DS9-7 Checkpoint I
LEGAL EXPLANATION: In reality, episodes of Trek aren't bunched together and called "checkpoints"... this is simply the review format I like the most. I tried to emulate Star Trek: Hypertext but I now realize that that was a stupid idea because 'they' have a long history of essay-length reviews, and 'they' write a bit better than 'us'. =)
EXPLANATION: The production staff of Site 'B' (Will Matheson on Saturday afternoons) have switched over to Checkpoint Review Format due to the two-week plus breathing room they get after, in this case, nine episode stretch.
CAPSULE: A somewhat uneven start to DS9-7, and there isn't as much long-term plot as there was back in DS9-6... but it's still early on, there is plenty of time for the best stuff in this the final season.
In this checkpoint, the following episodes were aired:
"Image in the Sand" Missed
"Shadows and Symbols" ***½
"Take Me Out to the Holosuite" ***
"Treachery, Faith, and the Great River"***½
"Once More Unto the Breach" **½
"The Siege of AR-558" ****
1. "Image in the Sand" (09/30/1998) - Missed episode - Oy vey... I missed this one! Maybe I'll post something brief about this episode at a later date... until then I'm reserving any judgments on this episode. It will be the last one I miss, I swear! =) Oh, and Kira got promoted to Colonel.
2. "Shadows and Symbols" (10/07/1998) -
- Ezri Dax is introduced in this installment and it is herein revealed
that she never wanted to be joined... the Dax symbiont kind of got into
problems and had to be placed in a host right away... Ezri was the only
Trill on board. Referring to visions he had in the last episode, Sisko,
Ezri, Jake and Joseph set out for the planet
Tyree to search for the fabled "Orb of the Emissary", perhaps it may cast the Paghwraiths out of the Celestial Temple! It does that... but not before the Paghwraiths send a vision down to disturb Sisko... VERY good stuff... the false vision segment is the heart of the entire episode! Sisko is later told by the real Prophet that his birth was influenced by the Prophets... eeps! Imagine! Now, this would have been closer to **** if it had not been for a pathetic little B-Story that had Worf, Bashir, O'Brien, and Quark head out on the Rotarrin to destroy a Dominion shipyard... it was as implausible as they come, it was really just filler. Which, incidentally, brings a quick question to my mind, just why do they NEED filler? Ah, I guess I've been watching too much B5 for my own good... =)
3. "Afterimage" (10/14/1998) - **½ - This was OK, but not great. It was a typical characterization show... one that I felt obligated to praise because when I first built Site 'B' I thought that people would scoff if I praised lots of SF action and ignored the characterization... but this isn't incredibly great stuff... it's 'good' more for the absence of bad stuff. Ah, a synopsis, you say? Not much to tell, except that Ezri has lots of conversation with people such as Bashir, Quark, and Garak... exploring her own new character. ("YOU'RE a therapist?!") I was, however, intrigued by Garak's tortured childhood and his confession that he felt he was betraying his people by decoding transmissions for Starfleet... it was an interesting angle. Back to Ezri, Sisko rattles her a bit and convinces her to stay on Deep Space Nine as a (suprise!) therapist... and she gets promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade. And Worf matures too... he goes from bodily threatening Bashir to giving Ezri a neat silent gesture at the end... a sign of understanding. Well, I was still glad to move on to...
