DS9: “Explorers” and “Family Business”

Date: July 9, 2020

Season 3, Episodes 22 and 23

Musical Accompaniment: Violin covers

Interstellar News: If you ever hear me utter the phrase “I love driving” know that something is absolutely wrong and I’ve been kidnapped or some such.

Favorite Quote from “Explorers”:

Dukat: Commander, I contacted you out of concern for your safety, but you seem to be intimating that I’ve made some sort of threat.

Sisko: Ah. Then I’m glad I was wrong. For a moment there I thought that you had been put in charge of the Cardassian Ministry for the Refutation of Bajoran Fairy Tales.

Dukat: Since I don’t seem to be able to dissuade you from undertaking this little voyage of yours, I’ll wish you luck instead. Let’s hope you don’t need it.

Sisko is super sassy and I am here for it, all the way.

So what had happened in “Explorers” was…: Bashir is nervous about meeting up with the valedictorian of his medical school class but it turns out she’s a bit jealous of his assignment and they eventually run off and talk about medical things like colleagues.

Bashir and O'Brien drunk as skunks and singing drinking songs
Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world…

Sisko comes back with a goatee and plans for an ancient Bajoran spaceship. He builds it and takes it out for a spin with Jake. Jake shares a story he’s written and then shares he’s been offered a fellowship in New Zealand but he wants to defer for at least a year. They encounter some trouble and are thrown off course but make it all the way into Cardassian space – proving it could be done and how it likely happened 800 years ago.

“Why? Because it’ll be fun.”: The opening scene with Bashir and the Bajoran woman with the “cough” starts like the opening to a bad space porno when Dax comes in and totally throws Bashir off his game and it’s spectacular to watch. When the Lexington finally docks and Dr. Lense doesn’t even give him the time of day it’s fantastic because you can see his confusion and the visible shrinking of his ego. It’s a wonderful explanation how she confused him with someone else and how both parties thought the grass was greener on the other side. Bashir keeps bringing up his failure and he seems to really regret his mistake, but I don’t know why he keeps on harping on one damn question… give it a break kid. The real winning part of the Bashir story line was when O’Brien and Bashir get hosed and sing some drinking songs, it’s super adorable that they’re drinking buddies now.

The Bajoran ship SIsko made surrounded by 3 cardassian ships with fireworks
Should have watched this episode a few days ago…

Sisko and Jake get to have some great bonding time and I absolutely love their relationship. Sisko is such a supportive father and it’s so refreshing to see that he and Rom have so much more in common than they thought, even if neither of them admit it. I hate that O’Brien didn’t want any part of the plans and that he didn’t want to see if it could be done, just as I’m disappointed that Jake didn’t want to help his dad out either because that would have made the episode so much more meaningful. I always love the witty repartee between Sisko and Dukat because they are just so good when they’re exchanging words. I absolutely loved how Dukat clearly didn’t want to congratulate Sisko but he was being a good Gul and following orders, and the fireworks were a nice touch. It was a good vehicle to not only display how the treaty is going so far but also how the best way to have a chat with someone about something important is to trap them in a vehicle where they cannot escape. I rate this episode at 7 minutes worth of Cardassian fireworks.

Favorite Quote from “Family Business”:

Brunt: Your mother’s confession will serve as a warning to females all over the Alliance.

Quark: Oh, I don’t think anyone has to know about this. After all, what would people say if they knew a female had earned that much latinum?

Brunt: I shudder to think. Goodbye. I sincerely hope I never see any of you again.

Quark: The feeling is mutual.

Quark telling the truth for once.

So what had happened in “Family Business” was…: Quark and Rom’s mother Ishka is accused of earning a profit. Turns out she totally earned a profit and is wearing clothes, bad Ferengi female no cookie! Rom is totally a momma’s boy and doesn’t mind that his mother has always been different but Quark can only think of profit and traditional Ferengi values. Eventually Rom lies to them both to get them to talk and Ishka just wants Quark to be happy and Quark really does love his mommy.

