DS9 Season Review: Lynch's Summary Review - Season 2 of DS9 (1 of 2)

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Sep 22, 1994, 10:31:39 AM9/22/94
[DS9] Lynch's Summary Review: Season 2 of DS9

WARNING: The following article contains spoiler information for the entire
second season of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". As such, those not familiar
with the season and wary of spoilers may want to steer clear.

Well, here it is, at long last -- and far later than I expected. Sorry for
the delays; I hope it's worth the wait.

As with last year's review, this contains first a show-by-show commentary,
and then some general comments to wrap everything up. So, we might as well
get underway...

I. Season 2, Episode by Episode |

"The Homecoming"
Written by: Jeri Taylor and Ira Steven Behr (story);
Ira Steven Behr (teleplay)
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Initial rating: 10.

"You can't expect a politician to give up an opportunity like this."
"And I had done _nothing_ but shoot an unarmed Cardassian in his underwear."
["How I got *into* his underwear I'll never know..." Sorry.]
"But it's all based on a lie!" "No, it's based on a *legend* -- and legends
can be as powerful as any truth."

"The Homecoming" definitely picked up the pace where season 1 left off.
Bajor in turmoil, the return of an epic hero, a quest into the very
stronghold of the enemy fortress (sort of) -- this was epic stuff in the
making, and a marvelous intro to the Li Nalas arc. Richard Beymer and Frank
Langella were both wondrous in their guest roles, the dialogue snapped like
crazy, and all in all this was a terrific show. (The one nitpick: why *was*
O'Brien so calm when volunteering for a suicide mission? He's got a family,
after all. Still, if *I* were father to a child that was growing twice as
fast as time actually progresses, I might run off too. :-) )

Final rating: 10.

"The Circle"
Written by: Peter Allan Fields
Directed by: Corey Allen
Initial rating: 10.
Quotables: Tons of them...

"Will someone PLEASE explain this conversation to me?"
"It might be interesting to explore useless for a while..."
"We've got to leave! Well, I do, anyway; you can just turn into a couch."
... and a chilling "No one despises the Cardassians more than I, Major -- but
we did learn a few things from them."

The epic kept going here, and showed every sign of blowing the lid off of
most of past Trek in terms of quality. The Circle's pervasiveness and
implacability, most of the Winn/Bareil interaction, the political dance of
Jaro and Winn ... that was powerful stuff. Add to that the flat-out zaniness
of the conversation in Kira's quarters, and the intensity of Kira's vision,
and you've got one of DS9's best to date.

Final rating: 10.

"The Siege"
Written by: Michael Piller
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Initial rating: 7.

"Where are you RUNNING to?" [not a great line, but spectacular delivery!]
"Don't you like combat rations?" "A French onion soup would've *really*
been nice..."
"I'd die for my people -- " "Sure you would. Dying gets you off the hook."

Unfortunately, the strength couldn't last. "The Siege" is by no means bad,
but given the epic feel and sense of wonder in the first two parts, to have a
wham-bam-"here's your station back, ma'am" cutoff like this smacks all too
suspiciously of previous Trek cliffhangers that ended with a fizzle. "The
Siege" had a lot of nice action, to be sure, and some decent strategizing in
the Sisko/Krim duel of wills, but Colonel Day screamed "plot hurrier", Li's
death was a disappointingly "conventional" move, and the sense of foreboding
on Bajor seemed far more broken than events should have dictated. Basically,
"The Siege" was a nice *show*, but it'd be nice if someone had remembered to
end the bloody thing.

Final rating: 6.5.

"Invasive Procedures"
Written by: John Whelpley (story); John Whelpley and Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by: Les Landau
Initial rating: 5.
Quotables: "They reduced my entire life to one word: Unsuitable."

