DS9 Season 1, Ep10: “Move Along Home”

Attention Reader: This episode has been redone with more awesome here

This is one of the few episodes of DS9 that I really don’t like. I don’t hate it (that privilege is reserved for one very special episode we will get to later in the series, which we’ll probably reward with a long post just so we can hate on it), but I really don’t like it. It’s one of the series’ few uninspired misses, and it frustrates me – it’s like everybody involved phoned it in that week.

Basically, there are these people called the Wadi visiting from the Gamma Quadrant, and they have stupid outfits and love games. They’re also really good at winning them, to Quark’s displeasure, so he rigs the Space Craps table so they can’t win. They find out, and conscript him into playing one of their games, in which they shrink Jadzia, Bashir, Sisko, and Kira down to Alice-in-Wonderland size and place them into a lifelike maze environment where they have to solve scenarios they’re given based on Quark’s die rolls.

The Wadi keep using all this really threatening language, like, “oh no, you SACRIFICE a player,” and looking grim, and generally giving everyone the impression that the players are in the matrix. Then when they all appear to die, and wind up back in the bar and normal sized, the main Wadi guy goes, “Hahaha! It was just a game! Fun! Happy game times!”

I assume you can gather for yourselves how stupid this is – the clumsy building of pointless tension, the Encyclopedia Brown style puzzles they spend the whole damn episode solving, all leading up to two lines of dialogue that tell us it was completely pointless.

And that’s what you missed on: that episode we REALLY didn’t want to watch.

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DS9 Season 1 Ep9: “The Passenger”

Kira and Bashir are out and about in a runabout when they receive a distress call from a ship that’s extremely on fire. They go on board to save people, and, against everyone’s advice, Bashir tries to be a hero and save the dangerous criminal who lit the fire. The bad guy grabs him by the throat and goes “MAKE ME LIVE” and then dies, so that’s not menacing at all.

The alien officer who captured the bad guy remains suspicious even when shown evidence of his death, and says that he’s brought himself back to life a bunch of times. When the station’s security is sabotaged according to the Space Voldemort’s MO, she’s convinced that he did it somehow, even though Sisko tells her that’s ridiculous.

Jadzia does some research and theorizes that Space Voldemort was working on transferring his consciousness to another person, and that other person might not even KNOW it. Hmmmmm.

She eventually discovers that he had some sort of crazy-consciousness-transferring device under his fingernails, which he used to transfer his consciousness to…BASHIR! Which becomes clear to everyone when he steals a runabout and goes Bonnie-and-Clyding about (in this scenario Bashir is Bonnie and Space Voldemort is Clyde). Jadzia technobabbles their way out of the problem, and cures Bashir.

There’s a B-plot, also, in which a Starfleet security expert comes in to Federation-ize the station’s security, and Odo is a crotchety old man about it. Sisko, however, reassures Odo that he’s the boss, and the Starfleet guy even winds up taking some pages out of Odo’s book, and they become reluctant pals.

And that’s what you missed on: that episode we didn’t particularly want to watch.

DS9 Season 1 Ep6: “Captive Pursuit”

This is one of those philosophical episodes about ethics and crap. We skipped it for our usual reasons: there’s no advancement of ongoing arcs, and not a lot of character growth.

Long story short: A never-before-seen type of alien shows up on the station via the wormhole in a super-banged up ship. He’s the first alien to visit from the Gamma Quadrant, so everyone is super pumped. His name and/or species is Tosk (he doesn’t specify), and although he and Irishy become fast friends, Tosk is pretty dang suspicious – he only has to sleep for 17 minutes a night, he can turn invisible, and he doesn’t have to eat anything because he stores nutrients in his cells like a food camel. Oh, also, he’s inordinately interested in the station’s weapons supply, and he refuses to discuss the weapons-fire damage to his ship.

Odo eventually arrests him for trying to hack a weapons console, and he goes quietly, reminding everyone that he’s Tosk (as though that explains everything) and asking Irishy to let him die with honor.

