the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Deep Space Nine’ Category

Yay for Deep Space Nine streaming on Netflix!  LOL, I guess it’s always been streaming on Netflix, I just didn’t realize it?  Something I appreciate about these older shows is the the older sound mixing technology, stay with me on this for a few sentences, ok?  You watch new stuff, and the people’s voices are a whisper, but the music and explosions blow you out the room. I’ve tried every setting on my sound bar, and the voices keep getting quieter and fuzzier and the sound effects keep getting louder.  I have ZERO patience for fucking with sound bar settings, actually, less than zero. The only solution I’ve come up with is to watch it with the subtitles on, so I can hear the characters whispering.  Older shows?  The sound technology is old enough that people speak at a normal volume, and the sound effects and music are also a normal volume. I can enjoy the show without having to spent 30 minutes fucking with the sound settings.  I still watch nearly everything with the subtitles on, but for a very different reason.

Anyway, let’s dish about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, season 4!  Time for some Klingons, politicking, diplomacy, and illegal use of cloaking devices! 

The Way of the Warrior (eps 1 and 2) –  Season 4 starts out with a political bang!  The Klingon Empire has convinced themselves that Cardassia has been taken over by the Founders, because of course no civilians could possibly oust the Obisidian Order without outside help. So they are going to invade Cardassia to expose the foreigners and also protect the Alpha Quandrant from the Dominion!  And before you know it, Deep Space Nine is crawling with Klingons, and everyone on the station  is increasingly nervous.  Worf comes aboard Deep Space Nine (Michael Dorn I love you so much!!!) as a sort of cultural ambassador between the Federation an the Klingons, and Worf himself is stuck between two worlds. He still hasn’t gotten over the loss of the Enterprise-D, he feels he has to tone down his Klingon-ness to be accepted by the Federation, and he feels that he can’t go home because too many Klingons view him as too human/gone soft.  Worf’s personal plight hits me right in the feels. Everyone wants Worf on their side because of who he is and what he knows, but he still feels the outsider.

The Klingons start to doubt their invasion plans after Sisko reminds them of the Federation-Klingon alliance they are about to jeopardize. Oh, and Sisko and Kasidy’s relationship is going so well!  So much happens in these two episodes!!  Technically, the Cardassians are the Federation’s enemies, or at least we aren’t in a treaty with them, so what obligation do we have, to warn them of a possible invasion by the Klingons?  But Sisko feels obligated to lower casualties if at all possible, so in a brilliant sneaky way, he manages to get the information to Gul Dukat.   The second part of this two-parter is solid action, space battles, high stakes diplomacy, and chases through space.  The Klingons are everywhere and harassing every ship they come across, Sisko is trying to get the remains of the Cardassian government out alive, and it becomes a game of how good is your cloaking device. Freakin’ fantastic season opener!

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Today, we’re gonna go 400 years in the future, to go to the 1950s. And on reflection, we’ll go  back in time another 2200 years or so,  and then jump to the present, and then back to the 1950s.


Ready for some time travel whiplash that would make Connie Willis proud?  Let’s go!


As Jean at Howling Frog Books is fond of saying, “what is January without a Star Trek story”?   Last year I blogged my way through season 3 of Deep Space Nine. I DO HAVE plans to watch season 4 (and hopefully 5!) this year, but in celebration of Vintage SciFi Month, I skipped ahead of season 6.  Episode 13, to be exact.  One of the most loved episodes of Deep Space Nine, “Far Beyond the Stars”. 

The story set up:  Captain Sisko is having a rough go. A good friend was killed when his ship was attacked near the Cardassian border, and Sisko is so distracted he can barely enjoy his father’s visit.  He starts seeing and hearing some strange things, and then technobabble happens, and then Sisko is standing in front of a newsstand in the 1950s, and he’s buying a copy of Galaxy Magazine.


It’s the early 1950s, and he’s not Ben Sisko.  He’s Benny Russell, and he’s a science fiction writer at a magazine.   His fellow writers are Maklin (not-O’Brien), Kay Eaton (not-Kira), Julius (not-Bashir), Rossoff (not-Quark), the editor is Pabst (not-Odo), and later Darlene (not-Dax) shows up as the new secretary (and she gets the Best. Line. Ever).   