This show improved a bit on a second viewing, but I didn't find it nearly the
powerhouse that others did, or that it could have been. Again, there was
some intelligent planning on the part of the villains, and both John Glover
and Megan Gallagher did good jobs with the roles they were given. All the
same, the show felt lacking: Odo had to commit the all-time brainless move
of his life to let the plot progress, Quark took an action which should have
resulted in his permanent departure from the station (which makes his
continued presence implausible at best), and the Bashir/Jadzia end of the
plot didn't ring true for me at all. Plus, Quark's squealing is about as
pleasant as nails on a chalkboard -- and in stereo, too. Oh, joy.

Final rating: 6.

Written by: Gene Wolande & John Wright (story); James Crocker (teleplay)
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Initial rating: 9.
Quotables: "I am no more a spy than you are -- " "-- a doctor."
"So, you _deduced_ that Garak _thinks_ Dukat is lying about something you're
not sure of, and you proceeded to interrupt _my_ conversation to
confront him about whatever that might be." "I'm sorry, Commander."
"Don't apologize -- it's been the high point of my day. DON'T do it
"I was in the underground." "Really? Perhaps we HAVE met!"

About the only negative I could find in this show was Sisko's final decision
about Rugal, and that's more a gut "oh, bad move" feeling than an actual
dramatic problem. Beyond that, we had some nice work with O'Brien
confronting his own biases -- and more than that, enough political scheming
with Garak, Dukat, Pa'Dar, Sisko, and Bashir to satisfy most with a taste for
it. This was also the first in a series of Really Good Bashir Shows [tm].

Final rating: 9.5.

Written by: Evan Carlos Somers (story); Evan Carlos Somers and Steven Baum
and Michael Piller & James Crocker (teleplay)
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Initial rating: 2.5.
Quotables: "There's nothing worse than half-dead rakht."

"Melora", on the other hand, was one in a hopefully very short list of Really
Bad Bashir Shows [tm refused]. While the Klingon restaurant was a definite
high point, and there was a trace of honest emotion in Bashir's face once or
twice, "Melora" combined screaming doses of implausibility (Melora's
physique, Bashir's inexperience in zero-g, etc.) with a bludgeoning message
about disabilities, and seasoned to distaste with a healthy dose of deus ex
machina, delivered by phaser no less. I think I understand what the writers
were trying for here ... but this definitely wasn't it (I hope).

Final rating: 2.5.

"Rules of Acquisition"
Written by: Hilary Bader (story); Ira Steven Behr (teleplay)
Directed by: David Livingston
Initial rating: 4.
Quotables: None good enough to mention.

Once again, I seem at odds with the net where Ferengi episodes are concerned.
Most people hated "The Nagus" last year, and I loved it. On the other hand,
"Rules of Acquisition" seemed well received from what I remember; and it fell
really, really flat for me. Grand Nagus Zek was entertaining in "The Nagus"
because he was new, and because he appeared in small doses; neither was the
case here, alas, and as such he was well beyond wearing. To its credit, the
show *tried* to have a point, but reminded me of "The Outcast" in some ways,
being both bludgeoning and sexist about it. Other good points included Dax's
casual acceptance of Pel (with some interesting hints about her attitude
towards sexuality as well), and a healthy dose of canniness for Rom. Beyond
that, though, the only draw was chuckling at the Dozai, who must have been
spawned by some unholy genetic cross of the World Wrestling Federation and
Oompa-Loompas. :-)

Final rating: 4.

"Necessary Evil"
Written by: Peter Allan Fields
Directed by: James L. Conway
Initial rating: 10.
"My own very adequate memory not being good enough for Starfleet, I am
pleased to put my voice to this official record of this day.
Everything's under control. End log."
"You're not as stupid as you look." "I am too!"
"Have you ever seen a dead man before?" "Yes -- in your mines."
"Are these kinds of thoughts appropriate for a Starfleet log? I don't care."

