[DS9] Lynch's Spoiler Review: "Image in the Sand"

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Timothy W. Lynch

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Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
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WARNING: The "Image in the Sand" you see before you is that of
looming spoilers just ahead for DS9's season premiere.

In brief: A lot of stage-setting: some good, some disappointingly
trite.

======
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by: Les Landau
Brief summary: Sisko finds new information about his past, leading
him on a quest to find the Prophets.
======

Whew. It's about time I finally saw "Image in the Sand". Between a
shift in timeslot and contractual disputes, KCOP didn't get around to
showing the premiere until fully two weeks after the episode went out
over satellite. Thus, I imagine a lot of opinions have already been
pretty well formed and a lot of issues have already been discussed.
Since I managed to avoid all of them, however, I'm just going to
continue on as if no one else has seen the episode but me. So there.
:-)

"Image in the Sand" had several goals to accomplish. Like "A Time to
Stand" before it last season, it needed to get viewers up to speed on
any between-season changes (like Kira's new hairstyle, new uniform,
new rank, Dax's departure, and so on), as well as set the stage for
future episodes (possibly resolving some issues in the meantime), and
to provide an entertaining story in the bargain.

"Image in the Sand" went a little over two for three; unfortunately, I
think the one it missed was to provide an entertaining story. While the
episode has left me quite curious about "Shadows and Symbols" next
week, I was only intrigued by this episode itself on sporadic
occasions. In many ways, this episode suffered from the same let's-
do-everything-but-little-of-it-well quality that so hurt "Tears of the
Prophets" at the end of last season.

For starters, there's the continuing odd sense that even with all the
issues waiting to be addressed, there's always room for filler. Not
only did we get the standard season-premiere "last time on Deep Space
Nine" recap, which is expected, but there was yet *another* musical
interlude with someone's favorite hologram, Vic Fontaine. Just as in
"Tears of the Prophets", it really ground the episode to a halt: given
that the only thing really happening in the scene was that Worf
brooded, then trashed the holosuite, and that we saw the effects of that
later *anyway*, there was really no reason we couldn't have just
jumped to the aftermath. I'm sorry, but I've seen Worf brooding
before -- and as adept as Michael Dorn is in the right circumstances,
he's not adept enough to make a brooding Worf interesting enough to
come back to time after time. So, as in "Tears of the Prophets", I
wound up feeling a bit as though my time was being wasted.

The later material, where we find out what's really bugging Worf
(namely, that he hasn't yet been able to win a battle dangerous enough
to get Jadzia into Sto'Vo'Kor), is a bit stronger, for several reasons.
First, it provides a dimension to Worf's suffering that, while entirely
consistent with Klingon culture, isn't so mind-numbingly obvious as
to make tedious viewing. Second, it gave Colm Meaney a chance to
get a few good scenes in, and that always helps. In particular, his
response to "why not ask Admiral Ross?" was marvelous: "Oh, yeah,
I can see it now. Um, Admiral? Could you please send the Defiant
on the most dangerous mission you can think of? Jadzia needs to get
into Sto'Vo'Kor." O'Brien has a marvelous way of cutting to the
heart of a situation, and that's exactly what was needed here. So, as
stage-setting for Worf's Dangerous Mission [TM] next week, this half
of the setup worked fine.

Another bit of stage-setting during the episode involved Kira and the
newly arrived Romulan Senator Creetak. This is a situation where
I'm frankly still pretty much on the fence: while the idea of the
Romulans being duplicitous is certainly workable, and Kira going up
against a Romulan fleet to safeguard her home is juicy enough, part of
me almost thinks it would've been much more interesting to let
Creetak actually be legit. The idea of a semi-permanent Romulan
presence on DS9 a la the Klingons and Martok is one that can be
mined for any number of interesting situations, and it would be nice to
see a case where Kira's automatic suspicion and distrust actually
*don't* pan out, as it would present her with an entirely new set of
challenges. The reason I'm still on the fence here, then, is that think
there's still an outside chance that we may get exactly that. At a
minimum, we may see Kira fighting a battle which Starfleet looks
down upon, and that has some interesting potential as well.

When it comes down to it, I thought the Kira/Creetak work was all a
bit too pat. Kira starts out distrustful, and then Creetak comes on
board and seems to be entirely too civilized. There's no friction, no
strife ... naturally, that means something has to go wrong quickly,
most likely in the form of Kira's suspicions proving correct after all.
Is there anyone who *didn't* see that coming about halfway through
the episode, particularly after the request for the hospital? As Weyoun
observed, Romulans can be "predictably treacherous" -- but when the
emphasis is on the predictable rather than the treacherous, it's not an
overly good sign.

Speaking of signs, that leads us to the third and perhaps most crucial
leg of the episode, Sisko's visions and his subsequent search for the
Prophets. While the vision itself is fine, I was a bit struck by its
directness, particularly in location: I'm not sure we've seen a vision
before that, in effect, said "Go to this place." I don't have a problem
with it; I just think it's an interesting shift of focus for the Prophets.

