Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 2 Recap

The second season definitely felt like there was a bit of direction, unlike the first season, which was just another decent Trek show. This season had several references to the Gamma Quadrant’s biggest force, “The Dominion”…who are finally revealed in the finale…well most aspects of the Dominion are anyhow.

The characters are all taking shape, the plots are still solid if not as good as they will be, and the storyline of the overall show is beginning to become clear. All in all, if the first season was only “decent” the second is that step towards “incredible”…but it is the steppingstone.

This season gave the show a better direction; it began to set it on the course of the Dominion War, which would dominate the series in its final three years…but this and the next season where just the beginnings of an arc that changed Star Trek and the Alpha Quadrant forever.

NEXT TIME: Finding the Founders

The Dominion

Story: The Jem'Hadar
Written By: Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

And the game changed. This episode is really well crafted, it is hilarious, it is dramatic and intense, it has action…and it brings the Dominion out of the shadow of hints and whispers, and gives them a face in the Jem’Hadar and the Vorta.
It changes the story; it changes where this show was going, and the thing that is really great about this whole Dominion thing…they were first hinted at early in the season, and little hints were given throughout…all leading to the moment when we finally meet them.

And it is a great game-changing end to a season.

NEXT TIME: DS9 Season 2 Recap

Cardassian Justice

Story: Tribunal
Written By: Bill Dial
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

Much like “Whispers” this is an “O’Brien Must Suffer” Episode. Unlike “Whispers” it is actually the real O’Brien suffering this time around. It is an interesting episode that gives us a big old look at Cardassian justice. It is scary and fascinating.
Meaney and the Cardassians are all well performed, Keiko is average as ever, but that doesn’t matter…it’s a good episode. I’m not the biggest fan of the “suffer” episodes, but this is the first, and it is solid…some of them went a little far and took me out of it.

NEXT TIME: Fear From the Gamma Quadrant

Bareil During the Occupation

Story: The Collaborator
Written By: Gary Holland, Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

An interesting episode about picking the new Kai on Bajor, and whether or not Bareil collaborated with the Cardassians during the occupation. The players are great, Winn is sinister, Bareil is torn, as is Kira.
There is one moment I'd like to mention...at one point Kira mentions to Odo that she loves Bareil...his look of shock and disappointment is the first hint that he has feelings for her...and it is a great moment that does not call attention to itself...well done.

I think this is an episode better watched than explained. So I suggest you watch and enjoy a really interesting plot unfold.

NEXT TIME: Dark Tribunal

Detour

Story: Crossover
Written By: Peter Allan Fields and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

Bashir and Kira accidentally end up in the mirror universe, which makes it's first return since it's debut in 1967. It is awesome to return to this classic aspect of the franchise, and it is fun as hell. Nana Visitor as the Kira counterpart, the Intendant, is really fun to watch.
All in all it is good that this universe ripe for good storytelling finally got revisited in DS9, and lead to a sort of mini-arc within this series, there are several other episodes that expand on the story started here.

NEXT TIME: Kira’s Lover and His Past

Garak's Implant

Story: The Wire
Written By: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

Tremendous episode. One of the best of the whole series. Garak is experiencing headaches due to an implant in his brain. The episode gives us two great performances from Siddig and Robinson, but especially from Robinson. He is fantastic. He can be hilarious, scary, intense and almost frightening. This is probably one of the best performances he ever gave to the series.
In the end we still are left with a lot of mystery surrounding Garak, I love that the truth about him is still a big mystery. I love everything about him…especially the lies.

NEXT TIME: Return of the Mirror Universe

Dukat’s Kidnapped

Story: The Maquis, Part II
Written By: Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor, James Cocker and Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

The second episode is as good as the first, a little more action, but still thoughtful. It raises some interesting issues, especially with lines like “It is easy to be a saint in Paradise” in regards to Earth. All in all there is little to complain about.
It is a solid couple of episodes, especially considering that this two-parter, “Journey’s End” and “Preemptive Strike” were all created only to serve as a backdrop for Voyager. All of these episodes were totally solid and well executed…yet Voyager eventually screwed it up.

NEXT TIME: Sons of Tain

In the Demilitarized Zone

Story: The Maquis, Part I
Written By: Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor, James Cocker and Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

A little bit before this episode premiered, TNG had an episode called “Journey’s End”. It was the final story of Wesley Crusher but also the plot of this episode was seeded. The Federation made a lousy treaty with the Cardassians, and as a result some Federation members were uprooted from their homes…well some refused to leave.
These people apparently fear the Cardassians arming themselves in the demilitarized zone, and knowing the Cardassians, it is kind of hard to doubt it. So they’ve been arming themselves, and defending themselves against the Cardassians…even becoming terrorists against the Cardassians…this rubs the Federation the wrong way.

It is up to Sisko and his old friend who is also stationed on the Cardassian border to figure it all out and stop it…but in the end it is discovered that Cal himself is a member of the Maquis.

