Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Season 5c)

Season 5b  Season 6a

Season 5 plods along—albeit with quality—towards an end that is the best thing Trek had done in a long time. It harkens back to the end of the Next Generation season 3.

Episode 19 “Ties of Blood and Water”

This episode is in many ways “DS9” in a nut shell. It is a story with a lot of meaning and heart and it communicates important ideas, but it is pretty dry and boring. Kira’s father figure is dying and she has an opportunity to be with him at the end; something she missed with her real father. Good stuff, but forced.

Episode 20 “Ferengi Love Songs” 

Another Quark story. This time, his mother is revealed to be the Ferengi leader’s lover—and the smarts behind the throne. Humorous, but also insightful. Ferengi’s are effectively used in Trek to—among other things—make commentary on relations between the sexes. Again, the message here is a bit too much.

Episode 21 “Soldiers of the Empire”

This Klingon story is either stupid, or too brilliant to grasp on a first viewing. It is a story about leadership, and about pushing people to be the best they can be. Somehow Worf has to betray one of his mentors in order to help him overcome cowardice, where he in turn can help an oft-defeated troop overcome their own motivation problems. I’m not a huge fan of Klingon stories in DS9; especially when they involve Dax trying to be Klingon.

Episode 22 “Children of Time”

Another time travel story, and these are always iffy propositions. Here, the Defiant goes through an anomaly that places them on a planet where a whole civilization has sprung up from the crew. It seems that they are in a future where they crashed trying to leave the planet, and the people there are their descendants. If they try to leave again their success will doom the civilization to never having existed. Yes, it makes one’s head hurt.

Episode 23 “Blaze of Glory”

Eddington and the Maquis employ a ruse to get Sisko to help Eddington save some Maquis on the run from Cardassians. Working together, Sisko and Eddington learn to see each other as more than mere enemies.

Episode 24 “Empok Nor” 

Retrieving parts from a never-before-heard-of sister station, the characters stumble upon a couple Cardassians that are even more xenophobic than normal, thanks to a drug. The drug affects Garak, causing him to attack and even kill members of his own crew. The interesting aspect of this episode is the dismissive way everyone is “OK” with his actions as he was technically not responsible. It is really a fault of the show format, today they would have strung out repercussions for episodes to come. Perhaps they still will?

Episode 25 “In the Cards”

An endearing, funny story in the calm before the war. Everyone is tense and depressed as they face the inevitability of the war with the Dominion. Jake wants to lift his father’s spirit by giving him an old Baseball card. In order to obtain it, he and Nog have to elicit favors from everyone on the station, and get them to do things they enjoy in exchange for what they need. All of that effort is to secure items to trade with the owner of the card, who seems to be certifiably crazy. In the end, everyone’s spirits are lifted.

Episode 26 “Call to Arms”

The tension that has been mounting for a couple years now finally bursts in a very satisfying, emotional provocation of war from Sisko. We can’t wait for season six.

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