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Seeing DS9 for the first time
Report this Jul. 30 2012, 9:30 pm
The theft of the Breen weapon that we see in "Taking Into the Wind" is the action I accidentally spoiled / alluded to 2 episodes ago. This action, taken by our regular heroes, allows SCE to figure out how to counteract the Breen weapon. But the actual "figuring out" happens by unseen SCE characters off-screen between this episode and one later on.
Writer Ron Moore was a big fan of how this episode brought Kira Nerys full circle, returning her to the terrorist roots she had shed just before the series began. Indeed, bringing her back to these origins was something he'd been keen on doing for some time; "The backstory is that she's a terrorist who's become part of the establishment. There had never been a comfortable way to make her a terrorist again, although we'd had a few episodes where she'd go off and do things. But to bring her back to the 'blows-up-buildings-terrorist' would have been hard to justify. We finally were able to justify it here through circumstance."
Kira is also my favorite character, Jim, though I also really like Odo and Garak. And here we have them all together!
Armin Shimerman's wife, Kitty Swink, makes another DS9 guest appearance here as the Vorta fodder Luaran.
[Quark actor] Shimerman himself doesn't appear in this episode or the next (so Bashir and O'Brien always meet in an empty Quark's). He was shooting the final episodes of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which his character, Principal Snyder, had an important role.
For reasons which are never clarified, Thot Pran replaces Thot Gor as the leader of the Breen Confederacy in this episode, or at least their rep to the Dominion on Cardassia. Maybe Breen have politics like Klingons.
Crazy Klingon politics -- and Gowron was definitely a politician.
But what the Klingons really need is a leader.
Yep, Worf is Chancellor -- for about 30 seconds. And Worf's probably the best Chancellor that the Klingons ever had -- he knew he wasn't right for the job. But then he's replaced by an even better Chancellor: MARTOK.
Wonder what Sirilla thinks of being the wife of the Chancellor now.
In a deleted scene from this episode (cut for time), Ezri asked Worf what it was like to stand at the pinnacle of the Empire for a moment and Worf said he remembered wishing his father had been there to see it. Ezri replied, "I think he knows... and so does Jadzia", before raising a toast to his brief reign as Chancellor.
You know, I don't usually like the Klingon stories. But I liked "Tacking Into the Wind". Because it finally called into question all the stuff I hate about Klingons. Like how they are suppose to be all about honor, but they have all this back-door politics going on. And their caste system and lack of democracy has always bothered me. Heck, they are even sexist in a lot of ways.
Initially, the plan for this episode was to have Worf simply convince Gowron that he was allowing his ego to guide his decisions and that he wasn't acting in the best interests of the Empire. Gowron would then simply return to Qo'noS and hand over control of the war effort to Martok. Ron Moore however felt that this was too simple and that it let the Klingon Empire off the hook too easily; "I wanted to view the Klingons in a different manner, and look at what I'd created with the same cold eye as Ezri. Yeah, these guys are corrupt, and Worf has put up with that for a long time. They talk a good game about how honorable they are, but they're not capable of living up to their ideals. That's an important thing to say, so let's say it."
When Michael Dorn read the teleplay for this episode he sought out Robert O'Reilly and apologized to him for killing his character.
For his last day of shooting, actor Robert O'Reilly spent most of it on the ground playing the dead body of Gowron. At the end of the day, when filming wrapped, O'Reilly called out to Michael Dorn to help him up (as actors cannot get themselves up off the ground in full Klingon wardrobe). However, Dorn had already left the set, prompting O'Reilly to complain, "Boy, once they kill you off, they forget all about you."
You know, I'm really liking the Martok storyline. Here's a guy who started out as a lowly farmer of no particular bloodline. And from an area of the planet even most farmers look down on. A nobody, really. He's pressed into service as a lowly grunt soldier. And he works his way up. Gains a battlefield commission to the officer ranks. And then works his way up the officer ranks. All the while fighting bigotry from "high-born" people like Kor. People who didn't like the caste he started out in. That's racism as far as I'm concerned. Klingon culture has plenty of it, we just usually only interact with the high-brow military and political ruers that we don't see it. But where are the clerks and bakers and blacksmiths, etc? Well, Martok's one. And he worked his way up through loyal honorable service, often surrounded by less honorable men, until one day the ruling Chancellor (Worf) personally selects him to succeed him as leader of the Klingon people. I just long to see what this new "man-of-the-people" leader will do to make the Empire a force I can actually like, allies I can actually be proud of versus ashamed of. Perhaps he can even work with the Kahless clone Emperor to get this done.
So now this lowly, but deserving farmer has had the leadership of the High Council thrust upon him. One has to wonder about the legality of what Worf did. Can a standing Chancellor just select a replacement and stand down with no fighting? Doesn't seem very Klingon to me. But, I guess it can work if no one else comes forward to challenge for the position. (Basically that's what happen when Chancellor Gorkon's daughter Azetbur took over as Chancellor after he died in Star Trek VI, right?)
It is surprising that no one else stepped forward to challenge for the right to rule the Council. Not only would I think there would be some people thinking they are better than Martok for the position, certainly there are people that would have thought themselves better for the position than Worf for the short time he had the title. I guess Worf just got lucky that none of them were in the room at the time. But certainly, once word travels the Empire that Martok has taken over he will certainly get challengers, just as he expects, high-born Klingons that don't think him worthy of the position. But that doesn't happen in the short remainder of the series. I guess they were just waiting for the war to be over before getting into more bickering Klingon politics.
(These very things do, in fact, happen to Martok in books set right after his return to the Klingon homeworld shortly after the end of the Dominion War. A number of enemies of Martok (both military and political) come forward to challenge his leadership of the High Council. And he does get help from Emperor Kahless.)
Report this Jul. 31 2012, 6:12 pm
Hello Jim! It's been a while since I last posted, but I've always been a faithful reader of your reviews. Also, I'm glad you enjoyed your trip here in the Northwest a few months back.
Looks like I came back just in time since my favorite episode in all of Star Trek happens to be “Tacking into the Wind.” What an amazing episode! Episodes like these really demonstrate why I believe Deep Space Nine to be not only the best Star Trek series, but also a serious contender for the greatest science fiction television show of all time. “Tacking” is simply bursting with everything that sets DS9 apart from the rest: multi-layered characterization, in-depth analyses of alien civilizations, sophisticated writing, and impressive production quality.
First, though, I would like to express my views on the “Final Chapter” ten-hour finale, and Deep Space Nine’s seventh season as a whole. I think that when evaluating DS9’s seventh season, it’s important to consider and compare the final seasons of every other Trek series as well. To be honest, most were very unimpressive. With The Original Series, production difficulties and the looming threat of cancellation contributed to a very poor third and final season. The seventh season of TNG didn’t prove to be much better, reflecting what that series had become in its later years: a lazy, pretentious, unambitious shadow of its former self. Voyager’s last year was more consistent, but lacked any sense of build up to a climactic return home. Instead, Voyager preferred to wander aimlessly right up until “Endgame” whisked them back home with two minutes to spare. Enterprise’s fourth season was the complete opposite of TNG’s last season. Rather than having a disappointing final season but a terrific finale episode, Enterprise had a good season with a terrible finale episode. Clearly then, Star Trek series have not been known end on a strong note.