NEXT TIME: I prefer to call it retaliation…

Kor, Kang, and Koloth

Story: Blood Oath
Written By: Peter Allan Fields
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

Three old Klingons appear on the station, and they happen to be old friends of Curzon Dax. They are Kor, Kang, and Koloth…three Klingons who were each originally villains in the original series at some point. For the big Trek fan like me…it’s a lot of fun just to see them. But for the DS9 casual fan it is actually a solid episode as well.
Basically the three Klingons and Curzon held a blood oath to seek revenge on someone known as “The Albino” who murdered the firstborn sons of Kor, Kang, and Koloth.

It is not only one of the first interesting Klingon stories in a while…things like “Birthright” and “Firstborn” had not captured my interest. It seems like it wasn’t that Klingons had become uninteresting, it was that Worf (as he was being written at this point on TNG) had become uninteresting. Seemingly they had just lost their way in furthering his story…only until he arrived on DS9 did they begin to really take him in nice new directions.

Anyhow, the other interesting aspect of this episode is Dax. Dax is a character with a really interesting backstory and race of people, yet I really feel early on the writers weren’t sure how to handle it. You take an episode like “Dax”. A whole episode about Dax and who she is and it focuses more on Sisko. Finally we get this, which is focusing on her character, from her perspective…and the complicated issues that come with being a Trill with the memories and feelings of someone integrated into your own personality…it is some interesting concepts, and I think this episode executed them well.

NEXT TIME: Cal Hudson

Here's Looking At You...

Story: Profit and Loss
Written By: Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

When some Cardassian fugitives come aboard the station, Quark is excited to see that one of them is his long lost love from the occupation, Natima Lang. It is actually a solid love story, despite some of the Trek writer’s issues in writing such stories; this one actually ends up working out nicely.
It is clearly modeled somewhat on Casablanca, but it deviates enough to make it interesting in its own right. It is a good vehicle for Quark to do something beyond the usually “profit profit profit” plots, as much as I usually enjoy them I like a change of pace from time to time.

NEXT TIME: Curzon’s Debt

Arjin

Story: Playing God
Written By: Jim Trombetta and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

A Trill comes to the station, he is an initiate of the symbiont program, and his mentor is to be Jadzia Dax…but the Dax symbiont has a reputation of denying candidates. Jadzia herself was initially denied by Curzon. But she feels she is not like Curzon, she is Jadzia.
The thing is this kid really does not seem like he either wants the symbiont, nor cares about the results…but he is fulfilling the wishes of his father. It is an alright episode, and at least it deals with the subject of Trills and Dax and actually spends a good chunk of time actually focusing on Dax.

NEXT TIME: Quark’s Lost Cardassian Love

Village of Holograms

Story: Shadowplay
Written By: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

This one is kinda pointless in the long run but it is well executed and definitely well thought out. It features Dax and Odo in the Gamma Quadrant discover a mysterious village where some of the villagers seem to be mysteriously disappearing. Dax discovers that they are all, in fact, holograms, and that the main computer source is on the fritz. When they try to do a reboot, they discover one man is not a hologram.
Things that are of value are that is makes mention that the man who created the holograms did so after the Dominion killed everyone else in his village. I like the little hints of this so-called “Dominion” peppered throughout the season, leading up to the finale.

It also has a nice plot for Odo, who becomes friends with a little girl hologram, it has some decent dialogue and scenes. The little girl is a hell of a lot better in this episode than she was in TNG’s “Imaginary Friend”.

NEXT TIME: Initiate

Planet of the Amish

Story: Paradise
Written By: Jeff King, Richard Manning, Hans Beimler, Jim Trombetta and James Crocker
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

O’Brien and Sisko get trapped on a planet incapable of using technology, and cannot beam back up to the runabout. They find a small band of villagers on the planet, who crashed 10 years prior, and they have learned to live without technology. They are the future Amish.
But O’Brien and Sisko are hopeful for a rescue, and while the villagers seem pleasant enough, the leader is a total dictator who refuses to acknowledge a rescue and wishes to force O’Brien and Sisko to join the cult. She even hands out justice by shoving people into a tiny box…which she ends up doing to Sisko.

It turns out that reason no one can use technology, is because she has hidden a tech-block-out device in the woods, to keep anyone from leaving. She is taken to be punished by the Federation at the end of the episode, but the villagers choose to stay. It is an entertaining episode, but not all that important.

NEXT TIME: Persistence of Vision

O’Brien is Paranoid

Story: Whispers
Written By: Paul Robert Coyle
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

This is a solid episode that focuses on O’Brien feeling suspicious after his visit to some planet. Everyone is acting weird around him, not treating him like he is an equal, locking him out of security protocols, holding secret meetings. The whole crew, Jake, Keiko, Molly…everyone is not acting normal around the Chief of Operations.
It is a good episode, and Meaney gives a terrific performance. The twist at the end, that he is actually a perfect clone sent to disrupt the new planet’s meeting is pretty well executed as well.

