You are Cordially Invited, Resurrection, Statistical Probabilities, The Magnificent Ferengi

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED

Worf and Jadzia get hitched.

A damn fine episode. When it comes to light hearted Trek episodes – this is one of the best. It’s the kind of episode you could do late in the series’ run once we know all the characters as well as we do. I liked the bachelorette party. It felt like the kind of party Dax would throw.

My one and only complaint is that Martok’s wife vanishes after her fight with Jadzia. The reconcilliation all happens off screen. She was an interesting characte and would have liked to see some of her not being quite so one-note. I think she deserved a little moment to let us understand Klingon women a bit better.

RESURRECTION

Vedek Bareil from the Mirror universe comes to DS9.

I’m not crazy about this episode. For one thing, they just ignored Odo the whole time since the writers didn’t seem to know how to incorporate his love for Kira into yet another relationship of hers. The other problem I had was that Bareil died years ago and I felt like Kira had moved on from it – having her hook up with Bareil again didn’t particularly feel true or even fair to her character.

STATISTICAL PROBABILITIES

Bashir becomes a life coach for other, less perfect, gentically engineered people.

This episode is awesome. It shows how much the Bashir character has improved thanks to the addition of this genetic engineering history.

I, like Sisko, wouldn’t have agreed with Bashir’s suggestion that the Federation surrender to prevent the immense casualty forecasts. However, it makes sense that Bashir made the recommendation. Even in this idealistic future, people still have egos. If I was Data or a Vulcan I might very well have come to the conclusion that this war was unwinnable as well.

Something DS9 should have added (not necessarily in this episode but anywhere) is a comparison between the Dominion war and the Klingon war or the Cardassian war or Romulan, etc; from the perspective of casualties or the opponent’s strength. It would be cool to hear Gowron confide to Sisko that he knows, without question, that the war is unwinnable – he just wants to die in war. That would be a crushing thing to hear before a battle.

THE MAGNIFICENT FERENGI

Quark and a bunch of his bros go to rescue his mother from the Dominion.

I have nothing intelligent or useful to say about this episode but I sure as hell enjoyed watching it. Iggy Pop? Okay!

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Sons and Daughters, Behind the Lines, Favor the Bold, Sacrifice of Angels

SONS AND DAUGHTERS

Worf and Alexander are reunited.

I really like this guy who is playing Alexander. I completely believe him as the kid we watched grow up (a bit) on The Next Generation.

Klingon aging has been insanely manipulated by Star Trek writers for ten years in order to make better use of Alexander – he’s nine years old now but looks 18 and is being played by a guy in his mid twenties and is old enough to serve on a starship. Back on TNG when he was less than two years old he looked 5 at least. But you know what, I can totally believe that in Klingon physiology the children age fast so they aren’t in danger of being killed by predators or even other Klingons. So, let’s just say they age at 2x the human rate.

As for this Zial, Kira, Dukat triangle thing. Menh. The Alpha quadrant is at war and we’re supposed to really care about Zial’s hurt feelings when Kira doesn’t show up at her art show? Seriously? For that to really HIT us, they needed to develop Zial more and had this episode really focus on her life, not done it from Kira’s POV.

BEHIND THE LINES

Odo and the female Founder start getting busy.

So I neglected to write down my thoughts on this episode right away. That was a mistake. I remember Sisko being told Dax would command the Defiant mission. I also remember a scene with Odo and the female Founder sitting on a bed post-coitus – though that scene may have been in the next episode. That’s the one problem with these serialized storylines; a lot of episodes can blend together. LOST used to do that amazingly well during it’s first couple of seasons (thanks to the flashbacks) – each episode pushed the larger story forward while telling a self-contained story. These last four DS9 episodes have been compelling but hard to discern individual stories with beginnings and ends within each hour.

FAVOR THE BOLD & SACRIFICE OF ANGELS

Sisko decides it’s time to retake DS9.

I love the title, “Favor the Bold”. Such a great quote and I like it when TV shows use HALF of an expression as an episode title.