What I *do* have a problem with, in a big way, is the big revelation
about Sisko's mother -- namely, that the person Sisko always thought
was his mother really wasn't. I could launch into all the usual
complaints about something like that -- it's trite, it's soap-operaish,
and so forth -- but they don't get at what I really see as the big
problem with it: namely, that it carried no emotional weight at all.
Think about it: how many times has Sisko even mentioned his mother
in the last six years? Offhand, I think she's gotten about two minutes
of discussion at most in the last six seasons. As such, the fact that his
mother is someone completely different is ... well, it's just not
interesting. It's a revelation that cost us nothing to learn, and as such
is one that leaves no wallop afterwards except the sensation of "ah,
here's the plot device." Based on Sisko's reaction, that's not what we
were supposed to come away feeling. (Compare this to the classic
film-SF example of this revelation working: Luke Skywalker and
Darth Vader. Given the frequent mention of Luke's father and the
worship Luke always felt for him, that revelation really did pack a
wallop, to us as well as him. This one, by comparison, didn't even
leave a mark.)

What's more, there's a very real possibility that Sisko's mother is
now going to figure into the quest for the Prophets in a lot of ways.
My wife Lisa has already made her own prediction about how all of it
is going to resolve itself, and has made me promise to kill her if she
turns out to be right. :-) I don't plan on going that far, but given this
particular revelation and the subsequent hints we've gotten about her
connection with Bajor, there are far more schlocky ways to resolve
this than there are non-schlocky ways, and I'm frankly worried. (For
those interested, I'll put her prediction down in the "short comments"
section.)

I do appreciate other elements of the Sisko story, however, especially
the hints about some of the later challenges he may wind up facing. In
particular, the idea of a cult on Bajor supporting the Pah-wraiths
makes a great deal of sense to me: as Odo observed, during hard
times some people get a lot of emotional support out of hate and fear.
(And some politicians use those appeals all the time regardless ... but
that's another story entirely.) Given their interests, and the interests
of the wraiths themselves, Sisko may have more trials ahead of him
than the purely emotional ones -- and depending on how well they're
handled, those trials could be very interesting. (As those who read
my review of "The Sword of Kahless" can recall, I'm a sucker for
quest stories, so I'm hoping for something relatively epic here.)
Given that Jake is coming along, I'm also hopeful that he may finally
get to figure into things more heavily; considering how he was
virtually dropped from the story during the opening arc last season,
that hope may be unfounded, but I've got to be optimistic
*somewhere*.

And, of course, there's the arrival of Ensign Ezri Dax (Nicole
deBoer). Given her brief appearance this episode, there's not much to
say so far except "gosh, she's cute." :-) I assume we'll find out a bit
more about her in the next few episodes; we'd better.

Various shorter points:

-- The effects seemed to be a bit off this week. When Martok entered
the holosuite to fight Worf, it looked incredibly fake, and at least one
battle sequence during the preview seemed similarly shallow. I'm
hoping this isn't an omen.

-- I'll go on record right now as being none too fond of Kira's new
'do or her new uniform; the latter in particular tends to bug me. When
left to her own devices, Nana Visitor (and thus Kira) is a marvelously
striking woman -- but moving her waistline up to the middle of her rib
cage is *NOT* the way to take advantage of that.

-- Unlike last year, however, I'm not at all bugged by the three-month
gap between "Tears of the Prophets" and "Image in the Sand". Last
year, lots of things happened within those three months that we were
just meant to assume; this year, though, the overriding sense was that
we'd had three months of virtual stalemate, with everyone feeling
frustrated and waiting for something to happen. ("It was as if the
universe were holding its breath," to quote another show.) In that
context, a jump of a few months works admirably.

-- Damar and Weyoun really did very little for me this time around:
apart from a little bit of cackling about their current situation, there
was almost no substance to their conversation at all. (And with all due
respect to Casey Biggs, Damar and Weyoun just don't quite have the
same spark that Dukat and Weyoun always did.) Here's hoping that
changes. (Bringing Dukat into the action would certainly help, but I
gather that's not in the cards for a while.)

-- Until I saw the credit for the Bajoran cultist who threatens Sisko
(Johnny Moran, for the record), I was dead certain it was Aron
Eisenberg. The resemblance both facially and vocally is just uncanny.

-- Oh, Lisa's prediction? It goes something like this: Sara didn't
really die in Australia when Ben was 4. She was taken away --
possibly by the Prophets to guard the Orb of the Emissary, possibly
by the Pah-wraiths to prevent the Emissary from using said Orb.
Either way, Ben is going to find her (probably without her having
aged a day), and she will wind up helping him contact the Prophets,
possibly by sacrificing her own life to "inhabit" the Orb of the
Emissary. Before that happens, however, she and Ben's father will
get to have their moment of reconciliation, where she can say that she
never really meant to hurt him or to leave him. [About 80% of that is
hers; 20% is my own addition.]

It's scary how plausible that sounds...

I think that about covers it. On the whole, I'm a bit worried about
season 7 on the basis of this episode: given the filler and the Sisko-
related revelations, we may well be in for a "Season of Lost Souls"
such as we got for TNG's last season (Geordi's mom, Geordi's dad,
Data's mother, Picard's son, Troi's sister, and undoubtedly Barclay's
stepmother's veterinarian's undiscovered pet hamster off-camera).
"Image in the Sand" wasn't really bad; it was just surprisingly ...
ordinary -- and that's not what the show deserves. We'll see.

