Friday, September 27, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 4: Indiscretion

Deep Space Nine, Season 4
October 23, 1995
75 of 173 produced
75 of 173 aired


Kira feels compelled to search for a long missing Cardassian prison ship when she learns that some of its wreckage has been located. She hoped to be reunited friend from her days as a resistance fighter. Gul Dukat conspires to be included in the search, but for mysterious reasons of his own.

 Who am I? Someone who loves you. Kiss me, Han.


Matthew: Episodes that start with a shot of Kira praying fill me with a sense of foreboding. Uncomfortable memories of interminable Bareil episodes, perhaps. I just get my guard up and start anticipating a boring Bajor tale. Happily, for the most part, this isn't even a Bajor tale. Unhappily, it does suffer from a case of the yawns. I think there are a couple of reasons for this, both in the A and B stories. As far as what's at stake for Kira, well, the answer is not a whole hell of a lot. We've already had the Cardassian prison rescue story with Li Nalas. Here we get a retread featuring... the guy who recruited her into the resistance cell of a much more interesting character. And then, it turns out he's dead. Um, why am I supposed to care here again? The stakes are more interesting for Dukat, but so much of the story is taken up by the setup and the B story that it never really gets a chance to breathe. His confrontation with his estranged daughter is good, but it is all too brief.

Kevin: I really enjoyed this episode, a lot actually. I agree that leaning on the Bajoran rescue is a tad contrived, but it leads to some great scenes. I really liked the scene with Odo in his office with he acknowledges it doesn't matter if he or even she thinks there's a realistic chance of success, she's going anyway. I agree that having him have died before they got there is a bit of an anticlimax. What really appeals to me is how well crafted Dukat's villainy was this time. The has done a good job trying to shade him in as more than a dictator. They are certainly not whitewashing him, but neither are they leaving him to two-dimensions. The conflict he displays over killing his daughter doesn't change that he was initially willing to do it and the genuine grief at her mother's death doesn't change the fact he's responsible for many more. It doesn't absolve the character, which would be boring, but it does keep him interesting.

Matthew: The B story just does nothing for me. I know I'm supposed to like the Sisko/Yates relationship, and for the most part, I have so far. But this just feels like manufactured tension with little payoff. Romantic misunderstandings are well-worn storytelling tropes, and they can work when done well. I don't think this misunderstanding rises to that level, nor do I think it really amounts to much that is interesting. Did anyone doubt they'd work it out? I think they should have broken up during this episode to shock us a bit, and then perhaps in a future action/war show, they could have met up again while in a serious situation. That would be dramatic and interesting. This... wasn't. It also had nothing to do with the A story, which was a tad bothersome.

Kevin: I've finally learned to let that go. I've decided that as long as both stories work on their own, I'm just not going to be mad at them not overreaching for a unifying theme. There's more than one TNG episode that suffered from trying to shoehorn the B plot into the theme of the A plot, so I can't be too mad if they just let that go. I agree this is not the most scintillating relationship problem, but I enjoyed the final scene in the cargo bay, and I am always thrilled, THRILLED I say, when television portrays a woman not basing career decisions on romantic relationships. I am also thrilled with the hero's girlfriend gets to decide for herself if her boyfriend's dangerous job is too much for her to handle. Fine details were well done, and made me happy enough to overlook the lack of explosive problem.

Matthew: We are introduced to Razka Karn, a lovable rogue type from Kira's part. Here is an interesting character! So many "Bajorans from Kira's past" are identical resistance fighter retreads. This one actually had some life to him beyond "we fought those awful jerks together, those were the days." Unfortunately, we only get two minutes of him. I would have vastly preferred a greater emphasis on the hunt, the chase, maybe some disquiet about his ulterior motives, something.

Kevin: Agreed. This was a whiff. The character even had a good scene with Dukat, so not including him more was a bit of a missed opportunity.  


Matthew: I think Nana Visitor is a fine actor. What I don't think she's particularly good at is stage laughter. Maybe that's just he way she sounds when laughing for real, but it sounds fake on screen. Outside of that criticism, she was good. I liked her outrage when she tries to dissuade Dukat. Marc Alaimo is Marc Alaimo. He affects the perfect swagger as usual, mixed with something going on under the surface.

