Monday, November 15, 2010

DS9 Season 5

Season 5 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine aired in first-run syndication during the 1996-97 season, which corresponds to my first year at seminary when uncertainty about my vocation made me a nervous wreck. Loss of appetite and an active lifestyle so worked together that I was in the best physical shape of my life. But I had been assigned to a small, solitary dorm on the far side of campus from the main body of residential students, along with a couple of "no time to spare for newbies" upperclassmen, some Spanish high school exchange students who only had eyes for the nursing students in the next building over, two undergrads who could barely communicate in the English language, and exactly one classmate--with whom I had absolutely nothing in common. My new campus was a 12-hour drive from Mom and Dad, a distance made more significant by the "lemon" car I was driving. I was the only musically inclined student on campus that year, unless you count members of a polka band; so I had no one to talk shop with. And I had unbelievable amounts of homework to do every day, which kept me confined to quarters when I wasn't in the classroom or at work. Consequently, I was lonely and stressed out. It felt a lot like being on a deep-space station, light years from the good company I had grown used to in college. What a comfort it was to have DS9 to escape to, once a week at least!

Apocalypse Rising opens Season 5 with a follow-up to Odo's deduction, in the final scene of Season 4, that Klingon Chancellor Gowron is a changeling traitor, being used by the Dominion to turn the Alpha Quadrant's great powers against each other. Now, Sisko, Odo, and O'Brien undergo cosmetic surgery so they can pass as Klingons, and take Klingon comportment lessons from Worf en route to an awards ceremony, where they hope to smoke out the Dominion agent. The changeling turns out to be General Martok, who at this stage in the series (only his second appearance) is still an expendable character and saved the trouble of killing Gowron for a later episode. Among the numerous points of interest--and boy, do I wish I could show you a picture of all three fake-Klingon officers standing shoulder to shoulder!--this episode is notable for depicting Odo's depression after becoming a "solid," or humanoid, as a punishment by his people at the end of Season 4.

The Ship is DS9's 100th episode, the one where Sisko & crew find a Jem'Hadar ship crashed on a Gamma Quadrant planet and decide to salvage it. While they are doing so, however, another Jem'Hadar ship arrives and blows their runabout out of the sky. Now they have their backs to the wall... the "wall" being a completely anti-intuitive, upside-down alien ship surrounded by do-or-die shock troops who actually know how it works. F. J. Rio appears for the third and last time as Muñiz, an ill-fated young engineer whom O'Brien holds in tender, fatherly regard. The Vorta whose negotiation tactics bring about tragic results for both sides is played by Kaitlin Hopkins (pictured), who in the Voyager episode "Live Fast and Prosper" played an alien con artist who impersonated Capt. Janeway for profit.

Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places is Star Trek's take on Cyrano de Bergerac. When Quark gets a visit from his Klingon ex-wife Grilka (cf. Season 3's "The House of Quark"), both Quark and Worf become smitten with her. Since Worf (having been stripped of his family honor) can offer no suit to such a great Klingon lady, he reluctantly agrees to help Quark pursue her--going so far as to fight a ceremonial battle using wads of (thank God) unspoken technobabble to make Quark's body mirror Worf's movements. It's an episode that made me laugh hard, and it also brings Worf and Jadzia together romantically, a coupling that seemed increasingly inevitable over the previous year. Besides Mary Kay Adams and Joseph Ruskin reprising their "House of Quark" roles as Grilka and Tumek, this episode features five-time Trek guest Phil Morris as the Klingon who challenges Quark to do battle. As a child, Morris had appeared in one of the earliest episodes The Original Series; his Trek roles also include a Starfleet cadet (in one of the TOS feature films), a Jem'Hadar (later in DS9), and a lost 21st-century astronaut (in Voyager's "One Small Step").

