I hadn’t rewatched this one in awhile, and now that I have, I’m really not sure why not — it was a pretty great watch, in my book. The pacing is great, with the episode just zipping along, and the actors, both regular and not, play off of each other in really cool ways.
I have a confession to make.
OKAY BUT DUKAT’S FACE WHEN SISKO SHOWS UP IN THE MAQUIS CAVERN TO RESCUE HIM, GOOD LORD MY GUY KEEP IT IN YOUR FAUX-CHAINMAIL LEGGINGS
I am in a dev bootcamp all week and so do not have the amount of free time to spend on writing these posts that I normally do, which is a shame, because WOW is there a lot going on here. Of course, the silver lining for y’all is that you are spared a good deal of my yelling about how horny Dukat is for Sisko.
Not all of it, though.
Ah yes, the episode where I remember why “Which Side Are You On?” is on several of my DS9 playlists.
I like this episode a lot! But there are parts that I’m not totally thrilled with. Honestly, it probably doesn’t help that I just kind of…don’t like Odo very much, and don’t feel he’s necessarily earned the benefit of the doubt. So I find the ending a bit frustrating, which I’ll go into a bit more later.
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.
All right, y’all, season two! Let’s do this!
To start: my notes for this episode contain many, many repetitions of “LET LI NALAS LIVE”. Continue reading “2.01: “The Homecoming””
W H E W!!!! Even by Deep Space Nine standards, this one is intense. This is the good shit, y’all. Cardassian war crimes! Kira struggling with trying to build something out of her anger and trauma! It’s even got Dukat being horny at Sisko!
(On that note, I feel like this is the place to mention that, title-wise, I always get this episode mixed up with season six’s “Waltz”, in which Dukat and Sisko get trapped in a cave together and Dukat calls Sisko “Benjamin” a lot.)
OH BOY HERE WE GO.
- OH MY GOD JAKE IS SUCH A BABY!!!!!!!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.