Wacky Reviews: Star Trek

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
I'll take a badly handled genetic engineering twist over a pointless holographic rights episode any day.

YES THEY SHOULD BE SCRUBBING BARNACLES OFF FREIGHTERS OR WHATEVER JUST PROGRAM THEM TO LIKE IT.
 

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
Maybe he's like Mel Gibson and John Barrowman and can slip in and out of it at will.

Still it was a pretty piss poor Cockney choice as an obvious way to present "I had to sacrifice to make you what you are today, fancy Starfleet Boy". Does Julian think he's better than them? Well yeah, because they illegally designed him to be, so shut up and take the handcuffs Pops.
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
A Simple Investigation - Two aliens kill another alien when looking for something. They're waiting for a woman who might know where "it" is. Bashir has a new Bond-type holostory (don't get excited, this isn't a follow-up to 'Our Man Bashir') and O'Brien is sick of playing a henchman. Odo doesn't feel like playing. He gets talking to a woman (Dey Young who was in TNG and told Geordi he'd be aborted on her planet) at Quark's. She thinks he's coming onto her and says he has "bedroom eyes." Odo's freaked out and runs away. Kira tells Odo he should see the woman (Arissa) again and he finds she's been caught trying to break into the station's computer a few minutes later. Arissa tells Odo that she's looking for someone who has information on the daughter she gave up fifteen years ago. He's the guy who was killed in the teaser, it turns out. Odo lets her off with hacking into the computer and hopes she finds her daughter. There's obviously more gong on here. Arissa hacks into the computer again and downloads data into a device on her neck. Odo's not dumb and he follows her and catches her after she breaks into the murdered man's locker. She still claims she's looking for the information he has on her daughter but Odo calls her on the lie. Arissa tells the truth: she's a computer hacker for the Orion Syndicate and wants out. The murdered man was going to help her break away from her boss (I really can't be bothered looking up to spell all the alien names for these characters, sorry.) Odo keeps helping her anyway and she doesn't understand why someone would help her without wanting something in return. The two Orion killers decide they have to kill her now that she has the murdered guy's data crystal. Odo takes her to his quarters to hide out and gives her the usual lines about relaxing in a gelatinous state.

Arissa tells Odo her backstory: she grew up poor on a bad planet and worked as a "net girl" before the Syndicate gave her a job using her data port for them and she made lots of money. Her conscience got the better of her eventually. Odo promises to protect her. He wants her to testify against her boss. We get a brief bit of Bashir playing at Bond before Odo interrupts to ask for romantic advice. Julian tells him to go for it with Arissa before O'Brien interrupts in his henchman role in a funny moment. Odo goes back to his quarters and they kiss. Next scene they wake up in bed together. But did Odo give himself twelve dicks when they had sex? We may never know. Odo tells her she's the first humanoid he's been with and tells her about having a sexual experience with the Female Changeling on his homeworld. Worf isn't impressed by Dax and Kira gossiping. Arissa sends a secret message to her old boss to make a deal, but the two killers are still going to kill her anyway (that's just what killers do!) A man shows up in Odo's office and tells him that Arissa is a security agent who was sent to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate. Her previous memories were removed and they're stored on the data cyrstal. But she's beaten up O'Brien and stolen it! Odo and the security agent guy look for her as she meets the killers to trade the cyrstal for her freedom. The arrive just in time to save her. Bashir plugs in the cyrstal into her data port to return her memories to her as the security agent explains everything to Sisko and Odo. They can bring down the criminal organisation with everything she's learned. So we get the tragic ending of Arissa (it's not even her name) coming to Odo, reveaing that she's really a forehead alien and has a husband. That'll hurt their relationship!

It's one of those episodes I completely forgot about. It's not bad! The story is really standard, and I do wonder why they decided to do a romantic relationship episode for Odo after he get his shapeshifting powers back rather than back when he was a solid. He kept talking about wanting to date then! But anyway, the episode actually works really well for a while because of the chemistry between Rene Auberjonois and Dey Young. They're great together, more convincing than Worf and Dax have been so far. Then out of nowhere some guy turns up and says "wait she's actually an undercover secret agent with amnesia!" It's a bit unnecssary? They could have just come up with a non sci-fi reason for them not to be together. And it isn't really foreshadowed at all before it happens. Plus now that I think about it it's a missed opportunity to draw a comparison between this real life secret agent and Bashir's holodeck game. ANYWAY it's still a pretty good episode, just not super memorable.

SCORE: 7.5/10
 

Fuddlemiff

Is this real life?
I didn’t remember that one either and I wondered why they left it til he was a changeling again before doing this show. In fact I’m surprised how short his stint as a humanoid was. They barely scratched the surface with it before he changed back.
 

whisky

Boobie inspector
I think Rene got screwed over a bit, the original plan was that as each season went by the Odo makeup would be less severe to show how he was gradually learning to be better at faces, and there was a difference between season one and two, but it never really came off.

