Episode 5.7: Let He Who Is Without Sin…

•March 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This episode seems frivolous on the surface. However, I think there are several interesting themes running through this episode. The background of paradise helps accentuate each of the elements in this episode. I think this is very fitting as an episode in the season before the Dominion War. This planet sports a cultural peace the Federation will soon lose. On the one hand, the Risian philosophy (“What is ours is yours”) is to be admired. This is a utopian peace. Worf, however, would consider it naïve. The peace of Risa is entirely artificial and a farce, given what the planet would be like without the weather satellites. To Worf, vigilance is necessary to sustain what one has, and the Risians are ignorant of what it takes for them to have their peace. In a way, I think the tension between these viewpoints is a healthy place for a culture. Both positions seem like extremes, and in nearly every case I can think of, an extreme position is a poor one. The openness and relaxed attitude of the Risians is what fosters peace and prosperity in a society; constant vigilance can be destructive to prosperity. Yet real threats exist for the Federation. Striking a balance seems necessary.

Fullerton is a characterized Christian street evangelist (the “turn or burn” kind), and I’m sorry to say that the caricature is pretty close to things I’ve seen. He speaks on “moral and cultural foundations” and condemns what he sees as indulgence. Pleasure is a sin. His superiority comes out in his philosophy (his religion), and he insults others for not following his message. He is hypocritical; he calls for vigilance to maintain peace, but he acts regularly to disrupt that peace. And he uses fear mongering tactics. He dredges up old enemies (Borg, Romulans, Klingons) and new ones (the Dominion) to scare and shock people into following his message. It’s all too familiar. Are there arrogant Christians who act hypocritically in an effort to scare people into following a message? Certainly. I offer no excuse for this behavior of Christians. Our faith, despite the truth I think it holds, has lead to prideful actions and attitudes that have hurt and insulted others. For me, caricatures like this are tools I use to remind me to maintain my humility and accept the critiques of others. I wonder, “Who have I done this to?”

Worf and Dax are an interesting couple in this episode. They each sail so far to their respective extremes. Dax is an unfettered, nearly chaotic personality. Worf is an all-or-nothing personality, and he only sees truth through his own lens. Neither are easy to figure out. For Dax, I think having both Quark and Bashir along on this trip is poignant. She rightfully chafes under Worf’s demands for fidelity in her innocent, plutonic relationships. She doesn’t have Worf’s trust, which is painful to her. Both Quark and Bashir pursued Dax in the past, and they offer insight for her. Dax is joyously free, but she is extremely difficult to figure out. To Dax, some things should be obvious (like her relationship with Captain Boday being plutonic), but Quark and Bashir inform her she is tough to figure out. And she needs to hear it from trusted friends. She has to communicate with Worf…which is what Worf has been asking for (“Jadzia, we need to talk”). On the other side, Worf is rigid and makes sweeping assumptions. He accuses Bashir and Leeta of infidelity, when he had almost no information on the status of their relationship. He makes similar assumptions of Jadiza. He thinks he needs Dax to conform to his view of a “Klingon woman”. The fact that Worf went so far as to disrupt the weather is indicative of how deeply troubled he is at the rift between him and Dax. Through his confession about killing a boy, Worf is also brought away from his extreme. Dax gets him to trust that absolute control cannot be the way to live life. I actually really like having the soccer accident in Worf’s past. It helps describe why he is so formal and regulated in his life.

Perhaps my favorite part of this episode is what Bashir and Leeta are doing on Risa. I wish rites or traditions like this Rite of Separation were more present in our society. Bringing closure to a relationship through a joyous celebration seems so enlightened to me. This allows them to step away from each other slowly and without harsh words. It’s clearly mutual. They have an opportunity to meet other people while still feeling emotionally safe with each other. There isn’t an abrupt feeling of abandonment. We (usually) don’t start relationships abruptly; why do we end them so harshly and suddenly? The human heart is a delicate thing, and I think we can abuse it without realizing it.