Wow. This is quite possibly DS9's best show to date (though "Duet" is still
a serious rival as well). The only problem with it is that Rom's screaming
isn't any more entertaining than Quark's -- but fortunately, this time it was
short. Other than that, the lack of followup where Odo's trust in Kira is
concerned is troubling, but it's a problem with the series, not the episode.
On the other hand, we had here a show with a surprisingly nice set of bits
with Rom, some riveting flashback sequences, particularly between Odo and
Dukat (though Odo/Kira is close), atmosphere oozing out of every shot (thanks
in very large part to director James L. Conway), and a tight, tight story
that pulled no punches. It's a shame Peter Allan Fields is gone; between
this and "Duet", it's pretty clear that he will be missed.

Final rating: 10.

"Second Sight"
Written by: Mark Gehred-O'Connell (story); Mark Gehred-O'Connell and
Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe (teleplay)
Directed by: Alexander Singer
Initial rating: 3.5.
Quotables: "-- and of course, it doesn't hurt to be a raging egomaniac."
"I thought the theoretical maximum for those engines was warp 9.5." "It

I must have been in a lousy mood when I first watched "Sanctuary", because in
retrospect I was far, *far* too harsh. Yes, there's not exactly an overflow
of chemistry between Sisko and Fenna; yes, the technobabble about the star's
reignition was terrible; and yes, the dialogue got a little strained from
time to time. But Richard Kiley's Seyetik, which for some reason really
turned me off at first, grew on me quite a bit later on, and turned into one
of the show's high points. Add to that some nice conflict between the two,
amusing work with Sisko/Dax and Sisko/Jake, and you have a show that really
isn't bad. (Not *great*, but not bad at all...)

[As a further question -- did Seyetik remind anyone (in bearing, anyway) as
somewhat Asimov-like?]

Final rating: 6.5.

Written by: Gabe Essoe & Kelley Miles (story); Frederick Rappaport
Directed by: Les Landau
Initial rating: 6.
Quotables: "It's hard to keep a secret in Ops, especially when you've been
shouting at a monitor for two days."

"Sanctuary", on the other hand, seems to be getting duller with age.
Although much of the basic story about the Skrreeans was sound, and Haneek
was a very well made character (at least late in the show), the episode also
got saddled with an ultra-sluggish start, lots of silliness with the
Universal Translator, guest characters that were unpleasant in ways beyond
the intended ones (Minister Rozan and Tumak being two big examples), and
execution that just sort of padded along hoping to spur some interest
somewhere. I'm not sure how much of it they got.

Final rating: 5.

Written by: Jim Trombetta and Michael Piller (story); Joe Menosky (teleplay)
Directed by: David Livingston
Initial rating: 6.
"You had a game?" "No, HE had a game. I just kinda stumbled around the
court for 90 minutes making a complete ass of myself."

"Rivals" was basically fluff, and a lot of it worked -- but only up to a
point. While most of the racquetball plot between O'Brien and Bashir had me
on the floor, there were some decent incidental moments (particular Bashir
looking for a working saltshaker during lunch with Dax), and Martus's final
comeuppance was pleasant, the show basically looked like it was boring
several of the major actors involved, Chris Sarandon in particular.
"Rivals"'s only big problem was that it seemed extremely _slow_; another ten
minutes of plot might have helped thicken things out a lot more. Otherwise,
it's okay if you've a slow hour to kill. :-)

Final rating: 6.

"The Alternate"
Written by: Jim Trombetta and Bill Dial (story); Bill Dial (teleplay)
Directed by: David Carson
Initial rating: 7.
Quotables: "I have five thousand pieces of Pleg in my storeroom!"
"Just because you suffered through [Klingon opera] doesn't mean I have to!"
"Yes it does!" [that *grin*!]
"All things considered, the computer's having a bad week."
"I prescribe rest -- because it's hard for a doctor to go wrong with that

"The Alternate" could have been so much more than it was that it almost hurts
to see the lost potential. With James Sloyan in another major Trek
guest-star role and a story with some "father/son" conflict between Odo and
Dr. Mora, this should've been riveting. Somehow, though, it wasn't. It had
moments that were terrific (the Odo/Mora confrontation in security being the
major one), but there was also the entire subplot of the pillar (which turned
out to have zero relevance to anything), a rather pronounced "Alien" knockoff
with O'Brien, and a story that just didn't quite ... connect. I'm not sure
exactly what did happen here, but "The Alternate" wasn't nearly the
powerhouse it should have been.