The space battle in here is spectacular. The Klingon intervention a-la Millenium Falcon was predictable but nonetheless fun to watch.

I’d love to know which Starfleet officers gets stuck flying those Maquis raider ships in these big battles. I’m sure they’re super┬ámaneuverable┬ábut ONE PHASER BLAST or even just a stiff breeze seems to make them blow up.

This is the only time I think I can see myself letting a deus ex machina slide. It works well here and it makes sense. The Prophets are established characters with a personal interest in what happens on DS9. Their interfering and destruction of a the Dominion ships makes sense somehow so I don’t mind that it happened and surprisingly it doesn’t feel anti-climactic.

In the Cards, Call to Arms, A Time to Stand, Rocks and Schoals

IN THE CARDS

Jake and Nog search for an old baseball card in the hopes of chearing up Captain Sisko.

I wasn’t happy seeing serious villains like Weyoun and the Jem’Hadar in such a comedic episode. And yet it worked. It was a nice touch that Jake and Nog only set out to help Captain Sisko but it transferred to the whole senior staff.

CALL TO ARMS

Sisko decides to mine the entrance to the wormhole.

A near perfect DS9 episode.

The main story focuses on the Dominion while smaller stories about life on the station go on – which all DIRECTLY tie into the main plot.

Jake is becoming a journalist – leading to his decision to NOT abandon the station. Glad to see they finally have a decent arc for his character.

I really like the Rom story here. Not just him worrying about his wedding but also him looking after Quark and the bar. That was probably the most I’ve ever understood Ferengi family. Both my wife and I got choked up when Quark kissed Rom on the back of his head.

Last scene – the baseball. Perfect. It takes a really good writer to end a grand season finale with such a small moment. A great F U to Dukat from Sisko and I love that Dukat knew it was an F U and it robbed him of his victory! A perfectly concluded episode AND season. A+

A TIME TO STAND

The crew go to destroy a Ketracel white production facility.

Everyone behind the scenes at DS9 is treating the whole Federation like they used to treat the station – like a real place with many moving parts. Small characters like Rom and Weyoun, so perfectly written and executed make everything feel so intricate.

There a great moment where we see some truth behind Cardassia joining the Dominion. The Cardassians didn’t want to do it but they knew it was the smart move. It adds some personality to the Cardassian species. Though the Vulcans are known for logic, they are also very moral. The Cardassians let logic trump their morals but they have no concept of how egotistical they are.

I wonder if this was the Dominion’s plan all along? Weaken Cardassia with a war against the Klingons because Cardassia would then be the first to join the Dominion with its tail between its legs. After the failed raid by the Tal-shiar and the Obsidian order – it would make sense. I think the Founders knew that the first step was to bring the Cardassians into their fold – their sector in indeed close to Bajor.

This episode is pure action and fun. No time wasted on sci-fi ideas or themes or whatever else. It’s just plain fun space action. I can’t say it’s incredibly memorable but it’s unquestionably entertaining and sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

ROCKS AND SCHOALS

The crew crash land and go head to head with some stranded Jem’hadar.

This episode feels WAY too familiar. I can barely separate it in my memory from the episode from one year ago, “The Ship”.

I was indeed entertained and I’m enjoying this multi-episode arc about the crew living and fighting off of DS9 but as I said – this one’s far from memorable.

Soldiers of the Empire, Children of Time, Blaze of Glory, Empok Nor

SOLDIERS OF THE EMPIRE

Worf accompanies Martok on his first command since being released from prison.

It’s interesting that if I had to recommend Star Trek episodes to people who haven’t watched the series before I would go with the ones that focus on Klingons. Aside from being great villains (once upon a time) their culture is surprisingly relateable – it taps into a both primal and primary part of our psyches. This episode would be a top choice for me to show people of any age. It’s a self contained story that still holds interest for people who have followed DS9 regularly. Martok’s self-doubt, something anyone can relate to, is all the more agonizing for a Klingon warrior. The contrast between how his self-doubt manifests in depression while in his crew it manifests in violence, anger and in insubordination – all of which make for some pretty decent drama for the audience.

