Lynch's Spoiler Review, Part I: DS9 Season 3

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Timothy W. Lynch

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Aug 1, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/1/95
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WARNING: This article has spoilers for the third season (and
seasons before) of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". Proceed at your
own risk.

Well, at long last, here's the season-end review as promised. (I'd
give my usual apologies and excuses for the delay -- a very busy
month, the fact that I re-watch the episodes before writing this, etc. --
but you probably know them better than I do at this point.) The
format should look pretty familiar, too; first I'll have some capsule
notes about each episode and then some general remarks. So, on we
go:

I. Season 3, Episode by Episode |
----------------------------------------+

"The Search, Part I"
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe (story); Ronald
D. Moore (teleplay)
Directed by: Kim Friedman
Initial rating: 6.5
Quotables:
"When did I start thinking of this ... Cardassian monstrosity ... as
home?"
"Can I speak freely? [nod] What the HELL is wrong with Starfleet?"
"I'm your friend -- you know, the one who talks to you when _she_
needs help."

"Big changes" were spoken of during the break between seasons, and
this episode certainly tried to show off many of them. And many of
them worked, at least in concept -- the Defiant seemed a reasonable
reaction to both the Borg and the Dominion, the Federation crackdown
on Odo was long in coming (if quickly abandoned), and the sense of
*wonder* regarding Odo finding his home was well shown.
However, many other elements seemed entirely too forced to work:
Odo's hostility was overdone, things often came off totally
unexplained (such as Odo's "homing instinct"), and regular characters
were shown to be somewhat inept on several occasions, the primary
one being the Jem'Hadar assault. In a vacuum, part 1 of "The
Search" works -- but not without qualms.

Final rating: 6.5.


"The Search, Part II"
Written by: Behr & Wolfe (story); Ira Steven Behr (teleplay)
Directed by: Jonathan Frakes
Initial rating: 4.
Quotables: "I don't believe it; I'm talking to a tree."
"... the only explanation I can find it that our leaders have simply gone
_insane_." [Garak]
"It's a little foolish to worry about your careers at a time like this,
when there's a good chance we're all about to be killed."
[Garak again; gotta love this guy]

"The Search, Part II", on the other hand, was the first episode to
really drive home my suspicions that the "improvements" touted for
the season were not likely to pan out. About the only true positive in
this episode was Rene Auberjonois, who did a superb job driving
home both Odo's exhilaration at finally being able to start
understanding himself and his abilities and Odo's eventual shock at
finding out that his people ran the Dominion. Other than that, we had
a lot of Strange Plot Moves (such as the Romulan exclusion from the
peace talks for no reason and the total lack of explanation of how Odo
and Kira escaped from the Defiant the previous episode), and a non-
ending ending that proved one of the bigger cheats of our time.
(Illusions have their uses; this wasn't one of them.) All in all, not an
impressive outing.

Final rating: 3.5.


"The House of Quark"
Written by: Tom Benko (story); Ronald D. Moore (teleplay)
Directed by: Les Landau
Initial rating: 6
Quotables: "You can't ask her to turn a *profession* into a hobby."

"The House of Quark" was the first of three "all Quark, all the time"
comedy episodes of the season. It was probably the best of the lot,
too; unfortunately, that's more an indictment of the other two than
high praise for this one. The subplot around the O'Briens was
reasonable enough, and the initial backdrop of gloom inspired by the
Dominion threat was a good idea as well. Unfortunately, most of the
Quark-centered plot didn't do much for me. The single best moment
the episode had was watching Klingons look on in befuddlement as
Quark tried to explain high finance to them -- unfortunately, a few
good moments here and there do not a wonderful episode make.

Final rating: 5.5.


"Equilibrium"
Written by: Christopher Teague (story); Rene Echevarria (teleplay)
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Initial rating: 9
Quotables:
"Beets are a very misunderstood vegetable." [Sisko showing he has
too much time on his hands...]
"I don't need _therapy_, Julian; I need answers."
"Can I ask what you're doing?" "Yes."