Random Thoughts: 1) Morn is in love! 2) I loved: “Do not hug me.” 3) Vanessa Williams as a guest star is one of the most non-Trek names to appear in Star Trek, I think. I think she does a fine job here. 4) Worf never changes out of his uniform during the episode. That symbolism is obvious. He never relaxes. 5) Quark amusingly eggs on the friction between Leeta and Bashir about Rom. 6) The conflict at the end, where Fullerton endangers people with earthquakes, is entirely unnecessary in my opinion. The story didn’t need that kind of conflict. The conflict between Dax and Worf was sufficient. 7) The title references the book of John, chapter 8, verse 7 in the Christian Bible.


Episode 5.6: Trials and Tribble-ations

•March 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This episode is a tribute to the 30th anniversary of Star Trek. It is an homage to one of the iconic episodes of The Original Series, The Trouble with Tribbles (TOS Ep. 2.15). There is a lot of information out there for this episode. The technical aspects in particular have been discussed at length. The episode was nominated for 3 Creative Emmy Awards (art direction, hairstyling, and visual effects), but didn’t win anything. I don’t have a lot to say about the technical aspects that haven’t already been said elsewhere. As a viewer, I certainly was impressed with the insertion of the DS9 crew into the TOS scenes. For the purpose of this entry, I wanted to give my personal reaction.

I got lot of comedic joy out of the episode. The story is light-hearted and a stand-alone episode. I liked it, I enjoyed it, but it’s a fan-service episode filled with nostalgia. Those kinds of episodes aren’t bad, but they don’t leave an impression on me. There isn’t any connection to the grand narrative of DS9, no real character development, nor any social theme addressed. These are the kinds of elements that create a fantastic episode for me. I know a lot of folks list this in their top episodes list, but it won’t go there for me. Other episodes with deeper themes rank much higher. There were certainly a few references to other areas of the Trek universe, as would be expected. The Enterprise-E is mentioned obliquely (when the two investigators talk about 5, no 6, Enterprises). The change in forehead ridges for the Klingons was acknowledged, but also brushed aside in a comedic way. I don’t mind they didn’t address that here; this isn’t the right kind of episode for that. The predestination paradox is a common Star Trek (and larger sci-fi) time travel trope.

Most of my notes on this episode are about single story elements. So rather than have a massive Random Thoughts section, I’ll list a few story elements here that caught my eye. The infestation of tribbles on the station at the end is never mentioned again. Three Orbs of the Prophets are directly mentioned: The Orb of Time, Orb of Wisdom, Orb of Prophecy. Bashir comments on the color swap of Engineering and Command uniforms. He also says the obligatory “I’m a doctor, not a…” line. Odo was keenly fascinated with the tribble; I speculate that it was he who brought one back to the station. Worf’s over the top rage at the tribble species is one of the best moments of the episode. The Emony host of Dax is the one who met McCoy. That is host 3 while Jadzia is host 8. Also, Dax’s simmering sexual attraction to half the TOS characters in this episode was off-putting to me. Sisko throwing tribbles and hitting Kirk in the head was another amusing element. And finally, Kira being the one who figured out how to use Orb of Time is a fitting end.

Random Thoughts (on non-story elements): 1) Voyager had a similar 30th anniversary episode, Flashback (VOY Ep. 3.2). 2) Actual time travel is a nice element (the Voyager counterpart was only memories). 3) The temporal investigators are reminiscent of Dragnet. 4) The DVD menu has sounds of cooing tribbles instead of the usual Ops sounds. 5) The gentle growth into the TOS theme as the Enterprise was being shown on the viewscreen was a nice touch. 6) Ecological Menace is my new band name. 7) The fight scene was integrated extremely well in my opinion. It was a nice scene to choose to show off the technical skills. 8) While reading some notes over at Memory Alpha for the next episode (Let He Who Is Without Sin…, Ep. 5.7), I learned that Nana Visitor is still pregnant here.  This episode was shot before The Assignment (Ep. 5.5).

