In which we are expected to buy O’Brien as a pimp.
Memory Alpha says: Kira rescues a Bajoran Resistance hero from a Cardassian labor camp; an extremist group calls for all non-Bajorans to leave Bajor. (Part 1 of 3) (Season Premiere) (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)
I cannot recall the exact conversation in which this was pointed out to me, and it may in fact be in the comments of this very blog, but: Bajoran men are bland as hell. Bajoran women are ballsy and constantly interesting, but Bajoran men are a total yawnfest. (Cardassian men, on the other hand, are consistently fascinating, so it’s just a shame about the whole history of imperialist oppression really.) Since a Bajoran man is pretty crucial to the plot of this three-parter, expect me to complain about him a lot.
Anyway, this is a mini-arc in which the writers really wanted to tell a story that couldn’t be done on TNG, and they do succeed in that. This type of thing helps to establish one of the greatest strengths of DS9 – that it chronicles a developing, ongoing situation in which the same people have to be dealt with many times while events change, and the personalities involved make a great difference to how things turn out.
So on we go, and yes, I’m just going to ramble on in bullet points. Sometimes I may feel inspired to describe an episode thoroughly, but I’m not all that committed to it.
- There’s one of those wormhead aliens again! I wonder if they live on this station, or are just frequent visitors? I also wonder if they had regular extras whose job was to be the wormhead aliens, or if those prosthetics just got put on whoever.
- I really enjoy how disturbed Odo is that Quark gave him a completely accurate tip.
- Yes, he is always up to something. But like it or not, he is your friend.
- FOXY LADY IN A CATSUIT WITH PURPLE HAIR
CLEARLY UP TO SOMETHING
THEY SHOULD HANG
- Looks like a chicken kicked her in the forehead really hard. Still hot.
- Hey, Kira’s quarters get a set. It’s just… almost completely dark, so we can’t see if it’s a slightly disguised set that’s mainly used for someone else’s quarters. Eh, all these Cardie rooms look alike to me.
- ‘Aren’t you going to offer me a beverage?’ The word ‘beverage’ always strikes me as absolutely weird. There’s something… bathetic about it? Such that the line in The Big Lebowski, ‘Careful, man, there’s a beverage here!’ is at least eight times funnier than it would have been if the Dude had said ‘drink.’
- Leaving Quark alone in your quarters seems like a good way to get your drawers rifled. I’m not even saying he’d steal anything – there’s just no way he could not snoop.
- OPENING CREDITS OF MELANCHOLY GRANDEUR. I love how little the station is at first. When is it that they add all sorts of bitchin’ little details to this sequence? I think season three. They have ships arriving and taking off, and a little dude in a space-suit welding something on the outside of a pylon. Naturally, I like to think that this is O’Brien. In the original opening sequence, it appears that there’s no traffic around DS9 bar a couple of Federation runabouts.
- Jake is getting tall! And because he’s talking to Jake, Sisko has a personality. AND EVERYONE KNOWS THE HOLOSUITES ARE FOR PORN.
- Talk in public! I suppose the Replimat is an acceptable date location; it works okay for Julian and Garak.
- Sisko makes a little ‘pinching the air’ gesture as he orders his fancy-ass Starbucks raktajino, and I laugh to myself because I make that gesture when I order food and specify something non-standard (e.g. ‘with no tomato’ or ‘with avocado’) and my sister claims no-one else in the universe does that ever.
- I don’t care what you put in it or what kind of torte you eat with it, raktajino is no tea-Earl-Grey-hot. If I weren’t finishing up a Coke Zero, I’d go and make myself a tea-Earl-Grey-hot, because I just fancy it now.
- Sisko prepares to eat his slice of pie with a knife AND fork. He needs a Splayd. Seriously, best utensil ever. I want you to go and buy some. I don’t get a commission or anything.
- I like how Bajoran earrings are also personal ID.
- War over an earring… well, there is at least one Earth historical war over an ear. So it’s not as silly as it might sound.
- Trouble in the habitat ring! Kira, since he walked off without ever taking a bite, I think you should damn well eat his slice of pie.
- O’Brien, you’re from Ireland and sectarian graffiti shocks you? How times change.