Kevin: I like her laugh fine, but overall, I thought both did well and did well together. Kira has softened, but not toward him, and it's oddly telling how eager he seems for her approval. Both actors brought lots of layers to the scenes, and the climax in the Breen camp was really good for all parties involved.

Matthew: Avery Brooks and Penny Johnson are perfectly fine acting-wise. They look and sound and act very much like people in a relationship having a tiff over hurt feelings and unexpressed doubts. It wasn't really their fault that the script gave them nothing to do. As far as guest stars go, I love me some Roy Brocksmith. I liked him as Kolrami, and I like him here, probably even more.

Kevin: Especially for Star Trek, the capacity to portray "real relationship" is actually a fairly rare trait. The blandness of the fight is almost a pleasant change of pace of other relationship threats like temporal mechanics or stuff. Brocksmith is great, too. I thought Cyia Batten did fine as Ziyal. There was a numbness to her reactions that read as credible. I know they recast it largely just to open the character up with an older actress, but I think here and in her next and last appearance, she does a good job.

Production Values

Matthew: The Breen are introduced as a new "bad guy" race, and they're fine. The helmets are almost a carbon copy of the bounty hunter Leia impersonated in Return of the Jedi, but hey, the look works. The suits were a bit foam rubbery. But overall it was an effective look.

Kevin: I totally remember thinking "Bounty Hunter" when I first saw this, but I agree, they look good. I do think they look this way just to reverse engineer Dukat and Kira's ability to sneak in, but again, at least the costumes look good.

Matthew: The location shoot is obviously Planet California Desert, but I'm not complaining. Any time they get out into a location, it broadens the feel of the universe, and if you have to shoot somewhere, California has plenty of topographic diversity. The interior cave stuff was pretty standard. I think Ziyal's makeup looked a bit too Cardassian. I would have liked softer features.

Kevin: The half-buried Cardassian ship was great, and the camera people deserve some special credit. It's really easy for scenes in deserts to get washed out, and they did a good job of preserving colors while keeping the sense of oppressive heat.


Matthew: I'm deciding between a 2 and a 3 on this. Since it's a bit on the boring side for me, I think a 2 is appropriate. It's just a bit below average. It's not awful by any stretch, but it isn't all that entertaining, either. It's a forgettable "meh."

Kevin: I guess I just found this more engaging than you since I was seriously considering a 4 when I sat down. I am going to go with a three, only because the whiff on the reason Kira went on the trip in the first place and lack of slightly higher stakes for the Sisko story make this average, but this is definitely an episode I enjoy watching more than score might indicate. Maybe my long standing affinity for Kira is coloring my judgment, but I'm okay with that. Watching the pair interact was just great for me. That makes a total of 5.

1 comment:

  1. The sisko/Kassidy relationship is one of the most boring, tedious, lame romances ever told in the history of all of Star Trek, if not in the history of romance. Period.

    There is no passion, no spark, no chemistry between them.I dont see what he sees in her - she is just so ordinary. Or what they see in each other. Everytime i see these two on screen I wanna break down and yawn. Watching paint dry is more interesting.

    I think it is the actress. She is reserved, sterile, boring. She seems more like a big sister than his romantic partner. They picked the wrong person. There is just no chemistry between them, which is why I never bought their relationship. Yates may as well never even have existed in Sisko's world and it wouldnt have met a shred of a difference to either the series as a whole and Sisko's life. I mean she is present in one way or another until the last episode of the show and yet she somehow never struck me as having made an impact on either the show or even Sisko and his life. I wish they had scrapped her right-away. Their relationship feel forced and fake and when they were about to introduce some tension (not that it could make up for the complete and utter lack of chemistry between them), they pulled the rug out from under them and resolved the issue within the hour. I wish they had worked more on the commitment phobic Sisko or maybe even had him break up with her because he didnt love her. What a wasted opportunity really. I always thought Sisko and Dax had a lot of chemistry and it was awesome seeing them make out and even be intimate in the mirror universe or that time where they all get that thing from Lwxana and she is all over him. But Kassidy? *yawn*