The solid Odo would have been the perfect time to do a make up less face. But when they kept the same look for him anyway, what was the point?
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Business as Usual - Quark reveals to Jadzia that he's up to his loves in debt and will be out of business soon. His cousin Gaila (who Jadzia reminds us tried to kill Quark in 'Little Green Men') shows up on the station with a business offer for Quark: he wants Quark to sell weapons for him. He tells Quark he'll make so much money that the FCA will give him his license back and he'll be able to buy his own moon. Jake comes to visit O'Brien, who is having a hard time getting Kirayoshi to sleep wtih Keiko is off the station. Jake offers to babysit, but the baby cries when he holds it so O'Brien takes it to work. Quark meets Gaila's business partner Hagath (Steven Berkoff, very well spoken and scary) and shows him his special holosuite program that perfectly simulates the guns they'll sell. It's a clever way to arms deal without actually bringing guns to the station. Quark impresses Hagath with his sales technique, but Quark is disappointed to learn he won't be seeing any profit until all his debts are paid. O'Brien plays darts with Bashir while holding the baby. Odo arrests Quark for the arms dealing, but Sisko and Kira arrive and free him. Hagath sold weapons to the Bajoran resistance so the Bajorans owe him and don't want him arrested. Sisko makes it clear he's not happy with Quark. Federation citizens stop coming to Quark's bar (but Morn is there!) but Gaila assures him it doesn't matter as an important customer is arriving soon and they'll make a lot of money. Jadzia gives Quark the cold shoulder and he asks why she's judging him. He insists the weapons he's selling are purely defensive, which even he must know is bullshit.

Bashir reports that there's nothing wrong with baby Yoshi, he just cries a lot. The regent from a planet at war is set to arrive on the station and Hagath scares Quark for fun by pretending the food he prepared isn't very good. Then saying actually the food is great! That Hagath's such a joker. The regent (real life tough bastard Lawrence Tiernay) wants to buy a biological weapon that can kill 28 million people. Quark is taken aback by this and suggests just wounding them instead. Gaila wants to retire with the money he'll make for this and warns Quark to get his conscience under control. Gaila tells Quark to look at the stars and asks if anyone would notice if one of them went out. He offers Quark ten million bars of latinum. Quark has a dream where he sees the DS9 cast as zombies asking him why he killed them. It's one of those overly literal dream sequences Star Trek does sometimes. I think we already knew Quark was struggling without giving him a dream where O'Brien waves a dead baby at him. Meanwhile O'Brien has found a spot in Ops where Yoshi can sleep without cryng. Everyone watches the baby before Sisko tells them to get back to work in a cute bit. Quark brings his tongo wheel to Dax as a gift as he isn't expecting to live much longer. Quark tells Hagath that there's a problem with the biological weapon, but he has an alternative. He's going to arrange a demonstration of this weapon for the regent ("Find a planet with some low level lifeforms nobody will miss.") Quark brings the leader of the resistence on the regent's planet to the station and tells Gaila he's going to sell weapons to both sides to double their profits. Quark arrents for the regent's people, the resistence, Hagath and Gaila to all end up in the same cargo bay. A fight phaser fight breaks out. O'Brien fnds that Yoshi dosn't cry when Worf holds him. Quark tells Sisko he just wanted the deal to be called off and didn't know everyone would shoot each other. The regent is dead and a purification squad have been sent after Gaila and Hagath. Sisko is happy the renget is dead and agrees to let Quark get away with it if he pays for the damage to the cargo bay. Dax plays Tongo with Quark again.

It's good to have Quark in a more serious episode. He works better like this than in the outright "Moogie and the Grand Nagus are having sex!" type comedy episodes. It's a solid story and mostly well executed. The dream sequence is a bit over the top and Quark's soloution of just having everyone shoot each other could have easily gone wrong, but all the character stuff for Quark works. Steven Berkoff is a pretty entertaining guest star though he does go very theatrical and broad at times. It's a good episode.

SCORE: 8/10


Ties of Blood and Water - Ghemor, who was Kira's Cardassian "father" in 'Second Skn' (as Dax explains to Worf) comes to the station. He's one of the leaders of the dissident movement and Kira is excited at the possibility that he could overthrow Dukat's government and end the Cardassia/Dominion alliance. Ghemor reveals that he's given up hope of ever finding his real daughter and Kira is the cloest thing to family he has left. But he can't help her overthrow Dukat because he's dying. Kira is still hopeful that Bashir can help get him well. Gul Dukat sends a message to Sisko (there's a bit where Sisko is surprised Dukat hasn't promoted himself "back" to Legate by now, but Dukat's always been a Gul in the show before this, even when he was in charge of Terok Nor, so I'm not sure why Sisko would say "back"?) He wants Ghemor returned to Cardassia. Kira shows Kirayoshi to Ghemor. He tells her he's proud of all she's achieved. Ghemor tells her he knows more about the Cardassian government than anyone else and his information could do a lot of good. He wants reveal all his secrets to Kira before he dies, an old Cardassian tradition. Kira feels uncomfortable about this but Sisko tells her it's a huge opportunity. Kira flashes back to her resistance days when her own father was dying from a Cardassian attack. Ghemor's condition worsens and he begins to tell Kira all he knows (Bashir has set up a pain relief system.) Kira continues to flash back to her father, who was just trying to talk some Cardassians out of burning down his garden when they attacked him. Ghemor's getting even sicker and Kira can't leave his side even though she's obviously struggling.