- I like how Sisko is frenetically playing with the baseball the Bokai alien left him. There we go, another touch of personality, and Jake isn’t even in the room! Sisko’s baseball > Dogen’s baseball.
- Do you think Jadzia backcombs her hair like crazy, or does she just have a really big head?
- HA HA DAX KNOWS ALL.
- What do we say to the Cardassians? Perhaps ‘suffer in your jocks, spoonheads.’
- I like the idea that O’Brien fills his idle moments by figuring out devious engineering things he could do. ‘Well, that stupid treaty says we’re not allowed actual cloak technology… so what’s the next best thing?’
- Kira’s fondness for crochet vests is so very, very 1990s, and I like her earth tones palette – again, very, very 1990s.
- I think the… set florist? must have been fond of blue irises, because there they are on Kira’s table (I earlier noticed them on the replimat tables when Garak first hit on Bashir).
- A scoop neck does not suit O’Brien. Makes him look fat and shapeless. He needs a collar or a v-neck to give his bull neck a bit of definition.
- Kira gives their fake ship name as ‘Martok.’ Better than ‘Lollipop!’ But oddly prophetic.
- Ha ha ha they had to run into a nice, helpful, concerned Cardie. ‘Are you sure you’re all right? Can I get you a cup of tea?’
- O’Brien has a good haircut here. Looks new. He’s really a good person to take on a mission like this; you need an unflappable low-key badass.
- Although it looks cold because it’s so grey, apparently this quarry location was stinking hot and both Nana Visitor and Colm Meaney felt quite ill.
- So their plan relies on pretending Kira’s a hooker and O’Brien’s her pimp. That is both awful and hilarious. Especially the idea that an Irishman from Earth is pimping Bajoran whores, and that doesn’t raise any red flags. Still, who knows what human civilians get up to? Perhaps we’re notorious whoremongers.
- I really like Kira’s pants.
- Dead-eye O’Brien!
- I notice a black Bajoran in the background. Always interesting to see that aliens have different ethnic groups.
- Awesome hair on the doctor/nurse assisting Bashir!
- Helloooooooo Dukat. With villainous finger-steepling!
- ‘Supreme Directive 26-45.’ How supreme can any of those directives be when there are so many of them? Cardies love things that sound official and important, I guess.
- I like the detail of Li removing the wrappings from his hands. Nice bit of business.
- Who the hell gave him that appalling jacket? Did they take him to Garak’s?
- The Replimat’s Bajoran food is only passable? Is the Cardassian food better?
- Here’s a Hey It’s That Guy.
- Morn should definitely be in this crowd.
- That jacket is awful! It looks like he should be wearing it with the sleeves pushed up like Don Johnson in Miami Vice.
- And because he’s a slimy politician from the beginning, the Minister is a much more interesting Bajoran man than Li Nalas.
- But he hasn’t returned to Bajor. He’s just on a space station in Bajoran territory.
- Ah, pretty pink flowers! Again, the way the actor goes over to breathe in their smell, and the way he keeps touching his recently injured back, are really nice touches of performance. It’s not his fault his character’s boring.
- I like how Quark makes a point of counting out ‘one for you and six for me’ right in front of Rom to rub his nose in it. KNOW YOUR PLACE, DIM BULB. Rather trusting how he leaves his ones on the bar instead of taking them with him – and enjoyable how Quark’s sixes are neatly stacked, while Rom’s ones are carelessly scattered.
- So some guys in creepy masks are attacking Quark, oh well, business as usual.
- They branded his poor little head! He’s not even on Bajor!
- Haha I enjoy Julian getting just a little bit snippy with Quark.
- Awwww, I guess this is Jake’s first experience of race discrimination.
- Motherly kiss, fatherly backslap.
- The GQ is hardly a place to run away to, not that anyone knew that then.
- I think the moral of this story is, never take a bath in a lake. The Cardassian passion for personal hygiene will be their undoing!
- All this is just making me wonder what Cardassian underwear is like. I’m imagining grey long-johns.
- I like the parallel between Li’s role as figurehead and Sisko’s as Emissary. Does Li know Sisko is the Emissary, actually?
- OH NO THEY DIDN’T
- NOBODY PUTS KIRA IN A CORNER
I think I’m going to go right on to the next episode, ‘The Circle.’