DS9 Reviews Part 42

Sunday, January 25, 2015 23:48

Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I continue with Deep Space Nine, season seven. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:

1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect

In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.

Chrysalis: 6.5

Jack, Lauren, Patrick, and Sarina, the genetically-engineered Humans, return to the station, asking Bashir to help rouse Sarina from her cataleptic state.

Air date: 10/26/1998
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Jonathan West

“So what’s a genetically enhanced girl supposed to do when she wakes up from a long sleep? Point to one of those specks of light out there, pack a bag, and go make a life for herself?” – Sarina

This Bashir episode, a sequel to sixth season’s “Statistical Improbabilities”, is a character based story reminiscent of “Flowers for Algernon” that’s predictable but sweet. The “Jack Pack” returns (with a hilarious first scene that shows how easy it is to impersonate an admiral), although Faith C. Salie had to audition all over again for Sarina, the nonspeaking member of genetically enhanced group she played the first time around who this time speaks, sings, and drives the story forward. Fortunately, she proved herself up to the task to the producers (because God knows DS9 has no reluctance to recast), and she returns to give an impressive performance. Her innocence is refreshing and her rebirth leaves a lot of territory to be mined by the writers. How will she integrate into society? How will she adapt to social situations? How will she deal with people who lie, cheat, and bully? Will Counselor Dax help her? The writers, however, choose not to dig very deep and keep the story somewhat simple, uneventful, and forgettable. It’s a bit of a shame, because the actress, despite debuting in “Statistical Improbabilities” as little more than an extra, seems capable of being much more than being a plot device for lonely Dr. Bashir.

HI: 3

Treachery, Faith and the Great River: 8

Odo finds himself caught in the middle between two Weyouns.

Teleplay by David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Story by Philip Kim
Directed by Steve Posey

“I don’t think the universe is ready for two Weyouns.” – Odo

More or less a Jeffrey Combs vehicle, this variation of the “evil twin” idea features two new Weyouns (Combs), with one, of course, being evil and the other being good (which makes him a dangerous rebel in the eyes of the Dominion).

Good Weyoun gets the A story with Odo, a variation of the old “Sheriff taking the prisoner from point A to Point B” tale, which, as usual, allows for a lot of conversation. Auberjonois and Combs work well together, and after some character-building banter, the writers give them something of particular interest to talk about that will factor into the future of the season. (There’s also a nice effects sequence with their shuttle that’s reminiscent of the Millennium Falcon’s trip through the asteroid belt.)

Meanwhile, the other Weyoun works with Damar (Casey Biggs) to stop Odo from reaching the Federation with his prisoner. Combs and Biggs are also particularly good together, better than Combs and Alaimo (which is probably the chief reason Damar has displaced his former leader). Biggs has an at ease style that works well with Combs’s paranoid persona. As the two interact, Damar introduces Weyoun to a form of trickery new to the Dominion, and it’s fun to see Weyoun head down the slippery slope and wonder where he’ll land.

The C story is a comedy runner with Nog and Chief O’Brien that’s really just a redo of Nog’s scavenger hunts in “Progress” and “In the Cards”. Despite that, the story works fine because it’s mostly about O’Brien’s reactions to Nog’s offscreen actions (with Colm Meany having the best facial expressions), and it’s short enough to avoid overstaying its welcome.

All three stories are nicely interwoven, giving the episode a nice balance between the comedy and drama. As they build toward their resolutions, savvy viewers will probably guess how each thread will end, but that’s because there’s only one way each can end. Nonetheless, “Treachery, Faith and the Great River” is a clever title for a fun hour of television.

HI: 5

Once More Unto the Breach: 8

The old Klingon warrior Kor finds his efforts to play a part in the Dominion war stymied by General Martok.

Air date: 11/9/1998
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Allan Kroeker

“Know this Worf, Kor is your responsibility. I want nothing to do with him.” – General Martok

This Klingon episode featuring Worf and Martok is most notable for being the last appearance of Kor (John Colicos), Star Trek’s first Klingon, whose roots go back to the original series episode “Errand of Mercy”. (He also appears in the animated series, voiced by James Doohan.) Taking place largely aboard a Klingon Bird of Prey, the substance of “Once More” is hardly anything new for Klingons; we get the petty bickering, mess hall insults, a battle, and the required variation of “a good day to die”. But working its way through all the old clichés, the plot is a thing of beauty that’s well written by Ron Moore and nicely performed by the cast.

