Saturday, July 18, 2015

Deep Space Nine: Season 6: You Are Cordially Invited

Deep Space Nine, Season 6 
"You Are Cordially Invited"
Airdate: November 10, 1997
129 of 173 produced 
129 of 173 aired


Deciding that there is no time like the present, Dax and Worf move their wedding date up to only a few days away. But not everyone seems happy with the development.

 Look at me, I'm in a Star Trek episode!


Kevin: I like a lot about this episode. It's a fun episode, certainly, and I think it's well-placed in the season. The opening arc has been fun, but it was super serious, and a comedy episode is a welcome break. I like that they even tag it that way in the Captain's Log. Everyone knows going in that we're not dealing with the war for a little while.

Kevin: If there is a wedding, there must be hijinks, and we certainly get some. I like that they tag explicitly why Dax is going along with Worf's plan, and it makes sense without making Worf an insensitive jerk, at least in the first half. If the ceremony is something Dax isn't overly invested in, and it makes Worf happy, then it's sweet, not condescending. In the end though, I'm just going to get this out of the way now. That scene with Sisko really bothers me. Maybe if they had soft landed it as more "We all go through the motions with our in-laws," maybe it would work better. But the explicit advice to just kowtow to a woman who even by Klingon standards is being a bit of a bitch just nags me.

Matthew: I'm OK with a Klingon being a racist. It makes sense. I think Sirella's motivations are a bit underdeveloped, and I would have liked to see her make a stronger case for racial and cultural purity, or Worf and Dax's fundamental incompatibility. My problems are deeper than that, though. Dax seems completely uncommitted. In fact, Worf and Dax seem fundamentally incompatible. They tell us they love each other. Sisko tells us Dax loves Worf. But all I see is a total lack of chemistry, a disdain for the requirements of Klingon culture, and really terrible communication skills. If Sirella had noticed this, too, and made it the focus of her beef, this episode would have been way better. Conversely, I like the scene with Sisko quite a bit, because it highlights my issue - he sees that Dax is (ironically) being callow and immature. I like that he calls her out on it.

Kevin: The humor elements otherwise work for me. The Kal'Hyah stuff is funny and a fun subversion of expectation. The party scene was fun, with one glaring exception I'll get to in a minute. I liked that Dax was depicted flirting with the fire dancing lieutenant. It didn't feel like a "last hurrah" but a touch of what "Let He Who Is Without Sin" was trying for in depicting a slightly more liberal set of mores when it comes to attraction. I also liked the Klingon creation myth/wedding ceremony. "Does your heart beat only for this woman?" always gets me a little. Despite my legitimate beefs, I have to say that to the extent the episode was supposed to be charming, it by and large was.

Matthew: The wedding scene itself was charming. Everything leading up to it was... not. I found the Kal'Hyah scenes to be quite boring. When Worf meditated in the monastery in TNG, that wasn't boring, because it only lasted for 30 seconds, and when he got hit by painstiks during his ascension anniversary, it was viscerally entertaining with fish-out-of-water vibes. These scenes go on for way too long, and the joke's payoff is quite telling.  Folks, when the punchline of your setup is that a thing is boring, the way you get there stands a pretty good chance of being boring. Somebody involved in production should have recognized this. I would much rather have seen what O'Brien described - worrying about the temptations of wild debauchery, having to consider whether it would constitute cheating as a married man. Personally, I hated Dax's party with a passion. Mainly it was because of the dancing, but I also found the scenes in which women lusted after the Polynesian officer to be unbecoming. Why would anyone have stayed after the scene that Dax and Sirella were involved in? And of course, the party precipitated the worst sin of this episode.

Kevin: The other flaw in the episode is bypassing Odo and Kira's reconciliation with the unseen conversation in the closet. The episode does a great job of not forgetting the events of the war thus far and then dispenses with that goodwill by skipping over the important parts. I think there actually is a way for Odo to at least get Kira part of the way to understanding. I've pictured this conversation a dozen times. What if, he could ask her, if the Prophets came to you and told you to switch sides, or just offered to hold you in the whitespace indefinitely? I think Kira could analogize her faith with his needs and that would have been a layered and fascinating conversation and I wish to God we had gotten to see it.

Matthew: This episode has not one but two major scenes that "occur" off camera. Odo and Kira may be the most egregious (especially given where they're going with it), but Dax and Sirella is no less perplexing. How did this story get by the editorial staff? I know that "show don't tell" isn't some sort of inflexible commandment handed down by the story gods, but it's at least worthwhile advice to consider. It's downright bizarre to spend so much time showing us Dax and Sirella butting heads, to the point they come to blows, and then just cutting to the wedding as if something off screen made it all better. Kira tells Odo that they have a lot to talk about, and that they've "put it off long enough." Sorry, I don't buy it. One episode is long enough? So they didn't earn the scene, since there was no organic buildup to a reconciliation. And then... they didn't show us the scene.