So, wrapping up:

Writing: Some interesting ideas scattered around like seeds, but a lot
of clunkiness to get set up for next week.
Directing: Apart from the nearly interminable musical interlude, no
real worries.
Acting: Nothing stands out as really amazing, but nothing jumps out
at me as weak, either.

OVERALL: Call it a very tentative 6, depending on how things go. I
could easily see this moving two points in either direction by season's
end.

NEXT WEEK:

Everybody gets in over his or her head.

Tim Lynch (Harvard-Westlake School, Science Dept.)
tly...@alumni.caltech.edu <*>
"What makes you think she *wants* to spend eternity there? I know I
certainly wouldn't. Imagine what it must be like -- hordes of
rampaging Klingons fighting and singing, sweating and belching --"
"Sounds like this place on a Saturday night."
"Would YOU want to spend eternity here?"
-- Quark and Bashir
--
Copyright 1998, 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.

Shawn Hill

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Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
In rec.arts.startrek.current Timothy W. Lynch <tly...@alumnae.caltech.edu> wrote:

: Since I managed to avoid all of them, however, I'm just going to

: continue on as if no one else has seen the episode but me. So there.
: :-)

It's the only way to do it.

: "Image in the Sand" went a little over two for three; unfortunately, I

: think the one it missed was to provide an entertaining story. While the
: episode has left me quite curious about "Shadows and Symbols" next
: week, I was only intrigued by this episode itself on sporadic
: occasions. In many ways, this episode suffered from the same let's-
: do-everything-but-little-of-it-well quality that so hurt "Tears of the
: Prophets" at the end of last season.

It is indicative of a significant change, though. They learned how to do
arcs last season with the opening 6-parter. I pretty much feel, without
the fanfare, that this season will be ALL arc. With probably a couple of
lapses, but not many. They've transitioned into the Bab5 storytelling
style.

: issues waiting to be addressed, there's always room for filler. Not

: only did we get the standard season-premiere "last time on Deep Space
: Nine" recap, which is expected, but there was yet *another* musical
: interlude with someone's favorite hologram, Vic Fontaine. Just as in

who is that someone, and when can we beam them into space?

: "Tears of the Prophets", it really ground the episode to a halt: given

: that the only thing really happening in the scene was that Worf
: brooded, then trashed the holosuite, and that we saw the effects of that
: later *anyway*, there was really no reason we couldn't have just
: jumped to the aftermath. I'm sorry, but I've seen Worf brooding
: before -- and as adept as Michael Dorn is in the right circumstances,

"Shadows and Symbols" really was so much better.

: Romulans being duplicitous is certainly workable, and Kira going up

: against a Romulan fleet to safeguard her home is juicy enough, part of
: me almost thinks it would've been much more interesting to let
: Creetak actually be legit. The idea of a semi-permanent Romulan

Creetak is legit; as legit as a Romulan can be, anyway.

: Think about it: how many times has Sisko even mentioned his mother

: in the last six years? Offhand, I think she's gotten about two minutes
: of discussion at most in the last six seasons. As such, the fact that his

true enough. It's not like Jennifer, whose loss we were shown in the
pilot and then made to feel by Sisko's mourning until at least the second
or third "mirror/mirror" episode.

: What's more, there's a very real possibility that Sisko's mother is

: now going to figure into the quest for the Prophets in a lot of ways.

: I do appreciate other elements of the Sisko story, however, especially

: the hints about some of the later challenges he may wind up facing. In
: particular, the idea of a cult on Bajor supporting the Pah-wraiths
: makes a great deal of sense to me: as Odo observed, during hard
: times some people get a lot of emotional support out of hate and fear.

What I liked about this was knowing that Sisko is really OF BAJOR. Not
just because the profits chose him, but because some part of his soul (and
anatomy) are really Bajoran. Or at least Prophet-ian.

: And, of course, there's the arrival of Ensign Ezri Dax (Nicole

: deBoer). Given her brief appearance this episode, there's not much to
: say so far except "gosh, she's cute." :-) I assume we'll find out a bit
: more about her in the next few episodes; we'd better.

You'll get your wish, it seems. My thoughts on her: I almost buy the
story that she came about the symbiont in such a random way. However, I
don't buy that they'd just send her off on her own recognizance. Of
course, maybe Dax's rights as a sentient can't be questioned too much.

: -- The effects seemed to be a bit off this week. When Martok entered

: the holosuite to fight Worf, it looked incredibly fake, and at least one
: battle sequence during the preview seemed similarly shallow. I'm
: hoping this isn't an omen.

The shipyard in part two was iffy and good, depending on the sequence.
Weird. Is the budget lower in the final lame duck season?

: -- I'll go on record right now as being none too fond of Kira's new

: 'do or her new uniform; the latter in particular tends to bug me. When
: left to her own devices, Nana Visitor (and thus Kira) is a marvelously
: striking woman -- but moving her waistline up to the middle of her rib
: cage is *NOT* the way to take advantage of that.