Like “Soldiers of the Empire”, the point of the episode is to set up an underdog for an elusive victory. But this time it’s more personal, because it’s not about a ship, it’s about Kor. John Colicos, in his third DS9 episode, does a magnificent job closing the door on the famous Dahar Master before his own passing in March of 2000. Meanwhile, J.G. Hertzler nearly steals the show, playing Martok with such gravitas you’d swear he’s the one who once went toe to toe with Captain Kirk. Like in “Soldiers”, Martok serves as a bit of an antagonist, but whereas there his motivation there is unclear, here he gets a well written back story that allows us to understand where he’s coming from.

But it’s Neil Vipond as Derok, Martok’s servant, who proves the biggest surprise. Vipond doesn’t have a lot of screentime early, and it’s easy to dismiss him as unimportant, but he does the most with the least, setting up his importance later with a subtlety that’s easy to miss the first time around.

Throw in Michael Dorn, bringing his umpteen years of experience as Worf to the table, and you get a Klingon episode that, in the spirit of Henry V, goes once more into the breach and savors the fruit of victory.

HI: 5

The Siege of AR-558: 8

During a supply run to a small planet, Sisko and some of his people help Starfleet defend a subspace relay (AR-558) from the Dominion.

Air date: 11/16/1998
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

“There’s only one order, lieutenant. We hold.” – Sisko

In the spirit of Zulu (1964), Platoon (1986) and Saving Private Ryan (1998), DS9 presents this ground-based battle story featuring Sisko, some of his people and several guest stars. Similar to “Nor the Battle to the Strong” (and, like that, taking place largely in the cave set), it’s gritty, depressing, and sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense. In other words, it’s a lot like war.

Directed by Vietnam Veteran Winrich Kolbe, the story takes place on a small planet where a demoralized group is defending a MacGuffin. Sisko takes over as the military leader, often voicing his thoughts to Quark who has tagged along to please the Nagus (and because the writers want him there as a civilian surrogate). Nog, Bashir, and Dax are also included (also chosen by the writers because of their lack of battle experience) and as the story moves along, the regulars become entangled with the guest stars. Bill Mumy (who played Will Robinson on Lost in Space as a child and Lennier on Babylon 5 as an adult), guest stars as Kellin, a good natured crewman, while Patrick Kilpatrick plays Reese, a tough guy, and Raymond Cruz plays Vargas, an officer suffering deep psychological trauma. They’re all one time appearances, but its clear these aren’t people who will suddenly be okay at the end of the hour, and these aren’t situations that will suddenly be forgotten next week. While DS9 will move on to tell other stories, the trauma of what is essential a mini war movie is something that lives on far past its screen time. It’s the sort of Star Trek episode only Deep Space Nine could do, because of all the captains only Sisko would get his hands so dirty.

Scored by Paul Baillargeon, the music serves the episode like Adagio for Strings serves Platoon, a melancholy overlay that enhances the action through its disconnection. It’s a fitting choice, because the episode itself, like Adagio for Strings, is not intended to be enjoyable. In the end, the various elements come together to create what the writers are really shooting for: poignancy.

DS9 Reviews Part 41

Thursday, January 15, 2015 20:56
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Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I begin Deep Space Nine, season seven. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:

1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect

In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.

Image in the Sand: 8.5

Sisko tries to regain contact with the Prophets.

Air date: 9/28/1998
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Les Landau

“I came back here to clear my head. To try to figure out what to do next. Maybe learning the truth about my mother is the first step of this journey.” – Sisko

Featuring one of Star Trek’s longest teasers (clocking in at over eight minutes), “Image” breaks the tradition of loud, action oriented season openers and instead gives viewers an introspective, character-based hour with four separate storylines and no resolution.

The centerpiece, naturally, is the show’s leading man, with Avery Brooks stepping back into the same Sisko we closed season six with: a lost man who has come home to search for a direction. With a little help from (and a connection between) the Prophets and his family, he finds one. The idea behind it is bold but makes quite a bit of sense: with the Prophets existing outside of time, Sisko’s connection to them should not be bound to the present but should also include the past and the future. In the short term, by crafting this dynamic in an abstract way, the writers create mystery and intrigue. In the longterm, they subconsciously make the entire tapestry of his life more understandable and his story more powerful. It’s heady stuff, but it comes across well here and (pardon the human idea) in the future, with Brooks eschewing his usual dramatic acting and internalizing just about everything instead. His plot threat ends here with the introduction of a new character; and it’s curious that it doesn’t have any connection to the other events of the episode; but that makes it all the more of a pleasant surprise as it plays out as a poignant and underplayed moment itself.

