1.10: “Move Along Home”

I’m gonna try a new thing this month, schedule-wise: two episodes a week! One post will be on Tuesday, one on Thursday. I’m hoping that will make it a bit easier for me to find a good rhythm for myself, and stay engaged. Or maybe I immediately get overwhelmed and we’re back to once a week! It’ll be a fun adventure for all of us.

Apparently this is generally considered the worst episode of the series, which seems a little harsh? I’ll grant that it’s not one of the best, but nothing jumps out at me as egregiously bad, either. Like last week, it’s just kind of…aggressively okay.

It’s a pretty standard Weird Alien Thing Of The Week outing, which, granted, isn’t really where Deep Space Nine‘s strengths lie. It’s also still in the front half of the first season, before there’s been much in the way of character development, so we don’t get any of the subplots and interpersonal stuff that makes later episodes more fun. Again, though, I don’t see any of that as much different from some of the other episodes in the first season, when they’re still getting established and not straying far from previous series’ paths.

To be honest, since neither Quark nor Bashir gets horniness all over Dax or any other woman nearby, I’d rank it above some of the recent episodes, personally.

Can’t believe I waited this long to drop this link

Having rewatched a lot of the show over the past couple of years as friends have gotten into Star Trek and I’ve enabled them, one of my overwhelming feelings in the first season is “OH MY GOSH JAKE IS SUCH A BABY!!!!” He’s so young, oof. And he and Ben have such a great relationship — I wish we’d had a bit more payoff from their interaction in the opening later in the episode. This is also a good time for me to link this lovely essay by one of my favorite critics, Angelica Jade Bastién, “Deep Space Nine Is TV’s Most Revolutionary Depiction of Black Fatherhood“. She says it better than me:

In its first season, it was uneven, still getting a hold on the characterization and ideas it would continue to explore. But one aspect of its story immediately felt lived-in and real: the tender relationship between Commander (and later Captain) Benjamin Sisko (a magnetic, theatrical Avery Brooks) and his young son, Jake (Cirroc Lofton). […] No series before or since has a portrayed a black father with such complexity, crafting him as a widow, a powerful authority figure, a religious icon, a man whose morals are formed in shades of gray and whose love of his son remained his guiding principle.

Also, on a far less profound note, Jake’s reaction the moment Sisko has his brilliant idea of doing his “First Contact as first date” comparison is absolute teen perfection.

Where did the pajamas go?

I realize looking for much sense in the Weird Space Stuff Of The Week is a fool’s errand, but this is bugging me nonetheless: why is everyone in their regular uniforms when they end up in the game? It was the middle of the night and they were all asleep when they were pulled into it, right? They were in their pajamas. And before that, the Wadi had only seen Sisko and Dax in their dress uniforms, which they’re not wearing in the game. The Wadi appear to have some pretty wild transporter tech, but they…actually changed people’s clothes in the process of transporting them? And gave them tricorders? They’re still in their uniforms when the game ends and they appear back in Quark’s, so it’s presumably not just a function of the game. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Speaking of the Wadi, let me just say that a whole planet of gamers sounds terrible. Leave them where you found them, IMO. I do appreciate how shiny everything they wear is, though.

Other thoughts

  • Sisko’s face when he realizes the Wadi were just trolling them is amazing. I am all about Sisko’s moments of barely-contained rage in general TBH. I introduced an old friend to Star Trek: Discovery a couple of years ago, and less than three episodes in, she said that Michael Burnham was definitely made from the mold of all my faves, because “she’s very repressed”, and I felt called out in that way where you’re completely blindsided by the brutal truth of something, and you look back at all your faves and realize that you never even noticed that this was a pattern, and it’s hilarious and a little bit devastating. Just thought of that for some reason.
  • “If all else fails, just yell again, Doctor. We’ll find you.” LMAO Sisko’s moments of bitchiness are so perfect. Also, judging by his sheepish smile as he watches Sisko go after that, I am not the only person who enjoys Sisko’s moments of bitchiness. All I’m saying is that, given Garak, Bashir seems to be into dudes who are sarcastic, urbane daddy types who are carefully controlling their own emotions except for occasional explosions of ruthless competence.
  • ODO YOU CAN’T JUST BUST PEOPLE’S DOORS DOWN, AT LEAST GET A DAMN WARRANT. Primmin is largely forgettable, but he’s not wrong on this.
  • Quark’s Polite Customer Service Mien when Sisko is drinking at the bar and talking about First Contact is #relatable.
  • Also #relatable: that Bashir apparently didn’t bother to look for his dress uniform and realize he’d lost it in time to get a new one.
  • I like that Quark is the one to figure out what’s going on, and that he does so immediately after being told four officers are missing. Quark isn’t stupid, he’s just a jerk, which is part of what makes him such a great foil for other characters.
  • “If you were hurt, I’d leave you behind.” LMAO sure, Dax. I like that Sisko takes this about as seriously as I do.