Episode 5.5: The Assignment

•March 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment

The O’Brien Must Suffer episodes are hit and miss for me, and this one was a notable miss. I felt O’Brien was far too pliable to the demands of the Pah-wraith. At one point, O’Brien asks a huge question. He asks why the Pah-wraith didn’t directly inhabit him instead of inhabiting Keiko. Clearly the Pah-wraith has access to all the knowledge of the host, as seen by how intimately the Pah-wraith knows Miles through Keiko’s knowledge. Why not directly control the man with the power the Pah-wraith needs? They never come back to this point and the episode moves on in an unsatisfying way. Thereafter, O’Brien is completely at the mercy of the Pah-wraith. I was hoping that he could push back on it and get Molly to safety, but that also never materializes. The need for O’Brien to work so quickly was also never established. I appreciate what is trying to be done by pitting Miles’s loyalty to the crew against his love for his family, but I wasn’t terribly thrilled with the execution.

Certainly though this episode is important because it establishes the Pah-wraiths as a spiritual enemy to the Prophets. These creatures were cast out of the Celestial Temple, banished to the Fire Caves, and have been working to reacquire residence in Temple. In this initial episode, little more than their background is given to us. The spiritual dimension to their existence is not established here. They do clearly pose a threat to the Prophets and are capable of causing long term damage or death to the Prophets. Over the course of the last half of the show, a series of cosmic battles will play out between these two factions that portrays a spiritual war with actual consequences on Bajor’s future. I certainly enjoy the fact that the spiritual side of the DS9 narrative has tangible elements and effects on the station and crew.

Rom’s role here is what I liked most about this episode. At this point, we’ve been shown that Rom (despite Quark’s opinion) is much more than an idiot. In this episode, he’s absolutely crucial to the salvation of the Prophets and the survival of Keiko and Miles. The Pah-wraith causes its own downfall by forcing O’Brien to work too quickly. The short timeline forces O’Brien to enlist help, and O’Brien chooses Rom because he thinks Rom would be the most easily manipulated. Rom becomes aware of the Pah-wraith’s plan and gives O’Brien the crucial information he needs to kill the Pah-wraith. Like most Ferengi, Rom is much more than he seems, and despite a half-witted exterior, he can be a rock when he is passionate about a cause; here his cause is supporting O’Brien, a man he greatly respects. He’s shown to be exceedingly intelligent in one niche area (engineering). I think this is also reflective of us modern humans. I daresay all of us are great in one area and complete failures in others. Finally, a little more groundwork is laid for Rom’s relationship with Leeta, and this provides a unique path for information for the viewer on the Pah-wraiths.

Random Thoughts: 1) Kira is “away on Bajor”. This is code for “Nana Vistor’s having her baby now”. 2) Rom is very happy in his blue collar job. His contentment bothers Quark because Quark is always striving to improve his station (in his Ferengi way). Rom’s outlook on life is something Quark could learn from. 3) I’m amused at Bashir’s nonchalance at killing Keiko’s plants. 4) Fire Caves will play a crucial role in What You Leave Behind (Ep. 7.25). 5) The Bajoran term used here for the Pah-wraiths is the Koss’moran. Throughout DS9, this term is unclear, referring to both a group of Pah-wraiths (as in this episode) or as a single Pah-wraith. The term also changes to Kosst Amojan in later episodes. 6) Odo is punched by O’Brien in this episode. Another of the few consequences for Odo of being a solid. 7) Rom is rewarded by getting on the day shift.