Eventually, three super-scary aliens show up from the Gamma Quadrant, initiate a firefight, and confront Tosk. They identify themselves as “Hunters”, and Tosk as their specifically bred prey (which is why he can do so much crazy genetic stuff). They plan to to bring him home alive, which is apparently humiliating for him because not dying is considered a failure among his people (this is a more common Star Trek theme than you might think).

After a brief debate about the morality of hunting sentient beings, the main Hunter tells Sisko that he and his buddies will consider the Alpha Quadrant off-limits in the future, and Sisko says they can take Tosk with them unless Tosk asks for asylum. Tosk, much to Irishy’s dismay, seems to feel that staying alive would go against the meaning of his life, so he refuses.

Irishy, though, gets all sneaky and helps Tosk escape, and Sisko conveniently doesn’t stop him, he just smiles his trademark “I Just Ignored Federation Rules In Order To Satisfy My Own Sense Of Ethics” smirk.

This episode raises some important themes about destiny, choice, culture, and how they can all create and enforce one another. It also gives us a sneak peek into how the denizens of the Gamma quadrant roll, which will become increasingly relevant as the series continues.

And that’s what you missed on: that episode we didn’t particularly want to watch.

DS9 Season 1 Ep5: “Babel”

This is an OK “disease of the week” episode, but there isn’t enough long-form plot and character development to pique our interest for a full synopsis/analysis.

Basically, everyone on the station (beginning with Irishy O’Brien, no surprise there) becomes infected with an “Aphasia Virus” that makes them speak gibberish. The virus originated with some sort of device that altered any and all replicated food at the molecular level, and quickly mutated to become airborne. Kira naturally thinks the Cardassians are behind it, but it turns out that the Bajoran resistance (who were forced to build the station) snuck in the device as a really epic terrorist move. She has no choice but to track down the guy responsible, infect him with the virus, and then force him to help cure everyone. Don’t push Kira, guys.

Meanwhile, back on the station, everyone is quarantined, but there’s this dick of a freighter captain who wants to take off before his cargo spoils, and he almost blows up the station trying to get away. The only people on the station as yet unaffected by the virus are the unlikely Quark/Odo teamup, who save the day. When Kira comes back to the station, Quark answers her hail from Ops, which is a pretty funny moment.

Then Bajoran Resistance Guy creates an antidote (I find it implausible that Bashir couldn’t cure everyone even while speaking nonsense) and everything’s back to normal. It’s not a bad episode, by any means, but it’s not a great one either, and no one (least of all us) will blame you if you skip it.

And that’s what you missed on: that episode we didn’t particularly want to watch.

DS9 Season 1 Ep3: “Past Prologue”

“Past Prologue” is a solid episode on backstory and introductory grounds. It introduces the Cardassian mystery man Garak, who works on the promenade as the station’s tailor (a career that has inexplicably not become obsolete 350ish years from now in space). Garak has an espionage past that the show winks and nods to the audience about, and he and Dr. Bashir have a cute little bromance where they meet for lunch every day and Bashir accuses Garak of being a spy and Garak denies it unconvincingly.

The trouble with this episode is that that’s only the B-plot, and, much as we love Garak, we can only watch so many episodes about Kira and Bajor and terrorism, and we need to save up our chips for later in the series when episodes meeting that description are top-notch. The A-plot here really just informs us about Kira’s previous terroristing about, as I like to call it,  and lets us see some conflict between her previous terrorist self and her current (?) stand-up self. An old terrorist buddy shows up, Sisko wants to imprison him for war crimes, Kira goes over Sisko’s head to get the guy in the clear, and Sisko is hurt because he thought they were BFFs.

Her old buddy, it turns out, wants her to help him blow up the wormhole (?) so that everybody will leave Bajor alone (solid plan, buddy), and Kira is all torn for way too long, before finally deciding to be a grown-up and spill everything to Sisko. There’s a sting operation and a chase, and Odo captures the terrorist guy and Kira and Sisko are all like, “Feds for LIFE, bishes,” because now they really are BFFs.

And that’s what you missed on: that episode we didn’t particularly want to watch.