Dukat arrives at the station in a Jem'Hadar battleship, wanting to hear Sisko's decision on Ghemor. He comes to Sisko's office with Weyoun(!) who is actually a clone of the Weyoun we previously met ("Immortality. Interested?" he asks Sisko and it's great.) Dukat reveals that all of Ghemor's crimes have been forgiven and he's welcome to return home, but Ghemor angrily turns him down. Dukat tells him his daughter is alive and he knows where to find her. Ghemor refuses to take any deal while Cardassia is allied with the Dominion. Kira stays up for days listening to Ghemor's stories and looking after him. Dukat brings Ghemor's military record to Kira and she throws a cup at him. Kira reads it anyway and is angry at Ghemor when she discovers he was part of a squad that burned down a monastrry and killed seventeen monks (they were hiding weapons for the resistance and Ghemor was only doing his duty.) She accues him of lying to her but he says he just didn't want her to hate him. Weyoun plays Dabo in Quark's because he likes games. Sisko brings a bottle of kanar to Dukat and offers him a glass. Dukat won't drink it and Sisko reveals it's a poisoned bottle that was delivered to Ghemor (which Dukat obviously knew.) Weyoun is very amused by all this and just straight up drinks the poisoned kanar (Vortar are immune to most forms of poison) and it's awesome. Kira won't talk to Ghemor anymore, but Odo points out to her that he was only 19 when the monastery burned down and there were four hundred soldiers there. In flashback we see that Kira went off for revenge on the Cardassians who injured her father, even though he begged her to stay with him as he was dying. Bashir tells her Ghemor will be dead within the hour but she still won't go to him. We see in flashback that Kira's cell killed all the Cardies but she missed her father dying (he died calling her name.) Kira finally goes to see Ghemor and he dies shortly after. Kira has a long monologue to Bashir about what it was like to watch him die. She admits to Bashir that she saw a chance to get out of watching her father die so she took it. She stayed with Ghemor because she went to get it right this time (this last bit seems unnecessary, like they're speling out the story to the viewer but I guess tv does that sometimes.) Dukat wants Ghemor's body to bring him home and give him a state funeral where he'll reveal Ghemor endorsed the Dominion alliance before dying. But Kira has already buried Ghemor on Bajor.

I was getting close to rating this 9/10 for a while there. The stuff between Ghemor and Kira is very good, well acted by Nana Visitor as usual, and I especially loved the dynamic once Dukat got invovled. And every scene with Weyoun is just great, he's the breakout star of the episode. But then it just...keeps...going...on. Maybe they wanted to show that death can be a long drawn out process, but the result is that the ending just feels long and drawn out and Kira's big speech to Bashir is a bit pointless because you should already know everything she's saying by paying attention to the episode. Anyway, this still very good! Maybe I'm too critical now after years of reading tv reviews and watching youtube videos of people pointing out what's wrong with tv.

SCORE: 8.5/10
 

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
I've always had a real soft spot for Business As Usual, partly because it's a rare good Ferengi episode, and partly for the great, unexpected casting of artsy performer Berkoff and midnight-movie badass Tierney. I agree that it's not quite perfect for the reasons you listed -- the dream was a device that belongs in a Ferengi comedy episode, and the ending was rushed and kind of a mess. I think this episode could have been perfect if they'd had 90 minutes to tell it instead of an hour.

The only other cheap move was that Dax forgave him too quickly, and they were all sweetness & light again at the coda. Again, with a longer episode the two would have been able to hash it out before being Tongo buddies again. But one thing I sort of love about the episode is what's not highlighted: That Sisko, Kira and the Bajoran government were all so loose with their own ethics and morals in protecting Quark and Hagath, even if it left a bad taste in some of their mouths. Granted, the reason they were so pliable was mostly to keep the episode chugging along, but it's another subtle way that DS9 displays how this ain't Gene's Star Trek anymore.
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Ferengi Love Songs - Oh God just by the name I know this will be awful. Quark's bar is closed down because it's infested with voles and he's still sad about being blacklisted by the FCA. Rom and Leeta try to cheer him up by announcing they're getting married (that was quick considering they only got together four episodes ago) but Quark rightly doesn't care. Quark goes to see Moogie on Ferenginar but she looks worried about something. Rom wears a Bajoran earring for Leeta and O'Brien and Dax point out that he's not a traditonal Ferengi male because he isn't forcing Leeta to be naked and all that and haven't we done this shit enough by now. Quark finds the Grand Nagus and Tiny Ron hiding in his closet. Zek explains that he and Moogie fell in love after she helped him win a tongo tournament. Quark is actually excited about them being together, probably because he thinks he'll get his business license back. Rom tells O'Brien he wants Leeta to sign a pre-nup that'll mean she gets nothing if the marriage ends. O'Brien thinks it's a bad idea (it's an idea Rom had, so of course it is.) Leeta calls the weding off oh no how sad. Zek tells Quark he isn't going to get him his license back. Brunt beams into Quark's closet and reveals he knows all about Zek and Moogie. He wants Quark to sabotage their relationship (for some reason) and will give him back his business license in return. Quark tells Zek about "rumours" that Moogie kept all the profit she made last season and plans to lead a political movement that will give equal rights to females. The stupid old man is easily fooled (didn't Zek used to not be an idiot?)