Interlude: Quark

•March 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Quark’s another character that I’d like to expand upon in an Interlude. He’s an easily misunderstood character. Quark can be seen as a buffoon or an overly exaggerated good-at-heart snitch. Little more than a trope. However, Quark is much more than simply a silly Ferengi. I’ve talked before on how the Ferengi are intentionally reflective of ourselves, the modern human. Modern humans are complex creatures, and Quark is similarly complex. He’s full of conflicting desires, an imperfect moral system, and a deep-seated fear for his future. He’s full of diverse reasons that drive his actions, and they are usually in tension. He’s not always honorable, and he’ll put his own needs above others. But other times, he puts himself in danger for others. He ran an underground railroad of Bajorans moving them out of danger on Terok Nor. Quark will rationalize his actions frequently because his internal conflict is difficult to resolve. He knows what’s right, but struggles doing it. This is very real! Every single one of us makes decisions that are for our own benefit while rationalizing away the consequences those decisions have on other people. What I love about Quark is that he is portrayed with these tensions manifest. DS9 uses Quark to confront this contradictory behavior inherent to humans.

Secondly, Quark is an outsider. He isn’t a member of the crew (Starfleet or Bajoran) and isn’t driven by the Federation’s moral ideals or sense of justice. Sprinkled throughout the entire series are moments where we see the “Ferengi perspective” on some unsuspecting situation. He adds some odd twist, like pregnancy being a rental in Ferengi society (…Nor the Battle to the Strong, Ep. 5.4), that usually gets me to stop and think about the assumptions I have. He fiercely defends his Ferengi-ness. In Body Parts (Ep. 4.25), the breaking of a contract is an immense moral dilemma: to a Ferengi, a contract is a contract is a contract. Moments like this give me a chance to see my own human-ness from the outside. Because of Body Parts (Ep. 4.25), I considered how deeply I hold others to their word. Do I do force them to keep it, even to their great detriment? Quark (and Ferengi society) take things to such farcical extremes that I can’t help but see my own society in it. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that extreme examples help me understand a concept. I think perhaps it’s because it gives me an understanding of the boundaries, which in turn gives me a clear view of the middle. This is exactly what Quark as the outsider does for me. His main literary tool is satire, and it’s used to challenge my assumptions about the society I contribute to.

The relationship with Odo is also an excellent component of the show.  It’s often the mechanism that’s used to draw out these differences in culture and show that Quark is torn between desires.  With the exception of Sisko and Dax (who admittedly have an odd relationship), these two have known each other the longest amongst the characters of the show.  They met years before the show started, while the station was still Terok Nor.  This long-term relationship is why Odo is probably best understood by Quark; I think Quark understands Odo even more so than Kira understands Odo.  Quark and Odo have a grudging respect for one another and demonstrate their love for each other through their constant sparring.  Each also grudgingly respects what the other represents.  Quark needs Odo’s law-bringing actions to allow him the opportunity to run his business.  Odo needs Quark’s underground connections and unsavory skills so that he may bring justice in the most comprehensive manner.  They certainly don’t trust each other, and vulnerability is a challenge, but in a very odd way, they can still trust the relationship they have.  All this makes for a very fun element to DS9.

Random Thoughts: 1) Quark is also a fantastic source of comic relief for me. Plenty of moments where I laugh out loud. Both on his own or with his relationship with Odo.  2) I like how moments with Quark are intermittently dispersed throughout episodes. It helps keep his Ferengi-ness from becoming overbearing.

Episode 5.4: …Nor the Battle to the Strong

•March 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Jake himself sums up the theme of this episode: the line between courage and cowardice is a lot thinner than most people believe. This episode is a preamble to the more brutal themes of during the final two seasons. Jake has some of his childhood naiveté shattered; this is an essential step along the path from boyhood to manhood. Jake is 18 in this episode, making the boyhood-to-manhood theme apparent. I think it’s an essential component of this transition to leave things behind, to realize the world is bigger than they know. Equally important to this situation was the absence of his father, Sisko. As I’ve mentioned before, the journey to manhood involves the realization that a boy “has what it takes.” That happens best without the father figure, though boys may still have a mentor (Bashir in this case fills that role). There is something essential about not having the father (because the boy realizes they can succeed without the safety net) but still having a mentor (because we are all interdependent, and no man is a rock). Systematically, Jake is confronted with his unpreparedness for this tragedy, and in the end he stares his own cowardice in the face. Finally, the title here references a Christian text, and I want to expound on what that means to me personally.

