DS9 Episode 2.09 – Second Sight

Memory Alpha says: Sisko falls in love with a woman visiting the station, but she is not what she appears to be. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review

I find this episode awfully dull. It’s an attempt to start building some more personality for Sisko, who I also find awfully dull at this stage, but I’m not best pleased about the fact that they chose to do this by repurposing a story designed for Julian (and which would make much more sense for someone as naïve and romantic as Julian was at this stage). Sisko’s personality is best revealed by the way he deals with big, commanding-officery problems, not by a rather drippy love story.

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TNG Episode 2.02: Where Silence Has Lease

Okay, I’m sorry, I had this whole thing written up and ready to go and then managed to delete the whole thing and then hit save in a completely imbecilic way and I cannot, just cannot bring myself to reconstruct it.

I mean, it isn’t the kind of episode that really rewards rewatching. Here are the important points.

  • We saw Worf’s ‘calisthenics’ program for the first time with SKULL FACE, I LOVE SKULL FACE, WHY DON’T WE SEE MORE OF SKULL FACE?
  • There was a face in space.
  • Rather than stand by while half his crew was slaughtered, Picard set the ship to self destruct, so all of the crew would be slaughtered.
  • Data made the following face:
  • I love me a sassy android.
  • Good episode for faces overall, then.
  • Worf got into a fight with a door.
  • Wesley’s hair was magnificent, it was like a Hokusai wave, it seemed to be soaring while stationary, I wanted to ride it over Agrabah with Princess Jasmine.
  • ‘Where Silence Has Lease’ is a boring title.
  • If you actually care about the episode there’s always Memory Alpha.

Okay, so next time, we’ll begin DS9 season two, with ‘The Homecoming,’ which disappointingly is not about a big football game and a dance. I’m somewhat excited about season two because it has ‘Cardassians’ and ‘The Wire’ and O’Brien and Bashir are going to get closer and the conflict with the Dominion is going to be introduced, but on the other hand, ‘Melora.’

Sorry about this everyone.

DS9 Episode 1.16: If Wishes Were Horses

In which, Rumpelstiltskin.

Memory Alpha says: Station residents suddenly find their imaginations are manifested in physical form; a spatial rift threatens to destroy the Bajoran system. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review
Do you see how spooky this is? The last TNG episode I reviewed was ‘When the Bough Breaks,’ in which children are stolen. The next thing in my arbitrarily self-imposed order is ‘If Wishes Were Horses,’ in which O’Brien is afraid of his little girl being stolen. Whillikers.

This is one hell of a goofy episode. It could have been worse, of course, because instead of Rumpelstiltskin O’Brien was originally going to see a leprechaun, until Colm Meaney pointed out that that was a lazy Irish stereotype and not fecking funny. Would the leprechaun have been trying to steal Molly, or promising him gold, or blethering unintelligibly about marshmallow cereal? I know it’s a lazy stereotype in and of itself, but what can you say about a nation that puts marshmallows into breakfast cereal?

On with the show. I am looking forward to the point where these episodes really feel like they merit full summaries. I’m definitely going to do that for ‘Duet’ and ‘In the Hands of the Prophets’ but I don’t think anything else in season one of DS9 will rate it.

TNG Episode 1.16: Too Short a Season

In which we see age make-up even worse than that piled onto DeForrest Kelley for the pilot.

Memory Alpha says: An elderly admiral must negotiate the end of a hostage crisis he helped create. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review
The main problem with this episode is: I don’t know who Mark Jameson is, and I don’t care. I (as a notional first-time viewer – I am pretty sure I didn’t see this episode when it was new) just barely know who Jean-Luc Picard is, and am starting to care about him. Commendably, TNG works hard to develop a true ensemble cast, giving different people episodes in which to shine, a refreshing contrast with the TOS situation, where because Bill Shatner had a smart agent, they were contractually obliged to give Captain Kirk the A-plot of pretty much every episode.  (That’s my understanding of the situation, but if I’m confused I’d be pleased to hear the real deal in comments.)

This early along, though, that ensemble is still being developed, so bringing in a guest character whose story we’re all supposed to give a shit about for one episode is a misstep. It could have been done more successfully much later, when we were so used to Picard et al that focusing on someone quite different for an episode could feel refreshing. It’s similar to how miscalculated ‘The Naked Now’ is: it’s not funny to see the crew act goofy when you don’t yet know how they behave on a normal day.

This episode also establishes a central truth of the Star Trek universe: Starfleet admirals are a huge pain in the arse, and exist primarily to make real people’s jobs harder. If you walk into a room full of admirals, do not even turn around, just reverse out. You will note that on her return to the Alpha Quadrant, Kathryn Janeway was promoted to Admiral while Jean-Luc Picard remained a Captain. This is a reflection on their differing levels of usefulness.

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