Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Season 7c)

Season 7b    Top 25

The final part of the final season of DS9 is dominated by an overarching storyline involving the war with the Dominion. We get a four-part story followed by a three-parter, and then a bridge episode leading into the two-part finale.

Episodes 17-20 “Penumbra”, “‘Till Death Do Us Part”, “Strange Bedfellows”, and “The Changing Face of Evil” 

The build-up of the “secondary” storyline here is fascinating. The religious aspect of the war is the focus, and what is amazing is that it is not just a political religious situation. There is a reality in the supernatural players being dealt with here. We have already seen that the Prophets, whether one recognizes their deity or not, are real, outside of the Trek reality, and powerful. They are gods for all practical purposes. We have also seen the demonic side of this religious belief as well as their very real existence.

When Sisko’s vision awakens the ever surfacing jealousy in Winn, she receives a vision as well. However, as sometimes happens in Biblical stories as well, she does not stop to question the source nor intent of her messengers. Having never seen the Prophets, she assumes that is who she has seen. Also, always seeking power, she assumes their promise of it is well intentioned. It is Winn’s sin of pride that drives her to join the enemy once she realizes what has happened. Like many afflicted with pride and a desire for power, she cannot do the exact thing she needs to do in order to repent of her sin. She claims to have learned her error, but is unwilling to place herself into a position to avoid her temptation. She wants to acknowledge her sin and partake of it too.

Episodes 21-23 “When it Rains…”, “Tacking into the Wind”, “Extreme Measures”

Again, NonModern is more interested in the “secondary” story. Although over the course of the episodes it shifts to being the main plot. We discover that the disease afflicting the Dominion is Star Fleet technology, created by the infamous Section 31. The moral implications that Bashir and O’Brien have to deal with are bountiful. How do they deal with the knowledge that their side is prepared to commit genocide? What about their friend who is infected, and even more, the vector of the disease? How far should we be willing to sacrifice our values in a fight against evils that deny those values? Is it really possible to fight fire with fire, or is compassion and good will a stronger force than violence and power?

Episode 24 “The Dogs of War” 

In this episode we see the Dominion alliance with Cardassia crumble to the point that we know the empire will be defeated from within. We also see an interesting secondary plot that documents the final, fundamental change in Ferengi society. A change that Quark fights because he sees it destroying the “greatness” of his worldview. In the end, he is shown to be short sighted.

Episode 25,26 “What You Leave Behind Parts 1&2” 

The resolution of the war feels quick if somewhat inevitable. But the real fight is conducted on a “spiritual” level. The final heart-touching moments between the characters we have been watching for seven years are truly moving.

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