I…don’t really have a ton to say about this one, honestly? As with much of the first few seasons, and S1 especially, it’s a pretty standard Weird Space Thing of the Week episode. That said, it seems to be a WSTotW episode with a bit more in the way of character moments and interactions than we’ve had in some of the previous episodes, so a little more interesting. (I can already barely remember what happened in “Babel” apart from the mental image of Sisko passed out over the terminal while Odo and Quark are running things.)
Overall, it’s fine! It’s fine. It’s not terrible! It’s just not particularly memorable, either.
Who needs to get their life right this week?
First, I did appreciate that for a second episode in a row, Bashir’s self-assurance immediately precedes his getting into trouble. I also appreciated that he managed to have scenes with Dax without being weird at her! Good job, Julian, sorry about the rough time you had this week. Finally, I very much appreciated Kira’s general air of “my guy I actually respected you for a minute there, please don’t ruin it” in the runabout. Big mood, as the kids say.
Second, Odo’s ability to be melodramatic is AMAZING. Threatening to resign after his first interaction with Primmin, oh my LORD. I love that for all Odo’s posture of bemusement bordering on disdain at Humanoid Nonsense, he can be petty and dramatic with the best of them. I also love that Sisko is 100% aware of this and does a great job of telling Odo he needs to chill. Alas, Ben, Odo has no chill whatsoever, but points for the attempt.
So what’s the deal with Primmin?
Apparently he’s in this episode and the next one, and was mostly there to fill in while Colm Meaney was filming a movie. I also didn’t really notice O’Brien’s absence until about a third of the way into the episode, whoops.
Like Bashir in “Emissary”, Primmin serves as kind of the odd person out among the Starfleet crew, in that his Starfleet worldview has never really been challenged, and he’s having to learn to work within a different set of rules. I love the times that DS9 plays with the contrast between the way they do things and the rest of Starfleet, and explores some of the discomfort much of (to borrow something Sisko says later) the more black and white Starfleet has with DS9’s shades of gray.
I really like that in this case, Primmin ends up learning from Odo, and the two end up working pretty well together. I’m all about drama, but it was still nice to just have some initial friction turn into good teamwork.
Can we talk about that ending though
…uh. Wow. Perhaps it’s another indication of how early we are in the show; I feel like later on there would be rather more of a reaction to the fact that Kajada just, uh, summarily executes Vantika? I mean, Bashir and Dax just have “those wacky Kobliads” smiles on their faces? WHEW.
- Quark, although I appreciate that his horniness is largely kept to himself/used to annoy Odo, and he behaves relatively appropriately toward Dax.
- Kajada, who has a Javert-like horniness for JUSTICE
- Bashir, for himself, in that opening. Or, more generously, for SCIENCE.