Ishka, Quark and Rom's mother
Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother.

On the station Jake has told everyone about Yates, a freighter captain, who he wants to hook Sisko up with. Sisko finally meets her in the cargo bay and they decide to have coffee. During their coffee date they stumble upon the fact that her brother is playing baseball and Sisko lights up and they happily go listen to the transmission of a game as Jake watches on from above with the biggest shit-eating grin.

“And no shouting! I’m going to take a nap.”: Jake fancies himself a matchmaker but it’s clear that both Sisko and Yates are a bit apprehensive and super busy. They seem to hit it off okay but it’s also hard to flirt when you’re working so Yates suggests a place where they can focus on each other. It’s wonderful that Yates cares about her brother enough to know what he’s doing and enough to share with Sisko, but it’s absolutely adorable to see how animated Sisko gets about a sport that’s been dead for two hundred years.

Kasidy Yates
You know about baseball?

I was glad to finally get to see the Ferengi home world and absolutely loved this episode and it’s ridiculousness. You have to pay for everything, classic Ferengi, and there are some things that even Quark will spend money on. Rom really breaks out in this episode at being able to fight for what is important to him – family. With Keldar dead it’s up to Quark to hold the family together but he’s more interested in profit than anything, just like his mother apparently. It also shows a flaw in the Ferengi way of life because those who are not cut out for profit aren’t really able to pursue other avenues without being ostracized. I think that’s a big failing because it could be a real asset to have a Ferengi on the inside of other organizations in order to be more profitable as a collective, but then again they’re not really a “for the greater good” kind of people. I’m glad Ishka is a progressive Ferengi and that she also decided to play along, mostly, because she loves her boys so very much. I think it’s hilarious that Quark almost fell for a female basically like his mother, because that’s apparently a thing that’s cross-species. This episode gets an 8th inning stretch, because it’s my blog and I can do what I want.

TA Out!

DS9: “Improbable Cause” and “The Die is Cast”

Date: July 8, 2020

Season 3, Episodes 20 and 21

Musical Accompaniment: Antonio Vivaldi – La Stravaganza Op.4

Interstellar News: I was warned this was a two-part episode, so many thanks to my two loyal readers.

Favorite Quotes:

Bashir: But the point is, if you lie all the time, nobody’s going to believe you even when you’re telling the truth.

Garak: Are you sure that’s the point, Doctor?

Bashir: Of course. What else could it be?

Garak: That you should never tell the same lie twice.

Bashir explaining a fable to Garak and Garak totally missing the point.
Elim Garak looking very Cardassian
Plain, simple Garak.

Garak: Well I had hoped a few hours alone might jog your memory but I can see I’m going to have to take some steps I’d hoped to avoid.

Odo: Oh, no. You’re going to torture me, aren’t you? How I’ve been dreading this. Please have mercy, Garak.

Garak: You do have a certain flair for sarcasm. It’s one of the things I like about you.

Odo is waving his hands around in sarcasm, can’t you see?

Improbable Cause” – “I want you to take that rod and eat it.”: Garak’s shop explodes, O’Brien determines it was not an accident, and Bashir tells Garak about “the boy who cried wolf” to mixed reviews. Odo interrogates a merchant who was hired by the Romulans to assassinate Garak, but there’s no proof so Odo goes to tail his ship and Garak comes along. Just as the merchant’s ship heads to warp it blows up, so Odo and Garak contact the Romulans who turn the investigation into a dead end. Odo meets with a Cardassian informant who explains the Romulans and Cardassians are about to invade the GQ and that five Cardassian operatives were also killed. Odo tells Garak he knows he blew up his own shop and the two go off to find Enabran Tain, though they are captured by a Romulan warbird that has Tain on it. Apparently the Obsidian Order of Cardassia and the Tal Shiar of Romulus took it upon themselves to strike the Founder’s planet to end the threat of the Dominion. Tain plans to come out of retirement and gives Garak the choice to join him, which Garak gleefully accepts.