Love the new do and the new suit.

: Acting: Nothing stands out as really amazing, but nothing jumps out

: at me as weak, either.

I thought Cretak was really great. Who IS that woman? I know I've seen
her sans makeup, and will kick myself when someone tells me who she is.

Shawn
* . * . * . * .

Q: "Am I still your woman?"

A: "You're the captain's woman...until he says you're not."

. * . * . *sh...@fas.harvard.edu

Berserker

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
to
Timothy W. Lynch wrote:

What I *do* have a problem with, in a big way, is the big revelation

> about Sisko's mother -- namely, that the person Sisko always thought
> was his mother really wasn't. I could launch into all the usual
> complaints about something like that -- it's trite, it's soap-operaish,
> and so forth -- but they don't get at what I really see as the big
> problem with it: namely, that it carried no emotional weight at all.
> Think about it: how many times has Sisko even mentioned his mother
> in the last six years? Offhand, I think she's gotten about two minutes
> of discussion at most in the last six seasons. As such, the fact that his
> mother is someone completely different is ... well, it's just not
> interesting. It's a revelation that cost us nothing to learn, and as such
> is one that leaves no wallop afterwards except the sensation of "ah,
> here's the plot device." Based on Sisko's reaction, that's not what we
> were supposed to come away feeling. (Compare this to the classic
> film-SF example of this revelation working: Luke Skywalker and
> Darth Vader. Given the frequent mention of Luke's father and the
> worship Luke always felt for him, that revelation really did pack a
> wallop, to us as well as him. This one, by comparison, didn't even
> leave a mark.)
>
>

The even bigger problem was that for all intents and purposes it was a quick
fix, something supposedly dramatic to fill air time but said nothing. Since
there was no previous connection to ol' ma or the locket it was essentially
pulled fro mthe air

>
>
> I do appreciate other elements of the Sisko story, however, especially
> the hints about some of the later challenges he may wind up facing. In
> particular, the idea of a cult on Bajor supporting the Pah-wraiths
> makes a great deal of sense to me: as Odo observed, during hard
> times some people get a lot of emotional support out of hate and fear.
> (And some politicians use those appeals all the time regardless ... but
> that's another story entirely.) Given their interests, and the interests
> of the wraiths themselves, Sisko may have more trials ahead of him
> than the purely emotional ones -- and depending on how well they're
> handled, those trials could be very interesting. (As those who read
> my review of "The Sword of Kahless" can recall, I'm a sucker for
> quest stories, so I'm hoping for something relatively epic here.)
> Given that Jake is coming along, I'm also hopeful that he may finally
> get to figure into things more heavily; considering how he was
> virtually dropped from the story during the opening arc last season,
> that hope may be unfounded, but I've got to be optimistic
> *somewhere*.
>
>

It just wasn't that he was dropped - Pale Moonlight and Far Beyond were
originally designed for him, and they switched it!

>
>
> -- Until I saw the credit for the Bajoran cultist who threatens Sisko
> (Johnny Moran, for the record), I was dead certain it was Aron
> Eisenberg. The resemblance both facially and vocally is just uncanny.

Same here.

>
>
> -- Oh, Lisa's prediction? It goes something like this: Sara didn't
> really die in Australia when Ben was 4. She was taken away --
> possibly by the Prophets to guard the Orb of the Emissary, possibly
> by the Pah-wraiths to prevent the Emissary from using said Orb.
> Either way, Ben is going to find her (probably without her having
> aged a day), and she will wind up helping him contact the Prophets,
> possibly by sacrificing her own life to "inhabit" the Orb of the
> Emissary. Before that happens, however, she and Ben's father will
> get to have their moment of reconciliation, where she can say that she
> never really meant to hurt him or to leave him. [About 80% of that is
> hers; 20% is my own addition.]
>
> It's scary how plausible that sounds...

Well, it's wrong :)

>
>
> I think that about covers it. On the whole, I'm a bit worried about
> season 7 on the basis of this episode: given the filler and the Sisko-
> related revelations, we may well be in for a "Season of Lost Souls"
> such as we got for TNG's last season (Geordi's mom, Geordi's dad,
> Data's mother, Picard's son, Troi's sister, and undoubtedly Barclay's
> stepmother's veterinarian's undiscovered pet hamster off-camera).
> "Image in the Sand" wasn't really bad; it was just surprisingly ...
> ordinary -- and that's not what the show deserves. We'll see.
>

From what I've gathered, no, we won't be getting Worf's aunt any time soon.
The schedule's packed with other stuff, and a baseball game.


Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

Laurinda Chamberlin

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Oct 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/13/98
to
tly...@alumnae.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:

>WARNING: The "Image in the Sand" you see before you is that of
>looming spoilers just ahead for DS9's season premiere.
>

>In brief: A lot of stage-setting: [...]

That was my feeling about it as well. A lot of setup, but not a lot of
progression in the story. It's not that effective by itself, unlike
the first parts of some other two-parters we've seen on DS9, but
it does well when viewed together with "Shadows and Symbols".