NEXT TIME: No Technology

Bashir and O'Brien

Story: Armageddon Game
Written By: Morgan Gendel
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

Bashir and O’Brien are helping two warring factions destroy their biological weapons. But then everyone there is a attacked, and O’Brien and Bashir become trapped and alone on this planet, and they are declared dead on the station.
It is the first real glimpse at the relationship that will develop between the two characters, and for that reason it is an important episode. By the end of the episode, you can tell that the Chief is starting to actually like Julian, more so than he did by the end of “Rivals”.

I also loved the little joke at the end that Keiko’s whole basis for believing that O’Brien was alive was actually just a mistake. Hilarious.

NEXT TIME: Acting Suspicious

Dr. Mora Pol

Story: The Alternate
Written By: Jim Trombetta and Bill Dial
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

Here is a decent development for the character of Odo. The scientist who discovered him, Dr. Mora, has come to the station with possible evidence of more shapeshifters.
They get a sample from some planet, and it begins to wreak havoc on the station. But it isn’t really the sample…it is Odo, affected by some toxins on that planet.
I like that Odo and the Doctor have a bit of a strained relationship. Life for Odo has been difficult, and this is the guy that first experimented on him. This old scientist spent his life working with Odo, and it eventually tore them apart, and Odo left…he wishes Odo would return. It is interesting.

NEXT TIME: Harvesters

Martus Mazur

Story: Rivals
Written By: Jim Trombetta, Michael Piller and Joe Menosky
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1994

An El-Aurian opens up a rival bar that steals Quark’s customers with an odd little game. The problem is the A-story isn’t as fun to watch as the B-story. The B-story involves a racquetball rivalry between O’Brien and Bashir. The O’Brien/Bashir story is a big step in building their friendship, which eventually is one of the best friendships in all of Trek.
But then the story turns into a goofy good luck bad luck comedy. It is kind of lame.

Mostly it is average to mediocre, it doesn’t thrill or have that great a story, but I like the relationships that build with Julian and the Chief.

NEXT TIME: Odo’s Kind

Kentanna

Story: Sanctuary
Written By: Gabe Essoe, Kelley Miles and Frederick Rappaport
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Some aliens from the Gamma Quadrant have a destroyed home world, 3 million of them are looking for a mythical world known as Kentanna. They all waltz onto the station, leave their skin everywhere, get into some fights with people, then decide the planet they are looking for is actually Bajor. When the Bajorans say they cannot live there, the only nice one in the bunch suddenly turns into a huge bitch over it…how dare you not let all 3 million of us take up a chunk of your planet, when the Federation has found them a perfectly suitable planet.
I just found it didn’t really tell much of a story, beyond these people being kinda weird and creepy, and demanding more than they should. I came off feeling like they were ungrateful for the help they were given, especially considering they didn’t have to receive any help at all. I think the writers wanted the Bajorans to come off pretty bad, but I don’t think they did a good job.

The only interesting aspect is the second mention of the Dominion, and how it destroyed these people’s planet. Interesting foreshadowing for sure.

NEXT TIME: Con Artist’s Bar

Fenna

Story: Second Sight
Written By: Mark Gehred-O'Connell, Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

What a bad episode. Sudden love interest for Sisko, and she keeps disappearing. I just don’t see any redeeming quality in an episode like this. I really found it both sill, unrealistic, and poorly conceived and written.
The terra-forming scientist is annoying as hell too. In the end most of the episode is either annoying or doesn’t make logical sense.

NEXT TIME: Skrreeans

Odo's Investigation

Story: Necessary Evil
Written By: Peter Allan Fields
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

This is a really good one. After Quark is shot and incapacitated, Odo begins to find links to his first investigation on the station, and we get a real decent double mystery story. One in the present, trying to figure out what everything is all about, and one in the past…during the occupation, in which we learn how Odo came to work with the Cardassians, when he met Kira, and just how dark and scary the station was under Cardassian rule.
It is a great episode, with some nice twists and turns. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

NEXT TIME: Sisko’s Love Interest

Profit Margin

Story: Rules of Acquisition
Written By: Hilary J. Bader and Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

I don’t know why some people do not like DS9 Ferengi episodes. They are great. I love Quark, I love Rom, I love the Nagus…and I even love Nog. This episode has them trying to open up trade in the gamma quadrant. The episode isn’t the best Ferengi episode in the world, it is rather average (for Ferengi episodes) but I think it still has plenty of enjoyable moments to make it worthwhile.
It does have the first mention of the Dominion, who are destined to be HUGE in this show’s future.

