Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 3: “House of Quark” and “Equilibrium”

“K’plah. Or something.”

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:

“House of Quark”

Synopsis

Quark tries to get a Klingon, Kozak, to pay his bill, but the latter objects, leading to a scuffle in which Kozak trips and is killed by his own blade. Quark milks the incident for all its worth, playing it up as though he’d engaged the Klingon in combat and defeated him. Another Klingon, D’Ghor shows up and gets the true story from Quark, but then insists Quark maintain the facade of combat to not dishonor his family. Then, Kozak’s widow, Grilka, comes on station and kidnaps Quark. Before he knows it, Quark has legally married Grilka, who made the move to prevent D’Ghor from seizing the property of her house.

Back on the station, Keiko has closed down the school due to lack of students and flounders looking for something to do. Ultimately, she goes on assignment to do some botanical work to engage her mind more.

Quark digs through the Klingon finances to see how D’Ghor has cheated Grilka and confronts him at the Klingon High Council, but the Klingons are unimpressed with his use of finances to try to settle a dispute about honor. Quark challenges D’Ghor to combat, then, to settle the dispute like a Klingon. When they meet in combat, Quark throws down his blade, calling the fight for the sham that it is. D’Ghor goes for the killing blow anyway, however, showing he has no honor. He is discommendated immediately by the High Council. Grilka thanks Quark and her house is restored to her. K’plah all around.

Commentary

My goodness was this episode fun or what? Okay, let’s get this out of the way: the episode completely ignores all kinds of gaping plot holes and inconsistencies with how we have learned Klingons operate. But these are child’s play for this fun episode. Yes, it seems obvious that the Klingons would be pretty ticked off that D’Ghor has dishonorably used his money to build up others’ debt, but you can sort of see them reacting the way they do, can’t you? Forget all these numbers, fight to the death! K’plah!

None of this has to make sense. Quark is going Klingon, baby, and he does it like a good Ferengi, looking to get whatever profit he can; and if he can’t he wants to at least escape with his life. He does it in a clever way, but that underscores Quark’s own brilliance. He’s a manipulator, and he’s taking a calculated risk. Yes, he knows he will die in combat; may as well try a different route, because otherwise he’s dead. It’s the exact kind of thing his character would do. I loved it.

Also, as a kind of afterthought, the episode explained why we won’t be seeing Keiko or lil O’Brien for a long time. I wonder if there was some issue with these cast members.

Anyway, fun, fun, fun episode.

Grade: A “Implausible? Goes against what we know about Klingons? Ignores major details and plot holes? Check, check, check. But is it a rip-roaring good time? Check.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A “It was just a high quality Quark episode. Rules of acquisition for the win. That was sweet!”

“Equilibrium”

Synopsis

Dax starts to exhibit elements of a personality that she doesn’t remember. The DS9 gang takes her to her home planet for treatment, but not all is as it seems. There’s a cover up happening, and Dax is at the center of it. It turns out that a violent person had taken control of the Dax symbiont and that this meant the possibility of getting paired with a symbiont is much higher than anyone has been led to believe. Finding that out, though, would undermine the whole of society on the planet, and the episode ends ambiguously as Jadzia discovers the missing personality and accepts it into herself.

Commentary

I thought this was a weird episode, but not as weird as some that have come before. The biggest problem here is the big question mark surrounding Dax’s society. It seems clear that a society with a hidden self-contradiction is not going to last indefinitely. Will it come up again? I hope so, but it’s always hard to tell in Star Trek. Things are picked up and dropped like children with toys, never to be seen again. Oh well.

The episode’s premise is decent, but it is also kind of hard to believe. An entire personality completely blocked from both the Trill and the human host? I don’t know if I buy that, but I guess I’ll ease off on the suspension of disbelief for now. Or would that be increase my suspension of disbelief? Oh well.

A lot happens in this one, but it really is pretty bare bones. That’s what made it work. If there’d been much more to the main plot, or too much on the side, this episode wouldn’t have worked at all. As it stands, it does work, even if it feels a little unsatisfying.

Grade: B “A good development episode for Jadzia Dax, but too many unanswered questions remain.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “I liked getting to learn more about Dax and the symbionts, but it just felt off somehow.”

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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Star Trek: TNG Season 4 “Redemption, Part I”

*Sniff* - See you later, buddy!

*Sniff* – See you later, buddy!

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.

“Redemption, Part I”

Plot

The crew of the Enterprise, and in particular Worf and Picard, are thrust directly into a potential civil war building up in the Klingon Empire. Gowron seeks to take his place as the head of the High Council, but the Duras family claims a newly found child should instead take the place of the Klingon leader. Meanwhile, Worf–prompted by Picard–seeks a way to clear his father’s name and restore his family’s honor. Gowron is reluctant to give Worf’s family their honor back for the little support Worf can offer, but ultimately, after Worf’s brother saves Gowron, does restore Worf’s honor. However, the split in the Klingon Empire–revealed to be prompted by the Romulans, remains wide.