Nor the Battle to the Strong is Star Trek's riff on "The Red Badge of Glory." Desperate to find a real story when his first journalistic assignment--a profile of Dr. Bashir--threatens to be a total bore, Jake Sisko eggs the Julian into joining the medical corps of a starfleet colony besieged by the Klingons. His dreamed-of opportunity to cover "surgery under fire" turns out to be a nightmare, however. After becoming convinced that he is a coward, Jake finally risks his life covering his friends' retreat, and ends up publishing a soul-searching article about his experience. All's well that ends well (perhaps a bit too easily and abruptly, though). The guest cast includes Daytime Emmy-winner Andrew Kavovit (pictured; late of "As the World Turns") as a young hospital orderly who takes Jake under his wing; Karen Austin (who played B'Elanna's Klingon mother on Voyager) as a doctor; Mark Holton (who also guested on Voyager) as a blue-skinned Bolian; and five-time Trek guest Danny Goldring as the wounded soldier whose brave death sends Jake's self-esteem into a tailspin.

The Assignment is the episode that introduces the pah-wraiths, as it were the "fallen angels" of Bajoran mythology, and their enmity with the wormhole "prophets." It begins when Keiko O'Brien comes home from a botanical survey of Bajor and informs Miles that she isn't Keiko, but actually a non-corporeal being that has taken possession of her body, and will kill Keiko if he doesn't do exactly what it says. This being, known in Bajoran lore as a kosst-amoran (though this designation inexplicably changed, in later episodes, to kosst-amojan), is vulnerable to the same weapon it attempts to force Miles to turn on the wormhole--a fact that O'Brien turns to his advantage at the end. It was interesting to see Rosalind Chao play a total creep for once; perhaps this is what led the writers to make the unfortunate choice to have Jake be the next victim of pah-wraith possession. But that's a matter for another season!

Trials and Tribble-ations is DS9's episode celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek. It does this by inserting the DS9 cast into an episode of classic Trek--and what could be more classic than "The Trouble with Tribbles?" Charlie Brill reprises his TOS role as Arne Darvin, a Klingon surgically altered to look human, who uses the Bajoran "orb of time" in a bid to avenge himself on history. Worf squirms when questioned about the change in the appearance of Klingons ("We do not discuss it with outsiders") and explains how the tribbles came to be regarded as a mortal foe of the Klingon Empire (Odo: "Do they still sing songs of the Great Tribble Hunt?") O'Brien and Bashir get caught up with Scotty and Chekov in an interspecies bar brawl (aftermath pictured). Jadzia plays the part of every fan-kid who ever dreamed of being on the original Enterprise and meeting Capt. Kirk. Jack Blessing (late of "Moonlighting") and James W. Jansen (who had guested as a Bajoran in DS9's first season) play "time cops" whose names are anagrams of Mulder and Scully. And a very good time is had by all.

Let He Who Is Without Sin... is an irritating episode for many reasons, not least of which is the grammatical error in the title (based on John 8:7, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her"). Let him, mind. Worf and Jadzia plan a romantic holiday on the pleasure world of Risa, only to be joined by Bashir, Leeta, and Quark. This brings out the petulant child in Worf, leading him to sympathize with a socio-political sect that objects to people having fun while war with the Dominion is brewing. The idea that anyone would actually object, on principle, to people being allowed to take time off to recharge and enjoy themselves is another thing that gets up my nose. With Worf's unfortunate help, the "New Essentialists" seize control of Risa's weather-control system, threatening to revert it to its original rain-forest environment and thus to destroy the Risian economy. Julian and Leeta break up, Worf and Jadzia reconcile (the latter showing a lot more spots than ever seen before), Quark gets laid, the planet is saved, and the ranks of Star Trek guest stars grow to include Vanessa Williams and Monte Markham... but it's still a lame episode.