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The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 17:25
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Well, I saw the film, and I enjoyed it. There are characters who don’t appear in LOTR that don’t really have resolutions to their stories, so I regretted that a little, but maybe the extended edition will touch on that. Also, I feel the film lacks the punch of Revenge of the Sith and Return of the King, which really are great finales, but “Battle” doesn’t disappoint. Lots of it is straight from the book, and it’s quite fun to see pure Tolkien on the big screen. I’d say the characters the film focuses on in order are: Thorin, Bilbo, Bard, Gandalf, Azog and Thranduil, with the rest (including Legolas, Tauriel, and Bolg) getting less screen-time. The story is a bit drawn out, but there aren’t too many slow spots. Billy Boyd’s closing number is very pretty and a nice way to end this second journey.

Still, I miss that high from seeing The Return of the King for the first time and kind of wish this was more in the ballpark. At least I have LOTR on Blu-ray so I can reminisce. And when I watch both trilogies back to back, it will all end with ROTK.

DS9 Reviews Part 40

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 20:06
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Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I continue with Deep Space Nine, season six, finishing the season. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:

1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect

In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.

Time’s Orphan: 4

An accident sends the O’Briens’ daughter back through a time portal three hundred years into the past into an uninhabited world. Beamed back too late, Molly returns to the present eighteen years old with no immediate recollection of her life or her family.

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DS9 Reviews Part 39

Friday, December 5, 2014 14:05
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Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I continue with Deep Space Nine, season six, finishing the season. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:

1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect

In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.

His Way: 7

Odo consults Vic Fontaine, a holographic lounge singer, about his relationship with Kira.

Air date: 4/20/1998
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker

“Look, pally, you want to win the girl, we’ve got to thaw you out a little.” – Vic

Late in the series, DS9 fearlessly introduces yet another recurring character in this Odo episode taking its title from Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”. James Darren, an old friend of the Rat Pack, steps into the shoes of Vic Fontaine, a self-aware holographic lounge singer with an intuitive understanding of relationships. Like Joe Piscopo teaching Data about comedy in TNG’s “Outrageous Okona”, Vic takes Odo under his wing and shows him how to cut loose and win Kira’s heart. Auberjonois hams it up, and Visitor gets to perform a sexy song (which she does quite well), creating the light-hearted story needed to follow up the drama of “Inquisition” and “Moonlight”. It’s one of Star Trek’s better romantic comedies, and – with full length musical performances – it’s the only Star Trek episode to ever get an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Music Direction.

Darren himself, playing Fontaine after Rene Goulet, Tom Jones, Jerry Vale, and Frank Sinatra Jr. declined the part, proves a breath of fresh air in the series and returns for seven more episodes, starting with the sixth season finale, “Tears of the Prophets”.

HI: 5

The Reckoning: 6.5

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DS9 Reviews Part 38

Thursday, December 4, 2014 14:01
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Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I continue with Deep Space Nine, season six. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:

1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect

In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.

Change of Heart: 6

Dax and Worf bicker over where to spend their honeymoon, finally settling on a dangerous trip through a jungle to rescue a Cardassian defector.

Air date: 3/2/1998
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Livingston

“How are you enjoying your honeymoon? Are you suffering enough?” – Dax

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DS9 Reviews Part 37

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 14:01
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Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I continue with Deep Space Nine, season six. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:

1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect

In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.

Who Mourns for Morn? 7

After hearing that Morn has died, Quark suddenly finds himself in the middle of a dispute between Morn’s old acquaintances.

Air date: 2/2/1998
Written by Mark Gehred-O’Connell
Directed by Victor Lobl

“I want Morn’s money. I need Morn’s money. I deserve Morn’s money.” – Quark

Another “Who Morns for Adonais?” this ain’t, with Morn’s apparent death only serving to set up a station-based treasure hunt for Quark with some hammy character actors showing up at each turn. It’s essentially a remake of “The Nagus”, a comedy that’s as broad as the day is long and predictable as the sun rising in the morning. But for a middle of the season filler episode between the seriousness of “Waltz” and “Far Beyond the Stars”, it works just fine, with the “Quark gets in over his head” stories never getting old.