Russell is trying to make it as a science fiction writer, while his fiance Cassie (not-Kasidy) is trying to convince him to run a restaurant with her, because it’s more stable work than writing. 


 One of my favorite parts of this episode was playing “recognize the voice”.   Nog,  Quark, Odo, and Worf. . .  with no make up.  Armin Shimmerman is criminally under rated.


Watching the episode was like watching a stage play, and I mean that as a compliment.  All my favorite characters sounded the same and mostly interacted with each other the same, but they dressed different, their jobs were different, their hairstyles were different, their passions and motivations were different.  And everyone was using typewriters! And I recognized many of the models! But the world is very, very different. The magazine wants to publish photos of the writers. Kay Eaton and Benny Russell are told to sleep in that day.


The pool of writers is given sketches as story prompts, and Russell takes a drawing of a three-pronged space station.  As he leaves the office that night, he’s harassed and threatened by a couple of cops, whose photos belong in the dictionary next to “racial profiling”. 


The image of the space station inspires Russell to create a story around a fiction space station called Deep Space Nine, captained by Benjamin Sisko, a Black man.  When he brings his manuscript to the magazine, his peers love the story.  Kay loves the strong female characters, and Darlene exclaims “There’s a worm in her belly! That’s disgusting!”. 

The Writer’s Room. Recognize anyone?


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What better time to close out Deep Space Nine season 3, than with the close of the calendar year?  And? there’s now a DS9 Rewatch page at the top with links to all my previous posts! neat!

(also, I have ulterior motives. There’s a very specific S4 episode that is a MUST WATCH during Vintage Scifi month!)

I zipped through the last 6 episodes of the season, so these are going to be fairly short episode summaries. Unless, you really do want to read 3000 some words of me talking about how much I love Avery Brooks? We ah, can totally do that!


The Die is Cast (ep 21) – This is part two of “Improbable Cause”. Odo and Garak are embroiled with Enebran Tain, the previous leader of the Obsidian Order. Tain has welcomed Garak back with open arms and imprisoned Odo. In the interest of time, let’s get right to the scene that this episode revolves around. Tain needs information out of Odo about the location of the Founders, and Garak is going to get the information out of him, one way or another: through torture. At first, Odo laughs off Garak’s attemps, because he doesn’t feel pain or hunger the way humanoids do. So Garak brings in a machine that stops Odo’s ability to change into a liquid state, and he just sits there and waits. How long can a shape shifter go, without reverting back to a liquid state to rest? No one knows. I kept expecting this scene to give me Babylon 5 Londo torturing G’kar vibes, but Garak and Odo are not and never have been friends, so it was more a Sand dan Glokta scene. Odo stuck it out, and what he did reveal to Garak wasn’t what Garak expected. And me? I feel betrayed by Garak, even though I should have seen that betrayal coming right from day one. Garak has the ability to be nice, but he is a horrible human being. I don’t know how to feel about him, I feel very betrayed. I know it was make up and special effects, but I can’t bear to put up an image of Odo being tortured, so here’s a pic of the two of them, pre-torture. I’m a sensitive soul, ok?

Odo, you have no idea what’s coming, do you?

There is a whole ton more big plot stuff that happens in this episode – Enebran Tain teaming up with the Romulans, their fleet going through the wormhole to attack the Founder’s homeworld, the Jem’Hadar defending the planet, Sisko bringing the Defiant in to try to rescue Odo, and a fantastic twist/betrayal that I didn’t see coming. The closing scene of the episode, Garak apologizes to Odo, and the two of them seem to reconcile. Well, I don’t feel apologized to. I’m still pissed at Garak, on behalf of Odo.