Final rating: 6.

"Armageddon Game"
Written by: Morgan Gendel
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Initial rating: 8.5.
Quotables: "Extension courses?"
"I'm not blind, you know." "Of course not -- but you *are* married."

The mid-season lull started to shake itself off once "Armageddon Game" came
into view. While neither of the enemy diplomats were particularly
convincing, the show had a few too many "hold at gunpoint long enough for
a miraculous escape" cliches than was good for it, and there was one somewhat
nagging plot hole (in that the Harvesters actually *weren't* destroyed!),
there was a nice premise here with a lot of solid execution, and the
Bashir/O'Brien interplay was among the best this pair has had to date.
Morgan Gendel's second DS9 story was certainly light-years ahead of his
first, last season's "The Passenger"; this one worked.

Final rating: 7.5.

Written by: Paul Robert Coyle
Directed by: Les Landau
Initial rating: 9.5.
Quotables: "How's the sex life?" "I don't HAVE a sense of humor."
"I believe you've poked into every orifice in my body -- and created a few
new ones."
"They *GOT* to you..."

Whew. Now that was *much* more like it. On a first run, "Whispers" grabbed
me by the throat and didn't let me go until the final minutes -- and it was
every bit as riveting a few months later. The oddness of O'Brien's situation
works both before and after the truth is revealed, O'Brien has some great
sleuthing moments, and the show oozed paranoia out of every frame. Being a
big fan of paranoia myself :-), this wasn't to be missed. About the only
significant problem "Whispers" has is the ending, which is strikingly fast
and a little perplexing -- just why *would* the crew let the replicant
O'Brien die without any attempts to save him? All in all, "Whispers" is one
of DS9's better efforts this season.

Final rating: 9.5.

Written by: Jim Trombetta and James Crocker (story); Jeff King and
Richard Manning & Hans Beimler (teleplay)
Directed by: Corey Allen
Initial rating: 6.5.
"My name is Joseph; Vinod's the one playing with the sharp object."
"Interesting philosophy -- and while we're discussing it, a woman is dying."

"Paradise" seems to have hooked a lot of viewers far more than it did me,
even after I heard all the wonderful arguments in its favor. The show's got
a lot to recommend it: Alixus's intensity, a good old-fashioned battle of
wills, a stark and brutal plot full of fairly nasty imagery, and some smart
thinking from Sisko and O'Brien once they're *in* the situation. But even
so, there are a lot of elements that drag it down in minor ways: the naked
idiocy of Sisko and O'Brien *getting* themselves into the situation in the
first place, a very out-of-place seduction sequence, an ending that seems
grossly unfair, and the fact that Gail Strickland just got a bit too
"breathy" at times to be a convincing Alixus. "Paradise" is hardly a bad
show -- in fact, it's perfectly fine -- but it's not one of the greats,

Final rating: 7.

Written by: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by: Robert Scheerer
Initial rating: 7.5.
"After seven lifetimes, the impersonal questions aren't much fun any more."
"Are we being accused of some kind of crime?" "Have you committed one?"
"You follow springball?" "Religiously! If you'll pardon the expression."

If "Shadowplay" had limited itself to the main plot (Odo and the
holo-village), it might have been a 9 or higher, as that plot, while a little
hoary, was executed absolutely beautifully. Noley Thornton continued to
prove that at least *some* of Trek's guest children can act, and everything
fell into place as neatly as anyone could wish for. Unfortunately, we also
had the "Bareil's in heat" subplot, which left me very unimpressed: that
pair is capable of a lot better, as we saw in "The Circle" and would see
later in "The Collaborator".

