Image in the Sand, Shadows and Symbols, Afterimage, Take me out to the Holosuite

IMAGE IN THE SAND

Season… 7… begins… NOW!

Usually episodes like this, in any TV series, suck.

Stories about characters who are going through some form of depression on account of loss or failure are boring. They are essential to the overall plot of the series but no one really enjoys watching them. But this one works.

Sisko has virtually quit Starfleet. He’s sitting around at his Dad’s restaurant, not talking to anyone and feeling sorry for himself. The writers are smart though – they don’t make us sit through his self-pity for long. We see one scene of it and we’re told that he’s been like that for three months. Immediately, in fact DURING this scene the plot starts moving forward as Sisko has a vision of a woman and he sets out to find her.

The thing I love about this is that in addition to an interesting mystery this also explains why the Prophets chose Sisko as the Emissary in the first place – because his mother was a prophet. That wasn’t a mystery I ever thought needed explaining but I’m glad they did. It’s really strengthened the series.

I really like seeing Kira in charge. I like the promotion, too. She’s a fair minded leader now who is willing to give people her trust. I like how she is still fiery and will gladly end any fight that someone else is dumb enough to start with her.

SHADOWS AND SYMBOLS

Sisko, son, dad and the new Dax set off looking for the Orb of the Emissary.

I liked the Admiral Ross character until he sat down alongside this Romulan woman. He now just looks like a whipped husband.

The thing that works in this episode is that none of the stories are overly complex, they can all be summed up in a few sentences, maybe even one. Sisko looks for an Orb. Worf tries to win a battle. Kira tries to prove the Bajorans aren’t to be trifled with. However they are very well edited together to keep an exciting pace and it feels like something more significant than the mere sum of the parts has transpired.

When the flashbacks to Benny began I was skeptical. They felt tacked on. But without them, I don’t think the storyline of Ben and the Orb would have made as much sense or been sustainable. It would have just seemed like we were watching someone go crazy. Thanks to the flashbacks, Sisko and the Orb maintained its tension because we could see what was at stake.

It feels like the stories are building towards a total resolution and explanation for Sisko’s relationship with Benny, the HIM who is dreaming about the future. I hope I’m not wrong. If any other Star Trek Captrain went this crazy you’d lose a big chunk of the audience’s respect. In the case of Sisko, as played by Avery Brooks, I would say it’s somehow consistent with the character to be this nuts.

AFTERIMAGE

Ezri Dax grows up.

It’s really tough to do believable psycho-analysis on TV. How do you invent psychological problems for a character and develop their mind with enough depth for other characters to figure out what’s wrong with them – without it being painfully obvious to the audience?

So anyway, they do it here. They pull it off very well. It’s a great scene where Garak suddenly opens up to Ezri that although he is helping the war effort, he’s getting his own people killed in order to do so.

That would give me a lot of anxiety.

And yes, I like Ezri. She’s an interesting character. I’ve been a fan of Nicole de Boer since CUBE.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE HOLOSUITE

DS9 plays a bunch of Vulcans in baseball.

This Vulcan Captain is a racist. No doubt about it. He is a racist. His entire crew is Vulcan? That’s kind of dispicable. But it’s totally plausible so I don’t fault the writers. I commend them for it.

The baseball game was a lot of fun to watch but a bit too frustrating. I think it would have been nice to see Worf performing well by incorporating his own fighting techniques. Maybe he could swing the bat backhanded like a bat’leth. Maybe that’s lame actually. I’m glad they didn’t do that.

A fun episode to watch.

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