For some reason the Cardassian operative’s eyes reminded me of Voldemort and I have no idea why.

The Die is Cast” – “I’m a very good tailor.”: 20 Romulan and Cardassian ships approach DS9 and go through the wormhole. Tain and Garak reminisce while DS9 is evacuated and the Defiant ordered to keep Bajor safe. Sisko ignores that order and goes after Odo but Eddington sabotages their cloak so they are delayed in their rescue. Garak interrogates Odo by using a machine that doesn’t allow him to change shape, and he’s close to his 16 hours. Odo tells Garak he wants to be with his people more than anything, Garak lies to Tain, and the Romulans want to study Odo. They arrive at the Founder’s planet only to find it’s been abandoned and just as 150 Jem’hadar ships come out of the nebula. Garak goes to free Odo as their ship is under attack and it turns out Lovok is no Romulan but a Founder pretending in order to remove two of the four biggest threats in the AQ (the other two being The Federation and the Klingons). Garak tries to help Tain but he and Odo have to leave and are picked up by the Defiant and they all head back to AQ. Odo invites Garak for breakfast sometime despite the fact that Odo does not eat.

The Penguin from BATMAN RETURNS
When Odo was breaking down, this is all he reminded me of.

My Thoughts and Impressions: Two killer episodes that kept me on the edge of my seat. Garak was absolutely on fire especially when he gives Bashir tons of shit with “the boy who cried wolf” and putting him on when it came to the isolinear rod. He also gets a taste of hope that his exile will come to an end but it’s short lived. My favorite Garak moment, though, is when he’s interrogating Odo and basically begs him to tell him ANYTHING. When Odo does Garak is visibly relieved and then doesn’t even tell Tain anything, he really has in some small way come to care for those he’s been living with. There are also some really great Odo moments because he’s extra snarky and sarcastic up until he meets his threshold and he eventually breaks. He’s not unflappable, no matter his chosen exterior, and he finds out what happens when he’s unable to change his shape. Odo also surprises EVERYONE by again denying himself the thing he most wants when he tells his fellow changeling no.

Enabran Tain and Lovok the Romulan
*waves hand* This is not the Romulan you are looking for…

We finally get to find out what was happening in the Orias system after the event of “Defiant” and it totally makes sense that the black ops of the Cardassians and Romulans got together and decided to make a stand. It’s interesting that their decision is to go take on the Founders instead of blowing up the wormhole, especially since the Romulans were all hot and heavy about blowing it up just a while ago. It’s wonderful that the Founders were way ahead of the game and I was sad I didn’t have anyone to watch this episode with because they couldn’t see my mouth gape when the big reveal happened. Tain was so stunned and I was right there with him.

"it's a trap" akbar from Star Wars
There’s always a Star Wars reference to be had…

The rest of the crew is stuck on the Defiant because Eddington is a rat bastard, but how did they not see it coming? O’Brien is a bad ass engineer and in true Trek fashion they are able to come to the rescue at the last minute and, in the end, no one is court martialed. I rate these two episodes a total of 9 tribbles.

TA Out!

DS9: “Through the Looking Glass”

Date: July 7, 2020

Season 3, Episode 19

Musical Accompaniment: Magical Celtic music

Interstellar News: Work was insanely busy today but at least I got to eat one of my favorite sandwiches for lunch.

Favorite Quote:

Mirror Kira: He always has to make things difficult.

Mirror Garak: It’s one of his least endearing qualities.

Things in the Mirror Universe are always interesting.

So what had happened was…: Odo and Sisko accuse Quark of staging vole fights when O’Brien kidnaps Sisko and takes him to the Mirror Universe. It’s been a year since the events of “Crossover” but Mirror Sisko has died during an important mission, getting Professor Jennifer Sisko on the rebellion’s side.

Mirror Jennifer with Sisko
“Why don’t you start by telling me what happened to my husband?”