Final rating: 8.

"Playing God"
Written by: Jim Trombetta (story); Jim Trombetta and Michael Piller
Directed by: David Livingston
Initial rating: 8.
Quotables: "Phasers on stun, Mr. O'Brien. I want those voles taken ALIVE."
"Serious? No. I just threw my whole life out a porthole. Nothing serious."

Oof. On a repeat viewing, "Playing God" tumbled quite a bit. Like "Rivals"
and a couple of other episodes this season, "Playing God"'s biggest fault was
that it was sleepwalking. (Its second biggest fault was Geoffrey Blake, who
made Arjin about as interesting as a lint filter.) That's a shame, because
the Dax/Arjin plot had a lot going for it, for once addressing Dax having
to adjust herself to her new life and new persona -- and the Sisko/Dax
conversation about Arjin proved that quite handily. The "proto-universe"
plot was a waste of time, but the rest of it could have worked handily given
the right conditions. Ah, well; better luck next time.

Final rating: 6.5.

"Profit and Loss"
Written by: Flip Kobler & Cindy Marcus
Directed by: Robert Wiemer
Initial rating: 6.
"If you're not a spy, maybe you're an outcast." "Or maybe I'm an outcast
"So, how well does this woman know you? Just enough to dislike you, or well
enough to *really* hate you?"
"She wants to know if it hurts. Of course it hurts, it's supposed to hurt,
it's a PHASER..."
"They made you a Gul? I didn't realize the situation on Cardassia had gotten
so desperate."

My opinion of this one didn't change that much. I said months ago that Garak
was the show's saving grace, and that's still quite true. Why anyone came up
with the idea of a "Casablanca" pastiche for DS9 I'll never know, but Armin
Shimerman, for all his charm, is *hardly* Bogart -- and a Quark love story
seems quite likely to be one of Trek's more definite oxymorons. Garak had a
lot of good moments, both with Quark and with Sisko, but unfortunately the
two lovebirds (Quark and Natima) had no chemistry to speak of, and the show
made up for it with plot holes (Gul Toran having free rein of the station in
particular). Fortunately, this was the last really weak episode of the
season, and even it was watchable.

Final rating: 5.5.

"Blood Oath"
Written by: Peter Allan Fields (television story and teleplay);
based on material by Andrea Moore Alton
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Initial rating: 9.5.
Quotables: "It's been a Klingon afternoon."
"Now our warriors are opening restaurants, and serving rakht to the
grandchildren of men I slaughtered in battle."
"Kang thinks too much -- Koloth doesn't feel enough."
"I was once, if you remember, far less than you see -- and far more than I've
"There is tension on your face, Koloth -- you ought to drink more!"

"Blood Oath" may annoy TOS purists who wanted the three Klingons to reference
Kirk in their every word and deed, but I doubt it'll rile anyone else. Dax,
on the face of it the *least* likely person you'd expect to hang out with
Klingons, proved her worth many times over to them, and it's a shame that the
power of the no-words-necessary ending hasn't been addressed since. The
stars of this Viking epic, though, were clearly the three Klingons, and with
the exception of the occasional off-key moment from William Campbell, all
three proved more than up to recreating their bygone roles: Kor as the body,
Koloth as the mind, and Kang as the heart of the trio. John Colicos, in
particular, was a joy to behold, stealing most of the best lines. This was
drama at close to its best.

Final rating: 9.5.

"The Maquis, Part I"
Written by: Rick Berman & Michael Piller & Jeri Taylor and James Crocker
(story); James Crocker (teleplay)
Directed by: David Livingston
Initial rating: 9.
Quotables: "The demilitarized zone." "Not so demilitarized, I'm afraid."
"Education is power -- joy is vulnerability."
"Untie my _hands_ before you start trying to blame me, Mr. O'Brien!"
"Say what you like [about the Cardassian occupation] -- it was SAFER then."

