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Wacky Reviews: Star Trek

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Starship Down - The Defiant travles to the Gamma Quadrant to meet the Karemma (their representative Hanok is played by the excellent James Cromwell) to discuss their secret trade agreement with the Federation. It's a deal that uses the Ferengi as an intermediary (going back to that episode where Quark nearly shagged a boy in season 2) so Quark has a reason to be along on the mission. He's been conning the Karemma out of money, of course. The Jem'Hadar show up and attack the Karemma. The Defiant has to enter a planet's atmosphere (it wasn't built for that!) to help them. Their scanning range is limited (the planet's all gassy) but Dax and Kira come up with some clever solution. The Jem'Hadar attack the Defiant and the hull is breached. Bashir saves Dax and they're trapped a small room together. Quark tries to charm Hanok who's still angry at him. The Defiant destroys one of the Jem'Hadar ships using an atmospheric probe with a torpedo attached to it but the Jem'Hadar do some serious damage to them and everyone ends up trapped in various group's cut off from each other (yes it's like TNG's 'Disaster'.) Sisko hits his head and is injured. Kira has to talk to him to keep him awake and stop him dying. Quark tries to convince Hanok that making a big profit and conning people is like gambling but Hanok thinks gambling is for fools.

Worf gets to Engeineering and takes charge of O'Brien's enlisted men. He's a bit of a dick to them. Sisko and Kira realise they only ever talk about work with each other. Kira thinks it's because she sees him as the Emissary so it's hard to relax around him. Kira tells him a boring story about Bajoran farmers (seriously.) A Jem'Hadar torpedo hits the Defiant in the Mess Hall where Quark and Hanok are trapped. Quark thinks they should try to diffuse it. O'Brien takes Worf aside and tells him that he's not dealing with officers here and he should eaee up on them a bit. Bashir and Dax have to cuddle for warmth and Bashir remembers when he used to be an idiot and had fantasies about being trapped with her like this. Worf embraces engineer-style problem solving. Sisko is nearly dropping into a coma because of Kira's boring story so she shouts at him not to die and prays in Bajoran (why doesn't the Universal Translator translate it, etc.) Hanok admits the torpedo is one he sold to the Dominion and he and Quark laugh a lot. Quark gambles and diffuses the torpedo by pulling out a component. Hanok understands the joy of gambling now (this kind of a weird subplot.) Sisko wakes up and asks Kira the ending of her boring story. Worf and the engineers destroy the other Jem'Hadar ship and rescue the Karemma. Hanok agress to work with Quark again and plays Dabo back on the station. Morn tells Bashir he has seventeen brothers and sisters (this is important.) Sikso invites Kira to a baseball game and calls her Nerys.

It a pretty standard "there's a disaster and everyone's trapped" type episode but it's mostly good. Some of the subplots work better than others (Dax and Bashir is barely even a plot at all, really) but the character work all checks out. It's good.

SCORE: 8.5/10


Little Green Men - Rom is leaving for Starlfeet Academy and selling all his stuff. Dax buys his porn for Bashir, Worf buys his tooth sharpener. Quark's cousin Gaila has bought him a ship to repay a debt and Quark offers to take Nog and Rom to Earth in it. It's full of drugs or something of course. O'Brien and Bashir give Nog an Earth guidebook PAD and he and Jake have a last look at the spot where they used to watch girls together. Rom tells Quark he knows he's smuggling drugs (it's not really drugs) but he doesn't care really...as long as he gets a cut. Nog notices that the Gabriel Bell in his guidebook looks exactly like Sisko (this is a good bit.) Rom realises that the ship has been sabotaged by Gaila and the warp drive won't shut down. He comes up with a technobabble way (involving the drugs) to save them but FOR SOME REASON this sends them back in time Quark wakes up in 1947 a prisoner of the US military. Their ship crashd in Roswell but the army had a cover story about a weather balloon. The universal translators on all three Ferengi have been damaged so the humans can't understand them. They bash their ears to try to get them to work and the humans copy them. Rom works out that they've time travelled and thinks their uniforms mean they're Australian. Quark has fun messing with the silly humans.

