ljlee: (kira)
Summary: Odo discovers that the key to friendship is racial profiling.

Spoilers for "Vortex" and broad discussions of later episodes )
ljlee: (kira)
One-line summary: A suspicious tailor joins Dr. Bashir for lunch. It's all downhill from there.

Synopsis )

Can I nickname this episode Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? )

That trust, a calculated, mature trust with eyes wide open to the ramifications and consequences, is both the force that makes friends for the Federation and sometimes makes it vulnerable to its enemies. It's the balance the Federation's peoples have struck in a perilous universe and it paid off in this episode, and in the form of Deep Space Nine, a place where friends and enemies from across the worlds are brought together for stories in infinite and enjoyable combinations.
ljlee: where I work & play (workspace)
(06/14/13: Updated with synopsis. Spoilers and some bad language.)

I've started watching Deep Space Nine on fairladyz2005's recommendation, and it is certainly worthy of high praise. I've finished the first season and like it so much I've decided to write a series of posts talking briefly about my impressions.

One-line summary: Sisko falls into a hole and must dig his way out.

Comments )

Overall "The Emissary" does what a pilot episode should do, setting up a premise for the whole series that will be a source of new conflicts and stories. The episode gave me high hopes for the show, the first season of which was a mixed bag with some real highlights. More on that later; for now, Luna out.
ljlee: (candle)
It was interesting to find out more about Ferengi society, something that would happen in further enjoyable episodes of the show. I'd have thought a race of market-obsessed capitalists, of all people, would believe in meritocracy and fair play, but it seems Ferengi society is a more "nature red in tooth and claw" sort of place. Maybe that's a statement on capitalism, that by itself it is not conducive to either peace or social progress. In fact, arguably much of our own history since the Industrial Revolution has been a history of curbing the worst impulses of unregulated capitalism, with varying degrees of success. Ferengi society may be in the beginning of its own change, but it's going to be a long and difficult process as later episodes will show.

Some things felt off to me, though. )
ljlee: (kira)
Another Trek episode, another game-breaking alien species. This one was mainly interesting for the new depth it added to Quark's character in his pivotal scene. It was sort of a bummer that this game-obsessed species don't show up anymore (at least not as of early Season 5, which is where I'm at), there seemed to be some interesting statements in their story about gaming and honesty and stuff. And Jesus, it was a shock to come back from Season 5 and see Jake Sisko as a 14-year-old boy. They sure change in four years, don't they.
ljlee: (kira)
The awesome [profile] fairladyz2005, who introduced me to DS9, also sent me a list of TNG episodes that were relevant to DS9. One of them was "The Host," a Season 4 TNG episode that first introduced the Trill. The DS9 episode "Dax" is in many ways an inversion of "The Host." Where the Trill character in "The Host" had to prove himself to be the same guy as a previous incarnation in order to gain the trust of warring factions, the titular Trill in "Dax" must prove herself a different person in order to get away from the crime a past self is accused of committing.

That question, the meaning of identity, is the central subject of "Dax" much as it was in "The Host." However, the understanding of that question, along with the setting information on the Trill, has become a great deal more sophisticated since TNG. Much like the changes in the Ferengi since their first appearance (TNG 1.05 "The Last Outpost"), it shows the evolution of Trek writing.

On the law, and what really matters )

"Dax" may not have had the most original or unexpected resolution, but the abovementioned subtlety in the writing still drew me into the story and made me think. The episode was also a smart legal drama with an appealing sense of humility that a court is not always the final arbiter of truth, and the real story happens with the choices of men and women in their lives. The courtroom is a forum where some very interesting issues are laid bare, though, and the courtroom scenes were worth it for that reason.
ljlee: (kira)
After the high of 1.06 "Captive Pursuit" the episode "Q-Less" was a bit of a letdown. I mean it was fine on its own: the central character was interesting (and hot), and the interplay between her and the cosmic annoyance of Q was fun to watch. At the end of the day, though, the episode didn't have anything to do with much of anything in the show at large. As a follow-up to relevant TNG plots it worked; to someone who doesn't have a background in that show it's mostly meaningful in showing that Deep Space Nine is the kind of place where weird crap happens.

Of course, the fact that weird crap goes down on DS9 was pretty much the aspect that excited me about 1.03 "Past Prologue," but "Past Prologue" worked for me where "Q-Less" didn't because "Past Prologue" said concrete things about the setting while "Q-Less" just seemed to up the level of randomness for the sake of whimsy. My verdict for the episode is "Meh." At least we know Sisko can throw a mean punch.
ljlee: why not? (conch)
It's not often that a science fiction TV episode gets my academic side berserk with excitement. I mean, even I have to admit a TV show about aliens and spaceships that goes on and on about theories of law and economics and social justice would be dull.

"Captive Pursuit," however, is notable for punching me right in the ivory tower without being dull at all. Hoo boy, is it not.

Let's see if I can make the review not-dull as well. )

Though this is very much an O'Brien episode, the rest of the regular cast played lively supporting roles. I particularly liked how the script built up to Sisko's crucial assist of O'Brien by showing the Commander's sense of timing beforehand. It was as though the station were a symphony, an endeavor of cooperation and trust conducted by a virtuoso. That trust didn't budge even when Sisko chewed O'Brien's head off at the end for his actions. If the result of such ability and camaraderie is an episode like "Captive Pursuit," that's certainly the kind of music I'd like to hear more of.
ljlee: where I work & play (workspace)
Are we on "Captive Pursuit" yet? One more to go? Well then...

On its own almost until the resolution, "Babel" is a by-the-numbers Trek episode: Crisis strikes the station, the crew work to solve it, and save the day with their ingenuity and- wait, no they don't. And that's where it's interesting.

Active potatoes eradicate no rayon? )

Lavanyasix called DS9 the red-headed stepchild of the Trek franchise, and I think episodes like this encapsulate its status as being in the franchise yet not of it. The writers use the Trek tropes only to twist them and tell a story about the local situation, establishing what kind of place Bajor is. This kind of work laid the foundation for what was to come down the road, establishing DS9 as the odd one out in the franchise, sure, but a great odd one out.


ljlee: (Default)
L.J. Lee

June 2016

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