Only two things hurt this episode: the "let's be stupid and beam down into
an enemy camp without a way out" cliffhanger, and Bernie Casey. With all
apologies to Mr. Casey, his stilted style simply wasn't right for Cal Hudson,
a man who'd lost a lot and decided to fight back the only way he could. Most
everything else about "The Maquis, Pt. I", however, worked like a charm, from
the realization that the Federation can still be naive in its "moral high
ground", to the dark side of Odo's security-conscious ways, to the power of
the Sisko/Dukat sequences both here and in part II. We saw the opening of a
can of worms here; one that's not likely to slam shut any time soon.

Final rating: 8.5.

"The Maquis, Part II"
Written by: Rick Berman & Michael Piller & Jeri Taylor and Ira Steven Behr
(story); Ira Steven Behr (teleplay)
Directed by: Corey Allen
Initial rating: 9.5.
Quotables: "You don't want peace, Cal; you want *revenge*."
"You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise.
Well, it's easy to be a *saint* in Paradise."
"Tell him -- I still have his uniform. He can have it back any time he
"-- that if the Maquis did not execute you, then the Central Command would --
*after* a comforting trial, I'm sure."
"Because Vulcans don't lie?" "As a rule, they don't." "They don't blow up
ships either, as a rule."
"I thought you were strong, Commander. You're not. You're a fool, a
sentimental fool."

Ouch. Part two of "The Maquis" pulled even fewer punches than part one,
again erring only with Bernie Casey's Hudson. Both Sisko and Dukat, the
other two legs of the Sisko/Dukat/Hudson triangle, were so good that it hurt
to cut away from their scenes, which isn't something I can say very often.
Add to that some nice subtext with the uniform, surprisingly nice action
sequences at the end, and for once an acknowledgement that problems *don't*
always get solved this fast, and you've got a serious hook on which to hang
other good stories in the future.

Final rating: 9.5.

"The Wire"
Written by: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by: Kim Friedman
Initial rating: 9.5.
Quotables: "In my expert medical opinion, I'd say it's ... sick."
"There's always Quark's." "True, but I'm really not in the mood for noisy,
crowded and vulgar today."
"I wasn't yelling; I was just expressing my opinion, LOUDLY."
"I hope you don't have one of those little bugs hidden in my quarters."
"Should I?"
"Doctor, did anyone ever tell you that you are an infuriating pest?!" "Chief
O'Brien, ALL the time, and I don't pay any attention to HIM, either."
"My dear doctor, they're *all* true." "Even the lies?" "Especially the

Whew. This was one of the more intense shows of the season -- and given the
intensity of much of this season, that says a lot. Although the implication
at the end of the show that "everything's fine now" undercuts the power of
the show far more than I'd like, everything else was superb, from the casual
menace of Enabran Tain, to still more of Odo's dark side (which I'd love to
see more of later), to the answers-without-answers we got where Garak is
concerned, to the strength of the Bashir/Garak interactions themselves,
particularly in Garak's "withdrawal". If the ending had been stronger, "The
Wire" would've been an easy 10. As it is...

Final rating: 9.

Written by: Peter Allan Fields (story); Peter Allan Fields and Michael
Piller (teleplay)
Directed by: David Livingston
Initial rating: 10.
Quotables: "I do admire a well-tailored gown."
"The players are all the same, but ... everyone seems to be playing different
"You're the perfect gift for the girl who has everything!"
"You're looking in the wrong place for a hero, *ma'am*."
"I _am_ a decent man!"
"Starfleet would probably have a big problem with [taking O'Brien along] ...
to hell with them. Let's go."
"Have you lost your mind?" "No. I didn't lose it. I just ... changed it."