This is yet another great example of how well DS9 has treated Worf as a character. Worf carefully directs this story with both his action and his lack of action. This episode manages to take itself seriously while also having a traditional happy ending. Many writers in a lot of different formats don’t know how to do that.

CHILDREN OF TIME

The Defiant crew meet their own descendants.

I love this episode. I absolutely love it. It’s a great, self-contained sci-fi story that’s full of twists. As a DS9 fan, it’s also great because we get a better understanding of all the characters through this story…

O’Brien’s shows how decicated he is to his family without ever saying anything about them. The mere fact he spent ten years NOT moving on before taking a new wife clearly shows us that. Although, it made me wonder: the girl O’Brien winds up with must not have been the “choicest cut” of the women in the crew.

Captain Sisko is well handled in an even-handed and relateable way as he weighs the options for him and his crew.

The conflict between Dax’s desire to succeed and the pressure she puts on herself.

Worf doesn’t do a lot but I enjoyed the moment where he makes the Klingons help the farmers battle against time.

I really like how Odo and Kira’s relationship develops, stalls and collapses here without being frustratingly immobile. And once again DS9 let’s the stories it tells have real consequences as we will no doubt see between Odo and Kira.

BLAZE OF GLORY

Sisko turns to Eddington to stop an attack by the Maquis’

Not a lot of new ground in this episode, it could actually have been a second half of the last episode with Eddington. The time he spent in prison since then isn’t essential to the story; in fact, it actually causes the story to make less sense since Eddington apparently got married shortly before being captured.

Anyway, it’s a fun episode to watch. Eddington’s end was a little corny and considering he was only reunited with his wife two minutes earlier it’s hard to believe she left him behind. So… solid C+.

EMPOK NOR

O’Brien, Nog, Garak and some cannon fodder go to an abandoned space station looking for parts.

This is a brilliant way to use the existing DS9 sets for an exciting episode that appears to take place elsewhere else. This feels like a totally different place from DS9. The episode isn’t anything that will make me spend a lot of time reflecting upon the meaning of life, however, it does have some solid twists. This one’s never dervative and feels quite fresh.

A Simple Investigation, Business as Usual, Ties of Blood and Water, Ferengi Love Songs

A SIMPLE INVESTIGATION

Odo starts dating a woman.

Weak episode. Acting is good but it barely held my attention. This Orion Syndicate stuff needs to be plotted more carefully. It feels very haphazard.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Quark becomes an arms merchant.

Not my favorite episode but it sure was intense to watch. The “villains” who were Quark’s bosses were well cast. It’s funny how in episodes like this when you don’t have Starfleet personel in primary roles everything feel so much less safe. What DS9 has done well is made the galaxy feel very real with lots of shadows and nooks and crannies where Starfleet doesn’t have time to be.

I liked Quark’s way out of it – get everybody in the a room together and let them kill each other – smart.

TIES OF BLOOD AND WATER

Kira reunites with her surrogate Cardassian father.

I fell asleep. Honestly. I fell asleep. I never falls asleep while watching TV. Menh.

FERENGI LOVE SONGS

Quark’s mom is dating the Grand Nagus.

I suppose that what they were going for after the emotional intensity of the previous episode was some comedic levity. This one didn’t connect with me either. Just felt a bit like two fairly inconsequential episodes back-to-back.

For the Uniform, In Purgatory’s Shadow, By Inferno’s Light, Doctor Bashir I presume

FOR THE UNIFORM

Sisko goes after Eddington again.

Not sure how I feel about this new hologram communication device. It’s interesting. I wonder why they did it? It is VERY Star Wars – esque. I like how it looks but at the same time it also looks cheap.

Anyway, Sisko… you are crazy sometimes. This episode is a good example of how they use it to help the story move forward though. The “Les Miserables” parallel is interesting because they keep it part of the plot throughout the episode.