Quark keeps trying to guilt Moogie into telling Zek to reverse his business ban, even though he's got a deal going with Brunt (did I miss something?) Sisko, Odo and Worf make cameo appearances to discuss General Martok being jailed for beating up a subordinate. They find Rom doing some annoying crying and basically leave him to it because they hate him. Moogie cries because Zek dumped her. Zek gives Quark his business license back. Zek calls Quark (mistaking him for Rom at first) in for a meeting and offers him a job as First Clerk. It realy quickly becomes obvious that the Nagus is having memory problems. Rom tells O'Brien he's going to offer Leeta a bribe to sign the pre-nup but O'Brien points out that this makes no sense. Rom gives all his money to Bajoran war orphans and Leeta takes him back. Quark finds that Moogie has been helping Zek run the planet since his mental problems started. Quark admits what he did and Moogie says he may have just triggered the destruction of the Ferengi economy. Can't they just get a new Nagus? Actually it turns out Brunt's plan is to get Zek fired so he can become the new Nagus. WHAT A CUNT. Quark and Moogie agree to work together to stop him. And they do it off screen? The next scene is just Zek going "everything's fine again, HEEE HEE!" Quark reveals that Moogie was behind whatever we didn't see and she should be his financial advisor instead of Quark. They start shagging again. Moogie gives Quark his Marauder Moe action figures (one has an energy whip!) which are awesome and the best thing about the episode. Brunt comes to see Quark again and promises to destroy him one day. Quark tells him to go "back in the closet where you belong". THE END.

It's pretty bad. Armin Shimerman is very good though, even in episodes like this. He's responsible for making it not completely terrible. I liked the action figures.

SCORE: 3/10
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Soldiers of the Empire - Bashir tells Martok to stop getting into fights when he only has one eye (it's nice that they remember Martok and Bashir have a relationship from being in prison together, but I think this is the only time it happens.) Martok is given command of a Bird of Prey to search for a missing Klingon ship, the first time he's had his own command since he ended up in Dominion prison. He invites Worf to come with him as first officer. Worf explains to Sisko that Martok gave him the strength to keep fighting in the prison camp and saved his life. Dax, O'Brien, Bashir and Kira give exposition on Klingons for any viewer not familiar with them. Too tough Klingons show up to serve under Martok and Dax looks worried. She goes on the Bird of Prety with Worf then reveals that she's going on the mission too (even though there was just a scene about how everyone else was covering for Worf's duties while he was away, including her.) Dax quickly makes friends with a Klingon woman whose mother shagged Curzon. Worf finds that it's a ship of losers who haven't won a battle for months. Martok raises eyebrows by wanting to go around a nebula to avoid a fight with the Jem'Hadar. Dax beats up an old man for sitting in her seat at dinner. The crew tell Dax tales of their many defeats. She finds that some of the crew don't respect Martok much and think that the ship is cursed and stuff.

They come across a Jem'Hadar warship but Martok has them stay cloaked rather than attack. Worf questons Martok's orders for a moment but gives in. Dax points out to him that it would have been an easy victory and help crew morale. Worf asks Martok why he didn't fight but again quickly backs down when Martok asks if Worf's challenging him. The crew continue to go on self-pitying rants with one saying the Jem'Hadar are better than Klingons because they have no honour and it makes them better warriors. Dax has to break up a fight. She accuses Worf of not looking out for the crew because he's too busy sucking up to Martok. They pick up a distress call from the ship they're looking for. Martok thinks it's a trap set by the Jem'Hadar and there aren't any real survivors. Worf can obviously tell he's gone insane but doesn't want to saying anything. When they come to the ship they find it's on the Cardassian side of the border and Martok won't cross the border to rescue the survivors in case the Jem'Hadar are hiding somewhere. Worf tells Dax he knows he'll have to take command from Martok and feels he'll have to kill him. The grumpy old man on the crew tells Worf that Martok must die. Worf orders the crew to rescue the survivors and tells Martok he's unfit to serve as Captain. Worf and Martok get nto a fight and Martok wins by stabbing Worf. The Jem'Hadar show up and Martok is now feeling like a Klingon again and orders the crew to fight. They all sing. They return to the station and ask Kira for barrels of Bloodwine to celebrate their victory. Martok thanks Worf for helping him remember her duty (and pretty much admits he knew Worf let him win the fight.) Martok offers Worf a place in the House of Martok and Worf accepts.

It's a Klingon episode. All the Klingon cliches are here. The characters are all stock Klingons (The bitter old man! The bitter young man! A woman!) The story is really simple: Martok's suffering a crisis of confidence and Worf has to help him be a Klingon again. There's some interesting stuff like the fact that Dax gets on much better with the crew than Worf does, but not much is done with it. Fortunately J.G. Hertzler is great as Martok and manages to make the whole thing work. Even when Martok's being a coward we still like him and want him to go back to being a proper Klingon. But the script is just average, certainly not one of Ron Moore's best, and it's not as fun as that episode of TNG where Riker served with Klingons.