Deep Space Nine is the exception. Throughout its seventh year, DS9 produced many of its finest hours, most notably “Treachery, Faith, and the Great River,” “The Siege of AR-558,” “Chimera,” “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges,” “The Changing Face of Evil,” and “Tacking into the Wind.” With only a handful of episodes remaining, this series still continued to improve, refine, and innovate itself. While the other series chugged along, cranking out one rehashed plot line after another, Deep Space Nine was busy introducing new characters, telling daring new stories, and shaking up the status quo. Granted, season seven got a little rocky in the middle and I, admittedly, grew nervous as to how the show would end. But in typical Deep Space Nine fashion, it learned from its mistakes, adapted, and did not disappoint.
The highlight of this season is obviously the “Final Chapter.” This epic, sweeping, climactic arc provides a fitting conclusion to this amazing show. Considering how many story lines begged to be resolved after seven years, the idea of setting aside multiple episodes to lead up the finale seemed almost a necessity. Unlike TNG, Deep Space Nine didn’t have the luxury of just sticking a finale at the end of the year with the hope of moving on to feature films. The DS9 writers knew that when the end credits rolled, it would all be over. Therefore, it was essential to make each episode count. Nearly every character, plotline, and alien race gets their time in the spotlight. That is why I view this 9-part arc as a sort of finale for the entire franchise. This is the climax to end all climaxes. Star Trek has never been this epic before or since.
So far, Jim, you seem to be pleased with the “Final Chapter.” I mostly agree with your ratings so far, although I think “The Changing Face of Evil” and “Tacking into the Wind” both deserve “Great” rankings. These episodes were simply loaded with fascinating twists and turns. What a ride! Some “Final Chapter” highlights I especially enjoyed were:
-Winn’s struggle with her faith. As you brought out, her descent into bitterness and jealously made for some very compelling viewing.
-Damar’s path to redemption. Seeing Damar’s transformation from drunken puppet leader to heroic freedom fighter was one of the most exciting and rewarding storylines the show has ever done.
-Kira leading a Cardassian rebellion. This idea was simply a stroke of genius. Bringing Kira over to assist Damar’s Cardassian terrorist operation brings the Bajoran/Cardassian arc full circle. There’s a certain irony and poetic justice about having the Cardassians be put in the same position as the Bajorans a decade prior.
-Odo and Kira’s touching romance. While I was initially unsure about this relationship when it started back in season six, episodes like “Tacking into the Wind” prove why Odo and Kira have the purest and most touching romance ever shown in Star Trek.
-Ezri’s insightful, yet frank criticism on the state of the Klingon Empire. This is surely Ezri’s finest moment.
-The scenes at Dominion Headquarters. Oftentimes the villains on this show can prove equally as interesting as the protagonists. Watching the Founder, Weyoun, Thot Gor, and Damar bicker amongst themselves is simply a delight.
The crown jewel of the arc, at least to me, is “Tacking into the Wind.” Personally, I would have ranked this episode as “Beyond Great,” right up there with “The Visitor,” “In the Pale Moonlight,” “Rocks and Shoals,” “The City on the Edge of Forever,” and “The Inner Light.” Of course, that is not to say that your opinion is invalid. I just happened to be really captivated by this episode. I am curious, however, as to what qualifications it was lacking? Everything seemed to come together (at least to me), from visuals, music, acting, dialogue, and mood. Why, then, did “Tacking” fall short from a “Great” ranking for you?
Anyway, it’s nice to be back. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the rest of the season and the series as a whole. Once again, I would like to thank you for your thoughtful and entertaining reviews. As I’ve said before, this thread is the highlight of the entire board. Thank you so much!
Report this Jul. 31 2012, 7:08 pm
Thank you for that comprehensive post. It has been my pleasure having you along for the ride. I'll try and address some of your post...
- I did enjoy Tacking into the Wind very much. I didn't rate it great because the Klingon part was fine but not near as good as the part with Kira and her team stealing the ship.
- I generally agree with your analysis on final seasons of Trek. However, I thought TNG was fine. Especially with Journey's End, Lower Decks and, of course, All Good Things. TNG has had the best series finale (not that it was tough to do given the finales of the other Trek shows). However, one must admit that TNG nailed it with their finale. I ehar DS9's finale is on par. I can't wait!
- I thought DS9 season 7 started off ok and then went downhill in the middle. The final arc did come to the rescue. They did excellent work with that idea.
Just call me "Jim"!
Report this Jul. 31 2012, 7:15 pm
EXTREME MEASURES: Not Good
In this episode, Bashir and O'Brien link with Sloan's dying mind to see if they can get the cure for Odo.
Ugh! The crux of this story was going into Sloan's mind. Does anyone realize it took 24 of the 42 minutes of the episode to get in there?
This episode went slow. At least it sped up as it went downhill. The only redeeming part of being inside Sloan's mind was the dinner party. To think he would have felt cheated in his life because of his choices.
This episode vaguely reminded me of one of the worst TNG episodes...Shades of grey. I just don't find it that itneresting to sift through the random memories and thoughts of a character.
I did like at the end when O'Brien was at the bar and Bashir was in the background shooting darts. You could hear the sound effect indicating bulls-eye after bulls-eye for Bashir.
Just call me "Jim"!
Report this Jul. 31 2012, 7:19 pm
Everyone, please remember that after my final review I will continue here for a short while. I may want to do some top-10 and bottom-10 lists and some other things before I move on. Please continue to hang out!
I have seen TOS, TNG and ENT many times over. I couldn't stomach a detailed review of each. Besides, I started reviewing Voyager last year in July so I have seen 14 seasons of Star Trek in the last 12 months. I need a break and I think my wife is sick of watching me watching Star Trek. She doesn't like Trek.
The only show I haven't seen is TAS. I may review that in a month or 2.
Just call me "Jim"!
Report this Jul. 31 2012, 8:15 pm
Of all the episodes in the last run of 9, I find "Extreme Measures" the least interesting or compelling. It just seems a little obvious that eventually Julian and Miles will get the cure, but not much else, out of Section 31. All the rest is just boring filler.
Another reason it doesn't seem as interesting is because we just did a Section 31 episode right before the final 9-episode arc started. So that was only 7 episodes ago. Still, good use of Section 31 here as creators of the disease.
Man! Miles and Julian are sure breaking a lot of rules in order to help Odo. Guess you have to break rules to catch an organization that breaks so many rules. What's that old expression: be careful when hunting the devil that you don't turn into him. DS9's done shows like this before, like "The Darkness and the Light", "For the Uniform", "Pale Moonlight".
Also, it's obvious the budget was restricted on this episode. Which is understandable considering all the amazing expensive stuff happening in other episodes of the 9-episode arc. Some episode had to get the short end of the stick. And this was the one. But it's really noticeable when they go into Sloan's mind. I mean, why would Sloan's mind look like DS9 rooms versus some other place more meaningful in his life. The reason, of course, was it's cheaper to film on standing DS9 sets versus build something more artistic or realistic for the scenes.
