DS9 Season 1 Ep17: “The Forsaken”

Synopsis: We open with a Sisko voice-over explaining 1) There is a delegation of Federation ambassadors on the station to check out the wormhole, and 2) He is going to palm them off on Julian Bashir, because he wants to talk to these people less than he wants an intergalactic incident, apparently.

We come up on Bashir doing a really bad job explaining to a Bitchy Old Woman why he can’t upgrade her to a concierge room, while the other ambassadors (a Vulcan and a Bolian) grumble about what a shrew she is and how bullshit it is that they can’t see the Commander. Bashir, foolishly thinking he has an answer for this, says that Sisko is extremely busy with a “recalibration sweep,” and when they ask what, precisely, is being recalibrated, he’s all, “everything. Everything is being recalibrated.”

“Oh, you know…all of…the things.”

The Vulcan ambassador, either because he found that explanation fascinating or because he’s an asshole, says he’d just love to see all of the things get recalibrated, and Bashir is stuck. He suggests a visit to a holosuite, but the Old Bitch thinks he’s propositioning her, and he suggests a nap, but the Vulcan thinks he’s wasting his time. Also, the Old Bitch is personally offended that she’s being handled by a first-year officer. Before Bashir can dig his hole any deeper, he’s saved by a woman at the Space Craps table yelping that her fancy hair brooch is gone.

She too, is an ambassador, and as Bashir goes over to help her out, the reason for Sisko’s avoidance becomes more clear, at least to longtime fans: it’s Betazoid (BAYTA-zoy’d) Lwaxana Troi.

The mother of the Enterprise’s counselor, Deanna Troi (you may remember Deanna as an empath, Riker’s on-again-off-again-romance, and the person for whom the Alpha Quadrant Police Department coined the term “multiple psychic rape victim”), Lwaxana, much like the Ferengi characters, is one of those divisive, love-’em-or-claw-your-eyes-out figures. She brings a tone of levity to the proceedings with her crazy outfits, overbearing nature, and freewheelin’ swinger lifestyle, and the sorts of people who are incapable of detecting the presence of any unintentional humor or campiness in Original Series episodes do not appreciate it, because Star Trek is SERIOUS BUSINESS,  which is why they hate it when you sully the franchise with things like female captains or claims that it is about the everyday human experience rather than its CLEAR status as a 45-year long metaphor for American foreign policy. Continue reading

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