Date: July 6, 2020
Season 3, Episodes 17 and 18
Musical Accompaniment: A collection of DC Comics movie soundtracks
Interstellar News: Today was hard, much harder than I thought it would be. There was also hail. In Trek news, today’s episodes are “O’Brien must suffer” followed by “Bashir must suffer”.
Favorite Quote from “Visionary”:
Sisko: Do you have any evidence besides the fact that Klingons hate Romulans?
Odo: Not yet. But don’t worry, I plan on investigating the Klingons, the Bajorans, Quark, the visiting Terrelians.
Sisko: You think Quark had something to do with this?
Odo: I always investigate Quark.Sisko asking a good question and Odo giving a very honest answer.
So what had happened in “Visionary” was…: Bashir helps O’Brien to his feet after a plasma conduit blew, but he’s got a mild case of radiation poisoning so Bashir prescribes rest after the medicine kicks in. A Romulan delegation arrives to exchange information about the GQ, as does a Klingon ship that needs repairs. The Romulans ask a bunch of questions and Kira storms out on them. O’Brien bullies Quark into installing a dart board at the bar when he has an out of body experience and then passes out.
After leaving the infirmary he relives the moment, this time from the other side of the Promenade. This keeps happening but now O’Brien sees his death, twice, though on the second one Bashir tells him how to prevent it. Odo figures out the Klingons are spies and O’Brien travels back purposefully this time to see the Romulans attack DS9 and the wormhole. Our O’Brien dies but 5-hour-older O’Brien heads back, alerts the rest of the senior staff, and confront the Romulans who leave without damaging anything else.
“I hate temporal mechanics.”: This was a fun episode but poor O’Brien. From the moment we begin the episode everything that happens belongs and it’s a fun mystery. The dialogue is excellent in all the right places. Bashir being snarky about not arguing with himself, Odo reminding Sisko just how awesome he is, Kira claiming that she’s always diplomatic and then blowing up at the Romulans, and Odo being mock outraged when Kira tells him what the Romulans said. O’Brien, not in good health, keeps shifting through time but he’s a problem solver at heart and he needs to know what the hell is going on, though the rest of the team helps piece things together as well. His best lines are near the end when he meets himself for the last time and when he fucks with Quark.
For all the good lines, the plot leaves a bit to be desired. The fact that the Federation was just like “oh yeah come on in Romulan friends, we’re totally on the same side now” is terribly naive of them and I don’t buy that Dax or the sensors would miss a cloaked ship. I will admit that I didn’t see it coming but as I look back I see where the cracks are. Where the story is different than other time travel stories, though, is that O’Brien knows what to do every time and he doesn’t have to worry about changing history or creating an alternate time line because he’s always trying to make things better and have more people live. I rate this episode 7 sugar cookies with cognac-soaked cherries.
Favorite Quote from “Distant Voices”:
Kira: I’ve had enough of this. I am not some figment of your imagination.
Bashir: But don’t you see? That is why you’re all behaving so strangely.
O’Brien: I’m not behaving strangely. Am I?
Bashir: You all are.O’Brien really delivers this line perfectly.
So what had happened in “Distant Voices” was…: It’s a few days before Bashir’s 30th birthday and he’s eating lunch with Garak when Quark comes over with Altovar, a Lethean, who wants a controlled substance. Bashir heads back to the infirmary which has been ransacked by Altovar and then Bashir is attacked. When he comes to the station is empty except for Quark who is petrified and later Garak who is in security. Bashir’s hair starts turning gray and he keeps noticeably aging but he eventually finds the rest of the senior staff and figures out he’s in a telepathic coma. Everyone in his mind plays a different part of his personality with Garak being the ultimate villain. Bashir heads to Ops to try to fix the computer but realizes he should have done it from the Infirmary all along, which he does and wakes up a young man again and he’s not stuck in Oz or dead.
“My tennis balls…”: A lot of this episode reminded me of a cross between The Wizard of Oz and Inside Out. If you haven’t watched either yet, you should. I also am reminded of dream analysis that I learned about in graduate school and am very impressed by Bashir’s self-analysis, though you are totally not supposed to analyze yourself ever. It was nice to see everyone playing a slightly different part than they usually do and a good use of supporting characters for a Bashir-focused episode. So often I have no idea how old people are, I would suck at those carnival games where you have to guess someone’s age, but as someone who is over 30 I realize just how young Bashir is and just how much he has accomplished at such a young age. It’s a good vehicle for getting to know more about him and also to see his adorable relationship with Garak from where they were in Season 1. This wasn’t as compelling as the episode before it, but was not the worst thing I’ve seen either. I’m rating this episode 6 slices of salty Italian meat with some Asiago cheese on the side.