Things Past is such a bizarre episode that I don't know where to begin describing it. By means of some heretofore undreamt-of technobabble, Dax, Sisko, and Garak are sucked into Odo's guiltiest memory from the period when he worked for the Cardassians on what was then called Terok Nor. It gradually becomes apparent that the four Bajorans whom our friends have become in this off-bubble reality were wrongly executed for the crime of trying to blow up Gul Dukat--who, for his part, is shown more than ever to be a slimy, self-justifying despot. Kurtwood Smith, late of The Dead Poets' Society, Robocop, and The Crush, added the role of Thrax, Odo's predecessor as Security Chief of Terok Nor, to his list of Trek credits--which also include the President of the Federation in Star Trek VI and the villain in Voyager's two-part episode "Year of Hell."

The Ascent is the episode where Jake Sisko gets his own quarters, along with roommate Cadet Nog, on field assignment from Starfleet Academy. While they go through all the pains of "The Odd Couple," Quark and Odo struggle for survival on a freezing planet with a marginally breathable atmosphere, no food, and only one chance to summon help--i.e. to climb to an all-but-airless mountain peak with a heavy transmitter. Quark manages it part of the way while dragging a wounded Odo as well. For all the chemistry that has existed between these two characters from the beginning of the series, this is really the only episode that focuses primarily on their relationship, and that gives actors Shimerman and Auberjonois any considerable amount of time to play off each other. For that reason it is an important and well-liked episode.

Rapture is the one where Sisko gets zapped by some kind of plasma whatsit and begins to have visions regarding Bajor's past and future, courtesy of the wormhole aliens-cum-prophets. Unfortunately, with the visions comes some kind of medical technobabble that increasingly threatens the captain's life--to say nothing of Bajor's application to join the Federation, which at last seems to be going forward until this business starts. Sisko's commanding officer is uncomfortable with the whole Emissary business and how the captain's increasingly erratic behavior impacts his duty as a Starfleet officer, while Jake just wants his father back and certainly doesn't want him to die. The outcome is a life-saving surgery by Dr. Bashir that leaves Sisko bereft of the new sensorium he had lately developed. It's a heartbreaking and thought-provoking episode, dramatizing the question: Would you risk your life for the ability to experience transcendent realities?

The Darkness and the Light is the episode that puts the baby Kira is carrying--which, remember, isn't Kira's but the O'Briens' baby--in jeopardy. The disfigured Cardassian pictured here, Silaran Prin by name, turns out to be the mastermind behind a series of diabolically ingenious assassinations. The victims: members of Kira's old resistance cell, particularly those who joined her in wiping out a certain Cardassian gul's family and staff. Prin, a household retainer who was maimed but survived, opts to spare the innocent child's life, but only after cutting it out of Kira's body in one of Trek's nastiest depictions of homicidal insanity. Randy Oglesby, who played seven characters spanning all four Trek spinoffs, here appears as Prin. William Lucking makes his second of three appearances as the ill-fated Furel, whose character dies off-screen in this episode along with Diane Salinger's Lupaza (previously seen with Furel in Season 3's "Shakaar"). Jennifer Savidge, late of "St. Elsewhere" and "JAG," plays Trentin Fala, a frightened Bajoran clerk who comes to a truly gruesome end; while the especially ineffectual Bajoran deputy in this episode is played by three-time Trek guest Christian Conrad.

The Begotten is the episode where Kira finally delivers the O'Briens' baby, in spite of jealousy between Miles and Bajor's First Minister Shakaar (Duncan Regehr in his last of three DS9 appearances). While Bajoran childbirth is depicted as a curiously relaxing experience, Odo goes through a much more stressful parent-child thing, caught between the Bajoran scientist who taught him to shape-shift (James Sloyan in his second of two appearances as Dr. Mora) and the baby changeling Odo now has the opportunity to teach. Pictured here is about the farthest reach of the infant changeling's education before it sickens. As a dying gift, it restores Odo's shape-changing abilities, which he has missed badly since the end of Season 4.

