DS9 Episode 2.04 – Invasive Procedures

In which I can’t shake the idea that a boy Klingon has a girl Vulcan’s name.

Memory Alpha says: A desperate Trill tries to steal the Dax symbiont. (For detailed information, please click the Memory Alpha link.)

My Review
Well, doesn’t T’Kar look like a girl’s name to you? Or does it remind you more of G’Kar off Babylon 5? Anyway, let’s see what’s going on with this episode. I am trying to get out of a funk – and this is the first episode I’m watching from my lovely set of DS9 DVDs (seasons one through five – anybody want to give me six and seven? no?) that I got in the Whitcoulls ‘We Are In Major Financial Shit’ sale. The Cardie-styled menu screens are very nice.

On we go! Initially, most of this review got… disappeared somehow? By an HTML mistake? By me? But I managed to recover it!

  • I wonder why it is that they felt the need to have this plasma storm as a reason for the station to still only have a skeleton crew? It would be more satisfactory to me if they simply explained that they haven’t yet brought back everyone who was evacuated in the opening three-parter.
  • I do, however, like how the storm makes the station feel like an oil rig in a stormy sea, all battened down against the tempest. It’s making creaky noises!
  • Is Quark praying in there? Did he just adopt that position when he heard Odo and O’Brien coming along?
  • Awwww, I am sure the O’Brien family farewells were very moving. I can’t help imagining they gave him one of those living wakes that the nineteenth-century Irish would give for family members who were migrating to America – you’d probably never see them again, so hold their wake now!
  • A BLINKENLIGHTS DEVICE. That can’t be good. I think this is the ‘unforgivable crime’ that Armin Shimerman doesn’t like about this episode – it bothers him that Quark did something really treacherous and wasn’t properly punished. Maybe he could have been eaten by a snake that used to be a Mayor. Can one Armin Shimerman character expiate the sins of another?
  • Opening credits of melancholy grandeur. I’m looking forward to the more detailed version they start running in season three, if I remember correctly.
  • Julian is PERKY AS HELL. Everything’s an adventure.
  • Mariel has an awesome hairstyle.
  • It’s odd that Odo’s commbadge seems to be removable in this scene. In fact – is Odo’s commbadge really a badge, or just a part of him? I suppose it has to be a real badge because it works as a communicator. Perhaps when he liquefies he just holds the badge within his goo.
  • That’s right! Put Odo in a jar.
  • This is a pretty good plan, but since it depends so much on the isolation of the station by the plasma storm, how much lead time did they have to get it together? Jadzia said earlier that plasma storms are very rare, so this is unlikely to be a contingency they’d planned all along to take advantage of if it should occur.
  • Oh, my dear O’Brien taking responsibility. It is not your fault. It’s sodding Quark’s.
  • This episode is already just full of people making sweeping generalisations about each other’s nationalities. The Federation is helpful and predictable. Klingons are punctual. Ferengi think they’re clever but they’re stupid.
  • I really enjoy the vocal mannerisms this actor gives the washout Trill, the hesitations and awkward precision. It’s an excellent performance.
  • Considering what we will eventually learn about the viability of symbiosis, his situation is especially tragic.
  • I wonder if someone could invent an artificial, positronic symbiont. It could solve a lot of problems.
  • You’ve taken the first step – you’ve shot an Irishman.