NEXT TIME: Everybody has to choose sides, Constable

From a Low Gravity Planet

Story: Melora
Written By: Evan Carlos Somers, Steven Baum, Michael Piller and James Crocker
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

How do you do a story about being handicapped in a series that has a universe that eliminated all handicaps? You don’t. At least you hope that they don’t. “Melora” is a terrible episode. Dana Ashbrook is a bad actress, and the story is just not believable at all. She plays the title character, a woman from a planet with less gravity…and she is in crutches as a result of the high gravity of Deep Space 9. Gimme a break.
The story is a lame, she teaches Bashir to fly and they have a quick nonsensical love affair. I hate one off love stories in Star Trek.

NEXT TIME: Pel

War Orphans

Story: Cardassians
Written By: Gene Wolande, John Wright and James Crocker
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

This is an interesting one. The Cardassians left war orphans on Bajor when the occupation ended; these Cardassians have been raised by Bajorans. One of them arrives on the station and bites Garak, which leads to some investigations into just what is being taught about Cardassians to these children, and whether or not they’ve been abused.
At the same time Garak and Bashir try to investigate the circumstances of this particular boy’s history and adoption. This storyline works because I love Garak in any situation, but the pairing of him and Bashir is always good for fun banter.

All in all, solid outing.

NEXT TIME: Melora Pazlar

Verad Dax

Story: Invasive Procedures
Written By: John Whelpley and Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

A sad and desperate Trill rejected for joining with a symbiont loses his shit and attempts to steal Dax from Jadzia when the station has only a skeleton crew. It is the second Dax-focused script that doesn’t give us a lot of time to get to actually know Jadzia. Terry Ferrell actually has less screen time than others in this script. I like the ideas and concepts behind the Trill and what they are and what they do, but it sucks that Ferrell doesn’t get a lot to do in the scripts that essentially about her character.
That said it is okay…it isn’t the best episode in the world, but it is watchable and average. I doubt you’d be that offended having watched it, but don’t think you are missing much if you skip it.

NEXT TIME: Rugal

The Circle is Broken

Story: The Siege
Written By: Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

In the grand scheme of things, this episode and the two preceding it are only okay, but at the time a three-part story was pretty bold for a Star Trek show…the audience was mostly used to standalones, this was a new direction, one that would later be expanded to even longer running arcs.
The story is decent, this time it’s a battle between our crew and the Circle on the station. It is a decent little adventure, but there just isn’t the depth to it. It lacks some of the character and plot nuances that would this show really thrives on, so in that regard it loses something.

The Li Nalas tale is sort of lame too, he gets no real development but he gives his life at the end? Sort of a waste of a character with some potential…even if they still kill him off there was plenty they could have done with him in this three parter that they did not. I chuck it up to the writers still trying to figure it all out, how to write longer stories and how to really use our characters and plots well…this is only the start of the second season...theres some time left to work out the kinks yet.

Even with my gripes these three are still a perfectly enjoyable trilogy, there are rocky issues, but nothing too detrimental to the enjoyment of the series and the episodes themselves.

NEXT TIME: Stealing the Symbiont

Kira on Bajor

Story: The Circle
Written By: Peter Allan Fields
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

This is a solid part two, nothing that really blows you away, but a bit of solid character development and a decent continuation of the plots started in “The Homecoming”…it ends up being a decent, if flawed, outing.
Sadly there isn’t that much to talk about, the Circle continues to reek a bit of havoc on Bajor and the Station, but sadly little in the way of developing the character of Li Nalas, who begins to get lost in the shuffle, and actually doesn’t develop even through the third part.

NEXT TIME: The end of the Trilogy

Li Nalas

Story: The Homecoming
Written By: Jeri Taylor and Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Kira and O’Brien take a runabout to Cardassia IV to rescue Bajoran prisoners still being held in slave labor camps. One of them is a legend of the Bajoran people a man who killed a Gul and is a hero amongst the people of Bajor. Kira believes he could unite a politically torn Bajor.
They are able to save him and a few other prisoners, but the man isn’t the hero he is perceived to be…he killed the Gul, but it wasn’t as heroic as the Bajorans made it out to be. He is embarrassed and annoyed by the hero worship.

All the while a group known as “the circle” are leaving their mark on the Station and Bajor…they want “Bajor for the Bajorans”, and they seem to be against any other lifeform near them.

In the end Kira is punished for going to Cardassia IV against the wishes of the provisional government, since she rescued Li Nalas, she is just promoted…and taken away from her assignment to the station. And so begins Star Trek’s first ever three part arc.

NEXT TIME: Recalled to Bajor

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 1 Recap

Star Trek: The Next Generation proved popular enough that it warranted another series, and Paramount wanted to milk this cow for as long as they could, so they put the TNG production team to work to create another show.

The writers actually took this idea, and created a really good show. In the first season it is a bit rocky, it has the standard bumpy road to finding itself, but this first season is far beyond what TNG’s first season was.

By the end we have our characters figured out, our most basic of arcs (Federation/Cardassian/Bajoran relations), and some fairly decent episodes. If there is a failing this season it is only that the writers are still trying to figure out what kind of a show they want to do, so some episodes just feel like they are rejected TNG scripts.