Explorers (ep 22) – A much needed light-hearted episode after the heaviness of The Die is Cast! Sisko has learned of the blue prints of an ancient Bajoran light-ship, that supposedly used solar sails to fly from Bajor all the way to Cardassia. Needing a creative outlet, Sisko decides to build the ship, and hopes that Jake will go along with him on their adventure. At first, Jake is reluctant to go, but eventually agrees to the trip. Meanwhile, Bashir is intensely nervous, because he’s about to come face to face with Dr. Elizabeth Lense, who was first in their class. Bashir would have been valedictorian if it hadn’t been for that one wrong test answer! He both loves his assignment on DS9, and is also jealous / resentful of Dr Lense’s opportunities.

is that a gorgeous ship OR WHAT

Sisko builds the light-ship, and O’Brien keeps telling him this hunk of junk will never be spaceworthy. It looks like a beautiful outer space sailboat, in my opinion! Sisko is insistent on flying the light-ship, and if they run into trouble they can just beam back to the station, or someone can come get them. And off they go! It’s a beautitful scene to watch the sails unfurl, and to see Sisko and Jake finally have some uninterrupted family time. Jake has news for his father! He’s been accepted into a college level writing program! But if he goes, he worries his father will be all alone. And yes, the light-ship runs into problems, just like the ancient Bajorans likely ran into. They get caught in some kind of techno-babble storm, lose their communications and navigation array, and are welcomed into Cardassian space. The Cardassians are forced to admit that ancient Bajorans were technically savvy enough to fly on solar sails to Cardassian space! And Bashir does meet with Dr. Lense. She’s proud of what she does, but also kinda bored, and she’s a bit jealous of him, since he had the opportunity to work directly with epidemiology on Bajor, and truly help save lives. I hope we see Dr. Lense again, she seemed to be a positive influence on Bashir’s recent downiness.

Family Business (ep 23) – hoo boy is this episode problematic! An auditor shows up at Quark’s bar, says he’s in deep shit for something his mom did, and Quark better financially clean this up, right now. What did his mom do, that was so terrible? She ran a business and made money, and in the Ferengi culture, it is illegal for women to have money, own property, own businesses, and wow does it get worse. Quark and Rom head off to the homeworld, to knock some sense into their mother, Ishka. What greets them is horror upon horror, not only is Ishka speaking directly to a man she’s not related to (the auditor), but she has the gall to wear clothes. Yes! In Ferengi culture, women do not wear clothing. Or, I assume, leave the house? But, thanks to computers and her brain for business, Ishka has managed to amass a small fortune. And as punishment for her crime, Quark has to pay back all the profits she earned. There’s explanation and “it’s our culture, we were raised this way”, and that Ishka has a great head for business, but wow, I couldn’t get past the problematic-ness. In later seasons, Ishka literally saves the Ferengi economy, but will she get any respect at all for it? I guess we’ll see.

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How many weeks now have I been saying I owe you a DS9 blog post? yeah, it’s been more weeks can I care to admit.  wanna see my previous DS9 posts? here you go.

I watched these episodes at least a week ago. Why did it take me so long to blog about them? It’s weird, while I was watching 3 out of 4 of these episodes, they felt like filler. (Why couldn’t it just have been four hours of Sisko and Jennifer??) And then as time passed, I was like “hey, those were pretty okay, if not actually pretty decent episodes!” yeah, some of them were total filler, but that doesn’t mean they sucked. And not every episode of Deep Space Nine is a gem you know.

Visionary (ep 17) – yay, an O’Brien episode! He’s just a ton of fun! Due to technobabble that caused minor radiation poisoning, O’Brien finds himself randomly jumping 6 hours into the future, and once he figures out what’s happening, he realizes he can jump to the future, talk to his future self, and jump back to the past and remember the conversation. The b-plot is that there are Romulan negotiators on board, to get records from the Defiant, since they gave us the cloaking device for that ship. Something fishy is going on with them, and Kira really should never be left alone with Romulans. best line of the episode is Kira screeching “I’m always diplomatic!”. There’s a c-plot line about someone who has really excellent transporter skills transporting a device behind a panel in the wall. I want to know more about THAT! Imagine the hijinks! Quark could transport drinks away from people’s tables, Odo could transport wayward teenagers directly to the holding cells, no one would have to walk to someone else’s quarters for a tryst, you could just transport there. . . there’s so much potential here! Oh, anyway.