>For starters, there's the continuing odd sense that even with all the
>issues waiting to be addressed, there's always room for filler. Not
>only did we get the standard season-premiere "last time on Deep Space
>Nine" recap, which is expected, but there was yet *another* musical
>interlude with someone's favorite hologram, Vic Fontaine. Just as in
>"Tears of the Prophets", it really ground the episode to a halt: given
>that the only thing really happening in the scene was that Worf
>brooded, then trashed the holosuite, and that we saw the effects of that
>later *anyway*, there was really no reason we couldn't have just

>jumped to the aftermath. [...]

The writers' continued love affair with Vic Fontaine is truly baffling.
He was bad enough in "His Way", but in "Tears of the Prophets" and
"Image in the Sand" he is egregiously out of place and only serves to
bog down otherwise action-oriented episodes.

>Another bit of stage-setting during the episode involved Kira and the
>newly arrived Romulan Senator Creetak.

>[...] The idea of a semi-permanent Romulan

>presence on DS9 a la the Klingons and Martok is one that can be

>mined for any number of interesting situations [...]

I'd certainly welcome seeing her again.

>What I *do* have a problem with, in a big way, is the big revelation
>about Sisko's mother -- namely, that the person Sisko always thought
>was his mother really wasn't.

>[...] what I really see as the big

>problem with it: namely, that it carried no emotional weight at all.
>Think about it: how many times has Sisko even mentioned his mother
>in the last six years? Offhand, I think she's gotten about two minutes
>of discussion at most in the last six seasons. As such, the fact that his
>mother is someone completely different is ... well, it's just not
>interesting. It's a revelation that cost us nothing to learn, and as such
>is one that leaves no wallop afterwards except the sensation of "ah,

>here's the plot device." [...]

That's a good point. I too found the revelation a bit pallid, but I
didn't quite rationalize why. I've noticed that there is a strong
tendency in DS9 for mothers to be absent and fathers to be bad unless
they're named "Sisko" or "O'Brien". I wonder what deep, dark psychological
insight that gives us into the writing staff. Or should I ask?

>I do appreciate other elements of the Sisko story, however, especially
>the hints about some of the later challenges he may wind up facing. In
>particular, the idea of a cult on Bajor supporting the Pah-wraiths
>makes a great deal of sense to me: as Odo observed, during hard
>times some people get a lot of emotional support out of hate and fear.
>(And some politicians use those appeals all the time regardless ... but

>that's another story entirely.) [...]

Speaking of religion and politics, I was sorry that Kai Winn didn't
shove her two cents in here about the crisis.

>-- The effects seemed to be a bit off this week. When Martok entered
>the holosuite to fight Worf, it looked incredibly fake, and at least one
>battle sequence during the preview seemed similarly shallow. I'm
>hoping this isn't an omen.

The special effects in the Klingon story in S&S are pretty good.

>-- Unlike last year, however, I'm not at all bugged by the three-month
>gap between "Tears of the Prophets" and "Image in the Sand". Last
>year, lots of things happened within those three months that we were
>just meant to assume; this year, though, the overriding sense was that
>we'd had three months of virtual stalemate, with everyone feeling
>frustrated and waiting for something to happen. ("It was as if the
>universe were holding its breath," to quote another show.) In that
>context, a jump of a few months works admirably.

But wasn't it a little corny that the war ground to a halt in the
absence of the Emissary?

>-- Damar and Weyoun really did very little for me this time around:
>apart from a little bit of cackling about their current situation, there
>was almost no substance to their conversation at all. (And with all due
>respect to Casey Biggs, Damar and Weyoun just don't quite have the

>same spark that Dukat and Weyoun always did.) [...]

I think I just finished saying the same thing on another thread. :)
Suffice to say, by the end of the opening two-parter, I was bored with
Damar-Weyoun.

--
Laurinda She walked by herself, and
all places were alike to her.

Wulf

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Oct 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/13/98
to
In article <6vr9ui$v...@gap.cco.caltech.edu>, tly...@alumni.caltech.edu wrote:
}
}WARNING: The "Image in the Sand" you see before you is that of
}looming spoilers just ahead for DS9's season premiere.
}
}In brief: A lot of stage-setting: some good, some disappointingly
}trite.
}

}======
}


}What I *do* have a problem with, in a big way, is the big revelation
}about Sisko's mother -- namely, that the person Sisko always thought
}was his mother really wasn't. I could launch into all the usual
}complaints about something like that -- it's trite, it's soap-operaish,
}and so forth -- but they don't get at what I really see as the big
}problem with it: namely, that it carried no emotional weight at all.
}Think about it: how many times has Sisko even mentioned his mother
}in the last six years? Offhand, I think she's gotten about two minutes
}of discussion at most in the last six seasons. As such, the fact that his
}mother is someone completely different is ... well, it's just not
}interesting. It's a revelation that cost us nothing to learn, and as such
}is one that leaves no wallop afterwards except the sensation of "ah,
}here's the plot device." Based on Sisko's reaction, that's not what we
}were supposed to come away feeling. (Compare this to the classic
}film-SF example of this revelation working: Luke Skywalker and
}Darth Vader. Given the frequent mention of Luke's father and the
}worship Luke always felt for him, that revelation really did pack a
}wallop, to us as well as him. This one, by comparison, didn't even
}leave a mark.)