  • Hey – did they shoot O’Brien in his bad shoulder? That’s even meaner!
  • Being forced to perform surgery on your crush that will probably kill her pretty much sucks.
  • The panel of fake skin showing through the hole in the sheet looks kinda plasticky. I am not thinking of many interesting things to say about this episode so far! Should I blame the episode, or myself?
  • Kicking someone in his bad shoulder that you already shot him in is pretty evil. O’Brien is having a bad day even by O’Brien standards.
  • Hey, how did a woman we find out is just a former prostitute just completely hand Kira Nerys’ guerrilla ass to her in a hand-to-hand fight?
  • Can you ever really feel the same way about a lady once you’ve removed a sentient slug from her midsection?
  • ‘Save it, Quark – you crossed a line this time.’ And he should be through here after this… and I can’t remember how he comes back from that.
  • ‘We’ve been together ever since’ – but he hasn’t made an honest woman of you, has he?
  • I find myself wondering if Dax, the symbiont, can put up some kind of resistance in this situation. Or is he just like ‘same shit, different tummy’?
  • He might respect you more if you punched him in the nose, Julian… or then again not, since you stink at punching.
  • Julian says ‘Thank God.’ Julian seems to take the Lord’s name in vain a LOT, and it always makes me wonder if he actually has some sort of religious beliefs or if I just shouldn’t be overthinking his dialogue. Perhaps it only means as much as Picard saying ‘what the devil.’
  • Julian. I am prepared to believe that you’re doing it out of kindness, to soothe, but perhaps it’s unprofessional for you to pet her face like that.
  • Well played, Sisko, well played. A guilt trip worthy of a Jewish mother.
  • Yeah, you’ll go into the Gamma Quadrant thinking you’ll help everyone, and you’ll get your ass fried by the Jem’Hadar within weeks.
  • BFFS NO MORE. I love how, as well as him changing his vocal mannerisms and posture and gestures, they’ve brushed the actor’s hair back. Lots of subtle and effective transformations.
  • And I love the fact that he’s lurking in the office.
  • I am genuinely enjoying Manipulative In A Good Cause Sisko.
  • Klingons. Easily distracted by shiny objects.
  • I am not convinced that that little display of foolhardy bravery redeemed Quark. But I like how his ear is hurting him worse than his back, after all that.
  • All this squealing is making me worry about what Quark’s sex noises would be like.
  • How did someone like Verad even manage to employ Klingons? Especially Klingons as stroppy as T’Kar and Yetto?
  • THAT WAS SOME QUALITY SNEAKINESS, JULIAN. Garak would be very proud of you. And a little bit turned on.
  • ‘Hand me that laser scalpel.’ That was pretty suave. Go, safe-cracker Quark. ALTHOUGH I STILL DON’T THINK THIS REDEEMS YOU.
  • I really, really like Mariel’s jacket. It looks like distressed blue leather. She is overall a very well-styled character.
  • Three cheers for Sisko’s day-saving emotional manipulation!
  • Why does Odo turn himself into a serving cart?
  • Kira is just getting whaled on an excessive amount in this episode.
  • That was a good scene with Varad and Sisko – I just have nothing to say about it. I’m boring today.
  • So… did Varad die, there? Or is he just going to live the rest of his miserable life in jail? How about Mariel and T’Kar and Yetto, what’s going to happen to them? I need one of those Dragnet conclusions that tells you what sentences everyone got.
  • How is O’Brien’s shoulder?
  • That was a reasonably good episode… I just… I’m uninspired today I guess. I’ll try the next one in line and see what I’ve got. OOH! That’s ‘Cardassians’! GARAK TIME!