4. "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" (10/21/1998) - *** - Ahh... baseball. I hate baseball, but that doesn't really affect my take on the episode much. Sisko's crew takes on an all-vulcan crew in a baseball game! And, they actually made this work! Needless to say, watching Sisko's... errm... determined team was a barrel of laughs and they even managed to PLAUSIBLY explain the reason for the contest, it seems that there is a bit of past history between Sisko and Mr. Vulcan. Sisko got into a fight with this Vulcan... the Vulcan cleaned his clock, and proceeded to write all his post-secondary theses on how sucky human emotion is... with the good captain as his example. Sisko wasn't flattered. Getting back to preparations for the "Niners", it went... well, except that Rom got thrown off the team in a huff by Sisko... if they handled this with a bit more "I'm sorry Rom, I overreacted" then the Good Folks of Site 'B' might have squeezed in an extra ½*, but there you are. Cutting to the chase, the Vulcans pretty much flattened Sisko's team, but Rom got this chance to redeem himself in typical Rom fashion (ie: He didn't have a clue what he was doing) and scored the Niners' lone, solitary, run! Sisko and the gang then want to Quark's and had what was labeled by Mr. Vulcan as a "fabricated celebration" but that didn't matter to any of them, no matter how hard he tried to rain on their parade! To add something as an afterthought, Odo did a GREAT job as the umpire ("Yeeeerrr Ooouuuuttt")! Let's see more "...Holosuite" and less "His Way"! Well, as much as I enjoy DS9 comedy, they dived into despair with...
5. "Chrysalis" (10/28/1998) - ** - I was going to be generous here and dish out a **½, but this story was really just one cliché after another. Remember the guys from "Statistical Probabilities" who predicted the downfall of the Federation to the Dominion? Well, if you remember that then you must remember Sarina, she was the girl who didn't say anything because her senses and her brain weren't connected properly. Well, Bashir tries out this new procedure on her and... voila! she's happy, active, talking, dancing, reading... and soon Bashir becomes smitten with her, and Sarina feels obligated to reciprocate these feelings, but eventually she confesses that she does not even know what love is, so she leaves the station <sigh> and Jack and the gang go back to the Federation Looney Bin. Now, ordinairily I would have only given the show **, but I have to say that it hits close to home, and I have been known to fall in love with people just because they were nice to me! (Sometimes it works out, mostly I get DISASTERS!) But after I read the opinions of some other people, I questioned my generous **½ rating. I think now is a good time to quote from Jamahl Epsicokhan at Star Trek: Hypertext:
"Chrysalis" is essentially four acts inspired by "Flowers for Algernon," with a fifth act that departs the general outline of that story but unfortunately comes off as predictable and pedestrian nonetheless.
"Flowers for Algernon," a short story that was made into the film Charly (1968), is about a man with the mental capacity of a child who receives an operation that transforms him into a genius virtually overnight. The story follows him as he sees the world in a new light, and as he finds himself falling in love with his doctor.
Now, I don't know much about Babylon 5 (gross understatement), even though I think it is far superior to Trek, but a friend of mine who was in touch with the show since the beginning tells me that "Chrysalis" was lifted from an episode of B5 which happened to have the same title. If these things are the case, then not only is this episode a rip-off of other works, it was also pretty lame in the first place. In the near future, when Star Trek: Nova Fleet hits Site 'B', you'll get the impression that the shows are indeed inspired... from my OWN experience, which is how I write! (For examples of my creative writing, check out A View from the Solarium) So, in conclusion, it made me think, but the episode premise of "doctor falls in love with paitent" isn't for everyone.
6. "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" (11/04/1998) - ***½ - Ooh, I liked this! Almost the best show in Checkpoint I (second only to "The Siege of AR-558")! The synopsis: Odo responds to a call from an old friend (now deceased) but ends up finding Weyoun, or rather, a newer clone of Weyoun who escaped and is willing to give all the Dominion secrets up to the Federation. But Damar and the Newer Weyoun don't like this too much, so they send a ship out to chase Odo's rickety runabout. I thought that the Vorta were too loyal to actually kill a changeling... as things turn out, Damar has to lie to Our Female Founder to save New Weyoun's hide. (Could you imagine her reaction if New Weyoun had told the truth and said: "Well... we sent out a ship to kill the Old Weyoun andOdo'sonboardaswell but..."!? Ha-ha! That would have been so cool!) Actually, it comes down to the Defective Weyoun having to activate a self-termination device to save the runabout and Odo, this happened in a very... real manner. Odo really felt for him, and he also has a lot more to think about, seeing that during the course of events he finds out that all his fellow changelings are dying (this could have long-term implications). So this was our heavy-material Plot A... but Plot B was great too, and in a completely different mood! See, O'Brien needs these special devices to get the gravity working again on the Defiant, but he has no time to get his hands on one before Sisko needs to take it out for a run. Nog volunteers to take charge of this mission, gets O'Briens authorization code, and subsequently begins navagating the Great River. Even Sisko's own desk is lent out! (You need to see Kira's reaction to this... you NEED to! Ha-ha!) But Nog tells O'Brien to have faith in the Great River... and voila! everything is back to normal and Sisko gives O'Brien a big pat on the back for a job well done. It seems that Nog is even more adept at handling these situations since "In The Cards" (as of this point, my all-time favorite Deep Space Nine). This show was great.