Originally, at the end of the last episode Bashir and O'Brien were to set off for a planet which they had come to learn played host to Section 31's headquarters. And this episode would actually contain some real Section 31 locations versus just imagined ones in Sloan's head. However, it quickly became apparent that if too much money was used, there wouldn't be enough for the final episode. As such, they had to scale back the scope of the episode, and they re-located it from a planet to an interior environment. And a mostly-already created one at that.
And finally, the other reason the episode may not be as good is because of the major rewrite. This episode was originally suppose to be about Kira and Odo versus Julian and Miles. You see, originally, the plan for Damar was to have him working as a double agent, with Weyoun, Thot Gor/Pran, and the Female Changeling all still believing that he is serving the Dominion. However, Ron Moore pointed out that this meant that none of the regulars would ever be directly involved with Damar's story, that at most, he might have some subspace communication with them, but no actual interaction. As such, the Cardassian Rebellion plotline would involve only recurring characters, and although Damar was a popular character amongst fans and his plotline was important, it was felt necessary to get some regular characters directly involved. However, the decision to bring regulars into the Cardassian Rebellion plot had a serious knock-on effect. For the writers, the most logical choice of characters to send was Kira and Garak. However, David Weddle and Bradley Thompson were already writing "Extreme Measures", which, at this time, involved Kira and Odo hunting for a cure to the morphogenic virus. It was suggested that perhaps Kira could go to Cardassia, and Odo and Bashir could try to track down a cure, but Ira Steven Behr felt very strongly that Odo and Kira should not be split up at all during the arc, so it was ultimately decided to use O'Brien and Bashir to hunt for the cure, and send Kira, Garak, and Odo to Cardassia.
In the originally-planned Odo-centric episode, Odo was going to go into Luther Sloan's mind and have a surreal adventure where he eventually runs into Dr. Mora and learns that it was his own "father" who created the changeling disease. I sorta liked that idea better. I love me some Dr Mora. We've already discussed how great an actor James Sloyan is.
All that negativity about this episode aside, I did like that Julian and Miles were able to get their own episode, basically, that focused on their friendship and how far it has come since the start of the show.
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 3:26 pm
DOGS OF WAR: Fair to Good
In this episode, lots of stories continue to evolve and some came out of nowhere. Ezri and Bashir continue to dance around the fact that they like each other. The Grand Nagus (cue the screeching chalkboard) decided to give up his throne. Kira and Damar's team take the stolen Jem Hadar ship to Cardassia to rally more rebels. A new Leggett is selected on Cardassia. The Dominion is going to pull back and an interesting new development with Sisko and Kasidy Yates.
Some of these stories are pretty good and some are not. I do not find the budding relationship between Ezri and Bashir very interesting. It is clear they were going to get together. Worf seemed ambivalent. This relationship will not evolve very far before the series is over so I am not sure there is much of a point here. It's like the Seven/Chalotay relationship thrown in at the end of Voyager. Not that interesting and a tough sell at this stage.
Did they really have to bring back the Nagus? Him passing off his scepter to the person he did was a twist but we don't get to see what he does with it. I did like the nice final scene between Rom and Quark. Jeff Combs worked overtime in this episode!
The Kira/Damar storyline is good but there wasn't much to it. It needed more air time. I thought they might try and stage Damar's death to turn him into a martyr. Instead, they are trying to make him an icon to rally around. Good stuff!
The new Leggett is probably inconsequential but this pullback apparently sets up a big juicy final battle for the finale.
Question...what about the Founder's disease? Will they still be dying at the end of the finale? Will they get the cure? What eventually happens to them and their arrogance?
Finally, Sisko and Kasidy. Again, I'm not sure where this story can go with one episode left. Perhaps they did it for the books?
Oh well. I am ready for the big ending.
Just call me "Jim"!
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 3:51 pm
This is very deep subject matter Odo and Sisko are delving into in "Dogs of War". Odo sees the Federation as committing genocide. The Federation thinks they can't give the Founders the cure, since the Dominion seems so hell-bent on continuing this war.
I think the subject matter is especially "deep" because the right answer is not obvious. Both sides have their good points.
Still, I was really rooting for Odo's side. I think we should give the Founders the cure. Show them that we are caring people. (Even if some of our own were the ones who made the disease in the first place.) Try to get to a significant point of understanding so that you can live together in peace, versus just winning the war.
Quark's speech about Ferengi values and how "the line has to be drawn here. This far and no further" was a deliberate imitation of Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact (when he was talking about the Borg). Ronald D. Moore, who co-wrote both the film and this episode, remarked, "I take great glee at mocking my own work."
Sisko's line to Dax, "That's what happens when you miss staff meetings," is an homage to Kirk's line to McCoy, "That's what you get for missing staff meetings, Doctor," in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
Quark's line "This establishment will be the last outpost of what made Ferenginar great" is a reference to TNG: "The Last Outpost", the first episode to feature the Ferengi.
It is just ridiculous that Rom becomes Grand Nagus. He is wholly unprepared for the job. Nepotism at its worst. But I guess that's the Ferengi way. And I guess Rom figures it out because he's still Grand Nagus up to at least 7 years later, as seen in recent book "Plagues of Night".
This episode reintroduces the character of Mila, Enabran Tain's housekeeper and confidant, who was first seen in the episode "Improbable Cause". In actuality, Mila is also Garak's mother, who had an affair with Garak's real father, Enabran Tain. (Revealed in the book "Stitch in Time", written by Garak actor Andrew J. Robinson.)
Although the stars of a series will occasionally play dual roles, this episode features a guest star (Jeffrey Combs) playing the dual roles of Weyoun and Brunt. This is evidenced plainly when the scene suddenly transitions from Quark's Bar (with Brunt kissing Quark's hand, lavishing him with praise) to Cardassia Prime (with Weyoun addressing the entire population with a speech extolling the Dominion).
I really don't think Dax and Bashir are right for each other. I mean, they may seem to have good chemistry initially. And they both have interesting mental reserves that they can call on (Dax her previous lives; Bashir his enhancements). But that does not make for a long-term relationship. Just a strong infatuation. A bright-burning relationship that will burn itself out soon. (And in the books that is exactly what happens. They break up about 8 months later.)
Interesting how it's the man who takes the birth control injections (at least in the relationship between Ben and Kasidy).
Jim, the reason the writers "did it" (i.e. have Kasidy get pregnant) was to fulfill the Prophets' warning that he would "know nothing but sorrow" if he married her. I think it's pretty obvious that Ben is slated to die. And what's more sad than leaving behind a daughter who will never know you, much less all the other sorrow of having died?
Well, the war seems to be going well for our side. Guess that eliminates the possibility that DS9 will be the last stand, like the Alamo. (Although the Alamo will be referenced in the last episode anyway.)
What would the Breen want with Earth and Romulas? Just general expansion I guess. They stayed out of the war so long (like the Tholians and Gorn and Zenkethi, who never enter at all). I guess when they finally decided to back the Dominion they really thought they were going to win. But they didn't count on the Founders being sick (which they didn't know about), or the Cardassian rebellion, or the Federation SCE being able to find a way to counter their dampening weapon.
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 4:43 pm
When we first meet Bashir, he's hitting on Jadzia Dax. Dax finds him cute, but immature. So they remain close friends.