But they did enough to showcase the potential of DS9 right off the bat. It is different: it isn’t on a starship, it is on a space station. It doesn’t have an all Federation cast, we have shapeshifters, Bajorans, Trill, Federation, Ferengi, and Cardassians.

Despite some weaknesses, it convinced me it was going to be a better show earlier on than TNG would have convinced me watching those first two seasons.

NEXT TIME: The Circle

Winn Adami

Story: In the Hands of the Prophets
Written By: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

The finale of DS9’s premiere season is pretty solid. It deals with a subject matter that goes onto be rather important in the future of DS9 mythology: Bajoran mysticism and the Prophets. It also introduces two important recurring characters in Vedek Winn and Vedek Bareil.
Winn comes onto the station and has a problem with some of the curriculum in Keiko’s school. She is teaching about the Wormhole aliens, Winn wants them to be taught as the Prophets. It is basically a comment on Evolution vs. Creationism being taught in US Public schools. I think Winn is a great character, who you really love to hate, and Bareil is also a decent character who would later play a role in future episodes.

Like I said, it is a solid episode, a worthy ending to this first season. Is it the best season ender? For this early season yes, but it is forgettable in the grand scheme of things.

NEXT TIME: DS9 Season 1 Recap

The Butcher of Gallitep

Story: Duet
Written By: Lisa Rich, Jeanne Carrigan-Fauci and Peter Allan Fields
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Fantastic episode. This really showed the potential for this show early on. In the end it is one of DS9’s finest hours, right up to the end it remains amongst the top five episodes.
Basically a Cardassian with a medical condition that was only contracted by people at one of the Occupation Labor Camps arrives on the station. Kira liberated that camp, she knows what happened to Bajorans there…and she wants this Cardassian involved in their torture and deaths punished.

The episode has no B-story; it takes its time and focuses on this one tale, this simple story that has many a good rant from this Cardassian. It is dramatic as hell, and it is an intense watch. The final moments in which Kira has clearly learned something from the experience are really well performed.

All kudos to Nana Visitor, who acts her heart out this episode, as well as guest star Harris Yulin who is amazing in his performance as a man who proves that only Bajorans where affected by the occupation…some Cardassians did too.

NEXT TIME: Vedeks

Ritual Sacrifice

Story: Dramatis Personae
Written By: Joe Menosky
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

TNG had done its “Characters act out of character” story in its second episode, when we had not yet discovered who they were. Luckily this show was all about building from the beginning. Bajor is building itself after the occupation, the Federation is helping to rebuild the station, and the writers are building our characters up. By this point we had gotten the rough idea of who they were…so we get a decent idea of who they were.
This is our acting out of character tale. It could have easily been generic, but the whole mutiny plot makes it all the worthwhile. It has some great scenes, some wonderful dialogue, and it is a heck of a lot of fun. Definitely recommended.

NEXT TIME: The Higher Law

Pup

Story: The Forsaken
Written By: Jim Trombetta, Don Carlos Dunaway and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Some ambassadors are aboard the station; one of them is Lwaxana Troi. After he assists her in finding her broach, she develops a crush on Odo. Meanwhile a probe begins to disrupt the station’s computer.
It ends up having O’Brien attempt to solve the problem, Bashir escorting three ambassadors during the issues, and Odo and Lwaxana trapped together in turbolift. It isn’t the most brilliant or exciting episode in the world, but like TNG before it, it has characters (in some ways even better characters) that can make almost any plot seem fun.

Odo and Lwaxana end up having a rather interesting relationship by the end. I liked all of her visits to the station, often more so than her TNG visits. I’m glad that this wasn’t her only.

NEXT TIME: The Masks of Drama

Rumpelstiltskin

Story: If Wishes Were Horses
Written By: Nell McCue Crawford, William L. Crawford and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Terrible episode. People’s imaginations come to life…it is ridiculous. Its just goofy, and it doesn’t do it that well. The guest acting is terrible. No one is as funny as they’d like to be…well maybe Terry Ferrell as the Bashir image of Dax. But the guy who plays Sisko’s baseball hero is god-awful.
But mostly it is just a dumb and non-funny comedy episode.

NEXT TIME: Lwaxana Visits the Station

Mullibok

Story: Progress
Written By: Peter Allan Fields
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

This is a decent episode, even if it has some elements that mirror TNG’s “The Ensigns of Command”. Kira tries to help an old Bajoran man move from his endangered home, and he refuses. Eventually she comes up with a similar solution to Data’s, destroying his kiln. But it is simple and well acted, which makes it successful.
On the station, Nog and Jake attempt to sell some condiments for a profit. It is a decent storyline in terms of developing their friendship, but it isn’t that interesting. The A-story is definitely the only real reason to watch this one, even if it is a rehash of a TNG script.