First though, I want to discuss Jake’s journey through the episode. I think he begins the episode naïve. He has a childish view of heroism. He tries to be a detached journalist, but the brutality around him eats at him. He quickly agrees to help move patients/corpses, and thus he cannot remain aloof. When the first soldier admits he shot himself, Jake instantly judges him for his cowardice. This man was Starfleet. How could he have broken like that? The danger then begins to really set in. Klingons are brutal, and Jake doesn’t know what will happen next. During the run to the runabout, Jake panics. In his flight, he stumbles upon a second soldier, a grunt. The grunt is a foil to the first soldier. He acts how Jake expects a hero should. He stays behind so his unit can survive. Yet the grunt dies while the first soldier lives. Jake is left being sick with his cowardice. He deeply knows the fear the first soldier felt and understands why he shot his own foot. When the Klingons finally arrive, Jake once again is filled with fear. Only this time, his fear leads him to save the patients and medical staff. Both his flight and his heroism were driven by fear. In this transition to manhood, Jake leaves behind his naïve beliefs about courage and cowardice, and he ushers into knowledge that life, tragedy is much more nuanced and unclear.

The title of the episode comes from the Bible, the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 9, verse 11. The verse is actually several lines where winners of different activities (races, battles, favors) are not who we expect (the swift, the strong, the learned). Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the Bible because it has several layers of interpretation. If I was to interpret this as an amateur theologian, I’d say this verse was about the wisdom in realizing that success does not come only to those how are good at their craft (e.g. races to the swift or battles to the strong). The passage is elegant, as I see two ways of interpreting that wisdom. The traditional way to interpret Ecclesiastes is to see this in a mournful light. Races are won by slow people, so why even try? But that assumes we (the readers) are the fast, the strong, the learned. This episode of DS9 interprets this passage in the second way; a way that I believe is more consistent with the arc of the Christian narrative. What if we (the readers) are the slow, the weak, and the uneducated? This passage then takes on a jubilant tone as we can still win the race, the battles, and the favors! This is much more consistent with the Christian meta-narrative. Jake, despite his weakness, saves a hospital full of people.

Random Thoughts: 1) For this single episode, the ceasefire between the Federation and the Klingons, established in Apocalypse Rising (Ep. 5.1) is disrupted for the few days spanning this episode. 2) Continuing the talent of the guest actors, Andrew Kavovit, the actor who plays the orderly Kirby, was given a Daytime Emmy Award. 3) It is very easy for us to think we’d act like the hero in dire situations. In current events, there’s a national conversation surrounding gun laws and how individuals would act in an active shooter situation. I honestly have no idea which side of the line I would be on in a situation like that. The themes in DS9 continue to remain relevant even 20 years after the show aired. 4) Jake wishing for a plague is oblique foreshadowing of the rest of the episode. 5) Once again, the Ferengi take on life (here where pregnancy is considered a rental agreement) is highly amusing to me. 6) This is the 4th episode (of 12) into Odo’s punishment as a solid, and the consequences have been limited for him. So far, only Apocalypse Rising (Ep. 5.1) had any substantial limitations for Odo. 7) BOOM! Runabout destroyed. This was an unnamed runabout though. 8) Bashir at one point tries to talk with Jake, but Jake resists. Bashir doesn’t have the strength to push him. Ultimately, Jake must find it within himself to confront his shame.