"Equilibrium" drew a lot of fire when it first aired for being "boring".
I'm not really sure why. Yes, bits of it were occasionally overplayed
or sluggish; and yes, the use of the Defiant for a joyride to the Trill
homeworld jumps out as a bad strategic move. However, the basic
concept of Dax suppressing memories of a host is a very interesting
one, Dax's obsession was well shown, the music motif was put to
good use, Sisko and Bashir got to have useful detective work for a
change, and the hallucination sequences themselves were top-notch.
This was probably the first really good episode of the season.

Final rating: 8.5.


"Second Skin"
Written by: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by: Les Landau
Initial rating: 5
Quotables:
"Personally, I think Cardassia could use a few more *artists*."
"Commander, this is _extortion_." "Mmm ... yes it is."
"Don't worry, he's on our side ... I think."
...and, of course, Garak's immortal "Major, I don't think I've ever
seen you looking so _ravishing_."

I'm not sure why I gave "Second Skin" such a low rating initially;
must've been in a bad mood that week. The show certainly did have
some significant flaws, the use of the Defiant and Garak's way-too-
strong abilities being among them. However, Nana Visitor and
Andrew Robinson were both quite good, the plot against Ghemor was
befitting the Order in many ways, and a lot of the Entek/Ghemor
interplay was well worth the hour. I still wouldn't call "Second Skin"
a standout, but it was certainly a good deal better than I initially
thought.

Final rating: 7.


"The Abandoned"
Written by: D. Thomas Maio & Steve Warnek
Directed by: Avery Brooks
Initial rating: 5
Quotables:
"Sixteen years old and dating a Dabo girl? Godspeed, Jake."
"So he'll be a *well-treated* specimen."
"Isn't there anything else you care about [besides killing]?" "I don't
think so."

"The Abandoned" strikes me as one of those shows that must have
sounded good as a premise, but fell apart in the actual doing. I like
the idea of the Jem'Hadar soldier wanting to *belong* to his people so
badly that nothing else matters, and Odo's inclination to offer him
other choices is certainly an understandable one. However, a far
better approach could have been taken than this subtle-as-a-
sledgehammer one, Bumper Robinson really underwhelmed me as the
Jem'Hadar soldier, and Odo had a good deal of foolishness in his
methods that no one ever seemed to notice.

[As an intriguing aside -- so far as I can remember, the
Jake/Marta/Sisko dinner conversation is the first time that Jake is
mentioned as a writer. It's interesting to see the genesis of that
particular progression.]

Final rating: 5.5.


"Civil Defense"
Written by: Mike Krohn
Directed by: Reza Badiyi
Initial rating: 9
Quotables:
"You know, I never knew how much this man's voice _annoyed_
me." [Sisko, on Dukat]
"-- which reminds me, those pants you wanted altered are ready to be
picked up." [Garak, reacting to Bashir's "tailor" gibe]
and a pair of absolute gems from Dukat:
"Let me guess; someone tried to duplicate my access code, hm?"
and "Garak groveling in a corner; this alone makes my trip
worthwhile."

"Civil Defense" is comic-book DS9, really -- there's not a whole lot of
depth to it, Dukat does everything but twirl his nonexistent mustache
early on, and the ending's way too sudden. However, it's *good*
comic-book DS9; the threat is plausible and builds gradually,
characters react intelligently, and there's more excellent dialogue in
this one episode than in the six prior to it in the season combined.
Dukat getting caught in his own trap stands up there as one of the best
"ohhhhhhh shit; this is bad" moments in the series so far.

Final rating: 8.5.


"Meridian"
Written by: Hilary Bader and Evan Carlos Somers (story); Mark
Gehred O'Connell (teleplay)
Directed by: Jonathan Frakes
Initial rating: 3
Quotables: "I don't know what to say." "That's a first."
"I just need some time ... just sixty years or so."

