#DS91sttime: Season 3, Episode 20, “Improbable Cause”

June 19, 2013 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Now this is more like it.

Somebody sets us up the bomb at Garak’s, detonating a device that rocks the promenade and puts all the senior staff in bad moods. Odo relishes these kinds of mysteries as much as he hates them, and is thus soon on the case, and we’re off to the races.

“Improbable Cause” slowly peels a series of layers off the true cause of this event, gradually ensnaring us with its revealed implications. It all starts as a typical mystery for the station, but before Odo knows it, he and Garak have delved down a vast, dangerous rabbit hole.

Odo and Garak don't know what they're in for.

Odo and Garak don’t know what they’re in for.

The acting on all sides here is stellar. Garak (Andrew Robinson) in particular is performed with aplomb, in fact I’d say the man’s acting in this episode surpasses that of most of the main cast.

Then there’s the excellent pacing. A few episodes in this otherwise-uneven season have managed to stand out as ideal examples of how to effectively ramp up tension and a sense of escalating stakes, and this is one of them. “Improbable Cause” joins “Defiant“, “Heart of Stone” and “Visionary” in its effective deployment of these two drivers.

As I’ve said before, the show’s attention to its supporting cast is one of its strong suits, but I’ve had this persistent impression that it’s been holding back with how it could use them to advance the show’s key Dominion plot arc. It’s been like watching someone steadily pull a rubber band back. I’ve known for a while it was going to snap, and all these ancillary characters were going to get real stuff to do.

Here–finally–the band snaps.

And to be honest, that’s what proves best about this episode. There’s a sense in this outing that we’ve crossed whatever barrier kept us from where this show really needed to go–namely, through the wormhole and right into the mouth of the Dominion. Ronald D. frakin’ Moore has been unleashed, and there’s no turning back now.

At least, I hope. Because if DS9 pulls back from this precipice, it’s going to sabotage itself.

Looking ahead, I see the next episode is “The Die is Cast”. Indeed it has. Let’s see if the show builds on the good they did here, and decides to roll hot. I’m in no mood for a game of craps.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

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