Thanks, Timothy. I hadn;t thought of this series of scenes in this way, but you
are quite right about the lack of emotional impact. Even the soaps deliver this
kind of 'bombshell' with more emotional preparation than DS9 has done.

Thanks for comparing it to Star Wars, as that brought your point home to me in
a more meaningful manner.

}
}What's more, there's a very real possibility that Sisko's mother is
}now going to figure into the quest for the Prophets in a lot of ways.
}My wife Lisa has already made her own prediction about how all of it
}is going to resolve itself, and has made me promise to kill her if she
}turns out to be right. :-) I don't plan on going that far, but given this
}particular revelation and the subsequent hints we've gotten about her
}connection with Bajor, there are far more schlocky ways to resolve
}this than there are non-schlocky ways, and I'm frankly worried. (For
}those interested, I'll put her prediction down in the "short comments"
}section.)
}

}Various shorter points:


}
}-- Oh, Lisa's prediction? It goes something like this: Sara didn't
}really die in Australia when Ben was 4. She was taken away --
}possibly by the Prophets to guard the Orb of the Emissary, possibly
}by the Pah-wraiths to prevent the Emissary from using said Orb.
}Either way, Ben is going to find her (probably without her having
}aged a day), and she will wind up helping him contact the Prophets,
}possibly by sacrificing her own life to "inhabit" the Orb of the
}Emissary. Before that happens, however, she and Ben's father will
}get to have their moment of reconciliation, where she can say that she
}never really meant to hurt him or to leave him. [About 80% of that is
}hers; 20% is my own addition.]
}
}It's scary how plausible that sounds...

<chuckle>

Without giving away the details, you can tell Lisa she can sleep well and that
there's no need to bury the cutlery.

Thanks for the additional insights on the episode.

Wulf, Keeper of Obscure Trek Trivia.

Shawn Hill

unread,
Oct 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/14/98
to
Laurinda Chamberlin <tcw...@netcom.com> wrote:
: tly...@alumnae.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:

: That's a good point. I too found the revelation a bit pallid, but I


: didn't quite rationalize why. I've noticed that there is a strong
: tendency in DS9 for mothers to be absent and fathers to be bad unless
: they're named "Sisko" or "O'Brien". I wonder what deep, dark psychological
: insight that gives us into the writing staff. Or should I ask?

Hey, not entirely. Deanna, Weasley, Geordi, Data all had opposite
situations: good but absent fathers, good (or absent, or occasionally
bad) mothers.

Shawn

Yehoshua

unread,
Oct 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/14/98
to
In article <tcwwbhF0...@netcom.com>,

Laurinda Chamberlin <tcw...@netcom.com> wrote:
>tly...@alumnae.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:
>
>>WARNING: The "Image in the Sand" you see before you is that of
>>looming spoilers just ahead for DS9's season premiere.
>>
>>In brief: A lot of stage-setting: [...]
> [...]
>Speaking of religion and politics, I was sorry that Kai Winn didn't
>shove her two cents in here about the crisis.

There's precident to expect that she will eventually show up on
Sisko's doorstep and say something to the effect of "forgive me,
Emissary, for questioning you, but couldn't you have had a nutty
some other time, you unworthy putz?"

>>-- Unlike last year, however, I'm not at all bugged by the three-month
>>gap between "Tears of the Prophets" and "Image in the Sand". Last
>>year, lots of things happened within those three months that we were
>>just meant to assume; this year, though, the overriding sense was that
>>we'd had three months of virtual stalemate, with everyone feeling
>>frustrated and waiting for something to happen. ("It was as if the
>>universe were holding its breath," to quote another show.) In that
>>context, a jump of a few months works admirably.
>
>But wasn't it a little corny that the war ground to a halt in the
>absence of the Emissary?

I don't think it's the absence of the Emissary, per se, but the
absence of the Prophets and the wormhole as a morale-sapping force
among the alliance. The Bajorans have effectively been abandoned by
their gods (hence the uptick in Pah Wraith cultism), which has no
doubt put a dent in their morale. The Feds, while not worshipers of
the Prophets, no doubt know a bad omen when they see one, and having
one of your allies deserted by their dieties (which also happen to do
the occasional favor for your military) can't be much of a pick-me-up.
Sisko's ongoing absence is just the icing on the cake.

yehoshua


rs...@coqui.net

unread,
Oct 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/15/98
to
In article <tcwwbhF0...@netcom.com>,

tcw...@netcom.com (Laurinda Chamberlin) wrote:
> tly...@alumnae.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:
>
> The writers' continued love affair with Vic Fontaine is truly baffling.
> He was bad enough in "His Way", but in "Tears of the Prophets" and
> "Image in the Sand" he is egregiously out of place and only serves to
> bog down otherwise action-oriented episodes.

I just can't understand how can a pair of aliens from the future, one from a
culture thousands of years older than Earth's, and the other blob of goo from
the other side of the galaxy, can even relate to a 60's Vegas lounge lizard
scene. They are *aliens*, remember? Heck, the vast majority of people ON
EARTH, TODAY, cannot relate to it culturally to that kind of environment.