IN PURGATORY’S SHADOW & BY INFERNO’S LIGHT

Garak and Worf go looking for survivors of the failed raid on the Founders.

I have one HUGE problem. Part of the tension in this episode is whether the distress call that Garak received is from the real Tain or is it a trap by the Founders.

But the MOTHER-%&$*#@ opening credits say that Tain is in the episode!!!

Anyway, I noticed a nice bit of foreshadowing – Garak tells Sisko that they may ALSO find missing Starfleet people.

The Bashir twist is very very cool. However, why does Evil Bashir insist on telling Sisko about Garak’s plan at the start? Is he totally trying to preserve his cover? If that were the case wouldn’t he just let Garak leave on his own? But he knew what the message was since he is a Changeling so why did he surprise Garak on the runabout in the first place!!?!??

What was evil Bashir’s plan? I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it. I’m going to assume that it all makes sense.

One last question, since when do Star Trek characters say, “Then God help us all”???

DOCTOR BASHIR, I PRESUME

Bashir is selected to by the model for the new Emergency Medical Hologram.

I’m shocked (impressed) this episode comes right after Bashir got out of his internment camp. I hate the term “game changer” but this episode is a GAME CHANGER. This is an awesome story. Told meticulously. I loved watching it. It has severe consequences on both Bashir and all of Trek alike.

I’m being kind of vague so I’ll just say it’s revealed here that Bashir was genetically engineered. The moment where we find out, when his parents let it slip while talking to a hologram which they think is Julian, is brilliant. Such a clever way of doing it and it fits perfectly within the broader part of the story. It’s heartbreaking when Bashir’s mother explains why they decided they did it.

A+

The Ascent, Rapture, The Darkness and the Light, The Begotten

THE ASCENT

Odo and Quark climb a mountain.

Kind of feel like this episode should have come much earlier. We’re well into season 5 and if they wanted Odo and Quark to bond it should have happened already. If they wanted this twist in their relationship to happen so late they should have had the previous relationship be a lot more contentious but it was too often used for humour.

Although I’ve always enjoyed seeing these two play off each other I’ve never taken it very seriously. Odo constantly catches quark and the punisent only lasts the amount of time before the next episode. Its not like we’re watching Elliot Ness take on Capone. Odo has frequently had to put trust in Quark. While this time it’s more life and death I think the previous few episodes could have shown this Orion syndicate investigation. They’re making a serial now and they could serialize the relationships just as much as the Dominion war

RAPTURE

Sisko gets… I dunno… not crazy… but something along those lines.

New uniforms! So I know this came out when First Contact did. I should have been a detective. Not sure why but I love these uniforms. Even though the shoulders kind of look like carpet samples.

Long story short, Bajor doesn’t join the federation. Honestly, I kind of thought they already had. But anyway, that is a big deal that they decided not to join so they really better follow through on why that’s a good thing for Bajor. That’s a big moment.

After Sisko barged in on that meeting… if I was his boss… I would have fired him and told him to stay on DS9 as a civilian… Emissary or not.

THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT

Someone is killing Kira’s old war buddies.

I don’t have much to say about this episode but I loved watching it. I was so enthralled I honestly didn’t even have time to think about anything but who the killer was. I was certain it was Kira’s tubby friend but I was wrong. It even seems like they were tricking me into thinking it was him by having his death off screen.

I loved the killer’s motive. That’s saying a lot. Usually the end of these kinds of episodes are disappointing. Very clever that the most important clue was that no one else was killed in these bombings except for the primary target.

THE BEGOTTEN

Odo finds a baby Changelling.

The end makes NO sense to me at all. The baby Changelling integrates itself into Odo, thus making him a Changelling again? Really!!! I’ll just let it go but that’s pretty nuts.

Other than that, I enjoyed watching Odo and his surrogate Dad each come to realize the mistakes in their earlier relationship. The subtext was anything but subtle yet nonetheless interesting to watch.