Episode 5.3: Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places

•January 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I enjoyed one storyline of this episode, but really disliked the second storyline. This episode is positioned between two fairly heavy episodes and is intended to be a fun diversion about life on the station. The storyline with Worf and Quark accomplishes this, I think. Watching Quark and Grilka create this completely unconventional relationship, their par’mach, was satisfying to me. It breaks norms of both cultures, and par’mach triumphs over opposition. The actors also did a good job of creating tension between them. I love it when Quark gets very passionate about something other than profit. This episode, for me, squarely lands in the category of a comedic episode that got me to smile and laugh at the characters. I found Worf’s obliviousness and how much he let his pride drive his actions amusing. And obviously, the major long-term event is that Worf and Dax begin their relationship.

Do we find ourselves more often in Worf’s shoes or in Dax’s shoes? I think that most viewers of Sci-Fi (particularly in the 90s) would find themselves relating to Dax more than Worf. Ignored by those we desire and shocked at the people they choose to pursue. She has to go so far as to actually attack him to get him to notice her interest (or show love with aggressive overtones). There are two instances when Worf’s ignorance is laid bare. First, Dax identifies Worf’s frustration at Tumek easily. Worf’s angered at Tumek thinking Worf doesn’t know Klingon women. Second, Worf utterly misses how much Dax is passionately into the holosuite battle as Lukara. I don’t think that Dax would have helped Worf, had it been Worf pursuing Grilka. She doesn’t put up with that kind of naïve foolishness. Dax was actually helping Quark pursue Grilka; she appreciates the unique ways Quark and Grilka connect. She’s confounded by Worf’s attraction to Grilka. His attraction to Grilka makes sense to me though. On the surface, Grilka is a high lady, steeped in Klingon tradition. But that’s just the external face that Grilka puts on. Worf doesn’t know that what he wants is a fanciful, unrealistic ideal. Dax is attainable, more fun, and knows him. A relationship with Dax is reality. Messy, beautiful reality.

I didn’t really like the storyline with Kira and O’Brien. I’m glad that Kira’s pregnancy opened up a unique plot for her, but the behaviors Kira and O’Brien engage in seemed so contrary to their characters. Neither of them has shown any hint of attraction to each other before, so to have them ramp themselves up here to the point of nearly kissing at the end seems very contrived to me. Also, Keiko is way too oblivious to what’s happening. She’s oblivious to the point of encouraging them. That just seems unreasonable. There aren’t many times in DS9 that I’m unimpressed, but this is one of them.

Random Thoughts: 1) Andrew Robinson, the actor who plays Garak, is the director for this episode. This is the first time in Star Trek history that an actor of a recurring character became a director. 2) Quark nearly quotes the song “War” by Edwin Starr. (“War, what is it good for? If you ask me, absolutely nothing.”) 3) Quark asks Grilka to see her financial records knowing that she would never ask him to do it, even though that is exactly why she came to DS9. 4) When I first saw this, I recall laughing out loud at “It’s the Klingon word for love, but with more aggressive overtones.” 5) Worf attacks Morn to show dominance. It’s, uh, great when Morn gets active roles such as this… 6) Odo’s insightfulness of Kira’s language is also spot on. “Which part of his family are you?” 7) At the end, Grilka does indeed jump on Quark like a crazed vole. 8) Bashir shows some immense maturity here. After pursuing and losing Dax, he can handle her moving onto another man. That’s a really hard place for many of us to get to.

Episode 5.2: The Ship

•January 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This episode is one of the more tragic episodes of DS9, and foreshadows the tragedy in episodes that arise during the Dominion War. There are plenty of extra characters at the start of the episode, which to any Trek fan, should be an indicator that folks are going to start dying. All told, there were 5 Federation deaths, one dead Founder, and an entire crew of Jem’Hadar dead by suicide. This series of deaths were perpetrated by a simple lack of trust between the Vorta Kilana and Sisko. They are both steeped in a cold war mentality where they don’t trust each other at all. The other side is the enemy, never to be given an inch. This is made even more tragic when I realized there were past episodes, history for the characters, that had shown the ability of both sides to cooperate. Most prominently, in To The Death (Ep. 4.23), uneasy tensions were established and Federation/Dominion teams were integrated together. Also in Hippocratic Oath (Ep. 4.4), a partial alliance was established, though only Sisko would have known of that. But this mission in The Ship (Ep. 5.2) was different. Both sides had something immense to gain: a dying Founder for the Dominion and a massive intelligence find for the Federation. Had even either side shown a smidge of trust, it could have lead to a tense exchange where both sides got what they needed. And no one would have died.