Horniness rankings

Almost no one? It’s mostly just vague hints, with the exception of Quark, who manages to be fairly horny without being gross at women, channeling it all into gambling, not to mention trolling Odo even in the midst of crisis by making him blow on his dice. Perhaps the lack of general horniness is the true reason why this is considered the worst episode.

1.09: “The Passenger”

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.

Horniness Rankings

  • 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.

1.08: “Dax”

Note, October 7, 2019: for some reason, this post has been absolutely slammed with spam comments. No idea why this one in particular, but there it is. So, for the time being, I’m closing comments on it, just to try and cut back a bit.

So, first of all, I usually enjoy the political drama that results from the station not precisely being under Starfleet jurisdiction (or at least not solely under it), so even the little hints of that here, with the extradition treaty necessitating kidnapping Dax and the Bajoran arbiter presiding over the hearing.

In general, this is kind of a forgettable episode, though it does a decent job of doing some worldbuilding around the Trill. I do have some questions, though. Chief among them…

Continue reading “1.08: “Dax””

1.07: “Q-Less”

You know, I went into this episode expecting another one that felt a lot like The Next Generation, like the last couple. My thinking was basically this one’s plot involves characters directly from TNG, how much more TNG-like is it gonna be? And yet, weirdly, despite the presence of Q and Vash, it feels a lot more like the show Deep Space Nine will become than most of what’s come so far. Everyone is messy, everyone is horny, and absolutely no one has any chill whatsoever.

Which I say as a joke, but also, a big part of what I love about DS9, and what’s bored me about the last couple of episodes, has been the lack of any major character stuff. It’s all been pretty straightforward plot-driven Weird Space Thing Of The Week. This episode, the Weird Space Thing was almost an afterthought to the character interactions: they figure out that the Big Glowy Space Manta Ray’s thing — egg? Chrysalis? Do they even say? I don’t think they even say — is what’s causing the station’s power issues, beam it out, and it glides on its merry way in the space of maybe thirty seconds. It’s all about the characters.

Brief meditation on the bigger Star Trek picture

I get that this is one of the things a lot of the fandom doesn’t like as much about DS9 — the move away from Weird Space Thing Of The Week — and Discovery as well. I mean, I can’t help but notice that the series certain parts of the fandom complain about the most are also the ones led by Black characters, what a weird coincidence — but I do believe that at least part of the fandom does, in good faith, just prefer the Weird Space Thing Of The Week format. It’s a stylistic preference, fair enough.

But I’m also really glad that the franchise has tried to make room for other kinds of stories. There’s a whole universe sitting there — to only use it for one kind of story really seems like a waste. So while I’m as tired as the next person of the Franchise Grind in pop culture, and a little leery about the rate at which Star Trek is launching spinoffs, I’m also cautiously pleased by the fact that they don’t all appear to be TNG clones. Hell, that was my biggest criticism of DSC’s second season, that they seemed to be backing away from the things that made the first season unique — and doing so in an attempt to win over a segment of the fandom that, for the most part, they never had in the first place, at the expense of the enjoyment of those of us who actually liked what they were doing.

(See also: the Democratic Party and the ~white working class~. Liz and Anika titled their episode on the DSC S2 finale “Making the 23rd Century Great Again” and that is…not wrong.)

Also, if they want to ask me about my spinoff ideas — one about the Cardassian occupation of Bajor that covers a few years before DS9 begins, and one a half-hour sitcom that’s basically Parks and Recreation at Starfleet HQ — I am here anytime.

Uh, so, that spiraled a bit. Returning to the more immediate topic of this particular episode…

The subtle horror of Q

You know, from TOS’s “Charlie X” through to DSC’s Gabriel Lorca, Star Trek really has made a theme out of how fucking terrifying entitled white men with a lot of power can be. Q spends a lot of his time just moderately irritating people and putting them in silly costumes, and then suddenly he’ll turn around and remind us that oh, fuck, he absolutely has the power to do much, much worse.