9 Responses to “DS9 Episode 2.04 – Invasive Procedures”

  1. Mark Says:

    When I leave my DVD on the chirpy page in the menu, it prompts my frog to chirp too! (Even if it isn’t his chirpy time of day.)

  2. ricardienne Says:

    This was the episode that made me realize that, while Vulcans are the one-track mind geeky geniuses in Star Trek universe, Trills have the Hat of being those kids who took every advanced/AP/IB class in high school and did independent lab work at the university, ran for student president, were a section leader in orchestra, captained the varsity team, and built orphanages on the weekends, and either ended up successful and well-adjusted or are angry bitter “failures” because after all that they *still* didn’t manage to get into Harvard.

  3. innocentsmith Says:

    This episode is one of my least favorite of all Trek. Not because it’s objectively all that bad – John Glover is a fab actor, as always – but because I cannot read the A-story as anything but a rape analogy. The guy wants something from out of someone else’s body, he feels entitled to it, he thinks it will make him a fulfilled/adult/powerful person, he’s angry that it’s been denied him, and so he violates the body of a young woman to get it, and doesn’t even much care if he kills her. (And yes, the slug insertion is really creepily sexual.)

    Most other people don’t seem to read the story that way, so it may just be me. But wow does it freak me out and upset me. Especially at the end when Dax says something about “he’ll always be a part of me.” OH MY GOD. DDDDD: DS9 WHERE IS YOUR COUNSELOR?

    • picardigan Says:

      Why, who needs a counsellor when they’ve got, um… Quark? (I’m trying to decide whether I forgive Quark on the basis that I think maybe he really thought they just wanted to do a contraband deal, and didn’t realise any PEOPLE were in danger.) I assume Julian writes a LOT of prescriptions for antidepressants.

      Yeah, so now the Dax symbiont carries memories of TWO past (admittedly brief) bearers who were bastards. I don’t feel the rape analogy in this case as vividly as you clearly do, but I see what you mean about it.

  4. Curuchamion Says:

    * “Can one Armin Shimerman character expiate the sins of another?” – *giggles* They’d have to spend all their time doing it, wouldn’t they? He’s so very good at playing slimy.

    * “Perhaps when he liquefies he just holds the badge within his goo.” – Hee, I came up with that idea too! (It doesn’t work in Vortex, because he turns transparent and still has the badge when he re-forms, but it really doesn’t make sense that he should be THAT good at electronics and that bad at ears and noses. Even though he’s obviously way better at fabric than at skin, and his hands are Very Good Indeed *g*)

    * “That’s right! Put Odo in a jar.” – And then give the jar to me. 😉 Yeah, I don’t have much to say about this ep either, for obvious reasons. *g* (TBH, I amused myself during the boring bits by thinking about novelizing it from Odo’s POV as a sort of joke…)

    * “SLUG INSERTION CREEPILY SEXUAL TBQH” – IT REALLY IS. (I can totally see the rape analogy InnocentSmith points out. Ewwww.)

    * “That was pretty suave. Go, safe-cracker Quark.” – Yes! IMO it does kind of redeem him… maybe not enough that I’d think he shouldn’t get kicked off the station (at the very least, Odo should lock him up for a while and gloat *g*), but you know – considering that it’s Quark, and he TACKLED A KLINGON and let Odo out of a box in the same ep – and, without his help… yeah, Jadzia would have died, although Quark isn’t often quite that self-sacrificing – I guess he felt bad about letting them on board, especially since he’s all smitten with Jadzia? – but you know, Odo would have been STUCK IN A BOX FOREVER. In stasis. He couldn’t even work out a way to get out and come back to haunt Quark (literally or figuratively. *oh gosh my brain the plotbunnies*)

    Er. That was a long and incoherent sentence. I guess I’m saying: yeah, Quark should still be kicked off the station for pulling that stunt, but in a Quarkian sort of way he’s quite the hero this ep. I like him here. 🙂

    * “Why does Odo turn himself into a serving cart?” – Absolutely no reason at all, in-story. o_O My best guess is, it’s because 1: they only seem to have money for one full Odo morph per episode, and he already morphed going INTO the bucket, and 2: we’ve seen him be a serving cart before, and 3: it’s both big enough to be seen without a special closeup (which would be fail in terms of filming sneakiness) and short enough that it can be completely hidden by the guy’s shoulder there, so that they can do a barroom handoff instead of a proper CGI morph.

    (Er. Are you familiar with the term “barroom handoff”? That’s when an actor hides behind the bar in a saloon during a fight scene so that his stuntie can get flung across the bar into the bottles and then the actor can pop up and go “Look, not hurt! *POW*” Or in this case, so that after they cut to the shot where you can’t actually see the serving cart any more, René can just stand up ominously without the VFX guys having to spend any more money on the shot. *g*)

    But yeah, in terms of actual Odo sneakiness, I think the serving cart in an airlock was the worst fail I’ve seen so far. 😦

  5. Girls Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more..

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