1.06: “Captive Pursuit”

Probably not a super-long post today, since A) my notes were not actually all that extensive so I guess I don’t have a ton to say, and B) most of my spare time and energy has been devoted to frantic crafting in an effort to finish my costumes before San Diego Comic Con next week.

(Can’t wait for the Star Trek: Discovery panel so I can ask, in my best Nice White Lady Voice, how they plan to address a mostly-white, mostly-male group deciding that the accomplishments of a Black woman and her extremely diverse crewmates must be erased from the Federation’s historical record!)

Regarding my first point, about not having a ton to say: like last week, this is a pretty straightforward, plot-focused episode. Which is fine, but also not where DS9 really comes to shine later. Early on, as Jason noted with “Babel”, the show tends to be very cautious, staying closer to The Next Generation in its episode structures. (And it’s even clearer how much that was a “we should play it safe for a while” decision now, nearly twenty years later, having seen the anger from a lot of the fanbase about Discovery committing the sin of not being a TNG clone.) Unlike TNG, however, which was in its sixth season when DS9 was in its first, we don’t know nearly as much about the characters, so it’s hard to know why a given situation might challenge a given character.

Speaking of which…

Oh hey what’s up O’Brien

“Babel” started with a focus on O’Brien and then shifted away once he came down with the virus, which was actually a bit of a disappointment. It was cool to get some follow-through in this one, though I would have liked a bit more, again, about O’Brien as a person rather than a plot piece. That said, Colm Meaney and Scott MacDonald, who plays Tosk, have pretty solid chemistry, and I friggin’ love O’Brien’s well I get what you’re going for here and appreciate it in that spirit but uhhh face in reaction to Tosk’s “Die with honor, O’Brien” farewell.

JUSTICE 4 SARDA

They completely dropped the whole thing from the beginning with Miss Sarda the dabo girl and I am annoyed about it. Three things I enjoyed about that opening:

  1. That she had the guts to speak up about Quark’s bullshit
  2. That we didn’t have to actually witness any of Quark’s bullshit, just hear it reported, suggesting that Sisko’s default is to believe people who report harassment to him
  3. That the commander of the station makes himself available for anyone to report problems to him directly rather than hiding behind layers of bureaucracy and trying to drown people in paperwork until the problem goes away

All of this speaks well to the healthy, safe place everyone is attempting to make the station! But the lack of any follow-up on it means that it’s impossible to know whether those attempts will be effective.

Other things I appreciated

  • O’Brien pointedly talking over Bashir’s attempt to insert himself into the excitement by suggesting Tosk come in for a medical examination. I really love how everyone is just calmly trying to ignore Bashir until he chills a little.
  • “SHUT UP, QUARK.”
  • Can we all just appreciate Odo’s attempt to casually saunter away after Sisko’s “there’s no hurry”? Odo has never been chill in his life, he will never be chill in his life, he has absolutely zero chill ever, and it is hilarious. Odo makes Sisko and Kira look low-key and easygoing.
  • Quark’s hunger for gossip remains #relatable as hell

Horniness rankings

The closest thing to horniness this week: Bashir and Quark’s attempts to get closer to the action. And thank goodness, because apparently the opening was supposed to involve Miss Sarda attempting to seduce Sisko later, which, whew, could have gone way too easily into some unfortunate territory.

5 thoughts on “1.06: “Captive Pursuit”

  1. IDK if this is the first season’s version of the annual “put O’Brien through hell” tradition… seems pretty tame, if so, compared to later iterations. Anyway my favorite thing about it is that it puts a former TNG character in the role of breaking the rules to do the right (or quote unquote right I guess – Tosk does evidently kill a couple of Hunters on his way out) thing. Even this early in the series it wouldn’t have been remotely interesting to have had Kira in this position (LOL she deadass kidnapped a dude last week) or even one of the marginally edgier Starfleet characters like Sisko or Dax. (Dax is probably no one’s idea of an edgy Starfleet character but at least it had been established to this point that she had had previous lives and that one of them was quite a cut-up.) But O’Brien came to DS9 from the Enterprise, Starfleet’s flagship, and a plot that had him improvising a color-outside-the-lines strategy to save Tosk was, I think, actually pretty revolutionary.

    The Sarda cold open I had completely forgotten. Really a missed opportunity not to come back to it, but they did a lot with just that one conversation that was so unusual for Trek to that point!

    The Tosk have to be a genetic offshoot of or companion species to the Jem’Hadar. Both the facial appearance and the cloaking capability are really similar. I doubt they ever picked up on that thread again (and LOL I am probably giving them too much credit for a solid character theme this early in the show).

    Yeah, not a ton else to this one. As usual for season 1 the plot is mostly not too far adrift from TNG norms, besides the O’Brien twist (and they did things like that occasionally too).

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    1. The Tosk have to be a genetic offshoot of or companion species to the Jem’Hadar. Both the facial appearance and the cloaking capability are really similar. I doubt they ever picked up on that thread again (and LOL I am probably giving them too much credit for a solid character theme this early in the show).

      Oh, that’s an interesting point! I was struck by how, in some regards, they seemed a bit like a precursor to the Kelpians in Discovery, though it might just be a combination of A) the “race of prey” thing and B) a lot of Tosk’s mannerisms and movements strike me as similar to some of Doug Jones’s performance choices as Commander Saru.

      And actually, as I recall, I’m always surprised on each rewatch by the Dominion arcs starting much earlier than I expected. So you may not be giving them quite as much of an excess of credit for laying the groundwork as it seems at first glance? I could totally buy that the Jem’Hadar were heavily-modified Tosk, actually.

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  2. (Can’t wait for the Star Trek: Discovery panel so I can ask, in my best Nice White Lady Voice, how they plan to address a mostly-white, mostly-male group deciding that the accomplishments of a Black woman and her extremely diverse crewmates must be erased from the Federation’s historical record!)

    I am UNREASONABLY EXCITED and also if you get any pushback I will be out there PUNCHING PEOPLE THROUGH THE INTERNET. (That is a metaphor, I wouldn’t actually punch anyone for reals, I have delicate hands and it wouldn’t achieve anything.)

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  3. New arrival to station: Computer, show me where the weapons are stored.
    Computer: Yeah okay

    I MEAN WHAT COULD GO WRONG

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