As a woman, watching his interactions with Vash is…uncomfortably realistic. “I’m the Q and you the lowly human. I’ll decide when this partnership is over.” How many times have I been friendly and polite to a guy who I couldn’t stand because I had no way of knowing whether he would be dangerous if I didn’t?

Also, every time I rewatch one of his episodes, I remember that I really, really need to write the essay about Q as the Jewish devil that’s been bouncing around in my head for a couple of years.

Julian needs to get his life right again

…and all is right with the world once more. I didn’t even know who I was when I couldn’t yell at him to get his life right.

From O’Brien’s face while sitting next to Bashir in the opening teaser, through Q just putting him to sleep for a few days, to Dax’s “lol buddy you have no idea” expression when she realizes he slept through all the excitement, this episode continues the pattern of “everyone is trying their best to ignore Bashir until he settles down a little” and I am extremely amused by it. Like, I don’t think that’s what the writers were doing consciously, but I’m definitely enjoying it as my own interpretation.

OK, Quark, I’ll allow it

In “Babel”, Quark was mostly tolerable because he wasn’t actually doing much hitting on anyone; in this one, he and Vash actually seem to be on the same wavelength, and it’s…kind of hilarious? If Star Trek is still looking for more spinoffs, I would watch The Quark and Vash Dirtbag Variety Hour every damn week.

Also, I am perhaps disproportionately entertained by Quark taking it in stride when Q just wishes him into the cornfield and back. Armin Shimerman is all in and even when Quark is at his worst I appreciate the hell out of that commitment. (Also, given that for a couple of years there he was doing both this show and Buffy the Vampire Slayer I feel like those of us who were in our formative nerd years during the late 90’s/early 00’s really owe Shimerman our gratitude.)

Other notes

  • Vash hiding her PIN as she locks her stuff in the vault just struck me as a really nice little touch that made the episode that much more real.
  • “Vash and Captain Picard were…friends. Close friends, if you catch my meaning, sir.” I love how O’Brien is trying to pretend to be halfway discreet about his tea-spilling. Like, that significant pause before “friends” may not have been enough, let’s just make it a little clearer. And Sisko’s comment on how Vash doesn’t seem like Picard’s type, ugh, everyone on this station is a messy bitch who lives for drama and I love it so much.
  • Kira’s solution to the jammed door being to pull out her phaser, lord I love her so much.
  • Quark: Isn’t there anything you desire?
    Odo: I have my work. What else do I need?
    Me: GROSS.

Horniness rankings

Everyone. Everyone is horny. Quark is horny, Q is horny, Vash is horny, Bashir is horny, Bashir’s date in the opening teaser is horny, even Odo feels a stirring of something approaching horniness at the prospect of a latinum-plated bucket. Everyone is horny. This may be the horniest, thus far, that an episode has been without Dukat in it; truly, DS9 is coming into its own.

  1. Q
  2. Quark
  3. Bashir’s date
  4. Bashir
  5. Vash

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.


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.
  • 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.

1.05: “Babel”

Honestly, I am a sucker for episodes that deal with language issues in Star Trek. It’s prime territory for worldbuilding and politics, as well as presenting some ready-made conflicts. This was also unusual for DS9 so far in every single plot tying directly into the A plot, with very little in the way of personal subplots, and while the episode itself was relatively strong, the lack of character stuff just makes it a lot less memorable for me.

The subplot with Captain Jaheel, for instance, was…kinda boring? It felt like they wanted something to add a more action-y, ticking time bomb element, because, you know, the issue of no one being able to communicate with one another or their technology and also dying wasn’t dramatic enough. There are some hints of the drama you can explore there already in Sisko and Jake’s interactions even after Jake falls ill; I would have liked to see the story allowed to stand on its own with the main characters.

Similarly, we don’t get much of O’Brien after he falls ill, which is a shame, because he makes a really interesting point of view character in the early episodes. Previous Treks have had the Federation treating its exploration mission in a way that can come uncomfortably close to manifest destiny, and one of the central conflicts of Deep Space Nine is pushing back on that. The show establishes this in the very first episode, when Kira shuts down Bashir’s waxing romantic about the frontier with a blunt reminder that millions of people already live on his “frontier”. O’Brien’s work makes that conflict into a very real, physical thing, with the Federation and the Bajorans trying to use existing Cardassian technology in ways that it wasn’t intended to be used.

