Past Prologue, A Man Alone, Babel

Past Prologue is an episode just devoted to setting the Bajoran scene. It tells us about collaborators, Cardassian torture, Bajoran terrorists, etc..

Lursa and B’Etor show up. It’s kind of pointless. It’s just to remind us few people who know who they are that this is the same Star Trek as the other one… the better one. Got it. Thanks.

It’s not a great episode. It barely really qualifies as Sci-Fi. There is an anti-matter bomb but it could just as easily have been a grenade. Anybody know who big of a bomb is needed to collapse a man-made wormhole? Pretty big I’m gonna guess.

Garak appears for the first time in this episode. That’s worth noting. Kira’s short haircut also appears for the first time in this episode. I think there was a studio note after the pilot, “can we make Kira look more like Wesley Crusher somehow?”

Next is A Man Alone. I like some stuff about this episode. An episode about a murder is a decent way to get to know the characters early in a show’s run. There is one really good scene where Sisko tells Odo he doesn’t believe Odo is a murderer. Odo has an awesome response to the tune of, you don’t know me, I might be.

The twist-ish ending is a good concept but poorly “executed”. Wow, what a great pun. Spoiler Alert… the murder victim was a clone of the murderer. He murdered his own clone to frame Odo. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, just a little bit of sense. It makes more sense as you watch the episode and the investigation is manipulated by the show’s writers so that the clone solution makes sense. But, the execution is not good. There is a mob about to lynch Odo and they all pause to listen to scientific data. It’s kind of sad that four hundred years from now people who are intelligent enough to listen to facts are still running around in posses.

It’s 10AM now. My wife has just left for Inuktitut class. My step-son is watching a movie on his iPod (Star Trek doesn’t always connect with kids as I said earlier) and Rosie is playing on the carpet.

Funny that my wife is at a language class since this next episode BABEL is about an aphasia virus that eliminates people’s ability to communicate.

My wife comes home early. No one showed up for class. She must have missed an e-mail. Oh no, the Babel virus has rendered her unable to communicate. We are meeting friends for lunch at Ikea in an hour, I have time to work out and shower while I watch this episode.

I remember watching BABEL in 1992. It’s not bad. Similar to how The Next Generation’s second episode is about a virus, they stuck with what works on DS9. It’s interesting who gets the virus and who doesn’t. I like how Quark and Odo have to work together to run things after everyone else is incapacitated. I have to credit Armin Shimmerman. He plays Quark like it’s season 5 and he already knows the character comfortably enough to never overdo it. On every iteration of Star Trek that’s the problem with season 1. Everyone yells their lines like they are portraying the most unique character ever conceived and history must remember this day.

I kind of like the end of this, how Kira gives someone who can help the virus so that they WILL help. Good move by the writers to organically show her going the extra mile rather than just telling us about it all the time.

Note… just after I finished this episode my wife tells me were are leaving in five minutes, not in 35 minutes as I thought. I tell her that she should have told me that. Babel virus.


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