: Everyone is really game and it shows. Like other comedic outings, the actors have to walk a line between giving the story some levity without lapsing into farce. I think everyone does a good job in the main cast. Farrell really holds her own in the scenes with Sirella in a way that is fun to watch. Particular standouts are the "Kill Worf" exchange in the holosuite and Armin Shimerman's "No refunds for those on the path to Kal'Hyah either" always kills me.

Matthew: Armin Shimerman was definitely the highlight of the main cast, for the very reasons you mention. Terry Farrell didn't do it for me. When she railed against being asked to apologize, I didn't buy it. Brooks was off and on. During Kal'Hyah, off. When chastising Dax, on. Auberjonois and Visitor were good... until they went out of frame. 

Kevin: The guest cast is great. I love Shannon Cochran's Sirella. She nailed the imperial air she was supposed to, and I wish she had more scenes with Martok. They had great chemsitry in their scene in the airlock. Hertzler was also great, as per usual. I always get a little choked up at his speech to Worf.

Matthew: Agreed on Cochran and Hertzler. If more of this episode had been them arguing, it might be a better show.

Production Values

: I liked the Klingon wedding gear. It's dramatic and of a piece with other Klingon costumes. The boots Terry Farrell wore were clearly too big for her and her walk in was a little weird. The make up and costume for Sirella were great. I also think they just sent Farrell home in her make up for the evening because that smudged raccoon eyes she had when she woke up with the hangover was perfect.

Matthew: Though the costume didn't necessarily flatter Farrell (the flared arms made her look wide and squat, which is quite an achievement given her frame), I agree that the outfits make sense for the culture. I liked the ceremony overall, and thought it was a nice use of Quark's bar. 

Kevin: Otherwise, I liked the holosuite scenes, and the party scene was full of people and appropriately energetic. There was some talk of getting the Enterprise crew in, but only Frakes and Burton were available on short notice, as they had offices on the Paramount lot and they decided that it was all or nothing, and that was stupid. Especially given the ad hoc nature of the wedding in the story, being able to only get some but not all would make sense, and they at least could have mentioned them.

Matthew: Turning down Frakes and Burton is insane, and is probably worth a point off on its own. I hated the party scene for its writing, but I also hated the dancing. What the hell sort of dance was that supposed to be? Its absurdity ripped me out of the episode. I'm not asking for a dance to be some sort of classic Earth two-step, and I'll make allowances for alien cultures. But the simple fact is that we humans have to watch the show, so unless you're going to do a lot of setup work, it's dangerous to make us feel as though we're watching something stupid. And that dance was "Allamaraine" stupid.


Kevin: Like I said, I really enjoy this episode and the guest star combo of Sirella and Martok alone always charms me. That being said, both the main and side stories have some fairly blatant flaws, I want to give this a 4 for entertainment value, but I have to go with a 3. Sometimes blogging is a harsh and unforgiving business.

Matthew: This is an episode that diminishes upon re-watching. Its flaws become ever more evident. It has a nice wedding scene and a decent verbal sparring match between Sisko and Dax. The two main guest stars are good but given precious little worthwhile to do. Otherwise, it's kind of crap. It has two off-screen plot advancing scenes, stupid Alexander scenes, a lack of chemistry between the leads, a cringe-inducing party... in my memory, this was a 3 or maybe even a 4. In the cold light of a hard analysis, this is a 2 - a severely flawed show with one or two redeeming facets. That makes our combined total a 5.


  1. The whole time watching this I wanted to yell "NOOOOO. DONT DO IT JADZIA. DONT MARRY THIS CAVEMAN. NOOOOOOOOOO."

    I really wish Dax had stood her ground. I loved how she hit that Klingon matriarch bitch in face and told het to gtfo. i just wish she had done the same with Worf and his primitive ways.

    Beneath all that AAAARGH warrior and honor mentality Worf is mostly boring and unimaginative, the exact opposite of Dax. When Martok said "alas, we dont chose whom we fall in love it" I wanted to puke. Such a trite and untrue clichee. The idea that you wake up one day and love someone out of the blue and for no good reason is Hollywood bullshit, not real life.

    I did enjoy the Kira and Odo parts though. Now that is a relationship I buy; one born out of mutual respect for one another, not quasi emotional abuse and guilt tripping, a healthy, functional relationship, with two people i do find compatible and whose individual personalities I like.

    BTW, what do you guys mean "the party precipitated the worst sin of this episode"? Which was that? I didnt quite understand that....

  2. Conducting the most important conversation that Odo and Kira will ever have off camera.