Invasive Procedures, Cardassians, Melora

Invasive Procedures

Okay. Back to work. Been away camping…

During a ‘space storm’ that requires the evacuation of DS9, save for a skeleton crew, a rejected Trill host comes for Dax.

This is a really good example of a solid concept with poor execution. I actually wish this episode was worse, just so it could have been more interesting. Nothing interesting happens. John Glover, notoriously creepy in most roles, even in photographs actually, doesn’t come off as creepy here. Or sad. Or angry. Or even annoying. He barely registers as three dimensional matter. He has two Klingons who help him take the crew captive. His girlfriend is fairly cruel. Other than that, this reject Trill is a reject character. He isn’t clever or strong or manipulative. He’s just kinda whiny.

The very beginning of the episode was far more interesting before the story even began. The storm outside the dead silent station was really great atmosphere. The episode goes wrong shortly thereafter; the take over is rushed and had no gravitas. The crew acts more like, “lets see where this hostage taking is going” than “fight for your life!”

Anyway, the Trill host goes back to Dax. Shocking.

Cardassians

Cardassians started well. By the halfway point I was annoyed, to the point of actually offended. Side note – I think people say they are “offended” far too easily so I actually really mean I was offended on both moral and intellectual levels.

This episode has an interesting premise: at the end of the Cardassian occupation many ophans were left behind when the Cardassians fled. I don’t think the word “rape” is said but that’s the impression I got. A Cardassian boy, Rugal, who has been raised by Bajoran parents is now wanted back by his Cardassians biological father.

Before I go any further, I’ll should openly admit that I have an adopted daughter. It’s for you to decide if that unfairly skews my analysis of this episode.

The boy despises Cardassians, despite being one on a biological level. He has been raised to hate Cardassians. Maybe through indoctrination, maybe just through reading history books – it’s never particularly clear. There is talk that the boy has been abused by his Bajoran family but there’s never a conclusion. My take on all this is that the kid is just a kid, and for someone his age life is very black and white. He’s been raised on a planet formerly ruled by conquerors and he now hates them – I’m not surprised.

That being said, since the kid was born a Cardassian he should have been taught Cardassian history, the stuff that Picard spoke of in “Chain of Command pt 2” about Cardassians formerly being an artistic society that became militaristic to prevent it’s own downfall. It would be good for the kid to understand why Cardassian society is the way it is – otherwise he will likely wind up seeking out that culture later in life at a time of crisis.

One majorly offensive concept relates to the boy having been abandoned. Yet everyone acts like he was kidnapped and that the kid needs to sent back to where he “belongs” or was “meant to be”. Apparently you get several chances at parenting in the 24th century, you can give up your kids until you’re TOTALLY ready to settle down.

Then comes a twist, the biological father didn’t know his son was alive all these years. So, now, he has somewhat of a legitimate claim to the boy. This doesn’t seem to complicate matters so much as it just settles it that the biological father was wronged and that he shouldget his son back. The fact that the boy is happy as a Bajoran is irrelevant – he’s property in this situation.

I wasn’t sure if I was just projecting my own beliefs onto this episode. However, when O’Brien makes mention of the boy’s REAL father, the Cardassian, I settled myself on the fact that this episode really didn’t know what it was talking about.

Now, you might say that this episode is twenty years old so opinions on adoption were different back then. Perhaps…

To that, I counter with The Next Generation episode “Suddenly Human” which is actually 23 years old but could easily have been written today. It deftly handles a really problematic situation of a child who was NOT abandoned but rather stolen. Despite HOW he was adopted, the fact is he loves his “new” family and has been treated well by them. The boy’s wants and needs are more important than the adoptiove parent’s crime.

Here though, there is an inane storyline about how Gul Dukat was using the kid to embarass the biological father and ruin that man’s career. Possibly the most unintersting TWIST ending I’ve ever seen. Because of this twist Sisko et al. accept that the kid belongs on Cardassia due to an unrelated matter going on behind the scenes.

Idiotic. Stupid. Lazy.

Melora

I’ve heard this episode trashed before. I’m pretty sure I even saw it branded as the worst ep of DS9 on one list by Entertainment Weekly.

Melora is a woman from a planet with such low gravity that she needs mechanical supports to serve in Starfleet. And here she comes now…

I don’t think this is such a bad episode but the romance that blossoms between Melora and Bashir isn’t well established. It was clearly destined to only last this episode. If was going to last longer, the writers would have cared about it. This was a good opportunity to get some history from Bashir. Why does he want to help so much? It could have made his annoying eagerness sympathetic for once.

I have to say though, the end almost sways me into saying “this is the worst episode of ds9”.

Bashir gives Melora the opportunity to walk like the rest of us but she’ll never be able to, wait for it… set foot on her home planet again. So she has a tough decision to make: move on with her life and never look back or spend her whole life struggling. THANKFULLY, a Klingon hijacks her runabout so she turns off the artificial gravity thus giving her the upperhand and she beats him with her wire-work. So, of course, thanks to this important life-moment Melora decides she needs to stay the way she is. UNGH! She could just as easily have been forced to run into a burning building to save a small child. And from that she would learn that only without her disability could she live a happy life.

Manipulative story telling at its worst.

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