Remember last week, when I said that a couple of my go-to “comfort food”-type episodes were coming up? Well, this was one of the ones I meant. (It’s not at the very top of my list — that’s not for another few weeks — but still pretty high up there. Maybe as high as #2, even.)
First of all, this has nothing to do with the episode, but I feel like Sisko would approve: NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATS
This one was solid! Not particularly memorable, for me, really, but solid. It definitely had an Original Series vibe to it.
This one is solid! It’s an interesting mystery, and the twist is solid. I just…have some trouble getting into it, for some reason. I love the concept, and I think it’s well done, but I just never really connect with it. So this is a relatively short post, since I find I just don’t have much to say about it.
So, the main plot of this one, with two civilizations who’ve just made peace, and destroyed the devastating biological weapons they’ve been using, but also believe they must eliminate anyone who might have sufficient knowledge to recreate them, is decent. These particular aliens and their war aren’t mentioned again after this episode, but meditations around peace, and what it costs to achieve it, and who pays that price, are consistent themes throughout the show as it continues.
This one is so light and just generally fun that I promptly went to check the episode list because I assumed something absolutely brutal would be coming up and they were lulling me into a false sense of security. But nothing in the immediate future jumps out at me as particularly painful, so I can only conclude that I just have trust issues around TV.
Okay, this is much later than I generally try to post, but it turns out I had A TON to say, and it took me ages to wrangle it into something halfway readable.
First things first: GARAK!!!!!!!!!!! He becomes such an important secondary character as the show goes on that it’s a little strange to think we haven’t actually seen him since way back at the beginning of the first season.
Honestly, I am pretty much always up for Cardassian bullshit. Cardassians make Vulcans look warm, friendly, and emotionally healthy. They make Klingons look low-drama. They make Romulans look straightforward and plainspoken. They’re always dicks, they’re always horny, and then we find out later that being dicks is also a method by which they indicate horniness for one another. Everything with Cardassians is hilariously overcomplicated and the only person who enjoys that more than I do is every single Cardassian.
The main thing I always remember about this episode is that apparently instead of Rumpelstiltskin it was originally going to be a leprechaun, and Colm Meaney was like “uh can u not”. Which…child-stealing is not really a leprechaun thing, is it? Like, Rumpelstiltskin is a much better fit for that to begin with, IMO.
And whenever I rewatch, the main thing I take away is “well, that was slightly more interesting than I remembered”. Which…yes. IDK, for all the flak that “Move Along Home” gets, “If Wishes Were Horses” is usually the first one that jumps to my mind when I’m thinking of why I don’t really like Deep Space Nine‘s first season as much as the rest of the show (though admittedly, it’s usually followed by “Move Along Home” and/or “The Storyteller”). It’s one of Trek’s obligatory “Weird Space Thing/Godlike Alien brings characters/desires/fears to life” episodes, which can be fun but can also be pretty dull, and while there are some fun character moments, it’s hard for me to find anything especially noteworthy. Or, noteworthy in a good way, more specifically.
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:
- That she had the guts to speak up about Quark’s bullshit
- 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
- 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
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.