Anchoring the guest cast are Brad Greenquist and Cyril O’Reilly as a pair of alien brothers serving as the episode’s “heavies”. Director David Livingston lets the two actors have at it, and they steal the show with their quirky, hilarious shtick. (Meanwhile, Gregory Itzin is quite forgettable their coconspirator, which is too bad since he’s from my hometown. At least we still have Tony Romo.) Armin Shimmerman, of course, is old hat at this sort of outings and handles Quark with just the right blend of humor and seriousness. Mark Allen Shephard (Morn) himself has an interesting cameo. He plays a Bajoran who, at the request of Quark, keeps Morn’s seat warm!

In the end, it’s not the greatest piece of work, but it’s probably the best episode about Morn of DS9’s run. (And it did earn an Emmy Nomination for Best Make-up.)

HI: 1

Far Beyond the Stars: 9

Experiencing a vision from the Prophets, Sisko sees himself as Benny Russell, a science-fiction writer in the 1950s struggling in a world of racism and segregation.

Air date: 2/8/1998
Teleplay by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Story by Marc Scott Zicree
Directed by Avery Brooks

“If the world’s not ready for a woman writer, imagine what would happen if it learned about a Negro with a typewriter – run for the hills!” – Herb

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New Middle-earth Madness Review

Friday, November 28, 2014 17:47
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Paul Genesse left a great review of Middle-earth Madness at Amazon. Here it is!

What do you get a huge fan of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies? A copy of Middle-earth Madness of course! J.W. Braun and TheOneRing.net staff have put together an awesome collection of essays and inside information that super fans will love to read. The book is largely about the first two Hobbit movies by Peter Jackson, but there is a ton more information about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Middle-earth movies by Ralph Bakshi and Rankin/Bass.

You get to read about the history of The Hobbit films, behind the scenes info, and lots of interviews with the cast and crew. Each major part of the first and second Hobbit movies were summarized and detailed observations were made by the authors. Learning inside information was my favorite part, as I want to know as much as possible about the films and how they were created.

The Q&A with artist and designer Daniel Falconer was a highlight. Learning his feelings about working on the films after being a huge fan his whole life made me smile. The interview with Lord of the Rings producer Mark Ordesky was also fantastic–even though I’d read it before on TheOneRing.net.

I loved the essay by Hobbit girl and fantasy author, Kellie Rice. The essay, Hobbitception, goes over how the video of Kellie and her sister Alex watching the first trailer for The Desolation of Smaug went viral after Peter Jackson promoted it. It has over 450,000 views on YouTube. Jackson showed it to some of the Hobbit cast, filmed it, and that video of Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Lee Pace, went viral as well. I remember the event and learning the exact backstory was so fun. Of course I had to re-watch the video of Kellie and Alex again. I laughed and smiled along with them as they screamed and freaked out.

There’s a lot of highlights in Middle-earth Madness, especially the in depth interviews of Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), William Kircher (Bifur), and all the little snippets about the other cast and crew members.

This is a book by fans for fans. The authors put together a great collection of behind the scenes Middle-earth movie lore that will delight readers and especially Ringers.

Tip of the hat to: J.W. Braun, Clifford Broadway, Larry Curtis, John Webster, Kirsten Cairns–who did excellent interviews, Catherine Frizat, John Webster, Kristin Thompson, Nancy Steinman, and all TheOneRing.net crew.

 

 

New Hobbit Trailer & New Hobbit Movie

Thursday, November 6, 2014 21:39
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So this is quite the exciting week, since the extended edition of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug came out on Blu-ray and DVD and there’s a new trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

I just watched DOS EE and thought it was great. The most notable additions focus on Thrain, and and while I think it was wise to exclude them from the theatrical cut, it’s good to have them in the extended edition. It’s nice to fill in that space between Thror and Thorin.

The trailer for the next film is pretty standard stuff, but there’s no reason for Warner Bros. to reinvent the wheel.

DS9 Reviews Part 36

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 17:43
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Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I continue with Deep Space Nine, season six. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:

1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect

In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.

Statistical Probabilities: 7.5

A group of eccentric genetically engineered people visit the station, and Bashir takes an interest in their dark predictions for the future.

Air date: 11/24/1997
Teleplay by Rene Echevarria
Story by Pam Pietroforte
Directed by Anson Williams

“Well, I’d love to stay and chat about our impending doom but…” Dr. Bashir

If a Star Trek writer ever got together with Samuel Beckett and Isaac Asimov to write a play, it would probably look something like this. With its simple settings, emphasis on character, and repetitive material, much of “Statistical Probabilities” seems more like what you’d expect to see on a stage than in Star Trek; but it works well as a simple Bashir episode and a nice followup to “Dr. Bashir, I Presume”.