Now, at the end of the series, Bashir finally has a chance with Ezri Dax. Dax (especially this Ezri iteration) finds him cute, and Bashir is actually much more mature at this stage in his life. And things take a turn for the romantic.
So yeah, I really like this coupling. A) It's sweet. B) It's a nice bookend for both characters.
Worf's destiny, meanwhile, lies elsewhere. And I've just got to say I absolutely adore how the writers wrap things up for him; it's just so perfect. (Until Nemesis comes along and pretends it never happened... Ugh.)
And Logan, I'm all about "different strokes for different folks," but to keep bringing up those godawful, amateurish, fanfic-laden relaunch books? C'mon, man. You're better than that.
Quite frankly, after reading the first four or five novels of the supposed "Season 8," I don't give two ****s about what happens with Martok or Bashir or Ezri or Sisko. I feel those books are so utterly horrible and a complete disgrace to the DS9 series.
If a new story centering on the DS9 cast isn't penned by Behr or Moore? Well, then, It's simply not canon. And never will be.
DS9 ends (beautifully, I might add) with "What You Leave Behind."
"Smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast."
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 7:27 pm
About the genocide of the Founder's. This also maps back to TNG in which Picard had a chance to wipe out the Borg with a sort of computer virus. He didn't because it was genocide. Admiral Necheyev took him tot ask for that and I didn't blame her.
I disagree with Odo and Picard's stance for several reasons...
- if an entire race of people are out to kill my family and I have the ability to wipe them all out then I will do it. It was their choice to threaten my family and they have to deal with the consequences of their choice.
- In this case and in TNG, we have races (Founders and Borg) that are UNIVERSALLY out to kill the Federation. It is not like Afghanistan in which only the Taliban and Al Qaeda are responsible for atrocities. Every last Founder wants to defeat the Federation. Every last Vorta and every last Jem Hadar and every last Borg. There are no exceptions. A species and an individual have the right to protect themselves. There is no right to survive as a species if your constant and ultimate goal is the unprovoked attack and annihilation of another race. If that is the case then your race has no redeeming qualities.
- Also how does one NOT commit genocide in a war with the Founders? You are at war until THEY stop fighting. The Founders will not stop and they have bred Vorta and Jem Hadar to not stop under any circumstances. So, the Federation has to fight until the Dominion stops fighting. That will only happen when they are all dead.
Just call me "Jim"!
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 9:31 pm
Even in war there are rules. You can use force, even kill, but it should only be to that extent necessary to stop the invaders and return to the status quo, or maybe go a little further and “beat them down” a little as punishment. But genocide is generally not necessary and should usually be forbidden. It the case of the human race, then certainly genocide should never be allowed or needed because there’s always going to be differences of opinion amongst the “bad guys”; you only need to kill the ones out to kill you, then learn to live with the more peaceful ones.
That being said, I can see where it might be possible in science fiction to create a situation where the “bad guy” does not have differences of opinion, where you would have to eliminate all of them (genocide) in order to stop them because they all think alike and they all want you dead and will stop at nothing to get it. But this situation is difficult to create, even in sci-fi. Because not only do you have to create a race that thinks entirely alike, you also have to create them such that their motivations do not allow for any other answer short of killing the good guys. Probably the only way this can be done is by creating a non-sentient race of “beasts” that only want to kill (like the alien monsters from the “Aliens” franchise). Because, chances are that any sentient race, no matter how different or how perverted their values, probably do have some underlying sense of self-worth or morals that would allow some kind of outcome other than genocide. (Heck, probably even the sentient “bugs” from “Starship Troopers” could exist peacefully with humanity if only we could understand each other better.)
Of course, in the heat of battle/war, you don’t always have the luxury of time or patience or luck to find that needed middle ground with a crazy apparently-single-minded “bad guy”. So, yeah, all-out genocide might be the only way to resolve the problem “fast enough” prior to a lot of (or all of) humanity being killed or enslaved. I can see that being the case with the Borg. So, yes, Jim, I will pretty much concede the point that genocide should have been a more viable option with the Borg for Picard.
The sad thing with the Borg is that the drones aren’t the real “bad guys” of the Borg. They are really just slaves to the larger Borg construct/program/gestalt. So every Borg drone we have to kill is really just us killing a bunch of POWs. We aren’t fighting the real enemy; we’re not hurting the underlying program at all. Even if you kill a Queen, the program just resurrects the Queen again in a different drove body.
The Borg are just so relentless that we don’t have the time to figure out how to fight the actual underlying program/gestalt. So we have to fight the drones and kill a lot of them. And maybe the only way we can find to defeat the underlying program/gestalt is to kill every single drone so that it has nothing left to manifest or hide in. So, yes, genocide may be the only way. But I can also argue that we should try and hold out a little (maybe not “as long as possible”, but a “reasonable amount of time&rdquo while we try to understand the Borg better. And then we may be able to figure out how they work and how to get to and attack the underlying bad programming without having to kill all the innocent drones,
Now, as for your argument, Jim, about killing all the Founders. I think that argument has less weight.
First off, the changeling virus is not just killing all the Founders (the rulers of the Dominion), it is killing all changelings that have ever had the virus spread to them. This would include innocent changelings who had nothing to do with the Dominion’s war on the Alpha Quadrant, like Odo and Laas, or any others of the innocent 100 that may have came into contact with the virus. Of course, as far as we know, the number of non-Founder changelings that may have been exposed to the virus are very low. (Probably only Odo, Laas, and the baby changeling in “The Begotten”, and one of those is already dead, one’s already cured, and we might be able to find and help Laas without helping the other Founders.) So, if that was the only issue with your argument, I would also support the genocide of the Founders in order to win the Dominion War.
Are you actually sure that the Founders/Vorta/Jem’Hadar are “UNIVERSALLY out to kill the Federation . . . no exceptions”?
First, let’s talk about your use of the word “kill”. I think from what we know of the Founders and their Dominion that their main focus is on obtaining and maintaining order. This generally does not mean killing absolutely everyone. They are not out to commit genocide of all the peoples in the Federation. They may not even want to actually “kill” the political construct of the Federation itself. They just want everyone to adhere to their sense of order, to give up our freedoms and live under their benevolent rule. They are only warring with the peoples of the Federation because they see it as the only/best way to achieve that goal. Remember, the Dominion tried for 3+ seasons to “win-over” or “gain control of” the Federation by other means before they got into a war. If the Federation were to surrender, the fighting would stop. (This recalls some arguments of the Jack Pack from “Statistical Probablilities”.)
Does that mean that we should stop fighting? Because it will save lives? Heck, no. There are more important things at stake than lives. The Borg weren’t out to kill most of us either, they just wanted to assimilate us into their collective/construct/gestalt. These bad guys (Borg and Dominion) want to take our freedom, which is even worse than killing us. And that is unacceptable! So, I’m not actually arguing with you over the use of the word “kill”. And that is not why I think you and the Federation are wrong to contemplate genocide of the Founders. So, let’s move on. Because I still have other issues with your argument.
