Thursday, December 12, 2013

Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Season 6a)

Season 5c  Season 6b

Season Six of Deep Space Nine starts out less of a typical Trek “stand alone episode” format and (counting the season finale from season 5) goes on a seven episode arc. It is more in keeping with the way TV is done now, but it also makes for a difficult time trying to pick lessons and truths from individual episodes.

There are some fun themes running through this portion of the season.

Sisko is given more responsibility and say in the war effort; something that fulfills him to some degree, but he notes the loss of camaraderie he had on the front lines.

Back on the station, we get to see the various political and interpersonal aspects of the resistance.

Of particular interest in this arc is the way Odo is played by the other Founder on the station. The way his loyalties are tested and the draw that his own kind poses is a strange thing to behold. All at once we understand the struggle he is going through, but we also almost hate him for the weakness he exhibits.

This whole portion of the series is some of the highest entertainment Trek has ever offered—certainly this series anyway. At the same time, it also shows how this type of television—the soap opera style—is more of a struggle for writers wanting to offer up analogies and lessons in the classical science fiction vein.

Episode 7 “You Are Cordially Invited…” offers up some mildly interesting cultural clashes and ends up being (surprisingly and refreshingly) a story about marriage being more than simply about a couple in love, but the joining of families and an adoption of each other’s values.

Episode 8 “Resurrection” is another episode involving the parallel universe (annoying) but is one of the more directly religious episodes. It is an interesting look at faith and mystical experience affecting a person deeply. As a stand-alone, however, it does not do much to explore this issue very deeply. In the end, we need the parallel universe characters gone by the end of the episode, so things end rather abruptly.

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