A professor and his nurse girlfriend (Meghan Gallagher again) are assigned to try to communicate with the Ferengi. They have an unconvincing conversation while Nog fixes the UT. Quark is shocked that humans used to smoke poisons and blow up their own planet with atom bombs. Once they can speak English again, Quark tells the General in charge that he has a business proposition for him. He offers to sell him warp drive and advanced weapons. He wants lots of gold for them (but isn't gold worthless to Ferengi?) Quark threatens to go the Russians if the Australians (they're Americans really) won't pay. Rom and Nog aren't around for this scene because they're busy tricking the nurse into wanking their ears. They're left alone with a dog and BIG TWIST the dog is Odo! He killed the real dog and tooks its place, I assume. He came along because he knew Quark was up to no good. I feel like they should have done the Odo reveal a lot sooner because the episode was dragging before this. Odo wants to go home and arrest Quark but Quark wants to stay in the past and take over the planet. (Quark says he'll make sure the Ferengi will have warp drive before even the Vulcans but I'm PRETTY SURE the Vulcans had warp drive by this time.) The army put bags over the Ferengis' heads and drag them off as some new hardass guy has taken over or something and he wants to interrogate them more forcefully (I looked away for a minute I don't know what happpened.) He threatens to do an alien autopsy on them. Rom says "MOOOOOOGIE" in an annoying way as Nog pretends they're scoats from an invasion force. The Ferengi break out with help from the Professor and the nurse (they're going to pretend the Ferengi used mind control powers on them.) Odo helps them get back to Quark's ship. They return to the future by flying into a nuclear explosion (no I don't get it either) and Nog finally gets to go the Academy. Odo arrests Quark.

It's a good premise. "What if the Roswell aliens were Quark, Rom and Nog!" But there isn't really much to the episode other than that. Once they get to 1947 they mainly just hang around in a room making remarks about how primitive the humans are. I mean it's gently amusing all the way through but it could have done with more plot. Odo shows up near the end and doesn't do much. The Bell Riots joke is probably the funiest part and that comes near the start. It's a likable episode but it could have been better.

SCORE: 7/10
 

Fuddlemiff

Is this real life?
I’m finally catching up with you! Just watched Rejoined and I was so pleasantly surprised. I mean I shouldn’t be surprised at DS9 being good by the fourth season, but Dax episodes don’t have a great track record. She’s such a passive character that often it looks like Terry Farrell can’t act, when I think she’s just trying to come of as a seen-it-all 200-300 year old alien. Why would you react strongly to things the way 30-40 year olds do?

Anyway, what a fantastic episode. It’s a shame it got so many complaints at the time, because it’s not in the least bit sensationalistic. Of course if it was on tv now it would raise many eyebrows, which I guess is in tiny part due to its success.
 

Fuddlemiff

Is this real life?
I can’t wait to see what you have to say about The Sword of Khaless. It’s got a Lord of the Rings vibe, but with the absence of magic being a thing in Trek we end up watching Worf acting wildly out of character without a real justification.
 

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
I don't know what it is about Klingon episodes from all the series -- I never look forward to them, sometimes I skip over them, but when I DO watch one I'm like, "Hmm...yeah, that was good."
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
The Sword of Kahless - Kor is back on the station telling stories in Quark's. Everyone enjoys it but Worf doens't want to speak to Kor because he's an outcast. Kor doesn't care though and they become friends quickly, with Kor telling Worf he knows where the legendary sword of Kahless is. He had the shroud the sword was held in (yes it's like the Turin Shroud!) A telepathic alien (the same type from that awful Bashir episode last season) jumps Kor and steals the information from his head. Dax confirms that the shroud is authentic and Sisko gives her, Worf and Kor a runabout to go look for the sword (thinking it could help bring peace between the Federation and the Klingons.) They head to the GQ and a planet once inhabitated by a race who raided the Klingon homeworld a thousand years ago. They find that someone''s beaten them to it and ransacked the place, but then Worf finds a hidden chamber behind a forcefield. The sword's inside and seems to be the real deal. They're than instantly mugged by Toral, the son of Duras, who's aged quite a lot since the time Worf refused to kill him in TNG. They fight the evil Klingons (and that telepathic bastard) off but Worf gets stabbed. And they can't beam back to the runabout because Toral's blocking the transporter signal or whatever!