That makes it interesting that the device, initially being identified as Cardassian sabotage of the Federation, turns out to be an old piece of Bajoran Resistance sabotage instead. The Bajorans have been using Cardassian technology for their own ends for decades, so at least having someone make that connection would have been interesting. And that, in turn, makes it noticeable that O’Brien doesn’t have any Bajorans on his team, or, for that matter, anyone else at all, apparently? LEARN TO DELEGATE, CHIEF. Even if he hadn’t come down with an engineered virus that put him out of commission, he’d still have to sleep sometime.

…and with that, actually, we come full circle to my criticism that seeing more of O’Brien outside of serving as a plot device would have been interesting. It’s not entirely shocking that his instinct would be to do everything himself; he’s been a transporter tech on the Enterprise for several years now, and suddenly he’s in a more supervisory role. I mentioned last week that the conflict between Miles and Keiko felt very realistic in spite of the sci-fi trappings, and I think they lost an opportunity for something similar in this episode, with Miles still trying to do everything himself.

Has Julian begun to get his life right?

Bashir is significantly less irritating in this episode than he’s been so far, in no small part because he’s entirely focused on doing actual medical work. As I noted earlier, one of the only things that makes him bearable early on is that he’s genuinely good at his job.

On the one hand, it seems like a missed opportunity that they never explicitly draw the line between Dax’s musing about how different a woman’s experience of the world is from a man’s, and Bashir’s behavior towards her in the past few episodes. On the other hand, given that it seemed like we were supposed to consider said behavior relatively harmless, perhaps even endearing, maybe that’s for the best.

So many workplace issues


Sisko: No need to ask how you’re doing.
Kira: Chasing after ghosts.
Sisko: You have twelve hours to catch one.
Kira: And then?
Sisko: People start dying.

Like, obviously we, the audience, know that he’s referring to the rapid progression of the virus, but Kira wasn’t in the scene where Bashir explains that to Sisko. Without that context, it definitely sounds like he’s just gonna start straight-up killing people, right?


  • OK, if the nurse who asks the aphasic Jake “what’s wrong?”, and seems to be waiting for a verbal answer is indicative of the level of help to be expected, it makes a bit more sense that O’Brien’s not delegating.
  • This is all I can imagine when Quark and Odo are the only people in Ops.
  • I get that it was a manpower issue, but the constant shots of Sisko just…passed out over the computer in Ops in the background while Odo and Quark are working is weirdly hilarious.

Horniness rankings

Almost no one was horny this week and I’m frankly bewildered by it. That said, Quark’s dedication to trolling Odo borders on horniness and I find it absolutely delightful.

1.04: “A Man Alone”

NGL, I actually have very little to say about the A plot on this one. In part this is because I just…really don’t find Odo all that compelling as a character?

Reflecting on my last couple of rewatches, I feel like he arguably grows and changes the least of all the main characters over the course of the series. He has a black and white sense of justice at the beginning, and that’s never really challenged in any serious way. Given how much of the show is about having to deal with the gray areas, that gets kind of boring after a while.

Further, while the show makes it clear with the Founders that that black and white sense of justice is something the rest of his people share, and they examine with the Founders how easily that can turn into fascism, they never really take the next step and challenge Odo himself on that front. Last week he offered to just straight-up jail the Duras sisters because of their past record rather than anything they’d done since arriving on DS9 and waxed nostalgic for the simplicity of oppressive Cardassian rule, this week he wants to throw Ibudan off the station without any apparent cause. Sisko flat-out tells him that he cannot take the law into his own hands, but even after Odo is on the other side of that equation — after an angry mob literally tries to lynch him for no other reason than that a troublemaker has convinced them he can’t be trusted — the show never has anyone explicitly address the fact that Odo’s been behaving pretty similarly. Just the opposite: Odo is instead vindicated in his suspicions and actions.

That said, the other part of why I don’t have much to say about the A plot is that I am all about space operas that are just that: literally soap operas in space. Give me hot aliens and hotter gossip and I am content. (It seems worth noting here that most of this rewatch thus far has been done while I’ve been sewing, sometimes in my Pride t-shirt, so possibly I am just Garak at heart.)

Julian can u not

Good lord, I wasn’t even ten when this episode first aired, but even then Bashir’s inability to take a hint from Dax and back the heck off wasn’t cute, it was at best embarrassing and at worst creepy. Jason commented last week that his parents must not have paid for the “picking up on subtext” upgrade when they had him genetically enhanced and TRUTH.