The less said about "Meridian", on the other hand, the better. The
best element it had to offer was one of the rare emotional Sisko/Dax
interchanges, which worked well; and the fact that O'Brien's magic-
tech solution *didn't* work in the end was also well appreciated.
However, we were faced with dialogue about counting spots on one
hand, and a horrid plot about Kira's stalker "friend" on the other --
complete with reams of technobabble to cement the edges. This one
was pretty appalling.

Final rating: 2.5.


"Defiant"
Written by: Ronald D. Moore
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Initial rating: 9.5
Quotables:
"At least two of these items must be used and _fully_ enjoyed before
you leave this facility."
"This is a very entertaining story ... but why am I listening to it?"
"I only wish _we_ had someone with such keen tactical instincts."
[Korinas, slapping Dukat down]
and another winner from Dukat: " -- but someone has to pay for
what's happened here, and I don't want that someone to be
ME."

"Defiant" was another comic-book DS9 story, albeit one with more
depth. And although it did have a few problems, the "let's-have-
Riker-bag-a-babe" Kira romance and the whiplash-style sudden
ending being in the forefront, it was similar to "Civil Defense" in that
it was a lot of good fun. Tom Riker did a good job keeping his
identity a secret while on the station, Tricia O'Neil did a beautifully
eerie job as Korinas, the terrorist/hero dichotomy was used well, and
in the Obsidian Order fleet we also had some early setup for the Garak
two-parter to be used later. All in all, this one's still a winner.

Final rating: 8.


"Fascination"
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & James Crocker (story); Philip
LaZebnik (teleplay)
Directed by: Avery Brooks
Initial rating: 2.5
Quotables: Not surprisingly, all of them are from the O'Brien plot.
"Chief?" "Major. ... Keiko." "Bareil."
"You're right; I'm an idiot."
Bashir & O'Brien: "How many games of racquetball have we played
in the last two months?" "I don't know ... 15, maybe 20?"
"Try 70; I've been keeping track of that, too. And you know
what all those games have proved to me? That I'm a poor
substitute for your WIFE." "I coulda told you that 60 games
ago."

The O'Brien plot worked. The rest was appalling. I've no wish to
speak of the matter again.

Final rating: 2.


"Past Tense, Part I"
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe (story); Robert
Hewitt Wolfe (teleplay)
Directed by: Reza Badiyi
Initial rating: 10
Quotables:
"Causing people to suffer because you hate them ... is terrible. But
causing people to suffer because you have forgotten how to
*care* -- that's really hard to understand."
"Gimmes -- no sense of fun."
and Brooks's growling "The name is Bell. *Gabriel* Bell."

Okay, so this one didn't age well. The technobabble was both
unnecessary and godawful, and the temporal "logic" has some glaring
flaws which hurt repeat looks. But I still happen to like this one quite
a bit: the message, although incredibly blunt, is conveyed *well*
through a very plausible near-future; Dax is written intelligently in an
all-too-rare happenstance; and Sisko and Bashir are also well
characterized. This was a case where a very strong presentation did
quite a bit to shore up a story which bears little scrutiny.

Final rating: 8.


"Past Tense, Part II"
Written by: Behr & Wolfe (story); Ira Steven Behr & Rene Echevarria
(teleplay)
Directed by: Jonathan Frakes
Initial rating: 5
Quotables:
"Personally, I'm thinkin' Tasmania."
"There are ten thousand people living in here." "Well, let them get
their own hostages!"
and "I *really* think we should kill this guy."

Part II of "Past Tense", as when it originally aired, bore the brunt of
dealing with all the rotten logic set up in part I. There were some
good lines (as noted above), and Avery Brooks was tremendous as a
desperate, driven Sisko-as-Bell. However, we're meant to believe
that all the changes created in an effort to preserve *one* particular
change are totally insignificant, which I can't believe; the O'Brien/Kira
Temporal Tour was an example of people not knowing how to
conduct a search; and the ending scene was even more bludgeoning
than the message in part I -- too much so for my taste. There are some
moments here and there in the episode worth watching, but not really
enough.

