Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Season 5a)

Season 4c  Season 5b

After a long, unplanned interruption due to availability, (somehow shows and movies disappear from stores or go out of print when I begin to consider them) the Deep Space Nine marathon continues. Season 5 is apparently highly regarded amongst fans of the show. Either it or season 6 seem to top most lists of best seasons. All of the following episodes are top notch, but somehow they fail to engage me completely. Very few of them feel timelessly classic. I think the slight level of overarching storyline this series utilizes renders individual episodes less remarkable.

Episode 1 “Apocalypse Rising”

The mission to assassinate the changeling that has infiltrated the highest position in the Klingon Empire is carried out. Odo became aware of the plot when he was punished in the great link at the end of season four. If you watch carefully, you just might see a clever twist coming in this story where our heroes learn a good lesson about the sort of war in which they are engaged.

Episode 2 “The Ship”

The crew stumble upon a wrecked Jem’Hadar ship and make a stand against a force aiming to reclaim it. The story itself is pretty dry, but it is interesting to observe the way the opposing forces interact. Also, a curious aspect of the religion of the Dominion is explored.

Episode 3 “Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places”

Sometimes we are blind to the things we need for all of the attention we place on the things we want and don’t have. Then there are times when storytellers take us in a direction that strains believability, mostly due to the limited acting ability with which they are working. (It grows on you though.)

Episode 4 “…Nor the Battle to the Strong”

Jake discovers a lot about war and even more about himself. This is the best story on this first third of the season. Jake is a writer that needs to live a little to hone his craft. The biggest lesson he learns here is that we are never as noble as we think we will be.

Episode 5 “The Assignment”

A sci-fi approach to possession. The way DS9 explores spiritual and religious concepts is a breath of fresh air in the Trek universe. It is still very science fiction, but at least it is not dogmatically against such things the way Trek tends to be in its Secular Humanist perspective.

Episode 6 “Trials and Tribble-ations”

Everything about this episode is an exercise in indulgence. That being said, it is way more fun than it deserves to be.

Episode 7 “Let He Who is Without Sin…”

A trip to the pleasure planet ends up being a confrontation with a group set on dictating morality. This is another good episode. It is uncomfortably close to a look at the way many evangelicals approach the world today. Less about love and more about hate.

Episode 8 “Things Past”

Odo does some soul searching while mentally linked to others from the crew. Confession can be good for the soul, they say. One wonders if this is really what the great link is like. Odo and the others are linked mentally (reading each other’s thoughts more or less) but in their mental environment, they can’t read each other’s thoughts. Hmmm.

Episode 9 “The Ascent”

Odo and Quark are enemies forced to work together while Jake and Nog discover friends sometimes don’t do well living together. This whole episode feels like a clich√©.

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