The plot of the episode stems from the arrogance of those who think they know better than others, a cornerstone trait of society. From sports to the economy to technology, there are always those who claim that statistics and past experience will allow them to predict the future with 100% accuracy and get testy with those who doubt what they have to say. Yet even the most intelligent of people inadvertently make assumptions that turn out to be false. It’s the contrast between Bashir’s “non linear dynamics”, where the accuracy of a prediction becomes more reliable the farther in the future you go (like the prediction that flipping a coin over and over will lead to similar occurrences of both heads and tails), and the butterfly effect, where small actions by individuals in the present can have enormous consequences in the future. “Statistical Probabilities” looks at both sides of the issue and has a lot of fun in the process, with Anson Williams (Potsie on “Happy Days”) directing the first of his six Star Trek episodes.

Is it difficult to buy that Starfleet would trust three mentally unstable individuals with detailed intelligence reports or that Deep Space Nine would allow Weyoun and Damar to sneak around the station for clandestine meetings? Sure. Is the episode still compelling? Absolutely.

The four new guest stars, after establishing themselves here, return for the seventh season episode “Chrysalis”.

HI: 4

The Magnificent Ferengi: 7

When Quark’s mother is captured by the Dominion, Quark leads a team of Ferengi to attempt to get her back.

Air date: 12/29/1997
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Chip Chalmers

“A child, a moron, a failure, and a psychopath. Quite a little team you’ve put together.” – Brunt

It would seem the perfect plot for a Ferengi comedy: the Grand Nagus is captured by the Dominion, and all the recurring Ferengi characters band together to save him. Unfortunately, with Wallace Shawn unavailable, the writers are forced to substitute Quark’s mom. It doesn’t make much sense. (Why would the Dominion want Quark’s mom?) But the episode isn’t really about the captive anyway; that’s just a plot device. Like The Magnificent Seven, the 1960 classic Western film, it’s about the diverse set of characters who gang up together to accomplish a mission.

And then there’s the antagonist: Iggy Pop. With his Midwestern accent, he sounds nothing like the Vorta that have appeared before, yet he’s got a deadpan delivery and charming awkwardness that work for the race.

As the story progresses (finding its way to Empok Nor, Deep Space Nine’s sister station), the Ferengi, naturally, do everything wrong, and there are a lot of funny moments. But as is often the case with Quark, there are genuine heroic moments as well, turning what could be a farce into a semi-serious episode. The Ferengi all but admit that people don’t have enough respect for their culture, and they view this as a opportunity to prove the public wrong. (The chance does take a hit when they kill their own prisoner and have to do the “Weekend at Bernie’s” thing.)

In the end, good wins because evil is stupid, but it’s not like they advertised this one as “The Best of Both Worlds”. As a Ferengi comedy, it succeeds just fine.

HI: 4

Waltz: 8

Sisko is severely injured and trapped alone on a deserted planet with Dukat, who becomes increasingly unstable.

Air date: 1/5/1998
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Rene Auberjonois

“Benjamin, just a few hours ago I was a prisoner on my way to trial and you were my dear old friend come to visit me in my cell. Now look at us. I’m free, and you’re a prisoner of your own battered body.” – Dukat

Following up on “Sacrifice of the Angels”, this Dukat/Sisko episode is a classic “elevator” episode, though not quite as literally as “The Forsaken”. In the more Star Trek way, the two characters are stuck on a planet (the cave set) waiting for rescue. The point, of course, is to allow the dialogue to carry the show, and Moore, Alaimo, and Brooks bring the goods, resulting in one of Star Trek’s better bottle shows.

The interesting thing is that it starts off as if the writers are backing off of Dukat going crazy, like they’re trying to tell us to forget the events at the end of “Sacrifice”. Then then proceed to bring alive the voices in his head through a chorus of personalities played by Weyoun, Damar, and Kira. It’s a device that illuminates Dukat’s mind in a unique way that even a monologue could not achieve. Within its construct, Weyoun represents Dukat’s feelings of inadequacy, Damar represents his pride, and Kira represents his self doubt. As the episode progresses, we move from Dukat’s need for validation to his self satisfaction at finally defining himself, which leaves us realizing he’s even crazier (and more dangerous) than we first thought.

While all this is going on, there’s a short B story with the Defiant about the search for Sisko. While the meat and potatoes of the episode lies with Dukat’s self-exploration, the Defiant story includes a classic fake-out moment, and the two stories strike the perfect balance for what they each are.

HI: 5

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