Star Trek: DS9 Season 4 “Sons of Mogh” and “Bar Association”

Hey! We have demands and stuff! Yeah!

I’ve completed my re-watch of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Now it’s time to start Deep Space Nine! I am much less familiar with this show, though I’m pretty sure I’ve seen about 80-90% of the episodes. It’s been so long that I’m sure it will all feel brand new. My wife has never seen the show. She and I will go through, review every episode, and give commentary and a grade from A-F. There are SPOILERS for each episode below. Without further adieu, here’s:

“Sons of Mogh”

Synopsis

Worf’s brother Kurn visits DS9 to demand Worf help him regain his honor by killing him ritually. The dishonor is apparently brought on by Worf’s decisions to side with Starfleet and thus led to disfavor against Worf’s family. Worf agrees, but Dax and Odo get Kurn out in time to have him saved by Bashir. Kurn thus feels doubly dishonored, unable even to have an honorable death. Meanwhile, a discovery of a Klingon ship attempting to drop a cloaked minefield on DS9 means that Worf and Kurn must go undercover to discover the location of these mines. Kurn saves Worf on the mission, but now feels like a traitor as well. Finally, Bashir agrees to wipe Kurn’s memory and allow him to go with a family friend to assume a new identity, saving his life… kind of.

Commentary

Okay, do we really think that Bashir would agree to wipe Kurn’s memory? Seriously. That seems like a massive breaking of his oaths and vows, not to mention that similar cases have always had a “but it couldn’t possibly succeed” clause or some other major moral opposition to it, as should have happened here. I generally enjoy Klingon episodes, but this one seemed nonsensical. No one was acting in ways that seemed believable. I mean, did Worf really “save” Kurn by basically turning him into a completely different person? It definitely doesn’t seem like it to me. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way, either, because according to the excellent Deep Space Nine Companion, many fans had outcry against this effective killing of Kurn by Worf.

If there is a plus side to this episode, it’s that Michael Dorn is a great actor and somehow manages to sell this as serious. Also, there is apparently a thing developing between Dax and Worf? Awesome. Also, the aforementioned Deep Space Nine Companion has a cool piece in it on this episode about the development of the mek’leth and how they made it by looking at a number of weapons one of the people working on the show collected. Neat.

Grade: C- “The characters are completely out of character here, and the solution seems so out of place that it doesn’t really feel the episode was resolved in any way. 

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B “It was a really cool episode, but so implausible a solution.”

“Bar Association”

Synopsis

Rom has an ear infection but doesn’t get it treated because he can’t get time off work. Ferengi don’t do vacations, obviously. It would hurt profit! But then Rom gets the idea, partially from Bashir, that a union ought to be formed, and he joins together with others at Quark’s to strike and get better pay and benefits. This of course goes against all that is Ferengi, and the Ferengi Commerce Authority sends Liquidator Brunt to end the dispute, threatening financial ruin. But Rom manages to rally the employees again and Brunt schemes to harm Quark in order to force Rom’s backing down. Finally, Quark and Rom come to an agreement that lets Quark honor the union’s demands in secret if they pretend he has won the dispute. They agree, but Rom decides to quit the job to become someone who can survive on his own, wrorking for the station as a diagnostic tech.

Commentary

Can we sit back and think for a moment about the massive gulf between DS9’s treatment of Ferengi and that of The Next Generation? I mean seriously, could you imagine an episode even close to this level of seriousness with the Ferengi as presented especially in early TNG? I definitely can’t. The writers of DS9 did us a service by salvaging the Ferengi and turning them into a genuinely compelling people. And the Ferengi Commerce Authority is part of that, here showing that the Ferengi aren’t afraid of gangster tactics when it comes to getting what they want. Sure, the episode is silly–it has Rom in it, after all–but it builds on the characters in believable ways, even if it does so in a condensed timeline that seems to stretch credulity a little far.

This is a great character developing episode for both Quark and Rom and introduces a number of other characters who become more important as the series goes on. I enjoyed it.

Grade: B “A great character piece for Rom, though it has elements that are maybe a bit too rushed or unbelievable. I do like how much DS9 has done with the Ferengi!”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “I think Rom is great. He’s super fun.”

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Star Trek: DS9– For more episode reviews, follow this site and also click this link to read more (scroll down as needed)! Drop me a comment to let me know what you thought!

SDG.

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Reading Through the [Alleged] Top 100 Science Fiction Novels- #76-80

I’m a huge science fiction fan, but realized I haven’t read a lot of those works considered classics or greats. I decided to remedy that, and found a list online of the Top 100 Science Fiction Books. The list is determined by vote from sci-fi fans online, so it may change over time. I am going off the order of the list as it was when I first saw it. Each book will receive a grade between F and A+ as well as very brief comments. I’m interested to read what you think about these books as well. There will be very minor spoilers in some of these.

76. The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe Grade: B-
“As I read this, I understood how beautiful it was, and how it could easily be among others’ favorites. I’m not sure if it’s just the mood I was in, or what, but I could not get into it. The style seemed much more interested in prose than in telling the story, and that made it difficult to get into. Of the three novellas included here, I enjoyed the third the most, with its tie-ins to the previous ones. I suspect on a re-read I might enjoy it more, so I should get back around to it someday.”

77. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis Grade: B+
“Several parts of it seem dated–particularly the narration style, which draws heavily from H.G. Wells. Many good ideas are here, however, which make up for a somewhat disappointing lack of characterization given Lewis’ immense success at the same task in his Chronicles of Narnia. I enjoyed the different types of aliens, as well as the adventuresome plot. It’s a good, but not superb book.”

78. Ilium by Dan Simmons Grade: A
“A futuristic-ish reinvisioning of Homer’s epic with robots, insane technology, aliens, and more? Yeah, only Simmons could pull this off and not utterly destroy the source material. It’s not quite at the transcendent level of Hyperion, but it is simply phenomenal nonetheless. The different strands of the story get pulled together in surprising and satisfying ways, and it sets up for a sequel in a perfect fashion. I’m hoping the sequel will be just as good.”

79. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick Grade: C-
“The later in Dick’s career I get on this list, the less I like his novels. Thankfully, he actually constructed an attempt at a story with characters for this one. The problem is that the characters and plot aren’t very compelling. It’s one of those books you finish and you think: ‘Well, that was okay, I guess.’ And really, that’s all this book was. Okay.”

80. Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan Grade: A
“It’s a sci-fi noir novel. Does there need to be any other reason to read it? Oh, yeah, and it’s a satisfying mystery, too. I forgot to mention that the science fiction aspects of it actually lend themselves to the mystery without feeling like they were invented merely to make the mystery easier to solve or make sense. It’s pretty fantastic. The reason I marked it down is because I think the sheer amount of explicit sex and extreme violence was overdone. Unlike many books, both make sense for the sake of the plot, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy reading them. Apart from those aspects, this novel was superb, and I think most readers would agree.”

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Reading through the [Alleged] Best 100 Science Fiction Books– Check out more posts in this series as I continue.

SDG.