I feel like they drop a lot of what Dax says about the Trill view on relationships later, or rather, they amend it to be about the expectations around joined Trill, who (it’s later explained as well) make up a pretty small portion of the Trill population. I think that’s a good choice, and adds more depth to the worldbuilding, since her initial comments make them seem a bit like Vulcans-lite. As an adult woman, however, my alternate explanation is that she’s just leaving out some of those key details in order to get Bashir to back the heck off.

Spilling the Tarkalean tea

I hate myself a little for that subhead but let’s be real, it was gonna happen eventually, and now it’s done and we can all move on with our lives.

Quark’s barely-contained glee in spilling all the local gossip to Odo is #relatable, honestly. I stand by what I said when I was introducing Mindi to this show last year:

The O’Briens’ basic conflict — a couple who moved someplace dramatically different for one partner’s job and the other is currently at loose ends and feeling frustrated, stifled, and depressed — is really lovely and realistic, which is one of the reasons it’s kind of disappointing that they wrap it up so quickly. Honestly, DS9 never really knows what to do with Keiko and w h e w does it show here. She’s a botanist, so sure, she can definitely be a teacher for kids from a wide variety of cultures and age groups! Teaching is basically a hobby you can just pick up because you always kinda wanted to try it and now you’ve got some free time.

Possibly I’m being a little unfair — it’s made clear that Jake, at least, is being educated via computer at home, so “teaching” at a Federation outpost may be more about providing a structured environment and facilitating socialization opportunities. But in that case…there’s really no need for it to be a school? They could’ve gone with the arboretum idea and have her offering science classes in person to balance out the home-schooling curriculum, for instance. I just have enough teacher friends that with every rewatch this bugs me more.

Beautiful cinnamon rolls too good for this space station, too pure

THE BEGINNING OF JAKE AND NOG’S FRIENDSHIP!!!! I also like that Sisko’s dislike/mistrust of Nog as a bad influence on Jake is mirrored by Rom disliking/mistrusting Jake as an influence on Nog. I feel like they initially play it for laughs, i.e. lol what kind of dummy would be worried about the Federation being a bad influence, but as they develop the characters of Nog, Quark, and Rom (who, at this point, is basically being written as “Quark but with less charm”) it becomes a bit less of a joke. See the episode where Quark tells Sisko that he knows he doesn’t like him or Ferengi, but maybe he should keep in mind that only one of their species has chattel slavery, nukes, and concentration camps in its history, and it ain’t the Ferengi.

Let us close on the mental image of Sisko, gazing into a vat full of an unidentified biological mass recovered from a murder scene, and then calmly asking, “Care for lunch?” I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Horniness rankings

  1. Bashir. Apparently I need to say it again: GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT JULIAN
  2. Odo has never been horny in his life (and seems to have gotten his understanding of relationships mostly from old sitcoms and stand-up routines?) and honestly I feel like his anti-horniness is so pronounced as to merit a spot on the ranking.
  3. Honorable mention for Sisko and Dax’s awkward semi-horniness for each other, particularly because they’re dealing with it in such a refreshingly grown-up way? Like, they both straight-up acknowledge that this is awkward and uncomfortable and it’s going to take time, and she even gives him the opportunity to end the relationship, and they both opt instead to just work on it! It’s so nice!
  4. Me: horny for hot aliens and hotter gossip.
  5. Quark: see #4.


1.03: “Past Prologue”

So Wikipedia’s episode list (which I based the schedule on) shows this one as following “Emissary”, as does CBS All Access, but Netflix has it as the third episode, following “A Man Alone”. Apparently Netflix has it in filming order, while Wikipedia and CBS All Access have it in airing order? I was watching on CBS while sewing, so it just started automatically after “Emissary”. In conclusion, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • I feel it’s important to paint a fuller picture I was watching this episode in one of my Pride shirts while drinking and piecing together/fitting a dress, which I feel is the best possible way to watch the introduction of…
  • I love Garak so much, so much, I have so many emotions around him and he’s such a fascinating character.
  • LMAO Bashir’s complete inability to recognize what is actually going on when Garak tries to pick him up on the Promenade is second in hilarity only to the Ops crew’s utter lack of interest in his secret agent fantasies. Like, you get the sense that it’s bordering on secondhand embarrassment for some of them.
  • I make a lot of jokes about the People’s Front of Bajor vs. the People’s Bajoran Front, but the truth is I eat the Bajoran internal politics stuff up like cake. In terms of TV, the Planet of Hats originated with Star Trek, and DS9 remains true to that in general, but the Bajorans are definitely an example of DS9 playing a bit with some of the franchise’s staple tropes.
  • g a r a k
  • Speaking of, I was sort of nonplussed by Kira’s going over Sisko’s head to Starfleet, since it didn’t really seem like her style, but my mother, who was watching with me, reminded me that the Resistance’s hierarchy was a lot less formal than Starfleet’s, so going over someone’s head likely wasn’t quite as dramatic a course of action as it would be if, say, Dax did it.
  • My father also wandered in about halfway through the episode, and after watching for only a few minutes, commented, “you really need to hit that doctor over the head with the point you’re trying to make, don’t you?” and he was not wrong.
  • Between “Cardassian rule may have been oppressive, but at least it was simple” and offering to just straight-up throw the Duras sisters in jail and calling the Klingons to collect them, Odo’s occasional tendencies toward fascism really show up pretty early on. BIG YIKES.