NEXT TIME: Imaginations Brought to Life

Sirrah

Story: The Storyteller
Written By: Kurt Michael Bensmiller and Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Bad episode. In the A-story: A group of dumb Bajoran villagers believe that an evil sky creature will destroy them unless every night for a week each year somebody retells them a story until they believe that they can scare the evil sky creature off. Then they are convinced that O’Brien is the new storyteller. These are some dumb villagers.
Meanwhile in the B-story: On Deep Space 9 two Bajoran leaders from different villages are pissed about a land dispute. They have a treaty in which a river separates their villages…but the Cardassians moved the river a bit. But now the leader of one of the villages is a young girl…her parents both dead. She hangs out with Jake and Nog in a mostly go-nowhere story.

It is an episode that just doesn’t properly focus on any of our characters, which is where this show really shined right from the get go. It could have been great if it focused on O’Brien and Bashir better, beyond one conversation between them in the runabout. O’Brien doesn’t like him at this point, which makes sense, they are different guys, but I love where their relationship eventually goes.

NEXT TIME: Self-sealing stem bolts

Fate of Opaka

Story: Battle Lines
Written By: Hilary J. Bader, Richard Danus and Evan Carlos Somers
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Weird. The Kai visits the station and wishes to go through the wormhole. Sisko, Bashir, and Kira join her in a runabout. Soon after they crash land on a planet, and the Kai dies. They soon discover that this planet has two war torn factions. The Kai returns to life, and after a little battle so do everyone who died in that battle.
The planet is actually a penal colony and these people have been punished with some life restoring nanites or something that will keep them forever alive to battle, and removing them from the planet would kill them. So the Kai has to stay to live, and she wants to help the people.

It is a lame episode.

NEXT TIME: Dal'Rok

Changeling

Story: Vortex
Written By: Sam Rolfe
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

“Vortex” gives us our first real episode asking who Odo is, where did he come from, and are there more like him out there. The problem I find with this episode is that we get all of our information from a guy who is actually lying throughout, so it is really hard to take any of the information he has or claims to have to heart.
It does show that Odo does want to find his people, and it is clearly his secret fantasy, but beyond that it is like asking a ton of questions we don’t really get answered, and answering a bunch of questions we don’t really care about. Unfortunate.

NEXT TIME: Prisoners Forever

Zek

Story: The Nagus
Written By: Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

It is our first real Ferengi episode…and it gives us a great look into Ferengi culture. DS9 makes the Ferengi hilarious and fun to watch, something TNG never really captured. Wallace Shawn is great in his first performance as Zek, and all the actors playing Ferengi are terrific.
I can’t complain about this one, some people HATE Ferengi episodes, prejudice from TNG perhaps? Maybe…but I think some sci-fi fans don’t like comedy episodes, I love them, I like that these shows can be so versatile, and this episode shows how Quark could really bring the comedy to DS9, a show known for being darker and grimmer than TNG.

NEXT TIME: Information on Odo’s People

Sore Losers

Story: Move Along Home
Written By: Frederick Rappaport, Lisa Rich, Jeanne Carrigan-Fauci and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Oh I hated this one. It has annoying colorful aliens playing some dumb game. It is like a rejected TNG script from the second season…it just doesn’t work on any level for me.
I’d skip at all costs.

NEXT TIME: Friends & Foes

Rao Vantika

Story: The Passenger
Written By: Morgan Gendel, Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

This episode is solidly executed, but has a script that could have easily been in TNG. I think it works because instead of being a standard TNG script with characters that were now getting a bit stale we have it with the fresh faces of DS9. (I still love TNG’s cast, but by this time they were in their sixth year, and DS9 is in its first).
So it is a sort of standard Trek mystery, nothing special to report, but it is enjoyable to watch and solidly written and well executed.

NEXT TIME: Wadi

Sins of Curzon

Story: Dax
Written By: D. C. Fontana and Peter Allan Fields
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

"Dax" is unfortunate in that is the first chance we are really given to explore the character of Dax, and she barely says anything the whole episode, and it ends up focusing more on Sisko. Sisko’s the star, there are going to be plenty of plots about him, but for some reason they just didn’t give Terry Farrell the chance to really shine in this one.
The plot is interesting, and the issues about Trills it brings up are fascinating for sure, but really the episode just didn’t win in my opinion, because the episode didn’t focus its characters in the right way. Shame.

NEXT TIME: Deuridium Shipment

Picard Never Hit Me

Story: Q-Less
Written By: Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Hannah Louise Shearer
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Q’s lone appearance in DS9 is a decent episode, but not really the best. I like it for a few reasons: The first is that I love John De Lancie as Q, and I think he does a decent job. The Second is that I like a certain moment where Sisko clock him in the mouth. Q exclaims that Picard never hit him, to which Sisko responds “I’m not Picard”. It was a great way for the writers to really put some distance between TNG and DS9 and say “look we all love TNG too, but this is NOT TNG.”
So yeah, not a tremendous episode, but for what it tries to do I can’t say it is horrible to sit through either.

