Star Trek: DS9 Season 4 “The Muse” and “For the Cause”

Are they lying to each other, too?

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:

“The Muse”

Synopsis

Jake gets seduced by a brain eating alien who uses his creative energy for nefarious purposes while inspiring him to great heights of writing. Lwaxana Troi wants to have her own child, but the customs of the father means she may not, so Odo intervenes and marries her, convincing all present of his genuine feelings for Troi in the process. Jake is saved at the last moment by his father, and his writing career feels like it may take more work.

Commentary

This is one of those episodes that definitely feels like the writers had two ideas, neither of which would make an episode on their own, so they awkwardly packed two half-episodes of TV together into one. It’s no secret that Lwaxana is not my favorite, but she has gotten a pretty heartfelt character overhaul on DS9 and seems like a real person rather than a ludicrous caricature. Her interactions with Odo feel genuine, and they’re often hilarious due to Odo’s proper way of acting and Lwaxana’s, well, being Lwaxana.

The Jake storyline I enjoyed much less. It felt like a monster-of-the-week episode with a twist that makes it feel like Jake is less creative than I may otherwise have thought him. He says he feels like he cheated to get what he began on his novel, but Benjamin Sisko points out that he couldn’t have written it without having it within him. Nevertheless, it does feel as someone watching it that some of his capacity as a writer was stripped away by having the alien be the only way to inspire him to the loftiest heights. Kind of a letdown, to be honest.

Grade: B- “Weird but heartfelt. Not a bad episode, but not great either. Troi did well, though, and Odo was delightfully awkward.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “A clearly memorable episode with interesting sci-fi elements and character development.”

“For the Cause”

Synopsis

Garak tries to figure out the intentinos of Gul Dukat’s half-Bajoran daughter, Tora Ziyal. He thinks she may be set up to kill him but she denies it and they ultimately begin a relationship centered around learning about Cardassia. Meanwhile, Captain Sisko is confronted with the possibility that his girlfriend, Kasidy Yates, is working for the Maquis. Evidence continues to mount and he launches an investigation, which ultimately leads to her capture and imprisonment in the brig for collusion with the Maquis.

Commentary

My synopsis is much, much less complex than the workings of the episode (just check out the plot summary here). Basically, we’ve got a character piece, but one that is for four different characters: Yates, Sisko, Garak, and Ziyal. They each, remarkably, get enough time on screen for us to feel the emotional impact of the events for every character involved. That said, the episode’s pacing and scene changes are quite jarring, and as a viewer I felt jerked from one scene to the next, sometimes violently. It also felt as though they wanted to introduce more complexity to Yates as a character by having her involved in the Maquis while not doing the groundwork to make this plausible. Yeah, it does make her a more complex character, but it also makes her somewhat less believable.

Grade: A- “A convoluted but emotionally impactful episode both for Garak and Sisko/Yates.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “It was interesting, but it didn’t seem consistent with the character they’ve developed for Yates so far.”

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.

Star Trek: DS9 Season 4 “Crossfire” and “Return to Grace”

“You know how I can tell you’re upset? That out of place hair.”

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:

“Crossfire”

Synopsis

Shakaar, the onetime Bajoran freedom fighter whose backstory was largely revealed in the episode of his name, is back on DS9 and Odo is not pleased by his apparently budding relationship with Major Kira. Quark and Odo have a story that goes laong with the main plot all the way through this one, going back and forth with complaints even as Quark is making it clear with his actions that despite his adversarial relationship with Odo, he enjoys his company. Quark counsels Odo to tell Kira his feelings, but even as he works up his courage to do so, she reveals she is falling for Shakaar. Meanwhile, a plot to kill Shakaar is unfolding and Odo, distracted, has to act himself to save Kira and Shakaar’s life. Worf, much to Odo’s annoyance, is the one who ends up capturing the Cardassian agent involved. Sisko is surprised by Odo’s distracted nature. Odo puts soundproofing in his floor at the end of the episode, ending something that was annoying Quark. The latter thanks him, but Odo plays it off as business, once again seeing Shakaar and Kira together.

Commentary

This is a good character-building episode for Quark and Odo. It shows the sometimes comical nature of the adversarial relationship. It also shows how they seem to be molding that relationship into a strange friendship. Odo’s feelings for Kira are a major theme, of course, but that seems to be played out in my opinion. He needs to just tell her already, or, like Quark said, get over it. The enigmatic ending of the episode made it hard to figure out where it might go next.

Seriously though, Quark. He basically is the glue that makes the whole show work at times. This episode is one of those. I could see this episode being quite boring, to be honest, but Quark’s character added the dimension of humor and friendship that pushed it over the edge into a good episode.

Grade:  B “I love the interplay between Odo and Quark, but wow Odo needs to just tell Kira his feelings already.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B

“Return to Grace”

Synopsis

Kira must ride with Dukat on a transport ship to a conference about the Klingon Empire. When they arrive, the site is a wreck and a Klingon Bird of Prey is leaving. Dukat and Kira rig the ship to fight the Klingon and defeat it, capturing the warship. Dukat destroys his transport gleefully, but is annoyed, to say the least, when the Cardassians don’t welcome him back into leadership for the capture of the Bird of Prey. He decides to strike out on his own in the Bird of Prey in order to fight the Klingons, but Kira refuses to join his crew and she and his daughter, Ziyal, go back to DS9.

Commentary

This episode is an action-packed whirlwind of crazy. Dukat, stripped of rank, is commanding a lowly transport! Ha! But then he manages to turn the transport into a kind of Q-Ship and takes over a Bird of Prey? Then, he goes seemingly mad for a personal vendetta against the Klingons? Yeah, these are the things that happened in this episode.

I think if there is any specific meaning in this episode, it is that the writers are saying Dukat isn’t going anywhere. That’s good, because he is a spectacular villain that I love to hate. They’ve given him some reasons to like him a little bit now, but this personal war seems a good setup for more drama.

Grade:  B “There’s a lot that happens in this one, and it makes me wonder what they’re setting Dukat up to do next.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B

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.