When will then be now? Soon.

There is a TON going on in this episode, what with Romulans and Kira looking like an idiot (poor Kira, always the bridesmaid), and Klingons in the brig, and games of darts, and Odo being his wonderfully paranoid self. O’Brien jumps into the future to see that the station explodes, and he figures out what needs to be done to save the station. Have you ever played Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? This felt a little like that – go into the future to see what’s going to happen, then come back to the present to change the future to have a better outcome. To save the station, he has to take a potentially fatal dose of radiation, and jump to the future. He does, and does, and it was very creepy to see him showing the signs of radiation poisoning. I won’t spoil the end, but the station doesn’t blow up, O’Brien lives to be awesome another day, there is a ton of technobabble and “maybe if we connect this thing to that other thing and throw some stuff-waves through it . . . it just might work!” and of course it does, and the episode comes to a neat close. Pretty intense for a filler episode, actually!

That last time that O’Brien goes into the future, he sees something come through the wormhole, and the look on his face is mixed shock/terror. What did he see????

Distant Voices (ep 18) – Bashir is turning 30, and he’s more than a little cranky about the inevitable march towards middle age. OK, so when do we find out (or is it in an earlier season that I skipped) why a 20-something doctor who could have any job he wanted, asked to be sent out to the frontier? What was he running away from? Anyway, a just-as-cranky alien approaches Bashir and demands to buy bio-mimetic gel, which is a super controlled medical substance, because you can do all sorts of creepy genetic shit with it, like cloning and make bio-explosives (bio-explosives sounds like something out of a Kameron Hurley book. When she does it, it’s cool. When Star Trek does it, it’s illegal) Of course, Bashir says no, so the alien tries to steal some from the infirmary and when caught by Bashir, the alien taser’s him. Bashir wakes up on the floor, to find the station nearly empty, save for Quark, Garak, Dax, Kira, O’Brien and Odo, an the creepy alien who says he’s trying to kill Bashir and everyone else. Nearly everyone is acting incredibly strange, and Bashir’s hair keeps turning greyer, and then silver. He’s aging at a rapid rate.

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I watched these episodes more than a week ago, and it’s taken me forever to write something up about them. You forgive me, right?


Anyway, let’s get further into Season 3!


Episode 9,  Defiant, is about 3 movies worth of action and planning and subterfuge crammed into a 45 minute episode.  The episode starts off as this light hearted flirty thing, and then before you know it, Sisko is teaming up with the Cardassians and learning that Gul Dukat is a dad too, and I’m getting ahead of myself!


Kira is enjoying some time off the clock, when who should start flirting her up at Quarks, but Will Riker! (I can’t help but refer to him as the slut of the Alpha Quadrant). He’s stopped off at DS9 on his way to Risa, because of course he has. He flirts up Kira, and before you can say Gamma Quadrant, the two flirty birds are alone on the Defiant.  I kinda thought something fishy was going on, but I didn’t want to harsh on Kira’s squee, since for ONCE someone is giving her attention that isn’t work/career related. But, um, doesn’t she have a boyfriend on Bajor? And then before you know it, Riker has pulled a phaser on her, stunned her, and beamed his buddies on board to steal the Defiant.

What, what? Riker, a command officer, stealing the Defiant???  Ah, I knew something was fishy! This isn’t Riker, the slut of the galaxy, this is his transporter error twin, who he left behind!  This less-slutty Riker wants to make a name for himself, he want to be someone, damnit! So joined the Maquis and is going to give them the Defiant, the only Starfleet ship with a cloaking device.


And now it’s up to Sisko to tell the Cardassians “oh, so you know my super awesome ship that can cloak, and you can’t track us? Yeah, um, some asshole stole it, we’re pretty sure he’s on his way to your shipyards to blow them up. Let me  help you locate the Defiant, let’s try not to blow it up, m’kay?”  Ok, so it doesn’t go exactly like that, but the rest of the episode is a super tense showdown between Sisko, who doesn’t want to give up any more information than he has to,  Gul Dukat, who doesn’t want to give up any more information than he has to, and Korinas (an Obsidian Order agent), who doesn’t want to give up anything she knows. SO TENSE!!! Goes without saying one wrong move could start a whole new interstellar war!