SCORE: 7.5/10


Children of Time - The Defiant is returning to DS9 after a week in the GQ doing stuff. Kira reveals that she and Shakaar broke up (after "asking the Prophets" lol) which makes senses since he's only been in one episode this season and he's boring. Odo is excited or disturbed by the news. Dax picks up strange energy rings around a planet and wants to check them out. She thinks they should be fine with some shield modifications and Sisko agrees to take a look even though everyone just wants to go home. Of course the ship starts shaking when they fly through the energy barrier and Kira is hit by something. Eight thousand people are found to live on the planet (called Gaia) and their leaders are a man named Yedrin Dax and a woman named Miranda O'Brien. They reveal that when the Defiant tries to leave it'll be thrown back in time two hundred years. The people on the planet are their descendants. O'Brien doesn't quite believe that he'd marry another woman and have more children, even though he's told it's ten years after crashing on the planet. Some of the children recognise Worf as the "Son of Mogh" and ask if he can kill people just by looking at them (he says "only when I'm angry" which is a good Worf line!) There's an educational program that uses Quark's image which is cool too. Yedrin reveals that Kira died not long after the crash due to the weird energy that hit her. Sisko points out that now that they know about the accident they will try to avoid it and the timeline will collapse. Yedrin claims to have a technobabble solution: the weird energy that hit Kira can create a "quantum duplicate" of the crew that will be sent back in time while the originals get to go home. Seems quite convenient! Odo's stuck in liquid form due to the weird energy. But then the two hundred years older Odo (who can finally do a human face...just about) from the planet comes to see Kira and reveals the big secret: he loves her and always has. Odo tells her he just wants to spend some time with her before she leaves. A group of Worf's descendants (and Klingon cosplayers) who call themselves "The Sons of Mogh" arrive. They live away from the settlement and do warrior stuff. They invite Worf out for dinner. Yedrin Dax tells Jadzia his memories of marrying Worf. Bashir is really interested in hearing about his descendants but O'Brien doesn't want to feel the same way as he has a wife and kids back home. Kira visits her own grave with Odo and wonders what the Prophets would think of all this. He's just happy that she's getting to go home, alive. He basically tells her to give his past self a chance when they get home.

Jadzia tells Sisko she's found something disturbing: Yedrin has lied and there will be no duplicate Defiant. If they'd followed his plan they would have ended up stranded on the planet. Yedrin says he did it all to stop the eight thousand from ceasing to exist. He feels responsible for the crash happening in the first place as it was Jadzia who insisted on investgating the weird planet. He's watched over the community for two hundred years and isn't going to stop now. But Sisko won't ask the crew to give up their lives with their families and Kira to sacrifice her life. All the adults on Gaia are sad because they know they're about to cease to exist but won't tell the children. The Sons of Mogh cancel their feast. They want Worf to kill them for an honourable death, rather than ceasing to exist. Kira decides that they need to let history take its course so the eight thousand won't die, even though it means she will. O'Brien is the most vocally opposed to this (and rightly tells Kira to fuck off with that Prophet stuff.) Sisko says they're not going to do it despite Kira's protests. The next morning the colonists plant their crops for the last time, even though they're about to cease to exist. Most of the crew join them. O'Brien eventually joins after a little girl descendant asks him to. Worf tells the Sons of Mogh he has an enemy for them to fight: time. They join the others in trying to plant all the crops in time. This is a great Star Trek moment! After spending time with them, O'Brien tells Sisko they can let the people die. I guess we have to assume that everyone else in the crew agrees with the senior staff, because we sure don't get to see any of them! Old Odo tells Kira she can't do this and she has to go home. He asks her if things could have been different between them if he'd told her he loved her sooner and she says maybe. The Defiant heads straight for the anomaly but suddenly veers away from it. Someone changed the flight plant (O'Brien quickly says "it wasn't me!") The settlement and all eight thousand people disappear. Sisko and Dax conclude that Yedrin did it and that the colony isn't really gone...not as long as they remember them. Present day Odo can finally come out of his liquid state and reveals to Kira that future Odo linked to him and told him everything: future Odo altered the Defiant's course so Kira wouldn't die. Kira is disgusted that someone killed eight thousand people for her. Things are naturally awkward between her and Odo now.

Wow, it's a great episode. It really holds up. Yes it's an episode that could be done on any Star Trek series, there's nothing specifically DS9 about it, but so what? That doesn't mean it isn't great. We seen enough of the colony and get to know them enough that we care about them and it's believable that the crew would sacrifice their old lives to keep them alive. I like all the little details of the colony like Quark teaching maths and the sons of Mogh. The acting from all the main cast is stellar. And I like that the technobabble solution is quickly revealed to be a lie. Even the ending with older Odo sabotaging them doesn't feel like a cop-out: he's still a future version of one of our regular characters and his actions will obviously have major (no pun intended!) repercussions for Kira and younger Odo. So yeah this is great really!