Final rating: 4.


"Life Support"
Written by: Christian Ford & Roger Soffer (story); Ronald D. Moore
(teleplay)
Directed by: Reza Badiyi
Initial rating: 3
Quotables:
"although I'm afraid I might have an unfair advantage." "You mean,
playing against a dead man?" [Kira and Bareil on springball]
"I'm beginning to dislike seeing that look on your face, Doctor."
and Jake's "Great. So we both disgust each other."

I owe the DS9 staff an apology: Bareil's death has *not* been used to
get Kira and Odo together, despite my and many others' fears, and I
feel sorry to have jumped to that conclusion. However, all that does
is make this a bad episode without context rather than a bad episode
being put to worse use. Winn is still extremely mischaracterized, Nog
is still unpleasant in the extreme (and the "message" of that plot still
strikes me as unsound), Bashir is still doing a masterful job of
ignoring the very Hippocratic oath he took when he first began his
medical career, and this is all *still* for the sake of a treaty that is both
unlikely given the circumstances and pushed way behind the sidelines.
Thanks, but no thanks.

Final rating: 2.5.


"Heart of Stone"
Written by: Behr & Wolfe
Directed by: Alexander Singer
Initial rating: 6
Quotables:
"Everything that goes wrong around here is your fault; it's in your
contract."
"If it helps any, he's the one who does all the singing." [Odo,
discussing kayaking]
"After all, we've been in worse situations than this one and come out
all right." "Name three."

"Heart of Stone" was another mixed bag. When it first aired, I
intensely disliked the Nog-in-Starfleet side plot and liked bits of the
Odo/Kira plot. Now, the Nog stuff has become more palatable with
time -- although Nog himself is still annoying on occasion, the story
itself works fairly well, and I'm prepared to reserve judgment on how
well his career's going to turn out -- but the Odo/Kira work has aged
less well. The Changeling subterfuge is good, but there are shots of
Kira alone and worried which undercut it; and there are many
questions about specific actions the Changeling took (such as the fake
"Maquis" phaser fire -- why do it?) which make things implausible.
Add that to the Kira/Odo declarations of love, fake or otherwise, and
you have something just as mixed as before.

Final rating: 6.


"Destiny"
Written by: David S. Cohen & Martin A. Winer
Directed by: Les Landau
Initial rating: 9
Quotables:
"It's hard to work for someone who's a religious icon."
"I'm sorry, Major -- but where you see a Sword of Stars, I see a
comet; where you see vipers, I see three scientists; and where
you see the Emissary, I see a Starfleet officer."

Much, much better; in fact, "Destiny" is the first DS9 episode of the
season to hold up as truly excellent after repeat viewings. (Given that
it's in the second half of the season, that's a depressing notion.)
Sure, there are a few glitches, be they technical (the comet's tail and
the gravity-well issues) or otherwise (the O'Brien/Gilora stuff, for
instance, which seemed a bit unneeded). However, the story itself is
one that richly deserved the telling, as it's time we dealt with Sisko's
status in the eyes of the more religious Bajorans, and this sort of
cultural/religious/political confrontation is precisely the sort of thing
that DS9 has done a good job of from the very start. Sisko and Kira
felt more real to me here than in virtually all of the season up to that
point; I'm glad it wasn't the last time.

[An aside: it's interesting to notice from here that Cardassian naming
conventions are the same as Bajoran ones; the family name first.]

Final rating: 9.5.