Are you/we/the Federation really sure (or even reasonably sure) that “every last” Vorta/Jem’Hadar/Founder are “UNIVERSALLY” behind killing the Federation (or restructuring it, or controlling it, or whatever we call it)? We really don’t know much about the inner workings of the Great Link. Or how much different Founders may differ over how to act with the Federation. We have only meet a small number of Founders. And very few of them recently. It’s been almost 2 years since we were last in the Gamma Quadrant at all (“Children of Time&rdquo, much less had contact with the Great Link. Do we really know what they think? Or do we just have a good idea of the one female Founder on Cardassia thinks?
And, as for the Vorta and Jem’Hadar, we have seen differences between them. Some of their kind appear more willing to side with us than others. Like the 7th Weyoun clone in “Treachery, Faith, and the Great River”. Or the Jem’Hadar First, Goran’Agar, in “Hippocratic Oath” that didn’t require white to live.
And the Founders did not breed the “Vorta and Jem’Hadar to not stop under any circumstances”, they breed them to follow orders. If the Founders said to stop the war and go live in peace the Dominion races would do so. So it’s again really about what we think the Founders are really like. Are any of them more inclined to listen to our calls for friendship versus war? May Odo, if he rejoins the Great Link?
It’s hard to condone genocide when there really are (or reasonably could be) significant differences that allow us to get along with some Founders, even if we can’t get along with others. The problem here being, like with other decisions in war, we just don’t know what we don’t know. Just how many Founders might be our friends? Just how would we contact them?
Ultimately, if we can’t get reasonable answers to this question, then we have to go forward with the war and make the best decisions we can based on the information we have. And we’re back to the situation you argue for: genocide may be the best solution. Based on what we know, while there may be a few outlying Founders (or Vorta or Jem’Hadar) that might side with us, the overwhelming majority seem to be hell-bent on “killing” us. And genocide (especially since it’s conveniently already under way) may be the only way to stop the war in our favor. So we have to at least consider it. But I wouldn’t be so quick to argue that it’s inevitable, like you seem to be doing.
And lastly, and most importantly, how sure are you/we/the Federation sure that they “will not stop . . . under any circumstances”? Again, we know so little about the Founders and their motivation. Maybe there is something. Maybe, for instance, if we offer the cure in exchange for the end of the war they might be willing to stop. Is self-preservation more important to them than order? (Doesn’t necessarily let us look like the heroes, though.) We know that the changelings value Odo. The female Founder even said one in an early 6th season episode that the Founders cared about him more than the entire Alpha Quadrant. So what if he offered to go with them if they would leave the Alpha Quadrant alone? (He practically wants to go with them anyway.)
It’s this last point that seems most important to me. It’s easy to vilify your enemy in war, to make them out to be the unstoppable horrible alien beast. But, ultimately, no matter how alien, they are sentient beings. And very likely their motivations are NOT to kill for no reason. And there isn’t necessary any middle ground between you two to meet and “break bread” over. You just have to have the moral fortitude to look for it. (Heck, maybe the Federation should have been spending more time during the war trying to understand the Founders better. I know they were willing to sit down at the table with the Dominion a few times, like in “Statistical Probabilities”, but they didn’t seem to do anything else. Like asking Odo to go visit the Founders and talk to them. Remember, the wormhole was impassable by Dominion forces, but not by Starfleet, during the bulk of the Dominion War. Yet Starfleet never seemed to use it.)
Still, don’t be an idiot and let yourself get killed looking for common ground with your enemies. You do still have every right to fight and defend your people/family. Just realize that you may not have the moral right to commit genocide for it.
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 9:50 pm
Driver, are there any Star Trek books (series) that you do enjoy?
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 10:00 pm
WHAT YOU LEAVE BEHIND: Great
I came home from my volleyball match tonight. The rest of the family went to bad so I decided to stay up and watch What You Leave Behind. I will have several posts on this finale but I will start with the standard review.
The finale...again, many simultaneous stories; Kira continues to lead a rebellion on Cardassia. The Federation alliance heads to Cardassian space to end the war and Dukat and Winn go to the fire caves to release the Pah-Wraiths.
It was good to see how "Kira's team" pulled together despite the long history. I also enjoyed seeing the Founder and Weyoun feel vulnerable for the first time as they could tell they were losing control of Cardassia and all Cardassians.
The change in Damar from what he was to what he became was satisfying. Given the death of his family I think he came to a fitting end. I also liked how they laughed outside the compound when they couldn't get in.
The Federation ivnasion fleet waged an epic battle. There was certainly lots of action but I was let down that much fo the footage was from earlier. That is why there was virtually no Romulan ships in the battle.
Two things bothered me...Odo changing the mind of the Founder in an instant didn't seem realistic. It was like she was a different person instantly. It didn't seem real. I also felt the Cardassian fleet flipping to the other side was too sudden. However, I guess they needed to speed things up.
As I've said a lot recently, Kira became such an outstanding character. She was so sure of herself and what she had become.
Garak's conflict at the end of having to build a new Cardassia reminded me of Kirk in the Undiscovered Country...dealing with a changing universe.
I like how they spent a good amount of time after the final battle with the signing of the peace treaty and sending each person on their way...Odo, Worf, etc. That was missing from End Game in Voyager. For them it just ended and it was over. You knew nothing about what became of them. I cry foul over that one on Voyager. DS9 did it right. Say goodbye.
Quark continued to play his part as the backdrop. Amost like he wrote the show as we see it through his eyes. Quark wasn't the subject of many episodes this season but his part was great as he set up everyone else.
The fire cave scenes had its ups and downs. Dukat dies and comes back. The ending was ok but I epxected another battle between the Pah-Wraiths and the Prophets.
Sisko's end was fine but he should ahve had the chance to say goodbye to his son! The final scene a DS9 disappears in the distance was good. I was hoping for a Picard-like great finish like, "and the sky is the limit!" but it was not to be.
Just call me "Jim"!
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 10:08 pm
Again, I rated What You Leave Behind as Great but I think The Visitor and Siege of AR-558 were better made. The fire caves part was so-so, the battles were a lot of stock footage and the Founder converted too easily it seemed.
Don't get me wrong. This was a very good finale. It was a home run but not a grand slam. In my opinion, All Good Things was better. At the same time, What You Leave Behind is clearly the 2nd best finale in Trek. None of the other finales come clsoe to All Good Things and this one.
As a show, DS9 sits on the mountaintop for me with TOS, TNG and ENT. VOY just wasn't as good as the rest. I am glad I saw DS9. It was worth it.
Just call me "Jim"!
Report this Aug. 01 2012, 10:35 pm
"What You Leave Behind" What a great name for a finale episode. But more on that later.
There was a weird feeling at the beginning of the episode. People are supposedly worried about dying in the big push towards Cardassia. Yet, at the same time, everyone seems to feel very confident about the outcome of the war. O'Brien's already making plans for "after the war", as if that random, unknown date would happen to coincide with the Academy training schedule. Maybe it would have made more sense if O'Brien was transferring somewhere to help rebuild the fleet after the war. At least that would be something that more directly connects with the war ending. But it still wouldn't alleviate the problem that everyone seems pretty sure the war's going to end in the Federation's favor, yet we're also suppose to be getting this sense of foreboding and the possibility of death and loss. But I guess the ambiguity is inherent in any change of status, endings of wars, changing jobs, people going away (possibly dying). It's bitter sweet. Pretty much like we felt as viewers for the series ending.