SCORE: 10/10
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Blaze of Glory - Nog and Jake have dinner with Ben (Nog likes squid.) Nog doesn't enjoy working Security because the Klingons don't treat him with respect. Martok tells Sisko his ship picked up a coded message from a member of the Maquis sent to "Michael": the Maquis have launched missiles at Cardassia and they'll hit in thirteen days. Martok admits that the Klingons supplied the Maquis with cloaking devices so the missiles could be cloaked and impossible to find. If they hit Cardassia it would start a war that could wipe out the whole Alpha Quadrant. Sisko goes to (Michael) Eddington to ask his help. (Eddington's prison is the re-used orbital office complex model from TMP, which is always good to see!) Eddington claims he doesn't care, the Maquis have been mostly wiped out be the Cardassians so he's fine with the Federation going to war. He just wants to stay in prison until the Jem'Hadar blow it up. Back on the station Morn has freaked out and beaten up Quark(!) after Quark suggested they're all going to be killed by the Dominion soon. Sisko takes Eddington with him on a runabout to look for the missiles even though Eddginton hasn't agreed to help. Eddington only eats proper hand-grown food since he joined the Maquis. He's a bit smug about it. Eddington reveals that Cal Hudson was killed by the Cardassians (Sisko: "he was a GOOD man") and he forgave Sisko before he died...something Sisko would never do for him. Sisko hits back with his theory that Eddington just wanted to be a hero and his leadership led the Maquis to their doom because he convinced them they could win a military campaign against the Cardassians. Martok and some Klingons are being loud in Quark's. Nog is measuring the noise their making so he can arrest them if they get too loud. He wants to prove he can stand up to the Klingons so they'll respect him. But then he comically falls of his chair and the Klingons laugh at him.

Sisko and Eddington arrive in the Badlands. Some Jem'Hadar warships arrive and Sisko removes Eddington's handcuffs. Sisko leaves Eddington in charge of the helm to see if he really has a deathwish. Eddington finally takes the helm and agrees to help Sisko find the missiles...but once it's over he's going to kill Sisko. The Jem'Hadar catch up with them and Eddington turns the tables on Sisko by putthing him in charge of doing some technobabble thing to defeat them, leaving Sisko to trust in Eddington's flying. The ignite the plasma fields (or something) and blow up the Jem'Hadar. Sisko is knocked about and blames Eddington. Nog sees Martok and his mates loitering in his and Jake's old spot and finally stands up to them, impressing Martok (who is always great.) Sisko and Eddington reach the launch site. The Jem'Hadar catch up with them again and they have a corridor fire fight. Eddington has a moment where he looks tempted to shoot Sisko but shoots a Jem'Hadar to save his life instead. They find the dead bodies of many of Eddington's Maquis friends. Eddington laments their loss as the Maquis were winning against the Cardassians and he feels he failed them as their leader. Sisko admits that maybe they all failed the Maquis. They find a few Maquis who are hiding out and still alive, including the woman who sent the coded message. Eddington introduces her to Sisko as his wife. There never were any missiles, it was all a plan to get Eddington out of prison to rescue them. These few are all who remain of the Maquis. Sisko still punches Eddington because he doesn't like being lied to. There's still a load of Jem'Hadar to get through though and Sisko and Eddington hold them off while the others escape. Eddington is shot and sacrifices himself so Sisko can get the others out. Sisko tells Dax back on the station that Eddington proved his loyalty to the Maquis in the end and admit he hopes there's more Maquis out there still fighting.

Hurray! They got it right this time! No stupid "you're exactly like a character from a book so I can beat you by being another character from a book!" stuff. Just solid character work for Sisko and Eddington, actually acting and talking like real people. It's the end of the Maquis and I'm impressed they went so far as to wipe almost all of them out. Star Trek doesn't usually do stuff like that (at this point anyway.) Sisko and Eddington of course end up respecting each other and Sisko even admits that maybe the Federation treated the Maquis pretty badly over the years. The Nog plot is fluff but only takes up a few minutes and is entertaining. It's a strong episode!

SCORE: 9/10


Empok Nor - Story by Bryan Fuller! Nog helps out O'Brien doing Engineering stuff and they work very well together. They need a rare part and O'Brien suggests going to Empok Nor, an abandoned Cardassian station with the same design as DS9. But it's full of booby-traps so Sisko suggests taking a Cardassian along: Garak, obviously. It's the O'Brien/Garak team up we've all been waiting for! They actually get on surprisingly well at first, with Garak finding it weird that everyone trusts him now. They take four previously unseen engineers weith them (hmm) to Empork Nor, and Nog. Garak and Nog play a Cardassian chess-like game and Garak brings up that O'Brien should know all about battle tactics because he killed plenty of Cardassians during the war. We get to see Garak in an EV suit as he enters the station first to disable any booby-traps. Two Cardassians in pods wake up when he turns the power on. Garak gets some weird goo on his hand. He and the Bolian engineer find a dead Cardassian in a broken status tube. Nog sees the runabout float away from the station and explode. Garak tells them about the two missing Cardassians. O'Brien comes up with a technobabble plan to send a distress call. The two Cardassians start to kill the engineers, starting with a man engineer and a woman engineer. It's hard to care, really.

O'Brien sends the nervous Bolian off to do something, wanting Garak to go along with him to make him feel better. But Garak wants to go off and kill the Cardassians instead, and takes shots at O'Brien for his history of killing "Cardies." Garak kills one of the Cardassians by hiding in one of the station pods in an entertaining moment. Nog asks O'Brien why he doesn't like thinking about the war and O'Brien says he didn't like all the killing. Garak comes back acting a bit weird. He reports that the dead Cardassian was given a drug designed to make him super racist and want to kill all non-Cardassians. The other Cardassian kills the Bolian but Garak saves the bald guy (there was a bald guy) from him. Garak then kills the bald guy himself because he's gone maaaaaad. Actually bald guy wasn't quite dead and manages to tell O'Brien and Nog what happened before croaking. O'Brien tells Nog they have to stop Garak, even if that means killing him. Garak broadcasts a villain monologue while hunting them. Garak captures Nog. O'Brien tells Garak the drug has made him go mad and he has to fight it. Garak still tries to goad O'Brien into admitting he enjoys killing. Garak strings up the dead bodies to show how evil he is now. They face off and have a fist fight, with Garak winning, but O'Brien defeats him with an improvised bomb (he's not a solider, he's an engineer.) Bashir sucsk the drug out of Garak back at the station and Garak feels bad about what he did.