NEXT TIME: Trills

Tosk

Story: Captive Pursuit
Written By: Jill Sherman Donner and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

Our first real look into the aliens of the Gamma Quadrant is an average episode. It features two alien races…one that is the hunted: Tosk, and the other which do the hunting. It is a fairly interesting idea, but only sort of interesting.
O’Brien got some nice things to do, and I think Tosk is well performed, but the episode isn’t the best piece of drama in the world…and knowing what DS9 became, episodes like this just fall to the wayside.

NEXT TIME: Vash and Q on the Station

Talking Nonsense

Story: Babel
Written By: Sally Caves & Ira Steven Behr
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

“Babel” is one of the many stories in these first couple of seasons that could have easily been a TNG script, and had it been on that show this late in the game it would have seemed rather bland and uninteresting…but the fresh new DS9 characters make it far more interesting.
The whole crew contract a disease that causes them to speak incoherently…it is an interesting idea. The episode is just okay. Like I said, had it been on TNG it would have felt like it was a standard script, but the new character make it work.

NEXT TIME: Hunters and Prey

Ibudan

Story: A Man Alone
Written By: Gerald Sanford and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

This episode is interesting in the way it sets the tone for DS9. It is essentially a standalone story, a murder investigation with Odo as the prime suspect. Pretty much standard Trek. But what is really interesting is that the character development in this episode is top notch.
We get the issue that Keiko isn’t entirely pleased with O’Brien’s transfer to the station; she hates it there and doesn’t want to raise their daughter on this undesirable place. We get more on the background between Sisko and Dax, their history together, and the awkwardness Sisko is currently having with the Dax he knew now being an attractive young woman. Then we get Bashir, clearly attracted to Jadzia, and her clear lack of interest. There are the beginnings of the friendship between Jake and Nog. Also there is Kira and Odo, a sense that they are friends…and Quark and Odo.

Quark and Odo’s adversarial relationship is given the first hint that Quark possibly likes Odo, and enjoys their jabs at each other. I love that this would remain a theme throughout the series, cropping up from time to time.

So despite the rather average plot, we get so much great character development that it is almost impossible to not like this story.

NEXT TIME: Speak Clearly

Tahna Los

Story: Past Prologue
Written By: Katharyn Powers
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

This is a strong episode. It introduces some more elements concerning the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, and Kira’s involvement in the resistance. A Bajoran seeking asylum from the Cardassians comes aboard Deep Space Nine. His prior relationship in the resistance and Kira causes conflicts for her.
The episode features the TNG recurring villains, the Duras sisters, as well as introducing us to a favorite of mine…Garak. Garak is the lone Cardassian still aboard DS9, and whether or not he is a spy and his reasons for staying are always a topic of fun banter between he and Bashir.

It is a solid episode, introduces one of my favorite characters, and has some decent plot devices driving the story.

NEXT TIME: Shifter

The Bajoran Wormhole

Story: Emissary
Written By: Rick Berman and Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Year: 1993

As Star Trek pilots go, “The Emissary” is probably the best. In terms of quality storytelling as well as introducing all our main story elements and characters this one does the best job of setting up the show for the series.
Is it a bit dull at times? Yeah. Does that really hurt it? No. I think the episode has enough to counter balance some boring moments in some interesting and thought provoking ideas that would serve the show well for the next seven years.

We get Bajoran mysticism, Cardassian sinister behavior, the Ferengi bar…and the Wormhole.

The plot is as follows. Ben Sisko is a Starfleet officer. At one point he was a happy Starfleet officer. But then a Starfleet Captain was abducted by the Borg and assimilated, and he helped destroy several ships. Sisko’s ship, the Saratoga, was among those destroyed. He managed to escape with his young son Jake, but not before his wife was killed in action.

So he is a bit jaded. He isn’t the pleased to serve officer we are used to in Trek. And that is great. When the episode begins he thinking of resigning. But before he has a chance to do so he must take command of a new Space Station the Bajoran people have acquired from the Cardassians, after ending the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor.

The man giving Sisko this assignment is Captain Jean-Luc Picard (clearly it is our passing the torch scene). Picard tells Sisko it his job to do everything short of breaking the Prime Directive, to make Bajor is ready to join the Federation. Sisko hates Picard. Their scene together is great, because Sisko blames Picard for the death of his wife, and Picard is still not entirely comfortable with his experience of being assimilated.

Also joining Deep Space Nine (as the station is being called), is a Trill Science Officer, Jadzia Dax, the current host of the Dax symbiot. The former host was Curzon Dax, and Curzon was once a mentor to Sisko. So we get a great interesting relationship between those two. Sisko looks at Dax and sees the “old man” he used to be friends with, but at the same time she is also this young attractive woman. It is an interesting thought.