Keiko hasn't appeared much in the last few seasons. Throughout much of 6th season she wasn't even living on the station because it was too dangerous with the war on. Then she moved back on the statÍon and was seen in one episode, "Time's Orphan", then not again until this final episode.
You'd think 24th century medicine could get rid of morning sickness. But maybe the "natural" ways are really best for the body.
While talking to Bashir about his decision to return to Earth, O'Brien mentions "flux capacitors", a reference to the Robert Zemeckis Back to the Future movies. The flux capacitor being "what makes time travel possible" in that film series.
I thought it was nice tight bit of writing that the communications interruption that Damar's rebellion causes is actually important to the over-all success of the allied forces over the Dominion. Because Weyoun had noticed the Dominion weakness (spread too thin in the middle) and was just about to correct it when the comms went down. This not only allows the rebellion's part in the war effort to be important (as does their attack on Dominion Headquarters later in the episode), it does another important thing: it allows the bad guys to be defeated without them looking like idiots. Their leaders had determined the right course of action, but just couldn't implement it in time due to the comms loss.
Plus, it was the Dominion's own overreaction to the power outage (their destruction of Lakarian City and subsequent gloating about it) that eventually cost them the war, since Cardassian forces are then very motivated to not trust the Dominion any longer and switch sides.
Another time the bad guys don't look too dumb: when they easily capture Damar and company in the basement by using a grenade. Too often it seems grenades are lacking in Star Trek. Starfleet doesn't seem to carry them even though they are imminently useful. But military tactics in general are often missing in Star Trek. Nice to see these Dominion War episodes of Star Trek get it at least a little closer to real-life combat. They even use "attack fighters" in this episode in stead of always fighting with large capital ships. Heck, they even mention landing ground forces.
Even in war, Feds trying to stay as clean as possible: during the final assault on Cardassia Prime, they get to attack drone orbital platforms while cardassians, Klingons, Romulans fight off people (Jem'Hadar and Breen). Using others to do the dirty work? Like Section 31?
This says something to why Starfleet characters didn't want to drink over the rubble the next morning, while Martok did. Starfleet really don't lust for battle. These are heroes worth looking up to.
Of the scene where Ross and Sisko refuse to share a drink with Martok while standing in the middle of a devastated Cardassia, Ira Behr says, "It shows the difference between Humans and Klingons. Martok enjoys the victory. He enjoys the bodies. He enjoys the triumph. And in some ways he's right. The Bajorans would have called these deaths poetic justice, and that's something we wanted to remind the audience about. But we Humans see things in complicated ways. It's tough being a human. It's much easier being a Klingon." Similarly, J.G. Hertzler points out, "It takes a certain amount of intellectualization to say 'War is wrong.' Klingons are not able to do that. And the fact is, the Cardassians brought it on themselves. So Martok just enjoyed that one moment of 'We won'."
During the scene on Cardassia with General Martok, Admiral Ross and Captain Sisko, Martok speaks Klingon for the last time. This line however was not written into the script, so J.G. Hertzler decided to throw some Klingon in. In a BBC interview, J.G. Hertzler recalled, "All that was written for me to do, was to sort of shrug my shoulders and drink. I said, 'Man, if there's ever a time when Martok would say something in Klingon, at least to himself, it would be then.' So I said, 'If that's the intent then let me just say [barks out some Klingon],' which means, 'Humans, go figure!.' So that's what I did."
Lucky that Broca happen to be taken outside for exicution just where Damar's revolution is. Shouldn't the Jem'Hadar have known the revolution was out there? And why bother to take the guys outside to kill them anyway? When they were about to kill Damar, Garak, and Kira they didn't bother with going outside. Notice also, no trials, even a mock Cardassian show trial. Cardassians no longer in charge, the Founder is.
Nice to see Garak's real deep-felt feelings for his people and planet. Even after the society (or at least a powerful part of it in the Obsidian Order) shuned and exiled him, he turns around and really lays his life on the line for it. And, wouldn't you know it, he's one of the few that survive. He's a tough enemy to take down.
And, of course, Damar gave the ultimate sacrifice for Cardassia. Maybe that why Garak is so able to win: he's not the big face of the resistance/rebellion who ends up martyred. He's the trickster working silently behinds the scenes. Sort of an unsung hero.
Damar was chosen as the first recurring character to die [other than poor Mila, of course], as Casey Biggs had played William Travis in the 1988 IMAX film directed by Kieth Merrill, Alamo: The Price of Freedom, and Travis was the first to die at the Battle of the Alamo. So, the idea of the Alamo and the last stand did still happen in this episode. But it wasn't DS9 where the last stand took place, it was Cardassia.
In the original draft of the script, Damar went down with all guns blazing, but without any lines. Distraught at the thought of a death without words, Casey Biggs asked director Allan Kroeker for permission to improvise, hence his final word, "Keep...". When asked at conventions, Biggs admits he had no idea of how he would have finished the statement. [I've seen some good threads where people tried to complete the line.]
Those Breen are pretty clever. They even manage to evacuate the Dominion headquarters right before the rebellion stormed in. So they're on a ship and can get away if (when) the Dominion losses.
Of Garak's murder of Weyoun, Ira Behr says, "In the end, Garak wasn't a tailor, he was a killer. His instinct was to kill. Not to hit. Not to knock down. Not to chide him most fiercely. But to kill Weyoun."
Garak says of Cardassia "Our whole history is one of arrogant aggression." "Rich and ancient culture", so much lost. It will be nice to see a better Cardassia. I continue to be a little disappointed that a truly great and democratic Cardassian people haven't yet taken their place beside the Bajorans in friendship. But I guess it takes time. Probably decades or centuries. [It's happen a little bit in books, where the Cardassians are allies and there are Cardassians working on DS9 under the command of Starfleet.]
Garak will go on to play a major role in the new Cardassia that will eventually be born from the ashes of the Dominion War and its stakes on the planet and people. Garak becomes the Cardassian Ambassador to the Federation. And close ties with the Cardassian leader, of course.
Garak keeps corespondence with Bashir, who is only remaining regular left on DS9 (other than Quark at the bar of course) in recent books.
You know who else plays a significant role in the rebuilding of Cardassia? O'Brien. Keiko O'Brien leads the civilian Federation team to rebuild Cardassia's biological infrastructure while Miles helps with technical infrastructure. They end up only staying on Earth for about 6 months before going to Cardassia to help with the reconstruction. And that's the last mention of the O'Briens in books (until the most recent Typhon Pact novel, but I won't give that away). Still on Cardassia years later.
Just how did the Founder sign the armistice ending the war since she has no name?
There was a scene depicted in the novelization, set just after the signing of the surrender documents, which shows the Dominion fleet heading back through the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant. After the wormhole closes, Admiral Ross declares, "Ladies and gentlemen I have the privilege of announcing that for the first time in two years there are no Dominion ships in the Alpha Quadrant!"
An Evora, a species seen at the start of Star Trek: Insurrection, walks down the Promenade after the Dominion surrender scene, just after Worf accepts the Ambassador position. Funny that an Evora would be on DS9 since their race only developed warp drive 2 years prior and the Federation made them a protectorate to keep them away from the war.