Mirror Kira is still her usual flirtatious self but this time we get to meet Mirror Bashir (who is not a doctor and super scraggly looking), Mirror Rom (who is pissed that Quark is dead and also later revealed to be a spy), and Mirror Dax (who has an affair with Sisko). O’Brien and Sisko are captured by The Alliance but it’s a ploy to break Jennifer out and Sisko shows us his balls-of-steel when he sets the station to self-destruct, but it allows the rebels to escape with Jennifer (who is super smart and figured out he was not her Sisko).

“I still hate you.”: Apparently each time we go to the Mirror Universe a Ferengi dies, is that some weird “an angel gets its wings” adage? I didn’t like this episode as much as I did “Crossover” but it was still fun to watch the crew play slightly different versions of themselves. Sisko gets to have sexy fun time with THREE different women, well maybe two-and-a-half, because apparently Mirror Sisko ain’t nothing but a hound dog. O’Brien and Rom have found their confidence but that means Mirror O’Brien is not different than ours so much and Rom is totally different. Having Dax be flirty as well seems like a cop out to me as both the female leads seem reduced to sex kittens in tight outfits. The thing that confused me the most, however, was Bashir. Last time our Bashir went through to the other side and absolutely no one batted an eye at who he was and all of a sudden he magically appears? For that matter, what the hell is Dax doing involved with a Terran rebellion? I get that a Vulcan was there because it was Spock’s fault last time and it makes sense for Vulcans to be treated just as poorly as Terrans, but what’s it to the Trill?

Mirror Dax lies on the bed
“I’m really glad you’re alive. And I’m going to make you glad you’re alive, too.”

I also want to know how O’Brien figured out how to mess with the transporter… oh wait it’s O’Brien, mystery solved. I truly loved Mirror Sisko’s performance last time and this time, although it was perfectly played, it just wasn’t as fun. I did enjoy the ending and love that Sisko is so technically minded. I hate that Mirror Quark and Odo are dead, that Garak doesn’t have as much bite to him, and that we haven’t seen Mirror Dukat. Hopefully the next trip to the MU will be much better. I rate this episode 6 ducks, and none of them are in a row.

TA Out!

DS9: “Visionary” and “Distant Voices”

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.

O'Brien and Bashir playing darts in Quark's
“Well, who am I to argue with me?”

“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.

Two O'briens sitting on a bed
“Oh no, not you again. What is it now?”

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.

Garak and a woman holding up an age Bashir in a birthday hat
Happy birthday Mr. President… wait.

“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.

TA Out!

DS9: “Destiny” and “Prophet Motive”

Date: July 5, 2020

Season 3, Episodes 15 and 16

Musical Accompaniment: Paul Simon, Graceland: The African Concert.

Interstellar News: I think everyone should try Manhattan Special at least once in their lives. You have not lived until you’ve drunk coffee soda.

Trakor’s Third Prophecy from “Destiny”:

When the river wakes, stirred once more to Janir’s side, three vipers will return to their nest in the sky.

When the vipers try to peer through the temple gates, a sword of stars will appear in the heavens, the temple will burn and the gates will be cast open.

Prophecy via the Orb of Change

So what had happened in “Destiny” was…: Two Cardassian scientists are set to help establish communication to the GQ but a vedek arrives with a warning about a prophecy. The prophecy begins to manifest as a third scientist joins the group, though it’s clear she’s not friends with the other two. Odo explains to Sisko that the vedek lost his title soon after protesting the peace treaty and Kira comes to terms with balancing her religious beliefs at work. The team heads through the wormhole and spy a comet that resembles the next part of the prophecy. During a test the wormhole opens and changes the trajectory of the comet. O’Brien and Gilora are adversarial in engineering but then realize they’ve had a huge cultural misunderstanding and are able to work together. Dejar, however, is from the Obsidian Order so she sabotages O’Brien’s fix and now the comet is in three pieces. Kira and Sisko grab a shuttle to help guide the fragments while the Defiant heads back to the AQ. The communications test comes through because the prophecy did come true, but not in the way the vedek believed.