O'Brien and Garak are too of my favourite characters, played by two of Trek's best actors. So it's a shame that this episode is such a huge disappointment. There's some attempt at character work here with Garak baiting O'Brien about his war record and O'Brien winning by using his engineering skills rather than his soldier skills, but it doesn't go deep enough. It's not enough to justify the rest. Killing all four redshirts is really predictable and feels outdated at this point. Garak just going mad because he's on a racist drug makes him less interesting. So yeah, it's not really a BAD episode as such, it's just ultimately really pointless?

SCORE: 5.5/10
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
In The Cards - Federation starships keep disappearing and everyone's sad at the prospect of war with the Dominion, with Julian being particularly bitter. As if Sisko isn't depressed enough, Kai Winn is coming to the station the next day. Quark is hosting an auction of rare items and when Jake sees that one of them is a rare baseball card he thinks he has a way of cheering his father up. But Jake can't buy it because the Federation doesn't believe in money (writer Ron Moore makes fun of one of his own lines from First Contact here) and guilts Nog into buying it. Winn observes that businesses are abandoning the Promenade, like any high street in Britain, and reveals she's on the station to meet a representative of the Dominion. Jake and Nog are outbid by a mysterious man (there's other items in the lot beside the baseball card.) Jake is still determined to bet the card and tries to buy it from the man, but he's very paranoid and thinks the "soulless minions of orthodoxy" are against him. ("I haven't broken any laws...except maybe the laws of nature.") Weyoung arrives and Sisko greets him with "I don't like the Dominion, I don't like what it stands for and I don't like YOU!" Weyoun steals Dukat's "you have no idea how much it pains me to hear you say that" line as he really likes DS9. The weird guy (Giger) agrees to meet Jake and Nog in his quarters, where he has all kinds of weird equipment. He agrees to trade the card for a number of items. Nog wants to know what he's going to do with all this stuff and Giger reveals the staggering truth: he's going to cure death. He's concluded that death is down to your cells getting bored and dying so he's invented a "cellular entertainment unit" to keep them alive. Makes sense! Someone else with the same theory died in mysterious circumstances and he's scared he'll be next. Jake and Nog have their reservations about Giger but agree to get him the items.

O'Brien has one of the items they need but it too busy working to find it for them. Nog offers to do his job for him so O'Brien can go kayaking in the Holosuite. He agrees to send the item to them. Bashir has another items they need and agrees to give it to them if they get his teddy bear back from Leeta, who stole it when they were dating. Nog snatches it from her while she sleeps. Winn tells Sisko that Weyoun has offered a non-aggression pact with Bajor, and points out that Sisko already told Bajor not to join the Federation. Sisko tells her the Federation would still keep Bajor safe, but Winn thinks the Federation would prioritise their own worlds. The Prophets and Orb of Wisdom have told her nothing so she wants Sisko tell her what to do. Sisko tells her to stall for time and Winn feels his pagh (the pervert) and agrees. Giger activates his machine to show Jake, unaways this his quarters are exactly underneath Weyoun's who wonders what the strange noise is. Nog has tune Worf's operas for him and Jake writers a speech about water for Kira (it's such a dry subject.) They got to see Giger once they have all his items but he's disappeared. Odo can't track him down and thinks they're fucking with him when they bring up the soulless minions of orthodoxy. Jake goes crazy paranoid thinking that Kai Winn kidnapped Giger because a Vedek was also bidding on their lot. Nog says "lions and Gigers and bears" (Jake: "oh my") and it barely makes sense but it's funny. Weyoung tells Winn they're very much his like but she feels his pagh and is like "nah." Jake and Nog confront the Kai and end up hauled up in front of Sisko who is angry. Jake pretends they were drunk (a good excuse!) and Sisko is very disappointed in them. Weyong beams Jake and Nog to his quarters wanting to know why they've been actng so weird lately. He doesn't believe their story about the card. He has Giger too and Giger acts even more shifty than Jake and Nog. Jake invents an elaborate lie about the guy on the baseball card (Willie Mays) being from the future and travelling back in time and changing history. Weyoun believes them...about wanting the card for Sisko. He's also excited to know that Giger is working on curing death and hands the card over to Jake and Nog. Sisko records a log about everyone being happies as we see O'Brien, Bashir, Kira Worf and Weyoun all happier thanks to Jake and Nog. (Leeta is pissed off but who cares about her. Dax isn't in the episode for some reason.) Sisko hugs Jake after receiving his card. Aww.

It's one of the nicest episodes of Star Trek ever. It's a really simplistic premise: if you do nice things for people they'll be happier, even if they are about to go to war. But it's so well executed and genuine that it works and gives you all the happy feels when Sisko is recording his log at the end. Sometimes that's what you need. Weyoun is brilliant again and Winn is used perfectly too. I can't actually fault this!