"Prophet Motive"
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by: Rene Auberjonois
Initial rating: 4
Quotables:
"April Wade is 106; the last time she was nominated, people said it
was *premature*!"
Put my name up for nomination in seventy years and I promise you I
will get _very_ excited."
"You'd rather play a game of racquetball?" "Chief, since Keiko's
been on Bajor we've played 106 games of racquetball."
"Right. So throw a dart."
Rom: "He [the Nagus] says I'm *malleable*."
"But I bet there are doctors all over the Federation saying 'Julian
Bashir? Who the hell is HE?'" "<thwud of a dart missing>"

Aside from the very personal revelation to me that Rom is the Ferengi
reincarnation of the old Warner Brothers cartoon dog that went
hunting with Elmer Fudd on occasion, the Ferengi side of this episode
really didn't have much going for it. :-) I enjoyed most of the "Bashir
nominated for the Carrington Award" B-plot, but between the
overexposure of the Nagus, some meaningless visions, and the
relegation of the Prophets to the straight-man role in a Ferengi story,
this needed some serious work.

Final rating: 4.


"Visionary"
Written by: Ethan H. Calk (story); John Shirley (teleplay)
Directed by: Reza Badiyi
Initial rating: 9.5
Quotables:
"If all you can hallucinate about is Quark's maintenance problems,
you have a sadly deficient fantasy life."
Kira's "I'm *always* diplomatic."
"Well, it could've been worse. It could've been ME." [Bashir, on
O'Brien seeing himself dead]
"Commander ... there is no careful way to question a Klingon."
and the immortal "I HATE temporal mechanics!"

"Visionary" was the second show of the season to stay excellent
months later, and also the second excellent show in three weeks: a
promising trend. What glitches there were -- Odo tiptoeing out of
character to boast, slightly unconvincing Romulans, and the like --
were far outweighed by the strengths of the show. The concept of
O'Brien time-jumping was an intriguing and well-exploited one (even
given the technobabble), Dax was given a rare dose of intelligence, the
problems all stemmed from a single source, and all in all we had a
nicely directed mystery. As mysteries go, this wasn't last season's
"Necessary Evil", but it was quite good nonetheless.

Final rating: 9.5.


"Distant Voices"
Written by: Joe Menosky (story); Behr & Wolfe (teleplay)
Directed by: Alexander Singer
Initial rating: 4.5
Quotables: [all but one are Garak -- imagine that...]
"the challenge [of Cardassian mysteries] is determining exactly WHO
is guilty of WHAT."
"I'm part of you, remember? I know what you know. Well, maybe a
little more, hm?"
"Just doing my job." "No, you're not -- you're doing MY job."
"To think, after all this time, all our lunches together, you *still* don't
trust me. There's hope for you yet, doctor."

"Distant Voices" was one of those shows that had fairly good acting
and good directing -- but all of it wrapping around a story both tired
and hole-ridden. Given that this was Yet Another Internal "Mind"
Show [tm], the conceit of having only Bashir's associates on DS9
appearing was forced. What's more, though, the loss of Bashir's
"representations" one by one seemed to have no apparent effect on
Bashir himself, and we had reams of technobabble and exposition.
Add that to Bashir's five-minute feel-good therapy at his final
confrontation with the Lethian, and you get a story better left alone.
It's a tribute to Siddig el Fadil and the rest of the cast that this show
ended up as "neutral" as it did.

Final rating: 5.


"Through the Looking Glass"
Written by: Behr & Wolfe
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Initial rating: 8
Quotables:
"The only reason I can think of to keep you alive is to infuriate
Garak." "What better reason do you NEED?"
"Now what?" "I'll think of something."
"Open the blast doors!" [no, wait, that was something else ... never
mind]

I called "Civil Defense" comic-book DS9 earlier; this is another one.
Here, though, that's a great pity, as "Crossover" suggested that
mirror-universe stories could be done with some depth and some
emotional heft. Here, we got a Sisko-plays-pirate fantasy: a cute one,
admittedly, but really not much else. The best twist in the show was
Rom's "double agent" bluff, which worked like a charm both
internally and externally, and the mirror-O'Brien came closest to
displaying the depth he had in the previous visit to that universe.
Apart from that, though, there were a lot of coincidences and some
shoddy work with other mirror-characters such as Kira. "Through the
Looking Glass" was still fun, but it's fun that doesn't age as well as
previous installments.