For the Uniform is why Sisko pursues Eddington, the ex-Federation security officer who now leads a Maquis terrorist cell, much as Inspector Javert pursued Valjean in Les Misérables--a parallelism that Eddington himself points out. This is also the episode that introduces the holographic communicator, by which the person at the other end of the line seems to be standing in the room with you--though I don't remember seeing this gimmick after Season 5. Like the later episode "In the Pale Moonlight," the point of this episode seems to have something to do with obsession, the compromises some leaders must make with their own conscience, and the slippery slope of ethical choices that can lead one to do evil things for a good cause. The guest cast includes Eric Pierpoint, late of "Alien Nation," in one of his five Trek roles.

In Purgatory's Shadow is the first part of a two-episode arc in which Worf and Garak follow the trail of a distress call from Enabran Tain (Garak's Obsidian Order mentor, remember?) into the Gamma Quadrant, only to get captured by the Jem'Hadar and held on a prison asteroid with several surprising prisoners. One of them is Klingon General Martok (the genuine, one-eyed version of him, for the first time). Another is Dr. Bashir, whose changeling double is back on DS9 raising who-knows-what mischief. And of course, there is Enabran Tain himself, in the last of his four appearances. Garak finds Tain in the final stages of terminal heart disease, with just enough time to acknowledge Garak as his son. While I'm mentioning so many guest appearances, Melanie Smith succeeds two previous actress is playing Ziyal in this, her first of six appearances before the character's death in Season 6's "Sacrifice of Angels"; here she is seen declaring her love for Garak, and defying her father Dukat just as he is about to grasp power as the new leader of a Cardassia that (surprise!) has just decided to join the Dominion.

By Inferno's Light concludes the two-episode arc in which Garak overcomes severe claustrophobia to jerry-rig some technobabble in the space behind the walls of the asteroid prison he shares with Worf, Bashir, Martok, and others. Garak races to finish his work so that our friends can escape before Worf gets beaten to a bloody pulp by a series of gladiatorial encounters with the Jem'Hadar. The alpha male of whom, by the way, is one of five Trek characters played by James Horan, and the only Jem'Hadar character ever to appear in more than one episode (by virtue of this being a two-parter). The Vorta in charge of the prison camp is played by Ray Buktenica, late of "Rhoda" and "House Calls."

Doctor Bashir, I Presume features a crossover appearance by Robert Picardo of Voyager, here playing not the holographic Doctor but the human original on whom he was based, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman. Zimmerman offers Julian the chance to serve as the template for a "Long-term Medical Hologram," a process which involves digging up everything he can about the doc's personality and, naturally, his past. For example, Zimmerman throws himself at Leeta, Bashir's most recent "ex," and thus serves as the catalyst for Rom and Leeta declaring their feelings for each other. More discomfitingly, Zimmerman also unearths Julian's parents, Amsha and Richard Bashir (pictured). At first, you think Julian is squirming simply because of his mother's smothering pride and his father's lower-class, grifter character, which must be embarrassing for a public-school-type like their son. But then their dirty family secret comes out: as a small, physically awkward, developmentally delayed boy, Julian received an illegal genetic-resequencing treatment which turned him into the brilliant, well-coordinated super-dude he is today. Which makes him an abomination to humanity, after the horror of the Eugenics Wars and the threat of people like Khan Singh. As Julian faces the end of his medical and Starfleet career, his father offers himself up as a sacrificial lamb to satisfy the wrath of Federation law. Playing Bashir's parents are Brian George, who had a recurring role on "Seinfeld" and also played a guest role on Voyager; and Fadwa El Guindi, a UCLA professor of anthropology and advocate for Arab-Americans, in her only acting role to date.

