Friday, June 20, 2014

Star Trek DS9 (Season 6c)

Season 6b  Season 7a

Had I known how good the end of season six would be, I would have made more of an effort to get around to it before now. Deep Space Nine has been pretty consistently good since season three, and great since season five, but these last episodes of season six include some of the best of the series thus far:

Episode 18 “Inquisition” 

In today’s post 9-11 world, or even better the post-Snowden world, this episode seems especially pertinent. That it was written back in 1998 makes it even more impressive. This is a great example of the danger of unaccountability, especially in an atmosphere of warfare where a lot more seems justifiable. I expect to see more of this super-secret, off the books, spy organization in the future.

Episode 19 “In the Pale Moonlight” 

A further exploration of the way we use circumstances to justify going against our principles. In the future that Roddenberry envisioned, humanity had solved all its problems through their own efforts, ethics, and enlightenment. Here we see no matter how much we think we have evolved, we are all capable of doing evil and telling ourselves it is good.

Episode 20 “His Way” 

A lighter episode, but still interesting in the way that it uses a strangely insightful computer program to help people solve their relationship issues.

Episode 21 “The Reckoning” 

Along with exploring darker subjects like warfare and evil, DS9 continues its look into spiritual and religious themes. Here, we see that there are not only aspects of the Trek universe that can reasonably be called gods, there are evil spiritual beings as well. So, you can bet the war is going to incorporate the devil at some point. More interesting, is the way this story explores the way religious leaders can often be more about their own position and power than anything they claim to believe or teach.

Episode 22 “Valiant” 

Sometimes the way we train and distinguish the people we teach can lead to a lack of humility and a sense of destiny that is dangerously mistaken. The true best of the best are often those who can see and recognize their own weaknesses and limitations.

Episode 23 “Profit and Lace” 

Another comedic Ferengi episode, not quite as funny as previous ones of this type. However, the opening scene with Quark being shockingly (even for him) sexist and creepy is a good one for a story that will force the female perspective upon him.

Episode 24 “Time’s Orphan” 

This may be one of my least favorite episodes of the series. Not only is it a “time travel” story with all of the cheating that the audience sees coming a mile away, in the brief part of the episode before we see how they are going to “cheat” the story away, it is cruelly heartbreaking.

Episode 25 “The Sound of Her Voice” 

Similar to the earlier episode “His Way” this story demonstrates how helpful an outside perspective is in our daily lives and relationships.

Episode 26 “Tears of the Prophets” 

The “Empire Strikes Back” moment of DS9 and an appropriately dark cliff hanger. The war is taking on apocalyptic overtones, and that devil we saw in “The Reckoning” is indeed back. I can’t wait for season seven!

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