[Another aside: Sisko grew his beard shortly after this episode.
Could it be argued that he was trying to distance himself from his
counterpart? Just some food for thought.]

Final rating: 6.5.


"Improbable Cause"
Written by: Robert Lederman & David R. Long (story); Rene
Echevarria (teleplay)
Directed by: Avery Brooks
Initial rating: 10
Quotables: Basically the whole damned show; watch it yourself. :-)

I said at the start of the regular review of this one, "Yes. Like that.
More, please." It's still true. Everything, from writing to acting to
direction to music to effects to anything you'd care to name, came
together here. I can't say much else without going on forever, so I'll
refrain.

Final rating: 10.


"The Die Is Cast"
Written by: Ronald D. Moore
Directed by: David Livingston
Initial rating: 9.5
Quotables: Again, quite a few, but easier to list this time. I'll stick to
the absolute musts.
"No wonder the Romulans can't conquer the galaxy; no one can
stomach their cuisine!"
"You don't have to do this." "Yes I do -- and I think we both know
that you won't trust me *until* I do."
"I make it a policy to never question the word of anyone who wears
that uniform. Don't make me change that policy."
"I'm afraid the fault, dear Tain, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."
"...and I doubt that either of them [the Federation and the Klingons]
will be a threat for much longer."
"These Founders, Elim, they're very good. Next time, we should be
more careful."

"The Die Is Cast" managed to successfully conclude what was begun
in "Improbable Cause", and that was no easy task. It made the
Founders a dangerous enemy, hinted at vast changes to come in both
Romulan and Cardassian society, put poor Garak through the
wringer, and kept me on the edge of my seat. The one significant
flaw, Sisko's casual disobedience of a direct order *without any
consequences*, remains significant -- but it's hardly enough to bring
down an otherwise phenomenal two-parter.

Final rating: Still 9.5.


"Explorers"
Written by: Hilary J. Bader (story); Rene Echevarria (teleplay)
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Initial rating: 7
Quotables:
"With all due respect, Major, you're beginning to sound like a
Romulan."
"For a moment there, I thought you had been put in charge of the
Cardassian Ministry for the Refutation of Bajoran Fairy
Tales."
"In a few places, you're writing about things you haven't actually
experienced ... at least I _hope_ you haven't experienced.
Unless you've joined the Maquis without telling me."
"People either love you or hate you. [...] I mean, I *hated* you,
when we first met ... and now..." "And now?" "And ... now
I don't."
"Better wait until tomorrow." "Why? Why not right now?"
"Because you can barely stand UP right now." "Good point."

I got a lot of ... well, let's call it polite disagreement (since most of it
was) when I originally praised "Explorers", pointing out lots of
technical problems in the solar-sailing aspect of the show. While
those problems are there, only one of them strikes me as hugely
significant, that being the unlikelihood of Sisko being able to build a
ship on his own in the space of weeks. Many of the other objections,
as far as I'm concerned, missed the point: the solar sail, while
entertaining enough, was not the point of the show. The Ben/Jake
interaction was, and *that* came off beautifully. The pod-person use
of Dukat was unpleasant, and the fireworks at the end were hokey
without question; but when the show stuck to the Siskos or to much
of the Bashir B-plot (particularly he and O'Brien drowning their
troubles), the show worked out just fine.

Final rating: Still 7.


"Family Business"
Written by: Behr & Wolfe
Directed by: Rene Auberjonois
Initial rating: 2.5
Quotables:
"You know, the way we go through runabouts, it's a good thing Earth
has so many rivers."
"Nog isn't going to destroy the Ferengi way of life; he just wants a
job with better hours."

Sigh. After my review of this episode, I was accused of bias against
Ferengi. Could be -- but given the quality of the "All Ferengi
Network" shows we got this season, I plead massive justification. :-)
Some of the Sisko/Yates interaction was good, and upon a second
look a couple of things about the Quark plot worked: Brunt, the FCA
investigator, seemed amusing enough, and Rom's final stand against
his family was reasonable. The rest of it, however, was either failed
comedy or a rehash of "Rules of Acquisition" -- neither fits in
particularly well for me.