Kor suggests they would have gotten away with the sword if Worf had murdered Toral when he was a child, but Worf hits back that it's Kor's fault for getting drunk and letting the location of the sword slip. They hang about in caves for a while eating an animal Kor killed. Worf isn't impressed by Kor's habit of exaggerating stories. Kor makes fun of Worf for wanting to give the sword back to the Emperor (remember him?) as Kor thinks the Emperor is just a puppet of Gowron. Kor clearly wants to use the sword to unite the Klingon Empire himself. Worf tells Dax the story of his cousins wanting nothing to do with him because he was too human and the vision of Kahless telling him he'd do something no Klingon has ever done (this was all established in a TNG episode, wasn't it?) He thought that meant he'd join Starfleet but now he thinks it means finding the sword...and using it to unite the Empire. Yeah, this is when the episode starts to go a bit too far. Kor overhears Dax say that there's only one sword and both Klingons want it. They reach a bottomless chasm (of course) and Kor nearly falls in. Worf holds him up by the sword and insists there's a ledge beneath, but Kor won't let go. They manage to pull him up and Kor accuses Worf of trying to kill him with a flimsy ledge. They eventually give Dax the sword and she confrims that the ledge would never have held Kor. So yeah Worf just tried to murder an old man. Worf and Kor keep bickering. Kor stares at Worf to make him feel guilty. Toral (and his seemingly endless band of goons) shows up just as they're about to kill each other. Worf kills a Klingon with the sword of Kahless but Kor attacks him. Dax has finally had enough of their shit and stuns them both. They get back to the runabout and Worf and Kor agree to beam the sword out into space. Worf thinks it will be found when it is destined to be found. Sure, Worf.

This episode starts off with some space "Space Indiana Jones" type fun. I mean they're mostly just walking around the familiar cave set (with familiar bottomless chasm) but Kor is entertaining and Word and Dax work well together. The story of the sword in intriguing at first. But then Worf and Kor both go mad and it's way too over the top. I can believe Worf thinking it's his destiny to find the sword and bring it to the Emperor, but Worf believing he's actually meant to rule the Empire himself? Worf's never been like that. It's silly. Then he literally tried to murder Kor (confirmed by Dax that it wasn't just Kor being paranoid)! Plus Toral is as generic and dull a villain as it gets. It's a shame because the story had a good set up and the idea of the ending (everyone would just fight over the sword and it wouldn't bring peace so it's better to beam it out to space) is pretty sound but the way they get there is poor.

SCORE: 6/10


Our Man Bashir - Bashir is having fun playing a James Bond style Holodeck adventure where he shoots a one-eyed henchman with a champagne cork. Garak shows up (in a tux!) because he's always wanted to see what Bashir's fantasy life is like (I bet he has!) Bashir shows Garak his fancy apartment and sexy valet. Sisko, Kira, O'Brien, Dax and Worf are returning to the station in a runabout when they find their warp engine has been sabotaged. Eddington beams them out just as the runabout explodes but they don't materialised in Ops. Their patterns are still in the pattern buffer and Eddington and Odo work to save them before the patterns degrade. They have to wipe much of the computer's systems all over the station to save the patterns. Bashir finds Kira in his bed, playing the part of a Russian Bond girl. He thinks it's Kira and Garak fucking with him at first but it seems somehow the programme has been altered. Of coursethe programme won't freeze and I'm guessing the safeties are off! Eddington and Odo explain that the patterns of the five crewmembers are being stored in the Holodeck and this has somehow made characters look like those five but not have their personalities. It makes no sense but just go with it. Kira explainst he ridiculous Bond plot: there's a series of artificial eathquakes hitting the world and a vulcanologist who has Dax's pattern has been kidnapped. If she dies, Dax dies! The one-eyed henchman shows up again, this time in the form of O'Brien. Bashir uses Kira's exploding earring to defeat him this time. Garak points out to Bashir that he may have to make some hard choices soon and have to kill some of his friends to save others. Eddington and Odo have to team up with Quark and Rom to get everyone's patterns out of the holosuite. Its circuits are a mess because Quark won't let Rom buy new parts. Only their physical bodies are in the holosuite but their brains are everywhere else in the station so I guess that explain the thing I was complaining about earlier!