Worf doesn't stay an Ambassador forever, of course. He rejoins Starfleet (and EE) just before next movie (about 4 yrs later). Worf is now first officer on EE under Picard. But he got a great replacement as Ambassador: Alexander.
In the end, Odo and I were right. Sharing the cure for the changeling disease went a long way to calming the Founder down. Prior to that she was ready to fight to bitter end (hers, Jem'Hadar and Breen). Maybe her life didn't mean as much to her since she and all the Founders were dying anyway.
Maybe Sisko knew that Odo's way was the better way as well. He did let Odo come, after all, and beam down after Odo says "think of the lives it will save".
I like how the final episode isn't all just war. There are other things to wrap up besides just the war. And the resolution of the war comes not from the attacking fleet, but from Odo talking to and trusting the Founder.
As the actress points out about the Founders motivations when she promises to fight to the bitter end (right before her conversation with Odo), "There were some things that were beyond her control, including her illness, and I really liked that scene where she had to deal with the fact that she might die, and what her sadness about that was. It was not about dying or about her – it was about her people."
The Founder really begun to change. At least this one did. As the actress pointed out, "One of the reasons they sent (Odo) out was to understand what was happening with the solids, because they felt threatened by them in some ways. The resolution was quite wonderful. She has the power to become anything she wants to be after that; she can disappear. Certainly she's going to be responsible for the actions that she took. There was something kind of majestic about it. And honorable, finally."
There's a real sense of change for the better in the episode. The Founders are going to learn from Odo and change. You sense that Cardassia will rebuild as a better, more democratic society. Even the Klingons may be changing for the better due to the dual influences of Chancellor Martok and Ambassador Worf.
The only ones you don't get a real sense of recovery and positive steps forward are the Breen and the Romulans. The Breen are very much still on the road of conquest. Because they didn't stick around in HQ at the end when the Founder had her important change of mind. And the Romulans were suspiciously absent. While Sisko, Ross, and Martok talked quite a bit during the battles, it was currious that the Romulans weren't talking. At least not on screen. I'm sure they were envolved off screen. (Probably even the Remans.)
Notice how Bashir and Dax aren't even standing together at the party at Vic's when he's singing about "loving you". There's a relationship that's not going to last.
I found it a little strange that Keiko wasn't at the party at Vic's at the end. The only non-main-cast-member there was Kasidy. But at least Keiko was in the final episode, unlike one major character strangely absent: Jadzia. It seemed pretty wrong that there were no flash-back scenes of Jadzia in the ending montage. Was that just because Terry Farrell didn't want her image used? I mean, her image and voice had been used in a prior season 7 episode ("Penumbra"), why not here? Miss-communication and hard feelings.
The pacing is off between the war story, which probably takes weeks, but certainly days, (even runabout trip from station to Bajor takes 3 hours) to the Pah-Wraith story, which probably only took hours. Heck, maybe time really does flow differently in the Fire caves. Maybe the Prophets are making it that way to ensure their Emissary got there at the right time.
Maybe the Prophets were even the ones to blind Dukat. Not the Pah-Wraiths. In the end that was the only thing that delayed the actions of the Pah-Wraiths long enough for Ben to get there. You'd think the Pah-Wraiths would have known Dukat was on their side and not blinded him.
Of course, the blinding of Dukat was actually just a delay tactic of writers. While writing only the 2nd episode of the 9-episode arc, they realized that the story of Dukat and Winn had been introduced too early and couldn't sustain itself over nine episodes. As writer René Echevarria explains: "We started it too soon and we ran out of story for them. Suddenly we realized that we didn't need them again until the final episode. I was told, 'Find a way to stall.' I needed to leave them in a place where the audience would feel, 'Okay, they're doing this, but I don't need to see them do it.' And I came up with the idea of blinding Dukat." This effectively removes both Dukat and Winn from the arc for several episodes, until the finale "What You Leave Behind".
Interesting how the fire effect in the Fire Caves is exactly the same as the visual in the Badlands. Makes you wonder if there might be some connection. (Never revealed anywhere, just a thought I had.)
Avery Brooks accidentally hit Marc Alaimo for real while filming the final confrontation between Sisko and Dukat. Alaimo had to take several days off after the incident. However, as Brooks was scheduled to leave town almost immediately after shooting had finished, he was unable to wait for Alaimo's return. As such, for some of their scenes in the Fire Caves, the two actors were shot on separate days, with Brooks shooting when Alaimo wasn't present and vice versa. (Like Star Trek II, when Khan and Kirk filmed weeks apart.) Some big final show-down.
If it wasn't for the visit by Ben to Kasidy no one would have known what happen to the Emissary. And still no one knows what happen to the Kai (or Dukat, if anyone left alive even knew about him). I wonder how the Kai's disappearance was handled. Did they think she was fighting with the Emissary or against? She was trying to help in the end after finally seeing the error of her ways. OK, not really. She just realize that the reanimated Dukat had all the power in the relationship with the Pah-Wraiths and she wasn't going to get any, which is what she was really after. (I love that moment when Dukat looks at her and asks "are you still here?" before dismissively killing her.)
Originally, the episode was to end without any ambiguity as to whether or not Sisko was going to return to his corporeal life – the answer was a definite 'no'. The idea was that Sisko had become a Prophet, and that was how it would remain for all time, thus confirming the Sarah Prophet's warning in "Penumbra" and "'Til Death Do Us Part" that if he married Kasidy Yates, he "would know nothing but sorrow." The sorrow was that he was going to have to leave his unborn child behind, and would never get to be with her after her birth. Indeed, the final scene between Sisko and Kasidy was shot this way, with Sisko telling Kasidy he would never be back. However, a day or two after the shoot, Avery Brooks called Ira Behr and told him he wasn't happy with the scene. He felt that having a black man leave his pregnant black wife to raise their child alone carried certain negative connotations that he wasn't comfortable with. As Terry J. Erdmann puts it in the Companion; "In the 24th century, the situation conveyed only sorrow. However, in the 21st century, there was a secondary social issue that had particular resonance." As such, the scene was rewritten and reshot so as to clarify that Sisko will return some day.
Some people think that Ben not dying (completely) was a bit of a cop-out. Some people are even real pissed about it. Just dying and ascending to a higher plan with no choice in the matter would be OK; but now it seems like Ben actually could come back, but has choosen to stay with the Prophets. In effect, they changed him from a tragic hero who dies to save the day, to more effectively a dead-beat dad who leaves his pregnant wife by choice. Where are his real priorities? Interested how the re-write did exactly what Brooks was hoping to stop by doing the re-write.
Personally, I like the re-write to have Ben come back some day. Even the fact that he chooses to leave his pregnant wife for a while feels more in keeping with the tragic Sisko storyline. Plus, I like the ability to do more with the character. Seems like the "final good-vs-evil battle" between Prophets and Pah-Wraiths should be bigger than one pathetic wrestling struggle in a fire cave. (And it could even involve Dukat again; after all, he was said to be "with the Pah-Wraiths", not dead.) And now that can be told some day.