Trust is such a difficult thing cultivate, even on a personal level. The moment we identify someone as “the other”, we tragically lose a certain ability to trust them. Trust entails risk, and Sisko wasn’t willing to allow that risk to his crew. But I think this episode tries to speak against that narrative. Trust also entails strength. Had Kilana and Sisko trusted each other, fewer people would have died, and both sides would have achieved a great victory. I’m not saying it would have been an easy decision; clearly the Dominion has attacked the Federation through subversion and deception. But to categorically distrust “the other” only leads the two sides spiraling away from each other, further and further from trust. Each small act of trust, which requires vulnerability, brings sides towards each other.

The other major theme in this episode is on the ethics of command. Sisko is making on-the-fly decisions that affect his crew and ultimately kills some of them. He’s juggling their safety, their mental well being, and the value of the salvage. After the initial moment when the Jem’Hadar attack, Sisko has the opportunity to give away his salvage for the safety of the crew. He decided to keep the ship at increasing cost to his crew (the mental well being of the command crew and the life of Muñiz). Once he has a moment to reflect after the mission, he struggles with whether the decisions he made, whether the people who died, were worth the intelligence gained from the ship. This is the burden of command. He was forced to weigh the value of individual lives against the long term value the Jem’Hadar technology could provide. And he’s forced to weigh these things in real-time, without the opportunity to reflect. Hindsight is a double edged sword for Sisko. He can learn from his mistakes, but he can’t berate himself for making the decisions he did on the information he had.

Random Thoughts: 1) The action in this episode is ramped up (“Worf, you’re on point!”). Action gets woven into the storylines more and more. 2) I appreciate that the runabout crew wasn’t just a bunch of humans that died. They put time into making some of them aliens, to have them be more than throwaway characters. That certainly added to the emotional moment at the end when Sisko is reflecting on their deaths. 3) The bit with Odo, Quark, and Bashir was an amusing sidebar on the station. 4) Muñiz calls O’Brien “Jefe”, which is an affectionate Spanish term for “Chief”. 5) The Vorta Kilana is way too peppy in her first scene, in an effort to distract Sisko and put him at ease. It backfires. 6) The Dominion continues to show it has a lot of information on the key individuals in the Federation, such as Sisko. Kilana’s personal knowledge of Sisko is extensive (just likey Weyoun). 7) I like how Worf injects truth into Muñiz’s situation. He will die, and denying that will only prevent him from preparing for death. The Klingon way, when done well, is to not shy away from the reality of death. That is what O’Brien was doing with Muñiz, and Worf saw that as a dishonor to Muñiz. Worf also wasn’t simply saying platitudes. He shows up with O’Brien to mourn Muñiz’s passing. 8) If it isn’t clear yet, the Klingons are a deeply spiritual people. Worf sees Muñiz as having the spirit of a warrior that will pass into the afterlife. 9) Sisko intentionally gives his command crew specific tasks to help control their rattled nerves and fear. Specifically with O’Brien, he needs him to use his talent to help all of them, not give emotional support to one of them. More burdens of command. 10) This ship will be used again in A Time to Stand (Ep. 6.1) and Rocks and Shoals (Ep. 6.2). 11) BOOM! Un-named runabout down! I looked online for folks who tried to identify the name of this one, but it can’t be deduced, as far as I can tell.