Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Season 1 “Q-Less” and “Dax”

We're in the wrong series!

We’re in the wrong series!

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:

“Q-Less”

Synopsis

Vash, the archaeologist friend/lover of Captain Picard, arrives at Deep Space Nine amidst some difficult circumstances. Almost immediately, things on the station start going haywire as power outages to various systems break out. Chief O’Brien thinks he has it figured out when Q shows up on station as well, but Q taunts Sisko and others for thinking it is him. Meanwhile, Vash is trying to sell a bunch of artifacts and partners with Quark to set up an auction. During the auction, the station gets in even more peril, and it turns out it is coming from one of the artifacts Vash has stolen. They beam it off station just before it explodes.

Commentary

I really like the character Vash, and I’m pretty lukewarm about Q. So I expected this to be overall a decent episode when both of them showed up, and it was. But the difficulty is that this was a story that seems to only exist for the sake of having these crossover characters show up. It’s like a big ad: “Hey everybody, you liked TNG? Check out DS9, because we bring TNG people over!” Meanwhile, O’Brien has been developed into a regular (and great) character. That’s how to cross characters from one series to a next. Don’t inundate–develop.

Oh well. The episode is kind of silly all around, and making Q try to have the same dynamics with Sisko as he had with Picard seemed forced. The mystery over what’s happening at the station–once it clearly became not Q–was very predictable. And, again, stop me if you’ve heard this before: Q gets blamed for something but makes other people figure out the real thing that’s happening. Oh yeah, TNG did that too.

Grade: B- “It was a little overdone, but I enjoyed the crossover characters from The Next Generation.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B- “It mostly just felt like they were rehashing The Next Generation storylines in a different setting.”

“Dax”

Synopsis

Police (?) from Klaestron IV come onto Deep Space Nine and capture Jadzia Dax to try to take her back home for trial for murder committed by Curzon Dax. However, Sisko and crew manage to stop them in time to use some political loopholes to force a hearing governed by Bajor over whether Dax will be extradited to Klaestron. At the hearing, the senior officers of Deep Space Nine endeavor to prove that Jadzia Dax is not the same as Curzon Dax and so cannot be responsible for the alleged crimes of the latter. Meanwhile, Odo is dispatched to Klaestron to investigate there. Dax is oddly reticent about defending her(?)self but Odo discovers this is because Curzon Dax had an affair with a woman back on Klaestron and is trying to protect that woman’s reputation. The trial seems to show that the two Daxs are the same, but with the evidence of Curzon’s alibi, the case falls through.

Commentary

The second episode in a row that seems to have major plot stolen from The Next Generation, “Dax” manages to pull it off with much better results. Yes, this is basically just “The Measure of a Man” retold with different characters, but because that inspiration was itself so good, this episode can’t be all bad. And it isn’t–it’s pretty good.

Another aspect of this episode is that it turns its inspiration around. Rather than trying to prove Jadzia Dax is something, the crew [or whatever I should call the main characters on a space station–the cadre?] is trying to prove she is not something (one). That’s enough of a twist to keep this episode from feeling entirely like it has been done before, and the added dimension of Odo going and doing some serious investigating ups the ante.

Overall, the episode builds Dax as a character more than has been done so far, and shows how complex her past is. Hopefully that theme continues through the series.

Grade: B+ “The plot has been done before, and on Star Trek, but it was still an enjoyable episode.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “It was an interesting idea, and there were good plot twists.”

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 3 “Captain’s Holiday” and “Tin Man”

Picard's outfit in this episode leads to images which will never be forgotten....

Picard’s outfit in “Holiday” leads to images which will never be forgotten….

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.

“Captain’s Holiday”

Plot

Picard is convinced to take a vacation and he goes to Risa, a luxurious vacation planet (apparently?) to take some time by the beach/pool and read some lengthy books. Life has different plans for Picard and he encounters Vash, an archaeologist who is being pursued by a Ferengi and trying to find the Tox Uthat (hereafter TU), a weapon from the future. Meanwhile time-travelers are also pursuing the weapon. Picard and Vash team up and go to find the TU but after encounters with the future-peeps and Ferengi fail to find it. Ultimately, Vash is confronted by Picard and is forced to reveal she already had the TU, which Picard destroys to the chagrin of all.

Commentary

Look, this episode is like a lost Indiana Jones movie (a good one, not one of the even ones) with Patrick Steward as the lead playing Jean-Luc Picard. Need I say more? No? Well I’m going to anyway.

This is one fun episode. The beginning of the episode is great, as a conspiracy to get Picard to take a vacation unfolds. Riker encourages Picard to go to Risa for the women, resulting in this funny exchange:  Riker: “Have I mentioned how imaginative the Risian women are, sir?” Troi: “Too often, Commander.” Dr. Crusher asks Picard to give his own prognosis and cure: vacation. Troi mentions her mother might be stopping by (DISCLAIMER: LWAXANA TROI IS NOT IN THIS EPISODE!). Picard ultimately must give in.

But the fun only gets started in the introductory scenes, as the premise of Picard taking the role of Indiana Jones and going off on an adventure to find a lost future weapon is just fantastic. Maybe it is my inner archaeologist speaking, but I love that Picard is into archaeology, and to finally have an episode feature this aspect of his character rather than just use it as an explanation for how he knows something is great.

The episode has many twists and turns which are at times a little over-the-top but in general are, I think, delightful. It’s like a pulp adventure translated to television, and it just works. This ranks among my most-enjoyed, and it gets there through its tongue-in-cheek narrative and winking the whole time while also showing off Picard’s character more than he has been in a while.

Also, on a side note, I think this was my biggest score-difference with my wife in an episode yet.

Grade: A “Indiana Jones…. in SPA-A-A-A-A-A-CE!”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: C+ “It was just unbelievable.”

“Tin Man”

Plot

A strange living ship has been discovered and the Enterprise must race Romulans to reach it. The Enterprise is also acting as diplomat transport to bring Tam Elbrun, a Betazoid with powerful empathic abilities, to try to communicate with the ship. Ultimately, Tam goes aboard the ship and stays, finally finding peace from his empathic dissonance.

Commentary

Here’s an episode that makes a dramatic turnaround. When viewers first encounter Tam, it seems we’re about to get another obnoxious character episode that–at least in the past–leads to some half-hearted attempt to garner sympathy. Here, however, Tam’s character experiences genuine development. Troi and Tam have a past, and their discussions about empathic ability adds great depth to both characters without seeming contrived. Tam is well-acted and he is able to make the character feel real in developing through the episode.

The Data/Tam sub-plot is also great, as Data’s lack of feelings means Tam cannot sense him, which ironically makes Data the ideal companion for a man constantly haunted by the minds of others. It is a great dynamic to add to the episode. Having Data round it off by pointing out that he “belongs” on the Enterprise is a fitting end to an episode about finding one’s place in the universe.

Grade: A- “Initially off-putting, the episode sucks viewers in with a solid plot and developed character.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “I enjoyed Tam’s character and the Tin Man resolution to the problem.”

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.