Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. If you follow this series you know I have done a ton of TNG and TOS articles and a few though not enough Voyager. DS9 is the one I have slighted the most because I simply don’t have much to say about it. The bad episodes are, well, bad. But even more than that, I am a Next Gen fan and DS9 was way to dark for my taste. Bad? Heck no! But I never could get into to it. I have noticed a trend that people who grew up with and love DS9 for it’s darker tone look down on the more cerebral Next Generation. But Next Generation paved the way for DS9 and did some very good things especially when it focused more on character and less on story. So I decided to do a DS9 article since my last was much to long ago. I wanted to focus on Season One since that was a rough year. It was still a “TNG” show and hadn’t found it’s way yet. There were a few good episodes, like this one episode I always liked:
A good season 1 episode? Let’s take a look….
As Kira and Sisko argue about a Valerian ship docking at the station, a Klingon vessel appears from the wormhole. One of the Klingons beam aboard, screams victory, before dying.
After Odo passes out at Quark’s he awakes in sick-bay with no memory of what happened and finds Bashir acting weird, foreshadowing some trouble at the station. Meanwhile a hostile Kira keeps butting heads with the increasingly disinterested Sisko. Odo becomes to realize that the crew isn’t acting quite right as the crew talk more and more about which sides they are on.
While Kira searches for Allies to take over the station, and attacks Quark, Odo keeps trying to figure out why everyone is actin so oddly. Odo figures out that here was a mutiny on the Klingon vessel the same as what is developing on the station. He determines the crew is being used by aliens who are controlling the crew to reenact their own power struggle. Odo was immune due to his physiology and finds a way to remove the aliens.
None to note of
Voyager tried a similar idea, what if the Marquis betrayed the crew? But that episode was on a holodeck so it had no stakes. Here the characters are actually doing these things. And since this was Season 1, the ides of the Bajorans revolting against the Federation wasn’t as far fetched as it was on Voyager.
The actors do a great job in this making their characters just a bit out of character. Avery Brooks especially seems to be channeling his Spenser for Hire character in several spots. Nana Visitor also shines in her sinister role, seeing Kira be the nasty traitor works amazingly well as is Jadzia’s flighty behavior. O’Brien is paranoid and Bashir is, I don’t know, weird I guess. I can’t tell if he is infected or Odo is just playing him in that one scene toward the end to get his help. Season 1 Bashir was insufferable, this episode is no exception.
They were smart to do this episode well into the 1st season we we knew these characters by now. And the scene when Kira finally mutinies against Sisko was well done. It’s a great action scene with decent performances . Leading to that final standoff in the airlock, and you really believe Kira is about to fire and kill Sisko! In fact I am glad they added that tag where Kira feels she should apologize. We needed to see that she may be tough but she isn’t cold or unfeeling and it’s perfectly reasonable she would feel guilty for the things she did even if she wasn’t the one in control.
This is also the first time I liked Odo, and he became more than just a CGI gimmick. He is smart and as very good deductive abilities.
The fact something is wrong is obvious way to fast. The episode is barely five minutes in and we already know our characters aren’t acting right when Jadzia acts like a flighty fool. It spoils the mystery a bit. They could have kept us wondering if this really was a mutiny longer which would have added to the tension.
Yes this kind of things has been done before, aliens controlling one or more of the crew. Even if it is handled pretty well here it doesn’t change the effect that it isn’t exactly a new idea.
When exactly were the crew taken over? So the solution to the episode is opening the airlock and sucking the aliens. Huh? Ok Odo uses some energy thing that isn’t very clear to drive the energy beings out but it’s kind of weak. And a little more reaction form the crew would have been nice all we get is Kira in the tag. Everything goes back to normal a little to fast. Though I always loved Odo’s line “Welcome back everybody”
Fast Forward Moment:The whole conversation between Odo and Quark, before Odo collapses in pain, is basically pointless. Especially since it isn’t really Odo. It’s the same aliens that are possessing the others except Odo has no brain making it impossible for the alien to take over. And kudos, this makes logical sense and doesn’t feel like a lame contrivance so that Odo could be the hero.
Final Thoughts:This is a great episode for Season 1, it’s dark and tense just like a good DS9 episode should be.