The opening scenes of this episode were pretty cheesy, but those scenes with Sisko, Dukat, and Korinas were fantastic!  Apparently I wasn’t alone, there is some hollywood rumors that the only person who liked other-Riker was Jonathan Frakes. Everyone else had zero interest in ever hearing about other-Riker again.

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And my Deep Space Nine watch-a-thon continues!  Such comfort TV!


I’m even having fun with the filler episodes. Because me, I’m reading way, way too much into the throw away scenes.  Who knew that Deep Space Nine was such a cornucopia of writing prompts, and so many filler scenes that actually have buckets of depth?


Here’s the next four episodes of Season 3. I didn’t think to snap some pictures while I was watching, so all photos were stolen of the Memory Alpha Wiki for Deep Space Nine.


Second Skin (S3 Ep5) – If you really love Nana Visitor, this is the episode for you!   Kira gets some confusing communications, someone wants to talk to her about a prison that she was never at, but the records clearly show she was there. How could she be at the prison, but also with her rebellion friends at the same time?   Kira gets kidnapped, and wakes up in a strange room, surrounded by Cardassians.


When she looks in the mirror, she sees an impossibility – that she now a Cardassian.  Is it a trick? A hallucination?  I’m sure her cosmetics are supposed to be the height of Cardassian fashion, but wow, not a good look. Her captors explain that she was a Cardassian special agent, who volunteered to undergo some kind of memory technobabble to infiltrate the Bajoran rebellion. And isn’t it wonderful, that they’ve retrieved her and brought her home? Her memories of her Cardassian life should resurface anytime now!  Kira has become something she abhors.  There are tons of psychological tricks played on Kira to get her to doubt that she is Bajoran.  This could be a Black Mirror episode?!

Kira and her “dad”

She’s is stuck in this Cardassian house, with her “dad”.  He tries to comfort her because that’s what dad’s do, but he also respects her enough to give her space and time, because that’s also what dad’s do.  It’s got to be weird for Kira, to have faith in the “the only good Cardassian is a dead Cardassian”, but then she meets this middle aged guy who is a dad. Who cares about his daughter.  This guy, who knows that his daughter doesn’t have to agree with him on everything, and that he loves her, so it doesn’t matter that they have disagreements. Basically, he’s the perfect dad. Kira’s got to reconcile the fact that Cardassians have fathers, and those fathers are sometimes okay people.    The whole big thing that’s going on?  Yeah, it’s not about Kira, it’s about the dad.  I feel so bad for dad!


And then . . .   Garak to the rescue!


The Abandoned (S3 Ep6) – 16 year old Jake is dating a 20 year old Dabo girl, and since Sisko isn’t sure how he feels about that, so he hosts the two lovebirds for dinner. It’s funny, me calling them “love birds”, because they never do anything more than hold hands and kiss with their noses (nose kisses are THE cutest).  Sisko can’t believe his son is growing up so quickly, he misses taking care of a child.


Meanwhile,  Quark purchased some salvage sight unseen.  The salvage is mostly junk, except for an incubator thing with a baby inside it!!  Uh, so it’s a good thing he bought this salvage, otherwise the baby might have died!


The humanoid baby goes to sickbay, where no one can figure out it’s race or planet or origin. The child very, very quickly grows into an adolescent, and my first thought was “hey, when this kid grows into a teenager next week, he can be a new friend for Jake!”.   Well, he does grow into a teenager a few days later, and now it’s obvious where he’s from – this is a young Gem Hadar, the Gamma Quandrant soldiers of the Dominion! And now he’s loose on the station! And oh by the way, the Gem Hadar are enslaved by the Dominion through a genetic modification causing an addiction to a enzyme only the Dominion can supply. The Dominion created biological slaves who could never rebel.

this kid has some hella awesome hair!

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.