Commentary

Watching TNG all in a row makes you much more cognizant of the continuous storylines that are threaded throughout. There are the stories of Data’s development towards humanity, Wesley’s growth, and Troi/Riker’s past, among others. Worf’s Klingon background, however, is one of the hardest-hitting themes of the series.

We have seen Worf enduring much hardship for the last season and a half or so, with his family’s name dishonored among all Klingons due to his decision to take the fall for the Duras family due to the political pressures building in the Klingon Empire. To have him finally seek to clear his father’s name is a wonderful premise for this episode to go along with the real tension of the possibility of a new Klingon-Romulan alliance.

Gowron’s restoration of Worf’s honor was an awesome moment, finally clearing Worf’s family’s name. But even more epic was Worf resigning from the Federation after Picard chose to maintain a strict non-interference policy related to the Civil War. The final scene, in which Worf leaves the Enterprise with the whole crew honoring him on the way to the transporter room, seals the deal on this excellent episode.

Also, let’s not forget the scene with Guinan schooling Worf in phaser tag.

Grade: A “Worf’s family is redeemed, but at what cost?”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “This episode was chock full of intrigue and featured an exciting cliffhanger.”

Okay, I accidentally managed to review an episode twice this season, so this single-episode review wraps up season 4! Next we’ll have the Season 4 awards post, and then dive into season 5!

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: TNG– 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.

Star Trek: TNG Season 4 “Legacy” and “Reunion”

Worf's father-son training culminates in: "This is how you cut some fools!"

Worf’s father-son training culminates in: “This is how you cut some fools!”

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.

“Legacy”

Plot

A Federation vessel sends a distress call from Turkana IV, birthplace of Tasha Yar. The Enterprise goes to investigate, discovering the crew has been captured by a faction on the planet. When an away team beams down, they further discover that Tasha Yar had a sister, Ishara, who is deeply entrenched in one of the factions. Picard and crew–particularly Data, interact with Ishara throughout the episode, learning more about her and Tasha (and finding many parallels) in the process. They also plan a rescue of the captured Federation personnel. After taking out a tracking device in Ishara used by the factions to keep balance, Ishara uses the rescue mission to try to bring down the security system of the rival faction. She is discovered by Data, whom she threatens to kill before he manages to stun her and halt disabling of the system. Ishara is beamed back to Turkana IV after a brief discussion with various crew members.

Commentary

Whew that was a long summary. The episode has a lot going on, but to the writer’s credit, it never feels disjointed or too convoluted. You knew you were going to run into something related to Tasha when the planet was announced, but to find a sister was an interesting twist. Moreover, the best part of the episode was seeing how Ishara manipulated the crew, who had the best intentions but each projected their own desires onto Ishara. It serves up a great commentary on human nature and the way we often do try to see things the way we want them to be rather than as the way they are.

Data’s parting line to Ishara is epic. After a heartfelt mini-speech from her about how she felt Data could be a friend, he just says “Energize.” Data has no time for betrayal! His brief conversation with Riker afterwards adds to the interest of his character in the episode.

Grade: B+ “It’s pretty amazing that the series can make an episode about a character who’s been gone for three seasons without her even being in it and make it good!”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “It was a neat way to get some backstory for Lieutenant Yar.”

“Reunion”

Plot

The Enterprise is approached by a Klingon warship with Ambassador K’Ehleyr–Worf’s earlier fling–aboard. Turns out Worf has a kid! The Klingon Chancellor is dying and has selected Picard to determine who will be the next Chancellor because he fears betrayal in the Empire. Gowron–a seemingly shady Klingon willing to bribe/threaten–and Duros–the one whose family betrayed the Empire and Worf took the fall for in “Sins of the Father” are contending for the title. Picard arbitrates the meeting as an investigation into various acts continue and Worf becomes familiar with his son while also

Commentary

“Reunion” was another episode that had a ton of plot points happening. Many more are summarized here.

K’Ehleyr’s line to Gowron- “You talk like a Ferengi!” Oh my goodness that was an epic line.

But the epic lines weren’t all that went right in this episode. The entire plot was phenomenal, as we got to experience more of Klingon culture with the right to lead the Klingon High Council up for grabs. Worf hunting down Duros after he assassinates K’Ehleyr and fighting him to the death is a fitting end for the traitor. It was also surprising becuase I definitely thought that someone would stop him in the act. Having Picard issue an official reprimand was totally in character as well.

The addition of Alexander–Worf’s son–to the cast, I know, has implications later, but for now it was a unique device that ties Worf more intricately into a broader storyline of his own development riding the line between civilizations. I would also be remiss not to mention the introduction of the Bat’leth–the Klingon weapon (seen in picture)–and the cultural background of the Klingon Empire added into this episode. It’s just awesome.

So much happens in this episode that is awesome. It’s hard to even try to list everything. There is also enough ambiguity to keep viewers absolutely enthralled waiting for the next plot entry. Sure, Duros is dead, but what will happen with the Klingon Empire now that it is lead by someone willing to resort to bribery (and who really did work with the Romulans)?

Grade: A+ “An epic episode with great acting, a sweet plot, and some truly amazing moments.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A “The whole story was compelling and the acting was great.”

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: TNG– 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.