Sci-fi aliens should not be just neurotic Americans with latex in their
faces/heads. Unfortunately someone at Paramount doesn't realize that.

> >Another bit of stage-setting during the episode involved Kira and the
> >newly arrived Romulan Senator Creetak.
> >[...] The idea of a semi-permanent Romulan
> >presence on DS9 a la the Klingons and Martok is one that can be
> >mined for any number of interesting situations [...]
>
> I'd certainly welcome seeing her again.

I'm still wondering why in the world didn't the Romulans just *cloak* and go
around the dozen or so ships in the blockade 'fleet'. Oh, well.

Also, every time Creetak or the Admiral told Kira she wouldn't stand a chance
against a squad or Romulan Warbirds, I kept waiting for Kira to snap back at
them something like 'you know, the Cardassians used to say the same thing'.
Or, at the beginning, when the Admiral was trying to get Kira to accept the
weapons on Bajor's moon until a diplomatic solution was achieved, she could
have asked if he would accept thousands of Romulan plasma torpedoes deployed
on Earth's moon...

RAUL

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Chris Blaise

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Oct 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/15/98
to
On Thu, 15 Oct 1998 05:24:42 GMT, bri...@home.com (Brian Barjenbruch)
wrote:

>Vic Fontaine isn't your ordinary hologram. He is aware of his
>holo-existence and of DS9 itself (he once contacted Odo over DS9's comm
>system). I think that the Bynars from "11001001" could have helped
>program Vic. Given time, I think Vic could develop into an actual
>sentient life form, such as the Doctor on DS9. At any rate, I would think
>that Vic can relate to *anybody* who visits his holo program.

Preposterous given what we've seen of him. He's a Vegas
lounge singer! We haven't seen him make the slightest attempt to
"relate" to his alien visitors such as butting heads with Worf or
offering to "link" with Odo.

Now, given that we're talking about Worf and Odo, two aliens
with strong ties to humans, it's not a terrific stretch to rationalize
that it works because THEY relate to Vic. But certainly not the
other way around.

While the entire credibility and entertainment of Vic is
stretched incredibly tight to the limits of believability , the
breaking point with Vic would be an alien without human ties relating
to him. The day Martog needs a song is probably the day it's time to
close DS9.

Chris

N.E. Walker

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Oct 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/15/98
to
rs...@coqui.net wrote:

> I just can't understand how can a pair of aliens from the future, one from a culture thousands of years older than Earth's, and the other blob of goo from the other side of the galaxy, can even relate to a 60's Vegas lounge lizard scene. They are *aliens*, remember? Heck, the vast majority of people ON EARTH, TODAY, cannot relate to it culturally to that kind of environment.

Remember the Montagues and the Capulets? The Sharks and the Jets? Well,
it's a bigger stage in the 24th century.


>
> Sci-fi aliens should not be just neurotic Americans with latex in their
> faces/heads. Unfortunately someone at Paramount doesn't realize that.

Or...are we really all ONE after all? Eeeeeeeekkk!

Shawn Hill

unread,
Oct 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/15/98
to
rs...@coqui.net wrote:

: I just can't understand how can a pair of aliens from the future, one from a
: culture thousands of years older than Earth's, and the other blob of goo from
: the other side of the galaxy, can even relate to a 60's Vegas lounge lizard
: scene. They are *aliens*, remember? Heck, the vast majority of people ON
: EARTH, TODAY, cannot relate to it culturally to that kind of environment.

Well, perhaps that's why they CAN relate to it. It's such an inexplicable
artifact, they deal with it as is rather than within a context.

Shawn

Laurinda Chamberlin

unread,
Oct 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/16/98
to
Shawn Hill <sh...@fas.harvard.edu> writes:

>Laurinda Chamberlin <tcw...@netcom.com> wrote:
>: tly...@alumnae.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:

>: That's a good point. I too found the revelation a bit pallid, but I


>: didn't quite rationalize why. I've noticed that there is a strong
>: tendency in DS9 for mothers to be absent and fathers to be bad unless
>: they're named "Sisko" or "O'Brien". I wonder what deep, dark psychological
>: insight that gives us into the writing staff. Or should I ask?

>Hey, not entirely. Deanna, Weasley, Geordi, Data all had opposite


>situations: good but absent fathers, good (or absent, or occasionally
>bad) mothers.

Hey, I said "DS9".

Antony Alonso

unread,
Oct 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/17/98
to
Hello Timothy W. Lynch, on 11-Oct-98 17:02:58, you said,

>WARNING: The "Image in the Sand" you see before you is that of
>looming spoilers just ahead for DS9's season premiere.

>In brief: A lot of stage-setting: some good, some disappointingly
>trite.

>======
>Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
>Directed by: Les Landau
>Brief summary: Sisko finds new information about his past, leading
> him on a quest to find the Prophets.
>======

[snip]

>The later material, where we find out what's really bugging Worf
>(namely, that he hasn't yet been able to win a battle dangerous enough
>to get Jadzia into Sto'Vo'Kor), is a bit stronger, for several reasons.
>First, it provides a dimension to Worf's suffering that, while entirely
>consistent with Klingon culture, isn't so mind-numbingly obvious as
>to make tedious viewing.