Harry Potter staring at a prophecy orb
The Dark Lord…” Oh wait, this is the not the prophecy you’re looking for.

“It’s hard to work for someone who’s a religious icon.”: This episode was pretty meh but I did like a few parts. Ulani and Gilora were very likable Cardassians and I think that led to why O’Brien was so much better around them, well that and they were women. Watching O’Brien stammer and get klutzy was fantastic. It was nice to see a Cardassian who wasn’t really a part of the military and they just wanted to do cool things FOR SCIENCE rather than for the glory of their planet. I also liked how Sisko does his best to respect Kira’s beliefs and Kira does her best to work within Starfleet parameters. Despite all those interesting exchanges, I knew something was up with Dejar by the way the others said the word “colleague” and that she traveled separately. This wasn’t a very gripping episode, so it only gets 5 chocolate croissants.

Favorite Quote from “Prophet Motive”:

Bashir: There must be some mistake. As far as I know, my name wasn’t even up for consideration.

Dax: Oh, it was up for consideration. I submitted it myself through an old friend of Curzon’s.

Kira: You deserve the nomination, Doctor. Your work on biomolecular replication was both audacious and groundbreaking. According to Dax, anyway. She’s the only one who understands it.

Kira has such a way with words.

So what had happened in “Prophet Motive” was…: Bashir has been nominated for a prestigious award but he thinks he’s too young and doesn’t stand a chance. Bashir and O’Brien play darts and they push each other’s buttons as do Odo, Dax, and even Quark later on. Despite originally believing he shouldn’t have even been nominated, he works on an acceptance speech and gets his hopes up just a little. Bashir is disappointed when he doesn’t win, but he handles it well – at least outwardly.

Bashir giving a sassy look in front of the dartboard
“So, how much longer is Keiko going to be on Bajor?”

Elsewhere on the station Grand Nagus Zek is back and is acting strangely, including having revised the Rules of Acquisition to be more like the parts of the Bible that tell you to be kind to one another. Quark and Rom are super confused and Quark believes something is wrong with Zek. After Bashir clears Zek medically, Quark is shown that Zek came into possession of an Orb and intends to gift it to the Bajorans. They travel through the wormhole and Quark encounters the aliens that live there who share they’ve reverted Zek back to a time where Ferengi weren’t so interested in profit. The aliens, who are all played by the senior staff, and Quark come to an agreement. Zek is restored and Rom made off with a lot of Zek’s money, which makes Quark proud.

“I have a friend at Starfleet Intelligence and she has a friend who has a cousin who’s married to the assistant of one of the members of the Federation Medical Council.”: I fail to see what Bashir’s plot line had to do with the Ferengi plot and it seems like it was just in there for some filler. I also don’t understand why Bashir gave any serious thought to the fact that he might win when he was so adamant that he hadn’t done much yet and it’s supposed to be something akin to a lifetime achievement in medicine award. While Bashir has done some amazing things he certainly doesn’t have the experience or the ability to specialize that usually qualifies you for awards like that. I did very much enjoy the exchange between Odo and Bashir, as well as the dart game, but otherwise there was no substance to that story.

The Ferengi story is actually quite interesting because it not only shows us the power of the prophets/wormhole aliens but it also shows Quark’s problem solving abilities as well as his ability to exaggerate. It was also fun to see how forlorn Maihar’du was, crying in the background and drinking his troubles away, but he also go to “speak” when one of the wormhole aliens took on his form. I found it interesting that at one point in the Ferengi history they were more benevolent but that wasn’t their final form and their evolution took them to focusing on profit. Not sure what it means but it was certainly interesting. The opening sequence where Quark is getting an ear massage is a little funny because Rom ruins it for his brother and later Zek ruins any chance Quark had with the girl. The closing sequence where Quark is surprised at his brother’s stealing tendencies, for reasons unknown given how much stuff from the bar was in Rom’s room, was a cute moment between brothers. 4 drinks for Maihar’du and Hom, Bluto can come along too.

TA Out!