Bashir, Garak and Kira go to a swinging club to see Doctor Noah, the man behind the earthquakes. Instead they meet Worf as Noah's associate and Bashir has to play card games with him to win the money Worf charges for a meeting with Noah. Worf knocks them out with secret gas from his cigar. Noah is of course Sisko and that means Avery Brooks gets to completely cut loose playing a Bond villain. Listen to the crazy way he says words! Noah explains his plan: to flood the world using super earthquaks and have only the best people survive on his island on Mount Everest. Scientist Dax is working with him. It's a pretty good plan! Noah has evil O'Brien there to kill Bashir. Bashir and Garak are tied up to a super laser so they'll die when the earthquakes begin. Scientist Dax comes in and Bashir seduces her by telling her that Noah only wants her for her mind but he sees her as a beautifl woman. It's delightfully sexist, not Star Trek at all but perfectly keeping with the sixties Bond theme. She kisses him and slips him the key to the handcuffs ("Kiss the girl, get the key. They never taught me that in the Obsidian Order!" says Garak.) The earthquakes begin and Garak says it's time to walk away. Bashir thinks Garak is mad that his fantasy is stepping on Garak's private life and Garak lectures him on how a spy should behave. Garak tries to leave the Holodeck (which could kill everyone according to Julian, but that seems kind of unlikely to me to be honest?) but Bashir shoots in the neck to stop him. Garak is impressed/turned on and they go back to Noah's lair together. Eddington tells him they just need two minutes to rematerliase the five of them. Bashir tells Noah (using Garak's words) that he's tired of fighting for the world and he's going to let Noah end it because he knows when to quit. Avery Brooks gets to go "HA!" again. Bashir activates the earthquake machine, killing everyone in the world but it's fine because the five crewmembers are in Noah's lair. Noah finds the victory somewhat unsatisfying. Everyone is safe and Julian says that Julian Bashir, secret agent, will return.

Okay obviously the plot of this episode is stupid and makes no sense, but who cares? It's hugely fun! I find it more fun than watching an actual Bond movie! If it was just a fun Holodeck romp with everyone acting like Bond characters it would be good enough, but the real genius here is having Garak show up and he and Bashir clashing over spy behaviour. It gives a kind of depth to the episode, while also still being very funny itself. One of the best holodeck episodes of any series for sure.

SCORE: 9/10
 

Fuddlemiff

Is this real life?
I didn’t realise Toral was that little kid from TNG. I guess that is at least consistent with Alexander being quite old later on in DS9.

Worf being an attempted murderer really annoyed me. In fact, his characterisation in every episode so far is a bit off. I mean if they want him to seem like a fish out of water and maybe being overly assertive to make up for it then they’re doing a good job, but they need to make him somewhat likeable or why bother introducing a familiar character.
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
i think DS9 struggled with Worf at times. They seemed to make him too miserable and weird (not looking forward to the Risa episode next year!) He would play poker and have a laugh on TNG!
 

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
To believe his DS9 intro story, the destruction of the Enterprise D inflicted him with some kind of existential trauma on a level that nobody else on the crew suffered. Everyone else just waited for the new ship to be built, but he went off to a monastery. I guess that gave the DS9 writers some leverage to have him play the new guy as a grumpy loner, but I agree they took it too far at times.

But then he got laid in season 5 and he was finally one of the guys.
 

