liked it.
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
But this episode is self-contained and, like the best of ST, explores concepts and ideas, even if not entirely well-handled. Yes, there are many plot holes (any captain, especially in a war situation, would immediately check the computers for information about the ship from which they receive a distress call ...but ST has never been known for realistic security), and yes, the denouement contains typical "modern" ST (TNG and later) technobabble, which was unnecessary. But I find it compelling and it remains one of the few DS9 episodes I will actually sit and watch, rather than losing interest in fifteen minutes; its effect, for me, is much like TNG's "The Inner Light" (admittedly a much better episode).
Thu, Aug 1, 2019, 8:38am (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 31, 2019, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
I do however always feel that Jake Sisko got lucky with Odo letting Quark get this one as by the end Jake isn't so much studying Quark as he is his accomplice.
Had Odo arrested Quark then surely he'd had of arrested Jake too if not an accomplice he is certainly an accessory.
Tue, Nov 26, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Strangers are often easier to talk to than friends or family. Having grown up online, with all the vast networks of strangers it connects you to, I've had years of my life to learn that fact. Friends and family are often too bound up in your problems to help with them, or you feel as if you never really have the opportunity when you see them in real life, or you don't want to "burden" them, don't want to be a downer when you usually just have fun with each other... any number of reasons. And yet it's remarkably easy to spill out thousands of deeply personal words to pseudononymous strangers or dying starship captains or Star Trek review sites. Less pressure to keep up whatever persona you might have, and the honesty starts tumbling out.
Hell -- in the near future, I'm marrying someone with whom I started off as one of those internet strangers. Met him online five years ago, met him in person three years ago, and have lived with him on and off since until now we're finally settling down together. My soon-to-be husband has told me about the first time he realised he wanted us to be more than just people who vaguely knew each other online -- he'd seen me in a group chat talking someone through some worries they had, and come to admire me for how I'd go to such lengths to talk to and help someone I barely knew. We've come to be the "talk forever about absolutely anything" people for each other, and while we're far more than internet strangers to each other now, that's how we started out.
So, watching as the Defiant's crew talks for hours on end to someone they barely know and have never even seen face-to-face... it resonated with me. I've been on both sides of that over the years, and it's come to shape the most important relationships in my life. I've been able to talk to people thousands of miles away when I couldn't talk to anyone "in real life". Lisa physically can't, all alone on her Class-L planet, but the rest of them *emotionally* can't.
This episode is a love letter to long-distance friendships with people you've never really "met". It's aged well as the internet's grown more and more universal -- internet friendships definitely already existed when this aired, but they're more prominent every day than ever before.
Like Jammer, it was Lisa's chats with O'Brien that hit home the most. They resonate the most with the theme of the episode and with what I've been saying above -- being able to talk honestly to strangers when you can't do the same with your friends. Was also amused by the talk about ship's counsellors. You *think* you don't need them, but then surprise, if you're feeling like you can't talk to anyone else, then maybe you actually do...!
(And hey, you never know, a counsellor might be an interesting character to see regularly on DS9. You know. Speaking purely hypothetically. Of course.)
Stepping aside from my emotional reaction, this definitely isn't a perfect episode. I'd like to have heard more about Lisa's life, rather than the couple halves of anecdotes she gave us. If not that, I'd appreciate having heard her talk to Kasidy, because on the whole, a lot of this was about getting an insight into various different men -- Sisko, Bashir, O'Brien, even Quark in the B-plot (which was nice, but I'm glad it finished early so we could focus all-in on Lisa). I say Kasidy in particular because -- given how Sisko's talks are about his relationship with Kasidy -- I'd appreciate having her side of the story.
To do a little further analysis gender-wise, it's interesting that it's only men confiding anything and everything in this disembodied voice -- because all too often men *are* the ones being brought up feeling like they can't really talk to anyone about their emotions, and needing all the more to get everything out. Too often, though, the women in their lives -- who *are* raised with the ability to talk honestly about how they feel -- end up having to shoulder more than they can deal with as one person. Lisa's character feels very genuine to me: I am someone who *was* raised with emotional understanding, and I often want to listen to everyone and give them the understanding they need -- and that has led to me taking on a lot more than I can bear, often without saying so, thinking it's "for everyone else's good". That's another reason why I would've appreciated hearing more from Lisa, not just having it fade to black mid-anecdote.
