Friday, November 1, 2013

Deep Space Nine, Season 4: Crossfire
Deep Space Nine, Season 4
Airdate: January 29, 1996
83 of 173 produced
83 of 173 aired


While visiting the station, Shakaar is a target of both an assassin as well as Kira's affections. Odo's feelings for Kira come into sharp and painful focus as he realizes that she is slipping away from him and into Shakaar's arms.

Major Kira's obliviousness is not helping the situation.


Matthew: After a long hiatus, we're finally getting a Bajor show. Shakaar comes back to the station, and starts a romance with Kira. Through the plot, assassins to whom we are never introduced try to kill him by... sabotaging an elevator? Can I just ask, what is the turbolift falling in relation to, and towards? At the end of the day, we don't really learn much about Bajor in this show, it serves more as a platform for a love story. I think that's kind of too bad. Bajor can be, at its best, an interesting backdrop for stories. It wasn't here.

Kevin: I wish that they had at least developed the Bajoran story arc incrementally. Only the personal lives of the characters really had any change by the end of the episode. Maybe the near successful assassination attempt could have spooked voters who were wary of Federation membership, anything to give the episode a little heft in the politics departments. I always wondered about the turbolift, too. It seems like shutting down the mechanism moving the turbolift would stop it more effectively. And yeah, I would have like some more development of the assassins as well. Aside from rocking a Michael Dorn impersonation, we really don't know anything about them.

Matthew: So many times we've seen episodes treat major plot developments as subplots. Now we're getting a subplot turned into a whole episode. The character revelations about Odo are interesting, and the opening scene is beyond charming, but are these sorts of things enough to fill 45 minutes? My mind is sort of irresistibly drawn back to that damned cave episode in which Odo confesses his feelings to fake-Kira. This ends up being about as consequential, although it has the virtue of not being set in a dark cave in which the characters are unable to move.

Kevin: I thought that overall, the romance angle was competently handled, something that is not always true. Nerd pining for girl who doesn't realize he exists is a common and stupid trope, and frankly a dangerous one. It always portrays the woman as too stupid to realize who is the "best" man for her, and tends to value silent pining as somehow virtuous while telling boys if you are the "nice" guy long enough, eventually you win the girl. Here, they bluntly state, via a GREAT speech from Quark, that the blame for this is squarely on Odo. Shakaar is not patently an asshole, nor is Kira falling for him stupid. They had chemistry last episode, and they have it now. It makes sense that having come back into each other's lives on a more regular basis, something might spark. I also like that Odo obviously pulls away from Kira at the end of the episode, but I like that it doesn't manifest as being a dick to her for no reason. So overall, I liked watching everyone navigate this. It was credible and basically interesting.

Matthew: I think there was a big missed sci-fi opportunity in this story - exploring what love means across species, and across basic types of life forms. I think we are supposed to take it that Odo basically has human-type feelings for Kira - he has a strong desire to be with her, touch her, impregnate her, and so on. His outburst in his quarters seems to be a function of his predilection for order - when things go completely against his hopes and expectations, he lashes out. I just wanted more, much more, of a look into what love even means for a being like Odo. Is his love Platonic or physical? Is this the first time he's ever felt anything like this? Is it a function only of Kira, or could he feel this for other beings? Is it tied to gender? On another note, Kira seems unduly oblivious to Odo's feelings. She just goes on grinning like a blithering idiot, crushing Odo's feelings, which, since he is basically just acting like a humanoid, should have been obvious to her. If Quark can tell, Kira should be able to.

Kevin: This is always the whiff with the character whose job it is to be the non-human observer. I always wondered how attraction would work for Odo. This could have been a great way to explore romantic feelings in non-gendered way. Is the fact that he modeled himself after Dr. Mora mean he is choosing mle traits? I would have liked a single scene, even a single look on Kira's face that indicated she knew but was pretending to know she didn't. The post-coital gushing to Odo seemed tacked on. Maybe they could have had Odo overhear a conversation with Dax, since to the extent Kira would go all mushy, she would probably talk to Dax, not Odo about it.


Matthew: This was a fine show for Rene Auberjonois. He avoided the "PAIN!" acting that I find so cringe-worthy. He made a lot of restrained choices and never broke that level of reserve, at least not in front of other characters. His boyish ebullience near the beginning of the show was quite charming. Nana Visitor smiled a bit too much for my liking, but she was solid.

Kevin: I particularly liked the scene with Quark in his quarters and at the end of the episode. Their grudging relationship is really interesting. He has done such a good job with gruff reserve, that a full on tantrum, much like Nimoy is quite effective. I think Visitor had good chemistry with Regehr, and I liked the friendship scenes with Odo in the teaser.

Matthew: Duncan Regehr continues his post-Ronin rehabilitation. He was interesting and believable as Shakaar, and played his romance scenes well, too. Armin Shimerman did very well in a brief role as Odo's sort-of confidante. He was given good lines (straddling the line between friend and antagonist) and he delivered.

Kevin: Yeah...when he's not perving on the lady's grandmother, I think he can really bring it in the drama and romance department. I think he had great chemistry with Visitor. It's a shame we'll see him only one more time.

Production Values

Matthew: The Bajoran dress uniform should just be the Bajoran uniform. It's soooooo much better, and doesn't have the annoying undies. Also, Kira's hair finally looks good. I feel like it's gotten a bit of a trim, or they've put some product in it, that has made it less unruly and more attractive.

Kevin: I like the dress uniform a lot on its own. It just always boggled me for the standard issue uniforms to be so severe and boxy, that the dress uniform is so soft and rounded by comparison.

Matthew: We got a great effect of the wormhole through window with Kira and Shakaar silhouetted in front of it. Also, Odo's "hammer hands" looked really good. Overall it was a strong show for visual effects, despite there being few of them.

Kevin: I couldn't help but think of the T-1000 in Terminator 2 with the hammer effects. It was really well done. I think by this point, the show has gotten much better at not just creating, but integrating CGI into other scenes.


Matthew: I was just a bit bored by this. It didn't go far enough for me into the interesting questions. It had some nice acting and solid production values, though, so for me it's a somewhat bland 3.

Kevin: The whiffs on the broader Bajoran plot and the lack of really exploring the nature of love for Odo are bad. That said, I think the treatment of "unrequited love" was surprisingly mature and certainly well acted all around. I am giving this a 3 as well, but I do so with a tad more confidence. That makes a total of 6.

1 comment:

  1. To quote Vic Fontaine in His Way "Forget that fink. I don't care if he is JFK. He's not the one you have to worry about." Bingo.