Final rating: 3.5.


"Shakaar"
Written by: Gordon Dawson
Directed by: Jonathan West
Initial rating: 9
Quotables:
"It has been my observation that one of the prices of giving people
freedom of choice is that sometimes they make the wrong
choice."
"Somehow, replacing the arm seems ungrateful."
"We're trying to feed our own people here, and you're talking about
exports."
"Either I'm getting older, or those mountains are getting higher."
"I didn't fight the Cardassians for 25 years just so I could start
shooting other Bajorans."

Once again, it turns out that going with Bajoran cultural or political
conflict is a winning strategy. Although Winn is marginally overdone
and Sisko's lack of annoyance over his first officer going missing for
weeks is a little hard to swallow, the rest of this show was golden.
We had a serious debate over the future of Bajor, some repercussions
from the death of Bareil (and of the treaty), beautiful character work
with Kira, a good guest performance from Duncan Regehr as
Shakaar, and enough tension to fill up a large room. Nicely done.

[Speculation: maybe the reason Sisko wasn't ticked off was that he
was being kept informed. He said he hadn't *spoken* to Kira in quite
some time; could he be lying, or telling a letter-of-the-law kind of
truth?]

Final rating: 9.


"Facets"
Written by: Rene Echevarria
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Initial rating: 6
Quotables: "He wants to be a writer. There's no profit in THAT."
"Did I ever mention that you're a magnificent scoundrel?"
"Come in, come in; I was just oozing around the room."

"Facets" proved another mixed bag, some of which referred to its own
undoing. While Avery Brooks and Rene Auberjonois were both
stunning as Joran and Curzon/Odo respectively, Joran's statement that
Jadzia was *only* a pretty girl might be applied to Terry Farrell in this
episode; there was nothing to indicate when a host's memories were
absent. The big "revelation" of Curzon's hidden passion was also
implausible and underwhelming, which hurt. Facets of "Facets"
shone, but there were also enough dull facets to keep it from really
being a jewel.

Final rating: 5.5.


"The Adversary"
Written by: Behr & Wolfe
Directed by: Alexander Singer
Initial rating: 9
Quotables:
"Now that you have another pip on your shoulder, does that mean I
can't disagree with you any more?" "No -- it just means I'm
never wrong."
"Well, as someone who IS obsessed with rank and title..."
"My son, the writer, thinks I ought to say something profound on this
occasion."
"Just tell me how long it'll take [to regain control]." "Well ... I guess
it'll have to be less than seven minutes, won't it?" "That'd be
my suggestion."
"He said, 'You're too late. We're everywhere.'"

And so it ends. "The Adversary" didn't age quite as well as I'd
hoped, but it's still enjoyable. Despite some of the Stupid Crew
Tricks [the final battle in Engineering topping the list] necessary to
make the story fit, and the implication of yet another war in the last
decade or two that we'd somehow never heard about, there was a
good sense of eeriness and of desperation in the search for the
Changeling, and the presentation of the show led down a few nice
false trails for the viewer. Eeriness isn't enough by itself, but it sure
helps.

Final rating: 7.


Whew. For those mathematically inclined, that works out to an
average of 6.3 or so, but with a *huge* scatter.

This is getting more than a bit long, so I will continue the general
commentary in a separate article.

Tim Lynch (Harvard-Westlake School, Science Dept.)
tly...@alumni.caltech.edu
"So, do you want to go back to your shop, and _hem pants_ -- or shall
we pick up where we left off?"
-- Enabran Tain
--
Copyright 1995, Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free to ask...
This article is explicitly prohibited from being used in any off-net
compilation without due attribution and *express written consent of the
author*. Walnut Creek and other CD-ROM distributors, take note.

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