If it's consistent with Klingon culture, then why didn't he seek such a
resolution after the death of K'Ehleyr? I mean both of his mates were
murdered --- it would seem a strech to me that by killing Duras it would
satisfy the Sto-vo-Kor thing...


>Second, it gave Colm Meaney a chance to get a few good scenes in, and
>that always helps. In particular, his response to "why not ask Admiral
>Ross?" was marvelous: "Oh, yeah, I can see it now. Um, Admiral? Could
>you please send the Defiant on the most dangerous mission you can think
>of? Jadzia needs to get into Sto'Vo'Kor." O'Brien has a marvelous way
>of cutting to the heart of a situation, and that's exactly what was
>needed here. So, as stage-setting for Worf's Dangerous Mission [TM] next
>week, this half of the setup worked fine.

I've never seen Meaney turn in a poor performance --- not even with the
(at times) subpar material given him. His performance and character is
more the rock to DS9 than Avery Brooks/Captain Sisko (in terms of
continuity in the moral compass sense).

[snip]

>Speaking of signs, that leads us to the third and perhaps most crucial
>leg of the episode, Sisko's visions and his subsequent search for the
>Prophets. While the vision itself is fine, I was a bit struck by its
>directness, particularly in location: I'm not sure we've seen a vision
>before that, in effect, said "Go to this place." I don't have a problem
>with it; I just think it's an interesting shift of focus for the Prophets.

Sisko was directed as much in "The Rapture" (in terms of locating the
ancient Bajoran city).

>I do appreciate other elements of the Sisko story, however, especially
>the hints about some of the later challenges he may wind up facing.

Translation: although he filled his "destiny" there are "many tasks left"
(as in well, we gotta keep our ol' Emissary storyline intact).

>In particular, the idea of a cult on Bajor supporting the Pah-wraiths
>makes a great deal of sense to me: as Odo observed, during hard
>times some people get a lot of emotional support out of hate and fear.

Sort of like the elements from "The Circle." My problem is while under
occupation, Bajor stuck to their Prophets in quite bleak and disparing
times. In this case, their environment wasn't bleak and quite a level up
from the occupation. I just couldn't buy they were as prevalent (and quick
to dispense with "the old ways") in the face of their history.

>Various shorter points:

[snip]

>-- Unlike last year, however, I'm not at all bugged by the three-month
>gap between "Tears of the Prophets" and "Image in the Sand". Last
>year, lots of things happened within those three months that we were
>just meant to assume; this year, though, the overriding sense was that
>we'd had three months of virtual stalemate, with everyone feeling
>frustrated and waiting for something to happen. ("It was as if the
>universe were holding its breath," to quote another show.) In that
>context, a jump of a few months works admirably.

Errr... stalemate or status-quo? I don't think so. Consider: last we saw,
the Feds had prevailed over the sector being attacked. Now we're given a
totally different picture without much in the way of explanations. And
Kira goes from Major to Colonel, the Bajorans have a total mindset change,
and the Admiral has developed a working relationship with Bajor. We've
gotten a raw deal --- again. Or like how Odo and Kira have settled into
much more of an adult-like relationship, given the events of last season.
And how Damar's gone from an ocassional drinker to downright alcoholic (in
presentation at least).

[snip]

>--
>Copyright 1998, 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.


--

*ATTENTION*
==========

Do NOT auto-reply to this message. The return address has been purposefully
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email, remove the "1" from "NightShade1" in the reply-to address.


Antony Alonso

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Oct 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/17/98
to
Hello Laurinda Chamberlin, on 12-Oct-98 22:30:13, you said,

>tly...@alumnae.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:

>>WARNING: The "Image in the Sand" you see before you is that of
>>looming spoilers just ahead for DS9's season premiere.

[snip]

>The writers' continued love affair with Vic Fontaine is truly baffling.
>He was bad enough in "His Way", but in "Tears of the Prophets" and
>"Image in the Sand" he is egregiously out of place and only serves to
>bog down otherwise action-oriented episodes.

I agree --- someone needs to pull the plug on ol' Vic.

[rest snipped]


>--
>Laurinda She walked by herself, and
> all places were alike to her.

Antony Alonso

unread,
Oct 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/17/98
to
Hello Brian Barjenbruch, on 15-Oct-98 00:24:42, you said,

>Vic Fontaine isn't your ordinary hologram. He is aware of his
>holo-existence and of DS9 itself (he once contacted Odo over DS9's comm
>system). I think that the Bynars from "11001001" could have helped
>program Vic. Given time, I think Vic could develop into an actual
>sentient life form, such as the Doctor on DS9. At any rate, I would think
>that Vic can relate to *anybody* who visits his holo program.

Shouldn't that read the Doc on VOY?

> Brian
>---------------------------------------------------
>"Its origin and purpose...still a total mystery."
>-- Dr. Heywood Floyd, "2001: A Space Odyssey"

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