SCORE: 10/10


Call to Arms - Nog and Leeta are planning their wedding with Garak and Ziyal. They also ask Sisko to marry them. Sisko and O'Brien watch hundreds more Jem'Hadar warships pour through the wormhole and wonder when the attack will come. Jake gets a job working for the Starfleet newservice (print media still isn't quite dead in the 24th century apparently.) Kira and Odo still aren't talking after 'Children of Time' and Kira tells Dax about Odo's feeling for her. The senior staff are concerned to learn that the Romulans have signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion. O'Brien and Dax try to come up with an idea to stop any more Dominion ships coming through the wormhole. Also Nog's there being annoying about the wedding. Of course it's Nog who comes up with the idea of self replicating mines to stop anyone coming through the wormhole. Okay, but how would a self replicating mine work? A replicator needs matter to create the thing it's replicating, doesn't it? Where are the mines getting enough matter to create a greater number of mines? Anyway, Sisko gets the news that Starfleet won't be sending any ships to the station to defend it and they're on their own until the mine field (the name of this forum!) is deployed. Odo tells Kira he was thinking of asking her out for dinner but until the current crisis is over he's going to wait and keep things as they were. Weyoun comes to the station and he isn't being all nice and friendly now: he wants Sisko to remove the mines or they'll take the station from him. Weyoun tells him the Dominon don't want war at all, it's all the Cardassians demanding that more ships come through the wormhole for their security. Weyoun offers to cut the convoys down to cargo ships as long as Sisko removes the mines. Sisko agrees to Starfleet about this and Weyoun agrees to talk to Dukat. But Sisko tells the staff (and Martok) after that he knows it was all bullshit and the attack is coming. Sisko reluctantly tells Kira that Bajor must sign the non-aggression pact with the Dominion and all Bajor personnel leave the station for Bajor. Ziyal goes to Bajor too, after a nice goodbye scene with Garak.

Sisko performs Nog and Leeta's wedding ceromony (in Bajoran.) Rom tells Leeta she has to leave for Bajor right after in his own "Casablanca" moment. Martok reports that a Dominion force is heading for the station and is interrupted by Dukat asking for Sisko's surrender. Dax and O'Brien need more time to finish the mine field. Bashir and Jake prepare to treat the wounded (a nice callback to 'Nor The Battle To the Strong'.) Garak admits to Odo that he regreets not shooting Dukat in the back ("it's the safest way") back in 'Way of the Warrior'. Rom tells Quark he's staying behind to look after his brother and Quark kisses him (this almost makes up for Rom's terrible acting earlier.) The Dominion fleet arrives. Damar and Dukat want to take Bajor after the station but Weyoun points out they have a non-aggression pact (Weyoun has some honour!) The big fight breaks out. The station has new stronger shields and holds out as it defends the Defiant. There's some pretty cool battle stuff. Martok's Bird of Prey arrives back to save the Defiant from some Jem'Hadar too. The mine field is completed and more Dominion ships arrive. Sisko gives the order for all Starfleet personnel to abandon the station. Worf and Dax have been assigned to different ships. Dax wants to give him a reason to come back from the war arrive and says she'll marry him. This kind of comes from nowhere (see below.) Sisko makes a speech revealing that a Starfleet/Klingon taskforce destroyed the Dominion shipyards (that's why no more Starfleet ships could come to the station.) He promises to come back before beaming to the Defiant. He finds Garak there (he's got nowhere else to go.) Kira, Odo and Quark are the only main chracters left on the station. Kira hands it over to the Dominion then blows up all the computers using Sikso's sabotage program (a nice callback to the Cardassians wrecking the station before giving it to the Federation.) Rom reports to work at Quark's but tells him he's spy working for Starfleet. The fuck he is. Then he finds that Jake has stayed behind because "there's a war going on and I'm a reporter." This would have worked better if Jake had been a reporter for longer than just this episode. Dukat is very smug to be back in charge of "Terok Nor." Weyoun is happy to have a God (Odo) amongst them. Damar does a great evil smile to Kira. Dukat finds that Sisko left his baseball in his office to let him know he'll be back. The Defiant joins a huge Starfleet/Klingon Fleet.

It's the best DS9 season ender. It ends with cliffhanger but it's still a self contained story. This isn't going to be wrapped up in a single part two, it's too big for that. It's a great episode for Sisko (and his speech!) Everyone gets good moment here and the action is on a scale we haven't seen before, with the fleets being even bigger than 'Improbable Cause/The Die Is Cast'. There are a few minor things I didn't like! Rom's stupid voice when he starts going on about the wedding when more important things are going on. I get the idea, as the episode is very serious and the mood needs lightened a bit, but it's just too annoying. (The scene with him and Quark is nice though.) And Worf/Dax? That relationship really hasn't been as good as I remember it being. There's nothing to it! They got together at the start of the season. There was one terrible episode where they went to Rise together. After that, nothing! I don't buy them getting engaged at this point. I guess that's a fault more of the rest of the seaon than this episode though. Anyway yeah it's great.

SCORE: 9.5/10
 
Five. The season 6 mini-arc is next.

That was a great review of In The Cards -- some Trek nerds don't want to like it, but as you pointed out the human side of it is so great, and that's something else that DS9 did really well when they wanted to.
 
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