Date: July 21, 2020
Season 4, Episodes 18 and 19
Musical Accompaniment: A few Daft Punk albums.
Interstellar News: Today was a hard day.
Favorite Quote from “Hard Time”:
Molly: Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!
O’Brien: That’s right, Daddy’s home.This was the absolute sweetest thing ever and a very good ending to the episode.
So what had happened in “Hard Time” was…: It’s time for an “O’Brien must suffer” episode and boy is this a doozy. Old O’Brien gets booted from prison only to wake up and be told he was in a virtual reality correction program, the Argrathi arrested him for espionage because he was curious. The episode progresses with O’Brien adjusting to life back on the station with flashbacks from his “imprisonment”. O’Brien lies to Bashir about his cellmate Ee’Char and claims he was alone for 20 years, he snaps at Quark, and he is eventually taken off duty by Sisko and told to go to counseling. Bashir can’t wipe the memories but O’Brien remembers all of the tools and how to fix things, he just is absolutely abhorrent in his treatment of every humanoid on the station. O’Brien hulks out in a cargo bay, unlocks a phaser, and tries to kill himself but Bashir is able to talk him out of it and into admitting the harsh truth about Ee’Char.
“It’s real to me.”: The counselor in me is very happy about this episode. They get an actual doctor to talk O’Brien off the ledge, instead of his wife, and they enforce counseling until he’s in a better frame of mind. Trauma is trauma and talking about it helps, as long as you can find the right person. There’s also the bit about no matter how evolved we are, no matter how stalwart we are in our actions, under the most extreme circumstances human beings are capable of anything. Unless you are experiencing that exact same set of parameters any thoughts you have about what you would do in any given situation is purely academic. My brain works like this, I think about things all the time that are unlikely to ever happen. It’s an academic exercise my brain goes through because I’m a problem solver at heart, but even when I’ve planned for every eventuality, I don’t always know how I’m going to react.
I also thought the correction method was an interesting way to save physical space but I’m not sure it has anything to do with rehabilitation, it could be so much better. I also am super confused why O’Brien, who was relieved of duty, still has active codes for the weapons locker?! In the end we find out that what O’Brien did was awful but it’s similar to Worf’s predicament last episode where no one was actually hurt in real life, but that doesn’t take the feeling of knowing what you did away. O’Brien and Worf also have very short tempers and are quick to anger, maybe O’Brien has some Klingon ancestry? Molly ending the episode was adorable and helped a heavy episode end in a hopeful way. 9 leg hugs for O’Brien and Keiko.
Favorite Quote from “Shattered Mirror”:
Garak: At least I was able to please her now and then.
Worf: You are not my type.
Garak: I never said I was.Mirror Kira was such a flirt, giggidty.
So what had happened in “Shattered Mirror” was…: Jake returns to his room where Sisko is talking to Mirror Jennifer. Sisko leaves them to chat while he’s at a meeting but then comes back to find them gone and we’re off to the Mirror Universe for the fourth time (once on TOS, twice on DS9). The Terrans have taken Terok Nor from the Alliance but need help getting the Defiant ready for its upcoming battle with the Klingon Regent, Mirror Worf. Jake meets Mirror Nog, Mirror Garak is in chains at Mirror Worf’s feet, but alas not in a gold bikini, and Mirror Kira was taken prisoner. Sisko gets punched by Mirror Bashir, slapped by Mirror Dax, and hit on by Mirror Kira who is still really into BDSM. Mirror Nog breaks out Mirror Kira just to have her kill him and then she takes Mirror Jennifer and Jake hostage. The Klingons arrive, Sisko takes command of the Defiant, the Klingons retreat (blaming Mirror Kira of course), and Mirror Kira shoots Mirror Jennifer (who was defending Jake). Jake and Sisko watch her die and go home.
“Kidnapped? An ugly word. But accurate.“: Last time Sisko got to have all the fun sexy time and this time he just got beat up… who says there aren’t super delayed consequences for actions? I find it quite funny that Mirror Nog mirrored Morn in the bar (with the dabo girls surrounding him) and then ironic that Mirror Kira went for the Ferengi hat trick and killed Quark, Rom, and Nog. Jake does a wonderful job soaking up as much Jennifer as possible because he’s still a boy who needs his mom, so it hurts extra when he has to watch her die again and even more because she saved his life. The best parts of the episode, though, are literally every interaction of Mirror Worf and Mirror Garak who are the absolute best in their exchange of lines. Also, we got a callback to TNG “make it so” and Darth Vader (Star Wars) so I am one happy gal. Mirror O’Brien is fantastic, as always, and his shock when they win is super fantastic. While there are pieces that don’t quite work for me, it was rather entertaining and deserves 7 slaps.