#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 12, “Paradise Lost”

January 19, 2014 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Twitter hastag: #DS91sttimeTalk about missed chances. If you hadn’t told me this episode concluded a midseason two-parter, I would have thought it was one of Trek’s many botched wrap-around season opener/cliffhanger duos. It left a taste in my mouth like that of “Time’s Arrow, Part II”, from The Next Generation. “Homefront” was intriguing, the sense of dread steadily escalated, but “Paradise Lost” just couldn’t stick the landing.

As might be suspected from “Homeworld”, “Paradise Lost” further explores Sisko’s hunch that something just isn’t right with the recent acts that have been perpetrated against Earth, in particular the sabotage of the entire planet’s power grid (which, kids, I’m still struggling to see as possible in the 21st century, to say nothing of DS9’s setting). Read the rest of this entry →

#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 11, “Homefront”

December 21, 2013 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Joseph Sisko and son, from Season Four, Ep 11, "Homefront"

Joseph Sisko and son, from Season Four, Ep 11, “Homefront”

Well, that didn’t take long. Just when I’d started complaining about this season spending too much time away from the core Dominion plot arc, we’re thrown into a terrorist attack taking place on Earth itself in “Homefront”. This gives us a strong episode, and one that resonates with a post-9/11 audience even more than it must have back in the late 90’s. More on that in a moment.

The episode opens to Dax and Sisko observing the wormhole’s odd activity–it’s been opening and closing like a revolving door at a busy downtown office, but there’s no sign of any ships leaving it. That should have screamed “get a perimeter around it, and start scanning”, but it’s basically shrugged off by Sisko, while the Bajorans on board see it as a possible sign from the prophets. Read the rest of this entry →

#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 8, “Little Green Men”

October 24, 2013 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Initial communication attempts. DS9, Season Four, Ep 8: "Little Green Men"

Initial communication attempts. DS9, Season Four, Ep 8: “Little Green Men”

Here’s an episode that sees Quark, Rom, and Nog getting thrown backward in time and winding up at the center of the Roswell alien\weather balloon conspiracy. This the kind of script that one imagines had the showrunners in such stitches that they couldn’t help but give it a shot. You just have to respect the guts to run this episode. Someone was willing to take a big chance. It’s almost a crazy risk.

The end result? Crazy-funny. I was aware that what I was watching was ridiculous, but much like “Explorers”, I just didn’t care. I was having a great time. Read the rest of this entry →

#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 3, “The Visitor”

August 28, 2013 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Egad, am I stepping into it this time. I knew after I finished “The Visitor” that I was going to find myself in trouble.

See, I’ve some guidelines I stick to so that each review in this series is truly a virgin experience. One of these is that I make a point not to check out Memory Alpha, or Trek Core, or anywhere else for anyone’s opinions on an episode ahead of my viewing. I don’t want to know about the public’s derision or acclaim, because that small bit of dye dropped into the waters can color my perception.

I failed that guideline with this episode, because of a slip-up that happened well prior to my decision to even make this review series. Sometime back–maybe a few years ago–I googled the most popular Trek episodes of all time, and wound up staring down a list of the best Deep Space Nine episodes. And there was an image of Sisko, holding some old guy’s shoulders–that’s all I knew–and since the episode’s title was simple to remember, it stuck in my head.

Many regard “The Visitor” as the best episode in DS9’s entire run, and–checking Wikipedia after I watched–I saw quite a few viewers believe it is the best episode across the entire Trek universe. Wow. That’s overwhelming.

Overwhelming, too, was the pressure I think I placed on the episode before I watched it. I was ready to slingshot around the sun over this one. How could I not be impressed? So many people loved it, after all.

And yet, I’m left with a somewhat-contrarian review to write. Here comes the shuttle crash. Holofilm at eleven. Read the rest of this entry →

#DS91sttime: Season 3, Episode 25, “Facets”

July 30, 2013 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

"Lucky" Volunteers, S3, Episode 25, "Facets"

“Lucky” Volunteers, S3, Episode 25, “Facets”

“Facets” gives Deep Space Nine yet another chance to spend an entire episode exploring the Trill race, and the many demands of being a symbiont host. This pattern of plots is either a kind of repeating blessing, or a curse without end, depending on how much one really wants to know about the Trill. Someone on this show’s staff is so obsessed with this symbiont-centered culture they believe Dax should endure one metaphysical voyage of self-discovery after another. And the resulting episodes have a certain innate laziness to them.

Laziness? “Isn’t that a little harsh?” you ask. I don’t think so, because I take the same issue with the show’s treatment of the Trill as I do with the Ferengi. These people should be much more than the main characteristics they’re known for. The Ferengi are interesting when they’re not greedy stereotypes. And Dax shines when the symbiont is just a facilitator for regret, insecurity, and other aspects of her personality. You don’t have to have these folks waving signs saying “I’m a fount of avarice” or “I have a worm in my chest!”. That reduces what they are to bullet points on a 3×5 index card.

To further elaborate, let’s talk about the alien this show has the most respect for: Odo. If you talk to a lot of fans, they’ll tell you they love our friendly constable. Of course they do. Because Odo never faces down an episode like this.
Read the rest of this entry →