In fact, Ben does return in less than a year (in books); even in time to see his daughter, Rebecca Jae Sisko, born. But he continues to struggle between his role as Emissary and his role as husband and father to Kasidy and Rebecca.
Of the controversial notion of turning Sisko into a god, Ira Behr comments, "It was perfect on so many levels, because of the franchise, and how fans have treated captains like gods since the days of Kirk, and they might as well be gods to the fans. I wanted to literalize it."
The figure of William B. Travis that O'Brien finds in his quarters in the montage is the same one he accused Bashir of loosing in the earlier episode "Changing Face of Evil".
Of the 'lack' of a farewell scene between Quark and Odo, Armin Shimerman says, "Odo knew exactly what Quark was looking for, and he was damned if he was going to give it to him. And Quark appreciated the fact that there was no resolution to their game. That meant the game was still afoot." Odo and Quark will met again only 8 months later.
Of course Odo was going to go home to Founders. He has soo much to teach them. But that doesn't mean he has to stay forever. In books he does visit again briefly about 8 months later. But the Founder religious upheavel splits the Founders. And Odo has to stay even longer. He's still there years later as far as we know in books.
Of Weyoun 8 being the 'final' Weyoun, Combs has stated, "I said to Ira, 'If you think that the Vorta have all their eggs in one basket, you've got another thing coming. How many times have I died?' I don't think there's any question that there's some Weyoun clones hidden away in a cave somewhere." In the Relaunch novels, Combs is proven correct, as Weyoun 9 becomes Odo's attache.
The scene of Odo's return to his people (accompanied by Kira) is the first (and last) scene set in the Gamma Quadrant since Season 5. ("Children of Time"). Maybe one day the Federation will get back to exploring the Gamma Quadrant. (This happens in books, of course.)
In the final moments of the episode, Colonel Kira asks Nog to begin cargo inventories; this was the first task performed by Nog after he had decided to join Starfleet. Sisko had him do it to see if he could be trusted in the third season episode "Heart of Stone".
The penultimate scene of this episode is about Kira confronting Quark about new rules on the Promenade and his bar. The penultimate scene of the premiere episode "Emissary" was just the same.
The scene with Kira and Jake looking out window, thinking about when Ben might return, is just like in "The Visitor". In fact, I have a little theory that there's a real connection between the end of the series and "The Visitor".
Jake’s situation in "The Visitor" paralleled his situation at the end of the show. Jake is stuck in the real world, knowing that his father is out there somewhere and will be back sometime, but he doesn’t know when. The show even uses the exact same shot of Jake standing there (with Kira at his side) looking out the window wondering where his father is and when he will return.
Then I got to thinking about how Ben’s accident in “The Visitor” was caused by the WORMHOLE undergoing a subspace inversion, which somehow interacted with an interphasic compensator to create Ben’s jumping thorough time. So then it occurred to me that maybe the Prophets had caused this accident on purpose. After all, with their ability to see the future, they knew it wouldn’t really result in Ben’s death, but that it would result in Ben learning more about Jake. And maybe that was important to the Prophets for some reason. But I couldn’t really understand why the Prophets would care that Ben learn anything about Jake. We never really got the impression during the series that the Prophets cared anything about Jake apart from Ben. In fact, the Prophets even let Jake be possessed and possibly killed by a Pah-Wraith in “The Reckoning”.
So then, if occurred to me that maybe it was BENJAMIN HIMSELF that had caused the accident. Not at the time the accident occurred, of course, but years later when he was in the Celestial Temple.
Follow me on this. After “dying” in the Fire Caves and going to live with the Prophets, Ben very possibly had access to the timestream as the Prophets see it. And maybe he could see in that timestream that Jake had a hard time living without him after he (Ben) joined the Prophets in “What You Leave Behind”. Then Ben realizes that it’s important for him (Ben) to teach Jake how to live without him (Ben) BEFORE that becomes necessary. So Ben, using his “contacts” with the Prophets and their technology or abilities or whatever inside the wormhole, actually worked to create the accident that had occurred 4 years earlier (from his perspective).
Although Jake doesn’t remember anything from that alternate reality, Ben does after the accident. And maybe that’s what was important the whole time. And I now propose that may have been why the accident happen in the first place. “Future Ben” (or “outside the timestream Ben”) made it happen so that “regular/in timestream” Ben would think more about his son during those 4 years and not get distracted as much by the crazy stuff that was going on (like the Dominion War). That way Jake would be more prepared for his leaving the timestream at the end.
This new take on "The Visitor" really throws a new spin on the episode. As originally shown, it was an episode about how much Jake loved his father, that he (Jake) spent his entire life (literally) trying to get his father back. But with this take on it, the episode was really a sign of just how much (future) Ben loves his son and to what lengths he would go to ensure he was raised into a great young man, prepared to deal with the loss of his father.
Also, note how the “subspace fragment” that Ben and Jake went into during "The Visitor" looks a lot like the scenes we’ve seen inside the Celestial Temple. Yet another reason to think there might be a connection to the Prophets (and not just the wormhole).
After this finale episode aired, some viewers were said to have found the conclusion overly dark, especially the fact that Jake never gets to say goodbye to his father. Their relationship had been constant since the first episode of the series, and some fans found it 'unfair' that things ended the way they did. Of this criticism, Ira Behr says, "A lot of people thought it was a problem. But at some point, I realized that the last shot of the show, which I'd thought was going to be in the bar with Quark and Kira, should be this image of the kid standing there, waiting for his dad. And missing him. Is his father ever going to come back? The son yearning for the father was like the audience yearning for the show. As we push back from the image of him, push back from the station, farther and farther away until it's gone, it was just like, boom, right on the road we came in on. So no, there is no goodbye between father and son, but to me, the idea that Jake's waiting for Ben is better than any goodbye we could ever have had."
The final shot of Deep Space 9 was a CGI model created by digital effects artist Aristomenis Tsirbas, the first and only time that the station was shown using CGI.
Actress Visitor also says of the character arc of Kira, "She has come full circle, but going full circle, she's explored all the degrees all the way around the circle, so she's pretty much in the same place, but not the same person at all. There's a depth and an understanding, and an experience that only going the whole way around the trip gives you. So that's why the way it ended is very satisfying for me, as an actor, as the keeper of Kira, she comes full circle."
Kira doesn't stay CO of station forever. She ends up being Captain in Starfleet when Militia absorned into starfleet when Bajor joins the Federation. Then, years later, she "retires" and becomes a vedek. It suits her, I think.
The following actors (other than the series regulars) appear in both the pilot, "Emissary", and the finale, "What You Leave Behind": Aron Eisenberg (Cadet/Ensign/Lieutenant Nog), Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat), J.G. Hertzler (Vulcan Captain, later General/Chancellor Martok), and Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn).
Avery Brooks was the only actor to appear in every episode of the series.
The finale episode takes its title from the quote "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." And I think that says so much about what DS9 is about. More than any other Star Trek (except possibly Enterprise), there's a feeling of people's lives being changed by the events that unfolded on screen. Sure, other Star Trek characters have saved the lives of billions from time to time. But the lives impacted by the events on DS9 seem to resonate more. And probably, as we've said before, because the characters themselves were changed by them. It wasn't just "another day at the office, what's next" mentality.
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