Cassie

Touching the monolith
Staff member
I started really liking Worf when they started introducing more Klingons. In my imagination Worf has always been out of place among all the humans, and then he finally got to be around Klingons. His obsession with honor is what always annoyed me. The other Klingons are also a bit obsessed with honor, but not to the point they didn't know how to have fun. Martok made Worf a better character, IMO. Also Martok is awesome.
 

whisky

Boobie inspector
The plot of our man Bashire and the first Austin Powers is quite similar, and ds9 got there first, even if a cease and desist from the Brocollies meant there was no follow up
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Homefront - The wormhoe's been opening and closing a lot and nobody knows why. Dax has broken into Odo's room and moved his furniture slightly, which would be annoying to an autistic changeling. And there's been a bombing at a Federation/Romulan conference on Earth, killing 27 people. Video shows a changeling was responsible. Sisko's going to go to Earth to investigate and calls his dad Joseph (Brock Peters) first to ask how he's doing. Jake doesn't want to stay with him on Earth because he'll be made to work in the restaurant all day. O'Brien and Bashir have been playing Battle of Britain in the holosuite but they haven't had a good time because they're sad about Earth. Neither of them are going to Earth but O'Brien asks Odo to check in on his parents. He asks Bashir if he can do the same for him but Julian says no (FORESHADOWING.) Kira is sad that the wormhole isn't opening by itself anymore as she thought the prophets were going to show themselves. Worf tells her that the Klingons killed all their kids thousands of years ago. This is funny! Sisko and Odo arrive on Earth and meet Admiral Leyton (Robert Foxworth) and Commander Benteen (confusingly played by Susan "Leah Brahms" Gibney.) Leyton makes Sisko the head of Starfleet Security on Earth because he knows more about changelings than anyone. Ben and Jake visit Joseph's restaurant in New Orleans. They're both worried that he isn't looking after himself. They meet Nog there (in uniform!) as he eats there all the time. Nog tells Jake that some of the cadets at the Academy are kind of dicks, especially a group named "Red Squad" who get special treatment. Leyton introduces Sisko to the President of the Federation. He doesn't want to turn Earth into a police state and thinks blood screenings might be going too far. But Sisko and Leyton have smuggled Odo into his office to prove how dangerous changelings are. The President reluctantly accepts Sisko's new security suggestions but hopes it doesn't end up destroying paradise.

Nog goes to Sisko for advice on fitting in at the Academy. Sisko's never heard of Red Squad but sponsors Nog's application to join. Ben tried to convince his father to move to the station with him. Joseph refuses as he wouldn't trust anyone else with the restaurant. Odo turns into a seagull to take a look around San Fransisco. Leyton throws shade at Odo's lack of skill at imitating humans. Odo realises that this Leyton is a changeling but he escapes and flies off. Leyton thinks more extreme security measures are needed and the president is too soft (and an alien, so he doesn't care about Earth the way they do.) Joseph is arrested for refusing a blood screening. He can't believe his son would sign the orders for such a thing. Jake and Ben both take the test but Joseph still refuses. He's not a member of Starfleet and doesn't think he should be forced to take a blood test. He accidentally cuts his finger on a knife and Sisko checks the blood just to make sure he's human. Joseph points out that if he was a real shapeshifter he'd just kill someone and drain his blood to use when needed. Then has a stroke. It's a strong scene! Sisko tells Odo he wishes Odo had never found his people and Odo says he feels the same way. There's a powercut all over Earth. If the Dominion attacks they'll be fucked! Sisko, Odo and Leyton go to see the President, asking him to declare a state of emergency. Sisko thinks the wormhole opening and closing could have been the Dominion sending cloaked ships through. Sisko doesn't like the idea of armed Starfleet officers walking the streets but thinks it's necessary. The President (who is kind of dull, to be honest) finally agrees after another self-pitying "I never asked for this job" moment. Jake and Joseph look on concerned as armed security officers beam down to the street outside.

It's a very good first part of a two parter! We haven't visited Earth before in DS9 and it's good to see Sisko's dad at last (and find out that yeah he really is alive) and to have him played by Brock Peters. Having Sisko and Odo be so strongly in favour of the new security is a good choice because they come across as very reasonable and you think maybe it is needed even though Joseph is there to point out how it will all go wrong.

SCORE: 9/10
 

Fuddlemiff

Is this real life?
The scene with Sisko’s dad cutting his finger is soooo good. And of course he’s right because it’s probably how Martin got away with cutting his hand open (it’s not because the writers hadn’t decided he was a changling yet).
 
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