A Simple Investigation begins with two Finneans (aliens with nostrils all over their foreheads) incinerating an operative of the Idanians (bumpy-headed aliens who wear blue hooded cloaks). The Finneans are looking for a data crystal belonging to a beautiful woman named Arissa, who was supposed to meet with the Idanian around the time he was killed. Arissa, who has an implant enabling her to connect her brain directly to a computer, is caught trying to access the passenger manifest of the ship the Idanian came in on, and she explains to Odo that she is trying to run away from the Orion Syndicate. Agreeing to protect her, Odo hides Arissa in his own quarters and soon finds himself in love with her. You have to wonder, though: How does lovemaking work between a humanoid and a shapeshifter? The data crystal turns out to hold Arissa's true memories, revealing that she is a deep-cover Idanian agent who has been surgically altered to look human. This brings about a bittersweet ending for Odo's first time around the bases. Three-time Trek guest Dey Young plays Arissa. The two Finneans are played by the late Nicholas Worth, who played three Trek characters in four episodes, and by John Durbin, who played four characters in five Trek episodes.

Business as Usual is the chilling episode that also happened to serve as cast-member Siddig's directorial debut. In it, Quark accepts a financial lifeline tossed to him by his arms-dealer cousin Gaila, played by Josh Pais of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and "Law & Order." Unfortunately, the job involves working for the elegantly amoral Hagath (played by Steven Berkoff of Rambo II and Octopussy) and the homicidally insane Regent of Palamar (played by 1940s and -50s tough-guy Lawrence Tierney, who had also guested on TNG). Quark's agony as his inconvenient conscience awakens (thanks to spending too much time surrounded by Federation do-gooders) is as poignant as his treatment by his Federation friends is unjust. The one thing I dislike about this episode is how Jadzia et al give Quark a cold shoulder just when he most needs their help and support, simply because (at the moment) he doesn't deserve it... and then, when it's all over, they get back together and all is forgiven. I couldn't help thinking that friends like that aren't worth chasing after. On the other hand, Quark's moral dilemma is true. His reaction to the Regent's order is priceless: "28 million dead? Can't we just wound some of them?"

Ties of Blood and Water reunites Kira with the Cardassian Resistance leader who, in the earlier episode "Second Skin," mistook her for his deep-cover-agent daughter. Kira wants Tekeny Ghemor to lead Cardassia's government in exile, now that the empire has joined the Dominion; but Ghemor reveals that he is dying, and that he has come to DS9 to ask her to play the role of his daughter one more time. It is a Cardassian custom that the dying pass on their secrets to their heirs, including an account of their personal and political enemies and all their dirty laundry. As Ghemor begins pouring this out on Kira, Gul Dukat arrives with the Vorta Weyoun (in a new incarnation since the clone who was killed in "To the Death"), demanding Ghemor's extradition. Meanwhile, Kira is torn between anger at Ghemor for the newly-revealed role he played in Cardassia's occupation of Bajor and guilt at having missed her own father's death. This episode boasts the first of two appearances by Thomas Kopache as Kira's father, in addition to his six other Trek roles; William Lucking's third and last appearance as Furel; and Lawrence Pressman's third and last appearance on DS9, two of which were as Tekeny Ghemor.

Ferengi Love Songs is the one where a discouraged Quark runs home to Ferenginar to visit his "moogie" Ishka, only to catch her having an affair with Grand Nagus Zek. Among a series of people who materialize in Quark's closet is F.C.A. Liquidator Brunt, who offers Quark a chance to get his business license back... if he agrees to break up Zek and Ishka. This Quark does, only to find out that it is his mother's "lobes for business" that have so far protected the increasingly forgetful Zek from financial disaster. This is all part of Brunt's plan to take over as Nagus. Quark, pricked once again by his newly-grown conscience, repents of his actions and helps Ishka turn the tables on Brunt, saving Zek's career as Nagus. It's a light, aggressively silly episode featuring the late Cecily Adams, daughter of Don "Get Smart" Adams and better known as a casting director than an actress, in her first of four appearances as Ishka (who was previously played by SCTV's Andrea Martin). It also briefly features Hamilton Camp as Eliminator Leck, a rare Ferengi who cares more about killing than earning profit; Leck returned in Season 7's "The Magnificent Ferengi."