The Federation have also sent a fresh out of the academy doctor…Julian Bashir, who is somewhat of a dweeb in the first couple of seasons: and I like that. Of all the characters in the whole of Trek, nobody has a better arc than Julian Bashir. He literally starts off fresh faced and ready for “Frontier Medicine” and by the end of the show he is a mature doctor, who has become very skilled in war medicine.

The final Federation person to join is a familiar face. Promoted from Transport Chief on the Enterprise-D to Chief of Operations for Deep Space Nine, Miles O’Brien. I think adding him to the cast did a couple of good things. First it gave TNG fans someone we all like. The second is that Colm Meaney is a great actor, and on TNG he was stuck being a recurring character beaming people on and off the ship. Here he has room to grow as a character.

So we get all our characters together with the Bajoran liaison to Deep Space Nine Major Kira, the shapeshifting chief of security Odo, and the Ferengi bar owner Quark…and we have one helluva cast.

The plot basically unfolds that they discover a wormhole. Not just a wormhole…but a stable wormhole. With aliens living inside it. It is stable and runs directly to the Gamma Quadrant…this is one hell of a find. So they move DS9 from near Bajor to closer to the Wormhole, in order to claim it in the name of Bajor and the Federation, and to not let the Cardassians at it.

So this may be one long review, but it is a feature length pilot that sets up a lot, more so than “Encounter at Farpoint” did for TNG. We actually get plot elements seeded in this one, elements that would go right up to the end of the series. As pilots go, this is a good one.

NEXT TIME: Bajor for Bajorans

Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Whole Series Recap

Star Trek: The Next Generation is a great series, despite its rocky beginnings and its sort of slow decline of ideas near the end; I have to say that I love it unconditionally. It is one of those shows I just loved to watch when I was a kid, more than even the original series. I loved the cast, all of them.

What this show did for Trek-lore is terrific. It gave us an intimate view into the Klingons, into the Federation, gave Trek the general 24th Century “look” that would remain until the end of Voyager, and it began what would be 18 continuous years of Star Trek production on television.

Without TNG, we wouldn’t have DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise. The original series made it a pop culture phenomenon, but this is the show that made Star Trek a television institution.

As an adult I can see that there are some truly wonderful stories, some insanely bad ones, and many a classic. I don’t think Star Trek fans could have asked for a better cast to keep Trek afloat after the original giants.

Again, that original cast may have created Star Trek, but it was this cast made it what it is today. That’s the legacy of TNG.

NEXT TIME: The Space Station

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 7 Recap

While Season 1 still remains the series’ worst, Season 7 is probably a close second. Some may say Season 2, but that has some quality episodes, and you can really begin to see the show taking shape. By this season things are just winding down.

Now saying this is the second worst doesn’t mean all the episodes are bad. I mean Season 1 is so bad that even this is vastly superior. But the episode ideas are practically gone, the characters are feeling worn out…there is nothing new to really say about Worf or Data or Picard. We know them now, and the writers seem less interesting in really trying to explore Geordi, Crusher, or Troi. So we aren’t really going anywhere with these characters, they had some great years, but not it was time to come to an end.

The only character storyline we really get is Worf and Troi sort of date over the course of a few episodes…and that is a terrible idea. Beyond that it is just bringing in an onslaught of uninteresting family members for our characters…Worf’s foster brother, Troi’s mom and the reveal that she had a sister, Data’s mom, Geordi’s parents, Worf’s son from the future, Picard’s fake son, Lore…the saddest part is most of the family stories aren’t all that good.

Luckily Season 7 does end on a high note. “All Good Things…” is a great way to end a series that was for me, a big part of my childhood. I’m glad that despite the sort of end of the road feel the season had, the finale managed to really seem like the end of a journey for our show and characters, and I thought it very nicely and cleverly bookended the seires with “Encounter at Farpoint”.

NEXT TIME: Whole Series Recap

Come to an End

Story: All Good Things…
Written By: Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Year: 1994

The final episode of the show that successfully proved the longevity of the whole franchise is a great sentimental piece showcasing some of the best aspects of TNG. I love the episode, it has pretty much everything you’ve come to love about TNG…Q, some unknown entity, time travel…and most importantly, it is about our characters. It obviously focuses more so on Picard but it gives us a glimpse on where our characters currently are (season 7), where they came from (just before “Encounter at Farpoint”), and where they could potentially end up (a future).
Picard is shifting through time, as an entity is growing and shrinking at each point in time…and Q is watching Picard. It is eventually revealed that Q is still keeping Picard and humanity on trial…it is a fantastic bookend from the pilot to now…wrapping TNG up in a nice little package.

It has sentiment and great characterization, and it can be both dramatic and funny. The final scene in which the long running officer’s weekly poker game is in progress…and our captain finally joins in. It has a great final shot, above the poker table with Picard dealing and stating “the skies the limit”.

The Next Generation lasted seven long successful years, and you know what? The sky was the limit.

NEXT TIME: TNG Season 7 Recap