Date: June 21, 2020
Season 2, Episodes 14 and 15
Musical Accompaniment: The Princess Bride soundtrack
Interstellar News: In continuing my new Sunday morning tradition, I watched The Princess Bride with a dear friend over video chat. We quoted the movie, shared funny GIFs in the chat, and pointed out some of the more interesting insights you develop in your adulthood and after multiple viewings. Next week I’m picking The Sandlot.
Favorite Quote from “Whispers”:
Sisko: You know, the kind of things we don’t include in reports but might help me in these talks.
O’Brien: Well, I’d have to give it some thought. There was one thing I noticed. I don’t know if it means anything or not, but the Paradas have an odor from some kind of skin excretions, I’d guess. It changes with their moods. When they’re upset, it can get pretty strong actually.
Sisko: I’ll try not to get them upset.O’Brien trying to be thoughtful and helpful and Sisko delivering his line with a straight face.
So what had happened in “Whispers” was…: O’Brien is on a runabout narrating a personal log that will cover the last two days, we’ll flash between current time and his time back on DS9 after spending some time with the Paradas. Upon his return to the station everyone is acting strangely toward him: Keiko and Molly practically run out on him, Sisko is making decisions without consulting him, Bashir is hounding him about a physical, and the upper pylons are down again and require his immediate attention. O’Brien starts to catch people in lies and becomes a bit paranoid, though he is locked out of some logs and it does look like someone sabotaged the pylons… so maybe he’s onto something.
Odo returns to the station but turns on O’Brien and the rest of Ops comes to detain him when HE PULLS A FLASH BANG THAT HE JUST MADE OUT OF HIS POCKET, gets through several obstacles, and escapes en route to warn the Paradas… of what he’s unsure, he just knows no one is acting like themselves. On Parada II O’Brien walks in on Kira and Sisko talking to some Paradans when Bashir walks out with O’Brien the sequel and someone shoots the O’Brien we’ve been following all along. Turns out we’ve been following O’Brien-the-copy who was a replicant and programmed to likely assassinate someone at the peace talks.
…”Coffee, Jamaican blend, double strong, double sweet.”: At first I thought the Paradas had O’Brien in a simulation of some sort, testing if he would divulge any security secrets. Everyone he encountered seemed to ask him about his trip and he never gave more than he was supposed to. Then I thought maybe they had injected him or something so that anyone who came near him would ask him, again to test him in some way since they were so serious about their security. I did not see a replicant coming, and, even when it was revealed there was a second O’Brien… I thought the one we had been following all episode was still O’Brien-the-original rather than -the-copy.
Everyone on the station does an excellent job of pretending to act normal except for Keiko who has to live with she doesn’t even know what, thank goodness she was able to send Molly off with some neighbors. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t just detain him right away? Oh, and I finally find out from Quark that the racquetball match never finished. While this episode is likely not good for rewatchability, I’m sure it spoils the suspense and the mystery if you remember how it ends, it was amazing for me from start to finish and kept me guessing right up until the last minute. I love watching O’Brien be MacGyver because he’s so damn good at problem solving and he constantly proves how useful of a crew member he is to have around. He also shows how many vulnerabilities are if anyone ever pisses him off, because he can literally hack anything. 8 replicants for O’Brien’s awesomeness.
Favorite Quote from “Paradise”:
Dax: If the ship assembly teams back in the yards did their jobs really well, we’ll probably make it. If they had an off day, we’re going to have a problem. But it’s our best shot. Unless, a as ranking officer, you have a better idea.
Kira: We’re within tractor range. Locking on.
Dax: Engaging impulse engines.
Dax: Remind me to send a thank you note to the assembly teams.Jadzia Dax with the snark and the sass. I wonder if that’s Curzon who then rubbed off on Sisko.
So what had happened in “Paradise” was…: O’Brien and Sisko are out scouting nearby star systems for potential colonization and find a great planet, but there appears to be human life already, weird, as well as a duonetic field (which will become suuuuuuper important later). They beam down to a beautiful planet but the field causes all of their technology to fail and then they come across the locals who were a group of humans headed for elsewhere when their ship failed and they had to land and fend for themselves over 10 years ago. The colony is completely independent of technology and has done very well for themselves, though they have lost some people over the years and have had to fight for everything they have. Alixus, their leader, believes humanity is too dependent on technology. She wrote on paper, never ate replicated food, and keeps harping on Sisko and O’Brien to join the group and get rid of their uniforms… she’s definitely drinking some good Kool-Aid. Meanwhile Kira and Dax go looking for O’Brien and Sisko because their runabout is off warping through space. Turns out someone tried to destroy the ship but missed their target so the runabout was just traveling at warp speed around the galaxy, oh after someone erased the logs of course. They use a tractor beam to corral the runaway runabout and head to the Orellius system.
O’Brien and Sisko help out around the community but are shocked to see a box used as corporal punishment. Sisko is propositioned by one of the community members and he angrily goes to Alixus and strongly implies that she engineered everything for everyone to arrive just exactly in a place that was suited to her liking. A woman who was sick dies and Alixus uses that opportunity to point out O’Brien was “wasting time” on trying to fix technology and as such relegates Sisko to the box. He is let out and told he can have water after he changes out of his Starfleet uniform so of course he stumbles back over to the box and bolts himself in. O’Brien, because he’s a badass, make a COMPASS OUT OF A GOURD and finds the source of the duonetic field that was placed there by Alixus. She lets her cult leader colors fly and understands she and her son will have to answer for their crime, but the community all decide to stay because they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid for too long. Dax and Kira arrive and transport the foursome off planet and head home.
…”What of the dead?”: The actor who plays Vinod has been in SO MANY THINGS and I kept trying to place him, which I finally realized was impossible because I placed him in like 10 different shows. The whole time I was pissed because there was no reason they both should have transported down there AND they should have told someone where they were if they were both going to head down there. I also found it ironic, in the end, the Alixus built technology to help disable technology because she has no use for technology. What really gets me, though, is how brainwashed the people were at the end. They were lied to for 10 years and showed how shocked they were during her speech, but then one dude speaks for all of them when some people were thinking about heading back at the top of the episode? I get they accomplished a whole lot but they have some deeeeeeeeeep Stockholm Syndrome symptoms because they were all essentially kidnapped by Alixus and turned into her little technology-hating cult. What about advances in medicine that can keep more people from dying of a bug? I mean it would have been waaaaay more powerful if it was something incurable 10 years ago that they had a cure for in the runabout, but technology isn’t always bad. This was an excellent episode but I dislike the hell out of Alixus, she’s up there with Umbridge in my opinion. 7 rodents of unusual size that totally exist.