Soldiers of the Empire is the episode that shows what a Star Trek series based on a Klingon ship might look like. Nearly all of it takes place on board the Rotarran, Martok's first command since escaping from a Jem'Hadar prison camp. Taking Worf and Jadzia along as officers, Martok leads the Rotarran on a delicate mission to search for survivors of a missing Klingon battleship near the border of Dominion-controlled Cardassian space. His crew is dispirited by a recent record of defeats and retreats, and as Martok hesitates to lead them into battle, they grow closer to mutiny. Worf finally challenges him for command of the ship, leading to a nearly life-threatening combat that proves to be the turning point for the Rotarrans. The episode features a lot of singing in the Klingon language (which seems to come more easily than speaking it), as well as several habitual Trek guest actors: Sandra Nelson (who also appeared on Voyager), Rick Worthy (whose five other Trek roles included the recurring Xindi scientist Jannar on Enterprise), and the late David Graf, who played Amelia Earhart's navigator in Voyager's Season 2 episode "The 37's."

Children of Time is the emotionally crushing episode in which the Defiant gets caught inside a bubble of technobabble (technobubble?) around a Gamma Quadrant planet. Once inside the field, the Defiants are welcomed by their own descendants, a happy community built on the site of where the Defiant crashed 200 years ago... or will crash, when they attempt to leave orbit... Ugh! Again, to quote Miles O'Brien, "I hate temporal mechanics!" This puts the Defiants in a quandary: To get back home to their careers and families, they must risk erasing an entire world from history. When they decide to sacrifice all that they know so that their descendants on this world can live, their attempt to re-create the crucial crash is finally thwarted by Odo. Not our Odo, but the other Odo, who has been back in time and had 200 years to carry a torch for Kira, who is supposed to die shortly after the crash. After revealing his love to her, the older Odo sabotages the Defiant's attempt to recreate history, effectively sacrificing a whole world for the woman he loves. Ouch! Emmy-winner Gary Frank (of TV's "Family") plays Yedrin Dax, the future Trill host who will never be. Jennifer Parsons, who had appeared in Voyager's pilot episode, plays O'Brien's descendent Miranda. Among the child actors in this episode are Davida Williams of "Lizzie McGuire" and Doren Fein of "Hearts Afire."

Blaze of Glory is the one where Sisko recruits Eddington out of his prison cell to help him stop a Maquis missile-attack that could trigger a disastrous galactic war. After spending a lot of time together in a runabout, dodging Jem'Hadar ships in the badlands, they finally arrive at a Maquis outpost that has already been ransacked by the Dominion. The whole missile thing turns out to have been a ruse to enable Eddington to rescue his Maquis wife, but after all his obnoxious antiheroism he ends up selling his life dearly to cover his comrades' retreat against a Jem'Hadar attack. Meanwhile, back on DS9, Cadet Nog works out a way to earn the respect of the loud, rowdy Klingons, as in the scene pictured here, where he pulls rank on General Martok. Whew! That's one Ferengi with guts!

Empok Nor is the name of an abandoned Cardassian space station similar to DS9 (which, you'll remember, was built by the Cardassians as well). In this episode, O'Brien leads a team of engineers to Empok Nor to salvage components they need for maintenance on DS9, now that Cardassia's treaty with the Dominion prevents them from buying replacement parts. It turns out to be a dark, spooky place full of booby traps, to say nothing of a pair of cryogenically-preserved Cardassian berserkers whose natural inclination toward homicidal xenophobia has been enhanced by drugs. With Garak along to disarm the traps and Cadet Nog holding a flashlight (mounted on a big phaser rifle), the rest of the party consists of never-seen-before characters. You know from the start that all four non-recurring crewmen are going to die, don't you? And they do, they do. In such gruesome ways, too! Star Trek hasn't seen so much gratuitous death since TOS's "The Apple." Things get really hairy when Garak becomes contaminated with the crazy drug, forcing O'Brien to revert to his earlier calling as a soldier with particular experience in shooting Cardassians. One of Star Trek's darkest, creepiest, most paranoid episodes, it guest-stars Marjean Holden of the sci-fi series "Crusade" (a spinoff from Babylon 5) and the syndicated fantasy series "Beastmaster," as well as Tom Hodges of the 1980s sitcom "Valerie."