Okay, everyone has a weaknesses: battle-heavy shows, relationship-heavy
shows, whatever. Mine is "what ifs", and even if objectively this show had a
few weaknesses (the gratuitous destruction of mirror-Odo, for instance, and
the slightly overdone opening dialogue), the return to the mirror-universe
was done well enough that my interest in such stories took over. Even
objectively, though, there's a lot to recommend "Crossover". Nana Visitor is
breathtaking in her double role (being downright _unsettling_ as
mirror-Kira), Avery Brooks shows more snarling life than he has in virtually
his whole tenure as Sisko to date, and O'Brien's pathos is surprisingly
effective. Sure, maybe the story's a little thin: frankly, I don't care. I
loved it.

Final rating: 9.5.

"The Collaborator"
Written by: Gary Holland (story); Gary Holland and Ira Steven Behr &
Robert Hewitt Wolfe (teleplay)
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Initial rating: 8.
"I know you're under a terrible strain, but if you're wise -- you will never
speak to me with such disrespect again."
"Perfect. Not only is it illegal, it's *sacrilegious*."
"The question is, where will she lead us?" "Down paths she cannot possibly
imagine. She's going to need our help along the way, even if she
doesn't realize it yet."

Forget "Shadowplay" -- it's shows like "The Collaborator" that show how the
Kira/Bareil relationship *really* progresses. Though I wish there'd been a
bit more gradual closeness between the two seen on-screen, the relationship
still *felt* established when we saw it, and the threat to it presented by
Bareil's past seemed all too real. Beyond that, the politicking and the
plot twists were up to the episode's high standards, and the Orb visions were
marvelous. And actually making the "difficult" choice and putting Winn in
the Kai's position? Eep. The only serious problem the show had was the
Kubus subplot, which seemed to vanish without a trace. Other than that, this
is yet another keeper.

Final rating: 9.

Written by: Bill Dial
Directed by: Avery Brooks
Initial rating: 6.
"Is he gone?" "Finally." "Good. He's been driving me crazy all day."
"Must've been someone else in bed with us."
"You have the right to refuse to answer questions; however, such refusal may
be construed as a sign of guilt."
"I'm no angel -- but I try to live each day as the best human being I can be."

Irk. This was the only weak spot of the last third of the season, and it
only gets weaker with age. Although the station's reaction to O'Brien's
plight was handled quite well (particularly Bashir's hero-worship and Kira's
worms of doubt), and O'Brien himself was pretty well done, the plot itself
just didn't gel right. Cardassian "justice" was too much like a parody of
current justice, and everyone was way too over the top in making sure that We
Got The Point. "Tribunal" had its moments (Bashir being "addressed" by the
Maquis, for instance, was a chiller), but not nearly enough of them.

Final rating: 5.5.

"The Jem'Hadar"
Written by: Ira Steven Behr
Directed by: Kim Friedman
Initial rating: 8.
"Don't you find [Keogh] just a *little* arrogant?" "Funny -- he said the
same thing about you."
"Now, if you'll excuse me -- I have a lock to pick."
"Lieutenant, have you ever thought of serving on a starship?" "I'm happy
where I am." "Good."

And thus the season came to an end -- with a bang, but at least partially
*only* for the sake of ending with a bang, or so it seemed. Although a lot
of the Jake/Nog stuff wasn't nearly as unpleasant as I found it in June, some
of it still doesn't work, and a lot of the slapstick with Quark's discomfort
in the outdoors was just flat-out unwatchable. However, the Dominion were
properly enigmatic and menacing for a first threat, Eris was a remarkably
terrific character to watch, and there were lots of good moments all around,
from Kira's reaction to New Bajor's destruction to Quark's idea of selling
"collectibles" on the monitors. ("Quark's Video Collectibles", as someone
put it -- whoever thought it up, it's a great image.) There have been better
season-ending episodes on Trek, but this shows a lot of future promise.

Final rating: 8.5.

Taking an average (for whatever it's worth), we come up with an even 7.5 for
this season: not bad at all, and an improvement over last season (not to
mention this season of TNG!). However, there's certainly a lot to say about
the season as a whole. So...

[To be continued...]

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