Horniness rankings

  1. Bashir, whose horniness is still being misdirected into trying to be the hero in a genre movie: from a Western in “Emissary” to a spy novel here. Garak, fortunately, will be able to help him channel it more productively. I stand by last week’s GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT BASHIR, though.
  2. Garak, who’s just trying to get back out there and start dating again and saw this cute twink at breakfast.

1.01 and 1.02: “Emissary”


  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that one of the ways you know this is a pre-9/11 show is that one of the characters is not infrequently referred to as a former terrorist, and it’s used interchangeably with “freedom fighter”, and that character is one of the ones played by a white woman rather than the one played by an Arab man.
  • I appreciate that they actually make a point of showing that for all his…what might very generously be called “naive romanticism”, and perhaps more accurately “paternalistic imperialist fantasies”, Bashir is in fact really good at his job. His competence is one of the few things that makes him remotely tolerable early on in the show.
  • Off of that, I think one of the reasons it seems so obnoxious and wrong-headed from Bashir is that he’s really the only Starfleet crew member who initially comes into the show with much of that attitude. Sisko’s having what I can only call a crisis of faith around Starfleet, O’Brien is openly mistrustful of the Cardassians; Jadzia has moments, but she also has more years of experience than Sisko and O’Brien combined to temper the enthusiasm and naivete. Worf has some trouble adjusting when he joins the cast later, but even then, he’s spent enough time as an outsider in Starfleet and has enough of a career behind him already that he doesn’t have nearly as much of a rosy filter over his vision. So rather than Kira’s cynicism or Sisko’s exhaustion being the exception to the rule, Bashir is the dude who really needs to read the room.
  • As Star Trek-ishly heavy-handed as it is (and tbh having been raised on Trek I tend to find the heavy-handedness kind of charming), Sisko’s encounter with the Prophets/wormhole aliens really is a lovely, poignant meditation on grief and trauma. Their patient yet merciless explanations that they aren’t the ones dragging him back to these places/times in his life, he is, ughhh just kill me right now because this rewatch is gonna be so full of emotions.
  • On a less heavy note, I feel like the DS9 fandom really does not talk enough about how horny Dukat is for Sisko??? Like we all know he’s horny for Kira and really pretty horny in general, but we really do not discuss how, when it comes to Sisko, he is attempting to board the Acela Express to Bonetown, morning fish juice and New York Times in hand, from MINUTE ONE. He is 100% ready to rail and/or be railed by Sisko on their shared desk.

Horniness rankings

  1. Dukat. Let’s be real, if he’s in an episode, he is almost certainly going to top the Horniness Rankings. Holy shit guy, get your life right.
  2. Bashir, who is horny for a. Dax and b. the FrOnTiEr. Again, GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT. How am I capslocking this at him rather than at Dukat? How?? Perhaps because I believe he can do better while Dukat never will?
  3. Quark. On the one hand, I appreciate that his incessant sexual harassment of women around him is presented as gross, on the other hand, wowwwwww are there some Real Unfortunate Implications to that being because he is from a race of people who are defined physically by short stature and an exaggeratedly large appendage on their heads, and culturally by morality based solely on greed, who are slavishly devoted to backwards laws that are out of step with modern civilization, all making him therefore much more laughably unfuckable than others (BASHIR) whose behavior seems to be presented as, while annoying, ultimately unthreatening and perhaps even a little bit charming.
  4. Sisko and Jadzia have some awkward low-key “oh no she’s hot now”/”oh no I find him hot now” horniness for each other and it’s hi-friggin’-larious.