DS9 Rewatch: Season One
The series really starts to round into form with it’s second season, with the actors seeming to be much more comfortable in their roles. More Dominion stuff, more Bajoran stuff, more Garak. Here are my episode thoughts:
- Episodes 1, 2, 3 – The Homecoming, The Circle, The Siege: A rare three part episode to kick off the show’s second season sees Kira rescuing a hero of the Bajoran resistance from a Cardassian prison that isn’t supposed to exist anymore. At the same time, hardline elements on Bajor want ALL alien influence gone from their system, Federation included. There are some great guest stars here (Frank Langella, Steven Weber, Stephen Macht, Richard Beymer) and a solid story.
- Episode 4 – Invasive Procedures: While the station is operating with a skeleton crew, a somewhat unstable Trill steals the Dax symbiont. More background on the Trill and the joining procedure.
- Episode 5 – Cardassians: The appearance of a Cardassian war orphan raised by Bajorans has political implications on Cardassia. A Garak/Bashir episode which I’m a sucker for. Hints, lies, obfuscations. Fun.
- Episode 6 – Melora: Dr. Bashir tries to woo a woman from a low-gravity planet, while trying to develop a technique to strengthen her to live in normal gravity. She decides she likes being different. Klingon restaurant.
- Episode 7 – Rules of Acquisition: Grand Nagus Zek tasks Quark with making a Gamma Quadrant business deal, but does so with the help of a Ferengi female, who aren’t allowed to leave the home planet. Or wear clothes. She leaves, possibly taking a piece of Quark’s heart with her.
- Episode 8 – Necessary Evil: A flashback episode, showing how Odo became Constable on Terok Nor, and his first meeting with Kira. An interesting plot, and it gives a bit of background on what the occupation was like on the station.
- Episode 9 – Second Sight: A kind of strange episode where an obnoxious scientist comes to the station to try and re-ignite a nearby star. Sisko meets a woman who seems to appear just long enough to allure him, then vanish. Man can’t catch a break with women, at least for another year or two.
- Episode 10 – Sanctuary: For once, the ‘universal translator’ doesn’t work right away. Something about refugees wanting to settle on Bajor. A matriarchy, even. Meh.
- Episode 11 – Rivals: An El-Aurian (like Guinan) comes on station with a probability-altering device. He makes big ones, which end up affecting the entire station. B plot involves a racquetball match between Bashir and O’Brien which helps them figure out what’s happening. Worth seeing just as a foundation for the future bromance.
- Episode 12 – The Alternate: Dr. Mora, the man who studied Odo in the lab on Bajor, finds a possibly related creature. I really like the relationship between Odo and Mora, and how it becomes more important later in the series too. Funny to hear Sisko talk about his dad as if he were dead, when we see him a few years later. Oops!
- Episode 13 – Armageddon Game: Two warring races come together to destoy a bio-weapon used by both sides. End up working together to kill everyone which knowledge of how to make it…which includes Bashir, since he helped them destroy it. O’Brien gets infected, OF COURSE.
- Episode 14 – Whispers: O’Brien is replaced by a clone sleeper agent. The twist is, we see the episode from the clone’s point of view, with the command crew and even the Chief’s family acting strange enough that he escapes the station – perhaps thinking the odd pod people episode of TNG was recurring.
- Episode 15 – Paradise: Crazy woman tries to create a utopian society without tech. Sisko and O’Brien get stranded there. Could take or leave this one.
- Episode 16 – Shadowplay: Old guy re-creates his village with a holographic projector. This idea is played out several times on Trek (TNG and Enterprise both have versions of this). Another mention of the Dominion.
- Episode 17 – Playing God: The Dax symbiont is known for washing Trill joining candidates out – think Gordon Ramsay reducing someone to tears. Jadzia doesn’t want to be that way, but is it maybe what the candidate in this episode needs? The Trill stuff is always interesting, though the “protouniverse” framing story is meh.
- Episode 18 – Profit and Loss: As a younger person watching this, I wasn’t familiar enough with Casablanca to catch all the references. The episode seemed odd on the first run-through. It makes more sense now. Fun Quark/Garak/Odo interplay.
- Episode 19 – Blood Oath: Klingons! Not just any Klingons, but the three Captains that Kirk faced in the original series. It seems that a common enemy of theirs, who killed their children has been found, and the three Klingons who swore a blood oath to kill him want to take him out. Curzon Dax swore the oath as well, being Godfather to one of the children, and Jadzia wants to accompany them. Worth it if only for Michael Ansara’s voice.
- Episodes 20, 21 – The Maquis: One of the things I like about the later seasons of TNG, on into DS9 is how there were more callbacks to previous events in the series. I’m sure it was a respons to Babylon 5 but it was still a positive influence. Here, we learn more about the fate of the Federation colonists that ended up living on Cardassian-owned worlds (see TNG’s Journey’s End) and how they turn to terrorist tactics to try and defend themselves. Some good Gul Dukat stuff, and good ol’ John Schuck has a role too.
- Episode 22 – The Wire: One of my favorite episodes of the early years, it gives some insight into Garak’s plight. Or does it? Some of it is true, as far as we can tell, but even under the stress of the breakdown of the ‘Wire’, Garak still manages to spin some plausible lies for Bashir. I really enjoyed Enabran Tain, Paul Dooley was having some fun here. This is really the transition of Garak as a bit player to an important part of the station and the future seasons.
- Episode 23 – Crossover: A return to the “Mirror Universe” as seen in the Original Series episode Mirror, Mirror. Now, though, the humans are oppressed, thanks in part to the influence of Kirk’s crossover. These episodes must be fun for the actors, as they get to be VERY out of character. Especially mirror Kira, the lustful Intendent of Terok Nor.
- Episode 24 – The Collaborator: Bajoran politics. After the…loss of Kai Opaka, Winn and Bereil are competing for the vacant role of Bajoran spiritual leader. Evidence comes to light (thanks to Winn’s maneuvering) that implicates Bereil in a massacre – 43 Bajorans killed after a collaborator gave information about them to the Cardassian occupiers. Yet more of the nastiness of Winn, setting her up for true villainy later.
- Episode 25 – Tribunal: You’ve been hearing from Garak how all Cardassian criminals are guilty, and trials are just to show the people the error of their ways, well here you go. Of course, O’Brien is saved but it’s still fun to think about how ‘law and order’ works in other cultures.
- Episode 26 – Jem’Hadar: Now it begins. We meet the Jem’Hadar, the enhanced soldiers of the Dominion, as well as the Vorta. A must-watch if anything from the next few years is to make sense, and there is some great action after a bit of a slow start. So much promise for what is to come. Love it.
The Dominion threat is only just beginning, but there’s still plenty of character building here. I’m already most of the way through season 3 so expect more from me soon.