7. "Once More Unto the Breach" (11/11/1998) - **½ - Excuse me for hating this one. I don't like Klingons much to begin with, especially ones who are old and have something to prove but they're so senile that have a rough time of it. Exactly. Well, this old Klingon who has something to prove apparently stepped on a few toes in his prime, including those of Martock. (not our ski hill, mind you!) So naturally he refuses to give a command to the guy, but Worf eventually prods him into it. During the mission, Our Old Klingon gets confused, finds himself in command, thinks that this is an old anti-Federation battle, and jepoardizes the fleet. Ouch. Eventually, however, he takes command of the most direlect ship, drops out of warp, and engages the pursuing Dominion ships, sacrificing himself. I'm not blind to the significance of this and how well it played out, but all of these Klingon outings are a complete waste of time... they prove nothing to us in long-range plot, which I feel is of utmost importance in this, the final season of Deep Space Nine... or Alpha-Quadrant Trek as we know it, for that matter! Okay, so I'm a wee bit cynical, but Mr. Klingon with Alzhimer's isn't really my idea of great entertainment.
8. "The Siege of AR-558" (11/18/1998) - **** - Good, very good. The best (or only?) front line show since "Nor the Battle to the Strong". This is good stuff... a look at where the Federation/Dominion war really is. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS SHOW, I CAN'T POSSIBLY DESCRIBE JUST HOW GOOD THIS SHOW WAS IN CAPSULE FORMAT!!! This is all I can say. Synopsis... the crew of the Defiant elects to stay on AR-558 to defend a communications device. In the process of watching this, you will be haunted by how gritty and depressing things have gotten, the troops who were left there hadn't been relieved in months! There is of course so much more, but I'd be wasting my breath, anything I could say about this show has already been said. If you really need a blow-by-blow run of the show, send me e-mail and I'll get back to you.
9. "Covenant" (11/25/1998) - *½ - Eeyuck! Plot: Bajoran Paghwraith-worshiping fanatics kindnap Kira, she has a debate with their 'Emissary', the former Gul Dukat. This is how it falls apart: A couple that he has given blessing to have a child, has a child. It turns out to be Dukat's child. (Suprise! No wonder he gave them 'blessing'!) Dukat tries to send the New Mommy out the airlock, but to no avail, since Kira is on the scene, and Dukat gradually loses credibility. It all comes to an exiting, if absurd, finale where they are all about to 'cast away their corporeal selves and join the paghwraiths' but Kira spills the pills and it is discovered that Dukat had no intention of dying with them (suprise!). So, the ultimate question after all of this is faith... but "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" did a much better job in that department!
Thus endeth "Checkpoint I". For more Deep Space Nine, tune into ASN for the following episodes between Checkpoints I and II (wednesdays at 8:00pm):
"Wrongs Darker than Death or Night"
"The Reckoning" (DS9-6 12/09/1998)
"Inquisition" (DS9-6 12/16/1998)
"Image in the Sand" (12/23/1998 - Missed episode.)
Return to Site 'B'.
Goto the DS9-7 Index.