Saturday, September 27, 2014

Star Trek DS9 (Season 7a)


Season 6b -- "Once More Unto the Breach"

DS9 has hit its full stride going into season seven. We have already seen the huge stakes that face the Federation and our crew, as the war has taken one of the main characters, there from the start. Not only is the war a concern, but the religious side of the political intrigue reached a peak as well at the end of season six, with the “demonic,” evil side of Bajoran religion proving to be real. Its release trigger the permanent collapse of the worm hole, trapping the extra-dimensional aliens known as the Prophets.

All the religious/faith (and war) issues in DS9 are fascinating, not because they communicate something deeper in and of themselves (the religious ideas aren’t any more interesting or valid than any mythology) but because in them Deep Space Nine pushes against the prevailing Secular Humanism inherent to Star Trek. This is not a perfect universe, attained through the tenants of SH. The future is just as fallen, evil, and full of unprovable beliefs as the present.

Episodes 1,2 “Image in the Sand” and “Shadows and Symbols”

Sisko has left the station and returned to Earth to rediscover his focus. His role in the war is really contingent on his role as the emissary, and with the prophets gone, he does not know what to do next. He has a vision of a woman, who turns out to be his real mother. He travels to the planet of his vision and discovers an until-then-unknown orb. To open it, though, he has an intense battle of faith, trying to accept his unbelievable reality when held up to a much more mundane, but believable alternative. When he overcomes and it is opened it reconfigures the wormhole. He then learns that his real mother was one of the prophet aliens, explaining his emissary role and ability.

Episode 3 “Afterimage”

Dax has returned in a new host, Ezri, and she struggles to find he place amidst the friends/strangers. Ezri was not a candidate for assimilation, and she was unprepared for the joined life. At the same time, Worf really struggles to accept her, understandably. However, his biggest struggle is a faith issue, as he fought an epic battle to “earn” his wife a place in Klingon heaven.

Episode 4 “Take Me Out to the Holo-Suite”

Sisko takes on a challenge from a Vulcan captain to play a baseball game. The motivations go all the way back to academy days when Sisko lost a wrestling match to the smug, prejudiced Vulcan. Along the way Sisko learns truths about superiority, teamwork, and the strength of family and friends that outweighs individual abilities and victories.

Episode 5 “Chrysalis”

The previous season’s genetically altered humans make an appearance, when they ask Bashir to help heal Sabrina’s catatonic state. Bashir does with their help, and then falls in love with her, or the idea of helping her explore the new life he has given her. Predictably, she is overwhelmed, scared and unsure of how to deal with the new feelings. Needless to say, she does not join the cast.

Episode 6 “Treachery, Faith, and the Great River”

Faith and religion are again at the center in this episode, in both subplots. Odo encounters a defecting Weyoun (the leader of the dominion forces). It turns out to be merely one in a chain of Weyoun clones, and the following model(#7) is activated and chasing the defector down. Weyoun 6 is motivated by his devotion to Odo as a god, and his faith is explored as they attempt, and ultimately fail to get away. Meanwhile, the Ferengi concept of the “Great Material Continuim” is explored. A type of ecological, financial, all-encompassing Balance, it prompts Nog to engage in a vastly complex trading scheme to get O’Brien something he urgently needs. Amazingly, it pays off.

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