And on that note, I appreciate O'Brien's closing speech all the more. *Everyone* needs to talk to each other more. A burden shared is a burden halved, but half is still a lot to carry -- especially when the person you're sharing with is still carrying their own burden. Far better to share among more people than just one sole recipient, to ensure that nobody ever has to carry too much.
(that metaphor breaks down if you analyse it for more than a second, but the point stands. just work with me on this one)
I knew there was gonna be a twist when they discovered Lisa, and I don't think the sci-fi explanation quite works on me; I fully expected her to be already dead and for her voice to be a sort of technological echo ('Silence in the Library' from modern Doctor Who has a similar concept), but time travel atmosphere... kind of eh.
I hadn't realised that this was the last episode before the finale until reading Jammer's review. It's a fitting one. And yeah -- like Jammer, I'm fully aware of who that "certain crew member" is going to be in the next episode. Makes it even more poignant in retrospect.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Given the death of you-know-who next episode, and given that you-know-who's replacement ends up being the crew's resident counsellor (I know these two facts, and not much more), I'm feeling a potential thematic consistency going on here. Interested to see if they end up addressing things like this all the more -- and especially as the war drags on.
Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 8:52am (UTC -5)
The idea of having a hotline to talk to someone in a different time period is an interesting one, and it's been used successfully in a number of books and shows.
But as other people have noted, it's hard to believe that neither the Defiant crew nor Cusack would have realised the time difference. The Federation is now deep into a war which started less than three years ago; surely something would have come up in conversation to make one side realise something was askew. Then too (and to go geeky), I'd expect the communication stream itself to contain a timestamp for synchronisation and auditing purposes.
In fact, it would have made the episode more poignant if one side - or perhaps both - had realised, and decided to conceal that knowledge...
Tue, Mar 17, 2020, 12:12am (UTC -5)
One line in particular stood out when miles says someone in this circle (the crew) will be fine one day.
I really enjoyed the b story. Most of it was like able fluff but loved how it ended. Showed a more relaxed odo.
Interesting how dax has nothing to do here.
Thu, Nov 18, 2021, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
I do have to say that I was laughing out loud at the "I've eaten her!" speech! That was hilarious!
I actually liked this episode a lot. But I know that my preferences differ from most of you guys
Mon, Dec 13, 2021, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Moore strikes me as one of Trek's most muscular writers, and I'm not sure if he's suited for the kind of gentler writing this script required.
Fri, Feb 4, 2022, 12:01am (UTC -5)
But "The Sound of Her voice" is a far more powerful metaphor of a technology used commonly today. That is the 'chats" with technology such as "IRC". IRC ( Internet Relay Chat) is an internet text-based chat (instant messaging) system. Using IRC applications, it's possible to become well acquainted with persons anywhere in the world. Yet, it's also possible that people in such conversations will never actually meet in person. Hence the parallel with "The Sound of Her voice".
The melancholy sense of loss in "The Sound of Her voice" as the story concluded is MONUMENTAL. AND, it entirely escaped the notice of our host here. In much the same way, the sense of loss when one engages in countless hours in conversations with someone elsewhere in the world and, then suddenly has that contact terminate, is a major emotional time.
Each time I view "The Sound of Her voice", I experience that feeling again. I think it's a major counterpoint to Jammer's "mediocre" characterization of this episode in that he entirely overlooked this major human experience in such a story and it's very common in personal internet encounters since the internet began. Ben J
Fri, Feb 4, 2022, 7:14am (UTC -5)
And I'm amused at your IRC reference - now that's a blast from the past. I wasn't aware IRC even existed anymore. You need to get with the times. ICQ is the wave of the future.
Fri, Feb 4, 2022, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
Oh hey guys, hope you're doing well. :-)
Tue, Sep 27, 2022, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT?!?
1-1/2 stars, and that's philanthropy on 'oids.
P.S. I have to say: Dodo, much as I can't stand him, looked AWESOME in that evening suit! Think Borat: "Waa waa wow...very naaaaaaaaaays!" 👍
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