In the Cards injects a note of levity into a dark time, as a buildup of Dominion forces signals a coming war and Kai Winn agonizes over whether Bajor should sign a non-agression pact with the Dominion. Jake decides that the very thing to raise his father's spirits would be to purchase a Willy Mays rookie card at an auction at Quark's. Unfortunately, the lot containing the baseball card gets won by a mad scientist named Giger (pictured), who needs a piece of technobabble from the same lot to complete his "cellular regeneration and entertainment chamber"--a solution to the problem of death based on the theory that the reason people die is that their cells get bored. If you don't see how wacky this is, picture a character who opens his sales pitch with the question, "Do you want to die?" Picture a series of bizarre tasks that Nog and Jake have to do in order to collect the things Giger is willing to trade the card for. Picture Quark saying, "Sold! To the blue man with the good shoes!" That isn't even in the top five funniest lines in this episode, which has a little bit of political intrigue, a little bit of danger and menace, and a lot of warmth based on the bond between father and son. If you haven't seen it, this episode may surprise you! Playing Dr. Giger is Brian Markinson, whose other Trek roles include a suicidal alien on TNG, an ill-fated Voyager crewman, and the Vidiian physician who steals his face.

Call to Arms brings Season 5, and my reviews of Deep Space Nine, to a close. In it, Sisko & co. mine the entrance to the wormhole with self-replicating, cloaked thingummies in order to prevent further Dominion reinforcements from passing through. Completing this task proves to be a seat-of-the-pants business as Gul Dukat orders the expected assault on DS9, forcing Federation personnel to evacuate. Of course Kira, Odo, Quark, Rom and his newlywed wife Leeta stay behind--and, surprising everyone, so does Jake, who is always looking out for a story to write. Sisko realizes that he can't go back to fetch his son, but then, he has purposely left behind one other possession: the baseball that he keeps on his desk, as a silent vow that he will return...

And so the year ends on a grim note, hooking us for Season 6's opening arc in which Sisko & friends work on taking back DS9 from the Cardassians and their Dominion allies. Meanwhile, the happy ending of my "Sem 1" year is that I made friends with the unlikeliest people, worked super-hard (in a rather obsessive-compulsive manner, actually) so that my top grades boosted my confidence, and with the aid of good habits such as Star Trek, started to relax. I've been putting on weight ever since! The happy ending for Season 5, meanwhile, was the expectation of Season 6 to come, and the inevitable epic conflict between the Federation and the Dominion.

Want to brush up on your Star Trek? See my reviews of TOS seasons one, two, and three; of TNG seasons one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven; of DS9 seasons one, two, three, four, six, and seven; of Voyager season one; and of Enterprise season one. As a control group, see also my review of Babylon 5 seasons one, two, three, and four.


Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr. said...

I've always thought that DS9 was the best the Star Trek shows. I enjoyed the long-running plotlines involving the same worlds (Bajor, Cardassia, the Dominion) with secondary stories adding depth, rather than a long series of one-shot stories with an occasional carry-over theme behind the scenes you'd see on TNG. Voyager had that potential, too, but the cast of Voyager never really worked for me. Enterprise is growing on me, though, and I will eventually own that whole series as I do TNG and DS9.

RobbieFish said...

Alas, one of my conditions for owning all these seasons of Star Trek is that I can't own them all at the same time. I have to sell back the ones that I have finished watching to a used video store before I can buy the next group. So I don't own all of these any more... But it was nice to be able to go through them again!